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Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XVIII, No. 455.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.

* * * * *


I. CHEMISTRY AND METALLURGY. - Gallisin, an Unfermentable
Substance in Starch Sugar.

The Combining Weights, Volumes, and Specific Gravities of
Elements and Compounds.

Analysis of Zinc Ash and Calcined Pyrites by Means of
Ammonium Carbonate.

II. ENGINEERING AND MECHANICS. - Petroleum as a Fuel in
Locomotive Engines. - By THOMAS URQUHART. - Spray
injector. - Driving locomotives. - Storage of petroleum.

Improved Gas Light Buoy. - 2 figures.

Project for a Roadstead at Havre. - With map and views of
different breakwaters.

Improved Catch Basin. - 2 figures.

Water Power with High Pressures and Wrought Iron Water
Pipe. - By HAMILTON SMITH, JR. - Methods of conducting water
and transmitting power. - Texas Creek pipe and aqueduct. - 4

Parachute Hydraulic Motor.

Improved Shafting Lathe. - 1 figure.

Power Straightening Machine. - 1 figure.

Hydraulic Mining in California. - By GEO. O'BRIEN.

III. TECHNOLOGY. - Emerald Green: Its Properties and
Manufacture. - Use in wall paper. - ROBERT GALLOWAY.

Charcoal Kilns. - Extra yield. - 2 figures.

IV. ARCHITECTURE - Entrance, Tiddington House, Oxon. - An

V. ELECTRICITY, LIGHT, HEAT. ETC. - The Temperature of the
Earth as shown by Deep Mines.

New Arrangement of the Bichromate of Potash Pile. - 3

The Distribution of Electricity by Induction. - 1 figure.

Electricity Applied to the study of Seismic Movements. - Apparatus
for the study of horizontal and vertical seismic
movements, etc. - 8 figures.

New Accumulators. - 3 figures.

Industrial Model of the Reynier Zinc Accumulator.

The History of a Lightning Flash. - By W. SLINGO.

Researches on Magnetism.

VI. NATURAL HISTORY. - The Giraffe. - With engraving.

VII. MEDICINE, AND HYGIENE. - The Treatment of Cholera - By

Temperature. Moisture, and Pressure, in their Relations
to Health. - London deaths under 1 year in July, August,
and part of September.

Consumption Spread by Chickens.

New Method of Reducing Fever.

VIII. MISCELLANEOUS. - The Crown Diamonds of France at the
Exhibition of Industrial Arts.

A New Mode of Testing the Economy of the Expenses of
Management in Life Insurance. - By WALTER C. WRIGHT.

* * * * *


The spirited view herewith presented, representing the "Fall of the
Giraffe" before the rifle of a sportsman, we take from the _Illustrated
London News_. Hunting the giraffe has long been a favorite sport among the
more adventurous of British sportsmen, its natural range being all the
wooded parts of eastern, central, and southern Africa, though of late
years it has been greatly thinned out before the settlements advancing
from the Cape of Good Hope.

[Illustration: THE FALL OF THE GIRAFFE.]

The characteristics of this singular animal are in some particulars those
of the camel, the ox, and the antelope. Its eyes are beautiful, extremely
large, and so placed that the animal can see much of what is passing on
all sides, and even behind it, so that it is approached with the greatest
difficulty. The animal when full grown attains sometimes a height of
fifteen to seventeen feet. It feeds on the leaves and twigs of trees
principally, its immense length of legs and height at the withers
rendering it difficult for the animal to graze on an even surface. It is
not easily overtaken except by a swift horse, but when surprised or run
down it can defend itself with considerable vigor by kicking, thus, it is
said, often tiring out and beating off the lion. It was formerly almost
universally believed that the fore legs were longer than the hinder ones,
but in fact the hind legs are the longer by about one inch, the error
having been caused by the great development and height of the withers, to
give a proper base to the long neck and towering head. The color varies a
good deal, the head being generally a reddish brown, and the neck, back,
and sides marked with tessellated, rust colored spots with narrow white
divisions. Many specimens have been brought to this country, the animal
being extremely docile in confinement, feeding from the hand, and being
very friendly to those who are kind to it.

* * * * *

An experiment has been made in Vienna which proves that even with
incandescent lights special precautions must be taken to avoid any risk of
fire. A lamp having been enveloped with paper and lighted by a current,
the heat generated was sufficient to set fire to the paper, which burnt
out and caused the lamp to explode.

