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sally applied to duplex and lever watches, not, indeed metals are selected of different expansibilities, such as adjusted with the same care as in pocket chronometers, brass and steel, the metal expanding the most being for the small difference of cost between one kind of escape- placed on the outside. The rim is divided on each side ment and another, compared with the value of the watch the arm, and weights are placed on opposite portions, as a timekeeper when completed, renders this course at and as the metals on an increase of temperature cannot all times undesirable, but merely passed through the first expand in a direct line, on account of being connected, stages of approximate adjustment, which could be done at the expansion of one over the other causes the rim to comparatively little expense.
bend and the weights placed upon it to be carried in toIn chronometers, where the greatest attainable accu- wards the centre of the balance, the effect of which is to racy is required, the adjustments should be continued so make the chronometer go faster. The metals are united long as any constant error is appreciable; and it would in order to obtain sufficient motion, as their simple extherefore be a delusion to suppose, if an article possesses a pansion would be altogether inadequate to carry the chronometer escapement and balance, it will of necessity weights a sufficient distance. The balance is adjusted be a good instrument. These are only the elements by repeatedly trying the chronometer in different tempewhich afterwards require a long series of adjustments, ratures, and moving the weights backwards and forwards for, however fine the mechanical workmanship may be along the rim until the exact point has been found where throughout, it alone will prove of no avail. These ad- one error will neutralise the other. So long as the errors justments, which may be called the mental workmanship are large, moderate intervals of trials will enable them to of the chronometer, are not commenced until every part be seen, and an alteration to be made in the adjustment, has been made, and the chronometer, so far as the eye but the nearer the compensation approaches to percaa detect, finished. They occupy, on the average, fection the longer must be the trials in each temtwelve months in the finest chronometers, but numbers perature, before sufficient data are collected for making are manufactured and sold in which the adjustments the alteration, while the chances are proportionably have been run over within a month; it will not, there- greater that it will be altered too much. Of fore, appear surprising if, when a chronometer of the best course it occasionally happens that the adjustment is mechanical workmanship is placed before a maker, he is effected in a shorter time, but, from the liability of new unable to say, without a trial of six months, whether, as chronometers to change their rate, and other causes, it is an instrument, it may be worth 301. or 601. The first of not advisable that the final adjustments should be comthese adjustments relates to the balance-spring, which pleted within a much shorter period than twelve months. should be so adjusted that the vibrations of the balance, It will now be seen why the finest chronometers genewhether long or short, should be performed in the same rally occupy so much longer time than others of inferior time, in order that when the chronometer becomes dirty, merit. In speaking of the finest chronometers, those and the oil thick, the time may not be altered from the having the ordinary balance cannot now be included, as diminished power transmitted by the escapement, and their crrors, when most perfectly adjusted, are still suffithe consequent diminution in the length of arc or dis. ciently large to be seen without very long trials, on actance which the balance vibrat(s. The second adjust count of what is generally called the supplemental error. ment refers to the compensation for temperature-the This cannot be corrected by the ordinary means, as the only point in which any well established improvement balance-spring loses its elastic force at an accumulativg has been made within the last half-century. The method of rate, over the effect produced by the compound laminæ effecting this adjustment will be better understood after of the balance, and consequently the chronometer can the balance has been described. The third adjustment, only be adjusted to keep the same rate at two points on fur positions, is not particularly required, except for the thermometer, between which it will gain. If, for pocket chronometers, as box chronometers are kept in instance, it is adjusted at 350 and 80° Fahrenheit, which nearly the same position, by being suspended in gimbols. are probably the best points that can be selected for the With the pocket chronometer, however, the case is diffe- ordinary balance, on account of the error being divided rea', as it mi follow the positions of the wearer, for all and distributed pretty equally throughout; then, taking of which it consequently requires to be adjusted. These its rate at mean temperature for comparison, the chronomay be resolved into five principal positions, one having meter will be found to lose, whether the temperature be the plane of the balance horizontal and four vertical, either increased or diminished, the loss increasing as the which can be adjusted, with a little aid from the balance-extremes become greater. For special purposes, howspring, by four screws placed at the quarters on the dia- ever, chronometers are sometimes compensated at one meter of the balance; these are screwed in or out, so as extreme, of heat or cold, and mean temperature. This to alter their relative distance from the centre--as the proportionably reduces the error in the interval between chronometer, on being placed in the different positions, is mean temperature and the extreme for which it is adfound to lose or gain. It is by similar screws that the justed, but doubles it at the opposite extreme; this me. mean time or rate of all chronometers, whether box or thod is very objectionable for general use. The following pocket, is regulated, for this is not effected by a curb, as appear to be the conditions which a perfect compensation in the ordinary watch, which, from its acting on the for the secondary error should fulfil. 1. It should gradubalance-spring instead of on the balance, would entirely ally accumulate in effect from one extreme of temperature destroy the isochronous adjustment for change of arc. to the other, in the proportion required by the change of The regulation of chronometers is therefore, very judi- elastic force in the balance-spring. 2. The secondary comciously, taken out of the power of the wearer.
