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formed in the large way by three differ-
ent processes, and the products are dis-
tinguished by the names of natural steel,
steel of cementation, and cast steel.

Natural steel is obtained from the ore
by converting it first into cast iron, and
then exposing the cast iron to a violent
heat in a furnace while its surface is
covered with a mass of melted scoriae
five or six inches deep. Part of the car-
bon combines with the oxygen which
cast iron always contains, and flies off in
the state of carbonic acid gas. The re-
mainder combines with the pure iron,
and constitute it steel.

This steel is inferior to the other spe-
cies; its quality is not the same through-
out; it is softer, and not so apt to break;
and as the processes by which it is ob-
tained are less expensive, it is sold at a
lower price than the other species. It is
obvious that iron and carbon are capable
of combining together in a variety of dif-
ferent proportions. When the carbon
exceeds, the compound is carburet of
iron or plumbago. When the iron ex-
ceeds, the compound is steel or cast iron
in various states, according to the propor-
tion. All these compounds may be con-
sidered as subcarburets of iron. The
hardness of iron increases with the pro-
portion of charcoal with which it com-
bines, till the carbon amounts to about
J^ of the whole mass. The hardness is



then a maximum; the metal acquires the
color of silver, loses its granulated ap-
pearance, and assumes a crystallized form.
If more carbon is added to the compound,
the hardness diminishes in the proportion
of its quantity. The affinities of iron
and its oxides are arranged by Bergman
as in the following table:

Iron. Oxide of Iron.

Nickel, Oxalic acid,

Cobalt, Tartaric acid,

Manganese, Camphoric,

Arsenic, Sulphuric,

Copper, Saciatic,

Gold, Muriatic,

Silver, Nitric,

• Tin, Phosphoric,

Antimony, Arsenic,

Platinum, Fluoric,

Bismuth, Succinic,

Lead, Citric,

Mercury, Lactic,

• Carbonic.

Irritability {irritahililas ; from irri-
to, to provoke; visinsilu of Hailer; vis
vita/is of Garter ; oscillation of Boor-
haave; tonic power of Stahl; muscular
power oi Bell; inherent power oi Cul-
len;) the contractility of muscular fibres,
or a property peculiar to muscles, by
which they contract upon the application
of certain stimuli without a consciousness
of action. This power may be seen in
the tremulous contraction of muscles
when lacerated, or when entirely separat-
ed from the body. The action of every
stimulus is in the inverse ratio to the
frequency of its application. A small
quantity of spirits, taken into the stomach,
increases the action of its muscular coat
and also of its various vessels, so that
digestion is thereby facilitated. If the
same quantity, however, be taken fre-
quently it loses its effect. The more the
irritability of a part is accumulated, the
more that part is disposed to be acted
upon. It is on this account that the
activity of all animals while in perfect
health, is much livelier in the morning
than at any other part of the day, for
during the night the irritability of the
whole fram.e, and especially that of the

muscles destined for labor, viz: the mus-
cles for voluntary action, is reaccumuiat-
ed. The same law explains why digestion
goes on more rapidly the first hour after
food is swallowed than at any other time,
and also accounts for the danger that ac-
crues to a famished person upon first
taking food.

Irritation {counter,) m medicine con-
sists of blisters, hot water, preparations
of mustard, and such other substances as
cause irritation when applied externally
to the human system.

The principle upon which this class of
remedies operate is still a subject of
discussion amongst medical practitioners;
Cases are stated, where dropsy has been
cured by the spilling of boiling water
upon the leg of the patient. Another
where a person took ten grains of opium.
Hot water was applied to the thighs, legs
and arms alternately for twenty-four
hours; when the patient recovered. He
was found at first by his medical attendant
in an apoplectic state; tartar emetic and
white vitriol failed to produce vomiting.
Another person had taken a quantity of
prussic acid ; boiling water was poured
over his legs without any effect. The
legs were then scarified in numerous
places and another quantity of boiling
water poured over the limbs thus scarified.
The first sign of restoration was a slight
spasmodic contraction of the muscles, and
in a short time spasmodic action took
place in many parts of the body. He
was ultimately restored to health. The
oil of mustard is applied by moistening
a piece of flannel or linen with it — the
parts contiguous to those effected are
selected for the application. The oil is
previously diluted. Thirty drops in an
ounce of Spt. Vini. or 6 or 8 drops in a
dram of ol. amygdalse. It is recommend-
ed in chronic rheumatism, neuralgia, pa-
ralysis, cholic, &c. If given internally
the proportion is 2 drops to a six-ounce
mixture. Dose, 5SS.

