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According to Dr. Thomson, it is a charac-
teristic property of starch to be soluble in
a warm infusion of nut-galls, and to form
a precipitate when the infusion cools.

Starch is more readily combustible than
gum ; when thrown upon red-hot iron,
it burns with a kind of explosion, and
scarcely any residuum remains.

According to Gay Lussac and Then-
ard, 100 parts of starch are composed
Carbon, with a small quantity of

saline and earthy matter, 43.55

Oxygen, - - - - 49.68
Hydrogen, - - - - 6.77

Or Carbon, - - - - 43.55
Oxygen and hydrogen in the pro-
portions necessary to form water, 56.45



Supposing this estimation correct,starch
may be conceived to be constituted by 15
proportions of carbon, 13 of oxygen, and
26 of hydrogen.

Starch forms a principal part of a
number of esculent vegetable substances.
Sovvans, cassava, salop, sago, all of ihem
owe their nutritive powers principally to
the starch they contain.

Starch has been found in the following
plants :

Burdock (Arctium lappa,) Deadly
Nightshade (Atropa belladonna.) Bistort
(Polygonum bistorta,) White Bryony
(Bryonia alba,) Meadow Saffron (Colchi-
cum autuninalc,) Dropwort (Spirea lil-
ipendula,) Buttercup (Ranunculus bulb-
osos,) Figwort (Scrophularia nodosa,)
Dwarf Elder (Sambucus ebulus,) Com-
mon Elder (Sambucus nigra,) Foolstones
(Orchis morio,) Alexanders (Imperatorio
ostruthium,) Henbane (Hyoscyamus ni-
ger,) Broad-leaved dock (Rumexobtusifo-
lius,) Sharp pointed Dock(Rumex acutus,)
Water Dock (Rumex aquaticus,) Wake
Robin (Arum raaculatum,) Salop (Orchis
mascula,) Fleur de luce or Water Flag,
(Iris pseudocorous,) Stinking Gladwyn
(Iris foetidissima,) Earth Nut (Bunium

3. Sugar in its purest state is prepar-
ed from the expressed juice of the Sac-
charum officinarum, or sugar cane ; the
acid in this juice is neutralized by lime,
and the sugar is crystallized by the evapo-
ration of the aqueous parts of the juice,
and slow cooling : it is rendered white
by the gradual filtration of water through
it. In the common process of manufac-
ture, the whitening or refining of sugar
is only affected in a great length of time :
the water being gradually suffered to per-
colate through a stratum of clay above
the sugar. As the coloring matter of
sugar is soluble in a saturated solution of
sugar, or syrup, it appears that refining
may be much more rapidly and economi-
cally performed by the action of syrup of
colored sugar.* The sensible properties

* A French gentleman lately in this country (Eng-
land) stated to the West India planters that he was in
possession of a very expeditious and economical me-
thod of purifying and refining, which he was willing
to communicate to them for a very groat pecuniary com-
pensation. His terms were too high to be acceded

of sugar are well known. Its specific
gravity, according to Fahrenheit, is about
1.6. It is soluble in its own weight of
water at 50° ; it is likewise soluble in al-
cohol, but in smaller proportions.

Lavoisier concluded from his experi-
ments, that sugar consists in 100 parts

2S carbon,
8 hydrogen,
64 oxygen.
Dr. Thomson considers 100 parts of
sugar is composed of —
27.5 carbon,

7 S hydrogen,
64.7 oxygen.
According to recent experiments of
Gay Lussac and Thenard, sugar consists

42.47 of carbon, and
57.53 of water, or its elements.
Lavoisier's and Dr. Thomson's .analy-
ses agree very nearly with the propor-
tions of —

3 of carbon,

4 of oxygen,

8 of hj^drogen.

Gay Lussac's and Thenard's estima-
tion gives the same elements as in gum :
11 of carbon, 10 of oxygen, 20 of hydro-

It appears from the experiments of
Proust, Achard, Goettling and Parmen-
tier, that there are many different species
of sugar ready formed in the vegetable
kingdom. The sugar which most nearly
resembles that of the cane, is extracted
from the sap of the American Maple,
Jicer saccharinum. This sugar is used
by the North American farmers, who pro-
cured it by a kind of domestic manufac-
ture. The trunk of the tree is bored
early in the spring, to the depth of about
two inches ; a wooden spout is introduced
into the hole ; the juice flows for about
five or six weeks. A common sized
tree, that is, a tree from two to three feet

to. Conversing on the subject with Sir John Banks,
I mentioned to him, that I thought it probable that
raw sugar might be easily purified by passing syrup
through it, which would dissolve the coloring matter.
The same idea seems to have occurred about the same
time, or before, to Edward Howard, Esq., who has
since proved its efficacy experimentally, and has pub-
lished an account of his process.

