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he furnishes copies at reasonable prices; and judging from the specimens that we have seen at different places in the city, we conclude he he bave met with liberal encouragement.

MISCELLANEOUS IMPROVEMENTS AND DISCOVERIES. Gutta Percha.—Gutta Percha is a vegetable substance, which, though only known to us for a few years, is now extensively employed in the arts for various purposes, as a substitute for India rubber. According to Sir W. J. Hooker, the tree from which it is obtained, belongs to the natural order Sapotaceæ, found in abundance in the island of Singapore, and in some dense forests at the extremity of the Malayan peninsula. Mr. Brooke states that the tree is called niato by the Sarawak people, on the island of Borneo, and that it attains a considerable size, even as large as six feet in diameter. The timber, however, is said to be too loose and open for the purposes of building; but the tree bears a fruit which yields a concrete oil, used by the natives as food.

The name "gutta percha" (pronounced in English, gut-ta-per-tsha,) is a Malay term, and signifies ragged gum. It is contained in the sap and milky juice of the tree, and quickly coagulates on exposure to the air; from twenty to thirty pounds being the average produce of each tree. For collecting the sap, the trees are felled, barked, and left dry and useless. The gutta, or gum, in its crude state, is received in scraps, blocks, or in rolls of thin layers. It is first freed from impurities by deviling, or kneading in hot water, when it is left soft and plastic, of about the consistency of putty.

When thus prepared, the gutta has many curious properties. If placed in wa. ter of a temperature of 110 deg. F., no efiect is produced upon it; but, when the temperature is raised to 145 deg., or upwards, it gradually becomes soft and pliant, as to capability of being moulded into any form, or of being rolled out into flat plates.

When in the soft state, it becomes somewhat elastie; but, as it cools, it gradually regains its original hardness and rigidity, and appears, when cut or broken, like horn. It may be softened and hardened any number of times, without injury to the material. When cooled, unlike India rubber, it has little elasticity; but it has such strength and tenacity, that a slip, one-eighth of an inch in diameter, has sustained the weight of 42 pounds.

Gutta percha, like India rubber, is soluble in coal naptha, oil of turpentine, ether, or in caout-choucine; but it is not acted upon either by alcohol or water. In solution, it is also applied lıke India rubber, for rendering cloth water proof. It is likewise applied for numerous purposes for which leather is used, such as belting for machinery, harnesses, bridles, straps, clasps, belts, clock springs, soles of shoes, &c. The material is also applicable to the manufacture of numerous other articles of use and ornament, as surgical instruments, engine hose, water

pipes, door handles, walking sticks, chess men, picture frames, book covers, handles of knives and swords, buttons, combs, flutes, &c., &c. In short, it promises to become quite, if not a more important article in commerce and in the arts, than India rubber itself.

It is stated, on good authority, that there are two kinds of gutta percha-one light, and the other dark colored. Specimens of young trees, from which this substance is obtained, are now flourishing in the Royal Botanic Garden, at Kew, near London; but whether they are sufficiently hardy to withstand the climate of any part of the United States, we have not means of knowing.—[ American Agriculturalist.

PRESERVATION OF GRAPES.—A writer in the Horticulturalist gives his mode of preserving grapes for winter use, as follows:

At my farm, a few miles from the city, I have an ice house well constructed, which keeps a supply of ice through the whole year. In this I practice one mode of preserving grapes. This mode is applied to those which I wish for more immediate use, say from the season of frosts till near Christmas.

I have, in this ice house, a series of open shelves, made of thin and narrow strips of pine, so as to form slender lattices. As soon as there is danger of a frost, which might injure the grape, (in general early in October,) I have the grapes for this purpose carefully picked, and laid in single layers on these lattice shelves in the ice house. There the temperature is so low and regular, that no perceptible cħange takes place for a long time, and I am therefore able to supply my table every day with grapes, as fresh, to all appearance, as when picked, for a month or six weeks after they are usually to be had in market.

The second mode is calculated to preserve them for a longer time. By its means, I usually have a good supply from Christmas to March, and have once or twice kept them quite sound till April.

It is very simple. The grapes should be gathered a little before full maturity, say the last of September here. A fine windy day should be chosen, and the fruit should be picked and packed away, quite dry, as upon this depends their keeping well. You should be provided with a proper number of small boxes, holding about a peck each, grape jars, or champagne baskets—the latter answer the purpose well, if Jined loosely with paper before using them. I put a layer of cotton in the bottom, and then a layer of grapes, and so alternately until the box is full; I then cover with a layer of cotton, and fasten the cover down with nails or otherwise.

I do not find it best to endeavor to exclude the air entirely. Decay takes place sooner when that is done. For the same reason, I have found it better to choose small boxes, such as may be opened every week, as wanted for use, rather than larger ones.”

We subjoin another mode extracted from the Cultivator;

“We lately saw some very fine Catawba grapes, raised by Mr. E. Dort, of this city, and preserved by Mr. D. K. Vanderlip, in ground cork. The fruit has nearly the freshness of appearance and sprightliness of flavor, that it had when first picked from the vines-being decidedly the best we ever saw at this season of the year. The cork is thought to be the best material for this purpose that has been tried. We should think it might be well prepared in one of Pitt's corn and cobb cutters."

