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Aiken's Famous Family Knitting Machine.
When Queen Klizabeth came to the throne of England, throe hundred years ago, such a thing as a knit stocking had never been heard of in all her realm. Nor, indeed, have we any reliable authority to suppose that anything of the sort had ever been produced anywhere in the world. But the tense, unyielding hose manufactured upon the loom were an uncomfortable, unsatisfactory thing, and so some ingenious mind—it is not known whose—conceived the
idea, and executed the plan, of manufacturing them with the use of needles, in suoh manner that they should be both seamless and very elastic. The first pair knit were presented to Her Majesty, in the third year of hor reign, who was so delighted with them that she would never again consent to wear the stocking of the old style.
As the result of the royal example and of the remarkable superiority of this wonderful manufacture, knitting became at once immensely popular, so that high-born dames and royal ladies emulated each oilier in princely halls and gilded palaces.
But the process of knitting with the fingers was slow and tedious; and so the brain of one William Lee, of Woodborough, Kngland, about thirty years after the original invention of knitting, stimulated, it is said, by a strong desire to supercede the needles of a beautiful young girl, whose passion Cor knitting appenred more all-absorbing than her coveted love for him, contrived a machine, which was so remarkable for its achievements as to attract the attention, first of Queen Elizabeth, then of her successor, King tJeorge, and finally—when both of these English sovereigns failed to give it the encouragement it deserved, through fear of interfering with the employment of the poor —the patronage of Henry the Fourth, King of France.
I.ec had hardly established himself, however, at Rouen ere his royal friend and patron met his untimely death, and the disappointed, but never discouraged, inventor returned to England and established a factory at Nottinghamshire, which, to this day, has been and is tine great seat of hosiery manufacture in Europe.
For more than one hundred and fifty years, Lee's machine 'reigned without a rival,' until in 1756 an important improvement was made by Jedediah Strutt, of Derby, with a view to render the machine less cumbrous and difficult to operate, and, if possible to adapt it to other than muscular power. His efforts were only partially successful, however, and the world was left without a power machine until the year \H?2, when Timothy Bailey, of Albany, New York, nfter many months of fruitless effort, at last succeeded in perfecting his plans and giving to America and the world a power machine of large capacity. Still, it was a clumsy thing, very expensive and was only designed to knit tne flat web, which must subsequently be sewed together by hand.
About a quarter of a century ago circular looms wcro introduced into this country from Belgium and France; since which time there have been several American improvements, all
finding ihcir climax in the wonderfully simple, cheap and capable machine of J. B. Aiken, of Franklin, N. H. As a factory machine this is unquestionably the most popular one now In existence, and every day seems to be adding to the high esteem in which it is held. Over $2,000,000 worth of knit fabrics are now aanually manufactured upon it in this country; while in the various countries of Europe it is rapidly growing into favor with the most enterprising manufacturers.
But all this remarkable success did not satisfy the ambition of Mr. Aiken. He saw that his machine was enabling manufacturers with capital to amass great fortunes, while the people—the million—were comparatively little benefitted. A machine which should come within the slender means of eveu a very poor family, and thus diffuse its blessings as the Sewing Machine lias done, was needed. The simple and effective "circular" machine of which the above cut is an illustration, was the result of this worthy and persistent endeavor. So 'simple and durable in all its parts that there is scarcely a possibility of its getting out of order; so rapid in its working that when operated by the hand of a child it will knit over four thousand stitches in a minute—if by the foot five thousand—or if by steam, to which it may be adapted, sixty thousand !—so small in compass that it may be packed in a box less than n foot cubic; and, withal, so cheap that it can easily be made to pay for itself in one winter, it can hardly fail of a very great demand even in war times. Indeed the harder the times the greater the need, on the part of the poorer families at least—and nearly all are feeling pretty poor about now—of everything which may come as a help in securing the means of support.
Every year the American people send five millions of dollars to other countries for the single item of knit goods, which ought to be manufactured at home There is, therefore, no danger but that the demand will insure good paying prices—especially as the war must very materially add to the amount of knit hosiery required for American consumption.
CAPABILITIES Or T11K MACHINE.
The machine is adapted to tlie manufacture of stockings of every size find texture, undershirts, drawers, neck comforts, table covers, head dresses, cravats, caps, purses, rigolcts and slinwls, sontags, tidies, ladies' opera caps, underslceves, nubias, scarfs, suspenders, itc.
THICK—WAY TO "JET IT W1TIIOl.T MONEY!
