James Orr.

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while the part that is not burned gives the peculiar odor to the washings of the guo-
barroL



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29 1 Oimp«wd«r

If a lATger proportion of charcoal to added, more or leas cartKnilc oxide i^ Is
generated as a prodact of corobastlon. Blasting powder is po composed that, tho-
oretically, It shoold yield on eiplosion a mixture of carbonic oxide and carf>onlc
acid gasetf, and leave a resldne or bisulphide of potassium; the reaction being t^-
pressed by iheeqnatlon KO,NOg + «S + 4C = 200 + SCO, + N + KS,.x A powder
composed according to tlil^ formnla would contain 64*4 per cent of nitre, tO'4 per
cent of sniphnr. ana 15*2 i)er cent of carbon ; and the proportions actually employed
are «5, ««, and 18, respecdrely.

Recent hivestlgations of Bnnsen and Schlscbkoff (PoggendorfTs "Annalen." Bd.



IW, p. 321) shew that in reality the ctiemical reactions are very far from being as
simple as those given in the preceding paragraphs; the solid resldoe consisting
of varlons compounds of potassium (sulphate of potash being in greatest quantity),



Kiimlated uunpowder communicates from grain to grain witii the utmost mpidily ;
t stlfL it Is important to bear in mind, by successive ignition^ Combustion



with portions of nitre and carbon.

The ignition of ennpowder must be distinguished from Its combustion. The
powder is ignited when a portion of It begins to develop light and heat ; this in
.. M . . . - . . lOitheutmcr' '"*'

means tlie final aud total decomposition of each grain separately, ana the complete
liberation of Its component gases. In gunpowder these phenomena follow each
other so rapidly, ttiat. unless the mass is spread over a considerable space, they ap*
pear simuliaoeous. The heat spread around by each grain during Its combustion
snfUces to ignite all other grnlns within a sphere of six times its own diameter.
This serves to account for the almost instantaneous communication of the flame
throughout the whole quantity exposed. The granulation of gunpowder has a {rreat
influence on tho rapidity of Its Ignition : the larger the grain, ihe more rapid is the
ignition, but the slower the conibustlon. On the other hand, small-grulned powder



ignites more slowly, and bums with greater speed. When mealed or finely pow-
dered ffuupowder is employed. It readily Inflames, from tlie presence of the ordinary
ingredients; but there being no interstices, the conflagration spreads but slowly.



aud therefore the decompostion Is proportionately retarded. It thus happens that
mealed powder exhibits less explosive power and less rapidity of combustion the
closer il is pressed together, a clrcunastance taken into account in the nwnufacturo
of fireworks.

In rifled guns and muskets, where it is desired that tiie projectile should expand
to the shape of the grooves, it is obviously best to have a powder which, by very
rapid Ignition, creates the utmost sudden expansion, and whtrh, by contiimed com-
bustion, maintains an increasing degree of bent, which thall further augment the
explosive force of the gsses evolved up to the period of time at which ttie projec-
tile is driven from tlie mnrsle of the weapon. With this object, Inrge-gralned pow-
der Is clearly the most suitable, although a contrary view has been Ions accepted ;
and that to so great an extent, that some among the recent Inventors ofnfled arms
have had to complain that the only gunpowder they could obtain has been far too
good for their purposest

ProeeM qf Munn/aetttrs.— The three ingredients being taken to separate mills,
are reduced by successive grindlngs to impalpable powder. The several materials
are then taken lo the mixirtg-houm, where they ore weighed out into their respec-
tive proportions. The charcoal Is spread in a trough, and tiie sniphnr and nitre
being sifted U|>on It, the whole are Incorporated, though imperfectly, by the hands,
Ti»e next process is lu ihe pmoder-milL^ where the mixture Is ground between mill-
stones, and thorouffhly incorporated in a wet state. So dangerous is this part of
the manufactnre, that makers are forbidden to crlnd more than 48 lbs. in the same
house at one time : all the bearings of the machinery are of copper, lent heat shootd
be geuenited by the friction. According to the quality intended is the time during
which this trituration is continued, from one hour to six beinc that usually cm-
ployed, and tiiree lionrs the period in the government factory. The powder, com-
pletely pulverised and caked by the moisture and the pressure, leaves the mill in
small lumps, called mill-rake. This mill-cake is then spread between copperplates
in layers about 8 inches thick, and is subjected to an immense pressure either by a
screw-capstan or by a hydraulic engine.

