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John Wilkins, late Lord Bishop of Chester; to which is prefixed the Author's Life, and an Account of his Works. In Two Volumes. London: 1802."
The learned bishop gives the method of secret writing alluded to at page 29 of volume II. of the above-mentioned work; where he arranges ten alphabets to the key-word "Prudentia" just as Mr. Thwaites does to the word Telegraph." The only difference I can see between the two expositions of the method is this: the bishop allows us to proceed from one letter of the key-word to the next in three or four different ways, namely:
I. At the beginning of a sentence. II. At the beginning of a line. III. At the beginning of a word. IV At every letter. Whereas, Mr. Thwaites only admits of the last manner of proceeding. Mr. Thwaites justly observes that the method is capable of almost endless variety; I think, however, that the following deserves to be taken notice of: the alphabets may be arranged in three ways equally eligible, so as to spell the key-word, namely,— The key word may be placed
I. Horizontally (or vertically). II. Slanting upwards.
III. Slanting downwards.
Thus, if land be the key-word, we may arrange in the three following ways.
In my opinion it is a better plan to pass from each alphabet to the next, than it is to pass from the same fixed alphabet to others in succession.
Thus, taking the third arrangement of the alphabets to the key-word "land;" it seems much easier to replace the word "blame" by m zm bp, than by m k 1m p.
The insertion of this letter in the next number of the Journal of the Society will greatly oblige,
Your obedient servant,
length temporised by nearly hermetically sealing the doors, windows, and floor, narrowing the throat of the chimney to cause very sharp draught, and then introducing through ventilating openings in the cornice just what air was wanted for the occasion; still, whenever the door of the room was opened for a minute, my fire became a furnace. With Dr. Arnott's grate I am able to leave the inlet of cold air, even on windy days, perfectly uncared for. By closing the damper of the chimney I can effectually get rid of all hazardous and disagreeable draughts. The entrance of cold draughts into a room where a fire is burning is intimately connected with the escape of the heated air by the chimney, and is proportioned to it. Economy in the one matter is a safeguard in the other.
Upon one occasion about ten pounds of fuel burned seven hours, without being touched otherwise than by twice adjusting the incandescent coal by the poker's point. I then left it at one a.m., with a bright fire still burning, and at nine the next morning found the grate still hot to the hand. This was in a room where in the old grate I had found about thirty-eight pounds of fuel was ordinarily consumed between nine in the morning and twelve at night (i.e., fifteen hours). The saving of the new grate over the old one in the mere matter of consumption was, therefore, certainly more than one-half.
In the matter of temperature produced I found that a room I previously sat one yard from the fire in to be com fortably warm, I sat four yards from the fire in with the same feeling. I was more struck with the fact of generally diffused warmth than of increased temperature. While having the old grate I was constantly attracted towards the fire-with the new one I was constantly driven away to more distant parts of the room. I found it a very easy thing to raise the thermometer on the carpet, at five feet from the fire, to 74°. I had never tried the thermometer in the same way with the old grate, but I am convinced that I could not have attained anything like the same result.
Upon the question of soot in the room and on the linen, I am not able at present to make any remark. My trial has hitherto been too confined in matter of time to enable me to have formed any safe opinion; but at some future time I shall be prepared to tell you more concerning this.
I had the grate made by an ordinary ironmonger, and without any ornament. The cost was 35s. ; the bricklayer's J. B. KEARNEY, M.A., bill for fixing was 19s. Several together might be made Curate of St. John's. for an average of considerably less than 35s.
I find the consumption of smoke to be very nearly com
ECONOMY OF FUEL; CONSUMPTION OF SMOKE plete. I do not doubt that by means of a very narrow
IN DOMESTIC FUEL GRATES.
SIR,-Now that winter is approaching, the subject of the economy of fuel for household purposes may obtain better attention, and I beg leave to submit the following account of a trial of Dr. N. Arnott's open fire grate, given to me by Dr. R. J. Mann, a very competent observer.
I would suggest that it would be useful if other disinterested observers would similarly communicate the results of their experience of variations in the application of the principle of the grate.
I am, sir, your very obedient servant,
Burgh Hall, Aylsham, July 3. DEAR SIR,-I hasten to reply to your communication regarding Dr. Arnott's open grate.
