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From the New Monthly Magazine, September 1819. THE MOST IMPORTANT INVENTIONS AND DISCOVERIES
OF OUR TIMES.*
ancients owed their existeuce to sel in which there is sulphuric ether or to chance ; but the discoveries of the alcohol, in a state of evaporation. Thus moderns are rather the fruit of reflexion, this incandescent wire may be employand of the multiplied efforts of scientific ed as a cheap night lamp, or instead of men to apply their knowledge to usesul a steel to light tinder. objects. Let us pass in review the The chemical apparatus for produprincipal results of this direction. cing instantaneous ignition, which be
The employment of combustible gas came rapidly in vogue, followed some for illumination makes rapid progress in years back the series of electric, galvaEngland, but this five discovery has not nic, pneumatic, and phosphoric apparayet received the same developement in tus of the same kind. These chemical Germany.
apparatus were founded on the experiThe lighting with gas, would make ence that hyper-oxymuriate of soda, a far more rapid progress, if the discov- brought into contact witb a combustiery of Taylor should be confirmed. ble hody (wood for instance), which According to this discovery, combusti- has been plunged into sulphuric acid, ble gas is procured by causing oil to sets fire to this combustible. Latterly fall drop by drop into a tube heated this apparatus, which has become very red hot, and which is kept in that state. common in Germany, has been renderThe gas passes immediately from the ed more convenient and less dangerous, tube to the lamp, and produces a beau- by putting into the phial, instead of tisul filame, without any smell. liquid sulphureous acid, very fine sand,
Sir H. Davy has increased his celeb. asbestos, gypsum, or some other body, rity by the invention of his Safety which the acid does not destroy, and Lamp, which secures the miners from which is moistened with it. Several causing explosions, which are so dan- thousand matches may be lighted in this gerous in places under ground. When manner before it is necessary to renew the lamps of the workmen are this kind of indissoluble sponge, which rounded by a very fine metallic gauze, is to produce the inflammation. the air alone penetrates and oot the Platina had long been employed for flame.
various purposes ; and as it experiences The same invention has suggested to but little action from the substances the instrument-maker, Newman, bis which may exercise some influence over blow-pipe, with a mixture of hydrogen it; as it is not brittle ; as it bears a great and oxygen gas. This contrivance has degree of heat without melting ; lastly, much more effect in the fusion of bodies, as it is very dense, &c.; it had been more or less refractory, than the blow. used for various ressels, crucibles, some pipe with oxygefl gas alone, which had works of the mechanic arts, for trinkets, till now been employed to produce &c. ; but new and more perfect_meththe greatest degrees of heat. Not only ods have been lately invented in France, the metals which are the most difficult as well as in Germany, to melt this meto melt, but diamonds, and other bo- tal with more facility, to purify it, and dies hitherto reputed infusible, melt to render it more easily worked. They ia a very thin current of explosive gas. have even gone so far as to platinate
Sir H. Davy also discovered last year vases, porcelain, &c. in the same mana means to procure permanent light ner as they gild and silver them. without flame : he has taught us that a Janetty a: Paris, Frick at Berlin, and platina wire of sufficient fineness, and Leithner at Vienna, have made very an inch, or an inch and a half long, successful experiments in this way. The which has been beated red hot, may be * From the German of M. Poppe, of Tubingerl.
Important Inventions and Discoveries of our Times.
employment of platina to line the pans bridges, which are very light, convenand touch-hoies of fire-arms, may be ient, and cheap, and some of them four very useful; the arms can no more be hundred feet in length. injured by ac ds, and gain much both in Many able mechanicians have been safety and durability.