The next operation is graining, a process to which, as already expudued, gun-
powder owes its rapidity of ignition, and ita conaequept explosive power. This is



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Gonpowdtf 9 Q 9

p<^rformod by forcing the mill -cake through minute holes in a circular parchment
aiewr, tli«* bifvc belinj kept by iuechaui!«n\ lu rapid revoJutiou. Tl»o graius thus
fornu'd arc, hiwever, of very various si7.eft; and that the guupowdt'r bhould l)0
hoino;ioucoua, it is iieccHsary that they elioiild be »ortetl into the several nizes.
Tills is done by the inlcrvcutiou of a sericB of aiuvea of different degrees of
flufuesB.

Since tiie lutrodnction of the Immense modern caunon, it has been found neces-
sarv to maki' powder with very lar;;e ;rrain, rvi-n laiijcr thau liazd uuls, tills is
ctdr^d pebble powder^ and i» now in ^euenil nm:.

U'lif hisl proce.-w??* are dryiu;:, jjUiziiig, and freeinj; from du?t. The flrwt is
effected by heating the |>owdcr lo a point suffloient to drive off moisture; Itie sec-
ond, l>y the friction of tlic ;;rains hij^'clhcr In a revolving cylinder; the tliird, by the
cenlrifujral action caa*»»d by I he powder beino; twisted rouml at great speed in a
gauze cylinder, when tlie dust (f«>rmetl in the poli^*hiug) flies off through the gauze,
and the bright grains rem lin as flnishcd gunpowder.

This i;* a modern system— a system involving considerable personal rl^k at every
sfage; for theliue dust l)econ»es so diffused througli tiie atmosphere in tlie mills,
that the sligljT^t spark would blow tiiu «iiole Into the air in a moment. The early
process of mauufacturi' wa*. however, even more dangerouH. What with the stir-
ring, and pouudliig, and spirit (which our forefathers u>ed instead ot water, in the
idea that a strong fluiil would impart strength to the mixture), It was probably fn
the impurity alone of the materials tliat the operators were indebted for not '-uiug
blown to pieces.

The fo luv%ing are the chief properties of gunpowder. Good powder should bo
perfectly uniform In texture, and should not present any light sp/cks or gl. tiering
points. The grains should bi' sufficiently hard not to be easl!v criislied by the fin-
gers, or lo soil tliem. or a piec* of pap -r, by mere contact. If inflamed on white
paper, it should blacken It but sllglitly, should on no account set Are to it, and
should Ityive only a verv sliizhi re>iirue. The temi)erature at which it explodes has
been carefully studied by Violette, who obtained the following results :

Angular Qraius. Pulverised.

1. Blasting powder explodes at 618" 6(J»o

2. War powder explo- les at 628='5 610o-6

8. Sporting powder, t'.ne, e.\plodes at 536^ 61 4<^ S

4. Do. extra flue, explodes al 603o 618*^

The most combuslibleof these powders was the one containing the largest amount
of sulphur, which is tin: ingredient mopt ready to enter into ignition. When gun-
powder is exposed to a heat of 600". the whole of its moisture is expelled, and the
nitre and sulphur are reduced to the fluid form. On cooling, such powder is found
tolxi inteikHjIy black, and the gr.iin has become Indurated, and is no longer able lo
Imbibe moisture. Powder is inllaiued by any I>urning substance, hv redlmt metal,
by the ekH-trlc spark, or by the x-iolent concnssloti even of ccjyiparatfvely soft bo<lies,
if it l>c sufliciently jwwerlul. For example, powder placed upo'J lead, or even ou
wood, may be ignited by the shock of a leaden bullet fired at il. Its specific grav-
ity is about 1 -S.

