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Chap. Pfefe 

I. On the Rise and Progress of Chemistry . 1 

II. On Electricity . . . 17 

SsGT, h Introdaction • • • ib. 

ii. Electricity in Eqailibriam ; . ib. 

ill. Electricity in Motion . . 25 

ir. GtWanic, or Voltaic Electricity • 45 

III. Magnetism • . .53 

IV. Aerostation •. ■ including the Principles, History, 

and Management of Balloons • 63 

Sect. i. Principles of Aerostation . • ib. 

ii. History of Aeroslation 04 

ill. Construction of Balloonf . . 80 

V. Gass Lights • • • 88 

Skct. i. Introductory Remarks . . ib. 
ii. Application of the Gass from Coal to Ecooomical 

Purposes ... 89 

VI. Phosphorus of Kunckel . ? 

Phosphoric Bottles and Matches 5 * ^^ 

VII. Pneumatic, or Touchwood Tinder-box 99 

Vm. Phosphorescence: or Spontaneous Illumination, 

Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral . 107 

Sect. i. Solar Phosphori . . . ib. 

ii. Calorized Phospbori . • 110 

iii. Animal and Vegetable Phospbori . ib. 

IX. Spontaneous Comblustion • • 128 

X. Chemical Affinity • • • 132 

XI. On Crystallography . • • 142 

XII. Manufacture of Glass . .153 

Sect. i. History of the DiscoTery • • ib. 

ii. Properties of Glass • • 1^7 

iii. Manufactwro of Glass : • 16X 

TOIt. TZ. b 


Chap. * IV' 

Sect. it. RupRrfa Dropi : BaUTfati Tears : Balognian Pbial ISO 

Xlir. On Gmipowiler . . 166 

Sect. i. Of the Time when Gunpowder was first discorered ib. 

)i. Composition and Analysis of Guopowder 174 

XIV. FiilmiDating Powders . 184 

Sect. i. Commoir Fulminaling Powder . ib. 

ii. Fulminating Gold . 185 

iii. Fulminating SiWer . . ib. 

iv. Fulminating MeFcory ' . IRB 

T. Azotane, or the Detdoating Substance of M. Dolvng 207 

PYROTECnyy, or ART of conilructing, FIRS-WORKS. 

I. Construction of the Cartridges of Rockets 212 

II. Composition of the Powder for Rockets and the 

Manner of filling them . . 218 

III. On the Ascent of Rockets into the Air 221 

IV. Brilliant Fire and Chinese Fire . 222 

V. Of the Furniture of Rockets . . C24 
Sect. i. Serpents . . . S35 

ii. MarrooDs . . . 330 

iil. Ssactssons . • . ib. 

i*. Stars . 

V. Showers of Fire 

t1. Sparks 

Tit. Golden Rain . . ,- 



df METALLURGY and the JRTS conneclfJ with it. 

L Calamine; Blende, or Black Jack; Zinc; and Brass 246 
tl. On Anrichalcum, Onchdcum, or the Brass of the 

Ancients . . S72 

III. Oa Gun-Meial ; Bronze, or Statuary- Mclat ; Bell- 

Met nl ; Pot-Metiil; and Speculiim-Meial, or 
Meliillic Mirrors -. . 285 

IV. Oh Tinning Copper; Tin; Pewter . 39-1 

V. On Gilding in Or iMoiiln; Use of Quicksilver in ex- 

traciing Gold ami Silver from Earths ; Silver- 
ing L(jolciDg-G!(Lsses . . 31,5 

VI. Metallic I'laols or Trees . . 32') 



POLtTE ARTS, or those connected wilh LITERATURE. 
1. Pa[)er-inakinf; . . . 328 

]I. Origin and Progress of Writing . 342 

ScCT. i. Od IIii?roglfphic and Piclurc Writing . ib. 

ii. On the Origin of Letters and Invention of Alphabet* 350 

iii. Antiquity uf Writing, and the Claims of different 
Nations to the Honour o[ its Invention 3S3 

ir, liistrumeats fur Writing with , 383 

V. Inks . . . 38S 

vi. Origin and Progress of Printing . 308 

HI. Imitative Arts; compii-ing Designing, Painting, 
Enamelling, Sculpture, Pottery, and Poroe- 
Sect. 1. Knowledge of lije Ancients in respect to the Imita. 
tJTe Arts 

ii. Painting in Glass 

fii, ll^naniellin^ 

ir. Encaustic Painting 

*• Painting of Paper- Hang ingi . 

»1. Calico-printing 

vii. Engraving 

viii. Sculpture 

ix. Pottery and Porcelain 
IV. Burning Mirtors 





Ckap. Ttge 

V. General Architecture and Mechanical Sciences 465 

Sect. I. Architectore and Mechanical Sciences of the Ancient! ib. 

ii. Comparative riew of the Architecture of different Ages 47t 

iii. Labyrinlhs . . 477 

iv. Great Wall of China . 480 

f. Temple of Elephanta . 481 

Ti. Temple of Jnggernaut . 485 

SacT. Tii. Moral : or Cemeterj and Temple of the Australa* 

■tan Islands . . 404 

viii. Architectnral Remains at Mylatsa . 400 

iz. Temple of Heliopalis, or Balbec . 4&& 

a. Msgoificent Rains of Palmyra • 501 

li. Splendid Rnini of Fersepolis . SIO 

xii. Rains and present Appearance of Jerusalem £19 

xiii. loteresting Ruins of the Plain of Troj &37 

air, Scalptnre and Architecture of Athens 548 

XT. Magnificent Renuili)) or Ruins in £gypt • 560 

XTt. Porcelain Tower at NanUn . ib* 

svii. Colossus of Rhodes . ■ 501 

zriii. Italian Monatnents and Architeeln're ib. 

six. Tenplc of Sancta Sophia at Coaalantinople Uf 

xa. Moaastery of Moatserrat 503 

axi. Slone-henge , . . 664 
zxii. Tumuli: including Bsrrows, Cainu, Cromlechs, 
Kitt.raens, Logan or Rocking- ttones, and rimilar 

MoDDmental Remains • 508 

1. Barrows 507 

2. Cairns . . 572 

3. Cromlechs , 573 

4. Rocking. stones. Logan. stones 574 
VL Nnval Arciiiiecture . . 573 





PART 11. 





X HE beginniogs of everj art, which tended either to supply tht 
necefiitie*, or to allefiale the more pressing inconrenienciei of 
human life, were probably coeval with the first estabtishnieDt of 
civil societies, and preceded, by mnny ag^ s, the inventions of leU 
ters, of hieroglyphics, and of every other mode of transmittiog to 
posterity the memory of past transaction;. In tain shall we in. 
quire who invented (he first plough, baked the first bread, shaped 
the first pot, wove the first garment, or hollowed out the first canoCi 
Whether men were originally left, as they are at present, to pidt 
ap caiDil bfonaation concerning the properties of bodies, and to 
investigate by the strength of naturnl genius the various relalioai 
of the objects suTrounding them ; or were, in the very infancy of 
the world, supematnrally assisted in the discovery of matters essen* 
ttal, u it ibonld Sttm, to their exiiteoce and well baiog, mutt «v«r 
nmaiil anknown to u*. 

▼OkTI. • 


There un be little doubt, ttitt in the tptce of, >t Uaat, 105G 
years, from (he crestion of the world to the deluge, a grekt nrietj 
of ecvnoroical art* must have been carried to a tstj cooiiderable 
degree of perfection. The knowledge of many of these perished, 
in all likelihood, with the fhea iitfaabilatiU of the earth: it being 
scarcely posiibte for that lingle family, which escaped the general 
rnin, to bare either pnctised, or been even snperficialty Kqnainted 
with them all. When men have been long united in civil societies, 
and human nature has been exalted by a reciprocal communication 
of knowledge, it does not often happen, that any usefal inventioa 
b entirely lost: bat were all the present inhabitants of the earth, 
except eight persons, to be destroyed by one sodden calamity, who 
sees not that most of those servkeable and elegant arts, which at 
present constitute the employment, and contribute to the happiness 
•f the greatest part of the bumon race, would probably ba buried 
hi brag oblivion i Many centuries might slip away, before the new 
inbabiUBts of the globe wonid again become acquainted with the 
nature of the compass ; with the arts of painting, printing, or dying; 
of making porcelsin, gun. powder, steel, or brass. 

The interval of time which elapsed from the beginnlag of the 
World to the first deluge, is reckoned, by profane htttOfiana, to be 
wholly nncert^n as to the events which happened in it : it was an- 
tecedent, fay many centuries, net only to the era wbea they sup. 
posed history to commence, but to the most distant ages of heroism 
and fable. The only account relative to it, which we can relj 

ttt%ic chemistry wlks well understood at that time ; for copper and 
froQ are of all the metals most difficultly extracted from their ores, 
and cannot, even in our days, be rendered malleable without much 
skill and trouble ; and it proves also, that the arts in general, were 
in an improved state amongst the autedUuvians. It is said, indeed, 
lliat some tribes of Hottentots (who can have no pretensions to be 
ranked amongst the cultivators of the arts) know how to melt both 
iron and copper * ; but this knowledge of theirs, if they have not 
derived it from an intercourse with the Europeans, is a very extraor. 
diiiary circumstance, since the melting and manufacturing of metals 
are justly considered, in general, as indications of a more advanced 
state of civilization than the Hottentots have yet arrived at. But 
not to dwell upon this; Cain we know built a city, and some would 
thence infer, that metals were in use before the time of Tubal. caio, 
and that he is celebrated principally for his ingenuity in fabricating 
them for domestic purposes. History seems to support our pre. 
tensions thus far. As to the opinion of those who, too zealously 
contending for the dignity of chemistry, make the discovery of 
its mysteries to have been the pretium amor is which angels paid 
to the fair daughters of men, we, in this age, are more disposed to 
apologize for it, than to adopt it. We may say of arts, what the 
Roman historian has said of states — datur heuc venia aniiquifaii^ 
uty miscendo humana divinis^ primordia artium augustiora 
fact at +. 

For many ages after the flood, we have no certain accounts of 
the state of chemistry. The art of making wine, indeed, was 
known, if not before, soon after the deluge ; this may be collected 
from the intoxication of Noah !{:, there being no inebriating qua. 
Kty in the unfermented juice of the grape. The Egyptians were 
skilled in the manufacturing of metals, in medicinal chemistry, and 
in the art of embalming dead bodies, long before the time of Moses ; 
as appears from the mention made of Joseph's cup §, and from the 
pbjrslcians being ordered to embalm the body of Jacob {{. They 
practised also the arts of dying, and of making coloured glass, at a 
very eartj period ; as has been gathered, not only from the testi- 
mony of Strabo, but from the relics found with their mummies, 
and from the glass beads with which their mummies are sometimes 

• Forster'i Voy. vol. 1. p. 81. S ^<'"' '»• 21 . 

t Liv>*s Praef. 1| Gen. 1. 2. 

t Geo, xliv. «. 


•tadded*. Butwectnnot, from tbese iDilanees, cOBclnde that 
chemittrjr wu (hen cuUiniled u ftiep«nite branch "tof icieiuie, or 
disdnf Hltbed ia Its ipplication, from a vuiety of other uti ■hich 
must haTe been ezerciied for the support and conteDience of human 
lift. All of tbete had probably some depvadeim on chemical 
principlei, bat thaj were then, as thejr are at pment, practited 
by the leverd artLta withont their htLfing any theoretical kDOv> 
ledge of tbrir respective employment!. Nor can we pay mncb 
attention In this inqoiry to the obtcnre accounts which are giTen of 
the two great Egyptian philoiophere, Uermes the elder, lappoted 
to be the Mne with Misraim, grandson of Noah ; and Rermee, 
samamed Trismegiitos, the younger, from whom cbeBUstrf hat tiy 
•orae been affectedly called the Hermetic art. 

The chemical skill of Moies, displayed in his bnming, redaciog 
to an Impalpable powder, and rendering potable Hie golden calf in 
the wilderncM, has been generally extolled by writers on tiUl sub> 
jeet ; and constantly adduced as a proof of the (hea loubhing 
state of chemistry amongst the Egyptians, in whote leaiaiag he is 
•aid to haTe been well Tersed. If Moses had really rodocad the 
gM of which the calf consisted, into uibet^ by calcining U In the 
ir« ; or made it any other way sotuble in water, tUi ioitaoce 
wonM have been greatly in point; but neither In Exodns nor in 
Deateronomy, where the fact is mentioned, is there any thing said 
of its being dissolved in water. The enemies of revelation, on 
the other hand, conceiving it to be impossible to calcine gold, or 
, have pfoductti thii 


hare it, filed into a fine dust, and thrown into the riter, of which 
the children of Israel usH to drink : pirt of ilie gold would re- 
msin, notwithstanding its greater jpecilic gravitj-, su'ppuJed for a 
dme (as hmppens in the washing of copper and lead ores), and Diight 
be awallowed in drinking the water : the rest would sink to the bot* 
toni, or be carried awajr |)j> the flux of the sircan. 

Nevertheless, (hough nothing saltefaclorj can be conclgded coi. 
cerning the Egjrplito chemistr)', from what is uid of Moses in tbii 
instance; jet the slrnctnre of (he ark, and the fashion of Aanm'i 
garments, clearly indicate to us that the arts of manufactnring me> 
tsls, of djing leather red, and Irnen blue, purple, and scarlet; of 
dbtingoisbiog precious stones, and engraTing upon them, were at 
that time practised in a Tery eminent degree*. Tbe Israelites had 
nnqaestionabl/ learned these arts in Egypt, and there is great rea. 
son (o sappoie, not only that learning of every kind ftrit flonrished 
IB Egypt, bu(that chemistry in particular, wu moch cnlti*atsd io 
that cwnMry, when other sciences had passed into other parti of 
the wor\d. Pliny, in speaking of the foar periods of learning 
which had preceded the times in which he iUed, reckons the Egyp. 
lian the first : and Soidas, who is thought to hate lived in the tenth 
century, informs us, (hat the Emperor Diocletian ordered all the 
books of chemistry to be burned, lest the Egyptians learning fron 
tbem the art of preparing gold and silver, should thence derive r*. 
iourcei to oppose the Romans. It is worthy of notice, tliat 
Snidas uses the word chemistry in a very restricted sense, when ha 
Interprets it by — the prpparation of gold and silver ; — but all the 
chemists in the time of Snidaa, and for many ages before and after 
him, were alchemists. The edict of Diocletian in the third century, 
bad little effect in repressing the ardour for that study in any part 
of the world, since we are (old, that not less than five thousand 
books, to say nothing of manuscripts, have been published upon 
ttie subject of alchemy, since his timet. 

At what particular period tUs branch ot chembtry, respecting 
the trannDiitatian of the baser metals into gold, began to be dis. 
tinguishad by tbe name of alchemy, cannot be determined. Aa 
author of the fourth century, in aa astrological work, »petki 
of the science ot alchemy as well understood at that time; and 

• Bxsd. uvi. and xxrUi) 
t CkeB.Walleri,p.M. 

6 BISE AHp PK009BS9 

thu u Mid to be the first pltce in whicb the word tlcheny U 
used*. But Voisius userti that we ought, in the place here re, 
ferred tO) instead of alchemia, to read chemia + : be thii u it may, 
we can hata do doubt of ali-hamia bein^ compoooded of the Arabic 
al (the) and chemia, (o denote excellence and supttriorilj, as in al. 
Dianack, aUkoran, and other wordi. Whether the Greeks ioTent* 
ed, or received from the Egyptians, the doctrine concsrntag the 
transmutation of metals, or whether the Arabians were Uie first 
who professed it^ is uncertain. To change iron, lead, tin, copper, 
or quicluil*er into gold, seems to be a problem more likeljr to aoi. 
mate mankind to attempt its solution, than cither that of squaring 
the circle, or of finding out perpetual motioo ; and as it has neTer 
yet been proved, perhaps never can be prored, to be an impossibl* 
problem, it ought not to be esteemed a matter of wonder, that the 
first chemical books we meet with, are almost entirely employed in 
alchemical inquiries. 

Chemistry, with the rest of the sciences, being banished from the 
other parts of the world, took refuge among the Arabiaoi, Geber, 
in (he seventh, or as some will have it in the eighth, and others in 
the ninth century, wrote several chemical, or rather flcbemicat 
books, in Arabic. In these works of Geber are contained sued 
useful directions concerning the manner of conducting distillation, 
calcination, sublimation, and other chemical operations ; and such 
pertinent observations respecting various minerals, as justly seem 
to entitle him to the character, which some have giveii him, of be- 
ing tlip fjtljcr or r|j-iiiiMry; ihuiiLjIi, iimn.- of lln- mo^t cvltibraled 


tiioi«mhly establish the opinioo, that medical chemistry, as well as 
alckemj, was in those dark ages well understood by the Arabians. 

Towards the beginning of the thirteenth century, Albert the 
Great, in Germany, and Roger Bacon, in England, began to cuL 
tiyate chemistry with success, excited thereto, probably by the 
perusal of some Arabic books, which about that time were trans- 
lated into Latin. These two monks, especially the latter, seem to 
haTe as far exceeded the common standard of learning in the age 
in which they lired, as any philosophers who haye appeared in any 
country, either before their time or since. They were succeeded 
io the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, by a great many eminent 
men, both of our own country and foreigners, who, in applying 
themselves to a)chemy> made, incidentally, many useful discoveries 
in various parts of chemistry : such were Arnoldus de Villa Nova, 
in France; our countryman George Ripley; Raymund Lully, of 
Majorca, who first introduced, or at least more largely explained, 
the notion of an universal medicine ; and Basile Valentine, whose 
excellent book, intitled Currus Antimonii Triumphalis , has con* 
tribute^ more than any thing else, to the introduction of that most 
useful mineral into the regular practice of most physicians in 
Europe ; it has given occasion also to a variety of beneficial, as 
lyell ^s (a circuinstance which might be expected, when so ticklish 
a mineral fell into the hands of interested empirics), to many per- 
picious nostrums. To this, rather than to the arrogant severity 
with which Basile Valentine treats the physicians, his cotempora. 
fies, may we attribute the censure of Boerhaave ; who, in speak- 
ing of him, says, ^^ he erred chiefly in this, that he commended 
every antimonial preparation, than which nothing can be more 
foolish, fallacious, and dangerous ; but this fatal error has infected 
every medical school from that time to this*." 

The attempting to make gold or silver by alchemical processes, 
had been prohibited by a constitution of Pope John the 22d, who 
was elevated io the pontificate in the year 1316 + ; and within 
about one hundred and twenty years from the death of Friar 
Bacpp, the nobility and gentry of England had become so infatu- 
ated with the notions of alchemy, and wasted so much of their sub- 
stance In search of the philosophers stone, as to render the inter, 
position of government necessary io restrain their folly. The fol- 

• Boerb, Ch« vol. 1. p, 18. f Kirch. Moo. Sob. 1. zi. sect. iv. c. 1. 

B 4 


lowing act of ptrliiment, which Lord Coko calli tht ihorteit he 
ever met with, wts puted S H. 4. " None from hencefarth shall 
oM to multiplj' gold or silver, or uie the cnft of multipllcatiMi ; 
and if any (he same do, he ihall Incor the pain of felony." It hat 
beea ivggftUi, that the reason of passing this act, wai not an ap- 
prrheniioQ lest roen thonld niln their fortnnee by eBdeavonring to 
make gold, bat a jealoiuy lest goTernmeot ihonld bo aboT* asking 
aid of the subject. '* After Rajmnnd Loll/, and Sir Uaorge 
Ripley, bad so largely multiplied gold, the lord* and ■■■wm^ ii f^ 
cooceiring some dinger that the regency, having stch hnmenae 
treasure at command, ironld be above asking aid of the nb- 
ject, and might become too arbitrary and ^nmnical, made an act 
againit multiplying gold and silver*." This act, whatercr n^t 
be the occasion of passing it, though It gave some o 
the public exercise of alchemy^ yet it did not cure the d 
for it [n ioditidnals, nor remoTe the general credulity ; Sir in the 
3JS H. 6, Letters patent were granted to several people, by vUch 
Aey were permitted to inrestigate an universal medldoa, and to 
perform the transmutation of metals into real gold and allrer, with 
a noD>obstante of the forementioned statnte, whkb remained in full 
force tilt the year 1689, ^^^^ 1>'>°S conceived to opente to the 
discouragement of the melting and refining of metals, It Wtt far> 
mally repealed^. 

The beginning of the sixteenth century was remarkable for a 

great revolution produced in the European practice of pbyalCj by 

5 of chr-mistry. Then it w.i^ dial PiractOsus, following 

tlir liiiirtlliiJ HDCMs of life, obserret rack ft terfct irnHbrmitf of 
cdtfdiet, as not to cfford prejudice and partiality suificieot materials 
for drawing his character in different colonrs ; bnt sucli a great and 
inegnlar genins as Paracelsus, could not fail of becoming alike, the 
solgect of the extremes of panegyric and satire* He has accord* 
ingly been esteemed by some, a second Esculapius ; others hare 
thonght that he was possessed of more impudence than merit, and 
that his reputation was more owing to the brutal singularity of his 
condnct, than to the cures he performed. He treated the physi- 
cians of his time with the most sottish vanity and illiberal insolence, 
telling them, that the rery down of his bald pate, had more know. 
ledge than all their writers ; the buckles of his shoes more learning 
than Galen or Aticenna, and his beard more experience than all 
their nnlTersities*. He rerired the extra?agant doctrine of Ray. 
mimd Lnlly, concerning an uni? ersal medicine, and untimely sank 
into his graTe at the age of forty-seven, whilst he boasted himself 
to be in possession of secrets able to prolong the present period of 
human life, to that of the antediluTians. 

But in whatever estimation the merit of Paracelsus as a chemist 
may be held, certain it is, that his fame excited the envy of some, 
the emulation of others, and the industry of all. Those who at- 
tacked, and those who defended his principles, equally promoted 
the knowledge of chemistry ; which from his time, by attracting 
the notice of physicians, began every where to be systematically 
treated, and more generally understood. 

Soon after the death of Paracelsus, which happened in the year 
1641, the arts of mining and fluxing metals, which had been prac. 
tised in most countries from the earliest times, but had never been 
explained by any writers in a scientific manner, received great il- 
lustration from the works of Georgius Agricola, a German phy- 
sician. The Greeks and Romans had left no treatises worth men- 
tioning upon the subject; and though a l>ook or two had appeared 
in the German language, and one in the Italian, relative to metal- 
lurgy, before Agricola published his twelve books De Re MetaiiicOy 
yet he is justly esteemed the first author of reputation in that 
branch of chemistry. 

Lazarus Erckern (assay.master general of the empire of Ger- 
many) followed Agricola in the same pursuit. His works were 

* Pwkct to hit beofc tatltkd Paiagranaoi, where there it more in the lame 


first pabliahed >t Pngne, in 1S74, and an Engliih traiuUtion of 
them by Sir Joho PeUui, ceme out at Landoo, in 10S3. Tbe 
woTks of Agricola and Eri:kern am still highly esteemed, thongfa 
lereral otben hare be«n published, chiefly in Germany, upan th« 
same subject, tince their time. Amongst these we may reckon 
Schindler'9 Art of Assaying Ores and Metals ; the metallui^ic 
works of Onchall ; the trorks pf Heackell; of Scbutter ; ofCra. 
ner ; of Lehman ; and of Gellert. Germany, indeed, bat for a 
loDg time been thegreat school of metallurgy for the rest of Europe} 
and we, in this country, o^e the present flourishing conditian of 
our mines, espfcislly of our copper mines, is well as of our brass 
manufactory, to the wise policy of Queen Elizabeth, in grantii^ 
great priTileges to Daniel Houghsetter, Christopher Schoti, and 
other Germans ; whom she had inrited into England, in older to 
instruct her subjects in the art of metallurgy. 

It was not, however, till towards the middle of the last centqry, 
that general chemistry began to be cultiTated in a liberal and phi- 
losophical manner. So early as the year 164£, several ingenions 
persons in London, in order to dirert their thoughts from the hor- 
rors of the ciTil war, which had then broken out, liad formed 
tbemseWcs into a society, and held weekly meetings, in which thsy 
treated of, what was then called, the new, or experimental pbilo. 
sophy. These meetings were continued in London, till the esta- 
blishment of the Royal Society, in 1663 j and before that time, 
by llie remoral of some of the original members to Oxford, similar 
meetings were held there, and those studies brought into repute in 

jM rti ib o dlced iiUo Cornwall, the method of fluxing tin by means 
pf the flame of pit.coal, instead of wood or charcoal *. 

Lemery's jtry accurate course of practical chemistry, appeared 
fn 1675. Glauber's works had been published at different tiroe3, 
frpm 1651 to }661, wheu his tract, entitled Philosophical Furnaces, 
quneoutat Amsterdam. Kunckel died in Sweden, in 1702; he 
ha4 p^c^ised phemistry for abore 60 years, under the auspices of 
^he elector of Saxony, and of Charles XL of Sweden, He wrote 
his c|iemjcal observations in the German Language, but had them 
translated into Latin, in the year 1 677 : the translation is dedicated 
py its author, to our Royal Society. They were afterwards trans- 
lated into English, in 1704. Having had ^^^ superintendcncy of 
sereral glass-houses, he had a fine opportunity of making a great 
yariety of experiments in that way ; and i have been informed by 
pur enamellers, and makers of artificial gems, that they can depend 
more upon the processes and observations of Kunckel, than of any 
other author upon the same subject. The chemical labours of 
these and many other eminent men, too numerous to mention, 
were greatly forwarded by the establishment of several societies, 
for the encouragcmeni of natural philosophy, which took place in 
Tarious parts of Europe about that period. 

The Philosophical Transactions, at London; the Histoire de 
)!Academie Royale des Sciences, at Paris; the Saggi d'Esperienze 
di Academia del Cimeuto, at Florence ; the Journal des S^avans, 
in Holland , the Ephemerides Academiae Naturae Curiosorum, in 
Germany,; the Acts of the Academy of Copenhagen; and the Acta 
Kruditorum, at Leipsic; all these works began to be published 
within the space of twenty years from 1665, when our Royal So- 
ciety first set the example, by publishing the Philosophical Trans, 
actions. To these may be added, the works of the Academies 

♦ Bcccher wrote his Alphabethiim Minerale,at Truro, in Cornwall, In 168?, 
net long before his death. In his dedication of this tract to Mr. Boyle, he has 
the followinje; words :— ** i^nis usu9, ope flammarani lithantracum stnnnum eC 
minetaliafuDdendi, Cornubias hactenns incognitas, sedame introductus." — 
This accoant which Beccher gives of himself, is not quite agreeable to what 
is advanced by as author every way qualified to come at the truth of this mat- 
ter. — " Neceaity at last suggested the introduction of pit-coal for the smelting 
of fin ore; and, among others, to Sir Bevil Granville, of Stow, in this county, 
temp. Car. I. who madto several experiments, though without success; neither 
did the effectual smelting of tin ore with pit-coal, take place till the second 
yfU of Queen Anne.** Pryce'i Miner. Conah. p. 88i» 

12 mm AMB PBoomBtt 

of BerUs, PttenbiiTgliy Stockholoii Upiil, Bonoiihi BooWbux, 
Montpelieri Gotdogen, and of ie?ertl othen whidi ka?o bton 
established within the coarse of the present centnry. Near a 
thonsand Tolumes hare been (nibHshed by tiiese learned sodeCies, 
within less than 190 years. The number of facts which are therein 
related respecting chemistry, and erery other braaeh of nateral 
philosophy, is exceedingly great ; bnt die sntject b still gmter, 
and must for erer mock the efforts of the hnman race to eihanst 
it« Wdl did Lord Bacon compare natural philoiophy to a pyra. 
mid I Its basis Is indeed the history of nature, of which wo know 
a little and conjecture much ; but its top is, without doubt, Md V^ 
in the elonds ; it is <* the work which God worketh firom the lie. 
ginning to the end," infinite and inscrutable. 

By the light which has been incidentally thrown upon varions 
parts of chemistry, from those Vast nndertakingp of public aodeties, 
as well as from the more express labours of Stahl, Newman, Hod 
man, Jnncker, Geoffry, BoerhaaTe, and of many otiwn equally 
worthy of commendation ; by the theoretic conclosiom and syste- 
matic dirisions which have been introdnoed into it; from the didac 
tic manner in which the students of this art hare i>een instructed 
In erery medical school; chemistry has quite changed its appear* 
ance. It is no longer considered merely in a medical ^w, nor 
restricted to some fruitless efforts upon metals; it no Ibnger at* 
tempts to impose upon the credulity of the ignorant, nor aftcts to 
astonbh the simplicity of the vulgar, by its wonders ; bnt is eontent 
with explaining them upon the principles of sound philosophy. It 
has shaken off the opprobrium which had been thrown npoo it| 
from the unintelligible jargon of the alchemists, by re?ealing all its 
secrets, In a language as clear and as common as the nature of Its 
subjects and operations will admit 

Considered as a branch of physics, chemistiy is but yet fai its 
infancy: howerer, the mutual emulation and unwearied endea* 
▼ours of so many eminent ipen as are In every part of Europe 
engaged in Its cultivation, will, in a little time, render it equal to 
any part of natural philosophy, in the cleamesi and solidity of Its 
principles. In the utility resulting to the public from lis eondu. 
sions, with respect to the practice of medicine, of agriculture^ arts, 
and manufactures of every kind, it is ^ven in its present state inCs- 
rior to none. 

The uses of chemistry, not only in the medical^ bnt in eveiy 

art, art loo eztensm to be eoameimted, and too noto. 
to want illustration J it may just be obserred, that a ?ariety 
of mannfactnres, by a proper application of chemical principles, 
■nigbt, probably, be wrought at a less expense, and executed in a 
better manner, than they are at present. But to this improYement 
there are impediments on erery hand, which cannot easily be oyer, 
come. Those who by their situations in life are removed from any 
design or desire of augmenting their fortunes, by making disco?e. 
ries in the chemical arts, will hardly be induced to diminish them 
by engaging in expensive experimental inquiries, which not only re. 
qaire an uninterrupted attention of mind, but are attended with the 
wearifomeness of bodily labour. It is not enough to employ ope. 
rmtors in this business ; a man must blacken bis own hands with 
cbarcoal, he must sweat over the furnace, and inhale many a noxi- 
ous vapour, before be can become a chemist. On the other hand, 
the artists themselves are generally illiterate, timid, and bigoted to 
particular modes of carrying on their respective operations. 'Being 
anacqnainted with the learned, or modern, languages, they seldom 
know any tiring of new discoveries, or of the methods of working 
practfaed in other countries. Deterred by the too frequent, but 
nucluto-be lamented examples of those, who, in benefiting the 
public by projects and experiments, have ruined themselves, they 
■re unwilling to incur the least expense in making trials, which are 
uncertain with respect to profit. From this apprehension, as well 
asfirom the mysterious manner in which most arts, before the inven« 
tion of printing, and many still continue to be taught, they acquire 
a certain opiniAtrete^ which effectually hinders them from making 
improvements by departing from the ancient traditionary precepts 
of their art. It cannot be questioned, that the arts of dyeing, 
painting, brewing, distilling, tanning, of making glass, enamels, 
porcelain, artificial stone, common salt, sal ammoniac, salt.petre, 
potash, sugar, and a great variety of others, have received much 
improTement from chemical inquiry, and are capable of receiving 
much more* 

Metallurf^ in particular, though one of the most ancient branches 
of chemistry, affords matter enough for new discoveries. There are 
a great many combinations of metals which have never been made ; 
many of which, however, might be made, and in such a variety of 
proportions, as, Tery probably, would furnish us with metallic 
mixtures more senriccablo than any in use. The method of ex- 

U ftlSB AMD PitOGR&Si 

trwting the gTMMt poiiible qoantitj of raetsl from a giren qaidJ 
ti^ of Ihe >«&« kind of ore, )»t» perhaps, In no one initufCc been 
ascertained with sufficient precision. There are mauy sorts of iron 
and copper oret, which cannot be conrerted into malleable metals, 
without mach labour, and a great eipenip of fuel ; It is very pro. 
bable, that bj a wriUcondncted aeriei of esperimentrf, nor^ com- 
pendious ways of working these minerals might be funud out. In 
our own times three new metallic sabitaaces hare been disco- 
vered *, and tbdr properties abundantly ascertained by experi- 
ment; aaditmay reasonably be conjectured, that fatnre experience 
will yet augment their nnmber. Till Marggraaf shewed the manner 
of doing it, no metallic substance could be extracted from calamine, 
and all Europe was supplied with linc + either from India or from 
Germany. A manufactory of this metallic substance has not many 
years ago been established in our own country, and the copper 
works near Bristol hare supplied Birmingham with sine extracted 
from calamine. Black-jack wu not long since employnd in Wales 
for mending tbe roads ; its ralue is not yet generally known in 
Derbyshire ; but it is now well understood by some indirldnals to 
answer tbe purpose of calamine for the making of brassf. Mods. 
Von Swab^ in 1738, was, 1 believe, the first person who distilled 
zinc from black-jack^; and a work which he erected, probably 
gate tbe hint to the establishers of our English manufactory : in- 
deed, 1 htTe been well informed, that they purchased tbe secret 
from him when he whs In England. The various I 
If a J. fru 

(» 4 t 

4 '^Mt MeMMii1Pllt.<^> '^ fy 

dflSliMft of all metallic matter*; yet it may not be improper to 
remark) that the external appearance of the yellowish cawk is 
wholly similar to that of calcined black-jack. That it is much of 
the same weight as black-jack may appear from the annexed table :* 

Weight of a cubic foot of 

Avoirdup. oz« 
White cawk .... 4047 

Yellow cawk . . . 4112 . 

Kebble . . . . 4319 

Black-jack . . . 4093 

Water . . . .1000 

In a word, the improvement of metallurgy, and the other me- 
chanic arts, dependent on chemistry, might best be made by the 
public establishment of an academy, the labours of which should 
he destined to that particular purpose. The utility of such esta. 
I>li8hments has been experienced in SaXony, and other places ; 
and as mines and manufactures are to the full as important to 
us, as to any other European state, one may hope, that the con- 
stituting a Chemical Academy may, in times of peace and tran* 
quillity, become an object not unworthy the attention of the Ring, 
or the Legislature of the British nation f. 

[Bishop Watson. 

This last patriotic recommendation addressed to the public by 
Dr. WatsoD, in 1781, though not carried into effect in the precise 
manner he suggested, has by no means been altogether neglected. 
If the legislature haye not adopted the scheme, it has not been lost 
flight of by scientific and public.spirited indiyiduals. The Royal 
Institution led the way, and by the splendid chemical discoveries 
which hare issued from its laboratory and apparatus, under the di. 

♦ See Mr. WoMlfe*s ingenious Experiments, in Philos. Trans. 1779, p. 15. 

^ The reader who wishes to become more fully acquainted with the history 
of cheodstry, may consult what Borrichius has said in his Dissertation de Ortu 
et Progretia Cbemiae, published at Copenhagen, in 1G68 ; and in his book en- 
tilled HermcUs, ^gyptiorum, et Chemicorum, Sapientia ab Hermaoni Cou- 
rlogii Animadvenionibus viDdicata, published at the same place, in I6T4. He 
will also find somethiog worth bis notice on this subject, in Boerhaave's Che- 
mistry ; and in a work of Wallerius, called, Chcmiae Physics Pars Prima, pub- 
lished at Stockholm, in 1760; where there is an useful caUlogue of the most 
approTcd writers on the farlous parts of chemistry. 



rection at Sir Hnmplirjr Dary , and bera dMcribed In lii« Uctnna, 
u chemical profetsor to the eitabrnbinent, hai acquired a Terj db* 
lingaiibed reputatioo. To thii bare ancceeded tevftral other aci. 
cDtific loititutions In tbii metropolii, which have, in diffwent da. 
greei, eontdbatod toward* the ume object ; the Geological Soci. 
oljr, and the Wernerian Societj' of Edlnbui^ h ; both which, more 
especially, hare been laboariog for lome years, in the Immediile 
department to which the obserrations before lu are pecnliarlj di> 
rected. From thne, and limilar Htabliibmeats, and norc parti- 
enlarlf from Q» inccesifnl labonrt of Sir Humphrj Davjr, we have 
Attained a more comprebeatiTe iniight Into the principle! of bodiet ; 
hare aararcd onnelTei, that many of the earthi are onlj natalUc 
oxjrdi, which may be reduced to a rt^ oline or pure metalUc ttate, 
by detaching the oxygen, which alone girei them thrir o^ form ; 
•nd baTe hence been led to believe, that all the otbereaf^i, which 
have not yet been analyzed with the same sncceta, ara Itoned of 
similar priociplea. We hare been able to decompose the fiisd alkk 
Ilea ; have made no small progress in decompoiing ^■^^^^1H^^^l. and 
the dmple combustibles ; and have aicertaiaad the rerj ringnUr 
bet, that the first of these, whether potash or soda, ara themselT«a 
metallic oxyds, capable of bong reduced, by an abitractloa of thdr 
oxygen, to metals of an extraordinary character, thrir lerity ena- 
bling them to fioat not only upon water or alkohol, but Id one in* 
stance upon naphtha, the lightest fluid we know of, Weharealao, 
from the same sources, discovered that oxygen is by bo aa«ni 
combustion ; thai (here are at least 


.f: TT>ifii-i>»t> Wl '^rfvmtT ^j t >» 






X HB study of (bis interesting and amusing science belongs equall/ 
to the chemist, the mechanical philosopher^ and the physiologist; for 
the effects of the electrical fluid are in some instances chemical, in 
some mechanical, and in some, and peculiarly those which belong 
io voltaic electricity, physiological. We shall here give it a place 
in the first of these divisions of science : and shall endeavour to 
trace the nature of the fluid as it appears when quiescent, or In a 
state of rest or equilibrium ; and when in activity, or in a state of 
motion. We shall also notice the more curious of the different 
modes by which it may be accumulated and discharged, and parti. 
eviarly that of the galvanic or voltaic circle. 



Electricity in Equilibrium, 

Ths phaenomena of electricity are as amusing and popular in 
their external form, as they are intricate and abstruse in their inti- 
mate nature. In examining these phsenomena, a philosophical 
observer will not be content with such exhibitions as dazzle the 
eye for a moment, without leaving any impression that can be in- 
structive to the mind, but he will be anxious to trace the connec* 
tioQ of the facts with their general causes, and to compare them 
with the theories which have been proposed concerning them : and 
although the doctrine of electricity is in many respects yet in its 
infancy, we shall find that some hypotheses may be assumed, 
which are capable of explaining the principal circumstances in a 
simple and satisfactory manner, and which are extremely useful in 
connecting a multitude of detached facts into an intelligible system. 
These hypotheses^ founded on the discoveries of Franklin, have 

VOL. vu c 


been gndullf formed into a theorjr, bj th« iQTUtl|ftlioiu of 
Aeftoni and Mr. Cttrendiih, conabioed with the experiments and 
infereocei of Lord Stanhope, Coulomb, and Robinson. 

We shall first conildcr the fundamental hypotheses on wMcb 
tlus system depends ; and secondly^ the conditions of eqniUbrinm 
of the substances concerned in it; determining the moda of dis- 
tribution of the electric fluid, and the forces or pressures derircd 
from its action when at rest ; all which will be found to be dedac> 
ed from the theory, precisely as thej are experimentally obier*- 
able. The motions of the electric flnid will next be noticed, as 
&r as we on form any general cODclusloni respecting them ; and 
tba manner In which the equilibrium of electricity is distarbedi or 
tiie excitation of electricity, will also be considered ; attdf In the 
bit place, it will be necessary to take a view of the B 
or tlie practical part of etectrici^, and to examine the n 
artificial apparatus concerned in electrical phsnomena, ai well aa 
is thoM efiects which hare been denominated galranici 

It is supposed that a peculiar ethereal Aold perradai the poreSj 
if not the sctotl substance, of the earth} and all otbar material 
(odiee; passing through them with more or less bdli^, according 
to their different powers of conducting it : tiiat the particlea of 
thli ivii repel each other, and are attracted by the particles of 
common matter : that the particles of common matter also repel 
each other : and that these attractions and repulsions are equal 
among themseWes, and rary inversely as the squares of the dis. 
■.a of the particles. 

Tkete nfpnlsions and attracfioos are supposed to act, not onljr 
between two particles which are either perfectly or very nparly in 
contact with each other, but also between all other particles, at 
all distances, whi e^er obstacles may be interposed between them* 
Thus, if two electrified balls repel each other, the effect is not 
impeded by the interposition of a plate of glass : and if any other 
substance interposed appears to interfere with their mutual action, 
it is in consequence of its own electrical aifpctions. In these 
respects, as well as in the law of their vanat'on, the electrical 
forces differ from the common repulsion which operates between 
the particles of elastic fluids, and resemble more nearly that of 
graritation. Their intensity, when separately considered, Is much 
greater than that of gravitation, and they might be supposed to be 
materially concerned in the great phenomena of the universe ; but 
iu the common neutral state of all bodies, the electrical fluid, 
which i^ every where present, is so distributed, that the yarious 
forces hold each other exactly in equilibrium, and the separate 
results are destroyed ; unless we choose to consider gravitation 
itself as arising from a comparatively slight inequality between the 
electrical attractions and repulsions. 

Tt e attraction of the electric fluid (o common matter is shewn 
by its communication, from one body to another, which is less 
copiously supplied with it, as well as by many other phasnomena; 
and this attraction of the fluid of the first body, to the matter of 
the second, is precisely equal to its repulsion for the quantity of 
the fluid, which naturally belongs to the second, so as to saturate 
the matter. For the excess or deficiency of the fluid in the first 
body, does not immediately produce either attraction or repulsion, 
so long as the natural distribution of the fluid in the second body 
remains unaltered. 

Since also two neutral bodies, the matter which they contain 
being saturated by the electric fluid, exhibit no attraction for each 
other, the matter in the first must be repelled by the matter in the 
secbnd ; for its attraction for the fluid of the second would other, 
wise remidn uncompensated. We are, however, scarcely justi- 
fied in classing this mutual repulsion among the fundamental pro. 
jperties of matter; for useful as these laws are in explaining 
electrical appearances, they seem to deviate too far from the 
UMgnificent simplicity of nature's works, to be admitted as primary 
ettncquences of tl|e eonitittttloii of matter i they may, however, 




Iw coniidered u modifiMlioai of ioim other mi>re general Itwi, 

which are yet N^ollf unknown to ni. 

When the equillbriuin of these forces U deitroyed, the electric 
fluid is put in motion ; those bodies, which atlnw the fluid k free 
passage, are called perfect conductors ; but those which impede its 
notioD, more or less, are noncondtictori, or imperfect conductors. 
For eiample, while the electric fluid ii received into the metallic 
cylinder of «n electrical machine, its accomHlalion axy be pr^ 
Tented by (he application of the hand to the cylinder which 
receitrs it, and it will pass off through the person of the operator 
to the ground ; hence the human body is called a conductor. Bat 
when the metallic cylinder, or coudnclor, of the machiM )l lur. 
rownded only by dry air> and supported by glass, the electric 
fluid is retained, and its density increued, until it becomes citable 
of procuring itself a pas sagp, 'soma incites in length, through Iht 
air, which is a rery imperfect conductor. If a person, etnnected 
with the conductor, be placed on a stool with glass legs, the elec- 
tricity will DO longer pass through him to the earth, bat may be 
so accumulated, as to malie its way to any neighbourii^ snbftaace, 
which is capable of receiving it, eihibiting a luminous appearaDCe, 
called a spark; and a person or a substance, so placed as to be in 
contact with nonconductors only, is said to be Insulated. When 
electricity Is subtracted from the substance thus insulated, it is said 
to be negatively electrified, but the sensible efl'ects are nearly the 
same, eicept thai in some cases the form of the sparks is a little 

8«ffte#, indicating ml«o in some cases tlie species ai electricity, 
wbetlier positire or nega(i?e, that has been employed; positife 
eiectricity producing an appearance somewhat resembling feathers; 
and negati?e electricity an arrangement more like spots. The 
inequality in the distribution of the electric fluid in a nonconduc- 
tor, may remain for some hours, or even some days, continually 
diminishing till it becomes imperceptible. 

These are the fundamental properties of the electric fluid, and 
of the different kinds of matter as connected with that fluid. We 
are next to examine its distribution, and the attractive and repnl. 
sife effects exhibited by it, under different forms. Supposing a 
quantity of redundant fluid to exist in a spherical conducting body, 
it will be almost wholly collected into a minute space contiguous 
to the surface, while the internal parts remain but little over- 
charged. For we may neglect the actions of the portion of fluid 
which is only occupied in saturating the matter, and also the effect 
of the matter thus neutralised, since the redundant fluid is repelled 
as much by the one, as it is attracted by the other ; and we need 
only to consider the mutual actions of the particles of this super. 
inous fluid on each other. It may then be shewn, in the same 
manner as it is demonstrated of the force of gravitation, that all 
the spherical strata which are remoter from the centre than any 
given particle, will have the whole of their action on it annihilated 
by the balance of their forces, and that the effective repulsion of 
the interior strata will be the same, as if they were all collected in 
the centre. This repulsion will, therefore, impel the particles of 
the fluid towards the surface, as long as it exists ; and nothing will 
impede the condensation of the redundant fluid there, until it is 
exhausted from the neighbourhood of the centre. In the same 
manner it may be shewn, that if there be a deficiency of fluid, it 
will be only in the external parts, the central parts remaining 
always in a state of neutrality : and since the quantity of electric 
fluid taken away from a body, in any common experiment, bears 
but a very small proportion to the whole that it contains, the defi. 
ciency will also be found in a very small proportion of the sphere, 
next to its surface. And if, instead of being spherical, the body 
be of any other form, the effects of electricity will still be princi- 
pally confined to its surface. This proposition was very satisfac 
torily investigated by Mr. Cavendish ; and it was afterwards more 
fully ibewn, by Dr. Gray's experiments, that the capacities of 


fit BLsenieiTT ik baotlmbivm. 

diffHTtnt bedlei, for recriving electricity, depend mod man an 
tbf quantitj of their larfiuei, than on their lolid conlnitKi tfan*, 
tilt conductor of an electrical mactuoe will conttiB very nettrly or 
qaite as moch electricitj if hollow as if lolid. 

If two Kpheret be united bj a cyliodriral uondnctiBg lubituiGCj 
of mall dimeoiioDR, there will be an pquilibriniDi whfB tke actioni 
of th«^ redundant fluid in the ipherei, on the wbole flaid in the 
cylinder, are equal ; that ii, when both the aphem have tlwir 
aurhcei electrifi<^d in an equal degree : but if the length of tin 
cylinder i> cooaiderabm, the fluid within it can only remain at 
rest when the quantitiei of redundant fluid are nearly eqnal i» 
both sphrrcB, aiid conteqnently when the dentity is greater in the 
iDtaller. And, for a similar reason, in bodies of iTiei^uUr forma, 
the fluid is always most accnnulated in the smallest parts ; and 
when a conducting rubstance is pointed, the flnid becomes so dense 
at its en reality, as easily to overcame the forcci which tend to 
retain it in its situation. 

In thin disliibutlon we find a Tery charisteristic diflincnce be- 
tween the pTOft^ure of ihi* flectric fluid, and the common hydro. 
static pressure of liquids, or of sini|ile elasiir fluids; for tbeso 
eiert on every surface, MuiiUrly ^ilua<ed, a pressure proportionato 
to its magnitude ; hut (he electric fluid exerts a pressure on small 
and angular iurfac's, grtatet, in proportion to their magnitodes, 
than th« pre&surc on larger parts : so that if the electric flnid were 
in general confined to its situation, by the pres^nre of the atmo. 
spherr, that pressuie might easily be too wrak to oppose its escape 

in0l$imkm b dtssinitor ttatet. TUs is » coiiM<iii«ii#e imntdi. 
iMjr dedadble from th« mutual attraction of redaadant matter^ 
aad redundant fluid, and from the repulsion supposed to exist 
between any two portions, either of matter or of fluid ; and it 
maj also easily be confirmed by experimental proof. A neutral 
body, if it were a perfect nonconductor, would not be affected 
either way by the neighbourhood of an electrified body : for while 
the whole matter contained in it remains barely saturated with the 
electric fluid, the attractions and repulsions balance each other. 
But, in general, a neutral body appears to be attracted by an 
electrified body, on account of a change of the disposition of the 
fluid which it contains, upon the approach of a body either posi. 
tirely or negatifely electrified. The electrical afiection produced 
in this manner, without any actual transfer of the fluid, is called 
induced electricity. 

When a body positively electrified approaches to a neutral body, 
the redundancy of the fluid expels a portion of the natural quan* 
tity from the nearest parts of the neutral body, so that it is accn. 
mulated at the opposite extremity ; while the matter, which is left 
deficient, attracts the redundaut fluid of the first body, in such a 
manner as to cause it to be more condensed in the neighbourhood 
of the second than elsewhere ; and hence the fluid of this body is 
driven still further off, and all the efiects are redoubled. The 
attraction of the redundant fluid of the electrified body, for tho 
redundant matter of the neutral body, is stronger than its repul- 
sion for the fluid which has been expelled from it, in proportion as 
the square of the mean distance of the matter is smaller than that 
of the mean distance of the fluid : so that in all such cases of 
induced electricity, an attraction is produced between the bodies 
concerned. And a similar attraction will happen, under contrary 
circumstances, when a neutral body and a body negatiyely electric 
fled, approach each other. 

The state of induced electricity may be illustrated by placing 9l 
long conductor at a little distance from an electrified substance, 
and directed towards it ; and by suspending pith balls, or other 
light bodies from it, in pairs, at diff'erent parts of its length : these 
will repel each other, from being similarly electrified, at the two 
ends, which are in contrary states of electricity, while at a certain 
point towards the middle they will remain at rest, the conductor 
being here peilec%iieiitr|il. It was fisjom .4he situation of thif 


'94 BLBCTaiaTT 1» t^VlUMUOM, 

point that Lord Sdohope fint iofcrred Um tnw law of tbo «!« 
Btlnclions and repotsioni, altbovgh Mr. Cavendiab had b 
BUggeited th« same law ai th« rooit prababia loppcwitioii. 

The attraction, tbni exerted by bd electrified body upon of 
substances, ii strong enoogh, if they are lafRclcDtly light, to ' 
come their graTitatloD, and to draw tfaein op from a labia at 
little distance : npon teaching the electrified body, if It fi a 
doctor, they receite a quantity of electricity from it, am 
again repelled, until tbey are deprired of thrir electricity by 
tact with some other inbatance ; which, If lofficiently near ti 
first, Is ninally in a contrary state, and therefore rendeia 
still more capable of returning, when they have toncbed it, t 
fint nbttance, in conseqneDce of an Increased attraction, asi 
also by a new repuliion. This alteration has been apjriied t 
coostraction of sereral electrical toys ; a little hammer, foi 
ample, has been made to play between two bells ; and thia in 
ment has been employed for giving notice of any change ol 
electrical Itate of the atmosphere. The repnlsion which t 
place between two bodies, in a similar state of etectridty* i 
canse of the cnrrents of air which always accompany tba diKi 
of electricity, whether negatlTe or positive, from p<rintad 
stances ; each particle of air, as soon aa It has received its ek 
city from the point, being immediately repelled by It; and 
current has alto been supposed to facilitate the escape of the 
tricity, by bringing a conlinaal saccession of particles not idr 

xLBCtRtciTr iir saniLimuM. 

forproduciog it the more readily, each surface is imtMy cMted 
with a conducting substance, vrhich serres to conxej the fluid to 
and from its dllTerent parts with confenienoe. The thinner aity 
■■bstance to, the greater quantity of (he fluid is required for 
ckaifing it in this mannefj so as to produce a given tension, or 
tradenc)' to escape ; but if it be made too thin, it wilt be liable to 
break the attractire force of the fluid; for the natter on the 
opposite side oTercomlng the cohesion of the substance, and per- 
haps forcing its way through the temporary vacuum which is 

When a conimunication Is made in any manner, by a conducting 
aubttance, between the two coatings of a charged plate or vessel, 
the equilibrium is restored, and the effect is called a shock. If 
the coatings be removed, the plate will still remain charged, and it 
may be gradually discharged by making a communication between 
iti several parts in succession, hut it cannot be discharged at once, 
for want of ■ common connection : so that the presence of the 
coating is not absolutely essential to (he charge and discharge of 
th» oppoiite surfaces. Such a coatvd substance Is most usually 
employed in the form of a jar. Jars were formerly filled widi 
water, or with iron filings ; the instrument having been principally 
made known from the experiments of Musschenbroek and othen, 
at Leyden, it was called the l<eyden phial ; but at present a coaL 
ing of tin foil is commonly applied on both sides of the jar, leavinif 
a sufficient space at its upper part, to avoid the spontaneous dis- 
charge, which would often take place between the coatings, if they 
approached too near to each other ; and a ball is fixed to the cover, 
L which has a communication with the internal coating, and by 
eans of which the jar is charged, while the external coating ia 
wed to communicate with the ground. A collection of such 
is called a battery ; and an apparatus of this kind may be 
« so powerful, by increasing the number of jars, as to exhibit 
r striking effects by the motion of the electric fluid, in its 
a one to the other of the surfaces. 
Uting powers of different substances are concerned, 
not only In Ihlfacility with which the motions of the electric fluid 
are directed hito a particular channel, but also in many cases of 
its equilibrium, and particularly in the properties of charged sub- 
stances, which depend on the resistance opposed by noncooductora 
to tke feady timo wiJ iii u a of the fluid. These powers may be 


compared, by ucerUining the gremteit length of eicb at tte rob* 

atances to be esaminfld, through which * ip&rk or i ibock vHl 
take its course, io prefereoce to a given length ot air, or of any 
other itandard of comparison. The snbitaiicei which cosdnct 
electricity the most reattily, are metals, well bnmt chartoal, 
animal bodies, acids, saline liqnors, water, and verj nn air. 
The principal nonconductors are glass, ice, gems, dry aalts, snU 
phur, amber, resins, silk, dry wood, oils, dry air of the usual 
deiuity, and the barometrical vacuum. Heat commonly mcmM* 
the conducting powers of bodies; ajar of glass maybe d 
1^ a moderate heat, mid liquid resins are capable of t 
shock), although they are by do means good condBC(or»i it Is 
remarkable also that a jar may be discharged by miauta agitation, 
when it is caused to ring by the frittion of the finger. It hai been 
observed thst, in a great variety of rases, those nbftancai which 
are the best conductors of heat, afford also the readiest pascago to 
electricity ; llius, copper conducts beat more rapidly, ud electri. 
dty more readily, than iron ; and plstina less than alOMlt any 
olber metal : glass also presents a considerable retistanco to tbe 
transmtaslon of both these influences. The analogy Is, howerar, 
In many respects imperfect, and it afford* us but Utile light, with 
regard either to (he nature of heat, or to that of the electric fluid. 
[FoKiv'' IftU. Fkit. 



•ubttiBCM U so rapid, as to be performed in all cases wttbiMt a 
unsibfe iobrval of timp. 1' has indeed bero said, iliai when very 
weakJ/ cxciled, and ubligfd (o pass to i »< ry great distance, a 
perceptible portion of (ine is actually oci upi4>'l in ill passage ; bat 
tkii fact ia lompwhat doubtful, and altemp's have been made, in 
Tain, (o estimate the int'nal employed in tl^e transmission of a 
■bock tliTOush several mil"* of wire. We are not to imagine that 
the same particles of the fluid which enter at one part, pasx through 
Uw wLole conductJDft tubstance, any mare than that the same por. 
tion of blood which is thrown ou' of th" heart, in each pnbatioa, 
arrivM at the wrist at the instant (tial the pulse is fell there. The 
velocity of the transmission of a »park, ur shocfc, far exceeds the 
actual velocity of each particle, in ilie same manner as ibe velocity 
of a ware exceeds that of the particles of nater conierned in its 
propagation ; and this Telocity must depend both on the elasticity 
of the fluid, and ou the forue witti which it is confined to tbe coiu, 
dueling substance. If itis force wre merely derived from tbe 
pressure of tbe aimosphere, wi might infer the density of the fluid 
from Ibe velocity of a s|tark ur shock, compared with that of 
sound ; or we might deduce its velocity from a determination of 
its density. It has been supposed, although perhaps somewhat 
hastily, that the attual velocity is nearly equal to thai of licht. 

When a cuoduciing (^ubsiaace approai !>es another, which is 
electri&ed, the distribution of the electric fluid within it is neces- 
sarily altered by induction, before it receires a spark, so that its 
remoter extremity is brought into a state similar to that of the first 
body : h>-nce it happens that when the spark passes, it produces 
less eflect at the remoter end of 'he sub>tance, while the part pre- 
sented (o the electrified body is must affected, on account of its 
sudden change to an opposite state. But if both ends approach 
bodies in opposite slates of electricity, ihey will both be strongly 
aSscted when the shoik lakes place, while the middle of the cir- 
cuit anderi^oes but litlle change. 

The manner in whii b the electric fluid makes its way through a 
more or less perfect conductor, is not complelely underttooil : it 
is doubtful whether tha substance is fuired a<-\ay on -ach side, so 
«i to leare a vacuum for the passage of the fluid, or whether the 
Bewly formed surface helps lo guide it in its way; and in some 
cases it has been supposed, that tbe gradual communication of clec- 
tdcity has rendered the substance more G>|(able of conduction it^ 


either imniedtately, or. In the caie of the tir, by 6nt nntflng it. 
Ilawerer thii m»j be, the perforation of a ju of glaw bj an 
overcharge, and that of a plate of air bj a apark, appear to be 
effecb of the Hme kiod, although (he charge of the jar b princU 
pally contained in the glau, while the plate of air ii perhapi little 
concerned in the distribulion of the elirctricity. 

The actnal direction of the electric current hai not in any in> 
stance been fnllj aicortained, although there are some appearancn 
which seem to juaUTy the common denominationa of poiHive ancl 
negative. Thtia, the fracture of a charged jar of glau, by apon- 
taneous eiplosion, is well defined on the poiitWe, and apllntned 
on the negatiTe side, as might be expected from the paaaage of a 
foreign snbstance from the former side to (he latter ; and a candle, 
held between a positive and a negative hall, although it apparently 
vibrates between (hen, is found to heat the negative ball much 
more than the positive. We cannot, however, place mnch depcnd- 
ance on any clrcnmslance of thb kind, for it is donbtfnl whether 
any current of (he fluid, which we can produce, posaeaaea anlft- 
dent momentum to carry with it a body of senaible magnitude. It 
i) in fact of little consequence to the theory, whether the teimt 
poaitive and negative be correctly applied, provided that their 
•eose remain determined ; and that, like poaitive and negative 
quantities In mathematics, they be always anderttood of stetes 
-which neutralise each other. The original opinion of Dn&y, of 
the existence of two distinct fluids, a vitreous and a resinous elec- 
tricity, has at present few advocates, althongh some have thought 

w\m^:Uf howeT^r, capable of ezcitiog a comiderable degree of 
beat; and if it be transmitted through the hands of the operator^ 
k wifl produce a slight numbness, although in general some inter. 
mption of the current is necessary, in order to furnish an accu- 
mulation sui&cient to produce sensible effects ; and such an inter, 
ruption may e^en increase the effect of a single spark or shock ; 
thus, gunpowder is more readily fired by the discharge of a battery 
pasting through an interrupted circuit, than through a series of 
perfect conductors. 

The most common effect of the motion of the electric fluid is the 
production of light. Light is probably never occasioned by the 
passage of the, fluid through a perfect conductor ; for when the 
discharge of a large battery renders a small wire luminous, the 
fluid is not wholly confined to the wire, but overflows a little into 
the neighbouring space. There is always an appearance of light 
whenever the path of the fluid is interrupted by an imperfect con. 
ductOT ; nor is the apparent contact of conducting substances suflK. 
clent to prevent it, unless they are held together by a considerable 
force ; thus, a chain, conveying a spark or shock, appears lumi. 
nous at each link, and the rapidity of the motion is so great, that 
we can never observe any difference in the times of the appearance 
of the light in its different parts ; so that a series of luminous 
points, formed by the passage of the electric fluid, between a 
string of conducting bodies, represents at once a brilliant delinea. 
tion of the whole figure in which they are arranged. \ lump of 
sugar, a piece of wood, or an egg, may easily be made luminous 
in this manner ; and many substances, by means of their proper, 
ties as solar phosphor!, retain for some seconds the luminous 
appearance thus acquired. Even water is so imperfect a conductor, 
that a strong shock may be seen in its passage through it ; and when 
the air is sufficiently moistened or rarefied to become a conductor, 
the track of the fluid through it is indicated by streams of light, 
which are perhaps derived from a series of minute sparks passing 
between the particles of water, or of rarefied air. When the air if 
extremely rare, the light is greenish ; as it becomes more dense, 
the light becomes blue, and then violet, until it no longer con. 
ducts. The appearance of the electrical light of a point enables 
us to distinguish the nature of the electricity with which it is 
charged; a pencil of light, streaming from the point, indicating 
that its electricity is positive; while a Janinpiis , star, with few 


diverfttne njw, thowt thtt K Is negaliw. The qMiln, «ihlbitfd 
by small bulla, differently electrified, hate alio ilmilar tarletiii in 
tb< It forms, according tu Ibe natar* of their char|ei. 

The prodncHon of heat by e1<ctHcitf frequmtly aceonipaniei 
that of light, and appears to depend in lODie neuore on the lane 
circomitancet. A fine wire may be fused and dliiipated by the 
discharite of a batlery; and without being perfectly melted, it 
may tomelimes be sliortened or lengthened, accordingly u it It 
loose or stretched daring the experiment. The more readHf a 
ne'al condacti, the shorter is the )iorlian of It which the nme 
■bock can destroy ; and it has sometimea been fonnd, that & donble 
charge of a battery has been capable of melting a quadrnple length 
of wire of the tame kind. 

The mechanical effects of electricity are probably in many caies 
(he coDseqnences of the rarefaction produced by the beat which Is 
excited ; thus, the explouon attending the tnniDiltsion of a shock 
or spark through the air, may easily be (apposed to ba derived 
^«m the expansion canaed by heal ; and tlie deatmcllon oT ■ ^asi 
tnbe, which contains a fluid in a capillary bore, when a spark Is 
csDsed to pass through it, is the natural conseqneace of tlte con> 
version of some particles of the fluid into *apoor. Bnt when a 
glass jar is perfonled, this rarefaction' cannot be svppoied to be 
adequate to the effect. It Is remarkable that such a perforattM 
may be made by a Tery moderate discharge, when the glau I* in 
contact with oil or with sealing wax ; and no tuilicient e: 
of thi? circuniatance hns ytt been "iv 

tummmmm^ ft 

gimpofviter* TIm p«c«UAr wnsation which the electric flaid occe- 
•ions in the hamen frame, appears in general to be deri?ed from 
the spasmodic contractions of the muscles through which it passes ; 
although in some cases it produces pain of a different kind ; thus, 
the spark of a conductor occasions a disagreeable sensation in the 
skin, and when an excoriated surface is placed in the gaWanic cur. 
rent, a sense of smarting, mixed with burning, is experienced. 
Sometimes the effect of a shock is felt most powerfully at the joints, 
on account of the difficulty which the fluid finds in passing the 
articulating surfaces which form the cayity of the joints. The 
sadden death of an animal, in consequence of a violent shock, is 
probably owing to the immediate exhaustion of the whole energy 
of the nerrous system. It is remarkable that a yery minute tre. 
mor, communicated to the most elastic parts of the body, in par. 
ticular to the chestf produces an agitation of the ner?es, which is 
not wholly unlike the effect of a weak electricity. 

The principal modes in which the electric equilibrium is prima* 
rily destroyed are, simple contact, friction, a change of the form 
of aggregation, and chemical combinations and decompositions. 
The electricity produced by the simple contact of any two sub- 
stances is extremely weak, and can only be detected by Tery de.. 
licate experiments : in general it appears that the substance, which 
conducts the more readily, acquires a slight degree of negative 
electricity, while the other substance is positively electrified in an 
equal degree. The same disposition of the fluid is also usually 
produced by friction, the one substance always losing as much a;*' 
the other gains ; and commonly, although not always^ the worst 
conductor becomes positive. At the instant in which the friction 
is applied, the capacities or attractions of the bodies for electricity 
appear to be altered, and a greater or less quantity is required 
for saturating them ; and upon the cessation of the temporary 
change, this redundancy or deficiency is rendered sensible. When 
two substances of the same kind are rubbed together, the smaller 
or the rougher becomes negatively electrified; perhaps becauM 
the smidler surface is more heated, in consequence of its under- 
going more friction than an equal portion of the larger, and hence 
becomes a better conductor ; and because the rougher in itself is 
a better conductor than the smoother, and may possibly hare its 
conducting powers Increased by the greater agitation of its parts 
which the friction produces. The back of a lire cat becomes 


po«iti*ely electrified, witb whatever lubituce it if mbbed ; g1i« 
u positire in moit cases, but not when rubbed with mercnrf in a 
Tacuun, allhoigh sealing wax, which is genendlf lu^tiTe, is 
rendered positiTe by immeruon in a trough of mmary. When & 
white and a blaclc silk stocking are nibbed together, the wUte 
stocking acquires positire electricity, and the black B^»ti*«; 
periiaps because the black dye readers the silk both ron^Ar, and 
a better conductor. 

Those subBtancei, which hare Tery tiUle coadnctin| power, arc 
sometimes called electrics, since they are citable of ezhibiUng 
readily the electricity which friction excites on their snrtacos, 
where it remains accumulated, so that it may be collected Into a 
Gondnclor; while the aurfaces of such substances as ban greater 
conducting powers, do not so readily imbibe the fluid froa otlwrs 
with which they are rubbed, lince they may be supplied from the 
internal parts of the substances themtelres, when their altefod 
capacity requires it; thus, glaM, when heated to 110° of Fahmi- 
heil, can with difficulty be excited, becomiog an imparlect eon. 
doctor ; bnt a thin plate of a cooductiog substance, when in- 
snlated, may be excited almost as easily as an electric^ conBonlj 
so called. 

Vapours are generally in a negative state, but If they rise front 
metallic subatances, or even from some kinds of heated glass, the 
effect is uncertain, probably on account of some chemical actions 
which interfere with it. Sulphur becomes electrical In cooling, 
and wax candles are said lo be sometimes found in a state so elee- 


oo the continent, to the mere roeclianical acllung of bodiw pa% 
UMeil of different projierties^ with regarJ to oleclricily. Ttmg, 
thej bare supposed thut when a circulation of [he electric fluid it 
produced through a loDg leries of substances in a certain direOr 
tion, the JifTerencF'S of their atlraclions and of their conducting 
powers, which must remain the same throui^hout the process, keep 
yp thig perpetual motioo, in defiance of tba general laws of mOr 
cbaaickl forces. In this country it has been generally maint^oed, 
tlwt no eiplBDttion fonoded on snch principles could be admiir 
■ible, even if 'it were in ail other respects lutHcieot and satiifac* 
torjf which the mechanical theory of gaUanism certainly is not, 

The phenomena of galvanism appear to be principally derived 
from an inequality in the distribution of the electric fluid, origi, 
aatii^ from chemical changes, and maintained by meapi gf the 
reiiittnce opposed to its motion, by a coatiQued alteration of 
•ubslaiices of di^rent kinds, which furnishes a much itroDger 
otutacle to iU transmission than any of those substances alone 
would have done. The substances employed must neither consist 
wholly of soltda nor of fluids, and they roust be of three different 
kiadf, potSMsed of different powers of conducting electricity ; 
but whether the difference of Iheir conducting powers is of ftoy 
other consequence than as it accompanies different chemical prsp 
(wrties, is hitherto undetermined. Of these three suhstaqcei, fwo 
must possess a power of acting mutually on each other, while thp 
other appears to serve principally for making a separate coqnef 109 
between them : and this action may be of two kinds, or perhaps 
more ; the one is oiidatioo, or the combination of a metal or 34 
iaflammable substance with a portion of oiygen derived from vat^p 
ar from acid ; the other lulphuration, or a combination with the 
ml[^Hr contained in a solution of an allwline stilphuret, 

We may represent the effects of all galvanic comJiiniftioDs, by 
caaaideriog the oxidation as producing positive electricity ip U)^ 
acting liquid, and the sulphuration as producing negattre eleetri* 
pity, and by imagining that this electricity is ilvays jcpromuqlcvtej 
to the bwt Fonductor of the other substances poQcerped, S4 qs t^ 
produce a ciTcolation in the directign determined., for ef, 
imple, when twa wires of tine and silver, tpuchiog each (Kher, 
an Mparately rmMened in an acid, (he acid, becoming positively 
•lectrical, imparts Us elaotricity to the silver, and hence it flowi 
iutii. intft the zioc: wh^ 4e ends of ft piece of charco^ arf 

ro£. Ti. D 

M ^suKiTmioxiT XK Jionos. 

iipp«i into #fttor uid iito aa tdd, coa—ct a d togttktr bjr a maH 
tube, the add, becoming poddft, aends jU aaparlooos floid 
through tba charcoal iula the water; and If a wira of copper be 
dipped iato water aad a lolotioQ of alkaliao talpharot, connected 
with each other, the lolphvrel, bocoodag aegativa, will draw the 
fold from the copper oa which It acta: aad la all theio caiet the 
direction of the current it truljr datormlaad, ai It may bo shewn 
hy composing a battery of a numiMr of alterations of this kind, 
aad either examining the stale of its different parts by electrical 
tests, or couaactlag wires with Its extremities, which, when Inu 
nersed Into a portion of water^ will exhibit Htut production of 
oxygen gis where they emit the electric fluid, and of hydrogen 
where they receive it. These processes of oxidation and of suL 
phuration may be opposed to each other, or they may be .com. 
Mned In Tarioos ways, the sum or difference of the separate actions 
being obtain^ hy their union ; thus it usually happens, that both 
the metals employed are oxidable in some degree, and the oxida. 
tion, which takes place at the surface of the better conductor, 
tends to impede the whole effect, perbapa by impedlBg the passage 
of the fluid through the surface. The most oxidable of the metals, 
and probably the worst conductor, is aioc ; the next is Iron ; tiien 
(Some tin, lead copper, silrer, gold, and platlna* 

In the same manner as a wire charged with posltWe electricity 
causes an extrication of oxygen gas, so the supply of electricity 
through the more conducting metal promotes the oxidation of the 
xinc of a galranlc battery ; and the effect of this circulatloa may be 
Ireadlly eidiiblted, by fixing a wire of line and another of slifer 
or platina, in an acid, while one end tt each li loose, and amy 
be brought together or separated at pleasure s fbr at the aioment 
that the contact takes place, a stream of bubbles rising from the 
plathia, and a white cloud of oxM falling from the ftioe, ioAcate 
both tlM circulation of the fluid and the Increase of the ebemical 
actlOD. But when, on the other hand, a plate of alae is made 
fiegailte by tim action of an acid on the greater part of Its sarllu^ 
4 detaAed drop ef water has test eflbct on it, than in the natural 
Mate : while a pbrte of Iron, Midi touches tbe due, aad Ibiuss a 
pert of the cirde with It, is very readfly oddafted at 'a dietant 
point: such a plate must therefStre be eonddered, wHh ¥tffaed to 
thii effect, as bdng mad* pbsUlTe by the dectridCy which it re. 
bdfM from the add or Uie water; unhas soBMOdog Bha a cobi» 

pelMttd4 MvitppoM to ttkeptace, from the eflects of iDdoced 
electricity. Instead of the extrication of hydrogen, the same 
causes will sometimes occasion a deposition of metal which has 
been dissolred, will pre?ent the solution of a metal which would 
otherwise have been corroded, or produce some effects which ap- 
pear to indicate the presence of an alkali, either volatile or fixed. 
Ail these operations may, however, be very much impeded by the 
Interposition of any considerable length of water, or of any other 
imperfect conductor. 

It is obTioas, that since the current of electricity, produced by 
a galvanic circle, facilitates those actions from which its powers 
are derived, the effect of a double series must be more than twice 
as great as that of a single one : and hence arises the activity of 
tile pile of Volta, the discovery of which forms the most important 
era in the history of this department of natural knowledge. The 
intensity of the electrical charge, and the chemical and physiolo. 
gical effects of a pile or battery, seem to depend principally on 
the namber of alterations of substances; the light and heat more 
on the joint magnitude of the surfaces employed. In common 
electricity, the greatest heat appears to be occasioned by a long 
ooDtinuation of a slow motion of the iBuid ; and this is perhaps 
best famished in galvanism by a surface of large extent, while 
some other effects may very naturally be expected to depend on 
thetotensity of the charge, independently of the quantity of chargec) 
snrlace. It may easily be imagined, that the tension of the fluid 
must be nearly proportionate to the number of surfaces, imper. 
fectly conducting^ which are interposed betvreen the ends of a pile 
or battery, Ae density of the fluid becoming greater and greater 
by a limited quantity at each step : and it is easily understood, 
tlurt any point of the pile may be rendered neutral, by a connec- 
tion widi the earth, while those parts, which are above or below 
i<)Wlti tftiU preserve their relations unaltered with respect to each 
oHitri the opposite extremities being, like the opposite surface of 
a chorgid jar, in contrary states, and a partial discharge being 
proiacoi,^ at often as they are connected by a conducting sub- 
stanee. Tlie varioas forms in which the piles or troughs are con. 
ttracted) are of tittle consequence to the theory of their operation : 
tbo laott convefttent are the varnished troughs, in which plates of 
tlHrcved ainc are airtaiiged side by side, with intervening spaces for 
tibtMoaptfatt of wat^j at of an addJ 



It 11 nnqneitiaDable that (be torpedo, the gjmDotui electricni, 
and lome other fiihei, hare organi appropriated to the excitation 
of electticitjr, »ncl that the; have a power of communicating thia 
electrir.ity at pleasure to cuadncting substtnces in their neighbour* 
hood. These organs somewliat resemble in their appearance the 
plates of the galvanic pile, although ire know nothing ml the im- 
mediate arrangement from which their electrical properties are 
derived ; but the effect of the shock which they produce^ res«abl«l 
in all respects that of the weak charge of a rerj large baU 
tery. It has been shewn by the experiments of Galrani, Volta, 
and Aldiai, that the nerves and muscles of the human body pouasa 
some electrical powers, although they ere so much less concerned 
in the phsenomena which were at first attributed to tbem by Gal- 
vani, than he originally supposed, that many philosophers bave 
been inclined to consider the excitation of electricity as always 
occasioned by the iiianiuiate substances employed, and the spas- 
modic contractions of the mu&cles as merely very delicate testa of 
the iufluesce of foreign electricity on the nerves. 

Such Is the general outline of the principal experiinenti and con- 
clusions which the subject of galvanism aflbrded before Mr. Davy's 
late iagenious and interesting researches, which have thrown nucli 
tight, not only on the foundation of the whole of this class of 
phKHomena, but also on the nature of chemical actions and affinities 
in general. Mr. Davy is inclined to infer from his experiments, 
tbal all the attractions, which are the causes of chemical combiDa. 
tions, depend on the opposite natural electricities of the bodies 

tioii» an so strong, as to carrj the particles of ifie respectire 
bodies throagh an interreniag meditim, which is in » fluid state, 
or eren throogh a moist solid ; nor are they intercepted in their 
passage by substances, which in other cases, have the strongest 
elective attractions for them. Alkali, sulphur, and alkaline sul. 
phvrets, are positive with respect to the metals, and much more 
with respect to the acids : hence they have a very strong natural 
tendency to combine with the acids and with oxygen ; and hydro. 
gen must also be considered as belonging to the same class with 
the alkalies. 

Sopposing now a plate of zinc to decompose a portion of water : 
the oxygen, which has a negative property, unites with the zrnc, 
and probably tends to neutralise it, and to weaken its attractive 
force; the hydrogen is repelled by the zinc, and carries io the 
opposite plate of silver its natural positive electricity ; and if tl^ 
two plates be made io touch, the energy of the plate of zinc is 
restored, by the electricity which it receives from the silver : and* 
it receives it the more readily, as the two metals, in any case of 
their contact, have a tendency to become electrical, the zinc post, 
tively, and the silTer negathrely. Mr. Davy therefore considers 
this chemical action as destroying, or at least counteracting, the 
natural tendency of the electrical fluid to pass from the water to 
the zinc, and from modifications of this counteraction he explains 
the effects of galvanic combinations in all cases. Thus, in a circle 
composed of copper, sulpharet, and iron, the fluid tends to pass 
from the iron towards the sulphuret, and from the copper to the 
iron, in one direction ; and in the opposite direction from the cop- 
per to the sulphuret, with a force which must be equal to both the 
others, since there would otherwise be a continual motion without 
any mechanical cause, and without any chemical change ^ but the 
action of the sulphuret on the copper tends to destroy its electro, 
motive, or rather electrophone power, of directing the current 
towards the sulphuret, and its combination with the sulphur makes^ 
it either iwsitirely electrical, or negatively electrical in a less con.* 
siderable degree ; consequently the fluid passes, according to its 
natural tendency, from the copper to the iron, and from the iron 
to the sulphuret. In a third case, when copper, an acid, and 
water, form a circle, the natural tendency is from the acid to the 
co{^r on one side^ aii4 from the acid to the water, and from the 
wa^i to the copper on tho other; Mre wit moil snfpMt the first. 




force to b6 oalj a liltlo weakoaed bj the cbeiateal action, wfcilo 
the third ii dettrojedi so that the first Ofefoomet the second, and 
the circulation is determined, althongh Teij feeUj, in snch a direc. 
tion that the fluid passes from the acid to the copper. When, in 
the fourth place, the combination oonsbts of copper, aalphnret, 
and water^ the tendencies are, first, from the copper to the sol* 
phuret^ and from the water to the copper ; and secondly from the 
water to the sulphuret : in this instance a chemical action must be 
supposed between the oxygen of the water and the snlphnret, 
which lessens the electromotii e tendency more than the action that 
takes place between the sulphuret and the copper, io that the fluid 
passes from the copper to the sulphuret ; and the current has even 
force euough to prevent any chemical action between the water 
and the copper, which would tend to counteract that force, if it 
took place. 

Mr. DaTy has obserred that the decomposition of the substances, 
employed in the battery of Volte, is of much more consequence 
to their aeil? ity than either their conducting power, or their simple 
action on the other €4ement of the series : thus, the aulphnric add, 
which conducts electricity better, and dissolves the metals more 
readily than a neutral solution, is, notwithstanding leu active in 
tlie battery, because it is not easily decomposed. Mn Davy has 
also extendf d his reMarches, and the application of his discoveries, 
to a variety of natural as well as artificial phseaomena, and there 
can be no doubt but that he will still make such additions to bh 
experiments, as will be of the greatest Importance to this branch 
of science. 

The operation of the most nseful electrical mai^ines depends 
fira on the excitation of electricity by the frlctlcn of glass on a 
cushion of leather, covered with a oMtallic amalgam, wsually made 
of mercury, ainc, and tin, which probably, besides being of nse 
in supplying electricity readily to different parts of tbe glass, wa» 
dergoes in general a chemical change, by means of which soma 
electricity is excited. The fluid, thms excited, is received Info an 
Insulated oonductor by means of points, placed at a small distance 
from tlie surface which has lately nndergone the efiects of Motion, 
and from this condactor It Is conveyed by wires or chaina to any 
other parts at pleasure. Somethnes also the cnshioa, instead of 
being conn<*ctod with the earth, is itself fixed to a second Con^ 
duotor, which btconci negatMy dectrified j and elthar conductor 

mmf flioteia vkMi k a jar, wMch wMf be changed at once by tba 
operadoii of the machine, when its internal surface is coDnecte4 
either with the earth, or with that of the jar contained in the op* 
posite conductor* The glass may be either in the form of a cir. 
eular plate or of a cylinder, and it is uncertain which of the ar* 
rangements affords the greatest quantity of electricity from the 
same surface ; but the cylinder is chea(>er than the plate, and less 
liable to accidents, and appears to be at least equally powerful* 

The plate machine in the Teyli^rian museum, employed by Van 
Marum, when worked by two men, excited an electricity, of 
which the attraction was sensible at the distance of thirty.eight 
Uset, and which made a point luminous at twenty.sefen feet, and 
aibrded sparks nearly twenty.four inches long. Mr. Wilson had 
also a few ye%n ago, in the Pantheon in London, an apparatus 
of singular extent; the principal conductor was 160 feet long, 
and sixteen inches in diameter, and he employed a circuit of 4S09 
feet of wire. 

The electrophorns deri?es its operation from the properties if 
induced electricity. A cake of a nonconducting substance, com* 
monly of resin or of sulphur, is first excited by friction, and be« 
comes negatifely electric : an insulated plate of a conducting snb. 
stance, being placed on it, does not come sufficiently into contact 
with it to receive its electricity, but acquires by induction an op* 
posite state at its lower surface, and a similar state at its upper ; 
so that when this upper and negative surface is touched by a snb« 
stance communicating with the earth, it receives enough of the 
electric fluid to restore the equilibrium. The plate then being 
raised, the action of the cake no longer continues, and the elec. 
tricity, which the plate has received from the earth, is imparted 
to a conductor or to a jar j and the operation may be contiuualljr 
repeated, until the jar has received a charge, of an intensity equal 
to that of the plate when raised. Although the quantity of elec« 
tricitjjr received by the plate, is exactly equal to that which is 
emitted from it at each alternation, yet the spark is far less 
sensible) since the effect of the neighbourhood of the cake is tp 
increase the capacity of the plate, while the tension or force im* 
polling the fliiid is but weak ; and at the same time the quantity 
received is sofioient, when the capacity of the plate is again dimi» 
aished, to prodnoe a mncli greater tensiooi at a distance from 


40 filBCTBlClTT lit MOTIOiT. 

The cdndens^r sets in soin« in«Mttre on (he ume prtoeiplei with 
the elect rophorns, both instrumenti deriving their propertlei fran 
the effects gf indurtion. The use of the condetUer ti to collect a 
treat electricity from a targe suhstance into a laraller one, lo n 
Id iliike Its dtnsilj or tension sufficient to be examined. A snail 
plat(>, connected iriih the substance, Is brought nearlj into con- 
tact With another plate communicating with the earth } in general 
a thin siraiuni or air only Is interposed ; but sometimea a noncon. 
ductinj rarnish is emplojrpcl ; this method is, howeTer, liable lo 
some unceriaint)', from the permanent electricity which the nt' 
ti'uh somt'tioiei contracte by friction. 'Ihe electricity is accniDik 
Uted by tlie attraction of the plate communicating with the eartk, 
into the plate of the condenser ; and wh^n (his plate is Gr*t aepa- 
tated from the substance to be examined, and then remorad from 
the opposite plate, its electricity is always of the lame kind with 
that which origititlly existed in the substance, but ita teitiioo ia ao 
much increased as to render it more easily discoTcrabls. This 
t)Tini!iple has been tariously applied by different electricians, and 
the (n.ployment of tho instrument has been facilitated by several 
subordinate STrangements. 

Mr. Cavallo's multiplier is a conbicwtion of two caodeMen } 
the second or auxil'ary plate of the first, like the plat* of the 
elect rophorus, Is moTcabte, and carries a charge of electricity, 
contrary lo that of the substance to be examined, lo the first or 
insulated plate of the second condenser, which receives it repeat- 



VfrfWflj Wkk> tlM flune state with the first ; and when the first 
and third plates are connected and insulated, they produce a 
charge nearly twice as great in the second plate, while the first 
pUte becomes at the same time doubly charged ; so that by each 
repetition of this process, the intensity of the electricity is nearly 
doubled : it is therefore scarcely possible that any quantity should 
be so small as to escape detection by its operation. 

The immediate intensity of the electricity may be measured, and 
its character distinguished, by electrical balances, and by electro, 
meters of difierent constructions. The electrical balance measures 
the attraction or repulsion exerted by two balls at a given distance^ 
by the magnitude of the force required to countt-ract it ; and the 
most conYeiiient manner of applying this force is by the torsion of 
a wire, which has been employed for the purpose by Mr. Coulomb. 
The quadrant electrometer of Henley expresses the mutual repul- 
sion of a moveable ball and a fixed column, by the diTisions of the 
aroh to which the ball rises. These divisions do not exactly de- 
note the proportional itren&;th of the action, but they are still of 
utility in ascertaining the identity of any two charges, and in in* 
forming us how far we may venture to proceed in our experiments 
with safety ; and the same purpose is answered, in a manner some- 
what less accurate, by the ele tro meter, consisting of two pith 
balls, or of two straws, which are made to diverge by a smaller 
degree of electricity. Mr. Bonnet's electrometer is still more de- 
licate ; it consists of two small portions of gold leaf, suspended 
from a plate, to which the electucity of any substance is commu- 
nicated by contact : a very weak electricity is snfhcient to make 
them diverge, and it may easily be ascertained whether it is posi* 
tive or negative, by brining an excited stick of sealing wax near 
the plate, since its approach t^^nds to produce by induction a state 
of negative electricity in the remoter extremities of the leaves, so 
that their divergence h either increased or diminished, accordingly 
as it was derived from negative or from positive electricity : a strip 
of gold leaf or tin foil, fixed within the glass which covers the 
•lectrometer, opposite to thf extremities of the leaves, prevents the 
communication of any electricity to the glass, which might inter- 
fere with the action of the iostrument. When the balls of an 
electrometer stand at the distance of four degrees, the^ appear to 
indicate a charge nearly eight times as great as when they stand at 
•tto>df§i:ire : a charge eight times as great in each ball, producing a 
mntnal action siztj-fonr times as groat at nnj gUfn distascei ind 


at m qnidniple dktinee a qnadnipis force; in tba nmtmannsrft 
•eparation of nine degrees ii probably derived froiB an inteniitr 
( times as great as at one. In Land's electroneter tli« 
magnitude of a sliocli is determined bj (he qnantitj of air through, 
which it is obliged to pass between two balls, of which the distance 
mty be Tailed at pleasure j and the power of the micbitw majr be 
estimated by the frequency of the sparks which pan at any giTOD 
distance. It appran from Mr, Lane's experimeoti, that (ha 
quantity of electricity required for a discharge is simply ai the 
distance of the surfaces of (he balls, the shocks being twice as frc 
quent when this distance is only ^'^ of an inch as when it It ^ 
Mr. Volta says, that the indications of Lane'i and Henley's alec 
trometcr agree immfdiately with each other ; bnt it seemt difficnlt 
to reconcile this result with the general theory. Sometimei (ha 
force of repuhion between two balls in coutaet is opposed by a 
counterpoise of given magnitodc, and as soon ai this li overciMia, 
they separate and form a circuit which dUchargaa a batter; ; 
whence the Instrument is called a discharger. 

It most be confessed that the whole science of elactricity is yet 
in a Tery imperfect state : we know litde or nothing of tbo iotL 
mate nature of (he substances and actions concerned in It : and wo 
can never fi>r<-see, without pre* ions experiment, where or how it 
will be excited. We are wholly ignorant of thecoastltntion atbo. 
dies, by which they become possessed of different coodocling pow« 
ert ; anil wo hare only been able to dra 

of the supposed 

•Aiiir4ltte ntftiiMVtt # 4$ 

j«et lo obfcnre, ahhoogh Mr. Dary's eiperiments have already in 
neai are justified the boldeess of the suggestion. 


GalvaniCj or Voltaic Electricily, 

Wb have already hinted at some of the laws and principles of 
this peculiar mode of accumalatiug the electric fluid ; for in most 
parts of Europe, and in our own country more especially^ the fine 
etherial fluid thus produced^ or rendered sensible, is regarded as 
of an electric nature. From the singularity and magnificence, how. 
eTer, of the effects which under this modification it is well known 
to be capable of evincing, it is necessary to enter a little more at 
large into the origin and progress of the discovery. 

For the earliest insulated facts which paved the way to this science^ 
we are indebted to Professor Galvani ; for their explanation and 
application to purposes of real utility, we are indebted to Professor 
Yolta: and for the grand and simple law of nature by which thej 
operate io the production of effects, we are indebted to Sir Hum* 
pbry Davy. 

About the year 1 790, professor Galvani of Bologna discovered 
accidentally, that the crural nerve of a frog cut up for soup for 
his wife's dinner, contracted and became convulsed upon the 
application of a knife wetted with water ; as the story is told by 
other writers, he perceived whilst he was one day dissecting a frog^ 
in a room where some of his friends were amusing themselves witti 
electrical experiments, that the body of the animal was shaken with 
a violent convulsion, in consequence of a spark being drawn from 
the conductor of the machine at the time he was touching one of 
its nerves. Astonished at the plienomenon, and at first imagining 
that it might be owing to his having wounded the nerve, he pricked 
it with the point of his knife, to assure himself whether or not this 
was Uie case, but no motion of the frog^s body was produced. He 
now touched the nerve with the instniment as at first, and directed 
a speik to be taken at the same time from the machine, on which 
the contractions were renewed. Upon a third trial, the animal re- 
mained motionless; but observing that he held his knife by the han. 
die, which was made of ivory, he changed it for a metallic one, and 
immediately the movements took place^ which never was the case 
whco be used an dcctrie substance. 

After having made a great nanj Mwar eiperiments with the 
iltctikal marhinr^ he vefohed to pniaeaile theaalyect with atmo* 


qilieric electricity. With this view br raised a conductor on the roof 
of Iiii liouse, from wliicEi lie brought an irou wire into iiii roon. 
To tills lie attBclied mrtil conductor!, cotioected nith the nenrea of 
the animals deslincd to be the lubject of hii experiments ; uid to 
their legs he fastened wires which reached the floor. Hick espe* 
rinienls were not confined to frogs alone. Different animils, both 
of cold and warm blood, nere subjected to them; and in ■!! of 
them considerable movements were excited whenever it ligblcoed. 
Ttiese preceded thunder, and corresponded with its iiiteniit; aad re. 
petition; and even when no lightning appeared, t be movements 
took place when any storm; cloud passed over the ajiparatoa. That 
alf these appearances were produced by the electric fluid wa* ob- 

Having soon after this suspended some frogs from the iron pali* 
sades which inrrouiided his garden, by means of metdlic books 
fixed in the ^iiies of their backs, he observed (hat their musclei 
contracted frequently and involantarily, as if from a shock of elec> 
tricity. Not doubling that the contractions depended on the elec- 
trie fluid, he at first suspected thai they were connecled wilti changes 
in the state of the almospliere. He soon found, however, that tbic 
was not the case ; and having variec), in many diflerent ways, the 
circumstances in which the frogs were placed, he at lengjth disco. 
vcred that he could produce Hie movcmenis at pleasure by toncliing 
the animals with two diflerent metals, which at the same time, 
touched one another cither immediutdy or by the intervention of 


A Ibc( so new, illutlraled witli su iiianir experime:il» and much 
■nKt^nious reasoiiiiig, which professor Gulvaiii sooo published, could 
nut fail lo aliract ilie altention of jilijsiologisia all oTer Europe; 
wad Ibc result ofs vast DumbcT of experiments, e()Uiilljr cniel and 
siupiuing, has been from lime to time laid before thi: public \tj 
Vdli, Fowlrr, Monro, Volla, Humbolt, and others. 

Frogs, unhappily for themselves, have been rouiii) the most con. 
veuieiit subjects for these experiments, as they Tciain their muscular 
iniubilily and susceptibility of the galvanic iiit!uence very long. 
Many lionn after they bave been decapitated, or have bad their 
brain and spinal marrow destroyed, strong convulsions can he pro< 
diKcd hi tliem by the application of the inetaU. A leg separated 
from the body will otteu continue capable of excitement for several 
days. Nay, very distinct movements have been produced in froga 
pretty far advanced in the process of putrefaction. DifTcrenl kinds 
of fiibei, and many other animals, both of cold and warm blood, 
have been subjected to similar experiments, and have exhibited the 
same pbieuomcna ; but the warm blooded animals lose their sus. 
ceptibility of galvanism, as of every other stimulus, very soon afler' 

Almost any two meluls will produce the movements; but, it is 
believed, the most powerful are the following, in the order whidi 
tbey are here placed : I. Zinc ; 2. Tin ; 3. Lead ; in coojuiictioD 
with 1. Gold: 3. Silver; 3. Molybdena; 4. Steel; 5. Copper. 
Upon Ibis point, however, authors are not perfectly agreed. 

Tbe process by which these singular phxuomena are produced 
consists in e^cting, by the use of the exciting apparatus, a mutual 
coramnnicatioD between aay two points of contact, more or less dit. 
tant from one another, in a system of nervous and muscular organs. ' 
The sphere of this mutual communication may be regarded as a 
complete circle, divided into two parts. That part of it which con- 
(Hts of the organs of tlie animal under the experiment has been 
called the animal arc ; that which is formed by the galvanic inslru- 
meUs Iwi been called the exdtatory arc. The latter usually con- 
tisli of more pieces than one; of which some are named stay^ 
braces, ftc. others communicators, from their respective uses. 

Besides the efecis thus produced on the muscles, the iniprt:ssions 
made on tbe organs of sense are equally remarkable, And as tbe 
eiperimoits iUastntug thero may be easily repeated, we shall spe- 
cil^ aoBie of Ibe nwrtinteietting. For imtance, if a tbin plate of 


zinc be pitced on the upprr iiirftcc of the toogae, and both nirtif) 
■Aer a sliort >pace of time Im brought into contact, ■ peculiar 
MDHtioii, or tHst«, will be perceived at ll>e monietit «heu ibe 
mutual touch happrnt. If Ihe ulver be put bencBth, and the zinc 
upon ihe tongue, the nrae censalion will ante, bnl in a weaker de- 
gree, resembling diluted ammoniac, from which it io all probabilitj 
derive* its origin. 

If a silver probe be introduced as far as convenient into one of 
the nostrils, nnd then be brought into contact with a piece of zinc 
placed on tlK tongue, a tensation not unlike a strong fiash of light 
will be produced in the correaponding eyt, at the instant of contact, 
A similar perception will result, both at the moment of contact 
and that of se|»ralion, if one of the metals be applied as high ai 
possible between the gums and u|^r lip, and the other in a similar 
situation with Ihe under lip, or even under the tongue. Lastly, 
wfaen a probe or rod of zinc, and nnolber of tiUer, are inlfodoced 
as ftr back as possible into the roof of the mouth, the irritations 
produced b; brioging the external ends inio contact, are verj' power- 
fal ; and IhM caused by tlie zinc is similar in taste to the letintion 
arising from its applicaiioti to the tongue. 

No method has hitherto been discovered of applying the galvaaic 
influence in such a manner as to affect (he senses of smell, bearing, 
md touch ; though several eminent pbilosopltera have carefully in> 
vestigated the subject. Nor arc llie causes of these phKnooHna 
clearly ascertained ; Galvani and many of his followers supposing 
Ihem )o depend on ilie electric fluid, while others attribute them to 

werpRmoved. Tbese piiKOOinetia continued titl 38 niioules aflcr 
llMUitipnUtioD, wliert die limb be&iine colil. 

Tlie principle, however, upon nliicli [lie eleclric jiower acled was 
mntiidentood; nor were aoy means at yet deviled by wliicli (be 
Dew power could be accumulated to any definite extent, or made ap. 
plkable to any useful purpowi, 

Oainni explained the pbeaonienon by conceiving the diukIm 
to rcMmble « cliarged Leyden pliiul, having electricity accumulated 
in the inside, while the outside was minus. Tlie nerves be conceived 
to be cminectcd with the inside; when it wn« united with Ibe out. 
■idebycoaduclon, the tuiplui electricity was discliurged, and hence 
the iMotioiis of the limb. 

M. Volta, prafeuor of natural philosophy at Como in the Mihu 
DeWf soon discovered, however, that llie cunvuUions were produced 
l^adi&reDt operation of the electric principle; in reality by merely 
toucbiag two different p»rls of the same nerve by two di&ereot me- 
talSf and thus inakini; a circuit of the three substances, of which the 
part of the nerve selected fur the (nirpose formed the middle ; and 
pumiing this simple but beautiful \av, he soon uflerwards perceived 
that the two distinct metals alone hml an action upon each other 
wbeii brought into contact, but that the action was consith:rably in. 
creased by the interposition of a tbird subslunce of a different na. 
ture. The hypothesis of Oalvani was hereby completely destroyed, 
tad a fbnadation laid for that wonderful electric column which has 
been called the galvanic, or more correctly the voltaic pile, which, 
by the umple means of multiplying plates of two different kind:* of 
inetal, with an interposition of a plate of some other siibitatice be- 
tween each, produces such an accumulation of electric power ; and, 
when the force of the opposite ends h brought into appro it imatiou 
by means of a flexible wire, or other conductor, attached to each 
cod, such an exertion of this power as to become one of the mostt 
if not altogether the most energic agents in chemistry. And we 
MMT advance to the second and most important stage of this new 
bnneh of natural science ; for which tlie world is entirely indebted 
to the peoelrsling genius of M. Volta, and the curious facts and 
lihnbnnMin of which have bence been universally denominated 

M. Vohfe mmmenced Ins experiments in 1793, and it was seveii 
^nrs before he rendered hii pile sufficiently satisfactory and perfect 
M Mker its deiMtip t i w i and powers before the pnbfic. •■ lliisf h9«- 


ever, be accompliihed in 1800 1 tl wliich time be commDOKaled ■ 
pvticular account of it to rbe Ro*el Society, throuftb Ibe mcdiuin 
of Sir JoMph Bauks, who publUhed this valuabk paper in tbe latter 
part of (beir Traosactions for tliat year. Hit appsratoi, ai iheK 
detcrihedi codsuIs of a Dumber of copper or tilver plates (wliicb ksl 
are prefcratik), together with an equal number of plates composed 
of tinj or slill better of zinc, and a similar number of pieces of card, 
leather, or ivoolleu cloth, the last of which substances appears lu 
be tbe most suitable. These last should be well soaked in water 
saturated with common sail, muriat of ammonia, or more e&ctuallj' 
with oitre. The silver or copper may be pieces of money, and the 
plates of line may be cast of the same size. A pile is Ibeii to be 
fomed, by placing a piece of silver on a corresponding one of zinc, 
and oil lliem a piece of wet cloth or card : which is to be repeated 
alternately, till the number required be arranged in regular succes- 
sion. But, as the pieces are apt to tumble down, if their numbers 
be considernblei unless properly secured, it will be advisable to sup- 
port tbeui by means of three rods of glass, or baked wood, fixed 
intn a flat woudeu pedestal, and touching llie pieces of metal at 
three equi-distant points. Upou these rods may be made to slide a 
small circular piece of wood, perforated with three boIeS) which 
will serve to keep the top of the pile firm, and the diAerenl layen> 
in close contact. The moistened pieces should likewise i>e some- 
what smaller than those of m>'tal, and gently squeezed before they 
are applied, to prevent llie supcrfiiiuus moisture from insinuating 
itself between the pieces of nieial. Thus constructed, the apparatus 
^■ill affuni a pi-rpetual 


iu lilt ■mi) ; if 100 t»r employed, it v«r) severe but IrcmulDUS anil 
coDliiiued tcusatiou will extend even to the tlioulilera ; nml, if lli< 
suiface of Ilie skiu be broken, llie uctioii oi ibe vo[l4ic iiilluence 
will be uncoraniuiil; painful. 

Hie braMlioii oi ii fldih, or sliock wIlli litis n|>i):iraiiis <1oes <>ot 
Mttemllj diflcr from tbat produced by (wo simple plates, but it 
BIT be effected in varioui ways, especially if one or botb hands be 
ifplM in t wet itata lo Ibe lowest plate uf tbe pile ; or any part 
of tiw fMC be brought in contact willi a wire coiumunicating witb 
iha tap |Mce. Farlber, if a wire be held between tlie teeth, so ai 
l« K8t npon the tongue, that nrgau, as well as the lipi, will become 
coarabed, tbe Oaih will appear before tbe eye, and a very pungent 
tute will be perceived in llie mouth, 

WImo a metallic wire, having a bit of wetl.burat charcnal at ill 
txtiemily, k made to connect the two extremities of the pile, a spark 
will be penxind, or the pobt of the charcoal will become ignited. 

Varioiw other mode* of conslmcliug this apparatus have beea 
adopted, tome of which are much superior io point of convenience. 
One nwde it by io\dering the plates of zinc and copper togetbw, 
uid by cepneoltiig them into troughs of baked woodi covered with 
cement in the regular order, so as (o form cells to be filled with tbe 
fluid menslruum, each surbceof zinc being opposite to a surface of 
copper; aitd this combination is very simple and easy of application. 
Another form is that of iutrodnciog plates of copper and zinc, fav 
t«Md together by a slip of copper, into a trough of porcelain, con- 
taining a immber of cells corresponding to the number of the te- 
ries. The different series may be introduced separately into Ibe 
trougba awl taken out without the necessity of changing the fluid j 
ot they may be attached to a piece of baked wood (and when the 
wunber it not very large) introduced lata ibe cells, or taken out 

Simibf polar electrical arrangemeots lo those formed by zinc and . 
cop^ may be made by various alterations of conducting and im- 
perfret cMiductiog substances : but for tbe accumulation of tb« 
powet, the Kiiet must consist of three sobstances or more, and one, 
nt least, mitst he a conductor. Silver or copper when brought in 
etmtact with » aoltttion of a eoinpound of sulphur and potash, at 
one extremity, and is contaa wiih water or a nolution of nitre acid 
■Mt tbe other eztmwtj, tome aalioe solution being between the sul* 
.itMrtHted ud tbe Mid .Mdutions, forms u eJement of a powatfd 
VOL. ▼!. B 

M •iLTkme ■i.nrratoftT. 

cMBUmtioB, wfakk will pvt AaAa wbM Mj IM pat i/agUbai 
Hk other ii capper, doth of the mum hh Mg li lwtJ VUl Mlntiod 
■miteiied in the lolutioD of the eoniioanl of n^ku capper, 
awl M ott: the ^wdfic gnnliei of the lolatkmi ib«MM W in 
the oid<r ID which Ihc^ mre tnagei, ta pment the MhHIi^ of 
the acid UHi nliAiiKttMl Miafioa; thatii, the hewM'tohrtiDA 
Aoold be placed lowest. ■'' 

Foi tbCN and nriooi other p rogrewiTe < BM oteifa'w> miUMy 
indcbtcdto Sir Hnrnphrr Davy ; ai wo are ril^etber IbHk |tMt 
diMoni; reipectmg the agency of nritaiin, whkh w» paMhAed In 
the Pliiloioplikal TntMoctHMw, m a paper which gaiB«l tta ptB* 
propoMd on voltaJMS b; the French Eiaperor. Thk dlMowiy any 
be expreMcit in tbe following Mnteace : *■ Tho vottBfe«aBi|y hu 
the property of decampoaing all eonipound nbalaneea fmppomg 
dw batteiy rafficieotl)> powerfalj when the conrtitocnta tMgo them. 
•cl«M round the wiiet, psauDg from the two cKtrcaiitiet of the bat. 
tery, accotdbg to tbe following bnr: ox^cb «nd additnuge 
thcnuelvei round tbe pontire wire ; hydrogen, alluUea, eaithk, and 
■elcli. round tbe negelive wire." From Ihb Tcty inpaflnt dik 
corcry Sir Hnm|diry drew sereral Tery planaUe liifiiMiw Oxy- 
gtn and aeidi, snce they ire attneted towarrii the p o aH h e wit^ 
arc raturally negative i while, oo the other hand, hydmgtn, dka. 
liet, and metal*, being alttacled to tbe n^atirc wire, nra nntunlly 
poiilivc. When two lubitancet Me ebenioilly combiaod* Ibey are 
b difirent Mirtei of <jectricily ; and tbe more completely oppoeile 
thete sMci, the more intimately they are anted. Ts npantt the 


iW iiil 4titmr Imi^hmm foitoMite ^aoogb to ky4>peii to the worid a 
new knv of nature. 

It has been doubted by many persons^ whether the voltaic and 
electrical energy were the saaie : but thousands of experiments 
might be offered to prove them to be such. M. de Luc's very sim* 
pk aerial electroscope, or electrical column, as he calls it, may be 
adverted to, as sufficient of itself to establbh this fact. Thb co» 
lumo coosbts of sincplates and Dutch gilt.paper, in regular sue. 
eessioo, like the metallic i^ates of the voltaic pile, the groups being 
firom one thousand to ten thousand. When two of these columns 
are placed horiaontally, the oue insulated, and the other communis 
eating with the ground, each being terminated with a small bell, and 
a SBiaU brass ball is suspended between the two bells by a silken 
thready the ball, by the mere iufluence of the electricity contained 
io the atmosphere, will chime, by striking alternately from column 
to column, and consequently from bell to bell, sometimes more 
or less rapidly^ and sometimes more or less loudly, and sometimes 
scarcely at all, according to the state and proportion of the electric 
aura; and the instrument, which is a genuine voltaic pile, not only, 
proves the identity of the electric and voltaic power« but may ha 
conveniently employed as a measurer of the electricity which the at* 
moq>liere contains. It should he observed, however, that as there 
are no fluids known, except such as contain water, that are capable 
of being made the medium of connexion between- the metals, or 
metal of the voltaic apparatus, the effect in this, and in all similar 
instances, is resolved by Sir Humphry Davy into some snmll quan. 
tity of moistore, or water still existing in the substances employed, 
which he asserts will not act if each of the substances be made per- 
ftctiy dry« 

The first distinct experiment upon the igniting powers of large 
V(4taic plates was performed by MM. Fourcroy, Vauquelin, and 
Thenatd; but a much grander combbation for exhibiting the efr 
fects of extensive surface was constructed by Mr. Children, and coup 
sists of a. battery of twenty double plates four feet by two; of winch 
the whole. surftMes are exposed, in a wooden trough, in cells co» 
Tered witli cenwot, to the action of diluted acids. 

The most powerful combination, however, that exists, io wbich 
numbers of altetnatMUs is combined with the extent of surface, is 
that constructed by sabscriptions of a few aealons cultivators and 
patrons of science, iaihahiboratory of the^yal Institution. It 
GooriilplMtwdt hundred instruments connected together in r^ulat 

54 okXTAtna HwirmioiTT. 

af(l«r, etcb eonpowd nf riii iliiiihln |ililiii. iiiiniih m lliiifpiii 
cetain, and conlainiiig id etch pUle thirty-two a^ouc iocbe* } ao 
that (he whol« Dumber «f double |il«ta is 2000, nid tha wbok wr- 
Aw 128,000 aqfimrt iucho. Tbi* btttn; when tba aelk were 
filled wild nsty parti of water aiiaed with om part of aitiie acid. 
Mid one part of tbe tulphuric add, aSinied a aariai «f MHaDt and 
impressive eSecti. When pieees of diarcoal abovt aa aoh kng 
and ooe-sisth of an inch in diamaler were brought MaK^aakalbn- 
(withln tbe thirtieth part or fortieth part of an huhX «.bri|bt 
QMrk wai produced, aod more-tban half tbe viriaaa of ibadHUw 
coal became igiiitH) to wbitaflew ; aod by whbdrmriig tba poiaU 
ftom each other, a eooilant discharge took phwc Ibrei^ Iht Imled 
air, in a ipace equal at least to torn incfacs, prodwiag m Hoat bril- 
liant ascending arch of light, broad, aod cowod ka fan jn tbe 
tttddle. When any aubetance was btrodueed into this atch it ia. 
stantly became ignited ; platina melted u nadfl J in it H MM fai the 
flame of a common candle ; quarts, tba aapphirtt tm^mtk, Enc, 
all entered into f^ioa ; ftagmenta of di^Mudi aad potatt of dmr. 
coal and plombago, npidly diaapfwacMl, aad aiiaiail la naponle 
in it, even when the connexion waa made in a racaivar mknated by 
the au-.paaip ; but there waa no evidaaec of thai havhg piatfaaa l y 
undergone flisioB. ■ ■ ■ 

When Ae commonication between tbe points podtiN^aad se* 
gatively etcctrified waa made in air, rarefied ■ tba raaaivar of tbe 
ai^pamp, the dfatance at which tbe diacharge took pUea aa riaa il 
a the exhanition wu made ; aad when the atmospbeia ia tha riassl 


1 am tbcoty of magelitnt bean m ver}^ strong resemblance lo that 
of eledricilj, and it roast therefore be placed Dear it hi a syitem of 
mtBnl philosophy. We have seen the electric fluid uot only exert- 
ni{[ attnctioni and repulsions, and causing a peculiar dittributioD of 
neighbouring portions of a fluid similar to itself, but also excited is 
one body, and transferred lo another, in auch a manner as to be 
perteptible to the senses, or at least to cause sensible effects, in 
its punge. The attraction and repulsion, and the peculiar distribu- 
tioD of the neighbouring fluid, are found in (tie phKnomena of mag- 
oetiamj but we do not perceive that there is any actual excitation. 
or any percepUbk transfer of the magnetic fluid from one body to 
another disthict body; aud it has also this striking peculiarity, that, 
metallic iron is very nearly, if not absolutely, the only substaoct 
capable of exbibtting any indicatious of its presence or activity. 

For explaining the phsenomena of magnetism, we suppose the par> 
tides of a peculiar fluid lo repel each other, and to attract the par- 
ticles of metallic iron with equal forces, diminishing as llie square of 
the distance increases ; and the particles of such iron must also be 
imagined to repel each other, in a similar manner. Iron and slee], 
when soft) are conductors of the magnetic fluid, aud became leai 
and less pervious to it as their hardness increases. The ground 
work of this theory is due lo Mr, Aepinus, but the forces have been 
more particularly iiivestigated by Couloiul), and others. There art ' 
the same objections to these hypotheses as to those which conslilut* 
the theory of electricity, if considered as original and fundamental 
properties of matter: and it is additionally difticult to imagine, 
why iron, and iron only, whether apparently magnetic or not, should 
repel similar particles of iron with a peculiar force, which happens 
lo be precisely a balance to the attraction of (lie magnetic fluid for 
iron. This is obviously improbable ; but the hypotheses are still of 
great utility in assisting us to generalise, and to retain in memory 
a number of pailicular facts which would ollierwise he insulated. 
The doctrine of the circulation ot streams of the magnetic fluid has 
been Justly aud universally abandoned j and some other tlieorics, 
much more ingenious, and more probable, fof instance that of Mr. 

54 irioirsTilir. 

Pr^ost, appear to be too complieated^ ami too little supported by 
ftcts, to require much of 6ar attention* 

Tlie distinction between conductors and noneonducton is, with re- 
spect to the electric fluid, irregular and intricate ; but in magnetism* 
the softness or hardness of the iron or steel constitutes the only 
difierence. Heat, as softening iron, must consequently render it 
a conductor i even the heat of boiling water aficts it» in a certab 
degree, although it can stcarcely be supposed to alter its temper; but 
the eftct of a moderate heat is not so connderaMe in magnetism 
as io electricity. A strong degree of heat appears, from the expe- 
riments of Gilbert, and of Mr. Cavallot to destroy completely all 
magnetic action. 

It b perfectly certain that magnetic effects are produced by quan- 
tities of iron incapable of being detected either by their weight or by 
any chemical tests. Mr. Cavallo foimd that a lew particles of steel, 
adheruig to a hone, on which the point of a needle was sl^tly 
rubbed| imparted to it magnetic properties ; and Bfr. Coulomb has 
observed, that there are scarcely any bodies in nature which do not 
exhibit some marks of being subjected to the influence of mag- 
netbm, although its force is always proportional to the quantity of iron 
which they contain, as far as that quantity can be ascertained; a single 
grain being sufficient to make 30 pounds of another metal sensibly 
magnetic A combination, with a large proportion of oxygen, de- 
prives iron of the whole or the greater part of its magnetic proper, 
ties ; finery cinder is still considerably magnetic, but the more per. 
feet oxids and the salts of iron only in a slight degree ; it is also 
said that antimony renders iron incapable of being attracted by 
the magnet. Nickel, when fireed from arsenic and from colmlt, b 
decidedly magnetic, and the more so as it contains less iron. Some 
of the older cbembts sui^posed nickel to be a compound metal con- 
taining hron ; and we may stfll venture to assume thb opinion as a 
magnetical hypothesis. There b indeed no way of demonstrating 
that it b impossible for two substances to be so united as to be 
mcapable of separation by the art of the ehembt; had nickd been 
as dense as platina, or as light as cork, we could not have supposed 
that It contained any consklerable quantity of iron, but in fiict the 
specific gravity of these metab b very nearly the same, and nickel is 
never found in nature but in the neigfabourliood of iron ; we may 
therefore suspect, with some reason, that the hypothesb of the 
existence of iron in nidcei may be even chemically tme. The 

mriMtt taitrife iilBMturiy » tome metia^ 
uoa, and if iron were the only substance capable of exhibiting 
Biag net ic B l tflectt, it would follow that some ferruginous partides 
mutt exist in the upper regions of the atmosphere. The light 
usually attending this magnet ical meteor may possibly be derived 
from electricity, which may be the immediate cause of a change of 
the distribution of the magnetic fluid, contained in the femiginoua 
vapours^ that are imagined tu float in the air. 

We are still less capable of distinguishing with certainty m 
magnetism, than in electricity, a positive from a negative sUte, or 
a real redundancy of the fluid from a deficiency. Tlie north 
pole of a magnet may be considered as the part in which the mag* 
aetic fluid is either redundant or deficient, provided that the aonth 
pole be understood in a contrary sense : thus, if the north pole of a 
magnet be supposed to be positively charged, the south pole roost 
be imagined to be negative; and in hard iron or steel tfacae poica 
may be considered as unchangeable. 

A north pole, therefore, alwavs repels a north pole, and attractt 
a south pole. And in a neutral piece of soft iron, near to the north 
pole of a magnet, the fluid becomt* s so di^tribut *d, by indoetiOD, 
as to form a temporary south pole next to the magnet, and the 
whole piece is of course attracted, from the great proximity of tha 
attracting pole. If the bar is sufliciently soft, and not too loag^ 
the remoter end becomes a north pole, and the whole bar a perfect 
temporary magnet. But when the bar is of hard steel, the state of 
induction is imperfect, from the resistance oppose<l to the motion 
of the fluid ; hence the attraction is less powerful, and an opposite 
pole it fomied, at a certain distance, within the bar ; and beyond 
this another pole, simiUir to the first ; the alternation being tome^ 
timet repeated more than once. The distribution of the fluid within 
the magnet is also affected by the neighbourhood of a piece of toft 
ihm, the north pole becoming more powerful by the vicinity of the 
new south pole, and the south pole being consequently ttrengthened 
in a certain degree ; so that the attractive power of the whole om^ 
net it increased by the proximity of the iron. A weak magnet it 
capable of receiving a temporary induction of a contrary magnetitm, 
from the action of a more powerful one, its north pole becoming a 
tooth pole on the approach of a stronger north pole; but the original 
sooth pole ttill retaint itt situation at the opposite end^ and restoret 


jd' MXOItmiM.' 

the magnet marl; to ki original condbioo, tA«r tiw wwil of tbe 

disliirbing cauM. 

The polarity of niignrrs, or their diipoHtioa to iiMime • eerlun 
direction, is of still greater imporlmnce ibaa Ibeir altractifc power. 
Ifasmall magnet, or ainiply a soft wire, be poiaed on a centre, it 
will arrange ilvelf in such » direction, as will proiluce an MpuUbiium 
of the attractioua anil repulsions of llie poles of a larger mgBet ; 
being a tanfceat to a certain oval figure, paising through ihme poles, 
of which the properties have been calculated by varioiu matbena- 
liciaus. Tliis polarit) may easily be iuiilaled by etcctiicily ; a sus- 
pended wire being brought near to the ends of a positive and negative 
conductor, which are placed parallel to each other, as ui Nainw's 
electrical machine, its position is perfectly similar to that of a needle 
attracted by a magnet, of which those conductor* represent the 

The same effect is observable in iron filings placed neat a maguet, 
and they adliere to each other in curved lines, by virtue of their in. 
dnced magnelbni, llie north pole of each particle being attached to 
the south pole of the particle next it. This arrangement Inay be 
seen by placing the filings either on clean mercury, or on any Hr&cc 
tbai can be agitated ; and it may b« imitated by strewuig powder 
on a plate of gbss, supported by two balls, which are cooliarily 

Hie ))olarity of a needle may often be observed wheu it eshibils 
no sensible attraction or repulsion as a whole ; and this may easily 
be understood by considering that wheo one end of a needle is re- 


Ill tb« Biternal parli of the earlli, is probably of a far n 

»lructiire, and we cnn only judge of its nature from Ihe nrioutpfaK. 

iioineaa derived from iisinBuence. 

The accumulation and the deficiency of the magnetic fluid, which 
dMonioe the place of the polei of this imgael, are prubably in 
ftct coDiidenbly diffused, but they may genenliy be imagined, 
witluMt mtKh error in tlie remit, to centre in two points, one of 
then netrer to the north pole of the earth, the other to the south 
poki Ir consequence of their attrsclions and repuUioni, a needle, 
wbeUwr prcrkiiidy magnetic or not, assumes always, if freely poised^ 
Ae diredioii necessary for its equilibiiuni ; which, in varioas parts 
«f the globe, is variously inclined to t»e meridian and to the horizon. 
Heaee ariaes the use of the compass in navigation, and in sarrcyng i 
a QMdle, which is poised with a liberty of horisuDlal motion, asaiuf 
ng Ibe direction of the magnetic meridian, which for a certain time 
mrmioa almost invariable for the same place ; and a similar pn- 
perty n also observable in the dipping needle, which is moveable 
only in m vertical plane ; for when ibis plane is placed in the mag> 
jietic laeiidian, the needle acquires an inclination to the boriaoo, 
which varies according to the situation of the place with ivt|Mct 
to the magnetic poles. 

The natural polarity of Ihe needle may be in some measure illu» 
Iraled by inclosing an artificial magnet in a globe; the direction of 
a (mall needle, suspended over any part of its surface, being dcter> 
■nteed by the position of the poles of the magnet, in the same nian> 
ner aa the direction of the compass is delenniued by the magnetical 
poles of the earth, although with much more regularity. Id either 
case the whole needle is scarcely more or less attracted towards the 
globe than if the influence uf magnetism were removed; eicept 
when the small needle is placed very near lo one of Ihe poles of the 
artificial magnet, or, on the other hand, when Ihe dipping needle is 
'cmfrioyed in the neighbourhood of some strata of ferruginous suk 
ilaDcvt, which, in particular parts of the earth, iutertere materially 
with the more general effects, and alter the direction of the magnetic 

A bn of son iron, placed in the situation of the dipping needle, 
acquires ftMB the earth, by induction, a temporary state of magne- 
ttsUj which may- be reversed at pleasure by revenrag its direction; 
bnt ban of iron wUeh have remained long in or near this direction, 
iMnae a perniairtbtfolBrily ; for iron, even when it has been at 


fint quite mA. bceomM in tiw r Utli battbr. A wmwl V^Mt 
it no noPB tbui a bovjr iron oK,wkic^ m tbt couth pfage^bu 
■cquired a strong polarity, from the pMt priahiTC ■■— fT*, It 
nut haw lain in fome dtgnt detrndbad, and aiHit poiBtia botlhtle 
coadactiag power, in order to hive nceivad and to niMn.ib W* 

We cannot, from an j BMumed utoatioo of two ot moi* magaetic 
polo, calculate the true ponlioo of the needle for all pl—a ; uiA 
even ui tbc same place, iti direction ii (dncrred to cbtigi is Ac 
cowM of jean^ according to a law which ha* never jat hae^ P^^ 
rail; ^latenniiicd, altfaough the nriation which haa been abaar T ai ^ 
at any one place, aioce the ditcovery of the compai^ nuf poiiapa 
be comprehended in nroe very intrieate expreuioni ; b«t|btlai 
depradenoe can be placed on any calculation! of Uiii kindL H there 
k reason (o think that the change depends rather on cbemical than 
o> physeal caiuei. Dr. Ualley indeed coiqeGturcd that tba earth 
contained a nucleus, or sepaiaie apfaere, icvolring freely withiait, 
or rather floating is a 6uid contained in the intermediate ipwa, and 
causing the nriation of the magnetic mcridiao ; and others bave 
attributed the eikct to the motions of the celcstul bodki i but in 
cither case the changes produced woolci have &eaq.|nuch BOOceiagB- 
lar and nuivrrsal than Ihoae which have been actually obMnad. 
Teanporery cfaaiigca of the lerresttiil tnagnelism have certainly ben 
Boencliniea occasioned by otlier causes ; such causes are, tbcrefaf^ 
noal likely to be coooemcd in the more pennaaeut efiects. Tknw 
the eruption of Mount Heda was found to derange the pq^tioa of 


dian were conalant for the same place, or even if it viried aecordfag 
to any «lweoveral>le law: siuce it would affoH a ready mocle of 
delermiiiitts l)>e loitgilude of a place by a comparison of an isln^ 
DODiical obsemtion of its litilude willi another of (he magnitude of 
the declination. And in some cases it may even now be applied to 
tbb purpose, where we have a collection nf late and numeroui obser- 
valion«. Siicli observations have from lime to lime been arranged 
in cliarts, furnished with lines indicating the magnitude of the 
declination or variation at the placet tlirough which they paat, 
beginning from the line of no variation, and proceeding on the 
OI^Mute sides of this line to show the magnitude of the variatioa 
cast or west. It is obvious that the interseciion of a given parallel 
of latitude, with the line showing the magnitude of the variatiou, 
will indicate the precise situation of the place at which the obierva* 
tioni have been made. 