endeavouring to discover a perpetuum The manner of working zinc has mobile ; but many, who thought thembeen greatly improved ; and ihe employ- selves on the point of succeeding, sound ment of this metal to sheath ships, to their bopes deceived, and phantom cover houses, for the manufacture of they had pursued eluded their grasp. common candlesticks, for organ pipes, The clock of M. Geiser, an admirable &c., seems to be gradually becoming piece of mechanism, seemed to have more general. It is probable that the solved this great problem, in an ingemanutacture of white zinc, instead of nious and simple manner : but it de
may be successful. Some ceived only for a time, not only the auuse may, perhas, be found also for the thor of this Essay, but many of the Dew metal called Cadmium, discovered most excellent mathematicians : for in by Professor Stromeyer of Gouingen, this clock springs were concealed in the in the blende (sulphuret) of zinc. most artful manner, which were wound
M. Gerlach of Vienna has manufac- up at certain times, to aid the apparent tured two kinds of cast steel of remark- power, which was not able alone to keep able goodness, one of which is suscepti- the machine in motion. Above a year ble of being we'ded to iron. M. Fis- ago, the author of this article discovered cher of Schaffhausen, bas also obtain- this trick, with several other lovers of ed in his manufactory, varieties of steel, the arts, who had joined with him to which are very valuable for their differ- examine the machine ; and he soon afent qualities. The English cast-iron ter made his discovery public. is so soft that it is made into nails with- The column of Zamboni, and the out forging. Mr. Schafzahl of Gratz clock connected with it, hy that artist at has even succeeded in manufacturing Verona, which have now gone without iron nails, without employing fire in interruption for above four years, as well any part of the process, from the bar as that of Ramis at Munich (called the iron to the smallest nail. All is done electric pendulum clock), are, therefore, by the action of machines ; twenty of perhaps, the best perpetuum mobile that wbich make annually as many millions we yet have. By this name we of of nails. M. Dufand, a Frenchman, course understand a machine, which is was the first who discovered that castable constantly to renew the cause of iron reheated, may be sawn as easily, its motion by its own mechanism, and and in the same time, as dry wood of whose moving principle preserves its acthe same buik.
tion without interruption, and without The shoes without seams, and fas- any new impulse, till it is stopped either tened with nails, invented some years by the wear of the machine, or by-vioago in America, and imitated in Eng- lence. The invention of a machine land, in the manufacture of which a sin- possessed of this property is indeed very gle machine to cut, press, and nail the difficult, but not impossible, as Kastner, leather, enables one workman to make Langsdorff, and other mathematicians several pair in a day, are now manu. have demonstrated. factured also in some parts of Ger- Far more solid advantages were afmany, especially in Bavaria and Thur- forded by the Press of Real, or hydroingia.*
static press, destined chiefly for the preThere have lately been erected in paration of extracts from fruits or plants, England, and in America, iron wire as the hydromechanic press of Bramah
and William is to press cloth and paper, * M. Brunel, the ingenious inventor of the to extract oil from seeds, malt, &c. machine for making shoes, has, we understand, These presses have been introduced feased to use it, since peace has lessened the demand for shoes for the army.
with great effect in Germany, and with
many essential improvements, especially into the crevices of the blocks, when it by M. Natbusius at Neu-Haldensleben, freezes, its expaosion suddenly separates in the duchy of Magdeburg, where they the layer. have even been employed to pull up The discovery made by Varnhagen, trees, and draw piles out of the water. a German, at Rio Janeiro, is still more
M. Hoffinann at Leipsig, has invent- important. He has found that sawed an aerostatic press, in which the pres- dust, particularly of soft wood, mixed sure and the filtration are not effected, with gunpowder, triples its force. The as in that of Real, by the action of a method of applying this discovery to the high column of water, but by means of blowing up of rocks is peculiarly intera compression pump. A still more in- esting. The mine is charged with a teresting aerostatic press has been in- mixture of saw-dust and powder, and vented by Dr. Rommershausen, at the whole covered with dry sand, thro' Acken on the Elbe. The effect of this which is passed a reed or straw filled press depends upon the great pressure with priming powder, so that the daoof the atmosphere on the sides of a ves- ger resulting from the dispersion of the sel from which the air has been evacua- stones is prevented. ted. A recipient which may be sub- The application of steam to the purmitted to the action of the air pump, is poses of cooking, heating rooms, drying, furbished with a diaphragm, or parti- &c. not only continues, but becomes tion, on which is placed a filter, and un- more and more extensive. Querner, der this a vessel proper to receive the Meissner, Dingler, Salzer, and other inliquid, which has been pot above the genious men, continue successfully to filter. When the vacuum is made, the improve their steam-kitchens and other pressure of the external air forces the useful steam apparatus. The steamliquid through the filter, and contributes boats introduced into several parts of to the more complete and rapid extrac- Germany, as on the Elbe for instance, tion of the soluble parts.
