• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 The mariner's compass
 Lighthouses
 Gunpowder and gun-cotton
 Clocks
 Printing
 The thermometer
 The barometer
 The telescope
 The microscope
 The steam-engine
 The cotton manufacture
 Steam-navigation
 The railway
 Gas-light
 The electric telegraph






Group Title: history of wonderful inventions
Title: A History of wonderful inventions
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003122/00001
 Material Information
Title: A History of wonderful inventions
Physical Description: 2 v. in 1. : ill. (some col.) ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bohn, Henry George, 1796-1884 ( Publisher )
Vizetelly, Henry, 1820-1894 ( Engraver )
Vizetelly Brothers & Co ( Printer )
Publisher: Henry G. Bohn
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Vizetelly Brothers and Co., Printers and Engravers
Publication Date: 1861
Copyright Date: 1861
 Subjects
Subject: Inventions -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Inventors -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Navigation -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Printing -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Weather forecasting -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Microscopes -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Steam-engines -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1860   ( rbbin )
Hand-colored illustrations -- 1860   ( local )
Bldn -- 1860
Genre: Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Hand-colored illustrations   ( local )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
General Note: Some illustrations are hand-colored.
General Note: Baldwin Library copy inscribed date: 1860.
General Note: Illustrations engraved and signed by H. Vizetelly.
Statement of Responsibility: illustrated with numerous engravings on wood.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00003122
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA4101
notis - ALH1918
oclc - 18172210
alephbibnum - 002231539

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    The mariner's compass
        Page A-1
        Page A-2
        Page A-3
        Page A-4
        Page A-5
        Page A-6
        Page A-7
        Page A-8
        Page A-9
        Page A-10
        Page A-11
    Lighthouses
        Page A-12
        Page A-13
        Page A-14
        Page A-15
        Page A-16
        Page A-17
        Page A-18
    Gunpowder and gun-cotton
        Page A-19
        Page A-20
        Page A-21
        Page A-22
        Page A-23
        Page A-24
        Page A-25
        Page A-26
        Page A-27
        Page A-28
        Page A-29
        Page A-30
        Page A-31
        Page A-32
        Page A-33
        Page A-34
        Page A-35
        Page A-36
        Page A-37
        Page A-38
        Page A-39
    Clocks
        Page A-40
        Page A-41
        Page A-42
        Page A-43
        Page A-44
        Page A-45
        Page A-46
        Page A-47
        Page A-48
    Printing
        Page A-49
        Page A-50
        Page A-51
        Page A-52
        Page A-53
        Page A-54
        Page A-55
        Page A-56
        Page A-57
        Page A-58
        Page A-59
        Page A-60
        Page A-61
        Page A-62
        Page A-63
        Page A-64
        Page A-65
        Page A-66
        Page A-67
        Page A-68
        Page A-69
        Page A-70
        Page A-71
        Page A-72
        Page A-73
        Page A-74
        Page A-75
        Page A-76
    The thermometer
        Page A-77
        Page A-78
        Page A-79
        Page A-80
        Page A-81
        Page A-82
        Page A-83
        Page A-84
    The barometer
        Page A-85
        Page A-86
        Page A-87
        Page A-88
        Page A-89
    The telescope
        Page A-90
        Page A-91
        Page A-92
        Page A-93
        Page A-94
        Page A-95
        Page A-96
        Page A-97
        Page A-98
        Page A-99
        Page A-100
        Page A-101
        Page A-102
        Page A-103
        Page A-104
        Page A-105
        Page A-106
        Page A-107
        Page A-108
        Page A-109
        Page A-110
        Page A-111
    The microscope
        Page A-112
        Page A-113
        Page A-114
        Page A-115
        Page A-116
        Page A-117
        Page A-118
        Page A-119
        Page A-120
        Page A-121
        Page A-122
    The steam-engine
        Page B-1
        Page B-2
        Page B-3
        Page B-4
        Page B-5
        Page B-6
        Page B-7
        Page B-8
        Page B-9
        Page B-10
        Page B-11
        Page B-12
        Page B-13
        Page B-14
        Page B-15
        Page B-16
        Page B-17
        Page B-18
        Page B-19
        Page B-20
        Page B-21
        Page B-22
        Page B-23
        Page B-24
        Page B-25
        Page B-26
        Page B-27
        Page B-28
        Page B-29
        Page B-30
        Page B-31
        Page B-32
        Page B-33
        Page B-34
        Page B-35
        Page B-36
        Page B-37
    The cotton manufacture
        Page B-38
        Page B-39
        Page B-40
        Page B-41
        Page B-42
        Page B-43
        Page B-44
        Page B-45
        Page B-46
        Page B-47
        Page B-48
        Page B-49
        Page B-50
        Page B-51
        Page B-52
        Page B-53
        Page B-54
        Page B-55
        Page B-56
        Page B-57
        Page B-58
        Page B-59
        Page B-60
        Page B-61
        Page B-62
        Page B-63
        Page B-64
        Page B-65
        Page B-66
    Steam-navigation
        Page B-67
        Page B-68
        Page B-69
        Page B-70
        Page B-71
        Page B-72
        Page B-73
        Page B-74
        Page B-75
        Page B-76
        Page B-77
        Page B-78
        Page B-79
        Page B-80
        Page B-81
        Page B-82
        Page B-83
        Page B-84
        Page B-85
        Page B-86
        Page B-87
        Page B-88
        Page B-89
    The railway
        Page B-90
        Page B-91
        Page B-92
        Page B-93
        Page B-94
        Page B-95
        Page B-96
        Page B-97
        Page B-98
        Page B-99
        Page B-100
        Page B-101
        Page B-102
        Page B-103
        Page B-104
        Page B-105
        Page B-106
    Gas-light
        Page B-107
        Page B-108
        Page B-109
        Page B-110
        Page B-111
        Page B-112
        Page B-113
        Page B-114
        Page B-115
        Page B-116
        Page B-117
    The electric telegraph
        Page B-118
        Page B-119
        Page B-120
        Page B-121
        Page B-122
        Page B-123
        Page B-124
        Page B-125
        Page B-126
Full Text

































































