pensation should be susceptible of adjustment by rule alone; The reason why a compensation for change of tempe- for if this could only be effected by actual trial, as in the rature is required, is that the balance-spring of chrono- primary compensation, the extra time required would premeters, watches, &c., upon the invariable force of which clude the probability of its coming into general use. 8. After the time depends, is subject, in common with all springs, it has once been adjusted, the compensation should reto become weaker as the temperature is increased. This main permanent and not be liable to derangement. 4. causes the chronometer to lose, and the error is further The secondary compensation should not interfere in the augmented by the expansion of the material composing slightest degree with the action of the primary compenthe balance itself; the loss amounting altogether to sation; for as the motion of the laminæ in a large box about 380 seconds a day in a change of temperature chronometer only amounts to 1-250th of an inch to profrom 32° to 100° Fahrenheit. It is to remove this error duce a difference in the rate of 380 seconds a day, in a that the compensation-balance, invented during the last change of temperature from 32° to 100° Fahrenheit, any century, is employed. It consists of an arm having a such interference would eventually prove fatal to the concentric circle or rim, composed of two metals, firmly chronometer's good performance. united together by melting ong upon the other. These
(To be continued.)
coast of the gulf forms the western shores of York Peninsula, of which very little is known. The southern coast
rises from the shore to an immense plateau, which was PROPOSED NEW COLONY.
discovered by Captain Stokes, R.N., in 1841, and called SIR,—As colonization embraces the topics to which by him “ The Plains of Promise." These plains and the your columns are devoted, by subjecting unoccupied whole of the territory on this part of the coast were tracountries to the productive labours of science, art, and versed subsequently by Dr. Leichardt, in 1845.
The commerce, permit me to make your readers acquainted soil is a light-coloured mould, of great depth, and Sir with the remarkable territory to which my steps are William Hooker has declared it to be of a rich quality. about to be directed.
Palms, bamboos, gums, and acacias occur along the The northern coast of Australia is indented by the watercourses, aná in clumps over the plains. Cotton, great Gulf of Carpentaria. This gulf penetrates the in- tobacco, grain, oil, and other vegetable products of those Cerior for 600 miles, and it is 300 miles in breadth. There latitudes may doubtless be cultivated with advantage. is no obstacle to its navigation, and on its southern shores The nutmeg grows wild there. On the western side the & fine harbour has been already surveyed by the Admi-country is mountainous. Iron and other minerals have ralty. Many rivers fall into it, one of which has been been discovered. Leichardt dwells strongly on the value ascended in boats for sixty miles, and is navigable for of the country for grazing; and he says of his own bcasts vessels drawing twelve feet of water for thirteen miles. when they were passing around the gulf that they were
There are several larger rivers, which have only been in capital condition. The proximity of the coast to India, crossed at various distances from the shore. The mari- and the favourable character of the sea passage through time communication which thus pertains to the territory the Archipelago, will probably promote the exportation of around this gulf, is enhanced by its connection with the horses to our Indian possessions. Sheep have already great Mediterranean channel which intersects the Indian reached the neighbourhood of Peak Range, within 500 Archipelago, and extends along the eastern coast of miles of the gulf; and it is believed that the climate Asia. The direct association of an Australian settlement nearer the gulf is more favourable than that of the Peak with the traffic and immense natural resources of the In- district. Elevated ranges rise at no great distance from dian Archipelago, must be of great commercial import the coast, both to the eastward and westward.