are still constantly employed, but the The new brewing apparatus of the steam carriages are neglected. Englishman Nordham, on account of Great improvements have beeg made the saving of time, labour, and fuel, and in all parts of wheel-carriages ; to the the good and strong beer which it makes, new springs of Mr. Edgeworth in Ireis much approved in Germany. The land, and of Reichenbach, at Munich ; apparatus for the evaporisation and dis- to the felloes of one piece of the Prustillation of ardent spirits, have been sian captain, Neander, the safety drag lately brought to a much greater degree of the Englishman, Busch ; the contriof perfection, and we obtain very easily, vance of Bruggemann in Hamburg, with a great saving of time and fuel, by which prevents all danger from horses a simple distillation, very good brandy, running away with a carriage ; and to and from this brandy highly rectified the moveable axle-trees of Lankensperspirit of wine, without running the risk ger of Munich, may be added M. Yeof burning it, or of throwing off the lin's (of Munich) contrivance for clog. head of the still
. The disengaged va- ging a wheel, and Mr. Padbury's for pours spread themselves through subdi- preventing the wheels from flying off. vided reservoirs, and deposit their aque- The well known Draisiennes, or Veloous particles, so that only the most vol- cipedes, (invented by M. Drais, in atile may be condensed in the worm, Manheim) which have been both too and thence pass into the recipient. much extolled and too much depreciaTutte of Berlin, first shewed with what ted, have been much improved both in success rarefied air might be applied to lightness and convenience by many artdistillation ; he contrived an apparatus ists; particularly Bauer of Nuremberg, accordingly, which has produced a very and Wollenschlager of Francfort. The favourable result.
self-moving carriages, as they are called, The idea of separating slate by the namely, that of Kittlinger in Schwalcongelation of water in the quarries, is bach, have hitherto had as little success very curious. The rain water being let as the machines that have been invented FOL. 6.)
Important Inventions and Discoveries of our Times.
at different times for the purpose of fly- only upon the things to be heated, and ing; and it is to be apprehended that never in vain. The Polytechoic Societhe inventive genius of many artists may ty at Munich, which has lately analysed yet fail in the solution of this problem. this cement, finds that it is indeed useful,
Lee, Bralle, Christian, and others, but bowever not so advantageous as the bave invented new methods for soaking inventor supposed. According to the and working flax and hemp, which fa- analysis of this Society, Mr. Kurten's cilitate the preparation of these raw ma- cement consists of earthy marle, sand, terials, and remedy many inconve- aod ochre. niences, particularly that arising from The kind of oily coat which is formthe noxious exhalations caused by the ed by repeated coction on the internal old method of soaking.
surface of earthen vessels, and which is Mr. Nathusius of Neu-Haldensleben, substituted for the glazing generally has discovered a process to obtain sugar used in potteries, removes all the uneafrom beet root, refined in the highestsiness respecting the possibility of poidegree, and io the most advantageous son, wbich has been felt since Ebell's manner, both on a large and a small examination of the danger of glazing scale.
with lead. This new invention is owM. Darcet, a French chemist, has iog to Mr. Kirchoff, at St. Petersburg : fallen upon a plan to extract the gelati- the vesseis covered with this kind of dous matter from bones, both as a nu- coat, serve not only for cooking, but tricious substance and as a strong glue, also for preserving all kinds of acid, salt, by the means of muriatic acid, and and fat substances. without employing heat to boil the Among the more important discovebones.
ries, we may certainly place that of Mr. M. Streiber of Eisenach, continues Osiander, in Gottingen, viz. that pure to improve his Scarlet-persio, and the charcoal of wood is a perfect preservamode of dyeing with that substance, tive against the rusting of iron and steel, Mr. Turnbull bas produced the lac lake, and against the oxidation of other metobtained from the stick lake, in a new als, as well as against the decomposition manner as lake dye, much purer than of many other bodies. formerly. Bancroft has discovered that We must wait the result of farther diluted sulphuric acid dissolves the col- experience to decide on the invention of ouring matter of stick lake, without Kaller, in England, to manufacture copmuch affecting the resin. By neutral- peras without grapes, by means of izing the acid solution with soda, and sponges saturated with vinegar; on the combining the colouring matter with new method of Boucherie, for refining alum, he obtains a beautiful lake dye, sugar; on Ashmore's new process for with which we may dye a very fine red tanning ; on the new method of manuof different shades, at much less expense facturing pots, pipes, tiles, and other artban with cochineal. Messrs. Ofenbeis Licles of baked earib by means of a press. mner, brothers of Vienna, prepare a sim- &c. &c. ilar lake, known by the name of Ofen- Lastly, no invention, perhaps, ever beimer's Red.
