« PreviousContinue »
tion of an alkali, and afterwards of a weak acid solution. The old process required at least three days for steeping the flax fiber in hot water at a temperature of 90 degrees, while Claussen's require? but three hours boiling, makes less waste, and even that is as useful as the fiber itself, and suitable for bleaching and producing the flax-cotton, or it may be worked as paper material. I have spoken hitherto of the long flax, which is mostly used as the material for spinning, Ac.; but the flax tow which is intended to be converted iuto the flax cotton, and of which two tons may be prepared and bleached daily, is the most important staple, deserving the attention of the manufacturer, and will no doubt receive it, whenever the superior advantages are generally and properly appreciated. Scotland paid £25,000 for Claussen's patent, and a bounty per ton, and England reserved the patent for an association for a much larger sum.
INDUSTRIAL AND OTHER STATISTICS OF MANCHESTER.
The annual report of Captain Willis, the Chief Constable of Manchester (England) has just been published, containing, a? usual, some elaborate and useful tables, which, besides showing the activity of the police, give a good idea of the progress of the borough in population, in material wealth and resources. By this return it appears that the population has risen from 235,507 in 1841 to 303,858 in 1851; and the gross number of habitable houses has iucreased from 44,462 to 53,697. One happy feature of this part of the return is that the inhabitants living in cellars have diminished from 22,924 in 1841 to 20,399 in 1851. The total annual value of the property has increased in the same period from £841,664 to £1,204,241. The gross number of all buildings is now 58,385, of which 103 are cotton mills, 7 silk mills, 3 worsted mills, 18 smallware mills, 7 print works, 35 dye works, 15 hat manufactories, 49 machinists, 38 foundries, 4 lead works, 3 paper works, 27 saw mills, 11 corn mills, 775 workshops. 1619 warehouses, 6262 shops, 109 places of worship, 413 public and private schools, 12 banks, 10 markets, 2 theatres, 7 railway stations, 3 public washhouses, 8 infirmaries and hospitals, 14 public institutions, 33 public buildings, 53 livery stables, 176 breweries, 121 slaughter houses, and 511 buildings used as offices. The total new buildings within the last year were 1556—comprising two cotton mills, 4 saw mills, 21 workshops, 11 warehouses, 1358 dwellings, 118 shops, 8 churches and chapels, 1 bath and washhouse, 3 breweries, and 2 schools. The total number of reputed thieves residing in the borough within the knowledge of the police is 305, and 267 persons known occasionally to steal. Houses where thieves resort 234; houses for the reception of stolen property, 141.
A LOCOMOTIVE ESTABLISHMENT IN VIRGINIA.
Messrs. Smith and Perkins, of Alexandria, Virginia, have, as we learn from the American Railroad Journal, commenced the manufacture of locomotives u|x>n a pretty extended scale. They now employ about one hundred and fifty hands, mid are now manufacturing at the rate of about twenty locomotives a year. Mr. Perkins was for many years superintendent of machinery and repairs upon the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad ; and has long enjoyed the reputation of being one of the most skillful and practical mechanics in the country. There is probably no person among us better capable of constructing a good engine, or a better judge of work. The above establishment is now engaged in filling orders for the Orange and Alexandria and the Manasses Gap Railroads, terminating in Alexandria.
The above establishment is one of the beneficial results of the railroad movement in Virginia. But for railroads in that State, it never would have existed. The railroad is the pioneer, and where they are constructed a thousand branches of industry follow in their train. They create a demand for labor to construct and maintain them, and, by opening up a market to every article of use or consumption, stimulate every kind of industry. As the South is behind the North in the manufacturing establishments, we hope to see them give a liberal patronage to their own works, a course which will be of mutual benefit to all parties.
CULTIVATION OF FLAX IN THE SOUTH OF IRELAND.
The annual flax sowing of Ulster averages 50,000 acres. For the rest of Ireland it is but 4,000. Supposing each of the other provinces to cultivate flax as extensively as Ulster, the vulue of the crop for Ireland, would, it is estimated, be £4,500,000.
NEW CLOTH MEASURING MACHINE,
At a recent meeting of the English Institution of Civil Engineers, Mr. Joseph Whitworth, of Manchester, exhibited a new measuring machine, for determining minute differences of length. The accuracy of the machine was demonstrated by placing in it a standard yard measure, made of a bar of steel, about three-quarters of an inch square, having both the ends rendered perfectly true. One end of the bar was then placed in contact with the face of the machine, and at the other end, between it and the other face of the machine, was interposed a small flat piece of steel, termed by the experimenter, "the contact piece," whose sides were also rendered perfectly true and parallel. Each division on the micrometer represented the one-millionth part of an inch, and each time the micrometer was moved only one division forward, the experimenter raised the contact piece, allowing it to descend across the end of the bar by its own gravity only. This was repeated until the closer approximation of the surfaces prevented the contact piece from descending, when the measure was completed, and the number on the micrometer represented the dead length of the standard bar to one-millionth part of an inch. Eight repetitions of the experiment, in a quarter of an hour produced identical results, there not being in any case a variation of onemillionth of an inch.
THE USES OF INDIA RUBBER.