I only used the grate eight or ten days before I left Ventnor, but during that time was able to form a very satisfactory opinion on some points connected with it.
The one fact that struck me most upon adopting it was the perfect command it gave me over a very "draughty" .room. Previously I had not been able to make the room comfortable on account of the very determined ingress of cold air whenever there was any great amount of atmospheric movement externally to the house. I had at!
aperture to the chimney, and very sharp draught, it may be made quite complete.
You will thus find that I practically attain several objects by the use of this grate :
1st. The avoidance of cold draught in the room. 2nd. The diffusion of heat throughout the apartment. before produce. 3rd. The pressure of a higher temperature than I could
4th. The saving of more than one-half in fuel, even while producing this.
5th. The absence of any regurgitation of smoke during gusty winds (a very frequent source of annoyance at Ventnor). At some future time I shall hope to be able to send you more precise results; in the meantime, Believe me, very truly yours, (Signed) ROBERT JAMES MANN.
SIR,-The Commissioners of Patents being authorised to publish all specifications of patents, with their illustrative diagrams, &c., they are so doing at a cost to the country perhaps of £15,000 per annum, and there is no doubt but that a wide distribution of these publications would greatly tend to excite the inventive faculties of the people.
But unfortunately these publications do not sell beyond
a very small quantity; in the majority of cases some dozen copies only are purchased, so that, practically speaking, there is no money return for the above outlay.
The want of sale produces another evil-huge warehouses will have to be found to hold the prodigious stock of printed papers that must accumulate, as now, even, 250 copies of every specification, together with its illustrations, is printed (500 was the number until lately). I believe that in a few years Lincoln's Inn Fields will hardly hold the mass that will then exist, unless some remedy be found for the evil.
The butter-shop is, I believe, the accredited outlet for official papers; but in this case I would suggest a better channel for getting these valuable publications before the public.
I would propose, then, that a copy of each specification should be sent to every Institution in Union with the Society of Arts. By this means every patented invention would be brought before the intelligent portion of the public all over the United Kingdom, the description of the invention in the specification and the accompanying diagrams giving the novelty as it were in a substantial form; and this distribution would, I submit, be the means of arousing the imaginative powers of thousands, and so accelerate greatly the progress of improvement in all things.
My project would entail No expense upon the public beyond postage; a sufficient quantity of each specification is always produced for the purpose, and the expense of producing them will be persevered in whether the butter shops or the Institutions in Union become the recipients. I have the honour to be your most obedient servant, WILLIAM DAY,
Day and Son, Lithographers to the Queen.
17, Gate-street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, October 12th, 1851,
SIR,-The extracts from the report of Mr. Wicksteed, on Sewage Manure, circulated last week with the authority of the Journal of the Society of Arts, are calculated to convey so erroneous a notion of the value of that article, and thence so seriously to impede the progress of sanitary drainage in our large towns, that I cannot refrain making some comments upon them.
I differ entirely from Mr. Wicksteed, Mr. Chadwick, and all other gentlemen who have printed so much on the value of sewage manure. The experience of the last ten years, the failure of some score patents, and the loss of capital by companies and by private individuals, have proved that, except in rare and exceptional instances, sewage manure has no commercial value whatever, and that it is the interest of towns to get rid of their se wage as fast and as far as possible, without waiting for the often promised and never performed contrivance which is to turn liquid refuse into solid cash.
The time has past for experiments in wine glasses or even in flannel bags. The demand for a powerful concentrated manure among our agriculturists is practically limitless, and the man who can afford to produce a portable manure half as efficient as guano at £3 3s. a ton will have more customers than he can supply. I say that confidently, from an intimate acquaintance with the farmers of all the best root-growing countries in England.
The farmers of the present day, however obstinate they may be on political questions, are wide awake to everything in the shape of real agricultural improvement. If proof be needed it is only necessary to turn to the steady demand for Peruvian and Bolivian guano, for superphosphate, for Lawes' patent manure, and other portable manures of proved value. But, as to town sewage, all who take any interest in agriculture are quite sick of the way in which, year after year, some new scheme for turning town sewage into cakes, as fertilising as guano, is introduced, in speeches and letters to newspapers, in which the non-agricultural public are informed that the waste of
valuable town sewage is only owing to the stupidity of farmers. But each scheme, after a short flare up, expires, leaving behind an abominable smell at the works, and a lawyer's and engineer's bill at the offices.
