Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

BESSEMER'S PATENT.

He remarks, besides, that “these principles of practice In an unguarded moment we allowed an iron will not apply to Mr. Bessemer's patent.” So far from this

being the case, I myself have seen a mass of Mr. Bessemer's maker to express in our January number some

iron, just after casting, and still red hot, notched and handoubts of the success of Mr. Bessemer's patent mered almost like a piece of lead, which certainly could no plan for making malleable iron. Our correspondent more be done with cast iron, either hot or cold, than with a delivered bis opinions in courteous language, and piece of glass. The writer seems to consider cast and his communication appeared to be suitable for our wrought iron and steel to be identical in composition, totally fragmentary gleanings. By a casualty, we ascer

overlooking the carbon, which, by its absence or presence

constitutes the whole difference between them, and which a tained that he had drawn upon himself, and, what very slight knowledge of chemistry would have shown him to is more to be regretted, upon ourselves, the ire of be the case. the Engineer—a large, and, we say it with sorrow I cannot better show that he has been mistaken in his of our implacable critic, an apparently well-con- views of Mr. Bessemer’s process, than by comparing it with ducted journal of mechanical science-because he

the old one, which is essentially as follows. Ordinary cast

iron consists of iron with a certain per centage of carbon. doubted the possibility of making good, tough, This is placed in a furnace, so made that the flames and malleable iron by Mr. Bessemer's patent Science, heated air pass over the surface of the melted metal, which according to the Engineer, is something out of our is kept constantly stirred. By this means the greater part walk; and we have no objection to the statement, of the carbon is burnt off. The mass then becomes very

infusible. It is collected into masses weighing not more if the scientific will be good enough not to

than I cwt., and submitted to the hammer. It then endanger our life or limbs. It appears, however, becomes possessed of great toughness, and is called wrought that the Bessemerian system is apt to produce iron. brittle iron, liable to snap in an axle, when common To form steel, bars of this iron are heated with charcoal people are in a carriage, and go far to decompose powder in iron boxes, by which means it absorbs a certain them in a very unscientific manner.

quantity of carbon, intermediate between what it possessed If any

as cast and wrought iron. It is then rather more fusible, security of a valid character can be obtained that

and capable of being tempered. The description of Mr. the Bessemer iron will only break while conveying Bessemer's process given by the writer of the article I refer engineers and scientific individuals, we shall not to, is as follows: allow any person, in our columns, to hazard a doubt

“ He has a receiver for the liquid iron as obtained from upon its fitness for that particular work. Until violent motion of the metal, which afterwards is considered

the ironstone, and he supplies a blast which produces a then, we may add to the heresies of our contributor iron or steel.” this endorsement, that, with some little knowledge This explanation is, in fact, ridiculous. The real process of iron-making, we shared his doubts and fears, is as follows : and they are not removed. Since the date of oir The melted pig-iron is poured in a quantity of about publication several trials of the Bessemer iron have 7 cwt., into a vessel of fireclay, and a blast of air is made to been made in Glasgow and other places, and the which combines with the oxygen of the air, forming car

bubble through the melted metal, the carbon contained in issues, so far as they have been published, have bonic oxide and carbonic acid, which carry off in the form of been unfavourable. Other persons may have tried froth all the impurities or “slag. The heat formed in the this production with more propitious results ; and combination is sufficient to retain the mass in a state of we are not prepared to say that the patent will fusion, without a particle of extra fuel. In the course of not succeed, but that its vast importance requires moved to transform the cast iron into steel, without the pre

about a quarter of an hour, safficient carbon has been rea careful examination of its productions. A vious preparation of wrought iron, as in the old process. correspondent sends us the following letter on the If the blast be continued another fifteen minutes or so, the subject, too late, as he will observe from the date, whole of the carbon is removed, and the mass becomes pure for our last number :-

malleable iron, which is then poured into an ingot mould.