I beg, therefore, slightly to trace the natural The temperature of this country has been observed ineonnection of the Gulf with the shores of the Archipelago. strumentally by Captains Flinders and Stokes. The former The eastern coast of the Gulf is almost joined to the passed around the coast between November 4 and March south and south-west coast of New Guinea by the islands 6, during the hottest morths. He found the thermoof Torres Straits. The channel here bends round from meter ranging between 81° and 87° on shipboard. Ho A meridianal direction to a course parallel with the equa- says that it may have been from 50 to 10° higher on tof. The line of land passes from New Guinea through land, and that the weather was consequently warm, but, Ceram, Bouro, and other islands of the Molucca group, being always accompanied by breezes, either from sea or to the great islands of Celebes and Borneo. It then land, it was seldom oppressive. Captain Stokes made a
to the northward, and presently follows a survey of Port Flinders, or Investigator Road, on the aorth-eastern direction to the Phillipine Islands, thence southern coast, in 1841. He ascended the River Albert, to Formosa, the Loo Choo Islands, to those of Japan and and discovered “The Plains of Promise." In the months the Kurile Islands; and the continuation of this side of of July and August, while he was there, the thermometer the channel may be considered, for the present purpose, was observed as low as 51°, and it was usually below 62° to terminate in the peninsula of Kamschatka. The west- till 7 a.m. and after 6 p.m. This remarkably low tempeern coast of the gulf is prolonged in a line almost parallel rature was afterwards observed by Dr. Leichardt during to that which has been just described. On this side, the the same months in 1845. He particularly draws attenArafura Sea is interposed between Australia and the Archi- tion to the complaints made by his party of “cold pelago. But beyond this interval, the line continues nights;" and he states that "the bracing nature of the through Timorlaut, the Serwatty Islands, Timor, and winds and of the cold nights, had a very beneficial inflaother islands, to the great islands of Java and Sumatra, ence on our bodies; we were all well.” In another pasacross to Singapore and the Malay peninsula, and from sage, Dr. Leichardt says, " The state of our health thence along the coast of Asia ; the general tendency of showed how congenial the climate was to the human conthat coast being north-easterly, and parallel to the conti- stitution, for, without comforts, without flour or salt, and nuous range of large and productive islands which so miserably clothed, we were all in health.” I have shown peculiarly distinguish it. The connection of the coast of elsewhere that the highly favourable condition of the New Guinea with the eastern coast of the gulf is so inti- climate and temperature in these latitudes is by no means mate that the first explorers considered them continuous. anomalous, although at variance with the opinions conThe native navigators never extend their voyages beyond cerning inter-tropical climate which are entertained both the influence of the periodical winds, and they seldom by the learned and the public. Your space prevents mo venture far from land. They carry on a great traffic from onlarging on this topic. from one island to another, in small coasters and boats of The geographical position, foreign trade, agricultural all sizes, and it may be presumed that the close connec- and pastoral capabilities, and healthiness of the new tion of the shores of the gulf with the shores of the Archi- country, having been now briefly described, I proceed to pelago, highly favours the prospect of these little vessels bring under consideration the process of colonization, bringing cargoes to any settlement which may be formed whereby this new country can be rendered tributary to in the gulf. One inducement will be the consumption of the prosperity of its settlers, to the vast colonial consumpthe settlers, and another the exchange of native produce tion of British manufactures, and to the supply of raw for British manufactures, which are highly prized and materials, which is, of itself, a question of preponderating find a profitable market in those seas. The articles importance. brought from the Indian Archipelago are cloves, nutmegs, Colonizers have now open to them a very wide extent mace, pepper, rice, cotton, oil, indigo, tamarinds, betel of experience in the actual practice of settling new nut, gambier, antimony, cassia, ratans, dragon's blood, countries. While our own colonies have imposed on cane, sapan wood, turmeric, mother of pearl shell, tor actual settlers a series of disasters and difficulties, arising toise-shells, sandal wood, ebony, sago, bees-wax and honey, entirely from adıninistrative errors, of which the Canterhenzoin, ivory, camphor, birds of paradise, striped and bury settlement is a recent example, the United States tartan cloths, gold, hides, and many other articles. have developed a simple process, which has attracted to
