Copyright
D. Peirce.

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

. (page 24 of 35)
Online LibraryD. PeirceObserver and record of agriculture, Science and art (Volume v.1) → online text (page 24 of 35)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


The smallest bird, says M. Virey, can
fly several leagues in an hour ; the hawk
goes commonly at the rate of a league in
four minutes, or above forty miles in an
hour. A falcon of Heiiry Second was flown
from Fontainbleau, and found by its ring
at Malta the next day. One sent from
Canaries to Andalusia, returned to Tene-
riffe in sixteen hours ; a distance of near
seven hundred miles, which it must have
gone at the average rate of twenty-four
miles an hour. Gulls go seven hundred
miles to sea and return daily ; frigate birds
have been found at twelve hundred miles
from any land. Upon their migration, he
states as a known fact, that cranes go and
return at the same date, without the least
regard to the state of the weather, which
shows no doubt, if true, a most peculiar
instinct ; but these, and indeed, all facts
which we find stated by a writer so much
addicted to painting and colouring, must
be received with a degree of suspicion,
for which no one but M- Virey is to be
blamed. The accounts, however, of the
swiftness of birds, I can well credit, from
an experiment which I made when tra-
velling on a railway. While going at the
rate of thirty miles an hour, I let fly a
bee ; it made its circles as usual, and sur-
rounded us easily. Now if there was no
current of air or draft to bear it along,
this indicated a rate of ninety miles an
hour ; and even allowing for a current,
the swiftness must have been great. I
should, however, wish to repeat the expe-
riment before being quite sure of so great
a swiftness in so small an insect.



again till they reach Pittsburg. These
cars are water-proof, and there is no
handling of goods, nor liability to damage
from the weather, or depredations while
on the route. Each car body will con-
tain about 6000 pounds of merchandize,
a train of which is despatched daily to
York by the rail-road. At York the car
body is transferred by simple machinery
from the rail-road to a platform road wa-
gon in three minutes, and is conveyed on
the turnpike to Columbia, where by simi-
lar machinery, it is transferred to the ca-
nal boat, and despatched without delay to
Pittsburg. Each canal boat carries ten
car bodies, or thirty tons of merchandize.
— Lord Broushani's Dissertation o?i Science.



TRANSPORTATION OF GOODS BY RAIL-ROADS,
m'aDAMIZED ROADS, AND CANALS.

The Baltimore American of April 9th,
states that goods are now transported
from that city by the way of York,
Wrightsville, and the Pennsylvania canal
and rail-road to Pittsburg. The trans-
portation of goods is done in portable car
bodies, which, after being packed in Bal-
timore, are locked up and not opened



SUPERIORITY OF ELASTIC CABLES.

Mr. Hennessey, the inventor of the
elastic life boat, has addressed a letter to
the editor of the Liverpool Mercury, in
which he shows the great superiority of
cables fabricated of elastic materials, over
those of a different character, especially
in riding out a heavy gale of wind. The
following is an extract from the letter: —
" Many years ago I was mate of a vessel
of 350 tons. We were lying in Gibralter
roads, with a thirteen inch hemp cable
and best bower anchor down ; the morn-
ing was fine, the master and chief part of
the crew went on shore for water, &c.,
and before they were ready, it came on
to a blow so hard that they could not re-
turn to the ship. I had what seamen call
the long service out ; but as the gale was
still increasing, I gave cable to the end
clenched to the foremast. I had on board
a nine inch bass cable of 120 fathoms,
never wet, which I bent in place of a
hemp cable to the second bower. This
bass is a kind of grass, very cheap in Por-
tugal, called spartha, in the language of
that country. We run up the forestay-
sail, gave the ship a broad sheer, and let
go the grass cable under foot. The gale
increased to a tempest, — such as I never
saw before or since ; although in ballast
riding head to wind, and having a very
quick sheer abaft, we had to fix the dead
lights, or she would have filled through
the cabin windows, whilst riding by the
hemp cable. At twelve at night the bower
burst, the ship brought up by the grass
cable, and although the wind and sea in-



128



POTATOES.



creased, she never pitched even her tron-
som in, but rode h'ke a duck for twenty-
four hours during the gale. There were
twenty-two sail, mostly fine ships, in the
roads at the time ; all of which went
on shore, but the one I belonged to, and
two small craft that had grass cables. So
much for elasticity." — U. S. Gazelle.



CONSEQUEXCE OF THE PUNCTURE OF A
NEEDLE.

