D. Peirce.

Observer and record of agriculture, Science and art (Volume v.1) online

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fully watched; and whenever the white,
watery smoke is observed to be succeed-
ed by thin, blue and transparent smoke,
the hole is immediately stopped, this be-
ing the indication of all the watery vapor
being gone, and the burning of the true
coaly matter commencing. Thus is a pret-
ty strong heat raised through the whole
mass, and all the volatile matters are dis-
sipated by it,and nothing now remains but
the charcoal. The holes being all stopped
in succession, as this change of the smoke is
observed, the fire goes out for want of
aii\ The pile is now allowed to cool.
This requires many days; for, charcoal
being a very bad conductor of heat, the
pile long remains red hot in the cent)-e,
and, if opened in this state, would in-
stantly burn with fury.

Small quantities may be procured at
any time, by burning wood in close ves-
sels. Little pieces may be very finely
prepared, at any time, by plunging the
wood into lead red hot. This kind of
fuel is much used by chemists, and has
many good properties. It kindles quick-
ly, emits few watery or other vapors,
while burning, and, when consumed,
leaves few ashes, and those very light.
They are, therefore, easily blown away,
so that the fire continues open, or per-
vious to the current of air which must
pass through it to keep it burning. This
sort of fuel, too, is capable of producing
as intense a heat as can be obtained by
any; but in violent heats it is quickly
consumed, and needs to be frequently

Fossil coals charred, called cinders, or



cokes, have, in many respects, the same
properties as charcoal of wood; as kin-
dling mure readily in furnaces than when
they are not charred, and not emitting
watery, or other gross smoke, while they
hurn. This sort of charcoal is even
greatly superior to the other in some
properties. It is a much stronger-fuel,
or contains the combustible matter in
greater quantity, or in a more condensed
state. It is, therefore, consumed much
mote slowly on all occasions, and parti-
cularly when employed for producing
intense melting heats. The only incon-
veniences that attend it are, as it con-
sumes, it leaves much more ashes than the
other, and these much heavier too, which
are, therefore, liable to collect in such
quantity as to obstruct the free passage of
air through the fire ; and further, that
when the heat is very intense, these ashes
are disposed to melt or vitrify into a
tenacious, drossy substance, which clogs
the grate, the sides of the furnace, and the
vessels. This last inconvenience is only
troublesome, however, when the heat re-
quired is very intense.

In ordinary heat, the ashes do not
melt, and though they are more copious
and heavy than those of charcoal of wood,
they seldom choke up the fire considera-
bly, unless the bars of the grate be too
close together. This fuel, therefore, is
preferable, in most cases, to the charcoal
of wood, on account of its burning much
longer, or giving much more heat before
it is consumed. The heat produced by
equal quantities, by weight, of pit-coal,
wood-charcoal, and wood itself, is nearly
in proportion of 5, 4, and 3. The reason
why both these kinds of charcoal are
preferred, on most occasions, in experi-
mental chemistry, to crude wood, or
fossil coal, from which they are produc-
ed, is, that the crude fuels are deprived,
by charring, of a considerable quantity of
water, or some other volatile principles
which are evaporated during the process
of charring, in the form of sooty smoke
or flame.

These volatile parts, while they re-
main in the fuel, make it unfit (or less fit)
for many purposes in chemistry. For,
besides obstructing the vents with sooty
matter, they require much heat to evapo-

rate them; and therefore the heat of the
furnace, in which they are burned, is much
diminished and wasted by every addition
of fresh fuel, until the fresh fuel is com-
pletely inflamed, and restores the heat to
its former strength. But these great and
sudden variations of the heat of a furnace
are quite inconvehient in most chemical

In the greater number of chemical opera-
tions, therefore, it is much more conve-
nient to use charred fuel, than the same
fuel in its natural state. It is proper to
be on our guard against the dangerous
nature of the burnt air which arises from
charcoal of all kinds. Charcoal burns
without visible smoke. The air arising
from it appears to the eye as pure and as
clear as common air. Hence it is much
used by those persons who are studious
of neatness and cleanliness in their apart-
ments. But this very circumstance
should make us more watchful against its
effects, which may prove dangerous, in
the highest degree, before we are aware
of it. The air arising from common
crude fuel is, no doubt, as bad, but the
smoke renders it disagreeable before it
becomes dangerous.