Pray understand, I do not assert that nothing profitable will ever be made of town sewage, but that nothing has up to the present moment; and that, as the manufacture of artificial manures is an established trade, towns will do well to leave such undertakings to private enterprise, and be content to get rid of their poison-breeding refuse, without seeking a profit from it.
When some manufacturer can deliver the products of town sewage, not in ounces, but in tons, and find a market for it, it will be time enough to talk of spending a million sterling in establishing a manure manufactory. Mr. Wicksteed wisely and summarily discusses the liquid sewage distribution scheme. The idea of distributing daily a hundred million gallons of sewage water over farms round the metropolis, where, for half the year, it would do harm, and for the other half-so diluted are its qualities-very little good, is simply absurd. But then Mr. Wicksteed has taken out a patent, and formed, in 1851, a Patent Solid Sewage Manure Company, and, although he has been unable to complete works at an estimated cost of £25,000, he " is satisfied that the scheme is not only practicable, but remunerative." Of course he is. Was there ever a patentee who was not satisfied with his patent?
To me it seems perfectly ridiculous to call on a patentee for a report on what verbally amounts to-the propriety of carrying out his own patent.
Now as to Mr. Wicksteed's process, which seems as least as good, if not better, than any other proposed for solidifying sewage manure.
He deodorises the sewage with lime, strains off the solid matter, dries it by a centrifugal machine; and then it contains sixty per cent. of moisture, which, by a few weeks' exposure to the air, he hopes to reduce to twenty per cent., when it is to be packed in casks, and sent over the country for sale.
The report is evidently premature; at present some bricks of solid sewage have been made; no one doubts that that can be done, but as to the fertilizing qualities we have no evidence, and until some eminent Lincolnshire, or Nottinghamshire, or Norfolk farmer has tried not a hundred weight but a ton, any report from the patentee is a mere advertising puff
But it so happens, that the last part of the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society contains an elaborate examination of the value of town Sewage, by Mr. Way, the consulting chemist of the Society, who comes, on detailed evidence, to conclusions quite contrary to those of Mr. Wicksteed. To that article I refer those readers of the Journal anxious to see a series of analyses of the value of town sewage.
Mr. Way proves that the principal parts of the matters important to vegetation, the ammonia, the phosphoric acid and the alkaline salts, are washed out of the solid sewage by the water in which it is held in suspension; and further, that solid sewage collected at the mouth of the Croydon sewer contained less than four per cent. of ammonia.
As to the use of lime as a deodoriser, that may be admitted, but Mr. Way shows that the value of organic matters of value to agriculture, precipitated by lime, is very small and more than counterbalanced by the addition of from 40 to 60 per cent. of a totally useless mattercarbonate of lime.
It is certainly not worth the while of town corporations to lay out a shilling to produce an article worth only tenpence, or of our farmers to buy an article low in price and dear in quality, an article very inferior to the night soil which market gardeners fetch back without expense in their empty carts.
Let us then leave the problem of the commercial value of sewage manure to be solved by chemists and capital
PATENT LAW AMENDMENT ACT, 1852.
APPLICATIONS FOR PATENTS AND PROTECTION ALLOWED.
[From Gazette, Oct. 13th, 1854.]
Dated 16th August, 1854.
1788. W. Burgess, Newgate street-Reaping machines.
Dated 30th August, 1854.
1897. B. Meyers, 25, Savage gardens, Tower hill.-Walking-stick guns. (A communication.)
Dated 6th September, 1854.
roofs and walls.
2066. L. Cornides, 4, Trafalgar square-Transparent medium of 2067. J. Boulton, 1, Coppice row, Clerkenwell-Dry gasmeters. gelatine, &c. 2068. G. Spencer, 3, Alpha road, New Cross-External covering of 2069. W. F. Sadler, 96, Tooley street-Using up smoke of furnaces. 2070. T. Clayton and R. Harrop, Oldham-Örnamenting wood. 2071. Lord Berriedale, 17, Hill street-Ornamenting paper. Dated 27th September, 1854.
2073. J. S. Holland, Woolwich-Fire-arms.
2074. W. K. McMinn, Liverpool-Double acting anchor purchase.
2077. J. Chambers, Manchester-Washing fabrics.
Dated 28th September, 1854.