A case is reporled in the last number of
the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal
of the amputation of a foot of a lady, (ren-
dered necessary to save the life of the pa-
tient,) who trod upon a cambric needle
which entered half its length into the heel ;
althouffh the needle was extracted entire
and she was able to keep about her house-
hold work for two days before the pain
arising from the puncture compelled her
to send for Medical assistance — U. S.
Gazelle.



STRETCHING IN SHEEP.

This disease is discovered by the sheep
stretching itself apparently to the extent
of its power every few seconds. The
causes are supposed to be too great a de-
gree of dryness in the food and too much
moisture from rains applied to the spine
and other parts of the back, combined
with the loss of heat naturally arising
from cold wet rains lodging upon the
back in large quantities, and retained
there for a considerable time by the wool.
The remedy recommended by some per-
sons engaged in raising sheep, is, to give
the animal a little spring water with com-
mon salt dissolved in it; and to cover the
back of such sheep as are exposed to cold



rains with a piece of oil (or other water-
proof) cloth, the whole length of the spine,
and to the width of three or four inches
upon each side of it. Cheap cotton cloth
(muslin) properly prepared by dipping it
in boiled or drying oil, and suffering it to
become dry, is said to answer for this pur-
pose ; the cloth thus prepared is to be cut
into strips sufficiently long to cover the
spine (or back bone) and six or eiffht in-
ches in width; this may be confined to the
wool, with the middle directly over the
spine by any glutinous substance that will
not injure the wool nor destroy the cloth.



»/??z easy me/hod to produce new
varieties of Vegetables — Potato. — Se-
lect as many balls or apples from the
earliest potato tops as may be reo^uired;
put them in a dry place, in a cellar, and
at the usual time of planting in the
spring, these balls or apples may be
planted in the garden in good soil, about
three-fourths of an inch deep, these will
probably produce several kinds, and of
different degrees of value. The best
kinds may be selected for planting the
succeeding year, and which may be con-
tinued until a better variety is produced
to supply the place of it. A small quan-
tity of balls or apples, planted in this
way each year, would be the most cer-
tain method of insuring a constant supply
of new varieties in place of those which
decrease in value from age. Other vege-
tables, of every kind, including fruit
trees, are worthy of attention, as subject
also to depreciation from age. A succes-
sion of the best of each kind might be
kept up by planting a few seeds of each
annually and cultivating only the best.



CONTENTS OF. NO. 8. VOL. I.

Gurney's Oxy-Oii Lamp, 113

Fuel, 114

Acetous Ether in Deafness, 118

Silver separated from other Substances by Elec-
tro-Magnetism, 118

Limits of Speed on Railways, 118

Useful Hints, 118

Clarke on the Mulberry Tree and Silk Worm, . 118

The Syrian Sheep, 119

A new Alloy, 119

Cherries, &c .119

Cement, 119

Fruit Trees, 119

Food for Plants 120



OF OBSERVER AND RECORD.

Food, 120

Definition of Terms. Letter F., 121

Sir H. Davy's Agricultural Chemistry, . . . 122

Fly (Hessian or Wheat) 126

Easy Method of Detecting the Counterfeit Coin

now in Circulation, 126

Swiftness of Birds, 127

Transportation of Goods by Rail Roads,

M'Adamized Roads, and Canals, .... 127

Superiority of Elastic Cables, 127

Consequence of the Puncture of a Needle, . . 128

Stretching in Sheep, 128

An easy Method to produce Varieties of Vege-
tables — Patatoe, 128



OBSERYER AND RECORD

OP AGRICULTURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.



EDITED BY D. PEIRCE.



>o. 9 ]



Philadelphia, Monday, June 3, 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. (0^ Letters may be addressed to the Editor, in every
instance post paid, No. 45 Cherry street, care of T. E. Chapman.

Subscriptio)is received at T. E. Chapman's Bookstore, 45 Cherry st. — and by II . J. IVchUvg, 9,7 South Fifth st



MR. DEYERLEIN S METHOD OF MAKING
BRICK, TILES, ETC.

The machinery by which this process
is to be effected, consists of a box, or re-
ceptacle, into which clay or other matter
is to be put, and also of a plug or forcing
instrument, by which the clay is forced
out of the receptacle during the operation,
through suitable openings in one end of
the containing box, which gives the re-
spective parts the required shape. The
motion or effect is imparted to the forc-
ing instrument, by mill-work, or other
well known mechanical means; and the
articles when made, are received on a
proper carriage for conveying them away.
Another carriage may also be used for
supporting the combined parts of the ap-
paratus during the time of working, or
for conveying them from place to place
when necessary.

