Francis Lieber.

Library of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) online

. (page 179 of 203)
Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 179 of 203)
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observatory, are here. It has a horse railway, a savings bank, a shot tower, a health
officer's station, 3 newspapers, and manufactures of ale and beer.

STAR, in heraldry. The star is of frequent occurrence as a heraldric bearing; it
sometimes represents the heavenly body so called, and sometimes the rowel of a spur.
In the latter case, it is blazoned a mullet (q.v.). Stars of more than five points should
have the number of points designated, and the points may be wavy. A star, or estoile,
with wavy points, is often designated a blazing star; and when the points are more than
wx in number, it is usual to represent only every second point as waved.

The star is a well-known ensign of knightly rank. A star of some specified form
constitutes part of the insignia of every order of knighthood.

STAB, ORDER OF THE, an order of knighthood formerly existing in France, founded
by John II. in 1350, in imitation of the then recently instituted order of the Garter in


England. The ceremony of installation was originally performed on the festival of the
Epiphany, and the name of the order is supposed to have been allusive to the star of the

STARAI A-EUS'SA, a t. of Russia, in the government of Novgorod, 184 m. s.s.e. of
St. Petersburg. The town is remarkable for its salt springs, which attract many visitors
in summer. The means of communication between St. Petersburg and Staraia-Russa,
by the Moscow railway and the river Volkhov, are easy and rapid. Resident pop. '67,
8,' 592.


STAR APPLE, Ch'rysophyllum, a genus of trees and shrubs of the natural order
sit : n>i<tc.tii>. The species are natives of tropical and subtropical countries. The star apple
of the West Indies (C. cainito) is a shrub of about 8 or 10 ft. high. The fruit is large,
ro<c-colored, mixed with green and yellow; and has a soft sweet pulp of an agreeable
flavor. Other species produce edible fruit.


STARCH, or AMYLACEOUS MATTER (CnHioOio), is an organized substance of the class
known as carbo-hydrates, which occurs in roundish or oval grains in the cellular tissue
of certain parts of plants. It is very widely diffused through the vegetable kingdom,
and is especially abundant in the seeds of the cereals, in the seeds of leguminous plants
such as peas and beans, in the tuber of the potato, in the roots of arrowroot and tapioca,
in the pith of the sago palm, etc. The grains of starch from the same kind of plant are
tolerably uniform in size and shape, but vary in different species of plants from ff to
less than ^gV w of an inch in diameter; and while some are circular or oval, others are
angular; moreover, amongst other differences, some (chiefly the larger grains) exhibit a
scries of concentric rings, while in others no rings .are apparent; and while the grains of
potato starch, if illuminated by polarized light, with a Nicol's prism placed between the
object and the eye, present a well-marked black cross; in wheat-starch no such cross is

Ordinary commercial starch occurs either as a white glistening powder, or in masses
which are readily pulverized; and when pressed between the fingers it evolves a slight
but peculiar sound. It is heavier than water, and is insoluble in cold water, alcohol,
and ether. If, however, it be placed in water at a temperature of 150, its granules
swell from the absorption of fluid, and the mixture assumes a viscid, pasty consistence.
Dilute acids rapidly induce a similar change, even without the agency of heat; and if
heated with dilute sulphuric acid, the starch is first converted into dextrine, and finally
into glucose or grape-sugar; and manufacturing chemists avail themselves of this prop-
erty to obtain glucose on a large scale from starch. Starch dissolves in cold nitric acid,
and on the addition of water to this solution, a white, tasteless, insoluble precipitate falls,
which is known as xyloidine, and explodes violently when struck by a hammer, or when
hen ted up to about 350. The composition of this substance is not positivety known,
but in all probability one or two equivalents of the hydrogen of the starch (most prob-
ablv two) are replaced by a corresponding number of equivalents of peroxide of nitro-
gen (N0).

The reactions of starch with iodine and bromine are very remarkable. Iodine com-
municates to it a very beautiful purple color, and hence starch paste serves as a delicate
test for free iodine. The purple color which the iodine gives to the starch granules ap-
pears not to depend on a chemical combination, because on the application of heat the
color disappears, and reappears on cooling. Bromine communicates a brilliant orange
tint to starch a reaction by which the presence of free bromine may be readily detected.
When heated to a temperature of from 340 to 400, dry starch is converted into dex-
trine (q.v.), or British gum. At a higher temperature, it undergoes decomposition, and
yields on dry distillation the same products as sugar. When heated in steam under
pressure, it also passes into dextrine, and finally into glucose. The addition of a little
sulphuric acid hastens these changes.

