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Scientific American Supplement, No. 392, July 7, 1883 by Various

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It should be made in a well glazed earthen crock; metallic vessels are
not good, as the gelatine burns too easily on the sides, and dries
out where it gets too hot. Nor is a water bath to be recommended for
dissolving the gelatine, for the sides get too hot and dry out the

A quart of water is put in the crock and heated to boiling; it is then
taken off the open fire and two pounds of the finest gelatine stirred
in, a little at a time. After the gelatine is completely dissolved there
is to be added eight or ten pounds (according to the quality of the
gelatine) of the finest white sirup previously warmed, and constantly
stirred. The mass must not boil, as it would easily burn, or turn brown
and acquire a bad color.

Thirty or forty pounds of a beautiful white elastic mass can be made by
this recipe in an hour at a cost of ten or twelve cents. Its chief use
is for making figures and ornaments to put on bridal cakes and other
fanciful productions of the confectioner. It contains no harmful
ingredients and can be eaten without danger. If coloring is added,
cochineal, plant green (chlorophyl), and turmeric are safer than aniline

* * * * *


A. Levy contributes the following brief account of this subject to the
_Moniteur Scientifique_:

The crude gum cut in irregular strips is passed five or six times
between two strong rolls sixteen inches in diameter, and making two
or three revolutions per minute. These rolls are kept wet by water
trickling on them. This broad strip of gum is perforated with foreign
substances and looks like a sieve. It is next put in the cutting
machine, a horizontal drum provided with an axle having knives on it. So
much heat is produced by this cutting that the water would soon boil if
it were not renewed. A second machine of this kind completes the cutting
and subdividing, and expels the air and water from it. The mass is then
pressed in round or quadrangular blocks.

The vulcanization of thin articles from one twenty-fifth to
one-sixteenth inch thick, is done by Parkes' patented process, that is,
dipping it in carbon disulphide for a short time, to which chloride or
bromide of sulphur has been added, and when the solvent has evaporated
the sulphur remains behind. Balls, ornamental articles, and surgical
apparatus are dipped into melted sulphur at 275 deg. or 300 deg. Fahr.

The third most important process consists in mixing in the sulphur
mechanically with the gum in the cutting machine.

After the pieces have received the form they are to have they are heated
with steam or hot air to 275 deg.. Flat articles are vulcanized between
press plates heated by steam. This vulcanization is said to have been
discovered accidentally by searching different colored stuffs, some of
which were dyed yellow with sulphur; the latter stood well.

Hard rubber contains more sulphur, and is heated longer and higher.
Small or fine tubes and hose are made by a continuous machine that
presses it through a hole with a core to it. Large hose is made by
wrapping strips around iron rods or tubes. The little air balloons
are made in Paris (their value is $300,000) by Brissonet from English
Mackintosh cloth. Powdered soapstone is strewed over it in cutting. The
edges are united by hammering on a horn anvil, or by machinery through
simple adhesion, and the cut surfaces are smooth.

* * * * *


At the last meeting of the Chemical Society Captain Abney gave a lecture
on the above subject to a large audience. We may premise by saying that
the demonstrations he gave were carried out principally by means of
experiments on paper, to enable his hearers to understand the different
points he wished to enforce. The lecture was commenced by insisting on
the fact that all photographic action took place within the molecules of
the compound acted upon and not on the molecule itself, and from this
he deduced that the absorption of radiation which take place by such
compounds is principally caused by the atoms composing the molecule.
This was found to be the case in the organic liquids, which the lecturer
to some extent had investigated, where he had further traced the
absorption to the vibrating atoms of hydrogen in those bodies. In
order to properly investigate the action of light it was necessary to
ascertain which components of light in the spectrum were the chief
agents in causing it, and this led him to consider the means to be
employed to obtain a spectrum.

The effects of diffraction gratings were first discussed, and in two
which were shown it was found that in some spectra the visible portions
were dimmed; in others the ultra-violet and the infra-red were almost
entirely absent. It thus became necessary to investigate the condition
of a grating before placing any confidence in the results obtained. This
was the first pitfall into which an experimentalist was liable to fall.
If prisms were used for obtaining the spectrum, then precautions had
also to be taken, since all glass absorbed a portion of the ultra-violet
rays and some the infra-red. On the whole, he considered that the best
glass to use was pure white flint glass for the collimator, the prisms,
and the camera lens. Another inquiry that was necessary was the
source of radiation which it was proposed to use. Diagrams showed the
unsatisfactory nature of solar radiation, and a photograph of the whole
spectrum, taken with it under certain atmospheric conditions in which
the effect of the green rays were almost _nil_, demonstrated the false
conclusions that might be deduced as to the sensitiveness of any
particular compound.

Captain Abney also showed the satisfactory conditions which existed in
using the crater of the positive pole of the electric arc light as a
source, and by diagrams illustrated the inferiority of an incandescent
light for the purpose, owing to the deficiency of violet and
ultra-violet rays. Having thus settled the source of illumination and
the kind of apparatus to employ, he next considered the conditions under
which the sensitive salts were to be exposed. The action of ordinary
sensitizers was explained and demonstrated by experiments, from which
point the results of certain colored sensitizers were considered. Thus,
various aniline dyes were proved to be bromine absorbents, and likewise,
more or less, to be capable of being acted upon by light in those
regions of the spectrum they absorbed. The result of the two effects was
to produce a developable image of the spectrum just in those parts to
which the salt of silver was sensitive, and also in the parts where the
dye itself was acted upon. The latter effect was traced to the organic
matter being oxidized in the presence of the sensitive silver salt.

The sensitizing effect of one silver compound upon another was then gone
into, and experiments and photographs showed where two salts of silver
were in contact with one another, and without an energetic sensitizer
being at hand, that the one when acted upon by light absorbed the
halogen liberated from the other through the same cause and that a new
molecule was formed. This was of importance, since in photographic
spectroscopic researches a conclusion might be arrived at that a
body suffered absorption in those regions of the spectrum where this
interesting reaction took place, whereas in reality the phenomenon might
be due to the silver salts employed. This was another pitfall for the
unwary. Again, it became necessary in studying photographic action to
make sure that the effect of radiation was only a reducing action, and
that the results were not vitiated by some other action.

The destruction by oxidizing agents of the effect produced by light was
then experimentally demonstrated, and photographs of the spectrum showed
that this effect was increased by the action of light itself. Thus, when
immersing a plate sensitive to all radiations, visible and invisible,
in a very dilute solution of nitric acid, bichromate of potash, or
hydroxyl, it was shown that if the plate were exposed to light, first
the parts acted upon by the red rays were reduced before the parts not
acted upon at all by the spectrum, thus conclusively proving that light
itself helped forward the oxidation or so-called solarization of the
image. It thus became a struggle, under ordinary circumstances, between
the reducing action on the normal salt and the oxidizing action on the
altered salt as to which should gain the mastery. If the reducing action
of any particular ray were the most active, then a negative image
resulted, whereas if the oxidizing action were in the ascendant, a
positive image resulted. Thus, in determining the action of light on
a particular salt, this antagonism had to be taken into account, and
exposure made with such precautions that no oxidizing action could
occur, as would be the case if an inorganic sensitizer, such as sulphite
of soda, were used.

The reversal of the image by soluble haloid salts, such as bromide of
potassium, was then dwelt upon with experimental demonstration. It was
shown that the merest trace of soluble haloid would reverse an image
by the extraction of bromine from it, and the fact that the most
refrangible part of the spectrum was principally efficacious in
completing this action showed how necessary it was to avoid falling
into error when analyzing photographic action by the spectroscope. A
reference was next made to gelatine plates, in which, owing to their
preparation, reversal through the above cause was most likely to take
place, and a plate soaked in sulphite of soda and exposed in the camera
for a couple of minutes--a time largely in excess of that necessary to
give a reversal under ordinary circumstances--proved the efficacy of
the oxygen absorber, the image remaining in its normal condition after

The lecturer closed his remarks by showing the different molecular
states of iodide, bromide, and chloride of silver, as produced by
different modes of preparation. The color of the film by transmitted
light in every case indicated the effect which was likely to be produced
on them, and the photographed spectrum in each of them showed the
remarkable differences that were found. The points raised by Captain
Abney at different times are well worthy the study of scientific
photographers, since strict attention to the modes of exposure to the
spectrum, to the instruments employed, and to the source of light used
can alone insure accuracy in comparative experiments.--_Br. Jour. of

* * * * *


M.F.K. communicates the following interesting circumstance to _Neueste
Erfindung_.: A few years ago it was decided to whitewash the walls
and ceiling of a small cellar to make it lighter. For this purpose a
suitable quantity of lime was slaked. A workman who had to carry a
vessel of common salt for some other purpose stumbled over the lime
cask and spilled some of his salt into it. To conceal all traces of his
mishap he stirred in the salt as quickly as possible. The circumstance
came to my knowledge afterward, and this unintentional addition of salt
to the lime excited my liveliest curiosity, for the whitewash was not
only blameless, but hard as cement, and would not wash off.

After this experience I employed a mixture of milk of lime and salt
(about three parts of stone lime to one part of salt), for a court or
light well. To save the trouble and expense of a scaffold to work on, I
had it applied with a hand fire engine (garden syringe?) to the opposite
walls. The results were most satisfactory. For four years the weather
has had no effect upon it, and I have obtained a good and cheap means of
lighting the court in this way.

* * * * *


It is stated in the _Gewerbeblatte fur Hessen_ that paint can be renewed
and refreshed in the following manner:

When cracks and checks appear in the paint on wooden articles, this
usually indicates that the varnish has cracked. If this is the case, the
article can easily be prepared for a fresh coat by sponging it over with
strong ammonia water, and two or three minutes later scraping off the
varnish with the broad end of a spatula before the ammonia has dried up.

In this way the first coat is removed. If it is necessary to remove the
next coating, the same operation is repeated. After the last coat
has been scraped off that is to be removed, it must be washed with
sufficient water to render the ammonia inactive, and then the surface is
rubbed with pulverized pumice to make it smooth. Any desired paint or
varnish can be applied to a surface prepared in this way.

* * * * *



There is no department in analytical chemistry in which so little
success has been attained as in the testing of commercial fats and oils.
All methods that have been proposed for distinguishing and recognizing
the separate oils, alone or mixed, bear upon them the stamp of

The facts observed by J. Koenig, and described by him in his excellent
book entitled "_Die Menschlichen Nahrungs und Genussmittel_" (p. 248),
excited great expectations; viz., that the quantity of glycerine in
vegetable fats was much less than the amount required to combine with
all the fatty acids, and that the quantity of oleic acid in the oils
that he examined exhibited essential differences. Koenig himself asserts
that the fats have hitherto been too little investigated to found upon
it a method for distinguishing them, but that nevertheless it may
possibly do good service in some cases.

