Scientific American Supplement, No. 832, December 12, 1891 online

. (page 1 of 10)
Online LibraryVariousScientific American Supplement, No. 832, December 12, 1891 → online text (page 1 of 10)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Produced by Juliet Sutherland and the PG Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at



NEW YORK, December 12, 1891.

Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XXXII, No. 832.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.

* * * * *


I. ARCHÆOLOGY. - Archæological Discoveries at Cadiz. - The discovery
of Phenician relics in Spain, with the possibility of future
important research in that region. - 2 illustrations

Prehistoric Horse in America. - Curious discovery of an aboriginal
drawing in Nicaragua. - 1 illustration

II. ASTRONOMY. - A Plea for the Common Telescope. - By G.E.
LUMSDEN. - The increasing interest in astronomy and instances of
work done by telescopes of moderate power, giving examples
from the work of celebrated observers

III. BIOGRAPHY. - Alfred Tennyson. - Biographical note of the
great poet, now past his 80th year, with portrait. - 1 illustration

Fiftieth Year of the Prince of Wales. - The Prince of Wales
and his family, with notes of his life and habits. - 1 illustration

IV. CHEMISTRY. - American Association - Ninth Annual Report of
the Committee on Indexing Chemical Literature. - A very important
report upon the titular subject, with probabilities of future advance
in this line. - The chemical index of the SCIENTIFIC

Apparatus for the Estimation of Fat in Milk. - By E. MOLINARI. -
Details of a method of determining fat in milk, with illustration
of the apparatus employed

Further Researches upon the Element Fluorine. - By A.E. TUTTON. -
Additional researches upon this element, following up
the work outlined by M. MOISSAN. - 3 illustrations

The Allotropic Conditions of Silver. - A recent letter from M.
CAREY LEA on this subject, with note of its presentation before
the French Academy by M. BERTHELOT

The French Wine Law. - Recent enactment as to the adulterations
of wine

V. CIVIL ENGINEERING. - Modern Methods of Quarrying. - A recent
paper of great value to all interested in exploiting quarries. - The
most recent methods described, tending now to replace the
cruder processes. - 12 illustrations

The Trotter Curve Ranger. - A surveying instrument for laying
off railroad curves, with full details of its theory, construction,
and use in the field. - 4 illustrations

VI. METALLURGY. - The Great Bell of the Basilica of the Sacred
Heart of Montmartre. - The founding of the great bell "La Savoyarde"
at the Paccard foundry in France. - Description of the
bell, its inscriptions, and decorations. - 3 illustrations

VII. MISCELLANEOUS. - Duck Hunting in Scotland. - A curious method of
approaching ducks under the guise of a donkey. - 3 illustrations

VIII. NAVAL ENGINEERING. - Hints to Shipmasters. - A very
practical view of the proper personal habits of the commander
of a merchant ship

The British Cruiser Æolus. - Details of dimensions and armament
of this recently launched British ship

Trials of H.M. Cruiser Blake. - Trial trip of this celebrated
cruiser. - Her horse power as developed, with the somewhat
disappointing results obtained as regards speed. - 1 illustration

IX. PHOTOGRAPHY. - Development with Sucrate of Lime. - Development
formulas, involving the use of sugar solution saturated
with lime. - Accelerating influences of certain chemicals

X. RAILROAD ENGINEERING. - The Rail Spike and the Locomotive. - A
most interesting article on an old time railroad. - Curious
incidents in the construction of the Camden & Amboy Railroad,
by the celebrated Robert L. Stevens. - A most graphic account of
early difficulties

XI. TECHNOLOGY - American Workshops. - The care of tools and practice
in American workshops, as viewed from an English standpoint

New Sugar Items. - Interesting points in the cultivation of sugar
beets and manufacture of sugar therefrom in France, Germany,
and other countries

* * * * *


The main work on the basilica of the Sacred Heart is now completed and
the bell tower surmounts it. So we have now a few words to say about
"La Savoyarde" - the name of the great bell which is designed for it,
and which has just been cast at Annecy-le-Vieux, in Upper Savoy, in
the presence of Mgr. Leuilleux, Archbishop of Chambery, Mgr. Isoar,
Bishop of Annecy, and of all the clergy united, at the foundry of
Messrs. G. & F. Paccard, especially decorated for the occasion.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE BELL.]