The price, owing to taxation, &c, lias been increased $5 within the last month or two, and |
SCIENCE, ART, STATISTICS.
is now fifty dollars, including oil-can, wrench, screw driver, 20 extra needles, skein holders, yarn winder, and a book of instruction. But even this, for a machine adapted to so many uses, and with which so much may be made by even the younger members of the family in a short time, is cheap; and we recommend to all families dependent upon their lingers for support, to all Soldiers' Aid Societies, and to all others, who, in these trying times desire to contribute to the public good by every species of honorable economy, to send to Branson & Elliot, <ien. Agents, No. 120 Lake St., Chicago, and get a machine.
But even $50, small as the amount is, will not be found in times like the-ic 'growing on every bush,' and we have accordingly offered the mnchine to every enterprising friend of the Fahmfh who will furnish us with a club of 150 subscribers at one dollar each. If there are any young men whose mothers or sisters are dependent upon their hands for support, or nny middle-aged men whose wives would cordially welcome so valuable a labor-saver as the Knitting Machine, now is their time to do two things at once—secure a handsome present for those most dear, and at the same time extend the circulation of a worthy journal devoted to the best material and soctnl interests of the people of the Northwest.
The Prize Sewing Machines.—As will be seen by the Prospectus on cover, we offer several Sewing Machines as prizes for large lists of subscribers next year. In the next number we shall publish illustrations of the machines in question.
American Musical Instruments.- The Prise Melodeon.
First in the character of her utilitarian inventions, America might have rested on her laurels won in this department, at least for a number of years yet. But the universal Yankee Genius could not be thus content: it must likewise rank first in the higher domain of Art and in the arts akin.
It has already been seen that she was more than a match for the Europern nations in the departments of Painting and Sculpture, at the Great Exhibition, and that she also excelled in the construction of some of the most important musical instruments—bearing off the Great Medal for the best piano, &c. But it is not alone in the superior quality of her musical instruments that America ranks first: she is also first among the nations in the extensive nut of them by her people—in the number manufactured and sold.
Thus of pianos, alone, the number manufactured and sold amounts to a sunt no less than $15,000,000 annually: other instruments in like proportion.
Thk Melodeon is a more modern instrument thau the piano; and being better adaptad to some kinds of music—especially sacred music —and withal much less expensive, it is growing rapidly in favor as a substitute for the more costly organ in our country churches, and in thousands of our families. Externally resembling the piano, the notes are determined by touching the keys of a finger-board. Each key lifting a valve, allows a ourreut of air from a bellows, worked meanwhile by the foot on a pedal, to agitate the corresponding one of a series of metallic free reeds. The compass is 5 to 7 octaves.
Great improvements have beet made within the few years past in the style ond musical value of the melodeon, so that it now has a "prompt'' sounding and flute-like quality of tone. In 1859, U'i.OOO instruments of this kind were manufactured in the United States, and the demand is constantly increasing.
Flax holds the first place among fibres which from their strength, flexibility, and other practical qualities, are fittest for the manufacture of paper. Flax has hitherto been grown in India in large quantities, but almost entirely for the sake of the seed. Various means have from time to time been used to extend the cultivation of this useful plant in India, and it has been produced in the Punjaub of a quality equal to that of the best kinds received from Russia. The plant which stands next to flax for the quality of its fibre is the rheea of Assam and other parts of India. The plant grows to a height of from three to four feet, and being a perennial, the expense of cultivation is less than that of most plants. It will bear cutting down three times in a season: the first crop yielding coarse, and the second and
third fine fibres. Probably about ten per cent, of useful fibre m ty be extracted from the stems of this plant.
The Neilgheiry nettle, the mudar, the well known jute of commerce, the safet bariala, the ambaiee, the hempi the jettee, the pine apple, the moorvn, the agave Americana, the fourcuya gigantea, the plantain, Ihe yucca gloriosa, the phormium tenex, or New Zealand flax, etc., etc., may also be employed for the same purpose. All of these, except the last two enumerated, are indigenous to India, and contain fibres which may be more or less usefully applied to the manufacture of paper, and of textile fabrics.
The Wonders of the Atmosphere.