My own estimation of the amount of glycerine in different olive oils, by
Koenig's method, has shown, unfortunately, that the percentage may vary
from 1.6 to 4.68, according to the origin and quality of the oil. In
like manner the estimation of the oleic acid, which was conducted
essentially in the manner proposed by Koenig, showed that the amount of
oleic acid in different olive oils varied from 45 to 54 per cent. But
since cotton seed oil, for example, which is most frequently used to
adulterate olive oil, contains 5 per cent. of glycerine, and 59.5 per
cent. of oleic acid, it is easy to see an admixture of cotton seed oil
cannot be detected by this method, which appeared to be so exact.

The method of analysis that I am about to describe is based chiefly upon
the determination of the melting point of the fatty acids contained in
the oils, and upon their solubility in a mixture of alcohol and acetic

The oils employed in adulterating olive oil, and to which regard must be
had in testing it, are the following: Cotton seed oil, sesame, peanut,
sun flower, rape, and castor oils. The tests for the two last named
have hitherto never presented any difficulty, as rape seed is easily
detected, owing to the sulphur in it, by saponifying it in a silver
dish, and castor oil by its solubility in alcohol. But in recent times
another product has come into the market called sulphur oil or pulpa
oil, obtained by extracting the pressed olive cake with sulphide of
carbon. This also gives a sulphur reaction when saponified, while it
resembles castor oil by its solubility in alcohol. When this oil is
mixed with ordinary olive oil, it can easily deceive any one who uses
the ordinary tests.

My method of testing olive oil is as follows:

First, the so-called elaidine test is made, and then the test with
nitric acid. About 5 c. c. (a teaspoonful) of the oil is mixed in a test
tube with its own volume of nitric acid, spec. gr. 1.30, and shaken
violently for one minute. At the expiration of this time the oils will
have acquired the following colors: Olive oil, pale green; cotton seed
oil, yellowish brown; sesame, white; sun flower, dirty white; peanut,
rape, and castor oils, pale pink or rose.

As soon as the color has been observed, the test glass is put in a water
bath at the full boiling temperature and left there five minutes. It was
found that the action of nitric acid upon cotton seed and sesame oil was
the most violent, sometimes so violent as to throw the oil out of the
glass. At the end of another five minutes after the test tube is taken
out of the water bath, the following colors are seen: olive and rape
oils are red; castor oil is golden yellow; sun flower oil, reddish
yellow; sesame and peanut, brownish yellow; cotton seed, reddish brown.

After standing 12 to 18 hours at about 60 deg. Fahr. the olive, rape, and
peanut oils will have solidified; sun flower, castor, and cotton seed
will be like salve (sticky), while sesame will remain perfectly liquid.
Mixtures of olive oil with small quantities of cotton seed or sesame are
distinguished by this characteristic--that, although the whole mass,
which is darker in color than olive oil, solidifies at first, at the end
of 24 or 36 hours a brown oil will be found floating upon the surface of
the solid mass, while the lower strata exhibit the yellow color of pure
olive oil. Oil of rosemary has no effect when shaken with cold nitric
acid, and imparts to it only a slightly darker color on heating. Oils
treated with lye act just like pure oils.

Far the purpose of determining the melting point of the fatty acids, 10
grammes of oil were saponified with 5 grammes of caustic potash on the
water bath; some water and alcohol being added. After all the alcohol
had been expelled the soap was dissolved in hot water, and the fatty
acids separated from the clear solution by adding hydrochloric acid.
After prolonged heating these acids will swim on the salt solution as
a perfectly clear oil, a portion of which is then put into a little,
narrow, thin walled tube and allowed to solidify. The point at with it
melts and solidifies is determined by putting this tube in a beaker
glass filled with water and warming with a small flame. A thermometer
is placed _in_ the fatty acids and moved gently about during the
observation, and the point accurately observed at which the whole mass
becomes perfectly clear, and also when the mercury bulb begins to be
clouded. It was found that the acids from pure olive oil melt between
261/2 and 281/2 deg. C. (= 80 deg. to 83 deg. Fahr.) and solidify at a point not lower
than 22 deg. C. (72 deg. Fahr.). The melting point of the fatty acids in the
oils used to adulterate olive oil differs considerably from this. The
melting and solidifying points of the acids in cotton seed, sesame,
and peanut oils lie considerably higher, those of sunflower, rape, and
castor oils decidedly lower than those of olive oil.

The melting and solidifying points of these acids are as follows:

Cotton seed melts at 38.0 deg.C. solidifies 35.0 deg.C.
Sesame do. 35.0 do. do. 32.5 do.
Peanut do. 33.0 do. do. 31.0 do.
Sunflower do. 23.0 do. do. 17.0 do.
Rape do. 20.7 do. do. 15.0 do.
Castor oil do. 13.0 do. do. 2.0 do.

The above figures differ so much from those of olive oil, that
adulteratious carried to the extent that they are in trade can easily
be detected by the aid of an estimation of the melting point, for a
Gallipoli olive oil, mixed with 20 per cent. of sunflower oil, melted at
24 deg. C. and solidified at 18 deg. C. (of course, the fatty acids are meant).
A Nizza oil, mixed with 20 per cent. cotton seed oil, melted at 311/2 deg. C.
and solidified at 28 deg. C. A Gallipoli oil with 33-1/3 per cent. of rape
oil melted at 231/2 deg. C. and solidified at 161/2 deg. C. When 0.50 per cent. of
rape is added, it melts as low as 20 deg. and solidifies at 131/2 deg. C., etc.

In testing the solubility of the fatty acids in alcohol and acetic acid,
I employ the method proposed by David (in _Comptes Rendus_, 1878, p.
1416) for estimating stearic acid.

It depends upon the principle that when acetic acid is poured drop by
drop into an alcoholic solution of oleic acid, there comes a time when
all the oleic acid separates, but stearic acid, which is insoluble in
a mixture of alcohol and acetic acid, remains insoluble if the mixture
contains oleic acid.

The following manipulations are adopted in testing olive oil: Equal
parts of glacial acetic acid and water are mixed in a bottle. Then 1
c.c. of pure oleic acid, 3 c.c. of 95 per cent. alcohol, and 2 c.c.
of acetic acid are put in a small tube graduated in tenths of cubic
centimeters. The solution should remain clear; on adding another
one-tenth c.c. of acetic acid it becomes turbid, and when 1 c.c. of
oleic acid (or at first even more) floats on the mixture of acid and
alcohol, the liquid is ready for use. If this is not the case, the
proportions (of acetic acid and alcohol?) must be varied until the
addition of one-tenth c.c. of the former will cause all the oleic
acid to separate. The proportions having been ascertained from
these preliminary experiments, the alcohol and acid are then mixed
accordingly, e.g., 300 of alcohol to 225 of acid. One or two grammes
of stearic acid are added to the alcoholic acetic acid, and the clear
supernatant liquid used for the experiments.

One cubic centimeter of the oil (acids) to be tested is put in the tube,
and 15 c.c. of alcoholic acetic acid added, well shaken, and the whole
left to stand quietly at 15 deg. C. (60 deg. Fahr). If the olive oil is pure,
the acids dissolve to a clear solution that remains so. Cotton seed
oil is insoluble, and the solution obtained by heating the solution
solidifies at 60 deg. Fahr. to a white jelly. Sesame and peanut oil react
in a similar manner. Sunflower oil dissolves, but at 60 deg. a granular
precipitate falls. Rape oil is entirely insoluble and floats like oil on
the surface. Castor oil on the contrary dissolves completely, just like
olive oil, and hence cannot be detected therein by this method. To
detect this oil we must take the melting point of the acids along with
the solubility of the oil itself in alcohol.

Olive oil when mixed with 25 per cent. of cotton seed oil yields a
granular precipitate, and so does 25 per cent. of sesame. Smaller
quantities cannot be detected by these methods. For rape oil the limit
is 50 per cent., and in smaller quantities the oil does not collect on
the alcoholic solution. The decided lowering of the melting point of
the fatty acids in combination with the sulphur reaction, and the
insolubility of the oil in alcohol, also furnish a method of detecting
when present in smaller quantities in olive oil.

Although I am well aware that I am making public a research that is by
no means free from objections, I nevertheless believe that it may be of
use to those who have to undertake the ticklish and intricate analyses
of commercial fats.--_Translated from the Chemiker Zeitung_, p. 355.

Leipsic, Jan., 1883.

* * * * *


In a note presented to the Industrial Society of Mulhouse, A. Pabst
discusses the different stages in the formation of compound ethers, as
Williamson has explained the production of ordinary ethers by the action
of sulphuric acid upon alcohol. Pabst has observed that the compound
ethers are formed in an analogous manner. If alcohol, sulphuric acid,
and acetic acid are heated together, acetic ether, we know, is formed.

Pabst has shown that it takes place in three stages. In the first stage,
ethyl sulphuric acid and water are formed; in the second, acetate of
ethyl with the reproduction of sulphuric acid, which again converts a
fresh quantity of alcohol into ethyl sulphuric acid.

(1) C_{2}H_{5}OH+HO,SO_{2}OH = C_{2}H_{5}O,SO_{2}OH+H_{2}O.
(Alcohol.) (Sulphuric acid.) (Ethyl sulphuric acid.)

(2) C_{2}H_{5}O,SO_{2}OH+C_{2}H_{3}O,OH =
(Ethyl sulphuric acid.) (Acetic acid.)

(Acetate of ethyl.) (Sulphuric acid.)

Pabst proved this by letting methyl sulphuric acid act upon a mixture of
acetic acid and ethyl alcohol. He obtained by this process acetate
of methyl and ethyl sulphuric acid. By the continued action of ethyl
alcohol and acetic acid upon this mixture, of course, acetate of ethyl
was formed. At the conclusion of the operation there was no longer any
methyl sulphuric acid present in the liquid.

In the course of his investigations, Pabst was led to a very practical
method for preparing acetate of methyl, which consists in heating ethyl
sulphuric acid to 135 deg. or 140 deg. C, and allowing a mixture of equal
molecules of strong alcohol and acetic acid to flow into it.

The details of his experiments and the method of purification will be
published by the society.

* * * * *



The French brass castings and articles of sheet brass are made of cheap,
light colored brass, and possess a fine golden color which is not
produced by gold varnish, but by a coating of copper. This gives them a
finer appearance, so that they sell better.

