Scientific American Supplement, No. 643, April 28, 1888
Author: Various
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NEW YORK, APRIL 28, 1888

Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XXV., No. 643.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.

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I. ARCHAEOLOGY.—The Subterranean Temples of India.—The subterranean temples of India described and illustrated, the wonderful works of the ancient dwellers in Hindostan.—3 illustrations. 10275

II. BIOGRAPHY.—General F. Perrier.—Portrait and biography of the French geodesian, his triangulations in Algiers and Corsica.—1 illustration. 10264

The Crown Prince of Germany—Prince William and his son.— Biographical note of Prince William, the heir to the German throne.—1 illustration. 10263

III. BIOLOGY.—Poisons.—Abstract of a lecture by Prof. MEYMOTT TIDY, giving the relations of poisons to life. 10273

The President's Annual Address to the Royal Microscopical Society.—The theory of putrefaction and putrefactive organisms.—Exhaustive review of the subject. 10264

IV. CHEMISTRY.—Molecular Weights.—A new and simple method of determining molecular weights for unvolatilizable substances. 10271

V. CIVIL ENGINEERING.—Concrete.—By JOHN LUNDIE.—A practical paper on the above subject.—The uses and proper methods of handling concrete, machine mixing contrasted with hand mixing. 10267

Timber and Some of its Diseases.—By H. MARSHALL WARD.—The continuation of this important treatise on timber destruction, the fungi affecting wood, and treatment of the troubles arising therefrom. 10277

VI. ENGINEERING.—Estrade's High Speed Locomotive.—A comparative review of the engineering features of M. Estrade's new engine, designed for speeds of 77 to 80 miles an hour.—1 illustration. 10266

Machine Designing.—By JOHN B. SWEET.—First portion of a Franklin Institute lecture on this eminently practical subject.—2 illustrations. 10267

VII. METEOROLOGY.—The Peak of Teneriffe.—Electrical and meteorological observations on the summit of Teneriffe. 10265

VIII. MISCELLANEOUS.—Analysis of a Hand Fire Grenade.—By CHAS. CATLETT and R.C. PRICE.—The contents of a fire grenade and its origin. 10271

How to Catch and Preserve Moths and Butterflies.—Practical directions for collectors. 10275

The Clavi Harp.—A new instrument, a harp played by means of keys arranged on a keyboard—1 illustration. 10275

Inquiries Regarding the Incubator.—By P.H. JACOBS.—Notes concerning the incubator described in a previous issue (SUPPLEMENT, No. 630).—Practical points. 10265

IX. PHYSICS.—The Direct Optical Projection of Electro-dynamic Lines of Force, and other Electro-dynamic Phenomena.—By Prof. J.W. MOORE—Second portion of this profusely illustrated paper, giving a great variety of experiments on the phenomena of loop-shaped conductors.—26 illustrations. 10272

The Mechanics of a Liquid.—An ingenious method of measuring the volume of fibrous and porous substances without immersion in any liquid.—1 illustration. 10269

X. PHYSIOLOGY.—Artificial Mother for Infants.—An apparatus resembling an incubator for infants that are prematurely born.—Results attained by its use.—1 illustration. 10274

Gastrostomy.—Artificial feeding for cases of obstructed oesophagus.—The apparatus and its application.—2 illustrations. 10274

XI. PHOTOGRAPHY.—How to Make Photo-Printing Plates.—The process of making relief plates for printers. 10271

XII. TECHNOLOGY.—Improved Current Meter.—A simple apparatus for measuring air and water currents without indexes or other complications.—1 illustration. 10270

The Flower Industry of Grasse.—Methods of manufacturing perfumes in France.—The industry as practiced in the town of Grasse. 10270

Volute Double Distilling Condenser.—A distiller and condenser for producing fresh water from sea water.—3 illustrations. 10269

The Argand Burner.—The origin of the invention of the Argand burner. 10275

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At a moment when the entire world has its eyes fixed upon the invalid of the Villa Zurio, it appears to us to be of interest to publish the portrait of his son, Prince William. The military spirit of the Hohenzollerns is found in him in all its force and exclusiveness. It was hoped that the accession of the crown prince to the throne of Germany would temper the harshness of it and modernize its aspect, but the painful disease from which he is suffering warns us that the moment may soon come in which the son will be called to succeed the Emperor William, his grandfather, of whom he is morally the perfect portrait. Like him, he loves the army, and makes it the object of his entire attention. No colonel more scrupulously performs his duty than he, when he enters the quarters of the regiment of red hussars whose chief he is.

His solicitude for the army manifests itself openly. It is not without pride that he regards his eldest son, who will soon be six years old, and who is already clad in the uniform of a fusilier of the Guard. Prince William is a soldier in spirit, just as harsh toward himself as severe toward others. So he is the friend and emulator of Prince Von Bismarck, who sees in him the depositary of the military traditions of the house of Prussia, and who is preparing him by his lessons and his advice to receive and preserve the patrimony that his ancestors have conquered.

Prince William was born January 27, 1859. On the 29th of February, 1881, he married Princess Augusta Victoria, daughter of the Duke of Sleswick-Holstein. Their eldest son, little Prince William, represented with his father in our engraving, was born at Potsdam, May 6, 1882.—L'Illustration.

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Francois Perrier, who was born at Valleraugue (Gard), on the 18th of April, 1835, descended from an honorable family of Protestants, of Cevennes. After finishing his studies at the Lyceum of Nimes and at St. Barbe College, he was received at the Polytechnic School in 1853, and left it in 1857, as a staff officer.

Endowed with perseverance and will, he owed all his grades and all his success to his splendid conduct and his important labors. Lieutenant in 1857, captain in 1860, major of cavalry in 1874, lieutenant-colonel in 1879, he received a year before his death the stars of brigadier-general. He was commander of the Legion of Honor and president of the council-general of his department.

General Perrier long ago made a name for himself in science. After some remarkable publications upon the trigonometrical junction of France and England (1861) and upon the triangulation and leveling of Corsica (1865), he was put at the head of the geodesic service of the army in 1879. In 1880, the learned geodesian was sent as a delegate to the conference of Berlin for settling the boundaries of the new Greco-Turkish frontiers. In January of the same year, he was elected a member of the Academy of Sciences, as successor to M. De Tessan. He was a member of the bureau of longitudes from 1875.

In 1882, Perrier was sent to Florida to observe the transit of Venus. Thanks to his activity and ability, his observations were a complete success. Thenceforward, his celebrity continued to increase until his last triangulating operations in Algeria.

"Do you not remember," said Mr. Janssen recently to the Academy of Sciences, "the feeling of satisfaction that the whole country felt when it learned the entire success of that grand geodesic operation that united Spain with our Algeria over the Mediterranean, and passed through France a meridian arc extending from the north of England as far as to the Sahara, that is to say, an arc exceeding in length the greatest arcs that had been measured up till then? This splendid result attracted all minds, and rendered Perrier's name popular. But how much had this success been prepared by long and conscientious labors that cede in nothing to it in importance? The triangulation and leveling of Corsica, and the connecting of it with the Continent; the splendid operations executed in Algeria, which required fifteen years of labor, and led to the measurement of an arc of parallels of nearly 10 deg. in extent, that offers a very peculiar interest for the study of the earth's figure; and, again, that revision of the meridian of France in which it became necessary to utilize all the progress that had been made since the beginning of the century in the construction of instruments and in methods of observation and calculation. And it must be added that General Perrier had formed a school of scientists and devoted officers who were his co-laborers, and upon whom we must now rely to continue his work."

The merits of General Perrier gained him the honor of being placed at the head of a service of high importance, the geographical service of the army, to the organization of which he devoted his entire energy.

In General Perrier, the man ceded in nothing to the worker and scientist. Good, affable, generous, he joined liveliness and good humor with courage and energy. Incessantly occupied with the prosperity and grandeur of his country, he knew that true patriotism does not consist in putting forth vain declamations, but in endeavoring to accomplish useful and fruitful work.—La Nature.

General Perrier died at Montpellier on the 20th of February, 1888.

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[Footnote 1: Delivered by the Rev. Dr. Dallinger, F.R.S., at the annual meeting of the Royal Microscopical Society, Feb. 8, 1888.—Nature.]

Retrospect may involve regret, but can scarcely involve anxiety. To one who fully appreciates the actual, and above all the potential, importance of this society in its bearing upon the general progress of scientific research in every field of physical inquiry, the responsibilities of president will not be lightly, while they may certainly be proudly, undertaken.

I think it may be now fairly taken for granted that, as this society has, from the outset, promoted and pointed to the higher scientific perfection of the microscope, so now, more than ever, it is its special function to place this in the forefront as its raison d'etre. The microscope has been long enough in the hands of amateur and expert alike to establish itself as an instrument having an application to every actual and conceivable department of human research; and while in the earliest days of this society it was possible for a zealous Fellow to have seen, and been more or less familiar with, all the applications to which it then had been put, it is different to-day. Specialists in the most diverse areas of research are assiduously applying the instrument to their various subjects, and with results that, if we would estimate aright, we must survey with instructed vision the whole ground which advancing science covers.

From this it is manifest that this society cannot hope to infold, or at least to organically bind to itself, men whose objects of research are so diverse.

But these are all none the less linked by one inseverable bond; it is the microscope; and while, amid the inconceivable diversity of its applications, it remains manifest that this society has for its primary object the constant progress of the instrument—whether in its mechanical construction or its optical appliances; whether the improvements shall bear upon the use of high powers or low powers; whether it shall be improvement that shall apply to its commercial employment, its easier professional application, or its most exalted scientific use; so long as this shall be the undoubted aim of the Royal Microscopical Society, its existence may well be the pride of Englishmen, and will commend itself more and more to men of all countries.

