D. Peirce.

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renders it protluctive, or as nature has
furnished the wheat plant with a double
set of roots so contrived that the first may
be deep enough to enable it to stand the
severity of the winter, and the second so
shallow as to admit the genial iufluence
of the spring, it first shoots down a per-
pendicular tap root to keep it steady
through the winter, and in the spring til-
lers out a number of coronal roots, each
of which has alsoitn own proper root and
produces its own ear, though still adher-
ing to the former root, and when this op-
eration is complete, the winter root be-
comes useless and decays; but if the win-
ter root be iinperfect, the side shoots will
be so likewise, for which reason a strong
solid foot hold for the tap root, is neces-
sary for wheat, and the more complete the
winter root, the more perfect the crop; in
like manner, if the 3^oimg plants be un-
equal, so will the ripening of the crop; and it
is generally found that blight takes the crop
while one part of the ear which is ripe, is
wasting for another part which is green.

A thin crop of wheat and a late ripen-
ing crop are said to be the peculiar prey
of the blights, and these are generally
produced either by sowing the land witli
wheat which is unfit for it, or in an im-
proper stale of cultivation, or by sowing
it in an improper season. In short he gives
it as his opinion that any cause whicii
tends to weaken the plant, will predis-
pose it to receive the blight.

Among the most obvious of these are
reckoned, 1st. sowing wheat on land that
has been so worn out by cropping as to
have lost that tenacity and cohesion, which
are so necessary to a wheat crop, and
which dung without rest, will not restore.
2. Sowing the land in a light loose state,
whereby the plants root too near the sur-

face, and are liable to be injured by
the frosts and to have the roots laid bare
by the wind. 3. Sowing wheat too late
in autumn, especially in poor and exposed
situations, where the roots have not time
to establish themselves before winter
comes on, and vegetation is at a stand. As
these causes appear to him to have occur-
red more of late years than in preceding
times, he thinks there is much probability
in the assertion " the blight on wheat has
increased of late years." For it has not
been uncommon to sow land with wheat
every third, instead of every fourth or
fifth year, introducing in the interim a
system of crops exactly calculated to
make the land, light, whereby the crops
of wheat, though abundant in straw, have
not had strength enough to support them
till harvest, but have been laid by the
rain, and thereby become a prey to the
blight. And it has been more the prac-
tice lately to sow wheat after turnips,
which has been productive of clean crops,
but the wheat has been unavoidably sown
a month too late, and being consequently
late ripe, has been attacked by the blight.
Nor has it been an unfrequent prac-
tice to sow wheat after potatoes, which is
still worse, except in rich deep land,
where the plants will grow through the
whole of the winter, and the practice of
sowing wheat after clover is held to have
been carried to too great an extent, as it
encourages the slug and the wire-worm,
which destroy and weaken a considerable
portion of the wheat crop, and necessari-
ly render it more obnoxious to blight. If
then it can be proved (and Mr. Davis as-
serts that every farmer has observed it,)
that weak crops of wheat and particular-
ly of /«/e ri/?e crops are peculiarly sub-
ject to blight, he thinks it should be the
object of the husbandman to sow onlu
such land with wheat as is fit for wheat,
to get that ready early in summer, that
it may be close and firm before sowing,
to sow as early as the weather will per-
mit, and such kind of seed as will ripen
early, and above all, not to wear out his
land by too frequent repetitions of wheat
crop, since not the number of acres sown
but the number of bushels produced will
enrich the farmer, and supply the market.
Observations. These remarks on the
cause of the blight in wheat by a man



who joined the best information and the
strongest sense to the most extensive ex-
perience, are better deserving the notice
of the practical farmer, than whole vol-
umes by a mere theorist, whatever may
be his rank or acquirements. The advice
of Mr. Davis, in the last paragraph can
never be attended to without producing
corresponding advantages.