The shores of the gulf were explored by Matthew its waste lands the largest share of European emigration, Flinders, Commander, R.N., in 1802-3. The eastern I and has produced a considerable revenue as well. Nothing
can be more simple than this process. It boasts of no with Europe and Asia can also be effected with superior " art;" it is based on no mysterious theory; but it ap- despatch by means of the Overland Mail, which now peals to common sense. When it is determined to bring reaches Batavia in 46 days from England. any waste lands into the market, or, in other words, to I have now only to wait for the decision of H. M. Goform a new territory or colony, & land-office is established vernment. on the spot, the whole area is surveyed, allotted, and
I am, Sir, your obedient servant, made ready for sale, at the upset price of 58. 3d. an acre.
TRELAWNY SAUNDERS, F.R.G.S. Erery sale is registered, and a Government title is granted to the original parchaser. After all expenses are paid, including a liberal provision for any natives that may
GOLD CRUSHING AND WASHING. have occupied the country, a profit remains to the Revenue Sir,--Having read in the last number of your Journal of about 45. 4d. per acre. A department of the land- a paper, by Mr. C. Stansbury, relating to gold crushing office settles all disputes that may arise in regard to and washing, and the discussion which took place at the boundaries or other matters. Congress passes an Act meeting of the Society, I beg leave to make one or two whereby administrative institutions, on a representative remarks upon the same. And first I may perhaps be basis, are provided for the management of local affairs in allowed to correct a slight error into which Dr. Stansthe new settlement; and then its further progress bury has fallen respecting the gold of Mexico. He says towards the full dignity of an independent confedera:e it is there" always found associated with silver.” It State depends on itself. All this is perfectly consistent would have been better to have said "it has hitherto with the principles of English common law, on which the generally been so found;" the fact being that gold occurs laws of the United States are mainly based. The Colonial in its free state in various parts of Mexico, in Sonora, in Administration of the mother country is quite inconsistent El Doctor, near Tasco, and recently it is said to havo therewith; for, instead of providing for local administra- been discovered on the river Mescala. It exists in large tion, on the pure representative system of our forefathers, quartz veins in several places, but which are so arid and it makes the colonists dependent on mere officials, and bare of water that it would be alınost impossible to work the disgraceful state of Melbourne is an illustration of the to advantage. result. I have proposed a return to the “ old ways," and I now come to the more important part of Mr. Stangthere is abundant evidence to show that but few civilized bury's paper--that which relates to Berdan's new Amal. nations are, or can be, really unfit for the simple exercise gamator, the chemical novelty in which consists, it is of municipal privileges and local administration. Exist- said, in the heating of the mercury, which has never ing circumstances suggest a course for the preliminary been attempted on a large scale before. I turned to establishment of the settlement, which is at once simple, Aiken's Chemical Dictionary, article Gold, and there I economical, and effective. Captain Stokes, R.N., who found a description of the method used in Hungary for discovered the fine territory on the South coast of the separating the gold from quartz. After describing the sGulf, is prepared to return there in H. M. surveying Stamping and pulverizing, the writer goes on to say, pteamer Acheron, which is now idle at Sydney, to com
