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MESSRS. EVANS, of the Alder Mills, near Tamworth, have patented the application of a pneumatic pump in the compression of the moisture from the pulp, by which means the substance is almost instantaneously converted into paper. By this improvement, they are enabled to manufacture a continuous sheet of paper, 6 feet in width and nearly 2,000 yards in length, every hour. This paper, as it is taken off the reel, is fit for immediate use, and is conveyed on rollers to another part of the mill, where the printing machinery is erected, and through which it is passed with great rapidity, receiving the impression of the pattern with extreme precision and beauty of finish; the only handlabour employed being that of one man, who superintends the machinery, and four girls employed in rolling up the paper in pieces of the required length. To complete their invention, Messrs. Evans calculate on being able to print, glaze, and emboss the most complicated and delicate patterns in paper-hangings, in every variety of shade and colour, as rapidly as the paper can be manufactured.-Midland Counties Herald; abridged.
Ar a meeting of the Boston Society of Natural History, the President read a Report on the specimens of paper and pasteboard manufactured from the Beach grass, and presented by its inventor, Mr. Sanderson, of Dorchester. The plant is the Arunda arenaria. Lin. It is placed in the genus Calamagrostis by Withering and De Candolle ; Ammophila by Hort and Hooker; Psamma by Palissot de Beauvais, Torrey, Eaton and Beck; Phalaris by Nuttall. It is called sea-reed or mat-reed, in England, and is found on all the shores from Iceland to Barbary; and all the Atlantic shores from Greenland as far south as New Jersey, at least. Its principal use therefore has been a negative one, connected with the very terms of its existence. It effectually secures the shifting sands on which it grows; and for that purpose large sums are annually appropriated by Government, that by its cultivation important harbours may be preserved. The paper is smooth, soft, and pleasant to write upon, and takes ink well. It is firm and very strong, and may be whitened readily. The pasteboard appears to be specially valuable.- Silliman's Journal.
AT a late meeting of the Horticultural Society were exhibited a rose-tree, and some other specimens of artificial flowers, made by Mrs. Randolph, of Bridge-street, Westminster. The flowers are entirely composed of the feathers of various birds, from the common goose to the humming bird and parrot. With these, the blossoms, the bud, and the leaf, are so perfectly imitated, that you cannot distinguish the artificial from the real rose, jasmine, wallflower, pink, camellia, &c.; and as no dye or colouring matter is used, but simply the feathers, occasionally clipped into the necessary forms and moulded into shape by the hand, it is evident that even the most delicate of them must be of a lasting and unalterable quality. In this way, examples of the
rarest floral productions may be made and preserved in cabinets of natural history; and we commend the invention and its accurate and beautiful application as a novelty in this country, and well deserving of notice.-Literary Gazette.
By recent experiments made at Metz, it has been ascertained that a 16-pounder impels its ball, with the ordinary charge of powder, 506 yards in the first second of time; and that by increasing the charge, it may be projected 817 yards within the same short space of time.Naval and Military Gazette.
A VERY ingenious contrivance for filtering ink for immediate use has been produced by Mr. Perry, the steel pen manfacturer. It is an inkstand, in which is a strainer of very fine material, for purifying the ink, which is propelled into a receiving funnel by means of an airpump. The whole occupies little more space than a common ink-glass. It also possesses the advantage, from being air-tight, of preserving ink for almost any period of time.-Times.
REPAIR OF WESTMINSTER BRIDGE.
MR. W. CUBITT, the contractor for this work, in eight months from its commencement, completed the coffer-dam round the 13 and 14 feet piers, on the Westminster side; and, notwithstanding all that had been said about the impossibility of keeping the water out, and that it would require 150 men to pump constantly in a dam round one pier only, appears that one man only, working two or three hours during the day, was sufficient in the dam round two piers.
When the mud which had accumulated during the execution of the dam, and the coverings of gravel, were removed, the caisons were found in a perfect state, the wood (fir) even retaining its resinous smell; their construction agrees very nearly with the description given by M. Labeyle. The sill is formed of the whole timber, extending longitudinally under the pier, and framed at each end, so as to run parallel with the cutwaters. Upon this the grating is placed: it is composed of timbers 10 in. x 10 in.; its outer frame is of the same shape as the sills, but 7 inches less in width all round, thus forming an offset or footing; the transverse timbers upon which the pier rests are one foot apart, and finely morticed and trenailed into the frame, and trenailed into the sill. Round the pier, a curb of planking 6 in. thick and 2 ft. 8 in. broad, was fastened to the grating; which has since been removed, to make way for the stone-work.
