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 18 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 18 of 203)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ground to a suitable size. Along the shores of the Mediterranean the evaporation is
effected by exposing the sea-water in shallow basins to the influence of sun and air. Iu
Russia^ Sweden, and other northern countries, salt is obtained by freezing sea-water in
large reservoirs As the ice fo formed is nearly pure, repeated congelations leave the
mother liquor more and moro impregnated with salt, and the residuum is finally boiled
clown. In New York, Kansr^. Michigan, Ohio*, and West Virginia there are many
manufactories of conrso salt from the natural brines. By mere exposure in a series of
shallow wooden vats, protected from the rain by movable covers, the liquid is first freed
from its principal impurities, and then evaporated by solar heat the coarse salt so obtained
being lanrely used in the preservation of meat and fish. The most important of these
establishments is at Onondaga, N. Y., where the finer grades of salt are also made.
These finer qualities of salt, often known as boiled ?alt, result from the application of
artificial heat to the brines. In many cases, however, and especially when the brines
are weak and diluted, they a're submitted to a preliminary process -of evaporation in the


Europe, consists in pumping the liquor up to
trickle down through bundles of thorn or brush built up in the form of a wall, the great
amount of surface thus exposed to the wind and sun causing very rapid evaporation;
This preliminary process is called "graduation." After the liquor has been sufficiently
concentrated the separation of the salt is effected by artificial heat. This may be done
in various ways, the most usual being those known as the kettle, the pan. and the steam
processes. The first is peculiar to the United States, and is practiced especially in the
Onondaga factories. Some 50 or 60 hemispherical iron kettles, capable of holding from
120 to 150 gals., are placed in a double row along a common flue, heated by fire-places
at eaHi end. At the bottom of each of these kettles a pan with a long handle is intro-
duced, upon which are collected the impurities precipitated during the process of con-
centration. From time to time the pan is removed and cleaned until the salt crystals
begin to appear, when it is not replaced. After the salt has separated it is washed in
the remaining pickle, buns: in baskets over the kettles, where it is drained for a few
hours and then emptied into the store-rooms. Here it remains for a couple of weeks
a law in New York state makes a two weeks' drying in the store-room obligatory and
i* then ready for the market. The pan process, not often practiced in this country, is a
favorite in England. The brine, after it has been " graduated" to a sufficient specific
gravity, is placed in large shallow iron pans railed the " foreheaters," where it is boiled
until the impurities have been deposited, and then when it lias almost reached the satu-
I'ution p^iut is run off into similar pans aud evaporated to d'ryness. la the steam pro

rf Salt.

cess the graduated brine is placed in wooden vats called settlers, about 800 ft. long, 8 ft.
wide, and 6 ft. dee)), heated by means of a number of 4 in. steam pipes passing through
them from end to end. The impurities having been deposited in tne settlers, the liquid
is drawn into other vats called "gniiners," of the same length and width, but only a toot
or two in depth. The salt forms very rapidly, and is lif led, drained, and stored in the
same way as in. the kettle process. The steam process is used in various places in tiie
United States, particularly in the Saginaw valley in Michigan, where the kettle process
i> also practiced. Tne fineness of the salt in afl cases depends upon the rapidity with
which the evaporation is conducted, the most rapid boiling producing the finest grained
salt. The United States is remarkable for the number of its salt manufactories; uo less
than 23 of the states are or have been actively engaged in the production of the various
grades of salt. Of these New York and Michigan are the chief. The former state lias
produced as much as 9,053,874 bush, in a single year (1862), but since that time the yield
has declined and does not now average 800,000 bush, a year. The saline springs are
principally in Onondaga county, in the towns of Syracuse, Salina, and Geddes. They
are the property of the state, which supplies the brine to manufacturers and receives &
royalty of one cent per bushel. The salt industries of Michigan are of quite recent devel-
ment, although as early as 1838 unsuccessful efforts had been made by the state authori-
ties to work tlie valuable licks and springs. In 1859, prompted by the offer of a bounty
of 10 cts. a bushel, offered by the legislature for salt made in the state, a company was
organized in East Saginaw, and in a few years the production of salt had reached such
extensive proportions as to largely encroach upon the market formerly commanded by
New York. Nearly 700,000 bush, are now made yearly in Michigan. West Virginia,
Ohio, and Pennsylvania have each of them at different periods been among the lead-
ing states in the union in this branch of industry, but they have seriously declined of
late years. In Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and the New England states, the business
has become unproductive; in Missouri and Tennessee it has been abandoned. Some of
the western states and territories, Kansas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Utah, and California,
contain important saline springs and lakes, which have been only slightly worked as yet,
and which with the settlement of the country will probably be fully developed. In
Louisiana the deposit of rock-salt in Petit Anse (see SALT DEPOSIT IN LOUISIANA)
yields about 100,000 bush, annually. The demand for salt in the United States, how-
ever, is still largely supplied by importation, especially from Canada, the annual con-
sumption being placed at nearly 40,000,000 bush., and only about one- half of that
amount is of home production.