- The mixture of pulverized gold ore and mercury is olete the coast survey. The addition of a few sappers or rubbed together for some time by means of a wooden ethers, as assistant-surveyors, a secretary, &c., would pestle, to expedite the incorporation of the mercury and nable him to undertako the duty of starting the settle- the gold, and is afterwards heated in a proper vessel, to ment; and the enlargement of the establishment should about the temperature of boiling water, for three or four depend on the accession of revenue from land sales. days; finally, the mixture is washed," &c. But besides Whatever course H. M. Government may adopt, there this evidence that the application of heat is no novelty, is no difficulty in finding population to occupy the new it is well known in the establishments for the amalgamaterritory. Those who are best fitted to encounter the tion of silver ores, that the application of artificial heat first difficulties of settlement are near at hand, in the has been used and tried in various ways, over and over persons of the squatters and old colonists of New South again; in some cases it has been useful, in other's thrown Wales, who are well aware of the profits which accrue to aside. That it assists the amalgamation of the gold those who get possession of the best localities. I must not with the quicksilver is not disputed; but it is no novelty. enlarge on this point, but it is considered quite un- Without touching upon the question of the merits of necessary to entice emigrants from home; for those whose Mr. Berdan's grinding and amalgamating machine, I connections with Eastern trade and tropical pursuits, or must be permitted to say that the separator attached to it expectations of profit, or enterprising dispositions, fit for saving the stray amalgam from the residues, by passthem for the work, will easily find the way to the settle- ing these through a body of quicksilver, is not new. The ment whenever it is started. In the meantime, it will merit of proposing, in this country, the adoption of that give me pleasure to meet any persons of that stamp. principle aided by centrifugal force, is, I think, due to an A note addressed to me by an eminent colonial authority, American gentleman, who brought it here about the end supplies all that need be said on the important subject of of 1851, at which time it was little noticed. It, however, labour," From what I observed during a residence of occurred to me that it would answer very well to pass some weeks in the Indian Archipelago, I should say, that the residues from the silver reduction works through a really intelligent and active operatives, of all classes, column of mercury, provided a sufficient fall could be might be procured from China to an unlimited extent, obtained ; and in a letter, dated January 15, 1852, to the and almost without cost." This observation is fully Superintendent of the Fabrica of the Bella Raquel Comconfirmed by abundant evidence, and the influence of pany, in Spain (of which Company I am the Secretary), such a prolific source of labour on the production of I suggested a trial. It seems that it was difficult to ob staples, may hereafter wield no mean influence over the tain a sufficient fall, and, to obviate this difficulty, Mr. foreign markets on which our manufacturers now depend. Edward Rowse, the engineer, invented a very ingenious
The position of the new settlement, with regard to apparatus, which answered perfectly, and is certainly Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, gives it superior ad superior to Mr. Berdan's
. By this time the reduction of pantages. The principal imported articles of consumption gold ores attracted great attraction; and in the spring of in Australia are tea
, sugar, and tobacco. These are de- 1852, Mr. Richard Taylor, heing then on a visit to Spain, rived from Manilla, Java, China, &c. Those places are and seeing the success which had attended Mr. Rowse's not only mach nearer to the new port, but the voyage is machine, applied, as it had been, not only to the residues also much safer. Prices will consequently rule in favour but to the whole of the slimes from the barrels, deterof the northern port, and a wide rauge of the interior will mined upon having a trial made in England on goli bring its produce there, from whence supplies can be stuff. The result of this determination was the inven
Its postal communication tion, by Mr. T. B. Jordan, the Superintendent of the
drawn at the cheapest rate.
Colonial Gold Company's Works, at Rotherhithe, of a The pound would be a multiple of the unit of the gold machine in which the original idea of simply passing the coin. stuff, with a column of water, through the mercury is
Yours, &c., reverted to, but with additions and applications which
H. BEVAN. render it one of the most economical and beautiful ma- Llanelly Copper Works, Nov. 28, 1853. chines for separating gold yet invented, and for which, so far as I am aware, no patent right can or will be claimed. Every man is entitled to be fairly rewarded for his
RAPE SEED OIL. ingenuity; but when there is a disposition to overrate SIR,—Some years ago my attention was drawn to the any particular invention, it is right to put the public on extraordinary properties contained in the rape seed oil, for their guard.