The nature of the residue which Is left after the Ignition of tlie powder has been
already explained. TUc/utUin>j caused by this residue ia avoided lo some eiteut by
tlie lubrication of the barrel with a little fatly matter.

Tlie mauufactuiv of ginipowder is curri. d on to a great extent in (^reut Britain ;
the exports in 1875 were 15,071.979 lbs., shipped principally to the colonies, and to
Western Africa and South America,

GUNPOWDBR, Laws Relating to. In ord<M- to guard against the frightful con-
Bequonces to the puI>Uc likely to arise from cardessnesa In the preparation. «rt*8er-
vatiou, orcouveyance of this most dangerous article, the legislature in 1875 nuido
stringent rules upon th« subjecL By 38 and 89 Vict, c 17 — au act which applios alno
to Scotland and Irplaod — it is provided that no gaupowder shall l>e nmnufacturpd
except at a factory lawfully existiug or licensed imder the act. and it shall not be
kepi except in the factory where it is made, or in a magazine or store duly lic^nsixl,
or iu ragistcred premises. The liceuae is ooiaiued from Uio local authority (usually



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293



GospowdM



iofltices), and approved by the Home Secretary. General rnlee are imposed for repu-
latiui^ factories aud mjisaziueK Tbere must nealightiiiiig-conductor. Mo churcooJ
or oiled ra^s must be tukeii into Uio building excepi fur iuiuu'diate u^e. No amok'
iuir id allowed. Tools nre tube made of wood or i*ofl mnt«iiu!. Workiug-meu's
clothes are to be without pockeis. t'arriagcs and lH>utf for conveying ^uu-

fowder iDUt»t have iu tbeir interior uo irou or Bteel (iS)>o6ed. Each buildiug if« lo
ave aflixed, so as to be easily read, the quantity of gimpowder ailowt- il iu cacli.
Betuil dealers must be regiiitert>d, ana nmst keep iboir powder iu a hcpttnite iiou»e
or iu a fire-proof safe, not exccedinj; 5400 lbs.; but if kept iusido the dwdUujr-house
50 ]bt<.,or ii iu a safe inside. 100 lbs. The building or feiufc is to liavu no exput^ed iroa
or steel iu the lnb*rior. A orcach of precautions ugaiuht lii-c or explo.slou is viMlrd
with heavy peoalties. The loc^ authorities mui^t keep registers of liccnseil pert^on:',
and all rateimyers can demand a copy thereof. Ketuil dealers, if using less than 5
lbs. for cartridges at a time are exempted from takinj; out a fjictory license. No
powder uiust be sold to a child under IU. All powder exci-eding 1 lb. Meigbl umst Ijo
Boid iu a canister or case securely fitted, and with the word "^'uupowcjer " visible.
Also, powder uiust l)e closely and securely packed and labelled for conveyance, if
exceeding 5 Ibs.^aud the amouut carried is not to exceed 100 lbs. All railway aud canal
compaoioH are to make rules and have s|>ecinl times aud places for loading and uu-
londjug powder. Firework factories, if making aud keeping le»-s than SOU lbs- of
fireworks, need ouly a lieeuso from the locid autborily ; butexceedinp that quantity,
oue from the lIoni« Secretaiy. To let off a ftrework in a street or biicbway sMb>ct9
the offender to £& pi'ualty. A goverument inspector may at any nuur of day or
ni^ht enter aud insin.'cr any factory, magazine, or registentd premiM's, ainl may re-
quire tlie occupier, under a heavy penalty, to nuiko alterations, or take c»rlBiti
precautions, bcarcli- warrants are jdso readily graut«;d, aud iu uifeut cases are di«-
peused with.

