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some days to the sun spread out upon the grass, after which the wooilv part, now become very brittle, is removed by the flaxmill, the nature of which is too well known to require any description. By these processes the fibres of the flax are weakened, and a considerable portion of them is altogether destroyed and lost. The flax, too, acquires a greenish yellow colour, and it is well known that a very expensive and tedious bleaching process is necessary to render it white. Mr. Lee neither steeps his flax, nor spreads it on the grass. When the plant is ripe, it is pulled in the usual way. It is then thrashed, by placing it between two grooved wooden beams shod with iron. One of these is fixed; the other is suspended on hinges, and is made to impinge with some force on the fixed beam; the grooves in the one beam corresponding with flutes in the other. By a mechanical contrivance almost exactly similar, the woody matter is beaten off, and the fibres of flax left. By passing through hackles, varying progressively in fineness, the flax is very speedily dressed, and rendered proper for the use for which
it is intended. The advantage of this process are manifold. The expense of steeping and spreadmt" is saved; a much greater product of flax is obtained; it is much stronger; the fibres may be divided into much finer fibres, so as to obtain at once, and in any quantity, flax fine enough for tie manufacture of lace. But the greatest advantage of all remain* yet to be stated. Flax manufactured in this manner requires only to be washed in pure water in older to become white. The colouring matter is not chemicafir combined with the fibre, and therefore is removed at once by water. It is the steeping of the flax and hemp, which unites the colouring matter with the fibre!, and renders thesubsequentbleaching process necessary. Thus, b? Mr. Lee's process, flax and heap are obtained in much greater quantity, of much stronger quality, and much finer in the fibre than by the common method, and the necessity of bleaching is altogether superseded. The great importance of such an improvement must be at once obvious to every one.
ACCOUNT OF A DREADFUL ACCI-
(From Thomsons Annals of
THIS Colliery is situated in the bed of coal called the high main. It is a considerable depth, about 110 fathoms, and the shaft is situated at the lower extremity of the mine. The shaft is divided by boarding all the way down, so that the same opening served for the up and down cast shaft. The seam towards the rise had been formerly worked as a colliery, under the name of Heaton Banks, by shafts distinct from the present working, which shafts, when the colliery was given up, were covered over with boards and earth. In the course of time these old workings had become filled with water; and the managers of the present colliery being well aware of the danger attending so large an accumulation of water, the workings were proceeded in with the utmost caution.
The mine was very milch subject to what the colliers call the creep, which is a gradual filling up of the horizontal passages. It had been customary for some time past to bore in various directions Upon the lines the men were work* ing, in order to ascertain whether any body of water lay concealed in the adjacent cavities. This precaution was about to be put in practice at nine o'clock on Wednesday the 3d of May; but before that time had arrived, (between three and four o'clock in the morning,) a dreadful rush of water came through the roof in the north-west part of the colliery, and continued to flow with such rapidity, that only 20 men and boys were enabled to make their escape. In a very short time, the water closed up the lower mouth of the shaft; and that night it rose to the height of 24 fathoms. Some faint hopes being entertained that the men below would retire to the higher parts of the workings, which were said to be above the level of the water in the shaft, every exertion was used t« r open a communication with them
by the old workings. Considerable difficulties, however, presented themselves. The rubbish which covered and choaked up the mouths of two old shafts, when deprived of the support of the water, fell in, dragging along with it some trees which had been planted round the spot. An old shaft, in front of Heaton Hall, has not, however, presented a like impediment, and consequently every exertion is using to open a communication by that way.— They had uncovered the pit, and reached the scaffolding on Saturday the 6th, which was five fathoms from the surface; and we understand their efforts are likely to be successful, if not prevented by an accumulation of inflammable air, with which the old workings appear to be filled. Ever since the accident, three large engines (one of 130 horse power) have been constantly employed in drawing the water from the pit, at the rate of about 1200 gallons per minute, yet on Friday morning it was found to have attained the height of 31 fathoms up the shaft. In the evening, however, the water had decreased about three feet, and we understand has continued to decrease since that time; so that no doubt is now entertained of the colliery being at some future period again set to work. We now come to state the extent of the calamity. Mr. Miller (the underviewer, who has left a wife and eight children,) 32 workmen, 42 boys, and 37 horses, have perished; and 25 widows, with about 80 children, are eft to bemoan the sudden death of their husbands and fathers.
ANOTHER ACCIDENT AT TH« »tTC CESS COAL-PIT, &C.
(From the Same J
Another dreadful and destructive explosion of carburetted hydrogen gas took place in the Success coal-pit, near Xewbottle, in the County of Durham, the property of Messrs. Nesham and Co. on Friday, June 2, at half-pa>t four o'clock, p. m. by which 67 persons were killed upon the spot, besides several wounded.
The immediate cause of tki shocking catastrophe is not dearh ascertained; though it is general!; believed that the pitmen had inadvertently worked into th« old workings, or some place where there had been a large collectioc of inflammable air.
As all the unfortunate labourers were instantly killed, aad the explosion and consequent ven rapid return of the atmospheric xi qfltr the explosion destroyed tie headings and air courses, the whole of the colliery became so completely altered, that no correct idea of the cause from appearancsj could be formed. It is abo the opinion of well-informed person?. who were present at the time of the accident, that from some unaccountable circumstance the «tmospheric air could not be seat down in sufficient quantity, aaJ in a proper direction, after the explosion, to those persons who might have escaped the destructive power of the explosion, who might live till their scanty supplv of atmospheric air became exhausted.
