On the Andes, in lat. 2 degrees, the limit of perpetual snow is 14,760 feet; in Mexico, lat. 19 degrees, the limit is 13,800 feet; on the peak of Teneriffe, 11,454 feet; on Mount Etna, 9,000 feet; on the Caucasus, 9,900 feet; in the Pyrenees, 8,400 feet; in Lapland, 3,100 feet; in Iceland, 2,890 feet. The walnut ceases to grow at an elevation of 3,600 feet; the yellow pine at 6,200 feet; the ash at 4,800 feet, and the fir at 6,700 feet. The loftiest inhabited spot on the globe is the Port House of Ancomarca, on the Andes, in Peru, 16,000 feet above the level of the sea. The 14th peak of the Himalayas, in Asia, 25,659 feet high, is the loftiest mountain in the world.
Lauterbrunnen is a deep part of an Alpine pass, where the sun hardly shines in winter. It abounds with falls, the most remarkable of which is the Staubbach, which falls over the Balm precipice in a drizzling spray from a height of 925 feet; best viewed in the morning sun or by moonlight. In general, it is like a gauze veil, with rainbows dancing up and down it, and when clouds hide the top of the mountain, it seems as poured out of the sky.
In Canada, the falls of Montmorenci are 250 feet high, the falls of Niagara (the Horse Shoe Falls) are 158 feet high and 2,000 feet wide, the American Falls arc 164 feet high and 900 feet wide. The Yosemite Valley Falls are 2,600 feet high, and the Ribbon Falls of the Yosemite are 3,300 feet high. The waterfall of the Arve, in Bavaria, is 2,000 feet.
THE PERIODS OF GESTATION are the same in the horse and ass or eleven months each, camel 12 months, elephant 2 years, lion 5 months, buffalo 12 months, in the human female 9 months, cow 9 months, sheep 5 months, dog 9 weeks, cat 8 weeks, sow 16 weeks, she wolf from 90 to 95 days. The goose sits 30 days, swans 42, hens 21, ducks 30, peahens and turkeys 28, canaries 14, pigeons 14, parrots 40 days.
AGES OF ANIMALS, ETC.—Elephant 100 years and upward, Rhinoceros 20, Camel 100, Lion 25 to 70, Tigers, Leopards, Jaguars and Hyenas (in confinement) about 25 years, Beaver 50, deer 20, wolf 20, Fox 14 to 16, Llamas 15, Chamois 25, Monkeys and Baboons 16 to 18 years, Hare 8, Squirrel 7, Rabbit 7, Swine 25, Stag under 50, Horse 30, Ass 30, Sheep under 10, Cow 20, Ox 30, Swans, Parrots and Ravens 200, Eagle 100, Geese 80, Hens and Pigeons 10 to 16, Hawks 36 to 40, Cranes 24, Blackbird 10 to 12, Peacock 20, Pelican 40 to 50, Thrush 8 to 10, Wren 2 to 3, Nightingale 15, Blackcap 15, Linnet 14 to 23, Goldfinch 20 to 24, Redbreast 10 to 12, Skylark 10 to 30, Titlark 5 to 6, Chaffinch 20 to 24, Starling 10 to 12, Carp 70 to 150, Pike 30 to 40, Salmon 16, Codfish 14 to 17, Eel 10, Crocodile 100, Tortoise 100 to 200, Whale estimated 1,000, Queen Bees live 4 years, Drones 4 months, Working Bees 6 months.
The melody of singing birds ranks as follows: The nightingale first, then the linnet, titlark, sky lark and wood lark. The mocking bird has the greatest powers of imitation, the robin and goldfinch are superior in vigorous notes.
The condor of Peru has spread wings 40 feet, feathers 20 feet, quills 8 inches round.
In England, a quarter of wheat, comprising 8 bushels, yields 14 bushels 2-1/2 pecks, divided into seven distinct kinds of flour, as follows: Fine flour, 5 bushels 3 pecks; bran, 3 bushels; twenty-penny, 3 bushels; seconds, 2 pecks; pollard, 2 bushels; fine middlings, 1 peck; coarse ditto, 1 peck.
The ancient Greek phalanx comprised 8,000 men, forming a square battalion, with spears crossing each other, and shields united.
The Roman legion was composed of 6,000 men, comprising 10 cohorts of 600 men each, with 300 horsemen.
The ancient battering ram was of massive timber, 60 to 100 feet long, fitted with an iron head. It was erected under shelter to protect the 60 or 100 men required to work it. The largest was equal in force to a 36-lb. shot from a cannon.
Pile Driving on Sandy Soils.—The greatest force will not effect a penetration exceeding 15 feet.
Various Sizes of Type.—It requires 205 lines of Diamond type to make 12 inches, of Pearl 178, of Ruby 166, of Nonpareil 143, of Minion 128, of Brevier 112-1/2, of Bourgeois 102-1/2, of Long Primer 89, of Small Pica 83, of Pica 71-1/2, of English 64.
Wire ropes for the transmission of power vary in size from 3/8 to 7/8 inch diam. For from 3 to 300 horse power; to promote flexibility, the rope, made of iron, steel, or copper wire, as may be preferred, is provided with a core of hemp, and the speed is 1 mile per minute, more or less, as desired. Tho rope should run on a well-balanced, grooved, cast iron wheel, of from 4 to 15 feet diam., according as the transmitted power ranges from 3 to 300 horse; the groove should be well cushioned with soft material, as leather or rubber, for the formation of a durable bed for the rope. With good care the rope will last from 3 to 5 years.
Cannon balls go furthest at an elevation of 30 degrees, and less as the balls are less; the range is furthest when fired from west to east in the direction of the earth's motion, which for the diurnal rotation on its axis, is at the rate of 1,037 miles per hour, and in its orbit, 66,092 miles.
The air's resistance is such that a cannon ball of 3 lbs. weight, diameter, 2.78 ins. Moving with a velocity of 1,800 feet per second, is resisted by a force equal to 156 lbs.
Bricklayers ascend ladders with loads of 90 lbs., 1 foot per second. There are 484 bricks in a cubic yard, and 4,356 in a rod.
A power of 250 tons is necessary to start a vessel weighing 3,000 tons over greased slides on a marine railway, when in motion, 150 tons only is required.
A modern dredging machine, 123 ft. long, beam 26 ft., breadth over all, 11 ft., will raise 180 tons of mud and clay per hour, 11 feet from water-line.
In tanning, 4 lbs. of oak bark make 1 lb. of leather.
Flame is quenched in air containing 3 per cent, of carbonic acid; the same percentage is fatal to animal life.
100 parts of oak make nearly 23 of charcoal; beech 21, deal 19, apple 23.7, elm 23, ash 25, birch 24, maple 22.8, willow 18, poplar 20, red pine 22.10, white pine 23. The charcoal used in gunpowder is made from willow, alder, and a few other woods. The charred timber found in the ruins of Herculaneum has undergone no change in 1,800 years.
Four volumes of nitrogen and one of oxygen compose atmospheric air in all localities on the globe.
Air extracted from pure water, under an air pump, contains 34.8 per cent. of oxygen. Fish breathe this air, respiring about 35 times per minute. The oxhydrogen lime light may be seen from mountains at the distance of 200 miles round.
Lightning is reflected 150 to 200 miles.
1,000 cubic feet of 13 candle gas is equivalent to over 7 gals. of sperm oil, 52.9 lbs. of tallow candles, and over 44 lbs. of sperm candles.
The time occupied by gas in traveling from a gas well (in Pennsylvania) through 32 miles of pipe was 22 minutes, pressure at the well was 55 lbs. per inch, pressure at discharge 49 lbs.
At birth, the beats of the pulse are from 165 to 104, and the inspirations of breath from 70 to 23. From 15 to 20, the pulsations are from 90 to 57, the inspirations, from 24 to 16; from 29 to 50, the pulsations are 112 to 56, the inspirations 23 to 11. In usual states it is 4 to 1. The action of the heart distributes 2 ozs. of blood from 70 to 80 times in a minute.
The mean heat of the human body is 98 degs. and of the skin 90 degs. Tea and coffee are usually drank at 110 degs. The deepest coal mine in England is at Killingworth, near Newcastle, and the mean annual temperature at 400 yards below the surface is 77 degrees, and at 300 yards 70 degrees, while at the surface it is but 48 degrees, being 1 degree of increase for every 15 yards. This explains the origin of hot springs, for at 3,300 yards the heat would be equal to boiling water, taking 20 yards to a degree. The heat of the Bath waters is 116 degrees, hence they would appear to rise 1,320 yards.
Peron relates that at the depth of 2,144 feet in the sea the thermometer falls to 45 degrees, when it is 86 degrees at the surface.
Swemberg and Fourier calculate the temperature of the celestial spaces at 50 degrees centigrade below freezing.
In Northern Siberia the ground is frozen permanently to the depth of 660 feet, and only thaws to the extent of 3 or 4 feet in summer. Below 660 feet internal heat begins.
River water contains about 30 grs. of solid matter in every cubic foot. Fresh water springs of great size abound under the sea. Perhaps the most remarkable springs exist in California, where they are noted for producing sulphuric acid, ink, and other remarkable products.
St. Winifred's Well, in England, evolves 120 tons of water per minute, furnishing abundant water power to drive 11 mills within little more than a mile.
The French removed a red granite column 95 feet high, weighing 210 tons, from Thebes, and carried it to Paris. The display of costly architectural ruins at Thebes is one of the most astonishing to be seen anywhere in the world. The ruins and costly buildings in old Eastern countries, are so vast in their proportions and so many in number that it would require volumes to describe them.
Babel, now called Birs Nimroud, built at Babylon by Belus, was used as an observatory and as a temple of the Sun. It was composed of 8 square towers, one over the other, in all 670 feet high, and the same dimensions on each side on the ground.
The Coliseum at Rome, built by Vespasian for 100,000 spectators, was in its longest diameter 615-5 feet, and in the shortest 510, embraced 5-1/2 acres, and was 120 feet high. Eight aqueducts supplied ancient Rome with water, delivering 40 millions of cubit feet daily. That of Claudia was 47 miles long and 100 feet high, so as to furnish the hills. Martia was 41 miles, of which 37 were on 7,000 acres 70 feet high. These vast erections would never have been built had the Romans known that water always rises to its own level.