In securing the foundations, the sheet piling which surrounds the caisson is beech 12 in. thick, and 15 ft. long; the waling is 8 in. thick by 12 in.; every third pile is bolted to the wale with a 1 inch screw bolt, the head counter sunk into a cast iron washer; the wale is bolted to the caisson by 1 inch tie-bolts, 6 ft. long, let into the timber; the inner end has a cast-iron carriage, bedded; the angles of the waling are secured with wrought-iron straps. The space between the sheet piling
and the caisson, and also between the timbers of the grating, is filled in with brick-work, thus forming a solid bed for the pavement, which is of roche Portland stone, 6 ft. in depth of bed, and 18 in. in height next the pier, bevelled off to 12 in. next the piles.- Civ. Eng. and Arch. Journal.
THE CALEDONIAN CANAL.
THE Caledonian Canal, which was begun by Mr. Telford in 1803, and opened in 1822, is, doubtless, the grandest specimen of inland navigation in the world. Its total length is 60 miles, 23 of which are formed artificially; the other 37 being the united lengths of the three fresh-water lakes, namely, Loch-Ness, Loch-Oich, and Loch-Lochy, through which it passes. As it was intended to admit the largest vessels that trade between Liverpool and the Baltic, West Indiamen of an average size, and frigates of 32 guns when fully equipped, its dimensions were necessarily great. The width of the water surface was to be no less than 120 feet, the bottom width 50, and the depth 20; while the locks, which are 28 in number, are no less than 170 or 180 feet long, and 40 wide. Although the three fresh-water lakes just mentioned greatly facilitated the formation of the canal, yet the construction of eight junctions with the canal itself occasioned much labour and expense, as well as great embarrassment to the engineer. These junctions, as well as the shallows at Loch-Oich, have been cleared by dredging-machines to the depth of 15 feet; but, in various places, a farther excavation of five feet is necessary to obtain the intended depth of 20 feet. The estimated expense of this great national work was 474,531., while the actual expenditure was nearly double that sum. (The expenditure from the 20th Oct. 1803, to the 15th August, 1831, was 990,559.) Still, the work was far from completed. The new grants of money which were necessary to carry on the canal, brought the subject annually before the public, some of whom began to stigmatize the undertaking as a job; when, to pacify the discontent, Mr. Telford unwillingly consented to finish the works on a less perfect and substantial scale, and to open the canal for the passage of shipping in that unfinished, unsafe, and unsatisfactory condition in which it at present remains. The last parliamentary grant was made in 1824, and hence the remaining works were executed in a hurried and imperfect manner; so that the depth of water, in place of being made 20 feet, to admit that class of vessels for which it is intended, is not greater than 11 or 12 feet in some parts after a continued drought.
At the close of 1837, however, the Commissioners of the Caledonian Canal reported to the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury that an accident had taken place at the loch at Fort Augustus, which considerably impeded the navigation, and that immediate impending danger from inundation was to be apprehended from the state of the works in other parts of the line of the canal. The Treasury then deputed Mr. Walker to examine the works along the whole line, which he commenced surveying early in 1838, with the assistance of Mr. Gibb and of Mr. George May, the resident engineer and superintendent of the canal. Mr. Walker's Report to the House of Com
mons was ordered to be printed in July, 1838. Its general result is that 24,2877. is required for immediate repairs; that 104,4907. will be necessary for completing and perfecting the locks, and giving the canal a depth of 17 feet; that 13,2007. will be needed for five steam tug-boats-three upon the canal, and one at each end of it; and that, allowing ten per cent., or 1,3201. for contingencies, 143,837. will be sufficient for completing this great work, and fitting it for the reception of vessels of 38 feet beam, and 17 feet draught of water. "With these improvements and additions," says Mr. Walker, "the passage from Fort George to the Sound of Mull might generally be depended on to be made in five days, and certainly, even in foul weather, within a week."
The subject of this grant will, it is hoped, occupy the attention of Parliament in the current session; notwithstanding it has been rumoured that rather than advance so large a sum as 150,000l., Government will allow this great national work to fall into decay; although its important objects and the interests of the country demand otherwise. Compiled from a paper in the Edinburgh Review-" On the Life and Works of Thomas Telford."
ARITHMETIC BALANCE OR NEW CALCULATING MACHINE.