Ivory, in natural history, &c. a hard,
solid, and firm substance, of a white
color, and capable of a very good polish.
It is observed that Ceylon ivory and that
from the island of Achem do not become
yellow from wearing, as all other ivory
does. To soften ivory and other bones,



lay Ihem for twelve hours in aquafortis,
and then three days in the juice of beets,
and they will become so soft that they
may be worked into any form. To
harden them again, lay them in strong
vinegar. Dioscorides says, that by boil-
ing ivory for the space of six hours with
the root of mandrogoras, it will become
so soft that it may be managed as one

Ivory-black, is the coal of ivory or
bone formed by great heat, while de-
prived of all access of air.

The improved method of obtaining
ivory-black, is to calcine bones (and other
substances used for that purpose,) to black-
ness in air tight vessels, they are then
crushed in their dry state between metal
rollers, till they are sufliciently broken
to pass through a hopper into the eye of
a mill stone, by which they are reduced
to a line powder in the same manner as
corn is reduced to flour. The powder thus
obtained is then passed through a dressing
machine (constructed with brushes in the
usual way) the meshes of which are about
sixty-eight to an inch ; the part which
passes through it is fit for use and is
damped down with a small quantity of
water for sale; the remainder is returned
to the hopper and ground again.


One part of verdigris is to be dissolved
in a sufficient quantity of good vinegar,
by heat in a copper kettle. When it is
dissolved add to the same a solution of
one part of white arsenic in water. A
dusky green precipitate generally ensues,
which must be re-dissolved by the addi-
tion of more vinegar. This mixture is
novv to be boiled, when a granulated pre-
cipitate will be produced, of the most
beautiful green color, which after being
separated from the liquid (either by fil-
tration or by decanting after the color
has subsided,) is to be well washed and
dried, when it is ready for use either as
a dye or pigment. If the liquor, after
this process, should be found to contain
% more copper, more of the solution of
arsenic may be added, but if it contains
instead an excess of arsenic, then more
of the solution of copper may be added,

completing the process as before men-
tioned. And if the liquid should contain
an excess of the acetic acid it may be
advantageously employed in the solution
of more verdigris.

The color prepared by the preceding^
process is of a bluish green; but as a
deeper and more yellowish green is fre-
quently required, this is obtained by dis-
solving a pound of common potash in
water to which add ten pounds of the
green color prepared by the former pro-
cess, and warm the mixture over a gentle
fire ; when the desired tint will be ac-
quired. If allowed to boil long, the color
will approximate in hue to Scheele's
green, nevertheless it is in all the tints of
greater brilliancy and beauty. The al-
kaline fluid that remains may be advan-
tageously employed in making Scheele's
green. — R^g- Jirt. Set.


MACHINE* may be constructed as follows:
Procure a large stone bottle with the
bottom knocked out, stop up the neck
partially with small stones, over these
form a layer of small pebbles then an-
other of gravel, increasing every layer
in fineness, and putting on, lastly, a stra-
tum of fine sand of the depth of several
inches. The sand, gravel, &c. should, of
course, be previously well washed, until
the water runs off clear and tasteless.
The upper stratum of sand is to be taken
out occasionally and washed, — ib.


Takeof borax 1 ounce, nitre 2 drachms,
pounded flint glass 2 drachms, and cal-
cined horse's hoof half an ounce; these
are to be well fused together in a crucible,
taking care to add the horse's hoo( iasi,
and stirring it well with an iron spatula;
when it is quite fluid, pour it into cold
water, which will render it brittle, and
thereby it may be easily pulverized. It
is to be kept in well closed phials, free
from moisture, and the expense will be
very trifling, compared with its great
importance. — ib.

* Alternate layers of charcoal' with the sand is an




Sir n. Davy, in conjunction with Mr.
Faraday, lias made a variety of experi-
ments with the view of ascertaining
whether the vapors arising from the
Hquified gases might not be rendered
available as mechanical agents, in lieu
of steam, and be applicable to the same
purposes. These experiments having been
detailed in a paper read at the Royal In-
stitution, we have made the following
selections from it, considering them to be
well deserving the attention of our scienti-
fic mechanical readers.