The Temple of Diana, at Ephesus, was 425 feet long and 225 feet broad, with 127 columns, 60 feet high, to support the roof. It was 220 years in building.
Solomon's Temple, built B.C. 1014, was 60 cubits or 107 feet in length, the breadth 20 cubits or 36 feet, and the height 30 cubits or 54 feet. The porch was 36 feet long and 18 feet wide.
The largest one of the Egyptian pyramids is 543 feet high, 693 feet on the sides, and its base covers 11 acres. The layers of stones are 208 in number. Many stones are over 30 feet long, 4 broad and 3 thick.
The Temple of Ypsambul, in Nubia, is enormously massive and cut out of the solid rock. Belzoni found in it 4 immense figures, 65 feet high, 25 feet over the shoulders, with a face of 7 feet and the ears over 3 feet.
Sesostris erected in the temple in Memphis immense statues of himself and his wife, 50 feet high, and of his children, 28 feet.
In the Temple of the Sun, at Baalbec, are stones more than 60 feet long, 24 feet thick and 16 broad, each embracing 23,000 cubic feet, cut, squared, sculptured, and transported from neighboring quarries. Six enormous columns are each 72 feet high, composed of 3 stones 7 feet in diameter. Sesostris is credited with having transported from the mountains of Arabia a rock 32 feet wide and 240 feet long.
The engineering appliances used by the ancients in the movement of these immense masses are but imperfectly understood at the present day.
During modern times, a block of granite weighing 1,217 tons, now used as the pedestal of the equestrian statute of Peter the Great, at St. Petersburg, was transported 4 miles by land over a railway, and 13 miles in a vast caisson by water. The railway consisted of two lines of timber furnished with hard metal grooves; between these grooves were placed spheres of hard brass about 6 inches in diameter. On these spheres the frame with its massive load was easily moved by 60 men, working at capstans with treble purchase blocks.
In 1716 Swedenborg contrived to transport (on rolling machines of his own invention) over valleys and mountains, 2 galleys, 5 large boats and 1 sloop, from Stromstadt to Iderfjol (which divides Sweden from Norway on the South), a distance of 14 miles, by which means Charles XII. was able to carry on his plans, and under cover of the galleys and boats to transport on pontoons his heavy artillery to the very walls of Frederickshall.
Belzoni considered the tract between the first and second cataract of the Nile as the hottest on the globe, owing to there being no rain. The natives do not credit the phenomenon of water falling from above. Hence it is that all monuments are so nicely preserved. Buckingham found a building left unfinished about 4,000 years ago, and the chalk marks on the stones were still perfect.
Pompey's Pillar is 92 feet high, and 27-1/2 round at the base.
Water is the absolute master, former and secondary agent of the power of motion in everything terrestrial. It is the irresistible power which elaborates everything, and the waters contain more organized beings than the land.
Rivers hold in suspension 100th of their volume (more or less) of mud, so that if 36 cubic miles of water (the estimated quantity) flow daily into the sea, 0.36 cubic miles of soil are daily displaced. The Rhine carries to the sea every day 145,980 cubic feet of mud. The Po carries out the land 228 feet per annum, consequently Adria which 2,500 years ago was on the sea, is now over 20 miles from it.
The enormous amount of alluvium deposited by the Mississippi is almost incalculable, and constantly renders necessary extensive engineering operations in order to remove the impediments to navigation.
As an exponent of the laws of friction, it may be stated that a square stone weighing 1,080 lbs. which required a force of 758 lbs. to drag it along the floor of a quarry, roughly chiseled, required only a force of 22 lbs. to move it when mounted on a platform and rollers over a plank floor.
The flight of wild ducks is estimated at 90 miles per hour, that of the swift at 200 miles, carrier pigeons 38 miles, swallows 60 miles, migratory birds have crossed the Mediterranean at a speed of 120 miles per hour.
The Nile has a fall of 6 ins. in 1,000 miles. The rise of the river commences in June, continuing until the middle of August, attaining an elevation of from 24 to 26 feet, and flowing the valley of Egypt 12 miles wide. In 1829 it rose to 26 cubits, by which 30,000 persons were drowned. It is a terrible climate to live in, owing to the festering heat and detestable exhalations from the mud, etc., left on the retiring of the Nile, which adds about 4 inches to the soil in a century, and encroaches on the sea 16 feet every year. Bricks have been found at the depth of 60 feet, showing the vast antiquity of the country. In productiveness of soil it is excelled by no other in the world.
How to Splice a Belt in Order to Make it Run Like an Endless Belt.—Use the toughest yellow glue prepared in the ordinary way, while hot, stirring in thoroughly about 20 per cent of its weight of tannic acid, or extract of tan bark. Apply to the splice and quickly clamp together. The splice should be made of scarfed edges extending 3 to 6 inches back, according to thickness of belt. The surface to be perfectly clean and free from oil.
How Many Pounds of Coal it Requires to Maintain Steam of One-Horse Power per Hour.—Anthracite 1-1/2 to 5 pounds, according to the economy of boiler and engine. Bituminous and anthracite coal are very nearly equal for equal qualities. They both vary from 7 to 10 pounds of water evaporated per pound of coal from a temperature of 212 degrees.
A Formula for Collodio-bromide Emulsion that is Rapid.—Ether s.g. 0.720, 4 fluid ounces; alcohol s.g. 0.820, 2-1/2 fluid ounces; pyroxyline, 40 grains; castile soap dissolved in alcohol, 30 grains; bromide of ammonium and cadmium, 56 grains.
How to Deaden the Noise of Steam While Blowing off Through a Wrought Iron Stand Pipe.—The sound may be much modified by enlarging the end of the pipe like a trumpet or cone; which should be long, 20 or 30 times the diameter of the pipe, opening to 4 or 5 times its initial size.
Why Fusible Plugs are Put in the Crown Sheet of Locomotive Boilers.—To save the crown sheet from burning in case of low water, when the plug melts and lets the steam and water into the fire chamber to dampen and put out the fire as well as to make an alarm. They may also be employed on other forms of boilers, and are much used in connection with whistles for low-water alarms only. Boilers should not be blown out for cleaning with fire under them or while the walls (if set in brick) are hot enough to do damage to the iron shell. Locomotive boilers may be blown out very soon after the fire is entirely removed. All brick-set boilers should be left several hours after the fire is drawn before blowing off for cleaning.
How to Lace a Quarter Turn Belt so as to Have an Equal Strain on Both Edges of the Belt.—Begin on the outside of the belt at the middle, pass one end of the lacing through one end of the belt and bring it out through the corresponding hole of the other end of the belt, laying it diagonally off to the left. Now pass the other end of the lacing through the hole last used, and carry it over the first strand of the lacing on the inside of the belt, passing it through the first hole used, and lay it diagonally off to the right. Now proceed to pass the lacing through the holes of the belt in a zigzag course, leaving all the strands inside the belt parallel with the belt, and all the strands outside the belt oblique. Pass the lace twice through the holes nearest the edge of the belt, then return the lace in the reverse order toward the center of the belt, so as to cross all the oblique strands, and make all the inside strands double. Finally pass the end of the lacing through the first hole used, then outward through an awl hole, then hammering it down to cause it to hold. The left side is to be laced in a similar way.
A Useful Hint to Draughtsmen.—To strain drawing paper on a board, cut the paper to the size required, lay it on the board face downwards and thoroughly wet the surface with a damp sponge or brush, then turn it over and wet the face in the same way; roll it up tightly and let it stay so for five or six minutes, unroll it, and turn up the edges about an inch all around. Take liquid glue (Jackson's is the best) and apply it carefully to the edges, then turn them down, and with a paper knife press them to the board all around. Put the board in an inclined position where it is not too dry or warm, or the paper will dry too fast and tear. If it is allowed to dry slowly the surface will be perfectly even and smooth, and a pleasure to draw upon.
Joints for Hot Water Pipes.—Sal-ammoniac, 2 oz.; sublimed sulphur, 1 oz.; cast-iron filings, 1 lb. Mix in a mortar, and keep the powder dry. When it is to be used, mix it with twenty times its weight of clean iron filings, and grind the whole in a mortar. Wet with water until it becomes of convenient consistence. After a time it becomes as hard and strong as any part of the metal.
When the Process of Galvanizing Iron was First Known.—A. The process of coating iron with zinc, or zinc and tin, is a French invention, and was patented in England in 1837.
A Timber Test.—The soundness of timber may be ascertained by placing the ear close to one end of the log, while another person delivers a succession of smart blows with a hammer or mallet upon the opposite end, when a continuance of the vibrations will indicate to an experienced ear even the degree of soundness. If only a dull thud meets the ear, the listener may be certain that unsoundness exists.
Useful Hints and Recipes.—Following is a comparative statement of the toughness of various woods.—Ash, 100; beech, 85; cedar of Lebanon, 84; larch, 83; sycamore and common walnut, each, 68; occidental plane, 66; oak, hornbeam and Spanish mahogany, each, 62; teak and acacia, each, 58; elm and young chestnut, 52.
An [Transcriber's Note: The original text reads 'ingenius'] ingenious device for stretching emery cloth for use in the workshop consists of a couple of strips of wood about 14 in. long, hinged longitudinally, and of round, half-round, triangular, or any other shape in cross section. On the inside faces of the wood strips are pointed studs, fitting into holes on the opposite side. The strip of emery cloth is laid on to one set of the studs, and the file, as it is called, closed, which fixes the strip on one side. It is then similarly fixed on the other side, and thus constitutes what is called an emery file and which is a handy and convenient arrangement for workshop use.
Method of making Artificial Whetstones.—Gelatine of good quality is dissolved in its own weight of water, the operation being conducted in a dark room. To the solution one and a half per cent. of bichromate of potash is added, which has previously been dissolved in a little water. A quantity of very fine emery, equal to nine times the weight of the gelatine, is [Transcriber's Note: The original text reads 'itimately'] intimately mixed with the gelatine solution. Pulverized flint may be substituted for emery. The mass is molded into any desired shape, and is then consolidated by heavy pressure. It is dried by exposure to strong sunlight for several hours.
How to Toughen Paper.—A plan for rendering paper as tough as wood or leather has been recently introduced; it consists in mixing chloride of zinc with the pulp in the course of manufacture. It has been found that the greater the degree of concentration of the zinc solution, the greater will be the toughness of the paper. It can be used for making boxes and for roofing.