This golden color can be easily produced at very little expense and with
but little trouble by the following process. Fifty grammes of caustic
soda and 40 grammes of milk sugar are dissolved in a liter of water
and boiled for a quarter of an hour. The solution is clear as water at
first, but acquires a dark yellow color. The vessel is next taken
from the fire, placed on a wooden support, and 40 grammes of a cold
concentrated solution of blue vitriol stirred in. A red precipitate of
suboxide of copper is at once formed, and by the time the mixture cools
to 167 deg. Fahr., the precipitate will have settled.

A suitable wooden sieve is placed in the vessel, and on this the
polished articles are laid. In about one minute the sieve is lifted up
to see how far the operation has gone, and at the end of the second
minute the golden color is dark enough.

The sieve and articles are now taken out, and the latter are washed
and then dried in sawdust. If the brass is left longer in the copper
solution, in a short time a fine green luster is produced, becoming
yellow at first and then bluish green. After it turns green, then the
well-known iridescent colors finally appear. To obtain uniform colors
it is necessary that they be produced slowly, which is attained at
temperatures between 135 deg. and 170 deg. Fahr.

The copper bath can be used repeatedly and can be kept a long time if
bottled up tightly without change. After it is exhausted it can be
renewed by adding 10 grammes of caustic soda, replacing the water that
has evaporated, heating to boiling, and adding 25 grammes of a cold
solution of blue vitriol.

Similar operations with other well known reducing agents, such as
tartrate of soda, glycerine, etc., do not give such good colors, because
they do not precipitate the copper solution so rapidly and at so low a

If the rinsed and pickled brasses are dipped for five minutes in a three
per cent. neutral solution of cocoa nut oil soap, and then washed with
water again before they dry, the coating gains in permanence.

Brass articles that have to be cleaned frequently should be covered with
oil of turpentine, or thin English copal varnish.--_Neueste Erfind_.

* * * * *


Hermann Kratzer, of Leipsic, communicates the following practical
information on the clarification and purification of vinegar to the
_Neueste Erfindungen und Erfahrungen_:

If vinegar has an unpleasant odor, which is rarer now that the vinegar
manufacture has reached such a state of perfection, it may be removed as
follows: Well burned and finely pulverized wood charcoal is put into
the bottles containing the vinegar, the proportions being 8 grammes of
charcoal to a liter of vinegar, or one ounce to the gallon. It is shaken
several times very thoroughly, then left standing three or four days,
and the vinegar filtered through a linen cloth. Vinegar treated in this
manner will be found to have completely lost its unpleasant odor.

I have found that when I used blood charcoal or bone coal in place of
wood coal it was still more efficient; but it must be mentioned that
when they are used they must be purified as follows before using:
Charcoal from blood contains potash and hence it is necessary to wash it
with distilled water and dry it before using it. Bone coal (also called
bone black, animal charcoal, etc.) contains on an average 10 per cent.
of nitrogenous and hydrogenated carbon, 8 per cent. of carbonate of
lime, 78 per cent. of phosphate of lime, besides phosphate of magnesia,
sulphate of lime, soluble salts, etc. Before using, it should be treated
with dilute hydrochloric acid until it does not effervesce any more. The
bone coal is then left to stand for 24 or 30 hours and at the end of
this time is washed with distilled water until the wash water no longer
reddens a blue piece of litmus paper, i.e., until every trace of
hydrochloric acid has been removed from the bone coal. Wood charcoal
may be treated in like manner. When this coal is perfectly dry it is
employed in the same proportions as the other, 8 to 1,000, the operation
being exactly the same.

He turns next to the clarification of the vinegar.

It happens everywhere that vinegar instead of being clear is sometimes
turbid. This is due to particles of yeast dissolved in the vinegar that
have not yet settled. To remove this kind of turbidity it is customary
to use oak or beech shavings that have been washed in hot water and then
dried. These shavings, which must be very long and extremely thin, are
put in a barrel with a second and perforated bottom, to a depth of 12
to 34 inches. The vinegar that runs through them deposits its slimy
constituents on the shavings and becomes perfectly clear, and presents
to the eye a pleasing appearance.

To this generally known method I would add a few more:

1. I take a 1/2 kilo of well pulverized _animal charcoal_ (black burned
bones) to 7/8 of a hectoliter of vinegar (1 lb. to 20 gallons), and stir
it well with a wooden rod; or, if the vinegar is in bottles, I shake it
a long time after putting the animal charcoal in the bottle, and repeat
it several times. After three or four days I finally filter the vinegar
through linen, when the filtrate will exhibit the desired clearness.

2. The best way to clarify vinegar is with _isinglass_. It is first
broken up, then swelled for a day in vinegar (17 or 18 grammes to the
liter), then 2 liters of vinegar are added and the mass boiled until the
isinglass is completely dissolved. Such a solution as this (1/2 ounce to
3 quarts) is mixed with 101/4 hectoliters (250 gallons) of turbid vinegar
and well stirred through it. After the expiration of five or six weeks
vinegar treated in this way has a beautifully clear appearance.

3. _Albumen_ can likewise be used to clarify it. The vinegar is boiled
with the albumen until the latter is completely coagulated, and then the
vinegar is filtered.

4. And finally _milk_ may be employed. For this purpose the milk is
skimmed, and 1 quart of milk added for every 68 quarts of vinegar,
the mixture well stirred and shaken. After the caseous portion has
coagulated (curdled) it is filtered as before, and in this case, too,
the product is a fine, clear vinegar.

We believe that these few experiments, so easily performed, and at so
small an expense, will prove useful to our readers in enabling them to
put their product in the market in an excellent condition and nicely

* * * * *


At a recent meeting of the Manchester section of the Society of Chemical
Industry, Mr. Ivan Levinstein described the history and progress of the
manufacture of alizarine, from which are produced fast red, purple,
brown, and black dyes. He said alizarine was, until very recently, made
only from the root of the madder plant, of which the yearly crop was
70,000 tons, and represented an annual value of L3,150,000, of which
the United Kingdom consumed 23,000 tons, representing a value of nearly

Madder is now no longer grown for this purpose. The German chemists
found that alizarine produced from madder in undergoing certain
treatment gave a substance identical with anthracine, one of the
constituents of coal tar, and in 1869 the same chemists announced to
the world that they had accomplished the synthesis of alizarine from
anthracine. The effect of this discovery was to throw madder out of

Mr. Perkin, an English chemist, and Messrs. Graebe and Liebermann,
German chemists, almost simultaneously applied for patents in 1869,
in England, and as their methods were nearly identical they arranged
priorities by the exchanging of licenses. The German license became the
property of the Badische Aniline Company, and the English license became
the property of the predecessors of the North British Alizarine Company.
These patents expire in about two months, and the lecturer explained
that an attempt made by the German manufacturers to further monopolize
this industry (even after the expiry of the patent) proved abortive. He
also stated that alizarine, 20 per cent. quality, is sold to-day at 2s
6d. per lb., but that if the price were reduced by one-half there will
still be a handsome profit to makers, and that the United Kingdom is the
largest consumer, absorbing one-third of the entire production, and that
England possesses advantages over all other countries for manufacturing
alizarine--first, by having a splendid supply of the raw material,
anthracine; secondly, cheaper caustic soda in England than in Germany by
fully L4 per ton; thirdly, cheaper fuel; fourthly, large consumption at
our own doors; and, fifthly, special facilities for exporting.

The advantages derived from the development of the alizarine manufacture
here, it was stated, will benefit other collateral industries, such
as manufacture of soda, of ordinary sulphuric acid, bichromatic, and
chlorate of potash, articles used in this manufacture. The lecturer
considered that the difficulties attending the manufacture of alizarine
were now overcome, and with sufficient capital and competent chemists
English manufacturers must be successful.

He then proceeded to explain the source from which nearly all the
artificial coloring matters are derived, viz., gas tar; showing the
principal products of this wonderful, complex mixture, of which one
is anthracine. Alizarine manufacturers originally found scarcity of
anthracine; at present the supply is in excess of the demand, and the
price during the last 18 months has fallen from 3s. 6d. to 1s. per unit,
and the probabilities are that the supply will increase. The quantity of
gas tar now obtained the lecturer estimated at 500,000 tons per annum,
and the coal carbonized for gas making, 10,000,000 tons. This quantity
of tar suffices to produce 9,000 tons of 20 per cent. alizarine.

The lecturer then reviewed, in case of an increased demand for
anthracine, the probable new sources of obtaining increased supplies of
coal tar: (1) The destructive distillation of petroleum; (2) coke
ovens and blast furnaces; (8) the carbonization of coal for general
manufacturing purposes, using the coal and gas as fuel, and giving tar,
benzine, and ammonia as residues; and (4) distillation of coal with the
object of obtaining the principal products, tar and benzine, and as the
residual product, gas. This part of the lecture was important to dyers
and printers, the lecturer showing also, in a very interesting way,
in what manner manufacturers may very considerably economize their
consumption of coal.

The lecturer explained that while from one ton of coal there was
obtained on an average about 17 oz. of benzine, by the new method about
thirty times that amount can be got from the same quantity of coal.
He also considered in great detail the different processes of the
carbonization of coal, and of increasing the production of the different
important residual products of gas tar, and also the best method of
extracting the benzine. He showed samples of benzine which he produced
from gas obtained at the Rochdale Road Gasworks, and, further,
nitro-benzine, aniline, and coloring matters, which he had made from
this gas benzine.

The lecturer also discussed the effect of the probable increased
production of tar, ammonia, benzine, etc., as affecting gas companies,
and said it was anticipated they either would raise the price of gas or
change the present system of manufacture, which he considered probable.
The enormous increase in the production of ammonia, of which the larger
portion at present, as sulphate of ammonia, was used as a fertilizer,
would no doubt considerably reduce its value. It might even replace soda
for many purposes, and thus react on our alizarine industry.

He then proceeded to consider the manufacture of alizarine purpurine,
and divided its manufacture into four stages: 1, the purification of
crude anthracine; 2, the conversion of the purified anthracine into
anthraquinone; and 3, the production of sulpho acid of anthraquinone and
the conversion of this sulpho-acid into alizarine and purpurine. This
part of the lecture comprised a detailed explanation of the various
kinds of apparatus required, to be used which were beautifully got up,
complete working models having been prepared for the occasion. The
lecturer was of opinion that large consumers would be benefited if
makers would offer for sale only three distinct coloring matters--iso
or anthrapurpurine, and flavo-purpurine, leaving it to the dyers and
printers to produce for themselves the intermediate shades by mixing the
three colors; and he showed that by reason of the fastness of the shades
produced by these coloring agents varying considerably, the blue shade
(alizarine) being much faster then the orange shade (flavo-purpurine),
consumers were in many instances losers by using mixtures of alizarine
and flavo-purpurine.