' During the germination of seed, the starch undergoes a kind of fermentation, and is
converted into a mixture of dextrine and glucose. This change is due to the action of a
peculiar ferment termed diastase (q.v.), which exists in all germinating seeds during the
process of growth, and is probably a mixture of albumen and gluten in a special stage
of decomposition. Various animal matters, as, for example, saliva, pancreatic juice,
the serum of the blood, bile, etc., exert the same action on starch as diastase. On treat-
ing starch with chlorine, a remarkable colorless oily fluid, chloral (q.v.), is obtained.
On prolonged exposure to the air, starch paste becomes acid, in consequence oi the for-
mation of lactic acid.

Starch is usually obtained by a simple mechanical separation of it from the other
ingredients with which it is associated; advantage being taken of its insolubility in cold
water. The details of the mode of separation vary according to the source from which
it is procured. We extract from Miller's Organic Chemistry the method of procuring
potato-starch: "This variety is prepared on a large scale from potatoes, which contain
about 20 per cent of amylaceous matter. The cellular tissue of the tuber does not
exceed 2 per cent of the inass; ^whilst of the remainder about 76 per cent consists of


water, and the rest of small quantities of sugar, salts, andazotised matters. In order to
extract the starch, the tubers are first freed from adhering earth by a thorough washing,
and are then rasped by machinery. The pulp thus obtained is received upon a sieve,
and is washed continuously by a gentle stream of water so long as the washings run
through milky. This milkiness is due to the granules of starch which are held in sus-
pension. This milky liquid is received into vats, in which the amylaceous matter is
allowed to subside ; the supernatant water is drawn off, and the deposit is repeatedly
washed with fresh water until the washings are no longer colored. The starch is then
^suspended in a small portion of water, run through a fine sieve to keep back any por-
' tions of sand, and, after having been again allowed to settle, is drained in baskets lined
with ticking. The mass is then placed upon a porous floor of half-baked tiles, and
dried in a current of air, which is at first of the natural temperature; the drying is com-
pleted by the application of a moderate artificial heat" (pp. 100, 101). To obtain starch
from wheat or rice, a more complicated process is required, as the large quantity of

fluten which is associated with the starch in these grains requires to be removed either
y fermentation, or, according to Jones's patent, by a weak alkaline solution, which
dissolves the gluten, but does not effect the starch granules.

Commercially, there are two classes of starch those used for food, and those used
for manufacturing purposes. The former are treated under arrowroot (q.v.); the latter
are chiefly made from wheat, rice, and potatoes; but in addition, large quantities of sago-
starch are prepared in India, and sent to Europe, and small quantities are from time to
time prepared from other sources, such as the fruit of the horse-chestnut, etc.

The importance of starch becomes at once obvious when we consider that it may be
regarded as the starting-point in the preparation of brandy and other forms of spirit, and
of beer and porter, and that it enters largely into the great saccharine group, constituting
one of the leading subdivisions of food. See DIGESTION. It is, moreover, largely
employed as an article of domestic use for laundry purposes, and also in the manufacture
of dextrine and grape-sugar.