* * * * *


At a recent meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers,
observations on the temperature of the earth, as shown by deep mines, were
presented by Messrs. Hamilton Smith, Jr., and Edward B Dorsey. Mr. Smith
said that the temperature of the earth varies very greatly at different
localities and in different geological formations. There are decided
exceptions to the general law that the temperature increased with the
depth. At the New Almaden quicksilver mine, in California, at a depth of
about 600 feet the temperature was very high - some 115 degrees; but in the
deepest part of the same mine, 1,800 feet below the surface and 500 feet
below sea level, the temperature is very pleasant, probably less than 80
degrees. At the Eureka mines, in California, the air 1,200 feet below the
surface appears nearly as cool as 100 feet below the surface. The normal
temperature of the earth at a depth of 50 or 60 feet is probably near the
mean annual temperature of the air at the particular place. At the
Comstock mines, some years since, the miners could remain but a few
moments at a time, on account of the heat. Ice water was given them as an
experiment; it produced no ill effects, but the men worked to much better
advantage; and since that time, ice water is furnished in all these mines,
and drunk with apparently no bad results.

Mr. E.B. Dorsey said that the mines on the Comstock vein, Nevada, were
exceptionally hot. At depths of from 1,500 to 2,000 feet, the thermometer
placed in a freshly drilled hole will show 130 degrees. Very large bodies
of water have run for years at 155 degrees, and smaller bodies at 170
degrees. The temperature of the air is kept down to 110 degrees by forcing
in fresh air cooled over ice.

Captain Wheeler, U.S. Engineers, estimated the heat extracted annually
from the Comstock by means of the water pumped out and cold air forced in,
as equal to that generated by the combustion of 55,560 tons of anthracite
coal or 97,700 cords of wood. Observations were then given upon
temperature at every 100 feet in the Forman shaft of the Overman mine,
running from 53 degrees at a depth of 100 feet to 121.2 degrees at a
depth of 2,300 feet. The temperature increased:

100 to 1,000 feet deep, increase 1 degree in 29 feet.
100 to 1,800 feet deep, increase 1 degree in 30.5 feet.
100 to 2,300 feet deep, increase 1 degree in 32.3 feet.

A table was presented giving the temperatures of a large number of deep
mines, tunnels, and artesian wells. The two coolest mines or tunnels are
in limestone, namely, Chanarcillo mines and Mont Cenis tunnel; and the two
hottest are in trachyte and the "coal measures," namely, the Comstock
mines in trachyte and the South Balgray in the "coal measures." Mr. Dorsey
considered that experience showed that limestone was the coolest

* * * * *


C. Schmitt and A. Coblenzl have made a careful investigation of the
unfermentable substances found in commercial starch sugars, and have
succeeded in isolating a definite compound, to which they give the name
gallisin. The method of separation and purification which they made use of
is as follows: 5 kilogrammes of commercial starch sugar were allowed to
ferment. At a temperature of 18-20° C. and with a solution containing 20
per cent. the fermentation was complete in five to six days. It was
filtered; the perfectly clear, almost colorless, liquid evaporated as far
as possible on the water-bath, and the sirup while still warm brought into
a good-sized flask. The sirup was then well shaken with a large excess of
absolute alcohol, when it became viscous, but did not mix with the
alcohol. The latter was poured off, replaced by fresh alcohol, and again
shaken. When this shaking with alcohol has been repeated several times,
the sirup is finally changed to a yellowish-gray mass. This is now brought
into a large mortar, and rubbed up under a mixture of alcohol and ether.
After some time the whole mass is transformed into a gray powder. It is
quickly filtered off with the aid of an aspirator, washed with alcohol and
then with ether, and brought under a desiccator with concentrated
sulphuric acid. In order to purify the substance, it is dissolved in water
and treated with bone-black. The solution is then evaporated to a sirup,
and this poured into a mixture of equal parts of anhydrous alcohol and
ether. In this way the new compound is obtained as a very fine, pure white
powder which rapidly settles. It has much the appearance of starch. Under
the microscope it is perfectly amorphous. In the air it deliquesces much
more rapidly than ignited calcium chloride.

Treated with dilute mineral acids or oxalic acid on the water-bath
gallisin is transformed into dextrose. It does not ferment when treated in
water solution with fresh yeast. The analyses led to the formula
C_{12}H_{24}O_{10}. When treated under pressure with three times its
weight of acetic anhydride at 130-140° it dissolves perfectly. From the
solution a product was separated which on analysis gave results agreeing
with the formula C_{12}H_{18}O_{10}(C_{2}H_{3}O)_{6}. The substance
appears therefore to be hexacetylgallisin.