In the course of the lecture many interesting specimens of various
products were produced and dilated upon, the lecturer fully describing
the process of purifying the crude anthracine and of the conversion of
the purified anthracine into anthraquinone.

* * * * *


Since 1874, when Professor Kolbe, of Leipsic, first published his
results on the antiseptic action of salicylic acid, he has made many
efforts to apply this acid to the preservation of meat, but he has
invariably found that after the lapse of a few days an unpleasant flavor
has been developed, which is not that of putridity. If putrid changes be
noticed, it is a sign that salicylic acid is in insufficient quantity,
for where it has turned putrid the meat is found to be no longer acid,
but alkaline. This leads to the assumption that meat is protected from
change by acids, even by gases of that kind; and in fact it was noticed
that beef--from 2 to 5 kilos. being taken--when placed in an earthen
vessel and loosely covered with a wooden cover, was long preserved from
putridity if the bottom of the vessel contained some hydrochloric acid,
nitric acid, or aqueous sulphurous acid. The meat, however, no longer
had the taste of fresh meat, but of such as had long lain in ice.
Experiments were therefore made with carbonic acid, and these proved
highly successful. The meat was placed in a cylinder of metal plate, and
suspended from a rod which crossed the upper part and the lower part.
A small tube serves to admit a current of carbonic acid from a Kipp's
apparatus. The lid, which rested in a circular trough of glycerine,
was traversed by a similar tube in its center, and both tubes could be
closed with India-rubber tubing and screw taps as soon as sufficient
carbonic acid gas had traversed the apparatus. At the end of seven,
fourteen, and twenty-one days it was found that the meat was still quite
good, and the soup prepared from it was in every respect excellent. At
the end of the fourth or fifth week the meat thus preserved in the gas
was still quite free from all putridity; but the broth prepared from it
no longer tasted so well as fresh bouillon. The experiments were not
extended over a longer time. Carbonic acid is thus shown to be an
excellent means of preserving beef from putridity and of causing it to
retain its good taste for several weeks. Mutton does not preserve so
well. In eight days it had become putrid; and veal is by no means so
well preserved as beef. The comportment of beef in an atmosphere of
carbonic acid, to which carbonic oxide has been added, is curious. A
number of cylinders were filled in the usual way with such a mixture and
opened at the end of two or three weeks; in each case the flesh had the
smell and taste of good, pure meat, but it was not of the gray color
which meat preserved in carbonic acid gas gradually takes, but appeared
in the interior, as well as on the outside, of a bright flesh-red color,
and on the surface here and there, there were white round masses of
fungoid growth of the size of a 20-pfenning piece, which were removed
with the slightest rubbing. The flesh lying just below these was found
to have the same bright red color as that already described. Meat which
had been for three weeks in such a gas mixture gave a broth which,
in good taste and freshness, could hardly be distinguished from
freshly-made bouillon; and the boiled meats could not be distinguished
either in appearance or taste. The property of carbonic acid to preserve
meat suggests a use for the large supplies of this gas evolved from the
earth in many localities. And it is as interesting to determine in
how far the gas could be of service as an antiseptic during surgical

* * * * *


IT is well known that when the heat is sufficient, carbonic oxide
reduces the oxide of iron to metal with the production of carbon dioxide
(carbonic acid). On the other hand, at lower temperatures carbon dioxide
oxidizes metallic iron, forming carbonic oxide. J. Lowthian Bell's
celebrated researches (see SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, p. 199, March 31, 1883)
established the point of equilibrium where in the presence of both
monoxide and dioxide the reducing action of the one just counterbalances
the oxidizing action of the other.

At the suggestion of Prof. R. Akermann, of Stockholm, C.G. Saernstrom has
conducted a similar series of forty-five experiments, the expense being
borne by the Jernkontor. About 1 gramme of oxide of iron was placed in a
porcelain boat, and slid in a porcelain tube 18 millimeters (3/4 inch) in
diameter and 635 millimeters long (25 inches). This was exposed to the
action of a current of mixed carbon dioxide and monoxide made by heating
oxalic acid and concentrated sulphuric acid. It was mixed with carbon
dioxide as required, then analyzed, and preserved in gasometers holding
66 liters. Before using, it is passed over phosphorus and chloride of
calcium, and through sulphuric acid. The porcelain tube and boat were
heated to from 300 deg. to 600 deg. C. (572 deg. to 1,652 deg. Fahr.) while the gases
were passing, and then the state of oxidation determined. It was found
that the larger the quantity of dioxide the higher the degree of
oxidation, and the larger the proportion of monoxide the lower the
degree of oxidation.

The details of the experiment indicate that a saving of fuel in the
blast furnace could best be accomplished by the use of a very hot blast,
introducing some carbon monoxide into the blast, provided, of course,
that this gas can be made outside of the blast furnace more cheaply than
inside of it. Nevertheless, 643 lb. of carbon must be burned to
every 1,000 lb. of iron reduced, if carbonic oxide is exclusively
employed.--_Stahl und Eisen_.

* * * * *



The importance of soap as an indispensable article in the household has
not restrained the adulterators from making it a favorite object of
their operations, and at the present day soap is only very rarely what
it should be, the alkaline salt of a fatty acid with about 15 per cent.
of water, which may be increased in case of soft soaps to 30 per cent.
at most. The amount of moisture is an immediate signal for adulteration.
Of all substances that can be used to adulterate soap, water is of
course the cheapest, and as it is also harmless, this was the first
point where manufacturers made use of their knowledge. The percentage of
water was raised to 26 or 28 per cent., and now nearly all the ordinary
soaps contain that amount when they leave the factory. At first the
retailers objected to this method, because they had to suffer the loss
so far as it dried out and lost weight in the store.

The next point was to find some substance that would prevent this rapid
drying, and it was very soon discovered that those soaps that contained
an excess of lye retained moisture longer. Henceforth it was only
necessary to use lyes of extra strength so as to obtain a large yield of
soap containing an excess of water. The results of this ingenious method
are before us; in the shops of the soap dealers the bars of soap become
coated with a crust of white crystals, which is nothing but soda. If a
few drops of corrosive sublimate be dropped on these crystals, a red
spot will at once be produced by the formation of mercuric oxide. In
addition to the deception of the public who buy such soaps, this alkali
destroys clothes washed with it, as the fiber of the tissues is directly
attacked by it, while the proper action of the soap depends on its
enveloping the particles of dirt and carrying them off.

Soap is subject to another kind of adulteration called filling, or
weighting. Soapstone and similar mineral substances are added to the
finished soap to increase its weight. But it may be added that this
fraudulent weighting is rare. Large establishments cannot take the risk
of being detected in such avaricious practices, and small ones scarcely
have the apparatus at their disposal for making a uniform mixture which
will not arouse suspicion.

Now soaps are frequently found in the market that scarcely deserve this
name. Mineral soap, cold water soap, etc., are the names inscribed on
the placards behind which is buried a preparation consisting for the
greater part of water-glass. The well-known water-glass is a silicate of
soda or potash dissolved in free or caustic soda, or potash. There was
a time when it excited great hopes, and its introduction into the
household for washing was dreamed of, but it was soon found that
its caustic properties made their appearance at a relatively low
temperature. Hence we often find the notice, "TO BE USED COLD," printed
in bold letters on the wrappers. This product is obtained by thickening
water-glass with stearine, oleine, or any other easily saponifiable fat.
As it takes but very little of the substances named to make an article
closely resembling soap, of course the product is very cheap. There does
not seem to be any limit to the amount of water in it; at least the
author found in one kind of mineral soap from Berlin 58 per cent. of
water. Water-glass soaps do not dissolve readily in water, they make but
little suds, and render the skin hard and unpliable. Admitting that they
are suitable for many purposes, nothing can be said against their sale
so long as they appear under names which preclude their being confounded
with other soaps. Nevertheless, there is always this danger--that
water-glass may come into general use in making soap, and this is to be
deplored. Water-glass soaps are easily recognized by their insolubility
in moderately strong alcohol, the water-glass remaining behind in a
gelatinous form.

Great deception has been practiced under such names as "almond soap,"
etc. Fortunately the difference between various kinds of fat are not
very great from a chemical point of view, although it is always an
unpleasant thought that the fat from animals that have died may return
to the house in the form of soap. A white or yellow soap having a good
smell is not made from bad fat, and hence is more appetizing.

A method formerly much in use consisted in mixing green soap with starch
paste, a mixture that could not be detected by the naked eye, especially
if colored with caramel. On attempting to dissolve it in ordinary
burning alcohol, a white coagulum forms.

From the foregoing it is sufficiently evident that those who buy soap
to sell again have every reason to keep a sharp lookout on those who
furnish them with soap.--_Polyt. Notiz._

* * * * *



M. Meynet, in a remarkable report upon condensed milk, has raised a
question which it is important to have solved in the interests of
infants. This is my excuse for presenting to the French Society of
Hygiene certain observations on this subject.

Is woman's milk richer in fatty matters and sugar in proportion to the
caseine than that of the cow? Is the affirmative, sustained by a large
number of chemists, a mistake that ought to be corrected?

Such is the question that needs to be answered.

In my last work on milk, my aim was to report new experiments, and hence
I gave only the analysis of M. Colawell. By the side of the essays of
MM. Doyere, Millon, Commaille, and Wurtz, I put those of Liebig, and
quoted an interesting chapter written on this question by M. Caulier,
in Dechambre's Encyclopedic Dictionary. These are the authorities upon
which to base any opposition to the analyses of Boussingault, Regnault,
Littre, and Simon, savants of no less renown.

The differences are easily explained.

Woman's milk is rarely to be had in sufficient abundance to make a
complete analysis of it. In the country especially a few precious drops,
obtained with difficulty, are carried off in a thimble to be placed
under a microscope, where the number of fat globules are counted, and it
is examined to see if they are not mixed with globules of colostrum.

It will be necessary at the outset to know whether the analyses given
refer to milk drawn from the breast before nursing, or at the end. In
the former case there will be an excess of caseine, in the second an
excess of fat present. This is the reason that in nursing infants the
intervals should not be too long, or the child will not be able to empty
the breast completely, and it will obtain a milk too rich in caseine,
too poor in butter, and one that it cannot digest.