How to Mend a Broken File.—There is no tool so easily broken as the file that the machinist has to work with, and is about the first thing that snaps when a kit of tools gets upset upon the cross-beam of a machine or a tool board from the bed of an engine lathe. It cannot even be passed from one workman to another without being broken, if the file is a new one or still good for anything, if an apprentice has got anything to do with it, and they are never worth mending, however great may be their first cost, unless the plaster of Paris and lime treatment can make a perfect weld without injuring the steel or disturbing the form of the teeth. Steel that is left as hard as a file is very brittle, and soft solder can hold as much on a steady pull if it has a new surface to work from. Take a file, as soon as it is broken, and wet the break with zinc dissolved in muriatic acid, and then tin over with the soldering iron. This must be done immediately as soon as the file is broken, as the break begins to oxydize when exposed to the air. And in an hour or two will gather sufficient to make it impossible for the parts to adhere. Heat the file as warm as it will bear without disturbing its temper as soon as well tinned, and press the two pieces firmly together, squeezing out nearly all the solder, and hold in place until the file cools. This can be done with very little to trim off, and every portion of the break fitting accurately in place. Bring both pieces in line with each other, and, for a file, it is as strong in one place as in another, and is all that could be asked for under the very best of welding treatment.
What will Fasten Pencil Markings, to Prevent Blurring.—Immerse paper containing the markings to be preserved in a bath of clear water, then flow or immerse in milk a moment; hang up to dry. Having often had recourse to this method, in preserving pencil and crayon drawings, I will warrant it a sure cure.
How to Transfer Newspaper Prints to Glass.—First coat the glass with dammar varnish, or else with Canada balsam, mixed with an equal volume of oil of turpentine, and let it dry until it is very sticky, which takes half a day or more. The printed paper to be transferred should be well soaked in soft water, and carefully laid upon the prepared glass, after removing surplus water with blotting paper, and pressed upon it, so that no air bubbles or drops of water are seen underneath. This should dry a whole day before it is touched; then with wetted fingers begin to rub off the paper at the back. If this be skillfully done, almost the whole of the paper can be removed, leaving simply the ink upon the varnish. When the paper has been removed, another coat of varnish will serve to make the whole more transparent. This recipe is sold at from $3 to $5 by itinerants.
A Liquid Cement for Cementing Leather, that Will Not be Affected by the Action of Water.—A good cement for splicing leather is gutta percha dissolved in carbon disulphide, until it is of the thickness of treacle; the parts to be cemented must first be well thinned down, then pour a small quantity of the cement on both ends, spreading it well so as to fill the pores of the leather; warm the parts over a fire for about half a minute, apply them quickly together, and hammer well. The bottle containing the cement should be tightly corked, and kept in a cool place.
The Quickest and Best Way to Drill Holes for Water Pipes in Rough Plate Glass.—Use a hardened (file temper) drill, with spirits of turpentine and camphor to make the drill bite. A broken file in a breast brace will do good work if a power drill is not obtainable.
A Recipe for Making Printers' Inks.—For black ink: Take of balsam of copaiba (pure), 9 ounces; lamp black, 3 ounces; indigo and Prussian blue, of each half an ounce; Indian red, 3/4 ounce; yellow soap (dry), 3 ounces; grind the mixture to an impalpable smoothness by means of a stone and muller. Canada balsam may be substituted for balsam of copaiba where the smell of the latter is objectionable, but the ink then dries very quickly. The red inks are similarly made by using such pigments as carmine, lakes, vermilion, chrome yellow, red lead, orange red, Indian red and Venetian red.
A Cement to Stick White Metal Tops on Glass Bottles.—One of the best cap cements consists of resin, 5 ounces; beeswax, 1 ounce; red ocher or Venetian red in powder, 1 ounce. Dry the earth thoroughly on a stove at a temperature above 212i Fah. Melt the wax and resin together, and stir in the powder by degrees. Stir until cold, lest the earthy matter settle to the bottom.
The Correct Meaning of the Tonnage of a Vessel.—The law defines very carefully how the tonnage of different vessels shall be calculated. An approximate rule for finding the gross tonnage is to multiply the length of keel between perpendiculars by the breadth of vessel and depth of hold, all in feet, and dividing the product by 100. It is generally assumed that 40 cubic feet shall constitute a ton, and the tonnage of a vessel is considered to be the multiple of this ton, which most closely corresponds with the internal capacity of the vessel.
A Recipe for Re-inking Purple Type Ribbons.—Use: Aniline violet, 1/4 ounce; pure alcohol, 15 ounces; concentrated glycerine, 15 ounces. Dissolve the aniline in the alcohol, and add the glycerine.
The Process of Giving a Tempered-Blue Color to the Steel Plate and Malleable Iron Castings of a Roller Skate.—In order to obtain an even blue, the work must have an even finish, and be made perfectly clean. Arrange a cast-iron pot in a fire so as to heat it to the temperature of melted lead, or just below a red heat. Make a flat bottom basket of wire or wire cloth to sit in the iron box, on which place the work to be blued, as many pieces as you may find you can manage, always putting in pieces of about the same thickness and size, so that they will heat evenly. Make a bail to the basket, so that it can be easily handled. When the desired color is obtained, dip quickly in hot water to stop the progress of the bluing, for an instant only, so that enough heat may be retained to dry the articles. A cover to the iron box may sometimes be used to advantage to hasten the heating. Another way, much used, is to varnish the work with ultramarine varnish, which may be obtained from the varnish makers.
Cement to Mend Iron Pots and Pans.—Take two parts of sulphur and one part, by weight, of fine black lead; put the sulphur in an old iron pan, holding it over the fire until it begins to melt, then add the lead; stir well until all is mixed and melted; then pour out on an iron plate or smooth stone. When cool, break into small pieces. A sufficient quantity of this compound being placed upon the crack of the iron pot to be mended, can be soldered by a hot iron in the same way a tinsmith solders his sheets. If there is a small hole in the pot, drive a copper rivet in it, and then solder over it with this cement.
The Best Method of Rendering Basement Walls Damp-Proof.—Construct on the outside an area wall so that the earth does not rest directly against the main wall of the house, but only against the outside wall or casing of the area. To form such an area, build a wall half or one brick thick parallel to and some 2 or 3 inches from the main wall, and form at the bottom a channel or gutter connected with the drains, so that any moisture or water finding its way in through the outer casing may be conducted away and will not therefore penetrate into the building. Thoroughly ventilate the areas by means of air bricks or other suitable connections with the outer air, and connect with one another by making through connections underneath the floor joists. Be very careful that the main wall is laid on a good and efficient damp course. The top of the space between the area and main walls may be covered in all around the building with bricks—ornamented or otherwise, as preferred—on a line just above the ground. Another plan of effecting the same object is to dispense with the area wall and in building the brick work to cover the whole of the work on the outside with a thick layer of bituminous asphalt. The plaster on the inside is in this case often rendered in nearly neat Portland cement.
How to Caseharden Large Pieces of Steel.—A box of cast or wrought iron should be provided large enough to hold one or two of the pieces, with sufficient room all around to pack well with the casehardening materials, which may be leather scrap, hoof shavings, or horn shavings, slightly burned and pulverized, which may be mixed with an equal quantity of pulverized charcoal. Pack the pieces to be casehardened in the iron box so as not to touch each other or the box. Put an iron cover on the box and lute with clay. Heat gradually in a furnace to a full red, keep at an even temperature for from 2 to 4 hours, raise the heat to a cherry red during the last hour, then remove the cover and take out the pieces and plunge endwise vertically in water at shop temperature; 2 per cent. of hydrochloric acid in the water improves its tempering qualities and gives the metal an even gray color.
A Good and Cheap Preparation to Put on Friction Matches.—The igniting composition varies with different makers. The following recipes may be taken as fairly representative, the first being the best: 1. Phosphorus by weight, 1/2 part; potassium chlorate, 4 parts; glue, 2 parts; whiting, 1 part; finely powdered glass, 4 parts; water, 11 parts. 2. Phosphorus by weight, 2 parts; potassium chlorate, 5 parts; glue, 3 parts; red lead, 1-1/2 parts; water, 12 parts. 3. A German mixture for matches. Potassium chlorate, 7.8 parts; lead hyposulphite, 2.6 parts; gum arabic, 1 part.
To Find How Much Tin Vessels Will Hold.—For the contents of cylinders: Square the diameter, and multiply the product by 0.7854. Again, multiply by the height (all in inches). Divide the product by 231 for gallons. For the frustum of a cone: Add together the squares of the diameters of large and small ends; to this add the product of the diameter of the two ends. Multiply this sum by 0.7854. Multiply this product by the height (all in inches). Then divide by 231 for the number of gallons.
A Useful Recipe.—For stopping the joints between slates or shingles, etc., and chimneys, doors, windows, etc., a mixture of stiff white-lead paint, with sand enough to prevent it from running, is very good, especially if protected by a covering of strips of lead or copper, tin, etc., nailed to the mortar joints of the chimneys, after being bent so as to enter said joints, which should be scraped out for an inch in depth, and afterward refilled. Mortar protected in the same way, or even unprotected, is often used for the purpose, but it is not equal to the paint and sand. Mortar a few days old (to allow refractory particles of lime to slack), mixed with blacksmith's cinders and molasses, is much used for this purpose, and becomes very hard and effective.
Test for Hard or Soft Water.—Dissolve a small quantity of good soap in alcohol. Let a few drops fall into a glass of water. If it turns milky, it is hard; if not, it is soft.
Test for Earthy Matters or Alkali in Water.—Take litmus paper dipped in vinegar, and if, on immersion, the paper returns to its true shade, the water does not contain earthy matter or alkali. If a few drops of syrup be added to a water containing an earthy matter, it will turn green.
Test for Carbonic Acid in Water.—Take equal parts of water and clear lime water. If combined or free carbonic acid is present, a precipitate is seen, to which, if a few drops of muriatic acid be added, an effervescence commences.
Test for Magnesia in Water.—Boil the water to a twentieth part of its weight, and then drop a few grains of neutral carbonate of ammonia into a glass of it, and a few drops of phosphate of soda. If magnesia be present, it will fall to the bottom.
Test for Iron in Water.—1. Boil a little nutgall and add to the water. If it turns gray or slate, black iron is present. 2. Dissolve a little prussiate of potash, and, if iron is present, it will turn blue.
Test for Lime in Water.—Into a glass of water put two drops of oxalic acid and blow upon it. If it gets milky, lime is present.
