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a day; and we believe they are the only firm in this country who have the facilities of doing this kind of work to any extent.

The iron wire having been subject to the previous processes, is passed through the zinc bath as it comes from the reel, and ascends to the upper part of the building, where it is wound on another reel moved by steam power.

COTTON MANUFACTURE IN SCOTLAND, The cotton manufacture in Scotland is only of comparatively recent introduction, the first steam engine for a cotton factory having been constructed so late as 1792. Its principal seats are in the countries of Lanark and Renfrew. Some of the fabrics made at Glasgow and Paisley are of almost unrivaled beauty and fineness The number of cotton mills in 1837, was 177; all those of considerable size, with only a few exceptions, being situated in Glasgow, or within 20 or 30 miles of it, and all of them without exception being connected with Glasgow houses, or the Glasgow trade, at least so far as the raw material was concerned. In 1850 the number of cotton factories was 168, with 1,683,093 spindles and 23,564 power looms, employing 36,325 hands. In 1857 there were 152 cotton factories, with 2,041,129 spindles and 21,624 power-looms, driven by 9,971 borse power, of which 7,641 was steam, and employing 31,698 hands, of whom 7,609 were males and 27,089 females. The entire cotton manufacture of Scotland may be said to center in, or be dependent on, Glasgow.

The above progress, when explained in the language of practical life, repregents an increase of consumption in the above period at the rate of 70,000 bales a year, or 1.350 bales per week.

In the next place, let us have our attention directed to the amount of increase which has been going on in our spindles. In the year 1850, according to a Parliamentary return, there were in Great Britain (exclusive of Ireland) 20,858,662 spindles employed upon cotton; and having reference to the annual consumption at that period, of 629,798,400 pounds, it amounts to 30 pounds per spindle. Therefore if we apply this fact to the cotton consumption of last year. viz. :937,800,800 pounds, we shall find that the manufacturing power we now possess is that of 32,460,026 spindles, showing an increase in the ten years of 11.601,964, or an average rate of progress of 20,718 spindles per week, and requiring a weekly supply of 1,350 bales of cotton. Meanwhile, that is to say, during the ten years in question, the principal increase in growth has been in the United States; and, large as it may appear, it has barely kept pace with the increase of demand, and the supplies held in the market have been gradually diminishing, and often reduced to a very scanty amount.

The machinists of this country have, perhaps, never before found themselves so fully employed ; and, according to information derived from them, there is now going on a greatly accelerated increase in the erection of mills and in the extent of spinning machinery in course of preparation, not only in Great Britain, but also in all parts of Europe, as well as in the United States.

The new machinery now constructing for British account has been put down at 45,000 spindles per week, which is more than a two-fold rate of increase as compared with the period before referred to. These will require to be supplied with their 30 pounds of cotton per annum for each spindle; and at no distant day the increase of consumption for the new spindles alone will amount to not less than 160.000 bales a year, as against a rate of 70,000 bales in the last

ten years; or a future supply of 3,000 bales per week, as against the former rate of 1,350 bales.

Let it also be borne in mind that the cottop manufacture of Great Britain constitutes only one-half of the consumption under our immediate notice, while the other half is carried on in the various manufacturing districts of Europe and in the United States. Now, should the like rapidity of progress in manufacture be going on in these other countries, it must be obvious that an extension of growth will very soon be required of more than 300,000 bales a year.

FLAX COTTON. It has long been known that the stalk of the flax plant is capable of conversion into cotton, and that when thus prepared it possesses many important advantages over the staple now so extensively cultivated in this country, and so universally used by the population of the world. Flax may be spun, woven, and manufactured into every variety of goods that are made of common cotton. It may be used in many kinds of cloth, combined with wool, where cotton is escluded, and in all cases forms a superior sabstitute; it also holds color better than cotton or even wool. Flax is very easily cultivated, growing with vigor wherever corn and wheat flourish; and nothing can be plainer than the fact that, if there were any economical process whereby the flax stalks could be easily changed into cotton, its cultivation would be rendered universal-it would become one of the great staples of the world. Claussen's process, to this end, at one time attracted great attention; he could not, however, produce the prepared flax so cheaply, nor of so good a quality, as the ordinary cotton of commerce, and hence his discovery was of little avail, and has about passed into oblivion. The KNOWLES process, lately so prominent, consists in cutting the flax stalks, whether rotted or not, into proper lengths for staple, boiling it in a weak alkaline solution of soda or potash, until the shives separate on rubbing. It is then bleached by chlorine, adding at the same time borax, salt, saltpeter, Glauber salts, Epsom salts, sal ammoniac, or other similar salts. It is then washed with water and dried.