Lack varnishes, or lacquers, consist of
different resins in a state of solution, of
which the most common are mastich, san-
darach, lac, benzoin, copal, amber, and
asphaltum. The menstrua are either ex-
pressed or essential oil, or alcohol. For a
varnish of the first kind the common
painters' varnish is to be united, by
gently boiling it, with some more mas-
tich or colophony, and then diluted with
a little more oil of turpentine. The lat-
ter addition promotes both the glossy ap-
pearance and drying of the varnish. Of
this sort also is the amber varnish. To
make this varnish half a pound of amber
is kept over a gentle fire in a covered
iron pot, in the lid of which there is a
small hole, till it is observed to become
soft, and to be melted together into one
mass. As soon as this is perceived the
vessel is taken from the fire and suffered
to cool a little, when a pound of good
painters varnish is added to it, and the
whole suffered to boil up again over the
fire, keeping it continually stirring. Af-
ter this, it is again removed from the fire
and when it is become somewhat cool, a
pound of oil of turpentine is to be grad-
ually mixed witli it. Should the varnish
when it is cool, happen to be yet too thick,
it may be attenuated with more oil of
turpentine. This varnish has always a
dark brown color, because the amber is
previously half burned in the operation;
but if it be required of a bright color,
amber powder must be dissolved in trans-
parent painters' varnish, in Papin's Ma-
chine, by a gentle fire. As an instance
of the second sort of lac varnishes with
etherial oils alone, may be adduced the
varnish made with the oil of turpentine.

For making this, mastich alone is dis-
solved iii oil of turpentine by a very
gentle,, digesting heat, in close glass ves-
sels. This is the varnish used for the

modern transparencies employed as win-
dow-blinds, fire screens, and for other pur-
poses. These are commonly prints, col-
ored on both sides, and afterwards coated
with this varnish on those parts that are
intended to be transparent. Sometimes
fine thin calico, or Irish linen, is used
for this purpose, but it requires to be
primed with a solution of isinglass be-
fore the color is laid on, copal may be dis-
solved in genuine Chio turpentine by ad-
ding it in powder to the turpentine pre-
viously melted, and stirring till the whole
is fused. Oil of turpentine may then be
added to dilute it sufficiently. A varnish
of the consistence of thin turpentine, is
obtained by the digestion of one part of
elastic gum, or caoutchouc, cut into small
pieces, in thirty-two parts of naphtha.
Previously to its being used however, it
must be passed through a linen cloth in
order that undissolved parts may be left
behind. The third sort of varnishes con-
sist of the spirit varnishes. The most
solid resins by themselves produce brittle
varnishes; therefore something of a softer
substance, must always be mixed with
them, whereby this brittleness is dimin-

For this purpose Elemi, Turpentine,
or balsam of Capaiva, are employed in
proper proportions. For the solution of
these bodies the strongest alcohol ought
to be used. In conformity to these rules
a fine colored varnish may be obtained by
dissolving eight ounces 'of gum Sandar-
ach, and two ounces of Venice turpen-
tine in thirty-two ounces of alcohol by a
gentle heat. Five ounces of shell-lac and
one of turpentine dissolved in thirty-two
ounces of alcohol by a very gentle heat
give a harder varnish but of a reddish cast.
To these the solution of copal is undoubt-
edly preferable in many respects. This is
effected by triturating an ounce of pow-
dered gum copal, which has been well
dried by a gentle heat, with a drachm of
camphor, and while these are mixing to-
gether, adding by degrees, four ounces of
the strongest alcohol without any diges-
tion. Between this and the gold varnish
there is only this difference, that some
substances that communicate a yellow
tinge, are to be added to the latter. Take
two ounces of shell-lac, of annatta, and
turmeric, of each one ounce, and thirty



grains of fine dragon's blood, and mak ean
extract with twenty ounces of alcohol, in
a gentle heat. Oil varnishes are commonly
mixed immediately with the colors; but
lac or lacquer varnishes are laid on by
themselves upon a burnished colored
ground. When they are intended to be
laid upon naked wood, a ground should
be first given them of strong size, either
alone or with some earthy color, mixed
up with it by levigation.

The gold lacquer is simply rubbed over
brass, tin, or silver, to give them a gold
color. Before a resin is dissolved in a fixed
oil it is necessary to render the oil dry-
ing. For this purpose, the oil is boiled
with metalic oxides, in which operation
the mucilage of the oil combines with the
metal while the oil itself unites with the
oxygen of the oxide.