Test for Acid in Water.—Take a piece of litmus paper. If it turns red, there must be acid. If it precipitates on adding lime water, it is carbonic acid. If a blue sugar paper is turned red, it is a mineral acid.
Value of Manufactured Steel.—A pound of very fine steel wire to make watch springs of, is worth about $4; this will make 17,000 springs, worth $7,000.
Horses in Norway have a very sensible way of taking their food, which perhaps might be beneficially followed here. They have a bucket of water put down beside their allowance of hay. It is interesting to see with what relish they take a sip of the one and a mouthful of the other alternately, sometimes only moistening their mouths, as a rational being would do while eating a dinner of such dry food. A broken-winded horse is scarcely ever seen in Norway, and the question is if the mode of feeding has not something to do with the preservation of the animal's respiratory organs.
The Process of Fastening Rubber Rolls on Clothes Wringer.—1. Clean shaft thoroughly between the shoulders or washers, where the rubber goes on, 2. Give the shaft a coat of copal varnish, between the shoulders, and let it dry. 3. Give shaft coat of varnish and wind shaft tightly as possible with five-ply jute twine at once, while varnish is green, and let it dry for about six hours. 4. Give shaft over the twine a coat of rubber cement, and let it dry for about six hours. 5. Give shaft over the twine a second coat of rubber cement, and let it dry for about six hours. 6. Remove washer on the short end of shaft, also the cogwheel if the shaft has cogs on both ends. 7. See that the rubber rolls are always longer than the space between the washers where the rubber goes on, as they shrink or take up a little in putting on the shaft. 8. Clean out the hole or inside of roll with benzine, using a small brush or swab. 9. Put the thimble or pointer on the end of shaft that the washer has been removed from, and give shaft over the twine and thimble another coat of cement, and stand same upright in a vise. 10. Give the inside or hole of roll a coat of cement with a small rod or stick. 11. Pull or force the roll on the shaft as quickly as possible with a jerk, then rivet the washer on with a cold chisel. 12. Let roll stand and get dry for two or three days before using same. Cement for use should be so thick that it will run freely; if it gets too thick, thin it with benzine or naphtha.
How to Make Effervescing Solution of Citrate of Magnesia.—Dissolve citric acid 400 grains in water 2,000 grains, add carbonate of magnesia 200 grains; stir until dissolved. Filter into a 12-ounce bottle containing syrup of citric acid 1,200 grains. Add boiled and filtered water to fill bottle, drop in bicarbonate of potash in crystals 30 grains and immediately cork. Shake until bicarbonate of potash is dissolved. The syrup of citric acid is made from citric acid 8 parts, water 8 parts, spirit of lemon 4 parts, syrup 980 parts.
A Receipt for Making the Black Cement that is Used for Filling Letters after They are Cut out in Brass.—Mix asphaltum, brown japan and lampblack into a putty-like mass, fill in the spaces, and finally clean the edges with turpentine.
Useful Workshop Hints.—Clean and oil leather belts without taking them off their pulleys. If taken off they will shrink. Then a piece must be put into them and removed again after the belt has run a few days. The decay of stone, either in buildings or monuments, may be arrested by heating and treating with paraffin mixed with a little creosote. A common "paint burner" may be used to heat the stone. Set an engine upon three or four movable points, as upon three cannon balls. Connect with steam, and exhaust by means of rubber hose. If the engine will run up to speed without moving itself back and forth, then that engine will run a long time with little repair. If it shakes itself around the room, then buy another engine. Safely moving a tall mill chimney has been accomplished several times. Chimneys which have been caused to lean slightly through settling of the foundation may be straightened up again by sawing out the mortar between courses of brick at the base. A chimney 100 ft. high and 12 ft. square at the base will be varied over 8 in. at the top by the removal of 1 in. at the base. When you begin to fix up the mill for cold weather, don't forget to put a steam trap in each and every steam pipe which can be opened into the atmosphere for heating purposes. For leading steam joints, mix the red lead or litharge with common commercial glycerine, instead of linseed oil. Put a little carbolic acid in your glue or paste pot. It will keep the contents sweet for a long time. Look well to the bearings of your shafting engine and machines. Sometimes 25, 30, 40 and even 50 per cent. of your power is consumed through lack of good oil. When you buy a water wheel, be sure to buy one small enough to run at full gate while the stream is low during the summer months. If you want more power than the small wheel will give, then put in two or more wheels of various sizes. When it becomes necessary to trim a piece of rubber, it will be found that the knife will cut much more readily if dipped in water. When forging a chisel or other cutting tool, never upset the end of the tool. If necessary cut it off, but don't try to force it back into a good cutting edge. In tubular boilers the handholes should be often opened, and all collections removed from over the fire. When boilers are fed in front, and are blown off through the same pipe, the collection of mud or sediment in the rear end should be often removed. Nearly all smoke may be consumed without special apparatus, by attending with a little common sense to a few simple rules. Suppose we have a battery of boilers, and "soft coal" is the fuel. Go to the first boiler, shut the damper nearly up, and fire up one-half of the furnace, close the door, open damper, and go to the next boiler and repeat the firing. By this method nearly, if not quite, all the smoke will be consumed. A coiled spring inserted between engine and machinery is highly beneficial where extreme regularity of power is required. It is well known that a steam engine, in order to govern itself, must run too fast and too slow in order to close or open its valves; hence an irregularity of power is unavoidable.
A "Paste" Metal Polish for Cleaning and Polishing Brass.—Oxalic acid 1 part, iron peroxide 15 parts, powdered rottenstone 20 parts, palm oil 60 parts, petrolatum 4 parts. See that solids are thoroughly pulverized and sifted, then add and thoroughly incorporate oil and petrolatum.
Cough Candy or Troches.—Tincture of squills 2 ounces, camphorated tincture of opium and tincture of tolu of each 1/4 ounce, wine of ipecac 1/2 ounce, oil of gautheria 4 drops, sassafras 3 drops, and of anise seed oil 2 drops. The above mixture is to be put into 5 pounds of candy which is just ready to take from the fire; continue the boiling a little longer, so as to form into sticks.
How to Oxidize Silver.—For this purpose a pint of sulphide of potassium, made by intimately mixing and heating together 2 parts of thoroughly dried potash and 1 part of sulphur powder, is used. Dissolve 2 to 3 drachms of this compound in 1-3/4 pints of water, and bring the liquid to a temperature of from 155 degrees to 175 degrees Fah., when it is ready for use. Silver objects, previously freed from dust and grease with soda lye and thorough rinsing in water, plunged into this bath are instantly covered with an iridescent film of silver sulphide, which in a few seconds more becomes blue black. The objects are then removed, rinsed off in plenty of fresh water, scratch brushed, and if necessary polished.
Useful Household Recipes.—To purify water in glass vessels and aquariums, it is recommended to add to every 100 grammes of water four drops of a solution of one gramme of salicylic acid in 300 grammes of water. The Norsk Fiskeritidende, published at Bergen, Norway, says that thereby the water may be kept fresh for three months without being renewed. A cement recommended as something which can hardly be picked to pieces is made as follows:—Mix equal parts of lime and brown sugar with water, and be sure the lime is thoroughly air-slacked. This mortar is equal to Portland cement, and is of extraordinary strength. For a few weeks' preservation of organic objects in their original form, dimensions and color, Professor Grawitz recommends a mixture composed of two and a half ounces of chloride of sodium, two and three-quarters drachms of saltpetre, and one pint of water, to which is to be added three per cent. of boric acid. To varnish chromos, take equal quantities of linseed oil and oil of turpentine; thicken by exposure to the sun and air until it becomes resinous and half evaporated; then add a portion of melted beeswax. Varnishing pictures should always be performed in fair weather, and out of any current of cold or damp air. A fireproof whitewash can be readily made by adding one part silicate of soda (or potash) to every five parts of whitewash. The addition of a solution of alum to whitewash is recommended as a means to prevent the rubbing off of the wash. A coating of a good glue size made by dissolving half a pound of glue in a gallon of water is employed when the wall is to be papered. The most nourishing steam bath that can be applied to a person who is unable to sweat and can take but little food in the stomach:—Produce the sweating by burning alcohol under a chair in which the person sits, with blanket covering to hold the heat. Use caution and but little alcohol. Fire it in a shallow iron pan or old saucer.
Own Your Own Homes.—Every man, whether he is a working man in the common acceptation of the word or not, feels a deep interest in the management of the affairs of the city, county and State in which he lives whenever he owns a home. He is more patriotic, and in many ways is a better citizen than the man who simply rents, and who has but little if any assurance of how long it will be before he can be ordered to move; to which may be added in many cases the saving of more money. Of course it requires some economy to lay up a sufficient amount of money to purchase and pay for a home; but this very fact, if properly carried out after the home is acquired, may be the instrument of furnishing the means to commence and prosecute a business upon your own responsibility. True, in some cases it will require more economy, perhaps, than we are now practicing. But the question with every man, and especially if he is the head of a family, is, Can he afford it? That is, can he afford to live up his wages as fast as he earns them, without laying up anything for the future? If he is the head of a family, he is obliged to pay rent, and it does not require very many years of rent paying to make up an amount sufficient to purchase and pay for a comfortable home. You have to pay the rent. This you say you cannot avoid and be honest. Well, you cannot be honest with your family unless you make a reasonable attempt to provide them a home of their own in case anything should happen to you. And the obligation to do this should be as strong as the one to pay rent or provide the other necessaries for the comfort of your family. When you own a home you feel a direct interest in public affairs that otherwise you might consider were of little interest.
A Formula for Nervous Headache.—Alcohol dilut., 4 ounces; Olei cinnamon, 4 minims; Potas. bromid., 5 drachms; Extr. hyoscyam., fl., 1-1/2 drachms; Fiat lotio. One to two teaspoonfuls, if required.
How Beeswax is Refined and Made Nice and Yellow.—Pure white wax is obtained from the ordinary beeswax by exposure to the influence of the sun and weather. The wax is sliced into thin flakes and laid on sacking or coarse cloth, stretched on frames, resting on posts to raise them from the ground. The wax is turned over frequently and occasionally sprinkled with soft water if there be not dew and rain sufficient to moisten it. The wax should be bleached in about four weeks. If, on breaking the flakes, the wax still appears yellow inside, it is necessary to melt it again and flake and expose it a second time, or even oftener, before it becomes thoroughly bleached, the time required being mainly dependent upon the weather. There is a preliminary process by which, it is claimed, much time is saved in the subsequent bleaching; this consists in passing melted wax and steam through long pipes, so as to expose the wax as much as possible to the action of the steam; thence into a pan heated by a steam bath, where it is stirred thoroughly with water and then allowed to settle. The whole operation is repeated a second and third time, and the wax is then in condition to be more readily bleached.