To give it the property of toughness it must be rolled or

January 31st, 1857. hammered. SIR,-My attention was called to an article in Tait's This process, which overcomes all the labour, time, and MAGAZINE for the present month, on which I beg to offer a fuel of puddling, is thus shown to be as simple as possible ; few remarks. It is entitled “Bessemer's Patent may be a and, so far from requiring the management of a skilful Failure," and the writer says he was engaged twenty years chemist, the only point which requires attention is the proper in the iron business. If so, he ought not to make such a regulation of the blast. mistake as to say that pig-iron slowly cooled will become Iron prepared by the puddling process contains small por. tough. It is, on the contrary, exccasively brittle.

tions of oxide of iron and slag diffused through it; and the

[blocks in formation]

hammering and rolling processes derive part of their impor- | render strychnine, and, therefore we record the tance from the fact of their expelling these. Mr. Bessemer's statement, which is supported by references to iron, on the contrary, is perfectly homogeneous and pure, two cases. and only requires rolling to produce the fibrous state, which

The poison has been considered is the only cause of toughness.

hitherto desperate, and any of the chemists I think it would only be acting up to your motto- Fiat employed usually by Government might tell the Justitia, to give your readers the substance of my letter, world whether camphor possesses this neutralising that they may see a little on both sides of the question. It power. We do not believe in the existence of is quite impartial; as I have no connection with Mr. Bessemer, any poison that cannot be neutralised by opposing nor any interest in the iron trade. I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,

productions; and the profession have not exhibited

A CHEMIST. that industrious research that might have been This letter only shows the bitterness infused expected among many thousand learned men, in into masses of iron in a state of fusion, when leaving their patients no chance whatever in many considered scientifically. Our original correspon. cases, except the stomach-pump. dent described the Bessemer process in three lines three words. Our subsequent correspondent says that the explanation is ridiculous, and he narrates the process in fifteen lines one word. The per

WEALTH AMONG THE POETS formances are before our readers, and it would

A rare thing has occurred to the poets, or to appear to us that the three lines form a very some of them, -an outpouring of wealth in the correct abridgement of the fifteen, and not done in form of a legacy; but, it may be presumed, that malice. All parties seem to agree that the fibrous riches in these instances will not interfere with the condition of iron is the cause of its toughness, and rhyming propensities of the recipients. It was that this is produced by the hammering or rolling said that the entire property of the late John to which it is subjected. The Engineer describes Kenyon, Esq., Wimbledon, had been devised to Mr. Bessemer's plans for hammering as something literary cireles. The following list contains, we very like rolling in its results, for the iron is believe, the leading bequests; and although large hammered in a groove, thus giving the fibre a

sums are given to persons very well known in longitudinal direction, without the lateral cross literary circles, yet they have not monopolised the purposes of ordinary beating.

goodwill of the deceased gentleman We are not certain that this is any improve

Elizabeth Barrett Browning ... ment; but the system will be fairly tried by its

£4,000 Her husband, R. Browning

6,000 supporters, and if Mr. Bessemer has succeeded in

B. W. Proctor (Barry Cornwall) rendering the process of puddling unnecessary he Dr. Henry Southey

8,000 will have saved a vast amount of fuel and of Catherine Southey (daughter of the late labour. At present the success of the plan is not

Robert Southey

John Forster, George Scharf, and Antoproved.

nio Panizzi, each 500, in addition to his
stock of wines ...

1,500

W. S. Landor, Henry Chorley, Mrs.
CAMPHOR AND STRYCHNINE.

Jameson, and Sir Charles Fellowes,
£100 each

400 Two or three cases of death by poison in the form Thomas Hawthorne, an executor 20,000 of strychnine have been reported in the newspapers

James Booth,

ditto.