-.d i ,." .. &. .. ..


. ... .. -. ,, ft , mg*A6m


r! T T F N BY i o: ill.t F F d j'. A N .- F I- T T I i I I% I E I!, -F- -i I hi-Ti.1-i


L






--t- ----6-^

A History

OF


S WONDERFUL


INVENTIONS.


ILLUSTRATED WITH NUMEROUS ENGRAVINGS ON WOOD.







LONDON
HENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET,
COVENT GARDEN.

'' i----------------- e











F. 1 1~




























chariots, with the sharp scythes projecting from their wheels, as
they went thundering along the sandy beach below the cliffs of
Dover; and great must have been their astonishment, as they
gazed from the decks of their high galleys, on the half naked, long-





WONDERFUL INVEt5TIONS.


haired Britons, some of whom were paddling their coracles, or
boats, which were made of osiers, covered with the hides of
oxen, and in which they seldom ventured far from the shore.
Although it was not until centuries after this period that
the compass was known in Britain, the Greeks and Romans
were aware, long before the time of Casar, that an island
celebrated for its tin lay somewhere on the north or north-
west of Europe. The Greeks made many attempts to discover
the Cassiterides, or islands of tin, as they called them. It
appears, however, that they kept along the coast of Normandy.
and France, and were afraid to venture across our stormy
channel, for they had no magnet to steer by. The Phoe-
nicians, who were the earliest traders that visited England,
baffled all inquiries that the Greeks made as to the situation
of these celebrated islands, and had for centuries all the traffic
in tin to themselves. It was in vain that the Greeks sent out
ships to discover where these early Phoenician voyagers landed;
the latter ran their vessels ashore on the coast of France, and
would not steer across the English Channel until the Greeks
had departed; nor does the secret of the Phoenicians appear
to have been discovered until Julius Cmsar invaded Britain.
It will be readily perceived, by referring to a map of Europe,
that the magnet was not necessary as a guide from the coast of
France to England, as, on a clear day, our white island-cliffs
may be seen from the opposite shore, and a few hours would
be sufficient to cross the narrow sea which divides the two
countries. Until the galleys ventured over, they would there-
fore keep in sight of the shore, and glide safely from headland
to headland as they crept along the opposite coast.
In those early times chance or accident, no doubt, led to the
discovery of more distant countries. A vessel might be borne
along by a heavy wind, and in dark, cloudy, or tempestuous
weather, when the sun did not appear, these early mariners
would neither be able to,distinguish the east from the west, nor
2