Physiological experiments on lower animals and human beings demonstrated
clearly that gallisin has neither directly nor indirectly any injurious
effect on the health. - _Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft,
17, 1000; Amer. Chem. Jour._

* * * * *


Under the title of "Figures Worth Studying," Mr. William Farmer, of New
York, read a paper before a recent meeting of the Society of Gas Lighting,
from which the _American Gas Light Journal_ gives the following:

I have prepared the following table, which contains some of the elements
and compounds, with their combining weights, volumes, and specific
gravities. When the combining weight of any of these elements and
compounds is taken in pounds, then the gas or vapor therefrom will always
occupy about 377.07 cubic feet of space, at 60° Fahr. and 30 inches
barometer. If we divide this constant 377.07 by the combining weight of
any of the substances, then the quotient will be the number of cubic feet
per pound of the same. If we divide the combining weight of any of the
substances given in the table by 2, then the quotient will give the
density of the same, as compared with hydrogen. If we divide the combining
weight of any of the substances by the constant 28.87, then the quotient
will be the specific gravity of the gas or vapor therefrom, as compared
with air. All the calculations are based on the atomic weights which are
now generally adopted by the majority of chemists.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
| | |Cub. Ft.| |
| | | per | |
| Combi- |Cub. Ft.| Combi- |Specific|
| ning | per | ning |Gravity |
|Weight. | Pound. |Weight. |Air = 1.|
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - + - - - - + - - - - + - - - - + - - - - |
Hydrogen (H_{2}) | 2.00 | 188.53 | 377.07 | 0.0692 |
Carbon vapour (C_{2}) | 23.94 | 15.75 | 377.07 | 0.8292 |
Nitrogen (N_{2}) | 28.06 | 13.43 | 377.07 | 0.9719 |
Oxygen (O_{2}) | 31.92 | 11.81 | 377.07 | 1.1056 |
Chlorine (Cl_{2}) | 71.00 | 5.31 | 377.07 | 2.4593 |
Bromine (Br_{2}) | 160.00 | 2.35 | 377.07 | 5.5420 |
Flourine (F_{2}) | 38.00 | 9.92 | 377.07 | 1.3162 |
Iodine (I_{2}) | 253.20 | 1.48 | 377.07 | 8.7703 |
Sulphur (S_{2}) | 63.96 | 5.89 | 377.07 | 2.2154 |
Phosphorus (P_{4}) | 123.84 | 3.04 | 377.07 | 4.2895 |
Carbonic oxide (CO) | 27.03 | 13.50 | 377.07 | 0.9674 |
Carbonic acid (CO_{2}) | 48.89 | 8.59 | 377.07 | 1.5202 |
Water vapour (H_{2}O) | 17.06 | 20.99 | 377.07 | 0.6221 |
Hydrogen sulphide (H_{2}S) | 33.08 | 11.09 | 377.07 | 1.1770 |
Ammonia (H_{2}N) | 17.03 | 22.14 | 377.07 | 0.5898 |
Sulphurous oxide (SO_{2}) | 63.90 | 5.90 | 377.07 | 2.2133 |
Sulphuric oxide (SO_{3}) | 79.86 | 4.72 | 377.07 | 2.7662 |
Cyanogen (C_{2}N_{2}) | 52.00 | 7.25 | 377.07 | 1.8011 |
Bisulphide of carbon (CS_{2}) | 75.93 | 4.96 | 377.07 | 2.6300 |
Ethyl alcohol (C_{2}H_{6}O) | 45.90 | 8.21 | 377.07 | 1.5898 |
Ethyl ether (C_{4}H_{10}O) | 73.84 | 5.10 | 377.07 | 2.5576 |
Methyl alcohol (CH_{4}O) | 31.93 | 11.81 | 377.07 | 1.1059 |
Methyl chloride (CH_{3}Cl) | 50.47 | 7.47 | 377.07 | 1.7482 |
Carbonyl chloride (COCl_{2}) | 98.93 | 3.81 | 377.07 | 3.4267 |
Phosphine gas (PH_{3}) | 33.96 | 11.10 | 377.07 | 1.1769 |
Hydrochloric acid (HCl) | 36.50 | 10.33 | 377.07 | 1.2642 |
Methane (CH_{4}) | 15.98 | 26.61 | 377.07 | 0.5531 |
Ethane (C_{2}H_{6}) | 29.94 | 12.50 | 377.07 | 1.0370 |
Propane (C_{3}H_{8}) | 43.91 | 8.58 | 377.07 | 1.5209 |
Butane (C_{4}H_{10}) | 57.88 | 6.51 | 377.07 | 2.0048 |
Ethene (C_{2}H_{4}) | 27.94 | 13.49 | 377.07 | 0.9677 |
Propene (C_{3}H_{6}) | 41.91 | 8.99 | 377.07 | 1.4516 |
Butene (C_{4}H_{8}) | 55.88 | 6.74 | 377.07 | 1.9355 |
Ethine (C_{2}H_{2}) | 25.94 | 14.53 | 377.07 | 0.8985 |
Propine (C_{3}H_{4}) | 39.91 | 9.44 | 377.07 | 1.3824 |
Butine (C_{4}H_{6}) | 53.88 | 6.98 | 377.07 | 1.8662 |
Quintone (C_{5}H_{6}) | 65.85 | 5.72 | 377.07 | 2.2809 |
Benzene (C_{6}H_{6}) | 77.82 | 4.84 | 377.07 | 2.6955 |
Styrolene (C_{8}H_{8}) | 103.75 | 3.63 | 377.07 | 3.5936 |
Naphtalene (C_{10}H_{8}) | 127.70 | 2.95 | 377.07 | 4.4232 |
Turpentine (C_{10}H_{16}) | 135.70 | 2.77 | 377.07 | 4.7003 |
Dry air | 28.87 | 13.06 | - | 1.0000 |