The first sensation is a slight sense of
weakness; the limbs seem to require a
little attention, to prevent falling. A
slight giddiness succeeds, accompanied by
a feeling of a flush or glow in the face and
neck. Soon after, the person becomes
drowsy, would sit down, but commonly
falls, insensible of all about him, and.
breathes strong, snoring as in an apoplexy.
If the person is alarmed in time, and
escapes in the open air, he is commonly
seized with a violent headache, which
gradually abates. But when the effect is
completed, as above described, death very
soon ensues, unless relief be obtained.
There is usually a foaming at the mouth,
a great flush or suff'usion over the face and
neck, and every indication of an oppres-
sion of the brain, by this accumulation of
blood. The most successful treatment is,
to take off' a quantity of blood imme-
diately, and throw cold water on the head
repeatedly, A strong stimulus, such as
hartshorn, applied to the soles of the feet,
has also a very good effect.

The fifth and last kind of fuel is wood,



or fossil coals, in their crude state, which
it is proper to distinguish from charcoals
of the same substances. The difference
consists in their giving a copious and
bright flame, when plenty of air is admit-
ted to them, in consequence of which
they must be considered as fuels very
tlifferent from charcoal, and adapted to
different purposes. Flaming fuel cannot
be managed like the charcoal. If little
air be admitted it gives no flame, but
sooty vapor, and a diminution of heat.
And if much air be admitted to make
those vapors break out into flame, the
heat is too violent.

These flaming fuels, however, have
their particular uses, for which the others
are far less proper. For flame, when
produced in great quantity, and made to
burn violently, by mixing it with a proper
quantity of fresh air, by driving it on the
subject, and throwing it into whirls and
eddies, which mix the air with every
part of the hot vapor, gives a most intense
heat. This proceeds from the vaporous
nature of flame, and the perfect miscibi-
lity of it with the air. As the immediate
contact and action of the air are necessary
to the buring of every combustible body,
so the air, when properly applied, acts
with far greater advantage on flame than
on the solid and fixed inflammable bodies;
for when air is applied to these last, it
can only act on their surface, or the
particles of them that are outermost;
whereas, flame being a vapor or elastic
fluid, the air by proper contrivances, can
be intimately mixed with it, and made to
act on every part of it, external and in-
ternal, at the same time. The great
power of flame, which is the consequence
of this, does not appear when we try
small quantities of it, and allow it to burn
quietly, because the air is not intimately
mixed with it, but acts only on the out-
side, and the quantity of burning matter
in the surface of a small flame is too small
to produce much effect. But when flame
is produced in large quantity, and is pro-
perly mixed and agitated with air, its pow-
er to heat bodies is immensely increased.
It is therefore peculiarly proper for heat-
ing large quantities of matter to a violent
degree, especially if the contact of solid
fuel with such matter is inconvenient.

Flaming fuel is used, for this reason, in
many operations performed on large
quantities of metal, or metallic minerals,
in the making of glass, and in the baking
or burning of all kinds of earthen ware.

The potter's kiln is a cylindrical cavity
filled from the bottom to the top with
columns of ware: the only interstices are
those that are left between the columns;
and the flame, when produced in sufficient
quantity, is a torrent of liquid fire, con-
stantly flowing up through the whole of
the interstices, which heats the whole pile
in an equal manner. Flaming fuel is also
proper in many works or manufactories,
in which much fuel is consumed, as in
breweries, distilleries, and the like. In
such works, it is evidently worth while
contrive the furnaces, so that heat may be
obtained from the volatile parts of the
fuel, as well as from the fixed; for when
this is done, less fuel serves the purpose
than would otherwise be necessary.