This, and this only, can lift such a society out of what I believe has ceased to be its danger, that of forgetting that in proportion as the optical principles of the microscope are understood, and the theory of microscopical vision is made plain, the value of the instrument over every region to which it can be applied, and in all the varied hands that use it, is increased without definable limit. It is therefore by such means that the true interests of science are promoted.

It is one of the most admirable features of this society that it has become cosmopolitan in its character in relation to the instrument, and all the ever-improving methods of research employed with it. From meeting to meeting it is not one country, or one continent even, that is represented on our tables. Nay, more, not only are we made familiar with improvements brought from every civilized part of the world, referring alike to the microscope itself and every instrument devised by specialists for its employment in every department of research; but also, by the admirable persistence of Mr. Crisp and Mr. Jno. Mayall, Jr., we are familiarized with every discovery of the old forms of the instrument wherever found or originally employed.

The value of all this cannot be overestimated, for it will, even where prejudices as to our judgment may exist, gradually make it more and more clear that this society exists to promote and acknowledge improvements in every constituent of the microscope, come from whatever source they may; and, in connection with this, to promote by demonstrations, exhibitions, and monographs the finest applications of the finest instruments for their respective purposes.

To give all this its highest value, of course, the theoretical side of our instrument must occupy the attention of the most accomplished experts. We may not despair that our somewhat too practical past in this respect may right itself in our own country; but meantime the splendid work of German students and experts is placed by the wise editors of our journal within the reach of all.

I know of no higher hope for this important society than that it may continue in ever increasing strength to promote, criticise, and welcome from every quarter of the world whatever will improve the microscope in itself and in any of its applications, from the most simple to the most complex and important in which its employment is possible.

There are two points of some practical interest to which I desire for a few moments to call your attention. The former has reference to the group of organisms to which I have for so many years directed your attention, viz., the "monads," which throughout I have called "putrefactive organisms."

There can be no longer any doubt that the destructive process of putrefaction is essentially a process of fermentation.

The fermentative saprophyte is as absolutely essential to the setting up of destructive rotting or putrescence in a putrescible fluid as the torula is to the setting up of alcoholic fermentation in a saccharine fluid. Make the presence of torulae impossible, and you exclude with certainty fermentative action.

In precisely the same way, provide a proteinaceous solution, capable of the highest putrescence, but absolutely sterilized, and placed in an optically pure or absolutely calcined air; and while these conditions are maintained, no matter what length of time may be suffered to elapse, the putrescible fluid will remain absolutely without trace of decay.

But suffer the slightest infection of the protected and pure air to take place, or, from some putrescent source, inoculate your sterilized fluid with the minutest atom, and shortly turbidity, offensive scent, and destructive putrescence ensue.

As in the alcoholic, lactic, or butyric ferments, the process set up is shown to be dependent upon and concurrent with the vegetative processes of the demonstrated organisms characterizing these ferments; so it can be shown with equal clearness and certainty that the entire process of what is known as putrescence is equally and as absolutely dependent on the vital processes of a given and discoverable series of organisms.

Now it is quite customary to treat the fermentative agency in putrefaction as if it were wholly bacterial, and, indeed, the putrefactive group of bacteria are now known as saprophytes, or saprophytic bacteria, as distinct from morphologically similar, but physiologically dissimilar, forms known as parasitic or pathogenic bacteria.

It is indeed usually and justly admitted that B. termo is the exciting cause of fermentative putrefaction. Cohn has in fact contended that it is the distinctive ferment of all putrefactions, and that it is to decomposing proteinaceous solutions what Torula cerevisiae is to the fermenting fluids containing sugar.

In a sense, this is no doubt strictly true: it is impossible to find a decomposing proteinaceous solution, at any stage, without finding this form in vast abundance.

But it is well to remember that in nature putrefactive ferments must go on to an extent rarely imitated or followed in the laboratory. As a rule, the pabulum in which the saprophytic organisms are provided and "cultured" is infusions, or extracts of meat carefully filtered, and, if vegetable matter is used, extracts of fruit, treated with equal care, and if needful neutralized, are used in a similar way. To these may be added all the forms of gelatine, employed in films, masses and so forth.

But in following the process of destructive fermentation as it takes place in large masses of tissue, animal or vegetable, but far preferably the former, as they lie in water at a constant temperature of from 60 deg. to 65 deg. F., it will be seen that the fermentative process is the work, not of one organism, nor, judging by the standard of our present knowledge, of one specified class of vegetative forms, but by organisms which, though related to each other, are in many respects greatly dissimilar, not only morphologically, but also embryologically, and even physiologically.

Moreover, although this is a matter that will want most thorough and efficient inquiry and research to understand properly its conditions, yet it is sufficiently manifest that these organisms succeed each other in a curious and even remarkable manner. Each does a part in the work of fermentative destruction; each aids in splitting up into lower and lower compounds the elements of which the masses of degrading tissue are composed; while, apparently, each set in turn does by vital action, coupled with excretion, (1) take up the substances necessary for its own growth and multiplication; (2) carry on the fermentative process; and (3) so change the immediate pabulum as to give rise to conditions suitable for its immediate successor. Now the point of special interest is that there is an apparent adaptation in the form, functions, mode of multiplication, and order of succession in these fermentative organisms, deserving study and fraught with instruction.

Let it be remembered that the aim of nature in this fermentative action is not the partial splitting of certain organic compounds, and their reconstruction in simpler conditions, but the ultimate setting free, by saprophytic action, of the elements locked up in great masses of organic tissue—the sending back into nature of the only material of which future organic structures are to be composed.

I have said that there can be no question whatever that Bacterium termo is the pioneer of saprophytes. Exclude B. termo (and therefore with it all its congeners), and you can obtain no putrefaction. But wherever, in ordinary circumstances, a decomposable organic mass, say the body of a fish, or a considerable mass of the flesh of a terrestrial animal, is exposed in water at a temperature of 60 deg. to 65 deg. F., B. termo rapidly appears, and increases with a simply astounding rapidity. It clothes the tissues like a skin, and diffuses itself throughout the fluid.

The exact chemical changes it thus effects are not at present clearly known; but the fermentative action is manifestly concurrent with its multiplication. It finds its pabulum in the mass it ferments by its vegetative processes. But it also produces a visible change in the enveloping fluid, and noxious gases continuously are thrown off.

In the course of a week or more, dependent on the period of the year, there is, not inevitably, but as a rule, a rapid accession of spiral forms, such as Spirillum volutans, S. undula, and similar forms, often accompanied by Bacterium lineola; and the whole interspersed still with inconceivable multitudes of B. termo.

These invest the rotting tissues liked an elastic garment, but are always in a state of movement. These, again, manifestly further the destructive ferment, and bring about a softness and flaccidity in the decomposing tissues, while they without doubt, at the same time, have, by their vital activity and possible secretions, affected the condition of the changing organic mass. There can be, so far as my observations go, no certainty as to when, after this, another form of organism will present itself; nor, when it does, which of a limited series it will be. But, in a majority of observed cases, a loosening of the living investment of bacterial forms takes place, and simultaneously with this, the access of one or two forms of my putrefactive monads. They were among the first we worked at; and have been, by means of recent lenses, among the last revised. Mr. S. Kent named them Cercomonas typica and Monas dallingeri respectively. They are both simple oval forms, but the former has a flagellum at both ends of the longer axis of the body, while the latter has a single flagellum in front.

The principal difference is in their mode of multiplication by fission. The former is in every way like a bacterium in its mode of self-division. It divides, acquiring for each half a flagellum in division, and then, in its highest vigor, in about four minutes, each half divides again.

The second form does not divide into two, but into many, and thus although the whole process is slower, develops with greater rapidity. But both ultimately multiply—that is, commence new generations—by the equivalent of a sexual process.

These would average about four times the size of Bacterium termo; and when once they gain a place on and about the putrefying tissues, their relatively powerful and incessant action, their enormous multitude, and the manner in which they glide over, under, and beside each other, as they invest the fermenting mass, is worthy of close study. It has been the life history of these organisms, and not their relations as ferment, that has specially occupied my fullest attention; but it would be in a high degree interesting if we could discover, or determine, what besides the vegetative or organic processes of nutrition are being effected by one, or both, of these organisms on the fast yielding mass. Still more would it be of interest to discover what, if any, changes were wrought in the pabulum, or fluid generally. For after some extended observations I have found that it is only after one or other or both, of these organisms have performed their part in the destructive ferment, that subsequent and extremely interesting changes arise.

It is true that in some three or four instances of this saprophytic destruction of organic tissues, I have observed that, after the strong bacterial investment, there has arisen, not the two forms just named, nor either of them, but one or other of the striking forms now called Tetramitus rostratus and Polytoma uvella; but this has been in relatively few instances. The rule is that Cercomonas typica or its congener precedes other forms, that not only succeed them in promoting and carrying to a still further point the putrescence of the fermenting substance, but appear to be aided in the accomplishment of this by mechanical means.

By this time the mass of tissue has ceased to cohere. The mass has largely disintegrated, and there appears among the countless bacterial and monad forms some one, and sometimes even three forms, that while they at first swim and gyrate, and glide about the decomposing matter, which is now much less closely invested by Cercomonas typica, or those organisms that may have acted in its place, they also resort to an entirely new mode of movement.