To accelerate the drying of this varnish
it is necessary to add oil of turpentine.
The essential varnishes consist of a solu-
tion of resin in oil of turpentine. The
varnish being applied the essential oil
flies ofi" and leaves the resin, this is used
only for paintings. When resins are dis-
solved in alcohol the varnish dries very
speedily and is subject to crack; but this
fault is corrected by adding a small quan-
tity of turpentine to the mixture, which
renders it brighter, and less brittle whea
dry. The colored resins or gums, such
as gamboge, dragon's blood, &c. are used
to color varnishes. To give lustre to the
varnish after it is laid on, it is rubbed
with pounded pummice stone and water,
which being dried with a cloth^ the work
is afterwards rubbed with an oiled rag
and tripoli. The surface is last of all clean-
ed with soft linen cloths, cleared of all
greasiness with powder of starch, and
rubbed bright with the palm of the hand.
The following receipt for a good spirit var-
nish is given by Tingry : Take strong alco-
hol thirty-two parts; pure mastich, four;
sandarach, three; clear Venice turpentine,
three; coarsely ground glass, four; reduce
the mastich and the sandarach to fine
powder; introduce them with the glass
and spirit, into a matrass, which is to be
placed in hot water, for one or two hours
taking care to stir up the materials from
time to time with a glass spatula; then

pour in the turpentine, and keep the ves-
sel tor half an hour longer in the water.
Next day decant off" the liquor, and filter
it through cotton. It will be perfectly
limpid. This varnish isusualy applied to
objects of the toilet, as work boxes, card
cases, Ǥ'C. Essence varnish, by the same.
Take mastich in powder twelve parts; pure
turpentine one and a half; camphor in bits,
one half; crystal glass ground, five; recti-
fied oil of turpentine, thirty-six. Put the
mastich, camphor, glass and oil into a
matrass, and dissolve as above described.
This varnish is applied to paintings. Fat
varnish. Take copal, sixteen parts, lin-
seed, or poppy oil, made drying with
litharge, eight; oil of turpentine, sixteen,
melt the copal in a matrass by exposing
it to a moderate heat; pour then upon it
the boiling oil; stir the mixture and when
the temperature is about 200° Fahr. add
the oil of turpentine heated; strain the
whole through a linen cloth and keep
the varnish in a wide mouth bottle. It be-
comes very clear in a little while, and is
almost colorless when well made. Copal
varnish is applied on coaches, also gener-
ally on polished iron, brass, copper, and
wood — varnish, among medalists, is the .
term used to signify those hues which an-
tique medals have acquired by lying in
the earth. The beauty which nature alone
is able to impart to medals^ and which
art has never yet attained the power
of counterfeiting, enhances their value.

The colors acquired by certain metals,
from having lain a long while in the
ground, are various, and some of them
exquisitely beautiful. The blue nearly
rivals that of turquoise, others have an in-
imitable Vermillion color ; others again,
a polished shining brown. But that most
usually found is a delicate green, which
hangs to the finest strokes without effac-
ing them. No metal except brass is sus-
ceptible of this. The green rust which
gathers on silver, always spoils it, and
must be removed with vinegar or lemon
juice. Falsifiers of medals have a varnish
which they use on their counterfeits, to
give them the appearance of being an-
tique; but there are means of discovering
these deceptions. — (See Numismatics)
Encyclopedia Americana.



Description of a vapour, fumigation
or shower bath.

*ddapted at a cheap expense for Public
Hospitals, or Private Families.

By Geoi'ge Cumming, M. D.

Trans. Soc. of Arts. Vol. 33.

This Bath is extremely simple, and
may be conveniently made of a piece of
cooperage, of sufficient dimen.'^ions. But
nothing can perhaj)s answer better than a
common wine-pipe, which after being
well washed, is to be sawn across, al)out
the middle, then to be well scraped and
cleaned in the inside, and afterwards pla-
ced vertically upon a frame with castors.
The upper half (in the top of which an
aperture has been previously prepared for
the iiead and neck of the bather,) is to be
furnished with cord pullies and counter-
poise, so that by connecting it with any
beam, roof, or ceiling, it can be raised or
depressed, or in other words, the bath can
be opened or shut with the greatest facility.
Upon the margin of the lower piece of
the bath there is a groove, three-fourths of
an inch deep, receiving the circumference
of the upper half and which is thus form-
ed. A strong iron hoop is first put on, on
the outside, and then well driven about
half its depth, when a similar one, after
being riveted, is driven to the same depth
within. — The groove thus formed, is of
the first importance, as it not only rend-
ers the bath, with the assistance of a little
water, steam tight, but also effectually
prevents it from undergoing any change
of shape. It may also be observed that
the above hoops are so hammered or set,
as to make the grooves somewhat wider
than the staves upon which they are ap-
plied, and that the edge of the upper or
moveable piece of the Bath, is cut with a
cooper's knife so as readily to fall, or slip
into it.