We shall conclude with a few words on starch in its physiological and medical rela-
tions. It might have been inferred a priori that starch was an essential article of diet,
from the fact of its abundant occurrence in edible vegetables, even if the fact had not
been established by numerous physiological experiments. Thus various kinds of pota-
toes yield from 12 to 27 per cent of starch; peas, 32 per cent; beans, 34 to 36 per cent;
wheaten bread, 53 per cent; wheaten flour, 56 to 72 per cent; oatmeal* 59 per cent;
rye-meal, 61 per cent; barley-meal, 67 per cent; maize, 81 per cent: rice, 83 to 85 per
cent; and it occurs in even larger proportions in arrowroot, sago, and tapioca. In a
state of health, the proper diet consists in the due admixture of the albuminous, saccha-
rine (or starchy), oleaginous, and saline groups; but in certain forms of disease, an
excess or a diminution of the starchy element is expedient. Thus, in cases of weak
gastric digestion, it is not advisable to mix starchy food with the albuminous, as it soaks
up the too scanty gastric juice without making any use of it. In such cases, moreover,
articles of food like potatoes, new bread, pastry, etc, are apt to turn acid in the stomach,
and check digestion. There are, again, some cases of gastric disorder in which a purely
starchy diet is expedient. Thus, according to Dr. Chambers, it is the best form of food
"during acute catarrhal bilious attacks at the commencement of treatment, in even
chronic gastric cases, and whenever a dusky complexion, hypochondriasis, or general
distress show that arrested molting has caused a collection in the body of effete tissues"
(Dietetics in Clinical Lectures, 4th ed.. p. 539). In the early stages of rheumatic fever and
other acute diseases, it is usually expedient to limit the diet of the patient for a day or
two to a purely starchy diet, such as arrowroot, tapioca, panado, etc. In returning from
a purely starchy to a mixed diet, Dr. Chambers suggests that such an arrangement shall
be adopted as to prevent starchy and albuminous foods from being together in the
Btomach. For example, let the morning and evening diet be vegetable, with a mid-day
meal of purely animal food. It should be recollected that although starch is converted
into sugar by the saliva, pancreatic fluid, and intestinal juice (see DIGESTION), the
change principally takes place from the action of the two last-named fluids in the small
intestine. Hence, when the duodenum, jejunum, or ileum are morbidly affected, as in
typhoid or enteric fever, in enteritis, in diarrhea, etc., little or no starch should be given
in the food.

, Wheat-starch is the only variety of starch admitted into the pharmacopoeia. It is
employed in medicine chiefly in the form of mucilage (prepared by triturating 120 grains
of starch with 10 fluid ounces of distilled water gradually added, and boiling for a few
minutes, constantly stirring). This preparation is used either alone or as a vehii le for
more active agents, as an enema, in dysentery, diarrhea, flatulent distrntion of the
bowels, etc.; externally, it is used as an application to excoriations, to prevent bed-sores,
etc., and as a basis for dusting-powders in various forms of discharging skin-diseases.
Its use in surgery for the construction of immovable bandages has been noticed in the
article SPLINTS.

STAR-CHAMBEB, a tribunal of considerable note in English history, which met in
the old council -chamber of the palace of Westminster, and is said to have its name from
the circumstance that the roof of that apartment was decorated with gilt stars. It is

fj f? K Star-chamber.


generally supposed to have originated in early times out of the exercise of jurisdiction
by the king's council, acting as the concilium ordinaritim and not privatum. The powers
of the council, however, h'ad been abridged by several acts of Edward III., and had
altogether greatly declined when act 3 Henry VII. c. 1, either revived and remodeled
them, or instituted, according to the view taken by Mr. Hallam, an entirely new tribu-
nal. This statute conferred on the chancellor, the treasurer, and the keeper of the
privy seal, with the assistance of a bishop and a temporal lord of the council, and chief-
justices, or two other justices in their absence, a jurisdiction to punish without a jury,
the misdemeanors of sheriffs and juries, as well as riots and unlawful assemblies. Act
21 Henry VIII. c. 20, added to the other members of the court the president of the coun-
cil. Whether or not the above-cited act of Henry VII. meant to constitute a court dis-
tinct from the council, it is certain that, by the time of Elizabeth, the two jurisdictions
were merged in one: and the resulting tribunal was, during the Tudor age, of undoubted
utility as a means of bringing to justice great and powerful offenders who would other-
wise have had it in their power to set the law at defiance. The civil jurisdiction of the
star-chamber, at that period, comprised controversies between English and foreign mer-
chants, testamentary causes, disputes between the heads and commonalty of corpora-
tions, lay and ecclesiastical, and claims to deodands. As a criminal court, it could inflict
any punishment short of death, and had cognizance of forgery, perjury, riots, mainte-
nance, fraud, libels, conspiracy, misconduct of judges and others connected with the
administration of the law, and ail offenses against the state, in so far as they could be
brought under the denomination of contempts of the king's authority. Even treason,
murder, and felony could be brought under the jurisdiction of the star-chamber, where
the king chose to remit the capital sentence. The form of proceeding was by written
information and interrogatories, except when the accused person confessed, in which
case the information and proceedings were oral; and out of this exception grew one of
the most flagrant abuses of this tribunal in the later period of its history. Regardless of
the existing rule, that the confession must be free and unconstrained, pressure of every
kind, including torture, was used to procure acknowledgments of guilt; admissions of
the most immaterial facts were construed into confessions; and fine, imprisonment and
mutilation inflicted on a mere oral proceeding, without hearing the accused, by a court
consisting of the immediate representatives of prerogative. The proceedings of the star-
chamber had always been viewed with distrust bj' the commons; but during the reign
of Charles I., its excesses reached a height that made it absolutely odious to the country
at large; and in the last parliament of That sovereign, a bill was carried in both houses
(16 Car. I. c. 10), which decreed its abolition.