One of these forms is Heteromita rostrata, which, it will be remembered, in addition to a front flagellum, has also a long fiber or flagellum-like appendage that gracefully trails as it swims. At certain periods of its life they anchor themselves in countless billions all over the fermenting tissues, and as I have described in the life history of this form, they coil their anchored fiber, as does a vorticellan, bringing the body to the level of the point of anchorage, then shoot out the body with lightning-like rapidity, and bring it down like a hammer on some point of the decomposition. It rests here for a second or two, and repeats the process; and this is taking place by what seems almost like rhythmic movement all over the rotting tissue. The results are scarcely visible in the mass. But if a group of these organisms be watched, attached to a small particle of the fermenting tissue, it will be seen to gradually diminish, and at length to disappear.

Now, there are at least two other similar forms, one of which, Heteromita uncinata, is similar in action, and the other of which, Dallingeria drysdali, is much more powerful, being possessed of a double anchor, and springing down upon the decadent mass with relatively far greater power.

Now, it is under the action of these last forms that in a period varying from one month to two or three the entire substance of the organic tissues disappears, and the decomposition has been designated by me "exhausted"; nothing being left in the vessel but slightly noxious and pale gray water, charged with carbonic acid, and a fine, buff colored, impalpable sediment at the bottom.

My purpose is not, by this brief notice, to give an exhaustive, or even a sufficient account, of the progress of fermentative action, by means of saprophytic organisms, on great masses of tissue; my observations have been incidental, but they lead me to the conclusion that the fermentative process is not only not carried through by what are called saprophytic bacteria, but that a series of fermentative organisms arise, which succeed each other, the earlier ones preparing the pabulum or altering the surrounding medium, so as to render it highly favorable to a succeeding form. On the other hand, the succeeding form has a special adaptation for carrying on the fermentative destruction more efficiently from the period at which it arises, and thus ultimately of setting free the chemical elements locked up in dead organic compounds.

That these later organisms are saprophytic, although not bacterial, there can be no doubt. A set of experiments, recorded by me in the proceedings of this society some years since, would go far to establish this (Monthly Microscopical Journal, 1876, p. 288). But it may be readily shown, by extremely simple experiments, that these forms will set up fermentative decomposition rapidly if introduced in either a desiccated or living condition, or in the spore state, into suitable but sterilized pabulum.

Thus while we have specific ferments which bring about definite and specific results, and while even infusions of proteid substances may be exhaustively fermented by saprophytic bacteria, the most important of all ferments, that by which nature's dead organic masses are removed, is one which there is evidence to show is brought about by the successive vital activities of a series of adapted organisms, which are forever at work in every region of the earth.

There is one other matter of some interest and moment on which I would say a few words. To thoroughly instructed biologists, such words will be quite needless; but, in a society of this kind, the possibilities that lie in the use of the instrument are associated with the contingency of large error, especially in the biology of the minuter forms of life, unless a well grounded biological knowledge form the basis of all specific inference, to say nothing of deduction.

I am the more encouraged to speak of the difficulty to which I refer, because I have reason to know that it presents itself again and again in the provincial societies of the country, and is often adhered to with a tenacity worthy of a better cause. I refer to the danger that always exists, that young or occasional observers are exposed to, amid the complexities of minute animal and vegetable life, of concluding that they have come upon absolute evidences of the transformation of one minute form into another; that in fact they have demonstrated cases of heterogenesis.

This difficulty is not diminished by the fact that on the shelves of most microscopical societies there is to be found some sort of literature written in support of this strange doctrine.

You will pardon me for allusion again to the field of inquiry in which I have spent so many happy hours. It is, as you know, a region of life in which we touch, as it were, the very margin of living things. If nature were capricious anywhere, we might expect to find her so here. If her methods were in a slovenly or only half determined condition, we might expect to find it here. But it is not so. Know accurately what you are doing, use the precautions absolutely essential, and through years of the closest observation it will be seen that the vegetative and vital processes generally, of the very simplest and lowliest life forms, are as much directed and controlled by immutable laws as the most complex and elevated.

The life cycles, accurately known, of monads repeat themselves as accurately as those of rotifers or planarians.

And of course, on the very surface of the matter, the question presents itself to the biologist why it should not be so. The irrefragable philosophy of modern biology is that the most complex forms of living creatures have derived their splendid complexity and adaptations from the slow and majestically progressive variation and survival from the simpler and the simplest forms. If, then, the simplest forms of the present and the past were not governed by accurate and unchanging laws of life, how did the rigid certainties that manifestly and admittedly govern the more complex and the most complex come into play?

If our modern philosophy of biology be, as we know it is, true, then it must be very strong evidence indeed that would lead us to conclude that the laws seen to be universal break down and cease accurately to operate where the objects become microscopic, and our knowledge of them is by no means full, exhaustive, and clear.

Moreover, looked at in the abstract, it is a little difficult to conceive why there should be more uncertainty about the life processes of a group of lowly living things than there should be about the behavior, in reaction, of a given group of molecules.

The triumph of modern knowledge is the certainty, which nothing can shake, that nature's laws are immutable. The stability of her processes, the precision of her action, and the universality of her laws, is the basis of all science, to which biology forms no exception. Once establish, by clear and unmistakable demonstration, the life history of an organism, and truly some change must have come over nature as a whole, if that life history be not the same to-morrow as to-day; and the same to one observer, in the same conditions, as to another.

No amount of paradox would induce us to believe that the combining proportions of hydrogen and oxygen had altered, in a specified experimenter's hands, in synthetically producing water.

We believe that the melting point of platinum and the freezing point of mercury are the same as they were a hundred years ago, and as they will be a hundred years hence.

Now, carefully remember that so far as we can see at all, it must be so with life. Life inheres in protoplasm; but just as you cannot get abstract matter—that is, matter with no properties or modes of motion—so you cannot get abstract protoplasm. Every piece of living protoplasm we see has a history; it is the inheritor of countless millions of years. Its properties have been determined by its history. It is the protoplasm of some definite form of life which has inherited its specific history. It can be no more false to that inheritance than an atom of oxygen can be false to its properties.

All this, of course, within the lines of the great secular processes of the Darwinian laws; which, by the way, could not operate at all if caprice formed any part of the activities of nature.

But let me give a practical instance of how what appears like fact may override philosophy, if an incident, or even a group of incidents, per se are to control our judgment.

Eighteen years ago I was paying much attention to vorticellae. I was observing with some pertinacity Vorticella convallaria; for one of the calices in a group under observation was in a strange and semi-encysted state, while the remainder were in full normal activity.

I watched with great interest and care, and have in my folio still the drawings made at the time. The stalk carrying this individual calyx fell upon the branch of vegetable matter to which the vorticellan was attached, and the calyx became perfectly globular; and at length there emerged from it a small form with which, in this condition, I was quite unfamiliar; it was small, tortoise-like in form, and crept over the branch on setae or hair-like pedicels; but, carefully followed, I found it soon swam, and at length got the long neck-like appendage of Amphileptus anser!

Here then was the cup or calyx of a definite vorticellan form changing into (?) an absolutely different infusorian, viz., Amphileptus anser!

Now I simply reported the fact to the Liverpool Microscopical Society, with no attempt at inference; but two years after I was able to explain the mystery, for, finding in the same pond both V. convallaria and A. anser, I carefully watched their movements, and saw the Amphileptus seize and struggle with a calyx of convallaria, and absolutely become encysted upon it, with the results that I had reported two years before.

And there can be no doubt but this is the key to the cases that come to us again and again of minute forms suddenly changing into forms wholly unlike. It is happily among the virtues of the man of science to "rejoice in the truth," even though it be found at his expense; and true workers, earnest seekers for nature's methods, in the obscurest fields of her action, will not murmur that this source of danger to younger microscopists has been pointed out, or recalled to them.

And now I bid you, as your president, farewell. It has been all pleasure to me to serve you. It has enlarged my friendships and my interests, and although my work has linked me with the society for many years, I have derived much profit from this more organic union with it; and it is a source of encouragement to me, and will, I am sure, be to you, that, after having done with simple pleasure what I could, I am to be succeeded in this place of honor by so distinguished a student of the phenomena of minute life as Dr. Hudson. I can but wish him as happy a tenure of office as mine has been.

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Space in the Rural is valuable, and so important a subject as artificial incubation cannot perhaps be made entirely plain to a novice in a few articles; but as interested parties have written for additional information, it may interest others to answer them here. Among the questions asked are: "Does the incubator described in the Rural dispense entirely with the use of a lamp, using at intervals a bucket of water to maintain proper temperature? I fear this will not be satisfactory unless the incubator is kept in a warm room or cellar."

All incubators must be kept in a warm location, whether operated by a lamp or otherwise. The warmer the room or cellar, the less warmth required to be supplied. Bear in mind that the incubator recommended has four inches of sawdust surrounding it, and more sawdust would still be an advantage. The sawdust is not used to protect against the outside temperature, but to absorb and hold a large amount of heat, and that is the secret of its success. The directions given were to first fill the tank with boiling water and allow it to remain for 24 hours. In the meantime the sawdust absorbs the heat, and more boiling water is then added until the egg-drawer is about 110 or 115 degrees. By this time there is a quantity of stored heat in the sawdust. The eggs will cool the drawer to 103. The loss of heat (due to its being held by the sawdust) will be very slow. All that is needed then is to supply that which will be lost in 12 hours, and a bucket of boiling water should keep the heat about correct, if added twice a day, but it may require more, as some consideration must be given to fluctuations of the temperature of the atmosphere. The third week of incubation, owing to animal heat from the embryo chicks, a bucket of boiling water will sometimes hold temperature for 24 hours. No objection can be urged against attaching a lamp arrangement, but a lamp is dangerous at night, while the flame must be regulated according to temperature. The object of giving the hot water method was to avoid lamps. We have a large number of them in use (no lamps) here, and they are equal to any others in results.