This is the first proof of the importance of fatty matters for the
alimentation of babes.

Let us turn to the second.

At birth, when the milk is still in a state of colostrum, the fluid
contains a variable quantity of albumen coagulable by heat, much less
caseine, and an excess of butter and sugar.

Cow's milk, immediately after calving, contains more butter and less
caseine than milk produced some time later, when the specific character
of ruminants begins to appear in the calf, that is to say, when it
commences to graze the milk coagulates in the stomach. As in other
mammals, an excess of fat helps digestion by subdividing the caseine and
emulsifying it. But the milk of an animal recently calved is reserved
for its young, and it is not until the time of weaning that the lacteal
fluid is offered for human consumption.

Thus it is that the nursling of a day receives milk many months old and
heavily loaded with caseine. This milk it cannot digest because the
emulsifying element, the fat, is not present in it in sufficient
quantity in proportion to the coagulable matter. We must not forget
either that the difference in coagulation holds also with respect to
difference in the age and in the kind of animal. Just so the rennet of a
sucking calf has a greater power of coagulating cow's milk than that of
a sheep, and _vice versa_.

"Clinical observation," says Dr. Condereau, "shows that all young
infants digest human milk very easily and cow's milk very imperfectly.
When it is fed on the latter, in the excreta will be found numerous
fragments, sometimes very bulky, of undigested caseine. In most cases
this caseine suffers more or less decomposition in the alimentary
canal, which gives to the feces a tainted odor recalling that of putrid
Roquefort cheese.

"The excrement vary in appearance as much as they do in odor. Frequently
the caseous clots are not to be seen, and the stool has a clammy look
reminding one of glazier's putty, while the color varies from dirty
white to pale grayish yellow. That is due to the fact that the
composition of the milk from different animals is far from being

"The proportions of albumen to those of caseine are especially varied.
For woman's milk the proportions are as 100 to 122.72. In goat's milk
the proportions are 100 to 173.09. In cow's milk it is as 100 to 289.20.

"The conclusion is this: Caseine is not a food at all for the new born
during a space of time, the duration of which is to be determined

"This substance is a harmful burden that interferes with the regular
action of the digestive organs. It is a premature food, and the more
abundant the more injurious.

"Albumen on the contrary remains fluid in the presence of the gastric
juice; it is separated from the other aliments by coagulation of the
caseine. It is absorbed entire either in its natural state or in form of

According to clinical observation, it is still the fats that give to
milk its hygienic value, and the excess of caseine is an obstacle to its

However, if cow's milk is not easily digested by children, experience
proves that there are other kinds of milk, from other animals, which
young stomachs are able to bear more easily. There are many proofs of
this fact.

M. Tarnier, speaking before the Academy of Medicine on the artificial
nourishment of the new born, reports that the milk of cows and goats,
pure or diluted in different ways, that of condensed milk and Biedert's
cream, have always given disastrous results at the Maternite in Paris,
but that the mortality of the new born was considerably reduced from the
day when ass's milk was introduced as food.

Ass's milk was given pure for six weeks or two months; then cow's milk
diluted with one-half water until six months old, followed by pure cow's
milk. This is the most rational course of artificial feeding.

Prof. Parrot reports analogous results obtained at the nursery opened at
the Hospice des Enfants Assistes. By the aid of ass's milk he saved a
number of the little syphilitics.

The following are the numerical results: 86 infants with hereditary
taint of syphilis have been at the nursery. Of 6 fed exclusively on
cow's milk, only 1 survived and the other 5 died. Forty-two were suckled
by goats, of which 8 lived, 34 are dead, which is equal to a mortality
of 80.9 per cent. Thirty-eight were suckled by an ass, of which 28 lived
and 10 died; a mortality of 26.3 per cent.

Certainly these figures prove eloquently enough what chemical analysis
shows, that ass's milk, being better borne by the infant's stomach,
ought to have a composition resembling that of woman's milk. This
analogy is not found to consist in the quantity of fat, but in the small
amounts of dry residue (total solids) and of caseine.

Let us now examine the objections raised by M. Meynet.

Food has a considerable influence upon the composition of milk; this
fact, stated by M. Riche in his treatise on chemistry, seem to be
accepted by all.

The milk of carnivorae is excessively rich in caseine; that of herbivorae
much less.

The food of woman, who enjoys a mixed alimentation, ought to have a
composition intermediate between these two, and consequently ought to
contain more caseine than that of the plant eaters. This is the logical

At first this reasoning misleads one, but numerous objections present

The food, no doubt, has some influence upon the composition of the milk
of animals of the same species, but every animal can secrete something
independent of any food, just as one kind secretes musk, another
castor, etc. Yet it would not be an anomaly if an excess of caseine
in proportion to the other substances was a true characteristic of

But we admit that the milk of all mammals ought to have identically the
same composition if their food suffered no modifications.

What is the food of ruminants? Without doubt it is essentially
vegetable, and the plants of the field constitute the element par
excellence of their nurture. These plants contain a large excess of
carbohydrates in proportion to the nitrogenous.

But what are these other substances? What role do they play in

They are composed in great part of fibers and cells that suffer no
change in the animal economy, and which are not acted upon by the
gastric juice, as proved by their occurrence in excreta. The carbon is
found almost unchanged, so that the excrements of herbivoiae, when dried,
form a valuable fuel. Ruminants are compelled, in order to obtain
nourishment from the plants that they eat, to extract their juices by
repeated pressure (as in chewing the cud); and what do these soluble
juices contain? Some saccharine substances, a little fat, but mostly
albumen and vegetable caseine, that is to say, the substance which
predominates in their lacteal secretions.

What, on the contrary, is the food of woman?

No doubt she gains much strength from the lean, muscular flesh that she
eats, but besides this she has butter, oil, fats of all kinds, sugar,
starches, and alcoholic beverages, all of which are favorable to the
production of butter in the milk. Hence, aside from her physical
constitution, the food of woman alone explains the relative excess of
non-nitrogeneous substances.

Nitrogenous articles of food are expensive, while the other forms of
nutriment are to be had in the form of potatoes, beans, and bread,
products sold at a reasonable price. Yet logic demands that there shall
be an excess of butter in proportion to caseine in the milk.

The discrepancies in analyses of woman's milk are easily explained by
the mobile and impressible character of woman.

If bad treatment and bee stings are able to modify the composition of
cow's milk, how much more ought the emotions of all sorts, which disturb
the heart and head of woman, to change the composition of her milk?

But if new analyses seem to be needed, they ought to be made. This
question is too important to rest in suspense. The mean composition
of human milk for the first two months after delivery ought to be
established. In chemistry, as in mathematics, figures alone are
convincing. But from what has been said it is logical to conclude that
an excess of caseine in milk is unfavorable to good digestion, while
an excess of butter is favorable to it.--_Translated from Journal
d'Hygiene, March 1, 1883_.

* * * * *



The cereals are subject to many diseases which retard their development,
rendering them unfit for food, and even poisonous. The relation of
unwholesome foods to the diseases of the animal body are now being
thoroughly studied, recent advances in chemistry and microscopy
contributing valuable aid to the prosecution of such investigations.
Some enthusiastic advocates of the germ theory of disease believe that
many, if not all, the so-called disease germs may be transplanted into
the human system with the food ingested. But whatever may be the real
truth in regard to this subject, it has been positively demonstrated
that many diseases of the human body may be produced by unwholesome
food. The specific symptoms produced in man by the various grain
diseases are not accurately known, consequently our remarks upon this
subject must be of a very general character.

Pappenheim divides the diseases of the cereals into two classes,
internal and external. The internal diseases are those depending upon
conditions of soil, climate, cultivation, etc., and may be neglected in
our discussion, as they produce no special disease of the body, only
impairing the nutritive value of the grain.

The external diseases are of much greater importance, as they probably
produce some of the most fatal maladies to which the human race is
subject. These external diseases of the cereals are due to parasites,
which may be either of an animal or vegetable nature. Among the animal
parasites may be mentioned the _weevil, vibrio tritici_, which feeds
upon the starch cells of the grain. Grain attacked by this parasite was
at one time supposed to be injurious to health.

In 1844 the French Commission appointed to examine grain condemned a
large quantity imported with this parasite, but afterward reconsidered
their decision and permitted its sale, concluding that it was deficient
in nutritive properties, but not otherwise unwholesome. Rust is the most
common disease of the cereals, produced by vegetable parasites. Like
the other diseases of this class, it is most prevalent in warm, damp

Prof. Hensboro is of the opinion that rust is but an earlier stage of
mildew or blight, the one form of parasite being capable of development
into the other, and the fructification characteristic of the two
supposed genera having been evolved on one and the same individual.

Blight is a term loosely applied to a number of parasitic diseases.
In it are included mildew, cories, and even rust and smut. The fungi
producing these diseases attack the plant and seed at various stages of
its growth. The whole kernel is affected, and not merely the external
coat, as is sometimes maintained. When blighted grain is sown, the
disease recurs the following year, often making it necessary to import
new seed before the disease can be eradicated. Various remedies have
been used to destroy the spores of these fungi, but all are uncertain
and some are dangerous to health. Special machinery and methods have
been employed in the mills to separate the mildew from the grain. Some
of these succeed in removing the fungi and discoloration from the
surface of the grain, but have no effects upon the parts within.
Blighted grain is soft, and has an unpleasant taste and smell, and bread
made of it is liable to be heavy and sodden.

It is undeniable that the use of blighted grain as food is exceeding
dangerous to health. It is a well known fact that vegetable parasites
may attack animals; the silk worm disease produced by the _Botrytis
baniana_, being an example. It is stated that the same vegetable
parasites which produce plant diseases, when transmitted to the animal
body produce special affections, the form and appearance of the germs
being altered by their environments. The same germs developed under
different conditions of temperature and surrounding medium, assume forms
so various that they have been supposed to belong to different species
and even different genera. If there is any truth, then, in the germ
theory of disease, it is not so very improbable that a fungus which
will produce blight in grain may cause cholera or tetanoid fever in an

Hallier, the famous physiological botanist, observed in 1867 that there
was a peculiar disease of the rice plant associated with an epidemic of
cholera. Rice plants fertilized with the discharges of cholera patients
were affected with blight. A concentrated infusion of the blighted grain
would produce changes in all animal substances, blood and albumen being
converted into thin odorless products resembling in every respect the
material found in the kidneys of cholera patients.