STAB-FISH, Asteriadw, a family of ecliinodermata (q.v.) having in the center of the
body a stomach with only one aperture, but extending, by two much-branched caeca,
into each of the rays into which the body is divided. In s'ome the central disk extends
so as to include the rays, so that the general form is angular or lobed; in others the
disk is very small in comparison with the length of the rays. Locomotion is effected by
very numerous ambulacra (q.v.) placed in rows on the underside of the rays. A bony
framework, of a vast number of pieces, extends to the extremity of each ray. The ner-
TOUS system has its center around the mouth, and sends a filament to each ray. Star-
fishes are hermaphrodite, and produce vast numbers of eggs, which are retained for a
rime under the body of the parent, resting on the points of its rays at the bottom of the
sea, and raising up the center of the body, in order as it were to hatch them. The
young are destitute of rays, and very unlike the mature form, so that their real
nature was long mistaken. The mouth of star-fishes being on the under side, they
seek their food as indeed they perform all their motions by crawling at the bot-
tom of the sea, or on rocks, etc. They are very voracious, and are troublesome to
fishermen by devouring their bait. They possess, in a very high degree, the power of
reproducing lost members; a disk with a single ray left will reproduce the other rays
and become a perfect star fish. More extraordinary is the readiness which many of
them display, particularly those with long and slender rays, in breaking off these mem-
bers. Some species BRITTLE STARS can scarcely be procured for a museum in a tol-
erably perfect state, because they throw off ray after ray, and, in fact, break themselves
to pieces upon any alarm. Star-fishes abound in the seas of all parts of the world.
Almost no object is more familiar on the sea-coast of Britain than the COMMON STAB-
FISH, CROSS-FISH, or FIVE FINGERS (Asterias or Vrastcr rnbens), thrown up on the beach
by the tide, or thrown out of fishing-boats in harbors. Some of the species are much
larger; and some exhibit very beautiful colors; whilst others are interesting from their
structure the long serpent-lfke form of their rays, or the division of the rays by succes-
sive forkings, so that the whole creature is a globular mass, the surface of which is formed
of a countless multitude of living tendrils.

STAB FOBT, in field fortification, is a strong work consisting of alternate salien
and re-entering angles, arranged on a regular or irregular polygon. It is a common
work for defending an eminence on a bkttle field, or at the wing of a line, or as protec-
tion for the reserve-stores of an army.

STARGARD (Slav. Starograd or Starigrnd, i.e., Old Town), a t. of Germany, province
of Pomerama, is situated on the navigable river Ihna, 23 m. e. 8. e. of Stettin, with

Star-gazer. '7'TA


which, as with Posen and the whole east of Prussia, it is connected by railroad. Star-
gard was formerly the capital of Lower Pomerania. It has various but not very impor-
tant manufactures. Pop. '75, 20,186. Stargard was raised to the rank of a town in


STAR-GAZER, certain species of acanthopterous fishes of the genus uranoscopus.
The eyes are near together on the top of the head, and therefore always looking
upward, a circumstance to which they owe their name. They are spiny and ugly
ia appearance. In front of the tongue there is a long filament which can be pro-
Mded at will. The best known species are u. scaber of the Mediterranean, and u.
it:t>>p'.os of our South Atlantic coast, but most of the species are found iu East In-
dia, i seas.


STARK, a co. inn.w. Illinois, intersected by the Rock Island and Peoria, and the
Buda and Rushville branch of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy railroads; 290
sq. m.'; pop., '80, 11,209 10,010 of American birth, 4 colored. It is draiued by Spoon
river, rising in its n. portion. The surface is hilly, containing beds of bituminous coal
which is mined. The soil is fertile, producing grain and dairy products. Its manufac-
tures are carriages and wagons, woolen goods, and flour. Co. seat, Toulon.