* * * * *


[Footnote 1: This substance is also known by the name Schweinfurt green.]


The poisonous effects of wall-paper stained with emerald-green
(aceto-arsenite of copper) appears to be a very favorite topic in many
journals; it is continually reappearing in one form or another in
different publications, especially medical ones; there has recently
appeared a short reference to it under the title, "The Poisonous Effect of
Wall-paper." As some years ago I became practically acquainted with its
properties and manufacture, a few observations on these subjects may not
be without interest.

In the paragraph referred to, it is stated that the poisonous effect of
this pigment cannot be _entirely_ due to its mere mechanical detachment
from the paper. This writer therefore attributes the poisonous effects to
the formation of the hydrogen compound of arsenic, viz., arseniureted
hydrogen (AsH_{3}); the hydrogen, for the formation of this compound,
being generated, the writer thinks probable, "by the joint action of
moisture and organic matters, viz., of substances used in fixing to walls
papers impregnated with arsenic." In some of our chemical manuals, Dr.
Kolbe's "Inorganic Chemistry," for example, it is also stated that
arseniureted hydrogen is formed by the _fermentation_ of the starch-paste
employed for fastening the paper to the walls. It is perfectly obvious
that the fermentation of the starch-paste must cease after a time, and
therefore the poisonous effects of the paper must likewise cease if its
injurious effects are caused by the fermentation. I do not think that
arseniureted hydrogen could be formed under the _conditions_, for the
oxygen compound of arsenic is in a state of combination, and the compound
is in a dry solid state and not in solution and the affinities of the two
elements - arsenic and hydrogen - for each other are so exceedingly weak
that they cannot be made to unite directly except they are both set free
at the same moment in presence of each other. Further, for the formation
of this hydrogen compound by the fermentation of the starch, or by the
growth of minute fungi, the _entire_ compound must be broken up, and
therefore the pigment would become discolored; but aceto-arsenite of


is a very stable compound, not readily undergoing decomposition, and is
consequently a very permanent color. It has also been not unfrequently
stated that the injurious effects of this pigment are due to the arsenious
oxide volatilizing from the other constituents of the compound. This
volatilization would likewise cause a breaking up of the entire compound,
and would consequently cause a discoloration of the paper; but the
volatilization of this arsenic compound is in every respect most

The injurious effects, if any, of this pigment must therefore be due to
its mechanical detachment from the paper; but has it ever been
conclusively proved that persons who inhabit rooms the wall-paper of which
is stained with emerald-green suffer from arsenical poisoning? If it does
occur, then the effects of what may be termed homoeopathic doses of this
substance are totally different from the effects which arise from larger
doses. During the packing of this substance in its dry state in the
factory, clouds of its dust ascend in the air, and during the time I had
to do with its manufacture I never heard that any of the factory hands
suffered, nor did I suffer, from arsenical poisoning. If there is any
abrasion of the skin the dust produces a sore, and also the delicate
lining of the nostrils is apt to be affected. It is in this way it acts in
large doses; I am therefore very skeptical as to its supposed poisonous
effects when wall-paper is stained with it.