The most formidable of the diseases attributed to the use of diseased
grain is cerebro-spinal meningitis, commonly known as spotted or blanoid
fever. The disease is rare in England, but is frequently epidemic in the
United States, in Ireland, and on the Continent. In 1873, in the State
of Massachusetts alone, 747 persons died of it, and other epidemics even
more fatal have lately occurred in New York and Michigan. The disease is
a nervous fever attended with convulsions, the pathological lesion being
congestion and inflammation of the membrane of the spinal cord and
brain. Dr. Richardson in writing on the nature and causes of spotted
fever concludes that it is due to the use of diseased vegetable
substances, especially grain, and from a careful analysis of the
statistics of this disease reported by the Michigan State Board of
Health considers it demonstrated that "under favoring condition for its
action diseased grain received as a food is the primary cause of the
phenomena which characterize the disease." These views are substantiated
by the experiments of Dr. H. Day, who found that by feeding rabbits on
unsound grain, spasmodic affections were produced, due to inflammation
of the membranes of the spinal cord and brain.

In warm climates, pellagra or Italian leprosy is said to be produced by
eating diseased maize, which forms the principal article of food among
the poorer classes of the rural districts. Pellagra is epidemic in
northern Italy and the south of France. The disease is manifested by a
redness and discoloration of the exposed parts of the body. It is most
active during the hot weather, the inflammation subsiding in the winter,
leaving a pigmentation of the skin. Each year the symptoms become more
alarming, nervous disorders finally setting in, and a large number die
insane. The disease is most prevalent in the country. In the towns,
where maize is supplemented by other articles of food, it does not

Ergot is a very common disease of the cereals. The fungus producing it
was discovered in 1853, but for centuries previous its injurious effects
upon the human body were recognized, and it was observed that ergot of
rye was the most poisonous. Taken in large doses, ergot will produce
nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, and weakness of the heart. In
small repeated doses it will produce contraction of all the unstriped
muscles, as those of the blood vessels, the womb, and intestines.
Ergotium is the name given to the disease produced by the continued use
of grain affected by this fungus. Aitken describes it as "a train of
morbid symptoms produced by the slow and cumulative action of a specific
poison peculiar to wheat and rye, which produces convulsions, gangrene
of the extremities, and death. In countries where rye bread is much used
ergotium is sometimes epidemic. This was a frequent calamity before
the introduction of suitable purifiers into the mills. There are two
varieties of the disease, the convulsive and the gangrenous. The
convulsive form begins with tingling of the extremities, drowsiness, and
headache, followed by pain in the joints, violent muscular contractions,
and death. The gangrenous variety begins with coldness and weakness
of the extremities followed by gangrene and sloughing. This form is
somewhat more fatal than the convulsive, the mortality of those affected
being about 90 per cent.

Mouldy grain and bread have also caused poisoning. Prof. Varnell states
that "six horses died in three days from eating mouldy oats. There was a
large amount of matted mycelium, and this when given to other horses for
experiment, killed them within thirty-six hours." The writer has himself
seen seven hogs die within a few days while being fed on mouldy corn.
Flour which has become stale may produce similar injurious effects,
although most of the germs are destroyed in the process of baking. It is
quite probable, however, that a poisonous substance is generated by the
mould fungus, which cannot be destroyed in this way.--_Milling World_.

* * * * *


The injurious effect of dry heat in inhabited rooms is quite generally
known, and different methods have been suggested for moistening the
air. To test the effectiveness of these methods, J. Melikow, of St.
Petersburg, has estimated the quantity of moisture in the air of
different rooms by means of August's psychrometer, and also tested
the different methods of increasing the moisture. He arrived at the
following results, which are of decided practical value:

1. When large and small open vessels filled with water are placed in the
room, they do not increase the moisture of the air at all.

2. Tubs of water of the same temperature as the room and parlor
fountains have very little effect.

3. When hot air is used, open vessels of water placed over the pipes
have no effect at all.

4. Wolpert's revolving wheel increases the moisture but slightly.

5. The Russian tea machine and the steam pulverizer (atomizer) are
effective but only for a short time.

6. Wet hand towels suspended in a room are insufficient.

7. Of all the methods tested, the most efficient seemed to be to hang up
a number of wet cloths on a winch or some contrivance that permits
of turning them, so as to hasten their giving out moisture to the
air.--_Med. Zeitung_.

* * * * *

[The following article is from the June number of the _American
Naturalist_, edited by Prof. A. S. Packard, Jr., and Prof. E. D. Cope.
Published by McCalla & Stavely, Philadelphia, Pa.]


[Footnote: Abstract of a lecture delivered before the Franklin Institute
of Philadelphia, Jan. 20.1881, in exposition of principles laid down in
The Hypothesis of Evolution, New Haven, 1870, p. 31.]

By E. D. COPE.

The ability to read character in the form of the human face and figure
is a gift possessed by comparatively few persons, although most
people interpret, more or less correctly, the salient points of human
expression. The transient appearances of the face reveal temporary
phases of feeling which are common to all men; but the constant
qualities of the mind should be expressed, if at all, in the permanent
forms of the executive instrument of the mind, the body. To detect the
peculiarities of the mind by external marks has been the aim of the
physiognomist of all times; but it is only in the light of modern
evolutionary science that much progress in this direction can be made.
The mind, as a function of part of the body, partakes of its perfections
and its defects, and exhibits parallel types of development. Every
peculiarity of the body has probably some corresponding significance in
the mind; and the causes of the former are the remoter causes of the
latter. Hence, before a true physiognomy can be attempted, the origin
of the features of the face and general form must be known. Not that
a perfect physiognomy will ever be possible. A mental constitution so
complex as that of man cannot be expected to exhibit more than its
leading features in the body; but these include, after all, most of what
it is important for us to be able to read, from a practical point of

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--Section of skull of adult orang-outang _(Simia
satyrus)_. FIG. 2.--Section of skull of young orang, showing relatively
shorter jaws and more prominent cerebral region.]

The present essay will consider the probable origin of the structural
points which constitute the permanent expression. These may be divided
into three heads, viz.:

1. Those of the general form or figure.

2. Those of the surface or integument of the body, with its appendages.

3. Those of the forms of the head and face.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--Figure of infant at birth; _a_, front of face.
(The eye is too far posterior in this figure.)]

The principal points to be considered under each of these heads are the


1. The size of the head.

2. The squareness or slope of the shoulders.

3. The length of the arms.

4. The constriction of the waist.

5. The width of the hips.

6. The length of the leg, principally of the thigh.

7. The sizes of the hands and feet.

8. The relative sizes of the muscles.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--Portrait of a girl at five years of age.]


9. The structure of the hair (whether curled or not).

10. The length and position of the hair.

11. The size and shape of the nails.

12. The smoothness of the skin.

13. The color of the skin, hair, and irides.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--Portrait of the same at seventeen years, showing
the elongation of the facial region, and less protuberance of the


14. The relative size of the cerebral to the facial regions.

15. The prominence of the forehead.

16. The prominence of the superciliary (eyebrow) ridges.

17. The prominence of the alveolar borders (jaws).

18. The prominence and width of the chin.

19. The relation of length to width of skull.

20. The prominence of the malar (cheek) bones.

21. The form of the nose.

22. The relative size of the orbits and eyes.

23. The size of the mouth and lips.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--Profile of a Luchatze negro woman, showing
deficient bridge of nose and chin, and elongate facial region and

The significance of these, as of the more important structural
characters of man and the lower animals, must be considered from two
standpoints, the paleontological and the embryological. The immediate
paleontological history of man is unknown, but may be easily inferred
from the characteristics displayed by his nearest relatives of the order
Quadrumana. If we compare these animals with man, we find the following
general differences. The numbers correspond to those of the list above

I. _As to General Form_.--(3) In the apes the arms are longer; (8) the
extensor muscles of the leg are smaller.

II. _As to Surface_.--(9) The body is covered with hair which is not
crisp or woolly; (10) the hair of the head is short; (18) the color of
the skin, etc., is dark.

III. _As to Head and Face_.--(14) The facial region of the skull is
large as compared with the cerebral; (15) the forehead is not prominent,
and is generally retreating; (16) the superciliary ridges are more
prominent; (17) the edges of the jaws are more prominent; (18) the chin
is less prominent; (20) the cheek bones are more prominent; (21) the
nose is without bridge, and with short and flat cartilages; (22) the
orbits and eyes are smaller (except in Nyctipithecus); (24) the mouth is
small and the lips are thin.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--Face of another negro, showing flat nose, less
prognathism and larger cerebral region. From Serpa Pinto.]

It is evident that the possession of any one of the above
characteristics by a man approximates him more to the monkeys, so far
as it goes. He retains features which have been obliterated in other
persons in the process of evolution.

[Illustration: FIG.8.--Portrait of Satanta, a late chief of the Kiowas
(from the Red river of Texas), from a photograph. The predominance of
the facial region, and especially of the malar bones, and the absence of
beard, are noteworthy.]

In considering the physiognomy of man from an embryological standpoint,
we must consider the peculiarities of the infant at birth. The numbers
of the following list correspond with those already used (Fig. 3).

I. _As to the General Form_.--(1) The head of the infant is relatively
much larger than in the adult; (3) the arms are relatively longer;
(4) there is no waist; (6) the leg, and especially the thigh, is much

II. _As to the Surfaces_.--(10) The body is covered with fine hair, and
that of the head is short.

III. _The Head and Face_.--(14) The cerebral part of the skull greatly
predominates over the facial; (16) the superciliary ridges are not
developed; (17) the alveolar borders are not prominent; (20) the malar
bones are not prominent; (21) the nose is without bridge and the
cartilages are flat and generally short; (22) the eyes are larger.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--Australian native (from Brough Smyth), showing
small development of muscles of legs and prognathism.]

It is evident that persons who present any of the characters cited in
the above list are more infantile or embryonic in those respects than
are others; and that those who lack them have left them behind in
reaching maturity.

We have now two sets of characters in which men may differ from each
other. In the one set the characters are those of monkeys, in the other
they are those of infants. Let us see whether there be any identities in
the two lists, i. e., whether there be any of the monkey-like characters
which are also infantile. We find the following to be such:

I. _As to General Form_.--(3) The arms are longer.

II. _Surface_.--(10) The hair of the head is short, and the hair on the
body is more distributed.

III. _As to Head and Face_.--(21) The nose is without bridge and the
cartilages are short and flat.

Three characters only out of twenty-three. On the other hand, the
following characters of monkey-like significance are the opposites of
those included in the embryonic list: (14) The facial region of the
skull is large as compared with the cerebral; (15) the forehead is not
prominent; (16) the superciliary ridges are more prominent; (17) the
edges of the jaws are more prominent. Four characters, all of the face
and head. It is thus evident that in attaining maturity man resembles
more and more the apes in some important parts of his facial expression.