STARK, a co. in n.e. Ohio, drained by the Nimishillen, the Sandy, and Sugar
creeks; 580 sq. m. ; pop., '80, 64,027 55,408 of American birth. It is intersected by the
Pittsburg. Fort Wayne and Chicago, the Cleveland and Pittsburg, and the Valley rail-
roads. The Ohio canal traverses the w. portion following the course of the Tuscara-
was river. The surface is undulating, the larger proportion prairie land with occa-
sional oak, ash, and beech forests; sugar maples and elms grow near the rivers.
The soil is calcareous, having an underlying stratum of limestone. Coal and iron are
mined. Agricultural products are grain, maple sugar, wool, and dairy products. The
principal industries are stock-raising and the manufacture of agricultural implemc-nts,
carriages, furniture, forged and rolled iron, brick, woolen goods, iron castings,
jnetallic wares, lumber, flour, ale and beer. Co. seat, Canton.

STARKE, a co. in n.w. Indiana; drained by the Yellow and Kankakee rivers,
the latter its n.w. boundary; traversed by the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago
railroad; 800 sq. m. ; pop., '80, 5,105 4,549 of American birth. The surface is partly
prairie and partly woodland, and diversified by small lakes; hay, corn, wheat, and cat-
tle are staples. Co. seat, Knox.

STARKE, JOHN, 1728-1822, b. N. H. , a captain in the old French war, who dis-
tinguished himself in the expedition to Ticomleroga in 1758. He was commissioned
col. in 1775, and raised a regiment which was at Bunker Hill on the left of the American
line. He joined the expedition against Canada, was at the front at Trenton, and
took part in the battle of Princeton. In 1777 he raised a new regiment in New Hamp-
shire, but soon left it, thinking himself neglected by congress. At the head of New
Hampshire troops he fought the battle of Bennington, Aug. 16, 1777, and was soon made
brig, gen., and thanked by congress, which had previously censured him for disobey-
ing gen. Lincoln's orders to march to the west. AVith u new force of New Hampshire
recruits, he prevented Burgoyne's retreat from Saratoga. He commanded the northern
department in 1778, and again in 1780, and was on the court martial which condemned

STABLING, Sturmis, a Linnjean genus of birds of the order ins&ssores; now the fam-
ily sturnidce; nearly allied to corrida, but in general of smaller size; the bill more slen-
dor and compressed, its point nail-like; the wings long and pointed. They are natives
of almost all parts of the world, very generally gregarious, and some of them migratory.
They feed on worms, insects, larvae, and fruits. Some of them follow herds of quadru-
peds, on account of the insects which attend them. The COMMON STARLING (Stur-
ntis vulgaris) is a beautiful bird, rather smaller than the song-thrush or mavis, brown,
finely glossed with black, with a pale tip to each feather, giving the bird a fine
speckle I appearance, particularly on "the breast and shoulders; in advanced age it is
m >re uuU'oru in color. The plumage of the female is less beautiful than that of the
male. Botii sex /s are more spo'ckkd in winter than in snmmor. The starling is abun-
dant in mo-;', parts of Britain, and nowhere more so than in the Hebrides nnrl Orkneys.
Il U very abundant in the fenny districts of England. It is f<>!iu-l in all parts of Europe
and throughout great, part of Africa; and is al?o common in the n. of Asia. Starlings
laiks artless nests of sknd<-T twigs, roots, and dry grass, in hollow trees, in holes of
cliffs, under eaves of houses, or, readily enoinrh. in boxes, which are often placed
for them in trees or elsewhere near honsos. They frequently breed twice in a sea-
son, and in autumn they unite in large flocks. The starling becomes very port and
familiar in confinement, displays groat imitative powers, and learns to whistle tunes, and
even to articulate words with great distinctness. Its natural song is soft and sweet.
The AMERICAN STARLING or MEADOW LARK (S. Ludoticiami*), is larger than the com-
mon starling. It is common in the United States, migrating northward in spring, and
couth ward in autumn, and congregating in great flocks in autumn and winter.

m Star-gazer.


STARLINGS, in architecture, are large piles driven in outside the foundations of
the piers of bridges to break the force of the water and save the piers.

STAR NOSE, Condylura or Astroutyctes, a genus of the mole (q.v.) family, talpida
having much general resemblance to moles, but with a longer tail and an elongated slen-
der muzzle, which bears at its extremity a remarkable structure of fleshy and somewhat
cartilaginous rays disposed in a star-like form. The habits are very similar to those of
moles. All the species of this genus are natives of North America. The best known is
condyliira crititata, which inhabits Canada and the eastern parts of the United States.

Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 179 of 203)