But this is little attended to, or not un-
derstood, in many of those manufactories.
It is not uncommon to see vast clouds of
black smoke and vapor coming out of
their vents. This happens in conse-
quence of their throwing too large a
quantity of crude fuel into the furnace at
once. The heat is not sufficient to in-
flame it quickly, and the consequence is a
great loss of heat. The quantity of
watery fluid contained in fuel greatly
affects the amount of heat it produces;
much more, indeed, than is commonly
admitted in practice. It is a well known
law in chemistry, that the evaporation of
liquids, or their conversion into steamj
consumes and renders latent a great
amount of caloric. When green wood,
or wet coals, are added to the fire, they
abstract from it, by degrees, a sufficient
part of its heat to convert their own sap
or moisture into steam, before they aie
capable of being burnt. And as long
as any considerable part of this fluid
remains unevaporated, the combustion
goes on slowly, the fire is dull, and
the heat feeble. Green wood commonl)'^
contains a third, or more, of its weight
of watery fluid, the quantity varying
according to the greater or less porosity
of different trees. Nothing is further from
true economy than to burn green wood.



or wet coal, on the supposition that, be-
cause they are more durable, they will in
the end prove more cheap. It is true,
their consumption is less rapid; but to
produce a given amount of heat, a far
greater amount of fuel must be consumed.
Wood that is dried under cover is better
than wood dried in the open air, being
more free from decomposition.

hour cannot be maintained except at a
cost which amounts politically to a pro-
hibition. — Penn. Intel.


The vapor of Acetous Ether has been
recently discovered by Kramer, a German
artist, to be a most effectual remedy for a
species of this distressing malady, hither-

We perceive

to considered incurable

by the last number of Dunglison's Medi- I fabric, that the article be well rinsed


Apply common table salt to remove
fruit stains from linen before the stain be-
comes dry, this will keep it damp until
it is taken to the wash; when without any
further trouble, or attention, it will en-
tirely disappear by the usual process of
washing. Spirits of salt, oxalic acid, salt
of lemons, are the usual applications to
extract those unsightly stains, z>(;n mould
or riist,?A\ of which require great caution
to be observed to prevent injury to the

cal Intelligencer, th:!t it has been recently
employed by Dr. Bolton of this city, with
remarkable success.



The late discovery of Baquere, to ex-
tract the minutest portions of silver when
contained in its ores, bids fair to be of
incalculable benefit to this country, where
the production of the precious metals has,
froni various causes, been much retarded.
Electro-magnetism is the power which
forces the silver, however tenaciously
adhering to its various metals, salts, or
acids, and however small the proportions
of the same to the other substances may
be, even one part in a thousand, to
separate, and appear in a pure metallic
state. — ^lex. Gaz.

after the application, till on applying the
tongue to it, no acid taste remains.

Mahogany tables are polished by the
use of ivhite soup, white and yellow wax;
grate a quarter of an ounce of white soap,
hold it over a fire in an earthen vessel
with a pint of water until it is dissolved,
then add the same weight of white and
yellow wax cut into small pieces; as soon
as the whole is incorporated, it is fit for
use. Clean the table well, dip a piece of
flannel into this varnish while warm,
apply it to the table as quickly as possible,
then let it remain a short time, then rub
it in well with a stiff brush in every direc-
tion, afterwards with a clean woolen cloth;
this will produce a very brilliant gloss.

Fam,. Mag.


Dr. Lardner has discovered, by experi-
ments recently made on the Liverpool
and Manchester railway, that the atmos-
phere is an opponent to railvvay speed,
more formidable than has ever been sus-
pected. At thirty two miles an hour, the
resistance it offers, is nearly 80 per cent,
of all that steam power has to encounter,
and it increases in a proportion so much
greater than the speed, that there is not
the slightest possibility of any such
velocity of transit being gained as some
(and none among them more than Dr.
Lardner, himself) have anticipated. It
is ascertained that even forty miles an


This is a large duodecimo volume, em-
bellished with appropriate engravings, by
John Clarke, superintendent of the Moro-
dendion Silk Company of Philadelphia.
The book contains a history of silk in
Asia, Europe, Africa, and America. The
second part treats of the various kinds of
mulberry and their culture, on the value
of trees, their products, &c. On the worm,
its nature, diseases, preventives, remedies,

The character of the worm from the
first day, to the close of its useful life,
preparing the cocoons, reeling the silk,
coloring, &c.

The work seems to be a perfect manual.
We of course are not prepared to decide



upon its merits, but it contains prima
facie evidence of its great worth. The
work is for sale by Thomas, Copper-
thwaite & Co.