New use for Castor Oil.—The Alton Telegraph says: “We were presented by Mr. E. Morse, of this city, with one of his candles manufactured from castor oil, and were induced to test iis qualities with a sperm candle. The esperiment resulted in the demonstration tbat the castor oil lasted longer than the sperm candle, and the light of the former was decidedly more brilliant and extensive than that of the latter. We could not discover the least unpleasant smell from barning the castor oil candle, and believe that they are well calculated to supercede entirely the use of the sperm candle. Mr. M. informs us that they could be afforded by the quantity at twenty-five cents per pound-about one-half the cost of sperm candles.”

SEPARATING THE HULL OF WHEAT.-A patent has been taken out for a new mode of hulling wheat. It simply consists in passing the wheat or grain through a jet of steam, in any convenient manner, so that each grain shall be thoroughly acted upon by the steam, which gives to the hull such tougliness that it is not pulverized by the action of the stones in grinding, but it peels off in large flakes. J. W. Howlet and F. M. Walker are the pateentees.

It is well known that, when grain is ground in too dry a state, the hull is so brittle that a portion of it is pulverized, and passes through the bolter with the flour, thus reducing its mercantile value. This invention, then, removes this difficulty, for the steam toughens the hull so that it peels off most beautifully, and allows all that can be converted into fine flour to pass through the bolter, while the hull, like a thin membrane, is completely separated.—Junction Beacon.

IMPORTANT INVENTION.--Mr. David Isham, a machinist of Hartford, Conn., has recer.tly invented a process by which cast iron can be converted, almost instantiy, and with but slight expense and labor, into steel. Twenty minutes only is necessary to convert a ton of iron-into steel of the best quality, a process ordinary requiring from six to ten days. The inventor has been offered $12,000 for the patent right State of Pennsylvania alone. Articles manufactured from steel thus prepared, have been proved and found equal to those manufactured from the best English steel.–Artizan

THE

WESTERN JOURNAL.

Volume 1.]

OCTOBER, 1848.

[Number x.

ART. 1.- CORPORATIONS FOR INDUSTRIAL PURPOSES. There is an inherent principle in man's nature, continually inviting him to associate with his species, and to form social combinations for the amelioration and improvement of his condition ; and the happiness of the human family depends mainly upon the observance of this principle, and the wisdom and justice which characterize the social economy. Hence, it is the proper function of the statesman and philosopher to study the nature of man, and give such form and direction to social institutions, as will make them productive of the greatest good to the greatest number of individuals. The infinite diversity of natural endowments which distinguish one individual from another the varied conditions arising from the social organization and common accidents of life—the innumerable and varied sources whence the means of subsistence are obtained—and the variety of employments necessary to the attainment of these meansmall indicate the necessity of affording encouragement to the weak, and of restraining the power of the strong.

It is not sufficient that the laws of society leave the pursuit of happiness free to every individual, and protect them in the enjoyment of their just acquisitions; the legislator must proceed a step further, and, making himself acquainted with the peculiar wants and condition of his constituents, devise the means of promoting the welfare of such as are compelled to labor against a higher degree of intelligence, and the power of accumulated wealth.

Having considered, in a previous number, the means of improving the intellectual condition of such as are unable to educate themselves,

we now propose to enquire whether it is practicable to devise and adopt a policy calculated to promote the improvement of the pecuniary condition of the same class, without violating the rights and privileges of other portions of the community.

It is the nature of accumulated wealth to increase in power, until i: subjugates labor, and absorbs all its profits. This is an evil which has prevailed, to a greater or less extent, in every civilized community known to history, and may be regarded as the remote, if not the final cause of all the great revolutions which have taken place in the nations of the earth, and still remains an obstruction to the progress of civilization, which can never be overcome, but by a just and equitable division of profits between labor and capital.

There is something so plausible, and, in appearance, so much in conformity to natural justice, in the proposition, that every one should be protected in the full and unrestrained enjoyment of his own acquisitions, with the privilege of demanding from others such profits for their use, as he may see fit; that, it challenges the ready assent of al] mankind-and yet, when, to its full extent, this proposition is carried into practice, it operrtes unjustly towards a large portion of the community, and results in little less than tyranny.

Land, with the privileges which pertain to its possession, constitutes much the largest portion of the wealth of every country; and, when it has all been once appropriated, the subsequent increase of population must consist mainly of such as are born to no other inheritance than that of labor. Coming into existence, with such advantages against them, and left to struggle, unsupported against the power of wealth and intelligence, nothing less than extraordinary circumstances can extricate the offspring from the condition of the parent; and, al. though it occasionally happens that some individuals escape from this unfortunate condition, yet an equal, and perhaps a greater number, lose the advantages which they possessed in the beginning, and are compelled to take their places among the destitute ; and hence, notwithstanding the condition of individuals is continually undergoing change, yet the relative condition of labor and capital remains unaltered.

Although labor must be regarded as the natural condition of man, and necessary not only to the enjoyment of a reasonable degree of happiness, but to the support of his existence also, yet, unless it receives

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