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I therefore beg leave, through you, to call the attention of the Chamber of Commerce to it. The filling between pier No. 1 and the castle may readily be amended by dredging, and no doubt the entire completion of the Battery work would retard the now rapid increase of the shoal. The shoal must, however, in a general way, be related to the present sbore line, as the old was to the former shore; and thus the shoal, changed somewhat in form, must be pushed out to a distance not equal but corresponding to the addition of the shore line of the Battery.
A. D, BACHE, Supt. United States Coast Survey. To PELATIAH PERIT, Esq., President Chamber of Commerce.
Some of the members thought many of the deposits were in consequence of wasbings from sewers and from dumping, as managed by the city corporation.
Mr. Brower thought seven-eighths of the deposits in slips were from the sewers. The Legislature had often been petitioned to remedy this difficulty. As for the flat making north of Governor's Island, there was no doubt but it was from the Battery extension materials.
The report and resolution were ordered referred to a special committee. Mr. Phelps suggested that the Pilot Commissioners would be the most proper committee to attend to the subject, as they knew all about it. Mr. Blunt suggested that some of the ship owners be also put on that committee. Mr. MARSAALL moved that the committee consist of nine, which was carried. The committee is composed of the following gentlemen :GEORGE W. BLUNT,
EDWIN E. MORGAN,
JOHN D. JONES,
ROBERT B. MINTURN,
Mr. R. PHELPS moved that the report of Lieut. CRAVEN be entered on the minutes of this body, which was carried.
Mr. John H. Brower spoke of the possibility of the channel between the city and Governor's Island narrowing down to a mere creek if something was not done. He hoped this danger would be pointed out to the proper authorities.
Capt. C. H. MARSHALL stated that he had noticed where some of the sewers emptied, that the filling of slips were at the rate of twelve feet in six months. The attention of the city corporation to this evil was therefore highly necessary.
After some other remarks on the subject, the chamber adjourned.
ENTRANCE TO BOSTON BAY. The lighthouse on Little Brewster Island, at the entrance to Boston Harbor, has lately been repaired and refitted, and will be relighted at sunset on the night of the 20th December, 1859. The tower is white, and sixty-six feet in height. The focal plane is 100 feet above mean low water. The illuminating apparatus is catadioptric, of the second order, system of Fresnel, and will show a white flash every 30 seconds, which should be seen in ordinary weather a distance of 15 nautical miles. By order of the Lighthouse Board,
W. F. SMITH, Secretary. WASHINGTON, December 8, 1859.
JOURNAL OF MINING, MANUFACTURES, AND ART.
COMB MANUFACTURE OF NEWBURYPORT. The Newburyport Herald gives an interesting account of the horn comb manufacture of that town ; and it is of interest, although it may turn out that horn as a material for combs may be supplanted by India rubber, and that the ladies will abandon born for personal decoration entirely to the male sex. The Herald remarks :
Newburyport was known as a comb town years ago; but the business was subject to fluctuations, depending much upon the caprice of fashion ; and in one of the ebbs of the tide the work was abandoned.
And notwithstanding some of them are sold so low, yet there is not a comb that has not passed through from fifteen to twenty processes, and as many different pairs of hards before it is ready for the market; and it is only owing to the rapidity with which they are made that a profit is realized for the manufacturer. Let us look at them in the different stages of operation.
Down in the basement is a huge pile of horns; where did they come from, and wbat of them? Oh, their history will never be written! Down from the interior of Africa, floated in canoes, and conveyed by slaves, some may have come ; on the oases of the deserts, on the upland prairies where are the great cities and the new races of whom LIVINGSTONE, and ANDERSON, and Bartu tells us they may have been grown, and paid for in rum, and gunpowder, and tobacco—the three great civilizers that the Christian merchants send to the coast of Africa to convert the natives with. More likely, however, they were produced by the immense herds that graze the new land of South America, on the banks of the Amazon, and south of that on grand La Plata, or the Parana, and from the big plains, where Spaniards, and Portuguese, and Indians have intermixed, till the race is half white and half colored, half civilized, half savage, half Christian, and balf pagan. But as the American horns are white and better, and this company use the best of stock, the most of them are from the Brighton market; but even these come from a wide field—from the Rio Grande in Texas to the pastures of the Aroostook on the east, and from a dozen different States at least. Six hun. dred oxen must die some whereevery day of the week, or nearly two hundred thousand in a year to furnish the raw material for this one factory. That is a number of cattle of which few have a just conception; and if they had to march up in single file and shake off their horns at the gate way, they would make a long line of beeves.