5,000 during the past month. The strychnine is sold, His library, furniture, and collection of under the name of a vermin destroyer, by grocers,

articles of vertu at Wimbledon, to Miss

Bailey and Mr. Booth in paper packages; and if by accident one of the

The London University Hospital... said paper packages should break, and the contents get into a sugar drawer, some persons may be

Mr. Kenyons will contains many other legacies to poisoned accidentally, and others hanged on the friends and relatives, and the residue of his property charge of poisoning them designedly. One jour- after the payment of legacies is to be divided by his

executors. nalist proposes that the vermin killing powder

The deceased gentleman published should be only sold in tin packages. It should

some volumes of poetry—two we believe-which neither be sold in paper nor tin packages in

failed to attract the attention bestowed on his will; ordinary places of business. All poisons should be but he was a warm and wealthy friend of literature, sold by apothecaries only, and under very stringent and of many persons engaged in its cultivation. regulations. The present session of Parliament should not be prorogued until a plain and short, but useful, bill has passed on this subject. Dr. Wilson, a medical gentleman, writing to the Times, THE LOST SENSE AND THE SPIRITUAL WORLD. mentions camphor as a cure for strychnine-taken We inserted several papers in the last volume of internally, in the usual manner, or, even after the magazine under this title. It does not follow locked jaw has commenced, by injections, accom- that we agreed with the conclusions of the writer panied by camphor baths. This antidote is nearly of these papers. We are treated, however, by as common as the perverse ingenuity of men can several correspondents as if we had adopted them,

6,500

5,000

THE LOST SENSE AND THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.

159

and a great deal more. It may be proper there. | spiritual ? And which of the horns of this dilemma fore, to say that we have more faith in one part of wounds least? Surely they were not material ! the subject than many of our correspondents. We And if not, whence came they? Have coats and cannot insert many of the letters and remonstrances boots separable and separate spiritual essences ? which we have receivedon dreams and spirits; and we If not then, can gross materials, without any do not intend to iusert comments and confirmations ghostly constituent or accompaniment, put on a of a different description ; but we allow one cor. ghostly appearance? And if this be ceded to a respondent to put certain questions ; with a fearful coat and unmentionables, then why not to a human foreboding of fate, next month, in a deluge of body? In what an inextricable mesh-work must letters from mesmerists and phrenologists—to say any one be entangled--and justly and righteously nothing of palmerists and physiognomists :- so, I think-who fails to see, and refuses to admit,

818,- I bave been much (but not agreeably) the one and only rational and scriptural explanation surprised to find in recent numbers of your excel- of such ghostly visitors-viz., that hats and hoods, lent Magazine, grave attempts to revive exorcised cloaks, coats, and boots--not more nor yet less spirits and to administer a restorative to moribund than the ghost-are but the figments of a disturbed and all but defunct mesmerism. At the imminent nervous system-of a brain disordered, either by risk of being charged with anseasonable incredu- mental causes, or by a congested liver, or deranged lity, stupid bigotry, and towards those who, like stomach-or, in some cases, simply of a morbidly the writer of the articles in question, differ from affected retina? Prove, in every case, that no me, with illiberality-I beg leave to enter my very one of these conditions had anything whatever to decided protest against such views, and against do with the "apparition," and then, soon as you the so-called facts on which such views are founded, like, you set to work, in right good earnest, to and especially against their favourable reception detect a practical joke, or to discover some natural without any accompanying contradiction-in the and physical, and, it may be, a remarkable phenocolumns of “ Tart's MAGAZINE." In all fairness, I menon. respectfully (and for the benefit of your many

The allusion, in the same article, to mesmerism, readers, whose opinions you are mainly assisting to as to something bolstering up ghost stories, proform) claim a small space, if only to ask two or vokes or evokes a question or two which I cannot three questions—which questions duty, and that withhold. How rampant was so-called clairvoyresponsibility which we all feel for each other's ance at one time !--and how perfecily identified welfare

, impel me to ask, and candour and justice with mesmerism, too! Was there once any admitted seem to require you to give insertion to, without difference? Was not " clairvoyance” merely "a reference to your ability or inability to answer higher manifestation" of mesmerism, of which it them.

was at once the perfection and the proof? Where First, why refer to any proofs of an immaterial was clairvoyance during the late war?