excited inore general attention among Many essays have been made of late all classes of people, than the kaleidosto preserve a uniform temperature in cope. Brewster was certainly the inbreweries and distilleries, by confining ventor of this instrument, which serves the warmth to substances which are bad more as a toy than to any serious purconductors of beat, The cement in- pose, though angular mirrors, &c. bad Feated for this purpose by Mr. Kurten, before led many artists to similar ideas. the architect at Wiesbaden, bas been This is also the reason that several other higbly commended. It is slated to have artists, among whom are some in Gerthe property of concentrating in stoves, many, who endeavour to dispute with and especially the economic stoves, als Brewster the honour of the invention. most all the heat, so that it is expended If we add to these inventions and
discoveries, a great number of others, the stone paper, (instead of stone) for
LETTER FROM VENICE.
From the European Magazine. FUSINA is only remarkable as a the domes, &c.: the
floor, which unduplace of embarkation on the La- lates like the waves of the sea, is oroagune. Several English carriages were mented in the same manner : the exteput up here whilst the owners were oc- rior is decorated with five domes and cupied at Venice.
The city from this numerous statues, and its walls are painstation presents a remarkable and superb ted in fresco, but the general outline is appearance, rising as from the waters, heavy. The fainous bronze horses and crowned with pingacles, domes, supposed to bave been the workmansbip and spires. We entered by the Grand of Lysippus surinount the portico. In Canal, and landed near the famous Ri- the library, formerly the council-room, alto, composed of a single arch thrown are portraits of the Doges, and paintover it; but however beautiful it may ings representing the sieges and reducappear to the Venetians, we thought it tion of Constantinople by the Venetians, trifling, when compared with the grace- and on the ceiling a beautiful desigo of ful proportions of the Blackfriars and the civic genius crowned by Fame; Waterloo Bridges to our own capital. this last is from the pencil of Paul VeroWe ascended the tower of St. Mark, in nese. Here is also a marble bust of the order to obtain a general idea of this Emperor of Austria, and a sculpture of metropolis; its height is not extraordi- Ganymede borne aloft by the eagle. pary, but from the fatness of the sur- The present council-room, with its anrounding scenery it gives the spectator ti-chamber, are ornamented by the same an advantageous view of the city, its painter. Proceeding to the palace, we port and shipping, and the windings of were shewn in the first room a veiled the neighbouring coasts. One side of statue of Coradini, similar to that of Puthis celebrated square was designed by dor at Naples: in the third, paintings Palladio, and is characterised by the of Lucretia stabbing herself, by Guido richest architectural ornaments: it af- Cagnacci, and Moses striking the Rock, fords a principal promenade in the eve- by Carlo Bonone ; in the fourth, a sacpings, and when fully lighted has a bril. rifice of Iphigenia, by Alessandro Varliant appearance; the ground floors are otari ; and in the fifth, the story of occupied chiefly by caffés,aod the shops Phaeton driving the chariot of the sun : of jewellers, in which gold chains are the designs of all these are beautiful, sold by weight, and vary in price accor- and hours might be spent in their invesding to the value of bullion. The church tigation : in the eighth room is a cartoon of St. Mark, which occupies one side of oi Raphael, representing Noah entering the square, was constructed on the mod- the ark, and two paintings of Jobo the el of Santa Sophia at Constantinople; Baptist. The floors are paved with rich if a correct copy, the taste of the origio- mosaic. In La Scuola are some fine al must have been defective; the iute- paintings of the Annuaciation, the Crurior has a gloomy appearance, but it cifixion, and the slaughter of the Ionoboasts of large desigas in mosaic over cents, by Tintoretto; the latter seems &