Close by the side of the horn pile we hear the hum of circular saws; buzz, buzz—their teeth not seen, and barely the plates, with such velocity do they move ; and there stands the men to saw them into the right lengths, when the round pieces are split ready for straightening and flatteping. We see the tips, not suited for combs, passing one way, where they are again sawed, if of proper size, to make knife handles, and the extreme ends are packed and boxed for exportation to Germany, whence they are returned to us as the mouth-pieces for pipes and cigars. We follow the comb pieces to the next floor, and see them softening in boiling water and oil, and when soft run through knives by which the rough places are made smooth ; tben placed between cold irops till they are cool, and hard, and straight. We look into another room, which is full of saws and belting, where these rough pieces are all cut to dimensions; and by the side of one of the circulars stands a native of the Emerald Isle minus of two or three fingers, indicating that the saws sometimes slip through bones as well as horns. But while we look the piece is passed between other sharp machinery to be caravaned, as they call it, to be smoothed and reduced to a uniform thickness we should say; and again it passes to hot irons to remain for hours, perhaps days. When it comes thence, for dressing combs, it is quilled, or that part to be cut into teeth made thinner than the rest. Next the teeth themselves are cut roughly, in a very ingenious mapper, which we believe they call twinning. Formerly the interstices of the teeth were cut out by a thin saw, and of course the strip of horn made but one comb, the fragments being lost. Now, the piece makes two combs, the sides of the strip, which are left ridged in the quilling process, furnishing the two backs, and the teeth being between, which are formed by fastening the strip in a carriage, which is moved forward till it comes under a chisel, that with the precision of clock-work cuts out the two combs, the teeth of one lying between those of the other.
When the teeth have been cut the two combs are pulled apart and again replaced, and then go into cold irons to press and straighten. That being done, they go through several other processes. One man shapes the points of the teeth, another the sides of the teeth, and a third smooths the edges of the backall being done with machines ; and afterwards they are polished and packed up, and sent to markets as distant from this and from each other as the points whence the horns are received, though they should be collected from the four quarters of the globe and the islands of the seas.
MANUFACTURE OF HUNGARY LEATHER. This valuable kind of leather, says the Shoe and Leather Reporter, is chiefly used, at present, for barness and similar purposes, though we think it probable that the same method of preparation might be advantageously employed for the production of leather adapted to more extensive purposes. This kind of leather can be prepared for market in three weeks in summer, and in about double that time in winter. This rapid tanning process consists in impregnating hides with alum, common salt, and animal oil. The leather may be made at all seasons of the year, since the injurious effects of temperature can easily be counteracted. This kind of leather differs much from that which is tanned and curried ; as the latter is well kuown to consist, not of the gelatine of which the hide is composed, joined with the tappin in mechanical union, but of a third substance as distinct from both as water or air are distinct from the gases of which they are respectively composed. The Hungarian leather, on the contrary, consists of the original fibrous tissue of the hides dried, contracted, and slightly changed in nature, but not converted into true leather. Another difference between the Hungarian tanned skins and ordinary leather consists in the fact that, on an average, the former loses one-half of their original weight. The methods of preparation of hides and skins for this Hungarian process are very similar to those usually employed in our tapperies. After unhairing, the hides are dressed with a solution of alum and salt, by which putrefaction is prevented and the hides are rendered stronger and more durable, while the salt mixed with the alum by keeping the fibers moist, renders the leather more supple. Six pounds of alum, three-and-ahalf pounds of salt, and about eight gallons of water are required for a hide weighing eighty pounds.
After being twice dressed with alum and well tramped upon by the bare feet of the workmen continually walking backwards and forwards over them, the skins are dried, and are then, by another process of tramping or rolling, prepared for tallowing. This process is conducted in a close room, containing a boiler about three-quarters full of tallow, which is heated until it melts, when the
VOL. XLII. NO. I.
leather, which has been previously warmed, is thoroughly saturated-above three pounds being required for each bide. Calf-skins, however, though prepared in the same way, require less of the tanning materials--the average consumption for a dozen large skins being fourteen pounds of alum, seven pounds of salt, and thirteen pounds of tallow. After being thoroughly saturated with tallow, the leather is flamed, or exposed to heat, and is then thoroughly dried in the open air,
From Senegal Hungary is said to have borrowed this method in the fourteenth or fifteenth century, and towards the close of the sixteenth century it was introduced into other European countries. In France, especially, the manufacture flourished in Colbert's celebrated manufactory at St. Cloud. The only improvement of importance which has since been made in the original processes was introduced by CURANDEAU, who saved much time, labor, and expense by substituting sulphuric acid for alum. His method is, after preparing the skins in the usual manner, to immerse them for twenty-four hours in a lye composed of four pounds of sulphuric acid mixed with twenty pounds of salt, and twenty-five gallops of water, the same lye serving for several different lots of hides. Heavy ox hides are most frequently used, but other descriptions may, with advantage, be subjected to this Hungarian process.