2080. F. Clark, King street, Westminster-Spindle and bush fir doors.
2081. A. Y. Crosse, Blackheath-Buttons.
2082. J. Rogerson and J. Brimelow, Bolton-Steam engines. 2083. J. Simpson, Rochdale-Printer's blankets.
2084. A. V. Newton, 66, Chancery lane-Rigging sailing vessels. (A communication.)
1947. J. Westwood and R. Baillie, Poplar-Preventing corrosion in 2085. W. Hutchinson and W. Barlow, Salford-Steam boilers.
Dated 18th September, 1854.
2011. W. Simpson, Birmingham-Girders for bridges.
2015. W. E. Newton, 66, Chancery lane-Tuning keys. (A communication.)
2017. S. Crabtree, Bradford-Combing fibrous substances.
Dated 19th September, 1854.
2019. W. H. Dawes, Handsworth-Iron.
2021. J. Cunningham, Beith, N.B.-Printing surfaces. 2023. J. Kershaw, Bury-Looms.
Dated 20th September, 1854.
2025. W. Gee, Birmingham-Braces for boring, &c., screws, &c.
2086. W. B. Johnson, Manchester-Lamps.
2087. G. Crux, Manchester-Bonnets, children's hats, &c. 2088. J. Woodward, Barnet-Stoppin; shot holes in ships. 2089. C. W. Lancaster, New Bond street-Fire-arms and cartridges. 2090. M. Poole, Avenue road, Regent's park-Cylinder paper machines. (A communication.)
2091. L. Beer, Elbeuf-Shearing piled fabrics.
Dated 29th September, 1854.
2092. T. F. Griffiths, Birmingham-Lamps.
2093. T. Mohan, Aclint, Louth-Churn.
2094. W. Smeath, Nottingham-Sewing machines.
2095. J. N. Gamewell, Camden Kersham District, S. CarolinaRelieving wires of electric telegraph of atmospheric electricity.
2027. J. Robinson, Huddersfield-Generating steam and gas, and 2096. J. H. Johnson, 47, Lincoln's inn fields-Removing points from consuming smoke.
2029. V. A. Pierret, Old Compton street, Soho-Watches and clocks. 2031. J. B. E. Savary and J. F. Hazard, Paris-Pumps.
2033. A. E. L. Bellford, 16, Castle street, Holborn-Washing paper stock. (A communication.)
2036. A. E. L. Bellford, 16, Castle street, Holborn-Sewing machines. (A communication.)
Dated 21st September, 1854.
2037. H. Hudson, South Shields-Vessels for measuring fluids. 2039. J. A. Passet, Paris-Calendering fabrics. 2041. W. Hodson, Hull-Bricks, tiles, &c.
Dated 22nd September, 1854.
2042. W. Crofts, Nottingham park-Fringes. 2043. J. E. A. Gwynne, Essex street, Strand-Machinery for lifting, forcing, and exhausting.
2044. J. H. Johnson, 47, Lincoln's inn fields-Manufacturing cards
2047. P. Spence, Pendleton-Sulphur from iron pyrites.
Dated 23rd September, 1854.
2050. T. Garnett, Liverpool-Steam engine governors. 2051. P. Feloj, 183, Fleet street-Knife and fork.
2052. T. Banks, Derby, and H. Banks, Wednesbury-Stopping rail. way trains.
2053. S. E. Hoskins, M.D., F.R.S., Guernsey-Paper.
2054. J. H. Johnson, 47, Lincoln's inn fields-Generation of steam. (A communication.)
2055. R. Pinkney, 26, Long Acre-Stoppers, corks, &c.
2058. H. A. Genetrean, Paris-Carriage shafts, poles, or beams.
2059. W. Marshall, Wachinghern, Pas de Calais-Railway wheels. 2060. R. McConnel, Glasgow-Locks.
2061. P. J. Chabot, Spitalfields-Supplying air to furnaces. 2062. H. H. Bigg, Leicester square-Apparatus for curing deformities of human frame.
2063. H. C. C. de Ruolz, and A. L. M. de Fontenay, Paris-Metallic alloy.
2064. W. P. Surgey, Hackney-Cigars, cigarettes, and cheroots.
Dated 26th September, 1854.