How to Remove a Wart From the Hand.—Take of salicylic acid, 30 grains; ext. cannabis indic., 10 grains; collodion, 1/2 ounce. Mix and apply.
Recipe for Making Camphor Ice in Small Quantities for Home Use.—Melt together over a water bath white wax and spermaceti, each 1 ounce; camphor, 2 ounces, in sweet almond oil, 1 pound; then triturate until the mixture has become homogeneous, and allow one pound of rosewater to flow in slowly during the operation.
Recipe for Making Instantaneous Ink and Stain Extractor.—Take of chloride of lime 1 pound, thoroughly pulverized, and four quarts soft water. The foregoing must be thoroughly shaken when first put together. It is required to stand twenty-four hours to dissolve the chloride of lime; then strain through a cotton cloth, after which add a teaspoonful of acetic acid to every ounce of the chloride of lime water.
Removing Paint Spots From Wood.—To take spots of paint off wood, lay a thick coating of lime and soda mixed together over it, letting it stay twenty-four hours; then wash off with warm water, and the spot will have disappeared.
Polishing Plate Glass.—To polish plate glass and remove slight scratches, rub the surface gently, first with a clean pad of fine cotton wool, and afterwards with a similar pad covered over with cotton velvet which has been charged with fine rouge. The surface will acquire a polish of great brilliancy, quite free from any scratches.
Recipe for a Good Condition Powder.—Ground ginger 1 pound, antimony sulphide 1 pound, powdered sulphur 1 pound, saltpetre. Mix altogether and administer in a mash, in such quantities as may be required.
Recipe to Make Violet Ink.—Ordinary aniline violet soluble in water, with a little alcohol and glycerine, makes an excellent ink.
Recipe to Make Good Shaving Soap.—Either 66 pounds tallow and 34 pounds cocoanut oil, or 33 pounds of tallow and the same quantity of palm oil and 34 pounds cocoanut oil, treated by the cold process, with 120 pounds caustic soda lye of 27 deg. Baume, will make 214 pounds of shaving soap.
How to Make a Starch Enamel for Stiffening Collars, Cuffs, etc.—Use a little gum arabic thoroughly dissolved in the starch.
A Good Cough Syrup.—Put 1 quart hoarhound to 1 quart water, and boil it down to a pint; add two or three sticks of licorice and a tablespoonful of essence of lemon. The Cause of the Disease Called "Hives," also Its Cure.—The trouble is caused by a perversion of the digestive functions, accompanied by a disturbance of the circulation. It is not attended with danger, and is of importance only from the annoyance which it causes. Relief may be obtained in most instances by the use of cream tartar daily to such extent as to move the bowels slightly. Make a strong solution, sweeten it pleasantly, and take a teaspoonful, say after each meal, until the effect above mentioned is produced, and continue the treatment until the hives cease to be troublesome.
A Bedbug Poison.—Set in the center of the room a dish containing 4 ounces of brimstone. Light it, and close the room as tight as possible, stopping the keyhole of the door with paper to keep the fumes of the brimstone in the room. Let it remain for three or four hours, then open the windows and air thoroughly. The brimstone will be found to have also bleached the paint, if it was a yellowish white. Mixtures such as equal parts of turpentine and kerosene oil are used; filling up the cracks with hard soap is an excellent remedy. Benzine and gasoline will kill bedbugs as fast as they can reach them. A weak solution of zinc chloride is also said to be an effectual banisher of these pests.
A Preparation by Which You can Take a Natural Flower and Dip It in, That Will Preserve It.—Dip the flowers in melted paraffine, withdrawing them quickly. The liquid should only be just hot enough to maintain its fluidity and the flowers should be dipped one at a time, held by the stalks, and moved about for an instant to get rid of air bubbles. Fresh cut specimens free from moisture make excellent specimens in this way.
What Causes Shaking Asp Leaves to be always in a Quiver?—The wind or vibration of the air only causes the quiver of the aspen leaf.
What is "Sozodont" is Composed of.—Potassium carbonate, 1/2 ounce; honey, 4 ounces; alcohol, 2 ounces; water, 10 ounces; oil of wintergreen and oil of rose, to flavor, sufficient.
What is Used to Measure Cold below 35 Degrees Fahrenheit?—Metallic thermometers are used to measure lowest temperatures, alcohol being quite irregular.
Is the Top Surface of Ice on a Pond, the Amount of Water let in and out being the Same Day by Day, on a Level with the Water Surface or above it?—Ice is slightly elastic, and when fast to the shore the central portion rises and falls with slight variations in water level, the proportion above and below water level being as is the weight of ice to the weight of water it displaces.
Of the Two Waters, Hard and Soft, Which Freezes the Quicker; and in ice Which Saves the Best in Like Packing?—Soft water freezes the quickest and keeps the best.
Does Water in Freezing Purify Itself?—It clears itself from chemicals; does not clear itself from mechanical mixtures as mud and clay.
A Receipt to Remove Freckles from the Face without Injury to the Skin.—A commonly used preparation for this purpose is: Sulpho-carbolate of zinc, 2 parts; distilled glycerine, 25 parts; rose water, 25 parts; scented alcohol, 5 parts. To be applied twice daily for from half an hour to an hour, and then washed off with cold water.
What will Remove Warts Painlessly?—Touch the wart with a little nitrate of silver, or with nitric acid, or with aromatic vinegar. The silver salt will produce a black, and the nitric acid a yellow stain, either of which will wear off in a short while. The vinegar scarcely discolors the skin. A Good Receipt to Prevent Hair Coming Out.—Scald black tea, 2 ounces, with I gallon of boiling water, strain and add 3 ounces glycerine, tincture cantharides 1/2 ounce, bay rum 1 quart. Mix well and perfume. This is a good preparation for frequent use in its effect both on the scalp and hair, but neither will be kept in good condition without care and attention to general health.
Deaths from Diphtheria per 100,000 Inhabitants in the Chief Cities of the World.—Amsterdam, 265; Berlin, 245; Madrid, 225; Dresden, 184; Warsaw, 167; Philadelphia, 163; Chicago, 146; Turin, 127; St. Petersburg, 121; Bucharest, 118; Berne, 115; Munich, 111; Stockholm, 107; Malines, 105; Antwerp, 104; New York, 91; Paris, 85; Hamburg, 76; Naples, 74; Lisbon, 74; Stuttgart, 61; Rome, 56; Edinburgh, 50; Buda-Pesth, 50; The Hague, 45; Vienna, 44; London, 44; Christiania, 43; Copenhagen, 42; Suburbs of Brussels, 36; City of Brussels, 35.
A Receipt for Marshmallows, as Made by Confectioners.—Dissolve one-half pound of gum arabic in one pint of water, strain, and add one-half pound of fine sugar, and place over the fire, stirring constantly until the syrup is dissolved, and all of the consistency of honey. Add gradually the whites of four eggs well beaten. Stir the mixture until it becomes somewhat thin and does not adhere to the finger. Flavor to taste, and pour into a tin slightly dusted with powdered starch, and when cool divide into small squares.
A Receipt for Making Compressed Yeast.—This yeast is obtained by straining the common yeast in breweries and distilleries until a moist mass is obtained, which is then placed in hair bags, and the rest of the water pressed out until the mass is nearly dry. It is then sewed up in strong linen bags for transportation.
How to Tell the Age of Eggs.—We recommend the following process (which has been known for some time, but has been forgotten) for finding out the age of eggs, and distinguishing those that are fresh from those that are not. This method is based upon the decrease in the density of eggs as they grow old. Dissolve two ounces of kitchen salt in a pint of water. When a fresh-laid egg is placed in this solution it will descend to the bottom of the vessel, while one that has been laid on the day previous will not quite reach the bottom. If the egg be three days old it will swim in the liquid, and if it is more than three days old it will float on the surface, and project above the latter more and more in proportion as it is older.
A Recipe for Making Court Plaster.—Isinglass 125 grains, alcohol 1-3/4 fluid ounces, glycerine 12 minims, water and tincture of benzoin each sufficient quantity. Dissolve the isinglass in enough water to make the solution weigh four fluid ounces. Spread half of the latter with a brush upon successive layers of taffeta, waiting after each application until the layer is dry. Mix the second half of the isinglass solution with the alcohol and glycerine, and apply in the same manner. Then reverse the taffeta, coat it on the back with tincture of benzoin, and allow it to become perfectly dry. There are many other formulas, but this is official. The above quantities are sufficient to make a piece of court plaster fifteen inches square.
One of the Very Best Scouring Pastes Consists of—Oxalic acid, 1 part; Iron peroxide, 15 parts; Powdered rottenstone, 20 parts; Palm oil, 60 parts; Petrolatum, 4 parts. Pulverize the oxalic acid and add rouge and rottenstone, mixing thoroughly, and sift to remove all grit; then add gradually the palm oil and petrolatum, incorporating thoroughly. Add oil of myrbane, or oil of lavender to suit. By substituting your red ashes from stove coal, an inferior representative of the foregoing paste will be produced.
How to Manufacture Worcestershire Sauce.—A. Mix together 1-1/2 gallons white wine vinegar, 1 gallon walnut catsup, 1 gallon mushroom catsup, 1/2 gallon Madeira wine, 1/2 gallon Canton soy, 2-1/2 pounds moist sugar, 19 ounces salt, 3 ounces powdered capsicum, 1-1/2 ounces each of pimento and coriander, 1-1/2 ounces chutney, 3/4 ounce each of cloves, mace and cinnamon, and 6-1/2 drachms assafoetida dissolved in pint brandy 20 above proof. Boil 2 pounds hog's liver for twelve hours in 1 gallon of water, adding water as required to keep up the quantity, then mix the boiled liver thoroughly with the water, strain it through a coarse sieve. Add this to the sauce.
A Good Receipt for Making Honey, Without Using Honey as One of the Ingredients,—5 lbs. white sugar, 2 lbs. water, gradually bring to a boil, and skim well. When cool add 1 lb. bees' honey, and 4 drops peppermint. To make of better quality add less water and more real honey.