softening and restoring flexibility to manufactured leather I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,
goods, in fact producing the like effect on the skins of
JOHN PHILLIPS. animals generally. On introducing it to my friends, its 6, Queen-street-place, Upper Thames-street, Nov. 29, 1853.
use was suggested for lubrication. On a first trial upon a pair of marine engines, which had been making eighteen
revolutions per minute with olive oil, the speed was DECIMAL COINAGE.
increased to nineteen revolutions; but on a subsequent
trial with another sample, the speed was reduced below Sir,-Being engaged in paying the workmen in this sixteen revolutions, showing a great want of uniformity estabishment, involving a considerable number of pay- in the quality of the material. This circumstance led to ments in shillings and pence, weekly, I feel some degree some research on the subject, and having now spent seven of interest in this subject. I cannot view the introduction years in the cultivation and treatment of the products of of such a small division of the pound into 1000 parts this article, a few particulars relative to the history and without some alarm, as such, as far as I can learn at great value (as a British product) of the British rape plant present, is the plan recommended by the commissioners may not be uninteresting. engaged in investigating the subject. At present the Ås my remarks will refer more particularly to the oil, it fractional part of a penny is seldom found in the books of will be necessary, to a proper appreciation of the subject, to the manufacturer and merchant; but when the mil is give a few details relative to the properties of oils geneintroduced as the unit of the decimal part of a pound, I rally. fear it will enter into every transaction, however small or This oil may be considered one of the three primary large such transaction may be: and its effect will be fixed oils, viz., Flax or Linseed, the Olive, and the Rape; rather to increase than decrease the labour, of all parties all other oils being mere modifications of one or other of engaged in paying and receiving money in coin, and ac- these. Flax oil possesses the peculiar property, when excountants, with whom, principally, will be the labour of posed to the atmosphere, of absorbing its oxygen, and practically carrying out the change.
forming a substance capable of great duration; rape and Permit me to lay before you the following plan for your olive, on the contrary, possess no affinity for that gas, and consideration, trusting that it will meet with that atten- are termed non-drying oils. These three oils, being vegetion you are accustomed to give to questions affecting table products, possess those properties only in proportion materially the well being of society in general. I would, to the state of cultivation of the plant. The ancients, therefore, suggest that the half-sovereign should be the from the earliest period, understood this, and obtained unit, and consequently the shilling would be the tenth from the vegetable kingdom these three oils in a state of part of it, as at present, and a trifling change made in the perfection and purity that we have but an imperfect knowpenny, by an addition to its value of one-fifth, making it ledge of. This is apparent in the construction of their the tenth of the shilling. By such an arrangement, we lamps, which principally take the form of the berry of the should have, as at present, an unit of the gold coin, an olive, the seed of the rape, and the almond. unit of the silver coin, and an unit of the copper coin, The ancient Greeks and Romans were extensive manuwhich is of considerable advantage in counting money. facturers of lamps in terra cotta, principally after the rape We should also reduce the places of decimals to two pattern. They are nearly all ornamented with devices of instead of three figures, and, therefore, lessen the labour various kinds. On some are found the rape plant; others of calculations. Any amount, say, 11. 19s. 4d. would be bear the shape of the rape pod, with a number of lights written thus, 3.94, or three units (substituting any name corresponding with the number of seeds in the pod. This, that might be agreed upon), nine shillings and four I think, is conclusive that rape was the oil consumed in pence.
them. It would also appear that this oil was employed The sub-division of the penny I would still represent for producing heat, on precisely the same principle as gas by 4, 5, 4, leaving it to parties to drop them without em
is being employed at the present day. The formation of barrasing their accounts. Under some such an arrange- some of the lamps, with their numerous burners, indicate ment as this the present coinage need not be disturbed ; it; and the number of vases and other terra cotta vessels but, after a certain day, the pennies now in circulation also present the way in which they were employed. In should become the tenth of a shilling, and the change is the British Museum there are two vases (Nos. 2595 and complete.