2065. J. B. Halsey, 4, Norfolk street, Strand-Crushing and pulverizing ores and separating gold.
hairs of rabbit and other skins. (A communication.)
2098. J. and J. Bradbury, Denton-Piled goods.
2106. T. Gray, 60, St. Clement's lane, Strand-Bleaching fibrous substances for paper.
2108. W. W. Cook, Bolton-Woven fabrics suitable for petticoating, &c.
2110. W. Partington, Bonhill, Dumbarton-Bleaching. 2112. C. B. Hare, Bristol-Manufacturing printing blocks. 2114. J. Penn, Greenwich-Bearings for shafts of screw propellers. 2116. J. Stephens, Temple-Supplying purified air to rooms. Dated 3rd October, 1854.
2120. J. Jeyes, Northampton-Paper threads and yarns. 2122. W. E. Newton, 66, Chancery lane-Locks. (A communication.) 2124. C. Nickels, Albany road, and J. Hobson, Leicester-Weaving piled fabrics by aid of wires. 2126. T. Cooper, Isle of Wight-Earthen pipes and mode of joining.
WEEKLY LIST OF PATENTS SEALED.
866. Arthur Hawker Cox, Ship street, Brighton-Improvements in coating pills and boluses.
872. Joseph Croisy, Paris-Improvements in machinery for manufacturing bolts, rivets, screw blanks, railway pins, and other similar articles. 890. Julian Bernard, Club chambers, Regent street-Improvements in the manufacture of boots and shoes, and in the machinery or apparatus connected therewith.
891. Julian Bernard, Club chambers, Regent street-Improvements in stitching, and machinery and apparatus connected therewith.
892. John Rowley, Camberwell-Improvements in the manufacture of a material as a substitute for leather.
906. Thomas Vickers, Manchester-Improvements in the manufactare of manure.
972. William Alfred Waddington, 44, Stonegate, York-Improvements in the construction of sounding boards for pianofortes and other like stringed instruments.
Sealed October 17th, 1854.
895. John Frearson, Smethwick-Improvements in steam engines.
No. 101. Vol. II.] JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY OF ARTS. [OCTOBER 27, 1854.
Journal of the Society of Arts. cally placed so that by their means the helmsman might
of the object." He then proposes simple rods, mechani
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1854.
BY LADY BENTHAM.
During the operations against Bomarsund, it appears that the Russians could not work their guns effectually, their men being cut off by our rifle corps; now if riflemen can impede the working of land artillery, their services would not be less effectual against vessels of war, especially seeing that their port-holes are frequently much larger than the embrasure of a gun in land fortifications. To diminish dangers of this nature to a ship's crew, Sir Samuel Bentham has stated that in small vessels, having only a couple of guns mounted in pairs, the one to draw out the other, if the platform on which they slide during the recoil remains fixed, so that they may be pointed by the motion of the vessel itself, the port-holes need be no broader than the diameter of the gun, and no higher than sufficient to admit of the little elevation or depression necessary according to the distance of the object aimed at; but if the gun, together with its sliding carriage or platform, be traversed to different angles, the port-holes must then become extended in a manner suited to this purpose. When guns are mounted without recoil, so as to turn on a pivot to fire in various directions, exposure to the enemy's shot is evidently much increased unless a kind of bulwark be introduced, in the form of a segment of a circle, so as to be traversed with the gun round the pivot on which it turns. Sir Samuel had satisfied himself with a bulwark he had contrived for so traversing with the gun, but no drawing or description of it has been found, so that it has again to be invented.
