Page images
PDF
EPUB

METEOROLOGICAL JOURNAL Kept at Edmonton, Latitude 51° 37' 32" N. Longitode 3' 51" West of Creenwich. The warmth of the day is observed by means of a Thermometer exposed to the North in the shade, standing about four feet above the surface of the ground. The extreme cold of the night is ascertained by a horizontal self-registering Thermometer in a similar sitnation. The daily range of the Barometer is known from observations inade at intervals of four hours each, from eight in the morning till the same time in the evening. The weather and the direction of the wind are the result of the most frequent observations. The rain is measured every morning at eight o'clock. Datc. Range Range

Rain

Prevailing ot

of 1831.

Prevailing Weather.
Winds.
Ther. Barom.

Inches

April
23' 40-58 29,48-29,67 N.E.

Generally clear; thunder about noon.
24 40-56 29,76-29,83 N. b. W. N.W. .175 Cloudy, sunshine freqnent during the day.
25 40-63 29,92-29,84 N.W. & S.W. Generally clear, a few clouds about noou.
26 38-64 20,79-29,70 S.E. & N. b. E. Except the evening, generally clear.
27 41-61 29,62-29,54 N. b. E.

Overcast, a few drops of rain in the morning. 28 11-57 29,31-29,31 N. b. E. S.

General cloud, frequent rain. 29 34-60 29,23-29,20 S.E. S.W. .05 General cloud, frequent rain. 30 41-63 At 29,20

S.W. & B. .175 Except the evening, cloudy, sunshine freqnent. May !

I 36-61 29,32-29,45 S.W. .025 Morning cloudy, with showers; afternoon clear. 2 31-59 29,46-29,54

N.E.

Generally clear, showers at times. 3 37-61 29,56-29,60 S.W. .525 Except the evening overcast, with heavy rain.

39-56 29,56-29,52' S.W. N. b. W. | .125 Except the morning cloudy,-heavy sbowers. 5 31-53 29,52-29, 18 S.W. .05 Alternately clear and cloudy,-rain at times. 6 30-50 29,6+-29,79 N.W. .15 Clear except from half past 9 A. M. till 3 P.m. *7 20-53 29,92-29,99 N.E.

Clear except ab. 4 hs. in the afternoon & evening. 8 34-53 30,06-30,22 N.B.

Morning and evening clear, the other part cloady. 9 27-58 30,24-30,19

N.E.

Clear, a few clouds passing at times. 10 30-55 30,15-30,11

N.E.

Overcast, clonds broken at times. 11 28-60 30,11-30,13 N.E. E. b. N. Clear. 12 32-61 30,09-30,00 N. b. W. & N.E. Clear, a few clouds at times during the day. 13 32-64 29,92-29,94 N.E. N. b. E. Clear till 3 P.M. afterwards clondy, rain at 4. 14 26-55 At 30,00

N.E.

The day overcast, morning and evening clear. 15 26-61 30,00-29,97

N.E. & S.W. Generally clear, a light baze about noon. 16 34-08 30,02-30,09 N. b. E. & S.W. Generally clear. 17 31-69 30,11-30,12 S.E. N. b. E. Clear, the wind very changeable daring the day18 41-69 30,05-29,86 E.

Clear. 1947-64 29,81-29,66 E. & E. b. N. Clear till 3, since which time clondy, with rain. 20 49-69 29,75-29,78 S.E.

.2 Generally condy; sunshine fregnent. 21 46-63 29,79-29,88 N.W.

Cloudy. 204770 29,90-29,93 N.W.

Overcast during morning; sunshine in the even

The Journal from which these extracts are made was commenced in the year 1774, since which period there is no instance therein recorded of the Thermometer having fallen to so low a degree as on the present occasion, during the month of May; the height at which the Thermometer stood on the 7th is 14.75° lower than the mean of the minimum of the month of May for the past 40 years: the result of so severe a degree of cold at this advanced period of the season is, of course, a considerable check to vegetation, ad attended with an almost entire destruction of fruit. Edmonton.

CHARLES HENRY ADAMS.