2557) of this kind. The first is a flower vase, the body The present copper coinage should be gradually with of which is intended to contain a lamp, the sides being drawn, and new coins substituted of the proper size. perforated to admit the heat of the lamp to act upon the This alteration would involve a loss to the Government projecting tubes, which are presumed to contain the essenof about one-fifth of the amount of the value of the tial oils of the flowers placed in the small vases at the end copper now in circulation, but would spread over the time of the tubes. The action of the heat liberates the gases the process of withdrawal would be carried on. This of the oils, and produces a powerful odour. The second loss would, I presume, be more than compensated by the vase is formed to admit three lamps, with one or two increased payment by postage and receipt stamps, and burners each, and perforated to admit air for combustion, which the country would gladly pay for the increased ac- so that any amount of heat could be employed. It might commodation thus secured. The only objection I see to be used for domestic or other purposes. this plan is, that the sovereign is associated with all our It must be observed that asbestos was employed in ideas of the value of commodities, &c. But it may still those lamps as a means of combustion, and, with a pure be retained in all Government securities and bankers' oil, would produce a brilliant light and a powerful heat. notes without inconvenience; all that would be necessary The Romans were also exporters of those lamps, and infor entry in books or calculation, would be, to double the troduced them into Britain; and, it is not improbable, number of the pounds to reduce them to the new coinage. I introduced the rape plant also. Be this as it may, the rape has fourished in the three kingdoms for several cen- lent. It inust also be borne in mind that there is a turies, and, with the fax, supplied these countries with rapidly-increasing demand for this article for the purposes the principle portion of the oil required. About the mid-before-named. The soil in most parts of Great Britain dle of the last century an increased demand sprung up, and Ireland is as well adapted to the growth of rape as from the introduction of the woollen trade and its subse- any on the continent, and there is no reason why we quent machinery. At its close, the cultivation had become may not yet become exporters, instead of importers of oils. so extensive, and such large returns had been made to the The English farmer has no prejudice against this species farmer, that the country took alarm. One celebrated of produce; on the contrary, he is ready to enter into it, gentleman stated to the House of Commons that, if imme- but he is no speculator. The distance manifested between diate steps were not taken to stay the growth of oil, the the agricultural and manufacturing interests have been land would become so impoverished that wheat would be unfortunately such, that, however desirous the one might ultimately lost to the country; and such was the popular be to produce and the other to consume, neither have feeling that no one would let a farm to grow rape. Con- stepped out of their ordinary path, while the foreigner sequently in a few years oil-growing ceased throughout has all the time been reaping a rich harvest. the country; hence the facilities given to the whale fish
I arr, Sir, your obedient servant, ery, and the importation of olive and other oils and seeds;
Wu, BROTHERTON. the demand still increasing, until, in the past year (1852), Wandsworth, Nov. 26, 1853. the value of oils imported exceeded seven millions sterling. In the course of time these sources failed to meet
REPORT ON NEW ZEALAND FLAX. the still-increasing demand, when, about sixteen years ago, a house in London introduced the rape under the desig- CONTRIBUTED BY WM. CHARLEY, SEYMOUR HILL, BELFAST. nation of "patent refined" for burning in lamps. This gave My first ster, after receiving the request of your a fresh impetus for the importation of rape seed, whichi secretary, directing my attention to the communication has, and continues to be, brought from India and other forwarded by the Council of the New Zealand Society, on eastern countries in vast quantities. A large proportion the subject of the “ Phormium tenax," was to call public of it possesses a mere resemblance, but without the pro- | attention to the question, by publishing the letter of Mr. perties of the rape. The late King of the French gave Roberts, extracted from your Journal, and my reply in tho great encouragement to the culture of this plant, and local papers. In the few introductory remarks forwarded to erected mills for the extraction of its oil, and we are now the Editors, I pointed out the liberal offer made by the New importing largely from France, Belgium, Holland, and Zealand Society for the improved machinery required; some parts of Germany. The quantity brought from those and I have no doubt, when the large sample of Flax, so countries during the first nine months of the present year, long promised, arrives, and is distributed, some of our was 2,500,000 gallons, or what would be the produce of clever mechanics may be induced to try their hands and about 37,000 acres of land, if grown in England, Ireland, heads at the invention of machinery for the purpose or Scotland. The importation of the seed during the same specified by Mr. Roberts. Having thus submitted the period from other parts was 51,576 quarters, or the pro- matter to public notice, I proceeded to gain as much duce, if home grown, of 11,000 acres. The largest pro-information as possible about the plant. I found the portion of this oil is of very inferior quality, and the seed objection hitherto urged against the fibre was its extreme particularly 80.