Were the port-holes so closed, evidently the captain of the gun could not see the enemy, consequently could not take aim, but Sir Samuel proposed "a simple means of obviating this inefficiency by the introduction of a mode of taking aim by which the largest piece of artillery may be pointed with as much ease, expedition, and accuracy, as a sportsman aims his fowling-piece." He goes on to say: "The principle on which this mode is grounded consists in the dividing the taking aim into two distinct operations, the horizontal and the vertical aim; in the employing the motion of the ship itself for pointing the gun in the horizontal direction, and in taking advantage of the undulatory motion of the sea for bringing the gun to its proper level. In fact this up-and-down motion of the sea, which has been looked upon as a great impediment to the taking aim, will be found to be the best, and indeed the only efficient means of pointing a heavy piece of artillery mounted on board a navigable vessel." *** "It will be admitted that while a vessel has steerage-way, it will be easier for a single man by means of the helm to direct the vessel, and thereby to point the gun in the horizontal direction with expedition and accuracy though it be of the largest size, than it would be for any number of men to direct it by traversing it on a deck or platform. It is equally evident that if the vessel be large enough for three or four such guns to be fixed, all pointing in the same direction, they might all be simultaneously directed by one man at the helm with the same facility and accuracy." * * * "As to pointing guns in a vertical direction, so as that the shot shall go neither too high nor too low, no means can be so certain in an agitated sea as the seizing the instant when the pitching or rolling motion of the vessel brings the two sights in a line with the object, and which in most cases will occur several times in a minute." He then supposes the case of a 100-gun ship, and applies the same kind of reasoning, adding, "It is evident when the guns are at a considerable distance from one another, they should not be all fired at one angle, but at different angles, converging more or less according to the distance
bring the vessel, consequently the guns, to the required position; notices the few cases in which this mode of taking aim might not be applicable, and says, "I may add, that now that experience has shown how easily the force of steam, or even that of the ship's crew, may be applied to the turning a vessel, as well as to giving it progressive motion, there seems abundant reason for providing all vessels of war with sufficient means for placing and retaining them at will in the most advantageous position for combat."
Small as is the dependance on the accuracy of newspapers, still, from the accounts they have given of the trial in the Solent of Mr. Fleming's oval cannon, it may be perceived that it was not, as they have stated, " failure." The gun was professed to be capable of throwing a missile to a distance of 4,000 yards, and it did so; nay, it is estimated that the shot which damaged the lighthouse had had the immense range of 5,000 yards. But the weapon did fail as to aim-the sea was rough, its undulatory motion great, so that aim could not be taken in the ordinary way; but had the above mode been adopted, the probability is that the shot would not have fallen so wide of its destination.
Of late years much has been effected towards perfecting seamen in the aim and exercise of artillery, especially on board the Excellent; but Sir Samuel has said that "it is not in the still waters of a harbour that gunnery can be effectually acquired, for that good sea-legs are an indispensable qualification in a naval gunner." It would seem that Admiral Sir Charles Napier and Rear-Admiral Chads are of the same opinion, since they have caused the seamen of the Baltic fleet to exercise very frequently great guns on board the fleet in that sea.
Should the Society of Arts forward an extensive use of steam-power on board ship, one of its most advantageous uses in vessels of war would appear to be its application to the working the guns. But, however many the men that might thus be spared in the use of ordinary recoil carriages, still more men would be saved were the guns mounted without recoil. Were bulwarks, as above-mentioned, introduced to protect the men, all danger to them would cease could the gun be loaded at the breech.
Attempts to load guns at the breech seem hitherto to have failed from two very different causes, the one that no suitable provision has been made for the expansion of the metal by heat, great as is its degree increased on firing a piece of ordnance; a second cause is, that the manipulate of a moveable breech would require nearly as many men as to draw out a recoil gun and carriage. The latter difficulty would cease were steam the power applied, for the lifting weights by its means is easy. As to the perfect closure of the breech, the mode of juncture proposed by Sir Samuel for another part of a gun seems equally applicable to its breech, namely, "in the way that the lids of cast-iron digesters are made to be connected, or disconnected, with the body of the digestor." Surely this mode would be found as effectual against the expansive force of gunpowder as it is against that of steam. The culinary digesters in common use are furnished with a valve, which opens when there is considerable pressure within the vessel, but a Papin's digester for experimental purposes has been known to resist a far greater force than that produced by a charge of gunpowder as used for the propulsion of a shot. Were guns on shipboard mounted without recoil, and loaded at the breech, all the hamper on the deck occasioned by ropes or chains would cease, and, of course, the space saved which is now indispensable for the recoil of a gun.