The line of no variation passed in 1675 through London, and in 
1666 through Paris ; its northern extremity appears to have moved 
contiriually eastwards, and its soulliern parts westwards ; and it now 
puses through the middle of Asia. The opposite portion seems to 
have moved more uniformly westwards ; it now runs from North 
America (o the middle of the South Atlantic. On 'the European 
side of these Imes, the declinalioa is westerly ; on the Sooth 
American side, it is easteriy. The variation in Lond<Hi hat 
been for several years a little more than 24°. In the West In- 
dies it changes but slowly ; for instance it was 5" near the island of 
Barbadoes, (rotn I70O to 1756. 

l^e dip of the north pole of the needle in the neighbourhood of 
London is 72°. Hence the lower end of a bar standing upright, as 
■ pober, or a lamp-iron, becomes always a north pole, and a tem- 
porary south pole of a piece of soft iron being uppermost, it is 
somewhat more strongly attracted by the north pole of a magnet 
placed over it, than by its south pole ; the distribution of the fluid 
in the magnet itself being also a little more favourable to the attrac 
lion, while its north pole is downwards. It is obvious that the 
magnetism of the northern magnetic pole of the earth must reaenthle 
that of the south pole of a magnet, since it attracts the north pole ; 
so that if we considered the nature of the disiribution of the fluid 
rather than its situation in the earth, we should call it a sontb pole. 
Altboogb it is hnpotsiUc to find any places for two, or even for a 


gmin Munber of lugMtic pdtM, wbid will comttlj eqilain (be 
dinetieii of tbc needle ia ever; put of the earth*! uirface, yet tbe 
dip may be detenniDed with tolerable acenncj, from tbe wppoii- 
lioa of a unBll magnet i^aced at tbe centra of the cartb, and dincted 
toward! a point in Baffin'! Bay, about 75° noitb latitude •■>d 70* 
longitude west of London ; and the variation of tbe dip u w bicon- 
HdenUe, Ibat a Tery ilow change of ibe position of thii iuppowd 
nagael would probably be luScient to produce it ; bnt tbopen* 
tioa of lucb a magnet, according to the general laws of tbt ftteaa 
coneerned, could not pouibly account for the very irregulai dapo* 
aition of tbe carres indicating the degree of nriation or decUaatiaii; 
a general idea of these might perhaps be obtained from tbe fupposi- 
tion of two magnetic polei situated in a tine considerably dtitKBt from 
tbe centre of tbe earth ; but thu bypolhetii is by no mean mSciently 
accurate to allow us to place any dependeuce on it. 

The art of making magnets conusts in a proper q)plicatiaD of the 
■tlndinni and repulsions of the magnetic fluid, by meani of the 
diSeivnt coDductiug powers of difiercnt kinds of iron and itcel( lo 
tbe production and preservation of lucb a diilribution of tbe fluid 
bi a magnet, a! is tbe best 6tied to the exbilntion of tisptculiar 

We may begin with any bar of iron that bus long Hood in ■ Tn* 
tical pbsilioa ; but it is mere oommon to employ an artificial ma^Ht 
of greater strength. When one pole of such a magnet loncbea tt* 
end of a bar of bard iron or steel ; that end auomea ' 
tlie oppotite character, and Ibe opposite end the K 

IIm ine^ is c^publ^ It i^ liowever, more usual to employ the 
process called the double touch : placing two magnets, with their 
opposite poles near to each other, or the opposite poles of a single 
magoet» bent into the form of a horse-shoe, in contact with the mid. 
die of the bar : the opposite actions of these two poles then conspire 
in their effort to displace the magnetic fluid, and the magnets having 
been drawn backwards and forward:} repeatedly, an equal number 
of times to and from each end of the bar, with a considerable pres. 
sure, they are at last withdrawn in the middle^ in order to keep the 
poles at equal distances. 

Iron 6tings, or the scoriae from a smith's forge, when finely levi« 
gated, and formed into a paste with linseed oil, are also capable of 
being made collectively magnetic. A bar of steel, placed 
between two magnets, and suddenly quenched by cohi water, be. 
comes in some degree magnetic, but not so powerfully as it may be 
rendered by other means. For preserving magnets, it is usual to 
place their poles in contact with the opposite poles of other magnets^ 
or with pieces of soft iron, which, in consequence of their own in- 
duced magnetism, tend to favour the accumulation of the magnetic 
power in a greater quantity than the metal can retain after tliey are 
removed. Hence the ancients imagined that the magnet fed on 

A single magnet may be made of two bars of steel, with their ends 
pressed into close contact ; and it might be expected tliat when 
these bars are separated, or when a common magnet has been divided 
in the middle, the portions should possess the properties of the re- 
spective poles only. But in fact the ends which have been in contact 
are found to acquire the properties of the poles opposite to those of 
their respective pieces, and a Certain point in each piece is neutral, 
which is at first nearer to the newly formed pole than to the other 
end, but is removed by degrees to a more central situation. In this 
case we must suppose, contrarily to the general principles of tlie 
theory, that the magnetic fluid has actually escaped by degrees from 
one of the pieces, and has been received from the atmosphere by the 

There is no reason to imagine any immediate connexion between 
magnetism and electricity, except that electricity affects the conduct- 
ing powers of iron or steel for magnetism, in the same manner as 
heat or agitation. In some cases a blow, an increase of tempera- 
ture, or a shock of electricity, may expedite a little the acqubition 

6e H&ennflv. 

6( poltrity ; but won eoninanl; an; ooe of Amt num impain 
the iDtifnctic power. Trokmot RobiiHoa femd, that «Imii • good 
magnet wu stnick for tlirce quirien of an hour, and allowMl io the 
metn time to riag, iU ciEcacy wai dcatrajed ; allhoogh tbt ame 
oparatioa had little efieet mhta ibe rin|piig wa« impeded : lo that 
the cQutiDued eurtion of the coheeivc aod repiilim powcn appean 
tofhTow the tiaQsniinioD of the magnetic a« well m of the electric 
fluid, "Hie intcnial agitation, produced ia bending a magneti c win 
nond a cylinder, alio dcflmji it* polaritft tad the <q)en(ioii of a 
file bai the nine effect. Hr. Carallo hu foond that biaM b e co m a * 
in general much more capable of being ^tiacted when it hat been 
hammered, even bctwem iwo flinta ; aod that tfaii propeitj ii again 
diminiahed bjr fire ; in thu ca*e it maj be conjcetured that tmiMmer- 
ing iDGreaMt the couiluctiDg power of tlw ina cootainwl b the 
braMt and tfau rcnden it more Muceptibic of magnetic netiaii. 
Mr. Cavallo alio obicrved that a magnetic needle wu more 
powerfully attracted by iron filings during their wlutiaB in 
acidat ctpecially in the lutphnric acid, than eitber beinn or after 
the q>ention : otben ba*e not always nccrcdcd in Ibe opetk 
ment; bnl tltere b nolliiog improbable in tbe circumiliM^ and 
there may have been some actual diftrenee in the reealli, de. 
pendent on causes too mmule for obserTalioo. In subjects an Ittla 
understood as tbe tbeoiy of magnetism, we are obliged to admit 
tome paradoaical propositions, which are only lurpriMng on neeomt 
of tbe imperfect state of onr knowledge. Yet, little as we can ma- 
derstand the intinntc nature of niagneticBl actions, Ihey exhibit t* 

• »• 

i?oi t A f » iii|i i ^1 ll M | j v jiy,< Hijy.i -•7 





Principles of Aerostation, 

1 HE fuDdameotal principles of this art have been long and gene, 
rally known, as well as the speculations on the theory of it j but 
tbc successful application of them to practice seems to be altoge- 
ther a modem discovery. These principles chiefly respect the 
weight or pressure, and elasticity of the air, with its specific gra* 
vity, and that of the other bodies to be raised or floated in it | the 
particular detail of which principles, however, we have not 
space to enlarge upon. Suffice it therefore, for the present, to 
observe, that any body which is specifically, or bulk for bulk, lighter 
than the atmosphere, or air encompassing the earth, will be buoyed 
up by It, aud ascend, like as wood, or a cork, or a blown bladder, 
ascends in water. And thus the body would continue to ascend to 
the top of the atmosphere, if the air were every where of the samd 
density as at the surface of the earth. But as the air is compressible 
and elastic, its density decreases continually in ascending, on ac« 
count of the diminished pressure of the superincumbent air, at the 
higher elevations above the earth ; and therefore the body will as. 
cend only to such a height where the air is of the same specific 
gravity with itself; where the body will float, and move along with 
the wind or current of air, which it may meet with at that height. 
Thb body then is an aerostatic machine^ of whatever form or mu 
ture it may be. And an air-balloon is a body of this kind, th^ 
whole mass of which, including its covering and contents, and th# 
weights amiexed to it, is of less weight than the same bulk of air in 
which it rises. We know of no solid bodies, however, that are light 
enough thus to ascend and float in the atmosphere ; and therefore 
recourse must be had to some fluid or aeriform substance. Among 
these, that which is called inflammable air, the hydrogen gas of the 
new nomeDclature, is the most proper of any that have hitherto been 


dixonred. It is very eUtlic, and from ilx to ten or elemi timn 
lighter tliin common air; and conmiaratly thii componnd mau 
will riac in ihe atmosphrn, and continue to aKcnd till it attain a 
bcigbl a) whicli tha atmoaphera u of the lame (pedfic gnritj as 
itMlf ; where it will remain or float witb the cumot of air, av long 
u the icAatnmable air does not escape through the porea of its co- 
Teriag. And this li an inflammable air-balloon. Another iny u to 
make use of common air. rendered lighter by wanning it, iiuteadof 
the infiamraable air. Heat, it is well known, rarefies atid cvpaBdi 
common air, and consequently lessens its specific gravity: and the 
diminutton of >!■ weight is proportional to tlie beat qiplied. If 
therefore the air, iodoMd in auy kind of a bag or covering, be batted, 
and coa<eqtieiitly dilated, to such a degree, that the exccaa of Ihe 
weight of an equal bulk of common air, above the weight of the 
heated air, Tk greater than the weiglit of the cohering and its ap- 
pendages, the whole compound mats will ascend in the atDwa|di«c, 
tillt by Ihe diminished density of the surrounding air, tba wh<d« 
becomes of the same specific gravity with the air in which it float*; 
where it will remain, till, by tlie cooling and coadcnsatioo of the 
included air, it shall gradually contract and descend again, unless 
the heat is renewed or kept up. And such is a heated air-balloon, 
otherwise called a Montgolfier, from its inventor. Now it has been 
discovered, by various experiments, that one degree of heat, accord- 
ing to the scale of Fahrenheit's thermometer, expands the air about 
one fire.hundreth part ; and, therefore, that it will require about 
500°, or nearer MV of heat, to expaad the air to just double its 

niaToat or *BBO«TAnoir. m 

Orthne, MDie atleinpu have been upon ntetlianica! princi|ilM, «r 
by virtue of llie powers of iiieclianisrH : and such are concfivcJ !• 
be llie in^tai>ces rrluleit of ilie flviiig pigeon made by Arclijtjs : (be 
flying eagle and fly by Regjomonlaiiuj, and various olhers, Arsuii, 
olber projects have beei rbrned tor attaching n'wg» to gome part 
«f tbe body, which were to be moved either by the handior firet, 
trf the help of meclianical powers; so that slrikiog tfie air with them, 
•ftei Ihe muioer of the wiag« of a bird, the person mi^l raise him- 
■rif in Ihe air, and traniport himself through it, in imitation of (hit 
■aianl. The romances of almost every nalion have recorded ia. 
«tancei of persons being carried through Ihe air, both by Ihe agency 
of iiMriUaiid mecbanical inventions; but (ill tbe time of the cele. 
brated Lord Bacon, no rational principle appears ever to have been 
thovght of by which this might be accomplished. Friar BacoO, io* 
(feed, bad written upon the subject ; and many had lupposedf that, 
by menu of artificial wingi, a man might fiy as well as a bird : but 
these oi^ions were refuted by Borelli ia his Itfatise De Hotu AnU 
tnalinm, where, from a comparison between the power of Ihe mas- 
cles which move the wings of a bird, and those which move the arnif 
of • man, he demonstrates that the latter are ntterty iusafficient to 
■Irlke the air with such force as to raise bim from the ftroiuid. Ia 
the year 1672, Bishop Wilkins published his " Discovery of ibe 
New World," in which he certainly seems to have conceived tbe 
idea of raising bodies into the atmosphere by filling them witb rare- 
fied air. This, however, be did not by any means pursue; bat 
rated hi* hopes upon mechanical motions, to be accomplished by 
human strength, or by springs, &c. which have been proved inct> 
pable of answering any useful purpose. The Jesuit, Francis Lanat 
cotemporary with Bishop Wilkins, proposed to exhaust hollow balli 
of metaj of their air, and by that means occnsion them lo ascend. 
But though the theory was unexceptionable, Ihe means were certainly 
insufficient to tbe end : for a vessel of cupper, made sutticiently ihin 
to fioat in the atmosphere, would be utterly unable to resist Ihe es> 
temal pressure, which being demonstrated, no atletnpl was mad« 
Upon that principle. So ihat we may reckon nothing to have been 
particularly concerted towards aerostation, till Ihe experiment of one 
Gusman, a Portuguese friar, wlio is reported early in the last centurr 
to have launched a paper bag into the air; which, bowever. soon 
fell, after attaining the height of 100 teet. Soon after Mr. Caven. 
dUi'B discovery of Ate ipccfflc gravity of mflsiiuiiable air, it occurred 



to ihe inicDioiu Dr. Blacit, of Edinburgh, that if « bladdcrt 111& 
cienlly lijchtand thin, were filled wilh litis air, it would forai a man 
ligliler than the same bulk of atmoapheric air. and rise in it. Thia 
thought v*a( miKgeited in hii lectum ia 1767 or 1768 ; aid ba pro. 
poied, by means of the allaittois of a calf, to try the experiment. 
Other employ nienlt, howrver, prevented the eiecution of hi* deaign. 
The possibility of coiittructing a vessel, which, when filled with in. 
flammable air, would ascend in the atmosphere, had occnned also to 
Mr. Cavallo about the same time ; and to bitii belongs tb« btHiotir 
of having first made cxperimenit on this subject, in (he beijitiiuog of 
the year 1763, of which an account wa* read to the Koyat Society, 
on the aOtb of June, in thai year. He tried btadden j but tbe lliin. 
nctt of these, however tcra|>ed and deanedi were too heavy. In 
using China^puper, he found that the iiiAammable air patted through 
its pore*, like water through a sieve ; and having failed of aucceu 
by blowbg this air into a tlikk solution of gum, thick varnishes, 
and oil paint, he was uttdcr a necessity of being satisfied with soap- 
balb ; which, being ttidalcd with inflammable air, by dipfmig the 
end of a suialt glass tube, coonected with a bladder containing the 
air, iolo a thick sulutiun of boap, and gently compressing tbe blad' 
der, ascended rapidly in the atmosphere ; and these were the first 
wrt of ioflainmable air-ballons that were ever niailc. 

But while aerostation seemed thus on the point of being mtde 
kao»n in Britain, it was all at once aimounced in France, by two 
brotlien, Stephen and John Montgolfier, native) of Annonay, and 
masten of a coutklerable paper- menu factory thert, who lud turned 

time «f f06t fttt tmm tbe place it had left. Soon after tbU, om 
nf Ihe bfotbert, invited b; tlie Acttdemif of Sciences In repeat lib 
ciperimenls at thnr expense, conilrucled a larRe balloon nf br 
elltptieal fonn. In a preliminary experiment, Ihis machine lil'leH 
from the eround eishi (Mrson; who held if, aitd would have carried 
them all off, if more had not quickly come to Ihfir nssisliince. Next 
day the machine wag lille'l by the combustion of liFly pounds of 
■Iraw, and twelve pounds of wool. The mHchine soon swelled, 
and sustained itself in the air, log>?llier with the cljurge nf between 
4 and 500 pounds weight. It wai designed to repeal llic ccperi. 
■nent before the king, at Ver^ilUs ; but a viulcnt siurm of rain and 
wind happening to damage the machine, it became necessary to pre- 
pare a new one | ami such expedition was used that this vast balluoo, 
near 60 feet in height, and 43 in diameter, was made, painted within 
and without, and finely decorated, in do more than four ddys and 
four biglita. Along with it was sent a wicker cage, conlsiuing a 
■beep, a cock, and a duck, which were llie first animals ever sent on 
such a voyage. The full success of the experiment was, however, 
prevented by a violent gust of wind, wliicli tore the machine in two 
places near the top before it asceniled. Still it rose 1440 feet ; and 
after renoaiiiitig in the air about eight minutes, fell to the groiiod at 
tbe distance of 10,300 feet from the place of its setting out, Tha 
animals were not in the least hurt. 

As the great power of these aerontatic machines, and their very 
padual deicent, shewed they were capable nf transporting people 
Ibrougb the air with all imaginable safety, M. PiUtre de Rozier 
offered himself to be the first aerial adventurer in a new machine, 
coRftrucled in a garden ii) the fauxbourg of St. Antotne. It wai 
of an oval tbape, 48 feet in diameter, and 74 in height, elegaotly 
pabted with the signs of the zodiac, ciphers of the king's aamu, 
and otber ornaments. A proper gallery, grate, ice. enabled tba 
peraon who ascended to supply the lire with fuel, and (bus keep up 
tbe machine as long as he pleased. ^\ie weight of the wbole appa- 
ratus wu upwards of t^OO pounds. Oq the t ^tb of October, 1783, 
M. Pihitrc placing himself in the gallery, tbe machine was inflated, 
and permitted to ascend to the height of 84 feel, where he kept it 
afloat about four minutes and a half; after which it deKendpd viery 
goitly : and inch wai its tendency to ascend, that it rebognded to a 
considerable height after touching the ground. On repeating the 
npiyiment, be ascended to the height of SIO fret. Hii next aiccal 

m ■itTMT ov ATtmanAmm. 

tMiSfiSfttt; and mtlM dswcnt, & gut of wiod bivhig blotrn tbe 
■MduM over toiM large tran ■ as idjoMag gaiden, U. Pilatra 
nddcnly cxirinted binwelf by tbnwfpg Mnw and wool on the fire, 
wbkb raked him at oooa to a luSeient keigbt. On dewesdiiv 
Bgini, ba once more railed himialf to a proper hcighl by tha ame 
ncaoi. Some time after, he atcaudcd, with H. OiroDd ^ Villctte, 
(•the height of 930 feet; borering aver Pariiat Icaat Me Btinutes 
■I ugbt of all the inbabitaiiti, and the macbiiK keeping aU the whila 
a ateadj position. Tbeie esperimenti ihewed, tbat the airMtalic 
macfaisea miglit be tailed or lowered at the pleanrfr-sf the penona 
■rfao aKflnded. On the Slit of November, 1783, tbetnlMe, H. 
PSIlti*, and tbe Marqnia d'Arlande^ undertook an aerial voyage, 
iriueh fauted about 25 mmntci, and during whieh time they padcd 
•rcr a ipace of above five aiilea. Prom tbe account gnen by tb* 
Harqnw, tbey net wilb Mvcral difieicnt conenb of air, the bSkI of 
wbieh wa> to gire a very lensble shock to the macbioc, lad thtdt 
fcdioni ofthe motion Mcmed to be from the upper part dtmowMik. 
It appeals abo that tliey were in some daogar oJT having the -balloon 
fttmt altogether: as tbe Marquk observed wt«ral naid boica 
Made by tbe Ak ui tbe lower part of it, whieh ataraed Ua coni- 
deiaUy, and. Indeed, not wkfaont reason. However, the pngrea of 
tiM fire was eaaly stopped by tbe qipbation of a wet tpaagct aad 
alt appearance of danger ceased. 

This voyage of M. niatre, and the Marquis, may be Mbl to fmi> 
dude tbe history of aerostatic machines which are elevalnl by 
Bwans of fire ; these having been soon after superseded by b 

^pojigt Biade by Messrs* Rosier and Arlandef, aaturally suggested 
tW idea of undertakiag ^tomethiog of the same kind with a ballooa 
filled with iBflamniable air. The machine u^ed on thb occasion was 
formed of gores of silk, covered with a varnish of caoutchouc, of a 
ttplierical ligwFe* and measuring 27 i feet in diameter. A net was 
•pread over the upper hemisphere, and fastened to a hoop, which 
passed round the middle of the balloon. To thi5 a sort of car was 
svspeoded a feiv feet below the. lower part of the balloon ; and ia 
order to prevent the bursting of the machine, a valve was placed io 
itf by opening of which some of the iuHainmable air might be oc. 
casionaltv let out. The car was of basket work, covered with linen, 
and beautifully ornamented | being eight feet long, four broad, and 
thi«e and a half deep ; its weight 130 pounds. Great ditiicultitf 
agflim oceurred in filling the machine, but these at last being ne* 
moved, the two adventurers took their seats at three quarters aAer 
<Mie io tiM aAemoon of the Ist of December, 1783. At the tima 
the baUocm rose, the thermometer stood at of Fahrenheit, and the 
bsTMneter at 30*18 inches; and, by means of the power of ascent 
with wkicb they left the ground, the balloon rose till the meremy 
Ml ta if inches, from which they calculated their height to \m 
about 60O yards. Throwing out ballast occasionally as they foand 
the machine descending by the escape of some of the inflammable 
air, they found it practicable to keep at pretty near the same diu 
taoce from the earth, during die rest of their voyage ; the qiiiciu 
sil?er fluctuating between 37 and ^7'65 inches, and the tfaermo. 
meter between 53' and 57^, the whole time. They continaed in 
the air an hour and three quarters, and alighted at the distance of 
twenty-seven miles from Paris ; having suflered no inconvenienee 
during their voyage, nor experienced any contrary currents of air, 
aa had been felt by Messrs. Pilatre and Ariandes. As the balloon 
ftill retained a great quantity of inflammable gas, M. Cliarles de* 
termmed to take another voyage by himself. M^ Robert accovd* 
higly got out of the machine ; which now being 130 pounds hghter, 
arose with such velocity, that in twenty minutes he was almost IKXIO 
fcet in tfie air, and entirely out of sight of terrestrial objects. The 
globe, wbicki had been rather flaccid, soon began to swell, and 
the inflanranUe aiv escaped in great quantity. He also dKw the 
valve^ to preveaa tiie balloon from burstmg; and the mflammid>le 
gas^ being eonsideiably wanner than the fptemai air, difliised itself 
ill pwdr and w» fclt lifce n wann a lM| ||jfl iitij , Intenmimites^ 

1 3 


liDirem, the Ihcrmoniettr indicated m great nriuioa of tempers- 
tiire : liii lint:en were bednmbed with cold, and he fell i violeDt 
palli In bis right ear and jaw, which He iiatribed to Ibe eapamion of 
tlie air in tbese otgaas as well as tn llie external coldi The beaut; 
of the prospetl which he now enjoyed, howeter, made uacsdi for 
theie iiicon*enicncies. Al bii departure itie san wu Mt on the 
^lle^; but the height to which M. Charles waa got into ibc aN 
(Dotplwre rendered him again Tisiblei though only for a ahott timet 
He saw, for a t'eW Kconds, vdpoiirs riiins from the valleja aad ri 
Vtm, The clouds seemed to ascend from the earth, and collect 
One upbn ihe otlier, still preserving liieir usual tbrm ; only ibev 
colour was grpy and monotonous, for ftant of sufficient light in the 
Btmo>pliere. By tlie light of the moon, he perceived that the ms^ 
chine was turning rouod wiih him in the air ; and he observed that 
there Ivere contrary currents which brought him hack agaifl. He 
observed also, with surprise, Ihe eflecis of the wiad, and that the 
itreamers of his banners pointed upwards t whichj he hj^ could 
not be the effect ciliier of his tsceiit or descent) as he wm moving 
boriEontaily at the lime. At last, recollecting hii promise of re. 
turoing to hi> frieoil* in half an hour, lie pulled Ihe valvar snd Mb 
celeraled his descent. When within 3O0 feet of tlie earth, he Ihicv 
out two or tliree pounds of ballast, wliirb rendered the hnlloon 
again slationarj ; but, in 3 little liute afterwards, he gently alighted 
in afield Hbont three miles distance from the plarc whenco he aet 
ont ; though, by D)Bking allowance for hII the turnings and windings 


whicVW arose, as. measured by mathematical instraroents, was 
thoii(^t to be very litlle less than 10<000 feet; and be remained in 
the af mosphere an hour and a quarter. Notwithstanding the rapid 
progress of aerostation in France^ it is remarkable that we have no 
authentic accounts of any experiments of this kind being attempted 
iu other countries. Even in our own island, where all arts and 
sciences find an indulgent nursery, and many their birth, no aero- 
static machine was seen before the month of November, 1/83. Va- 
rious speculations have been made on the reasons of this strange 
neglect of so novel and brilliant an experiment ; but none seemed 
to carry any shew of probability, except that it was said to be dis- 
couraged by the leader of a philosophical society, expressly instituted 
for the improvement of natural knowledge, for the reason^ as was 
said, that it was a discovery of a neighbouring nation. Be this 
however as it may, it is a fact that the first aerostatic experiment 
was exhibited in England, by a foreigner unconnected and unsup- 
portei). This was a Count Zambeccari, an ingenious Italian, who 
happened to be in London about that time. He made a balloon of 
oiled silk, ten feet in diameter, weighing only eleven pounds ; it wat 
gilt, both for ornament, and to render it more impermeable to the 
inflammable air, with which it was to be filled. The balloon after 
being publicly shewn for several days in London, was carried to the 
Artillery-ground, and there being filled about three-quarters with 
inflammable air, and having a direction, inclosed in a tin box, for 
any person by whom it should afterwards be found, it was launched 
about one o'clock on the 25th of November, 1783. At half past 
three it was taken up, near Petworth, in Sussex, forty-eight miles 
distant from London ; so that it travelled at the rate of near twenty 
miles an hour. Its descent was occasioned by a rent in the silk, 
which must have been the effect of the rarefaction of the inflamma- 
ble air when the balloon ascended to a rarer part of the atmosphere. 
The attempts of M. Bianchard to direct his machine through tha 
atmosphere, were repeated in 1784, by Messrs. Morveau and Ber* 
trand, at Dijon, who raised themselves with an inflammable air. 
balloon to the height, as it was thought, of 1 3,000 feet : passing 
through a space of eighteen miles in an hour and twenty-five mi- 
nutes. M. Morveau had prepared oars for directing the machine 
through the air; but they were damaged by the wind, so that only 
two remained serviceable; by working these, however, they were 
d>lc to produce a seoaible effect on the motioD of the machine. 
h ft thiid aerial voyage perfonned by n ii» be seemed l# 



produce tome cOcct bit the ■gilUkM' of fab wingf, botb in Mcnid- 
iug, dtriccnding, nioviof tidnnyi, and e««B io xMite metiun agtioit 
the wiiid : buwcver thu u tuppoMd, with Mme probabilitj, t» ha** 
been a mistake, ai, io all bia luccecding voyage*, ttie cffecb of hi* 
niacUiner^ could wA be perceived. 

Having said thus mucb villi regard to the conducting aeioMatic 
inacliiiiej through the Blmotphere, we ahall new relate the allaa^tt 
made to lessen their expeoee, by fallinii upon aoine — nlrimrt to 
SKend MJlhoul throwing out tMllast, and to dewcnd witbowt loiiug 
auy of the iuBamnaable air. The fir*t atteiapt of thia kind waa 
macteby the Dukede Chartm; who, on the 13th of Julj, 1744, 
aaceuded wilb Ihe two brolhen, Charles and Robert, froaa tb« pMk 
of St. Cloud. The balloon was of an oblong form, made Io aKeod 
wilh its longest diameter horisontally, aud lueaaured fiAy.five feet in 
Icngiii, and twenty-four in brcadlh. It cnatained wilhio it a 
amaller balloon filled with common air ; bjp Mowing into which with 
a pair of bellows, and ihus throwiog in a considerable quantily of 
coinmoo air, it was supposed that the macliiiie would beoosaa *h^ 
ikieiilly heavy to descend ; especially as, by the iuflalion of the intar. 
mi bai;, the iuflamniable air in ilie eilernal one would be coadonied 
nio a smaller space, aui) thus become specifically heanw. Tba 
voyage, however, was attended with such circumstances aaitndarad 
it ini|H>*sible Io know what would have been the event of the saheMa. 
Tlie power of ascent, wtlh which they set out, seeoM to bovt 
been ver; great ; as in three minutes after parting from the grooMl, 
they were lost in the clouds, and involved In such a dcnaa t 


thM fliiVBj v«poiir ia which they had been involved. Tiiey now 
mw the Mm without a cload; but the heat of his rays, with the di- 
joioished density of the atmosphere, had suc^aa effect on the in« 
flammable air> that the balloon seemed every moment ready to 
burst* To prevent tliis they introduced a stick through the tube, 
in order to push away tlie inner balloon from its aperture ; but tlie 
expansion of the inflammable air pushed it so close, that all at- 
tempts of thit kind proved inefiectual. It was now, however, become 
absolutely necessary to give vent to a very considerable quantity of 
the inflammable air ; for which purpose the Duke de Chart res him* 
self bored too holes in the balloon, which tore open for the length 
of seven or eight feet. On this they descended with gre;it rapidity; 
and would have fallen into a lake, had they not hastily thrown out 
siftty^KHiads of ballast, which enabled them just to reach the 
water's edge. This scheme for raising or lowering aerostatic ma. 
chines by bags filled with common air being thus rendered dubious, 
another aaethod was thought of. This was to put a small aerocitatic 
machioe, with rarefied air, under an ioflammahle air-balloon, but at 
such a distance that the inflammable air of the latter might be per* 
fectly out of the reach of the fire used for inflating the fomier ; 
and thtts^ by increasing or diminishing the fire in the small machine, 
the absolute weight of the whole would be considerably diminished 
'#r augmented. This scheme was unhappily put in execution by the 
eelebrated M. Pilatre de Rozier and M. Romaine. Their inflam« 
mable air-balloon was about thirty-seven feet in . diameter, and the 
power of the rarefied air one was equivalent to about sixty-pounds. 
They ascended without any accident ; but had not been long in the 
alNMsphere when the inflammable air-balloon was seen to swell very 
eonsideraUyi at the same time that the aeronauts were observed, by 
weans of telescopes, very anxious to get down, and busied in pulling 
the val^Fe and opening the appendages to the balloon, in order to A^ 
dlitale the escape of as much inflammable air as possible. Shortly 
aftti thi» tlie machine took fire, at the height of about three quar« 
teM ei a mile from the ground. No explosion was heard ; and the 
silk of te balloen seemed to resist the atmosphere for about a mi* 
Dttte, after which it collapsed, and descended along with the two un« 
fortunate tnweUtrs sb rapidly, that both of them were killed. Pi. 
latm seemed t» hwre been dead before he came to the gronnd ; but 
li. Romaine wa^aUwa when some persons came up to him, though 
be expired immedialely Kfter* 
The Sat aeiial voyage ia England wi rfbnned on the 15tb of 


Scptcmlwr, 1784, by Vincent Lunanli, a iialtre of Italy. Hit bal. 
Inon wat made of oiled silk, painted in alternate ttripea of blue and 
red. Its diamcier ims thiny-thne feel. Froni a net which went 
over about Iwo-lhirds of the balloon detcended foTty-five cordi to a 
hoop hanging below the balloon, and to which the gallery was at* 
tacbed. The balloon bad no valve ; and iti neck, which termi- 
ualed in the form of a pear, was the npertnre through which the in. 
flammable air was introduced, and Ihrongh which it might be let 
out, . The air for filling the balloon was produced from tine by 
means of diluted vitriolic acid. Mr. Lunnrdi departed from the Ar> 
til lery- ground at two.o'clock ; and with him were a dog, a cat, and ' 
a pigeon. After throwing out some sand to dear the bonses, be 
ascended (o a great height. The direction of his motion at first was 
NW by W, but as Itie balloon rose higher it f^ll into another cnrreiit 
of air, which carried it nearly N. About half after three he descend- 
ed very near the ground and landed the cat, which was alniMt dead 
with cold : then rising, lie prosecuted his voyage. He ascribca hit 
descent to the action of an nar ; hut as be was under a necenity of 
throwing, out ballast in order to re-ascend, his descent was more 
probably occasioned by the lois of inftammable air. At lea minute* 
past four he descended on a meadow, iiear Ware, in Hertfordahin, 
The only philosophical instrument which he carried with him wn a 
thermometer, wliich, in the course of his voyage, slnod ai low u 
39*; and be observed that the drops of water collected round the 
balloon were frOEen> 
. The second aerial voyage, in England, was performed bj Mr. 

bo flife^4th of Ottober, Mr. Sadler^ an ingehioas tradesman, at 
Oxford, ascended at that place with an infliininiable air balloon of 
his oyyn construction and filling. And again, on the twelfth of the 
same mouth, he ascended at Oxford, an.i floated to the distance of 
fourteen miles, in seventeen minutes, which is at the rate of near 
fifty miles an hour. On the 2 3d of March, count Zambeccari, and 
Admiral Sir Edward Vernon, ascended at London, and sailed to 
Horshaiii, in Sussex, at the distance of thirty-five miles in less than 
an hour. The voyage proved very dajigerous, iwinj^ tfi some of 
the machinery about the valve being damaged, which obliged them 
to cut open some part ot the balloon when they were about two 
miles perpendicular height above the earth, the barometer having 
fallen from 30*4 to 20*8 inches. Iti descending they passed through 
a dense cloud, which felt very cold, and covered them with snow. 
The observations they made were, that the b^tlluou kept perpetually 
turning round in a vertical axis, sometimes so rapidly as to make 
each revolution in four or five seconds; that a peculiar noise, like 
rustling, was heard among the clouds, and that the balloon was greatly 
agitated in the descent. Perhaps the most daring attempt was that 
of Mr. Blanchard and Dr. Jeffries across the straits of Dover. Thii 
took place on the 7 th of January, 1785, bein^ a clear frosty morn. 
ing, with a wind, barely perceptible, at NNW. The operation of 
filling the balloon began at ten o*clock, and at three quarters af^er 
twelve every thing was ready for their departure. At one o'clock 
Mr. Blanchard desired t!ie boat to be pushed off, which now stood 
only two feet distant from that precipice so finely described by 
Shaks))care, in his tragedy of King Lear. As the balloon was 
scarcely sufficient to carry two, they were obliged to throw out all 
their ballast except three bags of ten pounds each ; when they at 
last rose gently, though making very little way on account of there 
being so little wind. At a quarter after one o'clock, the barometer, 
which on the cliff stood at 29 7 inches, was now fallen to 27*3, and 
the weather proved fine and warm. They had now a most beautiful 
prospect of the south coast of England, and were able to count 
thirty-seven villages upon it. After passing over several vessels, 
they found that the balloon, at fifty minutes after one, was descend* 
ing, on which they threw out a sack and a half of ballast; but as 
they saw that it still descended, and that with much greater velocity 
than before, they now threw out all the ballast. This still proving 
iodTectual, they next thitw out a parcel of books (hey carried along 


with them, which nade the balbxiD ueendi whn Uwjr *«« aboat 
■lidwa; betwixt France and Enghud. At a quarter past two, find. 
iag theiDMlvei agnin descending, tbey threw away the remainder of 
their books, and, ten iniaules after, thej bad a moit enchanting 
prospect of the I'rencb caast. Still, however, the machiDe descend- 
ed ; and as tliej had now no more ballast, tbe; were fiun to throw 
■way their pravisions for eating, the wingi of their boat, wd every 
BioTcable they could easily spare. " We threw awftj/' tays Dr. 
Jeffries, " our only botile, which in its descent cast out • ilcaiii like 
imoke, with a nulling noise; and when it struck the water, wc heard 
and felt the shock very perceptibly on our car and balloon." All 
ibis proviug iasufficient to slop the descent of ibe balloon« they next 
threw out tlieir ancliors and eords, anil at last stripped off their 
clothes, fostening themselves to cerlaiu sliugi, and intending to cut 
■way the boat as llieir last resource. They had now the salisfae. 
tion, however, to find that they were rising; and as they passed over 
the high lands between Cape Blanc and Calais, the inacfaine rose 
very fast, and carried (hem to a greater height than they had been 
at any former part of their voyage. Tliey descended safely among 
•ome trees in the forest of Guienues, where there was just opening 
enough to admit them. 

In September, 1785. Mr. Baldwin ascended from CSieiter, in 
Mr. Lunardi's balloon } and, after traversing in a variety of dircc 
tioM, he first alighted m tlie neighbourhood of Frodsham ; then re- 
ascending and pursuing his excursions, he finally landed at Riiton- 
moBS, tweaty.five miles from Chester. Mr. Baldwin, who pub. 

niSTOBY or AEBOtTATlOir. tT 

preicnily coalcKed, and formet^ a« lie expresses it, • Mt «f cotton, 
tufting here and there by tlie action of tlic air iti ibe uadisturbed 
pirt of ibe cloudi. The whole becanie id extetided white floor of 
cloud, the upper turfkee being amooth and even. Above this 
while floor he obierved, at great and unequal dislanceg, a vast as- 
•eiufolage of lliunder clouds, eiich parcel consisting of whole acrei 
in Ibe densest fonn : he compares their form and appearauce to the 
■moke of pieces of ordnance, whicli hail consolidated, as it were, 
ioto nuMCS of mow, and penetrated tbrough tite upper lurbce, or 
while floor of coinnioii clouds, there reniaioing vbible and at rest. 
He endeavours to convey some idea of the scene by a sketch, which 
rcprcMnti a circular view he had from Ihe car of (be balloon, him- 
leir hcing over the centre of the view, looliing down on tlie white 
floor of clouds, and teeing the city of Chester through an opening, 
which discovered tl>e landscape below, liniited by surrounding va- 
pour to leiB than two miles in diamelcr. The breadth of tiie outer 
margin defines his apparent heiglit in the balloon (via. four miles) 
above the white Ooor of clouds. The regions in which he was did not 
feel colder, but rather warmer, than below ; and Ihe sun felt hottest, 
when (he balloon was stationary. The discharge of a cannon, when 
the balloon was at a considerable height, was distinctly heard ; and 
tnolher diKbarge, when be was at Ihe lieight of about thirty yards, 
■o disturbed him as to oblige him for safely to lay hold 6nalyt( the 
cordi of the balloon. 

Omiiiing the relation of Mr. Crosbie's attempt to cross the Irish 
Channel, and of Major Mony's narrow escape from drowning in 
the German Ocean*, we procted to remark ibal, about the latter 
end of August, 1785, the longest aerial voyage we have yet heard 
of was performed by Mr. Blanchard : he ascended at Lisle, accom- 
panied by the Chevalier de L'Epinard, and travelled 300 miles is 
the balloon before it descended. On (his occasion, as on some* 
fonner oBes^ Mr. Blanchard made trial of a parachute, an instru- 
ment like a large umbrella, invented to break (he fall, in case of an 
accident happening to the balloon i with this machine he dropped ■ 
dog from the car soon after bis ascension, which descended genllj 
ind unhurt. The most celebrated aeronaut of modem timet 
was M. Oanerin, a man of an ardent and ingenious muid, bat pro- 

• We have ben InJMed to give a view of Ibe pFriJav liAwIioD of U^tr 
Man]', who Ml inUtOc lea with bii tuillooii on tbe SSdJnly, ITSS, off tlw 
CMilef Yarmoadi, aadiniiiiMtpTOfidcalia ertd and taken ap 1^ 

Oa Arps ilovp, after kavlaf renalned in the i ]af Ive boars. 


babl; not ^trj iiitimBtelji nrquamted with the (riencn coaiMclcd 
with urmtation. We <lo not renumber lieiring of thif gnilleaian 
iinlU Augiul, 1798. ou tlie 2Sth of which inooib lie m<fe ^ 
eleventh ascension froni Purii, acRompaniefl by a remtte rrirad. 
Hb eouTK fnr a conaiilerable lime wai near the ground, during 
which lie convrrsed with the people below. Time eonvena. 
lioni shewed hnw much the earlh reflected Munrt ; for all hii 
words were repealed five or sis limei. He thoueht at flnt that it 
uugbt be giiverued by some local circuniitance, wliirli indead ii vny 
probable with regard to the re|wlilioii. He rtcicended tevml linMi 
to tiMsanieleTe), ala dJitaoceof trnleagiiei aiiimlrr, where hecoa* 
■tanllj obaerted (he name 'ffecl. Tliiigreai vibralioa oflbeairwat 
aot «eniible to d^lancei esceediug 140 or 200 toiscf. It decmued 
with the distance. Having made a numlter of aisrial voyage^ U. Oar> 
pefin'i niechanicnl arquaintance with the rrquisiiei for iiwiring lac 
cen wai coitfiniied by frequent experieace. Thi* gentleman, availing 
bimselfuf iheihott iulerval uf peare, viiileil ^gland io llw mmnier 
of 1603; aud Ihui excited the atlcnlion oftbe Briiiih public to llie 
almoct forgotten subject of aeroilstion. His voyagea made, in ifaii 
coootry are fresh in the memory of every -one : aud ai they *tn 
niimitely detailed in Mveral of the daily papers and nwntUj pnbli- 
catioD^ we ihall be t)ie more readily excuied giving a fiill tccomit 
of tbcm here. On June SSlh, this aeronaut. accom|)anied by • mi. 
Ktary gentleman (Captuin Snowjeu) rose from Ranelagb, tud 
alighted near Colchester, in Icm than three quarters of tobmr; 
faavihg, in that short period, travelled tiill siaty miles I Puring tkis 


Ho«(iiul, iu PHDcran. Tlie lial loon whs of lli« iifual Mit, vix. of 
oiled silk, Willi a uel, from wljicli ropes procecilid, wliicb termi. 
nnted in, or were jointcil to, a ^'ingk mpe ut a fi-w feet Wow the 
baflcKio. To iliii rope the panichule wa» fastened in tlie following 
manlier. Tlie reader nia;v easily form to liimseU'an idea of lliii pa- 
rachute, by Imagining a Urge umbielU of cativu&s of about thirty 
feel in diameter, bnt destitute of tlie ribs and handle. Several 
ropet of about lliirty feet in length, which proceeded from the 
edge of the parachute, terminated in a connnon joining, from whidi 
basket shorter ropes proceeded, to the extremities of which n circular 
was tastened, and in this basket M. Garnerin placed himself. Now 
the single rope, which has been said above to proceed from lite 
balloon, passed through a liule in the centre of the pardchute, also 
through certain tin tube^, wliicit were placed one after the other in 
the place of the handle or t>lick of an umbrella, and was lastly 
&l«itcdto the basket ; so that when llie balloon was in the air, by 
cutting the end of (bis rope next tu the basket, the parachute, 
with the basket, would be separated from the balloon, and, in fall- 
ing dowQwardii, would be naturally opened by the resistance of the 
air. The uie of (be tin tubes was to let the rope slip off with greater 
certainty, and to prevent its beiug entangled with atiy of the other 
ropes, as also to keep the parachute at a distance from llie basket. 
The balloon begun to be tilled at about two o'clock. There were 
thirty-six casks filled wilb iron filings and diluted sulpfiuric acid, for 
the production of the hydrogen gas. Tliese communicated with 
tkre« other casks or general receivers, to each of wliicb was fixed a 
tube that emptied itself into the main tube attached to the balloon. 
At six, the balloon being quite full of gas, and the parachute, &c. 
beiag attached to it, M. Garnerin placed himself in the basket, and 
ascended majesticaltv amidst tlie acclauiatious of innumerable spec- 
talors. The weather was the clearest and pleasantest imaginable ; 
the wind was gentle and about west by south ; in consequence of 
whidi M. Oarneriu went in the direction of about east by uortb. 
In about eight minutes time, the balloon and parachute had ascended 
to an immense height, and M. Garoeriu, in the basket, could 
Karcely be perceived. While every spectator was conlemplaliog 
the grand light before him, M. Oarneriu cut the rope, and in an 
inftant he was separated from the balloon, trusting his safety to the 
parachute. At first, viz, before the parachute opened, he fell with 
gixat velocity ; bnt ai soon as the parachute was expanded, which 
|99k place ft few mw^pti after, IbedescoAinu very gentle aoii p*- 


dual. InlliiidMcentarenisTkBbleeiminHtBnccwHobifrTedjiniiwI^, 
that the parachute with Ibe appendage of cords and badtet, soon 
began to vibmie like the peiidulutn of a clock, and the Tibraliotu 
were so greal, that more tban once the paradiote, and the baiket 
with M. Gariierin, Kcmed to be oa tbe tame level, or tfuitc hori- 
annta), which appeared extremely dangerous : howevel', tbe extent 
of Ibe vibrations diininiihed as he came pretty near tbtt ground. 
On coming to the earth, M. Gamerin experienced Mine pretty 
strong sliocks, and wlien be came out of the baaket, lie was much 
diicompoied ; but he won recoreted hit spirits, and remained irltb- 
out any material hurt. 

CoHilructioH ofBathofu, 
The shape of the balloon is one of tbe firal objects of consldm. 
lion in the construction of this machine. As a sphere admits tba 
greatest capacity under tbe least surface, the spherical figure or that 
which approaclies nearest lo it, has been generally preferred. How- 
ever, since bodies of this form oppose ■ great stirAice to the air, and 
consequently a greater obstruction to the action of the oar or whigs 
than those of some other form ; it has been proposed to construct 
balloons of a conical or oblong figure, and to make tliem proceed 
with their narrow end forward. Some have suggested the shape of 
a fish : others, that of a bird ; but either the globular, or tbe egg> 
like shape, is, alt things considered, certainly the best which can be 

be demitbeA'nn sucti. Bu^ mote accuAitely, the breadtlis of the slip, 
at fhe sereral distances firom the point, to the middle, where it is 
broadest, tire directly as the sines of those distances, radius being 
the half length of the slip, AAer providing the necessary quantity 
of the stuff, and each piece having been properly prepared ivith the 
drying oii, let the corre.sponding edges be sewed together in such a 
manner as to leave 'about half or three quarters of an inch of one 
piece beyond the edge of the other, in order that this may, in a sub* 
sequent row of stitclies, be turned over the latter, and both again 
sewed down together, by so doing, a considerable degree of strength 
is given to the whole bag at the seams, and the hazard of the gass 
escaping doubly prevented. Having gone in this manner through 
all the seams, the followiug method of Mr. Blanchard is admirably 
calculated to render them yet more perfectly air tight. The seam 
being doubly stitched as above, lay beneath it a piece of brown 
paper, and also another piece over it on the outside ; upon this lat. 
ter pass several times a common tire-iron heated just sufficiently to 
soften the drying oil in the seam ; this done, every interstice will be 
now closed, and the seam rendered completely airtight. The neck 
of tbe balloon being lefl a foot iti diameter and three in length, and 
all the seams finished, the bag will be ready to receive the varnish, a 
single coating of which on the outside is found preferable to the 
former method of giving an internal as well as external coat. ' **' ^ 
The compositions for varnishing balloons have been variously 
modified ; but, upon the whole, the most approved appears to lie 
the bird.lime varnish of M. Faujas St. Fond, prepared afftr Mt« 
Cavallo's method, as follows : '< In order to reffder'lHigced oil dryl' 
ing, boil it^ with two ounces of sugar of fead and tHfte ounces ef 
litharge for every pint of oil, till they are di^lved, whith may be ijr 
half an hour. Then put a pound of bird-lim^'dnd half a^Mnt of the 
drying oil into an iron or copper vessel whose capacity should equal 
about a gallon, and let it boil very gently over ^ slow charcoal lire 
till tbe birdlime ceases to crackle, which wiH belA about half or 
three quarters of an hour : then pour upon it^two pfnts and a half 
more of the drying oil, and let it boil about an hour longer, stirring 
it frequently with an iron or wooden spatula. As the varnish whilst 
boiling, and especially when nearly done, swells very much, care 
should be taken toremove, in those cases, the pot from the fire, and 
leplaoe it when the varnish subsides ; otherwise it will boil over. 
Wbibt the stuff is boilmg the operator should occasionally enminc 

TOL. VI. • 


wbctber it fau boiled euough | which mij be kuown by obierving 
wlKtber, when rubbed between two knivei uid tUen feparated from 
one Knottier, the varnish forioi threadi between them, u it muit tlien 
be removed from rhe fire ; when nearly cool, add about an equal 
quaalily of spirit of turpentine! iu uiing llic varnitli, the ttuff must 
be stretched and the varnish lukewarm : in twenty.four boura it wilt 
be dry." As the elastic lejin, knownby tbenanieof lodian nibber, 
hai been much extolled for a vambii, ifie following method of 
malung it, as piaclited by Mr, Blanchard, may not |)ro«e uuaccept- 
akle : Dissolve elastic tetiii, cut small, in five limes iU weight of 
rectified essential nit of turpentine, (ethereal spirit of turpentine of 
the shops), by keeping them some days together ; then boil one 
ounce of this solution in eight ounces of drying litiseed oil for a few 
minutes ; strain the solution and use it warm.— The car or boat is 
beat made of, covered with leather, aud pahiled ) and 
the proper method jDfsuspending ii, is by ropes proceeding from the 
net which goes over the balloon. The net should be formed to tlie 
shape of the ballouii, and fall down to the middle of it, with various 
conb proceeding from it to the circumference of a circle about two 
feet below the balloon ; and from that circle other lopes should go 
to Ibe edge of the boat. This circle may be made of wttod, or of 
levcial (Heces of slender cane hound together. The mesbei of the 
iMt may be small at top, against which part of the balloon tbe inflam- 
mable air exerts tbe greatest force ; and increase in siae ai tbcj 
reaede from tbe lap. 
I With regard to the rarefied-air machines, Mr. Cavallo recom> 

theliinWii mmniMHiimof Ifce basket to the body of the pin. 
chttlei md cspeciilly m the waot of a perpendicular cord passing 
horn the car to the centre of the concave of the umbrella, by the 
abience of which the velocity of the descent is certain to be very 
rapid before the machioe becomes at all distended ; whereas, if a 
cofd were thus disposed, the centre of the parachute would be the 
porlioo first drawn downwards by the appended weight, and the 
machiae woald be almost immediafely at its full extension. Having 
finind^ by experimenty the diameter, required for insuring safety, 
the further Ibe basket or car is from the umbrella, the less fear shall 
we have of ao inversion of the whole from violent oscillations ; yet, 
the longer the space between the car and the head of tlie machine, 
the longer will be the sfmce run through in each vibration when 
once faegUB, yet by so much the more will they be steadier ; and 
this OHgfat to be attended to, as when by the violence of the oscilla* 
tioBt the ear became (in 6amerin*i experiment) on a line with the 
borisoiital axis of the machine (or, iu other words, the point of sus. 
pensatioo^) the force of gravity, or the gravitating power of the 
weight m the car, on the umbrella, being at that crisis reduced to 
Aothmg, the slightest cause might have carried the body of the 
aMchine in a lateral direction, reversing the concavity of tlie ttm« 
biella,and M. Gamerin, perhaps, have fallen upon the now convex 
yel interiial portion of the bag, and the whole have descended coo- 
fuarillj together.— It now remains to give some account of the 
method by which aerostatic machines may be 611ed ; and here we 
are able to determine with much greater precision concerning the 
inflammable^air balloons than the other kind. With regard to these, 
a primary eonsideration is, the most effectual and cheap method of 
|«ociiriiig the inflaramable.air. It will be found that the most ad« 
f aalayou f methods are, by applying acids to certain metals ; by 
expoiiQg animal, vegetable, and some mineral substances, in a close 
vessel to a strong fire ; or lastly, by transmitting the vapour of cer* 
taiB Mii through tubes. For obtaining mflammable-w 
finom pita^eaU asphaltum, amber, &c« &c« Mr. Cavallo recon* 
menda the following apparatus : let a vessel be made of clay, or 
ffttber of ifoa,hi the shape of a Florence flask, somewhat latger, 
mat wliofe ntA k longer and larger. Put the substance to be 
Mid kito this vesml, ao as to fill about four-fifths or less of its 
cavity. If the attbataaee be of such a nature at to swell much 
hf ^imaativii of tlit ii^kite a tobe of bii% or $aX a bivm »< 


S4 coKkTBocTion or baliooks. 

tbea m leaden tvibe, to the oecb of llw Tewel ; bmI let tbe end 
of (lie tulte be so Umped tlial going int* the water it may 
tcnninate uiiiler a loit of inverted tcsmI, to tlie ufiper aper- 
ture of Hbich llie balloon it adapted. Thiugi tiiui prepared, 
if tbe |wrt of the vessel is put into the fire, aiid wade red.hol, 
the ioflamniable air produced will come out of iIm tabc, and 
puling Ibrough the water will at last enter into tbe balloon. 
Previous to the operation, u a coniidersble quantity of common 
air rcmaint io the inverted vessel, which it ii more proper to 
espet, Ibe vessel should have a stop-cock, through which the 
common air may be sucked out, and tlie water ascend as high as tbe 
stop^xock. To procure inflammable air by means of steam. Dr. 
Priestify used a lube of bran, upon which tbe steam of 
water has no effect, and which he fills wilb the tuniiugs of ino that 
are separated in the boring of cannon.' By ihb meani he obtaiaed an 
inflammable air, tbe »|)ecilic gravity of which b to that of common 
air as 1 lo 13. In this nielbod, not yet indeed reduced to geaervl 
practice, a lube about three- quarters of an inch in diameter, and 
about three feet long, is filled with iron lumingt ; then the neck of 
a retort, or close boiler, is luted lo one of it* ends, and the worm of 
a icfrigeratoiy is adapted to its other extremity. The middle part 
of the tube is then surrounded with burning coals, %o ailo keep 
about one foot in length of it red. hoi, and a fire is alwaya mnda 
under ihe retort or boiler sufiicieul to make the water boi( with ve- 
hemence. In this process a considerable quantity of inflammable 
air cnines out of tbe refrigeratory. It ia said that iron yields one 

dowtt; "^iliBst fillib|r> by ropes passing through loops or holes •bottl 
its eqMtor ; and these ropes ma^ easii^f be disengaged from tht 
madim, by slipping them through the loo)»s when it is able to sua* 
fain itself. The proper combustibles, to be lighted in the wel)| are 
those which bum quick and clear, rather tbaii imch as produce rauch 
smoke; because it is hotair, and not smoke« that is required. Small 
wood and straw are very fit for this purpose. As the current of htft 
airaacendsy the machine will dilate^ and lift itself above the scaffold 
and gallery whkh was covered by it. The pas^^engert, fuel, instru. 
ments, 6cc. are then placed in the gallery. When the machine makes 
efforts to ascend, its aperture must be brought, by means of the ropes 
annexed to it, towards the side of the well a little above the scaffold ; 
the (ire-place is then suspended in it, the fire lighted in the grate^ 
and the lateral ropes being slipped off, the machine is let go. It haa 
been determined by accurate experiments, that only one.thirdof the 
common air can be expelled from these large machines ; and there* 
fore the ascending power of the rarefied air in them can be estimated 
as only equal to half an ounce avoirdupoise for every cubic foot. 

The conduct of balloons, when constructed, filled, and actually 
ascended in the atmosphere, is an object of great importance in tha 
practice of aerostation. The method generally used for elevating 
or lowering the balloons with rarefied air, has been the increase or 
diminution of the fire $ and this is entirely at the command of the 
aeroMlut, as long as he has any fuel m the gallery. The inflamma* 
Ue*air balloons have been generally raised or lowered by diminishing 
their ballast, or by letting out some of the gas through the valve: 
but the alternate escape of the air in descending, and discharge of 
the ballast for ascending, will by degrees render the machine inea* 
paUe of floating ; for in the air it is impossible to supply the loss of 
balkttt, and very difficult to supply that of inflammable air. These 
ballooiis will also rise or fiill by means of the rarefaction or con- 
densation of the inclosed air, occasioned by heat and cold, as has 
been already observed. Wings or oars are the only means of this 
sort that bave been used with any probable success ; and as Mr. 
Cavallo observes, they seem to be capable of considerable improfe* 
ment, though much is not to be expected from them, when the 
■mehine goes at a great rate. It is a matter of surprise, that the 
variout bints for directing balloons appear to lie dormant with 
their prt^tors wIk> seem indisposed to make any attempts to 
terjr their pkuM into ixecittiott : thw the hiviiitXNis of professor 



DMicI (Pbilowphial Idigutoc, wai. h.) sbo of Uuttn, ml tbs 
pmpoMli fw pcHbrming the Mmc by laMin of eagle* trained for 
Um purpoie ; or b; ■ rem ned panchulc M ratatd tlie diraet pn* 
grtH of the Mlnoiif wheiebj lew power will be aaenmj to iaoptl 
it in a lateral dircctmi t all tboe |^m remain obaoUU aad ynprac 
tbed from Ibe liiue of their inncation. With rcvpcrt to the pro. 
tebMitj of direeting aoroatalic machtncf, we nMj infier it to be 
ponible, although (he metboda hereto tried ban beco iBwlrt|Tittt ; 
peihapt beeaiue fhejr were not luffideally powerful ; aa, to tipect 
to make m la^ a body a> a balloon to varj from the wind by ibo 
impuliioD of ao oar of aia or eight feet in length tod ona or two in 
breadth (and that bj only endearmiiing to draw tbt car or! of iha 
peTpen<liculBr)ist»cxpectf bymeauofaboafaoarflo iaifial aiblp 
of burthen. Oar> are doublleM the moat likdj neana to eflbct tfaii 
purpoM, if they were of dimcnuou proportionate to the efcdi they 
arcwiahed to produce. The addition of taiU, were any vtriitkM 
from the wind i> detired, will prove iiyurioiii till we ban altAad • 
method (pcrhapi only to be accomplidwd by oart) of haa|Hng tba 
mme point of the balloon continually in a giTcn direction. Tet we 
doubt not but these alw might proTe of great aervica in qdcli dik 
patchci, by water ) m, fur iutance, where it ii required to pnm • 
tailrtu or fleet for the Huccoar of a beneged town, or coaray dia> 
palche* iheicin : a uubII balloon, of lea or twelve feel diaaMteft 
provided with saib lo eipote a large aurface l« the wind, being at* 
tached b^ a long rope to a boat, would oulilrip the quickeat vaaacl, 
and uiiglil alao be made to devnte from the coorae of Iho wiwl % u 


danger. They slso expedite liie communkalioD of imporlaDl event! 
b; signals, aori ietve fur exploring frotn a great clevaiion adjacent 
COM* or regioDi, flecli and tnniei. Tfaui, tbe French ascribe to 
tile ciention of a balloon, and the iafora)alioa ablained in coiue- 
(jiiiiDCC of Ibiu rrcounoitciittg the anny of tbe enemy, tbe signal 
victory gained in llie battle of Fleurua, in 1794. Balloons maj like* 
wiw Mne to eiplore and ascertain (be nature of the air in tbe faigber 
Kgiona of tbe atmospbere. One of ibe finest experiments made on 
Ihii point b tbat of Gay-Ijusmc ; wbo, being elevated in a balloon to 
t|)e bei((ht of sgoo metre* (nearly eight miles) tbe greatest ever attained 
by any person, brougbt some atmosplicric air from tbose region*, 
wbicb on being anBly*ed, was found to furnisli tbe principle* of 
ozygeDi aaole, bydrogeu, and carbonic acid gai, in tbe same propor- 
tions as at Ibe aurlace of ibe earth. Balloons would also enable ui 
to detcmiine Ibe changes in the direction of the (rinds at different 
ahiludcs, and the law of the diminution of heat at different elera- 
tion*. .In fact, the application of these machine* to the advance- 
ment of our knowledge of tbe various phsDomena in meteorolofy 
stand* prominent a* the, perhaps, only means of maturing our 
acquaintance with causes jet known only by their effect*. Their use 
will also be indicated in many urgent caaes where otfaer mean* of 
conveyance might fall short. At tbe same time we conclude with 
remarking, thut tbe Uilberlo unsuccessful atlempU to render aarial 
na*%alion of service to mankind, ought to furnish no argument for 
causing il to be discouraged by men of sense, or prohibited by civil 
authority. Many arts and sciences from which commercial nations 
now derive so much benefit were long in rearing to maturity, and 
were only at length produced for tbe public good, in consequence of 
patient investigation and reiterated experiments. — Much useful in- 
fbmation on tlie theory and practice of aerostation may be obtained 
fruna Baldwin's Aeropaidia, Ciivallo on Aerostation, and Description 
^M EiptricDces Aerostati^ues, par M. Paujas St. Fond. 

[f an/o/ogio. 

i 8S ] 




introductory Remark*. 

± nt term gal) or gas (from the German gheiti ur spirit, whence 
OUT own ghott, ghottl^f aghaily ghtutty) ia used in modarn che- 
miftrjr, to express all tbose aerial flnids, whether produced by 
chemical experiments or frolved in natural processes, which are 
not condeniiblfl by the cold of our atmosphere, and which differ 
from atmospheric air, which is indeed a compound, consisting of 
three distinct gasses, as we have already observed in a former part 
of this work. 

Of these fluids, some are inflammable, others not. Of the for. 
mer, the chief are hydrogen, and the gass emitted from phosphorus. 
It is possible, however, that phosphorus itself is a compound of 
hydrogen and oxygen, with a peculiar base, and consequently, 
that hydrogen is Ihe innammable principle in this instance. 
Be this as it may, phosphorus, concerning which we shall treat 
presenlly, is by no means so easily procured as hydrogen, and 

QASa LlflUTS. 90 

40ontl/s<'t »t liberty by ftrmfntations, or spnnlaa«ou9 decompa- 
siliuDS, ij thrown lorth Irom bogi au<l marshes, wbcD, fram a 
spark of iialiiral rlcclrii: Grt, oc some othrr ace dt'iiUl causf, il ii 
Oficn seeit burning undtr ihc form tiS ignet falui\ or aiU-o'.lhe- 
wkiipt ; is occasionally kindlf'd by similar caust-, ia cual or me- 
tallic mioes, with dreadful explosions and miscbief, of which we 
hare already giren varioui examples in the preceding part of tbit 
work; and is collected at times from substances that possets it ia 
the lari;estabaadaii(», for purposes of ECONOMICAL jllumihatiok. 
It is under this last character that we are alone to consider it 
opOD the present occasion. Aa the general principle of inftam. 
malions, all iuflaminable bodies necessarily conlaia it in a greater or 
lest degree: such more especially as metals, BlltohoU, oils, aa4 
bitnjneiu or coals of every kind, and it consfitules the fine blae or 
porett part of the Bame emilied from a candle or a fire, wheo 
made with good round coals, that melt into pitcb. Of tbeae dif-> 
fereot sobstapcea, loals or bitamens nmy be obtained in the largeit 
abundance, and with the greatest eatie ; and it is hence by a dis* 
tillatioD of these, that the gass is usually procured, which iato,. 
played in gass lights. The means by which this is accomplMfd, 
the eipeace atteodiog the process, and the great advantage ot 
having recourse to it in ezteosire manofactories, at other placH 
where large bodies or lengths of light are absolutely necessary, wfr 
ibaU now proceed to explain from a very valuable paper cotti^ 
manicated to the Raysl Society, by the iogenious artist and phi- 
losopher, who may justly be regarded as the inventor of the prac- 
tical application of the light of hydrogen gass to useful purposes. 


cation of Ike 6<ut fioui Coal to tamomtcat Purpose*. ■ 
B; Mr. fflllUm Monlocb. 
Tkb facts and results intended to be communicated in this pa< 
per, are founded upon observations made, during the present 
winter, at the cotton manufactory of Messrs. Diilips and Lee at 
Manchester, where Ihc light obtained by the combustion of the 
gass from coal is used upon a very large scale ; the apparatus for 
Its production and application having been prepared by me at (he 
works of Messrs. BosltoD) Watt, and Co. at Suho. 


The wboli of the noroi of tbli cotton nill, which ii, I belicTe, 
the most exteniive in tha naited kingdom, an well u iU counting. 
booMt and ttora-rooms, and the adjacent dwelling.housei of Mr, 
Lee, are lighted wilh the gau from coal. The total quantity of 
light uied during the hours of horning, hu been ascertained, by 
a comparison of shadows, to he about equal lo the lights which 
3300 mould candles of six to the pound would give ; each of the 
candles, with which the comparliou was made consuming at tha 
rate of -l-lOtlM of an ounce (175 grdns) of tallow per hour. 

The qbuititf of light is neceHarily liable to some variation, 
from the difficultj of adjusting all the flames, so as to I»e perfectly 
equal at all times ; but the admirable precision and exactness with 
which the business of this mill is conducted, afforded aa exeallmt aa 
opportunity of making the comparative trials I had in view, as ii 
perhapa likely to be ever obtained in f{eneral practico. And the 
experiments Iwing nade upon so large a scale, and for a consider, 
able portion of time, may, I think, be ossumed as a iufflciently 
accurate standard for determining the advantages to be expected 
from the use of the gass lights under favourable circumslances. 

It is not my intention, in the present paper, to enter into a 
particular detcrlption of the apparatus employed for prodndug 
the gas ; but I may obierve generally, that the coal u distilled in 
large Iron retorts, which during the winter leaion are kept coo. 
atantly at work, except during (he intervals of charging; aod that 
the gess, as it rises from them, is conveyed by iron pipes into large 

u mril^arTe^tiibe wHk ft conical end, htflog tlitve circular tper- 
tiir«8 or pf rforationt, of about a thirtieth of an inch in diameter, 
one at the point of the cone, and two lateral ones, through which 
the ^as9 is9ues, forming three dirergent jets of flames, somewhat 
like a Us. 1'he shape and general appearance of' this 
tube, has procured it among the workmen, the name of the cock- 
spar burner. 

The number of burners employed in all the buildings, amounts 
to 971 Argands, and 633 cockspurs ; each of the former giring 
alight equal to that of four candles of the description abf»ve. 
nentioned ; and each of the latter, a light equal to two and a quar. 
ter of the same candles ; making therefore the total of the gass 
light a little more than equal force to that of 2500 candles When 
thns reptulatedf the whole of the a bore burners require an 
hourly supply of \*ibO cubic feet of the gass produced from cannel 
coal ; the superior qnalit> and quantity of the gass produced from 
that material having ^ivc^n it a d<Ti(ted preference in this situatioo, 
over every other coal, iiot^ivithstandins^ its higher price. 

The time daring which the gas» light is used, may, upon an a?a« 
rage of the whole year, be stated at least two hours per day of 
twenty.four hours. In some mills, where there is over work, It 
will be three hours ; and in the few where is still cod- 
tinaed, nearly twelve hours. But taking two hours per day aa 
the common average throughout the year, the consumption ia 
Messrs. Philips' and Lee's mill, will be 1950 X 9 =: 2500 cubic 
feet of gass per day ; to produce which, seven hundred weight of 
cannel coal is required in the retort The price of the best Wigan 
cannel (the sort used) b 13^. per cwt. (228. per ton), delivered 
at the mill, or say about eight shillings for the seven hundred 
weight. Multiplying by the number of working days in the year 
(313), the annual consumption of cannel coal will be 1 10 tons, aad 
Htcostjfl ^25. 

Aboot one.third of the above quantity, or say forty tons of 
good common coaL value ten shillings per ton, is required for 
fnel to heat the retorts ; the annual amount of which is j^20. 

The 110 tons of cannel coal when distilled, produce about 70 
tons of good coak, which is sold upon the spot at Is. 4d. per cwt. 
and will therefore amount annually to the sum of j£ 03. 

The quantity of tar produced from each too of cannel coal ia 
fMB eieran to twilf* aiargaiioas, rndLlag a li^ aiiattai prodaoe 


of alMut liSO air galloni, wliich not having been jet sold, 1 cait. 
not determine its value ; but wheBover it conies to be man n fact u red 
in large quRDtilte;, it cannot be >Dcb as tnateriuUy to influence 
the economical statement, unlets indeed new applicaUons of it 
should be discovered. 

The quantity of aqueus Quid nhich came over in the coarse of 
the observations which I am now giving an account of, wu not ei> 
actly agcertained, from some springs having got into the raiervoir ; 
and •■ it has not been yet applied to any useful parpoM, I may 
omit further notice of it in this statement. 

The interest of the capital expended in the necessary ippantns 
and buildings, together with what is consiiJered as an ample allow- 
ance for wear and tear, is stated tiy Mr, l^i: at about ^££0. per 
annum: in which some allowauce it made fur this apparatus being 
Dade upon a scale adequate to the supply of a still greater quan- 
tity of light, than he lias occasion to make use of. 

He is of opinion, that the cost of attendance npon candlei 
would be as much, if not more, than upon the gass apparatus ; so 
that in forming 'he comparisan, nothing need be stated upon tfaat 
•core, on either side. 

The economical statement for one year then stands thus: 
Cost of 1 to (oni of cannel coal . jS. 145 

Ditto of 40 tons of common ditto . 20 

D(;duct the value of 70 tons of coak 

l>er Jay, the ad*aiiUge wool.l be still more in fnToor of ihe gass 
li^hl; the interest of the capital, and wejr iind (ear of Ihc nppa- 
niM, amtMoing Marty t^BUMi ai in the fonner c*m ; thus, 

1960X3=3710 cBbic Uet •( gim prr day, which wo atd ba> 
pndaced by lOJcwt of canae4 eoii* ; this niHliiplini by the nam.' 
berof work ing days, gives 108 Iodb per aoDum, whirh, Tal«ed 
aa brfsK, KDounti to > . jf. 188 

' Afld 00 tuaicoainan coal, for burning under the 
retprti,' will amoant to 30 

Dedact 105 tons of coak, at 96 j. 6d. . 140 

LAa*tng (he expenditure in coal, after deduction of 
ffie coA, and without allowance for the tar, at 78 
iiddtug to w!iich the interest, and wear and tear of apparatus, «v 
before, the total annual cost will not be more than rf. 6flO ; wbHlt 
tbiit of tallow, rated as before, will be £. 3000. 

It wHI readily occur, that the grt-atpr number of hours the gisl 
is biirDt^ the greater will be its comparative economy ; althoogli, 
in extending It beyond three hours, an increase of some pt'rtl of 
the apparatus would be necessary. 

If the economical comparison were made with oils, the adVaiu 
tages would be less than with tallow. 

The introduction of this species of light, into the establishmenC 
of Wessrs. Philips and Lee, has been gradual; beginning in the 
year 1805, with two rooms of the mill, the coonting.houses, and' 
Mr. Lee's dwelling-house. After which it was extended through 
the whole manufactory, as expeditiously as the apparatus could btf 

At first some inconvenience was experienced from the imell of 
the nn consumed, or imperfectly purified gas, which may in a great 
measure be attributed to the introiluclion of successive impron>' 
ments in the construction of the apparatus, as ihs work proceedetK' 
Out since its coniplelion, and since the persons to whose care Ifb 
confided, have become familiar with its mana^ipmpni, this tacoti- 
venience has been obviated, not only in tlie mill, but also in Mt. 
Lee's house, which is most brillianlly illuminated with' it, to flitf 
nclosinn of etery other species of artificial light. 

The peculiar softaeu and clearness of this light, with its $inip^t 

94 GAII LlttBTS. 

anmyinit tnlmify, iam branght it into gntt lannr wWh the 
work.pto|il*. And Ha bnng frw froni the lacoBveniaaM aad 
daoRPr mulling fron the fparlu And frwqardC laufiog of candlri, 
ii K dminkUnce ol n4(rrMl inporliKe, u IfDdlng to diainiib 
t^ haurd of trtf lo which cation ailli »r« known to bo ranch 

The above putirnlir*, it ■• coocpiTad, contain ini'h infonution 
M may (mil ta lllDslr>tp the general advkntaget attending the nw 
of the gus liKtit ; bnr neverlheleu the Hojal iJocietf nwy parbnpa 
not dtrm It enintrrrftiag to be tpprited of the cirennitancea 
which origioallj give riM in ntj mind to ita applicntioo, h an 
•conomfcal lubsttiate for oiti and tallow. 

It i* now nearly tiit««n yean ilnce, in a eoane of esperfnenta 
I waa raaking at Rrdruth, in Cornwall, upon the qunntitiei and 
qnalitifi of the gaMei produced bj diatiUallon, frqm diffefrnt 
mineral and vegt-table lubitancef, I wai indaced, by mhsc obaer- 
vationi I had preriously made npon the barniog of coal^ lo trf 
the combnitible properly of the gauei produced from It, ■• well 
aa from peat, wood, and other Inflammable lubitmncrt. And 
being itmck with the great qnantitlca of gate which ihej aOsrded, 
aa well ai with the brilliancy of the light, and the raclDlj of It! 
production, I inilitoted aerersl eipetinwnti, wiih a riew ofuoer. 
tuning the eott at which it might be bbialned, compared with thnt 
of cqnal quantitiet of light ) ielited by oili and Ullow. 

Mj apparalui coniiated of an iron retorl, with tinned copper 
and iron tobei, through which the gu* was condncted to a oonaider. 

pBosPHonos. flS- 

unlii the Peace of 180%, when a puhlic dUplay of thh light vu 
xasnie by mp, in the illuminalion of Mr. Buulloii's maanfoGtorj', 
tit Suho, upon that occatlon. 

Since that pr riod I tuve, Hod'T the sanction of Mestn. Bonlton, 
Watt, and Co., «xteaded tho appsratus at Soho foundry, so as 
ta give light to all the principal shops, vhnto it is in regular nw, 
to lh« exclusion of other artificial light ; but I have preferred 
grring tlw results from Messrs. Philips' and Lee's apparatus, both 
OD accoont of its greater extent, and the greater uniformity of the 
lights, which rendered the comparison with candles less difficult. 

At the Mune time I commenced my experiments, I was certainly 
anacqnaiDted with the circumstance of the gus from coal haTJog 
been obierved by others to be capable of combnstion ; but I ain 
rinca iRfonned, that the current of gus escaping from Lord Dun. 
donald'a tar oTens had been frequently fired ; and I find that Dr. 
Clayton, in a paper In Toiume xli., of the Traouctioni of the 
Royal Society, so long ago as the year 1739, gave an acconat of 
some obMrrations aod experiments made by him, which clearly 
manifest his knowledge of the inflammable property of the gua, 
which be denominates " the spirit of coals;" but the idn di 
applying It as an economical sabslitate for oils and tallow, doet 
not appear to hare occurred to this gentleman ; and I beUere I 
may, without presuming too mach, claim both the first ides of 
applying, aad the 6nt actoal appltcation of this gass to economical 
pupOMI- [PAiV. Trant. I80& 


Phoiphoric Bottles and Matches. 
S^BOtraoftai It well known to be a peculiar substance capable of 
inflaming or emitting a luminous anra, when exposed to the air of 
the atnuMphare in a common temperature, and hence the buii 
of thoie cnriOBi lOcki, matches, and battles, which have of late 

• XteaOathMiaf r«e9»erw,tcelhacasMagih.M. 


ypMTt be«ii dcTiied far giving light inslantlj ani) spontaneously, as 
soon M they ar'' micoTPred and comp in contact with the air. 

'] 'his hat hitherto been r-'i^arili'd as a ilmpie combo it ibl(r, anil 
most be so rogardeil at present ; thougb larioui expcnmenti with 
very high d' grrcs of Toltaic vlt'clriritj' appear to hnvp delected that 
it is « eompnunct, po'S'-cRing hyrlroj;en and oxyf[Pn with a peculiar 
ban. In consistfncp it resemiiles wai j whfn pare it it nearly of 
the transparenry of gum opal, of a colour varying from amber red 
to (he faintest straw, highly combustible, ami when oiygenated 
producing a strong and peculiur acid. 

It was discovered liy a German chemist of (he name of Brandt, 
about a hnndreil and fifty years it;;o, and the preparation tru fong 
kept a lucralire secret iu the hands of a few persons. It was tiow> 
ever well known, from various facts that had escaped, that it was 
procured in &ome nay or other from haman urine ; and it haa at 
length been found that it is in consequence of this substance eon> 
truing a peculiar salt, hence deoooiinated phosphoric salt (a mix- 
ture of phosphorus and oxygen), that phosphorus can be procured 
from it; as it has also that it can in like manner be procured from 
any other animal substance impregnated with the same material ; 
and consequently from the bones and crustaceous integumenls of 
animals, in which it exists in a larger abundance, and wbich are 
now therefore usually employed for this purpose. 

One of the earliest chemists, next to Brandt, who devoted his at. 
tention in a very considerable degree towards obtaining tbts com. 

vRosrKomos. Of 

LoodoB in 1680. It i» aiserted, ind*e(J, by Krafftj thit he disco. 
Ttred ihe lecret la Mr. Bojie bavjog Ja (be y»r IG78, citrried m 
small pipce of it to Lonilon lo show it to (he royal family ; bat 
there is litrle probability that B man of such inli^grity as Mr. Boyle 
would daim the diicoTery of the process u till own^ and comniii. 
nicatoit to the Royal Society, if this hod not bern the case. Mr. 
Boyte GonmuDicated the process to Godfrey Haokwitz, an apo< 
tbecary of Londoa, who far iDaoy years supplied Europe with 
phoipborns, and heoce it went under the name of English phospha- 
nu. In tlie year 1774, the Swedish chemists, Gahn aod Scheele) 
iMde the important discoTt-ry.that phosphorus is contained in booaa 
of anlmaii, and they improTed the processes for procuring It. 

The most coDTenient process for obtaining phosphonii leemt to 
be that recommended by t'ojrcroy and Vanquelia, which we shall 
tTMucrilw. Take a qoanlity of burnt boof s, and reduce them to 
powder. Pnt 100 parts of this powder into a porcelain or itone- 
ware bason, and dilute it with four times iti weigttt of water. 
Forty parts of snlphurlc acid are then to be added in sm^l portions^ 
taking care to stir the misture after the addition of every portion. 
A violent effervescence takes place, and agreat qnantlty of air il 
disengaged. Let the mixiure remain for Iwenty.foiir hours, atir- 
ring it occaiianally, to cxijose every part of the powder totho 
action of the acid, 'I'he burnt bones consist of the phosphoric acid 
and lime ; bat the sulphnric acid has a greater aflinity for the limt 
than the phosphoric acid. The action of the sulphuric acid uniting 
with the time, and the separation of the phu'tphoric acid, occasion 
the effervescence. The sulphuric acid and itii- lime combine toge> 
(her, being insoluble, and fall to the butlom. Pour the whole mix- 
ture on a cloth filler, so that the liquid pnrt, which is to bn received 
In a porcelain vessel, may pass throu^ih. A white powder, which 
is the insoluble snlphate of lime, remaiiu on the filter. Af er thii 
has been repeatedly washed with watfr, it may be thrown away ; 
but the water is to be added to that part of the liquid which passed 
through the filter. Take a solution of sueur of lead in water, and 
pour It gradually into Ihe liquid in the poneUin haooti. A whito 
powder falls to (he bottom, and (he sugar of lead ma^tt be added so 
long U any precipitation takes place. The uhole is again to bo 
poured upon a filler, and the while powder u hich remains is to bo 
well washed and dried. The dried powder is then to be mixed 
with ona.iiztb of ill wdght of charcoal powder. Fat this mixtor* 

TOL. Tl. a 

gk pBotrBoavi. 

iato an ear(li«Bwar« ntort, tod pbce It in » Mod btt&, wUk A* 
brak plunged intoa renel ofwater. Appljheat, and let it bi* 
gradually increaacd, tilV the retort becomM Ai the Iwat 
incnMes, air-bubblei rush in abaudaDce through the beak of tba 
i«(ort, Eome o1 trblch are inflanied when &ej come In contact with 
the air at (he mrrace of the water. A aubitance at lut drops out 
iliillar to melfed wax, which congealt voder the water. Thit ia 
phosphoru*. To have it quite pure, melt it in warm water, and 
itraio it leTeial time* through a piece of ihamof leather nnder the 
larface of the water. To monld it into iticka, take a glau funnel 
with a long tube, which must be stopped with a cork. Fill It with 
water, and put the phoapboraa into it. Immene the fmnel in 
boiling water, and when (he phoRphorus ii melted, and flowi into 
tba tube of the funnel, then plunge It lata cold water, and when the 
pboaphorni hai become eolid, remore the cork, and paib thephoi- 
phorut from the mould with a piece of wood. Thus prepared, it 
must be preierved In ctoie reisels, containing pure water. When 
Ithosphonil Is perfectly pure, U Is semi-transparent, anit hai tha 
consistence of waa. It is so soft, that it may lie cut with a knife. 
Its specific gravity Is from 1.77 to 9.03. It has an acHd and dit. 
afreeabte taste, and a peculhr smelt, somewhat rtsembllng gariic. 
When a atlck of phosphorus Is broken, it exhibits soroeappear< 
mice of crystallliatlon. The crystals are needle shaped, or long 
octahedrons ; but to obtain them in their most perfect state, the 
surface of the phoipfaoms, just when it becomes solid, shonld bo 
[derced, that the Internal liquid phosphorns may flow oat, tod 


In etWj and « Tevy beautiful experimpnf consisfs in ponrhigthb 
phosphoric etherin small portions, anil in a dark p1ari=,on (hesurrace 
of bat water. The phosphoric matches consist of phosphorus ei. 
tremelj' dry, minntely divided, and perhaps a little oxygrniied. 
Tlw timpleat mode of making them is (o put a little phosphorns, 
dried bf blottihit paper, into a small phial ; heat the phial, and 
i^ra the phosphoms is melted turn it round, so that the phospfaorni 
naj adhere to the tides. Cork the phial closely, and it is pre. 
pared. On patting a common sulphnr match into the bottle, and 
idrring It about, the phogphorus will adhere to the match, and will 
take flr« when brough't out into the air. 

Th« white smoke given forth hy phosphorus when exposed to « 
beat of 148°, appears when collected and examined to be an acid 
of a peculiar kind, and it is this which is now denominated phos. 
pfaoric acid. 

[^Pantohgia. AikiiCsCbtm. Diet. 



-1 Bts Is a most usefal, simple, yet curions machine, altogether of 
nodern- iavention, bearing a near analogy to the phosphoric matches 
we have described in the preceding chapter ; and which may con. 
Mquently be employed for the same purposes. 

Touchwood is the common, and we may say generic, name, 
given to a variety of snhsUnces that easily lake fire, as rotten- 
wood and agaric, some of which occasionally emit spontaneoui 
light In the dark. 

The moat inflammable tonchwoods we are acquainted with ara 
dlRerent ipeciei of the fungus called Boletns, *uch as B. ignL 
arius, tondi wood- spank, and B, pin! laricis, agaric : and a vetj 
cnrEoDS fact luu been lately discovered by the French chemitts^ 
in consequence of this corafaustibillty, which nay lead to nie- 
ftil and important purposes : it is, that if a column of the flesh of 
•Mier of the above fpeciet of boletus (spnnk or toacbwood) be io- 
trodnG«d into a (rrin^, and presied opoll hj It* common plitoii. 


clo«ia( with gr«at accnracj', it will catch fire from th« ia«n com* 
prftstoB of the GolDma ot air forced doira npoo it, and furra a 
BH»t conreaipnt and ready tinder-box. 

Thpte machines, under the name o( pneumatic, ipanlc, or touch, 
wood, tin der-bosei are now common in France ; and their origin, 
principle, and conitruction, hare been aa full]' inrettigated and 
explained by M. Le Bouvier Desmorliers, in toI. txiH. of the 
Journal de Phyiique, that we feel it oar duly to copy at tome 
length the paper for the information of our readers. 

** The inSaiBinatloD of ipunk in tlie pneumatic, by 
the oompreuion of air alone, !■ a pbagnomenon, with wUch chance, 
the father of dUcorery, hae lately enriched natural philosophy. 
Many have reasoned on its cause ; which some considtr to be 
caloric, others electricity ; but no one, that I Lnow of^ has at. 
tempted to support hU opinion by experiments. Without bias of 
any ypothesis, I hare made tome researchei on the construction 
and effects of the pneumatic tinder-box, the results of which ihall 
be the subject of the preient paper. In the first place, I ihall 
consider what relate) to the atructare of the instrmoent; in the 
■econd, I (hall gire an acconnt of the exparimenta that tend to 
the discovery of the cause of its eflTecti. 

*' I. The first constraction of these tinder-boxes wai a little 
faolty in the piston being commonly eighteen or twenty lines long. 
This was said to be necessary, that the air might not escape when 
the piston was In action ; for if there were any point not accu- 
rately fitted to the inside of the tube, the air escapes, and the 


" Tbtj ihoold be employed also In the syringes of xlr^BS, of 
founlaini acting by compressed air, of the apparatai for artificial 
mineni waters, of fire-cDjiiiM, which are woriced with lo irmch 
labour, and even of air.pnmpx. As th« shortening th« piston ii 
an adrantage to the pump, we obtain a greater el&ct with lest 
labour, and in a shorter time, than with long pistoDS. 

" It is essential too, that the instrnment does not leak at the 
part where the spunk ii placed, because there the tranuent action 
of inflaminatioD takes place, and a slight emission of air would 
pretcnt the effect, but this effect is produced, though the piMon 
doe* suffer the air in the tube to pass it. To aatisfy myself of this, 
I made the following eaperimeul, at which ihey who hare teen it 
wer* greatly surprised. 

*' In the irngth of the piston I made a groove a quarter of a 
line broad. The spunk took fire as before. Three other grooTei 
were added successively opposite one another, so as to diiido tho 
pistoB into four equal parts ; and still the spank took fire. Whea 
the gTooTed piston is moved backward* and forwards in the tube^ 
the air may be heard entering or issuing oat ; and the friction la so 
■light, that the effect of the instrument is easily obtained by push- 
ing it with the hand. This kind of piston would be preferable to 
tboM that lit accurately, if a solid substance were emplojed, hard 
Mongh to resist the continual friclioD of the air passing through 
the grooTes, if I may be allowed the expression. The grooToa la 
leather pistons soon alter their shape, and spread so ai to altoir 
the air to pass in too large quantity. 

*' The pbton with fout grooves acting rery well, I made on* 
with a single groove, of dimensions equal to the other four, and 
what I foresaw actually took place : there was no infiammation. 
The following are the reasons of this dlfTereace. 

*• The extremity of the grooved pistons exhibits the area of a 
circle, the periphery of which touches the interior edge of tho 
groove*. The column of air contained in the tube rests almost 
Kliolljr on this base. There are only the parts corresponding to 
the groove*, that are continued throngh the length of the piston, 
and communicate with the external air. When the piston f» 
pvshed with saSdent velocity to kindle the spank, the part* of 
tiw column corresponding to the grooves rush into them wilb equal 
vriodty; but the fricQon they experience in passing through snch 
awrow tabu occaiioM it ndstanc* to tbeir pamga, a kind of 


choking, thit suffer! odI; b part to «scap«, while the CoIodiii rmt 
iag on (he area of the piiton U piuhed sntirely toward tha-extra- 
mity or the.lwbF, where (be ipnnk to be kindled liei. 

" Id the pUton with a single broad groove, the area of the 
drcte, on which the column of air reita, is mnch imaUer, con- 
■equentljr the colann iticlf ia leu. The rcil*tanc« the Kir expe. 
risDcei in pactiog through the groove it nest to nothiag ; for we 
hear no noiie on moTing the piston backward and forward ; and 
as air expands in all directions, when the piston is Morad, the 
column resting on the area of the circle, resting at tlio mm* time 
kterally on that which answers to the groove, it recudaa fron all 
the points of contact, and flows entirely* through the dBuwri it 
finds opens. It ii lo tme, that it wholly flows oatf tkat the 
piston, when it touches the extremity of the tube, renaiM there; 
while with other pistons a luEBcient quantity of air Is retained to 
occaMon a spring and repel them. 

** I think it proper to say a word or two oa the qaality of the 
spunk. The driest, softest, and least impregnated with nitre, 
iboold be chosen. In that of the best quality a picea will not 
always be found equally good throughout. Some contains a great 
deal of nitre, and is kindled with raore difficulty*. This may be 
known by tho cold taste it leaTFs on the tongue ; or by kindiiug 
it i for when it has taken fire the nitre melts, and sonetimei 
throws out sparks, that may be dangerous when (bey ipirt out of 
the instrument, particularly if made with a cock. As It is nenal 
II tlie '^punk. tu try whellifr it bi- kiri 

hen. Tk«M I sImII give lo the second part of this pap^r, cqo- 
ctodiflg the preaeaC with am importaiit obsenratioa oa the coastruc* 
tion of pistoBS. 

M If we eonld find an elastic substance -sufficiently compact to 
be tnraed in a lathe, we should have perfect pittons) that would 
epriof and adapt themaelTes to the inequalities of the tube, with. 
•nt tnffering a bnbUe of air to escape. I have nade some with 
caontchonc, softened before (he 6re, in order to gife it a degree of 
elasticity more obedient to the inequalities of the tube. But oa 
•ttempting to tarn it in a lathe, it bent under the tool. E^en tba 
edge of a naor would not take hold it ; so that the piston remained 
luwvan and almost ragged, and yielded like soft wax under thi 
fingers. Ia this imperfect state it so far prevents the air ffom 
gjcaping, that a column of three inches is sufficient to kindle tha 
•pank ; hat after a few strokes of the piston the heat dilates it ta 
aach a degree, that it cannot be moved without considerable forces 
If a drop of oil be put on it, it moves easily ; hot this soon spoila 
the iastrament ; for the oil dissolves the caoatchouc, and forms a 
varttiah, which, as the piston grows hot, makes it adhere still mora 
strongly to the sides of the tube. 

^' Might not these inconveniences be avoided, by arming tha 
piston rod with caoutchonc, and covering this with leather i Ji 
this process succeeded, it might be applied with advantage to aJi 
•orts of pumps. 

^^ To attain, if possible, a knowledge of the principle of inflame 
Bsation ia the pneumatic tinder-box, four things are to be considered 
—the materials of the tube, the matter contained in the tube, tha 
materials of the piston, and the friction. Among the materials aC 
the piston I include the grease, with which it is coated, to make it 
move more easily, and render it fitter to intercept the passage of 
the air. 

^^ In aiaminiog the qaestion whether the spunk be kindled by 
alectritf, I consider, 

^^ latyThat no part of the instroment is insulated ; and that ia-^ 
solatian il^a tieeessary condition for producing sensible electricitjr 
with any ei the machines we know. I say machines that we know^ 
because the aalnml electricity, that manifests Itself without insula^ 
tian, is an axctpHan to oar mechanical Mattf^ itad cannot here bi 
i(dMMi fBti> coaiiiliatiab* 


IM TovavveoB TiifVL<i->ox. 

- *<9dlf, ThafrictioDof the jrirtoD, which tfagmiij'bodjtaphiit 
a Batallk inbilaiKe, U not calcukud to prodace clectrkkjr. 

** Sdlf , EiperUnca dcmomtntM, tbit, anim daring stonni* 
th* atmoiphcre Ktdoin eshibits »nj iiignt of electricity at tfa« height 
Id which we breathe it; and that we murt March fortbem withln- 
■Iramenti in a more elerated rrgioOf or wb*n electric clendi are 
patting over onr heads. How then ihail we eillmate the infiDitely 
amall qaanlKy of electric matter in a cubic inch of air, or CWB leo^ 
vbich the iutmroeat contain! ? 

H 4tbljr, It it not withoat great difficnitj, that we eta kMlt 
■pank with itrong electric ipark*. I have discharged a large jar 
OB ^nnk strewed with powdered resin, and it hat renainad on- 
kJndledf thongh the resin onight (ire, and burned entirely away. 

'.* At long as the initrnment was made with metallic substances 
obIj, wa wera obliged to conSae ourschf s to the exterior marks 
of inflammation alone, without being able to attlgn tbe tnie catita, 
or at least fnmiib proofs of it. For to gncss it not snfficiant in 
natiiral pfailoioph/ ; we must domonitrate, in order to gira to facts 
that degrea of certainty, which befits science : and thia we cannot 
do her«, without teeing what passes at thf very point of iBflaai* 

(t Thb means ate Tcry simple. Nothing is necessary, bat to 
anbttitnte a glass for a metal tube. Those found in (he shops betag 
too tligftt, I applied (o ft^r. Laurent, the inrenter of glass flutaa, 
i«questiog him to procure me tabes of a similar quality. This 
•rtisi, as much distinguished by his cifility as by his talents, for. 


be produced severil times in -lucci^asion, merely by puriilQg tlia 
pisluii with the hand. This vapour is so thin and diaph^noDS, that 
ft ii Rot pemptible in > rtnag light. It requirei « sort of twilight 

** But whence irisc* this nponr, and what is its natnre ? At. 
nredly it is not furnished by the materials of the instruraent ; it 
on only proceed, thererore, from what it contains, from the atroo- 
S[^ricair. Now, according to the present state of onrknowledgr^ 
tile air contains only nitrogen, oxygen, and a very small portion 
of oiTbonic acid; all gassiform substances, which are Icept in thit 
state by (be great qnantity of caloric that penetrates them, and are 
conaeqnantly heaTier than it. But in compressing the air con. 
taioed in the tnbe, what is the substance that must firttgire way ? Ii 
it not that which is lightest, the caloric, that general solrent, that 
priiieiple of fluidity and volatilization, which gives wings even to 
metals to raise themselves in the air ? Is then the vapoor in quet. 
tion caloric, rendered visible by the approximation of its particles, 
which are coapressed by the sorronndiiig air, as air becomes vifiblc 
io paiiiog throngh liquids ? This idea, which 1 am far from pre^ 
senting as a thing proved, acquires more probability from tb« foU 
lowing experiments. 

*' I sabstitoted hydrogen for common air, and the taponT 
■bowed itself as before j but tbe spunk did not take fire. With 
carbonic acid gass, and with nitrogen, the effects were the sam«. 
The Utter, which contained a little nilroDS gas, gave a somewhat 
deoier vapour. Oxygen, lightly compressed, yielded a raponr 
more rare and transient than that from common air. It had 
scarcely fallen on the piston when it rebounded and disappeared^ 
y/btn I compressed oxygen with a proiier force for producing in- 
flamaatlon, the spunk, which commonly takes fire only a( the 
anterior part, was almost entirely burned : yet for this experiment 
I tued a copper instrument, the piston of which lost air so much, 
that it wonld no longer kindle spnnk (wJlh common air). 

" Peibaps it will be said, that the vapour came from the greasy 
matter on tbe piston, which adheres to the sides of the tube ; and 
tiiat it U expanded by the heat produced by the friction. To this 
I answer, in tUt cue, 1st. The vapour should not shew itself be* 
fore the greasy roatltr is deposited on the sides of the tnbe ; ytt it 
Appears at the flrst stroke of the pixton, before the tnbe becomes 
fm^, Mljr. It ifetdl itew itidf below At ^rtOD, la the part 


wUdi the piiton hai left; but, on the contru7, it tiwkjt Aews 
■bove. Sdly. Tliete ii do Tsponr, wb«n the piston locM mnch air, 
if the friction be erer to rapid. 4thly. The Taponr abonld be more 
epparent, when the piston exerts its friction throughout the whole 
length of the tQbe, than when it it confined to a smnll part of its 
iipper extremity ; jet the reverie frequently happem. fithly. 
When the air is entirely decomposed no more vapour ^pearS) but 
It shows itself again, if ever so little fresh air be iotrodnced. 

*( As it was essential to ascertain whether the npMr did nnt 
contain an acid principle, I fastened to the surface of tbo piston, 
with a little green wax, a piece of mnilin dipped in Infniion of 
litmus, and afterward dried. After twenty strokes of the piston 
tlie colonr was not clianged. 1 pnt on a lecond pieot of muslin 
brger than the first, and the edges of which were loose, Tliis was 
burned alt round, without the colour of the rest being altered. 
Laitly, a third piece, which was wet, experienced no change of 

*< From these experiments It followi, that no acid principla ii 
developed; that all serirorm substances, as well as common air* 
produce a light vapour ; that no other gais, except oxygen and 
common air, kindiei the spunk ; that oxygen prodnois a mnch 
Mwre powerful combustion than common air, consequently oxygen 
acts an Important part in the inflaromatioa ; tltat as it can exert ita 
action only when set free by the decomposition of the common air, 
of which it constitute! a fourth part, it follows, that the air con- 
tained in the tube ii decomposed by the simple force of compres* 



1 Ills is a most extraordinary and interesting subject, and a perusal 
of the three preceding chapters will, in a considerable degree, en. 
able the reader to understand its general principles, though there is 
much that has hitherto eluded pursuit, and still remains to be de? •• 

Phosphorescence, in its broadest latitude, imports light thrown 
forth from substances that at the same time emit little or no heat at 
the common temperature of the atmosphere, and which are deno* 
mioated phosphoric. 

The phosphorus properly so called, and which is usually under* 
stood In chemical books, and employed in chemical processes, is 
that commonly known by the name of Kunckel's pho^phoruS) and 
which we shall describe under that designation. But there are 
various other substances that possess, in different degrees^ the same 
kind of illuminating power, and which it is hence necessary to 
take some notice of, as well as of the effects they produce. 

Of these kinds the phosphorescent substances there are thret 
leading divisions. The first comprehends those which require n 
previous exposure to the solar or other light, in order to become 
luminous ; whence they are called solar phosphori : the second in* 
eludes those which, without any necessary previous exposure io 
light, become luminous when moderately heated, which are deno« 
iplnated calorized phosphori, or phosphori from heat : the third 

comprehends those substances belonging to the animal and vege. 

table kingdoms, which emit light spontaneously at the common 

temperature, without the necessity of a previous exposure to light^ 

and these are called spontaneous phosphori. 

Solar Phosphori* 

A CA8VA& discovery by Vincenzio Cascariolo, a shoemaker of 
Bologna, aboat IMO, was the first circumstanee that attracted the 
^otifie of philosophini to this eorioas s«bject This man being la^ 

108 sotiK raeimosi. 

qnmt of Mm« alchamlcal vtcnt wai indncM) to nido* t psml of 
Bolognian «par (aiub'ipecitlofhMVj iparor nKtire talphat of b>- 
iyle)y which he had procured from Monte Pateruo, in the nmgh« 
bonrhood of the city; and ohierred, (hat whenever thii rabitftnc*} 
thai prepared, traa placed in a dark room, after having been ex* 
poied to the lun, it contthaed to emit faiat rayt of light for lome 
houn afterwards. 

Inconsequence ofthii Intereiting diicoTery, the BolognUn ipu 
came Into con aiderable demand among natural phiioiopbcnt aiKl 
the cnrioDS in general, to that the beat way of preparisg ft wu 
found an object of lome pecuniary importance. This lami to 
hare been hit upon by the family of Zagon), who anpptied all Ea. 
rope with Bolognian phoipboms, till the diicoyery of moro power, 
ful phoiphuric pnt an end to their monopoly. Margraaf, Mno 
year* atterwardi, proved that other specie* of ioli^ialod baryta 
might, under particular management, be made to produce • lial. 
lar tWeet. 

In the year 1077, nearly half • eentnry after the iaeanrf ot 
the Bolognian phoipborns, G, A. Baldwin, a native of Mttnh, 
obMrved, that if nitrat of lime were evaporated to dryneM, and 
then fomtd into a compact man by fusion at a red beat, ft would 
exhibit the Mme property of imbibing and emitting light *i tlit 
former, only lomewhat inferior in degree ; hence thii prepUKtloa 
obtained the name of Baldwin'! pboiphoroi. 

In 1730, M. da Pay, who it jnitly celebrated for hit eleetrleai 
retearcbei, directed hii attention to thii lubject, andobMired, tlut 

minate cTfStaU of qnarli ; most comiiound salts, nhea clMr tod 
cryitalliietl, pfirticularly Glauber's nitre, and borai, were alio 
found to be phoaphorescent ; of vegetaUa tubdancet all the faria 
naceoii) and oilf leed), all (lie gumi, and leTeral of (he resins^ 
fbe white woods, and Tegetable fibrr, either in (he form of paper 
or linen i also starch and loaf-sugar prorM to be good phosphorl, 
after being made tboronghl; dry, and exposed to the direct rays of 
the inn. Sundry animal matters, by a liniiUr treatment, were also 
converted into good phosphori, particularly bone, either fresh or 
calcined, linew, glew, hair, horn, hootT, feathers, and Gsh shells. 
The same property, he-obserred, might be communicated to rock, 
chr/ital, and some other of the gems, by rubbing them aj^ainst 
each other, lo as to roogben their surface, and (hen placing them for 
•one minntet in tbe focus of a lens, by which the rays of light were 
•OQcentnted npon them at tbe same time that (hey were also iDod«> 
ratelj heated. 

In the year 170S, Mr. Canton conlributpd some important fkcts 
relative to solar phosphori, and comcnunkaled a method of prepaTa 
ing a 'very powerful one, which, after the inventor, is usnall/ 
called Canton's pfaoiphoros. It is thus made: Calcine oyster*' 
■Irallt in the open fire for half an hour ; tfaen select the widest and 
largest pieces, and mix them with flowers of sulphur in the pro* 
portion of one part of the latter to three parts of (he former ; pack 
tbe whole closely in a crncible ; lute on a cover, and heat it pretty 
strongly for one hour ; wheo the crucible has again become quite 
cold, turn out its contents, and select tbe whitest pieces for use. 
Mr. Canton atGTms, that his phosphorus, inclosed in a glass flask, 
and hermetically sealed, relains ils property of t>ecoming laminons 
for at least four years, without any apparent decrease of activity. 

Mr. Wilson found that a much greater brilliancy of colonr 
wonld be produced by letting the oyster.shells come in direct con- 
tact with tbe burning coals, or other inflammable mailer, and by 
being covered with it; and that ifthe covering matter be iron, tb* 
Inminoimeis will be very brii;ht ; if steel, still brighter and mor« 
iridescent ; but if plates of charcoal, most so ot all. 

If a conmoD box Emoothing-irun, heated in llie usual manDer, 
be placed for half a miaute on a sheet of dry, white paper, and the 
paper be then expoaed to the light, and afterwards examined in ■ 
dark closet, it will Iw found that the whole paper will be InmiBovs, 
that part however on which tbe iron had Itood being much more 
•UniDg than the reft 



Catorixed Phoipkori. 

Besi iiEt Ihose subslBDCCB that are phosphorescent b^ expoinre to 
(ha rays of the sua, the^are others which give out light when sim- 
ply heated. These materially differ from the former In this circum. 
stance, that after liaTiog been Gantinued at any partlcnUf tempe- 
rature till their iuminoaSDeas is exhausted, they are iocapable of 
becoming again luminous, except at a greater heat thaa that (o 
which they were first subjected. The range of tempertturc >t 
which these bodies become luminous is not xery eitensiTO, coos- 
mandng at about 400° Fabr. and terminating at the lowest illible 
red heat. The following is a list of substances exhibidog this, 
properly arraoged by Mr. S. Wedgewood, according to the bril> 
liancy of (he tight. 

That variety of the blue floor spar of Derbyshire, which, wben 
scraped or struck, emitsafetid, bituminous odour, is themottphoa« 
pboreaceot by heat of all the known lobstances : it glows, when 
moderately heated, with a pale emerald green light, taSdentlf 
Intense to be Tery risible even in daylight. To the second rank 
belong the common swine.itone, the common blue flnor, and red 
fel-spar, all which, as well as the following, exhibit a whita or red> 
dbh l^ht. The third class includes the diamond, the ruby, carbo. 
pated baryte, chalk, colourless calcareous spar, sea.shells, granite, 
and white fluor. The fourth elass comprehends while sand, car. 


eircumslancM ; some of Ihem while lirins, and otht^rt nffttlll tJtm 
death. Ws ihall first iiotire the geiiiral history of (liis Mtraordl- 
nuj bet, and the obiarTationa apon it which tiral 8ugi>egted 
theauelTMtotiiOM who renMrked and examined it, and afterwards 
glaiic* at a few of the nunerOD) modes of which it tuu of late jpears 
been attempted to be acconnted for. «•> 

General History and earlieit Noticei. 
That light occasionally proceeds from putrescent animal and ve- 
getable substances, as well as from liTing glow-worms, wai 
noticed by Aristotle. Columba, an industrions nataralist, ob> 
lerred long after, that several insects emitted light, and that sach 
light Is not extinguished immediately upon the death of the animal. 
Bat tbe flrat distinct account that we meet with of light proceeding 
fron pntraicent animal flesh, is that which is given by Fabrlcias ab 
Aqnapendeote, (DeVisioue, p. 45.> who says, that when tbre« 
Roman youths, residing at Padua, had bought a lamb, and had 
eaten part of it on Easter-day, 1493, several pieces of the re- 
mainder, which they kept till the day following, shone like somanjr 
•andlea when they were casually viewed in the dark. I^rt of tUt 
lumlnoDs flesh was immediately sent to Aqnapendente, who wii 
professor of anatomy in (hat city. He observed, that both the lean 
and the fat of this meat shone with a whitish kind of light, and also 
took notice, that some pieces of kid's flesh, which had h^penecf 
to have lain in contact with it, were luminous, ai well a> tbe flngeis 
and other parts of the bodies of those persons who touched it. 
Those parts, he observed, shone the most which were soft to the 
touch, and seemed (o be transparent in candle-light; but when 
the flesh was thick and solid, or where abone was near the outside, 
it did not shine. 

From this period we must descend to the era of Thomas Bar- 
tholin, before we meet with any similar notice. This writer, in a 
disllnd treatise De luce animalium (p.l83, 206) mentions foa^ 
kindi of luminous insects, two of which were possessed of wing*, 
and Iwowtnglesi, or apterous. He also takes notice of one Instance 
in which it was observed to issue from dead matter. This happened 
at Hontpelier In 1S41, when a poor old woman had bonght apiece 
ti flcib in tba market, intending to make use of it the day follow- 
ing. But happening not to be able to sleep well that night, and 
W bed and putry Mng in the Mme rooa, she observed so much 


light come from the flesh, » to illnmimte til (he plue vhen it 
hung. A part of this luminom fleih wu carried u ■ cniloiity to 
Heory Bourboii, duke of Condi, the governor of tho plue, who 
viewed i( forEeTcrBl hours with thegresteat aitonUhment. 

This light was observed to be whitish } and not to cover the 
whole surface of the Atsh, bnl certain parts only, ssif gcBf of nn. 
equal splendour bail been scattered over it. This flesh was kept 
till it begin to putriTy, when the light vanished ; whicb, as wm* 
religioui people fancied, it did in the form of a crois. 

Boyle tried (he effect of his air-pump upon these luminou nb- 
■tancei ; and found that the light of rotten wood was extinguished 
In vacuo, and revived again on the admission of the air, even after 
a long continuance [n vacuo; but the extinguishing of this light was 
not so complete immediately upon exhausting the receiver, $M sorao 
little time afterwards. He could not perceive, however, that the 
light of rotten wood was increased in condensed air ; bnt tUs, bo 
imagined, might arise from his not bdng able to judge very wdlof 
the degree of lighl, through so thick and cloudy a glass vevel as ho 
then made use of; but we find that the tight ofa shining fiiK, which 
wu put Into a condensing engine before the Royal Society, in 
166S, was rendered more vivid by that meant. The principal of 
Mr. Boyle's experiments were msde in October, 1667> 

This philosopher attended to a great variety of circnnatancei 
relating to this curious phenomeDon. Among other things, he ob- 
Mrved, that change of air was sot necessary to the maintenance of 
this light; for it continued a long time when a piece of tho wood 


per for uh- The tervaal immedialely made his master acqaaiote^ 
with this exlraordinarf upptarHnce ; and though be nas then in 
bed, he ordered it to be immediately brought to him, and he exa- 
mined it with the greatest atteDlion. Suspecting tiiat tlie state oC 
tb*«tpM||bcr« bM Mni|i.f|>fE» io tlia productiao of Ihii pbenoae. 
VtOtk^ ttjfi>tt notice^ after 4pwritutig the appearance, that the wind 
VMIMtk>if«st4uidblBSteriij, the air hot for the««aioD, the mooQ 
W pa*( U> lut qnartei, and t)ie maraury in lh« baiometer wai tt 
90 S>l6th inciiM. 

Mr. Bojria waa oftpa diiappointed in his experiments an ihiaing 
filllfn ] Sadilig thai the^ did not always shine in the very same eir* 
'TflffiWirtit, ai Car at he conld jndfe, with othen which had ifaiatd 
befon. At a»e time that the; failed to (hiae* according to Ut 
expectntkHU, he obaerred that the weather waa TartaUe, and not 
Tttkwt MWe diya «f trf>tt and snow. In generai he made aie of 
whitias^ ^^^PS thaa th^ fittest for his purpose, b a discoarrai 
Iwwer^i, npw tUt aaJyect at the Royal Socie^, In !»!, itwu 
a«artpd» that, of sU fithy ivUtfncM, the egff of lobitera, afier tluf 
bad ham boikd, shoaa the brighteat. Olig. Jaeobteai obaerm*, 
that, npon opening a sea polype, it was so losaiitou iff to aUftte 
aevenl parsons who saw it ; aad lie sayi (bat incorrectly according 
to later ezperioMDta} tl|at the more patrid the fish was, the mor« 
IpipJmaf it grew. Th* nails aUo, ud the fingen ot the persoiil 
tW touched it, beeuw Inmhrnia; and the blaek Uquir' vhkk 
isRwd from the aninwl, and iritich is Its bile, abone ilM, bat vUb 

Mt< Ittjifi dra^i a nhnto conipariaen betwe«ii tbe light «f 
bnroiog ohIb and thai <4 shining wood or fish, showing in what pan. 
ticnlart Agy agrfte, a«4 in what they cUSer. Among other things 
h? obiene^ that ntreme coU eztingnisbes the light ot ihiaiiv 
V0^#^ appeared whenapieceor it was pat into a glass tnbe, and 
bfdd Mt niitiganfic ntintnre, a Uxt which ^nutely agrees with Dn, 
9olfllfl',pHve anodern esperinKntB npon dead anhasl tinatter. Ho 
also fpffVi^ ^ rotten wood M not waste itadf by* shining, and Oal 
the application of a thermometer to it did not discorer the least do> 
|rae of h^a;U 

The shalhfiph Otfed pbotai, or pbloas, which form for toelf 
bfllM In TarionaUiHh of stone, &c. was one of the eartiastsabjcds 

# ift-Ti'-i ii li-iit i i ii e ■il ur .., 

,, . .'•Jhct.flala.'Ml.T.r.jrtt.'- ' '-'- 


of tttantiov. Tbat tiiia tlih ii InmlnoDi wu noticed by Ptlnj ; 
«b0 obMrreij th&t H ihhiei In tin Bonth of the pmon wbo nu it, 
and, if It touch hit hand! or dotbai, makn tbcm lualnow. He 
Klio Mf I, that th« light dependa npon ita moiatsn. 

Reaumnr obierTM, &t, wbfla other fiiha give light when fltcy 
tend to pati«>G«iic«, tllia la mora lamtnoiu in proportlpn to its 
bdog freih ; that when the^ ira dried, their light will rerire if 
they be moiitened either with freah or islt water, fant that brandjr 
immediately eitingnithea It. lie endeafoored to make tUs light 
permanent, but none of his tchemei aacceeded. 

The attention of the Bolognlan academicians wu engaged to this 
intiiect b/ M, F. Haralgli, In 17U, wbo brought a number of 
these fishes, and the stones in which thej were inclosed, to Bologoa, 
OR purpose for their examination. 

Beccarla obserred, that though this fish ceased to shine aim It wu 
putrid, yet that in its most putrid state, it wenld shine, and make 
IIm water in which it was imnmsed InmlDoaa, when they were agi- 
tated. Galeeti and Hontl finad, that wine or Tiaegar astbgnlsh- 
ed this light : that Id common oil It eontimied some daja; but 
in rectified spirit of wine or nrine, hardly a miante. 

In order to observe In what manner this light wai aiecttd by 
dUfereat degree* of beet, tbcy made nse of Reaomnr's tharmoae. 
ter, ami foond' (hat water rendered Inmlnons by these £Am In- 
creased in light till the h«U arrired to 4fi degrees ; but t^ It tbm 
became snddanly extinct, and coald not be rerlvcd. 

In tka experbnenti of Beccaila, a solation of sea salt iKcreaxed 


partirutar colour, but only light that wns percFittd in Ihi^i eate. }t4 
(hen Jippi'i] bonrd^ pHJiitfil Hilbllie iliDiTtntcaloiirs, in<l kiso glass 
tubrs, ti\h-d Willi !iubslances of diflVrtrit cotuurs, in wAkr rendfred 
{■minons by fiihes. In both these cases the red was hardly visible, 
the yellow was th« brightpst, and the violet the dullest. But on 
the boards the blue was Dearly equal lo the yellow, and the green 
more languid ; whereas in Ibe glasses, the blue was inferior lo tha 

' Of all the liquors into which he put the phloades, milk was ren. 
itnd the most lumiaous. A single phloas made seven ounces of 
nflkto Ininlnons, that the faces of persons might be distinguished 
ty It, Mid It looked as if it was transparent. 

Air appmred to be necessary to this light; for when Beccarla 
put the InninaDi milk into glass tabes, no agitation would make it 
■blne^ bnlMi bobbles of air were mixed with it. Alto Monti and 
Grieatl found, that, In an exhausted Teceiier, the phloaa lost its 
light, bat the water was sometimes made more luminous ; which 
they uerflMd to the rising of babbles of ur throogh it. 

Beeearia, as well as Reaumur, had many schemes to render tlui 
light of tiiese phloades permanent. For Ibis purpose h« kMaded 
thejoioe Into a kind of paste, with floor, and found that ItwavM 
gin light when it wis Imnened in warm water ; but It answered 
beet to preeerrethe fish In honey. In any other method of preterm 
nUtM), the property of becoming Inmlnoas would not continoo 
longer than six montba, but in honey it had lasted above a yeer^ aixl 
then It woald, when plnnged in tvarm water, give as mnch l^ht ai 
crer It hid tenet 

Similar, In some respects, to those obserrations on tb« light at 
Ibt' p)iloa», was that which was observed to proceed from wood 
wUeh ms moist, but not In a pntrid state, which was very conspi. 
CDoMln the dark. 

That Ibe ■«• is sometlmei luminons, eflpecially when It is pot in 
MotloB b<r the dashing of oars o^ the beating of it against a ship, hai 
been alWlliwlwith admintion bya great number of persons. Mr.- 
Boyle, after reciting all the clrcomstancei of this appearance, as' 
far as ha could collect -them from the accounts of navigators; as l(| 
beltig extendedur^ u the eye could reach, and at bther times 
being visible onlywbeii the water was dashed against tome other 
bMy; Ibtt, in iotiHna,'4his phenomenon is aceonpanled by some 
piMMtar windi, biitwkHii atben } ud ttot w i llm ea on part of 


Iht Hft will ba IniniiKHif, wlwii imtbcr part* not brfroiB it, will 
Dot be M ; concludef with uying, tb«t be could not help tBipecting 
that theie odd phBDomene, beloogiog to greit lUitH of water, 
were Id some mcaiure owing to Mme coiinical law or cnitoni of 
the terrestrial globe, or at leaat of the plaoftsry Tortcx. 

Some Guriuiu obserratjoiii on the thiDing of some fiihn, and the 
|Hckle in which Id they were iiDmerHd,.were mad* hj Dr. Beal, in 
Uay 1S8£, and, bad they been properly attended to and pnnued, 
might hate led to the discovery of the cause of this appcutsce. 
HaTiDg put some boiled mackarel into water, together with salt and 
fweet herbt; when the cook was some time after stirri^ it, in or. 
der to take out some of the fishes, she observed, that, at the irst 
notion, the water was very Inminou ; and that the fish shining 
through the water added much to the light which the water yielded. 
Tlie water was of itself thick and blackish, rather than of nnj 
other colour ; and yet it shined oo being stirred, and at thn same 
tine the fishes appeared more luminona than the water. WInmer 
the drops of Ihte water, after it had been stirred, fell to the giooad, 
Ihejr shined ; and the children in the family diTcrtad thMasalies 
with taking the drops, which were as broad as a pennj, and run. 
•Ing with them about the hoasa. The cook obserTed^ that when 
■be tnmed ap that «da of the fish that was lowest, no light cane 
(son it ; and that, when the water had settled for soma tiao, it did 
■ot shine at all. The day following, the water gave bnt little 
Hght, and only after a brisk agitatioB, though the fishes continued 
to shine as wril from the insUe as the oatside, and espeeiallj about 


three days longer for farther trial; but (he westher being Tcty ho^ 
they became ftitid ; and, contrary to his cupectalions, there was 
■■ «on li^t pradoMd ciAer by the imitation of tbe water or ia 

Fatbw Bopnn, is Mi wjage to the Indiea in 1704, took par. 
licnlar aotlce of the lamiaou appearance of the sea. The light 
««■ aaa pl i i w m greatj^ that be C4wlri easily read the title of a 
book bf k, tboogh be wai aine or ten feet from the surface of the 
water. SMMtiaiei be eouU eaiily diiliogniah, in the wake of tiie 
•Mp) Uie particle! tiiat were iHminous from thoee that were not; 
-•nd Uwy appeared not to be all of the same fignre. Some of then 
-VMralike p«hita of light, and others such a< lUri appear to tbe 
adMd aye. Some of them were Ufce globei, of a Hoe or two In 
d lWMto r ; and others ai big u one'i head. Sometime* they form. 
.Ml tbetil?ei into squares of three or four inches long, and oa« 
or two broad. Sometimes all these diiTcrent fignres were rlsHile at 
the sanM Om* ; and sometimes there were what he calls Tortices of 
light, which at one particnlar time appeared and dSaappearcd inu 
laadialtly Uk« Bashes of lightning. 

Nor did only tbe woke of tine ship prodnce this light, but fisbis 
also, la swimningj left so luminous a track behind them, that 
both their atae and species night be distinguished by it. When bo 
took soBM of the water out of tbe sea, and stirred it erer so littlo 
wUh hit haod, In the dirk, he always saw in it an infinite number 
•f bri^ particles ; ami be had tbe same appearance whenerer he 
dipped a piece of linen in the sea, and wrung it in a dark [4aee, 
oven tboii^ it was half dry; and he observed, thit when thsi 
iporUea fell npon any thing that was solid, it wonid contioBo 
shining for sonw honn together. 