, United States Gazette.


Brought to this country, by Com-
modore Elliot, may be seen at the Mal-
hausen Works, below the Navy Yard.
The fleece of this animal is that used in
the manufacture of the Cashmere shawl
of the East. — lb.


The American Sentinel states, that the
French Academy is investigating a new
alloy of zinc and copper, that resists sul-
phuric acid of 20 degrees concentration.
It costs but little more than zinc. Tin
and lead are also added for certain pur-
poses, in proportions that will not
augment the cost more than a farthing a


Cherries and all kinds of berries may
be kept a year, by partially drying them,
until they are wilted — then put them into
wide necked bottles, cork them tight, put
a coating of sealing wax over the corks,
or tye a cork plaster over them; — a cork
plaster may be made by dipping pieces
of thin silk into a solution of isinglass, glue
and water, then dip silk in the white of
eggs several times, dry them, and they
are fit for use. Jars of sweetmeats may
also be kept a longtime in the same way.

An effectual method of preserving eggs
fresh and sweet, many months: dip them
in hot oil or lard while fresh, place them
in a box of dry bran, chaff or sand, keep
them in a cool place.


A strong cement for mending earthen
ware may be made by mixing equal quan-
tities of flour and powdered alum, inti-
mately with cold water; heat the mixture
gradually, stirring it all the while until it
>>boils; use it when hot — let the articles
cemented be perfectly dry before using


While young, no tree should be per-
mitted to bear a large quantity of fruit,
and if it abound in blossoms, the fruit
should be gathered as soon as formed,
leaving only half a dozen of the produce
to ascertain its size and quality; by this
measure the trees will not only produce
larger and finer fruit, but by being kept
clear, the leading and collateral branches
will every year become more vigorous.
Nor ought any young plant, or newly
engrafted tree be permitted to run mop-
headed, as it will make no progress, till
each branch has acquired a determined
leader ; for, if the growth of a tree be
prevented, it will be extremely difficult
to throw such energy into the system, as
to enable it to grow freely. As long as
fruit trees continue in the nursery, it will
be requisite to cut down the head, in
order to give strength and symmetry to
the stem; it will also be useful to shorten
most of the grafts, lest they should be
blown out by the wind; these operations
likewise contribute to swell the buds. In
selecting the branches of fruit trees to be
preserved and trained, care should be ob-
served that the branches which grow from
the main trunk or body of the tree, shall
not be at too acute an angle, nor that the
trunk terminate at two branches which
meet at too acute an angle, forming what
is usually termed a main fork; in either
case (particularly in the peach tree,) there
is always a liability in those parts to be
rent asunder by the force of wind, or by
the weight of fruit ; but this danger is
prevented in a great degree by allowing
only those branches to remain, which
issue from the main trunk alternately on
opposite sides at different distances from
the ground, and no two branches permit-
ted to remain opposite to each other, and
the whole branches of the tree selected
so as to preserve its general strength, and
at the same time permit the air and light
between the branches sufficient to ripen
the fruit; no rule can be laid down upon
this subject except those of general cha-
racter, the judgment of the person per-
forming the operation of pruning must
always direct the particular operation.
A tree generally grows with a more per-



feet form without pruning, wiicre the
soil is fertile, than in that of a different

In cultivating fruit trees, two objects
are desirable; tliese are, a quick return of
the capital invested, and healthy vigorous
trees, but as it is difficult to accomplish
both in the same tree, it is suggested for
the consideration of those interested upon
this subject, that the first named object
be attained by converting large branches
into trees by the Chinese method. {See
page 14 of this work.) By these means
an orchard, bearing fruit, could be formed
in less than two years, without injury to
the tree, or trees, from which it was taken,
because the branches thus converted into
trees might be selected from those which
are required to be removed, for the bene
fit of the parent tree. — The other object
could be attained, by planting several
seeds at or near where each tree is re-
quired in the orchard, and be cultivated
in the manner recommended for the
peach tree. {Seepage 35.)