What the Chemical Composition of Honey is.—Principally of saccharine matter and water, about as follows: Levulose 33-1/2 to 40 per cent., dextrose 31-3/4 to 39 per cent., water 20 to 30 per cent., besides ash and other minor constituents.
How to Clean Carpets on the Floor to Make Them Look Bright.—To a pailful of water add three pints of oxgall, wash the carpet with this until a lather is produced, which is washed off with clean water.
How to Take Out Varnish Spots from Cloth.—Use chloroform or benzine, and as a last resource spirits of turpentine, followed after drying by benzine.
Flour Paste for all Purposes.—Mix 1 pound rye flour in lukewarm water, to which has been added one teaspoonful of pulverized alum; stir until free of lumps. Boil in the regular way, or slowly pour on boiling water, stirring all the time until the paste becomes stiff. When cold add a full quarter pound of common strained honey, mix well (regular bee honey, no patent mixture).
How to Make Liquid Glue.—Take a wide mouthed bottle, and dissolve in it 8 ounces beet glue in 1/2 pint water, by setting it in a vessel of water, and heating until dissolved. Then add slowly 2-1/2 ounces strong nitric acid 36 deg. Baume, stirring all the while. Effervescence takes place, with generation of fumes. When all the acid has been added, the liquid is allowed to cool. Keep it well corked, and it will be ready for use at any time.
How the World is Weighed and Its Density and Mass Computed.—The density, mass, or weight of the earth was found by the observed force of attraction of a known mass of lead or iron for another mass; or of a mountain by the deflection of a torsion thread or plumb line. In this manner the mean density of the earth has been found to be from 4.71 to 6.56 times the weight of water, 5.66 being accredited as the most reliable. The weight of a cubic foot of water being known, and the contents of the earth being computed in cubic feet, we have but to multiply the number of cubic feet by 5.66 times the weight of 1 cubic foot of water to obtain the weight of the earth in pounds, or units of gravity at its surface, which is the unit usually used. Another method of determining the mean density of the earth is founded on the change of the intensity of gravity in descending deep mines.
A Theory as to the Origin of Petroleum.—Professor Mendelejef has recently advanced the theory that petroleum is of purely mineral origin and that the formation of it is going on every day. He has, moreover, succeeded in producing artificial petroleum by a reaction that he describes, and he states that it is impossible to detect any difference between the natural product and the manufactured article. His theory is as follows: [Transcriber's Note: The original text reads 'Infilration'] Infiltration of water, reaching a certain depth, come into contact with incandescent masses of carburets of metals, chiefly of iron, and are at once decomposed into oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen unites with the iron, while the hydrogen seizes on the carbon and rises to an upper level, where the vapors are condensed in part into mineral oil, and the rest remains in a state of natural gas. The petroleum strata are generally met with in the vicinity of mountains, and it may be granted that geological upheavals have dislocated the ground in such a way as to permit of the [Transcriber's Note: The original text reads 'admistoin'] admission of water to great depths. If the center of the earth contains great masses of metallic carburets, we may, in case this theory is verified, count upon an almost inexhaustible source of fuel for the day when our coal deposits shall fail us.
How Vaseline is Purified.—The residuum from which vaseline is made is placed in settling tanks heated by steam, in order to keep their contents in a liquid state. After the complete separation of the fine coke it is withdrawn from these tanks and passed through the bone black cylinders, during which process the color is nearly all removed, as well as its empyreumatic odor.
The Latest and Best Process Employed by Cutters and Others in Etching Names and Designs on Steel.—Take copper sulphate, sulphate of alum and sodium chloride, of each 2 drachms, and strong acetic acid 1-1/2 ounces, mixed together. Smear the metal with yellow soap and write with a quill pen without a split.
The History of the Discovery of Circulation of the Blood recapitulated, divides itself naturally into a series of epoch-making periods: 1. The structure and functions of the valves of the heart, Erasistratus, B.C. 304. 2. The arteries carry blood during life, not air, Galen, A.D. 165. 3. The pulmonary circulation, Servetus, 1553. 4. The systemic circulation, Caesalpinus, 1593. 5. The pulmonic and systemic circulations, Harvey, 1628. 6. The capillaries, Malpighi, 1661.
How to Make Hand Fire Grenades.—Make your hand grenades. Fill ordinary quart wine bottles with a saturated solution of common salt, and place them where they will do the most good in case of need. They will be found nearly as serviceable as the expensive hand grenades you buy. Should a fire break out, throw them with force sufficient to break them into the center of the fire. The salt will form a coating on whatever object the water touches, and make it nearly incombustible, and it will prove effectual in many cases, where a fire is just starting, when the delay in procuring water might be fatal.
How the Kind of White Metal is Made That is Used in the Manufacture of Cheap Table Ware.—How same can be hardened and still retain its color? The following are formulas for white metal. Melt together: (a) Tin 82, lead 18, antimony 5, zinc 1, copper 4 parts. (b) Brass 32, lead 2, tin 2, zinc 1 part. For a hard metal, not so white, melt together bismuth 6 parts, zinc 3 parts, lead 13 parts. Or use type metal—lead 3 to 7 parts, antimony 1 part.
What Metal Expands Most, for the Same Change in Temperature?—For one degree Centigrade the following are coefficients of linear expansion: aluminum, 0.0000222; silver, 0.0000191 to 0.0000212; nickel, 0.0000128; copper, 0.0000167 to 0.0000178; zinc, 0.0000220 to 0.0000292; brass, 0.0000178 to 0.0000193; platinum, 0.0000088.
Heavy Timbers.—There are sixteen species of trees in America, whose perfectly dry wood will sink in water. The heaviest of these is the black iron wood (confalia feriea) of Southern Florida, which is more than 30 per cent. heavier than water. Of the others, the best known are lignum vitae (gualacum sanctum) and mangrove (chizphora mangle). Another is a small oak (quercus gsisea) found in the mountains of Texas, Southern New Mexico and Arizona, and westward to the Colorado desert, at an elevation of 5,000 to 10,000 feet. All the species in which the wood is heavier than water belong to semi-tropical Florida or the arid interior Pacific region.
Highest Point Reached by Man was by balloon 27,000 feet. Travelers have rarely exceeded 20,000 feet, at which point the air from its rarity is very debilitating.
Has a Rate of Speed Equal to Ninety Miles an Hour, ever Been Attained by Railroad Locomotive?—It is extremely doubtful if any locomotive ever made so high a speed. A mile in 48 seconds is the shortest time we have heard of. A rate of 70 to 75 miles per hour has been made on a spurt, on good straight track. The Grant Locomotive Works could make such an engine. Sixty miles an hour for a train is considered a very high rate of speed, and is seldom attained in practice for more than a short run.
The Fastest Boat in the World.—Messrs. Thornycroft & Co., of Chiswick, in making preliminary trials of a torpedo boat built by them for the Spanish navy, have obtained a speed which is worthy of special record. The boat is twin-screw, and the principal dimensions are: Length 147 ft. 6 in., beam 14 ft. 6 in., by 4 ft. 9 in. draught. On a trial at Lower Hope, on April 27, the remarkable mean speed of 26.11 knots was attained, being equal to a speed of 30.06 miles an hour, which is the highest speed yet attained by any vessel afloat.
Staining and Polishing Mahogany.—Your best plan will be to scrape off all the old polish, and well glass paper; then oil with linseed oil both old and new parts. To stain the new pieces, get half an ounce of bichromate of potash, and pour a pint of boiling water over it; when cold bottle it. This, used with care, will stain the new or light parts as dark as you please, if done as follows:—wipe off the oil clean, and apply the solution with a piece of rag, held firmly in the hand, and just moistened with the stain. Great care is required to prevent the stain running over the old part, for any place touched with it will show the mark through the polish when finished. You can vary the color by giving two or more coats if required. Then repolish your job altogether in the usual way. Should you wish to brighten up the old mahogany, use polish dyed with Bismarck brown as follows:—Get three pennyworth of Bismarck brown, and put it into a bottle with enough naphtha or methylated spirits to dissolve it. Pour a few drops of this into your polish, and you will find that it gives a nice rich red color to the work, but don't dye the polish too much, just tint it.
Value of Eggs for Food and Other Purposes.—Every element that is necessary to the support of man is contained within the limits of an egg shell, in the best proportions and in the most palatable form. Plain boiled, they are wholesome. It is easy to dress them in more than 500 different ways, each method not only economical, but salutary in the highest degree. No honest appetite ever yet rejected an egg in some guise. It is nutriment in the most portable form, and in the most concentrated shape. Whole nations of mankind rarely touch any other animal food. Kings eat them plain as readily as do the humble tradesmen. After the victory of Muhldorf, when the Kaiser Ludwig sat at a meal with his burggrafs and great captains, he determined on a piece of luxury—"one egg to every man, and two to the excellently valiant Schwepperman." Far more than fish—for it is watery diet—eggs are the scholar's fare. They contain phosphorus, which is brain food, and sulphur, which performs a variety of functions in the economy. And they are the best of nutriment for children, for, in a compact form, they contain everything that is necessary for the growth of the youthful frame. Eggs are, however, not only food—they are medicine also. The white is the most efficacious of remedies for burns, and the oil extractable from the yolk is regarded by the Russians as an almost miraculous salve for cuts, bruises and scratches. A raw egg, if swallowed in time, will effectually detach a fish bone fastened in the throat, and the white of two eggs will render the deadly corrosive sublimate as harmless as a dose of calomel. They strengthen the consumptive, invigorate the feeble, and render the most susceptible all but proof against jaundice in its more malignant phase. They can also be drunk in the shape of that "egg flip" which sustains the oratorical efforts of modern statesmen. The merits of eggs do not even end here. In France alone the wine clarifiers use more than 80,000,000 a year, and the Alsatians consume fully 38,000,000 in calico printing and for dressing the leather used in making the finest of French kid gloves. Finally, not to mention various other employments for eggs in the arts, they may, of course, almost without trouble on the farmer's part, be converted in fowls, which, in any shape, are profitable to the seller and welcome to the buyer. Even egg shells are valuable, for aliopath and homeopath alike agree in regarding them as the purest of carbonate of lime.