With all due respect to some inquirers, the majority of them seem afraid of the work. Now, there is some work with all incubators. What is desired is to get rid of the anxiety. I stated that a bucket of water twice a day would suffice. I trusted to the judgment of the reader somewhat. Of course, if the heat in the egg drawer is 90 degrees, and the weather cold, it may then take a wash boiler full of water to get the temperature back to 103 degrees, but when it is at 103 keep it there, even if it occasionally requires two buckets of boiling water. To judge of what may be required, let us suppose the operator looks at the thermometer in the morning, and it is exactly 103 degrees. He estimates that it will lose a little by night, and draws off half a bucket of water. At night he finds it at 102. Knowing that it is on what we term "the down grade," he applies a bucket and a half (always allowing for the night being colder than the day). As stated, the sawdust will not allow the drawer to become too cold, as it gives off heat to the drawer. And, as the sawdust absorbs, it is not easy to have the heat too high. One need not even look at the drawer until the proper times. No watching—the incubator regulates itself. If a lamp is used, too much heat may accumulate. The flame must be occasionally turned up or down, and the operator must remain at home and watch it, while during the third week he will easily cook his eggs.

The incubator can be made at home for so small a sum (about $5 for the tank, $1 for faucet, etc., with 116 feet of lumber) that it will cost but little to try it. A piece of glass can be placed in front of the egg drawer, if preferred. If the heat goes down to 90, or rises at times to 105, no harm is done. But it works well, and hatches, the proof being that hundreds are in use. I did not give the plan as a theory or an experiment. They are in practical use here, and work alongside of the more expensive ones, and have been in use for four years. To use a lamp attachment, all that is necessary is to have a No. 2 burner lamp with a riveted sheet-iron chimney, the chimney fitting over the flame, like an ordinary globe, and extending the chimney (using an elbow) through the tank from the rear, ending in front. It should be soldered at the tank. The heat from the lamp will then pass through the chimney and consequently warm the surrounding water.—Rural New-Yorker.

[For description and illustrations of this incubator see SUPPLEMENT, No. 630.]

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The Hon. Ralph Abercromby made a trip to the island of Teneriffe in October, 1887, for the purpose of making some electrical and meteorological observations, and now gives some of the results which he obtained, which may be summarized as follows: The electrical condition of the peak of Teneriffe was found to be the same as in every other part of the world. The potential was moderately positive, from 100 to 150 volts, at 5 ft. 5 in. from the ground, even at considerable altitudes; but the tension rose to 549 volts on the summit of the peak, 12,200 ft., and to 247 volts on the top of the rock of Gayga, 7,100 feet. A large number of halos were seen associated with local showers and cloud masses. The necessary ice dust appeared to be formed by rising currents. The shadow of the peak was seen projected against the sky at sunset. The idea of a southwest current flowing directly over the northeast trade was found to be erroneous. There was always a regular vertical succession of air currents in intermediate directions at different levels from the surface upward, so that the air was always circulating on a complicated screw system.

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We illustrate a very remarkable locomotive, which has been constructed from the designs of M. Estrade, a French engineer. This engine was exhibited last year in Paris. Although the engine was built, M. Estrade could not persuade any railway company to try it for him, and finally he applied to the French government, who have at last sanctioned the carrying out of experiments with it on one of the state railway lines. The engine is in all respects so opposed to English ideas that we have hitherto said nothing about it. As, however, it is going to be tried, an importance is given to it which it did not possess before; and, as a mechanical curiosity, we think it is worth the consideration of our readers.

In order that we may do M. Estrade no injustice, we reproduce here in a condensed form, and in English, the arguments in its favor contained in a paper written by M. Max de Nansouty, C.E., who brought M. Estrade's views before the French Institution of Civil Engineers, on May 21, 1886. M. Nansouty's paper has been prepared with much care, and contains a great deal of useful data quite apart from the Estrade engine. The paper in question is entitled "Memoire relatif au Materiel Roulant a Grand Vitesse," D.M. Estrade.

About thirty years ago, M. Estrade, formerly pupil of the Polytechnic School, invented rolling stock for high speed under especial conditions, and capable of leading to important results, more especially with regard to speed. Following step by step the progress made in the construction of railway stock, the inventor, from time to time, modified and improved his original plan, and finally, in 1884, arrived at the conception of a system entirely new in its fundamental principles and in its execution. A description of this system is the object of the memoir.

The great number of types of locomotives and carriages now met with in France, England, and the United States renders it difficult to combine their advantages, as M. Estrade proposed to do, in a system responding to the requirements of the constructor. His principal object, however, has been to construct, under specially favorable conditions, a locomotive, tender, and rolling stock adapted to each other, so as to establish a perfect accord between these organs when in motion. It is, in fact, a complete train, and not, as sometimes supposed, a locomotive only, of an especial type, which has been the object he set before him. Before entering into other considerations, we shall first give a description of the stock proposed by M. Estrade. The idea of the invention consists in the use of coupled wheels of large diameter and in the adoption of a new system of double suspension.

The locomotive and tender we illustrate were constructed by MM. Boulet & Co. The locomotive is carried on six driving wheels, 8 feet 3 inches in diameter. The total weight of the engine is thus utilized for adhesion. The accompanying table gives the principal dimensions:


+ -+ ft. in. + -+ -+ Total length of engine. 32 8 + -+ -+ Width between frames. 4 1 + -+ -+ Wheel base, total. 16 9 + -+ -+ Diameter of cylinder. 1 61/2 + -+ -+ Length of stroke. 2 31/2 + -+ -+ Grate surface. 25 sq. feet. + -+ -+ Total heating surface. 1,400 sq. ft. + -+ -+ Weight empty. 38 tons. + -+ -+ Weight full. 42 tons. + -+

The high speeds—77 to 80 miles an hour—in view of which this stock has been constructed have, it will be seen, caused the elements relative to the capacity of the boiler and the heating surfaces to be developed as much as possible. It is in this, in fact, that one of the great difficulties of the problem lies, the practical limit of stability being fixed by the diameter of the driving wheels. Speed can only be obtained by an expenditure of steam which soon becomes such as rapidly to exhaust the engine unless the heating surface is very large.

The tender, also fitted with wheels of 8 ft. 3 in. in diameter, offers no particular feature; it is simply arranged so as to carry the greatest quantity of coal and water.

M. Estrade has also designed carriages. One has been constructed by MM. Reynaud, Bechade, Gire & Co., which has very few points in common with those in general use. Independently of the division of the compartments into two stories, wheels 8 ft. 3 in. in diameter are employed, and the double system of suspension adopted. Two axles, 16 ft. apart, support, by means of plate springs, an iron framing running from end to end over the whole length, its extremities being curved toward the ground. Each frame carries in its turn three other plate springs, to which the body is suspended by means of iron tie-rods serving to support it. This is then a double suspension, which at once appears to be very superior to the systems adopted up to the present time. The great diameter of the wheels has necessitated the division into two stories. The lower story is formed of three equal parts, lengthened toward the axles by narrow compartments, which can be utilized for luggage or converted into lavatories, etc. Above is one single compartment with a central passage, which is reached by staircases at the end. All the vehicles of the same train are to be united at this level by jointed platforms furnished with hand rails. It is sufficient to point out the general disposition, without entering into details which do not affect the system, and which must vary for the different classes and according to the requirements of the service.

M. Nansouty draws a comparison between the diameters of the driving wheels and cylinders of the principal locomotives now in use and those of the Estrade engine as set forth in the following table. We only give the figures for coupled engines:


- -+ Diameter of Size of driving wheels. cylinder. Position of ft. in. in. in. cylinder. + - - Great Eastern 7 0 18 x 24 inside - -+ South-Eastern 7 0 19 x 26 " + - - Glasgow and Southwestern 6 1 18 x 26 " - -+ Midland, 1884 7 0 19 x 26 " + - - North-Eastern 7 0 171/2 x 24 " - -+ London and North-Western 6 6 17 x 24 " + - - Lancashire and Yorkshire 6 0 171/2 x 26 " - -+ North British 6 4 17 x 24 " + - - Nord 7 0 17 x 24 " - -+ Paris-Orleans, 1884 6 8 17 x 231/2 outside. + - - Ouest 6 0 171/4 x 251/2 " -

This table, the examination of which will be found very instructive, shows that there are already in use: For locomotives with single drivers, diameters of 9 ft., 8 ft. 1 in., and 8 ft.; (2) for locomotives with four coupled wheels, diameters 6 ft. to 7 ft. There is therefore an important difference between the diameters of the coupled wheels of 7 ft. and those of 8 ft. 3 in., as conceived by M. Estrade. However, the transition is not illogically sudden, and if the conception is a bold one, "it cannot," says M. Nansouty, "on the other hand, be qualified as rash."