The patentee having described the
apparatus generally, and illustrated its
several parts by figures, states the
process of the operation to the fol-
lowing effect. It is necessary to have
two or more wheelbarrows, such as before
described, for conveying aivay the bricks
after they are made, and one of these be-
ing hooked on to each muzzle or mouth-
piece of the machine, through which the
clay is to pass, it will be fit for operation.
The clay should not be made so wet as
usual. The piston or forcing instrument
is first drawn to one end of the box, by
means of the wheel-work with which it
is connected, and the other part of

Vol. 1.— 9



the receptacle is then filled with the
clay or other materials. The piston being
then put in motion, the clay is forced
through the orifice in the mouth-piece
of the box, and received on the wheel-
barrow attached to it for that purpose;
having the shape of the opening through
which they have passed. If the recepta-
cle be a double box, or have a mouth-
piece at each end, while this operation is
performing, the other end is filled with
cla}^, which the returning stroke of the
piston forces through the other end, and
so on alternately. By this operation the
clay will be formed into bars of the size
and shape of the openings in the machine;
and the person who attends, separates
them into the required lengths by a pro-
per instrument guided by grooves per-
pendicular to the surface of the wheel-
barrow; or rather to the axis of the bars.
In the apparatus which the patentee has
described, each stroke forms seven bars
of the breadth and thickness of a brick,
but of sufficient length to be cut into
four; and by this means every home and
out stroke of the machine, fifty-six bricks
are produced; and more or less may be
obtained at a stroke according to the
number of openings in the mouth-piece,
and the power of the first mover. Tiles,
mouldings, &c., may be made in the same
manner, by merely changing the mouth-
piece for one adapted to the particular
purpose.

Observations. — The machinery we
think well calculated to diminish the la-



130



MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF IRON.



bor required in the present process of
brick-making, and consequently to re-
duce the price at which they can be af-
forded; a circumstance of great public
importance. We therefore recommend
its adoption wherever it can be conve-
niently used.



any appearance of germination, and pos-
sessing their original freshness, firmness,
goodness, and taste.



Poppy, a Preventive of the Wheat
Fly. — S. Beden of Michigan in a letter
to the editor of the Cultivator, recom-
mends the common poppy to be sown,
METHODOF APPLYING A FILTERING-STONE I either in the fall or early in the spring,



FOR PURIFYING WATER.
By Mr. William Moult. — Trans. Society of Arts, vol. 28.

The method of using the filtering stone
which is here proposed is that of placing
it in the water to be purified, by which
means the water presses against the out-
side of the filter, and, oozing through its
pores, fills the stone, from which it is to
be conveyed into a proper receptacle. In
the drawing of the apparatus which Mr.
Moult sent to the society, the stone is
suspended in the cistern by a ring round
the inside of it, upon which a projecting
part round the top of the stone rests.
" By this mode of filtration, the impuri-
ties of the water are deposited in the bottom
of the cistern, instead of being left in the
bottom of the stone, as in the usual mode."
Mr. Moult also states, that double the
quantity of pure water is procured by
this method in the same time; and that
he has used an apparatus of this kind with
great success for more than three years.

Observations. — The above may be con-
sidered in many respects as operating
upon the same principle as filtering by
ascent, which is highly preferable to that
in common use, in which the filtration is
performed in a contrary direction.

The Society voted to Mr. Moult a sil-
ver medal for the above communication.

Retrospect.



among wheat, as a preventive of injury
from fly ; and states, that, for twenty years,
he has sown poppies in his garden, and
where they were, he had not been troubled
with fly, bug, nor insect, on any vegetable
even in his field, among his wortzell and
ruta bagas.

The common poppies have prevented
the ravages of all flies, bugs, and insects.
He also gives it as his opinion, that grain
soaked in brine, and then rolled in wood
ashes, would be protected from the in-
sect; and that ashes is preferable to lime
for this purpose.



USEFUL EFFECTS OF IODINE AS A
MEDICINE.

Dr. Cotndet has been employing Iodine
in the treatment of goitres and scrofulo
with a success surpassing his most san-
guine hopes.

It is introduced into the system by
means of rubbing, in the same manner as
other mineral ointments — out of twenty-
two patients, who had all very large
goitres — half of them were completely
cured in the space of from four to six
weeks, and the others in a greater or less
degree. — Reg. %/lrts. and Sci.