[Illustration: Esequibo Indian woman, showing the following
peculiarities: deficient bridge of nose, prognathism, no waist, and
(the right hand figure) deficiency of stature through short femur. From
photographs by Endlich.]

It must be noted here that the difference between the young and
embryonic monkeys and the adults is quite the same as those just
mentioned as distinguishing the young from the adult of man (Figs. 1 and
2). The change, however, in the case of the monkeys is greater than
in the case of man. That is, in the monkeys the jaws and superciliary
ridges become still more prominent than in man. As these characters
result from a fuller course of growth from the infant, it is evident
that in these respects the apes are more fully developed than man.
Man stops short in the development of the face, and is in so far more
embryonic.[1] The prominent forehead and reduced jaws of man are
characters of "retardation." The characters of the prominent nose with
its elevated bridge, is a result of "acceleration," since it is a
superaddition to the quadrumanous type from both the standpoints of
paleontology and embryology.[2] The development of the bridge of the
nose is no doubt directly connected with the development of the front of
the cerebral part of the skull and ethmoid bone, which sooner or later
carries the nasal bones with it.

[Footnote 1: This fact has been well stated by C. S. Minot in the
_Naturalist_ for 1882, p. 511.]

[Footnote 2: See Cope, The Hypothesis of Evolution, New Haven, 1870, p.

[Illustration: The Venus of the Capitol (Rome). The form and face
present the characteristic peculiarities of the female of the
Indo-European race.]

If we now examine the leading characters of the physiognomy of three
of the principal human sub-species, the Negro, the Mongolian, and the
Indo-European, we can readily observe that it is in the two first named
that there is a predominance of the quadrumanous features which are
retarded in man; and that the embryonic characters which predominate are
those in which man is accelerated. In race description the prominence
of the edges of the jaws is called prognathism, and its absence
orthognathism. The significance of the two lower race characters as
compared with those of the Indo-European is as follows:

_Negro_.--Hair crisp (a special character), short (quadrum. accel.);
prognathous (quadrum. accel.); nose flat, without bridge (quadrum.
retard)[1]; malar bones prominent (quadrum. accel.); beard short
(quadrum. retard.); arms longer (quadrum. accel.); extensor muscles of
legs small (quadrum. retard.).

[Footnote 1: In the Bochimans, the flat nasal bones are co-ossified with
the adjacent elements as in the apes (Thulie).]

_Mongolian_.--Hair straight, long (accel.); jaws prognathous (quadrum.
accel.); nose flat or prominent with or without bridge; malar bones
prominent (quadrum. accel.); beard none (embryonic); arms shorter
(retard.); extensor muscles of leg smaller (quad. retard.).

_Indo-European_.--Hair long (accel.); jaws orthognathous (embryonic
retard.); nose (generally) prominent with bridge (accel.); malar bones
reduced (retard.); beard long (accel.); arms shorter (retard.); extensor
muscles of the leg large (accel.).

The Indo-European race is then the highest by virtue of the acceleration
of growth in the development of the muscles by which the body is
maintained in the erect position (extensors of the leg), and in those
important elements of beauty, a well-developed nose and beard. It is
also superior in these points in which it is more embryonic than the
other races, viz., the want of prominence of the jaws and cheekbones,
since these are associated with a greater predominance of the cerebral
part of the skull, increased size of cerebral hemispheres, and greater
intellectual power.

A comparison between the two sexes of the Indo-Europeans expresses their
physical and mental relations in a definite way. I select the sexes of
the most civilized races, since it is in these, according to Broca and
Topinard, that the sex characters are most pronounced. They may be
contrasted as follows. The numbers are those of the list already used.
I first consider those which are used in the tables of embryonic,
quadrumanous, and race characters:

I. _The General Form_.
2. Shoulders square. Shoulders slope.
4. Waist less constricted. Waist more constricted.
5. Hips narrower. Hips wider.
6. Legs longer. Legs shorter (very frequently).
8. Muscles larger. Muscles smaller.

II. _The Integuments, etc_.
10. More hair on body, that Less hair on body, that of head
of head shorter; beard. longer; no beard.
12. Skin rougher (generally). Skin smoother.

III. _The Head and Face_.
16. Superciliary ridges more Superciliary ridges low.
22. Eyes often smaller. Eyes often larger.

[Illustration: The Wrestler; original in the Vatican. This figure
displays the characters of the male Indo-European, except the beard.]

The characters in which the male is the most like the infant are two,
viz., the narrow hips and short hair. Those in which the female is most
embryonic are five, viz., the shorter legs, smaller muscles, absence of
beard, low superciliary ridges, and frequently larger eyes. To these may
be added two others not mentioned in the above lists; these are 1, the
high pitched voice, which never falls an octave, as does that of the
male; and 2, the structure of the generative organs, which in all
mammalia more nearly resemble the embryo and the lower vertebrata in the
female than in the male. Nevertheless, as Bischoff has pointed out, one
of the most important distinctions between man and the apes is to be
found in the external reproductive organs of the female.

From the preceding rapid sketch the reader will be able to explain the
meaning of most of the peculiarities of face and form which he will
meet with. Many persons possess at least one quadrumanous or embryonic
character. The strongly convex upper lip frequently seen among the lower
classes of the Irish is a modified quadrumanous character. Many people,
especially those of the Sclavic races, have more or less embryonic
noses. A retreating chin is a marked monkey character. Shortness
of stature is mostly due to shortness of the femur, or thigh; the
inequalities of people sitting are much less than those of people
standing. A short femur is embryonic; so is a very large head. The faces
of some people are always partially embryonic, in having a short face
and light lower jaw. Such faces are still more embryonic when the
forehead and eyes are protuberant. Retardation of this kind is
frequently seen in children, and less frequently in women. The length of
the arms would appear to have grown less in comparatively recent times.
Thus the humerus in most of the Greek statues, including the Apollo
Belvidere, is longer than those of modern Europeans, according to a
writer in the Bulletin de la Societe d'Anthropologie of Paris, and
resembles more nearly that of the modern Nubians than any other people.
This is a quadrumanous approximation. The miserably developed calves of
many of the savages of Australia, Africa, and America are well known.
The fine, swelling gastroenemius and soleus muscles characterize the
highest races, and are most remote from the slender shanks of the
monkeys. The gluteus muscles developed in the lower races as well as
in the higher distinguish them well from the monkeys with their flat
posterior outline.

It must be borne in mind that the quadrumanous indications are found in
the lower classes of the most developed races. The status of a race or
family is determined by the percentage of its individuals who do and do
not present the features in question. Some embryonic characters may
also appear in individuals of any race, as a consequence of special
circumstances. Such are, however, as important to the physiognomist as
the more normal variations.

Some of these features have a purely physical significance, but the
majority of them are, as already remarked, intimately connected with
the development of the mind, either as a cause or as a necessary
coincidence. I will examine these relations in a future article.

* * * * *


In 1867 the Abbe Bourgeois found at Thenay, near Pont-levoy
(Loir-et-Cher), in a marly bank belonging to the most ancient part of
the middle Tertiary formation, fragments of silex which bore traces of
the action of fire. This fire had not been lighted by accidental causes,
for, says Mr. DeMortillet (_Le Prehistorique_, p. 90), the causes of
instantaneous conflagrations can be only volcanic fires, fermentations,
and lightning. "Now, in the entire region there is no trace of volcanic
action, and neither are there any traces of turfy or vegetable deposits
capable of giving rise to spontaneous inflammations--phenomena that
are always very rare and very exceptional, as are also conflagrations
started by lightning. Well, in the Thenay marls, the pieces of silex
that had undergone the action of fire were found disseminated at
different levels, and this could not have been a simple accident, but
was evidently something that had been done intentionally. There existed,
then, during the Aquitanian epoch, a being who was acquainted with fire
and knew how to produce it."

Mr. De Mortillet supposes that this being was an animal intermediate
between man and the monkey, which he calls the _anthropopithecus_.

This precursor of man made use of fire for splitting silex and
manufacturing from it instruments whose cutting edge he perfected by
means of a series of retouchings produced by slight percussions upon one
of the surfaces only.

I shall not enter in this place upon a discussion as to the existence
of an anthropopithecus or Tertiary man, whom every one does not as yet
accept, but will confine myself to giving the facts as to the use of
fire in the remotest epochs, incontestable proofs of which exist from
the time at which Quaternary man made his appearance. How this was
discovered is indicated, according to Aryan tradition, by the Vedic
hymns. The ancestors of the Aryans, these tell us, had seen the lighting
dart forth from the shock of black clouds. They had seen the spark that
fired the forests issue from the friction of dry branches agitated by
the storm. They took a branch of soft wood, _arani_, and passing a thong
around a branch of hard wood, _pramontha_, they caused it to revolve
rapidly in a cavity in the _arani_, and thus evoked the god _Agni_, whom
they nourished with libations of clarified butter, _soma_.

The _Pramontha_, became the _Prometheus_ of the Greeks, the Titan who
stole the fire, and it is from the Sanscrit _Agni_ that is derived the
Latin _Ignis_, "fire," and the Greek [Greek: Agnos], "pure," and the
_Agnus Dei_ of the Christians, who purifies all.

Orientalists generally agree that the sign which is seen under the forms
[inline illustration], [inline illustration], or [inline illustration],
on a large number of objects of Aryan origin is a sort of sacred
hieroglyphic, representing the _arani_ or _svastika_, formed of two
pieces of soft wood fixed by four pins in such a way as not to revolve
under the pressure of the Pramontha.

This process of producing fire is also found among a host of more or
less savage peoples, and especially in India, where, during the last
month of the great feast of sacrifices, the sacred fire must always be
kindled three hundred and sixty times a day with nine different kinds of
wood that are prescribed by the rite.

Fig. 1 shows the arrangement in use among the Eskimos, and Fig. 2 that
employed by the Indians of North America.

In 1828 there still existed at Essen, in Hanover, an analogous apparatus
designed to produce an alarm fire. This was a large, horizontal, round
wooden bar whose extremities pivoted in two apertures formed in vertical
posts, and which was provided with a cord that was wound around it
several times. Several persons, by pulling on the ends of this cord,
caused the bar to revolve alternately in one direction and the other,
and the heat developed by the friction lighted some tow that had
previously been inserted in one of the apertures in the post.