History of Big Ships.—In the history of mankind several vessels of extraordinary magnitude have been constructed, all distinctively styled great, and all unfortunately disastrous, with the honorable exception of Noah's Ark. Setting aside this antediluvian craft, concerning the authenticity of whose dimensions authorities differ, and which, if Biblical measures are correct, was inferior in size to the vessel of most importance to modern shipowners, the great galley, constructed by the great engineer Archimedes for the great King Hiero II., of Syracuse, is the first illustration. This ship without a name (for history does not record one) transcended all wonders of ancient maritime construction. It abounded statues and painting, marble and mosaic work. It contained a gymnasium, baths, a garden, and arbored walks. Its artillery discharged stones of 3 cwt., and arrows 18 ft. in length. An Athenian advertising poet, who wrote a six-line puff of its glories, received the royal reward of six thousand bushels of corn. Literary merit was at a higher premium in the year 240 B.C., than it is to-day. The great ship of antiquity was found to be too large for the accommodation of the Syracusan port, and famine reigning in Egypt, Hiero, the charitably disposed, embarked a cargo of ten thousand huge jars of salted fish, two million pounds of salted meat, twenty thousand bundles of different clothes, filled the hold with corn, and consigned her to the seven mouths of the Nile, and since she weighed anchor nothing more has been heard of her fate. The next great ship worthy of mention is the mythical Saracen encountered in the Mediterranean Sea by the crusading fleet of Richard CIur de Lion, Duke of Guienne and King of England, which, after much slaughter and damage incident to its infidel habit of vomiting Greek fire upon its adversaries, was captured and sunk. Next in rotation appears the Great Harry, built by Henry VIII., of England, and which careened in harbor during the reign of his successor, under similar circumstances to those attending the Royal George in 1782—a dispensation that mysteriously appears to overhang a majority of the ocean-braving constructions which, in defiance of every religious sailor's superstition that the lumber he treads is naturally female, are christened by a masculine or neutral title. In the year 1769, Mark Isambard Brunel, the Edison of his age, as his son was the Ericsson of that following, permitted himself to be born at Hacqueville; near Rouen, France, went to school, to sea, and into politics; compromised himself in the latter profession, and went to America in 1794, where he surveyed the canal now connecting Lake Champlain with the Hudson River at Albany, N.Y. There he turned architect, then returned to Europe, settled, married, and was knighted in England. He occupied eighteen years of his life in building an unproductive tunnel beneath the river Thames at London; invented a method of shuffling cards without using the hands, and several of her devices for dispensing with labor, which, upon completion, were abandoned from economical motives. On his decease, his son and heir, I.K. Brunel, whose practical experience in the Thames Tunnel job, where his biographers assert he had occasion more than once to save his life by swimming, qualified him to tread in his father's shoes, took up his trade. Brunel, Jr., having demonstrated by costly experiments, to the successful proof, but thorough exasperation, of his moneyed backers, that his father's theory for employing carbonic acid gas as a motive power was practicable enough, but too expensive for anything but the dissipation of a millionaire's income, settled down to the profession of engineering science, in which he did as well as his advantages of education enabled him. Like all men in advance of their time, when he considered himself the victim of arbitrary capitalists ignoring the bent of his genius, he did his best work in accordance with their stipulations. He designed the Great Western, the first steamship (paddle-wheel) ever built to cross the Atlantic; and the Great Britain, the original ocean screw steamer. Flushed with these successes, Brunel procured pecuniary support from speculative fools, who, dazzled by the glittering statistical array that can be adduced in support of any chimerical venture, the inventor's repute, and their unbaked experience, imagined that the alluring Orient was ready to yield, like over-ripe fruit, to their shadowy grasp; and tainted as he evidently was with hereditary mania, Brunel resolved to seize the illusionary immortality that he fondly imagined to be within his reach.
There was not much the matter with the brain of Brunel, Jr., but that little was enough; a competent railroad surveyor, a good bridge builder, he needed to be held within bounds when handling other people's funds; for the man's ambition would have lead him to undertake to bridge the Atlantic. He met with the speculators required in this very instance of the constructors of the Great Eastern. This monstrous ship has been described so often, that it would be a cruelty to our readers to inflict the story upon them again.
Natural Gas the Fuel of the Future.—The house of the near future will have no fireplace, steam pipes, chimneys, or flues. Wood, coal oil, and other forms of fuel are about to disappear altogether in places having factories. Gas has become so cheap that already it is supplanting fuels. A single jet fairly heats a small room in cold weather. It is a well known fact that gas throws off no smoke, soot, or dirt. In a brazier filled with chunks of colored glass, and several jets placed beneath, the glass soon became heated sufficiently to thoroughly warm a room 10x30 feet in size. This design does away with the necessity for chimneys, since there is no smoke; the ventilation may be had at the window. The heat may be raised or lowered by simply regulating the flow of gas. The colored glass gives all the appearance of fire; there are black pieces to represent coal, red chunks for flames, yellowish white glass for white heat, blue glass for blue flames, and hues for all the remaining colors of spectrum. Invention already is displacing the present fuels for furnaces and cooking ranges and glass, doing away with delay and such disagreeable objects as ashes, kindling wood, etc. It has only been within the past few years that natural gas has been utilized to any extent, in either Pennsylvania, New York or Ohio. Yet its existence has been known since the early part of the century. As far back as 1821, gas was struck in Fredonia, Chautauqua county, N.Y., and was used to illuminate the village inn when Lafayette passed through the place some three years later. Not a single oil well of the many that have been sunk in Pennsylvania has been entirely devoid of gas, but even this frequent contact with what now seems destined to be the fuel of the future bore no fruit of any importance until within the past few years. It had been used in comparatively small quantities previous to the fall of 1884, but it was not until that time that the fuel gave any indication of the important role it was afterward to fill. At first ignored, then experimented with, natural gas has been finally so widely adopted that to-day, in the single city of Pittsburgh, it displaces daily 10,000 tons of coal, and has resulted in building cities in Ohio and the removal thereto of the glass making industries of the United States. The change from the solid to the gaseous fuel has been made so rapidly, and has effected such marked results in both the processes of manufacture and the product, that it is no exaggeration to say that the eyes of the entire industrial world are turned with envious admiration upon the cities and neighborhoods blessed with so unique and valuable a fuel. The regions in which natural gas is found are for the most part coincident with the formations producing petroleum. This, however, is not always the case; and it is worthy of notice that some districts which were but indifferent oil-producers are now famous in gas records. The gas driller, therefore, usually confines himself to the regions known to have produced oil, but the selection of the particular location for a well within these limits appears to be eminently fanciful. The more scientific generally select a spot either on the anticlinal or synclinal axis of the formation, giving preference to the former position. Almost all rock formations have some inclination to the horizon, and the constant change of this inclination produces a series of waves, the crests of which are known as anticlines, and the troughs as synclines. Many drillers suppose that the gas seeks the anticlines and the oil the synclines, but others, equally long-headed, discard entirely all theory of this kind, and drill wherever it may be most convenient or where other operators have already demonstrated the existence of gas. It will surprise many of our readers to know that the divining rod, that superstitious relic of the middle ages, is still frequently called upon to relieve the operator of the trouble of a rational decision. The site having been selected, the ordinary oil-drilling outfit is employed to sink a hole of about six inches in diameter until the gas is reached. In the neighborhood of Pittsburgh, this is usually found at a depth of 1,300 to 1,500 feet, in what is known as the Third Oil Sand, a sandstone of the Devonian period. Where the gas comes from originally is an open question. When the driller strikes gas, he is not left in any doubt of the event, for if the well be one of any strength, the gas manifests itself by sending the drill and its attachments into the air, often to a height of a hundred feet or more. The most prolific wells are appropriately called "roarers." During the progress of the drilling, the well is lined with iron piping. Occasionally this is also blown out, but as a rule the gas satisfies itself with ejecting the drill. When the first rush of gas has thrown everything movable out of its way, the workmen can approach, and chain the giant to his work. The plant at the well is much simpler than one would suppose. An elbow joint connects the projecting end of the well piping with a pipe leading to a strong sheet-iron tank. This collects the salt water brought up with the gas. Ordinarily, about half a barrel accumulates in twenty four hours. A safety valve, a pressure indicator, and a blow-off complete the outfit. When the pressure exceeds a prescribed limit, the valve opens, and the gas escapes into the blow-off. This is usually 30 feet high or more, and the gas issuing from the top is either ignited or permitted to escape into the atmosphere. The pipe line leading from the tank to the city is of course placed underground. Beyond a little wooden house, the blow-off, and a derrick, the gas farms differ little in appearance from those producing less valuable crops. The pressure of the gas at the wells varies considerably. It is generally between 100 and 325 pounds. As much as 750 pounds per square inch has been measured, and in many cases the actual pressure is even greater than this, but, as a rule, it is not permitted to much exceed 20 atmospheres in any receiver or pipe. The best investment for parties of small means that we know of is in town lots in North Baltimore, Ohio. It is on the main line of the B. & O. Railroad and the center of the oil and natural gas discoveries in Ohio. Property is bound to double in value. For further information, address, W.A. Rhodes, North Baltimore, Ohio.