RHODE ISLAND COAL, A paper was read on this subject by Charles 11. Hitchcock, of Amberst, Massachusetts. He attempted to show that the coal basin of Rhode Island be. longed to the oldest of the coal periods. Professor Agassiz said that when we saw the deposits of peat in Massachusetts, and of wood in the swamps of the South, and how different they were, and that they might both one day be turned into coal, we should not conclude that two basins of coal in different latitudes were of different ages because they differed in lithological character or in fossils ; we saw how different the animals growing in these swamps and bogs were now. He was prepared to show that deposits formed in or near periods might not contain a single identical fossil, and that, therefore, our present criterion of syn. chronism from identical fossils, lack one element of certainty. Nor was it necessary that deposits should be very thick to represent a long period. Since the creation of man, there bad been but sixty or seventy feet of coal reef formed in the Floridas, and the carboniferous period might contain innumerable epochs. He thought that as yet our facts were not sufficiently numerous to authorize os to draw any very definite conclusions.

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MANCHESTER OPERATIVES. And to tell you the truth, says a writer in Blackwood, I like the working classes of Manchester, as far as they came under my notice. They are not courteous, but they are obliging. They will not touch their hats or“ Sir " you ; but if you want a direction, they will instruct you definitely. They appear to me very honest. I know the cab fares, and no cabman tried to overcharge me. Perhaps we are apt to lay too much stress on mere civility. It certainly greases the wbeels of life, and prevents their creaking, but they can go without it. And there appears to me a deep quiet well of humor in the Lancastrian or Mancu. nian nature which is infinitely amusing. One day, as I heard on good authority, & worthy incumbent in the country was roused from his sleep at five in the morning by loud talking at the side of a fish-pond in his grounds. His reverence put his night-capped head out of window. and saw three men standing by. the side of his pond. “What are you doing there ?" said he. Fishing," said they. But you are trespassing on my land; you must go away." * Go to bed again," was the rejoinder ; " your Master was not in the habit of sending away poor fishermen.” The good clergyman could, of course, only laugh and turn in again. The Exhibition, too, has exbibited some specimens of this hu.

Two women from the mills stopped before the picture of the death of King Lear. “ What is that, Mary?” said one. “ There's life in the old dog yet," said the other. The people of Manchester itself looked, generally speaking, rather jolly and well-fed than otherwise, and I heard that the recruiting ser: geant was able to pick up there some uncommonly fine lads willing to serve her Majesty.

THE NEEDLE. Professor Alexander D. Bache, at the recent scientific meeting at Newport, read a most interesting paper upon magnetic phenomena, from which we take the following :

The regular daily movement of a magnetic needle is very small. The north end of a needle fourteen inches in length moves, in summer, about the one-hun. dredth of an inch eastward in the morning, and about the same distance westward in the afternoon, making the whole movement about the fiftieth of an inch. In winter the movement is only half as great. To trace the laws of motions so very small is evidently a delicate task, and it is made more difficult from the fact that these laws are complicated, and frequently marked by disturbances. At a previous meeting he had shown how the auroral disturbances were eliminated, and how the examination confirmed R. Wolff's curious discovery of a ten or eleven year's period corresponding with the solar spots. He would now remark that here was a new point in his discussion, compared with the European physicists, namely, the use of Pierce's criterion, or mathematical rule for determin. ing when the observation is to be considered as that of a disturbance, and when that of a regular or normal position. Without this criterion, the observations from 1810 to 1845 were insufficient to rest upon for accurate results, but with it they were sollicient. He showed by diagrams how the amount of daily move ment varied from month to month, and how the law of this variation obtained from Philadelphia observations compared with that obtained at Toronto, at St. Helena, and at Hobart Tow.. The greatest movement is about ten days after the solstice, and the least about ten days after the winter solstice—the passage through the average movement is about ten days after the equinoxes. The needle is, unless disturbed, in its mean position about 10h. 26m. in the morning, and at its furthest westerly declination at 1b. 16m. P. M. These times vary but little in tbe course of the year, and would be the best times to take observations. The daily changes for every day in the year were illustrated by a diagram representing a carved surface, the breadth of the sheet representing the bours of the day, the length of it the days in the year, and the height or depression the declination of the needle. The secular changes, or change from year to year, is very difficult to eliminate, from certain physical reasons; but after eliminating it as well as it could be done, the resulting annual change agrees well with that

obtained by Prof. Lloyd from the Dublin observations, and also with the Toronto observations. From June to October the north end of the needle is east of its mean position, and from October to June west. The amount of this range is thought to increase or diminish with the amount of secular change.

THE « LAST" MANUFACTORY AT RICHMOND, The manufactory of lasts and boot-trees has lately been put in operation in Richmond, Virginia, being the first of the kind ever established there. The proprietors, WorthaM & Co., get their persimmon logs from the Chickahominy Swamp, and some of them are of such a size as to yield 500 pairs of lasts. The Richmond Enquirer thus describes the manufactory :—"Outside the door of a frame building you will find two men with a cross-cut saw cutting great persimmon logs into lengths of from 12 to 16 inches; these lengths are transferred to the frame building, where they are split into chunks, and these chunks being hewn with an ax into a very rough outline of a last, are put into a drying kilo, out of which they come in tev days, hardened and ready for the lathe. The lathe is worked by steam, and consists of a frame about three feet high, two feet wide, and five or six feet long, and so constructed that one of the dried chunks, being put near one end of a horizontal axle, is shaped by a koife into a form exactly corresponding with a pattern last placed on the other end of the same axle. The chunk, thus shaped, is removed from the lathe ; and the heel and the toe being trimmed, it is then filed, polished off, and the last is complete."

SMOKE FROM GAS-LIGHTS. It is pretty generally imagined that the smoking of ceilings is occasioned by impurity in the gas, whereas, in this case, there is no connection between the deposition of soot and the quality of the gas. The evil arises either froin the flame being raised so bigh that some of its forked points give out smoke, or more frequently from a careless mode of lighting. If, when lighting the lamps, the stop-cock be opened suddenly, and a burst of gas be permitted to escape before the match be applied to light it, then a strong puff follows the lighting of each burner, and a cloud of black smoke rises to the ceiling. This, iu many houses und shops, is repeated daily, and the inevitable consequence is a blackened ceiling. In some well-regulated houses, the glasses are taken off and wiped every day, and before they are put on again, the match is applied to the lip of the burner, and the stop-cock cautiously opened, so that no more gas.escapes than is sufficient to make a ring of blue flame; the glasses being then put on quite straight, the stop-cocks are gently turned, until the flames stand at three inches high. When this is done, few chimney-glasses will be broken, and the cellings will not be blackened for years.

LEVELS OF THE ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC OCEANS. The popular notion which had so long prevailed that the Atlantic Ocean was many feet higher than the Pacific at the Isthmus of Panama, has been formally exploded. Colonel Torren has decided, after a series of careful tidal observa. tions, taken at Panama and Aspinwall Bay, and connected by accurate levels along the line of railroad, that the mean height of the two oceans is exactly the same; although, owing to the difference in the rise of tide of both places, there are, of course, times when one of the oceans is higher or lower than the other ; but their mean level, that is to say, their height at half tide, is now proved to be precisely the same.

RAILROAD, CANAL, AND STEAMBOAT STATISTICS.

MANUFACTURE OF RAILWAY IRON. One of the very best practical reforms, says the Railway Times, in the railway management of this country, is now taking place in the rail department, by the substitution of iron of less weight but of better character. Most of the heavy rail used for the past six or eight years contained a large portion of refuse and weak material. The strength and wearing qualities of this bore, generally, no proportion to its bulk. The fallacy of, " the heavier the rail the longer it will wear," has been most effectually proved by the most convincing kind of evidence : disarranged finances and lack of dividends. The policy in this mat. ter that we have continually supported for quite a number of years past--the ase of medium sized rails but of the first character, to be proved by competent inspection, and a guaranty of wear for a certain period of time--will now, we trust. be generally adopted by the railway companies. There is not a company in the country, no matter how large or valuable its traffic, that can afford to use cheap iron in its track. It leads to insolvency with just as much certainty as the unattended to leak finally sinks the finest ship that floats. A great number of our railway companies have been for years buying iron, manufactured without definite specifications, without competent inspection, and therefore almost necessarily of the weakest material. The long train of evils consequent upon the use of such trash cannot easily be described in a short article, but every practical railway man knows them definitely enough. The evils are well enough known, and the demand for a reform imperative. Below we copy some portion of a specification for the manufacture of iron for some four of our best managed New England railways. The rails were made in Great Britain under the inspections of a competent person sent out from this country, and thus far the iron as delivered has every appearance of being a very superior article. The cost, delivered in Boston, has been about $60 per ton. Cheap enough! every one will say, if the useful qualities of this rail bears any proportion to those of that originally laid down upon the Lowell and Providence Roads. The specifications were furnished by Mr. Stark, the general manager of the Boston and Lowell and Nashua and Lowell Roads, who has devoted more than ordinary attention to the subject, and whose success in the management of the interests entrusted to his care has won golden opinions from the shareholders. We copy such portion of the specifications as will show their general character and scope.

1. To be manusactured from hot blast pig iron, made from such ores (being all mine, without cinder) as will produce the toughest and most compact wrought iron; refiued, and run into metal. The metal to be puddled with coke, and each ball to be hammered under a three ton hammer, (which shall be so arranged that its force cannot be regulated by the workmen,) into a slab, 10 inches by 2 inches. Three or four of such slabs to be piled together, heated to a soft welding heat, hammered so as to extend the pile at least 50 per cent of its length, and then rolled out into a bar 81 by 17 or 14 inches. Six or seven, as may be necessary, of these bars to be piled together, heated, and reduced partly by hammering and partly by rolling, to a bloom 6 by 6 inches ; then reheated, and rolled into

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