FORMATION OF DIAMONDS. A writer in one of the Germav scientific magazines gives it as his opinion, founded on carefully conducted experiments, that the diamond is the product of condensed carbon, chrystalized from liquid carbonic acid. It is known that dia monds pot rarely sbow cavities, in which, according to all appearances, a considerable pressure must have taken place. Supposing these cavities to contain some kind of gas, it is argued that there is no reason why this might not be carbonic acid under a high pressure; and this theory would furnish a ready explanation, it is thought, of the color-rings with black crossings observed around the cavities in diamonds, by supposing them to be caused in a similar manner as those of unevenly compressed glass. The carbonic acid then stands in the same relation to diamonds, as the mother lye, inclosed in a number of artificial and native crystals. That there are large quantities of carbonic acid under a high pressure in the body of our planet, is shown by the immense quantities escaping at varions localities.
--- ww w wwwwwwww REMAINS OF ANCIENT SALT WORKS IN THE SALINES OF ILLINOIS. Dr. Davis has received a letter from Mr. SELLERS, a scientific gentleman in charge of some of the Salines in Illinois, and has discovered various articles sunken in the earth, which were used at some long past period by people unknown in making salt from the same springs which are now recently brought into use. The letter contains descriptions of utensils and instruments found, particularly fragments of the largest ancient earthen jars ever discovered in our country. It also gives a description of the process which must have been pursued by the un. known manufacturers in procuring salt from the waters. Such discoveries, with the intelligent and interesting conclusions to which the writer was led by the facts, add new inducements to the labors of investigators.
BARKS FOR TANNING. The following is a very useful and interesting summary of the different barks used in tapping :
There are four species of oak barks chiefly used in tanning. The first is the Spanish oak, which thrives in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, and in all the States south of 41°•N. In the Atlantic States this species is most abundant, and in Georgia and the Carolinas it is known by the name of “red oak." Its bark, which is thick, black, and deeply furrowed, is preferred for coarse leather, which it makes more pliable and of a better color. Hemlock bark is often with advantage mixed with it. In the Southern States, the Spanish oak grows to the height of eighty feet, having a trunk four or five feet in diameter ; while in some of the Northern States it does not exceed thirty feet in height, with a diameter of five or six inches.
The common red oak grows abundantly in Canada and in the Northern States, especially in the southern half of New York, in New Jersey, in northern Pennsylvania, and along the ridge of the Allegbapies. Its bark is very generally employed, though inferior in several respects to some other kinds. This tree grows to the height of seventy or eighty feet, and has a diameter of three or four feet.
The rock-chestnut oak is seldom found in the Southern States, but abounds in elevated districts having a broken, rocky surface. On some of the Alleg hany Mountains it constitutes nine-tenths of the forest growth. Hence the name * rock oak," by which it is known on the banks of the Hudson and on the shores of Lake Champlain. It bas received in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia the name of " chestnut oak.” Its bark is thick, hard, and deeply furrowed, and differs from other barks in that the epidermis or outer layer contains a large proportion of tannin, which is usually in other kinds confined chiefly to the under layers. In Pennsylvania and New York it abounds, but only the bark of the small branches and young trees is used in tanning.
The quercitron or black oak grows throughout the States, below the latitude of 439 N., and in the more elevated sections of Georgia and the Carolinas. Its bark is not very thick, but is bitter, deeply furrowed, and of a deep brown or black color. It also imparts a yellow color to the ooze; and leather tanned with it is apt to give a yellow tinge to the stockings. This inconvenience, however, may be obviated by an inexpensive chemical process. Quercitron bark is much used, as it is abundant, cheap, and rich in tapnin. This tree often attains a height of pinety feet, and a diameter of four or five feet.
Besides these four kinds are others less known. The white oak chiefly grows in Florida, and to the south of 46° N. Its bark is preferred for leather for saddles, and similar purposes. The scarlet oak is found as far north as latitude 430 N.; its bark is very thick. The gray oak in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont; and the live oak is never found more than twenty miles inland ; its bark being black, bard, thick, and replete with tannin. Other kinds of oak bark are occasionally used, but not to any great extent in the United States.
Most of the sole leather in our country is tanned with the bark of the hemlock tree, which is unknown in the Old World. The common British oak grows in almost every country in Europe, and is the chief agent used in tanning. It some times reaches a height of one hundred feet, and the trunk grows occasionally to fifteen feet or more in circumference. This majestic tree will stand bundreds of years, and when at a distance from other trees, it spreads its gparled branches so that its head is often broader than its height. The foliage resembles that of the white oak of this country. In northern Russia, and in some parts of France, the bark of a shrub called the Kermes oak is used in tanding. This shrub grows to the height of three to five feet, and bears some resemblance to a small holly tree. The bark of the root is rich in tannin, and is said to produce a very superior quality of thick, durable, impervious sole leather.
In early spring, the opening leaves indicate that the sap is circulating the most actively, and it is found that the bark then contains nearly one-third more tannin tban in autumn, consequently in this country, the proper time for barking trees