What or spiritual essence, and of electrical agency as a would not the daily press, and the wealthy friends possible medium for the instantaneous transmission of our belligerent countrymen in the Crimea, bave of such essence, unless you grant that such refer- given to have had in their service such a superhuence is found absolutely indispensible to show that man power as mesmerists for long pretended to such ghostly visits may possibly and probably be possess and wield? Can we suppose that mesbe paid-unless, in fact, it be granted that the merists were, one and all, so utterly careless of believer in, or narrator of, ghost stories, must first money, so destitute of humanity, or so devoid of make out a reasonably fair claim to be heard, by common shrewdness and enterprise, that they showing that a human being has a bodily and never essayed to give us daily and hourly news a spiritual existence, and that the latter may, and from the East? In the face of our submarine does, retain “ the form and pressure,” even, as telegraphs, existing and preparing, shall we not well as the consciousness and intelligence of the rightfully denounce either mesmerists in this matactual being, after the former has ceased to live ? ter to be nincom poops, or mesmerism (or, at all Nay, does such a reference not unequivocally events, its “higher manifestation") to be a delusion ? imply that, as a matter of course, the non-existence But take away this " second sight from mesmerin us of a spirit, or soul, or immaterial essence, ism, and what have we left ? Beyond putting would be fatal to the ghost story? But if our people into a state of insensibility to physical sufpossession, in this life, of a soul, or spirit, be fering--which" manifestation” we shall glance at so obviously necessary, in order that any one de- just now-what powers did mesmerists claim to ceased may, as a ghost, visit his survivors, how have discovered and exerted, besides clairvoyance, comes it to pass that breeches, and boots, and hats, so-called, that do not require us, for proof, to rely coats

, and waistcoats, with which the alleged spi- on their own unsupported statements, their intelliritual visitors are clad, can come under some gence, and veracity--as, for example, in their different law ?

Now, without levity, without insensibility and their catalepsy, in the imitation quibbling or sophistry, let me seriously ask you of our Lord's miraculous change of water into if Lord Tyrone did not obtrude on Lady Beresford's wine? The unsupported testimony of believers in privacy in a condition offensive to modesty-what mesmerism, as proof of their allegations, we obvi were his habiliments ? Were they material or ously cannot, and must not, admit-or else all

160

THE LOST SENSE AND THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.

Roman Catholic "miracles" must be received, and ever yet showed to an anatomist any one of the we should, indeed, have no stopping point; all so called “organs” of the brain? Where is the belief in the stability of natural laws, or in the posterior lobe of each cerebral hemisphere in the beneficence, and wisdom, and power of the Supreme sheep ? and yet, how remarkably does she, in due Being, would be at an end—for we should then season, exhibit maternal attachment, even to a all be delegates and plenipotentiaries together ? display of downright fierceness in one of the most All that we should then require, would be to ma timid natures ? By what right does a phrenologist triculate at the Vatican, or take lessons from some exclude the base of the cerebrum from its shape of mesmerite; after which we might upset each and organs ? Its convolutions are quite as justly enevery natural law, and arrogantly and presumptu. titled to them—or rather, let us say, other conously gainsay the creator and upholder of the volutions as little so. The truth is, that the base universe, by transferring a person's sight from the is beyond our scrutiny during life, more so than exquisite organ so obviously adapted by Divine any other part of the brain's surface, and has simPower to some other organ in the utmost possible ply been overlooked. Could the singular case of degree unsuited for seeing—like the hand or the most rudimentary cerebellum recorded in Cruceilfoot; by translating a person spiritually and in- hier's “Pathological Anatomy" ever have occurred stantaneously to the diametrically opposite part of in a disgusting profligate, if the crude and untenable the great globe ; by getting women to look back, doctrines of Gall and Spurzheim had been correct? with the vision of the Omnipresent, on the secret Crude, I say, because of the short time taken to past—as in the recent case of the Dublin murder; dish it up for the public, the small proportionate or by causing water to sicken or intoxicate, at our number of heads examined, the confessedly vitiated will and pleasure, any person we please to operate state of each head as an index of the original on. Would this life be desirable or tolerable | intellectual and moral condition of the individual