MECHANICAL ARTS. Mixen's LAMP.-The principal objection to the use of Sir H. Davy's safe lamp is the feeble light which it gives, in consequence of the fame, which is not large, being enclosed by a cage of wire gauze ; and this defect is greatly increased, when, as often happens, the miner is at work in air mixed with so much inflammable gas or carbonic acid, or a mixture of both, as to occasion the lamp to burn with a pale smoky Hame. The explosion which, in such circumstances, would probably take place, is, it is true, prevented by this admirable invention; but any means by which the light of the lamp could be increased, or at least rendered more available to the miner, without impairing its safety, would greatly add to its utility. Each miner bas, or ought to have, his own lamp, of which the only part of the light that is directly useful to him is that which falls on the spot where he is working ; it is obvious, therefore, that if a reflector were placed behind the flame, much of the light that otherwise would be lost may be thrown to the precise part where it is wanted. The reflector employed by Mr. Roberts is of no regular curve, but approaches to that of the concavity of about a third part of a cylinder; it may be made of copper silvered or tinned, or of planished tin-plate, which is not only the cheapest, but, on the whole, the best material, as being far less liable than silver to tarnish by the contact of sulphureous vapor.

In certain collieries, where the beds are thick, as at Whitehaven, and in the ten

yard coal of Staffordshire, the miners are often required to work in the upper part of the galleries, where fire-damp is very liable to collect, and where a lamp, even with a reflector, immersed in this inflammable air, will give but little light. For such cases Mr. Roberts employs a second concave reflector attached to the outside of the lamp by a jointed rod, which, enabling it to turn in any direction, allows the miner to place the lamp on the ground where the air is the purest, and consequently where the flame is the brightest, and, by adjusting the exterior reflector, to direct the rays condensed by the interior one to the place where the light is wanted. Trial has been made of Mr. Roberts's apparatus in a colliery near Bolton, the underlooker of which reports that, by means of it, a degree of light, quite sufficient for every purpose, may be obtained at a distance of from fifteen to twenty yards from the lamp. Mr. Roberts, who is a practical coal-worker, stated the following cire cumstances to the committee, which, though not directly connected with the subject of the preceding notice, may, perhaps, without impropriety, be recorded. Signs of the presence of inflammable air in a coal-mine are, when the fame of the candle or lamp has a blue top, the length of such blue top being an indication of the proportion of inflammable air, and therefore of the hazard. This blue top is sometimes two and a half inches long; and when an explosion is imminent, it begins to dance on the top of the proper Hame of the candle. Signs of the presence of car. bonic acid gas are when the candle burns dull and finally becomes extinct, previous to which the flame becomes smoky, is somewhat enlarged, and the least agitation of the air will put it out. Signs of the presence of a mixture of both the abovementioned gases are, when the flame has a long broad bushy top, sometimes six inches high ; the flame is then, in Staffordshire, said to be fire-fangled. In these circumstances no explosion takes place ; but if the proportion of carbonic acid increases, the flame goes out. Those confined parts of a colliery which are imperfectly ventilated, and which, when cold, cannot be safely entered with a candle, cease to be so hazardous when warm. In such places the miner first enters without a light, takes off his jacket, and shakes it about to stir the air, and then falls to working with all his might till he is in a profuse sweat, in order that the place may get warm; he then steps out as quick as possible for his light lest the place get cool : it is now safe as long as the miner continues hard at work; but if he ceases even for a short time, the inflammable air shows itself by the blue top to his light, and the place becomes hazardous. If he leaves the place for a short time, he must re-enter it without a light, and with all the precautions above mentioned. After a miner has been thus working, the vapor, as the place cools, will stand in drops of dews on the surface of the coal. The efficacy of the above proceeding seems to depend, in part, on the carbonic acid produced by the breath of the miner, but chiefly on the aqueous vapor of his excessive perspiration; in confirmation of which Roberts found, whilst working in the coal-mines of Whitehaven, that he obtained immediately the same advantage by throwing down before him a lump of quick lime and pouring water on it. Dr. Clanny's safe lamp depends on the same principle of diluting the gas with steam.--Trans. Soc. Arts.

Steam Engines.-It has been ascertained with some degree of certainty, that there are now in this country not less than 15,000 steam engines at work, some of almost incredible power; in Cornwall there is one of 1000 horse power. Taking it for granted, that on an average these engines are each of 25 horse power, this would be equal to 375,000 horses. According to Mr. Watt's calculation, 54 men are equal to the power of a horse ; we have thus, therefore, a power, through the medium of steam engines, equal to near two millions of men. Each horse for his keep per year requires the produce of two acres of land, and thus 750,000 acres are at the disposal of the inhabitants of Great Britain, more than if the same work, which is now done by steam, had to be performed by horses.

NEW PATENTS. T. Brunton, of Park Square, Regent's Park, Middlesex, for an improvement in certain apparatus rendering the same applicable to distilling. Communicated by a toreigner. March 28, 1830.