Hints on House Building.—Gas pipes should be run with a continuous fall towards the meter, and no low places. The gas meter should be set in a cool place, to keep it from registering against you; but if a "water meter," it should be protected from freezing. Cupboards, wardrobes, bookcases, etc., generally afford receptacles for dust on their tops. This may be avoided by carrying them clear up to the ceiling. When this is not done, their tops should be sheeted over flush with the highest line of their cornices, so that there may be no sunken lodging-place for dust. Furring spaces between the furring and the outer walls should be stopped off at each floor line with brick and mortar "fire stops;" and the same with hollow interior partition walls. Soil pipes should never have "T" branches; always curves, or "Y" branches. Water pipes should be run in a continuous grade, and have a stop and waste cock at the lowest point, so as to be entirely emptied when desired. Furnaces should have as few joints as possible, and the iron fire-pot is better lined with fire-brick. There should be no damper in the smoke pipe; but the ash-door should shut air-tight when desired. There should be provision for the evaporation of water in the hot-air pipe. "Air boxes" should never be of wood. All air boxes should be accessible from one end to the other, to clean them of dust, cobwebs, insects, etc. Horizontal hot-air flues should not be over 15 feet long. Parapets should be provided with impervious coping-stones to keep water from descending through the walls. Sewer pipes should not be so large as to be difficult to flush. The oval sections (point down) are the best. Soil-pipes should have a connection with the upper air, of the full diameter of the pipe to be ventilated. Stationary wash-tubs of wood are apt to get soaked up with organic matter and filth. Stationary washstands in bedrooms should have small traps; underneath each should be a leaden tray to protect ceilings in case of leakage, breakage or accidental overflow. This tray should have an overflow, and this overflow should be trapped, if connected with the foul-pipe system (which it should not be if possible to arrange it otherwise). Flues should have a smooth parging or lining, or they will be apt to draw with difficulty. Gas pipes of insufficient diameter cause the flames to burn with unsteady, dim light. Made ground is seldom fit for immediate building; and never for other than isolated structures. Ashes, street-sweepings, garbage, rotten vegetation, and house refuse are unfit filling for low ground on which it is intended to build. Cobble pavements are admirably adapted to soaking-up and afterwards emitting unwholesome matters. Asphalt has none of this fault. Wood is pernicious in this respect. "Gullies" in cellar floors should be properly trapped; and this does not mean that they shall have bell-traps nor siphon-traps with shallow water-seal. Cellar windows should be movable to let in air, and should have painted wire-screens to keep out cats, rats, etc. New walls are always damp. Window sills should project well out beyond the walls, and should be grooved underneath so as to throw the water clear of the walls. Cracks in floors, between the boards, help the accumulation of dirt and dust, and may harbor vermin. Narrow boards of course have narrower interstitial cracks than wide boards do. "Secret nailing" is best where it can be afforded. Hot-air flues should never be carried close to unprotected woodwork. Electric bells, when properly put up and cared for, are a great convenience in a house; but when they don't work, they are about as aggravating as the law allows. Cheap pushbuttons cause a great deal of annoyance. Silver-plated faucets and trimmings blacken with illuminating and sewer gases. Nickel-plating is perhaps a less pleasing white, but is cheaper and does not discolor readily. Windows are in most respects a great blessing; but there may be too much of a good thing. It is unreasonable to expect that one grate or stove or furnace can heat a whole county. Don't attempt it. If you have too many windows on the "cold side" of a house, give them double sashes (not double panes), and "weather-strip" them. Unpainted trimmings should be of hardwood. Yellow pine finishes up well. Butternut is brighter than walnut. Cherry makes a room cheerful. Walnut is dull and dismal.
The Forests of the World.—The rapid exhaustion of the forests of the world, and more particularly of the once great reserves of timber in the United States and Canada, renders it inevitable that, in a very few years indeed, iron must supersede wood for a variety of uses. The drain upon the world's resources in timber is prodigious. Every year 92,000,000 railway sleepers are used in America alone, while to supply firewood for the whole of the States, fourteen times the quantity of wood consumed by the railways is annually required. At the computation of the most recent statistics there were 441,000,000 of acres of woodland in the United States; but since over 50,000,000 of acres are cut down yearly, this great area of timber will be non-existent in less than twenty years, unless replanting upon a very extensive scale be at once undertaken. Already efforts are being made in this direction, and not long since some 4,000,000 of saplings were planted in a single day in Kansas and the neighboring States. But since the daily consumption is even greater than this, it is obvious that the work of replanting must be undertaken systematically if it is to keep pace, even approximately, with the destruction. In France and Germany, where the forests are national property, forestry has been elevated to the status of an exact science; but the timber lands of those countries are small indeed compared with those in the United States.
A Church Built from a Single Tree.—A redwood tree furnished all the timber for the Baptist church in Santa Rosa, one of the largest church edifices in the country. The interior of the building is finished in wood, there being no plastered walls. Sixty thousand shingles were made from the tree after enough was taken for the church. Another redwood tree, cut near Murphy's Mill, about ten years ago, furnished shingles that required the constant labor of two industrious men for two years before the tree was used up.
Trees That Sink.—Of the more than four hundred species of trees found in the United States there are said to be sixteen species whose perfectly dry wood will sink in water. The heaviest of these is the black ironwood of southern Florida, which is more than thirty per cent. heavier than water. Of the others, the best known are the lignum vitae and mangrove; another is a small oak found in the mountains of western Texas, southern New Mexico, and Arizona, and westward to Colorado, at an elevation of 5,000 to 10,000 feet.
Artificial Wood.—You can produce an artificial fire and waterproof wood in the following manner. More or less finely divided wood shavings, straw, tan, etc., singly or mixed, are moistened with a weak solution of zinc chloride of about 1.026 sp. gr., and allowed to dry. They are then treated with a basic solution of magnesium chloride of 1.725 to 1.793 sp. gr., and pressed into moulds. The materials remain ten to twelve hours under pressure, during which time they harden while becoming heated. After being dried for several days in a warm, airy place, they are placed for ten or twelve hours into a strong solution of zinc chloride of about 1.205 sp. gr., and finally dried again. The product is stated to be workable like hardwood, and to be capable of taking a fine polish after being tooled. It is fireproof and inpermeable to water, and weak acid or alkaline solutions, and not affected by the humidity of the atmosphere, being well suited to decorative purposes, as it will not warp and fly like wood, but retain its form.
How to Stain Wood.—The following are recipes for staining wood, which are used in large establishments with great success: Light Walnut—Dissolve 3 oz. permanganate of potash in six pints of water, and paint the wood twice with the solution. After the solution has been left on the wood for from five to ten minutes, the wood is rinsed, dried, oiled, and finally polished. Light Mahogany—1 oz. finely cut alkanet root, 2 ozs. powdered aloe, and 2 ozs. powdered dragon's blood are digested with 26 ozs. of strong spirits of wine in a corked bottle, and left in a moderately warm place for four days. The solution is then filtered off, and the clear filtrate is ready for use. The wood which is to be stained is first passed through nitric acid, then dried, painted over with the alcoholic extract, dried, oiled and polished. Dark Walnut.—3 ozs. permanganate of potash are dissolved in six pints of water, and the wood is painted twice with this solution. After five minutes the wood is washed, and grained with acetate of iron (the ordinary iron liquor of the dyer) at 20i Tw. Dry, oil and polish as usual. Gray—1 oz. nitrate of silver is dissolved in 45 ozs. water, and the wood painted twice with the solution; afterwards the wood is submitted to the action of hydrochloric acid, and finally washed with ammonia. It is then dried in a dark place, oiled and polished. This is said to give remarkably good results on beech, pitch pine and poplar. Black—7 ozs. logwood are boiled with three pints of water, filtered, and the filtrate mixed with a solution containing 1 oz. of sulphate of copper (blue copperas). The mixture is left to clear, and the clear liquor decanted while still hot. The wood is placed in this liquor for twenty-four hours; it is then exposed to the air for twenty-four hours, and afterwards passed through a hot bath of nitrate of iron of 6i Tw. If the black, after this treatment, should not be sufficiently developed, the wood has to be passed again through the first logwood bath.
The Highest Chimney in the World.—The highest chimney in the world is said to be that recently completed at the lead mines in Mechernich. It is 134 meters (439 ft. 6 in.) high, was commenced in 1884, and was carried up 23 meters before the frost set in; building was again resumed on the 14th of last April, and it was completed last September. The foundation, which is of dressed stone, is square, measuring 11 meters (33 ft.) on each side, and is 3.50 meters (11 ft. 6 in.) deep; the base is also square, and is carried up 10 meters (33 ft.) above the ground. The chimney-stack is of circular section, 7.50 meters (24 ft. 6 in.) diameter at the bottom, and tapering to 3.50 meters diameter (11 ft. 6 in.) at the top, and is 120.50 meters (395 ft.) high.
How to Measure Round Tanks.—Square the diameter of the tank, and multiply by.7854, which gives the area; then multiply area by depth of tank, and the cubic contents will be found. Allow 6-1/4 gallons for each cubic foot.
The Largest Buildings in the World.—Where is the largest building in the world situated? The answer to this question must depend upon what the term "building" is held to represent. The Great Wall of China, 1,280 miles in length, wide enough to allow six horsemen to ride abreast along it, and with an average height of 20 ft., may fairly be called a building; so, too, may be called the Great Pyramid of Egypt. The question, however, was not meant to include such works as these. Some have supposed that the Vatican at Rome, with its eight grand staircases, 200 smaller staircases, 20 courts, and 11,000 apartments, is the largest building in the world; but surely this is a collection of palaces rather than a single building. The same objection applies to the famous monastery of the Escurial in the province of Madrid, with its seven towers, fifteen gateways, and 12,000 windows and doors, and to many other vast piles. For the largest single building extant, we must look to St. Peter's at Rome, within which our great cathedral,
St. Paul's, could easily stand. St. Peter's occupies a space of 240,000 sq. ft., its front is 400 ft. broad, rising to a height of 180 ft.; the length of the interior is 600 ft., its breadth 442 ft. It is capable of holding 54,000 people, while its piazza, in its widest limits, holds 624,000. It is only by degrees that one is able to realize its vast size. St. Peter's holds 54,000 persons; Milan Cathedral, 37,000; St. Paul's, Rome, 32,000; St. Paul's, London, 25,600; St. Petronio, Bologna, 24,400; Florence Cathedral, 24,300; Antwerp Cathedral, 24,000; St. Sophia, Constantinople, 23,000; Notre Dame, Paris, 21,000; Pisa Cathedral, 13,000; St. Stephen's, Vienna, 12,400; Auditorium, Chicago, 12,000; St. Mark's, Venice, 7,000.
The Biggest Bell in the World.—There is a bell in the Temple of Clars, at Kinto, Japan, which is larger than the great bell of Moscow, or any other. It is covered with Chinese and Sanskrit characters which Japanese scholars have not yet succeeded in translating. There is no record of its casting. Its height is 24 ft., and at the rim it has a thickness of 16 in. It has no clapper, but is struck on the outside by a kind of wooden battering-ram. We are unable to obtain any more exact particulars as to the dimensions of this bell in order to determine whether or no it really does excel the "Monarch" of Moscow, which weighs about 193 tons, is 19 ft. 3 in. in height, 60 ft. 9 in. in circumference, and 2 ft. thick. There is another huge bell at Moscow, and those at Amazapoora, in Burmah, and at Pekin are far bigger than any we have in this country. Our biggest bell is "Great Paul," which was cast at Loughborough in 1881, and which weighs 17-1/2 tons. Taking purity, volume, and correctness of note into account, it is probably the finest bell in Europe.