, under such a state of things ? Would God be through education, association, and circumstances, honoured, and our love for Him increased, by our and the very small number and blind partiality of possessing such independence of action ? Is not the enthusiastic originators of this strange, and our very abject reliance on His arm, our bond of hitherto most successful, rival of physiognomy, attachment to Him ? Does he not wisely conceal that had, in its day, displaced palmistry. from us the great events, and especially the end, But to return to mesmerism, and its vaunted of life in each case ? Is not the very beating or agency in putting people into a state of insensibility pulsation of the heart wisely and happily removed to physical suffering. The commonest and most from our control ? If we could attain to the same readily induced phenomenon, we are told, is “putmastery over this, the ever acting mainspring, or ting people to sleep, during which sleep you may rather force pump, of our organisation, that we pinch or prick the mesmerised person, without his have given to us over the voluntary muscles of our at all feeling it.” With due allowance for the arms and lower limbs—if we could attain to the acknowledged effects of monotony in every form, same knowledge of the termination of our existence mesmerists have here clearly to beg the question that we have of the rising and setting of the sun, —which, of course, no strictly scientific person can or of the commencement and termination of the grant them. The proof rests only on the testimony different seasons, should we be the gainers ? Cer- of the person under experiment. Other proof, in tainly not. These, and many other things, are favour we cannot have; but against it, we have wisely withheld from us, and in nothing, perhaps, abundant and positive proof-for, I would ask, has is the sagacity of men more truly tested and de- the electric telegraph silenced and put to shame monstrated, than in their endeavours to discriminate the so-called clairvoyants ? and has chloroform at between what, in the first place, really may be operations—at even those common ones of dentistry compassed by finite beings, and that which is and obstetricy, not to mention our " capital operaabsolutely impossible of accomplishment (the tions-not completely, before all but themselves

, philosophers' stone and perpetual motion, although silenced the “hypnotists” and mesmerists? Did under various names, still, and, I believe, ever will, we ever hear of accouchments under mesmerism, command a place amongst the objects that attract got through without pain or consciousness, any some active and enterprising men) —and, secondly, more than an unmistakeably blind person made to in their efforts to distinguish, amongst things in- see by clairvoyance ? Did we ever know it done comprehensible by us, those which are above and anywhere, or by any one ? No, Sir : we are-as beyond our highest powers of reason or observation said the late Professor Gregory-more plagued

- but which claim, nevertheless, and justly claim, than enough with false facts, from which, even by our belief- from such as are incomprehensible to right reasoners, false theories may be, and are, us, because of their being inconsistent with reason, deduced. Let us, for a moment, suppose mesand contradicted by the common observation, during merism really capable, as we know and everywhere the previous life-time, of each person amongst us. find chloroform to be, of allowing midwifery in its Fortune-telling and witchcraft are not, nor ever severest forms to be practised altogether without will be, wrecked or sunk, so long as phrenology pain and consciousness, what are we to infer from and mesmerism exist. It is but a fresh rigging the fact of chloroform so thoroughly displacing and repainting of the craft. What phrenologist mesmerism ? Does mesmerism kill ? Does chlo

[blocks in formation]

roform not occasionally (though rarely) lead to that? And what could they say, except that their fatal results ? Is mesmerism not cheaper, and ancestors consumed more oats and rye, and less more easily carried, and more certain never to run wheat than they require ? It does not follow that short during an operation ? Nothing but a want the people lived on worse fare. Without the of faith in mesmerism can account for mesmerists privileges of octogenarianism we have the same not using it. There is, however, this peculiarity sort of recollections as the patriarch of Epperabout what the Professor called “false facts"- stone, Notts. We remember that wheaten bread they never hold water ; they cannot bear the test of or white bread was deemed a Sabbath luxury, or time ; and, indeed, after puzzling the refinedly and only used upon grave occasions, such as a tea drinksophistically educated, they are surely doomed to ings among families in ordinary circumstances, upon fall before the verdict of public opinion at last-week days. We have also more clearly defined often to crumble down most ignominiously before remembrances of a change in dietary which rena few plain, stubborn truths, not at first elicited. dered oaten bread the luxury. At present we Our contributor, we believe, repudiates many formed that it is rather the dearer of the two!