Agricultural uses. These arc two-fold: first, as a fertilizer of the soil, and second, as
a necessary article of food for farm stock. Salt can be only sparingly used as a manure;
its effects depend so much not only upon the character of the crops, but also on the
nature of the soil, that in the hands oi an ignorant person it is liable to do more harm
than good. In the rice fields of the east sea-water is said to have been used from a
very early antiquity with beneficial results. In sandy soils, especially in those devoted
to the cultivation of mangold-wurtzel, the English farmers have found salt very successful
and it is also recommended as a top-dressing in pasture-lands, checking the rank growth
of the grass, but greatly increasing its quality and succulence. Used in connection with
nitrate of soda, in the proportions of two parts of salt to one part of nitrate of soda, the
beneficial effects of the latter manure are largely increased. On stiff soils, however, salt
is practically inoperative, and in many cases where its use has been recommended, as in
the growth of cereals, cabbage, etc., experience has shown that it is of little or no benefit.
As an essential portion of the food of live stock salt is a necessity upon every farm.
Animals which are subject to lively exercise during the day are especially dependent
upon salt for their health, and instances are rot uncommon where beasts of burden have
died for want of it. Milch cows, it is well known, need a daily allowance of salt in order
to preserve the sweetness of their milk, and the quality of the fleece of sheep depends
to a great extent upon their obtaining a sufficient measure of salt. A custom practiced
by many fanners, which may be generally recommended, is that of keeping a stock of
salt in the corner of a pasturage to which ready access is had by the cattle, there being
no danger of their eating more than nature requires, except in cases where it had pre-
viously been denied them for an undue length of time.

Industrial uses. It is estimated that more than one-half of the total amount of salt
consumed in this country is used in the packing and preserving of meats and fish, and
the preservation of the products of the dairy. In the case of beef and pork a small por-
tion of saltpeter is often added to the salt, which withdraws the moisture from the meat.
Sugar is also used in connection with salt in the curing of hams. For dairy purposes
none but the finest grades of salt should be used; in the packing of beef and pork ihe
coarser kinds are the best. It has often been suggested that salt might be employed
advantageously in the seasoning of timber, but experience teaches that timber so sea-
soned is liable "to contract moisture, with all the attendant evils of warping and increas-
ing in bulk and in weight. Of course, in the case of wood-work constantly exposed to
water, as in the joints and intersections of ships, this objection does not hold, and the
experiment in such cases has often been tried with success. In refrigerating mixtures
salt is invaluable, and in the manufacture of ice-cream large quantities "of salt are
annually consumed. As salt is the source from which soda is derived, it is really the



basis in the manufacture of soaps and glass. In the United States, however, very little
salt is converted into soda, the latter article being principally imported. England turns
fully one-half of its annual production of salt into soda-ash. Other chemical products
of salt are the chlorine used in the bleacheries and hydrochloric or muriatic acid the
latter being formed in the manufacture of soda.

SALT, Sir TITUS, 1803-76; b. England; educated at Wakefield ; began business as a
woolen manufacturer at Bradford, 1834; founded in 1833 near Shipley on the river Aire
a manufacturing village, called Saltaire. The factory works cover about 20 acres, and
there are 1000 convenient dwellings for the operatives. He was mayor of Bradford;
president of the chamber of commerce; a member of parliament for Bradford 1859-61;
made a baronet in- 1869. He was the head of the mercantile house of Titus Salt, Sons
and Co. and liberally aided several benevolent institutions, schools, and libraries. He
was remarkable for his care for the physical and moral welfare of his great host of work-

SALT A, a province in the n.w. of the Argentine republic, bounded by Bolivia,
Santiago, Catamarca, Tucuman, and Jujuy; 50,000 sq.m.; pop. '69, 85,959. It is drained
by the San Francisco, Bermejo, Juramento, and very many other rivers. The sur-
face is mountainous, traversed by many spurs of the Andes, some peaks of which
are 15,000 ft. high. The soil is remarkably productive ; and among the many exports
are coffee, cotton, cocoa, wine, sugar, rum, and molasses. Copper, iron, and the pre-
cious metals, are found.