Siilphuniled hi/drogen, which condenses
readily at 3° Fahrenheit, under a pres-
sure equal to that which balances the
elastic force of an atmosphere compres-
sed to 1-I4th, had its elastic force in-
creased so as to equal that of an atmos-
phere compressed to l-17th, by an in-
crease of 47° of temperature.

Liquid nuiriatic acid at S° exerted an
elastic force equivalent to that of an at-
mosphere compressed to l-20th; by an
increase of 22°, it gained an elastic force
equivalent to that of an atmosphere com-
pressed to l-25th; and by a further ad-
dition of 26° an elastic force equivalent to
thatof air condensed to l-40lh of its primi-
tive volume. Sir H. Davy considers that
the denser the vapor, or the more difficult
the gas is of condensation, the greater
will be its power under changes of tem-
perature as a mechanical agent — Thus :

Carbonic acid exerted a force nearly
equal to that of air compressed to l-20th
at 12° Fahrenheit; and of air compres-
sed to l-3Gth at 32°, making an increase
equal to the weight of 13 atmospheres by
an increase of 20° of temperature; and
this immense elastic force of 36 atmos-
pheres being exerted at the freezing point
of water.

From the above experiments, as well

as others -on the same subject, Sir H.
Davy is of opinion that "the small dif-
ferences of temperature required to pro- ^
duce an elastic force equal to the pressure
of many atmospheres will render the risk
of explosion extremely small; and (he
continues) if future experiments should
realize the views here developed the mere '
diderence of temperature between sun-
shine and shade, and air and water, or
the effects of evaporation from a moist
surface, will be sufficient to produce re-
sults which have hitherto been obtained
only by a great expenditure of fuel.

Sir H. Davy has employed a very sim-
ple method of liquifying the gases by the
application of heat. The gas is placed
in one leg of a bent sealed tube con-
fined by mercury, and applying heat to
ether, alcohol or water, in the other end.
In this manner prussic gas, and sul-
phurous acid gas were liquified by the
pressure of the vapor of ether.

The reproduction of these gases oc-
casioned cold. — ib.


When wood acid is made to pass
through an iron tube heated to bright
ignition, and the acid allowed to enter
the tube by drops in quick succession, gas
of a very excellent quality is obtained.



A perfectly inodorous hydrogen gas
may be obtained by putting an amalgam of
potassium and mercury into distilled
water ; and by the addition of an acid,
or the muriate of ammonia to the water,
the same odor is produced as in the solu-
tion of zinc by diluted sulphuric acid;
this shows that pure hydrogen is inodor-
ous, and that the odor which usually ac-
companies the gas is owing to impurities.



M. Cozzi's Method of obtaining Creosote, . . 161
A valuable Green Color extracted' from Coffee

Berries, 161

Sir H. Davy's Agricultural Chemistry, . . . 162

Definition of Terms. Letter I, 164

Process of making the Schweinfurt Green Dye, 175

A cheap and valuable Filtering Machine, . . 175

Valuable Flux for the Blow Pipe, .... 175
Observations and Experiments upon Mechanical

Agents, . . , 176

Gas from Pyroligneous Acid, 176

Pure Hydrogen Gas Inodorous, 176




No. !«.]

Philadelpliia, Monday, September 2, ISasl.

[Vol. I.

The object of this paper is to concentrate and preserve, in a form suitable for future
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Tliis number, shows the general plan of the work.

Published monthly, for one dollar a year, payable in advance; six copies to the
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instance post paid. No. 74 N. Fourth street, care of T. E. Chapman.

Subscriptions received at T. E. Chapman's Bookstore, 74 A". Fourth st.—and by W . J fVeld/ng, 17 South Fifth at.



White raw silk becomes still whiter
by the sun; the fine yellow silk entirely
loses its color, and becomes of a good
white; the dirty yellow silk acquires, by
a long exposure to the light, a dingy red-
dish white color. Yellow silk, partly
bleached by soap, being exposed for four
or five days to the sun, is rendered of
many shades of white.