One of the Latin inscriptions that ornament the metal of "La
Savoyarde" at once explains to us its name and tells us why a bell
designed for the capital was cast at Annecy-le-Vieux. The following is
a translation of it:

"In the year 1888, in the course of the solemnities of the
sacerdotal jubilee of the Sovereign Pontifex Leo XIII., I,
Frances Margaret of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on the
initiative of Francis Albert Leuilleux, Archbishop of
Chambery, with the co-operation of the bishops of the
province, at the common expense of the clergy and upper and
lower classes of Savoy, was offered as a gift, as a
testimonial of piety toward the divine heart, in order to
repeat through the ages, from the top of the holy hill, to the
city, to the nation and to the entire world, 'Hail Jesus!'"

Let us now witness the casting of the bell.

Over there, at the back of the foundry, in the reverberatory furnace,
the alloy of copper and tin, in the proportions of 78 and 22 per
cent., is in fusion. From the huge crucible runs a conduit to the pit,
at the side of which the furnace is constructed, and in which is
placed the mould. A metallic plug intercepts communication. A quick
blow with an iron rod removes this plug and the tapping is effected.
This operation, which seems simple at first sight, is extremely
delicate in practice and requires a very skillful workman. A host of
technical words designates the dangers that it presents. Before the
tapping, it is necessary to calculate at a glance the function of the
gate pit. And what accidents afterward! But we need not dwell upon
these. After the cooling of the metal comes the cleaning, which is
done with scrapers and special instruments.

The casting is preceded by two operations - the designing and the
moulding. The design rests upon a basis generally furnished by
experience, and which the founders have transmitted from generation to
generation. The thickness of the rim of the bell taken as unity
determines the diameters and dimensions. The outline most usually
followed gives 15 rims to the large diameter, 7½ to the upper part of
the bell, and 32 to the large radius that serves to trace the profiles
of the external sides.


The moulding is done as follows: In the pit where the casting is to be
done there is constructed a core of bricks and a clay shell, separated
from each other by a thickness of earth, called false bell. This
occupies provisionally the place of the metal, and will be destroyed
at the moment of the casting.

Now let us give a brief description of "La Savoyarde." Its total
weight is 25,000 kilogrammes, divided as follows: 16,500 kilogrammes
of bronze, 800 kilogrammes for the clapper, and the rest for the
suspension gear.

Its height is 3.06 meters and its width at the base is 3.03. It is
therefore as high as it is wide, and, as may be seen from our
engraving, two men can easily seat themselves in its interior. In
weight, it exceeds the bell of Notre Dame, of Paris, which weighs
17,170 kilogrammes, that of the Cathedral of Sens, which weighs
16,230, and that of the Amiens bell, which weighs 11,000. But it
cannot be compared to the famous bell given by Eudes Rigauit,
Archbishop of Rouen, to the cathedral of that city, and which was so
big and heavy that it was necessary to give a copious supply of
stimulants to those who rang it, in order "to encourage" them.


"La Savoyarde" will appear small also if we compare it with some
celebrated bells, that of the Kremlin of Moscow, for example, which
weighs 201,216 kilogrammes. One detail in conclusion: "La Savoyarde"
sounds in counter C. This had been desired and foreseen. The number of
vibrations, that is to say, the _timbre_ of a bell, is in inverse
ratio of its diameter or of the cubic root of its weight, so that in
calculating the diameters and in designing "La Savoyarde" the _timbre_
was calculated at the same time. - _L'Illustration._

* * * * *




Water that has been used to wash frozen beets contains a small
percentage of sugar. As the washing period, in such cases, is longer
than with normal beets, the sugar in beet cells has time to pass
through the outer walls by osmosis. The sugar loss is said to be 0.66
per cent. (?) of the weight of beets washed.

Well conducted experiments show that in small but well ventilated
silos, beets lose considerable weight, but very little sugar. On the
other hand, in large silos with poor ventilation, the sugar loss
frequently represents four to six per cent. When fermentation
commences, the mass of roots is almost ruined.