THE EFFECT OF TEMPERATURE I\ PRESERV-
ING VEGETABLES.

Potatoes at the depth of one foot in the
ground, produce shoots near the end of
spring ; at the depth of two feet they are
very short and never come to the surface,
and between three and five feet cease to
vegetate. In consequence of observing
these effects, several parcels of potatoes
were buried in a garden at the depth of
three feet and a half, and were not re-
moved till after intervals of one and two
years. They were then found without



MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF IRON.

Iron is one of the most valuable articles
of the Materia Medica. The protoxide
acts as a genial stimulant and tonic in all
cases of chronic debility, not connected
with organic congestion or inflammation.
It is peculiarly efficacious in chlorosis. —
It appears to me that the peroxide and
its combinations are almost uniformly
irritating, causing heart burn, febrile heat,
and quickness of pulse. Many chalybeate
mineral waters contain an exceedingly
minute quantity of protocarbonate of
iron, and yet exercise an astonishing
power in recruiting the exhausted frame.
I believe their virtues to be derived



PHENOMENA OBSERVED IN PROVING THE STRENGTH OF IRON BARS.



131



simply from the metal being oxidized to
a minimum, and diffused by the agency
of a mild acid through a great body of
water, in which state it is rapidly taken
up by the lacteals, and speedily imparts
a ruddy hue to the wan countenance. —
I find that these qualities may be imitated
exactly by dissolving three grains of
sulphate of iron, and sixty grains of
bicarbonate of potash in a quart of cool
water with agitation in a close vessel.

Ure. — ib.



ACTION OF SULPHUR ON IRON.

Colonel A. Evans has remarked that
although sulphur has so strong an action
on heated wrought iron as immediately
to form holes in it, yet it does not at all
affect gray cast iron. A plate of wrought
iron, .63 of an inch in thickness, heated
to whiteness, and held against a roil of
sulphur, -f^ of an inch in diam.eter, was
in fourteen seconds pierced through with
a perfectly cylindrical hole. Another
bar, about 2 inches in thickness, was
pierced by the same means in fifteen
seconds.

Good steel was pierced even more
rapidly than the iron, but a piece of gray
cast iron, well scaled and heated till near-
ly infusion, was not at all affected by the
application of sulphur to its surface, not
even a mark being left. — A crucible was
made of cast iron, and some iron and
sulphur put into it; on applying heat the
iron and sulphur soon fused together, but
the cast iron underwent no change.

Jinn, de Chirn.



SOFT IRON THAT WILL CUT HARDENED
STEEL.

Mr. Perkins has tried the experiment
with complete success, by placing a cir-
cular plate of soft iron, ^V o^ ^^ m(i\\
thick in a lathe, and when it was made to
revolve with a speed equal to 10,000
feet of its circumference in a minute deep
incisions were made by the iron in a
common steel file.

Here are 10,000 feet of the periphery of
the circular plate rubbed violently against
a portion of the file not exceeding -^-
of an inch where it touches. A clearer
idea will be afforded of the velocity and
consequent force with which the iron



strikes against the file, by bringing the
10,000 feet into eighths of inches, which
makes 960,000, so that the steel receives
that number of rubs in a minute of time,
or 16,000 in a second of time, (producing
a heat which we should suppose to be
sufficient to fuse the steel,) the friction
on the file being unremitting; while the
friction upon the iron plate (supposing it
to be 8 inches in diameter,) was about
200 times less than that of the file, the
plate being cooled also in its passage
through the air at every revolution.

Thus, then, it would appear that the
steel received perhaps 400 times more
heat than the iron, while it has not the
capacity to receive an equal quantity
without being melted. A proof of which
is perhaps afforded by what is called
"striking a light" with flint and steel.
By the collision, a portion of the steel
struck off is ignited and melted, while a
blow of equal force upon iron, with a
flint, will produce no effect. — Again, iron
retains its solid form at what is called a
welding heat — which is a degree of heat
at which steel passes into a fluid state. — ib.



TO WHITEN IVORY THAT HAS BECOME
RED OR "FELLOW.

Boil alum in pure water, so much as
will make it look white ; into this im-
merse your ivory, and let it remain in
an hour ; then rub the ivory with a cloth,
wipe it clean with wet linen rags and lay
theni in a moistened cloth to prevent
their drying too quickly, which causes
them to crack. ib.



PHENOMENA OBSERVED IN PROVING THE
STRENGTH OF IRON BARS.