In the Journal of the Society of Arts, 1st September, 1854, is a valuable article, by Mr. W. Bridges Adams, headed "Ordnance." In it is said," The ship itself is not a fixture, the vibration is absorbed in the water." So thought General Bentham, and that this circumstance might materially have contributed to the success of non-recoil
on board ship: This surmise seemed, however, to have been nullified by the experiments of Mr. Fearnall on a long gun, mounted non-recoil.* This gentleman "put two fir posts into the ground, three feet asunder, to represent a fort, *** the gun was ready for trial, the admiral, officers of the navy and artillery, present** *. I requested the admiral to have the gun sealed with 6lbs. of powder, and the next time with three round shot; the gun was fired, and with this heavy charge of shot, to my great satisfaction, all stood well. They then fired eleven shot as fast as they could, elevating and depressing the gun to the extreme, and all stood well." On a subsequent day there were other trials, all equally satisfactory to the naval and ordnance authorities present. However, as in the blue-book of the Committee of the House of Commons on Navy Estimates, 1848, it appeared that iron was thought unsuitable for vessels of war, though the commanders of the only iron vessels of war that had at that time been exposed to an enemy's shot gave evidence in favour of iron-built vessels for warlike purposes; as it seemed, from Sir Samuel's papers, that the only way in which the resistance of that metal could be accounted for was the small degree of recoil which might have place in a vessel when afloat; and as Mr.W.Fairbairn, of Manchester, had been present at experiments on the resistance of iron to shot, I requested his observations on the subject; consequently, he most kindly furnished me with scientific reasons, showing the impossibility that so large a mass of matter as a ship should have the least recoil in water on the firing of her guns. It might have been some such consideration which elicited one of Sir Samuel's latest notes on naval construction, which was that a vessel of war should have "bones of iron, flesh of wood, skin of copper."
Independantly of cost, there seems sufficient reason for causing guns for naval service to be as light as possible, thereby enabling a vessel to carry a great number of the throwing missles of large diameter. It would seem probable that the placing some elastic substance behind the breech of a piece of ordnance, as suggested by Mr. Bridges Adams, would be an important improvement in gunnery, since it has been ascertained that a very trifling matter suffices to prevent the mischievous effects of the tendency of a gun to recoil; for instance a 32-pr. carronade requires only a 9-inch_breeching to retain it; and it may be observed that ordnance so mounted was never forced to kick, though the piece, a 32-pr. carronade, was "fired in quick succession," 80 rounds without even the breeching being at all chafed or the ship at all affected by it. The Redbridge, a schooner of about 160 tons, had one of her carronades fired when loaded with three shot. But after all the discussion and correspondence on the subject of non-recoil, its enabling a gun to throw a shot to a greater distance than from a piece suffered to recoil, is still a matter of opinion, not of certainty. It may now, however, be hoped that this particular will be shortly ascertained by the Board of Ordnance, since a trial of the distances by which shot would be propelled according to different lengths of recoil was one of the experiments indicated by Sir S. Bentham, and which their secretary
affirms are in course of trial.
The analysis of Sir Robert Kane differs a little from the above, in the proportions of some of the substances. I have given the analysis of Professor Hodges, because he has devoted much time to the study of the flax plant, and has the advantage of residing in the very centre of the district where flax cultivation and manufacture is carried on-a position eminently conducive to repeated experiment and correct investigation.
One of the first points to be attended to in practical agriculture, is to become acquainted with the composition of the plant to be cultivated, and the soils suitable for its production. I have just given the chemical definition of the flax plant, and will now follow with Sir R. Kane's analysis of three kinds of soils, that were found by some members of the Royal Flax Improvement Society of Ireland, to be highly favourable for flax culture:
The organic matter in these soils was rich in nitrogen; their fertility is, therefore, from the analysis, easily understood."
For the information of the non-scientific reader, it may be said that the soil best suited for flax is a nice dry loam, not too light, and yet not of a clayey nature.
The land should be drained and free from weeds; much damp injures the crop, and a quantity of noxious plants rising with the flax will materially check its perfect development.
In Belgium, flax is usually sown after oats, but my experience and that of my neighbours in this climate is decidedly in favour of sowing after wheat. The rotation I should reccommend, and what I usually practice, is to break up lea ground in oats, followed next year by potatoes and turnips, &c. 4th year wheat, the one-half laid down with clover and grass seeds. 5th year, flax (1), beans (t), and clover (). Under this rotation, on a farm of 100 acres, the crops would stand thus:
Of course this rotation is subject to frequent modifications such as stealing a crop of turnips after early potatoes, and