8ALTA, a town in the n.w. of the Argentine confederation, capital of a state of the
same name, and about 150 m. distant from the Araubanian and Bolivian frontiers. It
stands on the banks of the upper waters of the Salado, at the height of upward of 3,900
ft. above sea-level; but even with this elevation its climate is unhealthy. It is well
built, contains a number of good edifices, and about 11,000 inhabitants.

SALT-CAKE is the term employed to designate the crude sulphate of soda made from
oi 1 of vitriol and common salt, and used in the preparation of carbonate of soda.

SALTCOATS, a seaport on the firth of Clyde, county of Ayr, 30 m. s.s.w. of Glasgow.
Though its shipping trade has declined, Saltcoats is a thriving place, and a great resort
of sea- bathers. Fine sea salt is manufactured. Pop. '71, 4,624.

SALT DEPOSIT IN LOUISIANA, a remarkable deposit of rock-salt occurs orf
Petit (or Petite) Anse, a small island of Iberia parish, La., lying in a marsh near Vermil-
ion bay 10 m. s. of New Iberia in lat. 29 50' n., long. 91 55' w. Its discovery was
accidentally made in 1861, an opportune time for the southern confederacy, as almost
their etitire supply of salt was drawn from this source during the later years of the war.
The deposit is covered by a mere drift mass 16 to 18 ft. deep. It is remarkably pure
and so far as mined is found to lie in one solid mass without split or cleavage. Its
dimensions have not yet been ascertained, a shaft has been driven through it to the
depth of 50 ft. and it has been tunneled from e. to w. to the extent of about 150 yards
without reaching the margin. In sinking the shaft a large number of fossil remains of
human beings, and mastodons, mammoths, and other animals were found, together with
pottery ware and stone implements. The latter also are strewn in great profusion over
the island, and it is conjectured that the place formerly abounded in game, attracted
thither probably by the salt-licks, and was consequently a favorite hunting-ground, but
hunters and hunted seem to have been involved in a common catastrophe.

SALTER, WILLIAM D., 1794-1869; b. N. Y. ; entered the navy as midshipman 1809;
rose through successive grades to capt. 1839; was commandant at the Brooklyn navy-
yard 1856-59, and commodore on the retired list 1862. In 1863-66 he was inspector of
vessels of war. In the war of 1812 he served on the Constitution in the engagement
with The Guennere, and was an officer of approved valor, distinguished for gallant ser-

SALTILLO, a city of Mexico, capital of the state of Coahuila, 250 m. w.s.w. of Mata-
moras. It is regularly laid out, contains a public square and fountain, and carries on
manufactures of blankets and ponchos. Pop. 15,000. Seven m. s. is Bue*ia Vista,
famous for the battle fought there, Feb., 1847, when the Mexican forces were repulsed
by an inferior U. S. army.

SALTING, the process by which animal and vegetable substances are preserved for
food by the aid of common salt. This is either done by rubbing dry salt into the flesh to
be preserved, and repeating the process from time to time, until it has absorbed sufficient
to arrest decomposition; or the salt is liquefied with a little water, and made into brine,
in which articles are placed until required for use, when a little soaking and washing
removes the superfluous salt. Vegetables are only salted in the latter way ; and con-
tinental nations use it extensively for the preservation of various kinds of vegetable food
for winter consumption. A little saltpeter is often added, and very much increases the
efficiency of the common salt. See ANTISEPTICS, FOOD.

SALTIRE, one of the ordinaries in heraldry, its name of uncertain etymology, repre-
senting a bend-sinister conjoined with u bend-dexter, or a cross placed transversely like
the letter X. Like the other ordinaries, it probably originated, as Mr. Plauche suggests,


in the clamps and braces of the shield. The form of the saltire has been assigned to the
cross on which St. Andrew is said to have been crucified; hence the frequency of this
ordinary in Scotch heraldry. A saltire is subject to the variations of being engrailed,
iuvected, etc., and may be couped. When two or more saltires are borne in a shield, they
are couped, not at right angles, but horizontally; and as they are always so treated, it
is considered superfluous to blazon them as couped. Charges disposed in the form of a
saltire are described as placed saltireicays, or in saltire. The former term is more prop
erly applied to two long charges, as swords or keys, placed across one another (in
which case the rule is, that the sword in bend-sinister should be uppermost, unless
otherwise blazoned); and the latter to five charges placed two, one, and two.