He goes on to consider, in the first place: Especial types of uncoupled wheels, the diameters of which form useful samples for our present case. The engines of the Bristol and Exeter line are express tender engines, adopted on the English lines in 1853, some specimens of which are still in use.[1] These engines have ten wheels, the single drivers in the center, 9 ft. in diameter, and a four-wheeled bogie at each end. The driving wheels have no flanges. The bogie wheels are 4 ft. in diameter. The cylinders have a diameter of 161/2 in. and a piston stroke of 24 in. The boiler contains 180 tubes, and the total weight of the engine is 42 tons. These locomotives, constructed for 7 ft. gauge, have attained a speed of seventy-seven miles per hour.

[Footnote 1: M. Nansouty is mistaken. None of the Bristol and Exeter tank engines with. 9 ft. wheels are in use, so far as we know. ED. E.]

The single driver locomotives of the Great Northern are powerful engines in current use in England. The driving wheels carry 17 tons, the heating surface is 1,160 square feet, the diameters of the cylinders 18 in., and that of the driving wheels 8 ft. 1 in. We have here, then, a diameter very near to that adopted by M. Estrade, and which, together with the previous example, forms a precedent of great interest. The locomotive of the Great Northern has a leading four-wheeled bogie, which considerably increases the steadiness of the engine, and counterbalances the disturbing effect of outside cylinders. Acting on the same principles which have animated M. Estrade, that is to say, with the aim of reducing the retarding effects of rolling friction, the constructor of the locomotive of the Great Northern has considerably increased the diameter of the wheels of the bogie. In this engine all the bearing are inside, while the cylinders are outside and horizontal. The tender has six wheels, also of large dimensions. It is capable of containing three tons and a half of coal and about 3,000 gallons of water. This type of engine is now in current and daily use in England.

M. Nansouty next considers the broad gauge Great Western engines with 8 ft. driving wheels. The diameters of their wheels approach those of M. Estrade, and exceed considerably in size any lately proposed. M. Nansouty dwells especially upon the boiler power of the Great Western railway, because one of the objections made to M. Estrade's locomotive by the learned societies has been the difficulty of supplying boiler power enough for high speeds contemplated; and he deals at considerable length with a large number of English engines of maximum power, the dimensions and performance of which are too well known to our readers to need reproduction here.

Aware that a prominent weak point in M. Estrade's design is that, no matter what size we make cylinders and wheels, we have ultimately to depend on the boiler for power, M. Nansouty argues that M. Estrade having provided more surface than is to be found in any other engine, must be successful. But the total heating surface in the engine, which we illustrate, is but 1,400 square feet, while that of the Great Western engines, on which he lays such stress, is 2,300 square feet, and the table which he gives of the heating surface of various English engines really means very little. It is quite true that there are no engines working in England with much over 1,500 square feet of surface, except those on the broad gauge, but it does not follow that because they manage to make an average of 53 miles an hour that an addition of 500 square feet would enable them to run at a speed higher by 20 miles an hour. There are engines in France, however, which have as much as 1,600 square feet, as, for example, on the Paris-Orleans line, but we have never heard that these engines attain a speed of 80 miles an hour.

Leaving the question of boiler power, M. Nansouty goes on to consider the question of adhesion. About this he says:

Is the locomotive proposed by M. Estrade under abnormal conditions as to weight and adhesion? This appears to have been doubted, especially taking into consideration its height and elegant appearance. We shall again reply here by figures, while remarking that the adhesion of locomotives increases with the speed, according to laws still unknown or imperfectly understood, and that consequently for extreme speeds, ignorance of the value of the coefficiency of adhesion f in the formula

d 2 I fP = 0.65 p ———- - R D

renders it impossible to pronounce upon it before the trials earnestly and justly demanded by the author of this new system. In present practice f = 1/7 is admitted. M. Nansouty gives in a table a resume of the experience on this subject, and goes on:

"The English engineers, as will be seen, make a single axle support more than 17 tons. In France the maximum weight admitted is 14 tons, and the constructor of the Estrade locomotive has kept a little below this figure. The question of total weight appears to be secondary in a great measure, for, taking the models with uncoupled wheels, the English engines for great speed have on an average, for a smaller total weight, an adhesion equal to that of the French locomotives. The P.L.M. type of engine, which has eight wheels, four of which are coupled, throws only 28.6 tons upon the latter, being 58 per cent. of the total weight. On the other hand, that of the English Great Eastern throws 68 per cent. of the total weight on the driving wheels. Numerous other examples could be cited. We cannot, we repeat, give an opinion rashly as to the calculation of adhesion for the high speed Estrade locomotive before complete trials have taken place which will enable us to judge of the particular coefficients for this entirely new case."

M. Nansouty then goes on to consider the question of curves, and says:

"It has been asked, not without reason, notably by the Institution of Civil Engineers of Paris, whether peculiar difficulties will not be met with by M. Estrade's locomotive—with its three axles and large coupled wheels—in getting round curves. We have seen in the preceding tables that the driving wheels of the English locomotives with independent wheels are as much as 8 ft. in diameter. The driving wheels of the English locomotives with four coupled wheels are 7 ft. in diameter. M. Estrade's locomotive has certainly six coupled wheels with diameters never before tried, but these six coupled wheels constitute the whole rolling length, while in the above engines a leading axle or a bogie must be taken into account, independent, it is true, but which must not be lost sight of, and which will in a great measure equalize the difficulties of passing over the curves.

"Is it opposed to absolute security to attack the line with driving wheels? This generally admitted principle appears to rest rather on theoretic considerations than on the results of actual experience. M. Estrade, besides, sets in opposition to the disadvantages of attacking the rails with driving wheels those which ensue from the use of wheels of small diameter as liable to more wear and tear. We should further note with particular care that the leading axle of this locomotive has a certain transverse play, also that it is a driving axle. This disposition is judicious and in accordance with the best known principles."

A careful perusal of M. Nansouty's memoir leaves us in much doubt as to what M. Estrade's views are based on. So far as we understand him, he seems to have worked on the theory that by the use of very large wheels the rolling resistance of a train can be greatly diminished. On this point, however, there is not a scrap of evidence derived from railway practice to prove that any great advantage can be gained by augmenting the diameters of wheels. In the next place, he is afraid that he will not have adhesion enough to work up all his boiler power, and, consequently, he couples his wheels, thereby greatly augmenting the resistance of the engine. He forgets that large coupled wheels were tried years ago on the Great Western Railway, and did not answer. A single pair of drivers 8 ft. 3 in. in diameter would suffice to work up all the power M. Estrade's boiler could supply at sixty miles an hour, much less eighty miles an hour. On the London and Brighton line Mr. Stroudley uses with success coupled leading wheels of large diameter on his express engines, and we imagine that M. Estrade's engine will get round corners safely enough, but it is not the right kind of machine for eighty miles an hour, and so he will find out as soon as a trial is made. The experiment is, however, a notable experiment, and M. Estrade has our best wishes for his success.—The Engineer.

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[Footnote 1: Read July 5, 1887, before the Western Society of Engineers.]


The subject of cement and concrete has been so well treated of in engineering literature, that to give an extended paper on the subject would be but the collection and reiteration of platitudes familiar to every engineer who has been engaged on foundation works of any magnitude. It shall therefore be the object of this communication to place before the society several notes, stated briefly and to the point, rather as a basis for discussion than as an attempt at an exhaustive treatment of the subject.

Concrete is simply a low grade of masonry. It is a comparatively simple matter to trace the line of continuity from heavy squared ashlar blocks down through coursed and random rubble, to grouted indiscriminate rubble, and finally to concrete. Improvements in the manufacture of hydraulic cements have given an impetus to the use of concrete, but its use is by no means of recent date. It is no uncommon thing in the taking down of heavy walls several centuries old to find that the method of building was to carry up face and back with rubble and stiff mortar, and to fill the interior with bowlders and gravel, the interstices of which were filled by grouting—the whole mass becoming virtually a monolith. Modern quick-setting cement accomplishes this object within a time consistent with the requirements of modern engineering works; the formation of a monolithic mass within a reasonable time and with materials requiring as little handling as possible being the desideratum.

The materials of concrete as used at present are cement, sand, gravel, broken stone, and, of course, water. It is, perhaps, unnecessary to say that one of the primary requirements in materials is that they should be clean. Stone should be angular, gravel well washed, sand coarse and sharp, cement fine and possessing a fair proportion of the requirements laid down in the orthodox specification. The addition of lime water, saccharated or otherwise, has been suggested as an improvement over water pure and simple, but no satisfactory experiments are on record justifying the addition of lime water.

Regarding the mixing of cement and lime with saccharated water, the writer made some experiments several months ago by mixing neat cement and lime with pure water and with saccharated water, with the result that the sugar proved positively detrimental to the cement, while it increased the tenacity of briquettes of lime.