SIR H. Davy's agricultural chemistry.


in diameter, will yield about 200 pints
of sap, and every 40 pints of sap afford
about a pound of sugar. The sap is neu-
tralized by lime, and deposits crystals of
sugar by evaporation.

The sugar of grapes has been lately
employed in France as a substitute for
colonial sugar. It is procured from the
juice of ripe grapes by evaporation, and
the action of pot-ashes ; it is less sweet
than common sugar, and its taste is pe-
culiar : it produces a sensation of cold
while dissolving in the mouth ; and it is
probable contains a larger proportion of
water or its elements. The roots of the
beat (Beta vulgaris and cicla,) afford a
peculiar sugar, by boiling, and the evapo-
ration of the extract : it agrees in its ge-
neral properties with the sugar of grapes,
but has a slightly bitter taste. Manna,
a substance which exudes from various
trees, particularly from the Fraxinus or-
nus, a species of ash, which grows abun-
dantly in Sicily and Calabria, may be
regarded as a variety of sugar, very analo-
gous to manna ; it has been extracted by
Fourcroy and Vauquelin, from the juice
of the common onion, (Alium cepa.)

Besides the crystallized and solid su-
gars, there appears to be a sugar which
cannot be separated from water, and
which exists only in a fluid form ; it con-
stitutes a principal part of molasses, or
treacle ; and it is found in a variety of
fruits : it is more soluble in alcohol than
solid sugar.

The simplest mode of detecting sugar,
is that recommended by Margraaf. The
vegetable is to be boiled in a small quan-
tity of alcohol : solid sugar, if any exists,
will separate during the cooling of the
solution. Sugar has been extracted from
the following vegetable substances : —
The sap of the Birch (Betula alba,) of
the Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus,) the
Bamboo (Arundo bambos,) Maize (Zea
mays,) Cow Parsnip (Heracleum sphon-
dylium,) Cocoa nut tree (Cocos nucifera,)
Walnut tree (Juglans alba,) American
Aloe (Agave americana,) Dulse (Facus
palmatus,) Common Parsnip (Pastinica
sativa) St. John's bread (Ceratonia sili-
qua,) the fruit of the common Arbutus
(Arbutus unedo,) and other sweet tasted
fruits ; the roots of the Turnip, (Brassica

papa,) of the Carrot (Daucus carota,) Pars-
ley, (Apium petroselinum,) the flower of
theEuxine, Rhododendron, (Rhododen-,
dron ponticum,) and from the nectarium
of most other flowers.

The nutritive properties of sugar are
well known. Since the British market
has been overstocked with this article
from the West India Islands, proposals
have been made for applying it as the
food of cattle ; experiments have been
made which proved that they may be
fattened by it ; but difficulties connected
with the duties laid on sugar, have hith-
erto prevented the plan from being tried
to any extent.

4. Jillmmen is a substance which has
only lately been discovered in the vege-
table kingdom. It abounds in the juice
of the papaw-tree, (Carica papaya :) when
this juice is boiled the albumen falls
down in a coagulated state. It is likewise
found in mushrooms, and in different spe-
cies of funguses.

Albumen in its pure form is a thick,
glairy, tasteless fluid ; precisely the same
as the white of an egg ; it is soluble in
cold water; its solution, when not too di-
luted, is. coagulated by boiling, and the
albumen separates in the form of thin
flakes. Albumen is likewise coagulated
by acids and by alcohol : a solution of
albumen gives a precipitate when mixed
with a cold solution of nut-gall. Albumen
when burnt produces a smell of volatile
alkali, and affords carbonic acid and wa-
ter ; it is, therefore, evidently princi-
pally composed of carbon, hydrogen,
oxygen and azote.

According to the experiments of Gay
Lussac and Thenard, 100 parts of albu-
men from the white of the egg are
composed of carbon 52.883 ; oxygen
23.872 ; hydrogen 7.540 ; azote 15.705.
This estimation would authorize the sup-
position that albumen is composed of 2
proportions of azote, 5 oxygen, 9 carbon,
23 hydrogen. The principal part of the
almond, and of the kernels of many other
nuts, appears from the experiments of
Proust, to be a substance analogous to co-
agulated albumen.

The juice of the fruit of the Ochra (Hi-
biscus esculentus) according to Dr. Clark,
contains a liquid albumen in such quan-



titles, that it is employed in Dominica as
a substitute for the white of eggs in clari-
fying the juice of sugar-cane.