Different methods are given in works on chemistry for the manufacture of
this pigment, but as they do not agree in every respect with the method
which was followed in English color factories some years ago, it will be
as well, for the full elucidation of the manufacture of this substance, to
briefly recite some of these methods before describing the one that was,
and probably is still, in use; and I will afterward describe a method
which I invented, and which is practically superior to any other, both in
the rapidity with which the color can be formed, and for producing it at a
less cost.

It is stated in Watts' "Dictionary of Chemistry" that it is "prepared on a
large scale by mixing arsenious acid with cupric acetate and water. Five
parts of verdigris are made up to a thin paste, and added to a boiling
solution of 4 parts or rather more of arsenious acid in 50 parts of water.
The boiling must be well kept up, otherwise the precipitate assumes a
yellow-green color, from the formation of copper arsenite; in that case
acetic acid must be added, and the boiling continued a few minutes longer.
The precipitate then becomes crystalline, and acquires the fine green
color peculiar to the aceto-arsenite." I do not know from personal
knowledge, but I have always understood that the copper salt employed in
its manufacture in France is the acetate. This would account, in my
opinion, for the larger crystalline flakes in which it is obtained in
France than can be produced by the English method of manufacturing it.
Cupric acetate is never employed, I believe, in England - the much cheaper
copper salt, the sulphate, being always employed.

In "Miller's Chemistry" it is stated it "may be obtained by _boiling_
solutions of arsenious anhydride and cupric acetate, and adding to the
mixture an equal bulk of _cold_ water." Why it should be recommended to
add _cold water_, I am at a loss to understand.

In Drs. Roscoe and Schorlemmer's large work on "Chemistry," and in the
English edition of "Wagner's Handbook of Chemical Technology," edited by
Mr. Crookes, the process as described by Dr. Ehrmann in the "Ann. Pharm.,"
xii., 92, is given. It is thus stated in Wagner's work: "This pigment is
prepared by first separately dissolving equal parts by weight of arsenious
acid and neutral acetate of copper in boiling water, and next mixing these
solutions while boiling. There is immediately formed a flocculent
olive-green colored precipitate of arsenite of copper, while the
supernatant liquid contains free acetic acid. After a while the
precipitate becomes gradually crystalline, at the same time forming a
beautiful green pigment, which is separated from the liquid by filtration,
and after washing and carefully drying is ready for use. The mode of
preparing this pigment on a large scale was originally devised by M.
Braconnot, as follows: 15 kilos. of sulphate of copper are dissolved in
the smallest quantity of boiling water, and mixed with a boiling and
concentrated solution of arsenite of soda or potassa, so prepared as to
contain 20 kilos. of arsenious acid. There is immediately formed a dirty
greenish-colored precipitate which is converted into Schweinfurt green by
the addition of some 15 liters of concentrated wood-vinegar. This having
been done, the precipitate is immediately filtered off and washed."

As I have already stated, the copper salt used in the manufacture of this
pigment in England is the sulphate, and it is carried out pretty much
according to Braconnot's method as described by Dr Ehrmann; but any one
would infer, from reading his description of the manufacturing process,
that the compound, aceto-arsenite of copper, was formed almost immediately
after the addition of the acetic acid, a higher or lower atmospheric
temperature having no effect in hastening or retarding the formation.
Furthermore, it is not stated whether the compound forms more readily in
an acid or neutral solution, or whether it can or cannot be formed in a
neutral one; now both these points are important to notice in describing
its manufacture. As regards the former I shall notice it presently, and,
as far as my knowledge extends, the pigment will not form when the
solution is neutral.

The operation is conducted in the following manner in the factory: The
requisite quantity of sulphate of copper is placed in a large wooden vat,
and hot water added to dissolve it; the requisite quantity of arsenic
(arsenious anhydride) and carbonate of soda, the latter not in quantity
quite sufficient to neutralize the whole of the sulphuric acid set free
from the sulphate of copper on the precipitation of the copper as
arsenite, are placed in another wooden vessel; water is then added, and
the formation of the arsenite of soda and its solution are aided by the
introduction of steam into the liquid. When complete solution has been
effected the arsenic solution is run off into the vat containing the
solution of the sulphate of copper, arsenite of copper being at once
precipitated. The necessary quantity of acetic acid is afterward added. In
_warm_ weather the formation of the aceto-arsenite soon commences after
the addition of the vinegar; but, even in that case, it takes a week or

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Online LibraryVariousScientific American Supplement, No. 455, September 20, 1884 → online text (page 1 of 10)