T. Coleman, of St. Alban's, Hertfordshire, for an improved roller for horses. March 29, 1831.

A. Ure, of Finsbury Circus, Middlesex, for an improved apparatus for distilling. March 31, 1831.

J. Wallace, of Leith, for an improvement upon the safety-hearth for the use of vessels. March 31, 1831.

J. Slater, of Salford, for improvements in the method of generating steam or vapour applicable as a moving power, and to arts and manufactures, and also for im. provements in vessels or machinery employed for that purpose. April 2, 1831.

W. Rutherford, Jun. of Jedburgh, Scotland, for a combination or arrangement of apparatus or mechanism to be used by itself, or applied to locks and other fasten. ings for more protecting property. April 14, 1831.

S. Motand, of Manchester, for an improved stretching-machine. April 14, 1831.

T. Brunton, of Park Square, Regent's Park, Middlesex, for an improvement in certain apparatus rendering the same applicable to steam-engines. Communicated by a foreigner. April 14, 1831.

T. Brunton, of Park Square, Regent's Park, Middlesex, for an improvement in certain apparatus rendering the same applicable for making or refining sugar. Communicated by a foreigner. April 14, 1831.

T. Gaunt, of Chapman Street, Islington, and G. F. Eckstein, of Holborn, for an improved fire-grate. April 14, 1831,

HORTICULTURE, AGRICULTURE, RURAL ECONOMY. USES AND BENEFITS OF THE Acarus, or Rep SPIDER.- Sir, I have frequently observed, in the spring and summer, beautiful insects of a rich crimson velvet appearance, both in the open air and under glass; and have heard them stigmatised by amateurs, and once by a practical gardener, as“ red spiders, the gardener's greatest enemy," &c. I have also had the mortification of witnessing their destruction before I could utter a word in their behalf. Now, Sir, I know not whether this insect belongs to the genus Acarus or not; but this I do know, that some of its habits richly entitle it to the appellation of the gardener's friend. In the spring of 1828, I observed the under-side of the leaf of a plant of Nerium splendens had a row of Coccus hesperidum attached along one side of the midrib; and, about half way along this row, I observed one of the crimson insects above described, apparently feeding upon one of the Cocci or scales (which, by means of a botanical glass, I convinced myself was actually the case); indeed, the insects in its rear were become truly scales, the spider having reduced them to mere dry films; and those in front progressively shared the same fate. I took particular pains to ascertain the fact. Since then I have frequently found the Acari not only assisting the gardener in the destruction of the scales, but of the green Aphis also. Indeed, on one occasion, I kept a quantity of the spiders under a bell-glass, with no other food than the Aphides for several days, upon which they appeared to thrive amazingly; and I afterwards distributed them amongst plants infested by the Aphis, when they recommenced their work of destruction I therefore venture to plead for insects, the appearance of which gives additional beauty to our plants, and the utility of which I would fain make more generally known.-W. Godsall, Gard. Mag.

Sweet Ispauan Melon.-Mr. Knight in a paper on this subject says :-" The taste and flavour of the fruit, under the mode of culture which I have adopted, and which I shall proceed to describe, appear to me to be now quite as perfect as when the variety first came into my possession; and the weight of the largest fruit I obtained in the last season exceeded by more than 2lbs. the weight of the largest which I raised under the same mode of culture from the seeds first put into my possession, it having weighed 10 lb. 6 oz. I have cultivated this variety generally in a brick pit surrounded by hollow walls, through which warm atmo. spheric air at all times enters abundantly; putting each plant in a separate large pot, and suffering it to bear one melon only. But the fruits set and succeed suff. ciently well in a common hot-bed ; and the important point to which I wish to draw the attention of the gardener is, the weight of fruit which any given extent of glass roof is capable of producing in high perfection. I have found that 13 in. square of glass roof will afford me i lb. of excellent fruit; but I sometimes obtain more: though, whenever I wish to save seeds, my wishes are to bave rather less. This quantity will probably appear small to many who are in the habit of cultiva: ting some other varieties; but, if the roof of a vinery were seen with a bunch of grapes of 1 lb. weight, at 13 in. distance from each other over the whole extent of its roof, the crop would be thought extremely great; though the vine bas always the advantage of having its roots and stems, and leaves and blossoms, prepared in the preceding year, whilst the melon plant has every thing to do within the space of three or four months. The rind of the Ispahan, as of other Persian melons, being very soft and thin, the fruit is apt to sustain injury upon its under side, if it be not properly supported; and I, therefore, when I raise any of those varieties 'in a hot-bed, always place the fruit, whilst very young, upon a little machine in the form of a short broad ladder, of ift. long and 4in. wide. This, which has four slender cross bars, is supported at its corners by four forked pegs, which are stuck into the mould of the bed, and the fruit is thus raised some inches above the surface of the mould of the bed, and exposed to light, whilst the air is permitted to pass freely under it. I send a few seeds of the