SALT LAKE, a co. of n. Utah, s.e. of Great Salt lake, intersected by the Jordan
river, and traversed in the e. by the Wahsatch mountains; pop. 18,337; sq.m. 1200.
The soil along the base of the mountains is naturally barren, but is made fertile by
irrigation. The co. is crossed by several railroads. The staples are wheat, hay, pota-
toes, wool, and butter. There are mines of gold, silver, and lead; many manufactories,
and smelting works, flouring and saw-mills, tanneries, and breweries.

SALT LAKE CITY, the chief town and ecclesiastical capital of the Mormon territory
of Utah, is on the e. bank of the river Jordan, between lake Utah and Great Salt lake,
20 m. s. of the latter, and 4,350 ft. above the level of the sea, 650 m. e.n.e. of San Fran-
cisco, and 1100 w. of the Mississippi. It was settled by the Mormons (q.v.) in 1847, and
contains 260 lots of ten acres each; 4 public squares; shaded streets 128 ft. wide, through
each of which flows a stream of pure water from the neighboring mountains, 10.000 ft.
high, from which the gardens are irrigated. The houses are chiefly built of adobes, or
sun-dried bricks, each wife in the pplygamic families having a separate entrance. The
principal edifices are the Mormon temple, the tithing-house or treasury, and the social
hall, which serves for ball-room and theater. Pop. in 1860, 8,236; in 1870, 12,854.

SALT LAKE CITY (ante), capital of Salt Lake co. and of Utah territory, at the base
of the Wahsatch mountains; 2m. e. of the river Jordan, 12 in. s.e. of the great Salt
lake. It was laid out when the region was a wilderness, by a company of 143 Mormons
led by Brigham Young; pop. in '75, 20,000. The site of the city covers about 9,000
acres, only a quarter of which is occupied. It is connected by the 'Utah Central railroad
with the Union and Central Pacific railroads at Ogden, 36 miles. The city is divided
into 20 wards, in almost every one of which is a public square. The city is lighted by
gas, and has 5 m. of street railroad. It contains a city hall, the Mormon tabernacle,
Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational, and Catholic churches, 2 national
banks, a savings bank, the university of Deseret, graded schools, a public library, a
museum, several newspapers, and two monthly periodicals. The Mormon tabernacle,
costing $500,000, accommodates 15,000 people, and has an immense organ. There are
many halls and a large theater.

SALTONSTALL, GTJRDON, 1666-1724; b. Mass; graduated at Harvard in 1684;
ordained pastor of the First church (Congregational), New London, 1691; was prominent
in politics, and was elected governor of Connecticut in 1707, which position he held
until his death. He was an eloquent speaker. He bequeathed 1000 to Harvard- college
to aid in the education of young men for the ministry.

SALTONSTALL, LEVERETT, LL.D., 1783-1845; b. Mass.; studied at Phillips
academy, Exeter, N. II.; graduated at Harvard college 1802; commenced practice oi
law in Salem 1805; and became eminent in his profession; was often member of the
legislature; a state senator in 1831; mayor of Salem 1836-38; member of congress
1838-43. He was a member of the Massachusetts historical society, to which he con-
tributed Historical Sketch of Haverhill; also of the academy of arts and sciences. He
bequeathed most of his library to Phillips academy, Exeter, and some money to the
library of Harvard college.

SALTONSTALL, Sir RICHARD, 1586-1658; b. England; nephew of sir Richard,
lord mayor of London in 1597; the ancestor of those in New England who bear that
name, and one of the fathers of Massachusetts colony. He came to Massachusetts with
gov. Winthrop in 1630, was assistant-governor that year, and, with Mr. Phillips, com-
menced the settlement of Watertown; returned to England in 1631. where he continued
the friend of the colony and a patentee of Connecticut. In 1601 be wrote a letter to the
ministers Cotton and Wilson, protesting against persecution for religious opinions.


SALT RANGE, or KALABAGH MOUNTAINS, a mountain range in the Punjab, India,
1'es in an e. and w. direction, in lat. 32 30' 33" 20'. The range rises on the w. bank
of the Jhelum, runs w. to the Indus, and after affording a passage to the river, reappears
on its w. side, and pursues the same direction till it meets wi;h The Suleiman mountains.
The Salt range is about 200 m. in ]< ngth. and varies from 2.000 to 5.000ft. in height.
Its appearance is exceedingly bleak and barren; vegetation is seldom met with ; there
are no trees; and the bold and bare precipices which frequently occur give to the range
a forbidding aspect. Rock salt is found in inexhaustible quantities, and so pure that
after being pounded it is ready for use. Alum, iron ore, coal, gypsum, and limestone
abound; gold-dust is washed down iu the sands of the rivers, and graphite is also louud.



SALT OF SATTJRN, an old name for acetate of tead.

SALT OF SORREL, the common name for binoxalate of potash.

SALT, SPIRITS OF, the old name for muriatic or hydrochloric acid.

SALTS, SMELLING, a preparation of carbonate of ammonia with some of the sweet-
sceated volatile oils, use as a restorative by persons suffering from faintness. The
pungency of the ammonia is all that is useful, and the oils are added to mu'ie it more
agreeable. Oils of lavender, lemon, cloves, and bergamot are those ch icily u.*ed. The
celebrated Preston smelling-salts are scented with oils of cloves and pimento. The
manufacture of ornamental bottles to contain this preparation is an important branch of
the glass and silversmith's trades.

SALTS, THEORY OF. Any substance which is produced by the combination of a base
with an acid, is commonly termed a salt. The base is in most cases a metallic oxide,
which is capable- of uniting with an acid, and of more or less completely neutralizing the
distinctive properties of the latter; in some cases, however, the base is non-meiallic and
organic in its nature, as in the case of ammonia, morphia, quinia, strychnia, creatinine,

The salts derive their generic name from common salt, now known as chloride of
sodium, but till the time of Davy regarded as a compound resulting from the union of
hydrochloric (or as it was then termed, muriatic) acid and soda. See SODIUM. Davy,
however, showed that during their action upon each other, both the acid and the alkali
undergo decomposition, and that while water is formed by the union of the oxygen of the
alkali (NaO) and the hydrogen of the acid (HC1), the sodium of the former combines
with the chlorine of the latter to form chloride of sodium (NaCI). Henoe, strangely
enough, the very substance from which the salts derive their name as a class, was the
means of overthrowing the old idea that a salt, as a matter of necessity, must result
from the union of a base ^vith an acid. It was then proposed to divide salts into twi>
classes those formed by the union of a base witli an oxyacid, such as nitrate of potash
(KO.NO&), formed by the union of oxide of potassium with nitric acid, sulphate of soda
(NaO.SOs), carbonate of lime (CaO.COj), etc., which were termed oxysu'J,*; while the
other class consisted, like chloride of sodium, of a metal combined with the characteristic
element (chlorine, iodine, bromine, fluorine) in a hydrogen acid or hydracid (as, for
example, hydrochloric, hydriodic, hydrobromic, or hydrofluoric acid). The salts of this
second class, of which chloride of potassium (KC1) and fluoride of calcium (CaF) may be
quoted as examples, being constructed on the same plan or type as sea-salt, were termed
haloid salts (q.v.), from the Greek word hals, the sea. The chlorine, iodine, bromine, or
fluorine, which, in combination with a metal, forms a haloid salt, is by some writers
termed a salt-radical,

" The great resemblance in properties between the two classes of saline compounds,
the haloid and oxysalts, has very naturally led to the supposition that both might possi-
bly be alike constituted; and that the latter, instead of being considered compounds of
an oxide and an acid, mighi with greater propriety be considered to contain a metal in
union with a compound salt-radical, having the chemical relations of chlorine and iodine.
On thisjsupposition, sulphate and nitrate of potash will be constituted in the same man-
ner as chloride of potassium, the compound radical replacing the simple one.

Old View. New View.

KO + SO, K 4- SO 4

KO -(- NO S K + NOa

Hydrated sulphuric acid will be, like hydrochloric acid, n . hydride of a salt-radical,
fl-4- SO 4 . When the latter acts upon metallic zinc, the hydrogen is simply displaced!
and the metal substituted. No decomposition of water is supposed to occur, and con-
sequently the difficulty of the old hypothesis is at an end. When the acid is poured upon
a metallic oxide, the same reaction occurs as in the case of hydrochloric acid; water and
a haloid salt are produced. All acids must be, in fact, hy'drogen acids; and all salts
haloid salts, with either simple or compound radicals." Fownes's Manual of Elementary

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 18 of 203)