Sodic nitrate, if used upon soil late in the season, may overcome a
difficulty that has been recently noticed. Beet fields located near
swamps that are dry a portion of the year have suffered from a malady
that turns leaves from green to yellow, even before harvesting period;
such beets have lost a considerable amount of sugar.

A new method for the analysis of saccharose and raffinose, when in the
presence of inverted sugar, is said to give accurate results. The
process consists in adding sulphate of copper and lime to hot
molasses, so that the oxide of copper is changed to a protoxide, and
the invert sugar becomes water and carbonic acid. The whole is
neutralized with phosphoric acid. There follow a great number of
precipitates; the exact volume of liquid in which these are found is
determined after two polariscopic observations.

It has been constantly noticed that samples of carbonatated juice vary
in composition with the part of tank from which they are taken. If
some arrangement could be made assuring a thorough mixing during the
passage of carbonic acid, results would be more satisfactory than they
now are. If gas could be distributed in every part of the tank, the
lime combination could be made perfect.

Notwithstanding the new law regulating quantity of sugar to be used in
wines, ciders, etc., there has been, during 1890, an increase of
nearly 13,000 tons, as compared with 1889. Consumption of sugar for
these special industries was 33,000 tons; alcohol thus added to wine
was about 71,000,000 gallons.

Beets cultivated without extra fertilizers, and that are regular in
shape and in good condition, without bruises, are the ones which give
the best results in silos. It is recommended to construct silos of two
types; one which is to be opened before first frost, the other where
beets remain for several months and are protected against excessive
cold. Great care should be taken that a thorough ventilation be given
in the first mentioned type. In the other, more substantial silos,
ventilation must be watched, and all communication with the exterior
closed as soon as the temperature falls to or near freezing.

During the last campaign many manufacturers experienced great
difficulty in keeping the blades of slicers sufficiently sharp to work
frozen beets. Sharpening of blades is an operation attended to by
special hands at the factory; and under ordinary circumstances there
need be no difficulty. However, it is now proposed to have central
stations that will make a specialty of blade sharpening. Under these
circumstances manufacturers located in certain districts need give the
matter no further thought, let the coming winter be as severe as it

Some success has been obtained by the use of sulphurous acid in vacuum
pans. Great care is required; the operation cannot be done by an
ordinary workman. It is claimed that graining thereby is more rapid
and better than is now possible. Chemists agree that the operation is
more effectual by bringing sulphurous acid in contact with sirups
rather than juices; it is in the sirups that the coloring pigments are
found. Sulphurous acid is run into the pan until the sirups cover the
second coil. In all cases the work must be done at a low temperature.

Height of juice in carbonatating tanks is only three feet in France,
while in Austria it is frequently twelve feet. The question of a
change in existing methods is being discussed; it necessitates an
increase in the blowing capacity of machine; since carbonic acid gas
has a greater resistance to overcome in Austrian than in French
methods. Longer the period juices are in contact with carbonic acid,
greater will be the effect produced.

Ferric sulphate has been very little used for refuse water
purification, owing to cost of its manufacture. If roasted pyrites, a
waste product of certain chemical factories, are sprinkled with
sulphuric acid of 66° B., and thoroughly mixed for several hours, at a
temperature of 100° to 156° F., the pyrites will soon be covered with
a white substance which is ferric sulphate. Precipitates from ferric
sulphate, unlike calcic compounds, do not subsequently enter into

Efforts are being made to convince manufacturers of the mistake in
using decanting vats, in connection with first and second
carbonatation. In Germany filter presses are used, decanting vats are
obsolete. The main objection to them is cooling of saccharine liquors,
which means an ultimate increase in fuel. Cooling is frequently
followed by partial fermentation.

Further changes in the proposed combined baryta-soda method for juice
purification consist in using powdered soda carbonate 90-92°, upon
beet cossettes as they leave the slicer, before entering the diffusor.
The quantity of chemical to be used is 1/1000 of weight of beet slices
being treated. If a diffusor has a capacity of 2,500 lb., there would
be added 2.5 lb. soda carbonate. From the diffusor is subsequently
taken 316 gallons juice at 4-5° density, this is rapidly heated to
185°F., then 2.4 of a pure baryta solution is added; temperature is
kept at 185° F. for a short time; resulting precipitates fall to
bottom of tank; then 13 gallons milk of lime 25° B. are added.