Stone which will pass a 2 inch is usually specified for ordinary concrete. It will be found that stone broken to this limit of size has fifty per cent. of its bulk voids. This space must be filled by mortar or preferably by gravel and mortar. If the mixing of concrete is perfect, the proportion of stone, by bulk, to other materials should be two to one. A percentage excess of other materials is, however, usually allowed to compensate for imperfection in mixing. While an excess of good mortar is not detrimental to concrete (as it will harden in course of time to equal the stone), still on the score of economy it is advisable to use gravel or a finer grade of stone in addition to the 2 inch ring stone to fill the interstices—gravel is cheaper than cement. The statement that excess in stone will give body to concrete is a fallacy hardly worth contradicting. In short, the proportion of material should be so graded that each particle of sand should have its jacket of cement, necessitating the cement being finer than the sand (this forms the mortar); then each pebble and stone should have its jacket of mortar. The smaller the interstices between the gravel and stones, the better. The quantity of water necessary to make good concrete is a sorely debated question. The quantity necessary depends on various considerations, and will probably be different for what appears to be the same proportion of materials. It is a well known fact that brick mortar is made very soft, and bricks are often wet before being laid, while a very hard stone is usually set with very stiff mortar. So in concrete the amount of water necessarily depends, to a great extent, on the porosity or dryness of the stone and other material used. But as to using a larger or smaller quantity of water with given materials, as a matter of observation it will be found that the water should only be limited by its effect in washing away mortar from the stone. Where can better concrete be found than that which has set under water? A certain definite amount of water is necessary and sufficient to hydrate the cement; less than that amount will be detrimental, while an excess can do no harm, provided, as before mentioned, that it does not wash the mortar from the stone. Again, dry concrete is apt to be very porous, which in certain positions is a very grave objection to it—this, not only from the fact of its porosity, but from the liability to disintegration from water freezing in the crevices.

Concrete, when ready to be placed in position, should be of the consistency of a pulpy mass which will settle into place by its own weight, every crevice being naturally filled. Pounding dry concrete is apt to break adjacent work, which will never again set properly. There should be no other object in pounding concrete than to assist it to settle into the place it is intended to fill. This is one of the evils concomitant with imperfection of mixing. The greater perfection of mixing attained, the nearer we get to the ideal monolith. The less handling concrete has after being mixed, the better. Immediately after the mass is mixed setting commences; therefore the sooner it is in position, the more perfect will be the hardened mass; and, on the other hand, the more it is handled, the more is the process interrupted and in like degree is the finished mass deteriorated. A low drop will be found the best method of placing a batch in position. Too much of a drop scatters the material and undoes the work of thorough mixing. Let the mass drop and then let it alone. If of proper temper, it will find its own place with very little trimming. Care should be taken to wet adjacent porous material, or the wooden form into which concrete is being placed; otherwise the water may be extracted from the concrete, to its detriment.

It has been found on removing boxing that the portion adjacent to the wood was frequently friable and of poor quality, owing to the fact just stated. It is usual to face or plaster concrete work after removing the boxing. On breakwater work, where the writer was engaged, the wall was faced with cement and flint grit, and this was found to form a particularly hard and lasting protection to the face of the work.

Batches of concrete should be placed in position as if they were stones in block masonry, as the union of one day's work with a previous is not by any means so perfect as where one batch is placed in contact with another which has not yet set. A slope cannot be added to with the same degree of perfection that one horizontal layer can be placed on another; consequently, where work must necessarily be interrupted, it should be stepped, and not sloped off.

Experience in concrete work has shown that its true place is in heavy foundations, retaining walls, and such like, and then perfectly independent of other material. Arches, thin walls, and such like are very questionable structures in continuous concrete, and are on record rather as failures than otherwise. This may to a certain degree be due to the high coefficient of expansion Portland cement concrete has by heat. This was found by Cunningham to be 0.000005 of its bulk for one degree Fahrenheit. It is a matter which any intelligent observer may remark, the invariable breakage of continuous concrete sidewalks, while those made in small sections remain good. This may be traced to expansion and contraction by heat, together with friction on the lower side.

In foundations, according to the same authority above quoted, properly made Portland cement concrete may be trusted with a safe load of 25 tons per square foot.

In large masses concrete should be worked continuously, while in small masses it should be moulded in small sections, which should be independent of each other and simply form artificial stones.

The facility with which concrete can be used in founding under water renders it particularly suitable for subaqueous structures. The method of dropping it from hopper barges in masses of 100 tons at a time, inclosed in a bag of coarse stuff, has been successfully employed by Dyce Cay and others. This can be carried on till the concrete appears above water, when the ordinary method of boxing can be employed to complete the work. This method was employed in the north pier breakwater at Aberdeen, the breakwater being founded on the sand, with a very broad base. The advantage of bags is apparent in the leveling off of an uneven foundation. In breakwater works on the Tay, in Scotland, where the writer was engaged, large blocks perforated vertically were employed. These were constructed below high water mark, and an air tight cover placed over them. They were lifted by pontoons as the tide rose, and conveyed to and deposited in place, the hollows being filled with air, serving to give buoyancy to the mass. After placing in position the vertical hollows were filled with concrete, so binding the whole together—they being placed vertically over each other.

As mentioned before, continuous stretches of concrete in small sections should be guarded against, owing to expansion by heat; but the fact of a few cracks appearing in heavy masses of concrete should not cause apprehension. These occur from unequal settlement and other causes. They should continue to be carefully grouted and faced until settlement is complete.

The use of concrete is becoming more and more general for foundation works. The desideratum hitherto has been a perfect and at the same time an economical mixer. Concrete can be mixed by hand and the materials well incorporated, but this is an expensive and man-killing method, as the handling of the wet mass by the shovel is extremely hard work, besides which the slowness of the method allows part of a large batch to set before the other is mixed, so that small batches, with attendant extra handling, are necessary to make a good job. Mixers with a multiplicity of knives to toss the material have been used, but with little economical success. Of simple conveyers, such as a worm screw, little need be said; they are not mixers, and it seems a positive waste of time to pass material through a machine when it comes out in little better shape than it is put in. A box of the shape of a barrel has been used, it being trunnioned at the sides. The objection to this is that the material is thrown from side to side as a mass, there being a waste of energy in throwing about the material in mass without accomplishing an equivalent amount of mixing. Then a rectangular box has been used, trunnioned at opposite corners; but here the grave objection is that the concrete collects in the corners, and after a few turns it requires cleaning out, the material so sticking in the corners that it gets clogged up and ceases to mix.

The writer has just protected by letters patent a machine, in devising which the following objects were borne in mind:

1st. That every motion of the machine should do some useful work. Hitherto box or barrel mixers have gone on the principle of throwing the material about indiscriminately, expecting that somehow or other it would get mixed.

2d. That the sticking of the material anywhere within the mixer should be obviated.

3d. That an easy discharge should be obtained.

4th. That the water should be introduced while the mixer revolves.

With these desiderata in view, a box was designed which in half a turn gathers the material, then spreads it, and throws it from one side to the other at the same time that water is being introduced through a hollow trunnion.

It is also so constructed that all the sides slope steeply toward the discharge, and there is not a rectangular or acute angle within the box. A machine has now been worked steadily for several weeks, putting in the concrete in the foundations of the new Jackson Street bridge in this city, by General Fitz-Simons. The result exceeds expectations. The concrete is perfectly mixed, the discharge is simple, complete and effective, and at the same time the cost of labor in mixing and placing in position is lessened by 50 per cent. as compared with any known to have been put in under similar circumstances.—Jour. Association of Engineering Societies.

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[Footnote 1: A lecture delivered before the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Monday, Jan. 30, 1888. From the journal of the Institute.]


"Carrying coals to Newcastle," the oft quoted comparison, fittingly indicates the position I place myself in when attempting to address members of this Institute on the subject of machine designing.

Philadelphia, the birthplace of the great and nearly all the good work in this, the noblest of all industrial arts, needs no help or praise at my hands, but I hope her sons may be prevailed upon to do in their right way what I shall try to do roughly—that is, formulate some rules or establish principles by which we, who are not endowed with genius, may so gauge our work as to avoid doing that which is truly bad. No great author was ever made by studying grammar, rhetoric, language, history, or by imitating some other author, however great.

Neither has there ever been any great poet or artist produced by training. But there are many writers who are not great authors, many rhymsters who are not poets, and many painters who are not artists; and while training will not make great men of them, it will help them to avoid doing that which is absolutely bad, and so may it not be with machine designing? If there are among you some who have a genius for it, what I shall have to say will do you no good, for genius needs no rules, no laws, no help, no training, and the sooner you let what I have to say pass from your minds, the better. Rules only hamper the man of genius; but for us, who either from choice or necessity work away at machine designing without the gift, cannot some simple ruling facts be determined and rules formulated or principles laid down by which we can determine what is really good, and what bad? One of the most important and one of the first things in the construction of a building is the foundation, and the laws which govern its construction can be stated in a breath, and ought to be understood by every one. Assuming the ground upon which a building is to be built to be of uniform density, the width of the foundation should be in proportion to the load, the foundation should taper equally on each side, and the center of the foundation should be under the center of pressure. In other words, it is as fatal to success to have too much foundation under the light load as it is too little under a heavy one.

Cannot we analyze causes and effects, cost and requirements, so as to formulate some simple laws similar to the above by which we shall be able to determine what is a good and what a bad arrangement of machinery, foundation, framing or supports? A vast amount of work is expended to make machines true, and the machines, or a large majority of them, are expected to produce true work of some kind in turn. Then, if this be admitted, cannot the following law be established, that every machine should be so designed and constructed that when once made true it will so remain, regardless of wear and all external influences to which it is liable to be subjected? One tool maker says that it is right, and another that it cannot be done. No matter whether it can or cannot, is it not the thing wanted, and if so, is it not an object worth striving for? One tool maker says that all machine tools, engines, and machinery should set on solid stone foundations. Should they?