brittleness, owing, it was supposed, to the large amount of The uses to which this rape oil is applicable are numerous silica in its composition; that this brittleness had been and important. For artificial light very large quantities are successfully overcome, by the application of a process consuned; the English and Irish lighthouses alone consum- invented some years ago, by a person named Burns; but ing about 150,000 gallons per annum. Railway and ship- that this process, though succexstul in its operation, was so ping companies are also extensive consuiners. For manufac- expensive as to suit only in the laboratory. This Mr. turing purposes it will supersede the olive as soon as a Burns asked my informant, Mr. Herdman (an eminent better quality is obtained. But the most important of all Belfast spinner), the modest sum of, I believe, 20,0007. for the properties of this oil is its adaptation for the lubrica- the use of his invention, and showed, on paper, a beautiful tion of machinery, and the possibility of its becoming to theory of profits resulting therefrom, amounting to mechanism what the synovia of nature is to the joints 14,0001, a year! Mr. Ilerdman was not sanguine of the animate creation. To obtain this facility and eco- enough to accept this proposal, and the matter fell to the pomy in motion is a thing greatly to be desired by all who ground. By the kindness of the latter gentleman, I am are interested in it and its progress. There are, I believe, enabled to forward you, in different stages, three samples other valuable properties in this oil which were highly of the Phormium tenax-two in a partially prepared appreciated by the ancients, to which I shall not further state, and one in yarn. The half of the rough Flax has allude, only stating that, as they possessed it, it was with - been trcated by Mr. Burns, exhibiting the extraordinary out colour, taste, or smell.
change effected by his process ; the other half of the samo The cultivation of the rape plant is best understood in stem being kept unaltered, to show the contrast. This some parts of Holland and Belgium, where it is grown to process is of course a secret, but the result is believed to considerable perfection. It is sewn about September, and have been effected by the application of some powerful reaped in the June following. In many cases the seed is acid on the silica or silicates of the non-fibrous portion of sold to the crusher with a stipulation to return the cake, the dried plant. which is given to the cattle, and if a portion of the oil is A peculiar quality of the Phormium tenax fibre is, given occasionally, it improves their condition and adds that it hackles out to almost inconceivable fineness; the to their weight materially. The straw is bruised and divisibility of the fibre appears very great, and the sample converted into manure, when the whole is returned to the thread of yarn sent herewith will show how fine the first land again, charged with gases that produce most abun experiment in spinning at once reached to.
The proposal dant crops of wheat. It is also a fact admitted by all the of Burns occurred so long back as the year 1836 or 1837. parties I have consulted in those countries most famed for Mr. Herdman thinks that Burns is alive, and in Manthe best knowledge on the subject, that although it is chester, but does not know his address.(a) Previous to my subject to a troublesome fly in iwo stages of its growth, interview with Mr. Herdman, I had a communication yet it is the most profitable and inexhaustive crop grown with Mr. McAdam, the able secretary of the Royal Flax by them. From these remarks it will readily be per Society at Belfast, and be, as well as Mr. Herdman, have ceived, that the quality not only of this but other oils may be greatly improved by a more careful study of their cul- (a) Dr. Robinson, of the Observatory, Armagh, was, I undertivation, and the necessity for giving encouragement to stand, the first person to recognise the talents of Mr. James their production at home and in the colonies will be appa- Burns, who was a resident in that town at one time.