Albumen may be distinguished from
other substances by its property of co-
agulating by the action of heat or acids,
when dissolved in water. According to
Dr. Bostock when the solution contains
only one grain of albumen to 1000 grains
of water, it becomes cloudy by being
heated. Albumen is a substance common
to the animal as well as to the vegetable
kingdom, and much more abundant in the

Fire Extinguisher — These are either
simple or compound solutions. One of
the former consists of 75 gallons of water
and 9 gallons of the strongest solution of
wood ashes. Among the latter, — To 75
gallons of water, with 18 quarts of the
strongest solution of wood ashes, add IS
quarts of fine clay, reduced to powder, —
or 15 quarts of the strongest herring-
pickle, and 15 quarts of red ochre, with
75 gallons of water, — or burnt alum 30
lbs., green vitriol in powder 40 lbs., cina-
brese, or red ochre pulverized, 20 lbs..
Potters' or other clay finely ppwdered
and sifted 200 lbs., water 620 lbs. — An-
other, — Dissolve such a quantity of pot-
ash in cold water as that fluid is capable
of holding in solution, wash or daub with
it all the boards, wainscotting, shingles,
&c., which are intended to be prepared.
Then dilute the same liquor with a little
water, add to it such a portion of fine yel-
low clay as will make the mixture of the
consistence of the common paint employ-
ed on wood ; and lastly, stir into it a
small quantity of flour paste, in order
to combine both substances intimately.
With this mixture all wooden materials
ought to be coated three or four times
similar to painted work. The propor-

Frost counteracted. — As the blossoms
of fruit trees are more particularly affected
by early frosts, the following plan has
been recommended to counteract the in-
jurious effects of the same. — A rope is to
be interwoven among the branches of the
tree, and one end of it immersed in a
pail of water. This rope it is said will
act as a conductor and convey the effects
of the frost from the tree to the water. —
Both hemp and straw have been recom-
mended for this purpose.

Friction, in medicine, is the act of rub-
bing a diseased part with oils, unguents,
and other matters, in order to ease, relieve
and cure it. Friction is also performed
with flannel, which is highly recommend-
ed particularly to sedentary persons, who
will find much benefit, particular!}' in the
morning before eating. Medicated fric-
tions, or the introduction of the most ac-
tive medicines into the human system,
might be attended with the most benefi-
cial effects, especially in all chronical
diseases, instead of the stomach being se-
lected for the application of all reme-

tions and quantity recommended to cover
a square rood (French measure and
weight) of deal boards is 20 lbs. of sifted
yellow clay, 1^ lbs. of flour for making
the paste, and 1 lb. of pot-ash. It is said
that wood covered with this substance \
never bursts into flame; and that most of
the moveable wooden furniture of a house
may be covered with it so that it may be
reduced to coals without communicating
fire to the house and spreading the con-
flagration (as is frequently done where this
process is not adopted,) thereby giving
time for the inmates to escape and remove
their valuable articles of furniture.


New invended Steam Engine, 97

Iriiproveinents in Steam Boilers, and Saving of Fuel, 97

Improvement of a Common Fire- Place, . . . . '.)8

Important to Farmers, . 98

The Cranberry, . . . , 99

Dr. Graves on the Treatment of Epista.xis,. . . 99

Adulteration of Quinine, lOO

Hunter on Tetanus, 100

Sub-carbonate of Iron in Whooping Cough, . . 101

Hunter on Corns., 101

Chilblains cured by Balsam Coi)aiba, 102

Method of Cleaning Glass, 102

To prevent Iron from rusting, 102

"Valuable Information tor Watchmaker, .... 102

Kohan Potato, 102

Definition of Terms. Letter E., l£fi

Sir H. Davys' Agricultural Chemistry, .... 104

Fire Extinguisher, 112

Frost coimteracted, 112

Friction, 112





:no. 8 ]

Philadelphia, Mouday, May 6, 1839.

[Vol. I.

The object of this paper is to concentrate and preserve, in a form suitable for future
reference, the most useful and interesting articles on the aforesaid subjects. Each
number will contain sixteen octavo pages, printed on good paper, and when a suffi-
cient amount is published to form a volume of convenient size, an alphabetical table
of contents will be published and forwarded to subscribers, in order for binding.
This number, shows the general plan of the work.

Published monthly, for one dollar a year, payable in advance; six copies to the
same address for five dollars, (j^^ Letters may be addressed to the Editor, in every
instance post paid. No. 45 Cherry street, care of T. E. Chapman.

