Poisonous Wall Paper

1857 Scientific American  
j citntific �mtrican+ 293 jcitntific �mtrican. ity of our farmers have not yet come up to the sensible point of realizing the vast advan tages that would accrue to themselves from the use of every machine that abridges their labor; they have not yet joined in the march of improvement by the adoption and use of all improved machines. We shall not feel satis fi ed until the good leaven has leavened the whole mus. work of a few moments to demonstrate the presence of large quantities of arsenic and
more » ... ties of arsenic and of copper in the green color. Potato Meal. At II, meeting of the Farmers' Club, of this city, on the 12th inst., M. B. Southwick, of Canada West, exhibited a preparation of po tatoes dried by heated air after being boiled, which simply takes away all moisture from the pulp, leaving it in grains of the size of coarse gunpowder. He says it can be pre pared for a cost of twelve cents a bushel, and reduced in bulk four-fifths. This product can be kept as easily as fl our, and may be pre pared ready for eating in fi ve minutes. The process of cooking was exhibited to the Club over a spirit lamp, and the product tasted much like ordinary mashed potatoes. To prepare it for eating it is mixed with three times its bulk of hot water, and stirred until it is of the consistency of mashed potatoes. It is then set into an oven for a few mmutes, when it is ready for the table. Fifteen bush els of potatoes make one barrel of this fl our, which is stated to keep for years without in jury in a dry place. NEW YORK, MAY 23, 1857. Agrlcultnral Machine .. Every person who has taken an interest in agriculture during the past twenty years, and who has had opportunities of becoming prac tically acquainted with the many new and uGeful machines, and improvements on old ones, which have been invented and brought into use during that period, cannot but feel deeply grateful and highly elated with the results. Twenty years ago a good plow could scarcely be found from one end of the land to the other; now we manufacture, probably, the v. ry best plows in the world. At that period a few cultivator3 had been brought into use, but the mass of fa rmers knew noth ing about them; to· day such implements are known and employed by them all. Then some fe w horse-rakes had been introduced; but now no spirited farmer is without one. Some of our enterprising agriculturalists had then commenced to use horse-power seed-planters, but of the existence of such machines, the majority of them were entirely ignorant. Not a single mechanical hand planter was then employed ; all such labor was executed by the hand and the hoe-tedious and trouble some operations. Now hand planters (a class of implements eutirely of American origin) have become very common, and are among the most skillful and useful inventions. Twenty years ago (although Hussey's and McCormick's patents were issued fo ur years previously) there were not, we have been in formed, more than four reaping machines in use; now they number tens ot thousands, and we have introduced them into Europe, where they are effecting a revolution in the h!trvesting systems of the Old World, as they Lave done in the New. Statistics now before us of two well known reaping machines give the total number of 22,485 constructed in six years-from 1851 to 1857. We have not As caterers for the advancement of scien tifi c and mechanical improvement for the past twelve years, it has afforded us sincere satis fa ction to have been the meaus of bringing so many useful agricultural machines into public notice. Inventors have thus been stimulated to make new improvements; and it is a posi tive fa ct, that the unique and simple hand planter illustrated on another page was in vented by one who never had planted a hill of corn in his life, and who obtained his knowl edge of such implements only through our columns. We have advocated the invention of dura ble and cheap portable machines, so as to bring them within the compa�s of every farm er's means, and great success has attended the efforts made to invent such; indeed, in this respect, our inventors ha.ve actually as tonished themselves, as well as all strangers who have traveled in our country. There is no excuse now for the humblest fa rmer not using his best eff orts to obtain labor-saving ma chines of all kinds for his purposes. Ithas been estimated that two· thirds of our entire population are connected with agricul tural pursuits. If the total number is no w 28,000,000, (which cannot be far from the mark,) then no less than 18,000,000 of our people are interested in having the best agri cultural machines that can be obtained. Every fa rmer who has an hundred acres of land should have, at least, the following: a combined mower and reaper,. a horse rake, a seed planter and sower, a thrasher and gra.in cleaner, a portable