The atmosphere rises above us with its cathedral dome arching toward heaven, of which it is the most perfect synonym and symbol. It floats around us like that grand object which the apostle John saw in his vision, "a sea of glass like unto crystal.' So massive is it that when it begins to slit it tosses about great ships like playthings, and sweeps cities and forests like snow flakes to destruction before it,
Aud yet it is so noble thai we have lived years in it before we can be persuaded that it exists at all, anil the great bulk of mankind never realize the truth that they are bathed in an ocean of air. Its weight is so enormous that iron shivers before it like glass, yet a soap bubble sails through it with impunity, and the tiniest insect waves it aside with its wing. It ministers lavishly to all our senses. We touch it not, but it touches us. Its warm south wind brings back color to the pale face of the invalid; its cool west winds refresh tlio fevered brow, and makes the blood to mantle our check; even its north blasts brace into new vigor the hardened children of our rugged climate.— The eye is indebted to it for all the magnificence of sunrise, the full brightness of midday, the chastened radiance of the morning, and the cleuds that cradle near the setting sun. But for it the rainbow would want its- " trium phant arch," and the winds would not send the fleecy messengers on errands around the heavens: the cold ether would not shod snow feathers on the earth nor would drops of dew gather on the flowers. The kindly rain would never fall, nor hailstorm nor fog diversify the face of the sky; our naked globe would turn its tanned and unshadowed forehead to the sun, and one dreary, monotonous blaze of light and heat dazzle and burn up all things.
Were there no atmosphere the ovening sun would in a moment set, and without warning plunge the earth into darkness. But the air keeps in her hand a shield of her rays, and lets them slip but slowly through her fingers, so that the shadows of evening are gathered by degrees, and the flowers have time to bow Both births and deaths are more frequent in the night than in the day. One-fourth of men are capable of bearing arms, but not one out of a thousand is by nature inclined to the profession. The more civilized a country is, the more full of vigor, life, and health are the people. The notion that education enfeebles and degenerates the human frame, is not borne out by fact.—Once a Week.
their heads, and each crenture space to find a place of rest and to nestle to repose. In the morning the garish sun would at one bound burst from the bosom of night and blaze above the horizon; but the air watches for his coming and sends first but one little ray to announce his approach, and then another, and then a handful, and gently draws aside the curtain of night and slowly lets the light fall upon the face of the sleeping earth, till her eyelids open, and like man she gocth forth | again to labor until the evening.—Quarterly i Review.
Origin of Speech.
Man in his primitive and perfect slate was not only endowed, like the brute, with the power of expressing his sensations by interjections, and his perceptions by onomatopica; he possessed likewise the faculty of giving more articulate expression to the rational conceptions of his mind. That faculty was not of his own making. It was an instinct, an instinct of the mind, as irresistible as any other instinct. So far as language is the production of that instinct, it belongs to the realm of nature. Man loses his instincts as he ceases to want them. His senses become fainter when, as in the case of scent, they become useless. Thus the creative faculty, which gave to each conception, as it thrilled for the first time through the brain, a phonetic expression, became extinct when its object was fulfilled. The number of these phonetic types must have been almost infinite in the beginning, and it was only through this same process of natural elimination which we observed in the early history of words, that clusters of roots, more or less synonymous, were gradually reduced to one definite type.—Max Mueller.
Statistics of Human Life.
The total number of human beings on earth is now computed in round numbers at one thousand millions. They speak 3,00-1 now known tongues, and in which upwards of 1,100 religions or creeds are preached. The average term of life is Hi), years. One-fourth of the born die before they reach the age of seven years, and tho half before the 17th year. Out of 100 persons, only six reach the age of GO years and upwards, while only one in 1000 reaohos the age of 100 years. Out of 500 only one attains 80 years. Out of the thousand million living persons, 33,000,000 die annually, 01,000 daily, 3,730 every hour, 00 every minute, consequently one in every .second. The loss is, however, balanced by the gain in new births. Tall men are supposed to live longer than short ones. Women are generally stronger than men until their 50th year; afterwards less so. Marriages are in proportion to single life, (bachelors and spinsters,) as 100 to 75.
Duty of Parents to the Neighborhood School.
Mil. Kditor: In your last number you were so kind as to give us subjects for discussion as well as a cordial invitation to write for your excellent Journal. I, therefore, will, as a pleasure, take up my •. rusty pen," and proceed to "air my talent."
I choose the most important, and at the same time the most neglected of your four subjects —" The Parent's duty to the Neighborhood School."
Most people think, if they furnish a comfortable school house, employ a good teacher, and visit the school once or twice during each term, that they have performed their duties to the school wondrously well. Surely, that is something, more, I am sorry to say, than is always done, much more. But is this all that is necessary to render each term as successful as possible '. I think not. In fact, I consider it to be more important for parents to send their children to scheol than for them to go themj selves. Not three, nor four days a week, but | each day of every vceh during the entire term. , Keeping children out of school half a day, or even half an hour for every trifling excuse is productive of much more disorganization in I classes and general disturbance in the school room than most parents arc aware of, or I can | not but think it would be practiced less.
Another very important duty is that of sus| taining the character and influence of the ] teacher. It is natural for children to think I their teacher nearly perfect. No one, except I father and mother so wise as they. So long as I they are of this opinion, obedience to all just | laws is easy. They will be diligent in their