Yellow raw silk, boiled for eight hours
in water, and the water evaporated, left —
1, a dry, friable, reddish, resin-like sub-
stance, very soluble in water; 2, coloring
matter very soluble in alcohol, forming
a greenish-yellow solution; 3, a substance
insoluble in boiling water, soluble in hot
alcohol, and falling down as it cools in
light and very white flakes; 4, a black-
ish brown residue, burning like animal
substances, insoluble in water or alcohol,
but soluble in concentrated acids. White
raw silk yields the same products, ex-
cept the coloring matter. Yellow raw
silk was boiled for some hours in alco-
hol, and the solution poured off while
hqt. The solution was very clear, and of
a fine gold color, more or less deep: on
cooling, a flaky substance fell down, and
remained upon the filter in the form of a
fine, yellow, opake jelly, which was
much reduced by drying, and formed
only very light and thin pellicles. The
coloring matter was separated from it by
cold alcohol. The fat matter, insoluble

in cold alcohol, was analogous to wax,
spermaceti, and adipocire.

Fine yellow silk becomes, by this ope-
ration, of a good white, but ordinary silk
remains colored. This reddish tinge may
be given to yellow raw silk, bleached by
the sun, by leaving it for some months on
the gras's,macerating it inoxy muriatic acid,
or by boiling it for some hours in alcohol.
Although oxymuriatic acid does not
change the color of yellow raw silk, it
produces a remarkable change in the
gummy substance. Solutions of caustic
soda, or of neutralized soda, boiled for
several hours on silk, did not take up so
much soluble matter as alcohol.

The good effects of soap have been long
known; but it was thought prudent to
analyze that made use of, as also the
water. The soap was found to contain
52 29 percent, of water, 41.58 of oil, and
6.13 of soda: but, according to Lelievre,
Darcet, and Pellitier, the soap they exa-
mined contained only 30.46 per cent, of
water, 60.95 of oil, and S.59 of soda; so
that soap may contain more than 20 per
cent, of superfluous water, without losing
its solid form.

The Seine water at Paris, yielded, on
evaporating, 10 litres (610.3 cub. in.) of
it, on an average, 2 grammes (30.8 grains) "
of muriate of lime mixed with carbonate,
equal to 1.21 grammes of Utne. From
this it appears, that in bleaching 30 chilo-
grammes, (about 60 lbs.) of silk, with
75 (about 15 lbs.) of soap, and 750 (about
1500 lbs.) of water, 0.6 (about 1 lb. 5 oz.)



of soap is decomposed; and when water
from the Gobelins river is used, which
contains more calcareous salts, 1.8, or
about a quarter of the soap, is rendered

Raw silk, treated with a solution of
soap, yielded as much gum, and more
waxy and coloring matter, than when
either water or alkalies were employed:
and on examining, by means of alcohol,
silk that had been treated with different
liquids, that which had been treated with
a solution of soap yielded very little fat
or coloring matter to the alcohol, and
much less than the other specimens.

The stiffness of silk is owing to gum,
which forms 23 or 24 per cent, of it.
When dry, the gum is friable, and yields
a very light reddish-yellow powder;
smelling and tasting like extracts. It is
not softened by heat, but blackens, and is
converted into coal. It is soluble in six
times its weight of water, forming a
transparent brown-red solution, which is
yellow when spread out thin, and be-
comes greenish and putrid when exposed
to the air. The solution lathers like that
of soap. Concentrated sulphuric or mu-
riatic acid deepens the color of this solu-
tion; nitric acid changes it to a golden
yellow; sulphurous acid, and especiall}-
the gas, brightens the solution, and
changes it to a pale greenish-yellow.
Alcohol, of the specific gravity of 0.8293,
and 80° Cels. (176° Fahr.,) does not dis-
solve this gum. Oxymuriatic acid throws
down, from a solution of the gum, an
abundant white precipitate, which be-
comes reddish in the air; its solubility in
water is not altered, but it is rendered
soluble in alcohol, whether hot or cold.
Alkalies do not alter the solution of the
gum, but nut-galls throw down a pre-

The coloring matter, which is only
found in yellow silk, is a resinous sub
stance, almost solid at 12° Cels. (54°
Fahr.,) and entirely liquid at 30° (86°
Fahr.,) which forms about -^^ih or Ath
per cent, of the silk. It has a strong
smell, arising from the volatile oil com-
bined with it, which resembles oil of
aniseed, and may be separated from the
yellovv raw silk by means of alcohol
The most concentrated solutions of this

coloring matter are rendered colorless in
a few days by the sun.

It is not soluble in water, but soluble
in 8 or 10 times its weight of alcohol.
Caustic alkalies, especially ammonia, has
some action upon it. The solution of
soap, although it has but little action in
the cold, dissolves a greater quantity than
the alkalies at a boiling heat. Sulphuric
and muriatic acids render it black, but
sulphurous acid partly takes away its
color. Oxymuriatic acid converts it im-
mediately into a solid white substance
analogous to wax.