Subscriptions received at T. E. Chapman.''s Bookstore, 45 Cherry st. — and by W . J. Tf elding^ 27 South Fifth st

From M. Faraday's Lecture.
gurney's oxy-oiL lamp.
In the Catopric system practised in
our light-houses, a light of seven-eighths
of an inch in diameter is placed in the
focus of a parabola, which light gives 15
degrees of divergence, and consequently
each reflector illuminated 15 degrees of
the horizon. In the Dioptric system, as
practised on the French coasts, a light of
three and a half inches in diameter is ne-
cessary to give the required divergence.
The lime light, though one of great inten-
sity, gives no divergence; when placed in
a parabola, it throws parallel rays; and
when placed in the centre of the Polyzo-
nal lens, could not be made to give one
degree of divergence. In the spring of
1835, Mr. Gurney proposed, by combin-
ing oxygen with the flame of wax or oil,
to obtain a light of great power to which
these objections would not apply. In ex-
planation of this light, we must first ob-
serve the well known fact, that oxygen
increases the brilliancy of burning bodies
to a very great extent; thus sulphur, which
burns in atmospheric air with a pale blue
and scarcely visible flame, when put into
oxygen, gives a very intense light, and
phosporous, when so surrounded, gives
out a light so intense that the eye cannot
bear it. The same happens with char-
coal, and with the flame of oil or wax,
or other bodies which contain it. Dr.
Priestly proposed to supply the common
argand burner with oxygen instead of
common air, and made a long series of
Vol. I.— 8.

experiments with a view of producing a
light of this description. All flame is
hollow, or, in other words, consists of a
thin film or bubble of ignited matter,
which surrounds and contains a quantity
of the decomposed combustible body sup-
plying it. In the flame of spirits of wine,
the interior of the film is chiefly filled
with hydrogen; in that of oil or wax it is
filled with separated carbon — defiant gas.
Dr. P. applied oxygen to the outside of
the film or bubble, or rather in tJie argand
lamp, which he used, double cylindrical
films. The outside portion of the flame
consists, in its burning state, of half con-
sumed carbon in the act of combination
with the atmosphere. The oxygen, there-
fore, in Dr. P.'s arrangement, met with
carbon in a half state of combination, and
produced only a brilliancy in proportion.
Mr. Gurney proposed to introduce the
oxygen into the interior of the bub-
ble, and to strike the film, or its out-
side surface where the carbon was pure
and uncombined. He did so ; and
succeeded in the construction of this
light for the Catopric system ; there
are four small flames in a line of about
three-eighths of an inch in diameter each;
the oxygen is introduced by a small jet,
the light from each jet is equal in quan-
tity to two and a half, making in all, ten
ordinary argand burners. The diver-
gence of it in a parabola is fifteen degrees.
The light for the polyzonal lens consists
of a circular series of seventeen films or
bubbles of flame — and stuck on the inte-



rior by as many jets; the diameter of the
whole is three and a half inches, the same
as the French lamp; it gives the same di-
vergence, with a power equal to sixty ar-
gands. The French lamp only ten. Mr.
Gurney'slampischeaper than the French,
in the proportion of twelve to seventeen,
taking all wear and tear into account.
Oxygen is obtained by heating black
oxide of manganese, which is found in
large quantities in Cornwall and Devon-
shire. London Athcnxum.

The London Literary Gazette of Feb.
23, says, "The cost of oxygen is a great
addition to the expense of oil, &c. The
value of a pint of oil is about ten pence,
which is calculated to burn, say for one
hottr, the oxygen required for that mea-
sure, and that time in the oxy-lamp would
be ten cubic feet, and its value would be
twenty pence. Here is an addition of
dolible the cost of the oil, and the light
cannot be obtained for less than 2*. %\d.
But compare this with the other arrange-
ments. To produce the same light for
the same time, not now taking into con-
sideration the form or dimensions of the
light (that question being settled) it would
take 375 argands,which would consume 2 §
pints of oil, and cost 2.9. 6^. The same
light in Fresnels would incur a charge of 3^.
\\d. Thus it is shown satisfactorily, that in
every respect, Gurney's oxy-oil lamp is
superior for light-house purposes, to any
other ever invented. It possesses, also,
many advantages, which our space will
not permit us to describe.