After mentioning Mfaial drcumatances which did not contributo 
to this appearance, this Father obserres, that it depends very mnsb 
iqion the quality of the water ; and he was pretty sure that tUs 
iight is tha greatest when the water is fattest, and foUest of foam. 
Fat ta^tho nain sea, he says, the water is not every where equally 
pure ; and that sometimes, if linen be dipped in the sea, it ii 
danmy whan it is drawn up again i and he often observed, that 
■IwB tbe wiko tt tbe ahip was the brightest, the water was the 
iMt fat and glatfawas, and that lioen moistened with it prodncod 
:i«^eBt<tial of llgbtf if U was stirred or moved briakly. Besides, 
i^HHMfartivf thtjW>» Amw a sMUtaw iiko wwUiait, soma. 


(Imu red and sometimes j'etlov ; uid when be drew op the water 
In tboie placet, It wai always viiconi and glatinooi. The nilon 
told him, that it was the tpawn of whalei: tint there are great 
qaanlitit^s of it in the north, and that sometimes, in the nigbt, thej 
appeared all over of a bright light^ without being put in motion 
by any Tewi4 or fish passing by tbem. 

Ai a confirmation of this conjecture, tJut the mora (Intinoas 
the sea water is, the more it is disposed to become Imlwmi, he 
obMT'ei, that one day they took a fith that was callid a hoolte, 
the inaide of the mouth of which was so Inminous, that, wiUiont 
any other light, he k-ould read the same characters which be had 
before read by the light in the wake of the ship ; and the month 
of this fish was full of a risconi matter, which, when it was rubb- 
ed upon a piece of wood, made it immediately all orer luminous ; 
though, when the moiitnre was dried up, the light wmi estin- 

The abb4 Nollet wax Tnnch itmck with the luroinontnew of tte 
sea when he was at Venice in 1749; and after taking n great deal 
of pains to ascertain the circumstancea of H, concluded that II was 
occasioned by a shining Insect; and harlng examined the water 
Tery often, be at length did find a small insect, which he partlcn- 
larly describes, and to which he attributes the light. The Mma 
hypothesis bad also occurred to M.Vianelll, professor of medidne 
In Chioggia, near Venice ; and both he and M. Griiellfni, a pfay. 
alcian in Venice, ha*e giren drawings of the insects from which 
thf-y imaiiined thh tight (o proceed. 


vitli i(; Km] in the nigbt tbe same particles, as he eoadaiei, lui 
the Bppnrance of Gre. Taking ■ quantity of ihp water, tbe aam* ■ 
mill ipirlu «|qmi«d whenever it wti tgiiated ; but, u was Db- 
•ened with mpvet to Dr. Beal't experimentii, every lacceuiTC 
agiUfioD produced a lew effect than tlie preceding, except after ' 
betng anffered ta reit awhile ; for then a fresh ablation would 
make K ahnoat at Inminou ai the firaL Thii water, be obtened, 
wonid retain itf property of ibiniDg by agitation a day or twof 
bat it diMppeared immediately on beinn i«t on the fire, tfaoagh it 
waa aot made to boiL 

U. AnL Martin made many cxperiawnti on the light of fiiko^ 
with a view to discorer the cau^iL- uf (he light of the lea. He 
thoaght that be had reason (o conclude, from a great rariety if 
•ipariaieoti, that all aea-Gsbea bate this property ; bat that it b 
iwt t* be found In any that are produced in freib water. Nothing 
la Us opinion depended npoD the colour of the fiahea, except 
that be^oaght (hat the white ones, and especially tboae that had 
white tcalea, were a little more laminoas than othert. TUs light, 
km foaad, waa increased by a nnall quantity of salt; and also by 
■ aniall d^rec of warmth, though a greater degree eztinguiikad 
it. This agrees vith another obserration of his, that It dependl 
catirely upon a kind of moisture which they had about then, and 
which a imall decree of heat would eipel, when an olUnen reinala> 
ad which did not give this light, but wpuid bum in tbe fire. Light 
from the flesh of birds or beasts is not so bright, be says, ai that 
which proceeds from fishes. Unman bodies, he says, hare some- 
times emitted light about (be time that tbey began to pi)tr)fy, and 
tbe walls and roof of a place In which d^ad bodies had ofttn 
been exposed, had a kind of dejr or clammloeis upon It, wUsh 
was sometimes luminous ; and be imagined that the lights wfakh 
are sud to be seen in bnrying.grDunda may be owing to thii 

Fron some experiments made by Mr. Canton, he cDndndeif 

that the Israinousness of tea-water is owing to the slimy and other 

putrescent substances it contains. On the eTening of the iflk tt 

Jiine 1768, he put a small fresh whiting into a galloo of sea.waler} 

Jn a pan which was abont fourteen inches in diameter, and took 

. notice that neither the whiting nor the water, when agitated, gar* 

i.nnjrUght. A Fa^nheit'a thenuometer, in the cellar where tbe 

Hwm wu placed, mnid i!i,H'- ^I)* ' M ««^ti d>rt f^^ 


the &i)i which «u even with Ac tiwihe* of tta water WM Imlim^ 
bat the water itself wu dark. H* drew the end of dw >Uck 
through it, from one aids of the pantolh* other, nd tb« wBterap> 
peered Inminoni liehlad the (tick Kit the iny, but gen Ught oolj 
Where it was diatarbed. When all the water wu itirrtd, tbe 
whole bemme IuidIdoui, and appeared like milk, giTtatg a eoaiK 
derable degree or light to the ride of the pan ; and it eoatiaaed to 
do 10 for lome time after it waa at rMt. The water waa MWt la- 
ninoni when the fish had been In It abont twenty-eight boart ; bat 
would not girs any light hj being atirred, after it had boaa la H 

flelhen pnt a gallon of fresh water into one pan, aad ao eqaal 
qoantlty of sea-water into another, and into each pas be pat « 
fresh berriag of abont three ounces. The next night At whole 
anrbco of the sea-water was lamlnoni, withont beingiUrred; bat 
h was mnch more ao when It wai pat into motion ; and tba npper 
port of the herring, which was conrideiably below the aorfcoa of 
Ibe water, was also Tery bright} while at the same time tha freih 
wafer, and the fish that was in It, were quite dark. Thefo were 
■emal yery bright luminona apotB on diflennt porta of tbe 
•arikce of the sea-water ; and the whole, when viewed b/ Ae 
Hgbt of a candle, seemed eorered whh a greasy scum. The third 
night, the Ught of the see-water, while at rest, was rerr little, if 
at all, tesi than before ; but when stirred its light was so gnat as 
to dlfcorer the time t^ a watch, and the fish In it appearod as a 
dark substance. After this its Hglit waa evidently decraarii^} bat 


could bt made, n«Ter gtje any lighl. The herring wIlU WM 
taken sut or it ths serenth nigiit, and washed froa iU «dl, 
was found firm and sweet ; but Ihe other herring was very soft and 
IrtrBy KMk aw* M than tbtt which kad bwn kept •■ long in 
fcttk iMttVi . . If a bafrilig, ia twam weather, be put into ten gal* 
I— W aatlfidal ■» waHir^ Initead of on«, the water, he mji^ 
wiU ttU fci f pine latainou, kot its light will not be «> strong. 

It appeand bj wme vf the firat obMrrations on this subject, 
Ikat beat ei^Dgoiibei the light of pntreicent sabstancei. Hr. 
CaBton alio attended to this circumstance; and obserres, that 
tbongb the greatest mniner beat is well known to promote putre. 
UoOom, yet twentj degrees more than that of the human blood 
waaa to Uadcr it. For petting a small piece of a lumkms fiA 
iBto.a<biB glaH ball, lie fomd, that water of the (teat of 118 
depMB wmU eztlaguiib ks light ia Ins than half a ninnte; bat 
Itatt, on liking it not of the water, it would begin to recover tta 
light In aboat ten seconds ; but it wss nerer afterwards so bright 

liv.CHal«D taade the saaae obserralioii fliat Mr. Ant. Martin 
had dotie^ Til. tiiat several kinds of rirer fishes covid not be nade 
Co give light, in the same mrcMBstances in which mj seaAfc bsb 
«aMe InniDoas. He says, however, that a piece of carp made Ibe 
valer vesy hsniinous, though the ontsido, or scaly part of it, did 

For tke sake of those persons wlio maj choose to repeat hh 
•Kperlments, be obserres, Hiat artificial sea.water may be made 
vltbont the nie of an hydrometer, by the proportion of fonr 
•nnoea aMirdapois of salt, to seven pints of water, wine-meaaare. 
From -andoubted obserTations, however, it appears, that in 
iumy^ilaees of the ocean it is coTered with luminous insects to a 
very considerable extenL Mr. Dagelet, a French astronomer, 
srbo Mlaraed from the Terra Aastralis, in tlte year 1774, brought 
with y« sa 1 1 ral kinds of worms, which shine In water wbea It Is 
■et ia motiMi ; and M. Rigaod, in a paper inserted (if we are Mt 
aiiatakafe) h the Jonrnal dea Sfsvans, for the month of Mmk, 
1770) ■Snail ^^^ tba lamiaovs sarhce of the sea, from the port 
«f Bnb^ 4»ae AntUles, contains an immense qaantily of little, 
foand, lUufaig palypgset, of about a qaarter of a line in a dia. 
•atcr. Other iMii iHid men, who ackaowMge tbe oistence of 


tli«m tf tbe caiiH of all that light and KiDtillation that appaar on 
the turface or the ocean : tfaaj think that sokm cnbitaaea of tha 
phoiphorui kipd, ariBlng fron pulraflKtiaa, mart ha advitted as 
one of the causei of tiiii phanomeiwD. M. Godboa haa paUiakMi 
curious obterrations on a kind of fish catlad, In Freaak, hontttt 
already mentioned ; and though ha haa ohierved, and aecnrately 
described, leveral of the luminoua iaaecta that are tammi la ««>• 
nater, he it, nevertheleM, of opinion, that the tcintiUatlMi and 
flaming light of die sea proceed from the oily and grauy nb* 
alMcea with which It impregnated. 

The abb^ NoUet wai long of opiaion, that the light of tha a«a 
proceeded from electricity, thou^ be afterwards leemad incUiMd 
to think, that tbii phenomenon wu caviod by small iiiImIi^ either 
by their luminom aspect, or at least by some liquor or effluvia 
uluch they emitted. He did not, however, exclude otbw caaiea; 
among these, the spawn or fry of fiih deserves to be aotlced. 
M. Dagelet, sailing into the bay of Antogil, in the island of Ha. 
dagAEcar, obserred a prodigious quantity of fry, which eorered 
Uw surfoco of the sea aboTe a mile in length, and which ha at first 
took for banks of saud, on account of their colour; they exhaled 
a disagreeable odour, and the sea had appeared with nBeomiDOD 
splendor some days before. Tbe same accurate obaerraTf per- 
ceiving the sea remarkably luminous. In the road to tha C^^ of 
Good Hope, duTJog a perfect calm, remarked, that the oan of 
thecanoei productrd a whitish and pearly kind of lustre ; when 
he took in his hand the water which cuntained this phoaphoros, h« 


thorn; Tor the same reason also [t probably had its Latin tuma 
ignis fituus. 

TUi kind of light It laM to be frequent abont burying placei 
awl doBg.hUli. Bome countries are also remarkablf for it, as 
•boot Bologoa, In Italy ; and some parts of Spain and Ethiopia. 
W»haT« noticed and eadffaToared to arconnt for this phenomenon 
already ; but as the following carious example of it has escaped ni, 
we will notice It now. It is giren hj Doctor Shav, in liis Trareli 
to Urn BAj Land. 

It ^ipeared in the *allevs of monnt Ephraim, and attended him 
and hti company for more than an hour. Sometimes it wonld 
appear globular, or in the shape of the flame of a candle; at 
otiwrs it woald spread to such a degree as to inTolre the whola 
ctnapany in a pale inoffenstre light, then contract itself, and sud- 
denly -disappear; bat in less than a minute wonld appear again; 
Bometimei rnnning swiftly along, it would expand itself at cartain 
interraU, over more than two or three acres of the adjacent nKian> 
t^os. The atmosphere, from the beginning of the efening, had 
been remarkably ttdck and hazy ; and the dew, as they felt it on 
the bridles of ttwir horses, was Tery clammy and nnctnoui. 

We liare also aJrrady obserred that lights resembling the %nii 
fataas are sometimes to be met with at sea, skipping about the matfi 
and riggingof ships; andDr.Shaw informs us, that he has seen jhesa 
'insucb weather as that just mentioned, when he saw the ignis fatHtiB 
in Palestine. Similar appearances hare been obserred in variona 
other sitoatians ; and we are told of one which appeared about the 
bed of a woman in Milan, surrounding it, as well as her l)ody, en* 
tirely. Tkia lightfledfrom the hand which approached it; butwai 
*t le^h entirely dispersed by the motion of the ur. 

Philosophy of Spontaneous lllamination. 
'It b a fact now folly ascertained and rendered incontestable, 
' that liihit has a constderabte influence upon all animal and t^«- 
InhU Uetag aubstanees, exposed to its intlaeace : that all imbibe it 
ia aana dtgree, and many rapidly and voraciously. Most of t]w 
discous towan, by some power nnkoown to us, follow the sun In 
his course. They attend him to his ereniiig retreat, and meet hil 
rising lustre in the morning with the same uDerring law. If a 
plant also ts shut up in a dark room, and a small holt ta afli^r- 
wards opened by wliich the light (if the sun may entt^r, the plant 
wiU tarn towards that hole, and even alter its own shape in order 



to get HMr U ; w Ott though It w» itnlght Imfore, It wfll In thA 

become crooked, that it atmy get Dear th« light. It k not tho 
heat, but the light of the inn, which it thai coTeti; for, though 
a firo be kept in the room, capable of girtng a much ilroager beat 
than the luo, the plant will turn away from the firo Ib order to 
CDJoy the inn'a light, The greeo colour of planti alio depaadi on 
the SDD'g light being allowed to ibine upon them ; for wlthoBt thil 
thej are alwaj* white. 

With the varioas lecretioDS, and eren solid parta of mh^ •( 
thna lobitancei, the matter of light unites most liirlmalaij ; In 
odwr claiKS of aniauli and vegetables it eiiati more Ioooal]>, ami 
eODMqneotly is more easilj separated from them. 

This separation appears to take place in two ways : firat Airing 
life, by a peculiar set of orgaas, which have a power of aocreting 
It from the general fluids of the rest of tlie bod/; and sooowlly, 
by the tendency to de composition, which nnifonniy takaa plaoo 
wpon deadi ; in consequence of which, agreeably to the aaliMsal 
la* of diemical affinity, homogeneous particlea nnhe Ihamielvei 
wiA homogeneous particles, and eac^w in a more lODittle, bew 
caosa in a more aggregate and concentrated form. 

Upon thb simple view of the sntgect we may eaally aoeoawt for 
all the phmnomena noticed by socceasive observer*, aad umlad 
In the preceding part of tills article, as well as for a mriity vf 
others of a similar character. The light thus Ibrowa forth wm 
till very lately regarded as phosphorescent, especially by 8p«Uaa> 
nni aad Fonrcroy; while Caradln believed it to be iuMrtO, nd 


Into the bodies of taminous animab, in t!ie form of food^ aiid mif 
be separated from its respeclite comUnations by iti Inmiaoni 

Living luminout Substances. 
TImh «n my numerout, though they hare never hitherto been 
ami^td into any dbtinct Gta«Bi6cation, or tabular form. Thej 
MWibt cUeflf , and almoit esclusiTety, of iniecli and zoophyUtj 
moUuKMU m»rms f though instances ir* occasionally met with 
HMHig ottor warmt. Insecti fnrnish nearly a doien distinct g«> 
Miif at wkick almost all the species are laninouB. The chief 
art tiM lamfjrti, or gloir.worm, and tribes ; the fulgora, 
TTT iTt'i" "j : the soolopeadra, or centipede; the fauns sposrOa 
CMMi Ae dater noctilurns, and the cancer falgens. Among th« 
Wona-dMl the principal are the phloas, or pholas, as it is now 
feQaraU]r,b*tem>n*oo>lydenominated, the pyrofoma, tb« medaM 
phoaphacea, the oefeia aoc til aca, thepennstula, orseapea, m^Ta* 
tMWS ^coias »t the sepia or The atmosphere in MIM 
parts of Italy appears occasionally to be on fire, in the eTening, fioB 
the great qnaatttiet of one specie! of the lampyris that throng toge. 
than. A tingle ipdirJdoai of the Soutk-Americanfolgora, fixed apoQ 
Hm t«j) nf a cane, or other staff, will afford light eoongh to read bfi 
The streams of light that issue from the elater noctilocna an ■• 
iteang in tka aigkt, that ereu the smallest print may be read bf 
their Inetre. fhe pyrotoms, when at rest, emit* a pala U«i 
lustre } but iibea in motion » much stronger light, Tkri^tad hf 
all tite colonrs of the rainbow. The phloaa secretes a Inminow 
iviMf ev«7 drop, at vhicb illuminates, for a length of tmtf 
wbatenr substance it falls upon, or ereo touches ; and the awmal, 
after daatb, nay be prewrred so as to retain its Inminons power 
for at l«ast a tifeWemonth. The noctilucent nereis often illaad^ 
naleifkif its Qtsmbers, the waters it inhabits, ts a rery considev* 
able axtHtt and gives so bright a splendour to the waves thal^ 
Ulu Uh ntaMHphere whni lighted up by the lampyris italica, (haf 
appeavM tiMHigk they were in a full flame. The organ from wUok 
the InmlaMM anttei is thrown forth, in these different ansmals, it 
«f a very dUhaapt character, and placed in very dtfiisrart parts of 
the^bwdyi siiawliiaM in (he head, somettmes in the tail, aometiiMS 
» over the surfase itntrall]^. 


Deadlumtnoui SuhttOMCtt, " '"**"' 

light, u «« bave ftlread; obwrred, bainf «on or 1h» '•b. 
■orbed by bodlei of all kiodi, nwj b« mpectod, udar ilrciM- 
■buicM which tend to imite or oggregtte its paitidM, to isw off 
in ft pndpiwt form from bU titOM wUcb Inn ■liiilifci<» la a 
gnater degrae, or rataln it after abwrptioa in & )aoma MMto-tkaa 
othen, Tbas It txiiti in the iMIi of marino-fahM, m^Mmhm 
wonni, and b >et at liber^ ud 8«wi off la a fWUt AHVrihv 
- catdnatifm. It utliti is th« dead truakaof vaitoas :iii|pM||lMy 
and faeaoe, on tb« conaiMicmMnt ol a putreAictire d 
Oa particlM tultc tagether agneaUy ts dw tain of a 
nitf , and Sow off la like mannar: wbenoa the loidM 
aac« azhibited to Tariona tpedas of rottaikwood. 
\m the bodiM of many Uoda of aoim^ and bmo brgaly la mm» 
animal organi than la othen ; heaca w« aoe it Undng'MpMinN 
tern pntreacmt fieih, Boiaatimni from boaoi, tMtli^'ii^Mik 
■apbrilie, and arlnary calooll, aad«gg.AnUB tet hMaft^im •»« 
poMdtothoHB. ^l•V■ 

la mariM fiahea it appeart to bo mora nMnHnWa*4hiri4> tirt 
bodiaa of wj aalmab, thongh (or want of oppapriMMiMMW 
wgita tboaa ara not fcmd to lacTCto K(at loMt Mt HP^lHi^Nai* 
pa^aUy) dnring Ufa. ita^^u -.ui 

Fm tha beat nparimenti we poBSem opsa «• mii0mvmm 
ladablad to Dr. Holme, who, wUk be haa tcoOM mtt^ktmm 
•f Aeuriyati, hMConlimedtbe more Important ndHMHiiilb 


tnlntloni of Epssm and olh^r =all3, and Tuund liint in slight ia\u. 
tiuti" it ihoiie brishlT : but ihal iti slronj; ^tilutikins it birame 
vppBimlly esliiiguiiliFd, though it again rfiiTcd bj mixing more 
wKtrr, Bad ixlucinfc the HtlatioD (o its |ir iper d<'bility ; and thus 
by ■Itprnalel/ adding freih salt, tnd net* loppiies of italer, be has 
■ometimH n-tiTed the »ame light after ten exIiDctions. Great cold 
md heat are ilio foniid to extingDiah it ; yet a moderate heat ren. 
d«n H Diere brilliant : it begins to b« exIinguishEd at 90"; and 
when tbe thermometer it nmd to 100 it can be no more reTired. 
I( h however cspable of being retired, after being frozen bj frigo- 
riic miitiiM*. 

. Jtii Uwnforft an noomalons fact, that the light of dead glow. 
worn*' centinnM to wigment in heated water, increaied to 114 

iMminoui appearance of tbe Sea. 

From wbathas alteadf been obserred, Ibis beantifnl and bri). 
liant pbenontenOD is not difficult (o be accounted for la most casei : 
for tbe vast mau of the ocean oMitaioi in itself whatever haa tho 
peatMt tendency to the production of such a phenomcnoD. It i» 
the natural province of the greater nvmber of (hose aoimala that 
■ecrete light from peculiar organs with « hich they are endoired for 
tbia purpose, of phloades, nereidi, meduMi, and luminous can. 
OMi; it holds in its immense bosom, at all times, an enormoni 
quantity of that kind of animal laatter, (marine fishes) which b 
most disposed to throw forth its latent light, in an aggregate and 
visible form, during its first progress of decomposition ; and unites 
tbe different drcumstBnces which chiefly foTonr such an evolstion ; 
■ucfa) for instance, as a fluid menstrnom, temperate warmth, and 
a Mlatioa of mnriat of soda or common salt. 

If then we see occasionally, in vegetable matter undergoing a 
■low decomposition, as in rotten wood, a certain portion of light 
poured forth in a visible form ; If we sec it Issuing In a still greater 
degree fifo^ bones and shells that have undergone the process <rf 
calciiialjim'; If we see it still more freely at times, and nnde^ 
circnmsta^s, thrown forth from the animal exuvia of churcb. 
yards, and atterhig to the surface of the spot from which it issoes. 
In like manner as tbe light scraped off from the scales Of pieces of 
vni*rescent fisbes, Issoened in salt water, adheres tb the knife or 
in|«r) that art ployed for this | ; bow mscb mora 

nay «• aspect to sw it thn< and la bow Mack 


larger qiMDtltlei, from diSamit fMjta of tba ocua^ anAir Mrcnia* 
■Uocei that majr faroor it> escape ; oflui adbering to th« M^m of 
veiwbj or of (heir oan m they ar« ilternalel; rajied (|«« tb* 
water, and producing a long line, or an extended ibeet^ of .woO- 
derful brilliancy, not nnfrequently variegated bjr every glffwllHW 
of colour. 

It eppean obrioni, moreover, that it b not to one CUffe only, 
but to many, tbat sucli pbatnomena are to be aacribed, «t dUfaiMtt 
periodt, and ia different parta of Ibe world. Linusna tuMarf l9 
confine it chiefly to TMt flocki of tbe nereia tnbo : b«t w* kutf 
already obierred, that eren at tea, and among lirivc wiMNlh 
BednHS, wpiaa, peaoatolaij pyroaoaaa, and phtnajn afvally 
concur t while, on other occwioni, the wavea appear b(UU*ntly 
illominated, end throngh ■ very ezteuive range, witboat ft tnoe 
of any living Bubstance whatever, pOMesied of a luminoM power ; 
and can only acquire thdr light froaa the decoapMltioa of dead 
uimal matter. IPmt^M^ 



In the preceding chapter we have conGned our remarliB to (ub. 

tkU MMiji ^nepiktUm MbiUacet, hlijkiy diied and keaped tof^lMr^ 
will heat, aoorch, and at lart burn ioto flame* Of these the most 
rtaarhabte is a raiature of the expressed oil of the fariDaceooi 
wedsi as rape or linseed oil, with almost aay other dry Tegetable 
fibre, SQch as hemp, cotton, matting, &c. and still more, if alsa 
united with lamp-black, or any carbonaceous substance. These 
mixtures if kept for a time undisturbed, in close bundles, and in a 
warm temperature, even in small quantities, will often heat, and 
bum with a mouldering fire for some hours ; and if air be admitted 
freely, will then burst into flame. To this without doubt may be 
attributed several accidental conflagrations in storehouses, and 
places where quantities ef these substances are kept, as has bees 
proved by direct experiments. The most important of these exp«» 
riments were made by Mr. George, and a cdmmittee of the Royal 
Academy at Petersbargh, in the year 1781, in consequence of the 
destraodoo, by fire, of a frigate in the harbour of Cronstadt; 
the coaflagfutlon of a large hemp magazine, in the same place, io 
the same year ; and a slight fire on board another frigate, in the 
sane port. In the following year. 

These accidents led to a rery strict examination of the sutjeef, 
by the Russian gorernmeot ; when it came oat, that, at the time of 
the second accident, sereral parcels of matting, tied with pack* 
thread. In which the soot of barnt fir.wood had been mixed with 
<lll, for painting the ship, had been lying some time on the floor of 
the cabin, whence the fire broke out. In consequence of which, 
the following experiments were made: forty pounds of fir wood 
soot were soaked with about thirty-five pounds of hemp oil var- 
nish, and Hie whole was wrapped up in a mat, and put in a close 
cabin. In aboat sixteen hours it was observed to give out a smoke, 
which rapidly increased, and when the door was opened, and the 
air freely admitted, the whole burst into a flame. Three pounds 
of fir-iUack were mixed with five pounds of hemp-oil varnish, and 
the whole bound up in linen, and shut up in a chest. In sixteen 
hours It emitted a very nauseous putrid smell and steam ; and two 
hours afterwards It was actually on fire, and burnt to ashes. In 
another experiment, the same occurrences took place, but not till 
the end of hours after the mixture had been made ; and 
in these and many similar experiments, they all succeeded l>etter, 
and kindled sooner on bright, than on rainy days. Chimney soot 
oied hstead of* iMspiMack did not answer, nor was any effect 

▼01.. VI. K 


Mtownmm v t ••nvAvcBK 

fMjHri* wlM dl or tvpMHM WM MMIMsd bV At Imp or 

■on MoAlj wiA the e 
wMtkolnerMitt; (MtAoproportloiHorttobUcktoliwollJM 
«ot sppMf to Im of raj frat nommt. flonvdoMi, ht «■( vw- 
thor, thaw viilnrM ontj bMoqw iMt kt mmm boof^aid tken 
Molad >g^o> wftheat RctDsllf toeing Ira. 

In all thaw <»■•• tka toot or bUi^ wu froB woa^ iWi ■■» 
oeal. TlMpcewac«aflaHp.Mtd, ortnrotlwrdrfMrtMMMM 
aatter, it not MCMMrj kowerer ; for ■ tpoataooMw MhHMIlNl 

wHl teko idaea io Iwmp or eottoa, itapl/ toUed in oa^^C-lfeMO 
•cpmaodollit whan iu eoBridnaUo qnaotitj, of ■■Atr^aloHM* 
■(Meat fliToonbU to tUi pncttt, u in rwy kot wmMMT) ov 
dotolf that up. A^occUant of thb sort kti^enml at.Ctfetbo. 
rough, in lineolniUro, fn Jalj, 17B4, with ft bole oC-fomof 
laOtt., aceUeataUj loaktd to roperfiU i which, ftAirmil||liif fai 
ft' wardKHitt for Mrertl dayi, bapn to moka, to MMftrWt 
noBttoBt taMlI> ftod iaftlly to bont oot in ■ noot iMfl Uma, 
A dmlltr toddent^ with a totj iMftH qoaiUttr of t' 
hftppmtdHBonbor. A bottle of Itoteed oH had b 
IniOHft^haat; (Ut had be«i thmni down bf ai IJMifcmHi 
a^kt, the oU nn hto ft ehatt which cDotaiiwd toMe OMB»riMHl 
doO, oadifttheBondiieaaoMhwat fawd tco»AlH' tt^ mi 
reduced Dttrly to tinder, and the wood ol the ch<!st charred on 
the inside. On subsequent trial, a piece of the same cloth was 
soaked in oil, shut up in a bo>, and in no longer time than three 


o( tlic Turin Academy, to bare happeoeil at a flour warehouie at 
Turiu, cunlainiug abuul three huutJred sacks of flour. Il begaa 
b^ a violent explosion, on a lamp being brought iuto tbe wHrea 
hsBM, ud tiM whola wai Mon after io Bamei. Charcual kIods 
■In hn been known to take in ia powder. milla, when quantitiea 
of k in powder have boeo kept for Mime time doielj packed. 
Aiwtber, and totallj difiereot ipecies of ipontaueoua eorabuitioo,, 
it that wbick occur* dnring the oxygenation or vitrioliiation o( 
pftites, orMdpfcBr«t*of iron, copper, Jfcc 

A moat carlona, and, if not well aathendcatMl, a icarcely cre- 
dible apacka of ipontaiieons inflammation, is that in a few rare 
inatneea, known to occur in tlie human body. It ii not qnit^ 
certain. indeed, whether tbe firit inflammation ha« been qnite ipop* 
tanaona, or canied by the approach of a lighted aobitance ; bat iv 
tlwae nnii»rhn1f accidents, tbe body of tbe nnfortnnate lufl^reri 
bai been bemight to a *tate of Mch high comboitibility, that tb» 
flaaa once Idodled, has gone on without other fuel, to tbe entiro 
deatrection of every part, (tbe bope* and extremities excepted) 
and, aa it a^wan, baa been attended with actual flaoae, of a Ian. 
bent bint light. This change is the more ramarkablCf u te 
linaan bodj, in all Its nsoa] states, both of health and disease, U 
■carcely at all of itself combnstlble, and cannot be reduced to 
•fhea withont the assistance of a rery large pile of bggota, or olbei 
fod ; as DuiTenal experience, in tbe very ancient mode of sepnU 
tare, and the history of martyrdoms, abundantly shews. Cases of 
this JMiiaaii eonbustioa on record, hare occurred in different couBa 
tries. Two of them, well authenticated, are recorded in tlie 
Phaoaoptical Transactions, and occurred in England ; and a few 
oUwrs in Italy, Fnoee, and elsewhere. In all but one, the snb. 
joda «f then have been -females rather adranced la life, of indolent 
habits, and apparently much addicted to spiritaoui liquors. 

The accident has generally be»n detected by the penetrating fetIA 
smell of burning and suoty Eima, which hare spresd to a great 
distance j and the suiTerers have in eiery Instance been discovered 
dead, and with the body more or less completely burnt up, leaving 
In the burnt parU only an oily, crumbly, sooty, and extremely 
fetid matter. Another circumslarice in which titeie case* all agree, 
is the comparative weakness uf the heat produced by this conihna. 
tioo, notwithstanding the very complete disorganixatioD of tbo 
body itself, so that the furniture of the a cbairt, JfcC 

1S# c'siMtext ArrmiTr. 

fbsnd wttbtn O* mch of th* baraliig bodj, wan la wanj in. 
•tancea absolotolf unhurt, and In othm onlj icorclwd; the hot 
aot hBTJog be«D itrong «DOBgh to Mt then on flro. It b ImpoML 
bio to glre an adeqnats rouoa for this remarkablo change) BOr 
doei It M»Di before the Very tine of the accident to have pndnced 
V»Y jery leasible alteration in the appearance and fonttlBiM of the 
bo^, which to certahilj a most astonUhing circnmstBKe. With 
rtgatd to the effect vhlch the me of ardent tpiriti it wp (» OM < to 
have In thii caw, it ii impouible not to Ima^ae that thb cHon Itmf 
cbntribnte targelj to thli change ; bat the instanees of tta'aNbd of 
i(tMh are w innumenble, and thott of thb inrprning watortfon 
aita M ntrcmeljr rare, that rerj little MtiifacUon can Ba obtained 
f^on thii eipUnadoD. IPttttMagia. 



1. All the great bodiea which conitltote the solar tjftHUM nw 
urged towards each other bj a force which preserreo QMk Id tMr 
orbits, and regulates their motions. This force has neMti the 
c il. be iiiiie- 

it If mataal ; fkat it •ztends to indefinite dbtancet ; and that all 
bodin, as far at IS known^ are possessed of it. 

J. When two bodies are brooght within a certain distance, they 
adhere together, and require a considerable force to separate 
them. This is the case, for instance, with two polished pieces of 
marble or glass. When a piece of metal, or indeed almost anj 
body whaceier, is plunged into water and drawn out again, its 
surface is moistened, that is to - say, part of the water adheres to 
it. When a rod of gold is plunged into mercury, it comes out 
stained indelibly with a white colour, because it retains and carriet 
with it a portion of the mercury. Hence it is evident that there 
is a force which nrges these bodies towards each other, and keeps 
them together ; consequently there is an attraction between them. 
Bodies, therefore, are not only attracted towards the earth and 
the planetary bodies, but towards each other. The nature of this 
attraction cannot be assigned any more than that of gravitation ; 
but its existence is equally certain, as far at least as regards by far 
the greater number of bodies. 

4. In all cases we find the particles of matter united together in 
masses ; diffiering indeed from each oth^r in magnitude, but oon. 
taining all of them a great number of particles. These particles 
remain united, and cannot be separated without the application of 
a considerable force ; consequently they are kept together by a 
force which nrges them towards each other, since it opposes their 
separation. Consequently this force is an attraction. 

Thus we see that there is a certain unknown forpe which urges 
bodies towards each other ; a force which acts not only upon large 
masses of matter, as the sun and the planets, but upon the smaller 
component parts of these bodies, and even upon the particles of 
which these bodies are composed. Attraction, therefore, as far as 
we know, extends to all matter, and exists mutually between all 
matter. It is not annihilated at how great a distance soever we 
may suppose bodies to be placed from each other; neither does it 
disappear, though they be placed ever so near each other. The 
nature of this attraction, or the cause which produces it, is alto, 
gether unknown; but its existence is demonstrated by all the 
phaenomeaa of nature. 

6. This attraetion was long accounted for, by supposing that 
tliere exbted a .certain unknown substaocoi which impelled all 
bodiei towgrda en^ ath^ri-a^ypothfyis t^ which j^l^losophort 


134 enBMiCAL ir#ivirT. 

bad rtcoorte, fnim m opinion long adnlttod u • Irst principle, 
** d»t no body can act wbera !t to sot:" «( If it wero nor* diffi. 
calt to conceive wfaj' a change Is pradaced tn a body by anotWr 
which to placed at a great dlttance, than whj It to pradnoed hj 
one which !■ iltuted at a Binall dtotaacc. It is not Mljr inpo*> 
olble to expldn the ptnenonena of atlracHoo by impalAa, but it 
to a* dlfficnlt to conceive bow bodlea ihonld be urgti towardi each 
other bj the action of an external inbitance, as how thejr ibsnM 
bt nqed toward! each other bj a power Inherent In tbemwlm^ 
Tbe Ihct b, that w# can neither comprehend the one nor Hw other; 
nor can any rcaion be aaigned why the Almighty might wot « 
eaitly beitow npon malter the power oT acting npon matter at a 
dlitance, a> tb« power of being acted upon and changed by matter 
In actnal contact. 

Bat fiulber, we have no reason for soppoiing that bodlee are 
•rer In my case actnally in contact. For all bodies are dialnbhed 
la bulk by cold, that li lo say, their particles are brongbt nearer 
to each other, which would be impossible, nnless they had been at 
some distance before the application of the cold. Almost all 
bodies are Amloished In bulk by pressure, and canseqnenlty their 
parllcles are brought nearer each other; and the dinmUM of 
bnlk to always proportional to the pressnre. Newton ban ih i W M , 
that It reqnired a force of many pounds to bring two glassat wWUm 
Iha 800th part of an loch of each oiher; that a much grenlrr waa 
necessary to dli^niih that distance ; and that no pressnr* wheb 

CHEMicit ArriniTT. tti 

pUus, and which ii ilwajs diminishing tht i'nttnct bctwacB 
bodies, aale.vs when they are prevenled from approaching ndl 
other by some other force equally powerful. 

0. The chaiig* wUch Bttractkm prodncet on badici, it a dlmL 
B«don of tiwir dbUnce. Now the diitancu of bodits from each 
otkar are of two kioda, ettlwr too small to be perceived by onr 
WHta, or great enoigh to be easily perceired and estimated. In 
ike itat caaa, the change of distance prodaced by attraction muit 
be hucBtible ; In the second cose it mnst be risible, Beoce tlie 
attractions of bodies, as far as regards as, naturally dfride tbem. 
■rivci into two dusea : 1. Those which act at senilble distances; 
S. Those which act at insenrible dtstiuices. The first class obTiously 
■pplles to iMdiet in masses of sensible magnitude ; the second dasi 
Must be confined to the particles of bodies, because they alone nr« 
Kt insmsiblo distances from each otiier. 

r. It hu beat demonstrated, that the intensi^ of the fint ctasi . 
of attrmdioni varies with the mass and the distance of tbe aftracb 
ing bodks. It increases with the mau of these bodies, bst diml. 
nisbcsM tbe distance between them increases. Hence we see tint 
in this class of attractions every particle of the attracting bodha 
net, aince the ram of llie attracting force is always proportloni W 
the number <tf particles in the attracting bodies. Why it Ai^ 
Bidtes as tbe diatance increases, it la impossible to say ; bnt Iho 
ftet is certain, and is almost incompatible with the sapposition of 
Impnlsion aa the cause of attraction. The rate of vatiaHoa km 
been demonstrated to be inversely as tlie square of the (BstUMa, !■ 
nil cnses of attraction belonging to llie flnt dasa. 

8. The attraction belon^ng to tbe 6rBt class nnst be as nuBfw 
Tont as there are boties sitaated at sen^ble distances; but ItbM 
been ascertained that they may be all reduced to three diftrent 
kinA; namely, !■ Gravitation; 2. Electridty; 3. Magnetfim. 
The fint of these hu been sliewn by Newton to belo^ to bB 
matter, m flir is we have an opportunity of enmiolog, and therk 
fore to be nahersal. The other two are partial, being confined to 
oertaio aets of bodies, while the rest of matter is destihite of tbam ; 
for it ia weU known, that all bodiea are not electric, and tlut 
aearcely nnjr bndiea an magnetic, except iron, cobnit, ^kel, and 

Tbn faiteasity «f .«Ma tkiM nttnctiou Imkmm u the ■ 

19$ <m»Ut9*f. AfllMITY. 

f|ifi,atir|cUn(. bodle*, ud dlmiBidiM m tks iquM* «f 4h» dblana* 
iacreftiM. TEm first nteod* to 4he 2n«t«tt dUtaiwa.M *>udi 
bodies ire known to be leptnted from each other. Uow fkr elec* 
tricl^ extendi hu not be«n ucoitaLned ; but m^mitiiw i^teads 
at leut ai &r u the MDiidiuneter of tbe earth. All bodiw ponaw 
gnvity ; but it has been anppoied that tbe otbor two Uttactioai 
are emfined to two or three labtile flHida, wbidi conitilpt* « part 
of ail thoM bodiei which exhibit the iltiactknu of akctrioity «r 
mgoetim. This nut; be m; but itii not, and tctn^mM bo 

9. Tbe abiolute fore* of tbeae attraction! in giTea bo4i«* «») 
only be meai ured lij the force neceaiary to counteract Iha ofleot 
of tbcM attntctjoni, or bjr the ipace which giTen bodiaa,~4ctad on 
merely by these attractiona, trafene in a given Iibo.. If wo 
compare the difi'prent bodiet acted on by graTitutioo, we iball find 
th«t th« abtolate force of their graTilalion towardi each otbf r la In 
all caau the lanio, provided their diitauoei fron each 9t)|pf^,»Bd 
their nau, be tbe aaine ; but Ihii if bjr do neans the fwa with 
^octrinl and nagnetic bodiei. In them tbe foroM bywUffb they 
u« attracted towardi each other, called electricity aad.i%netiiiji, 
fn ^xotfdiogly Tarioiu, oven whon the maM and the dfaCmpa^aro 
tha:Hne. SometinM tbete force* disappear almuit 
other tJDMi they ai* exceedingly inteoM. Gravity, thaqeloi%^ a 
forco inheratt in bodies ; electricity end magnatisni not so; a.oiiw 
cnnitanco vldch renders the opinion of their dopendilf ;qf|«i 
peculiar fluids exceedingly probable. If we oompBra tho«tNtettf 





DFous. Bf heterogpBcous pai 

(icles are meuit 


which con. 


different bodies ; thus a 

pBrticle of iron, 

and i 

1 parlicle of 


are he(eraj;eneou8. 


imoeeneousi'linily uri!»s 

the homogpneoi 

ii< pari; 

icles lowardf 

ud k««pi tboa It inirnHble distances from each 
Mbcr; aad CMMHKiaealljr ii tkc eaow why bodies ■loioit alwaji 
taW aaited togelber, so.h to constitale masses of sensible migni. 
tmit. TUs afiailj: is wwtly denoted bj the term cohesion, and 
■frtJMM by wlbeMOB. ivben iJie surfsGes of bodies are va\j 
ftlsrrad'tD. BomogeaMnH affinity is nearly nniterul; as fsr as 
ia4i>0WB, oaUrlc and light only are destitute of it. 

HsIariflMiicniw afflnlty urj^es heterogeneons pKrticl«s towudt 
OKb-'Othn-, aad keeps tkeia mt insensible distamses fnioi eadi 
ekta^•p■d'•r coone U tba canle of the formation of new inlegnU 
p•r(■ota^ oMspoaed of t certain nnmber of heterogeneons par. 
tides. Tkeae MW iKlcgrant particles afterwards uito by eoba. 
eioDf and Corw -masses of oomponnd bodies. Thai an intograBt 
paitleleof water is composed of particles of hydrogen and osygiB, 
nrg«dcto««rds rad other, snd kept at an insensiUe dM«ce by 
haterogeneoin affinity ; spd a mais of water is cotopoMd of m 
iadafinlte Dnmber of iotegrtnt particles of (bat fluid, tn^ed to. 
wmrdAeach otber by homogeneons affinity. HetrrogeaeoasmffiDhy 
ift raJvrnal, as far as is known ; tjiat is to say, there Is no hffitf 
whose particles are not attracted by the particles of soki* oAer 
bodv : %at whether the particles of all bodies hate aptfinstr '**' 
tiie |iartii'le& of all ulhtr hudiis, j« a point whirli we have no 
means of ascetlaii'ing. It is, hon'e>er. i-sceedinglj- probable, and 
tisK bepn eeDf rally tuktn for granted ; though it is certainly assum- 
ing more than e«en snalojjy can uarrant. 

II. Affinity, like sensible altraclion, varies witli the mass and 
thedisUnce of the attraclini; bodies. That cohesion varies with 
the nusB, cannot indeed be ssctrtained ; bpcause we have no 
method of rsrying the mass, nithout at the same lime alcring the 
iUstaiic«. But in cases of the adhesion of the surfaces of homo, 
geneuus bodies, which is undoubtedly an instance of homogeneous 
affinity, it has been demonstrated, that tlie force of adhesion in. 
cri^BSes with the surface, that is to say, with (he mass; for the 
number of adhering [larticles must increase willi the sarface. 

That heterogeneous affinity increases wilb the mass, has been 
obMrred long ago in particular instances, aad has been lately 

138 CaiMlCAL AFranTT. 

flmwntntad hy BmOoIM ta bM ia •vwy oMt ttM a (hm 
portiati nl water k r«taiMd mart sbMioatetr bf » higt jiii lllj 
of snlplmriG add, than Iqr » mill qnaadtf. O n y g aa <fc ■■■• 
•Hlly abttnclMl froa Oom dxUm, hUA an oiMlsd <»i— J. 
BMm, than from tboM which art oxMbed le a MlataiB; Ifai 
if to ny, that a large bhui of aatel ntain a ghaa fwalilj wt 
oiygm Dora riolentlj thia a mbbH msm. Liwa d^Hftna |»b 
aih of oalj a portion of Itt carbonic acid ; and aalplMiB -aali 
d^ri*M phoapboric add of onlj a portioa of te ■■•••■Ml 
wUdi It U nnited in pboiphate of lloM. !■ tktatr^^mmf 
other Inataacea that night be ennoMrated, a laall |nillm| tn 
body ia iciahad bj a girao qnaotlfy of aaotbM, MNMMM|ljr 
ttan a Urg« qnantitr. And Bertholict baa abowa,.4ift ia all 
caataalargcqnantitjofa body li capable <rf riwtraLlMjayrtbw 
of anotiwr, from a auall portion of a third ; bow waafcaaaMrtbo 
aflaity between the lint and lecend of tbeaa boHmtt^UmMmm 
atnmg (oercr the affinHr beiwceu tiM aeoeod aid tba Mliii Thm 
wbaa eqaal qoaatiliea of Um A^wing bodlae 

I (Salphiitoof btiytet a J^ 

' jn>tBib \PMaak' 

^ rSttlpbateof potaih 

i»oda '■ (Potaah-'twsibN. 

, rSulphatoof potaah ^ ( CarbonamMM 

* IUkm ' (Potub - t>i ^h 

tbe aaenwbhad bate abatnctad part of Um add, fi>M <» l^i 
with whtrh it was prefiou'^lj' conibiiicd; (hom;ti i 


The TorcM of afliniljr, though also Ihn sane io kind, are still more 
Buni'rous than those of sensible allractioD; for insli-at] of tlirt'e, 
they amount to as many ai there are hetero^pneou! hodii-s. The 
rate, indeed, at which Ih^y juy when thf disianre uf the aliracting 
bodies increases or iliminishes, is probab'y the same in all. and so 
is also their variations as far as it regards the mass, But ina 
when both of these rircumstances, as Far as we i-an eslimi<e (hi'm, 
»e thp same, the affiriilj of two liodips for a third is nut the same, 
Thos barjtes has a slrooKer afltnily for sulphuric acid than potash 
has ; for if equal qaantilie^ of edcb be mixed with a small portion 
of SDlphuric acid, the barytes seizes a much greater proportion of 
the acid than the potash does, Tbis dilferenct in intensity extendi 
to particles of all bodies ; for there are scarcely any two bodies 
wfcaw fKftlriM kne praciadj the aftine affinity for a tbird f and 
MMcal^ nj two b«diea, tbm particles of each of wbicb cohere to* 
gather vitb ezactty the SMoe force. 

It ia tWa diflnvnee in Intensity which constilntes the most itn. 
G murk of Affinity, and which explains the dif. 
■ and changes which one body occarions la 

!%■§ h ^Ipean at first sight, that there are as many different 
aSaitleB as there are bodies ; and that affinity, instead of being 
•■« faroe like grantation, which is always the same when the cir- 
I same, consbts of a variety of different forces, 
nI, iadeed, by the same kind of lairs, but all of them dif. 
farcnt from each other. These affinities do not vary like magne. 
tisD and cteetricitp, though the mass contiaues the same, but are 
ahnya of eqnal inteaiity when other circumstances are equal, 
H — oa it is rcaaooable to conclade, that these affinities cannot^ 
Uke magnetism and electricity, depend upon peculiar fluids, the 
J of lehich may rary ; but that they are permanent forces, 
rt n erery atom of the attracting bodies. 

Is. It ta vary possible that this variation of intensity, which 
forms M TCHUkabte a distinction between affinity and gravitatioD} 
Bty be oolj appafciit and not real. For even in gravitation the 
intensity variea with the distance and the mass, and the same vari. 
■tiim holds in wSmitj. Bat as the attraction of affinity acts upon bo- 
Hf situated at iateuibl* distances from each other, it is evident 
ttat, Mrictly spaakligi m have no meaas of ascertaining that 
mott laJ niniaqmtly that it way n ttMT ditcover- 

140 cHiHicAL ArrmiTT. 

ikg tlw TftrUtitm. Bat vnrj aach rariBtiim la ^Ubmce 
occuioii « GorrMpODrting Tiriation in Um inteniify of lh« attr) 
force. It may be, thwi, that \iia,tyttt altncts ntphkrfo adc 
greater mteniily than potash, beoiiiM tb* pvtIclM of ta 
when the; act npon the acid, an at a iDiallar diilanoa-ibvMi I 
the parUclei of the potash are. 

BotitBMybeaiked, Why, ifbaiTtaa, potash, andidphliric 
are all mizad together in water, tha paiticlM of poCaih 4o » 
proach ai near the add ai tfaote of tha barytes, lineaAtfM 
at liberty to act r To tkii it may be answered, that InaH J 
bilitytlwy do approach each of them f o the Hine I 
tance, (if the aiprenlon be allowed)) but that, 
their re«/ diilance may contlnDe different. The paiHaM ( 
dle«, bow minnte aoerer we mppoie tiiem to be, caaartlw 
tate of mngaitade. They most have a certain leqgllli bv 
and thickneu, and therefore mait al«rayi poMeH hMs'^M 
figure or other. Then particles. Indeed, are a great tef ^ti 
Bate for n> to detect thetr slMpe ; bat itil) K b cerirf* thai 
nait hare some shape. Now It It very eoneelTabtaltat tfa 
tides of every particular body may have a shape pecoller to 
•elm, and differing from the shape of (be particles otMsi^ 
body. Thus the particlva of salpharic acid may bm Ma i 
those of barytei another, and those of poUih a third. ' 

Bntif the partlelea of bodies have length, breadth, and 
•ais, we cannot aroid conceiving them as composed iaf ai 
lumbor of still m^irv mumtp paitU-li s or iitomf. 

CHBMICAt. ArptiriTr. 141 

of coone the cube will attract the tliird particle mote itron^lj 
than tlie tetrahedron ; that is, it will hare a greater affinity Tor it 
than the tetralieilron. 

Bui if the particles of boJies differ from ench other in figure, 
they may dilff r qIso in density ami in size : and this must abo alter 
the absolute force of alfinlly, even when the distances and the fij;iire 
of the attracting particles are the wme. The first of these two 
drcnmitaaces, indeed, naj tw considered as a diRerence in the 
tnau of the attractiag bodies, and therefore may be detected by 
Um weiffht of the aggregate ; but the second, thoogh also no less 
K Tariation in the mass, cannot be detected by any such method, 
tboDgh its effect upon tke strength of affiuity may be Tery con- 

There is no doubt that, upon the sapposttion that sach differ' 
ences in the Rgure, density, and size of the ittracting particles, 
really exist, and it is in the higbeit degree probable that they do 
nist, the TBtiation in intengity which characterises chemical affi- 
nity may be accounted for, nithont suppoaing the intensity of 
■fiinily, as a force inhere'it In the ultimate particles or atoms of 
bodies, is really different. The same thing may be applied to 
electricity and magm^tism. It is certainly possible, therefore, 
timt attraction, both sensible and insensible, may not only vary 
Mt the same rate, and according to the same laws, bnt lie abso- 
lutely the same force inlnrent la the atoms of matter, modified 
nerely by the number and situation of the altracling atoms. This 
is certainly possibk ; and it must be allowed that it corresponds 
well with those tioliims of (he simplicity of nature, in which we 
are accustomed to iudalge ouiselves. But the truth is, that we are 
by no tneans good jndges of the simplicity of nature; we hare 
but an imperfect glimpse here and there through the veil with 
which her operations are covered; and from the few points which 
we see, we are constantly forming conjectnres concerning the 
whole of the machinery by which these operations are carried on, 
Snperiot'lMhiM tibile at oor theories ss we smile at the reasonings 
of an Hifiuit; nid were the veil which conceals the machine from 
oar ^W to be inddeoly withdrawn, we ourselves, ia all proba. 
Ullty, would 1w equally astonished and confounded at the wide 
dtffereuce bet*Mli oar theories and conjectores, and the real pow- 
. ttt by which the lAcUDery of the nair<>"<> in mored. Let us not 
iWttfon b* too pMdlAtitt In dnwlng canclmloas : bnf 


let 08 rather wait with patkMt till Aitam ikmmim 
adTaoce farther ; and satisfy oarsalves is Am mmk Una witk 
ranging those laws of affinity wbidi hmm baea aaeafftaisadl, witb. 
ont deciding whether it be the sasa fwo» wilb fwritaiioay or a 

different one. {TkomiQn. 



1 HE word crystal {Hpvrla\>As) originally stgnUiad ioa $ bat it 
was afterwards applied by tlie ancients to ciystaUimd sWca, or 
rock crystal ; because, as Pliny informt «a, they eooaidefad that 
body as nothing ebe than water congealed by d^ actiOB of cold. 
Chemists afterwards applied the word to all traniHP^raDt bodloa of a 
regular shape ; and at present it is employed to denote^ in feotrali 
the regular figure which ixxlies assume when their particles haro 
full liberty to combine according to the laws of cohesion. Thei^ 
regular bodies occur very frequently in the mineral kiogdom, 
and hare long attracted attention on aocount of their great 
beauty and regularity. By far the greater number of the salts as* 
sume likewise a crystalline fbrm ; and as these substances are 
mostly soluble in water, we baTe it in our power to gifo tba tcfu- 
lar shape of crystals fai fiome measure at pleasart. 

1. Afost solid bodies either occur in the state of cryilals, or are 
capable of being made to assume that form. Now it has Umg^ 
been obserred by chemists and mberalogists, that diaro b a par- 
ticular form which every indifidual substance always aSMla when 
it crystallfaies : this indeed is considered as one of the best asarlss 
for distinguishing one substance from another. Thus ooauaon salt 
b obsenred to assume the shape of a cube^ and alum that of octaba* 
dron, consisting of two four-sided pyramids, applied base to base. 
Saltpetre affects the form oi a slulded prismi and sulphate of 
magnesia that of a four-sided prism ; and carbonate of lime Is of* 
ten found in the state of a rhomboid. Not that erer^ indifidual 
jubstaoce always uniformly ciystaUiscs in the same form ; for this 



in liable to coDsiderableTariatioos accordinglo the circumalance; of 
the cue: bnt there are a certain number of forma peculiar to 
ererf inbttBnce, and the crystals of that substance, in every case, 
adopts one or other of these forms, and no other ; and thus com- 
■M Mlt, when cryitalliied, lias always either the figure of a 
Mbe or octahedron, or lome figure reducible to these. 

t. At the particlei of bodlet must be at liberty to moTe before 
they crjstallixe, it Is obvioin that we cannot reduce any bodies to 
On itate of crystali, except those which we are able to make fluid. 
Now there ve two ways of rendering the bodies fluid, namely, 
MriutioD in » liquid, and fusion by heat. These of coarse are the 
9miy Methods of forming crysUls in our power. 

Solntian is the common method of cryatalliziag salts. They ar« 
dissolf ed iu the water: the water is slovily evaporated, the saliuc 
particles gradually approach each other, combine together, and 
form small crystals; which become constantly larger by the addi- 
tion of other particles, till at lait they fall by their gravity to the 
bottom of the *ess«l. It ought to be remarked, however, that 
there are two kinds of solution, each of which presents different 
phenomena of i-rystallization. SometalttdissoWeiD very small pro. 
portions in cold water, but are very solable in hot water; that 
is to say, water at the common lamperature has little effect upon 
them, but water combined with caloric distolres them readily. 
When hot water saturated with any of these salts cools, it be- 
comes incapable of holding them in solution : the consequence of 
which is, that the saline parliclc* gradually spproach each other 
and crystaHiif. Sulphate of soda b a salt of this kind. To crys* 
tallize such salta, nothing more is necessary than to saturate hot 
water with them, and set it by to cool. But were we to attempt 
to crystallize them by eTapomtiog the hot water, we should not 
succeed ; nothing could be procured but a shapeless mass. Many 
of the salli which follow this law of crystallization combine with a 
great deal of water ; or, which is the game thing, many crystals 
formed in this manner contain agreat power of crys tall iza tin n. 

There are other salts again which are nearly equally soluble ia 
hot and cold water ; common salt for instance. It is evident that 
such salts cannot be crystallized by coating: but they ciystillise 
very well by evaporating their solution while hot These salt* 
generally contain but Utile water of crystal! ItaHoa. 

There are many lubstauces, howerer, neitter MlDble la water 

144 OK CET8T«LL0aRA»HT. 

Boroth«r tiqatdt, whlcb, netwlthilindhrg, arvei^wMtVPiMBBilig 
« cryatallinf form. Thi> li th« mm with tb« HMtmh^ witt glaN, 
and'iome otfa^r budlei. The nirthod MBplojed to crjitalBie tfcarn 
is fusioD, which is a n)liition bj njeani of etloric. Bj tUi natkod 
the partlclei ar« separated froin one another ; and If tte MoHiif 
goPB on gradually, thej are at Mbtaty to arnmge theBMlvM in r»- 
gular cryitats. 

3. To obtain large artificial crystals of a regalar almpt, raqnbci 
considerable addreii and much paiient atteiilion. TUt oarhwi 
branch of (iracticat cheotistrj' hat been improred by Mr. hAUae ; 
.who has not only succeeded in oblainini; regal&r crystal! of almort 
any liie at pleasure, but has made many fnterfiting obiorntiont 
on crystallisation in general*. His mt- tbod it as 'fiiHowi : The 
•alt to be crystallized is to be dissoWed in water, and mporated 
to such a consistency that it shall crystallite on coolinf . 'M H by, 
and when quite cold pour the liquid part olF the man of eijitals 
at the bottom, and put it Into a flat.bottemed retsel. S uBUij ciy>. 
tals form it some dbtance from each other, and theio te^ be ob> 
serred gndnalty increasing. Pick oat the most regnlAi' itf these, 
and put them into a flat.botlomed tessel at some diBtarfe^flon ouA 
other, and pour orer them a quantity of liquid obtaHM' In Oa 
•ame way, by evaporating a solution of the salt, till tt ci 
OD cooling. Alter the position of erery crystal once at leatt w 
day with a glass rod, that all the hces may be alternately e 
to the action of the liquid ; for the face on which the oryttsi' (wta 
never receWes any increment. By this process the cryitali gnAv. 

t&^MifMy (he liqaid must be poured off, and a portion of nev 
liquid pat in its place ; otherwise the crystal is tnfallibl/ des- 
troyed, Mr* Leblanc has obseryed, that this singular change be^ 
fins first at the surface of the liquid, and extends gradually to the 
bottom ; so that a crystal, if large, may be often perceived in a 
fltate of increase at its lower end, while it is disappearing at its up- 
per extremity. Mr. Leblanc even affirms that saline solutions al- 
most always increase in density according to their depth from the 

4. The phenomena of crystallization seem to have attracted but 
little of the attention of the ancient philosophers. Their theory, 
indeed, that the elements of bodies possess certain regular geome. 
trical figures, may haye been suggested by these phaenomeaa ; but 
we are ignorant of their haYing made any regular attempt to ex- 
plain them. The schoolmen ascribed the regular figure of crys- 
tals to their substantial forms ; without giving themselves much 
trouble about explaining the meaning of the term. This notion 
was attacked by Boyle ; who proved, that crystals are formed by 
the mere aggregation of particles *• But it still remained to ex. 
plain, why that aggregation took place ; and why the particles 
united in such a manner as to form regular figures? 

The aggregation is evidently the consequence of that attractive 
force which has been examined in the last section. But to explain 
the cause of regular figures is a more difficult task. Newton has re. 
marked, that the particles of bodies, while in a state of solution, are 
arranged in the solvent in regular order and at regular distances j 
the consequence of which must be, that when the force of cohesion 
becomes sufiiciently strong to separate them from the solvent 
they will naturally combine in groups, composed of those particles 
which are nearest each other. Mow all the particles of the same 
body must be supposed to have the same figure ; and the combi. 
nation of a determinate nnmber of similar bodies must produce nU 
milar figures, Hauy has made it exceedingly probable that thes« 
integrant particles always combine in the same body in the same 
way ; that is to say, that the same fiices, or the same edges, al. 
ways attach tliemselves together ; but that these differ in different 
crystals. This can scarcely be accounted for, without supposing 
that the particles of bodies are endowed with a certain polarity 

• Treatise sia'tlit or||^ of forntt and foallties. 
TOL. Ti. !• 

140 OM CSYtTAttOOaAPHr. 

which Bskei tbem kttract one pkrt of tnolher parlido aaA repel 
tho other ptrti. Thia polarity would esplain th« r^aUrit; of 
crfitaUisation ; but it b itwlf InesplinUe. 

It Is ranurkAble that crjtUlt not «nl; uinine regular Gfvrei, 
but are elwif ■ bounded by pUne larbcei. It is nrj rmreljr in- 
deed that cnrre lurfacei are observed in theie boditi ; and wben 
thoy are, the ciystab always give nneqiuTocal proofi of imperfec. 
tioD. Bnt this conilant tendency towards pbne surhoea ia iocon. 
ceirable, unlei* the particlef of which the cryitali an eonpoiod 
are themnlrei regular fignrei, and bonndod by plane i srlaeM. 

S. If the figure of cryitali dapendi upon the figure of tMr Id- 
t^nuit parllclei, and upon the manner in which they eomblM, It 
b reuonable to mppoie that the lame partidei, wben at'fUl liber. 
tf, will alwayi comUna in the lama way, and conscqceatly (hat 
the cryilala of every particular body will be dwayi the mbh. 
Nothing at Giat light can appear farther from the trath Opa thb. 
The different fonns which the cryit^ of the aame body >•■■■• art 
oRan vary nnmeroni, and exceedingly different from mck other. 
Carbonate of lime, for initanca, bai bean obierred cryiUUied in 
no fewer than forty different formi, flnate of Ume in «%ht dlfihr. 
ent forma, and aulphate of lime in nearly an equal nnabarr 

But this incondilMicy b not lo great ai might at flnt •%■* ^i. 
pear. Rami da Lble hai ihewn that every body naceptlbla of 
cryttallisatlon bu a particular forin which it moat freqwady u- 
inmei, or at leait to which It moit freqaently approadwc Bwg- 

D baa demoutrated, that this primitive form, u Bany W mIU 

oil SBYaTAI-lOGBAPBT. 147 

caik be demonstrated that no subspqueiit division can alter Its <!• 
gure. Consequently it can be conlinued till the figure which It 
assDmM is similar to that of its integrant particles. 
' MwKj imM found ttat tkt figure of tbe iotegrant particlea of 
b*dlca, u fn u •zpeiimflsC hu gvne, mtj be radaced to three ; 

1. Tbe paratlelopiped, the simplest of the solids, whoM lacei 
■n tiz ID namber, and parallel two and two. 

%. Tka tnangnltr pritn, the aimpleit of pritmi. 

S. The tetnbedroD, the ainplest of pyramids. Even this imall 
■QMhar ot prtaitire fornii, If we coniider the almost endleta dl> 
Teiritjr ^ "*") proportion, and densitj, to which particlei of 
difeveiBt bodiea, tbovgh they have the aame figure, naj still ta 
HaUe, wUt be fonnd fally nficient to account for all the differ. 
•aeti 1« Eohwiun and keterogeneoni affinity, without haring ro- 
CstiM to Afitrent abaolate farces, 

Tbeaabtegrantparticlei, when they anSte to fem tbe prhoMr* 
cryatala, do not atwaji join tf^ether in the nne way. SometiliM 
ttef anha by tbeir faces, aad at other timei by their edges, lear- 
ing WMiderable racaitlei between each. ThUexpUini wbylnto. 
grant partldee, tbongh they have tbe nne form, auy compoae peU 
Mitire erystala of diKrent fignrag. 

' Mr. Hany has aacerfained that the primitlre tortaa ot crystali art 
risbinnaber; namely, 

I, Tbe psralleloiuped, which includes the cube, tbe rhomboi^ 
and all loUds terminated by six fiues, parallel two and two. 

S. Tbe regular tetrahedron. 

». Tbe oetabedroB with triangular faces. 

4. Theiix.aidedprUm. 

f. The dodecabedroD, teraalnated by rhombs. 

•. The dodecahedron, with Isosceles triangular ftcei. 

BaA of tlieie mey be nppotei to occur as the primttlve form, or 
tbe oadeM !■ a Tariety of bodiea ; but those only which are reg»« 
lar, 81 Ika cabe and tbe octabedron, luve bitherto been found in 
•nj wiasHei^hi nnnber. 

Bat h a J ss, whm ciystalllKed, do not always appear in 0it 

primitire form ; some of them indeed very seldom affect Ibat form ; 

and all of them bare a certain latitude and a certain namber of 

forms, wfaich thej assume occaiionall)' as well at the priiiiiti*a form. 



Thni Ou primitire form ot flute of lime U the octahedron 
that salt i> often found crystallized in cubes, in rhomtMldal < 
cahedrons, and in other formi. All these difierent fomi < 
a body assames, the priioitiTe excepted, have been dMonii 
by Hauy leeondaryformi. Now what is the reason of tU 
tude io crystallizing i why do bodies assame so often thei 
eoodary forms ? 

7. To this it may be answered ; 

iBt, That those secondary forms are wmetimes owing to 
tions In the ingredients which compose the integrant partk 
any particular body. Alum, for instance, crystallizes in « 
droni } bat when a quantity of alumina^ is added, it cryslalli 
cnbei ; and when there u an excess of alumina, it doea not 
tallizeatall. If the proportion of alumina Tsries between 
which produces octahedrons and what produces cublo cr^ 
the crystals become figures wilh fourteen sides ; six of whit 
ftamllel (o those of the cube, and eight to those of the ooUhai 
%nd according as tile proportions approach nearer tO'tkom' 
form cobei or octahedrons, the orystals assume mora or I 
the form of cnbes or octahedrons. What is still more, if a 
crystal of alnm be put into a solution that would afford ootal 
crystals, it passes into an octahedron : and, on the other ban 
ectebednd crystal put into a solution that would afford cubic 
tals becomes itself a cube *. Now, how difficult a soaUar I 
proportion the different ingredients with absolute c 
appear evident to all. 

WAtVftB OF TlfB DlAlf OilD. 149 

• - • 

pithed bf Ae theory of ciystilllsation, for whioli we are indebted 
t6 the sagacity of Mr. Haay ; a theory which, for its ingenuity, 
clearness, and importance, must eyer ranlc high, and which must 
be considered as one of the greatest acquisitions which mineralo- 
gy, and even chemistry, have hitherto attained. 

According to this theory, the additional matter which enTelopes 
the primitife nucleus consists of thin slices or layers of particles 
laid one above another upon the faces of that nucleus, and each 
layer decreasing in size, in consequence of the abstraction of one 
or more rows of integrant particles from Its edges or angles. 




1 HE diamond is not more an object of attention to the jeweller 
or lapidary than to the chemist ; for it is as singular in its compo*. 
sition amoDc;^ the crystals, as it Is Taluable, on account of its rarity 
and lustre, among the gems : having of late been fully ascertained 
to consist of nothing more than pure charcoal under a peculiar 
state of crystallization. 

Upon this subject we shall copy Mr. Smithson Tenant's interest- 
ing paper, as communicated to the Royal Society in 1797. 

Sir Isaac Newton having observed that inflammable bodies had 
a greater refraction, in proportion to their density, than other 
bodies, and that the diamond resembled them in this property, 
was induced to conjecture that the diamond itself was of an in- 
flammable nature. The inflammable substances which he employ- 
ed were camphire, oil of turpentine, oil of olives, and amber;, 
these he called ^^ fat, sulphureous, unctuous bodies;" and using, 
the same expression respecting the dianaond, he says, it is pro- 
bably ^^ an unctuous body coagulated." This remarkable conjec- 
ture of Sir Isaac Newton has been since confirmed by ^posted 
experiments. It wu found, that though the diamond was capable 
of resisting the efiects of a violent heat when the air was carefully 
excluded, yet that onbeing exposed to the action of heat and air,^ 
it might be entirely coniaBBed. tint as the' iole object of theio 



experiiie&ts was to uoertoin dM iiflMiiiMible mitoM of tbo dit. 
monAj no attention was paid to tlie prodncts aflbrded by its com- 
bustion ; and it still therefore remained to be determined whether 
the diamond was a distinct substance^ or one of tlie linown in. 
flammable bodies. Nor was any attempt made to decide this 
question till M. ILAfoisier, in 1779, undertook a series of expert, 
ments for this purpose. He exposed the diamond to the heat pro. 
duced by a large lens, and was thus enabled to bum it in close 
glass vessels. He observed that the air in which the inflammation 
had taken place had become partly soluble In water, and precipi. 
tated from lime* water a white powder which appeared to be chalk, 
being soluble in acids with efferrescence. As M. Lavoisier seems 
to have had little doubt that this precipitation was occasioned by 
the production of fixed air, similar to that which is afibrded by 
calcareous substances, he might, as we know at present, have in. 
ferred that the diamond contained charcoal ; but the relation be- 
tween that substance and fixed air, was then too imperfectly 
understood to justify this conclusion. Though he observed the 
resemblance of charcoal to the diamond, yet he thought that no* 
thing more could be reasonably deduced from their analogy, than 
that each of these substances belonged to the class of inflammable 


As the nature of the diamond is so extremely singular, it 
seemed deser? ing of further examination ; and It will appear from 
the following experiments, that it consists entirely of charcoal, 
differing from the usnal state of that substance only by its crystal. 
Used form. From the extreme hardness of the diamond, a stronger 
degree of heat is required to inflame it, when exposed merely to 
air, than can easily be applied in close vessels, except by means 
of a strong burning lens ; bnt with nitre its combustion may be 
effected in a moderate heat. To expose it to the action of heated 
nitre free from extraneons matters, a tobe of gold was procured^ 
which by having one end closed might serve the purpose of a re« 
tort, a glass tube being adapted to the open end for collecting 
the air produced. To be certain that the gold vessel was perfectly 
dosed, and that it did not contain any nnperceived impurities 
which could occasion the production of fixed air, some nitre was 
heated in It till It had become alkaline, and afterwards dlssohed 
out by water ; bnt the solution was i>erfectly free from fixed air, 
aa it did not affect the transparency of lime-water. When the 


dIaaMiid ms deitroyed in the gold vessel by mttej tbe BubstaDce 
which mnained precipitated lime from lime-water, and with acids 
afforded nitrous and fixed air ; and it appeared solely to consist of 
nitre partly decomposed, and of aerated alkali. 

In order to estimate the quantity of fixed air which might be 
obtained from a gifen weight of diamonds, 2^ grs. of small dia« 
monds were weighed with great accuracy, and being put into the 
tube with ^ oz. of nitre, were kept iu a strong red heat for about 
an hour and a half. The heat being gradually increased^ the nitre 
was in some degree rendered alkaline before the diamond began 
to be Inflamed, by which means almost all the fixed air was re- 
tained by the alkali of the nitre. The air which came over was 
produced by the decomposition of the nitre, and contained so little 
fixed air as to occasion only a very slight precipitation from lime* 
water. After the tube had cooled, the alkaline matter contained 
in it was dissolved in water, and the whole of the diamonds were 
found to have been destroyed. As an acid would disengage nitrous 
air from this solution as well as the fixed air, the quantity of the 
latter conld not in that manner be accurately determined. To 
obviate this inconvenience, the fixed air was made to unite with 
calcareous earth, by pouring into the alkaline solution a sufficient 
quantity of a saturated solution of marble in marine acid. The 
vessel wliich contained them being closed, was left undisturbed till 
the precipitate had fallen to the bottom, the solution having been 
previonsly heated that it might subside more perfectly. The clear 
liquor being found, by means of lime-water, to be quite free from 
fixed air, was carefully poured off from the calcareous precipitate*. 
The vessel nsed on this occasion was a glass globe, having a tube 
annexed to it, that the quantity of the fixed air might be more 
accurately measured. After as much quicksilver had been poured 
into the glass globe containing calcareous precipitate as was neces* 
sary to fill it, it was inverted in a vessel of the same fluid. Some 
marine acid being then made to pass up into it, the fixed air was 
expelled from the calcareous earth ; and in this experiment, in 
which H grs. of diamonds had been employed, occupied the space 

• If laech water kmd remained, a coosidereble portion of tbe fixed air 
would have been alMorbed by ix. Bat by tbe same method at that described 
above, I observed, that as much fixed air might be obtaiaed from a solatioo 
of mineral alkali, as by adfllng aa acid to an eqiaU quantity of the same kind 
if alkali.— Oaifl. 



of 4 Utflfl more than 10.1 oz. of water. The temiieritars of tb* 
room Hben the sir wbi meuured, wu at 6V, uid the tarometer 
■tood at about 30,8 iucbes. 

From another experiment made in a lioiilar manner with I gr. 
nd a half of diamondi, th« air obtained occupied iha apace of 
0.18 oz. of watei', according to wliich proportion tlie bulk of the 
6sfd air from 2 and I gr. would hare been equal to 10.3 M. 

Tbe quBQtitjr of fixtd air thui produced by the diaiaoad, doei 
not differ much from that which, according to M. Levoitieri might 
be obtained from an e^oal weight of charcoal, la the Haaoin 
of the French Academy of Sciences, for the year 1781, ba haa 
related the various experiments which be made to ucertala the 
proportion of charcoal and oxygen in fixed air. From tboet which 
he Gooaidered as most accurate, he concluded that 100 parts of 
fixed air contain nearlj' S8 parts of charcoal and 73 of oxj'gan. 
He estimates the Height of a cubic Inch of fixed air, onder the 
pressure and in thta temperature abore-mentioned, to be Mi P^ita 
of a grain. If we reduce the French weights and measorei to' 
Ei^lish, and them compute how much fixed air, accordsag to this 
proportion, 2^ grs. of charcoal would produce, we shall fijid that 
it ought to occupy nty nearly the bulk of 10 ox. of water* 

M- Lafoitier seems to hare thought that the aerial flnid p 
br the combustion of the diamond wan not so soluble ia water, w, 
that procured from calcareous substances. From its rrarmMawia 
howFTer, in rarious properties, hardly any doubt conU kb^jb 
that it consisted uf the same ingredients ; and I found, on C 



mhxAm pTOptrij iiicl0wd in a cnicible, was eiposed to the heat of 
a Uait lanuiee, by which the diamond disappeared, and the metal 
was fasedy and con? erted into a small mass or bottom of cast steel. 




CjTlass is a strictly chemical substance, and well entitled, to our 
attention as to its history , properties, and manufacture. 


HiBtory of the discovery^ 

Ths word gl(i99 is formed of the Latin glastuwif a plant, ealled 
hy the Greeks, tsatis ; by the Romans, viirum ; by the ancient 
Britons, guadum ; by the English, woad* We find frequent men* 
tion of this plant in ancient writers, particularly Caesar, VitruTius, 
Pliny, &c. who relate, that the ancient Britons painted or dyed 
their bodies with glastum, guadum, Titrnm, Sec. i. e. with the blue 
colour procured from this plant. And hence the factitious matter 
we are speaking of came to be called glass, as having always 
somewhat of this blueishness in it. 

At what time the art of glass-making was first inrented is 
altogether uncertain^ Some imagine it to have been invented be« 
fore the flood : but of this we have no direct proof, though there 
is no improbability in the 8uppo<(ition ; for we know, that it is al- 
most impossible to excite a very violent fire, such as is necessary 
in metallargie operations, without vitrifying part of the bricks or 
stones wherewith the furnace is built. This, indeed, might furnish 
the first hints of glass-making ; thovgh it is also very probable, 
that such imperfect vitrifications would be observed a long time 
before people thought of making any use of them. 

The Egyptians boast, that this art was taught them by their 
great Hermes. Aristophanes, Aristotle, Alexander, Aphrodiseusji 
LvcNtins, and St John the difint^ put it mt of all doubt that 


glui wu »ed Id tbrir dxji. Wkj reUtn, fh&t it WN tnt dlt- 
cowfed accidcntallj in Sfria, tt Oe rnontli of the ifMV fielus, 
bf certain merchuiti driven thither bj k 1101111 tt m« ; «ki> bei^ 
oUiged to coDtiane there, and dreu their rictuali by miking k fire 
on the gronnd, where there wu great plentf of the harb kali ; 
tltat plant burning to athet, its laltl mixed and incorporated with 
the land, or stones fit for rltrificatiun, and thns prodMad glaii ; 
and that, this accident 1>emg known, the people of SUM la (hat 
neighbourhood euayed the work, and brought glass intont; ^Ma 
which time the art has been continnally ImproTing. Bo tUt ■ it 
niajr> ttowever, tlie first glass-kouas mentioned in history ware 
erected in the city of Tyre, and here was the only stapk of An 
nmanfactnre for many ages. The sand which lay on tlM Svre for 
fcboat Iiair a mile round the month of the rirer Belns Ms pecn]i> 
kriy adapted to the making of glass, as being neat and gHttariag ; 
and the wide range of Tyrian commerce gave an ample TMt for 
the productions of the furnace. 

Air. Niion, in his ohservationi on a plate of glass fooai *t Her* 
{■laaeaia, which wasdeatroyed A. I>. 80, on which oflcMw Pliny 
' iMt Ma life, oficra sererai probable conjectures as l»«ttai«M« 
to which sndi pUtea might be ap[died. Such plates, 
night serve for specnta, or looking-glasses ; for Pliny, (b 1| 
of SUon, adds, Siqnidem etiam specula ezcogitaverat ; 
tloo of images from these ancient specula being efeCtMlfe^ |i»^ 
anearlng them behind, or tinging them through with soMCdIriMb. 
H-liicli lln-y m'Li;lil Ijt- --niplaycd was for adoni. 


thougli Mronioi Arbiter and some others assure qs, that the em. 
peror ordered the artist to be beheaded fur his inTention. 

It appears, howerer, that before the conquest of Britain by the 

Romans, glass-houses had been erected in this island, as well as in 

Gaul, Spain, and Italy. Hence in many parts of the country 

are to k>e found annulets of glass, haTing a narrow perforation 

and thick rim, denominated by the reqiaining Britons gleineu nal. 

greedh, or glass adders, and which were probably in former times 

used as annulets by the druids. It can scarcely be questioned 

that the Britons were sufficiently well rersed in the manufacture 

of glass, to form out of it many more useful instruments than the 

glass beads. History indeed assures us, that they did manufac* 

tnre a considerable quantity of glass Tessels. These, like their 

annulets, were most probably green, blue, yellow, or black, and 

many of them curiously streaked with other colours. The process 

in the manufacture would be nearly the same with that of the 

Gauls and Spaniards. The sand of their shores, being reduced 

to a sufficient degree of fineness by art, was mixed with three. 

fourths of its weight of their nitre (much the same with out kelp), 

and both were melted together. The metal was then poured into 

other Tessels, where it was left to harden into a mass, and after* 

wards replaced in the furnace, where it became transparent in the 

boiling, and was afterwards figured by blowing or modelling in 

the lathe iuto such vessels as they wanted. 

It is not probable that the arrival of the Romans would improve 
the gUsa manufacture among the Britons. The taste of the Romans 
at that time was just the reverse of that of the inhabitants of this 
island. The former preferred silver and gold to glass for the com. 
position of their drinlung-vessels. They made, indeed, great inu 
provements in their own at Rome, during the government of Nero. 
The vessels then formed of this metal rivalled the bowls of porce* 
lain in their dearness, and equalled the cups of crystal in their 
clearness. But these were by far too costly for common use ; and 
therefore, In all probability, were never attempted in Britain. 
The glass commonly made use of by the Romans was of a qoality 
greatly inferior ; and from the fragments which have been disco, 
vered, at the stations or towns of either, appear to have consisted 
of a thick, sometimes white, but mostly blue green metal. 

According to the venerable Bede^ artificers skilled In making 
glaia lor windows were brought ever into&i^nd In the year 074^ 


by abbot Benedict, wlio were emplojred in glazing the churcli and 
monastery of Weremouth. According to others, they were first 
brought oTcr by Wilfrid, bishop of Worcester, about the same 
time. Till this time the art of making snch glass was unknown in 
Britain ; though glass windows did not begin to be common be. 
fore the year 1 180 : till this period they were rery scarce in prf. 
Tate houses, and considered- as a kind of luxury, and as marks of 
great magnificence. Italy had them first; next Fnince,. from 
whence they came into England. 

Venice for many years excelled all Europe in the fineness of its 
glasses; and in the thirteenth century the Venetians were the only 
people that had the secret of making crystal looking-glasses. The 
great glass-works were at Muran, or Muraso, a flllage near the 
city, which furnished all Europe with the finest and largest glasses. 

The glass manufacture was first begun in England in 1557 : the 
finer sort was made in the place called Crutched Friars, in Lo\i. 
don • the fine Aiat glass, little inferior to that of Venice, was first 
made in the ISa?, in the Strand, hctiim^! '*Th\s manu. 
facture appears to haye been much improved in 1635, when it 
was carried on with sea- coal or pit-coal instead of wood ; and a 
monopoly was granted to Sir Robert Mansell, who was allowed to 
import ttie fine Venetian flint glasses for drinking, the art of 
making which was not brought to perfection before the reign of 
William III. But the first glass plates, for looking-glasses and 
coachrwtnddws, were made in 1673, at Lambeth, by the encou- 
TUgn^iat of tiie Duke of Buckingham; who in 1670 introduced 
the manufketure of fine glass into England, by means of Venetian 
artists, with amazing success. So that within a century past, the 
French and English hare not only come up to, but even surpassed, 
the Venetians ; and we are now no longer supplied from abroad. 

The French made a considerable improvement' in the art of 
glass, by the invention of a method of casting very large plates, 
till then unknown, and scarce practised jet by any but them.' 
selves and the English. That court applied itself with a laudable 
industry to cultivate and- improve the glass manufacture. A tonu 
pany of glass. men was established 'by letters patent; and It was 
provided by an arret, not only that the working ita glatf should* 
not derogate any thing from nobility, but even t|uct'none but 
nobles should be allowed to woirk in it. 

An extensive mai^ttfliettfry of this elegant and valuable branch 

vmaxmmnms ov glass; 157 

of. fiomvtifs was first ettiblislied in Laticsshire, about <he jear 
1773^ tbroBgii lira spirited exertions of a rerj respectable body of 
proprietors, who were, incorporated by an act of parliament. 
FfOB those various difficulties constantly attendant upon new un« 
di^rtakings, when tliey bare to contend with powerful foreign 
cMabl ishmen tSy it has not^ however, been conducted with any 
gisat degree of success. 


Properties of Glass. 

The properties of glass are highly interesting and remarkable. 
The following are among the most curious. 

1. Glass is one of the most elastic bodies in nature. If the 
force with which glass balls strike each other be reckoned sixteen^ 
that wherewith they recede by Tirtue of their elasticity will be 
nearly fifteen. 

3. When glass is suddenly cooled, it becomes exceedingly brit^ 
tie ; and this brittleness Is sometimes attended with Tery surprising 
phsenomena. Hollow bells made of annealed glass, with a small 
hole In them, will fly to pieces by the heat of the hand only, if 
the hole by which the internal and external air communicate be' 
stopped with a finger. Lately, howerer, some vessels made of 
iuch annealed glass have been discovered, which have the remarks 
able property of resistlug very hard strokes given from without^ 
though they shiver to pieces by the shocks received from the fait 
of very light and minute bodies dropped into their cavities. Theser 
ghtsses may be made of any shape ; all that need be observed iir 
making tbem is, that their bottom be thicker than their sides.' 
The thicker the bottom is, the easier do the glasses break. One' 
whose l>ottom is three fingers breadth in thickness flies with as 
much ease at least as the thinnest glass. Some of these vessels* 
Have been tried with strokes of a mallet sufficient to drive a nail" 
into wood tolerably hard, and have held good without breaking. 
They have also resisted the shock of several heavy bodies let falf 
into their cavities, from the height of two or three feet 5 as musket- 
balls, pieces of iron or other metal, pyrites, jasper, wood, l)one^ 
ftc. But tUi b not surprising, as other glasses of the same shape 
and size will do the same : but the wonder Is, that taking a shiver 
of flint of the sise pf a small pea, and letting it fall into the glass 
only from the height of three inches^ in about two seconds the 


glass iiesy and sometimM at tha paij OMMBant of Hm dioek ; najr, 
a bit of flint no larger than a grain dropped into sereral glasses 
successively, tkough It did not iflsniediatelj break tliem, yet when 
set by, they all flew in less than three quarters of an hoar. Some 
other bodies produce this effect as well as flint ; as sapphire, dia« 
mond) porcelain, hard tempered steel ; also marbles such as boys 
play with, and likewise pearls. These experiments were made be. 
fore the Royal Society, and succeeded equally when the glasses 
were held In the hand, when they were rested on a pillow, put in 
water, or filled with water. It is also remarkable, that the glasses 
broke upon having their bottoms slightly rubbed with tlie finger, 
ihoogh some of them did not fly till half an hour after the rubbing. 
If the glasses are every where extremely tbin, they do not breidL 
in these circumstances. 

Some have pretended to account for these phsenomena^ by say- 
ing, that the bodies dropped into the vessels cause a concussion 
which is stronger than the cohesive force of the glass^ and conse- 
quently that a rupture must ensue. But why does not a ball of 
Iron, gold, silver, or copper, which are perha^ a thousand times 
heavier than flint, produce the same effect ? It is because they aro 
not elastic. But surely iron is more elastic than the end of one's 
finger. Mr. Euler has endeavoured to account for these appear* 
ances from his principles of percussion. He thinks that this ez« 
periment entirely overthrows the opinion of those who measure 
the force of percussion by the vis viva, or absolute apparent 
strength of the stroke. According to his principles, the great 
hardness and angular figure of the flint, which makes the space of 
contact with the gUus extremely small, ought to cause an impres* 
sion on the glass vastly greater than lead, or any other metal ; 
and this may account for the flint's breaking the resisl, though the 
bullet, even iiUling from a considerable height} does no damage. 
Hollow cups made of green bottle.g|ass, some of them tiiree inchei 
thick at the bottom, were instantly broken by a shiver of flin^ 
welling about two grains, though they had resisted the shock of 
a mnsket*ball from tlie height of three feet. 

That Mr. Enler's theory cannot be oonclusire any more than 
the other, must appear eyldent from a very slight consldeiatioii. 
It is not by angular bodies alone that the glasses are broken. Tlio 
marbki with which children play are round, and yet they Imvo the 
pamo effect with the angulnr flint. Beaides, if It waa tfw omto 

rftopBETiB* or 6i.Ats. 159 

force of ptreofsion which broke the glasses, undoubtedly the 
fracture would always take place at the Tery instant of the stroke; 
but we faa?e seen, that this did not happen sometimes till a very 
considerable space of time had elapsed. It is eTident^ therefore, 
that this effect is occasioned by the putting in motion some subtile 
fluid with which the substance of the glass is filled, and that the 
motions of this fluid, when once excited in a particular part of the 
glass, soon propagate themselfes through the whole or greatest 
part of it, by which means the cohesiye power becomes at last ioo 
weak to resist them. There can be little doubt that the fluid just 
DOW mentioned is that of electricity. It is known to exist in glass in 
ikxj great quantity ; and it also is known Xo be capable of breaking 
glasses, eren when annealed with the greatest care^ If put into too 
Violent a motion. Probably the cooling of glass hastily may make 
it more electric than is consistent with its cohesife power, wo that 
it is broken by the least increase of motion in the electric fluid by 
friction or otherwise. This is e? idently the case when it is broken 
by rubbing with the finger ; but why it should also break by the 
mere contact of flint and the other bodies aboTementioned, has 
not j^i been satisfactorily accounted for. 

A most remarkable phenomenon also is produced in glass tubes 
placed in certain circumstances. When these are laid before 
a fire in an horizontal position, having their extremities properly 
supported, they acquire a rotatory motion round their axis, and 
also a progressiTe motion towards the fire, even when their sup- 
ports are declining from the fire, so that the tubes will move a little 
way up hill towards the fire. When the tubes are placed in a 
nearly upright posture, leaning to the right hand, the motion will 
be from east to west ; but if they lean to the left hand, their mo- 
tion will be from west to east ; and the nearer they are placed to 
the perfectly upright posture, the less will the motion be either 
way. If the tube is placed horizontally on a glass plane, the frag, 
nent, for instance, of coach window-glass, instead of moving to. 
wards the fire, it will move from It, and about its axis in a eon. 
trary direction to what it had done before ; nay, it will recede 
from the fire, and move a little up hill when the plane inclines 
towards the fire. These experiments are recorded in the Philoso- 
phical Transactions. They succeeded best with tubes about twenty 
or twenty.two inches long, which had in each end a pretty strong 
pin fixed in cork for an axis. 


Th« reuon ^nn for theie phnnomens is the nrtUag o 
tabei towardi the fire bj the heat, which ii Itnown to eipan 
bodies. For, lay the adopteri of this hjrpath«iis, grantiDg th 
istence of such k swelling, grtiitj must pull the tube don ' 
supported aear its extremities ; and a fresh part beiog eiipo* 
the fire, it must also swell out and fall dowD, and idpti. 
without going farther la the ezplauatioD of tlus bjpothesl 
may be here remarked, that the fundamental prindl^ on ' 
it proceeds is false: for though fire indeed makes bbdlei nq 
it docs sot increase them in weight j and therefore this lii 
tlM tube, though one of them is expanded bj the fire, must sU 
main In equllibrio ; and hence we must conclude, that Iba c« 
these phnnomena remains jet to be discorered. 

i_. Glass is less dilatable by heat than metalline sahftuees 
solid glass sticlcs are less dilatable than tubes. This wai firs 
coTered hy Colonel Roy', in making experiments [a ordtrl 
d«ce barometers to a greater degree of ezactnew than IwaU 
been found practicable ; and dnce his experiments wB^^pade 
of the tubes eighteen inches long, beiog compared wUb a ntld 
rod of the same length, the former was found by a pjroD^r I 
pand fonr times as much as the other, in a heat approaehbig ti 
of bo'ning oiL On account of the general quality which ghM I 
•xptn^ttg less than metal, H. de Luc recommends it to be ni 
pendnlnms : and, he says, it has also this good quality, that i 
pansions are always equable and proportioued to th* dopt 
heat ; a qualify which i,s nul to be foil mi in any oilier subalaiu 


avcTiOf III. 
Mmnttfadure of Gian. 

Drinking J Waich^ Window, mnd Plate^Glatf. 

Glatt ii a eombiiiaHon of tand, flint, Bpar, or fome oUmf tUL 
•iibt^ncet, witb one or other of the fixed alkalies, and ia 
cases with a metallic ozyd. Of the alkalies, soda is com- 
iljr preferred : and of the siliceons substances, white sand is 
Most in repute at present, as it requires no preparation for coarse 
goods, while mere washing in water is sufficient for those of a finer 
fpaUtj. The metallic ozyd usually employed is litharge, or some 
other preparation of lead, as being the cheapest metal we can have 

It is also necessary that the siliceous matter should be fiued in 
contact with something called a flux. The substances proper for 
Alp purpose are lead, borax, arsenic, nitre, or any alkaline matter. 
The lead is wsed in the state of red-lead ; and the alkalies are soday 
pearl*ashes, sea.salt, and wood-asbes. When red-lead is used 
alone, it gires the glass a yellow cast, and requires the addition of 
irftre to correct it. Arsenic, in the same manner, if used in excess^ 
Is apt to render the glass milky. For a perfectly transparent 
glass, the pearKashes are found much superior to lead ; perhaps 
batter than any other flux, except it be borax, which is too expen. 
stve to be used, except for experiments, or for the best looking* 

The materials for making glass most first be reduced to powder, 
.which is done in mortars or by horse-mills. After sifting out the 
coarse parts, the proper proportions of silex and flux are mixed 
together and put into the calcining furnace, where they are kept in 
a moderate heat for fire or six hours, being frequently stirred about 
daring tiM process. When taken out, the matter is called frit. 
Frit is easily conrerted into glass by only pounding it, and Titriiy* 
ijBg it ia the melting pots of the glau furnace : but in making fine 
glass, it will sometimes require a small addition of flux to the frit to 
correct any fiinlt For, as the flux is the most expensire article, 
the manufacturer wUl rather put too little at first than otiierwise, 
aa he can remedy this defset in the melting pot The heat ia the 
fliniace mast be kept pp ntU the glass is bf9l^|lt to a state of per. 

▼OL. ?!• If 

f(Bct fufiofi ; tnd daring 0ib pwo t i i aoy teum which arises ma&t be 
temoved by ladles. Whea ^ gleii Ui tMrfectly melted, the glass 
blowers commence their •perations* . 

The following compositions of the ingredients for glass are ex. 
tracted from the Handmaid to the Aste : 

<< For the best flint-glass, iMbs. of white sand, 50lbs. of red 
lead, '40lbs. of thn'bMt pear1«ashes, CDJbs. of nitre, and fire onnces 
of nhUhetia ; If a ^ponnd^ two isfaitoeilfe be tfAded, tbe-oomposi* 
tinn %lll ftnb taiiieli qnitkM*, aiid wiliia lower tMn^erctttiv. 

<< For a cheaper fllnt.glaN, 190lbs. 6f white eaad, 95lbf. e^ 
pttirluslies,401bt.'0fred.Iead, iSlbs. of tiltM, rik pounds of anenic, 
alid fMir dances of magnMla. « 

<< This teqnires a lottg heating to tfate cleat glcsb ; and ihe 
heat should be brought on gradually, or the arsenic is in danger 
of sublimiog before the fusion commences. A still cheaper compo. 
sition Is made by omitting the arsetoic to the foregolligf and sub- 
stituting common sea-salt. 

<< Tor the best German crystal ghus, ISUbs. of ealcined flmts 
m white sand, die best pearl-ashes 70Ibs., Mtpetre lOlbs., aitenk 
half a pound, and fire ounces of magnesia. Or, a cheaper com. 
position for the same purpose is, 120lb8. of sand or flints, 46lbs. of 
pearUcshes, seven ponkids of nitre, six pounds of arsenic, and fiye 
ounces of magnesia. This will require a long continuance in the 
ftomaee'; as do all others where much of the arsenic is employed. 

^< Folr loolLlng.'glass pTates, washed white sand, OOlbs., purified 
pearl.ashcfs 25lbs., nitre ISlbs., and seVen pounds of borax. If 
properly managed, this glass will be colourless. But if it should 
be tinged liy acddent, a trifling qnantity of arsenic, and an equal 
quantity of magfieshi, will correct it ; an ounce of each 'toMy be 
tried iirst| itod the qitantlty indmsed if necessary. 

^ The Ingiedients for the best crown-glftss ikiust be prepared in 
tha'MnO'nianner-es^r looking.'glasses, sind mixed in the following 
propbHtbvB^ <Mbs;of white sand, 301bs. of pearl-ashes, and 
15lbs. ^Mtiw, liflMk't pound, and half a pound of arsenic. 

<* The eMpdiltlott ftfr comnioil green window glass is iMlbis. Of 
white sand, 50(bf. ^ unfpitrlfied pMrl -ashes, wood-aihse well 
bnmt and sifted, Mbs., fcommon ttdt 20lbs., and fito poniitf s of 

« Common green bOtHe-gJlUs b mtde frtai «Odlbs. 6t Wood- 
ashes, and YOOlbs. of send ; or iTOlbs. df aAes, itMbs. of sand, 

ud 6Mi.«f 'Hm lnva^f-M fa M tm m m %i % t tlm ■■Urtilimapt ba 

The nuitorialt Mnplofed Ib .Uw vtnafkot^tfj of gltit •?• t^ dit- 
«ib|i ndaeed to ttrtt ekaSMy auMlf, alkallM, «Milif» and at. 
tallic oxides. 

The iiBtd alkalies oajr ba aapfajrad todifferently ; bot sada is 
ppaferred in this coairtr/. Tia soda of oooimerca is osiully mixed 
wMhconman^salt, and conbiaad widi carbonic acid. It fo proper 
to porify it ftosB both of these foreign bodies before nsing It. Thb, 
boweTer, is aeldoai done. 

The earths «re sllicia, (the basis of flints), lime, and sometimes 
m little alnmloa, (the basis of clay). Sflichi constitutes the basis 
ef gtess. It is employed in the state of fine sands or flints; anfl 
aonatimee, fi>r making rery fine glass, rock crystal is employed. 
When sand is used, it ought if possible to be perfectly white; for 
when It is coloared with metallic oxides, the transparency of the 
gllass is injured. Such send can only be empliqred for Tery eoarse 
gt as m . It Is necessary to free the sand from all the loose earthy 
particles with which it may be mixed, which is done by washing 
it well with water. 

'Lime renders glass less brittle, and enables It to withstand'better 
ibe action of the atmosphere. It ought in lio case to exceed the 
ia eul ieth part of the sIHcia employed, otherwise It corrodes the 
glass pots. This indeed may be prevented by throwing a littie clay 
Into the melted glass ; but in that case a green glass only b ob. 

The metallic oxyds employed are the red oxyd of lead or litharge, 
and the white oxyd of arsenic. The red oxyd of lead, when added 
in sufficient quantity, enters into fusion with silicia, and forms a 
gkns without the addition of any other ingredient. Five parts of 
emlem and two of silicta form a glass of an orange-colonr and full 
of strisB. Its specific grarity Is fire. The red oxyd of lead ren« 
ders glass less brittle aud more fusible ; but, when added 1>eyond a 
certain proportion, it injures the transparency and the wUteness of 
the glass. 

The white oxyd of arsenic answers tiie same purposes widi that 
of lead ; but oir account of its poisonous qualities it is seldom used. 
It is customary to add a little nitre to the white oxyd of arsenic, to 
prerent the heat fromrevlring it, and renderiag it volatile. When 
added beyond a cerfidn pcoportion^ it reiillta gjBui opaque and 


M4 UMMVtkewBMZ or ax-ui. 

rflyllto tU iU t^^ti^w^A. Vfhmmy immhmnA 
It pfocnt, it ii uul tn iom ■uobctam ta add aHUb 
•cjdefuMKk. ThtaHp|dTlBgaaj(cn,tiMooaabHtlhlBli 
arfUnoff} «Uk tte mind «Mak b at Oa HMlte 

Ttenara ttmalUaiaitlifiutafimftaA todibrwtMM, 
hMtudBBrt bauUrd va tba Uat udtkapkte^hM. 
mk" "■11 Bade, ara perfactlj traa^went aad ealatakmt 
ud briUiant. Thar.ara conpoaad of ized alkali, fan d 
•and, caklnad Unti, and litharge, in difiei«t proparttow 
^t-|'™ contiiiu a Urg« quantity of oxyd »f lead, wUah i 
tain pracm w i> aaiUjr wparatrd. The plaie-^au if powad 
inalfrrt data npoo a taU* ^rarad with copper. Tha flata 
feaU an inch thick, or more, and ii ground down to a proper 
»f thinsau, and then poUdied. 

. Crovai^Uu, that iiwd for windowi, ii made atlhnil 
chiefly of filed alkali fnted with liiieiou land, to wUA h 
aomablackozydafmaogaoeM, which U apt to girethoghui 
of pBrjdc. 

BottIe.|la» if the coareef t and cfaeapeat kind : into Wi I 
ao fiiad alkali eotart the compoaition. It confUU of aa i 
earth eomUoad wUb alualoa and ailica. In thii coaati 
compoaed of Mad and the refute of the ioap-boiler,wUGh4 
of the Una aaplnyed in renderiag hit alkali cauatlc, and 
Hithjr nattaia mUk wUch the alkali was contaainatad 
UMt faabla b flint glaia, and the leaat fiuible ii bottle glaM 

OptUiM, who «iBplo7 glMs for optictl tatrattaote, often com- 
pUio of (1m mtiiy defects voder whidi it ia!>ours. Tlie chief of 
tktfo jure the foUowing : 

Streaks.'^The^e are wa;red lines, often Tisible in glass, which 
interrnpt distinct Tision. Th^ are probably owing sometimes to 
want of complete fasion, which preyentt the different materials 
from combining snfficientlj ; bnt in some cases also they may be 
prodoced by the workmen lifting op, at two different times, ^he 
gkss which is to go to the formation of one Tessel or instrument. 

Teari,-~Thc9e are white specks or knots, occasioned by the tI* 
^-trified clay of the furnaces, or by the presence of some foreign 

Ilii66fe#.— These are air-bubbles which have not been allowed 
to escape. They indicate want of complete fusion, either from too 
little alkali, or the application of too little heat. 

Cordi. — ^These are the asperities on the surface of tho glass, in 
consequence of too little heat. 


The art of forming vessejs of glass is termed blowing, from its 
being in agreat measure performed by the operator blowing through 
an iron tube, and by that means inflating a piece of glass which Is 
heated so as to become soft and eiceediogly pliable. By a series 
of the most simple and dexterous operations, this beantifnl mate- 
rial is wrought into the various utensils of elegance and utility, by 
methods which require but very few tools, and those of the most 
simple construction. ' 

Watch.glasses are made by first blowing a hollow globe, the 
proper radius for the glasses ; then by touching it with an iron 
ring. This cracks out a watch-glass in an instant. The same globe 
will make several glasses. 

Window or table glass is worked nearly in the same manner : the 
workman blows and manages the metal, so that it extends two or 
three feet in a cylindrical form. It is then carried to the fire, and 
the operation of blowing repeated till the metatis stretched to the 
dimensions required, the side to which the pipe is fixed diminishing 
gradually till it ends in a pyramidal form ; but, in order to bring 
both ends nearly to the same diameter, while the glass continues 
flexible, a small portion of hot metal is added to the pipe ; the 
whole is drawn ont with a pair of iron plnoeri| tad the tame end 
is cot off with a little cold water aa abovow 


>6fi BWwnV B*ort^ 

Tla orU&dM tkH«pnat M*Md li fHBTMd to Oi Martli of tlie 
fiirMCc* whtn it i* eat fey th« aU af eeHA wttor, !■< rippad vp 
Anpih \tM whale length by ■ pair of Iran riMatt ; BftorwWeli it 1> 
pwiaMj heoM an aa earthern table, la order to onfaUilatalth, 
wbila tlw worhoait wkb aaother InM' tool tiltTmattHf twhm and 
dipreiHi the two hatrca of the cjrUaderi bf wUdiyaaceie, (be 
•M half aaooamoilataa itaalf ta the «bw «at ftmn ai «» atiicr. 

nato^lue Ii tbi laM aad moet ratalUa himi, and taahaa slHad 
fr<MalUbeiefiaft»platetOr large ihaela: It 'n alawit ao lMi mly 
aMplograd br nlnaM oe lookiag^htiei, anl for tbt *l b*a*i of 

Plalcglan «u foraeriy blown ; but that method ba*ia( bees 
faoailmj laeeaTmint, eaitiod wu invented j nane^i <N liqfuid 
netel Ir noMeyed fnrni tba faraace to a larfe table, qk whloh it la 
poured, end all escmceace*, or babblei, ere iweihraly r»- 
qorad bj a eoller that » tw>ftl]> paued o*er U. Kktlnvaa- 
aaaMiBthenianiMralreBdr referred to. ■■;■■■ 

A^erPi Vropt. Balavian Teart. Bologniamiiit^^ 
Tmta, ara pacoUar modificatioM of glav, for tho pwfOM^fida. 
cqitien or amaieiMnt ' ,•- 

Bapert'eDiDpa,.aBalqg»ntgUut07, areiimpty foraed^p^iriai 
• ftaaU wild lamp af grcaa bottle glau, when red-hot, tetft <>>ir, 
kf wbUh ■eau Ibo roaadad Inaip aHniaeB gradually ^ 

Tkcst dfops are also callad, on tlie continent, Lannet Batavu 
ques, or Beta? iaa Tears. 

All glass, not regularly annealed, or, io other words, cooled 
eoddenly instead of progressUely, has a tendency towards the same 
frangibility. Thus, in coflMDon window glass, if it be properly 
annealed, the diamond cuts it with moderate ease, making an uni. 
form smooth furrow, at first dark, but gradually opening, and 
appearing like a bright si'Ter thread : but when the glass is badly 
annealed, the diamond works with much more difficulty, the cut 
opens very slowly, and often flies into a different direction, or the 
glass entirely breaks. 

There is another equally curious glass toy, formed upon the 
tame principle, aad evincing the same effect, called the Bologna 
phial. This b simply a phial, of any shape whatever, made of any 
kind of glass, but much thicker at the bottom than at top, and 
cooled immediately, without annealing. These being pwtty stout, 
from their thickness will bear a smart blow from a wooden mallet, 
or any blont instrument, or the concussion of a leaden bullet drop* 
p«d from a considerable height, without iigury : but if any sharp 
body, however small, such as a large grain of sand, or which is still 
better, the shiver of agun.flint, be dropped in from only a few inches 
height, the bottom cracks all around, just above the thickest part^ 
and drops off. The same effect takes place^ if the bottom be slightly 
scratcbed with any hard body* When very brittle, if a hard 
angular substance, as a cut diamond, be dropt in, it will sometimes 
pass through the bottom, though very thick, with apparently as 
little resistance as through a spider's web. These glasses, when 
they have received the first injury, do not always crack immediately, 
bot remain whole, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for hours, 
and then suddenly give way« 

IPantohgia. Aikin't Chem. Diet. 


C i«=1 



Oflht time wAcn gunponder waijirtt dUtntr0C 

J/HE Ui(of7 of tba diMomj of gtrnpowder b larolrellV 
ofatraritf; tba mott ancient ■nthora differing from oMk'U 
ttrirMKouti'ttf tUi matter, and many of them confbMlhi 
dbtioet Inqairiet ; the discorerf of tb« comporition of Ririlf'*' 
■od the diccoterjr of tbe mhiu of appl/iag tt to the Iffarpo 

Father Kh^i* allraii, thit wlthMt c oBtrBrerey w«'*i| 
atWbste Oe ioTCDtlon of gaiipovder to BartbtM SAwari 
ButiiM Ae Mack, a moak of Goelv In Germaoy^ andvyni 
dcbenkt TUi man baTla^ alnd tegtOwr, with a iimM|A 
nitre, titlpliar, and chareoal, a apark acddentsll/ fU] -i^ 
miffar*, bt«w ap the pot In whkh It wu contained, and tn 
draidfidil eiplodoD. ■ The nook, wtnrfdwd at the erenti ■• 
ivral repeaUoDi of Mi e ap e rlia en t, and thereby folly dlMB 
tiwnBtareOfganpowder, Intbeyear ISM. Kircher glrai tM 
out of a very old German book which he professes Co baT» n 
kisTi acinuut of the first use which Schwartz maile of hU 


ho wU« might never he huided down to posteritj. He farther 
hifbma WBf that this Gennnn inrented tlso an iron tube, and taagbt 
the Yenedanf the mr of gnnt, in the year 1380 *• 

Tlib is the common aceoont of the discorerj of gunpowder; its 
truth howerer is rendered donbtfal bj what follows. 

'The battle of Cressf was fonght in the year 1340 ; and an his. 
torhin who Ihred at that time is quoted by Spondaous as affirming, 
that the English greatlj increased the confosiun Uip French had 
been thrown intOy bj discharging upon them from their cannon hot 
ifon ballets f • Three years before the battle of Cressy , the Moors 
were besieged by the Spaniards in the city of Alg<^airas ; and we 
learn from Mariana, the Spanibh historian, ^< that the besieged did 
great harm aomig the Christians with iron ballets they shot ;" the 
same author adds, ^^ this is the first time we find any ssention of 
gunpowder and ball in our histories |." The EarU of Uerbj and 
Salisbury are mentioned by Mariana as having assisted at the sl^ 
of Algeiiras ; and as they retamed to England in the latter end of 
the year 1348, it is not an improbable conjecture, that, haring been 
witnesses of the haroclL occasioned by the Moorish fire-arms, they 
brought the secret from Spain to England, and introduced the use 
of artillery into the English army at the battle of Creasy. The use 
of guns in Spain in the year 1343, is proof sufficient either that 
Schwarta was not the inreotor of gunpowder^ or that Kircher and 
others are nustaken in fixing his discorery so late as the year 1354* 

There ia reason, howeTcr, to beliere, that both gunpowder and 
guns were known in Germany at least forty years before the period 
assigned by the Spanish historian for their first introduction into 
Spain. In the armory at Amberg, in the Palatinate of Bayaria, 
tilereis a piece of ordnance, on which is inscribe li the year I30S§. 
This is the earliest account I hare yet met with of the certain use 
of gunpowder in war ; and it seems probable enough, as the Pope 

• Pelyd. Yiig. de loTcn. Renim, Ub. II. C. XI. 

t Spead. Ann. Eccl. ann. 1349. 

X Mariaaa't Hist, of Spain, En a:. Trans. 

§ Qoani optekmeai (of Schwartz being the inTentor of gunpowder) feaeratlt- 
•iaiuf Scettenlm refyifaty com ez eo qnod Ambergn Palatinatns Saperiorit in 
ottdaa armoma re p erla t ar tenneatom iiiilitare» cui tit aaam 1309 Ijitcriptiis* 
Acta Brad. i709tp»19. 

170 cmn p ^w w aM. 

Mi lh« IMe of Bfttarili tm tWaglit to biM bMA iW %i«^ prtecM 

who Made Mltpetroln Eairopo*. 

It ought not to bo comoMUod fiOM tht ffodor, that Comenirint 
quotes a Danish historian^ as rolating that Christopher, kins of the 
Danes, was killed in battle hj the stroke of a gtm^ in the \%BOt. 
Upon examining the passage qaoted bj Ciweraiios %y it is only said, 
that Christopher, the son of Kior Waldemar, wae killed ia the 
beginning of an engegement by a gan, a wafUko iostraaNtnt tiMQ 
kitelf dlseorered. Now it appears^ that WaUeaMi^ Cbristophef^ 
Ihther, did not succeed to the crown of Denmark till the year ISit, 
and Ibst his son wai killed in a naval engagement eeveial jean 
afterwardsll, probablj about the time assigned by Manster Ibr the 
flrst use of gunpowder in Denmark. 

But we are able, npon good grounds, to carr j the diseovery of 
gunpowder to a period antecedent to the date of the Amberg pieoe 
of ordnance ; and it Is probable enough, that its compositioa was 
|inown long before we read any thing of its use in war. 

Roger Bacon died at Oxford in \%9%. In the printed oopps of 
the works of this renowned Monk, there are two or thioe passage!, 
from which it may fairly be inferred, that ho knew the eompo- 
sitKm of gunpowder f ; and a manuscript copy is said to hare been 
teen**, wherein saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal, are expressly 
mentioned, as the ingredients of a composition which would burn 
at any distance. But though it bo allowed, that Bacon was well 
acquauted with the composition of gunpowder, it will not follow, 
either ttat ho was the £nt dlscovermr of it^ or that he knew its ap* 
plication io flre-arme* 


« Clarke't Nmt. Uuu af SaUretre. 

f Cnnxius scribit Cbriitophonun Danomm regfm in prallo bmalwrdc ichj 
occisoBi aano 1880. Camera. Hor. Sobf. Con. p. 9. 9U. 

t Cnatiw Vandal. Lib. YIII. <X 89. 

S Cnmsim Daalw. Ub. VII. & 98. 

I U. lib. VII. C. 98. 

1 Io omneoi dbtaotiam qnam veluaim, pmmmni artiflclaliler conpoacre 
igneM coodbiireiitcm tx sale petra et aliis. IL Bacon de Mirab. Potet. Artis et 
Natone, Epb. C. VI. — sed tamen saliit petna Lum ropo Tir can ntrlet salpho* 
iiietskfiMieiCoallnimetconiicaUoBen,siKiMMliUclmn. Id.ib.C.XI* It 
is fery probable^ that la the flfstorthcie pasmgcs* Bacoi» concealed sdpbar and 
ebaicoal aadei tiM wofdaliisf and chat ia tbe last, bavUg meatlaaed saltpetre 
and salpbar, he coocealed charcoal aod the method of mixing the three ingre- 
dients, nnder the barbarous terms. Lam Topo Tir can atrict. 

• • Rotf s Nat. Ills, of Oxfordshire. 


€d bf loaM to hftf • been dw ilvst ptnoot who UMd ^npowdcr in 
the p i oo tit a of wat ; Ibey. alio brought ioto Europe o great maoy 
ArMaB books, mad lotmdaecd a tasto for ebenistrj into diffprent 
eomitries, aboot tha limo in which Bacon flourished. It b con. 
fofoed, on all iiaads, that Bacon was no stranger to Aral>ian litem- 
tnro ; s great part of bis optical disquisitions, being eridently 
boifowod from Alhaaen tlie Arab ; and it is not a supposition 
whoUj void of probability, that he derived his knowledge of the 
compoWtion of gunpowder from the same source. As to his know* 
ledge of the use of it in war, he certahily had some idea of it ; for 
he inlimatps, that cities and armies might be destroyed by it in 
varions ways : bnt it is not equally certain that he had any specific 
notion of tlie manner of using gunpowder, which uoquestionably 
premiled soon after his death. 

It is one thing to throw out a conjecture coDceming tlie efiects 
which might be produced by the proper application of a known 
snl>stance- ; another, to describe the means of applying it. There 
are substances in nature, from a combination of which it is possible 
to destrof a ship, or a citadel, or an army, by a shower of liquid 
fire spontaneously lighted in the air ; every person who is aware of 
the dreadful fiery explosion which attends the mixture of two or 
three quarts of spirit of turpentine with strong acid of nitre, nnst 
acknowledge the trnth of the assertion ; but the simple knowle4%e 
of the possibility of eflfecting such a destruction, is a very different 
matter frosithe knowledge of its practicability ; though future ages 
may, perhaps, invent as many different ways of making these snb* 
stinces nnite in the air, so as to fall down in drops of lire, 9m have 
been invented of making gunpowder a sa instrument of the des« 
tmction of our species skice the time of Bacon. 

From the accounts given of the attempts of Salmoneus and Call, 
gula to imitate thunder and lightning, some have been of opinion 
that gunpowder was known to the ancients* ; be that as it may, 
we cannot hesitate in admitting that it has been long known in varL 
ons parts of Asia. It would be useless to cite a variety of autho* 
rities in proof of this point ; I will content myself with that of Lord 
Bacon :— ^^ Certain it is, that ordnance was known in the city of 

• See Dotcos* Ea^siry into the DlMoveriet ef (he Moderas, p. 808. EogHih 

178 aanrowMW. 

callid tkudv ud^U|^4o)a«, Md Mgkk. Aadittowrflki 
(iHt iha «M cf ordauM hatk bMB la Chha >bBM tOOO f«H< 

Owof tbe Hoa KMAl^plioMloM af gnpswdar, b t»«te< 
nUii^. Tlw huHMT ud nettiUe w digw wen prabiMf 4ki 
iHtraoMiito which neo ned for Um a^ttiog of rocka. - Ifea a 
cMioo of wooden wedget to the wo* pwpoM, mmu tl^Wn 
iBMT* Meant diaco*er]' : itii tbe fnpmtty ot try woalMMMI 
Uwl^ wheo wettfld with wttcr ; mlMn hn« had iDgaarilpH^ 
taandl thsMCFlves of this propert^t for it b a pnctioa MMi- 
ladrin wadgM of dr/ wood into the natoral or artifidil mn 
of roelu, aad to hcMbd tbe wadgM with walcr. Vmi 
Inbibiag Boirtara, iwellt in ererj' dineauon ; and thafaMo 
aipanaian ii (officiant, in dmb/ caia*, to datack largoflMH 
tha main body of a rock. Bat the eipaniiva forca of •futfa 
U laooaipuaUj groater than that <rf noiitanod wood, tktm 
diSarant acoDnnts trf tha tina wbea pwpewdar waa fint«|fll 
the liU*tii« of n^. lUarin rdatea that in 1«S7, tteM 
•f»l«M waa broofht from Hnn^uj, and Introduced iMhl 
■ia Minat t but Baj'er nja, that in 1813, it waa IotmIi 
llarflaFrqr|»ld,atFroib«rg4'. .t^v^i 

laanawar to an ioqiUrjr which I nade eoncemiDg UwtteM 
Uaating waa iDtradnaed at tlie fanona copper-tnioa ai Ell 
Staff-r*'"~( I rocoivad tba following acconnt from a vm| 
aad btalligaot peraon. " 1 can gire yon a little bettat IMbni 
oooeenilagtWaCiirof Uaating. 1 hare known that o 


▼try Will MafiMed •? tho iawA of the Aon tnditioiit becaiiM 
ihm tehen of mj infomtn niglit be very well acqoiinted with 
the aiaeriet that iotrodaced blasting among them." In addition 
to this accoont I woald obsenroi that the manner of splittiog rocks 
hf gunpowder, as practised at liege, was pablished by the Royal 
Society, in 1606 ; and that it was not till about the year l684» that 
the miners in Somersetshire began to use gunpowder*. In the 
year 1008 Prince Rupert was chosen goTemor of the Society for 
the Mines Royal -f ; and as he li?ed fourteen years after that appoint* 
aent, it is not improbable that he might send for the German 
miners in consequence of his connection with that society. 

Before the discoTery of blasting rocks by gunpowder, it was the 
custom in our Euglbh mines, as well as in Germany, to split them 
by wood iires. This method is minutely described by Agricola X9 
and it is not yet wholly fallen into disuse §. It is a very ancient 
mode of mining, being mentioned by Diodorus Siculns, as practised 
tn some Egyptian mines || : he gives us, in the place here referred 
to, such a melancholy account of the condition of the poor slaves 
who were employed in those mines, as must make the heart of 
every hauMne man, who has a rational respect for the natural rights 
of every individual of our species, swell with indignation, and 
thrill with horror. Would to God, that the clemency of the task, 
masters in the mines of Peru, and in other settlements of European 
Christians, could induce us to believe that Diodorus Siculns had 
exaggerated the barbarity of Heathen policy I But there is much to 
be done, much, I fear, to be suffered, by all the states of Christen* 
dom, before the Gospel of Christ can be said to be established 
amongst them as a rule of life influencing their conduct. 

It is related of Hannibal, that he opened himself a passage 
through the Alps, by applying fire and vinegar to the rocks which 
opposed his route. This mode of splitting rocks was, probably, 
not invented by Hannibal ; he might have had frequent opportu. 
nitles of observing a similar practice in the silver mines in Spain, 
which daUy afforded him three hundred pounds weight of silver ft 

• Pidlos. Tteai! 

t Aceoant of Miact, p. SO. 


S PUlof. Traas. im» p. 414. 

I Lib. III. 