The wax of silk is found in all kinds of
silk, and forms about ^oo^^^ °'' too^^
part of China silk. It is hard, brittle,
and slightly colored; it melts at 75 or 80°
(167 or 176° Fahr.,) insoluble in water,
but very soluble in alkalies or soap.
Alcohol, sp. grav. 0.8293, takes up only
j/g-^th, of its weight at 20 or 25° (68 or
77° Fahr.^) and at a boiling heat, about
T^otli or ^i^th.

The solution is scarcely colored, it
grows turbid even while hot, and lets
fall white flakes. When cooled, these
form a bluish-white mass, whicli di-
minishes greatly on drying, and is re-
duced to very thin plates, slightly trans-

White raw silk contains only this wax,
and some oil, which with gum appears to
give color to silk.

Silk is usually treated with a solution
of soap, in order to render it soft, white,
and brilliant, withoutaffecting its strength.
White raw silk, boiled for three hours
with 300 parts of water, is rendered soft
and brilliant; but yellow requires 400
parts, and 4 or 5 hours boiling, and even
then it retains much of its color. It re-
quires Tooth part of pure caustic soda,
with the usual quantity of water and
usual time of boiling, as when soap is
employed, to prepare white raw silk;
and j'-gih or -g-^th, to prepare yellow raw,
silk. The preparation with soap varies
in different manufactories; but, on the
average, yellow raw silk to be bleached,
requires 60 or 70 chilogrammes of soap
for 100 of silk, and at least four or six
hours boiling; the white raw silk only
SO or 35 of soap, and four hours boiling:



the mean proportioli of vvater being ^5
or 30 times the weight of the silk.

Comparative experiments being made,
the white raw silk, prepared with soap,
was very white and brilliant, with soda
soft, but less white, as having a yellowish-
gray tinge; with water, although very
soft, dull, and having a yellowish-gray
tinge. Yellow raw silk exhibited the
same differences, but the soda had not
acted so strongly upon it as the water.

The white siiks lost upon an average
24 to 25 per cent, and the yellow 26 to
28. The silks prepared with soap were
stronger than those boiled in water, or
with soda; and were of superior bril-
liancy when dried. In boiling silk, cop-
per vessels have some inconveniences.
Oil account of the ease with which they
are oxidized: and as calcareous salts pre-
sent in the water diminish the soap, it is
necessary to use very pure water, and
only a certain quantity, which is 15 or
16 times the weight of the silk: .^^2'^^ ^^
Ith of soap is sufficient for white raw
silk; but for yellow raw silk, it is neces-
sary to add 50 or 60 per cent, of soap.
Even an equal weight of soap, and the
subsequent use of sulphurous acid gas,
does not render these silks as white as
the other, when treated with 25 per cent,
of soap.. As to the time of boiling, the
silk which was boiled the least time was
whiter, more brilliant, and had lost less
of its weight than that which had boiled
a longer time.

Silk, if the boiling be continued too
long, loses the white color it has acquir-
ed; the following experiments, were
made to determine the cause of this al-
teration; white raw silk, boiled in a ves-
sel which permitted |tbs of the water to
be evaporated, was not so white as that
boiled in a vessel that did not permit
any evaporation to take place.

Very white silk, which had been boil-
ed with soap, was again boiled for an
hour in soap-liquor and in solution of
gum; it acquired a reddish tint, that
could not be got rid of by boiling water.

Silk, already bleached by soap, was
boiled again for four hours, with a quar-
ter its weight of soap. The white silk,
thus doubly bleached, had a greenish-gray
tint; it was dull and harsh, having ac-

quired some resemblance to thread in
hardness; it had lost -j^'^ of its weight,
and 7 per cent, of its strength.

The yellow raw silk, was whiter than
at the first bleaching, but had lost some
of its softness and brillancy, with j^yth
of its weight, and 5 or 6 per cent, of its

White raw silk, bleached by soap, and
very white, being boiled, after careful
washing, for many hours in distilled
water, and the water afterwards evapo-
rated, yielded a small quantity of animal
matter, not analogous to the products
above spoken of, but which burned in
the same manner as silk.

As silk is completely bleached in less

Online LibraryD. PeirceObserver and record of agriculture, Science and art (Volume v.1) → online text (page 32 of 35)