prefer it, when prepared skilfully; but we are inthings also repudiated by his critics ; and a considerable part of the preceding letter has no connec Perhaps the most expensive food ever habitually tion with his articles. Lord Tyrone's garments

used in a family was Scotch oatmeal, carried from may have appeared to Lady Beresford in contact

one of our ports to Calcutta, and thence to Delhi! with the shadow of the deceased Peer as a neces

Domestic economy should be intelligible to fami

lies, and yet the relative cost of food and the sary means of identification. Our contributor

habits common in different districts of the same would say that he could not explain these matters, island are misunderstood in others. One school which

may be no more contradictory to reason than book, written for the benefit of young people in the appearance of men and things in their every boarding and fashionable schools, states that the day state to a dreamer. It will be just as difficult to explain the appearance of certain objects and but the higher classes subsist on what they term

common people of Scotland live on oaten bread, certain people in dreams as to do what this cor

short bread, savoury and sweet, but heavy for respondent requires ; and yet he may have seen

stomachs unaccustomed to its use. As an article such things when “ the exquisite organs,” of which of daily dietary, we agree with the Educationalist he speaks, were closed in sleep.

Our correspondent believes, we presume, that in supposing short bread to be heavy.
dreams have occasionally been fulfilled ; but he
cannot explain the causes. He might say that
many stupid dreams originate with indigestion.
Possibly so; yet, how does the over-burthened

ACCIDENTAL DEATHS. stomach see? or why has it privileges in a diseased

Last month the loss of life by accidents chiefly that it does not possess in a healthy state? We only notice that bis dilemma is none at all, except occurred at sea, and were consequent, in many to those who can explain these other mysteries.

cases of ill formed ships and numerically weakened It seems doubtful, from this letter, whether the

crews. Cheapness is good in many instances, but writer believes in immaterial existences ; and yet he always bad on the water. The distinguishing carefers to Scripture, and believes the Bible, we have lamity of this month has occurred beneath the no doubt. The circumstance only shows the er: earth, in a coal pit, at Barnsley, in Yorkshire, roneous tendency of fiery zeal. He is zealous

where one hundred and seventy individuals have against certain opinions, and in assailing them for been lost. The explosion of gas in the mine gets his own. Those persons who intelligently be during the dinner hour, is assigned as the cause of lieve the possibility of events apparently superna: any that has occurred for a long period ; but events

this calamity, which is greater in magnitude than tural, also believe that they are of very rare occur. rence , and have no more confidence in clairvoyance cidents in mining always fall heavily upon a small

similar in kind are reported almost weekly. Ac. than the writer of the letter.

district, generally an entire village, and whole fa-
milies are left without support. The calamity in
this instance is aggravated in appearance by the

fire which immediately followed the explosion in
OLD FOOD AND OLD TIMES.

the pit, and compelled the parties who were conThe Leicestershire Mercury tells as something sulted to close up its entrances, while one hunwonderful, the recollections of an octogenarian in dred and fifty bodies must have remained in its Notts, who says that when he was a boy, his recesses. The measure was deemed necessary to father, a frame-work knitter, upon taking his work stop the progress of the flames, and every person to Nottingham, brought a white penny loaf to each who was in the pit during the explosion, must of the children, who even amid frost and snow have been dead ere then ; yet, as the abandonment would run three or four miles to meet him, and of all hope, and the sealing up of a burning grave, enjoy their luxury "a little sooner,” What, asks the proceeding had a sad and a wild character. All the narrator, would the present generation say to calamities on this scale are followed by slight and

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »