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Kkikkd Hott :—Eminently suggestivo of the above caption, are some of the remarks of your contributors to the Horticultural pages of last No., and as one standing aside, a silent, but interested reader, we trust your indulgence in a few remarks on them.
We are glad to see the spirit of criticism awakening, and hope it will continue to "speak;" for in the onward march of our loved profession, we wish to pursue only the right path.
Particularly would we commend the remarks of A. G. H. on the destruction caused by spring pruning for the purpose of "raising the tops;" but the conclusion of the sentence, "lowering them," is, we think, one step ou the rttreat.
Trimming up, during the first flow of sap, is a bad practice, but in our long experience, we have never seen present or permanent injury come from the ordinary cutting back, at the time of planting, and the sooner this cutting back is done, (after it leaves the nursery row,) the better.
We are so confident of the necessity of this practice, that we strenuously recommend it to all treo planters, especially if they are so unfortunate as to procure the "high heads," which A. G. H. inadvertently recommends.
The practice of leaving the whole top on the tree at the time of planting, is one great source of failure to the amateur, even with the best of roots.
We repeat: Shortening in at the time of planting is one of the first demands of the tree.
(Reasons for which we will be happy to give when space will permit.) Evidence, the practice of all successful nurserymen and propagators, in all the various planting and transplanting of all deciduous stock.
Besides the first gain in "saving the life of the tree," we can, with "imagination unimpaired," easily conceive the great advantage the low headed tree has, especially if so low that a slight earthing up in autumn entirely covers the trunk, and hence the winter's sun,
wind and frost are harmless, and in summer the trunk and ground about it is perpetually mulched by the shade of the low top.
In these two vital points of progressive horticulture, A. G. H. unintentionally, perhaps, has sounded the retreat.
Earnest workers in this cause are rejoicing to see the public taste and practice "falling in" to the way of triumphant success in this State, which really does possess "all the natural advantages for successful fruit-growing."
MECHANICAL & COMMERCIAL.
Railways in Chili—Amerioan Engineers Abroad.
The Railway Times contains the following on the construction of railways in Chili:
The railway between Santiago, the capital, and Valparaiso, the seaport of Chili, was projected in 1851, and the works commenced at Valparaiso in October, 1852. About thirty-two miles of the line have been opened to the public for nearly five'ycars. Unforeseen delays occurred to stop all further progress until last month, when a contract was entered into by the government and the present contractor for the works of the Southern Railway of Chili. This contract obliges the contractor, Mr. Henry Meigs, an American, to deliver up the railway complete in three years, and the amount of the contract is $0,000,000.
The Southern Railway of Chili is the main artery of the country, and it is proposed to extend it south from the capital a distance of 170 miles. About 52 miles have been opened for traffic for three years, and the works of the extension are being rapidly carried out. The principal engineering works on this railway are the bridges, which are numerous and of considerable extent, to suit the sudden risings of the rivers in the floods of the rainy season, and the floods caused by the melting of the snow in the Cordilleras. The 32 miles of this railway were constructed by Mr. Evans, an American engineer, and all the bridges are on the trussed system, known as Long's patent, and Bollman's combinations of cast and wrought iron. The present engineer-in-ohief, Mr. Cross Buchanan, has adopted plate girders for all his bridges on the division under contraot. Although perhaps not so elegant and light looking, the girder bridges are not less suitable to the country, and the difficulty of erecting and finishing them can be overcome by a judicious division of each girder into pieces suited to the mode of transport into the interior. The first large bridge of this kind yet erected in Chili was opened for traffic on the eighteenth of September last. It has nine spnns of 60 feet, and was erected and finished in less than two months after the arrival of the first sections from the coast.
The Failures of Last Year in the Northern States, the Southern States, and British Provinces.
From the annual circular of R.Q.Dunn & Co., we find that the failures at the North the past year have not been so great as is generally believed. In the Northern States, in 1857, there were 4,257 failures, involving the amount of $265,818,000, against 5,935 failures during the past year, with an indebtedness of $178,632,170, showing for the past year an excess of 1,678 failures over the number in 1857, with a diminished liability of $87,185,830.
In the Southern States the number of failures for the entire year of 1857 was 675, with an indebtedness of $25,932,000; while the partial returns for the year 1861 reveal 1,058 failures, with liabilities amounting to $28,578,257, although the returns from the seceded States embrace a period of only four months, or up to May 1, when our regular facilities were interrupted. The unusual amount of failures in this section during these four months is to be accounted for mainly on the ground that many were intentional, in order to evade obligations due at the North. Subsequent State action, annulling all Northern claims, the entire cessation of trade and the impoverished condition of the South, lead us to regard the entire indebtedness of that section as swallowed up in carrying on the war, involving a general mercantile bankruptcy there.
The excess exhibited in the amount of liabilities (resulting from the financial pressure of 1857) of the principal cities of the North, over those of the political crisis of 1861, is accounted for by the fact that the larger private banking, importing and commission houses were the heaviest sufferers—while the increase in the number of failures for 1861, with a diminished indebtedness, is for the reason that the jobbing houses have, in the past year, been the greatest losers. In November, 1860, the fall trade was passed, stocks on hand were light, and the orders for spring goods in abeyance. This, also, accounts for the diminished liability, and importers and commission merchants were, by the force of circumstances, saved from losses that would otherwise have proved more serious.
This same circular gives us the following statement of the probable indebtedness of the South to Northern merchants. There is due the four cities of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore, about $211,000,000, divided as follows:
New York,. $159,900,000
Philadelphia, :..~...... 24,600,000
In the dry-goods interest alone in these cities
our estimates show that New York loses $67,000,000; Philadelphia, $14,000,000; Baltimore, $6,500,000, and Boston, $2,000,000, making a total indebtedness to the dry goods trade of $97,500,000. From this and other data, we estimate the total liabilities of the South to the Northern States at near $300,000,000.
The sudden reverse our commercial prosperity received, culminating in April last, with the probable continuance of the unhappy outbreak, prompted an economy which was very generally adopted, and has been so rigidly adhered to, that we estimate the actual saving practiced by families, in articles not of absolute necessity, at a figure which very nearly meets the expenses of the war thus far. With a population of 21,000,000, we may safely count 4,000,000 of families; and, estimating the annual economy of each family at $100, which is not large under the circumstances, we have a total saving to the country of $400,000,000. The result, however, that may develop itself by the withdrawal of so large a number of producers, now consumers merely, and resting as an expense en the country, remains to be seen.
The North is sclf-sustaining, and our Western country is now reaching a more sound condition that it has for years enjoyed. The prospects for the Spring trade arc good. The great abundance of the products of the soil, particularly at the West, and the immense disbursements made by the government, will put in circulation large amounts of money, and enable the country merchants to buy liberally, and generally on a safe basis.
The total failures in the British Provinces, the past year, was 310, with liabilities amounting to $6,471,769.—Hunt's Magazine.
In 1845, only 20,000 lbs. of Gutta Percha were imported into England; now the consumption has increased to millions of pounds annually. Its manufacture into an endless variety of articles demands new processes, new machines, and new tools, in which the steamengine plays the most important part. The rough blocks of gum are first cut into slices by a vertical wheel, faced with knives or blades, and revolving two hundred times a minute; the slices are then cleaned from stones and other impurities, and boiled in waste steam from the engine. The mass is next put into an iron box, or teaser, in which an iron cylinder with teeth rapidly revolves, and tears it into shreds, throwing it into vats of cold water. There the Outta Pereha floats at the top, and the impurities sink to the bottom. It is then transferred to tanks of boiling water, and thence removed into boxes, and kneaded like dough; and next rolled between heated iron cylinders into sheets, which are then cooled by passing between steel rollers. The sheets
are cut by a knife-edged machine into bands or strips. For making tubes and pipes, the soft mass of kneaded Gutta Percha is passed through heated iron cylinders, and is drawn by the drawing-mill into cylindrical cords, and tubes of various diameters. This, however, is but a glimpse of the complicated machinery and processes by which Gutta Percha is fashioned into a legion of articles. Among the applications are breast-coating for watcrwheels, galvanic batteries, shuttle-beds for looms, packing for steam-engines and pumps, cricket-balls, noiseless curtain-rings, whips and sticks, policemen's staves, plugs or solid masses used in buildings, buffers for railwaycarriages, gunpowder canisters, sheet-covering for damp walls, lining for ladies' bonnets, jarcovers, bobbins for spinning machines, bookcovers, molds for stereotype and electrotype, coffin-linings, and stopping for hollow teeth. These are but a small number of the myriads of uses to which we have extended the application of the vegetable product which was used by the Malays ages since for a few common purposes.—Engluh Paper.
The Atlantic Telegraph Again.
A circular has been issued we see, signed by Mr. George Saward, as Secretary of the Atlantic Telegraph Company in London, proposing renewed efforts lor establishing submarine correspondence between Europe and America. It is alleged in this circular that, notwithstanding the failure of several submarine lines, the success of other important water routes encourages renewed effort on the route between Ireland and Newfoundland. The successful lines mentioned are that of the Balearic Islands, the one between France and Algiers, and that between Malta and Alexandria. The last is said to be the best laid—capable of "working through without repeaters, at the rate of eight words per minute—being l,400miles in length."
It is stated in thecircular that "the internal structure of the first (Atlantic) cable was all wrong; but that the experience of its defects will enable a future effort to be successful on that line, as it is alleged to have contributed largely to the success of the lines above named." The improved mode of constructing the cable, it is stated, will be "more expensive, but this will be commercially compensated by the fact that, instead of working at the rate of two words per minute," ti:e former alleged rate, "a due increase in the size of the conductor will give almost any speed that may be desired, even across the Atlantic, if the quantity of insulating material surrounding it be proportioned to it on scientific principles."— Hunt's Magazine.
The Miokoscopr.—An obscure Englishman has anticipated Yankee genius in cheapening that beautiful and useful instrument, the microsoope, for the benefit of the million. There
is a man who sometimes stands in Leicester Square, London, who sells microscopes at a penny each. They are made of a common pill-box, the bottom taken out and a piece of window-glass substituted. A small eyeVhole is bored in the lid, and thereon is placed the lens, the whole apparatus being painted black.— These microscopes are full as effective as much more costly instruments sold in the shops. An eminent microscopist, who examined some of them, found that their magnifying power was twenty diameters. The cost of a lens made of glass, of such a power, would be seventy-five cents or a dollar. On cutting one of them in two, it appeared that the lens was made of Canada balsam, a transparent gum. The balsam had beeu heated, and carefully dropped into the eye-hole of the pill-box. It then assumed the proper size, shape, transparency and polish of a very well ground glass lens.
A member of the British Parliament said, not long since, that the quantity of sulphuric acid, used by a people was a pretty good index of their degree of civilization. It is somewhat so with gunpowder. The common supposition is, that, during a war, larger quantities of gunpowder are usod than in times of peace. But this, we understand, is not the case,—and it shows how a state of war disturbs all the arts of peace, omtering into thoir minutest ramifications, and affecting them in one way or another. Not a basket or broom, a plow or hoc-handle, a steam engine, or a pin, or needle are now made without their price being in some way affected by the war in our land.
In arts of peace, powder is employed in a hundred forms, and the aggregate consumption is very large, calling for an amount vastly greater than is demanded by all the armies in the world. These arts are now affected, many of them entirely suspended, and the consequence is, that less powder is used than when we are in a state of peace.
We have recently spoken with two or three powder-makers on this subject, whose opinions are all alike in relation to it. One of them stated that a single mine in Pennsylvania would consume more powder than all the regiments in New England.
War Versus Industry.—It has been repeatedly remarked by those who are conversant with the facts that, since the broaking out of the war, agriculture has been favored with very few inventions. The genius of the whole nation seems to be turned to the furtherance of the war, new common hand arms, gunboats, &c, being almost the only things applying for patents. The truth is, Peace and War, like good and evil, are incompatible. If one would advance the other must stand still.
SCIENCE, ART, STATISTICS.
"Insects Injurious to Vegetation"—a New and Magnificent Edition of a most Valuable Book.
The Legislature of Massachusetts, in 1859, placed ten thousand dollars at the disposal of Charles L. Flint, Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture, and directed him to prepare a new, enlarged and improved edition of Harris' well known treatise on Insects Injurious to Vegetation-, with suitable additions and illustrations.
The first edition had appeared in 1841, the result of one of a series of scientific surveys instituted by the State Legislature. The report was found to be so interesting and of so great practical and scientific value, that the State ordered a second edition in 1851. This appeared very much enlarged, including most of the species of injurious insects of the country, in 1852. Both these editions were printed at the expense of the State, but neither of them was illustrated. The work was eagerly sought for, not only in Massachusetts, where works of that character are highly appreciated, but in other States, and it took rank among the very best of its class in the country. The value and practical utility were so generally appreciated, that the Legislature determined to add to its value by a liberal appropriation for illustrations, and the volume before us is a proof of the complete success which has attended the enterprise.
The edition ordered by the State, was wholly distributed by law, so that it was placed beyond the reach of very many who desired very much to obtain it; but the Legislature has provided for this difficulty by authorizing the editor to use the steel plates prepared for the illustration of the edition for the Commonwealth, in the publication of one or more editions designed for a wider circulation than that for the State could be expected to have. The work thus goes forth for the benefit of the whole country, and every farmer, every gardener and every student of natural history can avail himself of the generous liberality of Massachusetts, since without her public spirit,
this splendid treatise could never have appeared so fully and beautifully illustrated. The outlay for the preparation of such a work, the cost of making collections, drawings, engravings, &c, by the best naturalists and the first artists in the world is too enormous to be incurred by any publisher with great risk of small sales to which most scientific works are liable. The price at which the work is now furnished is far below what its cost would have been, if the original investment had been made by any publisher.
Mr. Flint called to his aid the highest scientific talent in the country and laid the most distinguished entomologists under contribution for notes on the orders of insects which they had made a special study of. Among them are Dr. John L. Lcconte of Philadelphia, the highest authority on the Coleoptera, or beetles. Baron R. Osten Sacken of the Russian Legation at Washington, the highest authority on the Diptera, or the flies and other two winged insects. Dr. Morris of Baltimore and Philip R. Uhler, Esq., of the same city, and many others, while the drawings were subjected to the close examination and comparison with the original specimens of Prof. Agassiz. Sonrel, the first living artist in the world for objects of natural history, a resident of Massachusetts, made most of the drawings. To say of the engravings on wood, of which there are very nearly three hundred, that they meet the entire approbation, and even excited the astonishment of Prof. Agassiz, is praise enough. They are unquestionably, taken as a whole, the most splendid triumph ever achieved in that art, as they appear on the rich paper of the splendid edition now ready. They may not print so well on cheaper paper, but they have the merit of scientific accuracy and extreme beauty.
The steel plates contain nearly a hundred objects, all colored from life by hand.
The reputation of this work is already well established and has long been widely known. It is eminently practical as well as scientific. Most works of this kind are too abstruse, too hard to understand, and of course of little value to any but a naturalist, but the descriptions in Harris' are marked by clearness, simplicity and beauty, and these, added to the full illustrations, make the book the most useful, take it all in all, that has ever appeared in this or any other country.
A very superb edition is now on sale at $6,00, and it is extremely cheap at that price. This editon is very small in number and will be exhausted before most people become aware of its value. This superior edition cannot be reproduced. It is printed from the original cuts, and on paper that cost a quarter of a dollar a pound. A cheaper edition with colored plates will be ready by the 10th of April, at $3,50, and a still cheaper one, at the same time, plates uncolored, at $2,50.
The book contains over 650 pages, and is elegantly bound in antique style. It is for sale by booksellers generally.
Population of the World.
The population of the world is increasing, and if we give to the term Christian the widest latitude, it is by no means certain that the number of pagans in the world is not now as great as it ever was. Twenty years ago our highest estimate of the population of the globe was about 800,000,000. It is now admitted by all to be not less than ten, and by those who are the best informed, to be at least twelve hundred million. This change of figures is due in part to a more accurate knowledge of the geograpy of the world; but there has been a great increase in many countries, and no doubt, in the aggregate, a decided advance in the population of the globe. From the best and latest sources of information we derive the following estimate:
A Telegraphic Experiment.
It is a matter of curiosity as to how quick communication may be made by means of the telegraph. Experience has shown that it is an instantaneous process. A short time since, an experiment was tried to illustrate the point. It was agreed that a telegrapher at New York city, in communication with Chicago, Illinois, should write the letter S, which is done by making three dots, and that a Chicago telegrapher should instantly, on hearing the dots, respond by making the same signs. The plan was carried out successfully, and the paper of the register at New York showed that the dots made by both operators stood so nearly together, that it was impossible to write a single dot between the characters representing the two S S. The response from Chicago was recorded as quickly after the signal from New York as it was possible for the Chicago telegrapher to make it.—.V. Y. Com. Advertuer.
Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania—1862.
The last annual catalogue of this Institution has just been sent us by the President, with the request that we should call the attention of our readers to its contents. It is well known that for sveral years past there has been much talk about the necessity of agricultural colleges and industrial schools in this county, more or less similar to corresponding institutions in Europe, and numerous attempts have been made by State Legislatures and by public-spirited men to found such institutions. Almost all these attempts have been, thus far, singularly unsuccessful! Nearly all the Middle and Western States have attempted to found Agricultural Colleges, and have been laboring for the last six or eight years to get up suitable buildings, and yet not one of them has thus far succeeded in getting their college buildings completed; several of them have attempted to commence operations and go on with partially completed buildings, but have gone down before graduating a single class.
An attempt of this kind closed in this manner about a month ago, in this State, at Ovid. Similar attempts have met with like success in Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, and other Western States. From the catalogue and circular before us, it would appear that Pennsylvania is liuely to be more successful in her attempt to found an Agricultural College. Through the influence of Judge Watts, H. N. McAllister, and other influential gentlemen of the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society, the State Legislature of 1855 incorporated the institution. In 1857, after a site had been selected,
POPULAtION OP tUK WORLd.
Africa - - 115,000,000
Alia, - ~ 700,000,000
Oreeks, „„ -....- -.... 08,000,000
Other sects,... 7,000,000
Pagans „ 710,000,000
-J i- .1...