Dr. J. V. E. Smith, the editor of the Boston Medical Journal, who has just returned from an extensive journey in the East, states that in those tropical regions where it was necessary to transport water, he found that river water placed in an India rubber bag, and securely corked, remained at the end of six weeks, perfectly sweet and good, while water carried in the whole skin of an animal, as is the custom in that country, became excessively offensive in the desert in a few days, besides assuming the color of a pale decoction of coffee. In wooden casks, another method adopted by travelers, the changes wrought on the water are analogous to those observed in water tanks at sea. The writer does not decide whether the preservation of the water is due to the utter exclusion of air, or to the influence exerted upon it by the material itself. The fact is one of much importance to travelers in tropical countries, where the supply of this important element it is frequently necessary to transport through great distances.
MANUFACTURE OF GLASS PEARLS.
Glass pearls, though among the most beautiful, inexpensive, and common ornaments for women now made, are produced by a very singular process. In 1656, about 200 years ago, a Venetian, named Jaquin, discovered that the scales of a species of fish, called the bleak-fish, possessed the property of communicating a pearly hue to water. He found, by experiment, that beads dipped in this water, assumed, when dried, the appearance of pearls. It proved, however, that the pearly coating, when placed outside, was easily rubbed off, and the next improvement was to make the beads hollow. The making of these beads is carried on even to this day in Venice. The beads are all blown separately. By means of a small tube, the insides are delicately coated with the pearly liquid, and a wax costing is placed over that. It requires the scales of four thousand fishes to produce half a pint of the liquid, to which small quantities of sal ammonia and isinglass are afterwards added.
ECONOMY OF TOBACCO SMOKING.
Mr. Robert Ellis, surgeon, the principal editor of the official catalogue of the Exhibition, has the following remark, (vol. 1, page ISO,) which must gladden the hearts of our smoke-raising brethren:—The total quantity of tobacco retained for home consumption, in 1848, amounted to nearly IT,000,000 lbs. North America alone produces annually upwards of 200,000,000 lbs. The combustion of this mass of vegetable material would yield about 340,000,000 lbs. of carbonic acid gas; so that the yearly incrense of carbonic acid gas from tobacco-smoking alone cannot be less than 1,000,000,000 lbs., a large contribution to the annnal oemand for this gas made upon the atmosphere, for the vegetation of the world. Henceforth let no one twit the smoker with idleness and unimportance. Every pipe is an agricultural furnace—every smoker a manufacturer of vegetation, the consumer of a weed that he may rear more largely his own provisions.
PROGRESS OF BRITISH MANUFACTURES.
The increase of manufacturing industry in Great Britain in sixty years, is shown by the following table of the raw materials (in pounds) used in that kingdom:—
Wool. Silk. Hemp. Flax. Cotton.
'In 1790 3,245,352 1,253,445 692,306 257,222 30,574,374
In 1849 76,756,173 6,881,861 1,061,273 1,806,786 758,841,650
Increase in 60 years 73,488,821 6,628,416 468,967 1,548,564 728,267,276
STATISTICS OF THE MANUFACTURES OF THE UNITED STATES,
The subjoined summary of the manufacturing industry of the United States is derived from the report of Mr. Kennedy, the Superintendent of the Census, at Washington. • The statistics of population will be found under their appropriate department, in another part of the present number of the Merchants' Magazine :—
The period which has elapsed since the receipt of the returns has been so short as to enable the office to make but a general report of the facts relating to a few of the most important manufactures.
If in some instances the amount of "capital invested" in any branch of manufacture should seem too small, it must be borne in mind, that when the pruduct is of several kinds, the capital invested^ not being divisible, is connected with the product of greatest consequence. This, to some extent, reduces the capital invested in the manufacture of bar iron in such establishments where some other article of wrought iron predominates—sheet iron, for example.
The aggregate, however, of the capital invested in the various branches of wrought iron will, it is confidently believed, be found correct.
The entire capital invested in the various manufactures in the United States on the 1st of June, 1850, not to include any establishments producing less than 1 he annual
value of *500, amounted, in round numbers, to $530,000,000
Value of raw material 650,000,000
Amount paid for labor 240,000,000
Value of manufactured articles 1,020,300,000
Number of persons employed. 1,050,000
The capital invested in the manufacture of cotton goods amounted to. 74,501,031
Value of raw material 34,835,056
Amount paid for labor 16,286,304
Value of manufactured articles 61,869,184
Number of hands employed 92,286
The capital invested in the manufacture of woolen goods amounted to 28,118,660
Value of raw materiaL 25,755,988
Amount paid for labor • 8,399,280
Value of product 43,207,656
Number of hands employed - 39,252
The capital invested in the manufacture of pig iron amounted to 17,346,426
Value of raw material 7,005,289
Amount paid for labor 6,066,628
Value of product 12,748,777
Number of hands employed 20,448
In making these estimates, the Assistant Marshals did not include any return of works which had not produced metal within the year, or those which had not commenced operations. The same is applicable to all manufactures enumerated.
The capital invested in the manufacture of castings amounted to $17,416,361
Value of raw material 10,346,865
Amount paid for labor 7,078,920
Value of product 25,108,155
Number of hands employed 23,589
The capital invested in the manufacture of wrought iron amounted to 13,995,220
Value of raw material 9,518,109
Amount paid for labor 4,196,628
Value of product 16,387,074
Number of hands employed 13,057