It is interesting and important to note
the changes that iron undergoes in prov-
ing bolts or bars. It seems perfectly rigid
and unaffected by any force less than L
of its measure of strength, when a change
is indicated by small exfoliations, or
scales, from its surface. This is the con-
sequence of the bolt stretching, and ne-
cessarily lessening in diameter, and a
certain proof of its yielding is the pheno-
menon of its becoming sensibly warm :
the heat increases in the ratio of the
strain, and when the rupture takes place,
which is generally near the middle, it is



132



SIR H. DAVY 3 AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY.



almost loo hot to hold. I have found that
a 2 inch bolt, 12 feet long, and 2 inches
diameter was torn asunder horizontally
by a machine, which is on the lever prin-
ciple, like the wcigh-bridges in the Royal
Dock Yards, with a strain of 82 tons ;
it began to stretch with 47 tons, and
lenghtening during the experiment 2 feet
9 inches, and was reduced at the point
of rupture to 1 1^ inches diameter. — Capt.
Broivn's Report on the "proposed Si.
Catharine's Bridge. — ib.



SIR H. DAVY S AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY.
(Continued from \). 126.)

13. Resin is very common in the vege-
table kingdom. One of the most usual
species is that afforded by the different
kinds of fir. When a portion of the bark
is removed from a firtree in the spring,
a matter exudes, which is called turpen-
tine; by heating this turpentine gently,
a volatile oil rises from it, and a more
fixed substance remains; this substatice is
resin. — The resin of the fir is the sub-
stance commonly known by the name of
rosin; its properties are well known.
Its specific gravity is 1072. It melts
readily, burns with a yellow light, throw-
ing off much smoke.

Resin is insoluble in water either hot
or cold ; but very soluble in alcohol.
When a solution of resin in alcohol is
mixed with water, the solution becomes
milky ; the resin is deposited by the
stronger attraction of the water for the
alcohol.

Resins are obtained from many other
species of trees. Mastich, from the Fis-
iacia lentiscus; elemi, from the Amyris
eletnifera; copal, from the Rhus copal-
linum; sandarach, from the common
juniper. Of these resins copal is the most
peculiar. It is the most difficultly dis-
solved in alcohol; and for this purpose
must be exposed to that substance in
vapor, or the alcohol employed must hold
camphor in solution. According to Gay
Lussac and Thenard, 100 partsof common
resin contain :

Carbon 75.944

Oxygen 13..337

Hydrogen - - - - 10.719
Or of carbon - - - - 75.944
Oxygen and hydrogen in the



proportions necessary to form

water 15.156

Hydrogen in excess - - S.900

According to the same chemists. 100
parts of copal consists of

Carbon 76.811

Oxygen 10.606

Hydrogen - _ _ _ 12.585
Or carbon - . _ - 76.811
Water or its elements - - 12.053
Hydrogen - - - - 11.137

From these results, if resin be a definite
compound, it may be supposed to consist
of 8 proportions of carbon, 12 of hydro-
gen, and 1 of oxygen.

Resins are used for a variety of pur-
poses. Tar and pitch principally consist
of resin, in a partially decomposed state.
Tar is made by the slow combustion of
the fir; and pitch by the evaporation of
the more volatile parts of tar.

Resins are employed as varnishes, and
for these purposes are dissolved in alcohol
or oils. Copal forms one of the finest
It may be made by boiling it in powder
with oil of rosemary, and then adding
alcohol to the solution.

14. Camphor is procured by distilling
the wood of the camphor tree {Laurus
camphora.) which grows in Japan. It
is a very volatile body, and may be puri-
fied by distillation. Camphor is a white,
brittle, semitransparent substance, having
a peculiar odor, and a strong acrid taste-
It is very slightly soluble in water, more
than 100,000 parts of water are required
to dissolve 1 part of camphor. It is very
soluble in alcohol; and by adding water
in small quantities at a time to the solu-
tion of camphor in alcohol, the camphor
separates in a crystallized form. It is
soluble in nitric acid, and is separated
from it by water.

Camphor is very inflammable; it burns
with a bright flame, and throws off a great
quantity of carbonaceous matter. It forms,
in combustion, water, carbonic acid, and
a peculiar acid called camphoric acid.

No accurate analysis has been made of
camphor, but it seems to approach to the
resins in its composition, and consists of
carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

Camphor exists in other plants besides
the Laiirtis camphora. It is procured
from species %f the laurus growing in



SIR H. DAVY S AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY.



Online LibraryD. PeirceObserver and record of agriculture, Science and art (Volume v.1) → online text (page 24 of 35)