GUNPOWDER FACTORY, Koyal, at Waltbam Abbe>', an CT^tabllshment In
which much of the gunpowder required for th(; British army and navy is made. It
b bnilt on all the newest and mof^t ftp])roved principles to Insure safety, e<ononiy,
and eflBcioncv; but even here accidents occasionally happen in this ({angerons mnn-
Mfacinre. and roofs end sid^s, paiT)o»«'ly K f t loose so as to offer but little i-eslslance,
are scattered to the winds. Between the dilfeient mills mud-banks an* raised, niul
groTCs of trees thick ly jilanted, to lessen the concnsHlon, and, as Inr as posMbie.
Dmit th« catastrophe when one hous4^ is nnfortuuately exploded. A series of mlf^iil
canals, at the same time, Is ready to flood the whol*; jdace, or to afford a precarions
abeltcr to the men employed, If time be avmlable to make ii84« of It. The cliarjie lor
this factory for 1878-187»*wa8 i:i04,4»9. of which £20,(»1J were for management and
wage*, jC19,09« for bolldin^^s, and i;44,T64 for raw material. There are about 200
workmen. "Wheu the gunpowder is made, ti is sent down the Lea navigation, to the
raagazinrs at Woolwich and Pui-fleet.

GITN POWDER PLOT, The. was a fanatical project on Ibe part of n few Komnn
Cat'ioHcs to destroy the King, Lords, and Commons on the meeting ol pmljani< lit
on the 5th Noveir.b'er 1605. James I. had succeede<l Elizabeth two vean; bel«rre,
and bis covernment had exerrlM^d gie:il severities agaliiPl the Koman ('Hlhollcs. not
merely denying tliem religious toleration, but conflscating their proinriy. A few
mined aud extui^^erated men twinded tOErethcr to overtlirow the g»)verninent. The
originator of the plot was Robert Uatesby, a man of fortune, which lie had iinjjalted
by youthful extravagance, ni.d wh(» communicated his Idea to 'Ibomas Winter, m bo
was horrified at fli-st, but after a time began to approve and further it. For Ibis end
he enlist4*d Juto the couspiracy Guv Fuwkes. a soldier oi fortune, ot coiusidcruble
mil itarj' experience, and the most aetormjued and leurle^s chnmcler. C'alei^l»y en-
listecl other two, by name Wright and Percy— the iariera itdation of the I*]arl of
NorthumberlamL They hired a house and garden contifruous to the parliament
house, and commenced their mine, imrt working when tbeotlKussleiit, and tbernli-
bish being buried during night. One day when ibey were alarnnnl by a noi.'-e alter
tliey bad with much labor pierced the wall three yaids thick. Fawkes learned that
this noise nroceeded from a cellar under the Uouse of Lords, which would hoon l»e
vacnnt. He hired it, and barrels of gunpowder were i>laced In it, and stones and
billets of wood placed over them, for the double i)urpo8L' of coucculmeut uud to



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Glauroom 90J. *

Ganl«r'« ^*'*

act M destnicf iv8 ralssnes when the ganpowder was flrcd. In th« Interval, a broths
of Wriglic Aud a brother of Winter bad been addt;d to the cout^mtorst «o thfy wert»
MOW aevtin. Bnt they wanted money ; aud to snpply It, two others were indnced to
filter this fanatical copartnery, and theee were sir Bvcmrd Dfgby of Uatehur^l, in
Bnckineliamshins a yunnj^ gentleman of lart^ f^tatea ; and Praiici!< Treaham, a fol-
lower of Bmmx. like Catef^by nnd Percv, bnt, unlike them, a Klfiah unenthnataatlc man
—not a man at all snltahle for conapfracy, except that he litid two thousand nonndt
to coiitrlbate. Their plan was flniilly arranged for the reai>»embHng of parliament,
which woB to take place on the 5th November. Guy Pawkca was to Are the mine
(If the gnnnowder In the cellar may be so culled), and thni flee to Plunders by a
ahip provided with Tresham'a money, and waiting ready on the Thames. All the
Roman Catholic peers and others whom It was expedloiit to preserve, were to be
prevented from going to the pnrlljiment honse by some nreiendetl message or other,
on the morning of the day. After nil was ready. Lord Monnteagle was at sujiper al
his conntry hon^e at Hoxton, where he very seldom was. As he sat, a page nanded
liira a letter received from a stranger, advising him **to devise some cxcnse to shift
off your attendance at this parliament, for Gfod and man hath concnrred to pnnish
the wickedness of this time." That this letter was written by or for Tresham, who
was Lorfl Mounteagle's brother-in-law, there can be little donbt. Tliat he desired
to save him was certainly one reason for writing it ; that he desired to save the con-
spirators, or at least to allow them to escape. Is very probable ; and that they might
have escaped bat for the fanatical hopes of Catesby. is all bnt certtilii. It Is also

{»robabIe that Lord Monnteagle had been folly Informed of the whole matter by Tre»-
lam, and that the snpper in the coantry nnd the letter were mei^ devices to conceal
Tresham's treachery. When the letter was formally communicated to the king, he
at once declared Its meaning, and the most simple way of accounting for his power
of divination is to suppose that, like Lord Monnteagle, he had bet-n told beforehand.
On the very evening of the 4th, the Lord Chamberlain and Lord Monnteagle vteited
the parliament house, aud entering the cellar In a casual way, told Gov Fawkea,
whom they found there, and who passed as Percy's servant, that his master
had laid In plenty of foel. Only fanaticism gone the length of fatuity
could have made him persevere after this. But he did, though escape was still pos-
alble; and on the mornmg of the 6ih, a little after midnight, be waa arrested coming
out of the cellar, dressed as for a ioiimey. Three nnttches were found on him, a
dark-Ian torn burning in a corner within, and a hogshead and thirty-six barrels of
gunpowder. He was examined aud tortured. He confessed his own goilt, but
would not discover his avsociates. However, he and the chief of them wore either
killed on being captnred. or died on the scaffold; except Tresham, whoatflrst
walke<l about openly, but at last was apprehended, and died of a natnral disease in
the Tower. The memory of this plot. Invested bv much fiction, has sorvivcd In Eng-
land ; and it was not more diabolical than hopeless and mad. It was in lt«elf my^
terioua, aud for pnrposes of state policy and Protestant seal, a further mystery waa
thrown over it. No name in Bnglish history has been more detested than that oC
Guy Fawkes (q. v.).

GUNROOM, In British llne-of-battJe alilpa. Is the common cabin of officers b»*
low the rank of lieutenant (with the exception of the nseistant-sorgeon, who sits ia
the wardroom). In frigates and smaller vessels, the gnuroom is the common cabin
o( the lieutenants, master, surgeon, aisistant-aurgeon, paymaster, marine offlcers,
chaplain, and chief engineer ; the junior officers being in those cases consigned to
the cockpiu

GONS (Magyar, Kdsteffh)^ a small town of Hungary, sitnated on a river of tlm
same name, about ST miles sooth-soot h-«ast of Vienna. It is inhabited almost
wholly by Germans, who are the descendants of Bavaro-Franklsh colonists that
settled here In the 9th c., and who a|>eak a dialect differing from any other German
dialect Fruit and wine are larttely cultivated. Pop. (18«9) 6918. G. made Itself
forever faroons by Its noble defence for 88 days against the Turkish army under
Solyman In 154*. This defence not only forced the Turks to retire, but afforded
time for the Binperor Charles V. to assemble a force strong enough to oppose them.

GUNSHOT WOrNDS may vary In severity from a simple braise to the tearing
•way 9t a whole limb. Single balls prodoce a cot, braisedor lacerated wotmd, ao-



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295 OiiSUr'*

eofcltDg to llie mnutifit of their Telodtr when tbcy strike tlie body. Tb« cllccte of
imialUlbot ¥1117 wiib the diirtaiioe aim power of the gmi ; when close, the chane
enters with the pellets so close tofrether as to make one wouimI like a single boll.
Borne years ago, H was commonly belieTed that the *' wind of a large shot" contd
produce serioTis Injories ; this belief mar have arisen from the circumstance that
when a heavy ball, which has loM some of its ftiroe, striki>e the body at a parUcvlnr
augle, the pkhi does not always give way, bat the deeper stmciures, snch as the
muscles, or large organs, as the liver, may bo completely crushed. If the wind of
a shot conld kfil a man, it is not likely that soldiers siioold have had ears, nosee«
and Ups shot off, and yet have experienced only tiM symptoms produced by those
slight iujaries.

When a bullet passes out of the body, there are twoopcnings— that of "en-
trance," which Is generally depre:«8ed. roniul, reeulnr, and smaller than that of
*• exit.** The muderu coiucal ball makes a well-defined oblong wound, but It may
shift Its direction, so as to strike it longitudinally, and canse a more extensive in-
inry to the skin. When a bullet strikes the shaft of a bone, it cracks or splinters
ft, and either remains or passes through the cancellated ends. In Its course, the
ball may carry before it pieces of cloth, coins, or other foreign bodies, which in-
crease nie danger of the wound. Many persons who have l)een shot during the ex-
oitmnent of battle, describe the sennution as resembling the sharp stroke of a cane ;
bttt in most instances the wounded man soon 1)egios to tremble, as if in an ague-fit^
complains of cold, his face becom<# pale, his pulse scarcelv perceptible, and ne ap*
pears as if about to die. This is the condition termed anoek; and though dealii
sometimes does ensue during this state of prostration, it is not so serious as it ap-
pears, and the patient will probably pass ont of it in a few hours with the help of
stlmnlants and rest. Although excessive bleeding is not so common after gunshot
OS other kinds of wounds, It may occur immediately to a fatal extent, if assistance
be not afforded. This assistance any one can give : it consists simply in placing
the flogera in the wound, and if the vessel can he reached, pressing them upon it,
directed to the proper point by the warm gush of blood. Should tne wound be too
small to admit the finger, a handkerchief may be tied round the limb above tlie
wound, and twisted tightly with a stick. It Is well to examine the wound, to as-
certain the extent of the injury done, and whether there ard splinters of bone or
portions of dress lying In it, which should be removed. But neither the examination
nor the removal slionid be attempted if they seem likely to aggravate the Injury.
The treatment is similar to tlioi of other wonnds, and conslpts in protecting the
part during the healing stoges, moderatliifr inflammation by cold water dressings or
soothing poultices, and hastening the last stages of cure by stimniatlng iotTons.
Buting his illness, the genenil treatment of the wounded man roust depend upon
so many different circumstances, that it would be out of place to enter upon them
here.

GUNTER, Edmund, an English mathematician, was bom in Hertfordshire, In
the end of 1580 or the lieglnning of 1C81. He was educated at Westminster School,
and afterwards at Christchurcli C3olIege, Oxford. While at Oxford, he rave his at-
tention principally to the study of mathematics, and in 1600 inventea the sector,
with the lines known ns Guntcr's Scale. Subsequcntlv. he took orders, became a
preacher, and took the decree of B.D. But the bent of nls mind being strongly to-
wards mathematical studies, he obtained the professorship of astronomv in Oreshom
Ckillcge on the (Mh March 161». He died lOlh December 16W. The principal works
of G. are the two following : •• Canon Triangulorum " (Lond. IMO), a table of log-
arithmic sines, Ac, to seven places of decimals, being the first table published m
accordance with hr\getl*B system ; in this work we find; for the first time, the words
" cosine," " eotsngenl^" Ac; " Of the Sector, Cross-staff, and other Instrumenta "
(1084). We also owe to G. the invention of the surveying-chain (see next article),
and the first observation of the variation of the compass.

GUNTER'S CHAIN, Guntcr's Scale. &ttnter*§ Chain, so named after its In-
ventor, is that commonly used by surveyors in measuring land. It is 00 feet long,
and its convenience in practice turns on the fact, that ten square chains make one
acre. The chain is divided into 100 links, and thus 100,000 square links make on
acr&

The name of Ounter^B SeaU or GutUer*$ Unea, it tmudly gtren to three Sues to b«



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Gtuilaims ^«^ ^

seen ou almost nnv sector, and marked N, S, T, ineanlnfi: the Hum of Jogarltknic
numbtTfi^ o£ logurithmic M'n«9, aud of hM^rithmio iaa^^i<a\ts. To DDderstaiMl ttieir
couttractioii and dm reqairea a knowledge of loearittame; they are explained in
every 5<aiool-book of practical uiattaeinatica. The dlatoncea of the divisions marked



Online LibraryJames OrrChambers's new handy volume American encyclopaedia: being a ..., Volume 6 → online text (page 57 of 196)