I Mifm adhac per Hkpaniai ab Hanaibalf iochoatos poteot duare, lua ab 
iaveataribei aoerfnabriwatia Ka quels BebaieappeilBtarhodleqiie, qui CCC 
poBteflMBibaUfabmlaisienlMtlaiiet! Flfas.'ln«uMat.L.SS.i.Slt 


Than b BoOliif, todnd, add of vlMg«r hi 4h» d t tc i l| iM>» of th* 
Egfpdui intiMt befttre nmUoiwd : bnt Piinj ezprealy ■ffroii, 
Oat It wM the qmllty of Thwgsr, vbeo ^imd opon roAi, to split 
nch u an uitMedent Are bad wrt qiUt ; sod that it wu ttroHtom 
of ntncn to bant tho rocki thef met wltb, by in uA * l t g ) »i *. 
TUs occoBRt of Hanoibol'i nifaig vioegar In apltltiBg tW i>oek>, i* 
fnwrallj lookod npoa a< fobolooa : for my part, I can mtHij cod- 
oaive, tint a few barreli of yiavgar might have been of gitM ki^ if 
the racks were of the limeitoDe Und ] and, wlMtlier (ho yw HI t o or 
not, 1 leaTC to be wttled bj tboM, wlio have riiited the [flHi «%m 
thli faawai attempt waa tnade. Vinegar corrodei all lOTtBOniBO- 
atono and marble roeka ; and hence, liriDg iatiodMadlatelbe 
crack made by tbe Gre, It might be veiy effieaeloai !■ -vfdenlog 
tiwm, and rendering the leparalhn of large fumpf bylhiB crowa 
and wedgci more emMy. It ii erromovily lappoied, ttat a large 
qoantity of rlnegar was reqoulte, for the vlacgar did BOt Himoa 
tbm whole man of rocki Into a pnlp ; dnce Lhy clearly W^ravvt, 
that arter the action of both (he fire and viD^ar, they warcoMlged 
to open their patiage by iron inBtmmenta, which woiU tan Iwen 
wholly nnneceaMry, had tiie main body of the rocks bMrflMilfed 

Comforttian tmd Aiuitytii of Gutrpoxsder. ""-' 

GusPOWDER is an artificial eompofiliori, consisdiig of sullpelre, 


»fifl«w«n«fMlplnur; tattlMraU 
talpter M^g mack cbe^ptr thma Um flowort of aolphiir, sod beiog 
wh^^d-m gratt dcgrve of pwitj, it if the oolj sort which ii vsed iq 
tht iDAttttliMtvriag of gmipoi^er. With relation to the charcoal^ 
it ii«t bcoa generailj belicred that the coal from soft and light 
woodi wwibotter adapted to the niakiog of gunpowder, than that 
fraoi the hard aad biarj ones ; thus Ef elyn sajt of the haael, that 
** ftnekei one of die best eoahi used for gunpowder, being very fina 
aad light, till thef -found alder to be more fit*." And in another 
place be thinks that lime.tree coal is still better than that from 
alder f. An eminent French chemist has shewn, from actual ex* 
perioMnt, tint this opinion In fa? onr of coal from light woods is 111 
Ibnnded; he affirms, that powder made from lime.tree coal, orcren 
from the oaat of the pith of alJer.tree, is in no respect preferable to 
that mtdt ffom the coal of the hardest woods, such as guaiacam 
aodolik|. Thb remark, if it lie confirmed bjlbtora aaperience, 
may ke of no small use to the makers of gunpowder ; as it is not 
always an ca^j matter for them to procure a sufficient quantity of 
tho coal of soft ^ood. 

The nixture of the materiab of which gunpowder to BMde, 
should be as intimate and as uniform as possible ; for, in whatever 
manner the oxplosion may be accounted for, it Is certain that tho 
three ingredients are necessary to produce it. Saltpetre and anl- 
pbor mlied together ghe no eiploslon ; sulphur and charooai 
gWe too cKploBion ; and though saltpetre and charcoal, when in- 
timately mixed, do give an explosion, y^ it is, probably, of 
for less foroa than what* is produced from a mixture of the three 
ingredients. I hare said probably ^ because this point does not 
seem to be quite settled at present, u may iqjpear from the 
following opinions, of two eminent chemists, each of whom ap« 
peals to oitperience. — *< Un mfthinge de six onoes de nitre et d'nne 
once ckarbon produit nne poudce qui a moitU moim de force que 
tontes -oellBi dans lesquelles on fait entrer du soufre : cette iab* 
Btaaee «rt done absolument easentlelle Ak composition de la poudra. 
Dans la temps que je trafailiois sor cette matiere, qneiqnes 
particulien propoeerent de Ikire de la poudre sans soufiw: Us 
promettoieift qa*ello seroit plus forte. La poudre daas laquelle 
bn fait entrer aae petite quantite de soufre, augmente deforce 

• Evelyn's SUva. ^ Dr. Hooter, p. 88S* f Id..p. MC 

( Ghfm. par M • JNimtk loU It p. 4Wi , . 

17S csHw^nov -*■» AHAirnn-e* vtmti 

ia dnbkl."— <' Tha prtaelpd li«n 
OoM to wkkh it ow« to Hmw, in i 
Obm tiro ingndtnti well niivd togvtlHr, eamlilM* '|np*w. 
4er Kt loint equal, if not npnter In ttmgth to MMMB X^a- 
powder, (u I finnd bj experinice,) snd naj bn mm In the 
Memoiro of Connt Sslace, InMrted In the Mdnaget deflMloMpkle 
at do HathenatlqBM, dn I'Acodemla Rojolo doTnf*;"^ Tka ■«). 
pliarMenu to lerra only for the parpoM of lettlag fivl»4r'B»» 
wUk a lea degree ol beat*." If I maj trait MMoa et«d»«ip«rU 
■anti wkkk 1 have made wia a cammon powdn trier, I BUtic. 
cede to the opinion of H, Baaam^,- «• I rapeatedlj tamai tkat 
aqval bolki of com von powder, and of tba nroe tort »f powder, 
freed from Iti talphnr by a gentte araporatloo, dtferaivtif nach 
both In the loadnew and force of the explodon f tba p owie i which 
had loM Iti nlphar being Inferior to the other in both partknian. 
It If not without reason, that equal bolki ere here ipoaHiif for 
any deGnltire raeatare of coatnoo powder weigha ■■(• IfeM Ae 
•ama moaiare of powder which haa lott H» aulplnr ; hMW the ie> 
nit of ezperimenli made with eqnal welghta of theMp«Mt»i will 
be dlferent from that which la dorlred from Oe expM*«f ^qoal 
bnlkl I may not tbb obaerratian tend to reeondle tbo apUMM-bo. 
ton MMitioiiedl Bat whether lulphur be an abcolotalf BMiHHy 
ingredient In the compA^tJonof gunpowder or not, UJaiaiWo 
that an aeearate mixture of the Ingredlenti la eMcntiallf raqpMMi 
In order to accompUah thli accurate mixture, the ii^PiJl— teio 
iiisly reilucpd into coarse poivik-rs, and afterwardj ground 


portion of the saltpetre (the other two ingredients not being solable 
in water :) for upon drying the powder, the disgolved saltpetre will 
be crystallized !□ particles much larger than those were, nliich en- 
tered into (he composition of the gunpowder, and thus the niiitnra 
will be less inlimaie and uniform, than it was before the wetting. 
This Hefting of gunpowder is often orcasioned by (he mere mois- 
ture of the atmosphere. Great complaints were made concerning 
the baduirsi of the gunpowder used by the English in their engage- 
neot with the French Ueet off Grenada, in July 1779 ; the French 
iMTing doDF much damage to the masts and rigging of the English, 
wlwa the EnglMi ilwt wovld not reach them. When thU muter 
«IR ioqniiMl into by tlu Hoiue of Cammoni, it appeared that the 
powder bed heM iqured bf the moisture of the atmo^here; it 
b»d concreted IMo l^e lampe, in the middle of whi<^ the saltpetre 
wu ritibla to the naked eye. If the wetting has been couiderable, 
(he pomler ii nndered wholly unfit for use ; but if no foqeign sab* 
■tance hu been auzed with U except fresh water, it may be made 
iato good gBUpowder again, by being properly pounded and grs- 
aulated. If the wetting has been occasioned by salt water, and 
.that to any considerable degree, the sea salt, upon drying the pow- 
' der, will remain mixed with it, and may su fur vitiate Its qoality, 
that it can never be used again in the form of gunpowder. How-* 
Wer, as by solution in water acid subsequent crystallization, the 
BM»t ?aluable part of the gunpowder, namely, the saltpetre, may 
he titracted, and in its original purity, even from ponder that hai 
been welted by sea water, or otherwise spoiled, the saTiog a da- 
maged powder is a matter of national economy, and deservedly at- 
tended to in the elaboratory at Woolwich. 

The proportions in which the ingredients of gunpowder are com- 
bined together, are not the same in different nations, nor in dif- 
ferent works of the same nation, eren for powder destined to the 
same use. It is difHcnlt to obtain from (he makers of gunpowder, 
any information upon this subject; their backwardness in tbia par- 
ticular arises, not so much from any of them fancying Ihemselves 
possessed of the best possible proportion, as from an afleclation of 
mystery common to most manuractitrers, and an apprehension of 
discovering to the world that they do not use so much saltpetre as 
they ought to do, or as their competitors in trade really do use. 
Saltpetre is not only a much dearer commodilr than eiliter sulphur 
or charcoal, bnt it enten also in a inu4i r proportion into 

•KAMA A»M«tlftft« aU)l«VHM 

.«k MspMitira «r gMpwvdir, tUa %rth iM« ««|mM 
.tsgadwr; henu, llwr* U ■ grit to«ip<»BoQ t« hMW i <>" i 
«r tlM Mltp«tr«, ftad ta ■ngwiH tb«t of tbs olbfJaH 
hkI llw fnid ii not euilj. detected, tiiwe gimpowdM* JiJ 
•splode readily aad londly, may b» PMHle wilk nMii i 
.fiwitiUwor nllpetre. n ^ 

Biptula Ports died in the year 1615; he giref itm» ( 
■portioB] for making of gnopowder, ecoording u ^MIVmI 
M be of different streogth*. I Iwre reduced Ui pqimril 
Alt the Hsder toMj Me the qoentitiei of the leveiiil Jny 
dia ItiO pounds weight of each Mrtof pot^^)^^.. 


Saltpetre 6G^it>. 
Sulphur Id 4 
Cliarcoal 16^ 






that in all these proporlk 
I in equal quantities. Caril. 

is' somewhat remarkabli 
liulphur and charcoal are u! 
about i'lXty yean aftiT Bapdsia Porin, and in that Inter 
propurtions of the ingredients of gunpowder seem to hare 
gi>ne a great change. Cardan's jiroporlions fur great, 
lizi'd, and small guns, are expressed in the rollowing tabit 

I - r . . 


>B«. n» 

Sallpelre 75 
^alpbnr IS 
Charcoal lU 


Frince, Sweden. 
75 75 
.9i IS 
154 9 

lOOll lOOj 






Several experim 

enli have been lately made in Franc 

e, in order 

* tke Icsact proporfloQ) of the leveral ingradieats which 
w*ald prodtKc Ha ftrongett pouible power; Ihme propartioni 
when rednnd, aa all the reit have been, to tha qaaolity compot. 
ing OBo hnadrad pogndf of gnnpowder, are 

S«kp*tr* .... 60 lb. 

Chuwoal .... IS 

SolplMr ....»' 

■ ; 100 

Fron hnc* it wonld appear, tliat in a ccrtsin waiglit of aalfpetn^ 
the powder would prnduce the greatest effect, whan the we%ht«t 
tile charcoal wu to that ot the aulpfaur, a* 3 to 1. On tibe Mkor 
band, ezperiineiits are produced from which it is to b« coneladedt 
that ia a certain weight of laltpetre the beat powder ia aade, wbm 
tha nlphnr i> to the charcoal, in the proportioa of 3 to 1 . FrMi 
thcM diBcrent accounti, it leems as if the problem of determiniag 
the very beat pouible proportioo was not yet aoWed. 

In drying gas-powder, .after it is redaced into grains, there an 
two Ihingi to be aToided, too mnch and too little heat. If the heat 
h too great, a porlion of the salphur will be dri*«n off, and thus tho 
proportion of the ingredients being changed, tl>e goodima of tbo 
powd^, to far as it depends on that proportion, will be injured. 
Inorderto see what quantity of sulphur might be teparated from 
gnn-pvwdec, by a degree of heat not inSdent to explode it, I took 
94 graioeof the powder marked tf in thesbopf, and placin| 

• Thfte are uid lo be Ihi- pripPtiioni of g-.VL-tnrofnl powder.— Pfinh. 
Ckem. p. effl. 

H Cbem. Diet. & Banuit'- Clipm. Vol. I. 186, 

J Mem. <le. Chrm. Vol. II. p. IJS- whrtp il is raid, thW Iwo ipcclmciu ot 
powder from HnIUnd(avaoi.l> lllb. of salipf (re from lOOjfjfow^Efc. 

Comin. ScicD. BDaoD.Vol.IV.p. 133- •^t^.-ti] v • 


it «n ■ !>»«■ <rpoIUw« eopser, I ^nM ikt Mp|»r WUd 
M^lba fl«i]i«ot«caiid)a; Ikfl fu*.poi*dar M*n Motlpffk 
ph^Moai TspoDf ] ud wbet^it had Imm dried m louf 4kii|M 
fa«M«fiWllcaBldbeAistiB|iii>Mf tl(a Mnftisdw wd||Mk 
tMa grainy, the lim unountliig ta (t* gnhn. Tin nKmkii' 
mA axplodB by t flptrk. like gnnpoWdcr, but lika • iiil rtiyt o 
petra and Aarcoml, and it really wu notliing alM, aS«IH 

WVOiadto'tlM hMt«f lb*MV, MitUi Mtk«d U dMM 
J'nMMj tad !• Mna AAer wfc<w ; irfberwaidi ft Mfljll 
MM*d«r«pMii«llta ahMt «9<al h> ttat of boiling mtt 
pfMMt It b BHUt gsunlly i« K^kid driad in ato>i>IWI 
(fcttt iron pad j with any tolenbla oantion na dangaralop 
Bead ba apprebtaded from tbii dmUmkI. All. Ae wnlny p 
the gunpowder may be evaporated by a degree of heat greati 
Iban tbat in which gunpowder explodes ; (hat degree haring 
tKcrtained by some iale experiments, to be about theSOOth ( 
on Fahrenheit's scale, in which the he4it of faoDiiig water is fi 
Sl2> There is more danger of evaporating a portion otthegi 
ia this way of drying gunpowder, llian when it is dried by ei] 
to the »un. 

The necessity of freeing gunpowder from all i(s moiib; 
sbTlous from the following eipmment, which was made iome 
ago before the Royal Society. A riuantity of gunpowder was 
out of a barrel, and dried with a heat equal to thai in which 
a piece of ordnance was charged v 

coMrMinoii Aii0 ahaiiTsm o» avmw^wmmw. 181 

potriMt to p wi erTC powd«r fr«e froa nobtare, tod fr<mi the lo» 
of a part of its sulphur in bot climates, by keeping it iq gUse4 
earthen bottles, or in bottles made of copper or tin, well corked ? 

This disposition to attract the hamidity of the air, is differetil 
ia different sorts of powder, it is the least in that which is made 
from the purest saltpetre ; pure saltpetre, which has been dried as 
gunpowder is dried, does not become heavier by exposure to the 
atmosphere ; at least, Its increase of weight is very small, not amount, 
log, AS far as my experiments hare informed me, to abo? e one fid 
part of its weight ; I rather think that it does not acquire any in« 
crease of weight. But saltpetre mixed with sea salt, attracts the 
humidity very sensibly ; and hence, though there should be the same 
w«ght of saline matter in a certain weight of gunpowder, yet the 
goodness of the powder may be Tery variable, not only from the 
foretgn satine matter, be it sea salt, or any other salt, injuring the 
quality of the powder as being an improper ingredient, but from its 
rendering the powder more liable to become humid. 

Saltpetre beiug the ingredient, in which there is the greatest room 
lor fraud, in the c4>mposition of gunpowder, and on the quantity of 
which its strength chiefly depends, the reader will excuse the mU 
nuteness of the following process, to ascertain the quantity of salt* 
petre contained in any specimen of gunpowder. 

Take any quantity of gunpowder, pound it in a glass mortar till 
all the grains are broken, lay it before a gentle ire till it be quito 
dry ; in that state weigh accurately any quantity of k, suppose tout 
ounces ; boil these four ounces in about a quart of water ; the 
boiling need neither be violent nor long continued, for the water 
will readily dissolve all the saltpetre, or other saline matter, and 
sot a particle of either the sulphur or the charcoal of the powder* 
In order to separate the water containing the saltpetre, from the 
sulphur and charcoal, pour the whole into a filter made of brown 
paper; the water containing the saltpetre will run through the 
paper, and must be carefully preserved ; the charcoal and sulphur 
will remain upon the paper. But as some particles of saltpetre 
will stick both to the filtering paper, and to the mass of silphur a|id 
charcoal, these aro tp be repeatedly washed, by pouring hot water 
upon them, t9l the water in running through the filter k quite In- 
sipid ; then we may be oertain^ that we hafe M theaaltpotre ort» 
l^aUj contained in thopowder^ now diiiihrid inlhi wniitr^ «o4 


IM toarr«fmdir ami AifXLYtns'tfFOvrfMlrtMA'; 

^^Dic'iDlptmriWl ehkmdfHMUiilD|«'lix«d'TnaM aiMtflKlil 
llMe mpectin quratftiet ttmf ^ ■wertalnvd wIthtfafWieli i 
txltf. TIm mtH- cantaMiig tte UndtrmA taltpetre, iMllt M'l 
fMBtad br A-gantWhMt; 'ttMUl(p«to« eUhot b» erapidfAMJ 
«B« dagiw of bett which eraporatn tba water ; dl W P 1lil | 
tkAcantBinad in tbe guDpowtfer, vlt) remiia ■fteriflfeWit 
dbfterud, nd being amtttVy collected snd weighed/ W*^R1 i 
tiM qitnllty of laline nillcr c^Mncd in Oi^ powMif**tk) 
«afe of nlpliar ind chucwi. by l«>tng the filtcridjfll^ilH 
tafaiiiqt it before tbe fire; it MtooM be msde u dry uiN^lAN 
WM bflfote it wM diuoWed in tb« water : in that *UtriflK|l 
Mitpetn ebd diareMt ; end, .trben the experiment liifWVl 
mMj tnadv, Ike weight of (he »l(pelre, added to that^lirHe ! 
tare' of anipknr end Dhereoal, trill just atnoent to foitr'^Mli 
vdgM of the powder. ' The quantity of mH Ae nktterttMMN 
■>r a pate l M e n of 'gnniMwder, bring thai' iBcertainedt^l^^ 
nay be known 'by diuolvfuf it la water, and er)riMliHf¥ 
ny paHtof it eryitallizeB 1b lltllv cabei, It to aiign ttriftfean 
Mb-mK; orif any part of it, after beiKgdalyenpoftllJI(|Nrlll 
Mjataltiie, it ia a ligB that it contains another lOrrtMH^ 
cttadby nkpetTe naken, tfaa mctker of nitre, nhiA^mt 
attracta the humidity oTthe air. taMmrj 

7'he gunpowder mBrkt^'d rF, was analysed in Ihe following i 
ner. Twenty. four grains, by eTaporaliiig the sulphur, wer 
duced to ninetren ; these nineteen groins gave, by solutia 
!-i»teen [ 

COMMSmoV AlW AVAJbXftU 0» amfOWDBA. 18S 

fkr fli I kifv Irkd thMB, te tlM qwuititj of tlit laltpetrt they con- 
tain. FriMi some Mrti of powder, I hate got after the rate of 
761b. of saltpetre, from tOOlb. of the gunpowder. 

The method of aoalyving gunpowder, by eraporating the sulphur, 
is not wholly to be relied upon ; I hate often obserred, that when 
niztores of snlphor and charcoal have been eiposed to e^aponu 
tion, on a plate of heated copper, the remainder has weighed less 
than tiM charcoal which entered the composition, part of it ha?ing 
been carried off by the Tioleot evaporation of the sulphur: and hence 
the proportion of sulphur in the above analysis is probably too great. 
I am aware that this observation b wholly opposite to the condusioa 
of M. Beaum6, who contends, that one twenty.fourtb part of the 
weight of the sulphur employed in any mixture of sulphur aLd 
charcoal, adheres so strongly to the charcoal, that it cannot be se- 
parated from it without burning the charcoal.— I can only say, 
that he separated the sulphur by burning it, and 1 separated mine 
by Miblimiog it without suffering it to take fire, and this difference 
in the manner of making the experiment, may perhaps be sufficient 
to account for the different results. — But it is unnecessary to pursue 
this subject further ; there are several things to be attended to in 
forming a complete analysis of gunpowder, which any person tole- 
rably well versed in chemistry, would certainly take notice of, if 
the analysis of any particular powder was required to be made^ 
and which cannot, in this general view, be minutely described i 
and, indeed, it is the less necessary to enter into a detail on this 
•object, as the strength of the powder is not so much affected bj 
small variations in the quantities of the sulphur and charcoal, which 
enter into its composition; and the method of ascertaining the 
quantity and quality of the saltpetre, in any particular gunpowder^ 
has been sufficiently explained. 

In order to judge with more certainty concerning the effect of 
sea.salt, when mixed with saltpetre in attracting the humidity of 
the air, I made the following experiment. Five parts of pure salt* 
petre in powder, were exposed for a month to a moist atmosphere^ 
but I did not observe that the saltpetre had gained the least increase 
of weight ; for the same length of time, and in the same place, f 
exposed fonr parts of saltpetre mixed with one of common salt, 
and this mixtoro had attracted so much moisture, that it was in a 
•tate of fluidity. 

[Biihop Waiion. 


a%Mm wltpato* t tht wHil»<tM» whMiii tiwcth# iag wi l i rf 
Sa taltpetre, tlMre are mioat Mbtr Miiiiy m dl« osjBttriatiey 
(diloriae of Da? j)^ tiM l^jrper oxyrnvrMfey te iiMfc, tve^ttic^ 
si^lybdic, t&d colmnbie, tluit ara powtrlal svpportMt of OMBbvs- 
tioii. Of these tiM nott eaej of aoceei it Hm OKjmvrfaiUc ; and 
tirit has In conteqiieiiee been tried eidier iiiitead of , or bi oonfone. 
tion wfth^ tiie nitric add, to ascertain whetker It be pow e is o d of 
flwre power. The beet experiMents npoo te svtjjcet are tbote of 
Bdward Howard, Esq. as commmnkated lo the Rojal Soeielj. 
The efiect, according to these, is f ery singnhv, In the espioyment 
of thst oxjrmariat of potash, the only form In which the oxy amriaHc 
add has hitherto been made nse of. It acts with considerably 
nM>re energy so far as its range extends; bnt tlds range is far short 
of that produced by sdtpetre, or nitrat ci potash. It prodnces also 
a rnnch more violent explosion ; and an explosion which. In one 
Instance, bnrst the Tcssd, and nearly d mti oyed tho eyeoight of the 
bold and ingenions experinwnter. \^Bdiior. 



1 Hinx are Tarions combinationa nnder this name that possess a 
near resemblance to gunpowder in their oenstitoent parts, easily 
intamo, and explode with great Tiofeence, bnt require a certain 
degree of heat to produce this eflbct. We shall notioe the ooou 
men and the metallk iblminating powders. 


Common Fulminating Powder. * 

Tnxa is prepared as follows : take three parts of nttre^ two of 
purified pearLash, and one of flowers of sulphur, flsisL tile uhela 
very accurately in an earthmi mortar, and jdace it on a tile or plaie 
before the fire, till It is perfectly dij: then transfer it while hoi 
into a ground stopper bottl^aad itnugc be kept withentMumry tm 
any length of time. Jo order to experience Its efi^t% 
ten tofoHy grains Into an Iran ladle, and place It oirer 


ia ftsbort tiiDe th« ponder becomes bfonn and acquires a pasty 
tioashtemx ; a blue Inmbent flame then ap^ars on the surface, 
and in an instant after the whole explodes with a stunning noiie 
BO'' J slight momentary Qash- If the mass be remoTed from the 
fire as soon as it is fused, and kept in a dry welLclosed vial, it may 
at any time be eipiodeil hy a spark, in which case it burns Ulce 
(Hitpowdar, bat more rapidly and with greater d«tDDatkin ; h«t 
*hh f ff*^ MMWt V prodBGed on the ■nmelted powder, kow Mcb- 
.9t(^ toevw til* iogrediestB of it are raized together, ^kac 
fl|llini*'"t powder ii Id finioti, but not heatad to tba dejpraa m- 
^UHIIiji to.prodnc* the bin* Same, a particle af igDited cbareoal 
i^ojia nppn it will occaiion immediately a remarlubty load «b 

It •pp«u> DM tka iogredienti sf thit powder do not asqnln 
thtir ^■Vi'VMwg praparty till combined byfuiioo; iiotberwofdi} 
yjlths psM>dl>«f ralphHr form lulpttnret of pot-atht wheno* filk 
ninating powder may alio be mada by mixlBg MlphtBiat of p&^ 
uh with lutre, ioatead of by ad^ng the snlphar and alkali lepa- 

In *U tk«M the CMiM of the detonation, or folnination, !• aot 
■ccondtly aodentood. la limple fulmiaating powder, thai* ba 
T*ry laqe portion of elattic gsii evolved ; in falmniatiog gold 
•r diver, a mncti imaller ; yet the ezploiion in the lattov cuo .li 
infisftelf greater than that in the former. 

Fulminating Gold. 
Dheatve pwte gtdd in nitro-marintic acid ta lataration, and AU 
l«t» tbo nlvtini wMb three times it> bulk of distilled water, nd 
■dd to it gradnally some pure aninonia ; a yellow precipitate will 
te obtahied, whidi mast ke repeatedlf washed witb dialilled water, 
and drkd on a chalk stone, or in a filter. When perfectiy dry, it b 
called fulminating gold, and detonates by beat, aa may be shewn 
hy hMaog ft few grains of it on tk* point of a knife over the candle. 

' ',."',,., FutmimaliMf Silver. 

LMsioln ine Aver in pale nltrie add, and preciintato tht aoh. 
tina ky BMs-bii • decant the 4nid, mix the preclpitilto with 
liquid Roiminiia, sod slir it till it assumes a black colour ; then de- 
cant the fluid, and leave it in the open air to dry. This product is 
futminatiDg iUver, lAaA when once obtained cannot be touched 

106 vvLiHirAyiifGWMeoiy. 

wMhont prndoeing & Ticrtcflt «p1oflan. It h Ob ttM Aotj 

{■npcration knon, fiir iht tmntMti of in la nst B' 

it to d«toDil«. It «xplodei l^tba aen touch. lt('|l 

•o huardana, that it ot^t not 1o b» attUDptad « 

wkh ttrong gUaa ^ea, upon tk« face. No mor* 4lMb« 

(nin ought at anj lime to Ih tried «■ an eipaiimMt^ 'Th 

inreBtrd hy M. B«Hhollet. wi;. 

H. CheiMTiz hai inTeiit«d a fatminating lilrer, not iM|MI| 
aa that jmt nvntioiwd. It nplodei only by a iligWMM 
contact with tonbnitiMe bodi«>. Ith tbni prepaftdO* '<■ 
qaaalit; oralMnina tbrongh <rat«r, and let a carrentdMI^ 
Maifatk mU gaai pais throngh it for Mma time, "WW 
■onw phoiphate o( lilrer on the aolnlion of the ozygewAil-iii 
W AlmsiDa, and eraporate It ■lowl}'. The proiMt^tib 
mUl b« a kypfr.ojcygeBated mnrtate of illrer, a iiaghl'|B 
^Mctt, in ConUct with two or Ihreo of sulphnr, wlHlrilM 
tHrtly wHh the ilightMt frietiiHi. . *« l^i 

Fulmmeting Mrrcury. 

The mernirlal prcparatioDs which rulminatG, nhon mixe 
nlphur, and gradually eipospd to a genllt ht'Hl, are well kn< 
chemists : they were discoTered, and ha»e becu fully describ 
Mr. Rayen. 

MM. Brugiiatclli and Van Mons hare likeirise produce 
ruinations by concussion, as well by nitral of mercury and 
pliorus, «! »ilh jiliosphottis and mOFit 5(!irr nitrsts. 


Blcnhol and nilric aeiJ as might (by prpdlspoiing affinily) favour as 
well at altrtcl an acid comliination of Hie hydrogen of the one, anil' 
(he oxygen of Ihe other. The pure reil t>xyd of mercury appeared 
not unfit for IhU purpose} it was therefore intPmiiited with alcohol, 
and npon both nitric acid was atTused. The acid did not act upon 
the alcohol so iinmediately as when these fluids are alone mixed to. 
gether, but first gradually dissolTcd the oxyde ; however, after 
some minutes had elapsed, a smell of ether uas perceplihie, and a 
white dense smuke, much risemblin^' that from the liquor fumans 
of Libatius, was emitted with ebullition. The mixture then threw 
down a dark.eolourfd precipitate, which by degrees became nearly 
white. This precipitate I separated by filtration ; nndbbserTing it 
to be crystnllized in smaller acicular cry»tal5, of a saline taste, and 
also Sndiiiga part of the mercury rolatilized in the white fumes, I* 
mhM MkMnfMgc, I wai not altogether w ithou t hopei that Buriatie 
acid had been fonned, and united to the mercarisl oiide ; I tbere. 
f»r«, for obTiont reoaoM, poored sulphnric ie]d npon the dried 
cryftalline maia^ when a violent efiervescence «Hned, and, to my , 
great astonlifament, an explosion took place. The lingnlarltf of 
Ah «sploalon Indnced me to repeat (he proeen leveral times; aad 
$nXag Hmt I always obtained Ihe sam« kind of powder, I pn* 
fbred a qoantity of it, and was led to make Ihe series of experl. 
ments which I shall hate the honour to relate ia this paper. 
■ If** I iirst attempted to make the mercoriat powder fulminate bjr . 
Mneasrion ; and for that purpose laid about a grain of it npoo a 
Mtd aavH, and struck it with a hammer, likewise cold. It deto> 
aated iligMy, not beiof , as I suppose, struck with a flat blow ; for 
wpon using tbrco or (out grains, a very stanning disagreeable obIm 
«u prodaced, and the faces both of the hammer and the anril wera 
»ncfa ivdmted. 

.. • M Qiif ^ grain, or a grain, if quite dry, is as much as ooght to be 
Hied cm sQtIi an occasion. 

** Tfee Abck of an electrical battery, sent through fire or six 
graioa' of' tiM powder, products a rery similar effect. It seens, 
indeed, tbafK Mrong electrical shock generally acts on falmlnatbtg 
■abatane^ Iik# the blow of a hammer. Messrs. Fonrcrof and 
Vaaqnelia ftftHd fU> to be the cue, with all their mixtores of oxy> 
vnritte of p«taH.' ' - * 

'<>^'Toa)bBVttlirttwlU't«mperatnre the^BKAiriil powder ex. 


iMfte; tile Iwifc of ^ F JhFMilurB HiwinaBKItr wu made jial t# 
iMieh tlie Mdhce of tlie oM, wlikk wia tlran gradwaiy heated tiU 
the powder ezpMled, m the MMemy reiched the 86M1 degree. 

^ Dtsiroiis of comperii^ the strength of the Mercofial eompound 
wkh that of gunpowder, I mede the following esqperimeot in the 
peeseBce of my friend Mr. Abemethj. 

^ Fhiding that the powder could not be fired wi& flint and 
fteely without a disagreeable noise, a coohmmi gwpowder proof, 
eapable of containing eleven grains of fine gnnpowdcr, was filled 
with It, and fiied in the usual way : tiie report was sharp, but not 
ksidr The person who held the instrument In his hand felt no to', 
coilf hut tiie explosion laid open the upper part of the barrel, 
iMnrly from the touch Jide to the muiale, and stmek off the hand 
^of the register^ the surface of which was OTOnly faMlented, to the 
deptii of 0.1 of an inch, as if it had receired the impression of a 

<< The instrument used hi thb experiment being familiarlj known, 
it h therefore scarcely necessary to describe It : suttee it to say, 
that k was brass, menoted with a spring regisler, the mo?eable 
hand of which closed up the musile, to receire and graduate the 
violence of the explosion. The barrel was half an' inch in calfllrcl^ 
and nearly h^ an inch thick, except where a spring ci the lock 
Impaired half its thidmess. 

<« A gun belonging to Mr. Keir, an ingenions artist of Camden- 
Towaij wu next charged with serenteen grams of the mercurial 
pwwdei, and a leaden bullet. A bk>ck of wood was )phced at 
abbot e^ht yasdi^lirom the mnnle to reoelTO the bdl, and the gun 
waefifOd by -a Isise* No recoil seemed to hav« takes pteoe, as the 
barrel was aot m e u e d firom Us po8ition,althoughit wisin ao ways 
confined. The report was feeble; the bullet, Mr. KMroMeelrfMi^ 
ftom tielmpreision made wfom the wood^ had beetf projeded with 
about half the force it would hare been bf as or^nary chatfoy 
offitety-eight fisinsy of the best gunpowder. We tiMretoe re. 
chaiyd tiie guA with thlv^four grains of the mereurlal powder f 
and ae the great etreagtt of the piece wmnmd any appreheoitosrei 
danger, Mr. Keif lied it from Msefaonlder, aiming at the samo 
bkwk of wood. The report was like the fin^ ehifp, tait Wff 
louder than might hare been expected firom a chai^ge ol fWip» w d er> 
BD rt up a lfll y MKlUirwi# MthnH; Imt ttio gn twtn ftrnnfl^ «» 
tKhrfsmrdiMry oMumr* 9ii bioei* mas irhat ia iriM # |Mti0^ 


one, of th* but forged iroD, consisting uf a cliamber 0.4 of an inch 
thick all round, and 0.4 of an incli in calibre ; it was torn open 
and flawed in manv directions, and the gold toucb-hole driven out, 
Tiie barrel into which the breecb was screwed was 0.5 of an inch 
tftick i i( xod split by ■ singtv crack thre« inches lone, but tliU did 
not apprar to mc lo be tlit immediate etfi^ct cif the ixplosion. I 
tMuh the scxew of the bre«ch, bein^ suddenly enbrgtd, acted as a 
wedge npon llit: barrel. The ball missed the block of wood, and 
■track against a irail, which had alrendj been the receptable of so 
■any bullels, that we could not siitiafy ourstUps about tbe impies. 
riou made ()_v this last, 

" As it was pretty plain that no gun could confine a quantity of 
the mercucial powder sufficient to project a bullet with a greater 
force than an ordinary charge of gunpowder, I determined (o try • 
its comparative strength in another way. I procured two blocks 
of wood, very nearly of the same size and strength, and bored 
them with the same instrument to the same depth. The one was 
charged with half an ounce of the best Dartford gunpowder, and 
the other wilh half an ounce of (he mercurial powder ; both w«te 
vlilu hwriad in aand, «nd fired by a train camnimicatiag «itk Ifef 
f mw dan fe/a ■mall tonclbbok. The block contalniag Um gn* 
f*wd*r «M Amply tpUt into three pieces : that charged \iUk tin 
■nVBriai powder was bunt in every direction, and tba puto !■■ 
MMUiMj cootignens to the powder were absolutely poimdMif y«C 
(ha wbola bang together, whereas the block split by tha giOw 
fo«d*i had Ui parta fairly separated. The sand lommiidiag. tht 
ganpowder wu nadoabtedly the most disturbed ; in short, tbt 
Marcorial powder appttarad to haTO acted with tbe greatest eMsgy, 
bat only within certain liHits. 

< ** Tlw efiect* of the iMKiirial powder, in the last experioaeiits, 
■■da na lM4iev« that it Might be confined, during Its exploiion, ia 
the eaatra of a hollow glass globe, iianng tlierefoN provided snck 
a vesNl, wmtm iochea in diameter, and nearly half an inch tbick^ 
noantad wtt brass caps,and a stopcock,! plaoed tan grains of nsr* 
cnrial pombr on thin paper, laid on iron wire MSthofanindiAkk 
•cross the papafj thn^ tbe midst cl the powder, aa^ ckMingOt 
jgt^Tf tied U lint, at both exti«>itlM with ailk totbavin. As 
Iba iaclosad jp«vdsr vu mw attatsbed to tha ■ktdla at tke win, 
«cliaBd of wbkb w>Bwectad witfadia taniaa^ay tbe packet «f 
^baontlv .HhtnaiHiiii, 6m 4hB WBtra of *h» 

,r«H|ia4feM| and ^mmmtttpH 

190 F«LMHiATiii« ttsaoaKT. 

tfw iHm, « « pKlinlaarj mpHhiwot (witk Mr. OriMertsM'l 
•toctronwter) hid sheivB ■» would, by tntkiog tlM«ln red hot, 
intuie the poWdw. Th« (Ian gUbe vitMsod Um lifliriuit^ ud 
«f coarM ratainMl wfaatorer gaMM wtre genent«d| Itetatefior 
VM thinlj' coated with qnickillTW, in a rerj divUl* rtato. A 
bent glass tube wu now screwed to the itop^ock nMfcafcran cap, 
which being introdaccd under a glau jar Kanding ia4|lFB«rcnrial 
bath, tiie itop-cock was opened. Three cnbical 4Mlfev «f air 
nuhed ost, and a fonrth wai set at liberty when tbo mn^laHm 
w oTod to the water tub. The ezplOMon being rejMflM^ atfl Ibe 
air all recaired over water, the quantity did not VMf, ' lEvatoM 
an error from change of lemperaiure, the glass globe was, both be- 
fore and after the explosion, iinm«rstd in water of the lame tem- 
pcraluri!. It appears, therefore, (list the ten grains of powder 
produced four cubical Inches only of air. 

"To continue the compaiiiiin between the mercnrial powder 
and gunpowder, ten grains of the best Dartford gunpowder were 
in a aimilBr manner set Tire to in (he glass globe : it lenained en. 
tire. Tile wiioie of the powder did not explode, for BOme com. 
ptete grains were to be observed adhering to (he interior turface of 
the glass. Little need be said of (he nature of the gaiMt ganented 
during the combustion of (he gunpowder ; they must htTO Iwcn 
carbonic acid gass, sulphureous acid gass, nitrogen g«S8, and (ac- 
cording to Lavoisier) perhaps hydrogen g3!-s. As to the quantity 
of these, it is obvious that it could not be ascertained : because llie 
two first were, at Icnst in part, speedily ah?nrf)ed by the alkaH itl' 

BBLHWArrma mbboorv. 191 

aetiJIr, is to be drsKn through the hi>l«>. The screw bi-ing now 
fixed in Hi place, and th^' wire drawn tight, is (» be secured hy 
pntbing the irrpgular wooden plug into the a^ierture of the scretr, 
taking care to leave a paisage for the air. The 5lo|>.cock is non ta 
be screwed on. The glass tube h bent, that it may more conve. 
nienllf be inlrodiiceJ undvr the receivtrr of » pneiimalic apparatus. 
" From so neoftheexperinient^ (continues Mr. Howard) in uhich 
Ibe gunpowder proof and the gun were burst, it might be inferred, 
th&tthe astonishing force of the mercurial powJeristo be attributed 
to the rapidity of its combustion ; and a train ofsereral inches in 
length being consumed in a single flash, it is evident that its combus- 
tion must be rapid. But from other experiments it is plain that this 
force is restrained to a narrow limit, both because the block of wood 
charged with the mercurial powder was more shattered than IbM 
charged with the gunpowder, whilst the sanj surrounding it was least 
disturbed, and likewise because the glass ^lobe withstood the eiplo- 
lion of ten grains of the powder fixed in it.- centre; a charge 1 hod 
twice found sulTicient to destroy old ;iialul lfarri;ts, which were OOC 
injured by being fired when full of ilii; best gunpowder. It also 
Bppeari from the last experiment, that ten grains of the powder 
produced hy ignition four cubical inches only of air ; and it ia not 
to be supposed that the generation, however rapid, of four cubical 
inches of air, will alone account fur the described force; neither 
can it be accounted for by the formation of a little water^ wbicb, 
ft! will hereafter be shewn, happens at the saine moment j th« 
quantity formed from ton grnius must be so triOing, that I cannot 
ascribe much force to the expansion of its vapour, The sudden 
vaporalion of a part of the mercury seems to me a principal cause 
of this immense yet limited force; because its limitation may then 
be explained, as it is well known that mercury easily parts with ca> 
lorie, and requires a temperature of 600° of Fahienlveit, to lie 
maintained in the vaporous state. That the mercury is really con* 
verted into vapour, by ignition of the powder, may be inferred 
from the thin coal of divided quicksilver, which, after the explo- 
sion in the glass globe, covered its interior surface; and likewisa 
from the quick'>ilTer wiib which a tallow candle, or a piece of gold, 
may be evenly coated, by being held at a small distance from lbs 
inlianied powder. These facts certainly render it more than pro. 
bnble, although they do not dtmon'.lrate that the mercury is vols, 
tilizedj because it is nut unlikely t mercurial particles 

vra oMehaiilcftllj inpelM i^giiMttlM nrfiMt of the glut, IIm goU^ 
and tiM tallow. 

^ At to the force of tho diUleA marearj, M. BeftiimA relates a 
remarkablt instance of it, as follows : 

^ Un alchjniste se pr^senta k Mr* Geoffrey, et Tassnra qn'il 
afoit trovT^ le moyen de fixer le mercore par nne operation fort 
simple. II fit constmire six bottcs rondes od for fort ^pals, qni en- 
troient les ones dans les antres ; la demlAre ^toit assojettie par 
deux cercles de fer qui se croisoleiit en an^es droits. On atvrft 
mis qnelqaes litres de mercnre dans la capadti de laprtniire ; on 
mit Get apparell dans un foumean asses rmpfi de charbon poor 
fUre rouglr i blanc les bottes de fer; mafs, lorsqne la chalenr ent 
pfo^tr^ soffisamment le mercnre, les bottes crerArent, atec nne 
telle explosion qn*ll se fit nn bmlt ^pouTantable ; des moroeanx de 
bottes furent lane6s avec tant de rapidity quil j en eut qui pass^ 
rent an trarers de deux planchers ; d'antres firent sur la muraille 
des efiets semblables a ceux den £clats de bombes**'* 

^^ Had the alchemist proposed to fix water bj the same appa* 
ratns, the nest of boxes must, I suppose, have likewise been nip. 
tured ; yet it does not follow that the explosion would hare been 
so tremendous ; indeed, It is probable that it would not, for if (as 
Mr. Kirwan remarked to me) substances which hare the greatest 
specific grarlty have likewise the greatest attraction of cohesion, 
iStie supposition that the raponr of water, would agree with a posi. 
tion of Sir Isaac Newton, that those particles recede from one 
mother with the greatest force, and are most difficultly brought to^ 
getter, wUch upon contact cohere most strongly. 

^ Before I attempt to investigate the constituent principles of 
this powder, it will be proper to describe the process and manipu. 
lationt wifeidi, from frequent trials, seem to be best calculated to 
produce it. One hundred grains, oi^ a greater proportional quan. 
tity of qnlcksilTer, (not exceeding 500 grains), are to be dissoWed^ 
with beat, in a measured ounce and a half of idtric acid. This sola- 
Hon being poured eold upon two measured ounces of alcohol, preyi* 
ously introduced into any con?enient glass ressel, a moderate heat 
h to be applied until an ^flerfescence is exdted. A white fume then 
begins to undulate on die surbce of the liquor ; and fhe powder 
will be gradnally preci]^tated, upon the cessation of action and re. 

• Chjmle SipMaeatale et Raiioaa6» ton. It p. m* 

tctioo* The precipitate is to be immediately collected on a filter, 
well washed with distilled water, and carefully dried in a heat not 
mnch exceeding that of a water-bath. The immediate edalcoration 
of the powder is material, because it is liable to the reaction of ni. 
trie acid ; and, whilst any of that acid adheres to it, it is very sub- 
ject to the influence of light. Let it also be cautiously remembered, 
that the mercurial solution is to be poured upon the alcohol. 

*^ I ha7e recommended quicksilver to be used in preference to 
lin oxyd, because it seems to answer equally, and is less expensive ; 
otherwise, not only the pure red oxyd, but the red nitrous oxide, 
and turpeth, may be substituted ; neither does it seem essential to 
attend to the precise specific gravity of the acid, or the alcohol. 
The rectified spirit of wine, and the nitrous acid of commerce, 
never failed with me, to produce a fulminating mercury. It is in» 
deed true, that the powder prepared without attention is produced 
in different quantities, varieties in colour, and probably in strength. 
From analogy, I am disposed to think the whitest is the strongest ; 
for it IS well known that the black precipitates of mercury ap- 
proach nearest to the metallic state. The variation in quantity is 
remarkable ; the smallest quantity I ever obtained from 100 grains 
of quicksilver being 120 grains, aud the largest 132 grains. Much 
depends on very minute circumstances. The greatest product 
seems to be obtained when a vessel is used which condenses and 
causes most ether to return into the mother liquor ; besides which, 
care is to be had in applying the requisite heat, that a speedy and 
not a violent action be effected. One hundred grains of an oxide 
are not so productive as 100 grains of quicksilver. 

^^ As to the colour, it seems to incline to black when the action 
of the acid of the alcohol is most violent, and vice versa, 

^^ I need not observe, that the gasses which were generated dur« 
ing the combustion of the pchvder in the glass globe, were neces- 
sarily mixed with atmospheric air ; the facility with which the 
electric fluid passes through a vacuum, made such a mixture un* 

" The cubical inch of gass received over water was not readily 
absorbed by it; and, as it soon extinguished a taper without be. 
coming red, or being itself inflamed, barytes water was let up to 
the three cubical inches received over mercnry, when a carbonate^^ 
4if barytes was imotiediately precipitated. 

'* The residue of scvenl explosions) after the oiiWnic acid had 
VOL. vu o 

196 FutmHATiifo MMevftT. 

spparated, I infrodaced into a T^ry tmll tdniU^ted retort fiftj 
graim of the mercarlal powder, and poured opon it three drachms, 
by measure, of snipharic add, frith the aisiMaace of a gentle 
heat. I first receiyed it orer qoicksii? er ; the sarfiice of which, 
dorhig the operation, partially corered itself witli a little black 

<* The gass, by dMTerent trials, amoanted td from twenty-eight 
to thirty*one cubical inches : it first appeared to be nothio^ bat 
carbonic acid, as it precipitated baiytei water^ and eatiiigiiished a 
taper, withoot being itself inflamed, or beeotting red; BoC npott 
letting up to it liquid caustic amrnonla, tiiere #ai a reside of fh>m 
fire to seren inches, of a peculiar inflammable gte, #liieh bomt 
with a greenish-blue flame. Wbeh I macfe use of the water-tub, 
I obtained, from the same materials^ ftom twenty»flVe to twenty, 
seren inches only of gass, althottgfa Che ateri^'qiiaiitity of the 
peculiar inflammable gass was likewise from Art to sercfn inches: 
therefore, the difierenire of the aggregate product^ orer die two 
fluids, must hate arisen from the abfsorpcido', by the ^ater, of k 
part of the carbonic acid iv He naseeiit stMe. 'tbb Tarhthm of 
the quantify of the inflammable gass, when fiowdi^ Mm tUi sMbo 
parcel is usedj seems to depend upon Ae ilcUd hMg it fitlfe inoiro 
or less dilhttf. 

<< With respect to the nature of the pectrlfanr IdflaatmsUe piv^ 
H is plain to me, ftom the reasonsr I shall immediately adddde, (hat 
it Is no odker than the gass (in a pure state) intd which Or^ UliUHm 
etheriied gsss can be resohred j by ti^tment witli dUute Sid^Wnrlt 

<< The DatOk chemists bare shewn, thattbe nlth>tali€tlierisMgasft 
can be reaolred into nitrous- gass, by exposure tb itmcMfxtk shf. 
phurit add ; and timt, by usfaig a dlltrte instead of H- cMcentMite 
add, a gass is obtained which enlarges the flfloi^' of a bMtibg 
taper, so mtidi like the gasseous oidde of* taott^- flMt tllby ndstMk 
K for thit snbiltancei until tfi^ diseor ered t&ii it wiis p^iittitaeut 
oter wat^ ; refilled <o detoikatb with: h:^AogcRa ; and thatt AM 
faUadons appearaio^ into owfaig to a miittiti of nlti^ui gMr Wttik 
Inflammable gass.' 

^^ The ittflammebie gass, separated fitei (be pMrde^, aiisW^M 
to the description of the gass MIA at flht decehed '^ IJUtdt 
chettisU: Irt, In being pmsiMMtdfer water; ^, rifidlttf tb 

fniiMik 4TiMfBi Msmcoir. 197 

iMoute wKh hjdrogra ; and adij, bafiag the tf^Mrance of tlie 
g mtoui oxide of asote, when mixed with nitrons gass. 

<< The gass separable by the same acid, from nitrous etherized 
gaif, and from the nercarial powder, have therefore the same 
properties. Ererj cliemist would thence conclude, that the ni. 
trout otherixed gats is a constituent part of the powder; and the 
inflammable and nitrous gats, instead of the inflammable and car. 
bonic acid gass, liad been the mixed product extricated from it by 
dilute tulphpric add. 

^^ It howerer appears to me, that nitrous ^ass was retllj pro- 
duced by the action of the dilute sulphuric acid; and that, wlien 
produced, it united to an excess of oxygen, present in the oxalate 
of mercury. 

^^ To explain how tUs change might happen, I must premise, 
that my experiments have shewn me, that oxalate of mercury cap 
exist in. two, if not in three states. 1st. By the discorery of Mr. 
Ameilon, the precipitate obtained by oxalic acid, from nitrate of 
mercury, fuses with a hissing noise. The precipitate is an oxalate 
of mercury, seemingly with excess of oxygen. Mercury dissolred 
in sulphuric acid, and precipitated hy oxalic acid, and also the 
pure red oxide of mercury, digested with oxalic acid, gi? e oxalates 
In the same state. 2dly. Acetate of mercury, precipitated by 
oxalic acid, although a true oxalate is formed, has no kind of 
inflammability. I consider it as an oxalate, with less oxygen than 
those above-mentioned. 3dly. A solution of nitrate of mercury^ 
boiled with dnldfied spirit of nitre, gifes an oxalate more inflam- 
mable than any other ; perhaps it contains most oxygen. 

^^ The oxalate of mercury, remaining from the powder in the 
solphuric liquor^ is not only always in the same state as that preci- 
pitated from acetate of mercury, entirely devoid of inflammability, 
but contains globules of quicksilver, consequently it roust have 
parted with even more than its excess of oxygen ; and if nitrous 
gass wu present, it would of course seise at least a portion ^t 
th»t oxygen* It is true, that globules of quicksilver may seem 
IncompatilAi with nitrous acid ; but the quantity of the one may 
not correspond with that of the other, or the dilution of the acid 
may destroy its action. 

*^ As to tho p r e sen ce of the carbonic acid, it must have arisen 
elttier from a complete decomposition of a part of the oxalate, or 

admitting the mtj^on et]|iri^.gm ^.N f ffWtttaent principle of 



(lie powdvr, from ■ portion of Oie oxygen, not (alcen up b] 
nitrous gaiii, being united with the ctrbon of ttie elheriied gai 

** The muriatic Rctd, digested with the mercarial powder, 
■oliet B portion of it, withoat extricating atj notable qunti 
gau. The dissolution, eviijorated to t drf ult, taitullk 
corrosive soblimile ; and the portion which the add doa not 
up ia left in a state of an inflammahle oxalate. 

" These eifects all (end to eatablisb the existenre of (ba Bt 
etheriied gasi, as a constituent part of the powder; and Wa 
corroborate (he explanation I hare ventured to give of the m 
of the snliriiurlc acid. Moreover, a meatared ounce and a 
of nitrons acid, holding 100 grains of mercury in solvtfon, 
two measured ounces of alcohol, jield ninety cubical InriwB 
of gau : whereas, without the intervention of mercury, they 
SIO inches. Upon the whole, I tniit K will be (bovgh( naaoi 
to conclude, that th« Biercurial powder is composed ot At Rtl 
otlierised gasi, and of oxalate of mercory with excess of oxj 
lst< Because the nitric converts the mercurial powder entirely 
nttrons gasi, carbonic acid gass, acetous acid, and nitrvt* of 
cury. 3dly. Because the dilute inlphnric acid revolvei H hi 
unlnflanimable oxalate of mercury, and separates from It a gu 
aciDbltnglballnto which the same acid retolvei thenitTonaolbe 
gass. Sdty. Because an nninflatnmable oxalate is likewise 
after the mnriatic acid has converted a part of it intn anblh 
4tUy. Became it cannot be formed by boiling nitrate of men 


refiTedy and, I presume, thrown into yapour, as may well be 
imagined, from the immense quantity of caloric extricated, by 
adding concentrate sulpharic acid to the mercurial powder. 

^' I will not venture to state, with accuracy, in what propor. 
tions its constituent principles are combined. The affinities 1 
have brought into play are complicated, and the constitution of the 
substances I have to deal with not fully known, fiut to make 
round numbers, I will resume the statement, that 100 grains of 
the mercurial powder lost sixteen grains of its original weight, by 
treatment with dilute sulphuric acid : eighty-four grains of the 
mercurial oxalate, mixed with a few minute globules of quick, 
silver, remained undissolved in the acid. The sulphuric liquor 
was saturated with carbonic of potash, and yielded 3.4 grains of 
carbonate of mercury. If 1.4 grains should be thought a proper 
allowance for the weight of carbonic acid in the 3.4 grains, I will 
make that deduction, and add the remaining two grains to the 
eighty.four grains of mercurial oxalate and quicksilver; I shall 
then have^ 

Of oxalate and mercury - 86 grains. 

And a deficit, to be ascribed to the nitrous 
etherized gass^ and excess of oxygen 14 


'^ It may perhaps be proper to proceed still further, and 
recur to the 48.5 grains, separated by nitrate of lime from the 
eighty.four grains of mercurial oxalate, and globules of quicksilver. 
These 48.5 grains were proved to be oxalate of lime; but they 
contained a minute inseparable quantity of mercury, almost in the 
state of quicksilver, formerly part of the eighty.four grains from 
which they were separated. Had the 48.5 grains bet-n pure cal. 
careous oxalate, the quantity of pure oxalic acid in them would, 
according to Bergmann, be 23.28 grains. Hence, by omitting 
the two grains of mercury, in the 3.4 grains of carbonate, 100 
grains of the mercurial powder might have been said to contain, 
of pure oxalic at id, 23.28 grains; of mercury 62.72 grains; and 
of nitrous etherized gass, and excess of oxygen, fourteen grains. 
But as the 48.5 grains were not pure oxalate, inasmuch as they 
contained the mercury they received from the ejghty.four grains, 
from which tuey were generated by the nitrate of lime, some 
allowance must be made for the mercury, successively intermixed 



with ,0m eighty-four graiiUi «iid tii« 4&,S gnink ^a, 0td< 
mke correiponding nuniben, ud ^low tot moaxoMulft errt 
niaM eitimtte the <iaantitj of tbat BMrcnry to hara aMoaati 
two craini, which I most of course dejduQl frop the SS.IB ■ 
o^ oxalic Kcid. I sjiall then have the following iililiinifl i . 
That 100 grains of fuloiiiiatii^ mtiany . i.t,.. 

oDgbt to contain, of pwo ^palic acid, SLW^iiiw. 

Of marcurj', formerlj nniUd to ' .tfiifK 

tht oiLalic acid, . 00.73 alimi- 

pfwric liquor, . 2 , j ;,. 

. A>>0 ^ ^fvry. left la the aol- .-.t-it, 

pborie llqnqr, after the w^ . ,,,^ 

ration of the gauei, - 3 

Total of mercury, 04.73. ..^ 

0^ nitrooi etherised ncf^ and exceas of ' .^ . 

'oxygen, - ' - - u ' "' ' 

IQOi'Uvi- ■ 

*' Since 100 grains of Qie powder seem to contalKVUl^ 

of nercary, R Will be imnediately niqoired, what betiMVfll 

grains of qoit^filTer, when treated as directed, in th« toari 

of the process for f'^P*'''"g "i* fulminaling oiprcury. 

" It has been Slated, that 100 grnins of qiiirkMlrer pro 
under diiierent circumslaiiccs, from 130 to I3'2 grains «f ir 


tubsUncefl cad combine with mercury, is not mj present object. 
After observing that the mercary Uft in the residuary liquor can 
be precipitated in a rery subtle ddik powder, by carbonate of pot» 
a«h, I shall content myself with exaniining the nature of the white 

^^ It is clear that these white fume^ contain mercury : they may 
be wholly condensed in a range o*. Wolfe's apparatus, charged 
with a solution of muriate of ammonia. Whf n the operation is 
oyer, a white powder is seen floating with ether on the saline 
liquor, which, if the bottles are agitated, is entirely dissohed. 
After the mixture has been boiled, nr for some time exposed to 
the atmosphere, it yields to caustic ammonia a precipitate, in all 
respects similar to that which is separated by caustic ammonia, 
from corrosiye sublimate. 

^^ I would infer from these facts, that the white dense fumes 
consist of mercury, or perhaps oxide of mercury, united to the 
nitrons etherized gass ; and that, whi n the muriate of ammonia 
containing tliem is exposed to the atmosphere, or is boiled, the 
gass separates from the mercury, and the excess of nitrous acid, 
which always comes oyer with nitrous ether, decomposes the am. 
moniacal muriate of sublimate, and forms corrosiye mercurial 
muriate or sublimate. This theory is corroborated by compar- 
log the quantity of gass estimated to be contained in the fulmi. 
nating mercury with the quanties of gass yielded from alcohol 
and nitrous acid, with and without mercury in solution ; not t^ 
mention that more ether, as well as more gass, is produced with- 
out the interyention of mercury ; and that, according to the Dutch 
chemists, the product of ether is always in the inverse ratio to the 
product of nitrous etherized gass. Should a further proof be 
thous^ht necessary to the existence of the nidrius etherized gass, in 
the fulminating m^-rcury, as well as in the white druse fumes, ^t 
may be added, that if a mixture of alcohol and nitrous acid, hold- 
ing mercury in solution, be so dilute, and exposed of a temper^ 
ture so low, that neither ether nor nitrous etherized cass are pro- 
duced, the fnlminating mercury, or the white fumes, ykill neyer 
be generated ; for, under such circomstanccs, the mercury is pre- 
cipitated chiefly io the state of ao inflammable oxalate. Further, 
when we consider the difl*erent substances formed by an union of 
nitrous acid and alcohol, we are so far acquainted with all, except 
the ether and the nitrous etherized gass, as to create a presump* 


tfoO) tiiat no others are capable of folatilislog mercury, at the 
Tery low temperature in which the white fames exist i since, dor. 
faig some minutes, they are permanent over water 40^ Fahrenheit. 
<< Hitherto, as much only has l>een said of the gass which is 
separated from the mercurial powder, by dilute sulphuric acid, as 
was necessary to identify it with that into which the same acid can 
resolye the nitrous etherized gass : I have further to speak of its 

<< The characteristic properties of the Inflammable gass seem to 
me to be the following : 1st. It does not diminish in rolume, either 
with oxygen or nitrous gass. 2d]y. It will not explode with oxy. 
gen, by the electric shock, in a close tessel. 3dly. It bums like 
hydrocarbonate, bat with a blueisb^reen flame : and 4thly. It is 
permanent over water* 

<< It is of course either not formed, or is conrertible Into 
nitrous gass by the concentrate nitric and muriatic acids ; because, 
by those acids, no inflammable gass was extricated from the 

<* Should this Inflammable gass prote not to be hydrocarbonate^ 
I shall be disposed to conclude, that it lias nitrogen for Its basis ; 
indeed, I am at this moment inclined to that opinion, because I 
find that Dr. Priestley, during his experiments on his dephlogistL 
gated nitrons air, once produced a gass which seems to bare re* 
aemt»led this inflammable gass, both in the mode of burning and In 
the colour of the flame. 

<< Afler the termination of the common solution of iron, in 
spirit of nitre, he used heat, and got, says he, < such a kind of 
idr as I had brought nitrous air to be, by exposing it to iron, or 
liter of sulphur ; for, on the first trial, a candle burned In it with 
a much enlarged flame. At tnother time, the application of a 
candle to air produced in this manner, was attended with a real, 
though not a loud explosion j and immedhitely after this a green. 
ish.coloured flame descended from the top to the bottom of the 
Tessel, in which the air was contained* In the next produce of 
mir, from the same process, the flame descended blue, and Tery 
rapidly, from the top to the bottom of the ressel.' 

<< These greenish and blne*coloured flames, descending from the 
top to the lH>ttom of the Teiae]^ are precisely descriptire of the 
injBammable gass separated from the powder* If it can ba pro. 

rvLMiKiTrvro u bacuhy. 203 

doced with certainty, by the repetition of Dr. Priestley's ezperi- 
ments, or should it by any means be got pure from the nitrous 
etherized gass, my curiosity will excite me to make it the object of 
future research ; otherwise, I must confess, I shall feel more dis- 
posed to prosecute other chemical subjects : for baring reason to 
think, that the density of the acid made a rariation in the product 
of this gass, and having nerer found that any acid, howerer dense, 
produced an immediate explosion, I oiice poured six drachms of 
concentrate acid upon fifty grains of the powder. An explosion, 
nearly at the instant of contact, was effected : I was wounded se- 
verely, and most of my apparatus destroyed. A quantity more. 
orer of the gass I had previously prepared was lost, by the inad- 
vertency of a person who went into my laboratory, whilst I was 
confined by the consequences of this discouraging accidenf. But 
should any one be desirous of giving the gass a further examina« 
tion, I again repeat, that as far as I am enabled to judge, it may 
with safety be prepared, by pouring three drachms of sulphuric 
acid, diluted with the same quantity of water, upon fifty grains of 
the powder, and then applying the flame of a candle until gats 
begins to be extricated. The only attempt I have made to decom- 
pose it, was by exposing it to copper and ammonia ; which, during 
several weeks, did not effect the least alteration. 

^^ I will now conclude (continues Mr. Howard), by observing, 
that the fulminating mercury seems to be characterised by the fol- 
lowing properties : 

<^ It takes fire at the temperature of 368 Fahrenheit ; it ex- 
plodes by friction, by flint and steel, and by being thrown into 
concentrate sulphuric acid. It is equally inflammable under the 
exhausted receiver of an air-pump, as surrounded by atmospheric 
air ; and it detonates loudly, both by the blow of a hammer, and 
by a strong electrical shock. 

^^ Notwithstanding the compositions of fulminating silver, and 
of fulminating gold, differ essentially from that of fulminating 
mercury ; all three have similar qualities. In tremendous efiects, 
silver undoubtedly stands first, and gold perhaps the last. The 
efiects of the mercurial powder, and of gunpowder, admit of little 
comparison. The one exerts, within certain limits, an almost in- 
conceivable force : its agents seem to be gass and caloric, very 
suddenly set at liberty, and both mercury and water thrown into 
irapoar. The other displays a more extended^ bot inferior power i 


^8 and calorie arey ixmipantifdjr 0pe«lLiiig, liberated by degrees ; 
apd water, according to count Rnrnford, is thrown into vapour. 

<< Hence it seems tbat the fnlminating mercuij) from the limi- 
tation of its sphere pf action, can seldom, if e^er, be applied to 
mining ; and, from the immensity of its initial force, cannot be 
vsed in fire-arms, unless in cases where it becomes an object to 
destroy them ; and where it is the practice to spike cannon, it may 
be of service, because I apprehend it m^y be used in such a man. 
ner as to burst cannon, without dispersing any splinters. 

<< The inflammation of fulminating mercury, by concussion, 
offers nothing more novel or remarki^ble than the inflammation, by 
concussion, of many other substances. The theory of such inflam* 
mations has been long since exposed by the celebrated Mr. Ber« 
thoUet, and confirmed by Messieurs Fourcroy and Vauquelin: 
yet, I must confess, I am at a loss to understand why a small 
^quantity of mercurial powder, made to detonate by the hammer 
or the electric shock, should produce a report so much louder than 
when it is inflamed by a match, or by flint and steel. It might at 
first be imagined,, that the loudness of the import could be ac» 
counted for, by supposing the instant of the inflammation, and 
that of the powder's confinement, between the hammer and anvU^ 
to be precisely the same ; but, when the electrical shock is sent 
through or over a few grains of the powder, merely laid on ivory, 
and a loud report in consequence, I can form no idea of wbp/t 
causes such a report. 

^^ Thf operation by which the powder is prepared, is perhaps 
on^ of the most beautiful and surprising in chemistry ; and it is 
not a little interesting to consider tjie affinities which are brought 
pnto play. The s.^pie^Qndant nitrous ^cid, of the oii^rcurial solu^ 
tion, must first i|ct on the alcohol, aad geperaite «thfr, nitrons 
etherised gass, and oxalic acid. The mercnrj unites to the two 
last, ip their nascent state, and relinquishai frosh niitrous acid, to 
act upon nnalteced alcohol. With r^sp^et to the oxalic aoid, a 
predisposf ng affinl[ty ^ms exerted in U^fom of its quantity, as it if 
e? idently not Conoid fiut enough to f«l^iA all the mercury ; othar* 
wise, no whitjs fumes daring a copsl^fiffble period of the op^cattoq, 
bot fulminating mercery alone will be produced. 

<* Should any doubt still Jbe entertained of the exiftmce of the 
aflinities which have bean called predisposmg or consphring, a 
proof thut such affinitiei really exi9t| will, I think, be afforded, 

hj compirlng the qoantity of oialic acid wKich can be generated 
from giren measures of nitrous acid and alcohol, with the inter- 
Tention of mercury, and the interrention of other metals. For 
Instance, when two measured ounces of alcohol are treated with a 
solution of 100 grains of nickel, in a measured ounce and a half 
of nitrous acid, little or no precipitate is produced ; yet, by the 
addition of oxalic acid to the residuary liquor, a quantity of oxa- 
late of nickel, after some repose, is deposited. Copper affords 
Another illustration; 100 grains of copper, dissoWed in a mea- 
sured ounce and a half of nitrous acid, and treated with alcohol, 
yielded me about eighteen grains of oxalate, although cupreous 
oxalate was plentifully generated, by dropping oxalic acid into the 
residuary liquor. About twenty-one grains of pure oxalic acid 
seem to be produced from the same materials, vvhen 100 grains of 
mercury are interposed. Besides, according to the Dutch paper, 
lAore thati once referred to, acetous acid is the principal residue 
after the preparations of nitrous ether. IIow can we explain the 
formafion of a greater quantity of oxalic acid, from the same 
materials, with the intervention of 100 grains of mercury, than 
with the intervention of 100 grains of copper, otherwise than by 
the notion of conspiring affinities, so analogous to what we see in 
other phaenomena of nature ? 

^^ I have attempted, without success, to communicate fulminat- 
ing properties, by means of alcohol, to gold, platina, antimony, 
ttn, copper, iron^ lead, zinC, nickel, bismuth, cobalt, arsenic, and 
manganese ; but I have not yet sufficiently yarled my experiments 
to enable me to speak with absolute certainty. Silver, when 
twenty grains of it were treated with nearly the samie proportions 
dt nitrous acid and alcohol, as 100 grains of mercury, yielded, at 
tMe end of the operation, about three grains of a grey precipitate, 
which ftHmitiated with extreme violence. Mr. Cruickshank had 
fhe goodness to repeat the experiment : he dissolved forty grains 
of silver, in two ounces of the strongest nitrous acid, diluted with 
an equal i|tiadtity of water, and obtained (by means of two ounces 
of klcoho!) sfxty grains of a yery white powder, which fulminated 
Hke the grey precipitate above described. It probably combines 
with the samd principles as the mercury, and of course differs from 
lilt. Berthollet's folminatihg silver, before alluded tO0 I observe, 
fliat a white precipitate is always produced in the first instance ; 
tnd^ ihit it nUy be preserved by adding water as soon as it is 


Ctrmed ; otherwiH, when the mother liquor ii abiia4«i 
becomes grey, and ii re-d[uoU«d." 

*• Serenl triaU of tbe mercurU powder were aftpr* 
at Woolwich, in conjuiiGtioD with Colonel lIloomBeld 
Cmiduhank, apoo heary gum, carronades, Sec. from 
Howard generally inf^n, that any piece oi ordnancB 
deitroyed, by employing a qtuuitity of the niercurin 
equal in weight to oue-half of the lerrice-GharKe of gv 
and, from the terenth and lait experimeat, we may also 
that It would be pouible so to proportion the charge of 
powder, to the size of diflerent cannons, ai to burst the 
dispening aoy spliaten. Bat the great dangT otlcndi 
of fnlmlnaling mercnry, on acconnt of the t»c'iVity witl 
Mplodet, will probably preyent iti being employed for 

'* In addition to the other singular propertie 
mercury (says Mr, Howard}, it may he observed, I 
inflamed in the open air, seeai to produce a report mu 
than when the same quantity is exploded in a gun, cap: 
sisling its action. Mr. Cruickshank, who made some ol 
der by my process, remarked, that it would not inSami 
der. In consequenre of which, we spread a mixture 
and flne.grained gunpowder upon a parcel of the mere 
der; and after (he inllammalion of the latter, we colle< 
If not all, of the grains of gunpowder. Can this cxtl 
fact be explained by the rapidity of the combustion of f 

3 of (baj 
>d, that^ 

and tbe whole aMames aJiUck, or Tery dark oolour. Mr. Cruick. 
thanks likewise informs me, that after the combustion of good 
fuopoirder under mercurj, no water is ever perceptible." 

iPantolog. PhiL Trans. 

aacTiON III. 

Jxoianej or the Detonating Substance of M. Dulong. 

This constitates one of the latest discoyeries in modern chemia* 
try; and almost all that we know of it in our own coontrr^ 
b throogh the correspondence and eiperiments of Sir Humphry 

In September I8I35 this philosopher received from M. Ampere^ 
then residing at Paris, a letter containing the following passage : 
*^ Yon are doubtless apprised, Sir, of the discovery made at Paris^ 
nearly a year ago, of a combination of azotic gass and calorine, 
which has the appearance of an oil, heavier than water, and which 
detonates with ail the violence of the fulminating metals, on the 
simple heat of the hand ; an effect which has deprived the author 
«f this discovery of an eye and a finger. This detonation takes 
place by the simple separation of the two gasses, namely the com« 
bination of oxygen and calorine ; li^ht and heat are largely and 
equally produced by this detonation, in which a single liquid be* 
comes decomposed into two gasses *." 

The farther account of this curious substance we shall give in Sir 

Humphry's own words, as contained in the Philosophical Trans. 

actions for 1813. 

<^ The letter," says he, ^< contained no account of the mode of 

preparation of this substance, nor any other details respecting it. 

80 curious and importiEint a result could not fail to interest 

me, particularly as I have long been engaged in experiments on 

the action of azote and chlorine, without gaining any decided 

proofs of their power of combining with each other. I perused 

with avidity the different French chemical and physical journals^ 

especially Les Annales de Chimie and Le Journal de Physique, of 

which the complete series of the last year have arrived in this coun« 

irj^ in hopes of discovering some detail respecting the prepanu 

tion of this substance ; but in vain. I was unable to find any 

tting relative to it in these publications, or in the Moniteur. 

.— ' , ■ ' ■ ■ . 1 ■ 1 ■ ■ 11 

* '* Tow avcs laoi donte appiiii,! Ac. sec FMl. IVaM. fbr I8l3rp« U 

t08 NEW D^dNATXNO Sl/s'StANClE. 

<< It wii e?id«nt frcmi the notice, that it cobTd not be formed la 
any operations in which heat is concerned; I therefore thought 
of attempting to combine azote and chto'rin^ under circamstances 
which I had nerer tri^d before, that of presenting them to each 
other artificially cooled, the aiote being in a nascent state. For 
this purpose I made a solutiort of ammonfa^ cooled it by a mixture 
of ice and muriate of lime, and slowly passed into it chlorine, cooled 
by the same means. There was immediately a yiolent action, ac- 
companied by fnrtes of a peculiarly disagreeable smefl j nt the 
aanw thne a jtWoW substence wus seed to Mnti in miniUte films on 
the svrflaee of the liqooi^ ; bQt it was ef anescent, and immediately 
resolved itself into gass. I was preparing to repeat the eiperi. 
ment, aubstitnting the pmssiate of amttiQ^nia and other ammontacal 
compounds, in which less heat might be produced by the action o^ 
the chlorine, than in the pure solution of the gass, when my friend 
Mr. J« 6. Children put me in mlud of a circumstance of which he 
iMtd written to me an acconnt, in the end of July, which promised 
to elucidate the enquiry, ih. that Mr. James Burton, jun. In ex. 
posing chlorine to a solution of nitrate of ammonia, had observed 
tlie formation of a yellow oil, which he had not been able to col. 
lect so as to examine its pi-opertles, as it was rapidly dissipated by 
exposure to the atmosphere. Mr. Children had tried the same ex. 
periment with iimilar results. 

<< I immediately exposed a phial, containing about six cubical 
inches of chlorine, to a satkirated solution of nitrate of ammonia, 
at the temperatut^ of about fifty degrees in common day-light. 
A diminution of the gass speedily took place; in a fei^ minutes a 
ifan, which bad the aijipeilVanee of oil, was seen oil the snrlkce of 
the ilald ; by shaiking the phial it collected in small glolftiles, and 
fcU to the bottom. I took out one of the globules, atid exposed 
it In'OOntitt with wHter to a gentle h^bt : loiig before the wate^ 
begin b boH, H explofled with a very briltiant Ugiht, bdt without 
eny fMcnce of loiiifd.- 

<< I tmniedlitdy {MpMed to Mi". Chfldren, that Hre shoulQ in^ 
tttte a terfeif of ei^eriteetitt np<Ai ih (ireptfrtition and itiT proper- 
ties. We coris^tMiifiy c<Mbmeta(:ed the"dt>erations, the results ot 
WWch I shall describe. We Wen itoifted in our lUbo^V^ which 
iMe etrried oti in Mr. ChildWi^'s latXorstory at TuhbiUl^, by 
Mr. Warburtoft. 

** Itiiprfbiltt d tlfCt tk^ sinuftonjBf oxalate of ammonia^ or a rery 


wetk solution of pore •aoioiiia, answered the purpose as well as 
the solotion of nitrate of amiDonia. It wa« formed most rapidly 
in the solotion of ammonia^ but it was white and cloaded ; and 
though less eranescent than in the strons: solution I first used, it 
was far from being as permanent as in the solutions of nitrate and 
oxalate. The solution of prussiate of ammoaia acted on by chlo- 
rine^ afforded none of the peculiar oil ; but produced white fumes, 
and became of a bright green colour. An attempt was made to 
procure the snbttaiice in large quantities, by passing chlorine into 
Wolfe's bottles containing the different solutions : but a single trial 
prored the danger of this mode of operating ; the compound had 
scarcely begun to form, when, by the action of some aromoniacal 
Tapour on chlorine, heat was produced, which occasioned a riolent 
explosion, and the whole apparatus was destroyed. 

^^ I shall now describe the properties of the new substance. Its 
colour is very nearly that of olive oil, and it is as transparent, and 
more perfectly liquid. I hare not been able to ascertain its speci* 
fie gravity with accuracy, but it is probably above 1*6. Its smell 
is very nauseous, strongly resembling that of the combination of 
carbonic oxide and chlorine, discovered by my brother; and its 
effect on the eyes is peculiarly pungent and distressing. A little 
of it was introduced under water into the receiver of an air pump, 
and the receirer exhausted ; it became an elastic fluid and in its 
gasseous state was rapidly absorbed or decomposed by the water. 
When warm water was poured into a glass containing it, it expand- 
ed into a globule of elastic fluid, of an orange colour, which dimi. 
nished as it passed through the water. 

^' I attempted to collect the products of the explosion of the new 
substance, by applying the heat of a spirit lamp to a globule 
of it, confined in a curted glass tube over water: a little gass was 
at first extricated ; but long before the water had attained the tern, 
perature of ebullition, a violent flash of light was perceived, with 
a sharp report 3 the tube and glass were broken into small frag, 
ments, and I received a severe wound in the transparent corner 
of the eye, which has produced a considerable inflammation of the 
eye, and obliges me to make the communication by an amaooensis. 
This experiment proves what extreme caution is necessary in ope. 
rating on this substance, for the quantity I used was scarcely as 
large as a grain of mustard seed. 

<< A small globule of II thrown into a glass of <^ft oi|^ produced 


410 xBw DjnmiATiKS iniTAiin. 

a mM violMt eipltniuD ; Mil Iha |lut, thMgh ■tronB i— ■fcroKfB 
into fragmrat*. Siraikr sffecU vn* pradnnd bjr IttmetiQa an 
oil ortarpeDtme and naplitbi. WhM U^wm tkra<r»)tHs aiktr, 
there wts a very alight action ; gau wai dbengaf[«d i»iattt ^Mn- 
titiM, ami a lalnUnoe lika wax vaa lomMl, wbkh kMl- bmt Ibe 
obanKtertotic prc^rtiet or the naw bodf > Oa alMM it acted 
slowl/, lost it! colonr, aod twcana a wkito oily anbatiBMi wilbonl 
mplMin powers. When a particle of it waa tonctwdaaMr mkr 
bf a particl* of phoipbonu, a btUliaot light wa* paa^iiHiAwKler 
tJw water, and permaDCBt gau waa d ii fg i g e H , haTiaf itlfl Amm. 
ten of aaotok • ^* < .^,i 

'* Wbesqaantiliei larger than a grain of mnitard laa^iHwied 
Air the contact with phoipkortia, tbeezploiioa wai ahitJ|B40 rio. 
lent ai to break the veiiel lot wbicb tbe uperiawnt MM mad*. 
Tba new bodjr, when aeted upon ander water by marcaiy^ Mind- 
ed a snb»lance, having the appearance of corrosive sublimate) and 
gaH wai disengaged. On tin foil and zinc it exerted no action ; it 
bad MO aclion on sulphnr, nor on resin. In iheir alcohalic soluli. 
one It diioppeared as in pure alcohol. Itdetoaated most violently 
when thrown into a solution of phosphoras in ether, or in alcobol. 
Phosphorus iolrodnced into ether, into which a glubule of tlie sub. 
alam^e had been put immediately before, produced no ellWct. In 
muriatic acid it gare oir gasa rapidly, and disappeared without ec- 
plosion. Ou dilute sulphuric acid it exerted no lioknt action. 
It immediatel} disappeared withoulexploiion in Libafius's liquor, 
tit which it impnrled a yellow lingf. 

^tkB Btdbanteal foree of thii eompouad in detonation, seemi to 
be loperior to that of way other known, not eren excepting the am. 
BioBiical folminating tilTer. The Telocitj of its action appears to 
be likewise greater. 

In a sohseqaent paper pabluhed in the same ? olame, Sir Ttnm^ 
phry DtLwj obserfes as follows : 

^* I reoeived in April, a daplicate of the letter in which the dis« 
coferj was annonnced, containing an Appendix, in which the 
method of preparing it was described. M. Ampere, my corre- 
spondent, states that the author obtained it by passing a mixture of 
azote and chlorine through aqueous solutions of sulphate, or muriate 
of ammonia* It is ob? ions, from this statement that the substance 
dbcoTered in France, is the same as that which occasioned my acd* 
dent The asote cannot be necessary ; for the result is obtained 
by the exposure of pure chlorine to any common ammoniacai salt* 

'* Since I recovered the use of my eyes, I have made many expert, 
ments on this eonpound ; it is probable that most of them haTO 
been made before in France ; but as no accounts of the iuTei. 
tigations of M. Dulong on the substance hare appeared in any of 
the foreign journals which hare rearJied this country, and as somo 
dlfierence of opinion and doubts exist respecting its composition^ 
I conceiTe a few details on its properties and nature will not bo 
entirely detold of Interest." 

We cannot follow the analysis. Which Is too copious and ope. 
rose for. the present work. The author concludes by observing| 
that, the compound of chlorine and azote agrees with the oom^ 
pounds of the same substance with sulphur, phosphorus, and the 
metals, in being a non-conductor of electricity ; and these conu 
ponnds are likewise decomposable by heat, though they require 
that of Voltaic electricity^ 

Sulphur combines only in one proportion with chlorine ; and 
bence the netion of Solpburane, or Dr. Thompson's muriatic liquor 
npon water, like that of the new compound, is not a simple pheno« 
menOB of double decomposition. 

Itseemspropertodesignatethbnewbodybysomename: Azotano 
says Sir Homphry ^ is the term that would be applied to it, accor^iing 
to my IdeM of its analogy to the other bodies which contain chlorine ; 
bnt I am not desirous, in the present imperfect and fluctuating state 
of chemical nomenclature, to press the adoption of any new word, 
pnrticttlarly as applied to a sobstance not discorered by myself." 


OF "'_'_ '/''■ 


BOOK a ..„.. 

FIRB-ffORKS. '"'■"" 


Rockets msy Im ngniM u Oe gniul bub of allflrMMl 


To give Oe ctitridgw tiie mom length tod thickness, in order 
thit aaj Doaber of rockets vaj be prepared of the same size and 
fbroe, tbej are put into a hollow cylinder of strong wood, called a 
aoold. This mould is sometimes of metal ; but at any rate it 
onght to be made of some Tery hard wood. 

This mould must not be confounded with another piece of wood, 
called the former or roller, around which is rolled the thick paper 
employed to make the cartridge. If the calibre of the mould Im 
divided into 8 equal parts, the diameter of the roller must be equal 
to 5 of these parts. The Tscuity between the roller and the int«» 
rior surface oi the mould, that is to say •( of the calibre of the 
mould, will be exactly filled by the cartridge. 

As rockets are made of different sizes, moulds of different lengths 
and diameters must be pro? ided. The calibre of a cannon is nothing 
else than the diameter of its mouth ; and we here apply the same 
term to the diameter of the aperture of the mould. The size of the 
mould Is measured by its calibre ; but the length of the moulds for 
different rockets does not always bear the same proportion to the 
calibre, the length being diminished as the calibre is increased. 
The length of the mould for small rockets ought to be six times tho 
cslibre, but for rockets of the mean and larger size, it will be sufi* 
dent if the length of the mould be five times or four times the 
calibre of the moulds. 

At the end of this chapter we shall giTe two tables, one of which 
contains the calibres of moulds below a pound bullet ; and the 
other the calibres from a pound to a hundred pounds bullet* 

For making the cartridges, large stiff paper is employed. This 
paper is wrapped round the roller, and then cemented by means of 
common paste. The thickness of the paper when rolled up in this 
isanner, ought to be about one-eighth and a half of the calibre of the 
mould, according to the proportion giren to the diameter of the 
roller. Bnt if the diameter of the roller be made equal to | the 
calibre of ihm mould, the thickness of the cartridge must be a twelflh 
and a half of (hat calibre. 

When tiie fMrtridge is formed, the roller is drawn out, by tunu 
lug it round, until it is distant from the edge of the cartridge the 
length of Its diameter. A piece of cord is then made to pass twice 
round the cartridge at the extremity of the roller. And into the 
vacuity left in the eartridge, another roller is Introduced, so as to 
letve some space between the two. Ope epil of thf pack-thread 


must be fastened to some thing fixed, end tlie other to a stick con* 
Teyed between the legs, and placed in such a manner, as to be 
behind the person who choaks the cartridge. The cord is then to 
be stretched by retiring backwards, and the cartridge must be 
pinched until there remains onlj an aperture capable of admitting 
the piercer. The cord employed for pinching it Is then remoted, 
and its place is supplied bj a piece of pack.thread, which most be 
drawn rerj tight, passing it several times round the cartridge, 
after which it is secared by means of running knots made one abore 
the other. 

Besides the roller, a rod is used, which being employed to knid the 
cartridge, must be somewhat smaller than the roller, in order that 
it may be easily introduced into the cartridge. The red Is pierced 
lengthwise, to a sufficient depth to receive the piercer, which must 
enter into the mould, and unite with it exactly at i<s lower part. 
The piercer, which decreases in size, is introduced into the car. 
tridge through the part where it has been choaked, and serres to 
preserve a cavity within It. Its length, besides the nipple or but* 
ton, must be equal to about two.thirds that of the mould. Lastlj, 
if the thickness of the base be a fourth part of the calibre of the 
mould, the point must be made equal to a sixth of the calibre. 

It if evident that there must be at least three rods, pierced in 
proportion to the diminution of the piercer. In order that the 
powder which Is rammed in by means of a mallet, may be uniformly 
peeked throughout the whole length of the rocket. It may be 
easily percebed also, that these rods ought to be made of some very 
luird wood, to resist the strokes of the mallet. 

In loading rockets, It is more convenient not to employ a piercer. 
When loaded on a nipple, without a piercer^ by means of one massy 
lod, they are pierced with a bit and a piercer fitted into the end 
of a lilt-brace. Care however must be taken to make this hole 
inlted to the proportion assigned for the diminution of the piercer. 
That if to lay, the extremity of the hole at the choaked part of the 
cartridge, ought to be about a fourth of the calibre of the mould ; 
and the extremity of the hole which is in the inside for about two- 
Alrds of the length of the rocket oogbt to be a sixth of the calibre. 
This hole mnst pass directly through the middle of the rocket In 
short, experience and Ingennitj will suggest what is most conve* 
Blent, and in what manner the metiiod of loadbg rbcketsi which w^ 
Anil kre eiplain^ ma^ be TiHe4t 

•»MlcaTC. fil5 

Ailtr At dtff rldg« b pliotd la the movU^ po«r gndnall j into it 
the pre pa wd composition ; taliiog care to poor only two spoon* 
fols tt n time, and to ram it immediately down witli the rod, strik. 
Iif it in a perpendicnlar direction with a maliet of a proper size, 
and giving an equal number of strokes, for example, 3 or 4, each 
time that a new quantity of the composition is poured in. 

l¥hen die cartridge u about half filled, separate with a bodkin 
iht half of the folds of the paper which remains, and having turned 
Ikem back on the composition, press them down with the rod and a 
few stibkes of tlie mallet, in order to compress the paper on the 

Then pierce three or four holes in the folded paper, by means of 
4 piercer, which most be made to penetrate to the composition of 
the rocket. These holes serre to form a communication between 
the body of the rocket and the vacuity at the extremity of the car* 
fridge, or that part which has been l^ft empty. 

In small rockets this vacuity is filled with granulated powder, 
which serves to let them off : they are then covered with paper, and 
pinched in the same manner as at the other extremity. But in 
other rockets, the pot containing stars, serpents, and ninnlng 
rockets is adapted to it, as will be shewn hereafter. 

It may be sufficient however to make, with a bit or piercer, only 
one hole, which must be neither too large nor too small, such as a 
fourth part of the diameter of the rocket, to set fire to the powder, 
taking care that this hole be as straight as possible, and exactly in 
the middle of the composition. A little of the composition of the 
rocket must be put into these holes, that the fire may not fail to be 
commnnicated to it. 

It now remains to fix the rocket to its rod, which is done in the 
following manner. "When the rocket has been constructed as 
above described, make flut to it a rod of light wood, such as fir or 
willow, broad and flat at the end next the rocket, and decreasing to. 
wards the other. It must be as straight and free from knots as 
possible, and ought to be dressed, if necessary,, with a plane. Its 
length aud weight must be proportioned to the rocket ; that is to 
say, it ought to be six, seven, or eight feet long« so as to remain in 
equilibrium with it, when suspended on the finger, within an inch 
or an inch and a half of the neciu Before it is fired, pbice it with 
the neck downwards, and let it rest on two nails, in a direction 
perpendicular to the horixon. To make it aiciiid itraighter and to 


216 ^f BOcseT«» 

a gveftMr bdght, adapt t» ill s««aiit a poioted cq^ or top, mtda of 
common paper, whick wQl Mr? a to facUiUte its paiaage tbrougk 
the air. 

These rockets, in general, are made in a more complex manner, 
sereral other things being added to them to render them more 
agreeable, such for example as a petard, which is a box of tio*plate, 
filled with fine gunpowder, placed on tike summit. The petard is 
deposited on the composition, at the end where it has been .filled; 
and the remaining paper of the cartridge is folded down OTer it to 
keep it firpk The petard produces its eifoct when the rocket is in 
the air and the composition is consumed. 

Stars, golden rain, serpents, satidssons, and scTeral other 
amusing things, the composition of which we shall explain here. 
after) are also added to them. This is done bj adjusting to the 
head of the rockt^t, an empty pot or cartridge, much larger than 
the rocket, in order that it may contain serpents, stars, and rarions 
Other appendages, to render it more beautifuL 

Rockets may be made to rise into the air without rods. For this 
purpose four wings must be atbtoked to them in the form of a cross, 
and similar to those seen on arrows or darts. In length, these 
wings must be equal to two-thirds that of the rocket ; their breadth 
towards the bottom should be half their length, and their thickness 
ought to be equal to that of a card. 

But (his method of making rockets ascend is less certain , and 
more incouTenient than that where a rod is used ; and for this rea- 
son it is rarely employed. 

We shall now skew the method of finding the diameters or calibre 
of rockets, according to their weight ; but we must first obserfo 
that a pound rocket, is that just capable of admitting a leaden bullet 
of a pooad weight, and so of the rest. The calibre for the different 
dtes may be found by the two following tables, one of which is 
calcnlaiid for rockets of a pound weight and below ; and the other 
for those from a pound weight to 60 pounds. 

II- . '■ .1 


I. TSiUf 1/ A« tolibre ^momU$ tf a pound weight and Mom, 


Lines. ^ 
































The use of this table will be understood merely by inspection ; 
for it is eTident that a rocket of 12 ounces ought to be 17 lines in 
diameter ; one of 8 ounces, 15 lines ; one of 10 drams, 6\ lines ; 
and so of the rest. 

On the other hand, if the diameter of the rockpt be giTen, it will 
be easy to find the weight of the ball corresponding to that calibre. 
For example, if the diameter be 13 lines, it will be immediately 
seen, by looking for that number in the column of lines, that it cor- 
responds to a ball of 5 ounces. 

IL Tabic of the calibre of moulds from 1 to bO pounds ball. 












126 t 




























































Pounds. Calibre, 












The use of the second table is as follows : If the weight of the 
ball be gi? en^ which we shall suppose to be 24 pounds, seek for 

tl9 coifPOfitTioir or bockbts.' 

that mabar la tbt colomn of pMod*, tod oppottto fe U, 

Goloinn of calibrei, will be round the namber 388. Then 
100 is to ig|, w i> S88 to ■ fonitb tern, whid will 
namber of line* of tfaa calibre required ; or maltipl^ tho n 
foand, that is 288, b7 1 1)|, and from the product 56'IB, nt 
two lait figures : the required calibra tberefore will M A0*1( 
or 4 inches 8 linos. 

Oo tbe other band, the calibre being given in liaei, Ow va 
Am ball mty be foond with eqnat ease : ir the calibre, for a 
be S8 lines, say as |D{ is to 28, so is 100 to a fourth Ink, 
will be 143*5, or nearly 144. Bat in the above table, oppc 
144, io tbe second column, will be found the number S In tbi 
which ihews that a rocket, the diameter or calibre of lAkl 
IbtM) Is Brocket of ft 9 pounds ball. . . 


J. HE composition of tbe powder for rockets most bo dW 
Recording to the different ^lei ; as that proper for small m 
•wonld be too itrong for Urge ones. This Is a fact respoetlm ' 

COMMtmOir Of EOCKBTC. - 819 

Vw m rocket ofjbur mmcet. 

To firar pounds of gunpowder, add a pound 'of saltpetre, and 
four ounces of charcoal t jou maj add also, if jou choose, half an 
ounce of sulphur ; or to one pound two ounces and a half of gun. 
powder^ add four ounces of saltpetre, and two ounces of charcoal ; 
or to a pound of powder, add four ounces of saltpetre, and ona 
ounce of charcoal ; or to serenteen ounces of gunpowder, add four 
ounces of saltpetre, and the same quantity of charcoal ; or to three 
ounces and a half of gunpowder, add ten ounces of saltpetre, and 
three ounces and a half of charcoal. But the composition will be 
strongest, if to ten ounces of gunpowder, you add three ounces and 
a half of saltpetre, and three ounces of charcoal. 

For rocket i of Jive or iix ounces ^ 

To two pounds five ounces of gunpowder, add half a poond of 
saltpetre, two ounces of sulphur, six ounces of charcoal, and two 
ounces of iron filings. 

For rockets of seven or eight ounces. 

To serenteen ounces of gunpowder^ add four ounces of saltpetre 
imd three ounces of sulphur. 

For rockets of from eight to ten ounces. 

To two pounds and fire ounces of gunpowder, add half a pound 
of saltpetre, two ounces of sulphur, seven ounces of charcoal, and 
three ounces of iron filings. 

For rockets of from ten to twelve ounces. 

To seventeen ounces of gunpowder, add four ounces of saltpetre^ 
three ounees and a half of sulphur, and one ounce of charcoal. 

For rockets of from fourteen toff teen ounces. 

To two pounds four ounces of gunpowder, add nine ounces of 
saltpetre, three ounces of sulphur, fiye ounces of charcoal^ and threo 
ounces of iron filings. 

For rockets of one pound. 

To one pound of gunpowder^ add one ounce of sulphur^ and 
three ounces of chareod. 


lot a ratkti o/ two pound*. 
To OBC pound four oudom of giuipowder, add toe oa 
Nltpctrt, one oance of inlphnr, time ounce) of clMrw*l» K 
OBBGcs (tf iron Alingi. 

For a rocket of three poundt. 

To OirQroancei of ikltpetre, edd seren auncea«iil*. 
MlfkaTf and eteren ODDceG of charcoal. 

Ar rocketi o/ /our, fioe, ux, or $ev«n potatA,'' 

. To tyrty-o— ponndi of tellpcfae, add four poundtalri K 
nlpbvr, isd ten pooadi of charcoal. .>'• 

For roeketi of eight, nine, or ten pound: " 
T« right pOBids of nltpetra, add ooe pound four o«NW 
phor, and two pound* twdTO ouncet of charcoal. ' ■ - ■ 

We (hall here obterre, that then IngredieDtamuitboMdh] 
•d wparatety^ and sifted ; they are then to be weig^e^ Md 
together for the purpose of loading the cartrldgei, #lkk oi 
bekaptreadyinthoinoiildi. TbacartridgefmHtbeaiA>«| 
paper, doubled, and cemented bjr meami of atrong pNl^»| 
Im floor and very pure water. 

0/ Matches. 

r. . '. v' • iij*^"^ '■ *' ' "t*!- 1 





As this caase it nearly the same as that which produces recoil la 
f re-arms, it is best explained by illustrating the latter. 

When the powder is suddenly inflamed in the chamber, or at the 
bottom of the barrel, it necessarily exercises an action two ways at 
the same time ; that is to say, against the breech of the piece, and 
against the bullet or wadding, which is placed aboTe it. Besides 
this, it acts also against the sides of the chamber which it occupies ; 
and as they oppose a resistance almost insurmountable, the whole 
effort of the elastic fluid, produced by the inflammation, is exerted 
in the two directions aboTe mentioned. But the resistance opposed 
by the bvUet^ being much less than that opposed by the mass of the 
barrel or cannon, the bullet is forced out with great Telocity. It is 
Impossible, howerer, that the body of the piece itself should not ex* 
perience a movement backwards ; for if a spring is suddenly let 
Ipose, between two moveable obstacles, it will impel them both, 
and communicate to them Telocities in the inverse ratio of their 
masses ; the piece therefore must acquire a velocity backwards 
nearly in the inverse ratio of its mass to that of the bnllet. We 
make use of the term nearly, because there are various clrcum* 
stances wliich ^ve to this ratio certain modifications ; bnt it is 
always true that the body of the piece is driven backwards, and 
Oat if it weighs with its carriage, a thousand times more than 
the buUet, it acquires a velocity, which is a thousand times less, 
and which is soon annihilated by the friction of the wheels against 
the ground, ftc. 

The cause of the ascent of the rocket is nearly the same. At the 
moment when the powder begins to inflame, its expansion produces 
a torrent of elastic fluid, which acts in every direction ; that is, 
against the air which opposes its escape from the eartridga, and 
against the upper part of the rocket ; bnt the resistance of the air 
b more considarable than the weight of tha roeket^ m account of 

£fl2 CUINB8S AtD liEtLtlAHT PIRB« 

tlie eitfeme npiditj with whidi the elastic field issaes through thtf 
neck of the rocket to throw itielf downwardly and therefore the 
rocket ascends by the ezoesi of tiie ode of these forces oyer the 


This however wdnld not be the case, unless the rocket were 
pierced to a certain deptlu A suflkient quantity of elastic fluid 
would not be produced ; for the composition wonid inflame only in 
circular coats of a diameter equal to that of the rocket | and expe« 
rience shews that this is not sufficient. Recourse then is had Co 
the Teiy ingenious idea of piercing the rocket with a conical hole, 
which makes the composition burn in conical strata, which have 
much greater surface, and therefore produce a much greater quan« 
titj of bflamed matter and fluid. This expedient was certaiulj 
not the work of a moment 


UltlLilANt FIRB AND CHINB8B tlkt. 

As iion flings, #heri thfbwn iflto the fire, Inflame and emit a 
strong light, thb property, discovered no doubt by chance, gave 
rise to the Idea of rendering the fire of fockets much more brillianti 
than when gunpowder, or the substances of which it is composed, 
are alone enploTed. Nothing is necessarj but to take Iron filings, 
verjr clean and free from mst, and to mix them with the compost. 
lion of the locket. It most however be observed, that rockets of 
tUi kind will not keep longer than a week ; because the moisture 
contracted bjr the saltpetre rusts the iron-filings, and destroys the 
efiect thej are intended to produce. 

But the Chinese hafe long been in possession of a method of ren« 
Bering this fiie mnch more brilliant and variegated in its colours ; 
and we are indebted to father d'lncnrville, a Jesuit, for having made 
it known. It oonsisis In the use of a verjr simple ingredient; 
nameljy cast iron rednoed to a powder more or less fine; the 
Chinese gave it a name^ wUch Is equlfilent to that of iron sand. 

To prepare this sand, take an oM Iron pot, and bavfaig broken H 
to ptecet on an anvil^ pulverise the fragments till the grains are not 


wmtUMMnr mkb* 

hrstr ttu ndhk Mcd : tken lUlt them tkfoogh six gTMiiuit«d 
sieti% to Mpftmte the diier»BC simei, and preterre theae liz dif« 
ferenC kioda in a Tery dry place, to secore them from rnt, wliicb 
woaid render this sand absolutely unfit for the proposed end. We 
moit here remark, that the grains which pass through the qlosest 
riere, are called sand of the first order; those which pass through 
the next in size, sand of the second order ; and so on. 

This sand, when it inflames, emits a light exceedingly yiTid. It 
if Tery surprising to see fragments of this matter no bigger than a 
poppy seed, form all of a sudden luminous flowers or stars, 13 and 
15 lines in diameter. These flowers are also of diflerent forms, 
according to that of the inflamed grain, and eren of diflerent colours 
according to the matters with which the grains are mixed. Bat 
rockets into which this composition enters, cannot be long pre. 
aenre^^ as those which contain the finest sand will not keep longer 
than eight days, and those which contain the coarsest, fifteen. The 
following tables exhibit the proportions of the different ingredkntl 
for rockets of from 12 to 36 pounds. 

For red Chinese fire. 






1st order. 

oz% dr. 

13 to 15 
18 to 21 
%% to 36 






7 8 


For nhiie Chinese fire. 

CaUbres. iSaltpetre. 


13 to 15 
18 to 91 
34 to 3fl 













3d order. 

ox. dr. 



When these materials hare been weighed, the saltpetre and char* 
coal most be three times sifted through a hair siere, in order that 
ikey may be 'well mixed : the iron sand is then to be moi sfened with 
food brandy, to make the sulphur adhere, aad they most b^. 

M4 FasMiTOBB or lOCItlTt. 

tbonnghlx laMrporatod. The Mod thm mlpbarad mm bo sprMd 
orcr the mizliire of laltpelrc ud charcod, and tkc whale nust be 
bIsmI t<^tlier bj tpreadiag it orer % table villi a ipitNk. 


T!bb upper pert of rockeb b genvrally fnrnlihed witt tome 
GompoittioD, which takinj^ 6re nfaen It hai reached to lb greate>t 
height, emits a roniiderab1« blaze, or produce) a loud report, and 
very often both these together. Of thi> kind are MaciiMns, 
marroona, itarn, ihowen of fire, &c. 

To make room for thii artifice, the rocket b crowDcd wllfc a part 
of a grestpr diainetpr, called the pot. The method of BaklDg tkta 
pot, and connecting it with ihe body of the rocket, is ai follows. 

The mould for forming the pot, though of one piece, msat conslit 
of two CTHndrlc parts of different diameters. That tm wlfok tte 
pot if rolled up, mast be three diameters of the rockcfi In langtli, 
and its diameter must be three fourths that of the nwkrt ; (be 
length of the other ought to be equal to two of these diamotoiyand 
its diameter to | that of the tocket. I 

PX'->%* 'vB^F^i^i^r^r^^ >^ 

pKpttfi Wkmf 1111} iiligfcitiphw»^ >ndft6potwiitb»coffwa 
wtthfi^i^ eMNKttd te Ito «igct : if ft pointed MMmlt or ctp ht 
then added to it, tiie rocket wUi then be retdj for use. 

We ;iliBli now. gifo in eoebinit of the different artifices with 
which such rockets «re looded. 


Of Serpenii* 

SnptlTTS Mt% small llyhig rockets, without rods, which instead 
ofrisingiaaperpendicatar direction^ meant obllqaely, and fall back 
^n a sig.sag form without ascending to a great height. The com- 
position of them is nearly the same as that of rockets ; and there* 
fore nothing more is necesSdry than to determine the proportion 
and oonstmction of the cartridge, which is as follows. 

The length of the cartridgemay he about 4 inches; it must be rolled 
ronad a stick somewhat larger U»n the barrel of a goose quill, and 
filer being ehoaked at one of its ends, fill it with tlie composition n 
little beyond its middle, and then pinch it so as to leaTe a small aper* 
turn. The remainder must be filled With grained powder, which 
wiH make a report when it bursts. Lastly, choak the cartridge 
antirely towards the extremity ; and at the other extremity plac^ a 
train of moist powder, to which, if fire be applied, it will be com» 
asuaieated to the composition, and cause the whole to rise in tho 
air. The serpent, as it falls will make seTeral tarlie in atig-Mg 
direction, till the fire is communicated to the grained powder ; OA 
which it will burst with a loud iteport before it fidls to the grouild. 
If the serpent be not ehoaked towards the middle, instead of' 
moTiag In a iig*iag dhreetion, it will ascend and descend with an 
mndnlatinf motion, and then burst as befolre. 

The cartridges of serpents are generally made with playing cards. 
These cards are rolled round a rod of iron or hard wood, a little 
larger, as already said, than the barrel of a goose quill. To con. 
fine the card, a piece of strong paper is cemented over it* 

The length of the mould most be proportioned to th|it of the 
cards employed, and the piercer of the nipple ipust be tiiree or 
fbur lines In leli(tili. The** serpenfil dfe loadhd with brnilM pow. 
der, mixed Mf ifMi a tery •nail qMbtltjr of ChtMoAl. To In. 
tirodtte* Die ^ni^Mithiirlailo tlm durht^, A qid^ €at Into the 
Toiy TX. a 

^-MS VABK(MKV^«i«AttCltB01ll. 

■MM of « mmU rod, to wUsh • h m ■Mi»l lww iiii«Wli i '« anlt 
IMltet. . «■ ■ -f l-:i-^ f. . ■ ,■ ■ Bl-feti:.:!. .j 

put, yon ma; introduca Into It a vatA-Mad, Mid ^aMf^MNMlMMt 

powder abore it to 6tl op the reaulBder. Aboro thu pander place 

a ■mall pellet of cbewed paper, wd tbeb rhoak the attir end of 

the cartridge. If yon are desironi of making larger M 

raent two playing cards together; and, tiiat they imjIi 

milk MOM «ua^ DMUtaa tben a Utile with water. 

ii^i of a pM^ iMda.of broiwd powder, and a ■ 

water* . f iM-a 


Marhooms are small cubical boxes, filled with a compoilCon 
proper fur making then bnrst, and may be constructed with great 

Cut a piece of pastebnrd, according to the tnethod taught In 
geometry to form (lie cube; join these aquarea at the edges, leoviog 
only one to be cemented, and Gil the cavity of the cube with pained 
powder) then cement stroag paper in various directions over thi* 
body, and wrap round It two rows of pack-thread, dipped io strong 
glue ; then make a hole in one of the corners, and introdnoe into 

Wte feiii h tte iUM aamer as m rocket; and a pdlet of pif)^ fi 
drifvn Mir Aa apiHai>'#lifch^ Mea left,' hi oi^ to fill it op. 
Thef are tWa chaffed #ltiigtaiiBedpowdar, abova whieh ii placed 
a ball of paper gaatif preeMd dbwa^ to prevent the jwwder froat 
kdog braiiHl; tke eecond end 6f the iaadiion beiag afterwards 
^^oaked) the edges are pared on both sides, aod the whole is coa 
Tared with sereral tarns of pack*thread, dipped in strong glne^ and 
then left to dry* 

Wlien yon are desirous of diarging them, pierce a hole in on6 ot 
tta ends | and apply a auUchi in the saose amnner as to aurreons^ 

akcTioH ivrf 


Stabs are sandl globes of a composition which emits a brilliant 
Haht^ thit may be compared to the light of the stars in the hear ens^ 
Tliese balls are not larger than a ovtmeg or mnsket ballet, and 
when put into the rockuts mast be wrapped up in tow, prepared 
for that purpose. The composition of these stars is as follows. 

To a pound of fine gunpowder well pnlTerised, add four poanda 
of saltpetre, ahd two pounds of sulphur. When these ingiedieflts 
are thoroughly incorporated, ^ke about the size of a nutmeg of 
this mixture, and baring wrapt it up in a piece of linen rag, or of 
paper, form it into a ball ; then tie it closely round with a paob 
thread, and pierce a hole through the middle of it, sufficiently Intg/b 
to receive a piece of prepared tow, which will serve as a match. 
This star, when lighted, will exhibit a most beautiful appeatance | 
besides tiie fire, as it issues from the two ends of the hole in tho 
middle, wiU extend to a greater distance^ and make It appear much 

If you a^ desirous to employ a moist composition In the form 
of a paste, instead of a dry one, it will not be necessary to wrap 
up the star in any thing but prepared tow ; because, when made of 
such paste, tt can retain its spherical figure. 1 here will be no need 
also of piefdng a hole in it, to receive the match ; because, when 
newly made, add consequently moist, it may be rolled in puira* 
rised gunpowder, which will adhere to it. This powder, when 
kindled, will serve as a match, ami inflame the compositipn of tho 
Star, which in dslUng will form itself into tears. 

^-^t ""'-^ — Hrg ttT\tUninStMt. 

Mis IbrM OBMM of Mhritn, «kh oae sum of wOpkat, aoA 
tm dnai of p ri rwfaii gmpowdtr ; or nil fsw iiiiiioi oJF nl- 
phir, with Ob MM qoaUty of MltiNtn, nd cl^t owM of ^I. 
MHMd gnnpowdn-. Whta tkiM wUorWa kTo bM»«dltlft«d, 
lnyiotlB tWB wkk braadr, I* wfeM s iM» gam im boan db. 
solTsd, uid than make ap tfca atar In tha fallawing manir. 

Take a rockat moild, viglit or nba Itaaa ia diatii8lar,-Mi'Mnb 
dMohtokaalpiile, the plaroer 9t uMA ia of a nUbm ib« 
tiiraa^oiit, and aqaal In kagth to tbe baiglit of the aoald. Pat 
Into tUa moald % cartridge, aad by maaaa of a piercad rod load it 
with one of tha pneediof comporitloiia ; whan loadadf tika it from 
tbamonld* without ranoTing the nipple, the |iTiiii ii iif ■hliTipaiari 
thraogh tlie conrpoiitton, nd then cat tlie cartridge* qvlla mnd 
Into plaoaa of tbe tUekneta of three or foar Hnei. Ite cntridga 
being thua eut, draw out the piercer gentif , and Hie ptaeat, wUdi 
raMMblo the nni empl^ad for plaTiog at drafU, piorcad ttnmgk 
die middle, will be atari, wUch mat be filed on ■ wAh thnad, 
irhkh, If 7*9 (Aooae, u»f ba covered with tow. 

To give more hriiliaiicrf to atara of tUa kind, a eutMgi dykfcar' 
dWD tha abora dtaHniloiM, and tUoMr Hian that of a ^rtlfflidnt 
of the aame itie, majr be employed ; bnt, before It b cat hlo 
pleaea, fin or lix kdea mut bo pierced in the circnaAvaaM flf 
each piece to be cat. When tha cartridge b cut, aad flit itaaai 
hare been filled, cement otcf the composition small bHiofcard) 

ptstoyttirtwilbtnoMtdtotfeit NoCUngirfllbeiMeefiarjis 
tbat am^ hcA to taaTt • little wmn of tkt papor hollow at the end 
of the noeistoii wUA bee been pierced, for the purpose of intro* 
doeiiig the compoeitbn ; and to place In the Tacnitj, towarde the 
aeck of the mbi iaeoat aope grahied powder^ which wift coaauaii. 
flile*fre to the saaciiiOB when the compoiition li cootaned* 

% As there are 1000 stars which in the end become petaidiy 
others ma/ be made, which shall conclude with beoomfaif serpents* 
Bnt this maj be so cosily cooceifed and carried into execBtton, that 
it wonid be losing tine to enlaige further on the snl^ect. We sha9 
oidjr obsefffCy that these sters are not in nse^ becanse it is diacntt 
fsr a rocket to car rj them to a considerable height in the afar: the/ 
dfaninish the effict of the rocket or sandssoo^ and moch tine b ro« 
4)riffedlo aake theas. 

aSCTlON ▼• 

8h9W9r 0/ FiM. 

To form a shower of fre, monld small pqier cartri^gef « en 
Iron rod, two lines and a half in diametsfy and make them two 
Inches and a half in length. Thcj most not be cboaked, as it witt 
be safficient to twist the end of the cartridge, and ha? ing pvt tto 
rod into it to beat it, in order to moke it assume its form. When 
the cartridges are filled, which is done bjr immersing Asm in the 
oempoiition, fold down the other end, and tlieo appljr asatA 
The fnmitaie will fill tiie air with an undulating fii%. The Mlow* 
ihg are some of the composidons proper for stars of this kiod» 

Chinese /r^.— PulTerlsed gunpowder one ponnd| snipbar ttro 
OHces, iron sand of the first order five ounces, 

.^liicleiif ^re.«<«PulTerised gunpowder one pound, Aarcoal two 

JBHUtef^^,— Puhrerieed gunpowder one pounds Iron BHap 
four ounces. 

The CUnese firo is oeitdBi^ Oe moil beautif uL 




0/ Sfm-ki. 

SrAtBi ilfkr from itan ool/ in their litm tnS daratfart f« 
fn made smaller than itan ; and an connmed iOoiier. Tbi 
iMde in the rollowing raanner. 

Having put into an earthen venel an ounce of pnlffcHlld 
powder, two onneei of polTeriied laltpetre, one onnsolBC'' 
niltpetre, and four onnces of camphor rrdoced to a lort ■T'l 
poor »nt tbii mlifiire lome gnm-vatrr, or brandj In «Udl 
•diagantt or gnm.anibic hu been dluelred, till the etfkpa 
■cqnlre the couifatenco of a thick loifp. Then lake abn 
which hy bfwi boiled in brandj, oj in Tinegat, or tjm il 
Mtrc, and then dri^ and unrarFlled, and throw ipto fhf n: 
pich a qoantlt]' of it u li fnScieot tQ fbiorb {t enttrelj, I 
fan to itir it well. 

Form thii matter into imaU.bklU qc glohei of the ii«o af a 
and having dried them la the ivn or the abade, beeprUUc 
with puhrerlied gunpowder. In ordfr tluf thev maj tlM Bfi 

A»ot\et Met\ad of making Sparh. 

Take the saw.dust o{ any kind of wood that burns readily, 
a> &r, eldcr-lree, poplar, laurel. Sic. and boil il in uattr in 

ihwir •! ^ wMA ii^rilt* gtMten ndo. Th« Batiiod of con. 
•traediig thM !• M followi* 

FQI the barrels of tome goose qoills with the composition of flj* 
iif <#ocketa| ftod plaoe vpoo the mouth of each a little moist gun. 
fcwder, both to keep !■ the oompositioo, and to ser? e as a match. 
If a Jjiag^rocket be then loaded with these qaills, they will pro. 
Asee^ at the eod^ a verj agreeable shower of fire^ which on account 
Hf ilabeaatj has been called golden rain. 




{)snsRAL Tery amusing and ingenious works are made by mean 
of simple rockets, of which it Is necejnary that ijre should here giie 
the reader some idea. 


OJ Couraniinif or Rockeii which Jty along a Rope. 

AcowMOR rocket, which however ought not to be Tery larfa, 
may be made to run along an eitended rope. For this purposoi 
affif to the pocket ao empty cartridge, and introduce into it the 
rope which is .to carry it ; placing the head of the rocket towards 
that side on which yon intend It to more : if you then set fire to the 
rocket, adju9ted in this manner, it will run along the rope without 
stopping, till the matter it contains is entirely exhausted. 

If yon are desirous that the rocket should moTe In a retrograde 
direction ; first fill oa^ half of it with the composition, and corer it 
with a smaii round piece of wood, to serre as a partition between it 
and that put into the other lyalf ; thep make a hole below this par. 
tition, so as to correspond with a small canal filled with bruised 
powder, and terminating at the other end of the rocket : by these 
ineans the fire, when It ceases in the first half of the rocket, will be 
Rioatttd thr^mk^tko hole into tlM small caial^ wUch wll 


rock«t«iU voT« bukwai4>, MdntMvtktlwptawffamwIM 

ttMt.Wt. r I .. .. , ■ ,1, ■ . 

. Two rocfaliolayil ■!», .h— i. tagitkw L ifji mrnmtt > pUot 
irf itrang pa^fttiMd, Md 4)i|Mipd ■■ Mck « MUMT *a tte kM4 
(tf tlw M* >teU b* oppwitt t* Ike MMk flC Aa aOw, ttal wktn tlw 
fit* hti DQOtu*^ tin c**pMilioa U tiu^tse, It v^ b* eomnwib 
ntHl totbuin thaetlierf u4 •Mij* holhorikni toMOMln RMb 
trogradfl direction, may mlso be adJDBtvd t« the rapt by Beaai of » 
piece of bollov reed. Bot to preTent the fire of the lonMr frem 
bel^ coBwmnJCTted to the ucawi toe mmb, they osght Is be co- 
vend iritli oCdoth, or to be wrapped ip hi paper. 

liacMiit of diil UkI tn geMntUj enpk^d kr wttting fire to 
Tarioni other piecei .ifkeo l«r(e ftrerorbi Ue exhibited; and to 
reader them mora agreeable, thejr are made In the fonn of difiereat 
aninall, such as lerpenti, dragonfl, &&; on wfakh acconst tbaj 
•re caU^jfyi^ dragotu, TbeK ing09» v« Tnty a^ HiiBfe aipe, 
<^1j wMo fiJlM.with wioiis coippotUjtoaii ntck^i i^l^ rata, 
long hair, &c. They might be made to dlscfui^ Hrpenti froiy 
&«r moMtki, whicb would produce a rery pleaiiog efled^ aad pre 
aem« greater raiemblaiic^ to ■drfP'*- 

JbwM* vUek jte «A»tr a Rppe^ md tun nmitd t tJienmt 

WoTiiisc Is easier than to give to a rocket of this kind a rotary 
motion around (he rope aloo^ which it advances; it will be suffi. 
dent for this purpose, to tie it to another rocket, placed in a (rans- 
verBal direction. But the aperture of thp taUer, instead of being 
at the bottom, ought to be in the »de, near one of the ends. If 
both rockets be fired at (he same time, the latter will make the 
other revoire aroand the rope, while it adraocei along it. 

' - ■■ titdfio* tti.'''' "■"'■'• 

. t TMOflB fiis nd MMlor MlMlMdli*B* «f ft my <^pMito«aiMo» 

i«ce ftilr ilhtt tf>Mi la tfie w«l^i but m Hmj trt Amii Mow the 
WBler, tkepleiBare of seeing them it lost ; for this reosoii, when it 
is reqatred to caose rockets to bam u tbey flost on tbo water, it 
will be necessarj to mtke some change in tiie proportions of the 
Moulds, and the materials of which thej are composed. 
• Id regard to tlie mould, it may be e^t or nine inches in length, 
and an inch in diameter : the former, on which the cartridge is 
rolled up^ may be nine lines in thickness, and the rod for loading 
the cartridge must as usnal be somewhat less. For loading the 
cartridge, there is no need for a piercer with a nipple. 

The composition may be made in two ways ; for if it be required 
that the rocket, while borning on the water, should appear as 
bright as a candle, it must be composed of three materials mixed 
together, tis. three ounces of puherisedanci sifted gunpowder, one 
povnd of saltpetre, and eight ounces of sulphur. Bnt if you are 
desirous that it should appear on the water with a beautiful tail, the 
composition roiiiit consist of eight ounces of gunpowder pnlrerised 
and sifted, one ponrd of saltpetre, eight ounces of pounded and 
sifted sulphur, and two ounces of charcoal. 

When the composition has been prepared according to these pro. 
portions, and the rocket has been filled in the manner abore de. 
scribed, apply a saucisson to the end of it ; and haying coyered the 
rocket with wax, black pitch, resin, or any other substance ca« 
pable of prey en ting the n^per from being spoiled in the water, 
attach to it a small rod of white willow, about two feet in length, 
tiMt the rocket may conreniently float. 

If it be required that these rockets should plunge down, and 
again rise up ; a certain quantity of pulrerised gunpowder, with- 
out any mixture, must be introduced into them, at certain dis. 
tances, such for example, as two, three, or four lines, according 
to the size of the cartridge. 


1* Small rockets of this kind may be made, without changing the 
mould or composition, in seyeral different ways, which, for the 
sake of brevity, we are obliged to omit. Such of our readers as 
are desirous of further information on this subject, may consult 
those authors who have written expressly on pyrotechoy, some of 
whom we shall mentioB at the end of thb book. 

t. It is possiUo also to make a rodcet wUcb, after it his burni 

f9f ItOCKBTS TO EWdlfftliT iAOU|l£S ZN THB Alt, 

aftac tlieypttdi fire ihiill «i6tii4 falto (he mir. This nay be done 
Vy dividing ilM rocket into two pertSy by meane of a round pieoe 
of woody JpaYiog »ho)e ip the ■iddle. 3|ho vpf^r part must bo 
filled with th.e UMial.conpoiitioii of jocketiy and the lower with 
starti whic)^ VW^t. hp fai^ied yjth gnMn«d apd pidTeri^ed gun* 
pow^^r, iiQ* 

Sf A rpc^ which takes fire in the water^ andy after buriung 
there half the time pf its ducatioo, mounta into the air wHh great 
Telocity, may he constructed ia the loUowiag manner. 

Take a fly log rocket, furnished with its wpd^ and by means of f 
little glue ijtta^h it. to a wat^ rocket, but only at the middley la 
such a laaanery that the latter shaU haye its neck uppermost, and 
the other its oeok downward. Adjust to their eatreasity a saMdl 
tube, to communicate the fire from the one end to the other, and 
cover both with ^ cof^ipg of pitch, wu^, ^c^ th^ f^J WX ^^ ^ 
ifap^ged by the water. 

Then attach to the flying rocket, after it has-been thus cemented 
to the aquatic one, a rod of the kind described in the second ar^^ 
ticle } aad suspend a piece of pack-thread, to support a musket 
boUei mode f^t to the rod by means of a needle or bit of iroii 
wire. When these arrangements have been made, set fire to the 
part after the. rocket is in the watery and when the composition Is 
consnaed, the fire will be communicated through the small tube to 
t|ie other rocket : the Utter will then rise and leave tiie other^ 
which will not be able to foUow |t on account of the weig)it f^ 

8BCT10N IV. 

Bjf aif«iif of Roekeity iq repretent ieveraljfuret in iht Air. 

Ir several small rockets be placed upon a large one, their rods 
being filed around the large cartridge, which b usually attached to 
the head of the vooket, to contain what it is destined to carry up 
into the abr; andiClhesosauillrocketsbesetoafire while the kuigt 
one is asoendiogy they will represent^ In a very agreeable amnner^ 
a treoy the trunk of whidi will be the large rocket, and the branches 
the small poes. 

If these small rockets take five when the large one is heif bwi#d 
In thu aiTf they if ill repiesentlk cornel; and»^Jaisotnif ia 


tnUmly iii«rted,' so that its head beeins to point downwards, in 
•uler la fall, they will rppreseut a kind of (it-ry (ouutaifi. 

if the barrels of seieral quills, filled with the composition of 
^ying rockets, as abote described, be placed on a Urge rocket ; 
when ihise quills catch lire, they will represent, to an eye placed 
below them, a beauliful chovrer of fire, or of bait frizzled bair, if Iha 
pye be [)laced on one side. 

If 5e»eral serpents be attached to the rocket with a piece of 
p«ck.thread, by the ends that do not catch fire ; and if the pack, 
tfiread be suffered to hang down two or three iocheR, between 
erery two, (his arrangement will produce a Tarielj- of agri-eahle an4 

J Ktcket w^i^k atcen4t in the Form ofaplertm. 
,. A sTRAiauT rod, aa cxperienM abewa, makai p iock«t MCMnI 
^rpntdicnkrir, waA Id a straiglit Une : it may b* coapared to tits; 
fndder of ft afclp, or the tail of a bird, the effect of which ia to mak* 
t^ TtpitA oi bird turn towkid* that lida to which it ii iacHMAt' 
if, b«Dt rod therefore be titscbrd to a rochat, iti first ^bct ■wSt 
bo to make the rocket incline towarda tb«t aide to which itk butt}i 
mt iti centra of gravity bringing it aRevwaidi into a vertical lita. 
«lioo, the iMult of tbeM two opponteefforU will be tbalOorockeC 
HBl aacead in a sig-iag oi spiral form. In thii cbm indeed* aa It 
tftplacM ■ greater Tolnmo of air, and deacribea a tonger liae, it 
will not aacand lo high, aa if it bad been impelled in a straight dU 
Mction ; bnt, on accomit of the siagnlarity of thii motion, it will 
■radncc an agreesblo alecb 



Wi htm Mthftto i^m oolrofn>eheta,.aiid tWdlAfratklnda 

«|«ioria aiiiefcmaliBflifWrtclad bjr tkaii a -B«t tim« am. 

■t panj otter feiwoika, the nuntti feksC wNcbm. 

tSS ■ wAtrnt m%ommt. 

wUek ve Inbadad to pradM* «ik aAMt fai wUHt^^NI 
atlBiig w iM^g OH a» griMit mA khm, wkMNM 
iMifei, d* th* MM bi tJw Ik. 1 '<!>'» 

-tBCnoH 1. - »•'*■' 

GMti ukteh bmm m tkt WalT. w^^ 
■ TWm gkbM, w in bilb, in mlt h tbiw SUmHk 
■ifenlad, iplttraUd, or (jUndrieal j bat wa iiliilHi<tf| 
— m> >— to tk iplwriw]. c"" 

To OMk* B qihtrical fin ball) coutrnct % hollow iMdH 
of any lin at plauun, and rery round both vlthin ai^ w. 
•0 tliat lu tUduww nay bo aqual to about tho nintk f«t 
diameter. loserf ia the upper part of it a right coDcave ej 
the breadth of which may be equal to tiie fifth part of the diai 
■ad having aa aperture e<]ual to the thlckneis, that ii, to tht 
part of tha diameter. It is through this Hp«rture that the 
ootnmuoicated to the globe, when it has been filled with the 
Gompositiou, through Ihu lower aperture. A petard of 
loade4 with good grained powder, is to be Introduced aUo tl 
Que lower aperture, and to be placed horizootally. 

When this is done, close up the aperture, which is nesrl) 
t« the thickness of the cylindur, by means of a wooden tci 
dipped in warm pitch ; and melt over it snch a quantity < 
that its weight may cause the globe t 

«f Imyy Md 8 poniidi of Mw-dott tyravmsljr bolted in a tol«fioii 
of nitpitre, and dried in the aiiade^ or in the snn. 

Or, to 9 pounds of braised gunpowder, add 12 poundt of salt- 
petre, 6 pounds of sulphur, 4 pounds of iron filings, and 1 pound 
of Greek pitch. 

It is not necessary that this composition should be beaten so fine 
U that intended for rockets : it requires neither to be pulyerised 
nor sifted ; it is sufficient to be well mixed and incorporated. But 
to prevent it from lieeoming too dry, it will be proper to besprinlde 
it with a little oil^ or any other liquid susceptible of inflammation* 


Of Qlobei which leap or roll on the Ground. 

I. Hathio constructed a wooden globe with a cylinder, similar 
10 that aboTe described, and having loaded it with the same com- 
position, introduce into it four petards, or eyen more, loaded with 
good grained gunpowder to their orifices, which must be well stop« 
ped with paper or tow. If a globe, prepared in this manner, be 
fired by means of a match, it will leap about, as it bums, on a 
smooth horiiontal plane, according as the petards are set on firei> 

Ifnstead of placing these petards in the inside, they maybt 
sJBzed to tiie exterior surfiice of the gjlobe ; which they wHl make 
lo toll and leap as they catch fire. They may be applied in any' 
saaancT to the surface of the globe. 

9. A shnllar globe may be made to roll about on a hoiliontal 
plane, with a very rapid motion. Construct two equal hemispheres 
of pasteboard, and adjust in one of them three common rockets 
fined and pierced like flying rockets thathaye no petard: tiieso 
rodtets must not exceed the interior breadth of the hemisphere, 
and ought to be arranged in such a manner, that the head of the 
one shall correspond to tiie tdl of the other. 

The rockets befaig thus arranged, join the two hemlspherts, by 
cementing them together with strong paper, in such a manner that 
they shall not separate, while the g^obe is moring and turning, at 
tiie same time that the rockets produce their effect. To set fire to 
fte first, make a hole In tiie globe opporite to the tail of it, and in. 
troduce into it a match. This match will communicate fre to die 
firstrocket j wiridi, wben consumed, will set fire to the second by^ 
of aaothtr match, and so on to the fsst; so that the globo. 

lfpliMdMia«Moa horisooMpMun, iriU bi lwp(l||^eMitlaW 

It is here to be oJNerred, tbt % few more helM 
tte globe, othcririie it will banL 

The two heodipherpt of puteboard liMj be prtpm^jlatbl M- 
lewing manner : conttrnct ■ verf round globe of eolMlfiwdi and 
cover it with melted wax ; then cerocnt over it MTCn||;^bnad( of 
coane paper, aboat two breadth, ^ling It M«Ni^|||f||(i at 
thkkind, to the thickneH of abont two lioet. Or.«|^|Ug|Ji 
■ttU euior and better, baTing diMolTad, In glne water, MlULki 
palp enplojed b^ the paper makers, coref wHh It ttikMlJUB «/ 
tbe e^be ; then drf it gradukll/ tt a ilow fire, aod ctt H fkn^H 
Id tbe middle ; hy *hldi means jon will have twd tsit§ hemi. 
sphere*. The woodefl gk>b« mnjr be ceiBf lepanted fntflbe pn*te< 
boArd bj meant of heat; for If the whole be applied Jt^)t<f^ro^ 
fire &e *az will diwolre, to that the glotw nu/ be ^ffff^Jlf' 
Ipttccd af melted waz^ loap may be emplo/ed* ,^j -^^, 

SECTION ill. jc^.. 

• Of J?ria! Ghbei, called Bombi. -^ 

These globes uro called aerial, because they are tlirown intd 
the air from a mortar, which is a sboTl thick piece of artillery of a 
targe calibre. 

Though these globes are of irood, and tiaTe a suitable tliicknesi, 
namely, equal fo the twelflh part of tlirtr dinmelfr^, if too mech 

fte hoUfim OMpM •.««Jidclv^ alTMilj mU, Mut bt of wd«d# 
1*116 dnaitr for the powder ,q»ut be pierced obliquely, witko 
tmall fiaiblet ; to tbat the aperture corresponding to the aperture 
of the metal mortal, the fire applied to the latter may be commuoi. 
eated to the powder which If at the bottom of the chamber, irone. 
dbtely below the globe. By these means the globe will catch fire, . 
and make an agreeable noise as it rises into the air ; bnt it woald 
not SQcceed so. well, if any racaity were left between the powder 
and the globe, 

A profile or perpendicular section of such a globe is represented 
by the rightjuigled parallelogram, the breadth of which is nearly 
equal to the height, 'the thickness of the wood, towards the two 
sides, h'eqnal, as aboTO said, to the twelfth part of the diameter of 
the globe; and the thickness of the cover is double the preceding, 
or equal to a sizth part of the diameter. The height of the cham« 
ber, where the match is applied, and which is terminated by a 8emi« 
circle, is equal to the fourth part of the breadth ; and its breadth 
is equal to the sixth part. 

We must here observe that it Is dangerous to put wooden covers 
on aerial balloons or globes ; for these covers may be so heavy, as 
to wound those on whom they htppen to fall. It will be sufficient 
to place turf or hay above the globe, in order that the powder maj 
experience some resistance. 

The globe must be filled with several pieces of cane or conunod. 
reedy tqjomi in length to the interior height of the globe, and charged 
with a slow composition, made of three ounces of pounded gun* 
powder, an ounce of sulphur moistened nith a small quantity of 
petroleum oil, and two ounces of charcoal ; and in order that theae 
reeds or canes may catch fire sooner, and with more facility, they 
must be charged at the lower ends, which rest on the bottom of the 
l^obe, with pulverised gunpowder moistened in the same manner 
with petroleum oil, or well besprinkled with brandy, and then 

The bottom of the globe ought to be covered with a little gun^ 
powder half pulverised and half grained ; which, when set on fire^ 
by means of a match applied to the end of the chamber, will set' 
fire to the lower part of the reed. But care must have been takea 
to fill the chamber with a composition sunilar to that in the reeds^ 

i|r with enotber iloif composMosi made of eight onvces of g/am^ 

t40 ^iti M tuuk 

pcnviMr^ fmir mnMet of id^ptin^ tvo ootef 6t lalplkar, and oM 
OB^ee df duu'coal : the whok iMit be wiB ponodM and mixed. 

Iiiit^ad of reedty the globe iliftf be charged with rannlDg rockets, 
or paper petards, and a qoantitf of fiery itart or sparks nixed with 
polTerlsed gnnpowder, ptaced trtflioiit any order above these pe- 
tards, which must be clioaked at vneqaal belghtiy that they may 
perform their eifoet at dlifereiit times. 

These globes may be coostmoted fai taiioiis oOer waysy wliich 
it woald be tedloos here to enumerate. We sliall only obeenre, 
that when loaded, they must l>e well eorered at the top; they mnst 
be wrapped up in a piece of cloth Apped h glue, and a pfece of 
woollett doth past l>e tied rovnd Om^ so as to coTer'dii hale 
whidi contdns W match. 



tFns of fire are a kind of fixed rodcetsy tbe eCM of iriUdk ts to 
throw op faito the afar jets of fit<e, siarflar to jeti of walsif. They 
aervo niso to represent cascades; for if a series of sndt fodteis bo 
phMwd horiiontally on dM same line, it maybe eadly aeen that the 
fire ttey eadt, wID resemble a sheet of water. When aihwged fia 
a dtenlar fsrm^ Hke fha radB of a circle, they Ibrm what far cdletf 

To Ibrm jeti of tUs kind, (bit cartridge for l»rlfliaiftt fires most, 
in thIalBieiiij bo e^nal ton fonrtb part of the diaoietbr, and fVr 
Chhieia firo, only to a sixth part. 

The cartridge is loaded on n nipple, having a pomt eqnal in' 
length to the same diameter, and inthlckneaston fourth part itk$ 
but as it geoetaUy happens Oat the menth of die jet becohM 
bnger than b necesaaiy for dm oife^st ofdm fte, you muit begta to 
Aarge die cartridge^ as dm ChiMse dSb bf filling it to ahei|(hto4tttf 
to n fourUi part of the dfattMt# iMI' day, which must be ralmncd 
do«d as If it were gnnpowdeiC BSrAMoonans thejetirlllaseend' 
andi Uli^. When the chaifa ii oompleted widi dm compost- 

•<*ir ' -.roiMMMMHlL : • : 4f|^ 

tiiiUM ^rw— d, ibofve wUth It nmt lie ^«ik«dL 

Iftt tnio or Bfttch niMt Ue of the tame composition ts tbtt em. 
tlaf^ lor iCMidiag ; o«lwnrlii UiodiktAtioB of the air eoataioed in 
At lolo Made b^ tiM piercer, Woald causa tlie jet to borst. 

Clayed rockets taij be Jrferced with two holes near the neek^ in 
otder to haTo three jets in the same plane. 

IfnUadof topi, piaroad wHh aaamberof bolas^ bo added to 
Am, tbaf will inritate a bnbbliog foanUlo. 

Jata intaoded for representing sheets of fire ought not to be 
Aaahsdn Thaj ninsf bo placed bi a horiioatal potitioD| or In. 
aiiBM m little downwards. 

It appears tn ns tiiat they might be choaked so as to form a kind 
of idit, and be pierced In the same manner ; which woold oontrl* 
bate to eirtend the sheet of 6re still farther. A kind of long nar- 
row month might eren be provided for this particular purpose. 


lit Jeti ofjve lines or fert , of interior diameter* 

Ckinete fire. — Saltpetre 1 pound, pulverised gunpowder 1 
poand, sulphur^ 8 ounces, charcoal i ounces. 

.W3^0>irtf.— Saltpetre 1 pound, pulrarised gunpowder 8 ounces^ 
filphnr 3 ooneaSy charcoal 2 ounces. Iron sand of the £nit order 
• •■nces. 

2d. Sett of from ten to twelve lines in ditmeier. 

Britliantfire.'^Vvl^iigeAgan^^irdeTl pound, iron-fliogsofa 
aMOB siaa^ 5 ounces. 

nPUfa/Ttf^— Saltpetre 1 pound, pulrerised gunpowder 1 pound, 
•nlpbur 8 ounces, charcoAl 3 ounces. 

C3UiBaaa/r#«--SaItpetre 1 pound 4 ouneas^ sulphur 5 Ounoas^ 
sand of tha thM order 13 onncaa. 

3d. Jalf ^f fifteen or eitktotm theee in dkmettr. 

CkineHjlr9.--^isUpekn I ponnd 4 Mnces, sulphur f imidm^ 
dkarcoal 6 oonots^ of the six diffmnft kinda of siOftd niS6k«d rS 

Plncarfilk^ in tfi WBoIrs on tUs f)it|{i^ 
hn proporttMia far <ha tooq^tka of tkiM^; 

YOL. IT. m 

44V riKii OF mrrKtcm t n coloubs. 

Mitm oanrim to wUtfcMtoMlwn nU, ud >tfctAi mdcr 
to &• mOm't monriii, lAich vill W foaMi in thiM h uwrf d^ 
PJriiJUUr. ■■■■■. p.«i - 

' TIm nitpetra, putreriwd (np««dn>, ud ctnrvHl} -aWArM 
time! sifted through k hair tlere. The Iron MDd fetaipil^led 
With lulfihttr, mtUr bring mpiiteBcd with alHUe hrtBjy, thftt the 
fnlpliar majr adhere to It; mod they tre then mixed 'iMlbar: tho 
Mlphnred nnd h then iprewl oter the flnt iriztvrttf iMMin viftle 
It niied with m ladle only ; for tf n An* were iw|l^|ij||l|— » 
•epantolhenndfrani the other Dwterials. WbenMllaigHillu 
OM of the wcmd order bnMdjttMCompoiition ii MlllliMMpitb 
bnndy, m ttet It formt itwlf Into balli, and the J*:«M tben 
landed I If tboro wore toe ma^ moirtnre, the land wanilflot per- 
form Ittoieet. f 


Of Firn sf afferent (khmri. 

Iris much (o be wislietl that, fur the sake of Taricty, different co- 
tours could be giren to these fireworks at pleasure ; but thoDgh we 
are acquainted irilh several materials whicli communicate to Same 
tariouc colours, it has hiiherto been jwssible to introduce only a. 
rery few colours into that of inllamed gunpowder. 

To make white &re, the gunpowder must be mixed with iron or 
rather steel filings. 

To make red Bre, iron sand of the first order must be employed 

pAvn voB iMMMis IV f IBS. MS 

*•■ ftMfi^pirhMygbvftelMrfgMorftiilTweol^ 
' m little Id thtt of lead; or rather e white dutUng flame. 
* Greek pitch produces a reddish flame, of a bronze colour. 

Black pitch, a dvakj flamO| like a thick smoke, which obscures 
the atmosphere. 

Sulphur, mixed in a moderate quautltj, makes the flame appear 
• Sal ammoniac and Teidigris give a §reenish flame. 

Baspiofs of jrellow amber communicate to the flame a lemon 

Crtide antimonj gives a russet colour. 

Borax ought to produce a bloe flame ; for spirit of wine, In. 
which sedatife salt, one of the component parta of bora% ie 
dissolTod by the means of heat, bums with a benntllUl gfoett' 

Miich, howcTer, still remains to be done in regard to this sub* 
ject ; but it would add to the beauty of artificial fireworks, if thsj 
could be Turied bjr giring them different colours :. this wonkL bo 
eaeating for the qres a new pleasure. 

. '• • 


Gompoiition of a Paste proper for repreeenHng Antnudey mti 

other Devices in Fire, 

It is to the Chinese also that we are iadebted for this methoid of 
representing figures with fire. For this purpose, take sulphur 
reduced to an impalpable powder, and having formed it into a paste 
with starch, cot er with it the figure you are desirous of representing 
on fire : it Is here to be observed, that the figure must first be 
coated over with ctay, to prevent it from being burnt. 

AYhen the figure has been covered with this paste, besprinkle it 
while still mdbt with pulverised gunpowder ; and when the whole is 
perfectly dry, arrange some small matches on the principal parts of 
it, that the fire may be speedily communicated to It on all sides. 

The same paste may be employed on figures of clay, to form de« 
vices and various designs. Thus, for example, festoons, garlands, 
and other ornaments, the flowers of which might be imitated by fire 
of different colours, eonld be formed on the friese of a piece of ar« 
eUtectort covered with plaster. The Chinese Imitate grapes eXm 

at' *- ■ 

«M*tf r wttk ^ <*Wpv wmM «ii|ta* i4ft «HA» •'^ 


Oj SuiUf bolh fixed and moveable. 

XoNC of tli« pyrotechnic iDiendons can be emplojfd wilh so 
mncb succeis, in utificUl fireworks, u sans ; of which there are 
^o kindi, fixed and revohiDg : the method of coDslmcttng bolh is 
very siirple. 

For fixed surb, cause to be constructed a round piece of wood, 
into the circnmferAOce of which can be screwed twelve or fifteea 
pieces in the form of radii ; and to theie radii attach jela of fire, 
th« compotition of which ha£ been already described ; so that they 
may appear as radii teodtog to the same cnlre, the mouth of the 
jet being towards the circumference. Apply a match In such » 
manner, that the fire communicated at (he centre may be conveyed, 
at the same time, to the mouth of each of the jets ; by whUh means, 
each tbrowiog out its fire, there will be produced the appearance 
of a radiating sun. We here suppose thai the wheel is placed in a 
position perpendicular to the horizon. 

These rockets or jets may be so arranged as to cross each other 
in an angular manner; in which case, instead of a sun, you will 
have a star, or a sort of cross resembling that of Malta. Some of 
these suns are made also with seteral rows of jels ; these are calfed 

froBi wydi II wOI proeecd to Am lecondy tbt m? tBtb^ the twelfth, 
the Mfenteenthy and eo od. These four recketi will make the 
wheel turn round witd rapidity* 

If two timilar sant be placed one behind the other, and made to 
tarn in a contrary direction, ihef will produce a reiy pretty effect 
of cross»fire. 

Three or /bar ftnnS) with horicontal aies pissed Oroogh them, 
might be implanted in a rertlcal axis, moveable in the middle of a 
table. These suns, rerolring aroond the table, will seem to pur* 
sne each other. It may be easily perceired that, to make them turn 
around the table they must be fixed on their axes, and these axes, 
at the place where they rest on the table, ought to be furnished 
with a Tery moveable roller. 

IMontuela'i Oxanan. Frezter TraitS det Feux d'Jrtim 
Jke, Perriftei d'Orone. Manuel de VArtificier* 

The attention which has lately been paid to the amusing subject 
of pyrotechny in this metropolis, in the course of the public fire« 
works exhibited with so much spirit, and upon so extensive a scale^ 
in the royal parks, has made us fuller in this department than per* 
haps we otherwise should hare been. We beliere there is scareally 
a device which Mr. Congrere has exhibited, that we ha?e not ex* 






A R T. 

OJ METALLVKOr, mndlUARTS eonneaUmm 

ttkntio In flM pnccillitg part or thii work tremtad ^,« 
logy, and metallic nloN, wo ihall derate the pre«eat%^ 
few eiuiplea of the coHoai modee of working and oililiig i 
end flie m'oet important niei to wiiicii tkef are applied.- 

«U A to *« 9Mr MdacM*. WtAdvedtfennc* 
toUrMlfesrIljry I wo«UI obscr?*, that Ittdkn cdMni it not iikt 
tin. Maoj jears ago the Dutch took a PortogoMo toswI whidi 
i»ai ladkiD with calacaf ; and from all tiie experimenti wUcfa were 
■adc vpon that itthataiieey it appeared to be linc^ or that metallic 
iihstance which we in Eerope liaTO rery latelj learned the method 
of «rtractieg from cftkniBe. Both calamine and zinc have the 
propeity of changing copper to e yellow colour; and thit is the 
BOit diatlngniBhiog property of them l>oth ; it is that for which 
they are both sought after in commerce : and as cUmia end calaem 
havetlie same radical letters, and denote in the Arabic and Indian 
kngnegei two substances which agree in one of their most charac. 
teristic properties, I lea?e it to others to determine whether they 
are not the same word, and in which of the two languages that 
word was originally formed. The other ore of sine b called by 
the Germans blende, from its blinding or misleading appearance; 
it looking like an ore of lead, but yielding (as was formerly 
thought) no metallic substance of any kind]:. A particular tort 
of lead ore has been called by Pliny, galena, from a Greek word 
signifying to shine, because it is composed of shining particles ; 
our potters ere and the Derbyshire lead ore are of this sort : l||ende 
much resembles galena ; but, yielding no lead, it has been called 
Mse or pseodo.galena, ormock«lead: our English miners hate 
called it blackjack, and that is the name by which it is known to 
the makers of brass. Black jack resembles lead ore so much, that 
the miners sometimes succeed in selling, to inexperienced smelterS| 
black jack Instead of lead ore : I hare heard of the fraud being 
earned to so great an extent in Derbyshire, that from si ton of ore 

* Gudnla Arsblbni dicitnr cilmUf quod qaidam pronuiicianiBt calitoia, nude 
Grscla receotioribns MXi/tM* laterdiim fcribiiaf* ande uiitrii GaUU caUuiiBa 
^ lapii cataBinarif : qaam voceia qaidam pnepotteri dedocunt ab Indico ca» 
lacm, quod netalli genu eft ilanno itiiiiie» baud lon^^ ez Blalacca end loU* 
torn. Salm. de Homony. Hy. laC, C CXII. 

f Savotnide Nam. P. II. C. XIY. 

t Pifiwla gilf na noaieD town esinde acSqaisIf it, quod CMlcai quasi alaertt 
pluBibem pns ae faial, aed mentiator, cwn id revera non cootiacat qood «in» 
terno aspecta fNtUlcetv, Qcrmaoi# appallatur bieodc> a blendea ) qaki caia 
&lsQ speciem adnerm atamiom prm le feil» eziode ocoloi teciae|» yel lit 
haponat. Pott de Pbeado-galeiMi, p. KKk-^They hare la Stefbrdsbire |i lort 
of iraa, wMdi they call bitade-Metel, of which thqr anfce aaUs. bemaen* 
Ac. PloCsteft ....*.., 


• > 

of iiiuidalterated 1m4 •!« jW4» ui DerbjtUrt, at m armgii 
fi>qr|eeD ojr fifteen httQ4r9d wfight of Ifltd. 

CaUmine it found in most parjtt of Europe; we beve greet 
plenty of it in Spmersetsliirey FUalsbire, DerbjaUre^ end le meoy 
other parts of EogUud* It is scarcely to be dtstingiiislMsd by Its 
appearance from some sorts of iime^stooe; for it has none of the 
metallic lostre usually appertaining to ores : It difiers, howereri 
by its weight from every sort of stone; it being, bulk for bnlky 
near twice u heary as either flint or limestone. Before the reign 
of Elizabeth, this mineral was hdd in ?ery little estimatioa in 
Great Britain ; and eren at so late a period as towards the end of 
the 17th centary, it was commonly carried out of the kingdom as 
ballast by the ships which traded to fore^ {Mtrts, especially to 
Holland.* It use is now as perfectly understood in England, as 
in any part of the world ; and as we ha?e greater plenty of cala. 
pine, and that of a better sort, than most other nations haTO, 
there vk no fear of our losing the adiantagee in this artiole of trade 
which we are now possessed of. 

Great quantities of calamine have of late years been dug In Der* 
byshire, on a spot called Bonsale Moor, in the neighbourhood of 
Matlock. A. bed of iron stone, about four feet In thickness lies 
OTer the calamine ; and the calamine is much mixed not only with 
this iron stone, but with cawk, lead ore» and limestone. The 
calamine miners never wish to meet with lead ore; they say that 
\fk eats up the calamine: and the lead miners in return never wish 
to meet with calamine in a rich ' vein of lead ore, since they are 
peri«ua4^d that it iiyures the quality of the ore. tt would be too 
much to infer, from these observations of the miners, that one of 
these substances arises from the natural decomposition of the other. 
Josiaposition of substances in the bowels of the earth, Is no cer« 
tain proof of their being derived from each otber: for no one 
will contend that chert is derived from tlie limestone In which It in 
bedded, or flint and pyrites from the chalk In which they are found; 
yet when agfOitYeriety of snbstanoee are iannd mixed together 
is the same little lump, the mind cannot help coiijecturing that a 
fltore improved state of mineralogy wiH shew some connection in 
their origin. 1 have often, seen calamine^ and black jaek» and lead 

— ^— *— ^•— ■ . ■ ^T"^— ■ ■ ■■ . ' ■ ■ ' ■■■■11 — *»^i^^f^TW>^^ 

m ■ !■■■■- 

• BwyeaMetia: Wonb by Sir J. Petty, and PUL ThuHp iw IM*. 

JkB mlmdm MBMlljr itiifd io Derlijrthtatt aaoQalt to abovl 
1100 IBM. Sixty jrart nfff (at I wit teforsMd by an iottlligeat 
dnltr in calmine^ wh t w Mker was om of tha fin t who d«f 1% 
ia that commtwj)^ ibi&f did not raise foitj tons in a year. Tim 
Darlqrtbire calamiaa dots not bear to good a price ai Iba't which it 
goMn about IM endip in Sonertetehire ; the former being told for 
aboQt fortj ihilliiigf , and the latter for tixtj-fiTe or wrentf lUi* 
Hqp a ton, before dreating s whc^n thoroughly dretsed, tlie Derby* 
ihira calaaiioe may be iKiught for about six guineat, and the other 
for eight ponndf, a too. This dressing of the calandne consists^ 
pradpaliy, in piclLing ont all the pieces of lead ore, limestone^ 
Iron stone, oawk, and other heterogeneoas snbstances wiiich are 
adxed with it, when it Is first dug from the mine ; this pielced caia* 
mine is timi ealdned In proper fomaces, and by oalcinaHon it 
loses between a third and a fonrth of its weight. 

The sabstanee which is lou daring calcination of tlie calamino 
is not eitlier sniphnr or arsenic, or any thing which can lie eoim 
lected hj the sides of an liorixontal chimney, as Is the Case in some 
sorts of copper and lead ores , lience it woold be qoite nnservlee» 
aUe to roast calamine in a fomace with snch a chimney, Tim 
trnth of tills remark will appear from the following eap«'rlment» 

I took ISO grains of the best Derbyshire calamiooi and dissolrel 
them in a dilated vitriolic acid : the solution was made in a Flo* 
ranee Flask, and the weight of tlie acid and flask was taken l>efore 
the solntion eommenced* About twenty hours after the solution 
had been finished, I weighed the flask and iU contents, and found 
that there had been a loss of forty grains, or one third the weight 
of the calamine ; about a grain of earth remained at the bottom 
undissohred. If the same quaattty of the purest Umestone had 
been dissoiied io the same way, there would have been a lorn ef 
weight efaal to fifty-four grains t the substance which is separated 
from calamine by odcinatioo, or by solution in an acid, U of th4 
same nature with that which b separable from limestone by the 
same processes— -fixed air. This air baring the property of change 
ifl^ the blue eolonv of Tegetables to red, as well as agtany other 
piopertiee of an add, and iielng contained In great abondancp in 
the atmospheiwi has been called by some^ aerial add; and by 

others, from ils constituting nlnt parU in twenty of chalk and 
other Cftlcarroas earlhs, chalky acid ; and from its briag dcstrac- 
tire of Ratae and animal lire, some hare denominated it ncphltic 
■ir. The weight which wat thus lost by dissolting the Derbyshire 
calamine in an atid, corresponds suHicienfly with that which the 
workmen observe to be lost during (he calcination of that mineral ; 
bQ thai these processes mutually confirm each other. 

Bergman ol)serTes lliat 100 grains of Flintshire calamme lost by 
calcinatioti thirly four grains* ; now this quantity corresponds, n* 
much as can be expected in thing< of this sort, with (he loss which 
I observed daring the solution of 120 grains of the Derbyshire 
calamine ; for if I had dissolved only 100 grains, the Io«b would 
hare been 334- 'fhe ^ame author, howerer, remarks that 100 
gruns of Flintshire calamine', when dissolved in an acid, gave 
only Iwenty.pight grains of air: and ho thinks that six grains of 
water are contained in every 100 grains of that sort of calamine ; 
for he takes tiie difference which he observed between the weight 
of air obtained by solution, and the loss of weight sustained during 
the calcination of 100 grains of calamine^ to be owing to the Hnfer 
which is dispersed during the process of caldnatloni-. Fonlana 
obtained IDO grains of lixed air from 570 grains of So0MtetAh-e 
calamine : according to (he same proportion, had he usfd^tf lOO 
grains, he would have had thirly-lhree grains of lixed air, iDiteid 
of the tuenly.eight which Bergman got from the Flintshire cala. 
mine; I say instead of the tw^nty.eight, for I am inclined to 
think tliHl the DerhjshJrc, Flintshire, and Somi-rsct.^hire calamines 

rnnlii|i|,M ftpt JWayfMrtat Jiltwttct ia tkt aiMlyies of Asm 
lltft JUBttoifld, proCMds rather from the mode of operating than 
Irap ihe .nbatancei thenueWei. Bnt, though future experience 
jAobU piore that verj pare piecei of the calamines we are speakidg 
fii do ezactlj agree to the quantity of air contained in them, it will 
BOt follow that the calaminei, as prepared for sale by the miners 
Off burners, will be similar to each other in all their properties ; 
^oe they may be mixed with different quantities and with different 
,Sorts of heterogeneous substances, from which it may be impos* 
iible wholly to free them. 

The reader must not conclude, from what has been said, that 
all sorts of calamine lose one third of their weight by calcination, 
0W afford fi;Kd air by solution in acids. Bergman analysed some 
jcalamine from Hungary, and he found 100 grains of it to consist 
of eighty.^ur grains of the earth of zinc, three of the earth of 
iron, one of clay, and twel? e of siliceous earth ; no mention is 
made of water in tbi; analysis.* 

In the great works where calamine is prepsred for the brass 
makers, after H has been property calcined, by which processi as 
has been obserfed, it loses between a third and a fourth part of its 
weight, it is again carefully picked, the heterogeneous parts bav* 
log been rendered more discernahle by the action of the fire ; it is 
then ground to a fine powder : afterwards it is washed in a gentle 
rill of water, in order to free it as much as possible from the 
earthy particles with which it may be mixed; for these, being 
twice as light as the particles of the calamine, are carried off from 
it by the water : it is then made up for sale. A ton of the crude 
Derbyshire calamine, as dug from the mine, i» reduced, by the 
various processes it undergoes before it becomes saleable, to about 
twelve hundred weight : and hence it has lost eight parts in twenty. 
Of the eight hundred weight thus lost in a ton, 6^ may be esteem, 
ed fixed air: the remaining part, amounting to l^y consists of 
some imparities which have been picked out or washed away, and 
of some portion of the metallic part of the calamine, which is ia. 
flamed and driven off during the calcination : for I cannot agree 
with Wallerinsi*, in supposing that the ores of zinc lose #o part 
of their substance doring the ordinary process of calcination ; the 
blue flame which is visible in the furnace where the calamine is 

• Befg. Chea». Eb. vol. IL p. 8Sft. . ,f Meuaior. 



MldDcd. tmi the itjnf UtAA tb* e*adM laitdMflMi 
oMacd wltb IcM itrong > fin, ire pfooft tD tiM tontiWy: It 
bt poiiibi* to we oluDiDB for tbt pnrpON cf MB>m i Wi 
AolclQing U; for tbe fixed ilrmidd to ^MipidAa If^ A 
■pplled In mtking the bnus. But, u kx ulag ft ton d^'ilM 
Mlraine, there wonld to totwem dx uif Mren baiilU * 
pBt into the brus poti wUcfa wonld be of no mwioer rf'rilB 
operation, it li ■ wiKr method to get rid of M Urgo'dMUi 
BRserriceable matter ; iKpeelftlly U iIm carrUge of W«i^ 
hondred weight to the diitvice to which the prepirrtd pWi 
■mt for the DMldng of brut, would cost more thia tUIMMI 
<f a ton of It amonnti to. *^l_ ^ 

Ttore ere menj lorta of blende or bluk jt^ 'Mlik 
fkom MCh other not only la tliefr externel appetranoiylU'll 
hteroel constitation. In genent they contain afnettAM 
united logclher by the infervfcntion of iron, or ot calcareous i 
and they mu&t be previuuiily freed rrom their sulphar by 01 
tion, bi?fore they can be applied to (he making of braM, 
sorts of black jack lose ooe. fourth, others about oDe.ttath o 
weight by calcination : ychat is thus dispersed consists prim 
of sulphur, with a little water ; what remains consisti of a 
portion of zinc earth, mixed with one or more of the foil 
lubstances, tIz. iron, lead, copper, clay, and flint. Blad 
is found in North Wales, in Cornwall, and in Derbytblre 
probably it may be met with la many other parts of Great B 
; for many years been iisei), as well as calamine, f 

^^TwJM^"*wi^^^^^ ^^^^ 

JKiim tm ^ te wtW i wrt lji wm mfancted faw tlidr fti. Moil 
am miKi^ Iq ^ ftoMd In oontict with charcoftl, or some other 
oooteioing pblogiAton, before tbty will yield their 
; end when they ere thus fluxed^ the aetal| instead of 
dispersed ia t^mmuti is collected into a mess el the bottom 
of tlbe Tessel, or Auroece, in which tlie operation is performed. 
CMsmine, in like manner, most be united to phlogiston, before 
its metallic part^ whieh is called zinc, will be property formed ; 
titos soon as k is.fbrmed, it flies off in n^ur, and taking fire, 
keme with aiTirid flame. This phenomenon is easily made appa. 
MHt, by mixio^ calamine in powder and charcoal dust together, and 
enpesing the ndzture to a melting heat ; for a flame will issue from 
k very dillerent from what charcoal alone would yield : no meas 
ef wof metaWo substance will be found at the bottom of the Yessel; 
bnt ha the place whore the experiment is made, there will be seen 
mony wUto flocks floating in the air : these flocks are the ashes of 
tte metattlir.snbitance of the calamine i they are called flowere 
of aiaei Imm philosophorum, nihil album, and by other &ncifttl 
ajunee* Tho metallic rapour which rises from a mixture of cala» 
iritto and oharcoel, when exposed to a proper degree of heat, and 
the iriaf of which causes the flame which may be obserred, can. 
not bum withont air ; and it was on this principle that Margpnt' 
proeeeded, when ho exiraoted zinc from calamine by distiUalion in; 
etoee kernels in 1746» He put eight parts of powdered cdtsmioe^ 
and one of powdered charcoal, well mixed together, into ax ear* 
ten retoefc; and hafing fitted a receirer, with a little water in it^ 
to the neck of the retort, in such a manner as to exclude the air^ 
fte onpoeed the mlktnro Da a strong heat; there rose into the neek 
oC tkn retort^ whete k wee condensed, the metaliic rspour of the 
nelamlne» By thb method he escertained the quantity of zino 
centekediki diffsrent sorta of calamine. 

Pftrts. Pirts; 

CalamHis flrom near Cracow • • , 18 gaye 9f of zinc.' 

from England'...*** 16— <-9 

— — *from Bresiaw .•••••• 16 4J 

fromHungsry..... 16 — Jf 

— ^ttPl Holywell in Flintshire 16 7 

He tried some stonea from| wUA had been giren 
1^ for calamine! in the same way^ bnt oUdned^ po zinc from 

them ; and tkeiiee he conclwWl Uitt they were not calamine stones ; 
for erery stone, says he, which being mixed with charcoal, and 
exposed in close Tessels to the action of a violent fire, does not 
yield xinc, or which in an open fire does not with copper and 
charcoal prodace brass, ooght not to be considered as a calamine 
stone*. Henckel had long before giren a similar definition of xinc, 
when he obserfed that it was the only sobstance in nature which 
had die quality of giting copper a yellow colonrf • 

Pott wrote a dissertation on xinc in 1741, in which he enters 
into the history of the dlscoTery of this semi-metal. Bergman has 
aTalled himself of ail that Pott knew on that subject, and has 
added se?eral things of his own : I cannot compress the matter 
into a less compass than he has done. << The semi-metal which at 
present is called xinc, was not known so much as by name to the 
ancient Greeks and Arabians, The name which it bears at pre. 
sent first occurs in Theophrastns ParacekusJ, but no one as yet Imm 
been able to discover the origin of this appellation. A* G. AgrI* 
cola calls it contrefeyn §; Boyle^ speltruml : by othen it is deno« 
minated spianter, and Indian tinf • Albertns Magnas, more pro* 
perly called Bolstadt, who died in 1280^, b the first who makes 
express mention of this semi-metaU He calls it golden marcadte, 
asserts that it approaches to a metallic nature, and relates that it 
is inflammable. Howeyer, as xinc is white, the name of golden 
marcasite is not rery proper ; it would therefore appear probable 
that it deriTes that name from the golden colour which it coasmu* 
aicates to copper, had not Albertns expressly said, that copper 
united with golden asareasite becomes white ; but he has probably 
either misunderstood or misrepresented what he had hoard rdated 
by others* It may also happen that xinc was formerly thought to 
contain gold. J. Matthesiosf f , in 156t, mentioned m white and a 
red xinc ; but the jpellowness and redness are only to be under, 
stood of the ores. Hollandus, Basil Valentine, Aldrorandus, 
Caesiua, Cmsalpinus, Falioplus^ and Scroeder, obaenre a profound 
silence on that head. $ j: The eastern Indians hare long since been 
in possession of the method of extractfi^ ppre xinc from the ore ; 

• Opot. de Ifftrg. toI. L p.94. f iFjFrito. French Tiani. p. MS. 
i Id Operibw peMim. f De Re raetallica. 

I Psodcrib. FlMuusi f Tnde Trifida OiTinica 

• • In Libfo Mieemliom. ^ ^ Sarepca. 
tt PottoaZbic. 

ftttettifrfaitbe eoirte of Aellit oeofvrf thii mtM ww brooglit 
from t iwc a to Europe. Jangias mentfoos the importttion of tino 
fiom liidiB, in 1974*; a metal of this kind, onder the name of 
toteoag, ii ttill brought from theoce, which moit be. carefolly dit« 
tiOfQithed from the conipoiind metal of that name. G. £• Van 
Lohneisfl tells os, in 1817, that a long time before, sine had been 
collected bj fusion at Goslarf • It has been long used to form 
oricbalcum from the ores of sine,- by the addition of copper ; bnt 
it does not yet appear at what time this art was invented. Plinj 
makes mention of the orichalcom, as also of three species of Co« 
finthlan vaset, one of which is yellow, and of the nature of gold{. 
Kmmns Ebner, of Noremberg, in the year 1550, was the first 
who used the cadmia of Goslar for this purpose. In the year 
1741 y Hencktol indeed mentioned that zino might be obtained from 
lapis cakmlnarif by means of phlogiston, but he conceals the me. 
thodV The celebrated Anton. Van Swab, In 174t, extracted it 
from the ores by distillation, at Westerwick, in Dialecarlia||. It 
was determined to found a work for the purpose of extracting 
larger qoantitles of this semi-metal ; but afterwards, for irarions 
reasons^ this project was laid aside: therefore the illnstrioos Marg. 
graf^ not knowing what had been done by the Swedish minenu 
legists. In the jear 1749 published a method of performing tins 
operation, wliich he had dlscorered himself f. It is not knowa 
1n>w sine Is extracted in China* A certain -Englishman, Wlio sstsm 
nl yeara ago took a Toyage to that country for tlie purpose of 
learning the art, returned safely home indeed, and appean to Iwro 
been sofUciently instructed in the secret^ bnt he carefully concealed 

• Da MinenKboi. 

f Bcricht Von. Bergverclttn. 

t HItt. Nat XXX. C. II. 

S Pyflloiogia— Heockcrt wofds deienre to be quoted { I take them firoia 
Che Frearh traattetlon of the Pyritologia, p. 896. Oo fkit, par esemple, 
avec la cahMrfaey ooo tenlenient da fur, U est Trai eo petite qaantite* bmIi 
eacofe aae trte-graiide qaaatitft de aiac, qoe Ton obcieat son-eealeaMBt ca 
lui preteataat le corps a? ec If qoel 11 peut s'lncorporery c*est-a-dire le calfre 
qui est toa aiaaui, nais cacore ce deminaetal le montre simpleaMat par Tad- 
ditioo d*aaa aatli^ grana qui metalliiei II fkat sealemeat, poar cfiter qna 
ce pheaix ae sc ledalsa ea eeadre, eaip^cber qa*il ne te hfile, et abserirer le 
teawet les cirreaitiatti. 

I BloglBBi BMgai hqlm MctaHaqil coiaa R. Asai. flisek, leeHatma. 

f rAc«i,«B^Bedla. H 

■M . MITALtfVKaT. 

k. W« Ml aAwwudi flat a mnfMtorr had bMa'wU 
^ Brbtol, «hm sIm b »id to W vbtdMd by "iMlnJ 
dMMMin. W* km klfvidij Hn tkt it Iwd bMB Ml 

tiiMd Is SwadM kjr dutUktwB pn sMann*, »kk|| tfiaf 
wu vfteted in Urgtw qMntit; by HtM. Crantsttjii^l 
two TSij catobntad B^acrtlogiits utd metaHirgitti. :Sh» d 
tiw occuioDwl by (li« voUtil* Md conOMidbl* ntimaClHt 
ht m iMV Una ratardad tha knowladga of tke or» aWllU 
Mr U tbM woBdarfol ; aa, baiog of a melalUc foro, t^tm 
to onr tteaa bean coaaidarad ai oenpoaed of two or HMw 
diMta. AUtarlBa Uagaw tUdu Iron ma inpMlieat».nM 
etfad It ■pnriaw (OB of eoppar ; LanHry bolda it toM • I 
•f Maaiith; Glaobar, a^ uny akbevliti. BWwiJarH— 
•■ hnvatorc aolar nlphar ; H<»>barg, ai a n^stnv ■( N 
IrMi Knnelwl aa a fla^olilad aarcory; SaUvtar, 4l.lfel 
Mtfla by aalphnr, *& Tha oalebf^ad Brandt, la iMi, * 
tkBtble»de(OBlataodslBi^;«adaooB altar D.BwabMl«d 
Ir&tteil it from the Dologninn pseudo-galena, which poateaaes 
tallic iplendor. The Baron Funch, id 1744, determiued the pr 
of zinc in pseudo-galena from the Aacne and the floneref; 
I7t6, Mr. Marggraf set tiie matter out of doubt. 

BergmaB in his history of the iliscovery 
trocting zinc from calamiDP, wholly omi 
Lai*ioD ; of whom Pott, in his Essay o 
fully, acquainting ut that he really obuined some graiii%|| 
semt-metal from calamine. So that though Heitckel wa»(| 


of the methMl] 
' mention of DM 
;, speka veryjj 

Af.Piyee wyi, ^^^the kte Dr. I. Lawwa ohBerriog that the 
flowert of hpif cakoiiaitfis were the same as those of ziac, and 
llMt ill ^MtctB oa copper were also the same with that semi.metal^ 
aerer reoiittt^ his endeaToars till he found the method of sepa* 
ratifig pare aioc from that ore." Aod Dr. Campbell, in his Sur* 
Ve/ of Britain^ is still more particular; ^^ + the credit, if nut the 
valve of calamine, is Tery much raised since an ingenious country. 
BBQ of ours discorerod that it was the true mine of zinc ; this 
OOVotrTiiian was Dr. !• Lawsou, who died before he had made any 
advantage of his discorerjr." The authors of the Supplement to 
Chambers' Dictionary, published in 175:^, expressly affirm, that 
^ f, Dr. Lewson was the first person who shewed that c?ilamine 
coatained ainc ; we hare now on foot at home a work established 
hy the discoverer of this ore, which will probably make it rery 
wmecessary to bring any ainc into EiKland." To all this I shall 
only add oae teslimony more, from which it may appear that the 
English knew how to extract zinc from calamine, liefore Mr. Van 
Swab taught the Swedes the method of doing it ; though this gen* 
tleman, onless I hare been misinformed, instructed the late Mr« 
Champion of Bristol, either in the use of Mack jark for the same 
purpose as calamine, or taught him some improrements to the 
method of obtaining sine from its ores* The testimony occurs in 
a dissertation of Henckel's on Zinc, published in 1737: he is there 
•peaking of the great hopes which some persons had entertained of 
the possibility of obtaining zinc from calamine ; hopes, he says^ 
which had been realised in England, Ce qu*on Anglois arrir^ de« 
puis pen de Bristol, dit aroir ru r^ossir dans son pays §. 

The manufactory, howerer, of zinc was not established at Oris* 
lol till about the year 1743, when Mr. Champion obtained a patent 
far the makifi^ of zinc. About 900 tons of zinc are annually made 
•t the place where the roanvfaetory was first set up ; and about 
•even yeais ago, zinc began to be made at Henham, near Bristol, 
lljr Jamea Gnersoo, who had been many years manager of that 
krandi mdor Mr. Champion, and his successors in the business. 

• Mineral. Ceniuai p. 46. 

t Artie Calam. 4 2iQC. 

^ Thi» obMrvadea wm flrBt pabliahed in the 4di vol* of the Acta Phyiico- 
Hedica Acad. Nat Cor. 17S7 » bat I hare made the qootaliea fimai the ed« of 
llcjickeri Woikf^ pobllilwd at Parii^ 1760, YoklULi. 4i«i 

TOSi. Jl. t 


Nor twenty jtmh ago, I mw die operatloa of prae 
from celui^iM perfonned at Iff. dwmirfoa'i coppw w 
Bnttol ; It iras thea a great aeeret, and tbongh It be n 
kaown, jet I am not certain whetker thrre are any ww 
kind yet ettabliihed in any other part of either Bngtand t 
eicept that before incntloned «t Henbatn. In a cirmli 
oTen, like a gla».boaM fornace, there were placed all 
four feet each in height, mBch reaembling targe oil jaia 
lato the bottom of each pot wai itucrted an iron tube, wl 
throagh the floor of the faroaco into a rcffel of water, 
were filled with a mlzlore of calamine and charcoal, and 
of each wai then close Htopped with clay. The fire beisi 
applied, the metallic vaponr of the calamine iuued tl 
iron tube, there being no other place through which it 
eape, and the air bring eiclnded. It did not talce fire 
condensed into very tmall 'partidei in the water, and 
melted was formed into ingoti, and tent to Blmungfaaa 
name of line or ipelter*. The reader will undentan 
ainc wiil be more or leti pare, accordiag ai the calaal 
from or mlied with iron, lead, copper, or other ne( 
itancei. At Gotlar la Germany, they smelt an ore wMel 
lead, and sllnr, and copper, and iron, and bIdg in tiwji 
the ore li smelted for the pnrpoie of procuring the lead i 
and by a particmar contrlrsnce in the famace, which li 
scribed by Cramert, they obtain a portion of xiac in i 
anotiier portion of it li inflamed, and the aihei of the I 


tOfS ; And lieiice if tbe lightness of zinc be a crifeHon of its pu- 
rity, oor English cine is preferable to the Indian, and nearljr 
•qiial to tbe Gprman ftinc. 

If the reader has never seen a piece of zinc, it will gWe him 
iNMne idea of it to be told, that in colour it is not unlilLe lead ; that 
it if liard and sonorous, and malleable in a small degree; that it 
does not melt so easUj as tin or lead, but more easily thau silver or 
eopper ; that in a degree of heat just sufficient to melt it, it burns 
awaj into a kind of grey ashes without b^tint; inflamed ; that in a 
itronger heat it burns with » yellowish blue or green flame, resolr* 
ing itself into a white earth, which is driven off by the violence of the 
tn during tbe combustion, or remains surrounding the burning 
line Uke a piece of cotton wool. This combustion of zinc is 
as striking an experiment as any in chemistry, and it is in the 
power of any person to make it, by sprinkling filings of zinc on a 
pan of burning charcoal, or on a poker, or other piece of iron 
beated to a white heat ; it is this property ^hich renders fine filings 
of zinc of great use in fireworks. Zinc is a very singular metal- 
lic substance ; it not only burns when sufficiently heated with a 
Tivid flame, but it yields an inflammable air by solution in tbt 
acids of vitriol and of sea' salt, and even in some of its ores it ma« 
nifests a phosphoric quality : 1 have seen a piece of black jack 
torn Freiburg, which being scratched in the dark with the nail of 
a inger emitted a strong white -light. The Chinese zinc is said to 
contain about half a pound of lead in an hundred, and the German 
zinc somewhat more* ; and our English zinc is thought by some 
to make the copper with which it is melted harsher and less mallear 
ble than whc^h either of the other sorts of zinc is used ; though 
this opinion I suspect is rather founded in prejudice than in truth. 
There is an easy method, when pure zinc is required, of obtaining 
it : nothing more is required than to melt it with sulphur and some 
hi substance to prevent its calcination, for the sulphur will unite 
itself to the lead, the copper, or the iron contained in the zinc, 
and reduce them to a kind of scoria, which may be separated from 
the melted zinc, but it has no action on the zinc itself +. The zinc 

« BerK.EM.Vol. II. p.818,DOte. 

f I am aware that Mr. Mor?eaa has found out a method of combifllog zioc 
with tolphor { but in this general view, I purposely pass oyer many things which 
are deterrcdly etteeaed oipttA importance by persons deeply skilled in cht- 


nuide hy Mr. Emttwa b wUtor and Mghter ttMUtan/ ^tlier illfctf 
EngHak or foreign line ; bnC I do sot koow tkat it owes these qoiw 
lUies to itt being porified bj sulphur. Zinc fiid copper, whev 
pelted together in different proportions, oonstitato whit are called 
]^achbeckB, kc. of different yellow eoloura. MaiggraC melted 
pure zioc and pare copper together, in a great Tarie^ of propoi^ 
^ons, and he found that eleven, or eren twelvo parti oC oopQflr 
being mixed with one part of aioc (by pntCiqg the lino into tta o^ 
per when melted) gave a most hoantifQi and very maUoable jhNpiiiwo 
or pinchbeck*. Mr. Banmi gires the foUowing procem for mke 
Itig a metal, which ho says is called Or 4s JfanAciai, wb4 wUck 
is used for imitating gold in a variety of toys* and also on l|oa«-w 
Melt an ounce and a half of copper, add to it three drams of sinf;^ 
cover instantly the mixture with charcoal dost to prevent Ih^ c^ 
dnation of the ilncf • This coveting the melted mass with chftr* 
coal is certaioiy serviceable in the way the author mentJons; and 
it is on a similar principle, that when they melt steel at ShofioU 
they keep the surface of it covered with dnurcoal ; bnt I think it 
probable also, that the charcoal coatribntes to azalt tha goldp 
colour of the pinchbeck. These yellow' metals are seldop so mL 
leabU as brass, on account of the sine which is used in maUwg 
them not being in so pure a state, ns that is whioh is combined with 
copper when brass b made; yet it appears from the ejq;»eiima9l9 
of Marggraf and Banmi before mentioned, that when pure niiip 
ond pare copper are used in proper proportioni^ very mailoaMe 
bram may be mad<s thereby. Mr. Emerson has a patent lor mi|u 
ing brass with line and copper, as I haie been infoimed ; i|pi4 til 
bram ip said to be more malleable ; moraheautifiitf andof aoolom 
asoire resembling fold than oidinary brass is. It is qfiiCi free fimif 
Icnoti or hard places, arisii^g from iroq, to which other biais la snt^ 
ject; ind this qi|aU^» m it retqpects the vMtP^fifi iieedle^ radofi 
tt of jgiept i(r^rtanoe bi making compasses* Thf method nf^Eval^ 
lo|. ^iiiafy brass I will now describe. 

' Cofg^ ii9 thin plates, or which is hattSTi egfper rednead Af 
beliig poarejf when melted, into water). Info gmlna of ttn 4wff 
l^Tgff shot, is ndzad with r aiamina and ohaiooaL both- in-powdesw 
and exposed in a meltfaig pot for iofwal hours to a Sre notiinlto 
ifroog eno«|^ to melt tho copper, Mt sidftclent for nnKIn^ the 
metallic earth of the cafaunfaM tp.the phlogiston of (he qchiIj thh 


• Mem. of Berila, 1774. t Cby. parM, Bsasi^ Yei.IL^ Ml. 

ttrfm fcnit t ttelilIHe tnbstaice, whieb penetntes the eot)per 
eont^otttto it, cfasnging its colour from r^ to yellow, and aag* 
mvMng its weight in a great proportion. The greater the surface of 
a definitite weight of copper, the nore space has the metallic Tapour 
af the calamine to attach itself to ; and this is the reason that the cop. 
par is granulated, and that it is Icept from melting and running 
into a mass at the l>oftom of the vessel, till near the end of the 
•ptratioD, wlien the heat is increased for that purpose. 

The German brass^makers, in the time of Erckern, used to mix 
Jfacty.four pounds of small pieces of copper with forty- six pounds 
#f calamine and charcoal, and from this mixture they generally 
obtained go pounds of brass *• Cramer recommends three parti 
of powdered calamine to be mixed with an equal weight of charcoal 
dust and two parts of copper, and says that the brass obtained by 
the process exceeds the weight of copper by a fonrth, of even a 
third part of Its weight f. At most of our English brass, works 
Hiey use forty.five pounds of copper to sixty pounds of calamine 
for making ingot brass, and they seldom obtain Jess than sixty, or 
Daore than seventy, pounds of brass ; at Holywell they reckoned 
the medium product to be slxty.eight : and hence a ton of copper 
by this operation^ becomes rather more than a ton and a half of 
brass. This is a larger increase of weight in the copper than is 
observed in any of the foreign manufactories that I have ever read 
of; and It may be attributed to two causes — to the superior excel* 
iMce of our calamine, and to our using granulated copper* Poi« 
tlethwayte, in his Commercial Dictionary, attributes the difference 
tn the increaife of weight acquired by the brass to the different na. 
tures of the coppers which are used : ^' There is an increase of 
fbrty-elght or fifty pounds in an hundred, if copper of Hungary 
or Sweden be used ; that of Norway yields but thirty .eight, and 
that of Italy but twenty.'' When they make brass which is to lie 
east into plates, from which pans and kettles are to be made, and 
wire is to be drawn, they use calamine of the finest sort, and in 
a greater proportion than when common brass is made — generally 
fifty* six pounds of calamine to thirty .four of copper. Old brass 
which has been frequently exposed to the action of fire, when mix» 
ed with the copper and calamine in the making of brass, renders 

* FleU iiiliior» by Sir J. Pettyi . Jt« 286. Newman gives the laiiii proportioof* 
p. 65. 
t CrsBU An Poc« YoL II, p. 846. 



Om bnm fcr MOM d«eUl»| v^ itte for thf viking of fioewlir^ 
tkM it would be without il ; bat Uie 6«mMUi brtst, particolariy 
tliat made at NuroBiberg, lii wImq drawo ioto wire,^ Raid to bo 
INToferable to any made in England for muaical inttramentB. If tbia 
preference be real| it will ct«3e to eiist at toon as any ingenious 
van shall undertake to eziunine the tubje^; for our materiaU for 
making brasa are at go«>d as any in Uie world. The quantity, qf 
charcoal, which is used, it not the tame at all works ; it is gene* 
rally about a fourth part of the weight of tlie calamine s an eiceti 
of charcoal can be attended with do other iocooTenience than that 
wf nielettly filling up the pott in which tlie bratt it made; but 
{wwdered pitcoal which it uted at tome worlui In cooj unction wfthp 
or In tlie place of charcoal, greatly liyoret the malleability of .tlw 
bratt. At to black jack, the other ore of alnc, it it not to ooobu 
monly uted at calamine for the making of brats. The manufactnr« 
ers hare l>een somewhat capricious in their sentiments ooncerniii^ 
Jft; tome hare preferred it to calamine, and othert hare wholly 
jieglected it i and the tame persons at different timet hare made 
gr«at use of it, or entirely laid it aside. There must hare been 
JOOM uncertainty in the produce or goodness of brass made by thia 
mineral, to hare occasioned such different opinions concerning it ; 
and this uncertainty may hare proceeded either from the rariablo 
^oalitiet of tiie mineral itself^ or from the unskllfolnest of the 
operatort in calcining, ftc a mineral to which they had not been 
•much necuatomed. Sereral thip loadt of it were tent a few years 
ago from Cornwall to firittol, at the price of fcirty thiUingt down 
to a moidore aten *• Upon the whole, howerer, experience has 
■ot brought R Into reputatiQu at BrittoL • 
1.. For many pnrpoaea brasa fo more useful than copper; It ia 
4i|^tor^ kaidaff, more sonorous, more fusible, less liable to scale 
In the -tey and to mat in the air. It is not malleable when ho^ 
4Mm1 la tUs respect It la inferior to copper s but when cold it maj 
•be bent ont inio thin iearea, aa may be aeei| in the brasa leaf, which 
emulntfatecniouf and thkweaa gold \^ If n binaa leaf be Md 
is the ianie.of>n eaindle, the asetalUc part of the calamine will bo 
bsiamed, and the bnsna wlU be changed into copper. Thia ebaigf 
of brasa into copper. vOl take place in the laigeat maaaea, aa well 
aa fai thin learta of it, if the braaa be kept a aufilcient time is n 

e M hMT. Osma. f. 47. 


state of IWoB. Tbe Tarieties in the oolonr, malleabtiitj, and 
ducHNfJr of brass, proceed from the qnantity and qaality of the 
calamhie imbibed by the copper ; and the quality of the copper 
ifself is a circumstance of no small importance in the making of 
brass. ^^ I hare obserred, says Dr. Lewis *, in a large set of ex- 
periments on this subject, that a little of the calamine (that is, of 
the cine contained in the calamine) dilutes the colour of the cop. 
per, and renders it pale ; that when the copper has imbibed about 
one- twelfth of it's own weight, the colour inclines to yellow ; that 
the yellowness increases more and more till the proportion comes 
almost to one-half ; that on further augmenting the calamine, 
the brass becomes paler and paler, and at last white.*' As to the 
different qualities of different kinds of copper, they are suflSci. 
ently known to workmen employed in fabricating it ; and philo* 
sophers hare so far observed them, as to distinguish the different 
sorts of copper by the different weights which appertain to equal 
bulks of them* The lightest copper which Musschenbroeck has 
noticed, is that which is precipitated from the copper waters 
in Hungary; a cubic foot of this sort weighed, when melted, 
7942 ounces : and the heafiest sort he mentions is the Japan cop. 
per ; a cubic foot of it, when simply melted, weighed 8726 
ounces. The difference of the weights of equal bulks of these two 
sorts of copper is Tery considerable ; but yet it is much less than 
what may be observed between two specimens of the same sort of 
copper, one of which has been cast, and the other has been 
wrought : the same Hungarian copper, which, when barely melt* 
ed, weighed 7242 ounces to the cubic foot, when it had been con. 
densed by being long hammered, weighed 0020. Many of our 
English writers estimate the weight of a cubic foot of copper at 
9000 ounces f , but they do not say whether the copper was melt- 
ed merely, or hammered ; nor from what mine it was procured. 
I found the weight of a cubic foot of plate.brass from Bristol to 
be 844 1 ounces, and that of a cubic foot of old brass from tht 
bottom of an old kettle to t>e 8810 ; which shews that it approach, 
ed to the weight of copper, and indeed from the redness of it's ap- 
pearance it seemed as if all the tine had been burned away. I 
had a present made me of a fine celt (the antiquaries are not 

* Newman*! Cbem. by Lewlt, notes, p. d5. 
•¥ Cotes, FerguMiD, MartiBf Gampliell. 


■gTMd CMctnuig ik» OKI to wbiek tba ceUi vera ipplM, aor 
wlvthrr tbej &i« to be wttcned Brili*k or fiomu UMtniMenU) ; it 
wu cavi-red OT«r with ■ (hick potiM. I htmtti it i« the fin, ia 
ord«r to get rid of tbia precious puku, or groea mt, ani t*ok 
tteiprcrfic f rarity of it when qaite fteed from iti rwt, wttk groat 
flare ; ■ cubic Toot of it wonld have waighod ooly nSfraB^n*. It 
wa* not malli-iiUe rither wben hot w cold. I thra Malladitl 
when iffl a •tal« of fnion it emitted a fatne fluae, anil alUak wUta 
■moke, which are etteemed cortaio aiuki of line. I ariM it t 
Mcond lime, bat there wai no ippearaoce of either flama at ■wkoi 
(be sine had be*n all cooniroed : I eaold not obierva ai^ laad ha 
It] a cubic fuiit of it, after it was grat\j cooled froB Ita atata of 
fasion, wagbed 8490 ounc<>* ; aod it was now BalleaUa^ ai cold 
brass a1w«ys is : it was composed, 1 think, of copper, ealaslDe, 
and tin ; ind I hare beard that sone celts contain a Itttla iUvar. 
Tbe change of teiture which it bad undergone, by baii^ laagh«> 
ried In the cirth. occa.-ioned its comparative LeTlly i Ikb ilmttm- 
^n of wMj^bt, which dt-caying briss lu stains, is not yacaliar t» 
brass ; it probably belongs to iron and other meiailia Mhatancea 
tnhji'Ct to decay ; and it eertoinly belongs to nany i pw i ii af 
•toups. I bare in another pbice obsfrvrd, that a ciMailiifl«f 
toadstnne baa ditfirent weights, accordin/i uthe stooabMIVW 
less decayed ; that whirb is mmt decayed being the UgMl4i • V* 
baie a stratum of blueisb grej ragslone in W«imoraln^;j^Mpfc 
lies under the limestone ; Itrge cobbles of this sort of alM%,vlM 
are eiposed to the lir. are decayed to a certain deptk tft^-lt* 

nt'tmivwiv. ' MB 

«««r7atf«M{cB(MiiMimAiiilMid. WHi 
flvgftfi 40' frrriiuf M^ot iton^t^ in wbkh tUb cAx of Irofi Is tioC 
anil ibpiilasiflttate^, this decomporitioii is easily miderstood t 
fer^lit Mix gndaallj brcMi^s moK di^phlogislicaled by the action 
af ti» wat^r and air, attracts wa(»r aad filed air, and loses Its 
nilierenee vitk the siKceoos ^ other stony particles : this is seen 
lo happen to basaltes^ toadstone, fermghieoiis Ifmestone, he. In 
Other sloneS) this deeoBposMon wmj arise from their eontaining 
aakareoos earth in a caostic state, or nnuiganese ; for these will 
g sa d n a ily attract water and fixed air, and then swell, barst, and 
the whole vextnre of the stone, as we see liappen to bricks 

contain Kme. Thus also glass is decomposed by long expo. 

to the air, the alkali attracting water and aerial acid. Mor- 
tar, on the eonttarj, hardens bjr long exposure to the air, becaisa, 
Ihongh iho aerial acid be attracted, yet a great part of the water 
aihales^." The changes produced bj the long exposure of bodiee 
In Iho air, and the causes of then, deserre a more ndnnte inrestL 
fnHon than hw hitlierto been bestowed on them ; some ad?antagO 
might, perhaps, be derived from the inquiry to our manufaett^ 
ion ; far 1 haye caui>e to think that iron, which has been exposed 
lo the air Ibr three or four years, is a fery different snlistanee hd^ 
Ibe same iron whea just made t and the saaie ohserration will pra* 
iahly hold with respect to copper and bram.^«But to retam front 
Ma digression. The calamine of Bohemia contains iron ; most of 
Otv Kngiish calamine contains lead ; and there are some sorta 
Wldch oontain both iron and lead, and other metals in different 
s these sorts can seldom be frsed from the extraneona 
; and hence, In the ordinary method of making brass, they 
tHU ba mixed with k, being lasible In the degree of heat nsually 
In making brass. Cramer mentions a rery ingenlona 
of ssaiing brass, by whidi, if it should be thought neces. 
snrjr In db It, the brass may bopreserred pure from these hetenu 
ganeonandilnrea. He orders the calassino and charcoal to l>e mix. 
ad with asolrtanad day, and mannad to the bottom of the melting 
pat^ nod ths eapper mixed with charcoal to be placed upon the 
dqr } ttan, the proper degree of heat being applied, the raponr 
off the ainc lOtal n s d hi the calamine will ascend through the clay, 

attach itnlf tote capper, but the Iron or lead contained in the 

966 Mmrkhtvmmr. 

eiliiiiiM) iMt Mng Tobdl^y wiU foiMhi In th« dtf, mdtlMlimf 
wkMi tk» whole is nMited will not hm nized wkk tImD, bot rest 
|ilir« on the florface of tlM dajr. Mr, John ChaniploD, brother to 
Un who first established the maniifactorj of tiae at Bristol, Is a 
very iogenioos metallorgist, and he has lateljr obtained a patent for 
paking brass bj oovblning tine in raponr with heated copper 
plates, and the brass is said to be Yerj fine ; whether the proessi 
he OSes has any correspondence with this mentioned by Cranery or 
aoty his brass will certainly be free from the miztnre of lead^ 
ftc* Bot the care to pnrify brass from snch metallic miztnree aa 
way be accidentally contained in the calamine, is, or is not neces* 
sary, according to the porposes to which brass is applied. These 
mixtures may probably injure the malleability of the brass, bnC 
they may at the same time increase its hardness, or render it sns* 
ceptibleof a better polish, or giTe it a particularity of colour, or 
some other quality by which it may he more useful in certain ma. 
Dofactories, than if it was quite free from them, and consisted of 
nothing but the purest metallic part of the calamine, united to the 
purest copper. This may be illustrated from what is observable in 
other metals. The red iron ore* from Furness, in Lancashire, pro. 
duces an iron which is as tough as Spanish iron ; it makes reiy fine 
wire ; but when oonrerted Into bars, it is not esteemed so good aa 
that which Is made in the forest of Dean, and other places. Thero 
are but few sorts of iron which, though useful In other respects, 
are fit for being converted into steel : some sorts of iron will ad. 
mit a high polish, as may be seen in many expensire grates which 
are sold as grates of polished steel, though they are nothing but 
iron; widlst others take but a very indifierent polish ; the 8we. 
dish, Russian, and English irons, and eren the irons made at dif- 
Isreat fnmaoes in the same country, are respectively fit for soma 
porpoaasy. and unfit for other ; he who should attempt to use tho 
saose iron for the makhig of wire, and for cosch and waggos 
wheels^ would l>etray great ignorance in bis business. In Kko 
mannery a notairfe dMerenee may be obserred in difierent sorts of 
copper, yet all of them have their respective uses : the Swedish 
copper is moro malkHible tiian the copper of Hungary ; the copper 
of Anglesey difiers from the copper of Cornwall and of Staffsrd. 
shire. The braaierstMrefer that copper which they can work with 
^ greatest facility ; but the malleability of copper should not be 
esteemed the only criterion. of Ht goodness; for the copper vhkh 

MSTAIiLUftOT. 907 

ii lets atUeabte ma/ admit a finer polish, and maj last longer 
when exposed, as in breweries, in tlie nav/, &c. to the action of 
the fire, than the copper which is more malleable. This has been 
proved by experiment. Three plates of copper, equal to each other 
In surface and thickness, were exposed, for the same length of 
time, to a fiolent 6re, with a view of seeing which would best 
sustain its action ; one plate was made of copper which had been 
purified by a chemical process, another was made of copper from 
Hungary, and the third of Swedish copper. The purified copper, 
when freed from the calcinated scales, had lost five grains of its 
weight, that of Hungary had lost eight, and that of Sweden ele. 
yen grains *• 

Queen Elizabeth, in 1565, granted by patent all the calamine in 
England and within the English pale of Ireland to her assay mas. 
ter William Humphrey, and one Christopher Schutz, a German, 
and, as the patent sets forth, a workman of great cunning, 
knowledge, and experience, as well in the finding of calamine^ as 
in the proper use of it for the composition of the niixt metal called 
latten or brass f . With these patentees were soon after associ* 
ated some of the greatest men in the kingdom, as Sir Nicholas 
Bacon, the Duke of Norfolk, the Earls of Pembroke and Leices- 
ter, Lord Cobham, Sir William Cecil, and others, and the whole 
were incorporated into a society, called. The Society for the Mi- 
neral and Battery Works, in the year 1568. Mines of latten, 
whatever may have been at that period meant by the word, are 
mentioned in the time of Henry VI. who made his chaplain, John 
Bottw right, comptroller of all his mines of gold and silver, cop. 
per, latten, lead, within the counties of Devon and Corn vi all j:; 
yet I am disposed to think, that the beginning of the brass mana« 
factory in England may be properly referred to the policy of Eli- 
zabeth, who invited into the kingdom various persons from Grr. 
many, who were well skilled in metallurgy and mining. In 1630, 
a prockimation was issued prohibiting the importation of brags 
wire§; and about the year 1650, one Demetrius, a German, set 

♦ Mem.drBniK. Vol. IV. 

f Opera Mineralia Ezplicata, p. 34. This work was written by Moses 
Stringer, M.D. in 171S« and contains a complete history of (he ancient corpo- 
ration of the city of London^ of and for the mines, the mineral and battery 

t Id. p. 20. \ Id. p. 147. 


vpabnw trerk b Sarrr, tttiiaeipenMof ibcthoaMBd^iidi*; 
aad«bo4e eight tboaaand men are ntd to hm tmen OBpfejad in 
tba iraa manufactoriea which wen eatabliiliad to Notttn^miikln} 
ud near London ; yet Sir Jobn Pettui in hll ueoottt tt roffti 
■inei, published in 1670, obierrei that these bran wofki were 
Hun decayed, and the art of making brais almost gM»' With tba 
■rtittsf. But Ihongli the art wai Hi en si molt gone, jetltwain«> 
wr, after Its first establishment, altogether lost ; forBlMtt6Mjatr 
1708, we find that there were brasi manuracttiren in BBgUdd, isd 
Oat they presented a memorial to the Honse of Commottl, MtflBg, 
forth WTeral reaioni for continaing the brass minu&ctorj ill (Ul 
kingdom, and soliciting for it the protection of parlianadt^. In 
Ab memorial they stated, that England, by reason of tbo buxhins. 
dUe plenty of calamine, might become the staple of brascmnufacto. 
ry for Itself and foreign parts ; that the contbntng the briM woiki 
in England wonid occasion plenty of rough copper to bft brotgbt 
In, and make It the ita[de (in time) of copper and brant tktt'fho 
Swedes bad endearoured to inbrert the English brass maaalkctor)', 
ty lowering the price of Swedish brass wire, inrel^lhig away 
workmen, and other means. In compliance with the iM^ort of 
tUa memorial, an act of parliament was passed in tba MM/MTj 
by which the former dntiei payable on the exportation dt tt^far 
of the prodnce of Great Britain, and of brass wire, wM lik«n 
off, and these articles were allowed to be exported frM' tt Ai^. 
In mo It was remarked, that this nation could supply tttff '«tfk 
copppr nml br:is! of Us own produce, sufTiciiTit for all occislons, 

UBTAhhVtLQY^ teg 

bmnu Ifl the rdgn of Edward III. the exportation of iron, either 
Oiade at home or brought into Eugland, had beeo prohibited upon 
tho pain of forfeiting doulSle the value of the quAntitjr exported *• 
And in the re^ns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI. se?eral acts of 
parliament had been passed, prohibiting the exportation of brass, 
oc^pper, latten, belUmetal, pan.metal, gun-metal, shrof.metal, nn* 
dor the same penalty f. The general reason for passing these acts 
certainly does not apply to the present state of our mines and ma- 
oniacttttes, for the reason was this — lest there should not be metal 
enough left in the kiogdom fit for making of guns and other en- 
gines of war, nor for household utensils. The forementioned acts 
of parliament were particularly repealed, by an act passed in the 
sixth year of William and Mary, by which it was rendered lawfnl 
to export, after the 25th of March, 1604, all manner of iron, cop- 
per, or muodick metal ; but the prohibilion of the other metals 
was continued. The brass-makers in 1783 applied for the same 
Uberty which had been granted to the iron and copper smelters, 
a liberty of exporting the crude commodity ; this liberty was not 
granted them by the legislature, for the bill which had passed the 
House of Commons, was thrown out by the Lords. The Birming. 
ham manufacturers presented a petition to the House of Com« 
mons, against the bill which was then pending; in which petitioa 
it was represented — that frequent attempts had been made to erect 
manufactnres similar to those of Birmingham in different parts of 
Europe, and that the excellence of some of the Birmingham artL 
cles depended upon brass of ?ery different qualities ; and that, for* 
Innately foi this country, there were several sorts of brass that 
were peculiarly adapted to the different branches of their manufac- 
tures ; 10 that the sort which was suitable for one article, was im- 
l^roper £»r another : and that they had reason to believe, that the 
manner of adapting the various sorts of English brass to different 
avticles in their manufactures, was not known to foreigners ; but 
that if free liberty was giren to export brass, every maker might 
be indneed to discover the pecnliar uses of his sort, and that very 
disagreeable consequences to their manufactnres might thereby be 
produoedi The petitioners also represented — that brass-makers, 
in different proTincesof this kingdom, had not succeeded in making 

i^W^— — — ii^— — III 11 ■ I 1 H — —.Mi— — .^— .< 

« 98 Ed. III. c A. 

t « Bm, VIlLe^lil-OHeB. yiU.e.1««4JUS4«TX.«»S7. 

5!70 MitALLVtoV. 

th€ toi^ dfhnsf Bad» in oditr pniflnoet ; aiM tfiat MM grcAt^eonpin 
of brui.iiiaker8 litd not tiiecceded in obking brui anitable for the 
Birmingham market, tlioogli tiiejr bad profeited an earnest detiro- 
to do io« And the/ hamblj apprehended, that there never luid 
been snch a qnantitjr of bran exported as to render it a national 
digect ; and that there was not a prdbabllitjr of any Mdi qaantitj 
being exported, though to mnch might be as to raise a minons 
competition to tlieir mannfhctores, ftc. 

The brass malLers, it may |>e said, suiered an injnrj in liefog pro. 
Iiibited from exporting a commodity by which they might be gainerSy 
merely lest the great brass mannfiietnrers should lose somewhat of 
their proflt, by having a less extensire trade. But this is not a pro- 
per state of the case ^ it is not for die sake of the great brass bmi> 
nufactorers that the prohibition of exporting brass is continued, nor 
is there any. want of that metal in the kingdom ; but lest foreigners 
should rival us in a trade which, in affording employment to OMoy 
thousands of people, b of the greatest consequence to the kingdom 
in general. The proprietors of fullers eartii have been prohibited 
from exporting that material ; not out of any partial regard of thr' 
legislature for the great woollen manufacturers, but lest the number 
of persons employed in that manufecture should be mnch lessened^ 
if foreigners were supplied with an article so essentially necessary 
to its perfection, as fullers earth is found to be ; and though other 
nations have fullers earth, yet that which is met with in England is 
reckoned to be itter for the woollen mannfitctory, than any other 
which has yet been found in any part of the world. This obsenra. 
tion may be applied to the sub|ect we are speaking of. Great 
quantities of good brass are made by most nations in Enrope, u 
lirell as by the English ; but the English brass is more adapted to 
the Birmingham mannfhctories than any other sort is ; and hcnoo 
In France-, Portugal, Russia^ and Germany, our nrnhannfactured 
brass Is allowed to be imported free of duty, but henry duties are 
imposed In those countries on mannfiictnred Inrass when imported. 
The manner of ndxing difl^nt sorts of brass, so as to asako the 
mixture 8t for partlenlar nmnnfhctnres, is not known to foreigners i 
though this is a dreuasstanee of the greatest Importance : bat there 
can be little doubt, tiiat if foreign nations were posseMed of iH the- 
sorts of English brass, they woald soon sednee our workaesi (a- 
instmct them in the manner of mixing them, and in Jome.other 
little dnAnnstanoes, whidi are not> § ana ra lly known, 4mt cm iMA 

the SQCCCfa of the maDufactore depeoch in a great degree. On these 
and other accounts, till comiscrce puts on a more liberal appear* 
ance than it has hitherto done in Europe ; till different nations shall 
be disposed to consider themselves, with respect to commercial 
hiterests, as different provinces only of the same kingdom ; it may, 
probably, be thought expedient to continue the acts prohibiting the 
exportation of un wrought brass, though the reasons which induced 
the legislature to pass them have long since ceased to exi^t. I do 
not enter into the inquiry, when the custom-house officers began to 
make a distinction between wrought and unwrought brass, so as to 
admit the former to an entry for exportation and not the latter ; 
but I apprehend it was in the year 1721, when various goods and 
merchandizes of the product or manufactures of Great Britain were 
allowed, by act of parliament, to be exported free of duty ; lapis 
calaminaris, lead, and several other articles are enumerated in the 
act, on which the duty was to be continued ; but in this enumenu 
tion there is no mention made of unwrought brass, though it may 
properly be considered as a merchandize of the product of Great 
Britain 3 but the quafitity of brass which was then made in the 
kingdom was so small, that it did not, probably, enter into the con. 
temptation of the legislature to forbid an exportation, which did 
not seem likely ever to take place. Brass is made in various parts 
of Great Britain ; but the Bristol, Macclesfield, and Warrington 
companies are the only ones, I believe, which go through all the 
processes of smelting the copper from its ore, of preparing the cala« 
mine, and of uniting it with copper for the making of brass. The 
trade of brass making has within these few months been much de- 
ranged throughout the nation, by an agreement which has been 
entered into by some of the principal copper companies, to the 
exclusion of others, to buy up all the copper of the mines now at 
work in the kingdom. The effect of this plan is not yet generally 
either felt or foreseen. 

iBiihop Watson. 

C v% 1 

CHAP. 11. 



W C ha?e a proof, from the writhigs of Cicero, that the Romaoiy 
in his time, understood bj the term orichalcum, a metallic substSBce 
resembling gold in colour, but yerjr inferior to it iu i^aloe. He 
pots the following cast— *^ Whether, if a person shoold offer B 
piece of gold to sale, thinking that he was only disposing of a piece 
of orichalcnm, an honest man ought to inform him that it was reallj 
gold, or might fairly btfy for a penny what was worth a thousand 
times as much*." It Is not contended, that the argument, in thb 
place, required any ^reat accuracy in ascertaining the reladve Ta» 
lues of gold and orichalcum ; yet we may reasonably conclude from 
It, that orichalcum might by an ignorant person be mistake« for 
gold, and that it was but of small estimation when compared with 

Julius Csesar robbed the capitol of three thousand pound weight 
of gold, and substituted as much gilded copper In its stead f ; in 
this species of sacrilege, he was followed by Vitellius, who despoiled 
(he temples of tMr gifts and ornaments, replacing the gold and 
silver by tin and orichalcum j^. From this circumstance also, wo 
may collect, tiiat the Roman orichalcum resembled gold in coloari 
Aough it was fkr inferior to it in value. 

It is probable, that the orichalcum, here spoken of, was a metal. 
8c snbitince greatly analogous to our brass, if not wholly the same 
with Hm The value of our brass is much less than that of gold, and 
tke resemblance of brass to gold in colour, is obvious at first sight. 
Both brass and gold, indeed, are susceptible of a variety of shades 
of yellow ; and, if very pale brass be compared with gold mLnd 
with much copper, snch as the foreign goldsmiths, especially, nse Ib 
tlieir toys, a disparity may l»e seen ; but the nearness of tlie 

• Circer. de Off. L. III. f Soet. in Jul. Cm. C. UV. 


Uance is nftciently aseertahied in general, from observing that 
sobsCaoces gilded with brass, or, as it is commonly called* Dutch 
leaf, are not easily disdngntshed from such as are gilded with gold 

The Romans were not only in posspssion of a metallic sub'^tance, 
called by them oricbalcnm, and resemblint^ gold ^n colour, but thpy 
knew also the manner of making it ; and the materials from \i hich 
tiiey made it, were the very same from which we make brass. I 
am sensible, that in advancing this opinion. I dissent from authors 
of great credit, who esteem the art of nnaKin^ brass to be wholly a 
modem invention. Thus M. Cfonstedt (though ( ditfer in opinion 
from him) ^^ does not think it just to conclude, from old coins and 
odier antiquities, that it is evidently proved, that the making of 
brass was known in the most ancient times * ;*' the authors of the 
French Encyclopedie assure us, that ^^ our brass is a very recent 
iavention f ;*' and Dr. Laughton % says, ^^ the vessels here called 
brasen, after ancient authors, cannot have bnen of the materials 
oar present brass b composed of ; the art of making it is a modern 

Plioy, speaking of some copper which had been discovered near 

Cordoba in the province of Andalusia in Spain, says, ^< this of all 

the kinds of copper, the Livian excepted, absorbs most cadmia^ 

ao4 Imitates the goodness of aurichalcum §•" The expression^ 

^ absorbs most cadmia,' seems to indicate, that the copper was 

increased in bulk, or in weight, or in both, by means of the cadmia. 

Now It is well known, that any definite quantity of copper is 

greatly increased, both in bulk and in weight, when it is made into 

brass by bdng taxed In conjunction with calamine. The other 

attribute of the copper, when mixed with cadmia, was, its resembling 

amriehalcum. We have seen from Cicero, that the term orichalcum 

^was applied to a substance far less valuable than gold, but similar 

to it fa colonr ; and it is tfkely enough, that the Romans, com. 

monly called the mixture of copper and cadmia, orichalcum, thougli 

niYly saySjthit it only resembled it ; he, as a naturalist, speaking 

with precision, and distinguishing the real orichalcum, which in his 

time, he says, was bo where produced, from the factitious one^ 

which from its resemblance to it, had usurped its name. 

• Miner, p. 218. f Art« Orictaalqae. 

X Uughton't Hist, of Ancient Bgypt, p. 58. § Hist Nat. L. XXXIV. S. U. 

TOL, TI. t 


Sextnl Pompeiui Fcitoi tbtUgsd « work of Vwrin FIft 
frammariao of coniiderabla not* in tha dma of Aagmtai. 
abridgment, h« definu cadtak to ba an earth which ia t 
upon copper, in order to chaogo it into orichalcum*. Tha 
whidi Feitoi flottriahed ii not aacertaiaad : he waa nnqn 
ablj poaterior to Martial, and soaa hare thongbt that Itt U* 
der the Cbriitian Emperort. fiat leaviag that point to ba 
I^ the critic), if he expreised himself in the worda of Iha 
wboM work he abridged, we have from falo a deciaiva pm 
cadnia wai conudered ai a apeciea of earth, and that tba I 
ued it for the conTertiog of copper into a metallic tDtwtaaaa 
la the Angnafan age, oridiatcam. 

J a oppoiition to thia, it ongbt to ba renarked, tiiat Mna 
•tandbytbacadniiaDf Flinj, not Gabuninc, butnatiieaaaak. 
team la bav* bean ted into thia opinion, from oluerring thai 
aaya, Upif xrona wai called cadmia. For apprehendti^ J 
Upii sroina Pliny andaralood a kind of itone which eaatad 
and eroiioDi in the Aaih of tboK who were occopied la « 
it, and knowing that anenlc produced anch an effect,' the 
concluded that cadmia wai uatiTe aneoic-f. Thia, prafeibt 
miitake arinog from a miiinterpretation of the word knw* 
Diaallf , if bot conitaotlj', appUei that word to isbitapnali 
copper i> contained, withoat baring anj retpect to tka^nril 
■«ch inbatancea on the fleah of anlmali. Anenlc, momva^ 
B^xed with copper, doea not gire a gold, bat a lilTer-Uhi H 
aoca to copper. And butlf, Flinj^, inanotber plaea M] 

Msth t m iiifj obtfffet, tiMt tnricluilciiai was made from eopper ^ 
brosglit to a goMen coloar bf a loog coottniiod boat, and the ad^ 
ttiztoroof adrag*. IfMomt, bishop of SeTiUe in Spain, in the 
Asrtnth crataiy, deacribot aorichalcom as possessing the splendor 
of gold, and the hardness of copper^ and he uses the lery words of 
Primasios respecting tlie manner of it's being madef • The drag 
spoken of by these three bbhops was probably cadmia. Prepared 
cadoua is highly comteended by Pliny as usefni in disord^v of the 
sfes$ ; and it is still with ns, under the more common appellation 
of calamine, in some repute for the same purpose. Hence, consi.k 
dering the testimonies of Festns and Pliny to the application of 
cadmia in making either orichalcum, or a substance imitating tho 
goodness of orichalcum^ we cannot hare mush doubt in supposing| 
that cadmia was the drug alluded to by Ambrose, and by thoso 
who seemed to hare borrowedj with some inac(!uracy of eipression^ 
Us description of ih» manner of making orichalcum. 

What we call brass, was anciently in the French language called 
archal; and brass wire Is still not unfrequently denominated fit 
d^archal. Now if we can infer, from the analogy of hiogoages^ 
that archal is a corruption of aurichalcum, we may reasonably 
conjecture, that our biHss, whidh is the same with the French ar* 
chal. Is the same also with the Roman aurichalcum. 

Though we may, from what has been adranced, conclude, with« 
out much apprehension of error, that the Romans knew the me« 
thod of making brass, by melting together calamine and copper; 
yet the in?entk>n was probably derived to them from some other 

We meet with two passages, one in Aristotle, the other in Strabo^ 
from which we may collect, that brass was made in Asia, much 
after the same manner In which it appears to hare been made at 

Strabo informs us, that in the enrirons of AndAra, a ctty of 
Phrygia, a wonderful kind of stone was met with, which bting 
calcined became iron ; and beidg then fluxed with a certain earthy 


* AuricluilciUB ex are At, cum ig^oe malto i et medicamioe adhibitot pcrdi^ 
•iturad aureoin colorem.— Prima, in Apjc. C. I. 

f Aoricbalcum dictam, quod et splrndorem auri, et darittam erispomi irat ^ 
it aotem ev ere et if ne miilto» ac medicamiidbas perdncltar ad aarcan sola* 
lem.— tsid. Orig. 

t Hist. X^at. L. XXXIV. C, X. 

X % 


dnppid oat r lilnrJookiag m*Ul, wUdb, twigc oiMd-wU 
pw, feriMd K oonporitioii «Uck knm edlad wlfhahw*. 
aot impratwbre, I tUnk, that tUi itow nMmbted blMk j« 
MM* otker ore of itoc Biaek Jack wqr, ift a canaiB i 
■p^ng, bfl aUcd a atone. It alwdi h Ima ; aai, «ha 
<taad,looki Ilka aa inn carOi; it ylaMa ilac by dlaWiaftM, 
Uwa aaxed witk rilnr and iMd I and bath tka Betrills nb 
wUch may ba aztractad fn^ Uack jack, aid tba loHtalite 
MbM tnm ft vUbt ft ii inwltcd, will, vban miaid vMha 

Tha HoaajiMwl iababiiad a eoaatrj not far fnan tlia Bain 
Md tMr eopper, acaarding to Arfatode, wai aaid to ban b 
^landU and white, BotfraB tha addition of tin, brt ftc 
biiag Bind and a aa intad with an aartb fonnd in ttat oaa 
TUa oamntlaK of ctvpar with a* earth, is wbtt b daM^ 
>raM h mada, by nailing copper with calamine, whick b 
ailed, and indeed hai Ibt aktemal ^paaraaoe of, aa mtfk 
that Alia waa celebrated far ili endmia or calamine, w» bn< 
iMtfanonj or FUnyt. Tba copper oftbe Blowymeoi iaaaiil 
baeoM wUto by thii operwtioii. WbitaiMH appeitaka M 
riftir ibfalntely or raiatiTely ; for bnu> U aot oidy MMfci 
than copper, bnt whan it la made with a certain qoanU^tfi 
tiealar lort of caUaiine, far there are very variou aoite iC- 
•nUnary yellow odanr it changed into a white. CieanfM 
aaan, nppaaea that oikbalmm nl^t hare been mistahaHto 

fatdy In olm r; but whicb^ upon being lumdled, alwijt emits a 
Wttmg aad peeoliar aMeU, not obterrable eitlier in gold or gilded 

The iLingt of Persia^ wiio preceded tiie Darius meotioned b)r 
Afistotie, were in possession of similar Tessets ; but tliey seem to 
luvre been rare, and of ooaine were held in high estimation. Among 
Utt magnificent presents of gold and silrer ressifls which Artaxences 
and his counsellors gare to Ears, for the service of the temple at 
Jemsalem) there were twentj basons of gold, and but two resaelt 
of jellow shining copper, precious as gold, or, as some render the 
words, resembling gold*. Sir John Chardin, in his MS. note^ 
has mentioned a mixed metal used in the East, and highly esteemed 
there ; and, as the origin of this composition Is unknown, it might, 
lor aught we know, be as old as the time of Ezra, and be bfougllt 
from those more remote countries Into Persia, where these two ba. 
sons were given to be conveyed to Jerusalem. ^* 1 have heard,** 
says the note, <* some Dutch gentlemen speak of a metal in the 
island of Sumatra, and among the Macassars, much more esteemed 
than gold, which royal personages alone might wear. It is a mis- 
tnro, if I remember ri^ht, of gold and steel, or of copper andstoA^ 
He afterwards added to this note (for the colour of the ink dlibrs), 
^^ Calmt>ae is this metal composed of gold and copper. It in co^ 
kNir nearly resembles the pate carnation rose, has a very fine graln^ 
the perish extremely lively. I have seen something of it, itc. GoM 
is not of so lively and brilliant a colour ; 1 beliere there is alert 
mixed with the gold and copper." He seems to be in doubt abont 
the composition, but very positive as to its beauty and high estk 

The supposition of brass having been anciently made in India, 
seems to be rendered improbable by both Pliny and Strabo; Pliny 
expressly saying, that the Indians had no copper:):, and without 
copper we are certain that brass cannot be made ; and Strabo ro» 
presenting them as so ignorant of the art of fiuxing metals^, that 
according to him, if they had been possessed of the materials, they 
would not have had the ability to use them for the composing oi 
brass. But these writers, it is apprdiended, knew fery little of 
India. Strabo, hi particular, laments his want of materials to 
compose a consistent account of India; and few of the anthori 

• Exm viii. ST. f Hamer's Obfc M Mg. YjgL U.^ 491. 

t Hilt, NaC L. XXXIY. C. XVIL S O^UXlf. 

T 3 

87$ *>" omCBAlCDM. 

from whoM worlci Plii^ conpilad hit Nktvnl IltitBfj, aa b« 
suppoied to hkvr l|ad any InUreoiirM witk tk«t eoniilf^. Slnbo, 
mareover, contiadicU both Pliny'* obwrratioa, mn<l hU o«a> ia 
4e>Gribii|g tba greU panp with which fODM of tlie Ia4ikM wars 
•ccnitpiuHl to ^le)>Tata their fMti*«Ui bt ipeakt or bp flit keU 
tlMi copi, •nd tabiM, m»da of lodiui eappet^i fion vhkb it ap. 
ycarit not ooty that tlw {odiani war* not deititato of topper, bvt 
that Uiay ware ikilful matallurgiita, linu they knew how to loK 
it, to fom it into veMeli of Tarioiu kindi, aiid to glU tU Par* 
iMpa, tfaii Indian copper of which tba tmwcIi wf re nwla, taitad 
qf beios gilt, only reaanbled go)d is colour, and WH rwliy » Mrt 
0( brait. It ii granted that Ibii if but a conjecturv, i> not 
4aT<4d of pi«b^ilityi fnr, not to mentioD that the Mthor,, who> 
•nr ba was, fron' ^bftw Strabo extracted this acconnt,- might in ■ 
public a(bibitiqn havB taitily raiitaken polished bran for gilt *»p- 
pef j nor the little probabilitj tiiat eanldroni, and iatOm, and 
ncl) Tecaeli a| were in coaitaat nK, would be gilded )■ any eaqa- 
trjj we haye reason to balier*, from what bai been obMrred ba* 
J^na, that a pacaliar kind of reuali, probably res^emUi*! aone of 
tiloae ayhit^ted In tba ]ndian faitirfdi, had been loBg la wo Id 
f ania, aqd that thaj war« owde of Indiao copper wMMHMf 
Riding. We knpw that there it found in India, not oa|^>>«hp^r 
ftrictlT >0 caU«d> bnt sina alto, which being mixed -«ftt aifpw 
jMnttitptai brait, pinchbeofc,- tombac, ■imilor, and wUMtlt^ 
VataUic misturea which reiemble gold in culonr. On'JhfrVhlk, 
■(jhable lo m--. lliat brass wa; made ' 

ON OllOBAlCOM. €79 

ttew b ao Inpossibility in nipposiog that copper ore mtj be so 
intimCelj blended with an ore of zinc, or of some other metallic 
snhf taoce, that the compound, when smelted, may jie4d a mizt me^ 
tel of a paler hue than copper, and resembling the colour of either 
goM or silTer. In Da Halde*s History of China, we meet with 
the following account of the Chinese white copper. ^^ The most 
extraordinary copper is called pe-tong, or white copper: It is 
white when dog oat of the mine, and still more white within than 
wiffaont. It appears, by a rest number of experiments made at Pe. 
king, that its colour is owing to no mixture ; on the contrary, all 
mixtures diminish it's beauty; for when it is rightly managed, it 
looks exactly like silrer : and were there not a necessity of mixing 
a little tutenag, or some such metal with it, to soften it, and pre. 
Tent its brittleness, it would be so much the more extraordinary ; 
as this sort of copper is, perhaps to be met with no where but in 
China, and that only in the proTlnce of Yunnan*.** Notwith« 
standing what Is here said, of the colour of this copper being owing 
to no tnixture, it Is certain that the Chinese white copper, as 
brought to us, is a mixt metal; 'so that the ore, from wldch it is 
extracted, most consist of yarious metallic substances ; and from 
aome such ore it is possible that the natural orichalcum, if ever it 
existed, may hare been made. Bot, though the existence of natu* 
ral orichalcum cannot be shewn to be impossible, yet there is some 
reason to doubt whether it erer had a rea3 existence or not : for I 
pay not much attention to what Father Kircher has said of orlchal* 
cum being found between Mexico and the straits of Darien ; be* 
cause no other author has confirmed his account, at least none on 
whose skill in mineralogy we may relyi. 

We know of no country in which It is found at present 3 nor was 
it any where found in the age of Pliny, nor does he seems to hare 
known the country where it erer had been found. He admits, in. 
deed, its haying been formerly dog out of the earth ; but it is re- 
markable that, in the rery passage he is mentioning by name the 
countries most celebrated for the production of different kinds of 
copper, he only says in general, concerning orichalcum, that it had 
been found In other countries, without specifying any particular 
country. Plato acknowledges that orichalcum was a thing only 

e FdI. Tians. VoUI. p. le. i Xirdu Muad^Sub, 


180 OH oiicHAteeai. 

tallud of eren in bit tinM ; it wm ao wbera thm to b* Mat 
though in th« inland of Atlanlii it had bean formerly citiwild 
lu mine. The Greekj war* in powniionof ■ mcnlHc mM 
Mtlcd orichilcum, before tha fonndatloii of Rome ; tor It ll 
tioaed by Homer and bj HeMod, and bj both of tbon !■ ■ 
manner at ihew > that it vaa held in great eiUem. Olhar a 
writers hare axpreufd (tiemielTef in limilar termi of ema 
tion ; and it is principally fnun the drcomitaim of Aa U| 
paled f ilaa of aricbalcum, tliat authors are induced I* M 
tlie ancieut oricbalcun to bare Iwen a niitoral inbatatwr^ ■■■ 
different from tiw ftctitious one in ase at Roma^ and fnlba 
Alia ; and wluch, it has Iwcn shewn, wat nothing ilUbiwI 
oar brau. 

But this circunutanca, when properlj' considered, doai i 
pear to be of weight sufficient to establish tlie point. Wti 
the method of making brass wai first found oat, it is mtUk 
it moat bare been for somo tiae, perbapa for sone Ifsn, t 
■Ctrce commoditjr ; and this icarcitf , added to its twi i^w 
u a n^lallic mbitance, must bava rendered it Terj TVlifU 
cntilltrd it to the greatest enconians. Diodorw Meatai 91 
a people who willinglj bartered their gold fur an equiffp 
iron or copptr*; and the Europeans Iht* long carriadata I 
kind of coqimerce with varioui nations. Gold* in a^pia 
ia justly cstremed the most valaa tile of met^; in o(hB%lpi 
the most important to the well being of maokiod, h ljm,% 

oji omiOBAiouii. . Ml 

woffid, tad copper iiwtniiiieiits, d?il and mOitary, ware, alaott 
tbe only ones id iiae*, a metallic mixturey Tesembliiig gold in 8plen« 
dour, and preferable to copper, on account of its superior hard* 
aess, and being less liable to mst, lnu^t hare greatly excited the 
attentiiin of mankind^ been eagerly sought after, and highly ex* 
tolled by them. The Romans, no doubt, when it had been stipo* 
lated in the^leagne which Pors«fniia made with them^ after the ex» 
pulsion of the Tarquins, that they should not use iron, except in 
agricoltorv, rnunt have estet^med a metallic mixture such as brass, 
at a rate not caiiily to be creditfdt. It is not here attempted to 
prove, that th<^re nf^r^r was a metallic substance called orichalcum, 
•up«*rior io ralne and diflfereot in quality from brass ; but merelj 
to i»hew, that thp common reason assigned for its existence, is not 
an cogent as is generally supposed. 

Considering the few ancient writers we have remaining, whoso 
particular business it was to speak with precision concerning sub. 
jects of art, or of natural history, we ought not to be surprised 
at the uncertainty in which they hare left us concerning orichaU 
cum. Men have b(*en er<>T much the same in all ages ; or, if anj 
general superiority in understanding is to be allowed, it may seem 
to foe more properly ascribed to those who lire in ibe manhood or 
old age of the world, than to those who existed in its infancy or 
ehildhood : especially as the means of acquiring and commani. 
eating knowledge, with us, are far more attainable than they wero 
in the times of either Greece or liome. The compass enables us to 
extend our researches to erery quarter of the globe with the 
greatest ease j; ; and an historical narration of what is seen in dis^ 
tant conntries, is now iuGnitely more dittused than it could have 
been, before the invention of printing; yet, even with these ad- 
vantages, we are, in a great measure, strangers to the natural his* 

« Heiiod. 

i 1b fasdere qaod, ezpulsis regibns, populo RomaDo dedit Ponenna, oo- 
BiiBatim comprehensom invenimns, ne ferro nisi in a^ricultura otercntar. Plio. 
Hht. Nat. Vol. II. p. 660.— Wat Portenna iiiduc d to prohibit the Romans 
the use of Iron anu, from the opinion, wMcb seemi to have prevailed in 
Greece two handred years afterward— that wooodoy made with copper weapons, 
were more easily healed, than those made with iron ? Aris. Op. L. I V. p. 43. 

I Button qnotet Honier*ii Od>i.«ey, and some Chinete aatlion, to prove that 
the twe of the mariner*! compass in navigation was known to the aiicientfc, at 
least three thoosand yean ago. Nat. Hist, by Bofbo^ Vok iX. p. IT. SmelUe*« 


totf of tfc* «srtli, ud tiM ciTil Uitoiy of the nalioai whicli inhibit 
it. H» wboimporia tuteiug rram the £uL lodiu, or white cap- 
per from Chini or Japu), ■■ avre of meetiag with m rendj tourket 
fn- hii mcrchendise in Europe, without being aiked unj qsntlons 
coBoemtng the meaner how, or the pluM where, thejr u* pre. 
pared. An ingenloui oianufutarer of theie melaUk iMbitBncei 
night wbh, probebljr, to ecqulre lome informfttion ihoBt them, 
In order to sttempt a domestic imitAtwD of them ; bat tW ■■rrhint 
who (mporti them, lecmi to be too little iotereited iD tht nCGHi 
of hit endeeTours, to teke much pains io procuring for Ub> the 
Toqnlilte infonnttion. Imilationi, howerer, hare boia mido of 
them, and we have an European tatenag, and an Eoropew white 
coppei*, (Uflertng, in some qualities, from those which we brought 
from Asia, but resembling titem in so ntaay other, that tbof hare 
acquired their names. Something of tbb kind maj hare beaa the 
flMe with respect to ariefaalcnm, and (be most aacient Gnaka ■•/ - 
have known no more of tho manner in which it was nada, thu 
wa do of that En which the Chinese prepare their wWta. copper: 
tbejr maj hare had too an imitation of tlie original,. iwd their 
•nthors maj have ofteo misuken the one for the otbei^ Rfd, Hm 
hava Introdiiecd an lucertaiDljr and confnsion into thcir.-jifdintl 
of it. 

Tlwre is U little agreement amongit the learned &atufda§,i^ 
etymology of orichalcnm, as coaceraing its origin. Tta|M vbo 
write it narichalcnm, eapposo that it is en hybridous wmJf' JpHU 
nifjing copprr, and a Latin 

ov emieBALCutc. ggs 

vMch Mag smelted yielded a copper of tke colour of gold, and 
that this copper was called oriclialcuro, or the moDDtain copper 
it is much to be wondered at, that neither the poets nor the phi« 
losophers of aotlqnity have bestowed a single line in its coiUnien. 
dation ; for as to the Atlantis of Plato, before mentioned, no one 
it is conceived, will bnild an argument for the existence of natural 
orichalcum, on such an uncertain foundation : and, if there had 
been any such mountain, it is probable, that the copper it pro. 
duced would hare retained its name, just as at this time of day 
we spealc of Bcton cepper in Staffordshire, and Paris-mountain 
copper in Anglesey* 

Some men are fond of etymological inquiries, and to them I 
would suggest a fery different derivation of orichalcum. The He* 
brew word or^ atir, signifies light, fire, flame ; the Latin terms 
firoy to burn, and aurum, gold, are derived from it, inasmuch as 
gold resembles the colour of flame ; and hence, it is not impro. 
bable, that orichalcum may be composed of an Hebrew and Greek 
, term, and that it Is rightly rendered, flame-coloured copper. In 
confirmation of this it may be observed, that the Latin epithet 
lufidumy and the Greek one ^asivor, are both applied to orichaU 
com by the ancients ; but I would be understood to submit this 
conjecture, with great deference, to those who are much better 
skilled than I am in etymological learning. 

^Bithop Watson. 

Pr. lYatsqn has justly observed In the preceding essay, that 
none of the poets or philosophers h^ve spoken in favour of orim 
chalcum. Among the Roman poets the term employed both for 
copper and brass, or orichalcum, was ees ; which is the only term 
adopted by Lucretius when he evidently means mineral copper, 
either in its ores or in metallic veins. This, however, by his 
translators is iq almost all cases translated brass, but most erro* 
neously $ for, as we have just seen, brass is a mixed metal, and 
has never, that we know of, been traced in a native state. Mr* 
Good is the only one of the translators who has entered into the 
scientiHc meaning of the term, and has avoided the error: nor can 
we conclude this chapter better than by quoting his translation of 
the ^^ Nature of Things," which describes the mode by which phi- 
losophers in the time of Lucretius supposed mankind to have ac« 
paired their first fude knowledge of metals. 

t84 0> OBIOHALIIUlr. 

lAua Mst 0ml «Unr, «bU/ 
Lndi budier oomm^ ina^ flnt v«ra tncM " 
Wban e'er the faUl*, mum eonAsgntlea din <.■ .(' . 
Bara'd from iU bub th« dwp'rootod gron ; 
By lightningi haply kindled, or tbm omft ...^ • 

Of boiti eotiUDding o'er 1^ weodUad iceiMt, i, -vi-<- 
A deublfl fear tbut itriking^ tbrongfa their fowt i .(r- 
, Or by the ahepherd't wish bU boundi t' eaIufeHTi« ■,. 
O'er tracd of specioni pronuM ; or, perchiBl%(.jn-» 
WUd beuti to ilaagbter, end lh«ir tpoili poweNi ;,■■ 
Forsncb, with fire and guUeful pit, mankind -t ,' ■ 
Pint caught, ere hoiiodi were nanhall'd Ui tho4l|Hl| 
Or ronnd the copM Uw tnesy net. work drawn. «,. 

WhaU'er thx caose, when bow the wictBOiiS ImM 
Bad from their ntmoat root*, with hufeon craih,.- 
FeU'd the taU trees, and, wlA EU torrU beat, tf^ . -< 
The eoll deep.reddan'd, riUa of Mq^ gold, . ■ ^, 
Land, ailrer, coppir, throng Ui foi^ porei tt V . 

■ Quod iDpcr cit, S^i atquc auruni, rcmimqiie rrpcrluD ttt, ftci 
Tfar piusage is too lonf for lu lo quale the originnl at 1 
of )( brfoTP 01 the Icmrned irantlalor hai Ihr (blowing B 
lu the originn), ii gTnenill]i iiitrrprclcd In (he difeieni 
■1 a ficncilc EulMIUitkr, tl will tuiduublcdly includr, oi 
krmu, ihc >ppro[iriste Irtm for nhicta U avricAtlcam, being s complri 
of labfcqueiit tgtt, ii is obrlous the poei here rdjl 


01l*liBTAt8. t8i 

Glided a»ahi, and everj hollow fill'd. 

Tbese wiien, condensed, long after men snrrej'd 

Gfisteuiog in earth, attracted hy the glare, 

The splendid mass they dug ; and mark'd, surprized. 

Each form'd alike, and, to the channell'd bed 

Where late it lay, adapted most precise. 

Then iostant deem'd they, liquified by flame. 

The power was theirs each ?arious shape t* assume, 

Drawn dextrous out, of point or edge acute ; 

The power unrivaird theirs each tool to frame 

Art needs to fell the forest, and its trees 

Moald into planks or beams ; to cleare, or smooth, 

Pierce, hollow, scoop, whate'er the plan conceiT'd. 

Nor stroTe they less such instruments V obtain 
From gold, or siWer, than stern copper's strength. 
Yet mnly : for their softer texture fatl'd, 
Powerless to bear the sturdy toil requir'd. 
Whence copper chief they courted, while all gold 
Neglected lay, too blunt, and dull for use. 
Now triumphs gold, while copper sinks despised. 
So rolling years the seasons change of things : 
What once was Talii'd loses all its worth. 
And what was worthless rises in its stead. 
Swells into notice daily, erery hour 
Blooms with new praise, and captiye leads the world. 


OP oun-metal; bronze, or statuary-metal; bell 


JLJESiDES brass there are many other metallic mixtures, info which 
copper enters as the principal ingredient ; the most remarkable of 
these are gun-metal, bell.metal, pot*metal, and speculnm.metal. 

It has been remarked of Queen Elizabeth, that she left more 
biass ordnance at he? death, than she found of iron on her acces. 

389 oif irCTALi. 

rioa to the throne. TUs MHt Ml to «d«ftlood at If godr tetot 
was in her time aiada chieiy of brass, for die term brass was 
sometimes used to denote copper ; and so m et i me s a oomposif ion of 
irooy copper, and calamine, was called lirass $ and we at this day 
commonly speak of brass cannon, thoogh brass does not enter into 
the composition nsed for the casting of cannon« Aldroraiidas* 
informs ns, that 100 pounds weight of copper, widi twetre Of tin, 
made gun^anetal ; and that if, instead of twelfe, twenty poonds 
weight of tin was nsed, the aseini becaaM beli^metal. The work* 
men were accostomed to call tlds compositioa metal, or^bronze, 
according as a greater or a less proportion of tin had been nsed* 
Some indiTidnals,.he says, for the sake of cheapness, need brass 
or lead instead of tin, and thns fe r a se d a khid of bronae for Tari^ 
ous works. I do not luow whether connoisseurs esteem the 
metal, of which the ancients cast their statues, to be of a qnality^ 
superior to oar modem bronse ; Irat if we should wish to imitate 
the Romans in this point, Pliny has enalded us to do it ; for he 
bas told u8, that the metal for their statues, and for the plates on 
irhich they engraved inscriptions^ was composed in the following 
manner. They first melted a quantity of copper ; into the n»lted 
copper they pat a third of its weight of old copper, which had 
been long in use ; to erery hundred pounds weight of this mfaLture 
they added twelre pounds and a half of a mixtnre, composed of 
eqttal parts of lead and tin f • 

In Diego Ufano*s Artillery, published in 1014, we ha?e an ac« 
count of the different metallic mixtures then used for the casting 
of cannon, by the principal gun.founders in Europe. 

Copper • 160—100—100—100 parts. 

Tin • • 10^ SO— 8— 8 

Brass • • 8— 6— 5— O 

The belt posrible metallic mixture catinot be easd/ ascertained, u 
Tariooa mixtures auy answer equally well the rude purpose to 
which ordnance Is applied. Some nuxtues, howe? er, are unques* 
tionably better adapted to tills parfkMe timn others, in some partis 
cnUir points. Of two metallic adxtnree^ which should bOt^uaHf 
strong, the l%htest wonM hare the p refar e nce : at the last siege of 
Prague, part of the ordnance of the besiegers was melted by the 


« AMmaadas, p.loa»' ♦ fikt.Kat.L^XUiiy.i»£E. 

ON MirAAi. M7 

freqneaqr of tbe firing ; the nixtare of which it was made con* 
tained a large portion of lead ; and it would ha? e been less prone 
to melt) and consequently preferable, bad it contained none. 

Woolwich, I belief e, is the only place in England, where there 
is a foundry fbr the casting of brass cannon. The metallic com. 
position there used, eonsists of copper and tin. The proportion 
in which these two metals are combined, is not always (he same, 
because the copper is not always of equal purity, and the finest 
copper requires the most tin ; they seldom use more than twelve, 
or less than eight parts of tin to every 100 of copper. This 
metallic mixture is sold, before casting, for j6.75 a ton, and 
Gorernment pays for casting it i^. 60 a ton. The guns of the 
East India Company are less ornamented than those of Gorern. 
mert; on that and other accounts they are cast for j6.40 a ton. 
I have here put down the weights of the brass ordnance, now 
most generally in use, as cast at Woolwich. 


Weight of brass cannon now in use. 

cwt. qr. lb. 

42 pounders • . 01 3 10 
34 . .. • 51 
IS . . 39 

6 . • . 19 

These were on board the Royal George In 1780, but had been 
removed, I believe, before she was lost. 

Battering cannon. 

43 pounders 

33 • . . 

34 • • . 
18 • • • 
13 • • . 

9 • . • . 

84 ponndera ; 

13 • . * 

6 • « • 

3 • • * 


3 10 


3 10 







3 13 


3 8 


3 10 


3 10 

«■ MITAU. 

«»tV. lb. 


t IS 


'< M' 





;■» » 



1 » 




1 a 


■» r 

10 . . . 

Mortan (8m Sarrie*). 

Id cuBng tbew piscM of canaon. Hay gmtnUj indv fka Sick. 
MM of the lidei, nMr Um nnule, half Oa diui«ter «f 'flia^^ot, 
wd at tbs t<nch.hoU, w charting cjIMnr* tiiiM-fDwthi of tha 
Aamatar. Bran caanoH ara Atmrtr than tboaa mait «( inn ; 
Utif which is a diiiadTantsge, (h^y gire a loudsr ivport at the 
time of eiplosion, so as to occasion a liogling id the ears of the 
persons on sbipbOBrd, which takes away for a time the facall/ of 

Cannon might be cast of copper alone ; but the mbttnre of tin 
and copper is harder and denser, and leas liable to rutt than pure 
copper is, and opon these accounts it is preferable to capper. 

0» ItSVAU. 809 

to be addbd*. It mtj in general be obserred, that a Ipss propor. 
tioo of tin is used for making church bells than clock bells, and 
that thej add a little zinc for the bells of repeatlnij wat< hes and 
other small bells. Thm zinc becomes manifest on melting these 
bells, by the blue flame which it exhibits. 

There is a very remarkable experiment mentioned by Glauber+. 
•* Make," says he, ** two balls of copper, and cwo of pore tin 
not mixed with lead, of one and the same form and quantify, the 
weight of which balls observe exactly j which done, again melt 
the aforesaid balls or bullets into one, and first the copper, to 
which melted add the tin, lest much tin evaporate in the melting:, 
and presently pour out the mixture melted into tlie mould ol the 
first balls, and there will not come forth fonr, nor scarce three 
balls, the weight of the four balls being reserved.'' This subject 
has been prosecuted since Glauber's time J, and it has been disco. 
Tered, that when metallic substances are melted together, it seldom 
happens that a cubic inch of each of the two ingredients will form 
a mass exactly equal to two cubic inches ; the mixture will in some 
instances be greater, and in other less than two cubic inches. In 
the instance of tin and copper, where the bulk of the mixture is 
go much less than the sum of the bulks of the two component partSj 
it might be expected that the compound metal would possess pro. 
perties, not merely intermediate between those of copper and tin^ 
but essentially different from them both* And accordingly we find, 
Unit this mixture- is not only more brittle, more hard, and more 
sonorous, than either.copper or tin ; but it is more dense also, 
than either of them ; a cubic foot of it weighing, not only more 
than a cubic foot of tin, but than a cubic foot of copper itself* 

Pot.lnetal is made of copper and lead, the lead being one.fourtk 
or one.^dtfa the "weight of the copp#r. In Pliny's time pot.metal 
(ollaria temperature) was made of a pound and a half or two 
pOtlnds of lead', and an equal' portion of tin, mixed with 100 parts 
of coppet. ^Copper and lead seem not to be combined together 
In the saaie wiiy that copper and tin are ; for when pot.metal u 
exposed to a ntfelting heat, the lead Is first fused, and shews itself 

• Waller. MSner. vol. II. p. 84S. NewCbem. by Lcwii^ p. 60^ Macq. 
Cbem; vol. I, p. 10. Eng. Tnm. 

+ Glaaber's Works, fol. ed. 1689, p. 81. 

% Gellerf I Chy. Metal.' ft Chtm. Pict. art. Allay. 
• TOL*TI. U ^ 


In littl* dropi over th« surfu* of tlw pflt-meUI, wbilM Off i 

mnaiai uofaseil. 

It ii reported of Jbdips H. thtt h* niplted dowa and cola 
the brtu icupt in Ireland, and aflerwardi proceeded to oo 
pewter with this inscription— Jtf«//fri'( teiierm fall. TIm 
gKU in America bad recoune to tlie same expedient; ttoj 
leveral pieces of aboat an inch and a balf in diamettrf and 
grains in weight ; on one tide of which wag intcril>ed h ■ e 
ring near Ibe ed^e—Conlintnlal Currencj/, 177(1 — and wltl 
ring a riling lun, with — fugio — at the ude of it, ihlahg i 
dial, uniler which VM—Mind your buiinea. — On tin i 
were thirteen small circles joined together like the rinp of a 
on each of which was inscribed the name of some one vf tb 
teen itatea ; on another circular ring, within these, wai Inter 
American Congreu — and in the central space— ^ mr$ 
bare been particular in the mention of this piece of bom 
cause, like the leaden monej which was itrnck at Vienna, 
that city was besieged by the Turks in 1539, it «■)! ■*<>* ^ 
a great curiosity. I estimated the weight of a cuUe foot 
coDtioental currency ; it was equal to 7446 oanceit tkh i 
the weight of a cubic foot of our bes^t sort of pewter, and Ml 
of that of oar wont ; I conjecture that the metal of A* 
nental currency consisted of twelve parts of tin andofoaa* 
Plautus*, and other Roman authors, make mention of \ttA 
ney; some are of opinion Ibit we ought to understand I 
eipressinn, copper mixed with lead ; but that cannot ba Al 

Oir MBTALS. £01 

The MX iMife io all ages used some coDfrifance or other to en. 
aMe tlmi to set off their dress to tha best advantage ; and the men 
ware probably never without their attention to that point. We 
find Jntenal* satiriaing the emperor Otho for making a speculum 
part of his camp equipage. 

Res memoranda novis annalibus, atque recenti 
Hbtoria, speculum cifilis sarcina belli. 

Homer, in describing Juno at her toilet +, makes no mention 
of a speculum ; but in CaHimachus X we see, though it suited not 
the majesty of Juno, nor the wisdom of Pallas, to use a speculum 
iMfora thejr exhibited their persons to Paris, who was to determine 
the prize of beauty ; that Venus, on the same occasion, had fre. 
qoent recourse to one, before she could adjust her locks to her 
own satisfaction. The most ancient account we have of the use of 
specula is that in Exodus (xxxviii. 8.) ^^ And he made the laver of 
brass [copper, or a mixture of copper and tin] and the foot of it 
of brass of the looking-glasses of the women." The English 
reader may wonder how a vessel of brass could be made out of 
looking-glasses ; the Hebrew word might properly be rendered by 
■pecula, or metallic mirrors. The Jewish women were, probably, 
I>resented with these mirrors, as they were with other articles of 
▼aJae by their Egyptian neighbours, when they left the country ; 
for it was the custom of the Egyptians, when they went to their 
ttmples, to carry a mirror in their left hand§: it is remarkabley 
that the Peruvians, who had so many customs in common with the 
Dgyptians, were very fond also of mirrors ; which they ordinarily 
formed of a sort of lava that bore a fine polish. 

Pliny II says, that the best specula were anciently made at Brun. 
dosium of copper and tin ; that Praxiteles, in the time of Pompey 
tiie Great, was the first who made one of silver ; but that silver 
ones were in his time become so common, that they were used 
even by the maid servants. The metallic mixture of tin and cop« 

AUter aQtem comparata sunt nnmlonata pott atalem Severl cnia, quippe ex 
qnibos puttvls qaBdam plambi, ^el nodico ignw calore diTcnit in locii expri* 
nontnr.— 8avot de Num. Ant. P. II. C. I. Thete pot-metal medab wert pro* 
bably cast 

• Sat. IT. 1. 1 W. t !!• ^ XIV. I 110. 

X Hym. in Lavac. Pallad. S CyriL de Ado. 

f Hilt. NaC. L. XXXIII. 8. XLV. 

tgl OM MBTAti. 

ptr wai knimn loig bifbra tb age cf FII117 } it (i an 
bf Ariitotlo*, incideotdlr, wten ha k dBH^ttiDg a natl 
rndering ctqiper while, but oot bj tin ) and fnta U« gtmt 1 
it wiU pnbably uner Ul into diraw. We ham cttiMj li 
■toce the introduction of glan mirran, to me it 1» lh» '^ 
ancient« did; but it ia «till of great qm umngit ui» lioc* t^ i 
of reflecting toleKopei are commonly made of it. Mr. 1 
Ihu ucertainedt, not only the beat proportion in whick the 1 
and tm should be mixed together, hot has feond ont nlto « i 
of casting the ipecnla withont porei, & obaerrea^ Sit fl 
fection of the metal, of which the ipecnlnm ihoirid lifc 
conriati in Hi faardnen, whiteneaa, and oompactneia. ' m 
qnanttly of tin U a third of the whole compoiltkin, li» tati 
bai ill utmost whiteness ; bnt it b at tiie lamo duo rtadai 
bard that It cannot be pollahed withont baTing its liAti uu 
tered and broke np. After many ezperinwnta, he at Ii^fll 
Oat fonrteen ounces and one half of grain tin^, and' HM f 
of n^per made tlw best composiHon ; an addition of Uf ■■ 
more tin rendered the compoiitioa too hard to be piuiM^ ] 
cd. The catting the metal so as that it may be compiatM 
mt pores, b a matter of the greatest conseqnenco; WW 
fte manner of doing it by acddent. His osnal way it Al 
i|Mculam metal, was to melt the copper and to add dialM] 
melted copper : the mass when cast was seldom free Itaaf ' 
After faBThig used all bb copper in trying ezperimenti tt i 
dib defect, he recollected that he had some metal whkkVi 


had done, compact and free from pores. He accounts for this dif. 
ference bj obsert iog, that the heat necessary to melt copper, caU 
dnes part of the tin ; and th^ earthy calcined particles of the tin, 
being mixed in the mass of the metal, render it porous; but the 
composition of tin and copper,, meking with less than half the heat 
requisite to melt the copper, the tin is not liable to be calcined 
in the second melting, as in the first. I am rather disposed to 
think, that the absence of the pores is to be attributed to the more 
perfect fusion of (he metal : for I hate observed at Sheffield, that 
the same weight of melted steel will fill the same mould to a greater 
or less height, according io the degree of fusion the steel has been 
In ; if it has been in a strong heat, and thin fusion, the bar of cast 
fteel will be an inch in thirty.dix shorter than when the fusion has 
been less perfect. Upon breaking one of the bars, which had 
been made from steel in an imperfect fusion, its inside was full of 
blebs ; a shorter bar df the same weight and diameter, which had 
been in a thin fusion, was of a closer texture. Now the mixture of 
tin and cop[ier meltis far easier thain copper does, and it is likeljy 
on that account, to be in a thinner fusion when it is cast. 

It may deserve to be remarked, and I shall have no other oppor. 
ttenity of dohig it, that the melting or casting of steel was fntro- 
dnced at Sheffield, about forty years ago, by one trailer from 
Londoh ; and was afterWards much practised by one Huntsman^ 
fh>m whom steel so prepared, acquired the name of Huntiman^s 
e'oit steel. It wa^ first sold for fourteen-pence, but may now be 
bad forten.pence a pound ; it costs three-pence a pound in being 
knelted, and for drawing ingots bf cast steel into bars of the size of 
razors, they ^ay only six shillings for a hundred weight, and ten 
'shillings for the same quantity when they make the bars into a size 
fltYor small files, '&c. The cast steel will not bear more than a red 
lieat ; In a welding heat it iruns away under the hammer like sand. 
Before the art of casting steel Was Introduced at Sheffield, all the 
cast steel lised in the kin^dtfm wus brought fr6m trermany ; ihe 
business is carried on at Slieffidd with greater advantage than ait 
most other pAaces, for their manufactures furnish them with great 
abundance t>f broken tools ; and these bits of old steel they pur« 
cliase at a penny a poutid, and melt )!h'em, and on that account they 
can afibrd their cast ateel cheaper than where it Is made altogether 
from fr^h bin'«r'tfte«l. 

V 3 

i 904 } 


or TIHRIHa 00rPBK--?IK— rBWTBm< 

Uhbafpilt for minkind, th« fatal accidentt aUtodlag As ■■* 
of copper TCM^k, in the pr^pantioa of food and phfrie* an too 
I, and too well attestnl, to require a particnlaroHmnatlon 

or proof: scarce a jrear pauea, bat we hear of some of^WB, aipe. 
dally iu foreign conotriei ; and manj ilitfbter malidiei, Miginatlng 
from the same toorce, daily escape Qbtenatioii, or are nbrred to 
etber canst-s, io oar own. 

In consequence of some representations from tkt Colkft of 
Health, the use of copper ressels in the fleets and armhi of Swe- 
den was abolished in the year 17S4; and tinned iron was ordered 
to be substituted in Ihelr stead*. The Swedish gonranMnt do. 
serves (he greater commendation for this proceeding, m they bare 
great \Atntf of eicellent copper in the mines of that ooo||ti7^ bat 
no tin. An intelligent surgeon suggested, in 1797, Up p^tilflHy 
of the use of copper ressels in the utvy, being one of tk* cfmm of 
the sea scurry, and recommended the having Ihem clu 
■els of IroD ; he remarked, that of the 200 sail of ships w^i 
to sea from Scarborough, most of them used iron hi 

TiiiNfNO coppfiB^ 8ce. £95 

it bas bem frequently, in this country at least, used alone. In 
that year, The Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufac 
tores mnd Commerce, thought it an object deserving their attention, 
to offer a premrum for the tinning copper and brass vessels with 
pare tin, without lead or tmy other alloy. There were several 
candidates for the premium; and since that time, the tinning 
with pure tni, and hammering it upon the copper, has become 
feiy general in England. Bat this mode of tinning does not appear 
to have been known, or at least it does not appear to have been 
adopted in other countries ; for in the Memoirs of the Koyal Aca. 
demy at Brussels, for the year 1780, M. l*Abb6 .Marci recom- 
mends, as a new practice, the tinning with pure block-tin from 
England ; though, he says, block tin is a compouud body, even 
as it Is imported from England; but he thinks it a much safer co. 
Tering for copper than what is ordinarily used by the braziers ; 
and he gives some directions as to the manner of performing the 
operation. The Lieutenant General of the Police at Paris, gave it 
in commission to the College of Pharmacy, in 1781, to make all 
the experiments which might be necessary for determining— whe. 
ther pure tin might or might not be used for domestic purposes, 
without danger to health ? The researches which were made, in 
consequence of this commission, by Messieurs Charlandand Bayen 
with great ability, were published by order of the French govern, 
ment ; and they have greatly contributed to lessen the apprehen* 
ilons relative to the use of tin, which had been generally excited by 
the expfriments of Marggraf, published first in the Berlin Memoirs 
for 1747. That gentleman, In pursuing an experiment of Henckel, 
who first discovered arsenic in tin, shewed, that, though there was 
a sort of tin which being fluxed from an ore of a particular kind, 
contained no arsenic, the East India tin, which is generally esteemed 
die purest of all others, contained a great deal of arsenic. M. Bosc 
d* Antic, in his works, which were published at Paris, 1780, sets 
aside the authority of Marggraf, Cramer, and Hellot, relative to 
the existence of arsenic in tin ; and is not only of opinion, that the 
Cornish tin does not conceal any arsenic in its substance, but that 
its use as kitchen furniture is not dangerous. Messieurs Charland 
and Bayen found that neither the East India, nor the purest sort 
of English tin, contained any arsenic ; but that the English tin, 
QAiially met with in commerce, did contain arsenic ; .though in so 
small a proportion that it did not amount^ in that species of tin 


S96 TimiiHO coFPut, 8tc. 

which contained the mou of tt| to moi* tbu oiw fnbiin u 
ounce ; that ii, it did not comtitnte inore than one fira-huidraddi 
•and aeTentjr.Bixth part of the weigiit of the tin, IlieM btriag A7S 
grains in a French ouare. Tliii proportion o( araenic li ■• wjinllj 
incoptiderablp, that it is very properly conclnded, that tko Ipteraal 
nue of sucli small portions itt tin, as can mix theaudn(,«illi our 
food, from being pi^'parid in tinned t«s>4.U, can be La 09 teRsible 
degree daugtrons un acc^iunt of the arsenic whlrh the Up witg eon- 
ifia. But thoufth tin may not b«' noxious, on acconqit 9fij^ 
anenic which it liolHs, it slill rcD'aina to be decided, whathcrit tu*f 
not be poiionoui ot itself; as lead is uniTeraally alla^eit toi^^ 
Kheo taken ioto the stomach. The large, qoanlitiea of tin, wbicb 
are lomeiimes f{iren in medicine with much ssfely, afd.thc con* 
■tant uie which our ancestors madeof it in plates and dufajPi before 
the intro'uctiun of china or <fhir pBith<n ware, witWnte^pyrl- 
anrin^ any mi>ci.i(f, n-nder ^dl oher itrunf of tbe innooiiif m|tme 
of t'urt- till srprrduoiis. And hence it may be proper to |l4d%fiW 
obvervBliuus ' om-frning the purity of tin. 

Toe ores of mi tallic labstancei often contain man JH ^ |>ta i lCia 
than that particular one from which they rtreive Uw^i H g^ wlp^ - 
tioo. M.EDfr, of Berlin, had in his collection an ore,,)||^imfip 
laJned gold snd stiver, and iron and quickiilnr, cl44f|l|[,^|i||T0 
together in the some nass. Lead ore, it his been rf^|A(i^,|f 
oflen coi>tH n» siUer, that it is selilom found vrithout it ; it is often 
al^o mixed with u sulphureous pyiitcs, which is a eort of iroD ore, 
anii ttith hbrk iack, ^vhich is an ore of z'mc ; so lliat lead, and 

at lead ; md as t mizhire coa^sting of a large portion of tin with 
a small one of lead, cannot easily be dbtiiiguisbed from a luass o£ 
pure tin ; the temptation to adulterate tin is grpat, and the fear of 
detection imalL In Cornwall, the parity of tin is ascertained, 
before it is exposed to sale, by what is called its coioage : the tin, 
when smelted from the ore, is poured into quadrangular moulds of 
stoae, containing about 3ttO pounds weight of metal, which, when 
hardened, is called a block of tin : each block of tin is roiued in the 
following manner:— ^^ The officers appointed by the Duke of 
Cornwall assay it, by taking off a piece of one of the under cor« 
DCfs ol the block, partly by cutting, and partly by breaking ; and 
if well purified, they stamp the face of the block with the impression 
of the seal of the Duchy, which stamp is a permission for the owner 
to selU and at the same time an assurance that the tin so marked hat 
been purposely examined, and found merchantable *." This 
rode mode of assay, is not wholly improper; for if the tin be 
mixed with lead, the lead will by its superior weight sink to the 
bottom, and thus be liable to be discovered, when tht- bottom cor. 
ner of the block is examined. Bat though the seal of the Duchy maj 
be some security to the original purchasers of block tin, it can be 
none at all to those foreigners who. purchase our tin from Holland ; 
for, if we may believe an author of great note — '^ in Holland erery 
tin founder has EnglUh stamps, and whatever his tin be, the in. 
scription, block tin, makes it pass for English f •" This foreign 
adulteration of English tin may be the reason that Miisschenbroeck, 
who was many years professor of natural philosophy at Urecht, 
pats the specific gravity of what he calls pure tin equal to 7320, 
but that of English tin, and he has been followed by Wallerius, 
equal to 7471 X ; for it will appear presently, that such sort of tin 
must have contained near one.tenth of its weight of lead. 

• Borlase's Nat Hif;t. of Corow. p. 183. 

f Newman*! Cbero. by Lewis, p. 89. 

i Mnsschen. Ess. de Phy». 1739. French Trans. Wallerii Mio. vol. I. p, 154. 
There is a very good Table of Specific Gravities, publisihed in (he second to- 
lame of MnsschenbroeckN Intmductio ad Philusophiam Naiuralem, 1168, in 
which the author does more justice to English tin, putting the weight of a 
cnbic ft>ot of the purest sort equal to 7295; avoir, oun. One specimen of the 
purest sort of Malacca tin gave 7331, and another 6185 onoces a cubic foot^ 
which is the lighteit of all the tins which he examined. 



Weight of a cnbic foot of £nglish tin, according to different 

Cotes, Ferguson, Emerson 7320 oz. a? oir. 
Boerhaa?e's Cliem* by Sbaw 7391 
Musscbenbroeck & Wallerias 7471 ^ 

Martin _ _ — 755D 
From tlie following experiments it may appear probable, that 
not one of these authors, in estimating the specific grayity of tiui 
has used the purest sort, but rather a mixture of that with lead, or 
some other metal. 

A block of tin, when it is heated till it is near melting, or after 
being melted, and before it becomes quite fixed, is so brittle tiiat 
It may be shattered into a great many long pieces like icicles, by a 
smart blow of a hammer* : tin in this form is called by our own 
manufacturers grain tin, by foreigners yirgin tin, or tears of tin ; 
and they tell us, that its exportation from Britain is prohibited 
nnder pain of deathf . The tin which I nsed in the following ex- 
periments, was of this sort, but I first melted it, and let it cool gra- 
dually; a circumstance, I snspecti of some consequence In de. 
determining the specific gravity not only of tin, but of other me- 
tals. I have put down in the following table> the specific graHtj 
of this tin, and of the lead I mixed with it by fusion, and of the 
several mixtures when quite cold ; the water in which they were 
weighed was 60^. 
Weight of a cubic foot of lead, tin, &c. 

Lead — — 11270 oz. avoir. 

Tin — - 7170 

Tin 32 parts, lead 1—7321 

Tin 16 — lead 1—7438 

Tin 10 — lead 1—7492 

Tin 8 — lead 1—7560 
Tin 5 — lead 1—7645 
Tin 3 — lead 1—7940 

Tin 3 — lead 1—8160 


Tin 1 — lead 1...^8817 

• This property k not peculiar to tin i I hate seen masses of lead which, 
imder similar circumtunces, eihibited sioiUar appearances i and it has been 
(teerved, that sine, ivhen heated till it it just ready to he fiised| is brittle. 

t Eacy. Fiaa* and Mr. Bamnfe calls It •* itain eo roche, 4 cause que sa fenne 


Blodu of tin are often nelted bjr the pewteren into small rods ; 
I think the rods are not so pure as the grain tin ; at least, I found 
that a coble foot of the specimen I examined^ weighed 7^46 
canoes: but eren this sort exceeds in purity any of the kinds ex* 
amined by the authors abore mentioned. Chemistry affords cer. 
tain methods of discovering the quantity of lead with which tin is 
alloyed, but these methods are often troublesome In the applica^ 
tion ; an enlarged table, of the kind of which I ha^e here giren a 
apecimen, will enable us to judge with sufficient precision of the 
quantity of lead contained in any mixture of tin and lead, of which 
we know the specific grarity. Pewterers, howeyer, and other 
dealers in tin, use not so accurate a method of judging of its pn. 
rity, but one founded on the same principle ; for the specific gra« 
Titles of bodies being nothing but the weights of equal bulks of 
them, they cast a bullet of pure tin, and another of the mixture of 
tin and lead, which they want to examine, in the same mould ; and 
the more the ballet of the mixture exceeds the ballet of pure tin 
in weight, the more lead they conclude it contains. 

Pewter is a mixed metal ; it consists of tin united to small por. 
tions of other metallic substances, such as lead, zinc, bismuth, and 
the metallic part, commonly called regulus of antimony. We have 
three sorts of pewter io common use ; they are distinguished by the. 
names of plate — trifle— ley. The plate pewter is used for platea 
lod dishes ; the trifle chiefly for pints and quarts ; and the ley« 
metal for wine measures, kc. Our very best sort of pewter is 
said to consist of 100 parts of tin, and of J 7 of regulus of anti. 
mony,* though others allow only 10 parts of regulus to lOO of 
tinf ; to this composition the French add a little copper. Crude 
antimony, which consists of nearly equal portions of sulphur and 
of a metallic substance, may be taken inwardly with great safety ; 
bat the metallic part, or regulus, when separated from the sulphur^ 
is held to be very poisonous. Yet plate pewter may be a very in. 
nocent metal, the tin may lessen or annihilate the noxious qualities 
of the metallic part of the antimony. We have an instance some« 
what similar to this in standard silver, the use of which has never 

ressemble k des italactitM;"* he says also, that its eiporlation is prohibited, but 
Chat he does not see the reason for the prohibition, as it is not more pare than 
Cornish tin: and In this observation he It right. It is nothini^ hot Cornish tin 
in a particolar form. Chyro. par M. Bauai^, vol. HI. p. 488 

• Med. Trans, vol. L p. 886* 

f Pemb. Chem. p. S88. 

^^•fA e«M9«d mvho&voM^ BotwithrtMidiiigit coiitiiiif mu iii«. 
twelfth of iU m.elgkt of copper. Tlbosg h sUndburd tilrer htt aU 
wpji| bees coosidtred ■• a 8$fe. BMtaly when med foy cnliiiary pur- 
poses ; yet it it not altogether lo, the copper It containi it liable 
(o be corrodc'd by laline tiibataooet into Terdigrit. Thit it ire' 
^uentl^ teeo^ when commoo talt it tuffered to ttajr m few dayt in 
ailf er taltcellart, which hate not a gold gilding ; and «fen saUne 
draughttv made with Tolatile talt and jaioe of lemoat, have been 
obiened to corrode a diver tea^tpoon, which had beelt left a #eA 
The weight of a coble loot of each Of time I6rti of pewter fe^ 

Plato — i- 7M8 

Trido — — 7B$9 
h^ — _ 7P68 

If the plate pewter be ceapoeed of i|n and regidttt of aaiinioag^^ 
there it no reason to eipeet^ that a cubic foot of It thonld be hen. 
vier than it appears to be ; since vegnlos of aMsMnjr^ acmdlng 
to the different wi^ fai wMch It it nade^ ift heavier or Mg|der thn 
pore tbu A very fine siltniUooidng metal -is laid to bo oolnpdted 
df 100 pounds of tm, 8 of refulua of atiltaionf^ lof bbasdlh^iaat 
4 of copper. The ley powter, if we miiy judge oflts c uii|lu si U id t 
by copMog its weigbt wMi the weights of the mittaMroriHt 
mi hfA, menthmed in ti|e table, contains not eo mnch^s^n tidfd^' 
bat more than atiftti fhirt of to wel^ of lead; mMqoMkfWt 
lead Is fkf loo'nmch^ consMerh^s oneof the nsii to which ^ttis'ibll 
olpowterie epfdred^ fovaMd wines wHIf^Mlily dorrode the MM 
df thefl^fons^ in wMch tiiey ire Hieasured, into sugar of kdHsttb 
danger is not «o gi^t with us, where wine is «|ldoni sold by IM 
meatoro, as it isin dther eonntrles wbere* itle gemaMly'JoM to^ 
and thetr wUie ase^ikma eontalfti, probably, wmm letd ihhn • Mftt 
do. Our Bn^lih pewterers>hnve4t all thftesiwdeiteysteiy^ 
their.ait; and.dMlrcawtion'^as ibrmerly«DWii4i«tieov»hg«fdb9^ 
Hw fegWatuTo, that an aitt of parliement wn piM«tt, l^ttdeHbgr II 
untawfol fbr nayt muter pewtetfur to'tafte da hpflNmtlee, ortd'l^' 
ploy a Jour«<»ymab^ who^l^araibrelgltfct; 'Iif the pf^t^t llli{>ril¥M 
state of chemistry, this caution is useleHTi' slftce atiy one lolera^ 
skilled In tliat ^iinpe^ ,VP^^ be a](il^. to. discover the quality* aul 
quantity of the metallic jilbslancef, ufad in any. particular eorl 4sf 
pewter; and it lsnetrotii^lmelN»ilb#^%«t«uo%ould baVo'te^^ 
it must have been always eo j whUsI ttai, "Che pridc!^ lb( 

Turvmo ooFpam, Qcc. 301 

WM fomid b BO part of Earope in so pure a state, nor in so great 
pleoty as Id England. 

fiorlasf" and Pryce, w^o have written so minutely on fhe method 
of prpparing the tin in C'orawall, are both of them silent, as to any 
operation the tin undergoes subsequent to its coinage ; nor do 
they say any thing of its being mixed with other metallic substances 
pre? ious to its coinage ; but assure us, that the tin, as it flowa 
from the ore, is laded into troughs, each of which contains about 
three hundred pounds weight of metal, called slabs, blocks^ or 
jttftces of tin, in which she and form it is sold in eyery market in 
Europe. Foreigners, howejer, in general assert, that our tin as 
exported is a mixed metal ; and the French Encyclopedists in par- 
ticular (article Etiun) inform us, on the authority of Mr. Rouelle, 
that the Tirg^n tin is again melted and cast into iron moulds of half 
a foot in thickness ; that the metal is cooled very slowly ; that 
when cold it is dirided horizontally into three layers ; that the up. 
permost, being Tery soft pure tin, is afterwards mixed with cop- 
per, in the proportion of 3 pounds of copper to 100 of tin; that 
the second layer, being of a harsher nature, has 5 pounds of lead 
added to 100 of the tin ; and that the lowest layer is mixed with 
9 pounds of lead to an hundred of the tin ; the whole is then re* 
melted, and cooled quickly ; and this, they say, is the ordinary tin 
of England : and Geoffroy had formerly given much the same ac<^ 
count*. There is, probably, no other foundation for this report^ 
but that pejBFter has been mistaken for tin, these metals being some- 
times called by the same name ; and fine pewter being sometimea 
made from a mixture of I part of copper with 20 or 30 parts of 

The mixture generally used for the tinning of copper resselsf 
conaists of 3 pounds of lead, and of 5 pounds of pewter ; when a 
finer composition is required, ten parts of lead are mixed with six- 
teen of tin ; or one part of lead with two of tin : but the proportions 
in which lead and tin arc mlted together, even for the same kind 
of work, are not every where the same; different artists having di£i 

* -~-^ ftuores aperto furni ostlolo, metallum in formas quasdam ex aren^ 
paralBs dilBsere tinunt, ibique in manas grandiores concrescit. Superfor 
iUiDne» maidlB pan adeo mollis est et flezilis, at sola claborari nequeat sine 
capri miscela* trinm scilicet libraram tnprr stanni Hbras centm. Ma^se pen 
media binas tantam cupri libras recipit. loflma rero adeo fnipUs est et in- 
tracfabilis, nt CQm lnjio» metaili cpnmoi libris pluBibi iibmi octodecim cob« 
saciKe ^poncat. Geoff. Mat. Med, voU I. p. 88S* 


frrmt mitoiM, Veuch tinned with pare tin, or with tb 
kind of pewlPF, which conlaini no IifmI, do not itBia tk* f 
when rubb^ with them ; whilst IhoM which u« tinn«l with 
(mifion, into which leid enten u ■ conilituant pu<, mIoi 
finger* with a bkrkiih tinge. 

Zinc wai long ago recammended for the tinning of Wfp* 
(eh, in preference both to the raixtare of tin snd lead, mmi ti 
tin* : and cine certainlj hai the adranlage of being imiti 
tin, and of bearing a greater d^reo of heat befoi* II « 
melted from the lorface of the capper ; ao that on both "tti 
oonnti it would, when applied on the inrraceorcoppar^lMtl 
tbaA tiD ; juit a* tin, for (he tame reaioni, laiti longer thin ■ 
tnreof tinand lead. Bnt whether zinc maketanypartof the 
pound metal for tinning copper, m u to prerrnt tho Mieai 
ivpeated tinning, for which a patent wat granted tumtfmt 
ia what I cannot affirm. Whatever may the exceUaaM M 
Gompotition, or of an)> other compoiition, which naj bilMi 
with reapect (o iu dnnbiiltj, and iti not contractlg^ VMt 
It ODght not to be admitted into general dm, till it haa hMa pi 
Oat it it not lolable in regetabie addi, or that ita Mhtfoi 
not noxhinif. A method haa of lata yean been tatkadii 
Rosen, of applying a coat of line upon hammered Utt- 1 
pui. The vetiela are first made Tery bright, to that nMj 
ipeck can be aeen ; they are then rubbed with a aohrtUa^ 
ammoniac, and afterward! dipped into an iron pot fUiifB 
tine, and b^ng taken ont, the atnc ii found to cover tl 

Tiiiiri]|l».€OPPBB> he. 909 

The MniDMMi method of tiooiag consists in nskinf^ the surface 
•f the copper tessel quite bright, by scraping it, and by washing 
it with a solation of sal ammoniac ; it is then heated, and the tin, 
or metailic miiture designed for tinning, is melted, aud poured 
into it, and being made to flow qaiclLly over e?ery part of the sur- 
face of the vessel, it incorporates with the copper, and, when cold, 
remains united with it. Rosin or pitch is sometimes used, to pre. 
tent the tin from being calcined, and the copper from being 
scaled, either of which circumstances would hinder the sticking 
of the tin. 

I had the curiosity to estimate the quantity of pure tin, which is 
nsed in tinning a definite surface of copper. The vessel was ac« 
curately weighed before and after it was tinned, its surface was 
equal to 264 square inches ; its weight, before it was tinned, was 
46 ounces, and its weight, after the operation, was barely 46-f 
ounces ; so that half an ounce of tin was spread over 234 square 
inches, or somewhat less than a grain of tin upon each square inch. 
How innocent soever pure tin may be, yet the tenuity of the coat 
of it, by which copper vessels are covered, in the ordinary way of 
tinning, cannot fail to excite the serious apprehensions of those 
who consider it; for in the experiment which I have mentioned, 
the tin was laid on with a thicker coat than in the common way ; 
Instead of a grain, I suspect that not a quarter of a grain of tin is 
spread over a square inch in the common way of tinning. A dia* 
covery has been lately made at Paris of a method of gif ing to cop* 
per or iron a coat of any required thickness, by tinning them ; 
the composition used for the tinning is not mentioned ; but it is 
said that a piece of copper, which in the common way of tinning 
only absorbed 21 grains of tin, absorbed of the new com position 
432 grains, or above twenty times as much*. Till this discovery 
is generally known, our workmen should study to cover the cop- 
per with as thick a coat as they are able of pure tin. The dan- 
ger from the corrosion or solution of the tin by vinegar, juice of 
lemons, or other vegetable j^cids, if any at all, cannot it is appro* 
hended, be sensibly felt, except in very irritable habits, or 
where sour broths, sauces, or syrups, are suffered to stand 
long in tinned vessels before they are used. And, indeed, a pro« 
per attention to keeping the yessels clean, might render the use of 

copper itself, for the boiling of food, especially, of animal food, 
^ ' ' — — — — ^^——i » 

• L'EiprIt (|efl Joomaax, Mai, ITSli 

aoi TiHNiiro onnuf Sec. 

-whpllr tafo. Tbe I^rench b»j ba kllow«d to czeel na Ir wekttjf 
but ne probably fxcel them la dunlineu ; for tb* Mriuchalj 
BGi:i'lt'nri attending the use of coppar imeb, *ra aac4 Im flra> 
(vcnL in EnglauU tbaa ia Fruce ; and thb difimnei pndMib, I 
CoBjfctDre, frum tht> superior care of the Eo^liib in kMfb| their 
TeiHils cleao, and from the cheapneii and purity of tlw M 4r« «ae 
in tinning copper. We are not certain that tbe ait 'Wf tfnnin; 
Mpper Teswtt waa known to die Jevi, vhrn they AM out of 
Egypt ; the *e»eli used in tb« temple service were mtUt-nP Wp- 
per by dirfne appointment, and by being conilsntiy kept-tttMt M 
inconreniences followed. The wort» from which malt UqjUor ii 
browed, ii boiled in CopperveiMli; the diittilera and e—fcLlluliOra 
prepare their apirita and aympt tn un.tJnned THaels oCtbe larae 
metal, without our nSerlng any thing in onr health tmn these 
practices; at least, witbont our being generally penritdtd that 
wo anffer any thing. A new copper vesael, or a cofpatOMIel 
newly tinned, ti more dangerons than after it ha> bamttti^i'^t- 
came its pores, which the eye cannot dhtingnbh} gM UM np 
with die nbatancei which are boiled In it, and all flielkiPp edgea 
of the prominent parts become Unnted, and are thi/dty rMidircd 
iaii liable to be abraded. "'* ' 

M. 4e la Unde, in de«;riblng the cabinet at Porfldf 4 
Alt the kitchen utensili, which have been dugiip'atXI 
■re almost all of t&em made of a compound metal Ilka A 
and that many of the Tessets are covered with silver, fa 
them with tin ; and hence he concludes, that tbe nsefid'fttW ip- 

to bcltovei thtt Oe Rmuhm, it te«il whtn Pliny wrote that 1>ook^^ 
did vsditftend tie iMtlMd of timiiag copper wfaich is now in use ; 
for tUv gieeft luitariliit assaret ns in express terms, that tin, 
itaMtied vpon copper yessels, rendered the taste more agreeablei 
aid restrained the Tirmleace of copper rast. It is to no purpose 
to object, that the tin (staaanm) of Pliny was a sabstance different 
ilroai our tin; for thongh it slKinld lie in some measure granted 
that it was a mixtoKO of lead and silver, yet the same author tells 
ns, in the same place, that white lead (plnmbnm album), by whidi 
It is nnifersaNy allowed onr tin is meant,* was so incorporated with 

* Mr. Qoody While he acknowledges that by plumbum album was generally 
flieant tin, Infotms m that by the same term pewter, or a mixture of lead and 
tin, was also aceadoBally lateoded* The paaage we refer to is ia hit aotenpon 
Lwrretias. ¥1.510. 

Denique, et auro res aumm coacopniat una, 
JEriqoe ass rujuao fit atei jongatar ab albo* 
One cement sole with gold concentrates gold. 
And nought bat PtwTsa bras with bran unites. 

The cement here referred fo, says he^ is doubtless, the chrysocoUa, a mineral 
sand, found oa the shores of the Red Sea, of an elegant green colour, deno- 
minated by the natives of modem times tincar, or tincal. The borax, now la 
use for similar purposes, does not diifer essentially from the chrysocolla, when 
dlssoWed and crystalised, and is, by some chemists, supposed to be precisely ' 
the same. 

Pewter is, in the present day, the common solder for copper and brass; it 
is generally a combination of tin, lead, and regains of antimony. From the 
lead employed in the manufacture, and the splendid whiteness of its appear- 
ance when too much lowered or adulterated, it is here happily denominated 
by our poet plumbum album ; literally '* white lead :*' and by this term it is 
erroneously translated by Guernier. I say, erroneously $ for the cerusse, or 
white lead of modern days, is no solder whatever in metallic preparations. 
Creech omits the verse eotlrely, and thus dfsxteronsly runs away from the dif» 
fieidty. De Coutures is wrong in the whole passage : ** Targent,*' says be, 
** est allie a?ec Tor, et rairain avee le plomb.** ** Silver unites itself with gold, 
and brass with lead." Marchetti is quite correct s 

con lo stagno il nune 
SI salda al nunc* 

I must leave It to the chemists to detennine what substance was employed 
formerly, instead of the regains of antimony; or whether the ancients were 
acquainted with a metal of this description, apd iU different powers in dif« 
ferent states of combination. Tet, probably, the plumbum album, or copper 
solder of the Romans, was a mixture of lead and tin alone. 

Since writing the a|»ove, I have met with an excdlent m^olr of M. Klap« 
foth, inserted in the BerUa Memoirs de 1' Academic Royale (Lps Sciences, Vol. 
for 1798^1795; In which the author asserts, that (he plmnbum nlgnwi of the 
Romans was lead, and the plnmbnm album, candidami or aigentarlum, tin, 
enheaMmrsffff of die Gredn. There can be no deaW ttat this afypcUatlea 



copper by boiling, that th« copper conld scarcely be diiliagnished 
from silier, * Nay, k appears that the Romans not only used pnre 
tin, but the same mixture of tin and lead, which aume of our work* 
jotn use at this lime in tinning ressels. A mixture of equal parti 
of tin and lead, they called argentarium; a mixture of.two parts 
nf lead and one of tin, they cull tertiarium ; and oilti equal parti 
«f tertiarium and tin, tliat is, with two parts of tin and one of lead, 
they tinned whatever Tessels they thought fit. They, nioreoTer, 
kfjptied silver npon copper, in the same way in which Q»j applied 
tin upon it ;+ and they used this silrered copper (I do not call it 
plated, because copper is plated by a different proceii) in onia. 
menting their carriages, and the harness of their horses, u we now 
use plated copper; on this head Pltny obserres, and a rigid phi- 
losopher will apply the observation to ourselves, that •uch was the 
luxury of the Ramans, that it was then dimply reckoned a pieca 
of elegance to consume in the ornaments of coaches, and in the 

was generally applied to (in alone; bat ai Ihii metal, uhen employot ainply, 
will be fnund a verj indiffcrtnl (older for ct-pper, ii ii obTiom, Ibai the plnis. 
buiD Btbum oroor puel, ntid or the Romsn coppersmiths in gensial, D>u( aba 
hare incluJed a compound of tin with lead, or some olhei metal, as well ai 
pure unmixed tin. M. Klaproth, who has paid much nllentioD to nnmionatic 
aoaljEis, ba< ditcoTend that the colni of Mdjitib Gtxria and Stcily eooitded of 
copper, allDjed with fiom an eighth to a ITcelfth pari of lead, aad b«lf u miirh 
of tin. The Koman cains he has al limes found to have been hrawd dT pure 
copper; and accmionally wilh an aUo; of one-fourlh, or Due-'<iidi,paTlofKinr, 
aad n small portion of lin. Tfap ancicnis were only acquainlrd with tine in 
ill on-, wbicb iical.tmliwi their brau was denoniinatrd aurichalcinn, and was 

tnippiB|l 4f ItotMt, vaUlt^ wUck Orir >ic«ttort coald sot nie In 
drinking vhmI*, witboat being utonbhed at thair »wa prodigality -. 
we ■)« Dot jtH, howerar, arrired at tb« eztnngkDce of Nero and 
U« wife, wbo ibod their fiivonrite hones Witb gold and ailTer. 

niaj mentioiu an experiment U characteriitic of tin — tbat when 
melted and poured vpon p^icrt it Memed to break the paper by 
its Wright, ntber than by itabeat; and Aristotle, long before 
Fliny, bad remarked the imall degree of beat which wu reqnisite 
to fiue Celtic (Britiab) tin.* Thii metal melu with leii heat than 
anj other umple metallic lubitance, except qnicluiWer ; it re- 
qniring for iti fniion not twice the beat in which water boil> ; but 
compoaition* of tin and lead, which are nied in tinning, melt with 
a (till leiB degree of beat, than what is reqaiilte to melt simple tin i 
and a mixture compoeed of 6 parts of lead, 3 of tin, and S of Ihi. 
mntfa, tbongb solid in the heat of the atmospbere, melts with a 
less degree of beet, than tbat in which water boils. 

IWatton't Chentical Ettagi, 

Of timiag iron— Of plating, and gilding copper. 

laoNlstinnedina different manner frcimcopper. Inseneforelgo 
eonntrieSt particularly in Ftance, Bohemia, and Sweden, the iron 
plates, which are to be tinned, are put under a heary hammer which 
gives, in some works, 76 strokes in a mhinte ; they can hi on» 
week, witb one hammer, hbricate 4320 plates ; (be Iron Is heated 
In a fomace right timet, and pnt eight timet nnder the hammer 
during the opeiadon, and it lotet near an eighth part of its 
weight. Iron and copper are both of thera very apt to be scaled 
by hebg heated, and they thereby lose greatly of their weight. 
Twenty-fonr hnndred weight of pnre plate copper wDl not, when 
mannfoctnred Into tea-kettles, pant, &c. give abovo twenty- 
three hnndred weight. Twenty.aae hnndred weight of bar iron 
will give a ton, when split into nds ; bnt taking into considerattn 
ail Iron and steel wares, from a needle to an anchor, it is estlntted 
tbat thirty hundred of bar iron will, at an average, yield a ton of 
wares, f ^^^^^^_^^^^^_______^^_^^^___ 

• Dc Mirab. 

t See u InMiwiiTC fMppUcI, Intitlcd, A Replj to Sir L. O'BiltD, hj W. 


Thirty liuadred ireight of cast iruo isreduceiIlo(irenly,wtieiiitH 
to be made Into wire ; and twenly-six to twenty-twoi when it u 
to be made into bar iron. Steel suffers Bioch less losa of weight in 
being hammered, than iron does. Cast steel does not loie kboTe 
(wo parts, and bar steel not above four, in one faondied, when 
drawn into the shape or rasors, tiles, &c. The iron plates in England 
are not hammered, but rolled to proper dimensioas bjr being pot 
between two cylinders of cast iron, cased with sted. This me. 
Ihod of rolling iron is prnctis<-d in Norway, when thef form the 
plates with which they cover their houses; but whether it was in- 
vented by the English, or borrowed from soma other country (as 
many of our mventions in Dietaltorgy hare been, eapflcialJy from 
Germany), I hate not been able to learn. In the first account 
which I have seen uf its being practised in England, h is said to 
have been an invention of Major Hanbury at Pontypool ; the ac. 
count was wriica in 1697j and many plates had then been rolled*. 
The milling of lead, however, which is an operation of the same 
kind, had been practised in the year 1670 ; for an act of parlia. 
men t was passed in that year, granting unto Sir Philip Howard 
and Francis Watson, Esq. the sole use of (he manafacture of 
milled lead for the sheathing of ships. A book was published in 
l6g\, intitled, The New Invention of Milled I^ad for sheathing 
of Ships, &c. It appears from this hook, that about twenty ships, 
belonging to the navy, had been sheathed with lead ; but Ibe prac. 
(ice was discontinued, on account of compiaiats of the officers of 
Hie navy, that the rudder irons and bolts under water had been 

■boddUoMe Tsll Mtabliiksd^ that Alpf Bbeathedwlth lead or 
copper wilt not last ■» long u Aaw wbkli an vDsheadied, or sbeatlu 
ed bdIj wjlh wood, it wtt»M btf a problem welt deierring the con. 
■ickntton of ckemiits, to tn^Dira into the msnaer kov a metallic 
coveriag operalet in injarkig the comtmction of the iliips, and 
whetber that operation is exerted on tte iron bolts, or on the tim- 
bers of the ship. When tlie iron plates have been either ham. 
Eoered or rolled to a proper tbickaess, thej are steeped in an acid 
liqaor, whicb is produoad from the fermentation of baTle)* meal, 
thoagb anj oQicr weak acid would answer the purpose; this steep, 
iagj and a inbwqvcnt se«aring, cleans the sarifice of the iron from 
erer^ speck of mit or blackness, the least of which would hinder 
the Uo fron sticking to the iron, since no metal will combine itself 
with sn7 enrth, aad rnst is the earth of iron. After the plates 
have been Bade qnite bright, they are put into an Iron pot filled 
with Metlad tin ; the torface of the melted tin is kept covered witk 
soet or pitch, or seme fat sabatance, to pnrent it from being cat. 
cined ; the tin presently unites itself ta (he iron, corering each ude 
of every plate with a titin white coat : tbe plates are then taken 
ont of tbe mdted tin ; and nnder^tng some further operatloos, 
wUch render fhem acre neat aad saleable, hot are not essential to 
(bt pnipose of tinnSi^ them, they are packed up in boxes, and an 
every where t« be met with in commerce under the name of tin- 
platea, though the prladpal part of tlieir substance is iron; mad 
hence the Fvench have called tbea /er blanc, or white Iron : Sir 
John Pettoi says, that they wen widi us vulgarly called laUen; 
thongh tlmt wepd mora nsoally I think denoted brass. 

Th> is not, but iron is, liable to contract nut by exposure to rir 
and saoistan, and hence the diief use (rf tinning iron is to binder It 
from becoming nnty ; and it is a question of some importance, 
whether IrM of a greater tfaifikaess than the plates we have been 
speaking of, nighl not be advantageonily tiniML I desired a 
workman to break off the end of a pah- of phieeri, which bad been 
long used in taldng the plates ont of the melted tin; the iron of 
(lie pincers seemed to have been penetrated throagh it's whole sab- 
Stance by tbe tin i it was of a white rolenr, and had preserved it's 
malleability. It Is usmI to cover iron stirraps, baekles, Md bri- 
dle bits, with a coat of tin, by dipping them after they are made, 
Into melted tin; aad ptns, which are tnade of copper wire, are 


whitMied, by bfing boiled for a long time with grsnnlitod tin in • 
lye made of allum and fBrtar, Would the iron bolts mad in ship. 
Iiuittlmg be prcsprvtd from rnsling by being long boiled in melted 
tin? — Would it be possible to sihcr iron plates by subtti toting 
melted silier for melted tin ? I do not Itnow that this experiment 
has eyer bei^n tried ; but an intelligent manufacturer will see many 
advantages whirh would attend the success of if. 

It h customary, in some plareii, to alloy the tin, ii^ed for tinning 
iron plates, withebout one.seveniieth part of its weight of copper : 
foreigners matie a great secret of this practice : I do not know 
wbelheranyof our manuraclurers use copper i some of tbeni I have 
reason to believe do not. Too much copper renders tb* plfttn of a 
blackish hue; and if there is loo little, the tin is too fiuck upon 
the plates i but this tliicknesa, though it may render the plates 
dearer, or the profit of the manufacturer less, will make th«m last 
longer. When the tin is heated to (oo great a pitch, sone of the 
plates have yellowish spots on them ; but the coat of tia is thinner 
and more even, when the tin is of a great, thaa of a moderate heat; 
and the yellowness may be taken away, by boiling the plates for 
two or three miiiDteit in lees of wine; or, where tb^ cmiuiot be 
had, sour amall beer, or other similar liquors, may, probably, be 
used Hith the same success. The tjuantity of tin used ja tinning a 
definite number of plates, each of a definite size, is not Hie stune 
at different manufactories. In some fabrics in Bohemia, they nse 
fourteen pounds weight of (fn for making three bundled plates, 
each of them being eleven and onf.third inches long, b? eight and 


years in different parts of EngliDtl and Wales. SaXMf lad put 
«f Bobemia formerly supplied all the known world witb the com- 
modity; but England now exports large quantities of it to HolUnd, 
Fluden, Franoe^ Sptia, Italjr, md other placet. About the 
yctr I07O> Andrew YtrriBgtoB, (he deaerTei a tt«tu« for the iL 
tempt) nndertook, at the ezpeow of Mine caterprizing persou, a 
joanej into Saxony, in order to discover the art of making tin 
platei : lie laoceeded to hii ntmoit irishet ; and, on hii retnni, 
•ereral parcels of tin platei were made, which met the approbatioa 
of the tin-men in London and Worceitet*. Upon thii sncceHj 
preparetiona were made for lettiag «p a toanafaotory, hj the nma 
perwHU wiw bad expended their moDejr in making the diaotTerf ; 
tmt a patent being obtained by lome othen, the detlga wu aban. 
daned by the fint projectan, and the patAideei Dever nude any 
platei ; io OiMt the wbele scheme wenis «o hare been given tip till 
the year 17S0, when the fiibricatiag of tia platei made one of the 
■lany mj naefnl projects (thoagh they were Miiaed with mpm 
which were impracticable) for which that year will erer be mamo- 
rabte. How mod after tliat year the maflaEactnre of tin plates 
gained a laiting establlsbment, and where they were first made, are 
points on which I am aot sufficiently iDfermed ; an old Cambridge 
workman has told me, that he used them at Lynn, in Norfolk, in 
the year 1790, and that tl>ey came from Pontypool. The, 
atthefirstintrodnctionoftbe English plates, were greatly delighted 
with than ; tiiey had a better coloiw, and were more pliable Aaa 
the foreign ones, which were then, and still continne to be ham- 
mered ; it being impoisible to liammer eitiier Iron or copper to so 
nniibrm a tUAneii, as tlieie metals are reduced to by being rcdled. 
It is said tliat a Cornish tin>man flying ont of Eogl^d for a mar. 
der ia lUS, discovered tin in Saxony, and fliat before that diico- 
very, titme wu no tin In Enrope, except in England f ; ^ Homiih 
priest, converted to be a Lntberan, carried the art of miUng tin 
platei from Bohemia into Saxony, about the year IflSO % ; and An. 
drew YarringtoD, as we have seen, brought it from Saxony into 
England abont the year 1670; Saxony at that time being tbe only 
place in whid tbe platea were mada. They are now made not 

I b; Sea aa< LaDd, by Aadrew TarrlBftoD, 

312 TZHNIN9, PI.4TINO, &C. 

tn\j Ib Eogltnd, but itt France^ HoUandy Sweden, &c. though 
from th^ cheapness of our liB| and the exceUencjr of some sorta 
of our iron, the greatest share of the tin plate trade must ever 
center yvith ourselves. Our coal is another circumstance which 
tends to give Great Britain an adfaatage over some other coun- 
tries, in such manufactures as require a great consumption of fuel. 
Wood was scarce in Saiony about a century ago, and it is now 
still more scarce in France. They are beginning, it is said, in 
that country, to use coal and coak, or charred pit-coal, called 
by them chMrbon de ierre Spuria and they hare granted a patent 
to an indiTidual lor the preparation of it*. Another indiTidual 
has begun to distil tar from pit-coal, and he gets about fi?e ponads 
weight of tar from an hundred of oeal (which is pretty nearly 
what I suggested, in 1781, as possible to be obtained from ih* 
same quantity, Vol. II. p. 362). The French f expect great ad- 
vantage from this mode of depurating odal : but we hare nothing 
toapprehend on thai score ; for the patriotic seal of the Earl of 
Dundonald has put us in possession of every advantage which can 
be expected from a discovery, wiiich he has had the honour of 
bringing to perfection. 

The plating of copper is performed in the following manner ; 
Upon email ingots of copper they bind plates of silver with iron 
wire, generally allowing one ounce of silver to twelve ounces of 
copper. The surface of tiie plate of silver is not quite so large as 
that of the copper ingot ; upon the edges of the copper, which are 
not covered by the silver, they put a little borax ; and exposing 
the whole to a strong heat, the borax melts, and in rndtiug contri* 
botes to melt that part of the silver to which it is contiguous, and 
to attach it in that mdted state to the copper. The ingot, with k*s 
silver plate, is then rolled under steel rollers, moved by a water 
whed, tilt it is of a ceitaiii thickness ; it is. afterwards further 

•Acad des Sciea. a Paris, 1781 ^ where M. Lavobier gites an useful me- 
moir OD the compeiative ezcellencies of pit-coal, eoak, WMd, and chafcoo), as 
fuels. — It rait de cei ^erfeeces, que pour produire ia effets fgaux, it fiiut 
employeri cherfoon de CenM §90 Itfreti daiboa de terre charbonii6 66S; 
charboB de boit miM 960 ; beii de Utn 1195 ; hols de chene 1089. 

f II suffit de dire qu'elie pent fournir 4 la capitale un nouTeau chauifage, de- 
renn D^essaire dans un moment ou Ton est menac^ d*une disette de bois; 
qfi'e% pentoufiir daas le roysmne um ii*af eUe hnmee de commerce i etablir 
de noBvelles manufactures; ftiire valoir des mines, rest^es jusqu*a present ioii* 
tile8.*L'£sprit desJoura. JttUIeC„ 1765. 

tMeA hy knd MUen, to m gMitor Or lew «tmt, aMUrdlog to dm 
(uc for wMch it ii int«ttd«d ; llw tUnoeit ia >pplkd to the lining of 
druBkin; hiwnf. OiMoaacsof^vcriiaftaii rolled out intoftnir- 
fue 0t abont three iqaue feet, lad Its tbicknes* ii ebovt the thre« 
tkoniandtk part of mi uofa i mat bmoe we need not wonder at 
the lilTor bdng looa woni off firen the siiarp anglei of plated cop* 
per, when it is rolled to le gnat u extent Plated copper hai, 
of late yean, becMie rery ftaUoaable for tbe nwnldings of coaebaa, 
aod for tbe bMkles, riagi, fti. of iiorse faameu. It might Iw 
naid jerj advanUgeondf io kitchen nteniili, hj tbote who dislike 
tke nse of (inned eom>er, and cannot afford to be at the expence of 
iilTer mbc^im, Ac. The siWer, instead of being rolled on the 
copper to so great a thiooeis as it is in most works, might be left 
in kitchen fomltare comtdarabdy thicker, bo that an amice of sil« 
ver ai^t be tpwaA orat one square foot ; tbe silrer coiting would 
in Ibii case still be fery thia, jet U would last a long time. Fire 
does not coainme silrer, and tbe watte in (hickneis, which a piee* 
of plate snstains from being in constant nse for a centnrj. Is not 
much ; as nay be collected from comparing the present weight of 
any piece of college plate, which baa been dallj used, with tba 
wei^ it had an hmndred yean aga. 

I do not know whether anj attempt has erer been made to ^ate 
copper with tin instead of aitTer ; I am aware of some difficnity, 
which might attend the operation; but yet It might, ItUnk, bo 
performed ; and if it could, we might then hare oopper tesseb 
corered with a cMt of tin of any required tbickneat, wUch is the 
great deaideratam in die present mode of tianing : bat it ought 
to be remaAed, that the thicker the coat of tin (he more liable it 
would be to be melted off the copper by strong fires. 

Tbe art sf plating copper hu not been long practised in £ng. 
land ; nor do I know whether It wis practised at an early period. 
in any other cenntry ; for tbe Roman method of silrerlng copper 
WU diflerent, I think, from that sow in ua. Tbomaa Botoorer 
of Sheffield, in the year 174S, wai tbe fint ptrswi in Eng. 
land who plated copper ; it was applied by him to die purposes 
only of making bottons and inufT-boxes : soon after it was nsed 
for Tarious other worki ; a person of the nsjne of Hoyland, at 
ShefEeld, was the first who made a plated candlestick. 

What is commonly called French plate, is not to be confounded 
with the plated copper of which we hare been tpeaUng; for thoagh 

314 TINNinC, PLATINS, &«. 

both tb«se Bubatuces constat of copper covered with a tUn i 
nal silter, f«t they are not made in the ume way. tb e 
French plate, G<9per, or more commonly brass, is heated to 
tain degref , aod silver leaf is applied upoo the heated mei 
which it adberes by beiog rubbed with a proper butaisher. 
evident, thai the durability of the plating must depend on th( 
ber of lea* ea which are applied on (he same quantity of e' 
For ornaments which are not much used, ten leSves may be 
ent; but an hundred will nut last long, without betraying tl 
tal they are designed to cover, if they be exposed to nncb 
ling, or frequently washed. After the same manner may go 
be fixed, either on iron or copper. Gold is applied on sili 
coating a silver rod with gold leaf ; and the rod being aftei 
drawn into wire, the gold adheres to it ; the smallest proj 
of gold, allowed by act of parliament, is 100 grains tc 
grains of silver ; and the best double.gilt wire is said to bavE 
twenty grains more of gold to the same quantity of ailvei 
has been calculated, that when common gilt wire is fiattei 
grain of gold b stretched on the flatted wire to the length oi 
401 feet, to a surface of above 100 square inches, and 
thinness of the 492090th part of an inch ; and M. de Ri 
Bays, that a grain of gold may be extended to 2900 feet, ii 
Ter a surface of more than 1400 square inches ; andthatthe 
ness of the gold, in the thinnest parts of some gilt wire, i 
exceed the fourteen millionth part of an inchf . The gold, 
ipplied, is thinner than when eilrer is gilt in the fol 

fsw ] 



X MXAX !■ waoOtn method of tpflylag gold od copper or silver, 
which 1> mnch pTUtiwd; It Is cilled gilding in Or Maulm. Qnlck. 
lilver diMohei girid iriA grut fkcilitj : \t 700 fpread a gold leaf 
(not what la called Doteh leaf, which ii made of bran) on the 
palm of jouT hand, and pour a Uttle qaickslTer npon it, jron wiU 
lee tiM qnickiitrer abMrbIng the gold, jnit at water abiorha 
into ita iubitanca a piece of i^t or aogar. Penont who hara 
taken mercurial preparations intemalt j, seldom fail to obiem tha 
readiness with which the mercnry traotodes tlirovgh their pores, 
attacUng itself to the gold of their watches, rings, iteere- buttons, 
or aar'riiigs, and rendering them of a white coloar. A piece of 
gold, of the thickness eren of a guinea, being rubbed with quick* 
rilver, is soon penetrated bj it, and thereby made so fragile, that 
it may be broken between the fingers with ease : and if more 
qnicksilTer be added, the miztnre will become a Und of paste, of 
different degrees of coosiBtence according to the quantity of qoick. 
tilrer wtuch is nsad. A {aece of this paste is spread, fay ways well 
known to the artists, npon the surface of the copper which is to 
be gilded in or moola, and the metal is then exposed to a proper 
degree of heat : quicksilrer may be evaporated in a far less d^ree 
of heat, than what is required to melt either gold or copper ; 
when therefore the miitore of gold and qnlcksilrer is exposed to 
the action of fire, the quicksilver is driven off in vapour j and the 
gold, not being susceptible of evaporation, remains attached to the 
snrface of the copper, and undergoing the opeiutiona of bunii->h- 
ing, &c. too minute to be described, becomes gilt. This method 
of gUding cf^ifwr, by means of quicksiWer and gold, wa^ known 


to the Romans*. QuicksiWer will not unite with iron, yet by an 
easy operation, iron may be gilded in the same way that copper or 
6il?er may. The iron is first to be made bright, and then immers. 
ed in a solution of blue vitriol, its surface will thereby become 
covered with a thin coat of copper, and it will then admit the gild, 
ing as if its whole substance was copper. 

It is thi^ property which quicksilver has of uniting itself witb 
gold, and it does the same with siher, which has rendered it of 
such great use to the Spaniards In America. They reduce the 
earths or stones, containing gold or siWer in their metallic states, 
into a Tery fine powder; they mix this pawder with qnicksilTer ; 
and the quicksilrer, having the quality of uniting itself with 
e?ery particle of these precious metals, but being incapable of con» 
tracting any union with any particle of earth, extracts these me- 
tals from the largest portions of earth. The qwcksiirer, which 
has absorbed either gold, or silver, or a mixture of both^ is se- 
parated from the substance it has absorbed by evaporation ; the 
quicksilver flies off in rapour, and the substance remains in the 
vessel used In the operation. We have no mines of mercury in 
England ; Sir John Pettus, indeed, says, that a Kitle cinnabar is 
now and then met with in our copper mines ; and Mr. Penniit 
obscnres, that quicksiWer has been found in its native state on the 
mountains of Scotland ; and t have been shewn a piece of clay, 
said to ha?e been dug near Berwick, in which there were seme 
mercurial globules : but there are no works at present, whete 
mercury is procured in any part of Great Britain ; nor are there 
many mines of mercury in any part of the world. In the PhHoso. 
phical Transactions fer 1665, we have an account of the quidbiJ. 
Ter mines of Idria, a town situated iu the country andently called 
Forum Julii, now Ptidria de Friouli, subject to tlie regency, and 
included in the circles of the lower Austria, in Germany. These 
mines have been constantly wrought for above 980 years, and are 
thought, one year with another, to yield abofe one hundred tons of 
quick silrer. In Hungary also, there are mines winch yield quick- 
silrer, bat net so coptoealy now as fonnerly. Alonso Barba men- 

* J^ inaurari argento Yivo, ant certe by4rargyrOy Icgititum erat. Plin. Hist. 
KaU XXXllI* Pliny understood by aigenCam Tlvaniy native quicksilver^ 
which is found in a fluid state in many mhift i and by faydrarfyrom he under* 
stood qmekfHver sepamted fttmi it» eie by^ Are i they are the same substance. 

tiona MMH faickiUnr niaei in America, notr Ritwi*, wUcb, Iw 
sAjs, God Um'tgi-tj pmiivi to suptdy the loss of this mineral, 
wbicb ii rer; coniideroble ia eztractiag the lilver from the eoi-du 
aiid itanes with which It U diixed : but the mines of Almideu in 
S[«ia are ^e richest, and probably kare been wronght for the 
longest time of any in tbe world. Pliny speaks of the cinnabar 
which the Romans, with so Dneh jealousy, annuaUy fetched from 
Spain, and it is Tery probable that they had It from Almaden. M. 
Jniiien infonns as t, that in 1717 thero remaned above 1300 tona 
of qatcluilTer in the magaaines at Almaden, after a great deal had 
been sent to Serilie in order to be exported to Pern, where the 
qaickiilver, wbidi Is lost in extracting the silver, is said to be at 
least equal In weight to the silver which iscxtracted. From 1574, 
when they began to register the quicksilTer, which came to Potoii 
upoa the king of Span's account, to the year 1640, there had 
been received, according to Alonso Barba, 204,SOO qnintala, be- 
sides a fut qnantity Irregularly brought in npon odier acconats. 
This application of qniek^ver to the extraction of gold and silver 
from the enatba In which they are fonnd, has rendered tbe coii« 
sumption of It far more considerable since the dlicorery of the 
American mines, tban it wai amongst tbe ancients. Uoffmait 
forma a calculation, and conclndes, that fifly times as much gold 
a* quicksilver was annually extracted from the bowels of the earth : 
Cramer % admits the truth of this calculation, but insinuates a 
nspicion worth attending to— that mercury may often exist in mi- 
nerals, and yet not be discovered by miners ; since in the open fires 
in which minerals, whose properties are not known, an usually 
examlued, the marcnry would fly off in fume.* Earths or mine- 
rals of any kind, containing mercury, are most accurately assayed 
by distilling then with iron filings ; but whether a mineral con- 
taini mercnry or not, may be easily discovered, by strewing it 
when powdered, on a plate of hot iron, or on a hot brick covered 
with iron filings, and inverting over it a ^ms of any kind; tbe 
maiatiry, If tha nneral contains any, will ascend, and attach it- 
self la small gMndea to tbe side of tlit glass. Mercury is divided, 
by the writers of systems of miocialagy, into native mercury, and 
Bercnry miaeraliaod by snlphar : native mercury it fonnd ia its 

* TraHtoeonii ri e l i.a<.byAtoas>aatba. Eae. Tram, p, IIS. 

tUtst. 4t»AeaA.diiaeiakl710- t An Dm im. Cram. Vol. I-f-ISI. 

31S OSES 09 QTlCrBILVKK, fcd 

niDiiiDi; state, and qatte par«^, m it U said (though this may be 
doubled, from the facility with which mercury dissoWet gold, and 
■ilrer, and other metals), in the mioei of Idria, Almaden, &c. ■ 
It is more frequently, howerer, imbedded in calcareooB exrtba, or 
days of diflferent colouri, from which it may be separated either 
by tritiiT&tioa and lotion, the smaller filobnles coaleidng by mu- 
tual coutact into larger; or by distillation. The ruuDing native 
mercnry, which requires no process for its extraction is more es- 
teemed, and thought to have some pi-culiar propeitiea which do 
not belong to that obtained by simple distillation, though thmy bath 
come onder the denomination of virgin mercury. Mercury mine- 
ralised by sulphur, is called cinnabar, which some say is an Afri- 
can word denoting the blood of a dragoa *. Cinnabar is the most 
common ore of mercury ; it is found in an earthy form resembling 
red ochre, sometimes in an indurated state, and, though gene, 
rally red, it hath been observed of a yellowish or blackish cast : 
tt is mostly opaque, bat some pieces are as transparent a> a mby. 
This ore consists of mercury and sulphur combined together in 
different proportions ; some cinnabars yielding as far u seren, 
others not three parts in eight of their weight of mercury. Sulphur 
and mercury, being both volatile in a small degree of heat, would 
rise together in distillation, unless some substance, such as quick- 
lime or iron filings, was added to the cinnabar, which by its supe. 
rior affinity, unites itst'lf with and detains the sulphur : whilst the 
mercury, not being able to support the heal, is elevated in vapour, 
and condensed in various ways in diffetent works. It sometimes 

b gntt rtMM to beUara Uist Oe Dntch inpow upon tlie world s 
hftiiM nauhctnre, under th» lUme of Japia dniiabar : tbo tiad« 
for soldi copper, uid claiwtMU, to Japan 1a exceedingljr lacntire^ 
ind 1 beliere wboltf , aa to Earop«, in the liands of the Dateh. 

Those who are acqAainted #tth the difficulty of making cbemt* 
cal expcTiments, will admire tke great patience and indnilry with 
which BoerbaAe lnreifigated the oatnre of mercnfy. He was hu 
dnced to nndertake this talk, from t deilre of rcrtfjing or refet* 
log the doctrines of the alchemiiti. Tbeie adepts bad taoght, that 
mercury was the matter of wUck all metals cenaiited ; tnd that if 
It conid be cleansed from totat original imparitiei, with wblcb, 
even in its virgin state, they held It to be polluted, It wootd then 
become it aatriment for the seed of every metdllc lobstaDce; for, 
according to tkaat, erery metal sprang from its pecalisr seed, 
wUch, when It met wifii its proper poAu/wm, ia a proper matriXf 
tttended with a doe fostering tieat, by a Tirifymg principle mnlti^ 
plied hielf, and received an sogmentation of parti, in a manner 
similar to that by wbicb plants aaA onimab are dilated in Aeir di- 
meniiau. The inreitigation of nature Is infinite ; cTery age adds 
somewhat to the common itock, which renders die laboon of pre- 
ceding ages wholly nseless. We oo longer tronble onrselrei wMi 
the works of the aichenliti which remain, nor do we regret soefa 
of them SI have been deronred by time, or were burned by tke 
order of Diocletian; nay, even the Herculean laboon of Bon^ 
haare ai« become less luteresting to as, and probably nerer wonU 
bare been nndertaken by him, had he been aware, that mercnry 
would. In a proper d^ree of cold, become, like other metoli, sofid 
andmalleaUe. IntiiaTnuisactionsofonrRoyalSodefy, forOe 
year 173S, we 'meet with Boerkaare's first dinertation upon mer- 
cnry : hii flnt experiments respect the change which tbe pnreit 
mercory undergoes from eontlnnal agitation; he incladed two 
ounces, wUchr bad been distilled above lix^ times, hi a clean 
bottle, and ftsteoing the bottle to the Itammer of a ftalling milt 
which wai almost constantly going, found in about eight months 
lime above one eighth of the fiold, splendid, insipid meroDy, 
changed into a black powder, of an acrid brassy taste. He neit 
digested mercory In a gentle heat, (180* of Fahrenbelt's thermo- 
meter), and fouad it, iv a tew nxmAs, cbaaged Into a powder, li- 
mllar to what had l»en produced by agitatlwi t Iiotb these pow 
dert fat » gnatei depaa o( beat wato i oviriM, or became mn< 


mug mercury agMn* He then inquired into the change which re« 
peated distillation could produce ; after each operation he found a 
red acrid powder remaining in the retort ; and he obserret, that 
this powder was as copiously separated, after the mercury had 
been abo?e 500 times distilled, at at first ; and thence reasonably 
concludes, that it ought rather to be attributed to a change of the 
mercury itself, than to any impurity contained in it. This pow. 
der, like the preceding, by a superior degree of heat became run. 
ning mercury ; eicept about a seventy^second part, which, though 
fixed in a strong fire, and vitrifiable with borax, could not sup- 
port the action of lead, but ?anished entirely, lea?ing no signs of 
any metallic substance upon the cupel ; this shews the little pro* 
bability of conrerting mercury into gold or silver by the action of 
a violent fire. In the following year he presented a memoir to the 
Royal Academy of Sciences, at Paris, upon the same subject. We 
there learn, that mercury, kept in digestion for fifteen years, with 
a constant heat of 100^, was not fixed, nor any how changed, ez« 
cept that a little black powder (which by simple grinding in a 
mortar became running mercury) was found floating upon itf sur- 
face. Hence is inferred, the impossibility of mercury's being 
changed in the bowels of the earth into any other metal, the heat 
In mines scarcely ever amounting to 100^ Though it might be 
impossible to change mercury into a metal, yet the philosophers by 
fire contended, that mercury, united to a particular kind of sul- 
phur, entered into the composition of all metals, and might 
by art be extracted from them ; lead was of all others thought the 
most likely, and the experiment had been reported to succeed by 
Van Belmont, and o^ers; but Boerhaave is positive, that nothing 
can be expected from its combination with salts, and lead, or tin. 
It was stiU thought by the alchemists, that mercury could never be 
Creed from its original impurity, but by being joined to some pure 
body of the same nature with it&elf : this they thon^t gold and 
silver to be* Boerhaave, in order fully to submt their high pre. 
tensions, gave in, ip the Royal Society, anoAer puper, in the latter 
end of the year 1730f 9Pntainwg an aecount of the unchangeable* 
less both of metoiry and gold»^ how aften soever they were dis« 
tiUed together. He repeated the diltUUrtion of mercury from gold 
ubove 860 timei; liio a^ercury.wei »qI in any respect changed^ 
its apedfic gravity waa the same m at first, nor had it lost the pro. 
perCy of bemg converted into a ved powder by a due d^ree of 

keat. Them w«ve «U ike trteto wUdi were pibliihed during the 
life-tiiBe of Boeriuiate; lie died in September) 1738, and left his 
pafiert to his two brothers, and after their deaths thej fell into the 
hands of Charles Frederic Krosc, physician to the Empress of 
Rnssia ; this gentleman hath published a short extract from Boer, 
haate's Diary, and promises a fuller account of still more labo. 
rious operations. We learn from this eitract*, that Boerhaa^e 
had distilled the same mercury 1009 times, and its specific grarity 
was to that of water, as 13 -^ to 1 ; whilst that which had been 
but once dbtilled^was as 13 -f^ to 1 ; a difference which may ea. 
sily be attributed to the different tenfperatures of the air when the 
experiments were made, or to other accidental circumstances, 
which the accuracy of Graresande, with whom he made the expe. 
riment, could not protide against* 

The mixture of quicksilter with gold, or silver^ or lead, or tin, 
or copper, or any metallic substance with which it is capable of 
uniting, is called an amalgam ; and the operation by which the 
union is effected, is called amalgamation. Authors are not agreed 
as to the derivation of the word amalgam; some think that it is 
composed of two Greek words, (a|xa yajxfiy), by which the inti. 
mate union, or marriage, as it were, of the two metals is denoted ; 
others are of opinion, that it ought to be written a malagma^ and 
that it is derive(\^ from a Greek word {^mXa^^uj) signifyii^ to 
soften, inasmuch as the metal, be it what it may, is always soft^ 
ened by its union with the mercury. An amalgam, made of four 
parts of tin and one of quicksilTer, in the form of a ball, is used by 
some under the pretence of purifying water ; it cannot, I think, 
contribute in any manner to that end ; but as the ball is always 
boiled in the water, the seeds of vegetables, or the fish spawn, or 
the animalcules, &c. with which water is often polluted, may be 
precipitated by the action of boiling. But there is another pur* 
pose to which a mixture of tin and quicksilTer is applied with great 
utility— the silvering of looking-glasses. 

Tin may be beat out into leaves not thicker than paper, called 
foils; on tin-foil, fitly dispoiied dn a flat table, quicksilver is 
poured, and gently rubbed with a hare's foot ; it soon unites Itself 
with the tin, which then becomes vei^y splendid, or, as the work- 
men say, is quickened : a plate of glass is^ then cautiously slid 
. . — '■ i\ \ ' - - ^ ■ ■ *'■•' ' ■ 

• NofiCoBuneiuPelrof. fSBKia^ • 

VOL. VI. ▼ 

Siz TtnmnQ, plating, &c. 

opoa the tin leaf, in tach a manner as to sweep oflf the redunchtttt 
quioksiWer, which is not incorporated with the tin ; leaden weights 
are then placed on the glass ; and in a little time (be quicksilvered 
tin-foil adheres so firmly to (he glass^ that the weigh(s may be re- 
moved without any danger of its falling off. The glass (hus sil- 
vered is a common looking-glass. Abont two ounces of quicksilver 
are sufficient for covering three square feet of glass. 

It is generally believed , that the art of making looking-glasses, 
by applying to their back surface a metallic covering, is a very 
modem invention. Mnratori expressly says, that glass specula^ 
such he means as are now In use, are not of any great antiqnrty.— * 
Serae antem antiquitati novimus fuisse specula^ qnomm usns nnn- 
quam deslit ; sed eorum fabricam apud Italos nnice forsan Teneti 
per tempora multa. servarunt et adhuc servant : quae tamen alio 
translata nunc in alits quoque regnb floret*. — ^Tbe authors of the 
French Encyclopedief have adopted the same opinion, and quoted 
a Memoir, printed in the twenty-third volnme of the Academy of 
Inscriptions, &c.— -II est d^autant plus ^tonnant qne les anciens 
n'aient pas connu I'art de rendre le verre propre i conseryer la re« 
presentation des ebjets, en appliquant I'etain derriere les glaces^ 
que les progris de la decomrerte da verre fnrent, chex euz, poussis 
fort loin. — Mr. Nixon, in speaking of the glass specula of the 
ancients, says, ^^ before the application of quicksilver, in the con- 
struction of these glasses, (which I presume is of no great antU 
qmity), the reflection of images by soch specula must have been 
effected by their being besmeared behind, or tinged through with 
some dark colour, especially black :(•" I have bestowed more time 
in searching out the age in which the applying a metallic covering 
to one side of a looking-glass was introduced, than the subject^ in 
the estimation of many, will seem to deserve; and, indeed, more 
than it deserved in my own estimation : but the difficileg nuga, 
the iiuUui labor tneptiarum) when once the mind gets entangled 
with them, cannot be easily abandoned : one feels, moreover, a 
singular reloctanoe In giving up an unsuccessful pursuit. The 
reader would pardon the introduction of this reflection, if he knew 
kow many musty Tolumes I turned oyer, before I could meet with 
any information whieh eould satisfy me, in any degree, on this sub- 

• Momtori Antiq. vol. ii. p. S9S. f Art. Miroir. 


ject; I am liot yet quite Mtisfitd;'tlioiigli I take the libertjr to Mj, 
in oppositioii to Muratori, aod the other respectable aathorities 
which I have quoted, that the applying a metallic covering to look. 
Ing.glasses is not a modem in?entioo; it is probable it was known 
in the first century) if not sooner; and it is certain, I apprehend^ 
tliat it was known in the second. 

The Romans, iM^ore the time of the younger Pliny, not only 
iised glass, instead of gold and siWer, for drinking Tessels, but 
they knew how to glase their windows with it, and they fixed it in 
the walls of their rooms to render their apartments more pleasant. 
Now a piece of flat glass, fixed in the side of a room, is a sort of 
looking-glass, and if the stucco into which it is fixed be of a dark 
colour, it will not be a very bad one. And hence I think the 
Romans could not fail of hating a sort of glass specula in use : 
but this, though admitted, does not come up to the point ; the 
question is, whether they covered the posterior surface of the glass 
with a metallic plate ? It has been observed before, that the Ro. 
mans knew how to make a paste of gold and quicksilver ; and it 
appears from Pliny also, that they knew how to beat gold into thin 
leaves, and to apply it in that state both on wood and metal : now 
there is a passage in Pliny, from whence it may be collected, that 
the Romans began in his time to apply a coat of metal to glass 
specula, and that this coat was of gold. The passage occurs in 
the very place where Pliny professes to finish all he had to observe 
concerning specula*. An opinion, says he, has lately been enter- 
tained, that the application of gold to the back part of a speculum^ 
renders the Image better defined. It is hardly possible that any 
one should be of opinion, that a plate of gold put behind a metallic 
speculum, could have any effect in improving the reflected image ; 
but supposing Pliny (whose transitions In writing are often abrupt) 
to have passed from the mention of metallic to that of glass specula, 
then the propriety of the observation relative to the improved stato 
of the image i§ very obvious. If we suppose the Romans, in 
Pliny's age, to have simply applied some black substance to the 
back surface of the glass, or even to have known how to put tii^ 
behind it, yet the observation of the image being rendered more 

* Atqoe at oinnia de ipecolii pei«gaatai hoc loeo-^Optima apud nujores 
ftierant Braodniina ttanDo et mn mixla. Prtflata rant argentca. Primur 
fecit PfBzitclet, macnl Ponpell state. Nnper credi cceptoa certiorea baa- 
glnem rcddl aitfo appoilto avcrili. Hbt. Kat. 1. xxxfli. s. alv« 


ilcstincl by means of gold, mighl have bt*n made willi more joslic* 
(han ii generally °uji|iosi.-<l : far BulTon h of opinion, that u locik. 
ing-glat^ made with a corering of gold and quIcksilTer, wonid re- 
p made in (he ordinary nay witb tin and 
Pliny's expression, certiarem imaginem 
will lie accurately true. 
IS (lourhhed toirards Ihe end of tiu secoiiil 
al works in Greek, and among the rest 

Itect more light than i 
qukksilter • ; and hem 
rettili iiufo apposi/o 

Alexander Aphrodist 
century; he wrolp scvk 
two liooks of Probli-ms 

e of his problems i^ this -f : 

AiK ri ra usAiva jtaTsirJf* Xawirsiri ayat ; 
Why are glass specula so very resplendent ? 

The only part of Che aniwer which we are concerned irilli, i 

Ori Ei-faSiv atla, ^^lairi xa.o'iiiTi^w, 
13ecau3e they besmear the inside of Ibem u 


The Greek word which I have heri' rendered besmear, does not 
clearly point out the manner in which (he ojjeration of fixing the 
tin upon the glass was performed. Pliny iv's a Litin word 
(illitum) uf exactly the same import as this Greek one, when be 
speaks of capper vessels being tinned ; and as in that operation, 
tin is melted and spread o»er the surface of Ihu copper, I see no 
difficulty in supposing, that the tin may have been, in the time of 
Alexander Aphrodisens, melted and spread over Ihp surface of the 

TIHMIMO, PLATlKe, tie. <S6 

to think) tiat if the Sydonians had only inTented the art of using 
a flat piece of glass as a speculam, without knowing how to give it 
a metallic coating, on which its excellency chiefly depends, they 
wonld not hare merited the mention which Pliny makes of them ; 
for their looking-glasses most have been inferior to the metallic 
mirrors then in use at Rome. There seems to be but one objec. 
tton of any consequence to this conclusion : — had the method of 
giving a metallic covering to plates of glass been known at least to 
the Romans, (for it might have been known in Asia long before it 
was known in Italy), it seems probable, that the metallic specula 
would have fallen into general disuse, much sooner than there ia 
cause to think they did, for it would have been much easier to 
make a looking-glass, than to polish a metallic mirror ; and the 
image from the glass would have been superior to that from the 
metal, and on both accounts the mirrors would hare become un- 

The first mode of fixing a coat of tin on a looking-glass, I sus- 
pect to have beenthat of pouring the melted metal on the glass; 
and I have some reason, not now to be insisted on, to think, that 
this mode was not disused in the fourteenth century. — Baptista 
Porta lived in the fifteenth, and died towards the beginning of the 
sixteenth century ; he gives us a very accurate description* of the 
manner in which looking-glasses were then silvered ; it differs from 
that now in use only in this, that the tin.foil, when silvered, was 
taken up and gently drawn upon the glass. J. Maurice Hoffman 
published his Acta Laboratorii Chemici, in 1719; he there speaks f 
of a mixture of one part of tin with three of quicksilver, which 
some time ago, he says, was usually applied to the hack surfaces of 
looking-glasses ; although the Venetians did then make looking- 
glasses by pouring quicksilver upon tin.foil placed on the back 
surface of the glass. — This mode of silvering the glass was not then 
invented by the Venetians, as appears from what Baptista Porta 
had advanced above two hundred years before ; though the mode 
of silvering the tin-foil, when laid upon the glass, was an improve, 
ment on that prescribed by Baptista Porta, just as the mode now 
in use is a great improvement on that practised by the Venetians 
in the time of Hoffman. 

The men who are employed in silvering looking-glasses often 

« Ifag. Na(. U iv. e. zviii. t U* P* S46, 



become paralylic, is b the case alao with those who work in quick, 
sllrer taiDes ; this ii not to be wondered at, if we may credit Mr. 
Boyle, who BSBures us that mercury has been several limes fonod 
in the beads of artificers exposed to its fumes*. In the Philoso- 
])h1cBl Tran5actioDS+, there is an account of a man, who haTing 
ceaned working in quicksilver for six months, had his body still io 
impregnated with it, that bj putting a piece of copper into hii 
month, orrubbing it with his hands, it instantly acquired S BiWer 
colour. This, though a surprising, is not a fact of a singular na. 
tare; it Is well known that sulphur, taken inwardly, will blacken 
■liter which ii carded in the pocket ; and 1 have somewhere read 
of a man whose keys were rusted in his pocket ; from V» having 
taken, for a long time, targe quantities of diluted acid of vitriol. 
J remember baring seen, at Birmingham, a very stout man ren- 
dered paralytic in the space of sis months, by being employed in 
fixing an amalgam of gold and quiclisilTer on copper; be stood 
before the mouth of a small oven strongly healed ; the mercury was 
converted into vapour, and that vapour was inhaled by him. A 
kind of chimney, I believe, hai of late been opened at the farther 
ride of the oven, into which the mercurial vapour is driven, and 
tbe health of the operator is attended to. The person I saw was 
very sensible of the cause of his disorder, but had not conra^e to 
withstand the temptation of high wages, which enabled htm to con- 
tinue in a state of intoucalion for three days in the week, instead 
•f, whatil the uBoal practice, two. 

IiBA]> TEBB. d£7 

trtes or jlkniti, wUch are stOi usually known by the Latin name 
oiarbon; 9» the arbor DianWf or siltsr-tbeb ; arbor MartUy 
or iBOjr.TRBB ; and arbor Plumbi^ or leab-tree. These expe- 
riments are simple as well as curious and entertaining, and we 
shall, therefore, subjoin the following as the easiest processes for 
working them. 

Silver Tree. — Arbor Dianas. 

In this experiment the bran^es and figure of a tree are repre* 
sented by an amalgam of silrer and mercury, which appear to yege* 
tate in a very beautiful manner. To obtain it, one part of siWer, 
dissolved in nitrous acid to saturation, is mixed with twenty parts 
of clean water^ and poured upon two parts of mercury. When 
left standing quietly, the desired crystallization will take place 
after some time. A cylindrical glnss vessel is best suited for the 
purpose ; and that the process may succeed, it is necessary that the 
ingredients be in their utmost purity. 

Iron Tree. — Arbor Martii. 

An apparent vegetation of iron, resembling a natural plant. It 
IS formed by dissolving iron 6lings in diluted nitric acid, and adding 
to the solution a quantity of carbonate of potash in a deliquescent 
state, or what was formerly called oil of tartar per deliquium. The 
mixture swells contiderably, and is no sooner at rest than the 
branches spring out on the surface of the glass. 

Lead Tree. — Arbor Piumbi. 

Is a beautiful vegeUtion of lead. To form it, two drams of ace- 
tite of lead (sugar of lead) are dissolved in six ounces of distilled 
water ; the filtered solution is poured into a cylindrical glass, and 
a thin roll of ainc being hung in it, the whole is left standing at 
rest. The lead precipitates^ adhering to the alnc in metallic leaves, 
in the form of a tree. 






PART ir, 



POLITE ylRTS, <.!■ Ilioie conntcleci mlb LITERATI 


In some places and ages thej have even written on the skins of 
fishes ; in others, on the intestines of serpents ; and in others, on 
the baclcs of tortoises. Mabill. de Re Dipiom. lib. i. cap. 8. Fa. 
brie. Biblioth* Nat cap. 21, &c. There are few sorts of plants 
bat have at some time been nsed for paper and books : and hence 
the several terms, biblos, codex, liber, folium, tabula, tillura, 
philura, scheda, &c. which express the several parts on which they 
were written : and though in Europe all these disappeared upon 
the introduction of the papyms and parchment, yet in some other 
countries the use of dirers of them obtains to this day. In Ceylon, 
for instance, they write on the leaves of the talipot. And the 
Bramin MSS. in the Tulinga language, sent to Oxford from Fort 
St. Geori^e, are written on leaves of the ampana, or palma Malaba. 
rica : Hermannus givc-s an account of a monstrous palm.tree called 
codda palma, or palma montana Malabarica, which about the 
thirty.iifth year of its age rises to be sixty or seventy feet high, with 
plicated leaves nearly round, twenty feet broad, wherewith they 
commonly cover their houses, and on which they also write, part 
of one leaf sufficing to make a moderate book* They write be« 
tween the folds, making the characters through the outer cuticle. 
Knox. Hist. Ceyl. lib. iii. Le Clerc. Bibl. Univ. tom. xxiii. p. 242. 
Phil. Trans. No. 226, p. 422, seq. Vide Hort. Ind. Maiab. p. 3. 
Phil. Trans. No. 145, p. 108. 

In the Maldive islands, the natives are said to write on the 
leaves of a tree called macaraquean, which are a fathom and a half 
long, and about a foot broad. And in divers parls of the East 
Indies, the leaves of the musa arbor, or plantain.tree, dried in the 
sun, served for the same use. 

Egyptian paper was principally used among the ancients ; being 
made of the papyrus, or biblus, a species of rush, which grew on 
the banks of the Nile : in making it into paper, they began with 
lopping off the two extremes of the plant, the head and the root : 
the remaining part, which was the stem, they cut lengthwise into 
two nearly equal parts, and from each of these they stripped the 
icaly pellicles of which it consisted. The innermost of these pel. 
licles were looked on as the best, and that nearest the rind the 
worst : they were therefore kept apart, and made to constitute 
two different sorH of paper. As the pellicles were taken off, they 
extended them on atable^ laying them over each other transversely, 
lo that the fibres made right angles: in this state they ware gloed 




together by th« muddj waters or the Nile| or, when tbow i 
not lo be liad, with paste made of the GdcsI wheat flour, mixed 
hut wuter aud a sprinkling of lioegar. The pell idea were i 
jiressed, to get out ttie water, Ihen dried, and laslly flatted 
BEDoothed, ))}- beating them with a mallet : Ihis was t]}e Egjf 
paper, which was sometimes further polished by rubbing it ni 
glass ball, or the like. 

bark paper was only the inner whitish rind, incloMd bett 
the bark and the wood of several trees, aj the maple, plane, be 
and elii), but especially the tilia, or lindea.tree, which was 
mostly used for this purpose. On this, stripped oil', flatted, 
dried, theancietits wrote books, sereral of which are said to be 

Chinese pajHir is of larious kinds j some is made of the rinil 
barks of trees, especially the mulberry-tree and elm, but chiefl 
the bambuo and colton-tree. In fact, almost each profince ha 
scTC'rul paper. The preparations of paper made of the barks of I 
insy be instanced in that of the bamboo, which isalreeof the 
or reed kind. The second skin of the bark, which is soft and w 
is ordinarily made use of for paper i this is beat in fair w 
to a pulp, which they take up in large moulds', so (hat some il 
are above twelve feet in length ; they are completed by dip 
them, sheet by sheet, in alum water, which serves instead ol 
bize among us, and not only hinders the paper from imbibio| 
ink, but makes il look as if varnishtd over. The paper is wl 
^ofl. and close. willioiH the least r 

getlwr Ctfrnrad witk i wtrt Mt, ind pvt io motion bj Iti connezloa 
with MM>e put of (be duUMtj'. A eoDrenient quantity of nga 
before tha lelection an incloied io the dDiter, and the rapidity of 
its motloD lepanitM th« dmt from tbem, and forcepi It tbrongh tho 
wire. It it of coaiidenbl* adnuitage to lue tbe dotter tiefore •«• 
lection, as It maltet that openttioii lest prrnicioas to the (^lectori. 

The lelectioB ii then to be made ; and it in fouod more conre* 
oient to liare the tables for catting off the knots and stitching, and 
for forming tbem into a proper shape, in the lune place with tho 
cgtting.table. Tbe inrfoce, both of these and of the en tting. table, 
u composed of a wire net, which in erery part of the operation 
allows the Temnining part and refuse of every kind to escape. 

The rags, withont any kind of pntrefaction, are again carried 
from the cntting.table back to tbe doiter, and from tbenoe to aa 
engine, where, In general, they are in the space of six hours re* 
daced to the staff proper for making paper. The luud and soft of 
tbe same qnali^ are placed in different lots; bat they can be n- 
duced to staff at the lame time, prorided tbe soft is pnt somewhat 
later into the engine. 

Tbe engine is that part of tbe mill which performs tbe wkote 
action of r«duciag the rags to paste, or, as it may be termed, of 
tritnralion. The number of engines depends on the extent of tbe 
paper-work, or the force of water, or on the construction of tbo 

'When (he stuff is brought to perfection, it is conreyed Into a 
general repository, which supplies the vat from which the sheets of 
paper are formed. This Tat ii made of wood; and generally al>oit 
ive feet in diameter, and two and a half In depth. It is kept in 
temperature by means of a grate introduced by a bole, andsor. 
rounded on tbe inside of the Tat with a case of copper. For fuel 
to tiiia grate, charcoal or wood is used ; and frequently, to pre. 
went swdu, the wall of the building comes in contact with on* 
part of the vat, and tbe fira has no conununication with tbe place 
when they make tbe paper. 

Every lat is famished on the upper part with pUnks closed in. 
wards, and eren railed in with wood, to prevent any of the stuff 
from mnaing over in the operation. Across the vat is a ptank 
which they call tbe trepan, pierced with boles at one of the extre- 
■itiei, and resting on the planks wbicb surround tbo rat. 

Tha forms or moulds are composed ol ifc, and nofatUa 


rrame. It is witb these that they fetch up the staff from the vat, in 
order to furm the sheets of paper. The aides of the ronn are made 
of oak, which is previously steeped in water, and otherwise pre> 
pared to present warping. The wire doth is made larger Umq the 
sheet of paper, and the eicess of it on all sides is covered with a 
moveable frame. This frame is necessary to retain the stnll' uf 
which (he paper is made on the cloth; and it must be exactly 
adapted to the form, otherwise the edges of the pnper will be rag- 
ged aud badly finished. The wire cloth of the form is varied in 
proportion to Ihe fim ness of the paper and the oalure of the stuff. 

The fells are pieces of woollen cloth spread over every cbeet of 
paper, and upon which the sheets are laid to detach them from the 
iidjoining, topreveiitth^m from adhering together, to imbibe part uf 
the water with which the stuff is charged, and to carry off the whole 
of it when pressed under the action of the press. The two sideg of 
the felt are differently raised : that of which the hair is longest is 
applied (o the sheets which arc laid down ; and any alteration of 
this disposition would produce a change in the texture of the paper. 
The stuff of which the fells are made sliould be siifhciendy strong, 
io order that it may be stretched exactly on the sheets without 
forming into folds; and, at Ihe same time, sufficiently pliant to 
yield in every direction without injury to the wet paper. As the 
felts have to resist the reiterated efforts of Ihe press, it appears ne> 
cessary that the warp be very strong, of combed wool| KBiIwell 
twisted. On the other hand, as they have to imbib* ft OWtUn 

a proof flttii it bat been well tritarated ; and Hme parts of the rags 
which have escaped the rollers also appear. 

After this operation the workman takes one of the forms, fur- 
nished with its framei bj the middle of the short sides ; and fixing 
the frame round the wire cloth with his thumbs, he plunges it ob. 
liquefy four or fi?e inches into the Tat, beginning by the long side, 
which is nearest to him. After the immersion he raises it to a leTel : 
by these movements he fetches up on the form a sufficient quantity 
of stuff; and as soon as the form is raised, the water escapes 
through the wire cloth, and the superfluity of the stuflT orer the 
sides of the frame. The fibrous parts of the stuff arrange them* 
selres regularly on the wire cloth of the form, not only in propor- 
tion as the water escapes, but also as the workman favours thb 
effect by gently shaking the form. Afterwards, having pkced the 
form on a piece of board, the workman takes off the frame or 
deckle, and glides this form towards the coucher ; who, having 
previously laid his felt, places it with his left hand hi an Inclined 
situation, on a plank fixed on the edge of the vat, and full of holes. 
During this operation the workman applies his frame, and begins 
a second sheet. The coucher seizes this instant, takes with his left 
hand the form, now sufficiently dry, and, having laid the sheet of 
paper upon the felt, returns the form by gliding it along the trepan 
of the vat. 

They proceed in this manner, laying alternately a sheet and a 
felt, till they have made six quires of paper, which is called a poft: 
and this they do with such swiftness, that, in many sorts of paper, 
two men make upwards of twenty posts in a day. When the last 
sheet of the post is covered with the last felt, the workmen about 
the vat unite together, and submit the whole heap to the action of 
the press. They begin at first to press it with a middling lever, and 
afterwards with a lever about fifteen feet in length. After this 
operation, another person separates the sheets of paper from the 
felts, laying them in a heap ; and several of these heaps collected 
together are again put under the press. 

The stuff which forms a sheet of paper is received, as we have 
already said, on a form made of wire cloth, whith is more-or less 
fine in proportion to the stuff, and surrounded with a wooden 
frame, and supported in the middle by many cross bars of wood. 
In consequence of this construction, it is easy to perceive, that the 
sheet of paper wOl take and preserve the impressioni of all the 


plecei wliich compose the form, and ol the eidpty (pace* between 

1 hf tracts of the wire cloth are evidently perceived on the side 
of the iheet which was attached to the form, and od the oppoiite 
aide Iht-r rorm an assfmblage of parallrl and rounded risingi. At 
in the paper nhicb is most highly &nished the regularity of theao 
impressions is atill vi^ibji', it is evident that alt operdtioas to whicit 
it is submilted have cbieBy in view to soften these impreujons with, 
out destroying them. It is of consequence, Ihererore, to attend to 
the combination of labour which operates on these impnttioni. 
The CDUcher, in turnini; the forin on the felt, flattens a little the 
rounded eminences which are in relievo on one of the snr/acei, knd 
occasions at the same time the hollow places made by the wire cloth 
to be partly hlled up. Meanwhile, the effort which is made in de. 
taching the form produces an infinite number of small haJrs on 
every protuberant part of the sheet. 

Under the action of the press, first with the felts and then with- 
out them, the perfecting of the grain paper stilt goes on. The ves- 
tiges of the protuberances made by the wires are altogether flat- 
tened, and of consequence the hollows opposite to them difsppear 
also ; but the traces formed by the interstices of the wire, in con. 
sequence of their thiclLness, appear on both sides, and are rounded 
by the press. 

The risings traced on each side of the paper, and which can be 
discovered by the eye on that which is most highly finished, form 
what is called the grain of paper. The dilferent operations ought 

consist 10 preserrhig, and at the same time in higlilj softening, the 
grain : the Dutch ha^e carried this to tlie highest perfection. 

The exchange succeeds tlM operation last described. It is con* 
docted in a hall contiguous to the Tat, supplied with seTeral presses, 
and with a long table. The workman arranges on this table the 
paper, newly fabricated, into heaps ; each heap containing eight or 
ten of those last under the press, kept separate by a woollen felt« 
The press is large enough to receive two of them at once, placed 
the one at the other's side. When the compression is judged suf« 
ficieut, the heaps of paper are carried back to the table, and the 
whole turned sheet by sheet, in such a manner that the' surface of 
crery sheet is exposed to a new one ; and in this situation they are 
again brought under the press. It is in conducting these two ope* 
rations to four or five times, or as often as the nature of the paper 
requires, that the perfection of the Dutch plan consbts. If the 
stuff is fine, or the paper slender,'U£e exchange is less frequently 
repeated. In this operation it is necessary to alter the situation of 
the heaps, with regard to one another, erery time they are put an* 
der the press ; and also, as the heaps are highest toward the middle, 
to place small pieces of felt at the extremities, in order to bring 
every part of them under an equal pressure. A single man, with 
four or five presses, may exchange all the paper produced by two 
Tats, proTided the previous pressing at the Tats is well performed. 
The work of the exchange generally lasts about two days on a given 
quantity of paper. 

When the paper has undergone these operations, it is not only 
softened on the surface, but better felted, and rendered more pliant 
in the interior parts of the stuff. In short, a great part of the wa. 
ter which it had Imbibed in the operation of the Tat is dissipated. 
By the felting of paper« is understood the approximation of the 
fibres of the stuff, and their adhering more closely together. The 
paper is Celted in proportion as the water escapes, and this effect is 
produced by the management and reiterated action of the press. 
Were it not for the gradual operation of the press, the paper would 
be porous, and composed of filaments adhering closely together. 
The superiority of the Dutch over the French paper depends al- 
most entirely on this operation. 

If the sheets of paper are found to adhere together, it is a proof 
that the business of the press has been badly conducted. To avoid 
this inconveniency, it is necessary to bring down the press at first 


gent\jt and by degrees with greater force, and to raise it as mi* 
denly as possible. By thii means the water, which is impelled to 
the sides of the heaps, which has not yet escaped, ri^tnrns to the 
centre ; thf sheets are equally dry, and the operation is executed 
without difficulty. 

According to the state of dryness in which the paper is found 
when it comes from the apartment of the Tat, it is either pressed 
before or after (he first exchange. The operation of the press 
should be reiterated, and managed with great care ; otherwise, in 
the soft state of the paper there is a danger that its grain and trans, 
parency are totally destroyed. Another essential principle to the 
success of the exchange is, that the grain of the paper is originally 
well raised. For this purpose the wire cloth of the Dutch forms is 
composed of a rounder w*^'>' than that used in France, by which 
they gain the greatest degree^ f*'a'*<'ptttency, and are in no danger 
of destroying the grain. this, the Dutch take care to pro- 
portion (he wires, even where the forms are equal, to the thickness 
of the paper. 

Almost every kind of paper is considerably improved by the ex. 
change, and receives a degree of perfection which renders it more 
agreeable in the use. But it is necessary to observe at the same 
time, that all papers are not equally susceptible of this melioration ; 
on the contrary, if the stuff is unequal, dry, or weakened by the 
destruction of the fine parts, it acquires nothing of that lustre and 
softness, and appearance of velvet, which the exchange gives to 
stuff properly prepared. 

The sheds for drying the paper are in the neighbourhood of the 
paper-mill, and are furnished with a vast number of cords, on whldi 
they hang the sheets both before and after the sizing. The sheds 
are surrounded with moveable lattices, to admit a quantity of air 
sufficient for drying the paper. The cords of the shed are stretched 
as much as possible; and the paper, four or five sheets of it toge* 
ther, is placed on them by means of a wooden instrument resem- 
bling a pick*axe. The principal difficulty in drying the paper, 
consists in gradually admitting the external air, and in preventing 
the cords from imbibing moisture. With regard to the first of 
these, the Dutch use very low sheds, and construct their lattices 
with great exactness. By this means the Dutch paper is dried 
equally, and is extremely supple before the sizing. They prevent 
the cords from imbibing the water by covering them with wax. 


In Qsiog such cords, the moistore does not continue in the line of 
contact between the paper and the cord, which preTents the sheet 
from stretching in that particular place bj its weight, and from the 
folds which the moisture in the subsequent operations might occa. 
sion. The Dutch also employ cords of considerable thickness, and 
place fewer of them under the sheets ; by which means they dimi« 
nish the points of contact, and give a freer and more equal circular 
tion to the air. 

The size for paper is made of the shreds and parings got from 
tanners, curriers, and parchment. makers. All the putrefied parts 
and the lime are carefully separated from them, and they are in- 
closed in a kind of basket, and let down by a rope and pulley into 
the cauldron. This is a late invention, and serves two valuable 
purposes. It makes it easy to draw o'lt the pieces of leather when 
the size is extracted from t^ie||^^ boiling, or easy to return them 
into the boiler if the operation i^ IIq^ complete. When the sub* 
stance is sufficiently extracted, it is alloifVed to settle for some time ; 
and it is twice filtered before it is put into the vessel into which 
they dip the paper. 

Immediately before the operation, a certain quantity of alum it 
added to the size. The work. man takes a handful of the sheets, 
smoothed and rendered as supple as possible, in his left hand, dips 
them into the vessel, and holds them separate with his right, that 
they may equally imbibe the size. After holding them above the 
vessel for a space of time, he seizes on the other side with his right 
hand, and again dips them into the vessel. When he has finished 
ten or a dozen of these handfuls, they are submitted to the action of 
the press. The superfluous size is carried back to the vessel by means 
of a small pipe. The vessel in which the paper is sized is made of 
copper, and furnished with a grate, to give the size when necessary 
a due temperature : and a piece of thin board or felt is placed be. 
tween every handful as they are laid on the table of the press. 

The Dutch are very careful in sizing their paper, to have every 
sheet in the same handful of equal dryness ; because it is found that 
the dry sheets imbibe the size more slowly than those which retain 
tome degree of moisture. They begin by selecting the padges in the ; and after having made them supple, and having de. 
stroyed the adherence between the sheets, they separate them into 
handfuls in proportion to the dryness, each of them containing that 
number which they can dip at one time. Beiidei this precaotion^ 

vol. VI. 


they take care to apply two sheets of brown paper of an equal sire 
to every handful. This brown paper, firin, solid, and already sized, 
is of use to support the sheets. 

As soon as the paper is sized, it is the practice at some paper- 
mills to carry it immediately to the, and hang it be« 
fore it cools, sheet by sheet, on the cords. The paper, unless par. 
ticular attention is paid to the lattices of the, is apt 
to dry too fast, whereby a great part of the size goes off in era. 
poration : or, if too slow, it falls to the ground. The Dutch dry- 
ing.houses are the best to prevent these inconveniences : but the 
exchange after the sizing, which is generally practised in Holland, 
is the best remedy. They begin this operation on the handfols of 
paper, either while they are still hot, or otherwise as they find it 
convenient* But, after the exchange, they are carefnl to allow the 
heaps to be altogether cold before they are submitted to the press. 
Without this precaution the size would either be wholly squeezed out 
by the press of the exchange, or the surface of the paper become very 
irregular. It is of consequence that the paper, still warm from 
the sizing, grows gradually firm, under the operation of the ex. 
change, in proportion as it cools. By this method it receives that 
varnish which is afterwards brought to perfection under the press, 
and in which the excellence of the paper either for writing or draw- 
ing chiefly consists, ft is in consequence of the exchanging and 
pressing that the Dutch paper is soft and equal ; and that the size 
penetrates into the body of it, and is extended equally over its 

The exchange after the sizing ought to be conducted with the 
greatest skill and attention, because the grain of the paper then re- 
ceives impressions which can never be eradicated. When the sized 
paper is also exchanged, it is possible to hang more sheets together 
on the cores of the drying house. The paper dries better in this 
condition, and the size is preserved without any sensible waste, be* 
cause the sheets of paper mutually prevent the rapid operation of 
the external air. And as the size has already penetrated into the 
paper, and is fixed on the surface, the insensible progress of a well, 
conducted renders all the good effects more perfect in 
proportion as it is slowly dried. 

If to these considerations is added the damage done to the paper 
in drying it immediately after the press of the sizing«room, whe- 
ther it 18 done in raiting the hairs by separating the sheets^ or in 


cracking the surface, it is evident that the trouble of the second 
exchange is infinitely overpaid by the advantage. 

When the paper is sufficiently dry, it is carried to the finishing, 
room, where it is pressed, selected, examined, folded, made up 
into quires, and finally into reams. It is here put twice under the 
press ; first, when it is at its full size, and secondly, after it is 

The principal labour of this place consists in assorting the paper 
into different lots, according to its quality and faults ; after which 
it is made up into qaires. The person who does this must possess 
great skill, and be capable of attention, because he acts as a check 
on those who separated the paper into different lots. He takes the 
sheets with his right hand, folds them, examines them, lays them 
over his left arm till he has the number requisite for a quire, brings 
the sides parallel to one another, and places them in heaps under 
the table. An expert workman, if proper care has been taken in 
assorting the lots, will finish In this manner near 6000 quires in 
a day. 

The paper is afterwards collected into reams of 20 quires each, 
and for the last time put under the presi^, where it Is continued for 
10 or 12 hours, or as long as the demand of the paper-mill permits. 

In different volumes of the Annalcs de Chimie we meet with some 
useful hints relative to the manner of re- manufacturing the paper 
of old books, or any letters or other paper already used for writ* 
Ing or printing, by MM. Deyeux, Pelletier, Molard, and Ver- 

I. Process for re-fabricating printed paper : — All paper of the 
same quality should be collected, and separated from such as may 
have any writing on the pages ; the edges of those leaves which 
may have become yellow, and also the backs of books, being cut 
off by the instrument used by book.binders. One hundred weight 
of paper is now to be put, sheet by sheets Into vats, sufficiently 
capacious to contain it, together with 500 quarts of hot water, but 
which ought to be filled about oncthird : the whole is next stirred 
by two men for the space of one hour, who are gradually to add 
as much water as will rise about three inches above the paper ; after 
which it is left to macerate four or five hours ; the agitation bf ing 
occasionally repeated, so as to separate, and at length to form the 
paper into a kind of paste* 

z 2 


The water i<. now drawn off by means o( pi|>cs, and the pulp 
conveyed to the mill, where it is to be coarsely ground for une 
hour ; at the expiration of which it is boiled in a cauldron for a 
nlmilar space, with a sufficient quantity of water to rise four or five 
inches above it, A short time before the mixture begins to boil, 
thirteen quarts of caustic ley of potash arc to be added to every 
cwt, of paper. The ley alluded (o i>i prepared by dissolving lOOlbs, 
of potash in 300 quarts of boiling water, to which are to be added 
30 lbs. of pulverized quick-lime ; and the whole must he briskly 
agitatedi till it become of an uniform consistence, when it is suf- 
fered to stand for 13 hours; at the end of this time it must be drawn 
off, and 7d quarts of boiling water added (o the sediment, which 
being stirred for half an hour, and suffered to stand till it become 
cltKr, i» to be mixed with the liquor first decanted. 

When the paste hss boiled in this ley for one hour, the fire is to 
be extinguished, and the matter suffered to macerate for 12 hour) ; 
after which it must be taken out, drained, put into bngs, and sub- 
mitted to the action of a strong press for a similar length of time, 
to deprive it of all moisture; aod, if it appear white, so that the 
printer's ink be properly extracted, it may be re-nianufutured in 
the usual manner. 

II. Process for the re-Jabrtcation of arillen paper. — The 
paper must be sorted; the yellow edges cutoff; and the whole 
thrown, leaf by leaf, into a tub half full of boiling water, where it 
is to be agitated as before directed. After it has macerated four 
hours, (lie water should be drawn oiT; a frpsh quantity of boiling 


In the year ISOt, a patent nas granted fo Mr. Koopi, forex. 
tracttng ink from printed paper, and re^turiug it to its original state. 
His process Tartes little fron that above described; tbe paper b«. 
ing agitated in hot water to extract tbe size, and redoce it into a 
pulp ; next, the adhestoii of tbe ink is to be r^moTed by a cauittc 
alkali prepared of lime and potash, tbe quantities of vhich should 
be proportioned to those of the paper. After discharging the ink^ 
he directs the pulp to be bleached by means of the oxygenated marine 
acid, io I he proportion of 10 or 13 gallons to 140 lbs. of the mate, 
rial ; and when snffidently whitened, it is re-manafactnred in the 
usual manner. According to the patentee's account, writing paper 
does not require so large a proportion, if any, of the caustic alkali ; 
but is bleached by confining it in a wooden box, rendered air tight; 
into which the acid gass is thrown directly fr«m the retort wherein 
it WIS prodaced. 

The staining or dyeing of paper is performed byapjdylng, with 
soft brushes, any of tbe colours used for tinging other substances, 
after tempering tbem properly witli siie or gum-water. Should 
tbe paper not be sufficiently hard to receWe the tint without sinking, 
it will first be necessary to size it, or to employ a larger proporllon 
of gum with the tinging matters. And if the paper is to be of aq 
uniform colour, the latter must be fixed by sereral thin coatings,, 
each being sufiered lo dry before another is applied ;*•!]» ahadt 
will otherwise appear unequal. 

As writing paper it often imperfectly sized, in conseqaence of 
wbich the ink is apt lo liak, it has beeu recommended to dissoWo 
a small piece of Roman alum In a glass of pure water. This liquor 
should be gently spread oter the suspected part, with a soft sppage { 
and, after becoming dry, it may be safely used for writing. Should 
there be any occasion to write on a printed book; or on paper that 
is too fresh and moist, it will only be necessary to mix a little gun| 
with the ink. Lastly, in case any book or manuscript be stained 
with oil, or grease, it has beeu directed to ralcine and puWerixe tli« 
bones of sheep's trotters ;'and to apply a small portion of the powder 
to each side of the stain, which should be placed between two sheeti 
of white paper, and tbe whole submitted for the space of twelro 
boors to the action of a press : if the stains do not disappear,the pro. 
cess should be repeated in a warm place, 

[Pantoiog. ^nnelei de Chimie, 

-[ s« 3 



Ob Uieroglgphic and I'klure.ztriling. 

X HK (lestre of conimunicatiiig ideas, seems to be i m plan led Jn 
every liuniau breast. The two mo&t usual metliods uf gratifying 
this di'slre^ are, by suunils adilressed tu the ear ; or, by rpprtsi'n. 
tatiuns or marks exhibitc^d to the eye ; or, in other worils, by 
speech and writing. The first method «as rendered more rom pie te 
by the invention of the second, because it opened a door for com- 
municating informalioii, through the sense of sigiit as well as that 
of hearing. Speech may be considered as the substance ; and 
nriting, as the shadow which followed it. — These remarks imy be 
illnstraled, by slating a few observations concerning the former, 
which nill natumlly lead us to the origin of the latd-r. 

Oneof the greatest advantages which we possess is that of speech, 
or the power of expressing the conceptions of the mind by uticu* 
late sounds. Dy Ibis faculty we are capable of social intsrcDarse, 
of enjoying the endearments of friendship and the communications 


nut DDe.fpnth of an incb, llirough which the breath, traasmitted 
from ihe longs, passes with ransiilcraMi! tclocity : in its patsage it 
is said to give a brisk Tibr&tory niolion to the tnetnbranous lips of 
the gluttia, which prodncea the sound called voica, by an operation 
similar to that which prodoces sound from tlie two lips of a haul- 
bo/. Gakn aod others affirm, Ihatboth the larynx and the wind- 
pipe co-operate id rendering the brealh rocal ; but later authors do 
not agree in this opinion. It geems howerer necessary for the pro- 
duction of Toice, that a degree of tenseness should be commanicated 
to the larynx, or at least to the two membrane* aboTe mentioned. 
Th« Toice thus formed is strengthened and mellowed by a reverbe* 
ration from the palate, and other hollow places of the inside of th« 
mouth and nostrils ; and as these are better or worse shaped for 
this rererberalion, the voice is said to be more or less agreeable; 
and thus the vocalorgans of man appear to be, as it were, a species 
of date or hautboy, whereof the membraaoaB lips of the glottis arc 
the month or reed, and the inside of the throat, palate and noitrlls 
the body ; Ihe windpipe being nothing more than the lobe or canal 
vhich GonTeys Ihe wind from the longs to the apertnte of tlui musi> 
cal instrument*. 

The learned and ingenious author of Hermes f, with grat 
strength of argument, shews, that language is founded in compact, 
and not in nature. His friend, lord Monhoddo, with great kam- 
Ing and ingenuity, supports the same opinion, and insists that lan- 
guage is not natnraj to man ; but that it is acquired : and, in tha 
course of his reflections, he adduces the opinions not only of 
heathen philosophers, poets, and historians, but of christian di- 
Ttnes Iwth ancient and modem |. 

• See Dr. Beatlie on Ihe Theory nf Laugnaje, p. 84e, Lond. 1783, ito. 

+ See Hermei, b; Janei Harris, Eiq. book iii. p. 314, 32T. 

t Tblsantborii of opinion Uiat nankiod took the hintiof die moat aaefnlarti 
from tke fainte creatioo, " for," nllk be, " II may be thai men Bnl leaned la 
*' bnlM bom the nrallow t from Ibe ^ider, to weave ] and frtnn the birds, lo 
" sing." SeeManboddo on the OriglnaodProgreuofLaiigDage, bookii. aad 
ii. p. SST and 376. 

" The fini words of men, like their flnl ideaa," swth Mr. Harris, " had an 
" immediate reference (o lensible objects i and, Ip Bftertimei, whea men began 
" to dltcoTtr wf Ih their iaIelleclB, they took ihoie wordi which Ihey fannd aU 
" ready made, and Irantferrcd them, bjmetapborftointelleclMlconceplloM." 
Kemci, p. 269. 



Though languagp, as :t U generally considereJ by ^'lamniaciuns, 
is a work of art ; yet it is fvidcnt that voml naunds are foaniled in 
nature ; and man would vary thotie snuiidt, as im]ielkd hy his pas. 
lions, or urged b^ his necessities. This eKercise of Ihe orj;ans of 
speech irould produce articulate voices, which tire ppcuUar to the 
human si>ccies ; vocal sounds, expressive uf emotiimj, being n&tural 
to brutes as well as to men. Thtiie nriiculat'- voices are Ihe tirst 
advances towards the formation of a language. The huroBii organs 
are not, like those of most brutes, confiaed to particular sounds ; 
but, as men arc capable of learning to imitate the several soonds of 
the brute creation, by that means they arquire a greater variety of 
sounds than other animals. It is evident that children learn to 
speak by imitation ; tfaey acquire articulate sounds before they 
comprehend the ideas of which those sounds are significant. 

It would be digressing from the suliject immediat('!y before us, 
to say more at present concerning the nature uf speech, or audible 
language ; our inquiry being into the origin of visible or written 

It is obvious that men woold soon discover the ditiiculty of con. 
veying new ideas by sounds alone ; for, as Mr, Ilarris oburres*, 
'* the senses never exceed their natural limits ; the eye perceives 
•' no sounds, the ear perceives no figures nor colours ;" therefore 
it became necessary to call in the assistaune of the eye where the 
ear alone was insuiTicient. 

It will presently be demonstrated that n)eo, even in tbeir most 
uncivili/ed state, display a faculty of imitntiunt, which efiablM 

picrusB WBIT1NC. 345 

common to all nations, and perliaps coctbI with tlie Srat locietiei 
or i.'omTiinnill?s of mankintl. 

It isnot [irobBble that (he art of pi dure, writ iog was bronght to any 
degree of perfection bf one man or nation, or ctcq by one genera, 
lion; but was gradually improved and extendi'd, by the saccessiTe 
hands of iniliTiduali, in the societies through which it passed -, and 
that more or Ie|s, according to the getiius of each people, and their 
state of civilization ; the rudtr nations requiring fewer signs or 
repreMntatioiis, than the more cultivated. At first, each 6gDre 
meant specifically what it represented. Thus, the figare of the snn 
expressed or denoted that planet only ; a lion or a dog, simply the 
animals there depicted ; but, in process of time, when men acquired 
more knowledge, and attempted to describe qualities, as well ai 
sensible objects, these delineations were more 6gurati<rely ex- 
plained ; then the tigare of the sun, besides its origirtal meaning, 
denoted glory and genial warmth ; that of the lion, courage ; aad 
that of the dog, fidelity. 

A still further improvement in cirilization occasioned these deli- 
neations (o tiecome too Tolumnioua ; every new object requiring a 
new picture, this induced the delineator to abridge the representa- 
tions, re(:^ning so much of each figure as would express its species. 
Thus, fur example, instead of an accurate representation of a lioa, 
a slight sketch, or more general figure of that animal was sub- 
stituted ; and for a serpent, cither a spiral or crooked line like 
the letter S. Besides this, as there occurred a number of ideas, 
not to be represented by painting, for these it was necessary to affix 
arbitrary signs. 

This transition was not so great as at first it may appear. In all 
probability, these signs were introduced slowly, and by degrees, 
and in such manner, aa to be always esplaiued by the context, 
until generally known and adopted. 

That such was the origin and progress of this invention, history, 
and the journals of trarellers, furnish us with a variety of proofs ; 
hierogtypliics, in all their different stages being found in reiy 
distant parts of the globe. Of these we shall mention some In- 

Joseph d'Acosta relates, that on the first arrival of the Spantitb 
squadron on the coast of Mexico, expresses were sent to Monle- 
■lama, with exact representations of the ships, painted on cloth ; in 
vfhich mtvnncT they ktpt their records, historiesj and cnlendars j 


repr«senling things tliat liod liixlily shapes, in th^ir proper figures ; 
auJ Ihose that hod noiiu, in iirbitrary siguifitant characters.— It ii 
here to he obscTTed, that the Mexicans had lung beeu a ciyilixcc] 
people ; so that this kind of nritino ma} be cousidered among thein 
as almost advanced (o its laoii perfect stuli^. 

Specimens of Mexican pninLing have been giren by Puichns in 
silly-si)! plates. His wurk is diriiled into tliree parts. The first 
contaJDS the hiatury ofthi; Mf^xicao L-mpirc, under its teninonarchs ; 
the second is a tribute-roll, representing » ha teacii conquered town 
paid into (he royal treasury : and the third is a code of their iasli- 
luljons, civil, political, and military*. Another specimen of 
Mexican painting has been published, in thirly.tvru plates, by the 
prtsent archbishop of Toledo. To all these is annexed b full ex- 
planation of what the figures were intended fo represnit ; which 
V3S obtained by the Spaniards from Indians well acfiuainted with 
their own arts. Thv stile of painting in all these is the same ; and 
they may be justly considered as the most curious rooantnenta of 
art, brought from the new world +. 

• The originalii arc in Iho BtxIIHan litinirj a( Oiford, No. SlSt, unaDi; Mr. 
Seidell 't MSS. Ill llirMitnrlihriiry, No. at>as, iBBbimkof MeMunUtfOlly- 
phic! pginlPd upon thick ikins, wbirhaicc'ivirrd wiiliacha1k]rc«np<i**'*'i''< 
and fuldi-d in eleven talis. No. 3136, is a lionk of Mexican tHrtaiilyrltik^ 
(lainleil upoD >i ml lar skins, and TuMeil in Icn raid;. No. 3S0T, i«a roll coalmin- 
ing Meiican hlrrngl;phics, p«inled nnback. Thcii' painlingf arc hijhlj woriliv 


Cbarlefoix ind lereral other traTellers testify, tLtt this kind of 
wriHng, or rather painting, was used by the North American In. 
diaus, to record their past events, and to communicate their 
thoughts to^ their distant friends. The same kind of characters 
were found by Strahlenberg upon the rocks in Siberia ; and the 
author of the iiook, intitked, De vet. Lit. Hon. Scyth. p. ] 5, mentions 
certain innkeepers in Hungary^ ivho used hieroglyphic represents, 
tions, not only to keep their accounts, but to describe their debt- 
ors : so that if one^ was a soldier, they drew a rude kind of sword ; 
for a smith or (^rp<>nter, a hammer or an axe ; and, if a carter, s 
whip. See Histoire Generate des Voyages, Paris, 1754, 4to. 

The inhabitants of the Friendly Islands, visited by Captain Cook, 
in 1770, made a great number of rude figures, to represent their 
deities. Captain King, who accompanied Captain Cook on his last 
expedition, brought from one of these islands a piece of cloth, made of 
bark, on which several rude representations, of men, birds, and 
ornaments of dress, are depicted. Besides these, there are some 
delineations, which have the appearance of arbitrary marks. 

This cloth is divided into twenty.three compartments ; in one of 
which, near the centre, is a rude figure, larger than the rest, per. 
haps of some deity, having a bird standing upon each hand : that 
on the right hand appears to be addressing itself to his ear. This 
figure is surrounded by three smaller ones, which may be intended 
as ministers or attendants. The great figure is much in the stile of 
the Mexican hieroglyphic paintings at Oxford *• 

The Egyptians undoubtedly carried this art to its greatest ex- 
tent ; and this is one reason why they have been generally con- 

royal treasory : the figure of a circle represented a unit ; aod, in small nombers, 
the computation was made by repeating it. Larger numbers were expressed by 
peculiar marks ; and they had such as denoted all integral numbers, from twenty 
to eight thousand. The short duration of their empire prevented the Mexicaof 
from advancing farther in that long course, which conducts men, from the la» 
hour of delineating real objects, to the simplicity and ease of alphabetic writing. 

Their records, notwithstanding some dawn of such ideas as might have led to 
a more perfect stile, can be considered as nothing more than a species of picture* 
writing, so far improved, as to mark their superiority over the savage tribes of 
North America ; but still so defective, as to prove that they had not proceeded 
far beyond the first stage, in that progress which must be completed, before any 
people can be ranked among polished nations. See Dr. Robertson's Hist, of 
America, vol. ii. p. 880, and note 54, p. 479—482. 

* This cloth is now in my possession. 


sidered as llie inrcniort of it ; every species of hieroglypUcs being 
recorded in their history. 

Hieroglyphic writing, striclly so called, is a simple represeiifa. 
tiun, or mere picture. The abridgnienls afterwords introduced 
DiBy be divided into three kinds. 

First, when the principal circumstance was made to represent 
(he whole. lu order to signify a battle, two hands were dsUneated ; 
one holding a bow, another a shield : a tumult, or popuUr insur. 
reclion, was expressed by an armed man casting arrows ; and n 
tiege, by a scaling-ladder. This may be stJIed » picture character ; 
or, as the learned Dr. Warfaurlon, bishop of Gloucester, called it, 
" a Curiologic Hieroglyphic." 

The second, aod more artiticial method of contraction, was by 
pulling the iniitrument f»r the thing itself. Thus, an eye in the 
clouds, or eminently placed, was designed to represent God'j 
omniscience, as perceiving all things j an eye and sceptre, to re- 
presenta king; and a ship and piloi, the Governor of the imirerse. 
This may be called the Tropical Hieroglyphic. 

The third, and ttill more artificial method of abridging picture. 
writing, was, by conversion, or making one thing aland for, or re- 
present another : Ibr example, ihe Bull Apis stood for Osiris, and 
not Ihe picture or image of Osiris •. This hath been denominated 
the Symbolic Hieroglyphic +. 


ThiS) aod die enormoiis bolk of the picture rolumes, produced 
a further change in writing ; the figures were totally rejected ; 
and. In their room, certain arbitrary marks were instituted, ex. 
pressing not only visible objects, but mental conceptions. These 
of necessity must be exceedingly nnmerous, as is the case in the 
Chinese writings, in which some authors have asserted, they could 
atill trace out the remains of the picture character. 

The learned bishop of Gloucester, Dr. VVarburton, in his Di?ine 
Legation of Moses*, observes, that all the barbarous nations upon 
earth, before tte invention or introduction of letters, made use of 
hieroglyphics, or signs, to record their meaning. Such a general 
concurrence in the method of preserving events, could never be the 
effect of chance, imitation, or partial purposes ; but must needs be 
esteemed the uniform voice of nature, speaking to the first rude 
conceptions of mankind ; '^ for," adds the learned prelate, ^^ not 
only the Chinese of the east, the Mexicans of the west, and the 
Egyptians of the south, but the Scythians likewise of the north, 
as well as those intermediate inhabitants of the earth, the Indians, 
Phenicians, Ethiopians, Etruscans, &c. all used the same way of 
writing, by picture and hieroglyphic." 

We shall dismiss the present section, by endeavouring to im« 
press the minds of our readers with a distinction which will be 
found to be of great importance in the present inquiry ; namely, the 
difference between imitative characters and symbolic or arbitrary 

^* Every medium," says Mr. Harris, in his Hermes, p. 331, 
332, ^^ through which we exhibit any thing to another's contem- 
plation, is either derived from natural attributes, and then it is 
an Imitation ; or else from accidents quite arbitrary, and then 

Taaatns, or Thotb, was the Mercury, on which name and family all the inven- 
tions of the various kinds of writin(E^, were very liberally bestowed ; that here 
mentioned as the improvement of Taautns, beinjf the very hieroglyphics above 
described $ and that as before practised by Ouranus, the same with the simple 
American paintiofj^s. 

Such then was the ancient Efryptian hieroglyphic ; and this the second mode 
of invention for recording mens actions, not as hitherto thought a device of 
choice for secresy, but an expedient from necessity for general use. In pro- 
cess of time, their symbols and delineations turning on the least obvious, or 
even perhaps on imaginary properties of the animal or thing represented, either 
to form or construe this» required no small degree of learning and ingenuity. 

• Vol, iii. p. 97 to 305. 



It J9 a Symbol," The former may be truly said to tlpriTe Us 
origin from that imil^iLire facully which is no cn^i'Hciioiis in ihe 
human sppcies ; Ihp latlpr is founded in neceEsily or nmT«irietiee, 
anil becomes significant by compact : tlie one hath only an imme. 
liiatp refcrenrp to sensiile objects, which [in-setit themsehw tO the 
sight ; the other lo mentul conceptions ; in short, the fOTtat-r is s[>. 
plicable to liierogljphic representations ; the latter conipr^hends 
lymbuls and marks for soun-ls, significant of ideas by adoption. 
Henrft we may roncludt^, that all representations, marVs, or clia. 
racters, which wsre ever used, by any nation or people, must have 
been either iroilatire or symbolic *. 


On the Origin of Leilers, and the Invention of Mphabets. 

TiiE art of drawing ideas into Ttsion, or of esliibiling the con- 
ception of the mind by legible characters, may justly be deemed 
the noblest ond most btneficial invention of which human iitge. 
nuity can boast : an inTention which hnlh contributed more than 
all others to the Improvemtnt of mankind. 

This subject has engaged the attention and perplexed (he 
aagBcily, of many able and judicious persons for more than 
two centuries: some of the most respectable writer* bara rfa. 
soned upon erroneous principles, and, by their workii bave ob- 


scored the tnie path which might have led to the discoTery of let* 
ters. Monsieur Fonrmoiit, Bishop Warhnrtoo, and Monsieur 
Gebelio, have endeavoured to shew, that alphabets were originalljr 
made up of hieroglyphic diaracters ; but it will presently appear^ 
that the letters of an alphabet were essentially different from the 
characteristic marks deduced from hieroglyphics, which last are 
marks for things and ideas, in the same manner as the ancient and 
modern characters of the Chinese ; whereas the former are only 
marks for sounds ; and, though we should allow -it an easy transi. 
tion, from the Egyptian hieroglyphics, to the characteristic marki 
of the Chinese, which have been demonstrated by Du Halde and 
others to be perfectly hieroglyphic, yet, it doth not follow, that 
the invention of an alphabet must naturally succeed these marks. 
It is true, there is a resemblance between the Mexican picture* 
writing, the Egyptian hieroglyphics, and the Chinese characters ; 
but these are foreign to alphabetic letters, and, in reality, do not 
bear the least relation to them. 

The hieroglyphic characters of the Chinese, which are lery nu* 
merous, are in their nature imitative, and do not combine into 
words, like arbitrary marks for sounds or letters, which are very 
few, and are of a symbolic nature. We shall shew, that these 
authors, whose learning and ingenuity entitle them to the highest 
respect, and whose writings have furnished many useful hints to* 
wards the discovery of alphabetic characters, have not filled up the 
great chasm between picture-writing and letters, which, thoughr 
the most difficult, was the most necessary thing for them to have 
done, before they could attempt to account for the formation of aa 
alphabet. We shall demonstrate, that letters do not derive their 
powers from their forms, and that originally their forms en* 
tirely depended on the fancy or will of those who made them *.— 
Other writers who have considered this difficult subject, have freely 
confessed that it was above their comprehension f. 

Many learned men have supposed that the alphabet was of di* 
vine origin ; and several writers have asserted, that letters were 

* See Mods. Foarmont^s Reflections Crit. rar les Hist, drs Anc. Peuples, 
torn, ii. a Paris, 1735.— Tiie Divine Legation of Moscr, by the late Dr. Warbor- 
ton, bishop of Gloocester, ?ol. iii. p. 121. Mons. •Ccbelin's Monde Primiiif, 
▼ol. iii. Paris, 1775. 

f Mr. Wise's E^say on the Origin of the Language and Letters of Europe, 
p. 92, 93. See Uni venal History, vol. xz. p. 18, n. H» 



first communicatei] to Mosfs by God hiniscir*; uliilst otiitrshuve 
conteniled, tbat the Decalogue was the fir^t >il ptialK'lic writing. 

It is higlily proper for us to inquire hoir far (hesi? opinions arc 
well fouiiiled ; for, if they can be supporled, there is an end ofour 
pursuit ; but if it shall appeor thai they arc uarrnnltd neither by 
reason nor by scripture, we shall be at full libirly lo pnnue our 
inquiry: fur the latisfaclion therefore of those who hate adupt"(l 
those opinions, it is incumbent on u» (o hare recourse to the Holy 
Scriptures themselves. 

The first mention of writing recorded in Scripture, will be fboiid 
in Exoilui sf ii. i. 14 ; " And tbc Lord said unto Moses, Writ« i 
this, for a memorial, in a book ; and rehearse It in tlie earl of Jo> 
>hua ; for 1 will utd riy put out (he remembrance of Amalek. from 
under heaven." This command was giTcn immediately after the 
defeat of (he AmaleVites near Horeb, and before the arrifal of (he 
Israelites at Mount Sinai. 

It is observable, that there is not the least hint fo lodaee ui (o 
believe (hat wridng was then newly iuTenled ; on the contrary, we 
may conclude, (hat Moses understood what wn.s meant bf writing 
in a book; othertvise God would ha«e instructtd him, u he had 
dune Noah in building the arkt ; for he would not h»Te been 
commanded to wri(c in a book, if he had been ignorant of (lie art 
orwri(ing; but Moses expressed no diUlcuIly of comprehetisloii, 
when he received (his command. We also llnd that Mosm wrote 
all (he words anil all the judgments of (he Lord, conlaiaed in the 
twen(y-Grst and Ihe tno followinf; chapters nf the book of Exodui, 


cighteeiAli Tene of tba thirtj-fint chftpteri after God had made an 
end of commoning with him npon the mount *, though the ten 
comroandroentt were promulgated immediately after his third de« 

It is obserTable, tliat Moses no where mentions that the alphabet 
was a new thing in his time, much lesd that he was the infentor of 
it; on the contrary, he speaks of the art of writing as a thing well 
known, and in familiar use; for. Exodus xxTiii. t. 21, he sajs, 
^' And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, 
twelve ; according to their names, like the engraTings of a signet, 
erery one with his name, shall they be, according to the twelve 
tribes.*' And again, t. 30, ^^ And thou &halt make a plate of 
pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, Holi. 
ness to the Lord." Can lauguage be more expressive ? Would it 
not be too absurd to deny that this sentence must have been in words 
and letters ? But writing was known and practised by the people 
in general in the time of Moses, as appears from the following 
texts, Deut. chap. vi. v. 9; chap. xi. v. 20; chap. xvii. v. 18; 
chap. xxiv. v. 1 ; chap, xxvii. v. 3, 8. By this last text, the people 
are commanded to write the law on stones ; and it is observable, 
that some of the above texts, relate to transactions previous to the 
delivery of the law at Mount Sinai. 

If Moses had been the inventor of the alphabet, or received lef» 
ters from God, which till then had been unknown to the Israelites, 
it would have been well worthy of his understanding, and very 
suitable to his character, to have explained to them the nature and 
use of this invaluable art which God had communicated to him : 
and may we not naturally suppose, that he would have said, when 
he directed the workmen to engrave names and sentences on stones 
and gold f , *' And in these engravings you shall use the alphab.etio 
characters which God hath communicated to me, or which I have 
now invented, and taught you the use of?" But theitrutb is, ho 

* The ditferent times of M'>set' ascending and descending the Mpuqt ar» 
distingaiihed :n the following passages. 

First a-etnl, 
Eiod. six. V. 3. 
First dtictnt, 
Exod. six. ▼. 7. 

Second ascnt* 
Exod. six. V. 8. 

Second descent, 
Exod.xix. ▼. 14. 

J%ird ascent, 
Exod. six. V. Sa 

Third descent, 
Exod. xiz. V. 25, 

f See more texts on this subject in Genesis, chap, xxviii. venes 9, 10, 11 4 
and chap, xxxix. v. 34 1 Deal. chap, xxviii. v. 58 and 61 ^ and chap. xxix. 
VOL. VI. 2 A 

Fourth mecmt, 
Exod. xxiv. V, IS* 

Fourth descent, 
Exod. 15, 


refers Ihpm fo a nioJel in fsmiliar usp, " like ihe cDgnWiigs of a 
sigDcl j" for the anticnt people of Ihe East, engraved naniesant] sen- 
tences on their seab in Ihe ssme manner as is now practised by the 
great Lama uf Tarlary, the princes lit ludia, tha Emperor of 6on. 
stan(Ino|i1e, and his subordinate rulers. 

In (he Stnte Paper officf at Whitehall, are a great namber of let- 
ters from enslern princi-s to the kings of England, the seals of 
Vrhich have not the likeness of any thing impressed npon them, but 
are iiiscribpd wilh moral sentences. This cnsfoDi Is not peculiar 
alone to the princes «ho profi.'ss the Mahometan religion, but it 
rooimon all over the Eiist. 

A lelirr from Shall Suleiman, King of Persia, to King Charles 
the Second, nas Inclosed in a silken bag, at the mouth df vhtch ii 
a signet or privy seal of wax, impressed with Ihe following lentence, 
in Ihe Persian language and characters, which arc thus Iranslaled 
by Dr. Hyde : " Shnh Soleiman is Ihe serrant of religion, 1687." 
At the ttoltom of Ihe letter is the great seal, which is stamped oi 

printed on the paper with ink. Within a seniicircle, on the npper 

part of the seal, is this sentence, in Fersian : *' Have God before 


Round the seal, are words in Persian to the following porpttrl : 

" Praise be lo God who hath bestowed upon ua his serrants Ihe 

Ttrtue of justice, and hath turned away many evils from the sue. 

cessors of Mahomet and his family." 

In the centre are the following words ; " This is from Soleiman, 

and it is in the name of God gracious and merciful, t068." 


If this trt had been a new discovery in his time, he woold pro. 
iMblj have commemorated it, as well as the other inTPntions of 
music ^ ftc. ; nor is there anjr reason to suppose, that God was the 
immediate revealer of the art ; for Moses cotiJd n^^ver have omit- 
ted to have recorded the history of so important a circumstance, 
as the memory of it would have been one of the strongest barriers 
against idolatry. 

It is incurcbent on us to mention, that several respectable pro- 
phane authors, attribute the discovery of letters to the gods, or to 
some di?ine man Plato delivers his sentiments very plainly * upon 
this subjf'ct. Eirn^rj fwylou aiesipoy xarsvorjo-ev etrs ns 0£d^ etre xai 
Gsog Av^pvjir^. The same author, in his Phaedrus, makes the 
god Thtfuth or Mercury, the inventor of letters. Diodorus Siculus 
tells us, that Mercury invented the first characters of writing, and 
taught men the rudiments of astronomy + ; and Cicero, in his Tusc. 
Quest, lib. i. delivers his opinion upon this subject in the following 
words: ^^ Quid ilia vis, quse tandem est, quas investigat occulta? 
aut qui sonos vocis, qui infiniti Tidebantur, paucis Itteraram no^is 
terminavit? — Philosophia vero omnium mater arlium, quid est 
aliud, ni>i, ut Plato ait, donum, ut ego inventnm Deorum ?" The 
same author, in his Natura Deorum, lib. iii. says, that Hermes oir 
the fifth Mercury, whom the Egyptians called Thoth, iirst commu- 
nicated letters to that people. The Gentoos affirm, that letters 
were rommunicated to their ancestors by the Supreme Being, «^hom 
they call Brahmah X, 

Although, from these authorities, we may infer that the art 
of writing Is of great ant!quity, yet they discover to us that the 
ancients had very tmp<.'rfect ideas of its true origin ; for Plato 
says §, '* that some, when they could not unravel a difficulty^ 
brought down a f^od^ as in a machine, to cut the knot :" and the 

Claraval, Monsieur du Pin, iu bis Universal HUtorical Library, p. 21, supports 
these aothoritiej ; and adds, that there is an infinite number of anetent and mo- 
dern stones thus t-ngraven, which were used forsignets. That signets were incd 
by the Hebrews, before they w^nt into E^pt, w^ learn from Gen. chap, 
xxzviii. V. 18, where it appears, that Jodah gave Tbamar his sijpiet, &c. : 
and it is reasonable* to suppose, that this signet was similar to tboie used by tht 
Ikraelites, and the other oeighbonring nations* 

• See vol ii. p. 18 ; edit. Serran. 

+ Lib. i. sect. 1. 

J Stie Mr. Halhed's preface to the Gealoo Laws* 

^ Se% the Cratylis edit. Fitc. p.S^l. 

a A 2 


karned bishop of Gloutester obser?eg, that llie ancients gave no. 
thing to tlif gods, of uliose original th^y had any records ; bat 
where the memory of the inienlion was lost, as of seed corn, winp, 
writing, d»il society, &<:. the gods stiztJ the property, by Ihtt 
kind of right which gives slrays to the lord ot the manor •. 

The holy scripturt s having left Ihil subject opvn to ioTestigation, 
anJ (he prophane writers having given us nolhitig salisfactory upon 
it, wu are at liberty to pursue our inquiry into the origin of let- 
ters ; bul, in order lo qualify ourselves for this task, it maybe 
proper lo etiter into a philusophical contemplation of the nature of 
lellerj, and of their powers, which will best enable us to discover 
the true origin of their invention, 

A little reflection will discover, that men, in their rude uncultt. 
fated state, bad neither leisure, inclination, nor inilucement, to 
cultivate the powers of the mind lo a degree suflicicnt for the for- 
Biation of an alphabet -, bul when a people arrived at such a slate 
of civiliealion, as required them lo represent the conception! of the 
mind which had no corfwresl forms, necessity, the mother of inven. 
lion, would occasion further exertions of the human faculties, and 
would urge such a people to find out a more expeditious manner 
of transacting their business, and of recording ihtir events, than by 
picture-writing; for the impossibility of conveying a variety ol" 
intellectual and melaphysical ideas, and of representing sounds by 
(he embleoiBtic mode of writing, would naturally occur, lad there- 
fore the nccestily of seeking out some other that would be more 
comprehtnsire, would present itself. 

Aim TUB iinrsimoK of alvbabbts. 337 

Bpd commerce of each country, prodaced the necessity of devising 
tome expeditious manner of communicating information to their 
•ubjects, or commercial correspondents at a distance. Such an 
improvement was of the greatest use, not only to the sovereign 
and the statesman, but to the manufacturer and the mercl»ant. 

We shall for the present, omit the mention of several modes of 
writing which were practised by different nations, in the course of 
their progress towards civilixation, because such accounts would 
more properly come nnder the history of the writing of each conn* 
try ; particularly under that of Egypt, whose inhabitants displayed 
every species of writing in the course of their improvements. At 
present we shall pursue that part of our inquiry which relates to the 
formation of an alphabet. 

Let us then in this place just premise, that arbitrary marks are 
of different "kinds. First, those used by the Chinese ; many of 
which were originally picture»characters. Secondly, those used 
by the notarii amongst the ancients, and by the present shorLhand 
writers ; and thirdly, marks for sounds } such as elt^roentary cba. 
racters or letters, and musical notes. 

The marks of the first and second kind are very numerous, at 
will appear hereafter ; those of the third are very few^ as will pra* 
sently be demonstrated. 

It seems obvious, that whilst the picture or hieroglyphic pre. 
sented itself to the sight, the writer's idea was confined to the figure 
or object itself; bnt when the picture was contracted into a mark^ 
the sound annexed to the thing signified by such mark, would beb 
come familiar ; and when the writer reflected, how small a number 
of sounds he made use of in speech to express all his ideas, ft 
would occur, that a much fewer number of marks than he had been 
accustomed to use, would be sufficient for the notation of all the 
sounds which he could articulate, lliese considerations would in* 
duce him to reflect on the nature and power of sounds; and it 
would occur, that, sounds being the matter of audible language^ 
marks for them must be the elements of words. 

Aristotle justly observes, ^' that words are the marks of thoughts; 
and letters, of words.*' Words are sounds significant, and letters 
iare marks for such sounds *• 

The learned author of Hermes above quoted, informs nsf, 

• See Lord Bacon's Worki by Shaw, voL 1. p. 1S7. 
t Book iU. chap. 2. p. 934. 



*' Thai to nbout twenty plain i>lenientary soumis, we o«f« that m- 
riety of articulate voices which have bpeo Enflicieiil lo (-xplain the 
GenliTnents of so iniiumi-rable a multitude, as all the prexent and 
past generations of men." 

As there are bat a small number of marks for soundt, called 
notes in music, so there are bot a small nnmlier of disliucl articutiite 
sounils in ttery lonyoage. In diflerent languaites Ihplr nomber 
differs J an'l there are but few sounc's in any two lonj;uagM that are 
exactly the same; although by the great intercourse bftw-en the 
European nnliuns, the sounds of different Innguai;e5 dallv assimila'e. 

Mr. Sheridan snys, that the number of simjile auunds in nur 
tongue is tuenly.eight*. Dr. Kt'nrick says, "c haTt elrten 
distinct i^pecies of articulate --ounds, which ev-n by conlraction, 
pri'lofg.Uion, and compiisition, are iucrrased only to the number 
of sixleFD ; erery h} liable or arliculaie sound in our language, 
being one of this ntiniber I. Bishop VVilkins, and Doctor William 
Holder, speak of about thirty-two or lhirly-thr>'«' distinct sounds. 

It ha-i been -aid, that among the Gre< ks and Elomans. thtir writ, 
ten alphabet exactly accorded to the sereral distinct sounds and 
modes of articulation in their languages; so that each sound had 
its distinct mark, by which it was uniformly and invariably repre- 
sented. Ten simple marks or characters, hare been found snffi- 
Cicnl fnr all the purposes of numerical calculations, which extend 

Seven notes comfrise the whole of mu'ic : these, by their dif- 


iBg of 8 strtam, ftc that are not adapted tp the human organs of 

It wonld be digressing too far from our subject, to enter into a 
discussion concerning the number of sounds that are known to 
exist, nor is this necessary ; for as sounds are few, the marks for 
them need not be manyi bnt marks for things are Tery nome. 

It is howerer requisite for our readers to distinguish between lu 
sible and audible language. This distinction is justly made by St. 
Augustine in the following words : ^^ Signa sunt Terba visibilla, 
Terba signa audibilia." 

The articulate sounds of vocal or audible language are resoWable 
into sentences, words, and syllables; and the analysis of language 
into elementary sounds, seems first to have led to the invention of 
symbols, or marks, for mental conceptions. This invention must 
have taken place much about the time that men began to reform 
the barbarous jargon they first spoke, and form a language; for 
which purpose, the knowledge of elementary sounds and their 
powers, was absolutely necessary. The progress in this sciencey 
as has been already observed, must have been by degrees : men 
would begin no doubt, by distinguishing the sound of one word 
from that of another, — this irould not be difficult ; then they would 
resolve words into syllables, which would not be so easy : but it Is 
likely that they stopt there for a long time, perhaps for ages, be* 
fore they came to the last resolution of syllables into the distinct 
sounds of which they are composed. This was a very extraor- 
dinary work of art, which could only be performed by those who 
had considered the laws of sounds ; and could not be the result of 
chance, as some specnlatists have imagined ; for this was in fact, 
the decomposition of a language into the sounds of which it was 

The next step towards the notation of language, would be the 
delineation of a separate mark or letter to denote or stand for each 
sound ; which marks though few In number, would admit of so 
great a variety of arrangements and combinations, as would be ca» 
pable of producing an infinity of articulate sounds, sufficient for 
the composition of syllables, words, and sentences ; and conse- 
quently for the notation of language. 

That able mathematician Tacquet informs us, that the various 
combinations of the twenty.four letten (without any repeticion) 

S A4 


will BDiount (o 0aO,448,4Ol,733.23<),439,36O,OO0. Th(« il 1« 
evidi'nt, Ihut twctity-fuur If iters will ndmit of an inlinity of combu 
nalions acid nrrnngcments, suEEcieDt to represent not uiilj all the 
concfpIioD!^ or the mind, but all words in all UnguagHfi whd« «rr, 

ll is easy to conceive the Af^toni-hnm-nt of Ihi' liuman toind, at 
the lirsl discovery of the doctrine and powers of combina)ii>n5, 
wbich immfdialfly led to the composition of wriiten langnnse, by 
the asGislance of a Mnall namber ot marks or letters ; tlioogh the 
transferring of idt'as by these meani from the ear to ilir eye. uas a 
tery rnlrBurdinvn' elfort of the humao mind ; yet if we suppose 
thut the aoalysib of the sounds of language was already made, it was 
no more than finding out marks for what was ktiown before ; 
and we have already shewn, that s_\mbuls were in ^tneral use 
among mankind, beAxe they knew the use nf letters ; and there- 
fore the invention of Ihe latter, was iiolliing mare than the trans, 
fcriing the former method of representation, to the elements ot 
Mun^l. If (he notaliuii of masic had been invented before Ii'tters, 
wiiich ml ht liave happemd, the discovery would have been just 
as great as that of t>-tters. 

As theri- art more soundii In some languages than in others, it 
follows of course the number of elementary characters or let. 
ters, must vary in thu alphabets of diftcrent langizagfs. The He- 
brew, Samaritan, and !tyriac alphabets, have twenty.l wo letterg; (he 
Arabic tMi'uty-ei^hl; the Persic, the Egjplian or Coptic, thaftf- 
Iho; the presi'nt llussian forty. one; the Shanscrit fifty; theCuh- 


md lyllables ; to writteo'or Tbible Ungaage is composed of letters, 
syllablesy words, and sentences. 

A lftt«r is an arbirrary mark, made to signify or stand for a par« 
ticular sound significant by compact ; and may be properly termed 
a mark for a certain known sound. 

A determinate or established number of these marks, constitutes 
the elements or alphabet of written laugnane. The combinations 
and arrangements of these elements or letters, as settled by con- 
sent or compact, compose the written languages of clTilized 

The first step towards the composition of written language, is to 
couTey an idea of some sound ; either by a single mark or charac 
ter, or by writing two or more of them, which form a syllable : one 
or more of these syllables make a word ; which is a voice articulate, 
and significant by compact : a sentence is a compoond quantity of 
sounds significant ; of nhich certain parts are tiiemselves also sig- 
nificant : several words make a sentence, and several sentences a 
memoir or discourse. 

Writing then, may be defined by the art of exhibiting to the 
sight the conceptions of the mind, by means of marks or characters 
significant by compact of the sounds of language, which enable as 
to transfer ideas from the eye to the ear^ and vice versa. 

Thus it has t>een shewn how ideas may become the objects of 
vision, and be exhibited to the eye in legible charactfr^; and that 
the notation of language may be performed, by making a sufficient 
number of marks for sounds, and by arranging and combining them 

The elements of all written language are divided into vowels and 
consonants ; the former of i»hich is defined to be a simple articu- 
late sound, uttered by a Binj;le impulse of the voice, and forming 
an articulate sound by itself ; whereas a consonant forms no arti- 
culate souud of itself, but only assists in forming a sound. 

The vowels were probably invented first, but the consonants 
form the body of language, and are properly termed the bones and 
sinews thereof. 

The consonants are divided into mutes, and liquids, which will 
seldom join together in the same syllable ; nor will any two of the 
mutes associate in a syllable, either in English or in Latin. There 
are some exceptions as to the association of mutes. 

The first composition of written language, is of letters into syl. 


lablea ; but it is observable, that all letters will not compound with 
all ; the vowels will not only mix with each other, or form diph. 
thongs; but they will compound in syllables with all the conso. 
nants so called, because they sound in company irilh ihe vowels. 
But this dors not hold of Ihe consonants with respect to one ano- 
ther; for only some of them sonnd together in syllables, whilst 
others cannot associate together in that way ; the rcBBon of whirh 
is, that the configuration of the mouth, and the action of its or> 
gans, are to difieient in the pronunciation of some of (hem, that 
they cannot be joined together in the Eaoie eiiuncialion, nor with, 
out Gome rest or pau^e brtivixt; so that there must be finie (ogive 
a diffci'ent configuration and action to the organs ; whereas, when 
the pronunciation is not so different, the sounds may be so ran to. 
getber, as to incorporate in one syllable ; and in this way, five, or 
even six consonants, may be joined in the same syllable, as in the 
English word, strength. 

The next composition of articulate sounds, is of syllables into 
words; and the better the composers of such words were ac 
quainted with the nature and harmony of sounds, Ihe more haroio- 
nious would be their written language. On the contrary, a defi. 
ctency in the knowledge of sounds, is a considerable obstruction 
to the discovery of what consonants will incorporate with each 
other ; and from this ignorance proceet^s that redundaucy and su. 
perSuity of letters, which is conspicuous in many languages. 

It is observable, that many of the consonants, which admit of a 

AiTTtttviTY or wmiTiii«. 389 

of opInloD, fktt they must be found included within the Bpecict 


AiUiquitff of Writings mid ike Claims of different Natiom to 

ike Honour of its Invention* 

The art of writing is of great antiquitj, and the writtpn annals of 
ancient nations are so imperfert or fabaloas, that it will be ex. 
tremelj difficult to decide to what nation or people the honour of 
the inTention belongs ; for, as Sir Isaac Newton justly obscnres, 
<^ there is the utmost uncertainty in the chronolojj^j of ancient 
kingdoms, arising from the vanity of each in claiming the greatest 
antiquity, while those pretentions were favoured by their IwTing 
no exact accounts of time." 

It has already been observed, that letters were the produce of a 
certani degree of civilization among mankind; And therefore it is 
most proliable, that we shall obtain the best information, by having 
recourse to the history of those nations who appear to have beea 
first civilized. 

<^ Egtptiaxs. 

As a great number of authors have decided in favour of the 
Egyptians, who have an undoubted claim to an early civilization, 
we shall beg*n our inquiries with that people ; and, as they dis- 
played every species of writing in the course of their improve* 
ments, we shall pursue the thread of their history, which Hill r<:flect 
considerable light on what has been already advanced. 

Dr. Warburton, bishop of Gloucester, aflirms, that the Egyp. 
tians were the first people who discovered the knovilrdge of 
the divine nature; and amonipst the lirst who ta'i,ht the im. 
mortality of the soul*. In anutiier place he ^iv^s us an account 
of the state of their learning and hupirftlitions in the timr of Moses. 
He contends, that Egypt was the pan t«t of all tac learning of 
Greece, and was resorted to by the Grecian l<gis.afors, naturalists^ 
and philosophers. The same prelate, witn great erudition, and 

• Divine Le|(at of MotM, vol. i. p. ie5| vol. ii. p. 100 to 105; vol. ill. p. 
17 I Ibid. p. 25 to 39. We are indebted to this pfclate fof areat part of what 
is bere laid of tbe Egyptians. 


strength of argument| endeaTOors to proTe^ that Egypt was pro* 
babl^ one of the Grst civilized countries on the globe. 

In order to give the reader a clear idea of the several kinds of 
Egyptian writing, it will be proper to obscrre, that this writing was 
of four kinds. The first, hieroglyphic ; the second, symbolic; the 
third, epistolic; and, the fourth, and last, hierogrammic. 

Porphyry *, speaking of Pythagoras, informs us, ^* That he so. 

jonrned with the priests in Egypt, and learnt the wisdom and Ian. 

guage of the country, together with their three sorts of letters ; 

the epistolic, the hieroglyphic, and the symbolic ) of which, the 

hieroglyphic expressed the meaning of the writer, by an imitation 

or picture of the thing intended to be expressed ; and the symbolic, 

by allegorical enigmas." Clemens Alexandrinus Is larger and more 

explicit — ^' Now those who were instructed in the Egyptian wis- 

dom, learnt, first of all, the method of their several sorts of letters ; 

the first of which is called epistolic ; the second, sacerdotal, as 

being used by the sacred scribes ; the last, with which they con. 

dude their instructions, hieroglyphical. Of these different me. 

thods, the one is in the plain and common way of writing by the 

first elements of words, or letters of an alphabet; the other, by 

symbols. Of the symbolic way of writing, which is of three 

kinds ; the first is, that plain and common one, of imitating the 

figure of the thing represented; the second is, by tropical marks ; 

and the third) in a contrary way, of allegorizing by enigmas. 

Of the first sort, namely, by a plain and direct imitation of the 
figure, let this stand for an instance: — to signify the sun, they 
made a c'rcle ; the moon, a half circle. The second, or tropical 
way of writing, is by changing and transferring the object with 
justness and propriety : this they do sometimes by a simple change, 
sometin^es by a complex multifarious transformation; thus they 
have engraven on stone and pillars, the praises of their kings, un« 
der the cover of theologic fables. Of the third sort, by enigmas, 
take this example ; the oblique course of the stars, occasioned their 
representing them by the bodies of serpents; but the sun they 
likened to a scarabaeus, because this insect makes a round ball of 
beast's dung, and rolls it circularly, with its face opposed to that 

These two learned Greeks, though not quite correct in their de. 

• De Vita Pytbag. cap. zi. p. IS. 


finitiootofwritiiif, prove, that the leferal kinds aboTementioned 
were oied by the Egyptians. Indeed, they reckon but three kinds of 
writing, when in fact, there were four. Porf^jry names only three 
sorts, epistolic, hieroglyphic^ and symbolic : and this was not much 
amiss; because the fourth, the hierogrammic or sacerdotal, not dif. 
fering from the eputolic in its nature, he comprised it under the 
general term of epiitolic.-— It is observable, that Porphyry judici. 
ously omits to explain epistolary writing, as supposing it to be well 
known : but Clement adds to epistolic the hierogrammic, which 
was alphabetic, but being confined to the use of the priests was not 
so well known : he with equal judgment explains the nature of 
these characters. 

The Egyptians, as hath been obsenred, in the most early ages, 
wrote like all other infant nations, by pictures ; of which rude ori# 
ginal essays some traces are yet remaining amongst the hierogly. 
phics of HorapoUo, who tells us, that the ancient Egyptians painted 
a man's two feet in water to signify a fuller ; and smoke ascending 
to denote fire*. But to render this rude in?ention less incommo. 
dious, they soon de?ised the more artful and expeditions way of 
putting the principal part for the whole, or by putting one thing of 
resembling qualities for another. The former was the curiologic 
hieroglyphic ; the latter, the tropical hieroglyphic ; which last was 
a gradual improvement on the first, as appears both from the nature 
of the thing, and from the records of antiquity -f . 

These alterations, in the manner of delineating hieroglyphic 
figures, produced and perfected another character, which hath been 
called the mnning hand of hieroglyphics, resembling the Chinese 
writing, which haying been first formed by the outlines of each 
figure Xy became at length a kind of marks : the natural eflects of 
which were, that the constant use of them, would take ofi* the at. 
tention from the symbol, and fix it on the thing signified ; by which 
means the study of symbolic writing would be mach abbreviated, 
because the writer or decypherer, would have then little to do, but 

• Lib. I. c. 65 1 Lib. ii. c 16. 

f Many imCances of tbis kind may befoaod io HorapoUo^ lib. i. c 14 and 
40. Plutarch !•. and Otirw DIod. Sic. lib. I. 

X The ioqoititive reader, by comparing Klrcher*s Account of Egyptian life* 
roglyphlCH with thoie pablisbed by Parchat, will find that the former exactly re* 
•cmble the Meiican, not only in their me, butf ai Pnrchai (p. 60) and Diodoras 
Siculiis (p. 184) Mv, in their formi and figarct. 



f remember Ihe power of the symbolic mark : whereas before, the 
properties of (he thing or animal ilelioeHted were (o b^ Jeamt. 
This, togFllier with their oilier marks by institution to deiiga mon- 
tal roncepliun!), would reduce Ihe charartcrii to the present atutm of 
thp Chinese*; snil these wtre properly what the anctenta call 
hlero^raphical. Dr. Robert Huntington, in his Hcronnt of the 
Porphyry Pi1lnr<i tells us. that there are yet same ancient monu. 
menN of this kind of wrfting remaining in Elgypt t. 

Apuleius X Jescribis the sacred book, or ritual of the E^plians 
(as partly written in symhulic, and partly in these hierographie cha- 
racters of arbitrary inslitulion, resenibling the Chinese) in the fol- 
lowing manner. " Ik- (the hierophanl) drew out cortun books 
from the secret repositories of the sanctuary, written inUDknown 
characters, which contained the words of the sacred formuls com- 
pendiously expressed, partly by figures of animals, and partly by 
certain marks or nutes intricately knotted, reTolving in the manner 
of a M heel, and crowded together, anil curled inward like the ten. 
drils of a vine, so as to hide the meaning from the cnriosilj of the 
profane." These hierographic characters are mixed with the sym. 
bolic in the ritual of Apuleius, and in the Bembtne tables, as like, 
wise on several of the obelisks, where they are found miied bath 
with the proper hieroglyphic and with the symbolic. 

That letters were of great antiquity amouj; the Egyptians, may 
reasonably be sujiposed, because we hare indubitable proofs of their 
civilization; hut there is strong evidence to induce us to belie Te 
t Ihe first inventors of an alphabet, — Mr. Jackson ^, 


dorus relates, that this Egjrptian Hermes was the inyentor of gram, 
mar and tnasic, and that he added many words to the Egyptian 
language: that he invented letters, rhythm, and harmony of 
sounds. This was the Hermes so greatly celebrated by the Greek 
writers, who knew no older Hermes than him. 

Mr. Wise * insists, that Moses and Cadmus could not learn the 
alphabet in Egypt ; and that the Egyptians had no alphabet in their 
time. He adduces several reasons to prove that they had no al- 
phabet till they received what is called the Coptic^ which was intro. 
doced either in the time of the Ptolomeys, or earlier, nnder Psam. 
mitichns or Amasis : and these letters, which are the oldest alpha- 
betic characters of the Egyptians that can now be produced, are 
plainly derived from the Greek. It seems to us, that if the Egyp* 
tians used letters before the time mentioned by Mr. Wise, they 
were probably the characters of their neighbours the Phenicians. 

Herodotus, the most ancient Greek historian, whose works have 
reached us +, seems very sincere in his Egyptian history ; for he 
ingenuously owns, that all he relates before the reign of Psammi. 
tichu8:{; is uncertain; and that he reports the early transactions of 
that nation on the credit of the Egyptian priests, on which he did 
not much depend. Diodorus Siculus is also reported to have been 
greatly imposed upon by the priests in Egypt. ^ 

Manetho, the oldest Egyptian historian, translated out of the 
Egyptian into the Greek the Sacred Registers of Egypt, which are 
said, by Syncellus, to have been written in the sacred letters, and 
to have been laid up by the second Mercury in the Egyptian 
temples. This work was divided into three parts. The first, con- 
tained the history of the gods ; the second, that of the demi-gods; 
the third, the dynasties, which ended in Nectanebus, King of 
Egypt, who was driven out by Ochus, three hundred and fifry yean 
before Christ. This author seems to have written his dynasties 
about two hundred and fifty years before the christian sra, and, as 

* See his Enquiries concerning the first inhabitants, language, &c. of Eu- 
rope, p. 104—109. 

f He wrote his history of the first year of the eighty-fourth olympiad ; three 
hundred and (en after the foundation of Rome ; and four hundred and forty- 
four before Christ. 

X He reigned about sii hundred and sixty years before the christian era. 
Syncellus informs us, that the Greeks had very little commerce with the Egyp- 
tians till the reign of this king. 

368 ANtigtiiTV OF writino. 

Syncellus tells u% •, aliout !'n yt-ars sft.^r Rcrosui hnd written his 
Chaldean History. — Manethoalluws the Egyptian i;ods (ohi*e been 
morlal mpn ; hut his history was very much cnrrnptid by (he 
Grcekii, and h.ith been callpH In queMion by several writers, from 
the acciiunt nhich he himKelTf^ve of it. 

The ohji'ctions to Maoeiho's Chronology are well foaoded ; for 
hisounibir ufthrte thousand tire hundred and fifty yeart, belongs 
wholly to ihcsnccessors of Menes, thoui;h he is more modest than 
many other writers of the F^yptian history. — Kusebius, in his Ca- 
non+, omits the lirst sixteen dynasties of M^kiietho, and begins 
their chronology with the stM'eiiteenth. — After Cambyses had car- 
ried away the Egyptian rt'cords, the E^gyptian priests, to supply 
their loss, nod to keep up their pretensions to antiquity, began to 
write new records, wheiein they nut only unaroiilably made great 
mislukes, but added much of their own inTenllon, especially as to 
distant times. — Josephus, Plutarch, Porphyry, and Eusebius, 
speak well of Manetho. The curious fragments transcribed froni 
him by Josephus, before his copies had been corrupted, stem to 
confirm the good opinion of these authors. 


We shall ne»t consider the claim of the Phenicians to the inren- 
tion of letters as we have the strongest proofs of the early ci*i!tia- 
lion of this people. — Sanconialho of Uerylus, the most ancient, as 
also the most celebrated Phenician historian, compiUd the Pbenician 

history with trt-nl ruactness, from the 

a Rieiiiciia fiiTfte, ami MweHaiUj Terted fai tfllaniUilt ietrnlog^ 
li« sa^rf *, "that SanttODiate of Bjtytas rtlatedi «ii hii Uitory, the 
Jewish affain wiik gnat rmmdky ?-»U»lt lie dUdkatad his «rork to 
Kimg Abibaliisf and hia katarj was aAbwed 4o be true, bodi hy 
the king, and by those who were appointed by him to examine It, 

This most asdant pralme kistoriafi expressly related, that let. 
ters were first isTeated in Pheakiai by Taaut, who iived in Uiftt 
country in the twetfth and thirteenth geaeratiofis after the creation {• 
*< Misor was tiM son of Haasyn. The son of Misor was Taaat, 
^* who inrented the first letters for writing." The Egyptians caii 
him Tooth | the Alexandrians ThoyA, and the Greeks, Hermes, 
or Mercvry, 

Sanoonmtho is said to haTe dertred his first books, of the Origin 
of Gods and Men, from writings ascribed to Taaut the first flermes ; 
he makes FSrotogoaus the first man, and JEon, or life, the first wo. 
man ; of Frotogonas and iEoa were begot two chiMran Gre&m and 
Genoa, who dwi^t in Fhenida, aad in time of a drought, prayed to 
the Saa, and worshipped him, as the only God and Lord of hearea. 
From these two persons Taaut is lineally descended, as we ha?e just 
mentioned (in note f); this author carries the Worship of the Sun 
to the second man of human race. PhUo observes, that the Greeks 
claimed most of Sanconiadw's history of the gods to themseWes, 
to which they added many pleaidng &bfes« Hence it was, saith he, 
that Heslod, and the itineimry poets, sung about in their poems, 
generations of gods and battka of gfamts and Titans ; and men being 
accnstomed from tiieir infancy to hear nothing but these fictions, 


^ te Eiuebiai Pnspuat. Hit^is^ Ub. i. c 9» p. 30, &c. 
t King Abibalnt \>qsfkn to rdgn one thoinand leveDtj-three yean befora 
Christ I be was the fiither of Hinun, who was Solomon's ally. 
t Tbe genealogy of Taant, as given by Sanconiatho : 
1 Protogottos, a HypsnraalnS} or MesMraaias, 9 Agroferas i (Norfk), 
8 Geao^ 6 AgreoSf 10 Amyn, (Hamyn, ot Ham) 

S Ur, Pbos, 7 Chrysorv 11 Misor, or Misraim, 

4 CassiHf, 8 Tecbnites, 18 TaaoU 

This author SMkes -^"'^'■^ U?e in Fhenida} and places Hypnnanias at Tyn. 
The plan of the history is quite different from that of Moses, and seems to be 
grounded upon a tery different traditioo rehuing to the trst ages. Some writen 
have attempted to prove the works of diis author spurious i but tbeir atgum enti 
are to frivolous that they scarcely deserve an answer* See many curious par- 
ticulars concerning the author and his vTrlliags, in the Uaiv. Hiia vol. I. pre- 
face, p. 10, and p. 88, 181, 167, 188, M, le 880 1 Vol. vL p. M I ?ol* arlii. p. 
18, note D^^And /acksoa*s Chronol. Aatiq. ^. lii. p $ to 87. 

570 AKTIgTIlTT Of WtlTIIfO. 

wliicb gihrd Credit from long contiouance, it was not easy (o dh. 
pDMess tliHr mindi of the belief of them. There is oo doabi, bat 
the Greeks rcMived tin hittor; of the gods from the Phenicians 
■nd Egjptiuas, antl applied them to their otra either real or 
fieigned heroes. 

In the time of this Tunt or B«nne5, PheDrcis, and the adjacent 
countrf, was gOTerned by Uranus ; and, after bim, bybissonSi. 
lurn, or Cronus.^ He invented letters, saith Sanconiatbo, either in 
the reign of Uranus, or Cronus ; and stiid iit Fhenicla, with Cro- 
nus, till the thirty-second year of hii reign. Cronua, after (he death 
of his father Uranus, made sereral settlements of his family *, ai»d 
trttelled into other parts ; and, when he camo to the south conn, 
try, he gare alt Egy^l to the god Taantus, that it should be hia 

Sanconlatho began his history with the creation, and ended it 
with placing Taaulnt upon the throne of Fgypl. He doth not men- 
tion the deluj;e, hut be makes two more generations in Cain's line, 
from FrologoDut te Agroverus (or from Adam to Noab) than 

As Sanconiatha has not told ns in what reign, whethet of Ura. 
nus or Chronus, Taaut inienled letters, he might have inreoted 
(hem in either reign ; *' and we cauiiot err much," says Mr. Jadi- 
Kon, (in hts Cbronol. Antlq. toI. ili. p. 94), " if we place his ioTen. 
tion of Ihem fiTe humlred and fifty years afti'r the (iooi), or twenty 
yenrs utter the dispersion ; and t\(o thousaiiiJ ^ix hundred and nine- 
ycara before the christian a 

AXTiaimrr ot wbitivg a 87 r 

firtmitcftl obftetvttionsi and nsfal and martial arts ^.^-Cfartids sayi ^ 
that tbe Tyrian nation are related to be the first, wko either taagh^. 
or learned letters -I ; and Ltican says, the Phenicians were the first- 
who attempted to express soonds (or words) by letters ^. To these r 
authorities may be added that of Easebios§| who tells us, from? 
Porphyry, that ** Sanconiatho stodied with great application the 
writings of Taaut, knowing that he was the first who inrentedlt' 
ters ;" and on these he laid the foundation of his history. * 

It is obsenrable, that the Greek writers seem to hare known no- 
older Hermes than the second Hermes or Mercery, who is record* 
ed to hare lived about four hundred years after the Mezrite Taaut, 
or Hermes ; which second Hermes, Plato calls Th'enth, and coun. 
seller and sacred scribe to king Thamus, but it is not said that he 
erer reigned in Egypt : whereas the Mezrite Taaut, or Athothes, 
as Manetho calls him, was the immediate successor of Menes, the 
first king of Egypt. The second Mercury, if we beliere Manetho, 
composed sereral books of the Egyptian history, and many incredi* 
ble things are attributed to him ; who being more knosra, and 
more famous in Egypt than the Mezrite Hermes, and haTing im. 
prored both their language and letters, the Egyptians attributed 
the arts and inrentions of the former^ to him ||. 

The Phenician language has been generally allowed to be, at 
least a dialect of the Hebrew; and though their alphabet doth not en* 
tirely agree with the Samaritan, yet it will hereafter appear, that 
there is a great similarity between them f • Arithmetic and Astro* 
nomy were much cultivated by them, in the most early ages**. 

* Ipsa gens Pfaasnicnm in glorti^ magna Uteramm inventioBis et ndenun^ na- 
valiomqoe ac bellicamm artium. Nau Hist. lib. t. c. 19. 

f Si famsB libet credere hsc (Tyriomm) gens literas prima ant decnit, aat 
didicit, lib. ▼!. c 4. 

i Phoenicet primi, fiune li creditnr, anai, 

Mansoram mdibus Tocem aignare flgorit. Lib. Hi. v. 890, 921. 

^ De abttioenl. lib. ii. sect. 56. 

II Cooceming this second Hermes, see Da Pin*s UniTenal Historical Library, 
vol. i. p. 34 and 59; and Jackson's Chronol. Antiq. vol. iii. p. 94. 

f Tbej had circorocision, as well as other cutoms, in common with the Ht- 
brews, saith Heiodotos. 

•• They were from the beginning, as it were,addicted to philosophical eicr- 
cises of the mind ; insomnch that a Sidoolao, by name Moschnt, is said to have, 
taught tbe doctrine of Atoms, before the Trqfan war ; and Abdomenos of Tyre, 
challenged Solomon, though tbe wisest king npon earthy by the subtle qoaitioos he^ 


372 AKflBUlTY Of WRITlKCr. 

Their fine linen, tbeir parpk, and their glass, were raperior ta 
thMe of any other people ; and their ektraordinary skill in architec- 
tare and other arts, was snch, that whatever was great, elegant, or 
pleasing, whether in baildtngs, apparel, vessels, or toys, were dis- 
tinguished by the epithet of Tyr&an or Sidonian *• 

The Sidonians or Phenicians were the first people who ventured 
out to sea in ships f ; they were the greatest commercial people of 
all antiquity, and engrossed all the commerce of the western world. 
This very early and high degree of civiliiatioBy justly entitles them 
to niige the strongest pretensions to the firat use of alphabetic cha« 
racters %* 

ffopmf d to him. Phenlola conttoaed to be one of the seats of learnio|^ ; and 
both Tyre and Sidon produced fhetr pliilosopbcn of later ages f Boetbm and 
Diodatns of Sidon, Antfpnter of Tyre, and Apollonios of the same place, gave 
an account of the writings and disciples of Zeno. Universal Hist. vol. ii. p. 346. 

♦ Tyre and Sidon were the principiil cities in Phenicia.— See the Treaty 
which king Solomon entered into with Hiram king of Tyre, for artificer', as it 
is recorded in 2 Chron. chap. 11. v. 7 — 16. Hiram began to reign in the one 
thoosand .l^iree hundred and twenty-ninth year after the deluge, and one thmi<- 
iand and twenty years before the christian sra. Solomon also contracted with 
king Hiram, for ships to bring gold and precious stones for ornamenting bit 
buildings. 8 Chron. v. 18, and chap. ix. v. 10 and 18. 

f Sanconiatho says, th^t the Phenicians mode ships of harden in which they 
sailed itt the time of Saturn, or Cronus. And Dfionysius says, the Pheniciana 
were the fir^t who ventured to sea in ships. Perieg. v. 097. 

f The learned anihon of the Nouveau Traite de Diplomatique, not only eor* 
rohorate but 'Hlustrate this opinion.— Enfln, tout depose ezclusivcment en faveur 
de ranti^uitd de la langue Phenicienne. Par la Phenicle on nVnter.d paa 
seulemeat Ics vllles de la cdte maritime de la Palestine, mais de plus la Jud^ & 
}es pays de& Chanan^cns ft dei Hfbrcux. Hdrodote lui-mtme, lib. ii.col. 104, 
par les Ph^nieiens d^ignoH^videmmeiit lei H^reua ou Ics Juifs, puisf ne, telea 
hii,lef Ph£niciens so Mioiett dreoDCire, ft que let Tyrieas, Ics Sidonient, ftc. 
n'^toient poiftt dans cct asage. Par €cri(QTe Phenicienne, on entend done, la 
Samaritahie, c*est-4 direroncien H6breu, [5oMcett,2)tf«rr/at»n !nr let JIMatl/«r 
Hthroitpu p. 4 ^] different de riidMr^ti^BaiTe onChaldaique,t|ui estkmoderne, 
que let Juis ont adepts depdSs la ca|itWite de Btfyylone, alasl que Teat peoi^e 
S. JMme, S. Irdn6^, S. Clement d^Alexandrie, ftc. ftc. 

Let aotettfs qai atyagent l^rotiquitl 4 r^ritare Samaritaine toat tans nambre. 
Genebrard, Benarmln, le Piefe Merln, M. Huet, Dorrt. Mont5iuceti, l>oa. Oal- 
m«t, M. Renaudot, Joseph ^ealiger, Gretl«s,Gasauboar Walton, Beehaiti, Yes- 
Bins, PridcauT, Capelle, Simon, ftc. ftc. le M>nt bautenent d^clardt en fliTeiir 
en ce leiitiment f and Us sent appuy^ tarl^ Au^rs anclcns and lur ranalogief 
dcs camcterei Samariiaint avee let caraeteres Grecs r resemblaace ajcetsaire 
pour obfriilr laglolre de raot^alt^^ paisiltle la demiers te petdent daat la aoit 
det tempti, aad qoe cependaatce a*ett point eax qui Let ont inventdes. 
£acombina»t la descendance des lettres^il en rdsuUera beaucoupde jour suf 



Wira respect to the claim of tke Chaldeans/the Jews, Arabians, 
aad Indians, have it by tradition, that the Egyptianswere instruct^ 
ed in all their knowledge by Abraham, who was a Chaldean. These 
traditions deserte, at least, as much credit as any traditions of the 
Egypfiaiis, however credited and adopted by the Greeks ; because 
they arf>, in some degree, confirmed by most of the western writers, 
who ascribe the inventions of arithemetic and astronomy to the 
Chaldeans *• Josephus, lib, I. cap. 9. is very express that the 
Egyptians were ignorant of the sciences of arithm^^tic and astro- 
nomy before they were instructed by Abraham ; and it is probable 
that the relation of the Jewish historian, may have induced manj. 
succeeding writers to attribute the inrention of letters to thac cele* 
brated patriarch f . Sir Isaac Newton admits that letters were 
known in the Abrahamic line for some centuries befere Moses. 

Though the cosmogony of the Chaldeans and Babylonians it 
deeply involved in fables, as is the case with all ancient nations, 
yet they evince that they cultivated the sciences in the n|iost remote ^ 

The Chaldaic letters are derived from the ancient Hebrew, or 
Samaritan^ which are the same, or nearly so, with the old Pheni« 
clan ^. The prophet Ezra is supposed to have exchanged the old 
Hebrew characters, for the more beautiful and commodious Chaldee| 
which are still in use. 

Berosns, the most ancient Chaldean historian, was bom (as he 
tells us himself) during the minority of Alexander the great ; he 
wrote in three books, the Chaldean and Babylonish history, which 
comprehended that of the Medes. He is allowed to have been a 
▼ery respectable writer, but he does not mention that he believed 
the Chaldeans to have been the inventors of letters §. 

ce syst^mcy et un nouTel appai pour le demfer tentiineiit. I>ict. IMpl. torn. U 
p. 410. 

• After the food, all UMikiad lived togttfKr is Ghaklti^ tiU the days of Pelcg. 
See Ub»v. Hisl. vol. iv. p»aS2, 375 | aad Sir Isaac Newton*! Chrooolosy of 
Aocieat kiBKdoiiu» London, MiBp 4to. The tower of Babel, aod the city of 
Babylon* we le in the province which it now called Erica Arable. 

f Abraham did not retire from Ur« in Chaldea^ to settle at Haian In Canaaa, 
till he was upwards of arrenty year* oM. ^ 

t Univ. Hitt. voL lU. p. 917* 

§ See an accoont of him and hia werttslo the Ua&v. Hist, vol. i. pref. p. I3« 
and p. 89, so ; and the rabttaace of tb fta|iients of his history thai are Kill 
remaining, at p. 192—105. 





Lbt ushriflty examine thr'pretensjon* of some other natiom 
to the earlj use of Itllers. — The npst nation that clsims attention 
IS the Syrian. The language of the SyriaoB is menlioned in the 
Uai?ersal History, vol. i. |>. 347, 348 ; and was adistinct tongue in 
the days of Jacob. It was also the language of Mesopotamia anil 
Cbaldea. — As to (lie arts and learning of the Syrians, they were by 
■ome anciently joined with the Fhenicians, as the first iDventors of 
letters ; but, without entering into this matter, certain it is, that 
they yielded to no nation in human knouleilge, and skill in the fine 
arts. From their happy situation they may almost bo said to hare 
been in the centre of the old world ; and, in (hr' zi-oiih of their em- 
pire, they enriched themselves with the spoils, tribute, and com- 
merce, of the nations far and near, and arose to a great pitch of 
splendour ar.d magnificeiice, irhich are the chief encouragers of 
ingenuity and industry*. Their language is prt-ttuded to have 
been the Tcrracular of all the oriental tongues, which was divided 
info three Jialecis ; First, the Aramean, used in Mesopotamia, and 
by the inhabilnnts of Roha, or Edesa, of llarram, and the Outer 
Syria : Secondly, the dialect of PaleslinP, spoken by tiie Inhabitants 
ofDamasrus, Mount Li ban us, and the Inner Syria : Thirdly, the 
Chaldce or Nabathean dialect, the mo<«f unpolished of the thrrr, 
and spoken in the mountainous parts of Assyria, and the Tillages of 
Itki or B.btUiia. 

It hath been a received opinion, that no nation of equal antiquity 


nerce of the Euphrates ; wkiUt the PheBicbuis traded to the most^ 
distant couatrieB. 

Notwithstanding the above drcinsstances, which may seem to Ik* 
voar the claim of the Syrians, the oldest characters or letters of that 
nation that are at present known^arebut about three centaries before 
the birth of Christ Their letters are of two sorts : the Estrangelo^ 
which is the more ancient ; and that called the Fshito, the simple 
or common character, which is more expeditions and beantUnl *^« 


Tub period of time is happily arrived, when the study of orientaS 
litcTature is not only become useful, but fashionable. The learned 
Sir William Jones greatly facilitated the attainment of the know, 
ledge of the Persian language ; Mr. Richardson that of the Arabic ; 
and Doctor Woide, the Egyptian and the Coptic ; by the publica- 
tion of their respective grammars. Mr. Halhed, the editor of a 
work intitled the Gentoo Laws, hath written a grammar of the 
Shanscrit language +, which he informs us, is not only the grand 
source of Indian literature, but the parent of almost every dialect 
from the Persian gulph to the Chinese seas, and is a language of 
the most venerable antiquity ; and, although at present shut up in 
the libraries of Bramius, and appropriated solely to the records of 
their religion, appears to have been once current over most of the 
oricutal world, as traces of its original extent may sHU be' dis- 
covered, in almost every district of Asia. 

" There is,'* says Mr. Halhed, ** a great similarity between the 
Shanscrit words and those of the Persian and Arabick, «id even of 
Latin and Greek ; and these, not in technical and m<>taphorical 
terms, which the mutation of refined arts and improved manimrs 
might have occasionally introduced, but in the main ground-works 
of language; in monosyllables, in the names of numben,'and the 
appellations of such things as would be first discriminated, on the 
immediate dawn of civilization. The resemblance which may be 
observed in the characters upon the medals and signets of various 
districts of Asia, the light Which they reciprocally reflect upon each 

• See these character! io the Univ. Hint. vol. ii. p. 294. 

f This ingenioiB gentlemaD, assiited by Mr. Wilkin, a descendant vf the 
learned bishop of that namef not only formed the types of the Ocotoe alphabet 
but printed this cranunar, at Hoogly in Bengali 4to. lll$» 



Alhrr, anil tho general analogy nhieh they ill bear to the grand 
protolype, afTords another ample titld for curioaily. 

That coins of Assam, Napsul, Cnshmiria, and many other king- 
dons, ere all stampi with Sbanscrit letters, and mostly coitlain al- 
Insions to the old Shanicrit mythology. The same MnfacHUy I 
hare oEiscrTed on the imprrsatoos of seals from Bootan andTkibtt." 
That pait of Asia between the Indus and the Gang«, still prt. 
serves the Shanscric language pura and inriolate, and often a great 
numbpr of books (o the perusal of the curious, many of which have 
been religioQsly handed down from the earliest period of their cl- 

There are seven dilliireiit sorts of Tndian hand-wntingi, all com. 
prised under tho general (trin of Naagoree, nhich may be inti.-r- 
pteted wriling. The elegant Shanscrit is slilcd l):ieb naagoree, or 
the writing of the immorlals * ; which may not improbably be a 
lelinemeiit from the more simple Naagoree of the earliest ages. The 
BtDgal k-Itcrs are another branch of the same slock. The Benga. 
lese Qramins hare all their Shanicrit books copied in this national 
alphabet ; and (hey transpose into them all the Daeb>Tiaaguree 
MSS. for their own perusal. The dialect called by us the Moorish, 
is (hat species of llindostanic nbich owes its existence to the Ma. 
bomclan conqiicsls. 

Thr^re are about seven hundred radical words in the Shanscrit 
language ; the funUamenlal part of which is diiidcd into three 

First, Dhaat— or roots ofTCrbs. 


impart. Mr. Halhcd hiots^ tbat the learniDg of Hindostao mi^ht 
hafe been transplauted into Egypt, and thas luiTe become familiar 
to Moses *• HoweTor this Boay be, several authors agree In opi« 
nion, that the ancient Egyptians possessed themsches of the trade 
of the East by the Red Sea ; and that they carried on a consider- 
able traffic with the Indian nations before the time of Sesostris^ 
'who was contemporary with Abraham t.-— The Red Sea was called 
by the ancients the Indian Sea ; and they nsnally denominated the 
Ethiopians, and the rest of the nations under the torrid zone, In* 
dians ^. 

A translation of the Indian book called Bagajadam, one of the 
eighteen Pourananh or sacred books of the Genfoos, hath lately 
been published in France. This translation was made by Meridas 
Poulld, a learned man of Indian origin, and chief interpreter to 
the supreme council of Poodicherry ; and was sent by him to M. 
Bertin, his protector, in 1769. This Bagavadam, or divine his. 
tory, claims an antiquity of above five thonsaud years. Monsieur 
Poull^ tells US, in his preface, that the book was composed by Vias* 
scr the son of Brahma, and is of sacred authority amongst the wor- 
shippers of Vischnow. The language of the original text is Shanscrit^ 
but the translation was made from a version in Tamoul. 

There are several traditions and relations of the Indians, calcu- 
lated to ascertain the antiquity of this book, and they all tend to 
date its composition three thousand one hundred and sixteen years 
before the christian aera : but Mons. De Guines § hath not only 
invalidated these traditions, but proves also, that the pretensions 
of this book to such a remote antiquity are inconclusive and unsa* 
tisfactory. Hence we may conclude, that though a further inquiry 
into the literature of the Indian nations may be laudable, yet we 
must by no means give too easy credit to their relations con. 
cerning the high antiquity of their manuscripts, and early dvilL 


Thb Perdans had no great leamiog among them till the time of 
Ilystaspes, the father of the emperor Darius Hystaspes. The for- 

* Preface to Gentoo Laws, p. 44. 

t RoUio's Hist. p. 50, 60 ; aod Univ. Hist. voU i. p. 513. 
X PrelSice to GcBtoo Laws, p. 44. 

S See his reflections on this book, published in the 38lh vol. of the Histoire de 
^*Academie Royal, &c. Paris, 1777. 



mer, we ire fold, travelled into Indii, and wai iostrtieted In th« 
BclcDCes by tbe Bramlns, for which lliey w<Te tt that time famed *. 
The ancient Persians coDtemned riebes, and wvre slrangcrt to com* 
nercc ; they had no monry amongst them, till after the conqupst 
of Lydia+t It appears by sCTeral inscriptiuos laken from (he 
ruhiii of the palace of Pi-rsfpolis, which was built near seven hun- 
dred years before thi- christian sra, that (he Pfrsiana soraetimi a 
wrote in perpendicular columns, after Ihe manner uf the Chinese, 
This mode of writing was first used ujion th<> stems of trees, or 
pillars, or obeli&ks. As for those 'simple character? loaod upon 
the west side of the staircase at Persepnlis, some au(h<ir>. hari- sup. 
posed them to be alphabetic; othrrs, hieroglyphic; it hilst others 
hate asserted them to be ante.diluriao : but our learned Dr. Hyde 
pronounces ihem to hare been mere whim^i'il uruanients, thuu^h 
a late writer % inppoaei they may be fragmeats of Egyptian anli> 
quity, taken by Camhyses froin the spoils ofThebei. In the st-rond 
volume of Niobuhr's TraveU in Arabia, p. ^5, several of the ia- 
icriptions at Pers'polis are engraven. This author says, that they 
furnish three different alphabets, which havi; long been disused. 
They are certainly alpbabeiic, and not hieroglyphic or mereoina. 
menls, as some wrilers have supposed. In line, the learned seem 
generally agreed, that the ancient Persians were Idler than many of 
dieir neighbours in civiliiaEion : it was never pretended that they 
were the inveators of letters §. 

JkimgVITT'M VRITIBC. • 9f9 

Mr. RicbfrduD, in bis Arabic Gnmmar, obserTn, ii m proof of 
the rlchocM of tbis loogaigrj that it consisti of two thousand ra- 
dical wordfl. 

'f lie old Arabic character* an laid to be of Terj high antiquity ; 
for Ebn Haihem relate*, that an inscription in it was fonad in 
Yaman, as old as the time of Joseph. These traditions may hara 
given occSftioD to some authors to sappose thq Arabians to haio 
been the iuTenlors ai letters; and Sir Isaac Newton* sup. 
poses, that Moses learned the alphabet from the Midiauites, who 
were Arabiaus. 

- The Arabian alphabet consists of tweuty.eight letters, which aro 
somewhat similar to the ancient Kufic, in which characters the first 
copies of the Alcoran 4rere written. 

The present Arabic characters were formed by Ebn Moklah, n 
learned Arablao, who Hred about three hundred years after Mafaoa 
net. We learn from the Arabian writers Ihemsehes, that their 
alphabet Is not ancient. — AI Asmahi says, that the Koreish wer« 
aslced, " From whom did you learn writing ?" and that tliey an- 
swered, " From Hirah.'* That the peopto of Uirah were asked, 
<* From whom did yoa learn writing !" and they said <* From the 
Ambarites." — ICbn Al Habli and Al Heisbam Ebn Admi relate, 
that Abi SoRan, Mabomet'i great opposer, wai asked, " From 
whom did yonr father receire this form of writing i" and that ho 
Mid, " From Ashlam Ebn Sidrah ;" and, that Ashlara being gskad, 
" From whom did you recelT* writing ?" his answer was, '* From 
the person that invented it, Horamer Ebn Morrab ;" and that thejr 
Tcceived this form of writing but a little before Islamism +, 


Bsrona we cooclnde, we shall make a few Reflections on tho 
foregoing daims of different nations to the ioTentlon of letters. 
The ranlty of each nation induces them to pretend to the most early 
civilization ; but such is the uncertainty of ancient history, that it 
is difficolt to decide to whom the honour is due. It however should 
seem, from what hath been advanced in the course of this part of 
oar inquiry, that the contest may Iw confined to the Egyptians, 
tte Fhenidans, and the Chaldeans. The Greek writers, and most 

• CbroDologj of Eg}pC, p. 303, Svck edil. 

f \nM,DaIliefintiDbablianri,&c.afEnropc,p>», 


of those who hare copied them^ decide io farour of Egjpt, because 
their information is derived from the Egyptians themselres. The 
positive claim of the Phenicians, doth not depend upon the sole 
testimony of Sanconiatho ; the credit of his hbtory is so well sup- 
ported by Philo of Biblus his translator, Porphyry, Pliny, Curtius, 
JLucan, and other ancient authors, who might have seen his works 
entire, and whose relations deserve at least as mnch credit as those 
of the Egyptian and Greek writers. It must be allowed, that San. 
coniatho*s history contains many fabulous traditions ; but does not 
the ancient history of the Egyptians, the Greeks, and most other 
nations, abound with them to a much greater degree ? The frag« 
nents which we have of this most ancient historian, are chiefly 
furnished by Eusebius, who took all possible advantages to repre* 
sent the Pagan writers in the worst light, and to render their 
theology absurd and ridiculous. 

Cicero * distinguishes five Mercuries, two of which are Egyptian. 
Authors are much divided as to the ages in which they lived, but 
the most ancient is generally allowed to be the Fhenician Taaut^ 
who passed from thence to £g>'pt It is probable that he might 
teach the Egyptians the use of letters ; and that the second Taaut, 
Mercury, or Hermes Trtsmegistus, improved both the alphabet and 
language, as Diodoms and others have asserted« The Phenician 
and Egyptian languages are very similar, but the latter is said to be 
more large and full, which is an indication of its being of a later 

The opinion of Mr. Wise, that the ancient Egyptians had not tUe 
knowledge of letters, seems to be erroneous : as they had commer« 
cial intercourse with their neighbours the Phenicians, they probably 
had the knowledge of letters, if their policy (like that of the Chinese 
at this day) did noi prohibit the use of them. 

The Chaldeans, who caltrvated astronomy in the most reoMte 
ages, used symbols, or arbitrary marks, in their ceknlations ; and 
we have shewn that these were the parents of letters. This dronn* 
stance greatly favours their claim io the invention, because Chaldea, 
and the countries a^acent, are allowed by all authors, beth sacred 
and prefene, io have been peopled before Egypt ; and it it ear • 
tain that many whole aations, recorded to be descended from Sheaa 

. » De Nat. Deer. lib. ill. 

AMttgViTt Of Wftltllia* 381 

and Japhety liad their lettan from tbe PkeniciaiiSi wlio wer# 
descended from (lam *• 

It is obser Table, that the Chaldeans, the Syrians, the PhenicianS| 
and Egyptians, all bordered npon each other ; and as the Phenicians 
were the greatest^ as well as the most ancient commercial nation, 
it is very probable, that they communicated letters to the Egyptians, 
the ports of Tyre and Sidon, and those Of the Egyptians, being not 
far distant from each other. 

Mr. Jackson is eridently mistaken, when he says, that lettera 
were invented two thousand six hundred and nineteen years before 
the birth of Christ, The deluge, recorded by Moses, was two 
thousand three hundred and forty.nine years before that event ; 
and if letters were not invented till five hundred and fifty yeara 
after, as he asserts, we mist date their recovery only one thousand 
seven hnodred and ninety-nine years before the christian asra, 
which is four hundred and tea years after the reign of Menes, ths 
first king of Egypt, who (according to Geo. Syncellus and others) 
is said to have been the same person with the Misorof Sanconiatho, 
the MIzraim of the Scriptures, and the Osiris of the Egyptians ; 
but whether this be true or not, Egypt b frequently called in the 
Scriptures, the land of Mizraim f • 

This Miaraim, the aeoond son of Amyn or Ham, seated himself 
near the entrance of Egypt at Zoan, in the year before Christ two 
thousand one hundred and eighty^efght, and one hundred and sixty 
years after the flood ; he afterwards built Thebes, and some say 
Memphis, He is by Herodotus, by Diodoms, Eratostheaes, and 
Affkanuty by Eusebiusand Syncellus, called Menes $• 

Before Ihe time that Micraim went into Egypt, Taaut his son had 
Invented letters In Phenfcia ; and if this invention took place tea 
years before the migration of his father into Egypt, as Mr. Jackson 
supposes, wo can trace letters as far back, as the year two thousand 
one hundred and seventy-etghC before Christ, and one hundred and 
fifty after the deluge recorded by Moses ; and beyond this period^ 
the written annals of mankind, which have been hitherto trans. 
— '" — ■ — "— "^ - | . ■■ ■ ^ 

• Mitvaim, tbe ion of Ham» led colonies Into Egypt, and laid tbe fooodatioii 
of a kiofioMy whicli tailed one tboannd six bandred and sixty-three yean i 
wlience Egyi^ is, in tbe Holy Scriptorci) called tbe land of Ham. 

f Uoitenai Hlsloiy, tel. v. p. 99a 

% Tbcsa aathon say ba went Into Igypt twenty-oae yean sonner $ but tbls 
aecouet affteet best wUh tbe Scrlptaiesi Sst SiRttema's Hist, of Ae BiUe 
p. 90a«-Uaiv. Hist. vol. sd. p. J*^ 

9Bt aktIquitt or wKiriAa. 

Bittttd to us, wilt not enable us to trace th« knowledge af thttr 
(hough this want of matemls is no proof, thai letten were n< 
known, until a century a:>d a half after the ilduge. 

As for the pretensioDS of tlie Indian nations, we mnit bcbett 
acquainted with their records, before we can admit of Iheir clai 
to the firs! use of letters j eapeciftlly as none of Iheir MSS. of gre: 
antiquity hive bk yet apptarcd in Europi'. That tha Arabiai 
were not Iho imcntors of k-tlers^ hath appeared by the confessic 
of their own authors. 

Plato somewhere mentions Hyperhorean letters, verj diAerei 
from the Greek ; these might have be«n the character! tued by d 
Tartars, or ancient Scythians. 


It may he expected, that something should he said concernii 
those books, mentioned by somt authors to have been written b 
fore the delude ■ ; but as Moses is silent upon the subject, we ha 
no materials that will enable ui to form an opinion. St. Jude, 
his Epistle, t. 14, tells us, that Enoch prophesied ; bat this aposi 
might quote a Jewish tradition, for he does not say that Rno 
wrote. The tales which have been told us concerning the books 
this patriarch, aretooabsurd (o deserve serious attcutioD'f. Wi 
respect therefore to Writings attributed to the ante^ilurian*, 
seems not only decent but rational, to say, that we know nothii 
concerning them ; though it might be improper to assart, that k 
ters were unknown before the deluge recorded by MoseS. 


upon the whole, it appemrs to os, that the Phenicians hate tho 
best claim to the honoar of the ioTention of letters. 



Instfumenii for writing with. 

It is obTious, that when men wrote, or rather engraTed, on hard 
Substances, instruments of metal were necessary, such as the chbel 
and stylus; but the latter was chiefly used for writing npon 
boards, waxed tablets, or on bark: these were sometimes made of 
iron, but afterwards of siWer, brass, or bone, called in Greek 
ypa^iOXy and in Latin stylus ; though the Romans adopted the 
Greek word, as appears by this Terse in Of id : 

Quid digitos opus est graphium lassare tenendo? 

The stylus was made sharp at one end to write with, and blunt 
at the other to deface and correct what was not approTed ; hence 
the phrase veriere Milium to blot out, became common among the 
Romans. The iron styles were dangerous weapons^ and were pro* 
hihited by the Romans, and those of bone or irory were used tn 
their stead, Suetonius tells us, that Caesar seized the arm of Caa. 
aius in full senate, and pierced it with his stylus. He alto says that 
Caligula excited the people to massacre a Roman senator with 
their st) les. And Seneca mentions that one Erixo, a Roman 
knight in his time, haying scourged his son to death, was attacked 
in the forum by the mob, who stabbed him in many parta of hla 
body, Miih the iron styles which belonged to their pngillares, 
ao that he narrowly escaped being killed, though the emperor in. 
terposed his authority *• Prudentius ? ery emphatically describea 
the tortures which Cassianns f was put to by hla scholars, who 
killed him with their pugillares and styles : 

Bnxa crepant cerata genia impacta croentb, 
Rubetque ab ictu cnnra humeoa pagina ; 

• De Clemrntia, lib. I. cap. 14. 

f THisGanianin was the first bishop of 8ibeo, lo Gemmny, where be buk a 
eharch in S50; but be was driTen away by the Pafans> and fled Co Romey where 
he comaenccd schoolmaster for a tiMitence. In the year 305« he wasy by 
t^e order of the Boiperac Jaifau^ c ayasad la the ■ittUawiaga of bis scholars* 


Inile alii alitntilus, et acnmina Terrea vibrant, 
Qui parte aratb ccra lulcis scribiiur. 

IlEfi jrEfaviuj', p. 93. 

Wlicn the snciendi wrote on soFUt matcriaU tban wood or me- 
tal, other inslrumenla were used fur writing wilb, of which reeds 
anil tantd seem to hari; bern the finU PlJny aya that Egypt fur. 
nijlied a great quuntily af the kind of reeds which were used for 
writing with *: and Martial bath tbeat.' words : 

" Da( cliartU babtles calamos Meoiphitica tellusf ." 

Rpcds aitd cnnP!S are slill used as iustruments fur writing with hy 
th<! Tartars, the Indians, the Persians, the Turks, and the Greek?. 
Mr. Flnlhi'd (clla me thnt the two first of these natiooi write with 
&Diall reeds btaring the hanil exceedingly lightly. Tararoier, in 
one of his fuynges says the same of the Persians. Ilaowolff, who 
travelled in 1583, relates, (hat the Turks, Muors, and Miter n na. 
tions, use canes for pens, which are smalt and hoUow withia, 
■mooth withont, and of a brownish red colour X- 

The canes in Persia are cut in March, which tbey drjr In the 
smoiik far about six mouths ; (bose which are covered witli % fine 
vamlsh of black and yellow, arc esteemed the belt for writing 

The Indians more frequently write with the cane called bamboo, 
^vliich is cut about tin.' length and fhickness of our |)ens. 

INKS* 385 

•Dim verba paginis infiguntnr; sed calamus arboris est, penna 
avis, cujus acumen dividitor in dao *." 

Some of the instruments necessary for the occupation of a libra- 
rius or book.writer are delineated in a book of the four gospels in 
the Uarleian library (No. 2820), written in Italy in the tenth cen- 
tury. The Tellum, on which this book is written, is stained of dif- 
ferent colours at the beginning of each gospel. 



Ink has not only been useful in all ages, but still continues abso« 
Itttely necessary to the preservation and improvement of every art 
and science, and for conducting the ordinary transactions of life. 

Daily experience shews, that the most common objects, generally 
prove most useful and beneficial to mankind. The constant occa* 
sion we have for ink, evinces its convenience and utility. From 
the important benefits arising to society from its use, and the inju* 
ries individuals may suffer from the frauds of designing men in tlM 
abuse of this necessary article, it is to be wished that the legislature 
would frame some regulation to promote its improvement, find 
prevent knavery and avarice from making it instrumental to th«« 
accomplishment of any base purposes. 

Simple as the composition of ink may be thought, and really is, it 
is a fact well known, that we havr at present none equal in beauty 
and colour to that used by the ancients ; as will appear by an in« 
spection of many of the MSS. above quoted, especially those writ* 
ten in England in the times of the Saxons« What occasions so great 
a disparity ? Does it arise from our ignorance, or from our want 
of materials ? From neither, but from the negligence of the present 
race -, as very little attention would soon demonstrate, that we 
want neither skill nor ingredients to make ink as good now, as at 
any former period. 

It is an object of the utmost importance that the records of par. 
liament, the decisions and adjudications of the courts of justice, 
conveyances from man to man, wills, testaments, and other instru- 
ments, which affect property, should be written with ink of such 

• IskU Hiip. Oiig. lib. vU cap. U. 
VOL* VI. 3 C 



dornbte (juality, as may beat resbt the disfructive pun^n of (rrrrr 
and Ihe elements. The necessity of paying greater iilti'ittiun tn (hi* 
nialtrr maybe rpadily seen by comparing the rulls and recuiJ?, 
that liare been written rrom the lifteenlli century to the end of the 
se*enteenth, wilh lh« writings we bare remaidng of vtrtwol C^t 
from Ihe tiflh to the ttrelTlb centuries. NotwithstaodingthBinperiur 
antiquity or the latter, they are in excellent preserratna ; but ve- 
freqtfnity find the former, thongh of more modcru date, >o much 
defaced, that they are scarcely Usibte. 

Inks are of various sorts, asencaiistlc or Tarnish, Indian ink, 
gold and silver, ptirple, black, red, green, and variuni other co- 
lours : tbcte are also secret and sympathetic inks. 

The ink nsed by the ancients had nothing in common wiUi ourr, 
but tlie colour and gum. Gall nuts, copperas, and giKn, make ap 
the cvmposition of our iak : nhcreas soot, or ivory black, was the 
chief ingredient in that of the ancients ; so that very old charters 
might be suspected, if ivritten with ink iniirely similar to what we 
use ; but the most acute and delicate discernment is necessary in 
Ihi-i matter, for tome of Ihe inks formerly used were liaUe to fade 
and decay, and are found to bave turned red, yellow, or pale : those 
imperfections are however rare in MSS. prior to the tenth century. 

There is a method of reviving the writing, but this eipedJent 
«hould not be hazarded, lest a Buspicioo of deceit should arise, and 
the suj'port depended on be lost. 

Golden ink was used by various nations, as may be leen in ae. 
ofchurchL-s. Silver ink was >lso 

tKlts. 387 


Thd eolout of the ink is of no great assistance in authenticating 
MSS. and charters. There is, says Mr. Astle, in my library^ 
along roll of parchment, at the head of which, is a letter that 
iras carried Ofer the greatest part of England by two devout 
monks, requesting prayers fbr Lucia de Vere, countess of Ox* 
ford, a pious lady, who died in 1199; who had founded the 
house of Henningham, in Essex, and done many other acts of 
piety. This roll consists of many membranes, or skins of 
parchment sewed together ; all of which, except the first, contain 
certificates from the different religious houses, that the two 
monks had Tiaited them, and that they had ordered prayers to 
be offered up for the countess, and had entered her name 
in their bead-rolls. It is observable, that time hath had very 
different effects on the various inks, with which these certificates 
were written ; some are as fresh and black as if written yesterday, 
others are changed brown, and some are of a yeUow hue^ It may 
naturally be supposed that there is a great variety of band- writings 
upon this roll ; but the fact b otherwise, for they may be reduced 
to three. 

The letter at the head of the roll is written in modern Gothic 
characters*: four-fifths of the certificates are Norman, which 
shews that this mode of writing had taken place of almost every 
other* Some of the certificates are in modem Gothic letters, 
which we conceive were written by English monks ; and a very 
few are in Lombardic small letters. It may however be said in ge* 
neral that black ink of the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth cen. 
turies, at least amongst the Anglo-Saxons, preserves its originil 
blackness much better than that of succeeding ages f ; not even 
excepting the sixteenth and seventeenth, in which it was frequently 
very bad. IVde ink very rarely occurs before the four last cen- 
turies. , 

Peter Caniparins, Professor of Medicine at Venice, wrote a 
curious book concerning inks, which is now scarce, though there 
is an edition of it printed in London in 1660, 4to. The title is, 
^^ De Atramentis cujuscunque generis opus san^ novum. Hactenus 

« The letter, with an account of it, is in Weever't Funeral Monuments^ 
last edit. Lond. 1767, 4to. p. S79. 

f The Tezta Sancti Cathberti in the Cottonian library', (NeroD.4.)dfmon- 
•trates the troth of this anertion. 




i ncmine prom u I gal urn." Tta» work h divided intg six | 
The first of which tn»U genprall; of inks made from pyijtca, st 
■sd metals. 

The lecond treats more particularly of ibLe made fion i 
and calws. 

The third of ink made from soots and vitriols. 

The fourth of the different kinds of inks used by A« libra 
bouk-writen, as well as by printers and engravers, and of sta 
or writing upon marble, stucco or acaliolta, and of encaaitic n 
of writing ; at aUo of liquids for pointing or colonring of lea 
cloths, linen, and woollen, and for restoring Inks that have bee 
facfd by time; as likewise many metliods of effacing writing 
staring decayed paper, and of various modes of secret wriUtig, 

The Ijftli part treats of inks for writing, made itt difiercnt i 
tries, of various materials and cotuors ; as from gums, wood 
juice of plants, jcc. and also of dilTerent kinds of Tarnishes. 

The sixth part treats of the various operations of extroctii 
triol, and of its chemical oses. 

This woikabounds with agreat variety of philosophicd, cl 
cal, and historical knowledge, and we conceive wilt gire great ( 
taiomeat to those who wish for ioforniatioa on this subject I 
curious particulars concerning ink will be found in Wadwr 
Secrelis*. This genllt^mau also gives recipc-s for oiakjog in 
the colour of gold and silier, composed as well wich (hoMmeb 
witlioul them; also directions for making variety of inks tor & 
nd for dcfacini 

INKS. S89 

ingenious chemists bare been induced to make experiments) in order 
to render it more perfect. 

M. Ribaucourt, in the^< Annates de Chimie/' directseight ounces 
of Aleppo galls, and four ounces of logwood, to be boiled in twelve 
pounds of water, till the quantity is reduced to one half ; when the 
liquor should be strained through a linen or hair sieTe into a proper 
vessel. Four ounces of sulphate of iron (green vitriol); three 
ounces of gum.arabic ; one ounce of sulphate of copper (blu« 
vitriol) ; and a similar quantity of sugar* candy , are now to be 
added : the liquid should be frequently shaken, to facilitate the so- 
lution of the salts. As soon as these ingredients are perfectly dis- 
solved, the composition is suffered to subside for twenty.four hours ; 
when the ink may be decanted from the gross sediment, and pre- 
served for use in glass or stone bottles, vrell stopped. 

This ink exhibits a purplish black colour in the bottles ; bat the 
writing performed with it is said to be of a beautiful black cast, 
which it retains, unaltered, for a considerable length of time. Eaqh 
^uart of the preparation contains : 

Of Galls ... 
Green vitriol 
Logwood • • 
Gum • • • 
Blue vitriol 

M. Ribaucourt is of opinion, that ink thus prepared, may be 
preserved several years in a state of perfection, without depositing 
either galls or iron. 

The ink commonly used, is manufactured by stationers, accord- 
ing to Dr. Lewis's recipe ; but it is ill calculated for keeping, as it 
deposits a black sediment, while the fluid itself is of a pale colour. 
Each quart of this ink contains : 

o«« drs. grs* 
Of Galls .... 3 
Green vitriol -10 
Logwood . • 5 24 
Gum - • • 1 
Neither blue vitriol nor sugar are employed in this preparation. 
At, however, both the ink made after the latter method, and that 
oomjioianded according to other redpet^ are not adapted to resist 



drs. gn. 


5 20 


2 40 


2 40 


2 40 

2 40 


the eifecis of acids, am! are coDscqupntly bj no m^ans fit for records, 
deeds, and olher docunienls; M. Westrumb Tccommendi the fol. 
lowing ingreditnls, as being well calciiUteil to remedy this incon- 
Tpniencp. Hr directii one ounce of BTaziUwood, wd k cbnilar 
quantity of gall-nuts, lo be bailed in fort>'-six oubcm (toinetrbat 
less than tlirpe pints) or water, till :he whole be reduced to thiity 
(wn ounces, or about l<vo (juarts. 

This decoction is to be poured, while hot, upon hdf an ounce 
of copperas, or preen Titriol ; a iguaTter of an ounce otgiim-tnbtc^ 
and a simitar quantity of u hite tu^ar. Ae soon as a perfect solii- 
tinn of these substances has (alien place, one ounce and a quarter 
of iniligo finely pulTerized is to be added; together vith three 
quarters of an ounce of the purest lamp black, previonsly diluted 
in one ounce of the best brandy. Thii whole is to be well incor. 
porated ; anJ, after it has aub^^idcd, M. VVestrumb asserts that it 
will form an ink absolutely indestructible by ecids, 

A more simple compojition, is that proposed by M. Bosse, who 
directs one ounce of i3razil-wood to be boiled in twelra onnces of 
water, with half an ounce of alum, till the liquid be tedaced la 
eight ounces ; when one ounce of calcined tnanganeu is to be 
mixed with half an ounca of gum-arabic, and added to the liqnor, 
which should be previously decanted, in order to render it perfect ly 
lim[jid. This preparation is said to possess the proper^ of being 
indelible by the use of any kind of acid, and to be superior to that 
proposed by M. Westrumb, 

INKS. ^1 

imWerlEpd gun.araVic, and preserf ing it io a glass bottle, or glazed 
«ar(heo vessel, sightly covered with paper. 

Van Mons lias applied the discoveries of Proust to the prepara- 
tion of common writing ink* He has found that the sulphate of iroo 
xalcined to whiteness, always gives a most beautiful black preci« 
pitate. By the following mixture, he obtained ezcelleat ink : 
galls 4 oc. ; sulphate of iron, calcined to whiteness, 2| oz. ; and two 
pints of water. The whole must be left to macerate cold for U 
hours : theu add gum-arabic 10 drams, and preserve it in a stone 
Jar open, or covered merely with paper. Chaptal has also em. 
ployed the calcined sulphate, in connection with the decoction of 
gall nuts and logwood. 

M* Desormeauz, Junr. of Vine court, Spitalfields, who has long 
been In the habit of preparing ink upon a large scale, has commu* 
nicated to the Philosophical Magazine, a valuable paper on the 
subject, from which the following directions are extracted. In six 
quarts, beer-measure, of water, (it does not appear of importaooe 
whether it be rain, river, or spring water) boil ibur ounces of the 
best Campeachy logwood, chipped very thin across the grain (the 
boiling may be continued near an hour) ; adding from time to timo 
a little boiling water, to compensate for weight by evaporation. 
Strain the liquor, while hot ; suffer it to cool, and make up tht 
quantity equal to five quarts, by the further addition -of cold water. 
To this cold decoction, put one pound averdnpois waste of bloo 
galls, or 20oz. of the best galls in sorts, which should be first 
coarsely bruised ; 4 oz. of sulphate of iron, calcined to whiteness ; 
1^ oz. of the acetite of copper, which should be triturated in a mor* 
tar, moistened by a little of the decoction gradually added till it bo 
brought to the form of a smooth paste, and then thoroughly inter, 
mixed with the whole mass. Three ounces of coarse brown sugar 
and six ounces of good gum Senegal, or Arabic, are also to be 
added. These several ingredients may be introduced one after the 
other Immediately, contrary to the advice of some, who recom- 
mend the gum, &c. to be added when the ink is nearly made; 
as gum, however, is at present exorbitantly dear, three or four 
ounces wlU be found sufficient, with only one and a half ounce of 
sugar, unless, for particular purposes^ it is wanted to bear a higher 
gloss than common. ' As the common writing inks are delible by 
many of the adds, especially the ozymuriatic, several chemists and 
•then, partiddarly 11 FittI of Mindeoi Dr« Lootiiiy Wli(|lb| 




Westfumb, Thorey, M. Boise, of Hamburfih, hare endeBronred to 
discoter a cfimpusition which woald rp'ist the action of this acid, 
and moi>t of thim haTt succeeded iit the nltempt. The twu follow- 
ing methods are gi»en by Basse. 1. Ilni! 1 oi, oCbrasU-wood with 
13 OZB. of Wftter for a quarter of an hour ; ndd ^ °^- O^ alam; era- 
porale the wliolc to 8 ozs,, and mix wilh iho liquor 1 oz. of ex- 
ceediDgly soft finely pulverized manganese, miied up witk |oz. of 
puWeiized ^tini-aral)ic ; or 'i. Boil 4 oz, of Brazil woud, and 3 oxs. 
of coarsely pulverized gulls, wilh 9 uzs. of vinegar and as uvcb 
water, for the space of eight minutes ; in the liijuor nlttt being 
ftraiued, diibolve if^oz.of iiulpbetoriron,and 1 ox. ofgBm.onliic ; 
and then add to (he ivhole a solution of 4 oz. of indigo in 1 os> of 
concentrated sulphuric acid. M. Bosse also prepared aa iak from 
the prinripal ingredients of common ink, lint, instead of tbe usual 
liquids, he eniployed the expre&sed juice oi some plant : those which 
be found most efticacioUB were obtained from (he leaves of the caper 
apurgv, Eupharliia Lalki/rii, Linn, the common holly, SamAu~ 
eu» Niger., and common grass. 

Ikk fowder. Common liquid ink, themethodof making which 
we ha*e already di-scribed, ii not easily transported from one place 
to another ; and, besides this inconvenience, it is apt to dry in the 
ink-holder. In bo(tle«, unless well corked, it becomes decomposed 
and eraporafes ; and if the bottles happen to break, it may spoil 
clothes, or any other articles near it. For the conTenieDc* tliers- 
fore of those nho travel either by land or by sea, ink powder hu 
been inventi il, which is niilhiiij; rl-e (Ikhi (he substances employed 

pretty thick solution of gam-arabic in water, andj kaTiag mixed It 
with the powder, grind the whole on a stone, in the same manner 
as colour-men grind their colours. Nothing is then necessary, 
but to put the paste into some small moulds, formed of cards, and 
rubbed OTer with white wax, to present it from adhering to them. 

In regard to the smell of the China ink, it arises from a little 
musk, which the Chinese add to the gum-water, and may easily be 
imitated. The figures seen on the sticks of China ink, are the par* 
ticular marks of the manufacturers, who, as in all other countries^ 
are desirous of distinguishing whatever comes from their hands. 

Dr. Lewis thinks, from the information of Father du Halde, that 
China ink is composed of nothing but lamp black and animal glue. 
Having boiled a stick of China ink in several portions of water, fa& 
order to extract all the soluble parts ; and having filtered the dif. 
ferent liquors, which he evaporated in a stone vessel, he found 
that the liquors had the same odour as glue, and that they left, after 
evaporation, a pretty considerable quantity of a tenacious sub» 
stance, which seemed to difier in nothing from common glue* 

Coloured Inks. Few of these are used except red ink. The 
preparation of this is very simple, consisting either of decoctiona 
of the different colouring or dying materials in water, and thickened 
with gum-arabic, or of coloured metallic oxides, or insoluble pow* 
ders, merely diffused in gum water. The proportion of g«m« 
arable to be used, may be the same as for black writing ink. AU 
that applies to the fixed or fugitive nature of the several articlea 
used in dyeing, may be applied in general to the use of the same 
substances as inks. 

Red Ink is usually made by boiling about two ounces of Bnu 
cil wood in a pint of water, for a quarter of an hour, and adding to 
the decoction the requisite quantity of gum, and about half as much 
alum. The alum both heightens the colour and makes it less fugi- 
tive. Probably a little madder would make it more durable. 

Blue Ink may be made by diffusing Prussian blue or indige 
throuh strong gum.water. 

Yellow lux may be made by a solution of gamboge in gum- 

Most of the common water.colour cakes diffused in water, will 
make sufficiently good coloured inks for most purposes. 

Inks of other colours may be made from a strong decoction of 
the ingredients used in dying, mixed with a lilUe alum end gniu 

Sgl INKS. 

vnbir. For example, a strong <]pcoclion of Brazil wood, irilh tt 
tnocb alum as it can dissol^p, and a liltle gum, formi a good red 
Ink. These proccsi«!i roiisist io forming a lake, and reUrdins ita 
prccipitalion by Ihe gum. 

On many ocrasiona it is of importance to employ ■■ ink inda- 
atractible b^ any proceas, that will nnt equally dralroy the malrrial 
on which it is applied. Mr. Close haa recommended tor ttii& pur. 
p«e 25 grains of copal in powder dissoWed in ?00 gralniof ml of 
laTcnder, by fho astiatsnce uf gentle heat, and ihcn mi*»6 with Sj 
grains of lamp black, and half a grain of indigo ; or ISOgraina of 
oil of lavenOrr, 17 grains of cupat, and 60 graiiis of vermilioot A 
little oil of iQTf oder, or of turpentine, may be added, if the Nik bs 
found loo thick. Mr. Sheldrake suggests, that B miitqrfr orf;enu- 
iu« a«phal(um ditsulred in oil of turpentine, amber, vAntish, and 
lamp black, would be still superior. 

When writing wit!i common ink bas been tflaced by means of 
oiygeoiEed muriatic acid, Ihe vapour of sulphuret of ammonta, or 
immersion impregnated with this tulphuret, will render it again 
legible, Or if the pnpet that contained the writing be p«t into « 
weak solution of pruseiate of potash, and when it is thoroughly wet 
a sulphuric acici be added 10 the liquor, so as to render it sli^htl/ 
acidulous, the same purpose will be answered. 

Golden Ike.. As writing, before the invention of printing, 
vas the only method of transmitting to posterity Ihe worka and 
discoveriea of celebrated men, it became in the fourteenth and 
fifhcfllh renlurie^ an art cuidvat.d, and in which n 

IKK8. a9s 

Prinief^i Ink. This is a veiy singular coinpositioni partaking 
much of the nature of an oil yaroish, but differing from it io tlie 
quality of adhering firmly to moistened paper, and in being to a 
considerable degree soluble in soap.water. 

It is, when used by the printers, of the consistence of rather thin 
jelly, so that it may be smeared over the types readily and thinly^ 
when applied by leather cushions, and it dries yery speedily on tha 
paper without running through to the other side, or passing tha 
limits of the letter. 

The method of making printer's ink is thus described by Dr. 
Lewis. Ten or twelve gallons of nut.oil are set over the fire in a 
large iron pot, and brought to boil. It is then stirred with an iron 
ladle, and whilst boiling, the inflammable vapour rising from it 
either takes fire of itself, or is kindled, and suffered to bum in tliis 
way for about half an hour, the pot being partially covered, so as 
to regulate the body of the flame, and consequently the heat com- 
municated to the oil. It is frequently stirred during this time, that , 
the whole may be heated equally, otherwise a part would be 
charred and the rest left imperfect. The flame is then extinguished 
by entirely covering the pot. The oil by this process has much of 
its unctuous quality destroyed,and when cold is of the consistence 
of soft turpentine, and is then called varnish. After this it is 
made into ink by mixture with the requisite quantity of, 
of which about two ounces and a half are sufficient for siiteen 
ounces of the prepared oil. The oil loses by the boiling about an 
eighth of its weight, and emits very offensive fumes. Several other 
additions are made to the oil during the boiling, such as crusts of 
bread, onions, and sometimes turpentine. These are kept secret 
by the preparers. The intention of them is more effectually to 
destroy part of the unctuous quality of oil, to give it more body 
io enable it to adhere better to the wetted paper, and to spread on 
the types neatly and uniformly. 

Besides these additions, others are made by the printers, of 
which the most important is generally understood to be a little fine 
indigo in powder, to improve the beauty of the colour. 

Red printer's ink, is made by adding to the varnish, about half 
its weight of vennilion. A little carmine also improves the colour. 

Ink, SympathetiSy.^ liquor employed for writing on. paper, so 
that it may retain ita natural whiteness after the letters are formed, 

396 INKS. 

till it is hi-ld near the fire, rnbbed with another liquor, or iome 
other expedient is used to render the characters legible. 

Sympathetic inks are prepared from various subbtances, such as 
bismulh, lead, &c. Thus, a snluiion of rooimon sugar uf lead in 
water, if employed with a clean pen, will remain concealid till it ii 
wetted with a solution of the liver of sulphur, ur U exposed to tlie 
vapours of sach liquid; in which rose it vt ill assume b dwper or 
lighter brown shade, in proportion to the strength of tbe sulphu- 
reous gas. By the same process, words wriltfn with a solution of 
bismuth inspirit of nitre, will appear of a deep black colour. 

Another sympathetic ink may be eobily prepaied, by diluting oil 
of vitriol with a sufficient quantity of n-aier, to prevent the paper 
from being corroded. Letters drawn with this lluid are invisible 
when dry, but, on being held near the fire, they assume a perfect 
black colour. The juices of lemons or onions ; a solaliou of sal 
ammoniac, &c. wiU answer a similar purpose, though their appli- 
cation is more difficult, and they afterwards require a greater de- 
gree of heat. 

Ink, removing the ituini of. The stuns of iuk, on clotfa, paper 
or wood, may be removed by almost all acids; but those acids are 
to be preferred, which are least likely lo injure the itiiureuf the 
It ained substance. The muri'itic acid, diluted with five or six 
times its weight of water, may be applied to the spol, and, after a 
minute or two, may be washed off, r^'pealiiig (he application as 
often as may he found necessary. But the tegetable acids are «.t. 

iHKS. 597 

tine, and with this is to he mixed lamp hlack, or black lead lo fine 
powder, so as to make an ink of a proper consistence, for printing 
with types. Another, the blackish sulphate left after expelling 
oxygen gas from oxide of manganese with a moderate heat being 
dissolved and filtered, the dark grey pasty oxide left on the filter 
b to be mixed with a very little solution of gum tragacanth, and 
the cloth marked with this is to be dipped in a solution of potash or 
soda, mild or caustic, in about ten parts of water. 

An ingenious correspondent, Mr. J. S. Gaskoin, has fayonred ns 
with the following receipt for the composition of the ^< Chemical 
Indelible Ink," sold for the purpose of marking linen. The linen, 
that the black colour may be produced and fixed, is first moistened 
with a mordant, which is a solution of soda, made thus ; take of 
prepared soda 4 drams, distilled or common soft water 1 ounce, 
saffron 1 grain, gum»arabic 15 grs. The constituents of the hik 
are, lanar caustic 1 scruple, distilled water 1| dram ; or, if com. 
mon soft water be used, two drops of nitrous acid should be added 
to the solution. The mordant with which the Unen has been mots* 
tened being suffered perfectly to dry by a gentle heat, the part 
where the linen has been moistened, is written upon with a dean 
pen dipped in the ink. 

Imk, for the Rolling Pre€S is made of linseed oil bnmt in the 
same manner as that for common printing ink, and then mixed 
with Francfort black, and finely ground. There are no certain 
proportions which can be determined in this kind of ink ; every 
workman adding oil or black to his ink as he thinks proper, in 
order to make it suit his purpose. Some, however, mix a portion 
of common boiled oil which has never been burnt ; but this must 
necessarily be a bad practice, as such oil is apt to go through the 
paper ; a fault very common in prints, especially if the paper ii 
not very thick. No soap is added ; because the ink is not cleared 
off from the copper. plates with alkaline ley as in common printing, 
but with a brush dipped in oil. 





Origin and Progreii of Printing, 

At the invention or rather tlie introduction of printing into Ea> 
rope has been attended witb the most bBnelicial advantage* to man- 
kiad, some account of (be origin and progress of that art nay be 

It has not been pretended lliat the nrl of printing books was ever 
practised by the Romans, and yet the names they stumped on (heir 
earthen Tessela were in eSect nothing else but printing, and (he 
letters on the malricesorstamps used for making these impressioDS 
were necessarily reversed, at printing types ; several of thete ma- 
trices are extflnt in the Uritish Museum, and in other places, nhicli 
are cutout of, or are cast in one solid piece of metal. 

Many hundred pieces of the Roman pottery, impressed with 
thete stamps have been fonnd in the sands near Reculver in Kenti 
and on the eastern side of the Isle of Shepway, where they are fre* 
quenlly dragged up by tlie fishermen. The art of iropretung le> 
gends upon coins is nothing more than printing on metals. 

It is generally allowed, that printing from wooden blocks has been 
practised in China for many centuries. According to the accoants 
of the Chinese, and of P. JotIus, Osorius, and several other Kuro. 
peans, printing began there about the year of Christ 937, in tiw 
reign of iVling>Tcoung, the second emperor under the dfBHtJ'Of 
Heou.Thang: se*eral of these blocks, which are cut upon cbOBf, 

Of l>RtRTIKd« 9g§ 

The Kafopean blocks were carred upon beech, pear.tree, and 
«ther soft woods, which soon failed, and the letters frequently 
broke; this put them upon the method of repairing the block, hj 
barring new letters, and gluing them in, which necessity, seems to 
hare suggested the hint of moveable types of metal ; these were 
not so liable to break as (he soft European woods, which had been 
before used. 

One great and obf ious advantage of moveable types was, that 
by separating them tbej^would serve for any other work ; whereas 
the blocks of wood served onlj for one work : though the use of 
moveable metal types was a very fortunate discovery, yet they de. 
rived their origin rather from the imperfection or unfitness of our 
woods for printing blocks, than from any great ingenuity of thoso 
who first used them. In short, necessity, the mother of all arts^ 
introduced moveable types. 

It has been a matter of contest, wlio first practised the art of 
printing in Europe. Faust or Fust of Mentz, G ottenberg of Stra8« 
burgh, and Coster of Haerlem, have each their advocates. The 
pretensions in favour of Fust seem to be best supported ; but wo 
shall not trespass upon the patience of our readers by entering into 
a discussion of this matter, because such a discussion would, in our 
opinion, be of little importance, it having been generally agreed, 
that printing with moveable types was not practised till after tho 
middle of the fifteenth century, although prints from blocks of 
wood are traced as far back as the year 1493. 

It seems probable, that the art of printing might have been in* 
troduced into Europe by some European who Mid travelled into 
China, and had seen some of their printing tablets, as it is known 
that several Europeans bad been over-land into China before this 
time; and what strengthens this probability is, the Europeans first 
printed on one side of the paper only, in the same manner as 
the Chinese do at present ; but however this may be, the progress 
of the art was as follows : 

First, pictures from blocks of wood without teit. 
Secondly, pictures with text. 

Thirdly, whole pages of text cut on blocks of wood, some- 
times for the explanation of prints which accompanied them. And, 
Fourthly, moveable types. Specimens of all which are given im 
Ib'e Idie general^ des Estampes. 
Thero tun several aocieBl UosM extant which were nsed io the 



(tfteeoth century ; some aie in poisession of Capt. Thoin^D, of 
Dulwicb, ID Rent. 

I presented a block to Earl Spencer carted on a soft wuixl, 
which is the second in the " KUturia Saitcti Johannis Erangelitta: 
rjusque Visrniips Apocalyplicie," generall]' called the Apocalypse, 

Two of the copies of the book, to whicb the block referred to 
belongs, were formi'rly in the library of Mons. Gaignat : they are 
now in his majesty's library at the quren's house. These books 
are printed on one side of the paper only. ' 

The Speculum Humanx Salraliones is also printed on one side 
of the paper ; a copy of it is in Eiirl Speucer's library, who hai 
KTeral of these early books printed on one side of the paper. 

The Bistory of the Old and New Testament ia fi^ is also 
printed on one side of the paper. There is a complete copy of 
this work io his majesty's library, which was purchased from that 
of Mons, Gaignat. Earl Spencer has aJso a copy. Mr. Ueineken 
says, there is one copy of this work in the library of tbe Senate of 
Leipsic, containing forty leaves ; one was in that of tbe Duke de 
la Valliere, which has only twenty. two leaves ; and one io the 
Electoral library at Dresden, besides seieral others. 

Tbe Ars Moriendi contains twelre leaf esj printed on one side of 
the paper only ; there is a copy of the first edition of titis work id 
the library at Wolfeiibutlel ; and there are seven leaves of this edi- 
tion in the public library at Memminghnm. There are MVentl 
other editions of this work ; for an accouDt of which sea Heine- 
ken's Idepgeneraled'Est.irnpi'l, in which mention is made of other 

bp pAtNtiMo. 401 

types of wood, but I cannot belieTe thikt more than a few pages 
were ever printed by them with sach types. 

(Gruttehberg separated from Fast in H55 ; and Fast with Schoef* 
fer, his senrant and son-in«1aw, printed a Psalter at Mentz, in 
1457, with moveable types: the capitals were of wood, and the 
small letters of metal ; but Meerman says, that these were cut 
types, and not the improved cast types; and asserts, ihkt the 
first book printed with the latter, was Durandi Rationale, printed 
atMentz, in 1469. 

Heineken (p. 264) mentions several copies of the Psalter of 
Mentz, particularly a very fair' one in the Imperial library at 
Vienna ; at the end of which are the following words : 

<^ Presens Fudmorum codex venustate capitalium decoratus ru. 
bricationibusque snificieikter distinctns, ab inventione arti6closa 
imprimendi ac characterisandi, absque calami ezaradone sic effi* 
giatus, ad Eosebiam del Industrie est consummatus per Joannem 
Fust civem Moguntiuum, et Petrum Schoefier de Gernszheimi 
Anno Domini Millesimo ccccLvki. in Vigilla Assnmptionis." 

His majesty has lately procured a fine copy of this rare book for 
his noble library; and Earl Spencer has also one very fair; besides 
these, there are only four others known to be extant. Earl 
Spencer has also another edition of this Psalter, printed at Mentz 
in 1469. His lordship has also an Indulgence printed in move, 
able metal types in 1455^ during the pontificate of Nicholas tha 

In 1460 Fust and Schoeflref published with their improved types 
the Clitholicbn, which hath the following Colophon : 

<* Altissimi presidio, cujns nutu infantium lingue finnt diserte* 
Qui^ue numero sepe parvulis revelat, quod sapientibuit celat. Hie 
liber egregius Catholicon, Dominice incamationis annis m.cccc.lz* 
alma in Urbe Moguntina Nationis indite Germanice, quam Dei 
dementia tam alto ingenii lumine donoque gratuito, ceteris terra, 
rum Nationibus prseferre illustrareque dignatus est. Nou calami^ 
styli aut penne suffragio, sed mira patronarum formarumque con* 
cordia proportione et modulo impressns atque confectus est." 

There is a fine copy of this edition in his majesty's library at tha 
queen's house ; another copy is in the Royal library at Paris. 

In 1462 Fust and Schoeffer printed an edition of the Bible at 
Mentz in two volumes folio, in Gothie characters, which is jostly 
Mwened a good perfenaance ; there art several copies of this adi* 

T0L» VI* tm 


tion exiant, particularly one in fait Diajfsty's Hbriry, where there 
is a fair copy of the New Tetlament, of the same place and date, 
printed on vellum. If thp pretended edition of 1450, without the 
Coloplion was compared with this of 1462, the queattOD, whether 
they are dillerenl #dilion9 or not, would be decided. 

In 1465. Fust and Schoeffer printed at Mentz an edition of 
Tully'8 OfHces, and i[i the nrzl year another edition of the same 
work. Some hare aEserted, that these were one and the same 
book, but botli the editions are in his majesty's library, which i 
hare seen. The Col<^hon to that first printed is as foUnw) : 

Presena Marci Tullg clarissimu' opus. Jo. 

hannet Fust, Mogu'tinus ciris. no" atramo 

to. plumali ca'nanrq'aerea. Sed arte qua. 

dam perpulcra. Petti mana pueri met felL ^^ 

citer efieci fioiluni. Auno M. cccc. liv. ^^ 

The second edition hath this Colophon : 

Prescni Marci Tullij claiissiDiu' opus, Jo. _ 

hannes Fust Mogu'tinus ci?i3. no" alrame'a 
to, plumali ca'na neq~ aerea. Sed arte qua. 
damperpulcra. manu Pelri de Gernshem 
pueri met feliciter effeci finitum. Anno M. 
cccc.liri. quarta diemeniisfebruarij,S(e, 

of pilMTIHO* 403 

In Oe coane of the next jear Spira pabliahed an editkm of 
Virgil, which thoagh well prioted b not to be compared with the 
book last mentioned, 

Iq the year 1472 Nicholai Jenton printed at Venice a most ele« 
gant edition of Plin> 's works ; he seems to have endeaTOured to 
excel his master Spira : both these beautiful editions of the worka 
of Pllnj are in the iiojral library in the Queen's house, and also in 
earl Spencer's library, and they may be tmly said to be in the per* 
fection of the art. Jenson's edition of Aulus GellioS) printed in the 
same year, doth him great credit. 

In 1470 printing was practised at Paris, Cologne, and Milan* 

In the year 1471, "^txtus Ries^tenger printed at Naples, and An- 
drew Gallnsat Ferrary. Henry t^gestein had a printing press at 
Strasbargh. There were also presses in this year at Bologna and 
at Lnbec. 

In 1472, Bernard and Dominic Cenini prioted at Florence: in 
the same year printing presses were established at Padna, Parma^ 
Mantaa, and Verona : in this year printing was practised in Sax* 
ony, and in a few years afterwards in the most considerable parts 
of Europe. 

Italy claims the honour of first printing in Greek characters. 
In the edition of Lactantius*s Institutes aboTe mentioned, wliick 
appeared in the 1465, the quotations from the Greek authors are 
in very neat Greek letters. Earl Spencer has a fair copy of this 

The first whole book that was prioted in that language, b sap* 
posed to have been the Grammar of Constantinus Lascaris in 4tOy 
produced from the press of Dionysius Palayisinus at Milan in 1476. 
In 1481 the Greek Ptolter was printed in that city, as were£sf^*s 
Fables m 4to. 

In 1486 two Greek books were printed at Venice, namely, the 
Pfealter, and the Batrachomyomachia ; the former by Alexander^ 
the latter by Laonicus, both nathes of Crete; these books art 
printed in uncommon characters, the latter of them with accenta 
and spirits, and also with scholia. Earl Spencer hu a ikir copjr 
of this work. 

The folio edition of Homer's woria^ which was produced froai 
the press of Demetriils^ a natiTe of Crete, who first printed Greek 
at Florence in i486, eclipsed aU foraer pnblicatioaa la tUa 


language. A fine copy of (his edition is in the library of the 
Royal Society, and another in earl Spencer's, and two more i^ 
the British Museum. 

In 1493, a fine folio edition of Isocrates was printed at Milan, 
by German and Sebastian. AH the abore works are prior in time 
to those of Aldus, who is erroneously supposed to have been the 
first Greek printer ; but the beauty, correctness, and neatness of 
his editions place bim in a much higher rank than his predeces. 
sors ; and his characters in general were more elegant than anj* 
before used. He waaborn in 1445, and died in 1515, and was the 
inventor of the Italic characters, which are still used, called from 
him Aldine or Cursi?e. The Greek editions of the celebrated fa- 
mily of Stephens are much esteemed. 

Printing in Hebrew was practised as early as 1477, when the 
Psalms appeared in that language. In 1482 the Pentateuch wars 
printed. In 1484 the prior Prophets ; the posterior, in 1486. — 
The Hagiographia, in 1487, and the whole Bible Text in one to* 
lume at Sancino with Towel points by Abraham fil. Babbi Hhaiim 
in 1488* 

The first Polyglott work was printed at Genoa 1516, by Pettr 
Paul Porrus, who undertook to print the Pentaglott Psalter of Au« 
gustin Justinian, bishop of Nebo, It was in Hebrew, Arabfc, 
Chaldaic, and Greek, with the Latin yerses, glosses, and scholia^ 
which last made the eighth column in folio. !■ 1518 John Potken 
published at Cologne, the Psalter in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and 
Ethiopic. In the year 1522 the Complutensian Bible, consisting 
of six large folio volumes, was printed under the auspices of that 
great man, cardinal Ximenes. A polyglott Pentateuch, was printed 
at Constantinople in 1546, and another in 1547. 

In the year 1636 the congregation, pro propaganda Fide ^ at 
Rome, had types for the Samaritan, for the Syriac, both Fshito, 
and Estrangelo, for the Coptic, for the Armenian, and for the He- 
raclean or ancient language of the Chaldees. Since which time 
they have cast types for the G«ntoo, Tartar, Bramin, Bengalese^ 
Malabaric, and several other Asiatic languages. 

Some years ago Ferdinand the late prince of Parma furnished 
that University whi^h ho re-established, with the types of twenty 
different eastern languages, which appear in a most magnificent 
book priated at Parma, atthe Royal press in 1776, on the mar. 
riage tf the prince of Piedmont, with Mary Adelaide Clothilda of 

ov PiiMtiNO. 405 

France, in twenty-four languages. Ttiii book is in hb Mi^esty'i 


William Caxton hath been generally allowed to hate first intro. 
duced and practised the Art of Printing in England in the reign of 
king Edward IV. He was born in the Weald of Kent, and was 
first a citizen and mercer of London ; at length he became a repii« 
table merchant, and in 1464 he was one of the persons enu 
ployed by king Edward IV. in negociating a treaty of commerce 
with the duke of Burgundy, and was afterwards patronised by 
Margaret duchess of Burgundy, sister to that king. Caxton having 
received a good education in his youth, had a taste for learning, 
and made himself master of the Art of Printing. He tells us him. 
self, that he began to print his translation of ^< Le Recneii des His. 
toir^s de Tropes," at Bruges in 1468, that he continued the work 
at Ghent, and that he finished it at Cologne in 1471. A fair copy 
of this book is in hb Majesty's library. 

The first book, which Caiton printed in England, was the Game 
at Chess, which was finished in the Abbey of Westminster the last 
day of March 1474. In 1 175 he printed the Book of Jason. In 
1477 the Dictes and Sayinges of the Philosophers. For an account 
of the other books printed by Caxton, see Herbert's History of 

The first letters used by Caxton were of the sort called Secre. 
tary, and of these he had two founts : afterwards his letters were 
more like the modem Gothic characters, written by the English 
Monks in the fifteenth century. Of these he had three founts of 
Great Primer, tlie first rude, which he used in 1474 ; another 
something better ; and a third cut about the year 1488. Besides 
these he had two founts of English or Pica, the latest and best of 
which were cut about 1483; one of Double Pica, good, which first 
appeared in 1400 ; and one of Long Primer, at least agreeing with 
the bodies which have since been called by those names ; all these 
resemble the written characters of that age, which have been dis» 
tingnished by the name of Monkish-English. Those characters 
nearly resemble tlieir prototypes used^by the first printers in 

In the year 1478 printing was first practised in the two Univer* 
sitiei of Oxford and Cambridge; and two years afterwards we find 




K prMi >t St.Alhan's, Specimens of the fint tjp« utad by CaK> 
ton, sod by ptlnUrs at the places above meniioiied, ma; b« seen 
Id Herberl'c Hiilury of Printing. 

Canon liTfil till the yt^er 14B1, when be was succeeded by 
Wyiikyn Ue WorJe, who had ^i'TTed him for many ytan, and was 
connected with bim in business at ibe Imie of liis death, Wynkyn 
made (.ou^i lie rable advances in llie Art of friniing, and anriiihed 
bis fmindtry wilh a vanety of new types ; his letters were what ara 
called the Old Fn^lisfi (or Square English), which bare bten th« 
pattern for hib succrtsors for black letter priniitig. He is xard (o 
have first brought into England the use of round Roman letters, 
though it does not upp^ar that he ever printed in those [etter>> The 
first Roman, which i remtmbfi' to have seen, is a marginal quota, 
tion in Pica, at the lallcr end of the second part uf a book imituied, 
*' the Extiipiilion of Igiioraucy compylrd by Sir Paule Buihe^ 
Preeste, and Bonhoine ol Bdyiidon," printed by Pyngon wiihuBt* 
dat*-: but in 1518 Pynaon printed a book Hholly in Roman typei, 
B8 appears in Amis (p. 130). Fynson's con ten. porn ry, William 
Faques, in 1 503 made a fount of EngliAh It-llirs. oquul, if not ex. 
ceeding, bi beauty, any which our founders at thU day produce. 
The fdvouiit'' characters uf these times itere large types, and par- 
ticularly Great Primer. Allhous^h considerable progress was made 
in the Art of Printing in the fiftienth century, yet ihe Englitti 
presses produced no noik* in the Greek, or in ihe OnriituI Jao* 
gua^es tdi the siitleenth. The first (.'reek book I knirwof, that 
was printed in England, is the H<'n)ilit;s set forth Uj Sir John 




£ainbridi;« in the beginiiingor the sixteenth ceotarf, no books 
were printed hen to Belirew ebancten twfore tbe year ifiH, 
when Dr> Khese published his lo^litutioDes Liagux Cauibro.Bri* 

In iti« ypnr 1657 the Enelbh Polyglolt in six volumes folio waa 
|)riiitefl ai London, under th? auspicts of archbishop Uiiher and 
bishu^i Walton This megniGceat worli was begun in 1653, and 
coiiiuinH Oit^sacrtd text in tbe Hebrew, Samaritan, Syriac, Chal- 
dean, Arabic, Persic, j^thiopic, Greek, and Latin languages, 
all piloted in tb^ir proper characters. Besides (he cliaracters 
eihiliitvd in the body of ihis great work, the Prolegomena fur. 
nish us with more; oamely, the Rabbinical, the Hebrew, the Sy> 
■rlac duplices, Nestnrian, and Kstruogelan, the Armenian, the 
Egyptian, the lllyrian, both Cyriliian atxl HiiTonymi»ii, the Ibe- 
rian, and tbe ancient Gothic. Most of tbe rar>- books above 
Specitied are to be found in his Mujpsty's library at tbe Queen's 
bouse, in the British Museom, or in that of earl Spencer. 

The ffreatest difficult}, which tbe first letter. founders had to 
cncounler, was the discovery of tbe necessary nomber of each 
letter for a font of tjpes Id any particular language ; and in order 
to know this they would endearour to find out how mucb uftener 
ooe letter occurred than another in such a language. Perhaps thb 
discorery was mode by casting utf the copy, as the printers call it ; 
which is by calculdting the number of letters necessary for cootpo. 
nng any glreo nsmber of pages, and by counting the number of 
each letter which ocrors in tiiose pa^es ; this would io some degree 
)mt>- painted out the proportional number of one letter to another, 
but whether it was done by this, or by nhat other method, is not 
nsy to discover : however it is generally supposed, tbe letter, 
founder's bill wa^ made in the Sfteentb century, but on what prin- 
ciple ail writers are silent : the variaus ligatures and abbreviatioai 
Bseuby the early printers made more types necessary than at present. 

Printers divide a tout of letters into two classes, naoii^l}, the up- 
per. case and the lower-case. The upper-case contuios large capi, 
tals, small capitals, accented letters^ figures, and marks of refer, 
ences. The lower-coie contains small letters, ligatures, points, 
Bpacei, and quadrates. 


( «9 ) 



lECrrDN I. 

Kito;eUtlge of the Aneicnta in reipect to the Imilalive Arts. 

It was not, (o the philosophj' of li£;hl, shade, md colours 
atone, that the ancicnis directed Iheir Htteniion. Thejr made a 
practical ust of them in the drganl nits of designing Utd painting, 
in sll the dilferent branches of which they acquirtil ■ degree of 
perrecliou «bicb may well vie with that of later ai;es. ThoH who 
haTe iiliidkd the hiitorv of thete arts, as anciently bnt Hti*Euto. 
TJIy compiled by Pliny, must be convinced, that there u scarcely 
a style of modern drawing or colouring which was not {EBOwti to 
the Greeks ; who united la these exquisite accompliahiMiito all the 
collateral rnniilicatiiiiis of cmbroiilery, tapestry, brou^Dgt d"* 
mask-work, i[i the time of Homer denominated E^sturrNfiiidsvery 
ipecies of DiosatL', which, accordiog to tlic Roman iiuwlbt) hed 
adilTerent dsnuminatioD assigned to earh. Thus, we meet with 
one set of arranged and coltiured Eloues which was called lilhos. 
(ratsi another, opus tcs-i'liitum : a third, musiviim ; fourth, *m. 


coti(H(e method of tracing the mere outline of the haman shadow 

whipn projected upon a wall^ a method which still exists among oar* 

selfes under the name of a iilhouette^ — br& hominis lineai cir-- 

This species of drawing, and, probably, painting, strictly to 
called, must have been of very early origin indeed. Embroidery 
and tapestry, in which colours were introduced, we know to have 
been of high antiquity e?en among the Jews and Babyloneans ; but 
both these arts presuppose the existence of outlines, or line draw* 
Ings, for the artist necessarily worked from a pattern. The hibtory 
of Pandion, king of Athens, and of his daughter Philomela, wbo 
informed Progn^ of her misfortunes by describing them on tapestry, 
may, perhaps, be fabulous. Be this, however, as it may, we know 
that this fable is of very remote origin, ard as it is related by ApoU 
lodorus, was, probably, the production of one of the Cyclic poeti^ 
concerning whom the reader will find an account in Note on Book 
y. ▼• 330. of the present version. According to this admirable 
roythologist, Philomela did not indeed paint her history, but enu 
broidered it in characters on a veil. Yet, at the period when this 
fable was. invented, we can scarcely conceive, that embroidery was 
confined to the exhibition of characters alone ; it was unquestion^ 
bly employed, and with more freedom, in the art of tracing and de* 
signing. In the time of Homer, however, we have undoubted 
proof of the application of tapestry to the dignity of historical 
subjects. Iris, in the third book of the Iliad, finds Helen occu- 
pied in representing on tapestry the evils which the Greeks and 
Trojans had suffered on her account in their battles. Such an 
undertaking, even supposing it were executed in cammeo, or with- 
a single colour, evinces a considerable perfection of the art she 
was practising. But the Trojans are stated to have been also ac- 
quainted with the mode of intermixing difi*erent colours in their 
tapestries. When Andromache learned the death of Hector, she 
was at work in a retired part of her palace, and representing, ii| 
tapestry, flowers of a variety of tinctures. 

AXA, ijy* irroy vfmy avvw B^fiov 't;\InjAo<o, 

Ih. K. 439. 
Far in the close recesses of the dome *■ 

Pensive she ply'd the melancholy loom ; 
A growing work employed her secret views, 
Spotted divene with intermimgM hun^ Pow 


knowledob of thb ancients 

To th« mere outline or siLhouette, the Corintliiin or Sicyo- 
dUd artisi, according to Fliny, added strokes to its interior, 
—Jam tunc spargeates lineal inlus ; o style which is yet re. 
toiaed whenever llie quill or the crayon h employed ; and 
some admirable drairlngs, in nhich are still preserved at Uome as 
the production of Polydorc of Caravagio, a cek'brated pupil of 
Raphael ; the mode of e&eruting irhich is denominated by the Ita< 
lians at tgrufuto. Our historian then advances to a second epoch, 
regarding the mere outline, and the outline with internal strokes 
as one and the same, although I cannot but a^rec nith M. Le. 
vesque, in bis very ingenious essay on this subject, ( Meoi, de 
. I'lnstit. Nat. Lit. et B. Arts, 1.) that the farmer mu)l, for a long 
period, have preceded the latter. This second epoch of Pliny 
comprises the use of a single colour alone, and its style was, in 
consequence, denominated by the Greeks, Monochrotnaton, and is 
still retained, in modern limes, under the appellation of cammeo. 
For this improvement the Roman hisi^irian presents us with two 
competitors also, without deciding on the superiority uf their pre- 
tensions ; Philoclcs, whom he asserts to have been of Egypt, and 
Cleantbes of Corinth. This seems to have been a great improve- 
ment upon the style of stroke or linear drawing ; for although tha 
former may have been founded upon an observation of the eflects 
of light and shade, and an attempt to introduce such effects upon 
paper, yet, every attempt must, in the first instance, and by the 
use of strokes alone, have been harsh and inharmonious ; it must 
have wanted relief, and been incapable of exhibiting Ibe gradaal 


Pedle— Slid the neridkii age of App«;Uei, wIk>, fn the language 

of CicerOy conaummated this noble inTention—** jam perfecta^*^ 

said h<?, *^ mmt omnia.^* To draw a comparison between tbete 

and others of equal celebrity, and the painters of modern times, 

would be as invidioas as foreign to the plan I have prescribed to 

myself. It is enough to observe, that their excellence has been 

admitted, to its utmost extent^ by Raphael and Poussin | and we 

cannot err in applauding them after such antecedent panegyilcs. 

Upon the subjects of Grecian statuary and engraring, so nearly 

connected with painting, I have not space to enter. The perfec« 

tion of the former art may be fuily appreciated from the preciont 

reliques which have d' scended to our own days ; and that of the 

latter, from the description of the shields oi their heroes as pre. 

sented to us by their poets. Bnt I ou^ht not to forbear noticing, 

that amidst many other proofs of their ingenuity^ which are totally 

lost to us, b to be enumerated their mode of encaustic painting aa 

well in wax as on ivory. Of the inventors of these very cnrioua 

arts we know nothing. The style of painting in wax was in com* 

mon use at least as early as the age of Anacreon, who, as the 

friend of Polycrsites of Samos, must have flourished upwards of five 

hundred years anterior to the Christian «ra $ for he expressly men. 

tions it in several places, and particularly in Ode xxviii. in which 

he gives his direction to the painter, who was taking a likeness of 

his mistress. 

A^tsxtr BXncta yap avnt^v 
Ta;^^ Ktiptf Kou )^\y^vni. 

Enough — *tis she— her air, her cheek— 
O W Ax 1 thou Hoon wilt learn to speak. 

There was also another mode of employing wax in ship.painting, 
which was obviously inrented for the sake of duration, but which 
is equally lost to us. The little with we are acquainted of 
these difierent methods is preserved by Pliny in the following pas. 
sage, xi. 41: Encauslo pingendi duo fui^^se antiquitus genera 
constat, cerft et in ebore« cestro, id est, verrulo j donee classes 
pingi coDpere. Hoc tertmm adcessit, resolutis igni ceris penicello 
ntendi } qnsD pictnra in navibns nee sole nee sale, ventisque corrnm- 
pitnr. *^ There were formeriy two modes of painting in encaustic^ 
with wax, and on ivory, by the use of a cestram, or graver, till, at 
length, ships began In be painled, A third mode wai then hkm 

.* >• 

4 It 


*en(H), which consisted in employing a pencil brush with yrax d\». 
SOlTed OTPr a firu ; wliich prodnced a paiiillii^ for teskIi th:it nas 
Jitter injured by the sun, the s«B-ffHt«r, or the winda." The pas. 
lage h liy no means pprspicuouii ; and Fliny, who wa$ no painter 
Mmsplf, does not appear to have been in the secfel in ntheT case. 
All we can collect is, that every mode was alike encaustic, or cor. 
rosive by mean? of fire: that, in the two former, a OHlruoi or 
pointed graver was employed; and, in the Utter, a pen ciL brush. 
M. Leresquc observes, therefore, as Las been ohserTed alM by 
M, Scheffer, ((iraphice, par. IC.) that the painting upon irorj 
was less properly i painting than an engrariiig, the point of the 
graver being heated in the lire to a red Ileal— that the linac ir«re 
of one colour alone, and this a liliick or n lawny. I Jnww not, 
however, whit reaiioii these writers have for limiting Um encauBtic 
painting on ivory to any individual mlour : those in wax, most at. 
suredly comprehend every kind and combination of coloiir ; for, in 
the ode of Anacreoa above referred to, he makes express mention 
of black, white, blue, and red; and as the instruuentcaipiiiyed 
in both these modes was the same, as they were both fffifcted by a 
similar process of Gre, and as Pliny dues not inform tlitfuit theie 
was any diiferenc<: in the npplication of the inhtrument, we may ai 
readily supposi: that the encaustic on ivory admitted the iutrodiic- 
tiou of diltereut colours, as the encaustic in wax. M. I« Coii)|ite 
de Caylus imagined lie had rt'coven-d Ihu Greciaci mode of Hicaus. 
tic ship-painting a fi'W years ago; but his method, though inge- 
nious, is rather a new invention than a revival of that spoken of 

^AINTfirO IN OLASd.' 419 

bltek witb water coloars, tnd etching the draperies after the Bame 
manner on glasses of the colour of the object they designed to 
paint. For the carnation they used glass of a bright red colour ; 
and npon this they drew the principal lineaments of the face, &c. 
with black. At length, the taste for this sort of painting improTing 
considerably, and the art being found applicable to the adorning 
of churdbes^ palaces, &c» they found out means of incorporating 
the colours in the glass itself, by heating them in a fire to a proper 
degree, having first laid on the colours. A French painter at Mar. 
aeilles is said to have given the first notion of this improvement^ 
upon going to Rome under the pontificate of Julius II ; but Albert 
Durer and Lucas of Ley den were the first that carried it to any 

This art, however, has frequently met with much Interruptioo, 
and sometimes been almost totally lost ; of which Mr. Walpole 
gives the following account in his Anecdotes of Painting in Eng* 
land : ^^ The first interruption given to it was by the reformation^ 
which banished the art out of churches ; yet it was in some man» 
ner kept up in the escutcheons of the nobility and gentry in the 
windows of their seats. Towards the end of queen Elizabeth's 
reign, indeed, it was omitted even there ; yet the practice did not 
entirely cease. The chapel of our Lady at Warwick was oxusu 
mented anew by Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester and his countess, 
and the cipher of the glass. painter's name yet remains, with the 
date 1574 ; and in some of the chapels at Oxford, the art again 
appears, dating itself in 1622, by the hand of no contemptible 

^^ I could supply even this gap of 48 years by many dates on 
Flemish glass: but nobody ever supposed that the secret was lost 
so early as the reign of James I. ; and that it has not perished since 
will be evident from the following series, reaching to the present 

<< The portraits in the windows of the library at Mi Souls, Ox., 
ford. In the chapel at Queen's College there are twelve windows 
dated 1518. P.C. a cipher on the painted glass in the chapel at 
Warwick, 1674. The windows at Wadha:n-college ; the drawing 
pT^tty good, and the colours fine, by Bernard Van Linge, l6i3« 
In the chapel at Lincoln's Inn, a window, with the name Bernard, 
1623. This was probably the preceding Van Linge. In the 
church of St. Leonard, Shorcdttchy two windows by Baptist* 



Snilon, 1634. The windows in the chapel at Univenitr- college 
Henry Gilfa pinxit i687. At Christ (hurch, I»aac Olirer, a^ed 
84, 17CX). Window in Merton.chapel, William Price, 1700. 
Windows ai Qutfa's N<^w cotltpp and Maudlin, by Williani Price, 
the soil, now living, whose colours arp fine, whose ilrawing la g«od, 
and whose taiti^ in ornantpnls and Mosaic Js far ouperior to any 
oF his preileces^drii ; t a equal to the antiqae, to I he good Italian 
masters, and onlj surpassed b> his own singular modesty. 

'' It inay not be uiiwelcoiLie to llic curious reader lo tee some 
anecdotes of the revival of taste for painted glass in England, Price, 
as we have said, was the only pain'cr iu that stile for iiMny ypun 
in England. Afterwards one liowcll, a plumber at Rnfing, did 
some things, parricularly for the late Hrnry Earl of Pembroke ; 
but Rowi ll's colonrs soon ranihhed. At last be found oal a rery 
durabi-' and beautiful r>>d ; but he died in a year or two, «nd tha 
tecret with him. A man at Birmingham be^an the same art in I7SI) 
or 1757, and fitted ap ft window for Lord Lyttli^ton in thfl church 
of llagley, but soon brok.'. A little after him, one Peckittftt Ywh 
began the same business, and has made good proficiency. A few 
lovers of that art collected some dispersed panes from tDcienI 
buildings, particularly the late LordCohham, who erected a gothic 
temple at Slowe, and filled it with arms of the old nobility, Ac. 
About the year 1733, one Asciotti, an Italian, who had married 
a Flemish woman, brought a parcel of painted glass from Ftandera, 
and sold it for a few guineas to the Hon. Mr. Baiemao, of Old 
Windsor. Upon that I Sfut Asciotti auain lo Flanders, who 


For black, take 8cal«!8 of iron^ one oance^ scales of copper, ono 
ouncu ; j^t^ half an ounce ; red ace them to powder, and mix them. 
For blue, take powder of blue, one pound ; nitre, half a pound j 
mix them and grind them well together. For carnation, take red 
chalk, eight ounces ; iron scales, and litharge of sUver, of each two 
ounces ; gum-arabic, half an ounce ; dissoWe in water, grind alto- 
gether for half an hour as stiflf as you can ; then put it in a glass and 
stir it well, and let it stand to settle fourteen dajs. For green, 
take red lead, one pound ; scales of copper, one pound ; and flint, 
five pounds ; diride them into three parts, and add to them as roudi 
nitre ; put them into a crucible, and melt them with a strong fire; 
and when it b cold» powder it, and grind it on a porphyry. For 
gold colour, takasiWer, an ounce ; antimony, half an ounce ; melt 
them in a crucible ; then pound the mass to powder, and grind it 
on a copper plate ; add to It yellow ochre, or brick-dost calcined 
again, fifteen ounces ; and grind them well together with water. 
For purple, take miniam, one pound ; brown stone, one pound ; 
white flint, five pounds ; divide them into three parts, and add to 
them as much nitre as one of the parts ; calcine, melt, and grind it 
U yon did the green. For red, take jet, four ounces ; litharge of 
silver, two ounces ; red chalk one ounce; powder them fine, and 
mix them. For white, take jet, two parts ; white flint, ground on 
a glass very fine, one part ; mix them. For yellow, take Spanish 
brown, ten parts ; leaf-silrer, one part ; antimony, half a part; put 
all into a crucible, and calcine them well. 

In all the windows of ancient churches, &c. there are to be seea 
the most beantifnl and ? ivid colours imaginable, which far exceed 
any of those used by the moderns, not so much because the secret 
of making those colours is entirely lost, as that the moderns will 
not go to the charge of tliem, nor be at the necessary pains, bj 
reason that this sort of painting is not now so much in esteem at 
formerly. Those beautiful works, which were made in the glass, 
liooses, were of two kinds. 

In some^ the coknir was diffused through the whole substanet 
of the glass* In others wliich were far the most common, Urn 
colonr was only on one side, scarce penetrating within the substanet 
above one.third of a line ; though diis was more or less according 
to the nature of the colour, the yellow being always found to enter 
the deepest These last, though not so strong and beantiftil as the 
foffOMry were of more ftdvantage to the worknen, bjr reteon thU 


on tlie same gla&t*, 1hou°h alreiuly coloured, they could sliew olhei 
kinds of colours wheru (iicre was occasion to (rmbroider drapprii'S^ 

enrich thorn wilh roliogcs 

siUer, Sec. 

■ represent other ornaments of gold, 

In order la this, they i 
down the surface of the pli 
the colour lo the clear gli 

colours on the olhev side of the glass. By tbi 
colours were hindered from ninning and mixir 

)p use of emery, grinding or wearing 

till such time as they Here got tbrougli 

This done, they applied Hw proper 

pans, the new 

Ii the former, 

when they exposed the glasses to the lire, as will appear hcreafrer. 
When indeed the ornaments were to appear ivhile, the glass was 
only bared of its colour with emery, without tinging the phce wilh 
any colour at all ; and this was the manner by which tliey wrought 
their lights and heightening* on all kinds of colour. 

The first thing to be done, in order to paint or stain glass in the 
modem way, is to design, and even colour the whole subject ou 
paper. Then they choose such pieces of glass as are clear, eren, 
end smoolh, and proper to receive the several parts ; and proceed 
to distribute the design itself, or the paper it is drawn on, into 
pieces suitable to those of the glass, always taking care that the 
glasses may join ill the contours of the figtires, and the fold* of the 
draperies ; that the carnations and other Aner p;irts may not be 
impaired by the lead wilh which the pieces are to be joiueJ together. 
The dUtribulion being made, they mark all the glasses as well as 
papers, that they may be known again : which done, applying 
ilLoflliL ''-?:?k'.i Vi'?\i nn:.J.iss irduuled for il,_they_ 

PAlMTlMG \n I^LASS* 4I7 

A>r the greater secarity, to apply them on the other side ; especially 
yellow, which is tery pernicious to the other colours, by blending 
therewith. And here to, as in pieces of black and white, parti- 
cular regard must always be had not to lay colour on colour, or 
put on a new lay, till such time as the former is well dried. 

When the painting of all the pieces is finished, they are carried 
to the furnace to anneal or bake the colours. 

Having often been delighied with the grand effect produced by 
the windows of stained glass in old churches and monasteries, we 
have regretted that such fine and durable colouring should, in so 
many cases, have been prostituted upon wretched designs inferior 
to the productions of our sign post daubers* We have wished that 
some mode could be devised of copying and multiplying pictures 
upon glass — some mechanical mode, which should require the aid 
of the artist in the first instance only, and leave all the subsequent 
operations to be performed by inferior hands, as in the case of 
copper-plate printing. Portraits at least, on a single piece of glass 
which should perpetuate the features of great men and beautiful 
women, secure from that decay of colour and of canvas which has 
already begun to obliterate the finest paintings of the greatest art* 
ists whom the world has ever produced, might possibly be produced 
in the following way. 

Suppose, after the outline of a likeness is drawn, that blocks 
were cut from it after the same manner as for callicoes, or paper- 
hangings, onl)( with superior nicety, and in greater number for the 
purpose of multiplying and better blending the tints. 

Enamellers must determine what shall be the proper substances 
for the different colours, and with what liquid they shall be mois- 
tened, that they may be readily taken up by the blocks, and thence 
transferred to another body by pressure. 

From these blocks, and with these colours, let the figure be 
printed on paper : and, to prevent inaccuracy in bringing the se* 
parate parts^ cut on the difierent blocks, to unite into a complete 
whole, let the paper^ placed under a frame secured in an im- 
moveable position during the operation. The blocks being accu- 
rately squared, all exactly of the same dimensions, and each nicely 
fitting the frame, cannot, in parsing through it to deliver their se« 
veral impressions, make the smallest deviation from their intended 
places, but must produce an exact picture — at least on the paper. 

To transfer that impression to glass, is, indeed, a work of nicety 
▼OL. rr. 9 B 



and diflicult;. Wf to it not for some smaller strokes irblch must 
necessarily be in wood, the entire impTession might in the oulstt 
be made on the gU-s iUe\f, tiithoat aoy iiiterTeiilion oF paper ; 
since experience has proTi'd to the call Co- printer!, that the great 
iiiiisses of colour cminot be successfully deiivered from wood ; 
wherefurc thty ate obliged. Id thoHe parts of their pattns*, lo use 
bils of smooth woni-uuC beafer-hat, which might rerf nell be 
pressed on the glass.plate. 

However, from whit we every Any see elTecteil in (he CMC of 
prints afhicil to gXjAa witliuut any of the paper remaining, tod ftlao 
of copper.plite embellishtiientg upon porcelain and queen's ware, 
we doubt nut thut tlie picture, while frcsli, m.iy, by weUmiuged 
pressure, be Iranjferred from the paper to an even plate Aground 
glass coaled with a proper gluten uhich shall not, at leiit not ma. 
terially, olTuscalt^ its transparency ; and experiment must dttermiae 
whether the paper may aftfrwaid be gently drawn or peded fl^or 
must be burned away, or destroyed by a cortosiie liquid, If Wty 
such can be fuuud which will uut injure the colours. 

Suppose, however, the operation of removing the paper lo be 
satiBfaclority performed, proceed we now to secure the indelibility 
of the picture. 

Let a square plate of cast. iron, an inch or two in thickness, and 
M Icrel and smooth as possible, be furnished on every lide with a 
metal ledge rifling an inch or more in height, which ought to be in 
two separate pieces, the one permanently fastened lo the pUle, the 
other capable of being remoted nt pleasure, for tlie purpose of lay- 



snuffboxes, Stuis^ &c. &c. will not conceWe much difficiilty in this 
use of the glass. It may be managed by tho aid of a machine some- 
what similar to, but more powerful than, a common printing press, 
with a solid metal platine, to fit and fill the frame, as above ; though 
much better contrivances may be found among tho multifarious en- 
gines employed at Birmingham for the purposes of coining, and 
striking the heavy dies, than any we can possibly suggest. la 
whatever manner the two glasses may be pressed into union, the 
united body may be afterward ground ami polished. 

[Pantologia, fValpoie. 



The delicate and beautiful art of enamelling consists in the 
application of a smooth coating of vitrified matter (transparent or 
opaque, and with or without colour, figures and other ornaments), 
to a bright polished metallic substance. It is, therefore, a kind of 
varnish made uf glass, and melted upon the substance to which it 
is applied, and affording a fine uniform ground for an infinite vari. 
ety of ornaments which are also fixed on by heat. 

The general principles on which enamelling is founded, are on 
the whole very simple, but, perhaps, there is none of ail the che- 
mico-mechanical arts which requires, for the finer parts, a greater 
degree of practical skill and dexterity, and of patient and accurate 
attention to minute pro^:osaes. 

The concealment observed by those who profess this art, is pro- 
portioned to the difficulty of acquiring it ; the general chemist 
must, therefore, content himself with the general principles of 
enamelling, and the detail of those particulars that are commonly 

Though the term enamelling is usually confined to the ornamen. 
tal glazing of metallic^surfaces, it strictly applies to the gl izing of 
pottery or porcelain, the difference bein^ only that in th<^ latter the 
surface is of baked clay. With regard to the composition of co- 
loured enamels (which are all tinged by different metallic oxyds; a 
very general account of the substances used will suffice In this 
place, the rest of the subject having been treated of in the 
article of coloured glass. The enamelling on metals, therefore, will 
only be noticed in this place. The only metals that are enamelled, 

2 fi 2 


are gold and copper ; and with the latter tha opaque enarot 
oalf uHei). Wbrrc the enamel U transparent and coIoutci 
meUl cliusou should bo of that kind, as not only to bsve id 
face unalterable when fully red hot, but nlso to be in no d 
chemically altered by the close contact of melted glaM, coi 
ing an abundance of sotnf kind of metallic oiyd. Thii ii the 
reason why coloured enamelling on silver ia impracticable, tl 
(he brilliance of lis eurfoco ii not impairtd by mere heat, for 1 
example) an enamel mide yellow with oxyd of lead, or anti 
19 laid on the surface of bright silver, and kept melfed on it 
certain time, the silver and the enamel act on each other so pi 
full]', that the colour soon changes from a yellow to an or 
and lastly to a dirty olire. Copper is equally altered by tt 
loured anamels, so that gold is the only metal which can ber 
long contact of the coloured glasses at n full red heat, w 
being altered by them. 

The simplest kind of enamel is that fine white opo^ne 
which is applied to the dial plate of watches. The procen a 
ing it on (which may serve as a general example of the art) 

A piece of thin copper iheet, hammered of the requiellt 
TCXity, is first accurately cut out, a hole drilled in the midc 
the axis of the hands, and both the surfaces made perfectly I 
with a scratch brush. 

A small rim is then made round the circumference, iritis 
brass band risinit n little above the level, and a similar rlofl 


enamel is only aboot half the thickness on the concave as on the 
convex side. For flat plates, the thickness is the same on both 

The plate, covered with the moist enamel powder, is warmed 
and thoroughlj dried, then gently set upon a thin earthen ring, 
that supports it only by touching the outer rim, and put gradually 
into the red hot muffle of the enameller's furnace. This furnace 
if constructed somewhat like the assay furnace, but the upper part 
alone of the muffle is much heated, and some peculiarities are ob. 
served in the construction, to enable the artist to govern the fire 
more accurately. 

The precise degree of fire to be given here as in all enamelling, 
b that at which the particles of the enamel run together into an 
uniform pasty consistence, and eitend themselves evenly over the 
surface, shewing a fine polished face, carefully avoiding on the 
other hand so great a heat as would endanger the melting of the 
thin metallic plate. When the enamel is thus seen to sweat down, 
as it were, to an uniform glossy glaaing, the piece it gradually 
withdrawn and cooled, otherwise it would fly by the action of the 
cold air. 

A second coating of enamel is then laid on and fired as before, 
but this time the finest powder of enamel is taken, or that which 
remains suspended in the washings. It is then ready to receive the 
figures and division marks, which are made of a black enamel, 
ground in an agate mortar, with much labour, to a most impalpable 
powder, worked up on a pallet with oil of lavender^ or spike, and 
laid on with an extremely fine hair brush. The plate is then stored 
to evaporate the essential oil, and the figure burnt in as before. 
The polishing with tripoli, and minuter parts of the process, need 
not be here mentioned. 

If the enamel be chipped off a dial plate (which may be done 
with the utmost ease, by bending it backwards and forwards, at 
the adhesion between the metal and glazing is t ery slight) the part 
immediately in contact with the copper will be found deeply and 
nearly uniformly browned, which shews how unfit copper alone 
would be for the transparent enamels. 

The regulation of the fire appears to be the most difficult of all 
the parts of this nice process, particnlarly in the fine enamelling 
of gold for ornamental purposes, of designs, miniatures, and the 
like, where three, fonr, or sometimes five separate firings are re* 

^ s S 


quired. If the beat is too low, the enamel does not spread and 
vitrify as it ought; if too high, it iray be enough to melt the metal 
itself, whose fusing point is but a small step above that of the ena- 
mel, or else (what is an equal mortification to the artist) the deli- 
cate tigures, laid on with so much care and judgement, meltdown 
in a moment, and the piece exhibits only a confused assemblage of 
lines, and fragments of designs. 

The exact composition of the opaque white enamel, is a matter 
of considerable importance, and is procured by the enamellers 
from persons whose business it is to prepare it. A good enamel 
of this kind, fit to be applied to porcelain and metals, should be of 
a Tory clear fine white, so nearly opaque, as only to be translucent 
at the edges ; and at a moderate red heat it should run into that 
kind of paste, or imperfect fusion which allows it to extend itself 
freely and uniformly, and to acquire a glossy even surface, without, 
however, fully melting into a thin glass, i he opaque white of this 
enarot'l is given by the oxyd of tin, which possesses, even in a 
small proportion, the property of rendering vitrescent mixtures 
white and opaque^ or in still less proportion, milky ; and when 
otherwise coloured, opalescent. The oxyd of tin is always mixed 
with three or four times its quantity of oxyd of lead ; and it ap. 
pears necessary that the metals should be previously mixed by 
melting, and the alloy then calcined. The following are the direc- 
tions given by Clouet for the composition of this enamel. Mix 
100 parts of pure lead with from 20 to 25 of the best tin, and 
bring them to a low red heat in an open vessel. The mixture then 
burns nearly as rapidly as charcoal, and oxidates very fast. Skim 
off the crusts of oxyd, successively formed, till the whole is tho- 
roughly calcined. It is better then to mix all (he skimmings, and 
a^ain heat as before, till no flame arisrs from them, and the whole 
is of an uniform grey colour. Take 100 parts of this oxyd, lOO 
of sand, and 25 or 30 of common salt, and melt the whole in a 
moderate heat* This gives a greyish mass, often porous and appa- 
rently imperfect, but which, however, runs to a good enamel when 
afterwards heated. This is the enamel used for porcelain, but for 
metals and finer works the sand is previously calcined in a very 
strong heat with a fourth of its weight, or, if a more fusible com- 
pound is wanted, as much of the oxyd of tin and lead as of salt is 
taken, and the whole melted to a white porous mass. This is then 
employed instead of the rough sand as in the above-mentioned pro. 


cess. The abore proportions, howeyer^ are not inrariable, for if 
more fusibility is wanted, the dose of oxyd is increased, and that 
of the sand diminished, the quantity of common salt remaining the 
same. The sand employed in this process, according to Mr. Clouet, 
is not the common sort, howerer fine, but a micaceous sand, in 
which the mica forms about one.fourth of the mixture. 

Neri^ in his valuable treatise on glass*making, has given long 
ago the following proportions for the common material of all the 
opaque enamels, which Runckel and other practical chemists have 
confirmed. Calcine 30 parts of lead, with 33 of tin, with the 
precautions mentioned above. Take of this calcined mixed oxyd 
50 pounds, and as much of powdered flints (prepared by being 
thrown into water when red hot, and then ground to powder), and 
eight ounces of salt of tartar ; melt the mixture in a strong fire 
kept up for ten hours, after which reduce the mass to powder. 
This is the common material for the opaque enamels, and is of a 
grey white. To make this fine enamel quite whito, mix six pounds 
of this material with 48 grains of the best black oxyd of manga- 
nese, and melt in a clear fire. When fully fused, throw it into 
cold water, then re.melt and cool as before two or three times, till 
the enamel is quite white and fine. Konckel observes on this pro- 
cess, that he tried it without the oxyd of manganese, but the ena* 
mel, instead of being milk white, was blueish and not good, so 
that there is no doubt but that this oxyd is highly important. If 
too much is used, the enamel becomes of a rose purple. For far- 
ther observations on this subject, see the article Glass. Colour- 
ed enamels are composed of a common basis, which is a fusible 
mixture of vitrifiable materials, and of some metallic oxyd. In 
general, the coloured enamels are required to be transparent, 
in which case, the basts is a kind of glass, composed of borax, 
sand, and oxyd of lead, or other vitrescent mixtures, in which 
the proportion of saline or metallic flux is more or less accord- 
ing to the degree of heat that the colouring oxyd will bear with- 
out decomposition. When the coloure^l enamej is to be opaque, 
or opalescent, a certain portion of the white opaque enamel, 
or of the oxyd of tin, is added to the mixture. The most beau- 
tiful and costly colour known in enamelling, is an exquisitely fine 
rich red, with a purplish tinge, given by the salts and oxyds 
of gold, especially tjie purple precipitate^ formed by tin in od9 




nd also by the fnlminsU 
s much Bkill )r ibe artist 

wa mMt perfect, it 

111 aftenrtrda r 

ilours wiU D 

form or other, and nilro mumtof gold, 
ing pold. This btHulKul colojr rpquiies 
to be fully ouT It h ttt\d, thot 
shouW coini' from ihe fire quite colourU-si, 
its colour by the flaoie uf a candle. Gold 
violent firp. 

Oth^r and common r«ds are given by the oiyd ot irgo, but this 
requires the tDiK^ureof alumiup, or Bome other substance refrac- 
tory ill the fire, olheririse at a full red heat the colour will dc^eoe- 
rate into black. 

Yelloiv is g'\wea either by the oxyd of silver alonej or by the 
oxydn of lead and antimony, with similar mixtures to those re- 
quired for iron. The silver is as tender a colour as gold* Kod rea- 
dily injurL-d or lost in a high heat. 

Green is given by the oxyd uf copper, or it may also be pro. 
curi'd hy a miilure of blue and yellow colours. 

blue U given by cobalt ? and this ticeuis of all enamel colours 
the must cerluiii, and easily manogeubles. 

Black is produced by a mixture of cobalt and maDgaaoM. 

The reader nay cuncHve huiv much the dilTicuItieioC this nice 
art are increased, when the object is not mt-nly to lay as noirorm 
coloured glaring on a metallic lurfaie, but also to ptiat that sur- 
face vt'nh figures end other designs, that require eitreae delicacy 
of outline, accuracy of shading, and selection of colouriog. The 
enamel painter ha^ to work, not with actual colours, but with 
mixtures, which lie oiily knows from experience will produce cer> 


metallic oiyds, melted with tome Titrescent miiture, aod ground 
to extreme finoDess. These are worked up with an essential oil 
(rhtt of spike is preferred, and next to it oil of lavender) to (he 
proper consistence of oil colours, and are laid on nith a very fino 
hair brush. The essential oil should he rery pure, and the use of 
this, rather than any fixed oil, is probably that the whole may era. 
porate completely in a moderate heat, and leave no curbonaceoni 
matter in contact with the colour when red hot, which might affect 
its degree of oxidation, and thence the shade of colour which it is 
intended to produce. As the colour of some vitrified metallic 
exyds (such as that of gold) will stand only at a very moderate 
heat, whilst others will bear, and even require, a higher tempera, 
ture to be properly fixed, it forms a great part of the technical 
skill of the artist to supply the diiferent colours in proper order; 
fixing first those shades which are produced by the colours that 
will endure the highest heat, and finishing with those that demand 
the least heat. The outline of the design is first traced on the eoa* 
mel, ground and burnt in ; after which, the parts are filled upgra* 
dually with repeated burnings, to the last and finest touches of the 
tenderest enamel. 

Transparent enamels are scarcely ever laid upon any other me* 
tal than gold, on account of the discoloration produced by other 
metals, as already explained. If, however, copper b the metal 
used, it is first covered with a thin enamel coating, over which gold 
leaf is laid and burnt in, so that, in fact, it is still this metal that if 
the basis of the ornamental enamel. Wi:h regard to the vast nnnu 
ber of important minutiae in the selection and order of applying 
the colours, the management of the fire, &c. Sec, almost the whole 
of what is known on this subject is confined to the practical artist| 
nor could this knowledge, if obtained, interest the general reader, 

IPantolog. Clouet. Kunckel. 


Encaustic painting. 

We have already observed* that this is an art upon which the 
ancients highly prided themselves ; invented to ^x by fire the co- 
lours made use of by the artist, who employed wax to give them % 
gloss, and preserve them from being injured by the air* 

* 8cclioii 1 , of the preieot QiapCer. 


This ancient art, after hoiing been long lost, was mtorf d bjr 
count Caylu?, a niPmber of the Academy uf ln?fiiptions in Franre ; 
and tVip mtltiodof pDiiiiing in wax waa announced to ihe AcnJcDiy of 
PainliT'g ami ReMen L>(ti^r3, in (he year L7A3 ; ihongh M. Bachc- 
lier, thi' author tif a treatise De I'Hislolro Sc du Secret it In Pein- 
tureen (.in-, had actually pai'iled a ptcturi- in wax iu 1749 ; ant] 
lie was the 6r?t uiio coirmunicalcd to th<> public the melhuil of 
performing the rppratinn of inustion, which is thp prtncipal cha- 
racteristic of the i-iirnuMic pa)DtiD|r. The count kept lili method 
a lerri't for some time, contenting himself with exhibiting » pIclHre 
«t the Louvre in 1754, n presenting the head of Minem, painted 
in the manner of (he anctenis, which excited the curioMjr of the 
puhlic and was very mncli admired. In the inlTTal of Dispense, 
seTcrnl nlleniptn were made to recover the ancient method of paint. 
ing. The 6rst scheme adopted was thul of melting wax and oil of 
tnrpentine together, and using Ihis composition as a vehicle for 
raising and laying on the colours. But this metliod did not ti. 
plain Pliny's meaning, as thp wax is not burnt in this w»y of ma- 
nning il. In another attempt, which was much more itgrecablf 
Id the historian's description of encaustic jMinlin^', tlie wax was 
melted with strong lixivium of Hit of tartar, and with this the go. 
lours were ground. When the picture vaS finished, it «as gra. 
dually presented lo the fire, so as to milt the wax ; which was thus 
diffused throiifili all the particlps of (he colours, so that they were 
fixed to the ground, and secured from the access of air or moisture. 
Unt 'he nuthod of count Caylus is mnch more simple; the cloth 


. on cloth, he directs it to be prepared by stretching it on a frame 
and robbing one side several times over with a piece of bees-wax, 
or Tirgin-wax, till it iscovcred with a coat of wax of considerable 
thickness. In fine linen this is the only operation necessary pre- 
jiovL> to painting; bat coarse cloth must be rubbed gently on the 
unwaxed side with a pumice stone, to tnke oif all those knots which 
would prevent the free and accurate working of the [)encil. Then 
the subject is to be painted on the unwaxed side with colours pre- 
pared and tempered with water ; and when the picture is finished 
it must be brought nt-ar the tire, that the wax may melt and (ix the 
colours. This m^'thod, however, con only be applied to cloth or 
paper, through the substance of which the wax may pass ; but in 
wood, stone, metals or plaster, the former method of count Caylus 
must be observed. 

Mr. Muntz has also discovered a method of forming grounds for 
painting with crayons, and fixm/ these, as well as^ water-colours, 
employed with the pencil. On the unwaxed side of a linen cloth, 
stretched and waxed as before, lay an even and thick coat of the 
colour proper for the ground ; having prepared this colour by mix- 
ing Sonne proper pigment with an equal quantity of chalk, and tem- 
pering them with water. When the colour is dry, bring the pic- 

. ture to the fire that the wax may melt, pass through the cloth, and 
fix the ground. An additional quantity of wax may be applied to 
the back of the picture, if that which was first rubbed on should 
not ho sufficient for the body of colour ; but as this must be laid 
on without heat, the wax should be dissolved in oil of turpentine, 
and applied with a brush, and the canvas be again exposed to the 
fire, that the fresh supply of wax may pass through the cloth, and 
be absorbed by the colour ; and thus a firm and good body will be 
formed for working on with the crayons. If cloth and paper are 
joined together, the cloth must be first fixed to the straining frame, 
aud then the paper must be pasted to it with a composition of paste 
made with wheaten flour, or starch, and water, and about a twelfth 
part of its weight of common turpentine. The turpentine must be 
added to the paste when it is almost sufficiently boiled, and the 
composition well stirred, and left to simmer over the fire for hje 
or six minutes ; let wax be dissolved in oil of turpentine to the 
consistence of a thin paste ; and when the cloth and paper are dry, 
let them be held near a fire ; and with a brush lay a coat of the 
wax and turpentine on both sides of the joined cloth and paper, im 


tuch I. degree of thickness, that bulh surfaces may shine (hrough- 
out without :\ny appnarauue of duU spots. Thi'n expme the cloth 
to Ihe lir« or to the son ; by which means the oil irill eTapornie, 
and the wax become solid, and lie fit (u receive any composition of 
colour proper for a ground, \fliicli i< to be laid on ai alMve di- 
rected in thi' case of clolh withuut pn|)pr> 

Almost all Iht culours (hat arc sled in oil.painling mugr br also 
applied in the eiicauslk melhod, Mr. Munia ohj^rta, indeed, to 
brown Mghl pink, and uiiburnt terra di Sienna; became thett-, on 
account of Iheir gummy or stony tflture, will not admit inch a 
cohesion with the wax as will properly lu them ; but other colonrs 
which cannot be admitted in oil-painting, as red lead, red orpi. 
ment, crystals of verdigris, and red precipitate of mercBry, in»]r 
be used hi're. 'I'he crayons u^ed in encitiiatk (laintlBg are the 
tame with those used in the mmmon way ui' crayon painting, ex. 
cepling those that in (hair cuoipoisiliun are too teuaciuus ; and the 
method of using them is the same in both cases. 

The encaustic painting has many peculiar adrantagei ; thougb 
the coioiirt bnve nut the natural varnish or shining which they ac- 
qnire with oil, they have all the strength of painlingi iu oil, and 
all the airiness of ualer-roloiirs, without partuking of the ap[MU<eat 
character or defects of eillitr ; they may be looked at is any Ught 
and in any situation, without any fidee glare ; the coloun are firm, 
and will bear washing; and a picture, ufter having; been smoked, 
and then exposed to the dew, becomes as ilean us if it had been 
but just painted. It may alno be retouched at pleasure, without 


disBolred or corroded by any chemical menstirm ; nor, like the 
glassy colours of enamel^ to run out of the drawing on the fire« 
This method is described in the second part of the xlixth volume of 
the Philosophical Transactions, No. 100. Yet, notwithstanding 
the ingenuity of this communication, we find the ancient or soma 
similar method of painting in wax remained a desideratum upwards 
of twenty-five years; and till, in 1787, a method was communi. 
cated to the Society of Arts by Miss Greenland. The ground of 
her information she received at Florence, through the acquaintance 
of an amateur of painting, who procured her the satisfaction of 
seeing some paintings in the ancient Grecian st)rle, executed by sig. 
nora Parent!, a professor of that place, who had been instructed by 
a Jesuit at Pavia, the person who made the farthest discoveries in 
that art. Miss Greenland's friend, knowing she was fond of paints 
ing, informed her what were the materials the paintress used, but 
could not tell her the proportions of the composition ; however, 
from her anxiety to succeed in such an acquisition, she made ya. 
rious experiments, and at last obtained such a sufficient knowledge 
of the quantities of the different ingredients as to begin and finish 
a picture, which she afterwards presented to the society for their 

Her method is as follows : ^' Take an ounce of white wax, and 
the same weight of gum mastich powdered. Put the wax in a 
glazed earthen vessel over a very slow fire ; and when it is quite 
dissolved, strew in the mastich, a little at a time, stirring the wax 
continually until the whole quantity of gum is perfectly melted and 
incorporated : then throw the paste into coUl water, and when it 
is hard, take it out of the water, wipe it dry, and beat it in one of 
Mr. Wedgewood's mortars, observing to pound it at first in a linen 
cloth to absorb some drops of water that will remain in the paste, 
and would prevent the possibility of reducing it to a powder, which 
must be so fine as to pass through a thick gauze. It should be 
pounded in a cold place, and but a little while at a time, as after 
long beating the friction will in a degree soften the wax and gum, 
and instead of their becoming a powder they will return to a paste. 

'* Make strong gum arable water, and when you paint, take a 
little of the powder, some colour, and mix them together with the 
gum water. Light colours require but a small quantity of the 
powder, but more of it must be put iu proportion to the body and 



darkDMiof the colours ; aud to bUcktbere should be almost m 
macb of the powder u colour. 

" Having mixed the colours aod no mate than can be lued before 
thfy ^row dry, paint with fair water, bs is prctdised in painting 
with natiT rolnuts, a ground on the wood beinK first painted of 
Eome proper colour pr' pared in the same manner ai b dc»crih«d 
for the iiicture ; nalnut-tree and oak aie the surts o[ wood com- 
monly made vif of in Italy for this purpose. The paisting should 
be very highly finished; otherwise, when varnished, the ttnta will 
not appear united. 

'* When the painting is quite dry, with rather a hard brush, pas. 
ting it one way, varnish it with white iraz, which is pot into an 
earthen vtm-l, and kept m-lted over a yery slow fire till the pic- 
ture is varnished, taking great care that the wax does not boil. 
AflprwaTds hold the | icture before a Gre, near enough te melt the 
wii:, but not to make it run ; and when the varnish ia Mtlkcly 
cold and hnrd, ruli it gently with a linen cloth. Should Un TBt. 
ni»h blister, warm the picture again very slowly, and tbe bubbles 
will subside. When the picture is dirty, it need only be waiihed 
with cold water.'' 

The opinion given by the society upon the above is. The me- 
thod made use of by Miss Greenland provides againl all inconve- 
iiiencies ; and the brilliancy of the colours in the picture painted 
by her, and e\ldbited to the society, fully justifies the opIoJoa, that 
the art of pninling in wax, as above described, highly merited |]|p 
reward of a ^-old pallet voted to her on 


and the gum-waCer and mastich are quite boiling, without taking 
them off the fire, add life ounces of white wax, broken into small 
pieces, stirring and beating the difFerent ingredients to .ether, till 
the wax is perfectly melted tnd has boiled. Then takp the com* 
position off the fire, as boilini; it lonsrer than necessary would only 
harden the wax, and prevent its mixing so wfll afterwards with 
water. When the composition is taken off the fire, and in the 
glazed earthen vessel, it should be beaten hard, and whilst hot 
(but not boiling) mix with it by degrees a pint (wine measure) or 
sixteen ounces more of cold spring water, then strain the compost* 
tion, as some dirt will boil out of the gum.mastich, and put it into 
bottles : the composition, if properly made, should be like a cream, 
and the colours when mixed with it as smooth as with oil. The 
method of using it is to mix with the composition, upon an earthea 
palette, such colours in powder as are used in painting with oil, 
and such a quantity of the composition to be mixed with the co- 
lours as to render them of the usual consistency of oil colours ; 
then paint with fair water. The colours when mixed with the 
composition may be laid on either thick or thin, as may best suit 
your subject, on which account, this composition is very advanta- 
geous, where any particular transparency of colouring is required, 
but in most cases it answers best, if the colours be laid on thick, 
and they require the same use of the brush as if painting with body 
colours, and the same brushes as used in oil painting. The co* 
lours, if grown dry, when mixed, with the composition, maybe 
used by putting a little fair water over them ; but it is less trouble 
to put some water when the colours are observed to be growing 
dry. In painting with this connposition the colours blend without 
difficulty when wet, and even when dry the tints may easily be 
united by means of a brush and a very small quantity of fair 
water. When the painting is finished, put some white wax into 
a glazed earthen vessel over a slow fire, and when melted, but not 
boiling, with a hard brush cover the painting with the wax ; and 
when cold take a moderately hot iron, such as is used for ironing 
linen, and so cold at not to hiss if touched with any thing wet, and 
draw it lightly over the wax. The painting will appear as if under 
a cloud till the was is perfectly cold, as also whatever the picture 
18 painted upon is quite cold : but if, when So, the painting should 
not appear sufficiently clear, it may be held before the fire, so 
far from it as to melt the wax but slowj ; or the wax may be 



ineltpd by holding u liot |ioker at such a dlstaqce as Iff tnell U 
gentlj, especiiiliy such jvirts of the picture as shuiild act appear 
tuRiciently (raiispiniit or brilliant ; for the oftcDi-r h«tl is applied 
to the picture, the greaKr will b» the transparency and brilliancy 
of coloorint ; but the contrary pflect would be prt>duB9ilif too 
sudden ur too erf's! a r1c;;ree uf h<'at was applied, or Gh ton long 
B timet as it would ilraw the wax too miicli lo the (M&cf, aiul 
might UkcwiM crack the paiut. Should the of way put ovtr 
(he painting when liiii»h<?J appear in any part uneTBiif it41t)< I>^ 
remedied tiy drawing a modei^alrty hot iron over it agaUt n before 
mentioned, or even by scraping the wax xilh a knife : and iriiauld 
the wax by too great or too long an appliialion of beat fnin into 
bubbles at particular places, by applying a poker heated^ oi even 
a tobacco.pipe made hot, the bubbles would subside ; or anch d«_ 
fects may Ik remoTsd by drawing any thing hard over the wai, 
which would close any small cavities. 
. " When the picture is cold, rub it with a line linen cloLb, Paint- 
ings may be ejcocnled in this manner upon wood (having fint places 
of wood let in liehind, acruH the grain of the wood, to flppent its 
warpiag) canvas, card, or plaster uT Paris. The plastfr of Paris 
would require do olh«r prcjiaratiun than mixing some fioft plotter 
of Paris in powder with cold wnter the Ihicknc^ii ol a titetm i thtrn 
put it on a looking-glass, having first mad<: a Trame of bMUW^K 
OD a looking-glass tlie form and liiickne>s you uould ttidt tile 
plaster of Paris tu lie of, and when dry take it oil', and there will 
be a very innooth surrace lo paint upon. Wood and CMitas Arc 

following manner. Take twelve ounces, or three quarters of a 
pint, wine measure, of cold spring water, and four ounces and a 
half of gum-arabic ; put them into a glazed earthen vessel, and 
when the gum is dissolved, add eight ounces of white wax. Put 
the earthen vessel with the ghm->^ater and wax upon a slow fire^ 
and stir them till the wax is dissolved and has boiled a few mi* 
nutes : then take them off the fire and throw them into a bason, 
as by remaining in the hot earthen vessel the wax would become 
rather hard ; beat the gum. water and wax till quite cold. As there 
is but a small proportion of water in comparison to the quantity of 
gum and wax, it would be necessary in mixing this composition 
with the colours, to put also some fair water. Should the compo. 
sitton be so made as to occasion the ingredients to separate in the 
bottle, it will become equally serviceable if shaken before used to 
mix with the colours. 

^^ I had lately an opportunity of discovering that the composi* 
tion which had remained in a bottle since the year 1792, in which 
time it had grown dry and become as solid a substance as wax, re« 
turned to a cream-like consistence, and became again in as proper 
a state to mix with colours as when it was first made, by putting a 
little cold water upon it, and suffering it to remain on a short 
time. I also lately found some of the mixture composed of only 
gum-arabic water and gum-mastich, of which I sent a specimen to 
the Society of Arts in 1792 ; it was become dry, and had much 
the appearance and consistency of horn. I found, on letting some 
cold water remain over it, that it became as fit for painting with 
as when the composition was first prepared." 

[Cai/lus, Mantz. Pantolog, Transactions of the Societif 
of Arts, Conimtrcey and Manufactures, 


Painting of Paper Hangings, 

Thbrb are three methods of effecting this. The first by print* 
ing on the colours ; the second by using the stencil ; and the third 
by laying them on with a pencil, as in other kinds of painting. 
When (he colours arc laid on by printing, the impression is made 
by wooden prints, which are cut in such a manner that the figure 
to be expressed is made to project from the surface by cutting away 

VOL. VI. 2 F " 



iill tli« other part ; aiii! lUh,b«ing charged with the colaars tem- 
pered with their itropi't Tehicle, by letting it gently dawn on the 
block, ou whirh the coluut is pTemualy spread, conveys it from 
Ihrore to the ground of the p^pcr, on Mhicti it h mad'' lo fall more 
forcilily by means of its wciglit, and the effort of tlt« un of the 
person nho usei the print. It is easy to conclude that there most 
be SB many itcparale prluts as there are colours to be prlotrd. But 
where there are more (Ian one, great caro must bu lakan, after the 
first, to let the print fnll tsactly in the same part of the paper as 
that which wtnt before ; otherwise the Ggure of the design wonld 
be brought into imgularity and confusion. In common paper of 
low price, it ii usual, Ibcrefore, to print only the outlines, ukI lay 
OD the re»t nf liic colours by stencilling, which both saves the ex. 
pence of cutiin,> more prints, and can be practised by Common 
workmen, nor requiring the great care and dexterity necessary to 
the using several prints. The manner of stencilling the coloan is 
this : the figure, which all the parts of any fiarticulur colon Mike 
in the design to be painted, is to be cut out in a piece of tbtn lea. 
ther or oil. cloth, which pieces of leather, or oil-clolb, km called 
■tencils ; and being laid flat on the sheets of paper to be printed, 
spread on a table or floor, are to be rubbtd over with th* cotonr^ 
properly tempered by means of a large brush. The colour passlog 
over the whole, is consequently spread on those parta of the paper 
where the cloth or leather is cut aviy,' and give the same effect as 
if laid on by a print. This is nevertheless only practicable in parts 
where there are only detached masses or spots of colours*, for 

' PAlNtmO OF PAl^^R HAN01M09. 4S5 

{ngs in water or varTiisb. It is sometimes used only to fill the out- 
lines already formed by printing, where the price of the colour, or 
the exai'tof'ss of fhe manner in wr<ic'i it is requirfd to be laid on, 
render the stencilling or printing it le:3S proper ; at other times it Is 
used tor foiniing or delin«'ating some parts of the design, where 
a spirit of freedom and variety, not to be had printed ia out* 
lines* are desirable in the worlc. The paper designed for receiy- 
Ing the flock, is first prepared with a varnish. gruuml with some 
proper colour, or by that of the paper itsrif. It i> frequently 
practised to print some Mosaic, or oiher small rnn» ing figure in 
colours, on the ijrounil, before th^ flo^'k be laid on; and it may be 
done with any pigment of the colour desired, tempered with var- * 
nish, and laid on by u print cut correspondently to that end. The 
method of laying on the flock is this : a wooden print being cut, 
as is above described, for lading on the colour in ^uch manner that 
the part of the design which is intended for the flock may j)roject 
beyond the rest of the surface^ the varnish is put on a block cover- 
ed with leather or oil-cloth, and the print is to be used also in the 
same manner, to lay the varnish on all the parts where the flock is 
to be fixed. The sheet, thus. prepared by the varnished impres- 
sion, is then (o be removed to another block, or table, and to be 
strewed over with flock, nhich is afterwards to be gently com- 
pressed by a board, or some other flat body, to make the varnisft 
take the better hold of it : and then the sheet is to be hung on a 
frame till the varnish be perfectly dry, at which time the super- 
fluous part of flock is to be brushed off by a soft camePs-hair 
brush, and the proper flock will be found to adhere In a very strong 
manner. The method of preparing the flock is, by cutting woollen 
rags or pieces of cloth with the hand, by means of a large bill or 
chopping, knife ; or by m4ans of a machine worked by a horse- 
mill. There Is a. kind of counterfeit flock-paper, which, when 
well managed, has very much the same effect to the eye as the real, 
though done with less e:fpence. The manner of making this sort 
IS, by laying a ground of varnish on the paper, and having after- 
wards printed the design of the flock In vai-nish, in the same man. 
ner as for the true; instead of the flock, some pigment or dry 
colour, of the same hue with the flock required by the design, but 
somewhat of a darker shade, being well powdered, is strewed on 
the printed varnish, and produces nearly the tame appearance. 

2 »2 



Mr. John Middleton lately comniunicBted some improTCBienls in 
iUe printiog or paper-hangings, to the Society of Arts. Tbcy are 
iatended to fqcilitate the conveyance of the paper over the print, 
iog.tablc, and to give a grealeT preHure than usual lo the block, 
when priiiling dark grounda. 

To facilitate the convfyance of the paper, two cordl 36 feet 
long, are stretched from the printers table to the other end of the 
roorn, through rings, inhere they arc kept tight by ■ weight ap> 
pended to their extremities. The paper to be printed is rolled up 
OD a wooden roller at one side of the tatde, and Its endi faroaghb 
■cross the table, and fastened between two flat ledges Ihat ar« con- 
nected at one end by an hinge, and at the other by a sliding ring ; 
these ledges slide along the two cords on pullles placed at each end 
of them, and serie to draw forward the paper as it is printed ; from 
the middle of these ledges a cord proceeds to the end of the room, 
between the other two cords, where it passes over a pnllej, and 
thence returns to a roller under the table ; the circle of thia roUer 
extends beyond the table, and there has a wheel fastened to it, 
from which projects three pins, each about four inches long, bj 
pressing on which with the foot, the wheel is turned ronnd, and 
with it the roller ; by means of which, the paper is drawn forward 
Oa the cords a space corresponding to the distance between the 
l^ns in the wheel. 

The contrivance forgiving an extraordinary pressure (o the block, 
consists of a long and a short lever, projecting from one side of an 
axle, placed over head, above the printers' table, trhich levers and 

CAi.ICO-PRlMTlNO; 437 



This ingenious art consists in dyeing cloth with certain colosri 
«nd figures upon a ground of a different hue ; the colours, when 
they will not take hold of the cloth readHy, being fixed to them by 
means of intermedes, or mordants, as they were formerly called, 
constituting materials that have a chemical affinity or attraction for 
both the materials that form the colour, and the cloth to which the 
colour is to be applied. It was long ago supposed that these inter, 
medes corroded their way into the interior of the cloth, and 
carried the colouring matter along with them, and it was on this 
account they were called mordants ; but since the science of che^i 
mistry has been better studied and understood, it has been suffi. 
ciently ascertained, that they only act or hold the dye and the 
cloth together, -by a mutual affinity or attraction. 

The mordant which is principally used in the general process is 
a preparation of alum, called in ^he new nomenclature acetate of 
argil. It is prepared by dissolving 3lbs. of alum and lib. of ace. 
tate of lead in Slbs. of warm water. An exchange of the princi^ 
pies of these salts takes place: the sulphuric acid of the alum 
combines with the oxide of lead, and the compound thus formed 
being insoluble, is precipitated, the acetic acid remains united 
with the argil of the alum in solution. There are added at the 
Bame time two ounces of the potash of commerce, and two ounces 
of chalk ; the principal use of which appears to be, to neutralize 
the excess of acid that might act on the colouring matter and alter 
its shade. 

The superiority of thb acetate of argil as a mordant to the 
cheaper tulphat of argil or alum, arises principally from Iwo cir. 
Gumstances ; from the affinity between its principles being weaker, 
in consequence of which, the argil more easily separates from thft 
acid, and unkes with the doth and the colouring matter; and, 
3dly, from the acetic acid disen^ged in the process not acting with 
the same force on the colouring matter as the sulphuric acid would 
do. The acetate being also Tery soluble, and having little ten. 
deney to crystallize, can be more equally mixed and applied. The 
discoTiry of this mordant, so essential in the art of calico-printing, 
was altogether accidental, or rather empirical. The recipes of the 
calico-printers were at one time very complicated : different arti. 

43S CALIC0*?ltINTin6. 

cles were from time to time omitted or changed, until at length the 
simple mixture of alum and acetate of lead wm found to answer 
as a mordant, equally with compogitions more complicated. 

After the mordants have been applied, the cloth must be com- 
» pletely dried. It is proper for this purpose to employ arttficial 
heat, which will contribute something towards the separation off 
the acetous acid from its base, and towards its evaporation, by 
which the mordant will combine in a greater proportion, and more 
intimately with the cloth. 

When the cloth is sufficiently dried, it is to be washed with warm 
water and cow.dung, till all the flonr, or gum, employed to thicken 
the mordants, and all those parts of the mordants which are on* 
combined with the cloth, are removed. The cow.dung serves tqt 
entangle these loose parts of the mordants, and \o prevent thnut 
from combining with those parts of the cloth which are te remaia 
white. After this, the cloth is thoroughly rinsed ip elean water* 

Almost the only dye.stufis employed by calico-printers are in- 
digo, madder, and quercitron bark) or weld. This last substance^ 
however, is but little used by the printers of this country, except 
for delicate greenish yellows. The quercitron bark haf alroosl 
superseded it, because it gives colours equally good, and is mndi 
cheaper and more convenient, not requiring so great a heat to &ik 
it. Indigo, not requiring any mordant, is commanJy applied a| 
once, either with a block or^a pencil. It is prepared bj boiling 
together indigo and potash made caustic by quick lime, ae4 orpi* 
ment ; the solution is afterwards thickened with gum. It musi be 
carefully secluded from the air, otherwise the iedigo would sooii 
be regenerated, which would render the solutibn useless. Df* 
Bancroft has proposed to substitnte coarse brown segar for orpi- 
ment : it is equally efficacious in decomposing the indigo, and 
rendering it soluble ; while it likewbe serves all the puf posea ef 

Let vs now give an eiample or two of. the manner in which the 
printers give particalar colours to calicoes. Some calicoes are 
only printed of one colour, others hifve two, others three or more, 
oven to the number of eight, ten, or twelve. The smeller Uie 
Bomber of colours, the fewer in general are the .processes* 

J. One of the most common colours on cotton prints h a kiad 
of nankeen yellow, of various sbadee down to a deep yeUowiah 
brown^ or drab. It Is nsoally in atripea or spots. To produce it, 


the printers besmear a block, cut out into the figure of the print, 
with acetic of iron, thickened with gum or flour ; and appij it 
to the cotton, which, after being dried and cleansed in the usual 
nanner, is plunged into a potash ley. The quantity of acetite of 
iron is always pro|)ortioned to the depth of the shade. 2. For 
yellow, the block is besmeared with acetite of alumina. The 
cloth, after receiving this mordant, is dyed with quercitron bark, 
and then bleached. 3. Red is communicated by the same process ; 
only madder is substituted for the bark. 4. I'he tine light blues 
which appear so often on printed cottons, are produced by apply- 
ing to the cloth a block besmeared with a composition, consisting 
partly of wax, which covers all those parts of the cloth which are 
to remain white. 1 he cloth is theq died in a cold indigo yat ; and 
after it is dry, the was composition is removed by hot water. 5* 
Lilac, flea brown, and blackith brown, are given by means of ace* 
tite of iron : the quantity of which is always proportioned to the 
depth of the shade. For very deep colours, a little sumach is 
added. The cotton is afterwards dyed in the usual manner with 
madder, and then bleached. 6. Dove.colour and drab, by acetitt 
of iron Aid quercitron bark. 

When different colours are to appear in the same print, a greater 
nnmbey of operations are necessary. Two or more blocks are 
employed, upon each of which that part of the print only is cut, 
which is to be of some particular colour. These are besmeared 
trith different mordants, and applied to the cloth, which is after- 
wards died as usual. 

Mr. Henry Mandeslay has a patent press for calicorprinting: 
it is described in No. 54, Rep. of Arts, N. S., and No. 7, Retro- 
spect of Discoveries. 

In the towns of Manchester, Glasgow, Paisley, &c. many thou- 
sands of industrious hands are employed in the manufacture of this 
article; which, according to its different degrees of fineness, is sold 
from 6d. to 6s. and upwards a yard. 

Cotton cloth is an intermediate substance between that made of 
flaXand animal wool; but by no means deserves to be commended 
as a substitute for flannel, next the skin. Calico imbibes and rev 
tains the perspired humours, unless it be as frequently changed as 
linen ; while flannel admits a free evaporation tlirough its nume* 
roDS pores. 

[Bancroft, Ckaptal* Gregory^ Nicholson. 




Engraving. ^ 

Tuts curious and Taluablu art is for the most part ofil 
Inrentiun, having its rise no earlier than the middle of the fi 
century. The ancients, indeed, practised engraving on p 
stoaes and trystals wilh lery good success; and there a 
many of their works remaining equal lo any produciioD of t) 
ages. But (be art of vni^raTin^ on plains and blocks of wt 
ftflord prints or impressions, ivas not knoxn till afti-r the ini 
of painting in oil. Of ttiesc last, the moKtanclfni mode ii I 
wood, the first impressions on paper havini; been taken from 
nooden blocks. For this inreotiun we are indebted to the 
tualeri, or makers of playing cards, who practised ibe art i 
many about the beginning of (he fifteenlh century. Fr 
■ame source may perhaps be traced the first idea of moTeablt 
which appeared not long after ; for these bricf.malera did i 
tirely couSni.' themscUes to the printing and palnfiiig of car 
produced also subjects of a more devout nature ; many of 
taken from holy writ, arc still preserved in German libnfri' 
the explanatory text facing (he figure;, ihe whole eni;raTed k 
Thus a species of books was formed ; such as. )ii>toria Sai 
kannis, ejuEipje Visiones Apocalypllmi Ilistoria Velerij « 
Totaroenli. known by the name of the Poor Mao's Bible, 
short menif ntos were printed only on one tide ; and two t 


ieentb cenfnry and the beginning of the sixteenth centnry, it be« 
came customary for almost every one of the German engrayers 
on copper to pngrave on wood also* The works of Albert Durer 
in this style of engraTiog are justly held in the highest esteem. 
Italy, France, and Holland, have produced many capital artists of 
this kind ; but for boldness and spirit we must see the prints of 
Christopher Jegher, who worked under the direction of Rubens^ 
and was without doubt assisted by that great master. The in. 
Tention of that species of engraving distinguished by the appella. 
tion of chiaro.scuroj seems also to be justly claimed by the Ger« 
mans, and first practised by Mair ; one of whose prints of this 
jLind is dated 1499. Many excellent works in chiaro-scuro have 
been produced in France ; and in Italy it was honoured with the 
performances of Titian and Parmegiano; but the attempts of 
Jackson, Kirkall, and others in Kn^land, have not been suc- 
cessful. A set of excellent prints in this way have lately been 
published by J. Skippe, esq. a connoisseur and dillettante. In 
Germany, about A. D. 1450, prints from engraved copper first 
made their appearance. The earliest date of a copperplate print 
is indeed »onIy 1461 ; but however faulty this print may be with 
respect to the drawing, or defe tive in point of taste, the mecha- 
nical part of the execution of it has by no means the appearance 
of being one of the first'productions of the graver. We have also 
several other engravings evidently the work of the same master ; 
|n which the impressions are so neatly taken from the plates, and 
the engravings so clearly printed in every part, that according to 
all appearance, they could not be executed in a much better man- 
ner in the present day, with all the conv^niencies which the cop- 
perplate printers now possess, and the additional knowl«*dge they 
must necessarily have acquired in the course of more than three 
centuries. Hence we may fairly conclude, that if they were not 
the first specimens of the engraver's workmanship, they were much 
less the first efforts of the copperplate printer's ability. It is 
likewise to be observed, that Martin Shoen, who is said to have 
worked from 1460 to i486, was apparently the scholar of Stoltz. 
hirs : for he followed his style of engraving, and copied from him 
a set of prints, represehtiui; the passion of our Saviour. Now, 
allowing Stoltzhirs to have preceded his disciple only ten years^ 
this carries the era of the art back to 1460, as was said above. 
There is no groand to soppose that it was known to the Italiaoi 


till at least ten years afterwards. The earliest prints that art 
known to be theirs are a set of the seven planets, and an alroanme 
by way of frontispiece; on which are directions for 6ndi ng Easter 
from 146 J to 1617 inclusive : and we may be assured that the en- 
gravings were not antedated, as the almanac would have thus beea 
lessvaluable. These prints must therefore have been executed in 
1464, which is only four years later than the Italians claim. The 
three earliest Italian engravers are Finiguerra, Botirelli, and Bal. 
dini. If we are to refer these prints to any of the three, we shall 
naturally conclude them to be the work of Finiguerra or BaJdioi ; 
for they are not equal either in drawing or composition to those 
ascribed to Bottcelli, which we know at least were designed by 
him ; and as Baldini is expressly said to have worked from the de« 
signs of Boticelli, it will appear most probable that they belong to 
Ffnignerra. With respect to the invention of etching, it seems to 
be not well known to whom it is to be ascribed. One of the most 
early specimens is the print by Albert Durer, known by the name 
of the Cannon, dated 1518, and thought by some, with little foun. 
dation, to have been worked on a plate of iron. Another etching 
by the same artist is Moses receiving the tables of the law, dated 
1524. It was also practised in Italy soon after this by Parme- 
giano, in whose etchings we discover the band of the artist work- 
ing out a system as it were from his own imagination, and 8trivii$g 
to produce the forms he wanted to expres$. We see the difficulty 
he laboured under, and cannot doubt, from the examination of the" 
mechanical pirt of the execution of bis works, that he had no in- 
struction ; and that it was something entirely new to him. If the 
story is true, that he kept an engraver by profession in bis house, 
the novelty of the art is rendered so much the more probable. He 
died in 1 540. As to that species of engraving in which the modes 
of etching and cutting with the graver are united, it must have been 
found necessary immediately upon the invention of etching ; it was, 
however, first carried to perfection by G. Audran, and is now al* 
most universally practised, whether the work 'A in strokes or in 
dots. Engraving in dots, the present fashionable method, is a very 
old invention, and the only mode discovered by the Italians. Agos. 
tino de Musis, commonly called Augustine of Venice, a pupil of 
Marc Antonio, used it in several of his earliest works, but confined 
it to the flesh, as in the undated print of an old man seated upon a 
Imnk, trith a cottage in the back ground. He flourished from 1509 


to 1556. We also find it in a print of a single figure standing, 
holding a cup and looking upwards, by Giulio Campagnola, who 
engrayed about the year 15 J 6. The back ground is execntt>d with 
round dots, made apparently with a dry point. The figure is out. 
lined with a s«r .jke deeply engraved, and finished with dots, in a 
manner greatly resembling those prints which Demarteau engraved 
at Paris in imitation of red chalk. The hair and beard are cxpres. 
sed by strokes. Stephen de Laulne, a native of Germany, fol. 
lowed the steps of Campagnola ; and many of his slight works are 
executed in dot.s only. John tioulan^er, a French artist, who flou. 
rished in the middle of the last century, and his contemporary Ni. 
cholas Van Plattenberg, improved greatly on this method, and prac- 
tised it with much success, it is only, however, of late, that it 
has been considered as an object worthy of general imitation. John 
Lutma executed this kind of work witii a hammer and a small 
punch or chisel. Engraving in mezzotinto was invented about the^ 
middle of the seventeenth century ; and the invention has gene, 
rally been attributed to prince Rupert. Engraving in aqua- 
tinta is quite a recent invention, and seems at once to have been 
carried to perfection by Sandby, and other artists of the present 
f age. Engraving with the tool was the kind originally prac. 

tised, and it is yet retained for many purposes. For though 
etching be more easy, and other advantages attend it ; yet where 
great regularity and exactness of the stroke or linns are required, 
the working with the ^raver is much more etiectual : on which 
account it is more suitable to the precision necessary in the 
execution of portraits ; as there every thing the most minute 
must be made out and expressed accordioit lo the original sub- 
ject, without any licence to the fancy of the designer in d« viat. 
ing from it, or varying the eflfect either by that mastfrly negligence 
and simplicity in some parts, or tho>e bold sallies of the Imagi* 
nation and hand in others, which give spirit and force to history 

Historical engravings for the port folio and furniture seemed at 
one period to advance rapidly towards perfection, to which the 
late alderman Boydell lately contribnted ; but the death of Strange, 
Hall, and Wooilet, have been almost fatal to the hopes of theama. 
teur, which rest, in a great measure, upon Heath, Sharp, Bromley, 
and a few others, as in this particular instance we do not include 



those eminent foreigners who have, or do at present reside in 
England. IVhatever deficiencies we may discoTer in the prosecn^ 
tion of the arts in this country, is fortunately not to be attributed 
to want of genius, or relaxation from study in the artist ; the chill 
of apathy io the rich, who view a wretched coloured aquatint with 
the same or more pleasure than the most laboured production of the 
graver, is the baleful cause of the languishing state of historical en. 
graving. When persons capable of affording patronage are taught 
discrimination, future Woollets will fascinate the best judges of 
engraving. We have, however, some very fine engravers, in dif- 
ferent departments, among whom it would be unjust not lo specify 
the names of Milton, Scott, Lowry, and Mrs. Grifl&ths. 

[ WalpoU. Phil. Trans. Pantol. 

A very ingenious process has of late years been employed on 
the continent to answer at the same time both the purposes of de- 
signing and engraving ; or, in other words, to produce an engraving 
by the art of designing. This art or process is called lithography 
or stone-engraving : and among the German artists, who have 
recourse to it, chemische druckery^ or chemical printing* From 
Germany it has spread into our own country, and still more lately 
into France and Italy. It consists in being first provided with a 
few small blocks of marble, about the size of Dutch tiles, orlarger, 
according to the intended dimensions of the print ; the thickness 
should be about two inches. The landscape, or other subject, 
is then to be traced over with a pencil ; and the pencil lines to be 
afterwards at leisure retraced with a particular ink which was at 
first a great secret. It is now, however, known to consist of a so- 
lution of lae in potash, coloured black by soot from burning wax. 
When the design has been gone over with this ink, it is left to dry, 
which commonly takes about two hours, though this will depend 
upon the temperature and dryness of the atmosphere. The face of 
the marble being, after this process, washed with nitric acid more 
or less diluted according to the degree of relief desired, the whole 
surface will be corroded except where defended by the resinous 
ink. The operation is now completed, and to obtain printed co- 
pies nothing more is necessary than to wash the marble clean ; to 
distribute over it, by means of printers' balls, an ink similar to 
that commonly used by printers ; and to press down upon the dtm 


tign, by a copper roller or copper-plate press, a sheet of paper pro- 
perly disposed ia a frame* 

A few of such marble tiles or blocks are now frequently taken 
by travellers through picturesque scenery, who produce at one and 
the same time the drawing and the engraving, and the latter with 
far more correctness to the former than can possibly be obtained by 
copying. And as soon as a sufficient number of prints have been 
struck off, nothing more is necessary than to replane and repolish 
the marble tiles, when they will be immediately ready for other 
subjects. A particular account of this process, drawn up by M. 
Marcel de Serres, will be found in the Annales de Chemie, vol. 



ii Sculpture. 


W £noravimg is occasionally called working en creux^ sculpture 

working in relievo : yet in its most comprehensive range the word 

sculpture has been applied to both these. 

The studies necessary for the young sculptor, towards the attain- 
ment of his art, are so similar to those which form the painter (with 
the obvious exceptions arising from the difference of materials em- 
ployed in the two arts), that very little remains here to be enlarged 
on, under the head of studies. The principal acquisitions to which 
the student must direct his endeavours are, a knowledge of compo- 
sition, form (including anatomy), and expression ; to which, as in 
painting, must be added the difficult study of grace. 

The method of study most recommended to young sculptors is^ 
to begin with copying, and to end with rivalling, the forms of the 
Greek statues. 


^^ Yos exemplaria Grsca 

Nocturn^ versate manv, versate dinrnIL ;" 


•ays Da Fresnoy : nor can it be questioned that the sculptors are, 
generally speaking, the safest guides to the study of nature. But 
it should not pass unnoticed, that although the forms of the Greek 
sculpture are, in general, not only more beautiful, but more appro- 
priately so than any other; yet in sone instances they liave bteir 



n sculptori, as in the forrai of latnls by Fl«. 

iur)M3wd bymoder 

Thp mflhod of e»eiOiion in tho Grff-k outues and other works 
of sculpture, »e(?nis to h*TC been txtmni'ly diHerent from that 
which is uFoerHlly in use among tnodTii irtista. In the Kncl<-nt 
stNttic), we frequfnllv liT)d ilrlking proofs of the freedom and 
boldness that accompanied each stroke of the chisel, mi which re. 
suited from the nrtiil'x being perfectly sure of the accuracy of the 
method which he pursued. L.Ten in the moot minute parti of the 
figare, no indication of timorousoess or diHidpnce appeart.* nothing 
that can Induce us fo belieie. that the arlist feared he might hare 
occasion to correct his strokes. It is difficult to Rnd, even in the 
secondTiite productions of the Grecian artists, &iiy marks of a false 
or a random touch. This firmness and precision of the Grecian 
chisel were certainly dcrired from a more det«-rmioed and parfect 
set of rules, than those of which we are masters. ^ 

Besides studying, therefore, in the productions of the Gneian 
niBiters, their choice and eipression of select nature, whether 
beaotifol, suldime, or graceful, together with that seilate grandeur 
and simplicity which pervade all their works, the artist will da well 
10 inresttgnti' the manual and mechnnicol purt of thfir operailona, 
as they may lead to the perception of their mode of progress. 

As soon o-s the artist hai rendered himself familiarly acqualnfed 
with the beauties of the Grecian Ktalues, and formed Ms taafe on 
the admirable models li'ey exhibit, he may then ptocaeil witli ad. 
vantage and ossDrance (o tht- tmiialioti of oatore. The ideas he 


are' taken from a variety of objects, and combined and blended into 
one regular whole* All kinds of copies belong to the first kind of 
imitation ; and productions of this sort must necessarily be ezei. 
cuted in a confined and seryilc manner, with high finishing, and little 
or no invention. But the second kind of imitation leads directly 
to the inyestigatiou and discovery of true beauty, of tliat beauty 
whose perfect idea is only to be found within the mind. 

Of the different modes of process in sculpture* — Works of 
of sculpture are performed, either by hollowing or excavating, as 
in metals, agates, and other precious stones, and in marbles of 
every description ; or by working in relief, as in bas-reliefs In the 
materials just mentioned, or in statues of metal, clay, wood, wax, 
marble, or stone. 

The excavation of precious stones forms a particular branch of 
art called intaglio, which, together with the working them in re« 
lievo, when the term camayeu is applied to them, belongs to the 
art of seal-engraving. 

The excavation of metals consitutes^the art of engraving, in its 
various branches, on metal of any kind ; and its relief comprises 
enchasing, casting in bronze, &c« 

The process of hollowing hard stone or marble will need no par« 
ticular description ; eH^^ecially as it is now wholly in disuse, ex. 
cept for the forming of letters in monumental or other inscriptions* 

In working in relief the process is necessarily different, accord* 
ing to the materials in which the work is performed. 

As not only the beginning of sculpture was in clay, for the pur- 
pose of forming statues, but as models are still made in clay or 
wax^ for every work undertaken by the sculptor ; we shall first 
consider the method of modelling figures in clay or wax. 

Few tools are necessary for modelling in clay. The clay being 
placed on a stand or sculptor's easel, the artist begins the work 
with his hands, and puts the whole into form by the same means. 
The most expert practitioners of this art seldom use any other tool 
than their fingers, except in such small or sharp parts of their work 
as the fingers cannot reach. For these occasions, they are pro. 
vided with three or foar small tools of wood, about seven or eight 
inches in length, which are rounded at one end, and at the other- 
iat and shaped into a sort of claws. These tools are called by the 
French ebauchoirs. In some of these the claws are smooth, for the 
parpose of smoothing the surface of the model; and in. others are 



mnde with teeth, to rake or scratch the clay, which It the firtt pro- 
CH< of the iDol on the worV, and in which -^tate many parts of the 
tnodtl are frequently left hy artists, to give an appearance of free* 
(lorn anil bkill to their work. 

irday cuulil be made to preserve its original tnoistnre, it would 
undoubtedly be the fitte-t sublance for the models of the icuTptor; 
bat whi^n il is placed either in the 6rf , or left to dry tflperceptibly 
111 the air, its solid parls grow more compact, and Iha work shrinks, 
or loses a part of ils dimensions. This diminution in Sen would 
be of no consi'quencc, tf it aOected the whole work equally, so as 
to preserve lis proportions. But this is not always the cue : for 
(he smaller parts of Ihe figure drying sooner than tb« larger; and 
thus losing more of (heir dimensions in tlie same spam of time, 
than the latter do ; the symmetry and proportions of the vork in. 
erilably suffer. 

This inconrenicDce, howcTer, is obrialcd by formtqg thtt model 
first in clay, and moulding it in plaisler of Paris before it beitiu to 
dry, and the taking a plaister cast from that mould, and the re. 
pairing it carefully from the original work ; by whick means yon 
have the exact counterpart of the model in its most perfect stale ; 
and you have, besides, your clay at liberty for any other work. 

In order to modfl in wax, prepare the wax in the foils wing man- 
ner ; to a pound of wax add half a pound of scammoaj {MOM mi.'s 
turpentine also), and melt the whole together with oil of ollves ; 
putting more or less oil as you would have your modeHlog was 
harder or softer. Vermillion is sometimes mixed with thb oompo- 


• ■ ' ' ' ■ 
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% « 


tif di^i dtf ided Into degrees, with a moveable rale fastened in Ihtf 
ventre of the circle, and likewise divided into parts. From the 
extremity of the rule hangs a line with a lead, which directs him ia 
taking all the points, whidh are to be transferred from the model 
to the marble ; and from the top of the marble is hung also a line^ 
tallying with that which is hung from the model | by the corre* 
Bpondence of which two lines^ the points are ascertained in the 
marble • 

Many eminent sculptors prefer measurements taken by the com* 
passes to the method just described ; for this reason, that if the 
model is mored but ever so little from its level, the points are no 
longer the same. 

This method, however, offers the best means, by which mecha* 
kiical precisjpn may be attained } but it is manifest, that ianough yet 
remains to exercise and display the genius and skill of the artist. 
For, first, as it is impossible, by the means of a straight line, to 
determine with precision the procedure of a curVe, the artist de* 
riveS from thb method no certain rule to guide him, as often as the 
line which he is to describe deviates from the direction of the plumb* 
line. It is also evident, that this method affords no certain rule to 
determine exactly the proportion, which the various parts of the 
figure ought to bear to each other considered in their mutual rela- 
tion and connections. This defect, indeed, may be partly supplied 
by intersecting the plumb-lines by horizontal ones ; but even this 
resource has its inconveniences ; since the squares totnked by trans- 
versal lines that are at a distance from the figure (though they are 
exactly equal), yet 'represent th^ parts of the figure as greater or 
smaller, according as they are more or less removed from our point 
of view* 

Of sculpture in toood.'-^k sculptor id wood should first take 
care to choose wood of the best quality, and the most proper for 
the work which he intends to execute. If be undertakes a large 
work, requiring strength and solidity, he ought to choose the 
hardest wood, and that which keeps best, as oak and chesnut ; but 
for works of moderate size, pear or apple-tree serve very well. As 
even these latter woods are still of considerable hardness, if the 
work consists only of delicate ornaments, the artist will ind It 
preferable to take some more tender wood, provided it is Irt the 
same time firm and close ; as, for Instance, the Indian tree, which 

VOI.« VI* %^ 

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is eicellent for (tiis pnrpoBc, as the chisel cuts it more neatly sdcI 
earily th»n any other wuod. 

The ancient,- niadf statues out of iilmost every different kind of 
wood. At Sicyon wis n atalue uf Apollo made of box j the statue 
of Diana at Ephesus wjs of cedar. As tlitse (wo sorts of wood are 
extremely hard and undecaying ; and as cedar, in particular, is of 
!iuch a nature, as, according to FUny, to be neaTly indestructible^ 
the ancients preferred them for the images of their difinities. 

In the temple built on mount Cyllene in honour of Mercury, 
Fausanias relates, that there was a statue of that god made of 
citron-wood, eight feet in height. This wood was alao much 

The. cypress likewise, being a wood not apt to spoil, n6r to be 
damaged hy worn«, was also nsed for statues ; as were the palm, 
tree, oliTe, and ebony, of which latter, according to Pliny's ac- 
count, there was another statue of Diana at Ephesus, 

Several other kinds of wood were equally employed for tlui 
purpose, even the vine, of which the same author says there vers 
statues of Jupiter, Juno, and Diana. 

Felibien speaks of a French artist at Florence, of the name of 
Janni, who executed several statues in wood, in a style of finishing 
equal to marble, and particularly one of St. Rocque, which Vasari 
considered as a marvellous production. 

The beauty of sculpture in wood consists in the tender manner of 
cutting the wood, free from all appearance of hardness or dryness. 

For any work of large dimensions, even thongh it consists 
of a single figure, it is better, to join togetiier seveial smaller 
pieces of wood than to make the whole of a single large piece j 
which is more liable to warp and crack, ob account of its not 
being always dry at heart, although it appears perfectly dry on tfa« 

No wood can be properly fit for works of this kind that has not 
beeu cut at least ten years before. 

The tools used for sculpture in wood are the same as those of 
the joiner or cabinet-maker. 

Of teulpture in Hone and marble.— For sculpture la marblt 
and other stone, the artist must make use of tools made ofgood steel, 
*ellMpapered, and of streD^th proportioned to the hardnesi of tbt 



The first thing to be done {•, to mw out from a larger block of 
marble, a block proportioned to the size of the work which Is on. 
dertaken. After this, the sculptor shapes the gross masses of the 
forms he designs to represent, by knocking off the superfluous parts 
of marble with a strong mallet or beel, and a strong steel tool called 
a point. 

When the block is thus hewn out agreeably to the measures pre- 
viously taken for the performance of the work, the sculptor brings 
it nearer to the intended form by means of a finer point ; and some- 
times of a tool called a dog's tooth, having two points, but less 
sharp than the single one. 

After this he uses the gradine, which is a flat cutting tool, with 
three teeth, but is not so strong as the point. 

Ha? ing adranced his work with the gradine, he nsesthe chisel 
to take off the ridges left by the former tools ; and by the dexte- 
rous and delicate use of this instrument, he gives softness and ten. 
derness to the figure, till at length, by taking a rasp, which is a 
sort of a file, he brings his work into a proper state for being po. 

Rasps are of several kinds, some straight, some curved, and 
some harder or softer than others. 

When the sculptor has thus far finished his work with the best 
tools he can procure, wherever certain parts or particnlar works 
require polishing, he uses pumice-stone to make all the parts 
smooth and even. He then goes over them with tripoli, an4 when 
he would gtTe a still higher gloss, he rubs them with leatlier and 
straw«ashes. « 

Besides the tools already mentioned, sculptors use also the pidc, 
which is a small hammer pointed at one end, and at the otlier ' 
formed with teeth made of good steel and squared, to render them the 
stronger. This serves to break the marble, and is used in all places 
where the two hands cannot be employed to manage the mallet and 

The bouchard, which is a piece of iron, well steeled at the bot- 
tom, and formed into sereral strong and short points like a dia- 
mond, is used for making a hole of equal dimensions, which cannot 
be done with cutting tools. The bouchard is driTen with the mal- 
let or beetle, and its points bruise the marble and redj||| it to 
powder. Water is thrown into the hole from time to tim^^l^ pro. 
portion to the deptli that is made, to bring out the dnst of tht 


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tDftrble, and to prevent (he tool from heating, which would deslray 
its temper; for the free-stone dust on which tools are edged, It 
only moistened with water to prcTent the iron from healing and 
taking olT the temper of the tool by being rubbed dry ; and the 
trepans are welted for the same reason. 

The sculptor uses the bouchard to bore or pierce snch parts of 
his work as the chisel cannot reach without danger of spoiling or 
breaking them. In using it, he passes it through a piece of lea. 
ther, which leather covers the hole made by the bouchard, and pre. 
Tents the water from spirting up in his face. 

The tools necessary fur sculpture on marble or stone, are th* 
roundel, which is a sort of rounded chisel; the houguet, which Ii 
a chisel squared and painted ; and various compasses to take th« 
fequisile measures. 

The process of sculpture in stone is the same as in marble, ex- 
cepting that the material being less hard than marble, the tools 
used are not so strong, and some of them are of a different form, 
as the rasp, the hand saw, (he ripe, the straight chisel with three 
teeth, the roundel, and the grater. 

If the work is executed in free-stone, tools are employed which 
are made on purpose, as the free-Stone is apt to scale, and does not 
work like hard stone or marble. 

Sculptors in stone have commonly a bowl in which thej keep a 
powder composed of plaister of Paris, mixed with the same stone 
in which their work is executed. With this composition ihey gll 
np the small holes, and repair the defects which tbey meet with ia 
the stone itself. 

IfValpole. ffinckelmann. Du Fremoy. Pantalog. 

Poller^ and Porcelain, 

Porcelain may be regarded as (he finest kind of pottery ; th« 
art of which consists in working and moulding plastic earths, more 
or less simple into hard brittle vessels of rarious kinds and forms, 
and designed for Yarious purposes. 

The essential material of pottery is clay, which alone possesses 
the tir|i requisite qualities of being in its natural slate so plastic 
that wiHl water it becomes a soft uniformly extensible mass, capa- 
bl« of assuming and letaioingKiiy any form ; and when tfaorongMf 

itiei and undergone a red h«at for a time, of losing fhli plasticity, 


irretenriTe of water to a 
texture, and able more • 

r leu perfectly (o 

infine all 

close j 

liquids cunlaiaed wittiio its hollow. 

Clay, however, is in all instances a*ery compound substance : 
It owes its [tlaiticity lo alumino, which forms a constiluent part of 
it ; bat the proportion of alumine varies considerably in different 
species, and almost as much as (he oiber sabstances with which it 
b combined. 

It may hence be suppoaed that many of the impare- coloured 
natural clays are of Ihemsekes sufficiently mt.^ed wilh other earths 
for the potter's use without any addition : but the white and finer 
clays mostly require dilution with silei in some form or other, 
which may be done to a considerable extent without taking away i 
the plasticity requisite for working. 

The most important circumstances requisite to be considered Id 
aelecling the materials for pottery are plaslicily, contractility, soUa 
dity, and compactness after drying, colour, and fusibility. 

The plasticity seems to be simply owing to the proportion of clay 
need, or relaliTely to the original plasticity of the clay itself; for 
all clays are not equally plastic, and the superadded substances in 
no instance increase thU properly, and in many cases considerably 
diminish it. 

The texture, including the qualitieB of hardness and compftct- 
aess, depends partly on the mixture of siliceous (Binty or sandy) 
Ingredients with (he clay, and partly on the heat employed in the 
bnrning of the pottery. The purer natural clays are almost in> 
fusible in any furnace heat; their hardness b nearly progressiie 
If ith the intensity of the Rre, but they have the essential defects ot 
drying very slowly, of shrinking very considerably, and of becom- 
ing rifty or full of minute cracks when dried, so as on this account 

to be porous. It is therefore necessary ti 

X them intimately 

with any other earth of qualities opposite to those of clay -, that ia 
which absorbs but little water, and quickly parts with it,(qiialitiei 
directly opposite (o plasticity) and which dries compact and close. 
The colour of the earths used is also of essential importance in 
the finer pottery, in which the great desideratum is to And a clay 
which after burning remains perfectly white. The appearanee be- 
fore burniag cannot always be depended upon, for though in geue- 
I ral the whitest clays before burning ara thoM that remain white of- 


terwBTil9,it is only in a few districts that clays are to be found that 
retain a perfecf iihiUnPss. Thus ihert e^i&ts at (he foot of a range 
of high hills that directly overlook the Staffordshire potteries, s 
slratiim of wliite clay to appearance fully equal if not superior to 
the best Devonshire clays, which cannot be employed for fine 
pottery from its acijviiriiig in biiniing a yellowish cream colour 
which no art can correct. This colour is supposed to depend oa 
an intermixture of iron. 

The fusibility of clays and of other pottery earths is a subject of 
extreme importance, as it is this propirty that principally codsIi. 
tiites the difTeTGiice between common pottery and porcelain. 

We liave defini-d porcelain lo be a species of pottery ware com. 
posed of an earthy mixlure which resists complete fusion in a Tery 
considerable heat, bul has been brought b> a less heal than ill 
melting point to a state of incipipnt lusion, and is th^Teby rendered 
extremely hard, sonorous, and semi.[raiis|iarent, and pussesses a 
semi.conchoidal splentery fracture approaching to the vitreouS) 
which is completely conchoidat. This |jst is quite a diatinrtive 
character between porcelain and pottery, for the fracture of pot. 
tery is eitremely granular : and hence porcelain may correctly 
be regarded as a substance of a middle nature between pottery and 

From these circumstancea !t appears probable that no chemical 
action takes place in any pottery combination till it arrives at th« 
slate of porcelaip. Tbe most perfect and beautiful porcelains of 
Japan in China are composed of two distinct earths ; one in which 
silex predominates, and which melts in a strong lire; aud another 
which is infusible per se : and by the union of those t»o earths a 
porcelain is produced which scarcely vitrifies at the utmost furnace 
heat which art can eicite. This substance possesses the combined 
excellencies ofgreat hardnessj beautiful semi- transparency, exqui. 
site whiteness, where not arlificially coloured, strong (oughnesi 
and cohesion; so that it has strengtl) enough for the purposes for 
which it is designed when made very tbio, and bears sudden beat- 
• log and cooling without cracking. 

Of the beautiful European porcelains which have been made in 
imitation of the oriental, it does not appear that any of them unite 
all ill Excellencies. Earthy combinations have been made eqaa ly 
strong, tough, and infusible, and m» truly porcelaioeouB when burnt, 
but tliey have not quite rivalled the best Japanese in delicatk 




wbitenesB and lastre. As these last qualities, however, are es« 
teemed most essential, that of iufasibility (which indeed is of no 
great consequence for any of the common uses of porcelain) has 
been sacrificed ; and hence those that make a near approach to 
the oriental in beauty and delicate lustre, of which many manufac- 
tures in diffc^rent parts of Europe have afforded splendid examples, 
are frequently found to soften and melt down in an intense heat of 
a wind-furnace, at which the true Nankin and Japan china undergo 
no change. 

The manufacture of the ordinary pottery is on the whole very 
simple where a due selection of materials is made ; but the orna« 
mental branches of it, such as those of modelling, enamelling, 
painting, and gilding, which often display exquisite beauty, are 
accompanied with much delicacy^ and require a combination of 
perseverance, skill, and practical nicety of management, that are 
rarely equalled in any other chemical manufacture. 

An intimate mixture of the ingredients used in pottery is of 
great importance to the beauty, compactness, and soundness of th« 
ware. Formerly the wet clay and ground flint, or whatever else 
was employed, were beaten together with long continued manual 
labour, no more water being added than was necessary to render 
the clay thoroughly plastic. This laborious and expensive method 
has now been laid aside in the larger potteries ; and the ingenioni 
method has been substituted of bringing each material first to an 
impalpable powder, and diffusing them separately in as much wa« 
ter as will bring them to the consistence of thick cream, mixing 
them in due proportion by measure, and when thoroughly stirred 
together, evaporating the superfluous water till the mass is brought 
to a proper consistence for iForkiug. 

In the Staffordshire process the materials are a fine clay, brought 
chiefly from Devonshire, and a siliceous stone called chert, or else 
common flint reduced to powder by heating it red-hot, quenching 
it in water, and then grinding it by windmills. Each material is 
passed through fine brass sieves, then diffused in water, mixed by 
measure, and brought to a plastic state as above. 

The wheel and lathe are the chief, and almost the only, iustro- 
ments made use of : the first for large works, and the last for 
small. The potter's wheel consists principally in the nut, which is 
H beam or axis^ whose foot or pivot plays perpendicularly on a 
free-stonesole or bottom. From the four corners of this beam^ 


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wbich iott not exceed two feet in height, arise four iron 
cklW the ipok«B of the whet-l : nhkh, (orming disgonm] Unea 
th>- beam, descend, and are fastened it hollom to the edges 
■Irung wuocleii circle, fuur f«et in diameter, perfectly like Ih 
loes uf a coach.whiel, eicept Ihat it has neither axis nor radii 
is onlj jiiintd to ihe beam, wLich serves it as an axis, bf ihi 
bar». The lop of llie nut in Bit, of a circular figure, and a f 
diaroelcr : and un (his i.s Inid the chy wliich is to be ttifnci 
failiiuued. The wheel, tbui disposed, h encompassed witl 
■idei of four dilfcrent pieces of wood fastened on a Huodeo fr 
the hind-piece, which is that on which the workn^in sits, ia 
ft Utile inclining towards the wht^cl; on the fori'.piere are p 
the pr< pared earth ; on thf si.'«!.|ii<-ces he rests his tei^t, and 
are made inclining, to giie him mure or less room, llavini 
pared ihe eurlh, the potter lajs a round pitcp of it un the ell 
head of the nul, and sitting down, turm the Hhtt-l wiib bl 
till it his gul tlie proper l«locity ; ihen, wetting hi^ huuds wit 
ter, he presses his Gat or hi* 6nger-eiid!i into the middle ( 
lump, and thus forms Ihe cavity of the vessel, continuing to ' 
it from the middle ; and thus turning the inside iiiiu fonii wil 
hand, while he proportions the outside with the other, the 
coiifiaiitly turning all the while, and he wetting his hindi 
lime to lime. When the vessel is loo (hick, he Uiif a flat pi 
iron, somewhat sharp on the edge, tu pare off nhtil is r'tluni 
and when it is linishf d, it Is taken olf from the circular head, 
wire passi-il iinderneaih the vessel. 


while Die nbecl is turning round, but the feet and liaadles ara'^ 
made by themselves, and set on wilh Iht hand ; and if there be any 
sculpture in the work, i( is usually done in wooden moulds, and 
Btuck on piece by piece on the on (side of the Tessel. 

Handles, spouts, 8ic. are afterwards fixed on to the moulded 
pifce if required ; and tt is then set to dry for some days in & 
warm room, where It becomes so hard as to bear handling without 
altering its shape. When dry f noui^h it Is Inclosed along with 
many other* in baked clay cases of the shape of bandboisfs, called 
ipggaTS, which are mado of the coarse clays of Ihe country. 
These are next ranged in the kiln or furnace so as (o fill it except 
■ space in the middle for the fuel. Here (he ware is baked till it 
hat remained fully red hot fur a considerable lime, which in the 
larger kilns consumes ten or fifteen Ions of coals : after which tha 
fire is allowed to go out, and when all Is cooled, the seggars are 
taken out, and their contents Unpacked. 

The ware is now in a state ^( biscuit, perfectly void of gloM, 
and resembling a clean egg.shetl. In order to glaze it, which if 
the next process, the biscuit ware Is dipped in a lub containing a 
mixture of about sixty parts of lilharge, (eu of clay, and twenty 
of ground Hint, diffused^ in wa(er to a creamy consistence, and 
whfn 'sk<-n out, enough adheres to the piece to gife an nniforra 
glazing, when aj^Hin heated : for which pnrpose the pieces are re> 
packed up in the seggars, with small bits of pottery interposed 
between each, and lixed in Ihe kiln as before. The glaiing mix- 
ture fuses at B Tery moderate heat, and gives an uniform glossy 
coating, which finishes the process for common white ware ; though 
the painting and gilding require subsequent attention. 

IPantologiu. D'Enlrecollei. Lettret Ed^fiantn 
el Curie tties. 

[ 458 ] 



X HX fertile genius of Archimedes i 11 u stria u sly appears, not oaly 
in those works of his which have been handed down to us, but alio 
in the aiimirnbie descriptions which the authors of his liioe hare 
ghen us of his discoveries in mathematics and mechanici. Some 
of the inTentiona of this great man have appeared so far to snrpus 
human ability and imagination, that some celebrated philosophers 
hare called Ihem in question *, and even gone so fur as to pretend 
to pnive their impossibility, The following pages will produce 
many proofs of what is here advanced : meanwhile, our present ob- 
ject is to t xamine into the subject of the burning glasses, employed 
by Archimedes to set fire to the Roman fleet at the siege of Syra* 
cuse. Kepler, Naudeus, and Descartes, have treated it as a mere 
fable, though the reality of it hath been attested by Diodorus Sicu. 
lus, Lucian, Dton, Zunaras, Galen, Anihemius, Euslathius, Tzet- 
les, Bnd others. Nay, some have even pretended to demonstrate 
by the rules of catoptrics the impossibility of it, notwithstanding 
the asseveration of such respectable authors, whose feitimony 
ought to have prevented them from rejecting so lightly a fact so 
. well supported. 

Yet alt modern enquiries have not been involved in this mistake. 
Father Kircher, attentively observing the description which Tzetzes 
gives of the burning glasses of Archimedes, resolved to prove the 
possibility of this; and having, by means of a number of plain 
mirrors, collected the sun's rays into one focus, he so augmented f 

* OcBcartes in hia Dioptrica, Discourse 8tb, p. ISS. Fonlenplle, and many 

+ Kiichcr, ie Arte M^gns Lnch, et Umbrs, lib. 10, y. 3. p. 8T4 ni flncm, 
et Problem. 4, 3« part, de Ma^ift Catoptricfi—And p. 884, 887, he dcliTCn 
Ihe catoptric rules fiir malting burning (■lassi's by a projter disposition of many 
plain mi n'nn. And in p. 88, relBtesan riperimrnt of Ms own, wherrhjhe pro- 
duced a beat iolente ennugh lo burn, by means of five mirroredirrcting the i«;i 
of the SDn into one focus i he luppotes ihal Procius by such meaDb might «et 
Ire to Vitellius't fleet, and iuvitestlie skilful ctrbriDgihisanay lo perfectioD. 


. ^J 



the solar heat, that at last by encreasing the number of mirrors, he 
could produce the most intense degree of it. 

Tzetzes's description of the glass Archimedes made use of, ii 
indeed Tery proper io raise such an idea as Kircber entertained. 
That author says, that Archimedes set fire t^> MarC'-i'us's navy, by 
means of a burningglass composed of small square mirrors, moving 
e?ery way upon hinges ; which, when placed in the sun's rays, di- 
rected them upon the Roman fleet, so as to reduc<> it to ashes at the 
distance of a bow.shot. It is probable Mr. De Buffnn availed him. 
self of this description, in constructing his burning glass, composed 
of 168 little plain mirrors, which produced so considerable a heat, 
as to set wood in flames at the distance of two hundred and nine 
feet ; melt lead, at that of one hundred and twenty ; and silver, at 
that of fifty. 

Another testimony occurs, which leaves not the least doubt in 
this case, but resolves all in favour of Archimedes. Antbemiuf 
of Tralles, in Lydia, a celebrated architect, able sculptor, and 
learned mathematician, who in the emperor Justinian^s time built 
thf^ church of St. Sophia, at Constantinople, wrote a small treatise 
in Greek, which is extant only in manuscript, intitled Mechanical 
Paradoxes. That work, among other things, has a chapter re. 
.specfing burning glasses, where we meet with the most complete 
descrpitioii of the requisites that Archimedes, according to this 
author, must needs have been possessed of, to enable him to set fire 
to the Roman fleet. He begins with this enquiry, ** flow in any 
given place, at a bow.shot's distance, a conflagration maybe raised 
by means of the sun's rays ?" And immediately lays it down as 
a first principle " That the situation of the place must be such, 
that the rays of the sun may be reflected upon it in an oblique, or 
even opposite direction to that in which they came from the sun 
itself." And he adds, «< that the assigned distance being so very 
considerable, it might appear at first impossible to eficct this by 
means of the reflection of the sun*s rays ; but as the glory Archi. 
medes had gained by thus setting fire to the Roman vessels, was a 
fact uniTersally agreed in, he thought it reasonable to admit the 
possibility of it, upon the principles he had laid down." He after- 
wards advances farther, in this enquiry, establishing certain neces- 
sary propositions in order to come at a solution of it. ^* To find 
out therefore in what position a plain mirror should be placed to 
carry the son's rays by reflection to a given point, he demonstrates 

I'. .. ••!■■, 

• 1 




that thp anole of inriiJpnce is equal (o the anale of reflection ; and 
hartng shi'wn thai, in no just a posiiiun ot the gUss, the sun's rav* 
might be retleclnl tu the given place, hi ohBerves that hy means of 
■ number or clis^es r. Hictirig the rays iiiin the same fucus, there 
muKtarifcal tlie tlt-n place iIip riniHanraiion required, for in 9 am. 
ing heal is the rifult of tl'iis cuncent rating ihr- suii'> rays j Bnd that 
when a boily is tlius set oo lire, ii kindle, ih- air aroiini ft, so that , 
it Cornell to be acted ti^iun by the iwu fortes »t onie, that of the 
■un, and thai of the cirfumamhii nt air, recprotii'ly aujtairntiiig 
and increasing the heat ; whence", ronlinui-s In, '* it neretMriljr 
results, that byaprtiptr number of plai.i mirmrs uly Hiiposed, 
the sun's raye miuhl be reflectfd in .= uch iiuaniiiy into a common 
focus, at a bow. shot dintance, as to set all in II <mei arountl it. At 
to the manner of |)Utting this in praeiite," tie -h . s. ^ ii might be 
done by employing many hanils to hold the tuirrurs in the de- 
Rcrihed position : but to avoid the ronfuHioii that '.liglit thence arise, 
twenty. four mirrors at lea;,! being n quisite to citimiintcate flame 
at such distance, he fixes upon arioth<-r methud, that of a plain 
hexagon mirror, areonimodated on eTtry side by lesser ones, ad- 
hering to it by means of plutis, Ijands, or hinges connec^Dg them 
mutually together, so as to be moved ur fixed ^t pteasBre In mny 
direction. Thus hiTiiig adapted ti:e laii;e or miildle mirror to the 
rays of the sun, so as (o pniut ihem to the givin pljce, ItwUl be 
easy in the same manner to dispose the re>l, so that atl the nys 
together may meet in (he same focus ; and by multiplying com- 

BUtHiHa M1BB0I19. S(■^||^X' .'\- 

lag nf twenty-four rnirrors, whirli conveying the rayn of the itin 
Into ■ coinman foros, produced in exireordiniry degree of beat. 
And Lacian speaking of Archimedes, sajt, that at the siege of Sjr- 
racnie he reduced, by a singular contrivance, the Roman ships to '_^ 
whes. And Galen; that with burninsplasseg he fired the ihips of 
the enemiei of Syrarase. Zonaras aleo speaks of Archimedei* '' - 
glasies. in mentioning those of Proclus, vbo, he says, burnt the - 
fleet of Vitetlius at lh» siege of Constantinople, in imitation of ' .^ 
Archimedes, vho set fire to (be Roman d<'et at (he siege of Syrsa 
cose. He intimates, thai the mnnnT wherein Proclus effected thif| 
was by launching upon iheenemies Tes^els, from (he surface of re- 
flecting mirrors, such a quantity of flame ss reduced them to ,, 

Eastathias, in his Couitnentary tipon the Iliad, jwys that 
Archimedes, by a catoptric mKrbine, burnt (he Boman fleet at » 
bow.shot's distance. Insomuch that there is scarcely any fact In 
history, warranted by more aufhrRtic testimony; so that it would 
be difficult Dot to surren^ler (o such evideaee, eren aItii(-uEh w» ' 
could not comprehend how it were possible for Archimedes to '' 
hiTe constructed such gUsse? : bat now that the experiments of 
father Kjrcher and Mr. de Buffnn have made it apparent, that .:' 
nothing is more easy la the eiecntion, than what some gentlemen 
have denied the possibility of ; what ought (liey (o think of (ht 
genius of that man, whose inrenlinns, eren by their own acoonots, 
surpass the cooception of the mo^t celehratid mathematicians of 
oar days, who ihink they have done something rery extraordlnarj, 
when they have shewed thi-mselves capable of soma 
degree, the sketches of thns>^ great masters, of whom, honerer. ' 

Ibey are tery uowllllng tu be thoosht the disi:ipl< s i 

Again, it appears (bat the ancients wvre afqiiainted with re* 
fractinii burning glasses; for wu find in Ari^tophanes's Comedj ^ 
of the Clouds, a p^ss-igs whii^h clearly tre^t) of the elT.'C's of thos* ■', 
glosses. The author intro'tures Socrates as examining Strep^iades 
about the method he hnd diKcivered for getling Gle>ir for erer of 
his debts. He replies, that he thought of making use of a buriu i 

ing<glas>, which he had hitherto used in kitiiiling his dre ; for^ f 

says he, shoald they britig a writ agairutme, I'll iiotuudiately place 
my class in the sun, at same litilu distance Irom the writ, and >at 
' it a fire. Where we see he apeaki of a glass which burned at k, ' 
duUnce, and which coiild be no otbar than a wnrcz glaii. PUor, ; 


&nd E.actnn(iii<i havr also spoken of glasses that bar&t bf 
tion. The furmer culls ihem balls or globes or glasi, or cl 
which viiiosed to the sun, transmit a heat sufficient to lel 
doth, or corrode away the dead flesh of thosu patients wh 
in need of caustics; and the latter, after Clemens AWzan 
takes notice that Gre may be kindled, by interposing glassc 
with water, between the sun and the object, so as to trans 
rftys to it. [Cu 

Among the moderns one of the earliest who deTised a 1 
mirror, was the celebrated Lord Napier, the inventor ofloga 
who, in a paper containing bintg of secret inieutions, dat« 
4, ISBG, (the original of which is now among tbe MSS 
Lambeth library, marked 658, anno.lBgS), says, 

" First, The invention, proof, and perfect ilcmonslratio 
metrical and algebraical, of a burning mirror, which rece 
dispersed beams of the sun, doth reflex the same beams alt 
united, and concurring precisely in one malhemalical point 
which point, most necessarily it cngendereth Are ; with au 
demonstration of their error who nilirm this to be made a p( 
■ectioG. The use of this Inrention serveth for the bonta 
enemy's ships at whatsoever appointed distance. -1 

"Secondly, The invention and sure demonsfralioBoAl 
mirror, which receiving the dispersed beams of any iMCari 
or Game, yieldeth also the former effect, and serveth for t 

.■■.'■y *'. 



' hig^giaff, each six* indies iqoare; by means of wMdi, withtlie 
faint rayi of tlie son in tlie montli of March, be set on fire boards 
'• of beech wood at 150 feet distance. Besides, his machine Iiai 
the conTeniencjr of burning downwards, or horizontally, as one 
pleases ; each specolom being moTeable, so as, by the means of 
three screws, to be set to a proper inclination for directing the 
rays towards any giren point ; and it turns either in its greater 
focus, or in any nearer interval, which our common burning-glassei 
cannot do, their focus being fixed and determined. M. de Buffon^ 
at another time, burnt wood at the distance of 200 feet. He also 
melted tin and lead at the distance of above 120 feet, and silver 
at 50. 

Mr. Parker, of Fleet* street, London, was induced, at an ex. 
pence of upwards of 700/. to contrive^ and at length to complete 
a large transparent lens, that would serve the purpose of fusing 
and vitrifying such substances as resist the fires of ordinary fur. 
naces, and more especially of applying heat in yacno, and in other 
circumstances in which it cannot be applied by any other means. 
After directing his attention for several years to this object, and 
performing a great variety of experiments in the prosecution of it, 
he at last succeeded in the construction of a lens, of flint-glass^ 
three feet in diameter, which, when fixed in its frame, exposes a 
snrfaoe of 32 inches in the clear ; the distance of the focus is 6 
feet 8 inches, and its diameter 1 inch. The rays from this large 
lens are received and transmitted through a smaller, of 13 inches 
diameter, in the clear within the frame, its focal length 29 inches, 
and diameter of its focus ^ths of an inch : so that this second lens 
increases the power of the former more than 7 times, or as the 
square of 8 to the square of 3. 

From a great number of experiments made with this lens, the 
following are selected to serve as spedmens of its powers : 

. .-I 

SuManceifiMdf wUh their wetgktf amd Hmfffiuion. 

Scoria of wrought iron 

Common slate 

Silver, pure 

Platina, pure 


Cast bon^ a cobe 

• • • 



in sec. 

in gn. 









3 ' 




■ '"*'. 



S,iiUKts fu>cd .- tfi(A Ikiir irr/gM, and time -f/usian. 


ir. g,,. 




Gold, pure . , . . ' , 



Crysla! jj.^ible .... 



Cauk, or terra ponilerosx 



Ufa .... 



Asbestos . . , . 



Bar iron, a cube 



Sleel, a tube . . . . 



Garnet . . . . . 



Copper, pure . , . . 



Onyx . . . . 



Zeoliles .... 



Puraice stone . ... 



Oriental emerald . ' 



Jasper ... . . 



White agale . . ... 



Flint, oriental . . . . 



Topaz, orchrysolite 



Commun limestone 



White rhomhoidal spar 



Volcanic clay . . . . 



Cornish moorstone 



(lough corneliaD 



Rotten stone . . .... 



Wliat is remarkable with regard to experimenls on iron, is, that 
the lower part, i. e. that part in contact with the charcoal, was 


were made od limestODe, some of which were Titrified, but all of 
which were agglutinated ; it is, howeyer, suspected that "^ome ex- 
traneous substance must have been intermixed* A. globule pro- 
duced from one of the specimens, on being put iilto the mouth, 
flew into a thousano pieces, occasioned, it Is presumed, by the 





Architecture and Mechanical Sciences of the Ancients. 

rxRCiiiMEDES alone would afford sufficient matter for a yolnmej 
in giving a detail of the marrellous discoyeries of a genius so 
profound, and fertile in inyention. We haye seen in the pre- 
ceding chapters, thai some of his discoveries appeared so much 
above the reach of men, that many of the learned of our days 
found it more easy to call them in doubt, than even to imagine the 
means whereby he had acquired them. We are again going to 
produce proofs of the fecundity of genius belonging to this cele- 
brated man ; and in how high a degree of excellence he possessed 
this inventive faculty, may easily be judged of by the greatness of 
those events which were eflected by it* Leibnitz, who was one of 
the greatest mathematicians of his age, did justice to the genius 
of Archimedes when he said, that if we were better acquainted 
with the admirable productions of that great man, we would throw 
away much less of our applause on the discoveries of eminent 

Wallis also, in speaking of Archimedes, calls him a man 
of admirable sagacity, who laid the foundation of almost all those 
inventions, which our age glories in having brought to perfection* 
In reality^ what a glorious light hath he diflused over the mathe- 
matics, in his attempt to square the circle ; and in discovering the 
square of the parabola, the properties of spiral lines, the propor* 
VOL. VJ* S 4 


lion of ihe sphere to the cylinder, atiJ the true principles of static» 
■ud hydroslaiics ? What a proof of bis sagacity did he gi»e in (lis. 
covering the quantity of silver, that was mixed along with the gold, 
in the crown of King Ilierom ; whilst he reasoned upon that prin- 
ciple, tltat all bodies immersed ill water, lose just eo much of their 
weight, as a quantity of water equal (o them in bnlk weighs ? 
Hence he drew this consequence, that gold being more compact, 
must lose less of Hf weight, and silver mure ; and tlwt a mingled 
■nais of both, must lose in proportion to the qiiantittn miiif;)ed. 
Weighing therefore the crown in water und in air, and two masset, 
the one of gold, the other of silver, equal in weight to the crown ; 
he thenoe determined what each lost of their weight, uidM> re- 
soWed the problem, lie likewise invented a pcrpetml Bcrew, 
TQluable on account of its being capable to uvercome any resist- 
ance ; and the screw, that still goes by Mis own name, nied in ele. 
TRling of \Tater. Ho, of himself alone, defended the city of 
Syracuse, by opposing to the efforts of a Koman genertl, the re. 
sources he found in his own genius. By means of many varioni 
warlike machines, all of his own construction, he reodfTod Syra. 
cose inaccessible to the enemy. Sometimes he burled Upon their 
land-forces stones of such an enormous size, a; cnnhed whole 
bodies of them at once, and put the whole army into confution. 
And when they retired from the walls, he slill found neaoa to 
annoy (hem ; for with catapults and balisliE, he overwbelined them 
with arrows innumerable, and beams of a prodigious weight. If 
their vessels approached the forf, he seized them by the prows with 


he bad adranced, by laoncbtng singly by himself a ship of a prodU 
giouB size. He built likewise for the king ati immense galley, of 
twenty banks of oars, containing spacious apartments, gardens^ 
walks, ponds, and all other conveniences suitable t<r the dignity of 
a great King. He constructed also a sphere, representing the 
motions of the stars, which Cicero esteemed one of the inventions 
which did the highest honour to human genius. He perfected the 
manner of augmenting the mechanic powers by the multiplication 
of wheels and pullics ; and, in short, carried mechanics so far, that 
the works he produced of this kind, even surpass imagination. 

Nor was Archimedes tKe only one who succeeded in mechanics* 
The immense machin<>S; and of such astonishing force, as were 
those which the art of the ancicnfs adapted to the purposes of war, 
are a proof they came nothing behind us in this respect. It is with 
difficulty we can conceive how they reared those bulky moving 
towers, an hundred aud fifty .two feet in heighth, and sixty in com* 
pass, ascending by many stories, having at bottom a battering ram^ 
a machine of strength sufficient to beat down walls ; in the middle a 
draw.bridge, to be let down upon the wall of the city attacked, in 
order to open a passage into the town for the assailants ; and at top 
a body of meo, who, being placed above the besieged, harrassed 
them without running any risk. An ancient historian hath trans* 
mitted to us an action of an engineer at Alexandria, which deserve* 
a place here^ In defending that city against the army of Julius 
Caesar, who attacked it, he by means of wheels, pumps, and other 
machines, drew from the sea a prodigious quantity of water, which 
he after\»'ards turoed upon the adverse army to their extreme annoy- 
ance. In short, the art of war gave occasion for a great number 
of proofs of this kind, which cannot but excite in us the highest idea 
of the enterprizing gf'niusof the ancients, and the vigour with which 
they put their designs in execution. The invention of pumps by 
Ctesibius ; and that of water-clocks, automatical figures, wind* 
machines, cranes, &c. by Heron, who lived in the second century; 
and the other discoveries of the Grecian geometricians, are so very 
numerous, that it would exceed the limits of a chapter, even to 
mention them* 

Should we pass to other considerations, we shall find equally in« 
contestable evidences of greatness of genius among the ancients, in 
the difficult, and indeed astonishing enterprizes, in which they so 
inccetsfully engaged. Egypt and Palestine still present as with 


46d ascbitbctdre and mechanical scib: 

proor« of (his, the one in i(s pyramids, the otiipr in the rains of 
I'Blmjraand liallnc*. Italy h filled with inonumenlt, and the 
rnins of tnunumcnts, which aid ui In cumprehcniling the former 
magni licence of that people ; and ancient Rome eien dow altracts 
much more of our admiration than the modern. 

The grenlest cities of Europe give but ft faint idea of tiiat gnn- 
dent, which all historians unanimously ascribe (o the luious citjr 
of Babylon, which being fifteen leagues in circumferenH) was en. 
compnHed wilh walls twu hantlred feet in height, uid fifty in 
breadth, whose sides were adorned with gardens of A pRxligious 
extent, which arose in terasses one above another, to Ota rrry 
sammit of the walls ; and for the watering of those gwAnt 0key 
bad contrived aiachioes, which raised the water of IbsBvphratei 
to the very highest of those tcrrastes ; a height equaUIng that to 
which the water is carried by the machine of Marly. The tower 
of Belu9, arising out uf the middle of a temple, was of BO vast a 
height, that some ancient authors have tiiit ventured to Uiign the 
meaiure uf it ; others pat it at a thousand paces. 

Ecbatane, the capital of Media, was of immense mipiificcnee, 
being eight leagues in cirrumference, and surrounded vith seven 
walls, in form of an amphitheatre, the Imtlkmeotsof iMtth Were 
of various colours, white, black, scarlet, blue, aiidom^; but 
all of them covered with silrer or with gold. PersepoUi wu also 
a city, which all historians speak of as une of tlic mMt ■oef«nt 
and noble of Asia. Th<re remain the ruins of one of Ml palHWs, 
which mraiured six hundred {teces in front, and slill dtefdajra the 


The other pyramids of Egypt, in their largeness and solidity, so 
far surpass whaterer we know of edifices, that we should be ready 
to doubt of the reality of their having e?er existed, did they 
not still subsist to this day. Mr. de Chezele, of the Academy - 
of Scipnccs, who travelled into £gypt to measure them, assigns 
to one of the sides of the base of (he highest pyramid, a length 
of six hundred and sixty feet, which reduced to its perpendicu- 
lar altitude, makes four hundred sixty and six feet. The free* 
Intones, of which it is composed, are each of them thirty feet long ; 
to that we cannot imagine how the Egyptians found means to rear 
such heavy masses to so prodigious a height. 

The Colossus of Rhodes was another of the marvellous produc* 
tions of the ancients. To give an idea of its exces<;ive bigness, it 
need only be observed, that the fingers of it were as large as sta. 
tues, and very few were able, with outstretched arms, to encom- 
pass the thumb ^. 

In short, what shall we say of the other structures of the anci« 
ents, which still remain to be spoken of ? Of their cement, which 
in hardness equalled even marble itself ; of the firmness of their 
highways, some of which were paved with large blocks of black 
marble ; and of their bridges, some of which still subsist irrefra. 
gable monuments of the greatness of their conceptions ? The bridge 
at Gard, three leagues from Nines, is one of them. It serves at 
once as a bridge and an aqueduct* It goes across the river Gar* 
don, and joins together the two mountains, between which it Is 
inclosed. It comprehends three stories ; the third is the aqueduct^ 
which conveys the waters of the Eure into a great reservoir, which 

• Plin. book 34, chap. 7, ftiid Diodoms Sicaluiy book 9, relate that Seniin- 
mil made the mountain B3|[;i«itany between Babylon and Media, be cat out into 
a itatne of herielf, which was seventeen itadcs hij^h ; tliat is, above half a 
French league ; and around it were an hundred other statues, of proportion- 
able size, though less large. And Plutarch, vol. 2, p. S35, speaks of a very 
great undertaking which one Stestcrates proposed to Alexander ; viz. to make 
a statue of him out of Mount Athos, wkkh would have been an hundred and 
fifty miles in circumference^ and about ten in height. His design was to make 
him hold in his left hand a city, large enough to contain ten thousand inhabit- 
ants ; and in the other ao urn, out of which should flow a river, poured by him 
into the sea. See also the same, Plutarch, vol. I, p. 705, in the Life of Alex- 
ander. Yitruvius, In the preface to his 9d Book, gives to this statuary the 
name of DiDocrates. Strabo, lib. 14, p. 641, calb him Chiromocrates* Tzetzes, 
Chiliad. 8, 199. 



npplips the amphilheatre and cify of Nimens. The bridge of 
Alcaolara, Lpun thi- Tagus, h still a work fit to rahe in na ft great 
idcii of the Roman inagni6fMice : it is six huDdrpd and seventy 
feet long, and contains six arches, each of which measute abare a 
hundred feet from une pj^r to the other ; and its htigbt fram the 
Burface of the water is two hundred feet. The broken remains of 
Trajan's bridg<- orer the Danube, are still to be seen ; which had 
twenty piers of frcp Stoue, some of which are slill standing, B hun. 
dred and firiy f<«t high, sixty in circumferenre, and distant one 
from another an hundred and feveoty. I should never end, were 
I to enumerate all the admirable monumcnls left us by tlw anci- 
ents ; the sligbt sketch here given of them, will more tban anffiee 
to answer my purpose. As to the ornamt'nls and conTpnlmcieG of 
their buildings, amon^ many I shall mention but one, that of their 
wing glaM in their windows, and in the inside of their apartments, 
just in the same manner as we do. Seneca and Pliny inform us, 
that they decorated their rooms with glasses ; and do not we the 
same In the use of mirrors and pier glasses ? But what will more 
shock the general prejudices is, that they sliould know how to 
glaie their windows, so as to enjoy the benefit of light, without 
being injured by the air; yet this they did very early. Before 
they discovered this manner of applying g'a^s, which is so delight- 
ful and so commodious, the rich made use of transparent stvues in 
their windows such as the agat, the alabaster, the phengites, the 
talcum, &C. whilst the poor were under a necessity of being ex- 


mals out of irory, which were so extremely small, that their com- 
ponent parts were scarcely to be distinguished. He says also in 
the same place, that one of those artists wrote a distitch in golden 
letters, which he enclosed in the rind of a grain of cdrn. 

It is natural here to enquire, whether in such undertakings as our 
best artists cannot accomplish without the assistance of microscopes, 
the ancients had no such aid ; and the result of this research will be 
that they had several ways of helping the sight, of strengthening it, 
and of magnifying small objects. Jamblichus says of Pythagoras, 
that he applied himself to find out instruments as efficacious to aid 
the hearing, as a ruler, or a square, or even optic glasses, ^loitrpcc^ 
were to the sight. Plutarch speaks of mathematical instruments 
which Archimedes made use of, io manifest to the eye the large, 
ness of the sun ; which may be meant of Telescopes. Aulus Gel. 
lius having spoken of mirrors that multiplied objects, makes men- 
tion of those which inrerted them ; and these of course, must be 
cSncave or convex glasses. Pliny says, that in his time, artificers 
made use of emeralds to assist their sight, in works that require a 
nice eye ; and to prevent us from thinking that it was on account 
of its green colour only that he had recourse to it, he adds, that 
they were made concave, the better to collect the visual rays ; and 
that Nero made use of them in viewing the combats of the Gladia- 
tors. In short, Seneca is very full and clear upon this head, when 
he says, that the smallest characters in writing, even sach as almo9t 
intlrely escape the naked eye, may easily be brought io view bj 
means of a little glass ball, filled with water, which had all the 
effect of a microscope, in rendering them large and clear ; and 
indeed this was the very sort of microscope that Mr. Gray made 
use of in his observations. To all this aidd the burning glasses 
made mention of before, which were in reality