gri>t mill, corn-sheller, a horse-power, three harrows, a roller, two cultivators, and three plows. How many of our farmers have such a list of agricultural machines 1 Only a small nu'mber indeed, in comparison with the whole. To expect that a farm can be propel'ly and economically been ai)le to obtain exact information on the cultivated and conducted without the use of a point, but we are confident that this does not sufficient number of improved machines is constitute one-fifth of the total number manupresumption. factured. Poisonous Wall Paper. The pigment which produced the ill conse quences in this paper is Vienna green-the most beautiful green pigment known, and is prepared with white arsenic and verdigris two dangerous poisons. Such poisonous pig ments should be prohibited by law. Snn Flow"r. a Preventive of Fever and AllUe. Whether the sun fl owers planted in a mias matic situation will prevent persons who re side in the neighborhood from being affected with fever and ague or not, we personally cannot tell, but others who have tried the ex periment have asserted "they will." Lieut Maury, of Washington, through the columns of the Rural New Yorker, has given his views on the subject. He states that he made an experiment last year with the cultivation of sun fl owers as a preventive or protection against ague and fe ver. At the risk of spoil ing a beautiful lawn, he made the gardener trench up to the depth of two a half feet a belt about forty-fi ve feet broad around the Obser vatory on the marshy side, and from 150 to 200 yards from the buildings. After being well manured from the stable yard, the ground was properly prepared and planted in sun fl owers in the spring of 1856. They grew finely. The sickly sEllt son was expected with more than the usual anxiety. Finally it set in, and there was shaking at the President's House and other places, as usual but for the fi rst time since the Observatory was huilt the watchmen about it weathered the summer clear of chills and fevers. These men, being most exposed to the night air, suffer most, and heretofore two or three relays of them would be attacked during the season; for, as one fills sick, another is employed in his place, who, in turn, being attacked, would in like manner give way to a fresh hanil. As attacks of fever and ague were more than usually prevalent in Washington last summer, it would thus appear that the sun fl owers around the Observatory acted as pre ventatives in reference to the watchmen. In view of this fact we would advise persons who reside in the neighborhood of marshes to plant a wide strip of sun fl owers between them (the marshes) and their houses. There is plenty of time for doing this the present season, and if it does no good it can do no harm. The theory of the sun flowers acting as preventives of fever and ague is, "they absorb the miasma." This is something worthy the attention of our agriculturalists. There was a tolerable good crop of potatoes in many places last year, and their price in the fall was moderate, hut it soon rose to a very high figure, because the rot commenced among them after being stored away. Hundreds of thousands of bush els, we believe, were thus lost. Here is a method of saving potatoes from destruction by winter rot, and at the same time providing a most pleasing, healthful, and nourishing vegetable fo od, which should not be neglected by those who can, and who should, take ad vantage of it. ,. .. ' .. AntimonY and 118 Alloy •• This metal is white and brilliant, and is principally used in the arts for making print ers' type. Three parts of lead and one of antimony is a good composition of type metal. Sometimes a small quantity of tin is added, which, while it hardens the alloy, also makes it brittle, so does a small quantity of copper. When copper is mixed with antimony in ex· cess it fo rms a legulus of beautiful violet color, which by the old alchemists was de nominated regulus of Venus. An amalgum of equal parts of antimony and lead, and the addition of 17 per cent of mercury can be rolled out into sheets and used for sheathing vessels. A mixture of 7 parts of antimony and 3 of iron, heated to whiteness in a crucible lined with charcoal, fo rms an alloy, which is very hard, sliglJtly magnetic, and gives off sparks when Jlled. than twenty thousand, we have been told, were employed last harvest; in 1840 not an acre of prairie had been swept by the blade of a solitary harvester. It would be an insult to the intelligence of our readers for us to add a single sentence in advocating the utility of such machines; but it affurds us pleasure to quote the opinion of Mr. Mechi, the celebrated English fa rmer, in their favor, as a word of advice to his own countrymen. He says : " A wise farmer will use a reaping machine .
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican05231857-293a fatcat:ocidfvkcmbcrpod2g5ukkqmqgi