It is certain that the alternate motion must have been produced directly
by hand before being effected by cords. This simpler process is still in
use in Tasmania, Australia, Polynesia, Kamtschatka, Thibet, Mexico, and
among the Guanches of the Canary Isles, who are supposed to be the last
representatives of the inhabitants of Atlantis, which sank under the
waters at the close of the Quaternary epoch.

Chamisso, who accompanied Kotzebue in his voyage, describes it as
follows: "In the Caroline Islands, they rest a vertical piece of
roundish wood, terminating in a point, and about a foot and a half in
length and one inch in diameter, upon a second one fixed in the ground,
and then give it a rotary motion by acting with the palms of the
hands. This motion, which is at first slow and measured, is at length
accelerated, while at the same time the pressure becomes stronger,
whereupon the dust from the wood which has formed by friction and
accumulated around the point of the movable piece begins to carbonize.
This dust, which, after a fashion, constitutes a match, soon bursts into
flame. The women of Eap are wonderfully dexterous in their use of this


Fig. 3 shows another manner of obtaining fire by rotation which is
employed by the Guachos, a half savage, pastoral people who inhabit the
pampas of South America. Longitudinal friction must have preceded that
obtained by rotation. It is still in use in most of the islands of
Oceanica (Fig. 4), and especially in Tahiti and in the Sandwich Islands.

In these latter, says again Chamisso, upon the fixed piece of wood they
place another piece of the same kind, about the length of the palm, and
press it obliquely at an angle of about 30 degrees. The extremity that
touches the fixed piece is blunt, and the other extremity is held with
the two hands, the two thumbs downward, in order to allow of a surer
pressure. The piece is given an alternating motion, and in such a way
that it shall always remain in the same plane inclined at an angle of 30
degrees, and form, through friction, a small groove from six to eight
centimeters in length. When the dust thus produced begins to carbonize,
the pressure and velocity are increased. Wood of a homogeneous texture,
neither too hard nor too soft, is the best for the purpose.

The Malays operate as follows: A dry bamboo rod, about a foot in length,
is split longitudinally, and the pith which lines the inside is scraped
off, pressed, and made into a small ball which is afterward placed in
the center of the cavity of one of the halves of the tube. This latter
half is then fixed to the ground in such a way that the cavity and ball
face downward. The operator next fashions the other half of the tube
into a straight cutting instrument like a knife-blade, which he applies
transversely to the fixed half and gives an alternating motion so as to
produce a sort of sawing. After a certain length of time, a groove, and
finally a hole, is produced. The cutting edge of the instrument is then
so hot that it sets on fire the ball with which it has come in contact.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--GAUCHO OBTAINING FIRE.]

Some peoples, the Fuegians especially, procure fire by striking together
two flints. In the Aleutian Islands these latter, having been previously
covered with sulphur, are struck against each other over a small saucer
of dry moss dusted with sulphur. The Eskimos employ for this purpose
pieces of quartz and iron pyrites.

In the Sandwich Islands recourse is had to a process that necessitates
much skill. There is arranged in a large dry leaf, rolled into the
shape of a funnel, a certain number of flints along with some easily
combustible twigs. On attaching the leaf to the end of a rod, and
revolving the latter rapidly, it is said that fire is produced.

Processes that are based upon the clashing of two flint stones must be
much more inconvenient of application than we would be led to suppose.
We are, in fact, accustomed to see the flint and steel used, but here
the spark is a bit of iron raised to red heat through a mechanical
action that has violently detached it from the mass under the form of
a small sliver. In the case of two flint stones, the light that
is perceived is of an entirely different nature, for it is a
phosphorescence which is produced, even by a very slight friction, not
only between two pieces of silex, but also between two pieces of quartz,
porcelain, or sugar; and that the heat developed is but slight is proved
by the fact that the phenomenon may occur under water. Of course,
fragments of stones may be raised to a red heat through percussion; but
this does not often occur, so for this reason the Fuegians keep up with
the greatest care the fires that they have lighted, and it is this very
peculiarity that has given their country a characteristic aspect and
caused it to be named Terra del Fuego (land of fire). When they change
their residence they always carry with them a few lighted embers which
rest in their canoes upon a bed of pebbles or ashes.

The same thing occurs, moreover, among the Australians and Tasmanians,
who employ, as we have just seen, the rotary process. There are women
among these peoples whose special mission it is to carry day and night
lighted torches or cones made of a substance that burns slowly like
punk. When, through accident, the fire happens to get extinguished in a
tribe, these people often prefer to undertake a long voyage in order to
obtain another light from a neighboring tribe rather than have recourse
to a direct production of it.

We can understand from what is still taking place in these distant
countries why the worship of fire should have existed among our
ancestors, and why sacerdotal associations, such as the Brahmins of
India, the Guebers of Persia, the Vestals of Rome, the priests of Baal
in Chaldea and Phenicia should have been specially instituted for
producing and preserving it.

Plutarch narrates (Numa, chap. ii.) that when the sacred fire happened
to go out, there was employed for relighting it a brass mirror that
had the form of a cone generated by the hypothenuse of an isosceles
rectangular triangle revolving around one of the sides of the right


In a poem upon stones attributed to Orpheus, it is said that the sacred
fire was also lighted by a bit of crystal which concentrated the rays of
the sun upon the material to be inflamed. This process must have been
the one that was most usually employed before fire became common. In
fact, a plano-convex crystal lens has been found among the ruins of
Nineveh. Aristophanes, in the _Clouds_, puts on the stage a coarse
personage named Strepsiades, who points out to Socrates how he must
manage so as not to pay his debts:

"Streps.--Hast thou seen among druggists that beautiful transparent
stone that they employ for lighting a fire?

"Socr.--Thou meanest glass.


"Socr.--Well! what wouldst thou do with it?

"Streps.--When the registrar shall have made out his summons against me,
I will take the glass, and, placing myself thus in the sun, will cause
his writing to melt."

As well known, writing was then traced on waxen tablets. Servius (in
_AEn_., xii., 200) affirms that men of ancient times, instead of lighting
fire upon the altar themselves, in their sacrifices, caused it to
descend from heaven. He adds, according to Pliny, Titus Livius, and
several old Latin historians, that Numa, who was initiated into all the
wisdom of Etruria, practiced this art with success, but that Tullius
Hostilius, having desired to repeat the evocation, guided only by the
books of Numa, did not accomplish all the formalities prescribed by the
rite and was struck dead by lightning.

Is it not curious that twenty-four centuries afterward, in 1753,
the physicist Reichman was killed by lightning in trying to repeat
Franklin's experiment? This coincidence, however, is not the only one.
Pliny (ii., 53) recounts that lightning was evoked by King Porsenna at
the time when a monster named _Volta_, who was ravaging the country, was
directing himself toward the capital, Volsinies.

If we return to the Vedas, who had the habit of personifying all
phenomena, we shall find that the fire Agni was the son of the carpenter
who had manufactured the instrument by which it was produced, and of
_Maya_ (magic). He took the name of Akta (anointed, [Greek: christos])
when, nourished by libations of butter, he had acquired his full
development. The Persians attributed likewise to Zoroaster the power
of causing fire to descend from heaven through magic. Saint Clement of
Alexandria (_Recog_., lib. iv.) and Gregory of Tours (_Hist. de Fr._,
i., 5) speak of this. However this may be, the marvelous art was lost
at an early date, for it was at such a date that priests began to have
recourse to tricks that were more or less ingenious for lighting their
sacred fireplaces in an apparently supernatural manner.--_A. De Rochas,
in La Nature_.

* * * * *


St. Blaise, the property of Sir Frederick Johnstone, was bred by Lord
Alington, and is by Hermit from Fusee. This is an unexceptionable
pedigree, for Hermit is now as successful and fashionable a sire as was
even Stockwell in his palmiest days, while Fusee was far more than an
average performer on the turf, and won several Queen's Plates and other
races over a distance of ground. St. Blaise is by no means a big colt,
standing considerably under sixteen hands. His color is about his worst
point, as he is a light, washy chestnut, with a bald face and three
white heels. He has a good head and neck, and very powerful back and
muscular quarters, added to which his legs and feet are well shaped and
thoroughly sound. His first appearance was made in the Twenty-fourth
Stockbridge Biennial at the Bibury Club Meeting, when he won easily
enough; but there were only four moderate animals behind him. A
walk-over for the Troy Stakes followed, and then Macheath beat him
easily enough for the Hurstbourne Stakes, though he finished in front
of Adriana and Tyndrum. For the Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood, he ran a
dead-heat with Elzevir, to whom he was giving 7 lb.; and Bonny Jean,
in receipt of 10 lb., was unplaced. A 7 lb. penalty seemed to put him
completely out of the Dewhurst Plate; but he must then have been out
of form, as, on the following day, it took him all his time to defeat
Pebble by a neck in the Troy Stakes. This season he has only run twice.
His fourth in the Two Thousand was by no means a bad performance,
considering that he was palpably backward; and his victory of last week
is too recent to need further allusion. Porter, his trainer, can boast
of several other successes in the great race at Epsom; but Charles Wood
had never previously ridden a Derby winner. St. Blaise was unfortunately
omitted from the entries for the St. Leger, but has several valuable
engagements at Ascot next week, and appears to have the Grand Prize of
Paris, on Sunday, at his mercy.--_Illustrated London News_.


* * * * *



Various steps in the progress of China, and Japan in the adoption of
Western science and educational methods have from time to time been
noticed in these columns. To the popular mind the names of the two
countries are synonymous with rigid, unreasoning conservatism and with
rapid change, respectively. The grave, dignified Chinese, who maintains
his own dress and habits even when isolated among strangers, and whose
motto appears to be, _Stare super mas antiquas_, is popularly believed
to be animated by a sullen, obstinate hostility toward any introduction
from the West, however plain its value may be; while his gayer and more
mercurial neighbor, the Japanese, is regarded as the true child of the
old age of the West, following assiduously in its parent's footsteps,
and pursuing obediently the path marked out by European experience.
There is considerable misconception in this, as indeed there is at
all times in the English popular mind with regard to strange peoples.
Broadly speaking, it is no doubt correct to say that, Japan has adopted
Western inventions and scientific appliances with avidity; that she
has shown a desire for change which is abnormal, and a disposition to
destroy her charts and sail away into unsurveyed seas, while China
remains pretty much where she always was. She is now, with some
exceptions, what she was twenty, two hundred, perhaps two thousand years
ago, while a new Japan has been created in fifteen years. All this, we
say, is true, but it is not the whole truth. China also has had her
changes; not indeed so marked or rapid, not so much in the nature of a

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