The boiler is distant from the Bath
about six feet, and the steam pipe is made
to enter an inch above the bottom, and to
extend itself horizontally to the centre of
the same, when with the view of equally
difi'using the heat, a piece of coarse linen
or calico stretched upon a hoop (with a
notch to admit the steam tube,) is placed
over it. This may be called the difTuser,
and is made of a less diaineter than the

bottom of the bath, in order that the feet of
a strong frame or grating to support the
bather, may securely rest upon the bot-
tom of the bath.

Immediately over this grating, a floor
of split ash (like a sieve,) is laid, and
upon this, a seat is placed which is fasten-
ed to tiie side of the bath, by means of a
bracket. This seat serves the bather as a
step as he gets in, or comes out of the bath.
To accommodate the various sizes of bath-
ers, light frames covered with split ash,
in the manner of cane-work, may be
placed upon the same seat if required.

The whole of these loose articles may
be packed within the bath, when not in
use, and placed in proper order, in a few
seconds when wanted.

Dr. Cumming concludes his general de-
scription of the apparatus by declaring that
it is simple, cheap, neat, durable and effi-
cient, and admits of a great variety of ap-

In this opinion we perfectly concur,
and think that Dr. Cumming has made an
useful present to the public, in contriving
this apparatus, which may enable many an
invalid to employ the valuable remedy of
a vapour bath with comparative ease and


By Mr. J. King, Trans. Soc. of Arts.

This machine consists of an oblong
frame of wood of two sides, with cross
pieces. It may be conveniently fixed in
a situation, and at a proper height for
working, by screwing down to a window .
sill by means of two screws, such as are
used for bedsteads. These, and an iron
bracket extending from the front to the
machine, being screwed against the wain-
scot, support the machine very steadil}';
or a stand consisting of proper legs, may
be used if preferred. The external parts
of the machine are covered with leather,
so as to become like cushions to support
the last, and it is held down by a strap, .
which has a loop or treadle at the bottom,
for the foot. The principal novelty of
this invention consists in a lever which
is attached by an iron link to a wire,



upon which it moves as a centre, and
when that is clown in its place, a small
point or beak of iron, enters into holes
made in an iron plate; and the other end
of I he lever comes to rest on a stop, which
has several holes in it. The end of the
lever has also a little iron beak which en-
ters these holes. Thus, when the lever is
down, it becomes an immoveable cross-
bar of the frame, and the last may be held
or wedged in between this, and either side
of the frame, and held down by the strap.
But to adjust the width of the opening on
which the last lies, nothing more is neces-
sary than to lift up the lever, so that the
point clears the holes of the plate,
then sliding the link along the wire to the
intended width, and shutting it down
again, the beak or point enters some other
hole of the plate, and holds the lever fast
in the new position, so as to adapt it to the
width of any last, or to hold it in any po-
sition at pleasure.

Mr. King observes that at other limes
the last is held down by the foot strap
pressing the lever upon it ; that the ma-
chine forms an universal vice, supporting
and holding the last firmly down upon the
cross-bar, in any required position. Two
stiff pieces of sol*.- leather are also fixed in
the Irame, which in certain positions sup-
ports the last.

(ibservations. — If confidence is to be
placed in the certificate of a long list of
individuals who have used Mr. King's
machine, and who state that it is highly
conducive to the health of boot and shoe-
makers, Mr, King will, doubtless, be
speedily gratified in witnessing its general
adoption by that numerous class of the
community; but we fear that the liberality
of the society for rewarding individuals
for inventions of a similar nature, has not
yet led to the general adoption.