Other operations that follow are as usual. It is contended that the
cost of baryta is 10 cents per ton beets worked. The most important
advantage is gain in time; a factory working 20,000 during a 100-day
campaign, by the foregoing process can accomplish the same work in 80
days, thus decreasing wear and tear of plant and diminishing
percentage of sugar lost in badly constructed silos.

The exact influence of a low temperature upon beet cells has never
been satisfactorily settled. Considerable light has recently been
thrown upon the subject by a well known chemist. It is asserted that
living cells containing a saccharine liquid do not permit infiltration
from interior to exterior; this phenomenon occurs only when cell and
tissue are dead. It is necessary that the degree of cold should be
sufficiently intense, or that a thaw take place, under certain
conditions, to kill tissue of walls of said cells. An interesting fact
is that when cells are broken through the action of freezing, it is
not those containing sugar that are the first affected. The outer
cells containing very little sugar are the first to expand when
frozen, which expansion opens the central cells.

Experiments to determine the action of lime upon soils apparently
prove that it does not matter in what form calcic salts are employed;
their effect, in all cases, is to increase the yield of roots to the
acre. On the other hand, very secondary results were obtained with
phosphoric and sulphuric acids.

A micro-mushroom, a parasite that kills a white worm, enemy of the
beet, has been artificially cultivated. As soon as the worm is
attacked, the ravage continues until the entire body of the insect is
one mass of micro-organisms. Spores during this period are constantly
formed. If it were possible to spread this disease in districts
infected by the white worm, great service could be rendered to beet

In sugar refining it is frequently desirable to determine the
viscosity of sirups, molasses, etc. Methods founded upon the rapidity
of flow through an orifice of a known size are not mathematical in
their results. A very simple plan, more accurate than any hitherto
thought of, is attracting some attention. Sensitive scales and a
thermometer suspended in a glass tube are all the apparatus necessary.
The exact weight of thermometer, with tube, is determined; they are
immersed in water and weighed for the second time; the difference in
weight before and afterward gives the weight of adhering water. If the
operation is repeated in molasses, we in the same way obtain the
weight of adhering liquid, which, if divided by the weight of adhering
water, gives the viscosity as compared with water.

Sugar refineries located at Marseilles claim that it is cheaper for
them to purchase sugar in Java than beet sugar of northern Europe. On
the other hand, the argument of Paris refiners is just the reverse.
The total refined sugar consumed is 375,000 tons, the colonial and
indigenous production of raw sugar is nearly 1,000,000 tons more than
sufficient to meet the demands of the entire refining industry of the
country. There appears to have been considerable manipulation, foreign
sugar being imported with the view of producing a panic, followed by a
decline of market prices, after which Marseilles refiners would buy.
All sound arguments are in favor of protecting the home sugar

It has been suggested that manufacturers weigh the fuel used more
carefully than hitherto; the extra trouble would soon lead to economy
for all interested in sugar production at ruinous cost. Some chemists
advocate that coal be purchased only after having been analyzed.
Efforts to have a unification in methods of analysis of all products
of factory is a move in the right direction; the Association of Sugar
Chemists have adopted a series of methods that are in the future to be
considered as standard.

Copper solutions are destined to render great service in the
destruction of micro-organisms that attack the beet field. The liquid
used should be composed of 3 per cent. copper sulphate and 3 per cent.
lime, dissolved in water; fifty gallons are sufficient for one acre;
cost per acre, every item included, is 56 cents. The normal vitality
of the plant being restored, there follows an increased sugar
percentage. Ordinary liquid ammonia may be advantageously used to kill
white worms and insects that attack beets; two quarts of the diluted
chemical are used per square yard, and the cost is $12 per acre (?)