The most vigorous of these may be
suffered to remain, and such of them as
produce good fruit, will furnish a supply
of grafts to improve those which naturally
produce fruit of an inferior quality; or
in case none of them bear fruit of a qua-
lity sufficiently valuable; grafts may be
produced from other sources to improve
the whole of them, by inserting them in
the branches, at a considerable distance
above the main trunk or body of the tree:
the whole body of each tree, and the
branches below the grafts, will partake
of, or combine all the health and vigor
naturally arising from a young tree, and
will serve to receive other grafts in case
of disease in those first inserted. The
usual method of forming the bodies, or
trunks of trees is by inserting bearing
branches at the root, frequently practised
by nursery men, should never be adopted
where a healthy vigorous tree is required.
The body of a tree should always be pro-
duced from the seed, and the branches
also, where the fruit is of a good kind;
and where grafts are selected, they shoud
be such as are known to be produced
from the seed within a few years, the
shorter the period the better.


In a select collection oi^ Memoirs, puh-
lished by the Free Society of Agricul-
ture, Arts and Cominerce, in the Depart-
ment of Ardenne, the following vegeta-
tive liquor is recommended for promoting
the growth, as well as the flowering, of
bulbous roots in apartments, during the
winter. Take three ounces of nitre, one
ounce of sea salt, half an ounce of salt of
tartar, half an ounce of sugar, and one
pint of rain water. Let the salts be
gradually dissolved in a glazed earthen
vessel; and when the solution is complet-
ed, add the sugar, and filter the whole.
About eight drops of this liquid must be
poured into every flower-glass filled with
rain or river water: these vessels should
be kept constantly full, and the water be
renewed every tenth or twelfth day; a
similar portion of the vegetative liquor
being added each time. In order to in-
sure success, the glasses ought to be placed
on the corner of a chimney piece, where
a fire is regularly kept in cold seasons.


The aliment of children ought to be
adapted to their age, and the strength of
their digestive powers. Hence they ought
by no means to be fed immoderately or
promiscuously, with every kind of food,
as by this indulgence, the first passages
are distended and their stomachs gradu-
ally acquire an unnatural craving for vic-
tuals before the preceding meal is proper-
ly assimilated ; one kind of aliment only
should be given at each meal. Sudden
changes from liquid to solid food, and a
multiplicity of incongruous mixtures, in
immediate succession, such as broth, or
soup, meat, boiled or roasted, after tak-
ing milk, fruit, &c., should be carefully

All stimulating dishes prepared for
adults, as well as beer, wine, spices, coffee,
and other heating liquors should be care-
fully withheld from children.

A due proportion of vegetable and
animal substances with the addition of
acids during the summer months, is alike
agreeable to the taste and conducive to
health. In a salted state, meat not only
loses a considerable part of its gelatinous



and spirituous particles, but it likewise be-
comes oppressive to the digestive organs,
and imparts a degree of acrimony to the
human fluids vi'hich has a remarkable
tendency to generate putrid diseases, such
as the scurvy of mariners. Hence it would
be a desirable object to ascertain by ac-
curate experiments whether beef, pork, &c.
might not be kept fresh at sea for many
months, merely by burying it in charcoal-
powder, of which it could be easily di-
vested by proper ablution. This impor-
tant subject deserves the researches of
patriotic inquirers.

With respect to the quantit}' of food,
there is one general rule, which ought
never to be disregarded, namely, to cease
eating when the first cravings of appetite
are satisfied, so as to renovate the waste
which the body has apparently sustained.
By a strict adherence to this principle
many distressing complaints arising from
intemperance might be eifectually obvi-


Letter F.

Frost, is that state of the atmosphere
which causes water and other liquids to
congeal or freeze. In cold countries, the
frost frequently proves fatal to mankind.
Where animation is suspended, the follow-
ing directions should be strictly adhered
to, and every exertion used to restore
life. No external warmth of any kind
must be applied to frozen persons, till the
internal or vital heat be excited; when
the. fprmer also should be carefully and
very gradually adopted to the manifest
degree of the latter. Hence the whole
process should be performed either in the
open air, or in a cold room; the body
cautiously carried in a posture somewhat
erect to the nearest dwelling; the head
turned gently toward the right side, and
the clothes carefully taken off, without

Online LibraryD. PeirceObserver and record of agriculture, Science and art (Volume v.1) → online text (page 22 of 35)