These improvements consist in, 1st.
widening the body ram in a curved form,
which facilitates the entrance of the water
as much as possible and thus augments the
effect of the machine; 2d. in substituting
hollow balls for flap valves ; 3d. by the
addition of a small sucking valve, which
admits at each pulsation a quantity of air
into the head of the ram, from whence it

is expelled at the following pulsation intcc
the compressing reservoir, which would
be filled with water if the air lost by ab-
sorption were not renewed by this method;
4th. by so disposing the valve of ascension
that between its outer sides and the inside
of the head of the ram, there shall be a
volume of air which cannot be driven into
the reservoir, but which is compressed at
each pulsation by the power of the water.
In consequence of these improvements,
the shutting of the valves make less noise,
all the operations take place with more
gentleness, the machine is Jess shaken,
less liable to want repairs, and its con-
struction is rendered more simple.


Mr. Grant Thorburn, of Hallets Cove^
N. Y. informs the public in a letter to the
Editor of the New York Commercial
Advertiser, that he has the aforesaid
corn for sale, price 25 cents per ear. He
describes the corn as striking off in two,
three, and frequently four branches, in
appearance like a small tree, and produ-
ces an ear at the head of each branch. It
grows from 8 to 10 feet high, produces an
abundance of fodder, is a large white flint
twelve row corn, and ears from 10 to 14
inches long, he counted six hundred and
sixty grains on one ear; it was planted on
the lOlh of May, and had ears fit to boil
on the 10th of July; the produce of one
stalk was two thousand one hundred and
twenty grains, although subject to a severe
drought while growing. The dutton,
planted on the same day, on the same field
and receiving the same quantity of man-
ure, cross ploughing and hoeing, did not
produce one half of the quantity. — U. Si

Tomato Pies equal to fine English

The other day we partook, for the
first time, of a Tomato pie, anri were so
much pleased with the treat that we en-
quired into the mode of making them.
The tomatoes are skinned and sliced, and
after being mixed with sugar are prepared
in the same manner as other pies.

The Tomato is likely to become one of
the most useful plants. — Phila. Com. H.
and Sent.



From Sir Humphrey DavrsEieme.u8 of Agricultural I gredient^^ The earthy matters are the

true basis of the soil; the other parts,


Continued from p rge 3.

The vahie and uses of every species of
agricultural produce are most correctly
estimated and applied when practical
knowledge is assisted by principles deri-
ved from chemistry. The compounds in
vegetables, really nutritive as the food of
animals, are very few; farina or the pure
matter of starch, gluten, vegetable jelly,
and extract. Of these the most nutri
live is gluten, wh,ich approaches, nearest
in its nature to animal matter, and which
is the substance that gives to wheat its su-
periority over other grain.

The next in order as to nourishinj
power is sugar, then farina; and lastot all
gelatinous and extractive matters.

Simple tests of the relative nourishing
powers of the different species of food,
are the relative quantities of these sub-
stances that they afford by analysis; and
though taste and appearance must in-
fluence the consumption of all articles in
years of plenty, yet they are less attended
to in times of scarcity, and on such occa-
sions this kind of knowledge may be of
the greatest importance.

Sugar and farina, or starch, are very
similar in composition, and are capable
of being converted into each other by
simple chemical processes. In the discus-
sion of their relationsj I shall detail to you
the results of some recent experiments
which will be found possessed of applica-
tions both- to the economy of vegetation,
and to some important processes of manu-

All the varieties of substances found in
plants, are produced from the sap, and the
sap of plants is derived from water or from
the fluids in the soil, and it is altered by.
or combined with principles derived from
the atmosphere. The influence of the
soil, of water, and of air, will therefore
be the next subject of consideration. Soils
in all cases consist of a mixture of differ-
ent finely divided earthy matters; with
animal or vegetable substances in a state
of decomposition, and certain saline in-

* Note — In lines 2.3 & 24, p. 2, col. 2d, instead of
six and three substances, read seven are inflammable
bodies and two are gasses.

whether natural or artificially introduced,
operate in the same manner as manures.
Four earths generally abound in soils, the
aluminous, the sileceous, the calcareous,
and the magnesian. These earths, as I
have discovered, consist of highly inflam-
mable metals united to a pure air or oxy-
gen, and they are not as far as we know,
decomposed or altered in vegetation.

The great use of the soil is to afford
support to the plant, to enable it to fix its
roots, and to derive nourishment by its
tubes slowly and gradually, from the sol-
uble substances mixed with the earths.

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