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It coils extremely well, and if placed, when coiled, on the surface of a flat piece of metal, making one end of the spring fast, and marking exactly the other extremity, not the slightest expansion is visible when heat is applied. Mr. Scott further remarks, that he has, for a considerable time, made use of platina for compensation curbs, and considers it as very superiour to steel for every instrument of that kind.
Mr. Acton, of Ipswich, having used a still containing nine gallons, for distilling common water, essential oils and water, refrigerated them with a tub which holds about thirty-six gallons, found it very inconvenient to change the water of the tub as often as it became hot, which it very soon did, after commencing distillation. He therefore contrived the following addition to the refrigerating part of the apparatus, which he has found to succeed so well, that he can now distill for any length of time without heating the water in the worm-tub above one degree; so that it never requires to be changed. The heat passes off entirely into the additional condenser, and when it exceeds 150 degrees, goes off by evaporation. The additional condenser consists of a trough three feet long, twelve inches deep, and fifteen inches wide, with a pewter pipe passing through the middle of it horizontally, about two inches in diameter, at the largest end next the still, and gradually tapering to about three quarters of an inch at the smallest end, which communicates with the top of the worm. The great simplicity of this contrivance and its utility render a fair trial of it in other stills very advisable. The small degree of heat which went to the water in the worm-tub shows, that the additional condenser performed nearly the whole of the condensation; and that therefore it is extremely probable, that a second pipe and trough added to the first, would perform the whole condensation effectually, without using any worm, and thus enable distillers to dispense with this expensive and troublesome part of the apparatus.
To the Editor of the Literary Panorama.
SIR,-Every thing relating to the publick good claims the particular attention of a work so truly devoted to the commonwealth as yours is. If the following observations on fir-built ships should suggest any new ideas to your nautical readers, I shall be happy in having put them into English.
"I built," says M. Ducrest," at Copenhagen, in 1799, a vessel of 500 tons, entirely of fir planks, an inch and a half thick. For three years successively it has navigated the north seas, which are reckoned the most boisterous in Europe; and it weathered a tremendous gale in the Baltick, in November 1801, when a great number of merchant ships perished. On entering the port of Havre, the following year, it struck on the pier, and no one on board expected to be saved. However, the ship righted, and entered the harbour without having staved a single plank, or sprung a nail.
"The expense of building this vessel was just half what it would have cost, had it been built of oak. The hull does not weigh above half of that of a common merchantman, which, when of 400 tons burthen, is said to weigh 200 tons. Thus by diminishing the weight we should have, with the same cargo, vessels which, when well constructed, ought to sail as fast as the best frigates. An objection having been made that vessels thus built could not last long, as the intermediate planks, by wanting air, would heat and soon rot, I had one of the ports opened and found that the inside planks were much sounder than the others.
"Building with fir planks is incomparably more solid than building with squared timber; and by being as cheap again, we might employ our immense forests in the Pyrennees and the Vosges to great advantage. The danger arising from springing leaks is entirely avoided; and by the lightness of the timber, our armed vessels might be made to sail as fast as our present frigates. In short, the use of oak timber might be entirely confined to the navy; consequently we should have it much cheaper; and the economy in the construction of merchantmen is a very material object, as they might not require any repairs for twelve or fifteen years. Though line of battle ships could not be built of fir, yet the navy might use it for vessels armed en flûte, and for hospital ships attached to a squadron."
M. D. does not state whether the red or white fir is preferable.
Cheap Glazing for Pottery.
From an r Essay on the Improvement of Pottery in General," by C. R. Jouselin, manufacturer at Nevers, we learn, that the author has established a manufactory on his own principles, and announces a discovery of a new method of enameling or glazing, composed of materials so cheap, that the enamel, which costs the manufacturer at present 320 livres for one batch, will not amount to more than 20 livres.
Process of Soap.
Count Rumford has made a new application of the process of heating water by steam, to the manufacturing of soap. By this means, he has succeeded in boiling soap to a proper degree in six hours, which, in the common mode, required sixty. He is of opinion, that this saving of time is partly owing to the concussions given to the mixture of oil and lie by the heated vapour forced into it, and suddenly condensed.
June 11th, 1808.
VINE LEAF TEA.
To the Editor of the Literary Panorama.
SIR, From the experiments I have tried, I find that, on being dried, which should be done in the shade, the leaves of the vine make an excellent and an extremely wholesome tea, though somewhat different, both in taste and flavour, from that commonly used. I have also found that, besides being admirably calculated for making vinegar, the prunings of the vine, on being bruised and put into a vat, or mashing-tub, and boiling water poured on them, in the same way as is done with malt, produce a liquor of a fine vinous quality; which, on being fermented, forms a fine substitute for beer, and which, on being distilled, produces a very fine spirit, of the nature of brandy. As this is the season for pruning the vine; many thousand cart loads of which are, year after year, thrown away as useless, where there are not goats to eat them; and the idea here suggested is not only new, but of high importance to the inhabitants of this country, particularly at the present juncture, your inserting it in your highly useful and interesting work will oblige,
Sir, your constant reader, and most humble seavant,
On a remarkable Property of Steel.
SIR, The following curious fact not being generally known, I take the liberty of communicating it, that among the numerous readers of your valuable work it may meet with an explanation.
February 9, 1809.
There is a fault in most candles, viz. that of not having the cottons properly disposed, and of the same length throughout, which causes what is commonly called a thief, from its wasting the tallow in its descent down the candle. Now the effect of steel is such, that if you lay any piece of that metal, as the snuffers, on the opposite side of the candle to that on which the thief is, in such a manner that it may touch the candle, where it meets the candlestick in the socket, it will not only stop the progress of the thief down the candle, but will cause it to be taken up and consumed in the flame itself.
In hopes that through the medium of your valuable magazine, I may learn in what way the steel thus acts,
I am, sir,
Your very obedient servant,
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