Doctor Black divides fuels into five
classes. The first comprehends the fluid
inflammable bodies; the second, peat or
turf; the third, charcoal of wood; the
fourth, pit-coal charred ; and the fifth,
wood, or pit-coal, in a crude state, and
capable of yielding a copious and bright
flame. The fluid inflammables are con-
sidered as distinct from solid, on this ac-
count, that they are capable of burning
upon a wick, and become in this way the
most manageable sources of heat; though,
on account of their price, they are never
employed for producing it in great quan

sufiicient. The species which belong to
this class are alcohol and different oils.
The first of these, alcohol, when pure
and free of water, is as convenient and
manageable a fuel for producing moderate
or gentle heats as can be desired. Its
flame is perfectly clean, and free from any
kind of soot ; it can easily be made to
burn slower or faster, and to produce less
or more heat, by changing the size or
number of the wicks upon which it burns;
for, as long as these are fed with spirit,
in a proper manner, they continue to yield
flame of precisely the same strength.

The cotton, or other materials, of which
the wick is composed, is not scorched or
consumed in the least, because the spirit
with which it is constantly soaked is in-
capable of becoming hotter than 174°
Fahrenheit, which is considerably below
the heat of boiling water. It is only the
vapor that arises from it which is hotter,
and this, too, only in its outer parts, that
are most remote from the wick, and where
only the combustion is going on, in con-
sequence of communication and contact
with the air. At the same time, as the
alcohol is totally volatile, it does not leave
any fixed matter, which by being accu-
mulated on the wick, might render it
foul, and fill up its pores.

The wick, therefore, continues to im-
bibe the spirit as freely, after some time,
as it did at the first. These are qualities
of alcohol as a fuel. But these qualities
belong only to a spirit that is very pure.
If- it be weak, and contain water, the
water does not evaporate so fast from the
wick as the more spirituous part; and the
wick becomes, after some time, so much
soaked with water, that it does not im-
bibe the spirit properly. The flame be-
comes much weaker, or is altogether ex-
tinguished. When alcohol is used as a
fuel, therefore, it ought to be made as
strong or free from water, as possible.

Oil, although fluid like spirit of wine,
and capable of burning in a similar man-
ner, is not so convenient in many respects.
It is disposed to emit soot; and this, ap-
plying itself to the bottom of the vessel
exposed to it, and increasing in thickness,
forms, by degrees, a soft and spongy me-
dium, through which heat is not so free-

tities, and are only used when a gentle

degree, or a small quantity of heat, islly and quickly transmitted. It is true,



we can prevent this entirely by using
very small wicks, and increasing the
number, if necessary, to produce the heat
required. Or we may employ one of
those lamps, in which a stream of air is
allowed to rise through the middle of the
flame, or to pass over its surface with
such velocity as to produce a more com-
plete inflammation than ordinary. But
we shall be as much embarrassed in an-
other way ; for the oils commonly used,
being capable of assuming a heatgreath^ '
above that of boiling water, scorch and i
burn the wick, and change its texture, so
that it does not imbibe the oil so fast as
before. Some have attempted a remedy,
by making the wick of incombustible
materials, as asbestos, or wire; but still,
as the oil does not totally evaporate, but
leaves a small quantity of gross, fixed,
carbonaceous matter, this, constantly ac-
cumulating, clogs the wick to such a
degree, that the oil cannot ascend, the
flames become weaker, and, in some cases,
are entirely extinguished.

There is, however, a diff'erence among
the different oils in this respect, some be-
ing more totally volatile than others.
But the best are troublesome in this way,
and the only remedy is, to change the
wicks often, though we can hardly do
this and be sure of keeping always an
equal flame.

The second kind of fuel mentioned,
peat, is so spongy, that, compared with
the more solid fuels, it is unfit to be em-
ployed for producing very strong heats.
It is too bulky for this; we cannot put in-
to a furnace, at a time, a quantity that
corresponds with the quick consumption
that must necessarily go on when the
heat is violent. There is, no doubt, a
great difference in this respect among the
different kinds of this fuel; but this is the
general character of it. However, when
we desire to produce and keep up, by
means of cheap fuel, an extremely mild,
gentle heat, we can hardly use any thing
better than peat. But it is best to have
it charred, or burnt to a black coal. The
advantages gained by having it charred
are considerable. When it is prepared
for use in that manner, it is capable of
being made to burn more slowly and
gently, or will bear, without being extin-

guished altogether, a greater diminution
of the quantity of air with which it is
supplied, than any other of the solid

The next fuel in order is the charcoal
of wood. This is prepared by piling up
billets of wood into a pyramidal heap,
with- several spiracles, or flues, formed
through the pile. Chips and brush-wood
are put into those below, and the whole
is so constructed as to kindle throughout
in a very short time. It would burst out
into a blaze, and be quickly consumed to
ashes, were it not covered all over with
earth or clay, beaten close, leaving open-
ings at all the spiracles. These are care-

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