They do not always, for in substantial Philadelphia some machine tools used by machine builders stand upon second floors, or, perhaps, higher up. And of these machine tools none, or few at least, except those mounted upon a single pedestal, are free from detrimental torsion where the floor upon which they rest is distorted by unequal loading. But, to first consider those of such magnitude as to render it absolutely necessary to erect them—not rest them—on masonry, is due consideration always taken to arrange an unequal foundation to support the unequal loads?—and they cannot be expected to remain true if not. When one has the good fortune to have a machine to design of such extent that the masonry becomes the main part of it, what part of the glory does he give to the mason? Is the masonry part of it always satisfactory, and is not this resorting to the mason for a frame rather than a support adopted on smaller machines than is necessary? Is it necessary even in a planing machine of forty feet length of bed and a thirty foot table? Could not the bed be cast in three pieces, the center a rectangular box, 5 or 6 or 7 feet square, 20 feet long, with internal end flanges, ways planed on its upper surface, and ends squared off, a monster, perhaps, but if our civil engineers wanted such a casting for a bridge, they'd get it. Add to this central section two bevel pieces of half the length, and set the whole down through the floor where your masonry would have been and rest the whole on two cross walls, and you would have a structure that if once made true would remain so regardless of external influences. Cost? Yes; and so do Frodsham watches—more than "Waterbury."

It may be claimed, in fact, I have seen lathes resting on six and eight feet, engines on ten, and a planing machine on a dozen. Do they remain true? Sometimes they do, and many times they do not. Is the principle right? Not when it can be avoided; and when it cannot be avoided, the true principle of foundation building should be employed.... A strange example of depending on the stone foundation for not simply support, but to resist strain, may be found in the machines used for beveling the edges of boiler plate. Not so particularly strange that the first one might have, like Topsy, "growed," but strange because each builder copies the original. You will remember it, a complete machine set upon a stone foundation, to straighten and hold a plate, and another complete machine set down by the side of it and bolted to the same stone to plane off the edge; a lot of wasted material and a lot of wasted genius, it always seems to me. Going around Robin Hood's barn is the old comparison. Why not hook the tool carriage on the side of the clamping structure, and thus dispense with one of the frames altogether?

Many of the modern builders of what Chordal calls the hyphen Corliss engine claim to have made a great advance by putting a post under the center of the frame, but whether in acknowledgment that the frame would be likely to go down or the stonework come up I could never make out. What I should fear would be that the stone would come up and take the frame with it. Every brick mason knows better than to bed mortar under the center of a window sill; and this putting a prop under the center of an engine girder seems a parallel case. They say Mr. Corliss would have done the same thing if he had thought of it. I do not believe it. If Mr. Corliss had found his frames too weak, he would soon have found a way to make them stronger.

John Richards, once a resident of this city, and likely the best designer of wood-working machinery this country, if not the world, ever saw, pointed out in some of his letters the true form for constructing machine framing, and in a way that it had never been forced on my mind before. As dozens, yes, hundreds, of new designs have been brought out by machine tool makers and engine builders since John Richards made a convert of me, without any one else, so far as I know, having applied the principle in its broadest sense, I hope to present the case to you in a material form, in the hope that it may be more thoroughly appreciated.

The usual form of lathe and planer beds or frames is two side plates and a lot of cross girts; their duty is to guide the carriages or tables in straight lines and carry loads resisting bending and torsional strains. If a designer desires to make his lathe frame stronger than the other fellows, he thinks, if he thinks at all, that he will put in more iron, rather than, as he ought to think, How shall I distribute the iron so it will do the most good?

In illustration of this peculiar way of doing things, which is not wholly confined to machine designers, I should like to relate a story, and as I had to carry the large end of the joke, it may do for me to tell it.

While occupying a prominent position, and yet compelled to carry my dinner, my wife thought the common dinner pail, with which you are probably familiar (by sight, of course), was not quite the thing for a professor (even by brevet) to be seen carrying through the streets. So she interviewed the tinsmith to see if he could not get up something a little more tony than the regulation fifty-cent sort. Oh, yes; he could do that very nicely. How much would the best one he could make cost? Well, if she could stand the racket, he could make one worth a dollar. She thought she could, and the pail was ordered, made, and delivered with pride. Perhaps you can guess the result. A facsimile of the original, only twice the size.

Now, this is a very fair illustration of the fallacy of making things stronger by simply adding iron. To illustrate what I think a much better way, I have had made these crude models (see Fig. 1), for the full force of which, as I said before, I am indebted to John Richards; and I would here add that the mechanic who has never learned anything from John Richards is either a very good or very poor one, or has never read what John Richards has written or heard what he has had to say.

Three models, as shown in Fig. 1, were exhibited; all were of the same general dimensions and containing the same amount of material. The one made on the box principle, c, proved to be fifty per cent. stiffer in a vertical direction than either a or b, from twenty to fifty times stiffer sidewise, and thirteen times more rigid against torsion than either of the others.

However strong a frame may be, its own weight and the weight of the work upon it tends to spring it unless evenly distributed, and to twist it unless evenly proportioned. For all small machines the single post obviates all trouble, but for machine tools of from twice to a half dozen times their own length the single post is not available. Four legs are used for machines up to ten feet or so, and above that legs various and then solid masonry. If the four legs were always set upon solid masonry, and leveled perfectly when set, no question could be raised against the usual arrangement, unless it be this: Ought they not to be set nearly one-fourth the way from the end of the bed? or to put it in another form: Will not the bed of an iron planing machine twelve feet in length be equally as well supported by four legs if each pair is set three feet from the ends—that is, six feet apart—as by six legs, two pairs at the ends and one in the center, and the pairs six feet apart? there being six feet of unsupported bed in either case, with this advantage in favor of the four over the six, settling of the foundation would not bend the bed.

It is not likely that one-half of the four-legged machine tools used in this country are resting upon stable foundations, nor that they ever will be; and while this is a fact, it must also remain a fact that they should be built so as to do their best on an unstable one. Any one of the thousand iron planing machines of the country, if put in good condition and set upon the ordinary wood floors, may be made to plane work winding in either direction by shifting a moving load of a few hundred pounds on the floor from one corner of the machine to the other, and the ways of the ordinary turning lathe may be more easily distorted still. Machine tool builders do not believe this, simply because they have not tried it. That is, I suppose this must be so, for the proof is so positive, and the remedy so simple, that it does not seem possible they can know the fact and overlook it. The remedy in the case of the planer is to rest the structure on the two housings at the rear end and on a pair of legs about one-fourth of the way back from the front, pivoted to the bed on a single bolt as near the top as possible.

A similar arrangement applies to the lathe and machine tools of that character—that is, machines of considerable length in proportion to their width, and with beds made sufficiently strong within themselves to resist all bending and torsional strains, fill the requirements so far as all except wear is concerned. That is, if the frames are once made true, they will remain so, regardless of all external influences that can be reasonably anticipated.

Among wood-working machines there are many that cannot be built on the single rectangular box plan—rested on three points of support. Fortunately, the requirements are not such as demand absolute straight and flat work, because in part from the fact that the material dealt with will not remain straight and flat even if once made so, and in the design of wood-working machinery it is of more importance to so design that one section or element shall remain true within itself, than that the various elements should remain true with one another.

The lathe, the planing machine, the drilling machine, and many others of the now standard machine tools will never be superseded, and will for a long time to come remain subjects of alteration and attempted improvement in every detail. The head stock of a lathe—the back gear in particular—is about as hard a thing to improve as the link motion of a locomotive. Some arrangement by which a single motion would change from fast to slow, and a substitute for the flanges on the pulleys, which are intended to keep the belt out of the gear, but never do, might be improvements. If the flanges were cast on the head stock itself, and stand still, rather than on the pulley, where they keep turning, the belt would keep out from between the gear for a certainty. One motion should fasten a foot stock, and as secure as it is possible to secure it, and a single motion free it so it could be moved from end to end of the bed. The reason any lathe takes more than a single motion is because of elasticity in the parts, imperfection in the planing, and from another cause, infinitely greater than the others, the swinging of the hold-down bolts.

Should not the propelling powers of a lathe slide be as near the point of greatest resistance as possible, as is the case in a Sellers lathe, and the guiding ways as close to the greatest resistance and propelling power as possible, and all other necessary guiding surfaces made to run as free as possible?

A common expression to be found among the description of new lathes is the one that says "the carriage has a long bearing on the ways." Long is a relative word, and the only place I have seen any long slides among the lathes in the market is in the advertisements. But if any one has the courage to make a long one, they will need something besides material to make a success of it. It needs only that the guiding side that should be long, and that must be as rigid as possible—nothing short of casting the apron in the same piece will be strong enough, because with a long, elastic guide heavy work will spring it down and wear it away at the center, and then with light work it will ride at the ends, with a chattering cut as a consequence.

An almost endless and likely profitless discussion has been indulged in as to the proper way to guide a slide rest, and different opinions exist. It is a question that, so far as principle is concerned, there ought to be some way to settle which should not only govern the question in regard to the slide rest of a lathe, but all slides that work against a torsional resistance, as it may be called—that is, a resistance that does not directly oppose the propelling power. In other words, in a lathe the cutting point of the tool is not in line with the lead screw or rack, and a twisting strain has to be resisted by the slides, whereas in an upright drill the sliding sleeve is directly over and in line with the drill, and subject to no side strain.

Does not the foregoing statement that "the propelling power should be as near the resistance as possible, and the guide be as near in line with the two as possible," embody the true principle? Neither of the two methods in common use meets this requirement to its fullest extent. The two-V New England plan seems like sending two men to do what one can do much better alone; and the inconsistency of guiding by the back edge of a flat bed is prominently shown by considering what the result would be if carried to an extreme. If a slide such as is used on a twenty inch lathe were placed upon a bed or shears twenty feet wide, it would work badly, and that which is bad when carried to an extreme cannot well be less than half bad when carried half way.