large melon abovementioned, with the hope that some other members of our Society will succeed as well in cultivating the variety as I have done ; and that they will find it, as I have done, superior in merit to any of those which have subsequently been imported from Persia. Whenever it is my wish to obtain seeds of the Ispahan melon, I do not sow its seeds earlier than the middle of April, that my plants may grow and blossom in June, during the brightest weather of our climate, and ripen their fruit early in August. I have some reasons for believing that very valaable varieties of the melon may be obtained, for one generation at least, by cross-breeding between the smaller and more hardy varieties of green and white fleshed melons and the large Persian varieties. I obtained from one of our members, Captain Rainier, R. N. (to whom our gardens are indebted for some other valuable articles,) a melon of a very singular character, from the seeds of which, and the pollen of the Ispahan melon, I obtained plants of more hardy and productive habits than those of the Ispahan melon, and which afforded fruit scarcely, if at all, inferior to that. The colour of the above-mentioned, which I received from Captain Rainier, is pale green, with longitudinal stripes of very deep green; and being very long and slender whilst young, it excited in the minds of several persons, when they first saw it, the idea of a snake lying amongst the leaves of the plant. During the growth of the fruit the pale green part of it acquires a very bright yellow colour, and this, as the fruit approaches maturity, slowly fades into the colour of box. wood. Its flesh being green and of good quality, though inferior in richness to that of the Ispahan, and the plants extremely productive of fruit, I introduced the pollen of the Ispahan melon into its blossoms with very beneficial effects upon the Offspring. In the last season, I again introduced the pollen of the Ispahan melon into the blossoms of the cross-bred varieties; and from the seeds thus obtained, of which I send a small number, I confidently expect fruit of very great excellence. It is, I believe, very generally supposed that the offspring of cross-bred plants, as well as of cross-bred animals, usually present great irregularity and variety of character; but if a male of permanent habits, and, of course, not crossbred, be selected, that will completely overrule the disposition to sport irre. gularly in the cross-bred variety alike in the animal and vegetable world, the permanent habit always controlling and prevailing over the variable. The finest varieties of melons are usually supposed by gardeners to be, comparatively with the pine-apple, fruits of easy cultare: but experience has led me to draw a contrary conclusion, and to believe that more skill, and still more trouble and attention, are requisite, in almost all seasons, to insure a crop of melons in the highest state of perfection which that fruit is capable of acquiring. If the leaves of a melon plant be suddenly exposed to the influence of the sun in a bright day, which has succeeded a few cloudy days, for a short time only, they frequently become irreparably injured. If the air of the bed be kept a little too damp, the stems of the plants often canker, and the leaves and stalks sustain injury in the common hot-bed; and if the air be too dry, the plants, and consequently the fruit, are injured by the depredations of the red spider. The pine-apple, on the contrary, I have found (as I have stated in former communioations) to be a plant of very easy culture; and I much doubt whether any pine-stove in the kingdom at the present moment contains as fine plants at the same age, and confined within the same limits, as my houses contain, and I am quite certain that the time and trouble ex pended in the care of these is not one fourth part as much as an equal extent of melon beds would have required during any given period of the growth of the pine-apple plants.”-Trans. Hortic. Soc.

COMMERCIAL AND MONEY-MARKET REPORT. The home demand for manufactured goods is very steady, and the consumption of raw cotton has continued without interruption, with the exception of some descriptions of yarn that are exported to Russia and other parts of the North of Europe. The disturbed state of that portion of the continent has in some degree checked these exportations. Cotton generally is a shade lower; not from any slackened demand, but in consequence of the importers so constantly pressing sales on the market that the extensive purchases are not permitted to relieve it, inasmuch as the raw material is poured in faster than any demand can clear away. Indigo is dull of sale at the last East India House quotations.

A considerable decline has taken place in tallow since our last report. New, which may be expected to arrive during the present month of June, is selling at 38s. 6d. and old at 39s, 6d. to 40s.

There is a stagnation in the tea trade owing to the large declaration of the India Company for this sale, and the uncertainty that prevails as to what alterations will occur in the charter of that company. Sales have in consequence been almost wholly deferred, teas have changed bands principally in the shape of loans in the article among those engaged in the trade.

In West India produce there is not much to notice. The demand for sugárs has been regular, and the current quotations about the same as last month. Coffees have declinedan value about 2s. per cwt. The finer descriptions are the most depressed. The business in Rums is very confined. The importations have been considerable and a government contract in Leeward Island growth has been long expected, but as it has not yet been declared, the market is very much loaded with little or no demand to lighten it.

The transactions in hides and leather have been very limited for some time; and, although the duty has been for many months taken off, the price to the public of these necessary commodities is as high as ever, whilst the curriers and leather-sellers are complaining of diminished profits and all the symptoms of a bad trade. The fact is, a most gross and barefaced monopoly has long existed in this branch of commerce, which we are surprised the quantity of surplus capital now in the country has not broken up long since. One cause for greatly assisting this monopoly has been the quantity of South American hides that are imported; or, we should probably speak more properly, if we said--the reliance that is placed by curriers and others connected with the leather trade in England, on the supply from that market, has rendered the trade in hides more precarious for persons with capital unaccustomed to it, to enter upon it now than formerly. This circumstance has, we believe, intimidated capitalists from making investments in hides and leather; but the infamous monopoly and immense profits that curriers, tanners, and leather-dealers are making, notwithstanding their cant about diminished demand and decreasing gains, will, we hope, soon induce fresh capital to flow in this course,so that the pube lic may procure leather at a moderate rate, leaving at the same time a good profit to the dealer.

We wish that it was in our power to report favorably of the state of the iron trade, but we apprehend this important branch of English commerce is at present laboring under considerable embarrassment. The operatives are working at wages that enable them to maintain their families with comfort, but the masters are manufacturing at prices that are not remunerating. The demand for every description of iron is good, but it is not sufficiently strong to produce remuneration to the manufacturer ; for the moment a most trifling advance is proposed the orders diminish. This is also precisely the state of the lead trade. The demand to all appearance is fair, but the price to the master manufacturer not remunerating, and the attempt at an advance instantly checks orders. The laborers are gaining good wages.

The Money Market. The monetary system, as far as it is connected with com. mercial operations, has been in a very unsatisfactory state during the whole of the month of May, which is generally considered by traders the easiest month in the year; and they are always anxious to be heavy in payments during this period, because they find it the least difficult time to meet them. But the May of the present year has been an exception to the rule, and money was not scarcer for current purposes during the last December than it is at present. That there is surplus capital in abun. dance cannot be denied; but we are speaking of money for the current purposes of trade. First-rate bills still meet with ready discount upon easy terms, but secondrate paper continues a drug on the market. The commercial public is somewhat relieved from the apprehension of the Bank of England raising the rate of discount to 5 per cent, as the immediate cause for that alteration, the drain of gold to the continent, has in a degree passed away ; but few persons are sanguine enough to believe that it is altogether removed. The exchanges come higher for the moment; but, without entering into the various political and mercantile details that are likely to change the state of the foreign exchanges, we will only refer to the corn trade. It is admitted on all hands that the supply of corn in this country is short, and that large importations of foreign grain must be added to those already made. This circumstance alone must produce an immense drain of gold, and may compel the bank in self-defence to raise the rate of discount. This is strongly felt by the public interested in the business, and the silence of the Directors upon the subject has in no degree lulled suspicion as to their ultimate course. The fluctuations in the funds have been very extensive since our last report. In the face of events, that the most experienced jobbers and speculators thought must inevitably tend to depress them, they have as a general result risen 5 per cent.

Neither the dissolution of parliament-an event that in ordinary times depresses consols from 1 to 2 per cent, and in these times of excitement, when a great deal of money was expected to be spent at the elections, and consequently heavy sales of stock made to meet these expences, a much greater decline was anticipated ; nor the unsettled state of the continent, nor any other circumstance of a depressing tendency, had the effect of lowering the value of the funds. They have been regularly rising the whole of this account, and have reached 83}: Money stock has been generally scarce ; but towards the middle of the month'it became more plentiful, but has latterly again got scarce. In the foreign Stock Exchange continental securities have proportionably advanced with consols.

ENGLISH FUNDS. Three per Cent. Reduced, s2 three-eighths, three-fourths, half.—Three per Cent. Consols, 83 half, seven-eighths, five-eighths, three-fourths, three-eighths, half.-Three and a Half per Cent. 1818, 90 half eighth.-Three per Cent, 1726,

82 half.--Three and a Half per Cent. Reduced, 90 three-eighths, half, eighth, half, eighth.-- New Three and a Half per Cent. 92 three-eighths, 1 seven-eighths.-Four per Cent. 1826, 98 seveneighths, 9 fourth, 8 three-fourths.-Long-Annyities, (expire Jan. 1860,),16 fifteen-sixteenths,

« PreviousContinue »