WHEN we project a road, canal, or railway, it is not sufficient to calculcate, by processes more or less expeditious, the volumes of cuttings and embankments: the mean distance of the cutting to the embankment is an important element of the expense, which must be exactly determined. To obtain the value of this mean distance, we multiply the partial cubes of the cutting by the respective distances to which they are carried, and divide the sum of all the products thus obtained by the total cube of the cutting. But this series of operations is very long and tedious, and subject to error.
M. Lalane, engineer, has shown that to determine the mean distance of transport, without calculation, it suffices to suspend upon one of the arms of a lever, in equilibrium about its centre, weights proportional to the volumes to be carried, at distances proportional to the distances of transport; and to find at what distance from the centre we must suspend, on the other arm, a weight equal to the sum of the weights which are on the former. M. Lalane has presented to the Academy of Sciences a machine constructed upon this principle, at the expense of the French Government, by that skilful optician, M. Erust. We may represent it under the form of a common balance, whose beam is not furnished with scales, but has a breadth of several centimetres, parallel to the axis of suspension. The two arms of the beam are divided into equal parts on each side of the centre; and one of them, in the direction of its length, into equal intervals, by aid of small laminæ perpendicular to the beam, between which are to be placed the weights in the form of plates; the total weight, which is suspended at the other arm, being contained in a small moveable scale. In its actual state, the apparatus has 150 divisions on each side the axis upon a length of thirty centimetres. Each of them answers to an interval of four metres, so that upon the machine we may indicate distances of
transport as far as 6,000 metres, a quantity which is never exceeded in the construction of an ordinary route. The scale of weights is a demicentigramme for a cube metre.
Repeated trials have shown the time necessary for the research of a mean distance by means of this machine, to be at most but a quarter of the time required by the ordinary method. For the formulæ of calculations and other details, the reader is referred to the Polytechnic Journal, No. 4, p.296-7; whence the above have been extracted.
SOCIETY OF ARTS.
THE distribution of rewards adjudged by the Society, took place on June 17; and the following are those connected with mechanics and other practical arts:
1. To Mr. T. J. Cooper, Polytechnic Institution, Regent Street, for his method of preparing Paper for Photographic Drawings: the Silver Medal.
2. Mr. R. Redman, 43, Great Wild Street. Lincoln's Inn Fields, for his method of making Transfers from Copper-plate Printing to Zinc or Stone: the Silver Isis Medal and 51.
3. Mr. H. C. Page, 5, Commercial Road, Pimlico, for his method of Lettering on Polished Marble: the Silver Medal.
4. Mr. W. H. Thornwaite, 3, James Place, Hoxton, for his Apparatus for the use of Divers: the Silver Medal.
5. Mr, W. Jones, 6, Horse-shoe Court, Ludgate Hill, for his Travelling Platform the Silver Isis Medal.
6. Mr. M. Jennings, Portsmouth Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, for his Night Signals for Steamers: the Silver Isis Medal.
7. Mr. J. Hopkins, King's Row, Horselydown, for his Scale Lever: the Silver Isis Medal.
8. Mr. B. Holmes, clerk of the works at Chatsworth, for his Spring-bolt plate: the Silver Isis Medal.
9. Mr. J. Gray, 25, Old Burlington-street, for his improved instrument for extracting teeth: the Silver Medal.
10. Mr. A. Wivell, 20, Cardington-street, Hampstead-road, for his fire escape the Silver Medal.
11. Mr. Joseph Jeay, 6, Oxford-market, for his method of determining the lengths and bevels of timbers in a hip roof: the Silver Isis Medal.
12. Mr. C. Hanshard, 35, Sebright-street, Bethnal-green: the Silver Isis Medal and 57.
13. Mr. James Cole, 38, Sebright-street, Bethnal-green, 57.
14. Mr. J. Sodo, 6, Sebright-street, Bethnal-green, 57.
For their respective Shares in the invention and improvement of the tube used in weaving wide silk velvet.
15. Mr. J. Dove, 9, Surat-place, Green-street, Bethnal-green Road, for his improved machine for weaving silk tissue: the Silver Isis Medal and 107.
Among the prizes in the department of the Fine Arts, was the Acton Medal, awarded to Mr. Robert Billings, Manor House, Kentish Town, for his analysis of the great Eastern window of Carlisle Cathedral. This prize was the first of the kind, being conferred in pursuance of the object of a fund of 500/. lately presented by the widow of a gentleman who had long been a member of the Society. The window above named, though now in a state of decay, bears evidence of extreme artistical beauty, and the successful efforts of Mr. Billings has been so to analyse its composition as that, if the window should now fall to pieces, an exactly similar one could again be constructed, The window proves the profound mathematical knowledge of the ancient architects.