The ease with which a cast iron bar can be sprung is many times overlooked. There is another peculiarity about cast iron, and likely other metals, which an exaggerated example renders more apparent than can be done by direct statement. Cast iron, when subject to a bending strain, acts like a stiff spring, but when subject to compression it dents like a plastic substance. What I mean is this: If some plastic substance, say a thick coating of mud in the street, be leveled off true, and a board be laid upon it, it will fit, but if two heavy weights be placed on the ends, the center will be thrown up in the air far away from the mud; so, too, will the same thing occur if a perfectly straight bar of cast iron be placed on a perfectly straight planer bed—the two will fit; but when the ends of the bar are bolted down, the center of the bar will be up to a surprising degree. And so with sliding surfaces when working on oil. If to any extent elastic, they will, when unequally loaded, settle through the oil where the load exists and spring away where it is not.

The tool post or tool holder that permits of a tool being raised or lowered and turned around after the tool is set, without any sacrifice of absolute stability, will be better than one in which either one of these features is sacrificed. Handiness becomes the more desirable as the machines are smaller, but handiness is not to be despised even in a large machine, except where solidity is sacrificed to obtain it.

The weak point in nearly all (and so nearly all that I feel pretty safe in saying all) small planing machines is their absolute weakness as regards their ability to resist torsional strain in the bed, and both torsional and bending strain in the table. Is it an uncommon thing to see the ways of a planer that has run any length of time cut? In fact, is it not a pretty difficult thing to find one that is not cut, and is this because they are overloaded? Not at all. Figure up at even fifty pounds to the square inch of wearing surface what any planer ought to carry, and you will find that it is not from overloading. Twist the bed upon the floor (and any of them will twist as easy as two basswood boards), and your table will rest the hardest on two corners. Strap, or bolt, or wedge a casting upon the table, or tighten up a piece between a pair of centers eight or ten inches above the table, and bend the table to an extent only equal to the thickness of the film of oil between the surface of the ways, and the large wearing surface is reduced to two wearing points. In designing it should always be kept in mind, or, in fact, it is found many times to be the correct thing to do, to consider the piece as a stiff spring, and the stiffer the better. The tooth of a gear wheel is a cast iron spring, and if only treated as would be a spring, many less would be broken. A point in evidence:

The pinions in a train of rolls, which compel the two or more rolls to travel in unison, are necessarily about as small at the pitch line as the rolls themselves; they are subject to considerable strain and a terrible hammering by back lash, and break discouragingly frequent, or do when made of cast iron, if not of very coarse pitch, that is, with very few teeth—eleven or twelve sometimes.

In a certain case it became desirable to increase the number of teeth, when it was found that the breakages occurred about as the square root of their number. When the form was changed by cutting out at the root in this form (Fig. 2), the breakage ceased.

a, Fig. 2, shows an ordinary gear tooth, and b the form as changed; c and d show the two forms of the same width, but increased to six times the length. If the two are considered as springs, it will be seen that d is much less likely to be broken by a blow or strain.

The remedy for the flimsy bed is the box section; the remedy for the flimsy planer table is the deep box section, and with this advantage, that the upper edge can be made to shelve over above the reversing dogs to the full width between the housings.

The parabolic form of housing is elegant in appearance, but theoretically right only when of uniform cross section. In some of the counterfeit sort the designers seem to have seen the original Sellers, remembering the form just well enough to have got the curve wrong end up, and knowing nothing of the principle, have succeeded in building a housing that is absolutely weak and absolutely ugly, with just enough of the original left to show from where it was stolen. If the housing is constructed on the brace plan, should not the braces be straight, as in the old Bement, and the center line of strain pass through the center line of the brace? If the housing is to take the form of a curve, the section should be practically uniform, and the curve drawn by an artist. Many times housings are quite rigid enough in the direction of the travel of the table, but weak against side pressure. The hollow box section, with secure attachment to the bed and a deep cross beam at the top, are the remedies.

Raising and lowering cross heads, large and small, by two screws is a slow and laborious job, and slow when done by power. Counterweights just balancing the cross head, with metal straps rather than chains or ropes, large wheels with small anti-friction journals, and the cross head guarded by one post only, changes a slow to a quick arrangement, and a task to a comfort. Housings of the hollow box section furnish an excellent place for the counterweights.

The moving head, which is not expected to move while under pressure, seems to have settled into one form, and when hooked over a square ledge at the top, a pretty satisfactory form, too. But in other machines built in the form of planing machines, in which the head is traversed while cutting, as is the case with the profiling machine, the planer head form is not right. Both the propelling screw, or whatever gives the side motion, should be as low down as possible, as should also be the guide.

There is a principle underlying the Sellers method of driving a planer table that may be utilized in many ways. The endurance goes far beyond any man's original expectations, and the explanation, very likely, lies in the fact that the point of contact is always changing. To apply the same principle to a common worm gear it is only necessary to use a worm in a plain spur gear, with the teeth cut at an angle the wrong way, and set the worm shaft at an angle double the amount, rather than at 90 deg.. Such a worm gear will, I fancy, outwear a dozen of the scientific sort. It would likely be found a convenience to have the head of a planing machine traverse by a handle or crank attached to itself, so it could be operated like the slide rest of a lathe, rather than as is now the case from the end of the cross head. The principle should be to have things convenient, even at an additional cost. Anything more than a single motion to lock the cross head to the housing or stanchions should not be countenanced in small planers at least. Many of the inferior machines show marked improvements over the better sorts, so far as handiness goes, while there is nothing to hinder the handy from being good and the good handy.

When we consider that since the post-drilling machine first made its appearance, there have been added Blasdell's quick return, the automatic feed, belt-driven spindles, back gears placed where they ought to be, with many minor improvements, it is not safe to assume that the end has been reached; and when we consider that as a piece of machine designing, considered in an artistic sense entirely, the Bement post drill is the finest the world ever saw (the Porter-Allen engine not excepted, which is saying a good deal), is it not strange that of all mechanical designs none other has taken on such outrageous forms as this?

One thing that would seem to be desirable, and that ordinary skill might devise, is some sort of snap clutch by which the main spindle could be stopped instantly by touching a trigger with the foot; many drills and accidents would be saved thereby. Of the many special devices I have seen for use on a drilling machine, one used by Mr. Lipe might be made of universal use. It is in the form of a bracket or knee adjustably attached to the post, which has in its upper surface a V into which round pieces of almost any size can be fastened, so that the drill will pass through it diametrically. It is not only useful in making holes through round bars, but straight through bosses and collars as well.

The radial drill has got so it points its nose in all directions but skyward, but whether in its best form is not certain. The handle of the belt shipper, in none that I have seen, follows around within reach of the drill as conveniently as one would like.

As the one suggestion I have to make in regard to the shaping machine best illustrates the subject of maintaining true wearing surfaces, I will leave it until I reach that part of my paper.

(To be continued.)

* * * * *


A liquid comes in handy sometimes in measuring the volume of a substance where the length, breadth, and thickness is difficult to get at. It is a very simple operation, only requiring the material to be plunged under water and measure the amount of displacement by giving close attention to the overflow. It is a process that was first brought into use in the days when jewelers and silversmiths were inclined to be a little dishonest and to make the most of their earnings out of the rule of their country. If we remember rightly, the voice of some one crying "Eureka" was heard about that time from somebody who had been taking a bath up in the country some two miles from home. Tradition would have us believe that the inventor left for the patent office long before his bathing exercises were half through with, and that he did the most of his traveling at a lively rate while on foot, but it is more reasonable to suppose that bath tubs were in use in those days, and that he noticed, as every good philosopher should, that his bathing solution was running over the edge of the tub as fast as his body sunk below the surface. Taking to the heels is something that we hear of even at this late day.

It was not many years ago that an inventor of a siphon noticed how water could be drawn up hill with a lamp wick, and the thought struck him that with a soaking arrangement of this kind in one leg of the siphon a flow of water could be obtained that would always be kept in motion. Without taking a second thought he dropped his work in the hay field, and ran all the way to London, a distance of twenty miles, to lay his scheme before a learned man of science. He must have felt like being carried home on a stretcher when he learned that a performance of this kind was a failure. Among the others who have given an exhibition of this kind we notice an observer who was more successful. Being an overseer in a cotton mill, he had only to run over to his dining room and secure two empty fruit jars and pipe them up, as shown. He had had trouble in measuring volume by the liquid process by having everything he attempted to measure get a thorough wetting, and there were many substances that were to be experimented upon that would not stand this part of the operation, such as fibers and a number of pulverized materials. One of the jars was packed in tight, nearly half full of cotton, and the other left entirely empty. The question now is to measure the volume of cotton without bringing any of the fibers in contact with the water. The liquid is poured into the tunnel in the upright tube under head enough to partially fill the jars when the overflow that stands on a level with the line, D E, is open to allow the air in each jar to adjust itself as the straight portions are wanted to work from. The overflow is then closed and head enough of water put on to compress the air in the empty jar down into half its volume. It may take a pipe long enough to reach up into the second story, but it need not be a large one, and pipes round a cotton mill are plentiful. In the jar containing cotton the water has not risen so high, there being not so much air to compress, and comes to rest on the line, C. Now we have this simple condition to work from. If the water has risen so as to occupy half of the space that has been taken up by the amount of air in one jar, it must have done the same in the other, and if it could have been carried to twice the extent in volume would reach the bottom of the jar in the one containing nothing but air, and to the line, H I, in the jar containing cotton.

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