Calcic salt elimination from beet juices is a problem not yet
satisfactorily solved. Since the early history of beet sugar making,
it has been noticed that calcic salts render graining in the pan most
tedious; hence repeated efforts to reduce to a minimum percentage the
use of lime during defecation. In all cases it is essential to get rid
of inverted sugar. The difficulty from excess of lime is overcome by
adding it now and then during carbonatation; but other means are found
desirable; and phosphoric acid, magnesia, soda, etc., have been used
with success. Recent observations relating to the action of soda upon
calcic sulphates, calcic glucates, etc., are most important. Certain
citrates have a retarding influence upon calcic sulphates.

An alarm contrivance to announce the passage of juices into condensing
pipes has rendered considerable service in beet sugar factories.

A process for refining sugar in the factory, at less cost than it is
possible to make raw sugar by existing processes, deserves notice.
Sugars by this new method test 99.8, and sirups from the same have a
purity coefficient of 70. Weight of dry crystals obtained is said to
represent 66 per cent. of _masse cuite_ used. The additional cost of
the process is $30 to $40 per centrifugal. Concentrated juice or sirup
may be used as _cleare_ in centrifugals; this sirup should have a
density of 1.325 (36° B.) at 113° to 122° F., so as not to redissolve
the sugar. Sirup should not be used until all adhering sirup of _masse
cuite_ has been swung out. The sirup, after passing through
centrifugals, may be sent to second carbonatation tanks and mixed with
juices being treated.

The larva of an insect, known as _sylpha_, has attacked beet fields in
several parts of Saxony. The effect upon the root is a decrease in
foliage, followed by late development of the beet, with corresponding
reduction in sugar percentage. Chickens may render excellent service,
as they eat these worms with considerable relish. A solution of
Schweinfurt green has been used with some success; its cost is $2.50
per acre. None of the chemical remains on the leaves after a rain (?)
White worms have done some damage; they should be collected from the
fields during plowing. When they become beetles in the spring, they
may be destroyed by a solution of sulphide of carbon; $0.20 worth of
this chemical is sufficient to kill 10,000 of them. These beetles
contain 50 per cent of fatty and nitric elements; when pulverized they
may be used as good for pigs and chickens. If the ground mass of
beetles is sprinkled with sulphuric acid and a reasonable amount of
lime and earth be added, the combination forms an excellent fertilizer
for certain crops. A disease that blackens young beet leaves is found
to be due to a microscopic insect. If the beet seed be saturated in a
phenic solution before planting, the difficulty may be overcome.

We are soon to have a new method for selecting mothers for seed
production. Details of the same are not yet public. It is claimed that
it will be possible to grow seed that will yield beets of a given
quality determined in advance, a problem which has hitherto been
thought impossible.

It will surprise many of our readers to learn that if "tops" or even
half beets are planted, they will give seed, the quality of which is
about same; showing that as soon as seed stalks commence to appear,
the _role_ of the root proper is of secondary consideration, as it
serves simply as a medium between the beet and soil(?)

Sprayed water may be used with considerable success in washing sugar
in centrifugals; it is claimed that this new process offers many
advantages over either steam, water, or use of _cleare_. White sugar
to be washed is thoroughly mixed with a sugar sirup supersaturated.
The whole is run into centrifugals. The sirup swung from the same is
used in next and following operations; when it becomes too thick it is
sent to the vacuum pan to be regrained. The operation of washing lasts
less than two minutes; three quarts of water are necessary for 200 lb.
sugar. The water spray at a pressure of 5 to 10 atmospheres is
produced by a very simple appliance.

Total weight of refuse cossettes obtained during last campaign was
4,000,000 tons, about 700,000 tons of which were sold for $1,000,000;
if what remains is dried, it would be worth $5,000,000.

Several sodic-baryta methods have been recently invented. Of these we
will mention one where 1/4000 to 1/2000 part of calcined soda is added
to the beet slices in diffusors. The juice when drawn from the battery
is heated to 154° F., and defecated with hydrate of baryta and milk of
lime. Nearly all foreign substances are thus eliminated. Carbonatation
then follows.

Government taxation upon the sugar industry is destined within a few
years to be withdrawn. The new law recently put into operation no
longer taxes beets worked at factory, but the sugar manufactured. The
rate of taxation is about 2 cents per pound on all sugar made.

Recent data from northeast Germany give the work during campaign

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Online LibraryVariousScientific American Supplement, No. 832, December 12, 1891 → online text (page 1 of 10)