When the explosion took plact, 72 men and boys were at work at
he depth of 108 fathoms; and hough the greatest endeavours vere made to relieve those disressed persons, only 15 survived, ome of whom are in a very prearious state. The explosion was o great as to carry every thing lefore it, till it was impeded in its irogress by a large waggon, which, vith the driver and horse, were lashed to pieces.
Several men in the colliery, afer they had escaped this tornado if lire, endeavoured to reach the haft; but death arrested them on heir road; for breathing an atnosphere surcharged with carbolic acid gas, their destruction now iecame inevitable.
Some of the men survived till hey were brought up the shaft ato the atmosphere, when they lied, perhaps unable to bear the timulus of the atmospheric air ifter the state of exhaustion in thich they had previously lived or some time.
After a considerable exploion takes place in a coal-mine, he pitmen are often drenched nth water, which is probably ocasioned by the rapid combustion f hydrogen gas in such a confined ituation, as may be readily uncrstood by persons conversant rith chemistry. At the same time 11 the partitions and divisions belg broken down, whilst the airourses are converted into a comlete wreck, and the whole atlosphere of the mine so much gitated, it is to be expected that he carbonic acid gas will be disributed through the bottom of he mine, and suffocation become he fate of those persons who scape the immediate effects of the xplosion. Out of 19 horses only ix died.
It is melancholy to relate, that in the short space of a month 132 useful and laborious persons have been numbered with the dead at Heaton and the Success collieries, leaving nearly 300 widows and orphans to be subsisted by charity and parochial assistance.
It is curious, and perhaps worthy of remark, that Robson and Miller, accomplices with Edward Smiles in the robbery at Mn Cuthbert Pyes, Scaffold Hill, some time ago, are amongst the killed in the late accidents at Heaton and Success collieries; and upon the 3d inst. the day after the latter accident, Mr. Cuthbert Pye himself died at Scaffold Hill.
The efforts at Heaton collierv, though very considerable, have not yet been so far successful as to remove the water, and permit the interment of the unfortunates who were lost in that colliery.
On Monday, June 5, another explosion occurred at the Tyne Main colliery, by which one man was severely, though not fatally, scorched.
As most of the explosions in coal-mines have taken place in the summer season, it appears desirable that particular care be taken during the hot weather, which, perhaps, by expanding such an elastic fluid a9 hydrogen gas, may afford a facility to such dreadful accidents.
Newcastle, June 12, 1915.
ANOTHER ACCIDENT AT A COALMINE NEAR NEWCASTLE.
(From the Same.J
On Monday, the 31st of July, another melancholy accident happened at Messrs. Nesham and Co.'s colliery^ colliery, at Newbottle, in the county of Durham. The proprietors had provided a powerful locomotive steam-engine, for the purpose of drawing 10 or 12 coalwaggons to the staith atone time; and Monday be>ng the day it was to be put in motion, a great number of persons belonging to the colliery had collected to see it; but unfortunately, just as it was going off, the boiler of the machine burst. The engine-man was dash, ed to pieces, and his mangled remains blown 114 yards; the top of the boiler (nine feet square, weight 19 cwt.) was blown 100 yards: and the two cylinders 90 yards. A little boy was also throw n to a great distance. By this accident 57 persons were killed and wounded, of whom 11 were dead on Sunday night, and several remain dangerously ill.— The cause of the accident is accounted for as follows: the engine-man said, "as there were several owners and viewers there, he would make her (the engine) go in grand style," and he had got upon the boiler to loose the screw of the safety valve, but being overheated, it unfortunately exploded. It will be recollected, that at the fatal blast which recently took place at this colliery, the first who arrived at the bank, holding by a rope, was a little boy, about six or seven years of age. The poor little fellow is among the number dead.
VOLCANO OF ALBAT IN THE
A dreadful eruption of this vol
cano took place on the 1st day of February, 1814.
This volcanic mountain is siteated in the province of Camarisw. on the southern part of tbe island of Lucon, or Luc-onia, one of the Philippine isles in the Indian Ocean.
Five populous towns were entirely destroyed by the eruption; more than 1200 of tbe inhabitaBti perished amidst the rains ; and tie 20,000 who survived the awful catastrophe were stript of their possessions and reduced to bejgaiy.
The following account of tbj awful visitation was drawn up by an eye-witness, and intended a an appeal to the charitab'e feelings of the inhabitants of the Manilla Islands:
More than 13 years had elapsed, during which the volcano of AV bay, by some called Mayon, had preserved a continued and profound silence, without giving the least sign of its existence. Itwn no longer viewed wi h that distrust and horror, with which volcanoes usually inspire those who inhabit the vicinity. In the year 1800 its last eruptions took place, in which it emitted a great quantity of stones, sand, and ashes, (at had always been usual,) and occasioned considerable damage to the same villages that it has now completely destroyed; rendering useless a great number of fertile fields, which thenceforth were converted into arid and frightful sands. In the latter part of October of that year the last eruption happened, and caused more damage to those villages.
Since that time we had not remarked wiy circumstance indicative