THE MARINER'S COMPASS.


the north from the south; thus they would be compelled to sail
along for days, ignorant of what latitude they were in, until they
at last reached land; nor would they then be able to tell in what
quarter lay the country they had left behind. Hundreds, no
doubt, were lost, who were thus driven out into these unknown
and perilous seas without either map or chart, or any guide by
which to steer to the right or left. Backwards and forwards
would they be carried by the winds and currents, and when the
sun shone not, and no star appeared upon the blue front of
Heaven, they might as well have been launched upon the im-
mensity of space where profound silence ever reigns, for it would
have been a hopeless task for them to find their way back
again over those unknown and mastless seas.
The magnet, or loadstone-that invisible bridge which
spans from continent to continent, and makes the path over
the ocean plain as a broad highway-is a dark greyish look-
ing mineral, that possesses the property of attracting towards
itself anything that has either iron or steel in its composition.
and is likewise capable of communicating the same power of
attraction to either of these metals. These qualities of the
magnet were well-known to the ancient Greeks, who, Pliny
tells us, gave the name "Magnet" to the rock near Magnesia.
a city of Lydia, in Asia Minor; and the ancient poet Hesiod
also makes use of the term "magnet stone."
At what period that more important property of the mag-
net, "polarity," or its disposition to turn to the north and south
poles of the earth, was first discovered, is not known. The
Greeks and Romans were, alike, ignorant of it; and thus, the
more distant portions of the globe remained unknown to these
enterprising nations. Among the Chinese, however that
strange people who, like the monuments in eastern climes,
seem to remain for ages unchanged either in aspect or
character the magnet appears to have been well under-
stood from a very remote date; and to have been used





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.

for the purposes of direction, in most of the leading coun-
tries of Asia, including Japan, as well as China, India, and
even Arabia. And it is not very unlikely that the leading
knowledge of it in Europe, like the art of medicine, was first
derived from the Moors; for we find a vague and uncertain
acquaintance with it about two centuries after their attacks
upon the Goths in Spain.
The earliest notice of the magnet, in the Chinese records,
relates to a period of 2,634 years before the birth of our Saviour.
This is a questionable date; yet, though we cannot fix the
circumstance alluded to with any certainty, there can be no
doubt but that the native accounts refer to very ancient times.
The Jesuit missionaries, who went to China in the seventeenth
century, were rigorous investigators of its claims to such high
antiquity; and the celebrated German scholar, Klaproth, as
well as Mr. Davis, have both given translations of the passage
in which the first application of the magnet is mentioned.
No further notice of the compass is found in the books of
China, so far as they have come to the knowledge of Euro-
peans, until about the close of the third century of the Christian
era, where, in the dictionary of Poi-wen-yeu-fou, it is stated,
"that ships were then directed to the south by the needle."
Many circumstances contribute to the impression that the
mariner's compass was first made known in Europe through
the communication of the Moorish invaders of Spain, although
the knowledge of it has been brought direct from China; first
through Marco Polo himself, the celebrated traveller in Cathay,
and afterwards by Dr. Gilbert, the physician to Queen Elizabeth.
In 1718 a book was published in Paris by Eusebius Renandof,
which gives an account of the journey of two Mahommedan
travellers in Syria in the ninth century. This book is translated
from an Arabic manuscript, which is said to bear all the marks
of authenticity: in this it is stated, that at that time the
Chinese traded in ships to the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea;






THE MARINER'S COMPASS.


and it is hardly possible that they could have constantly per-
formed such long voyages without the aid of a compass. Among
the Arabs, it was chiefly used by the explorers of new countries
in tracking their way across the sandy deserts, or over the
unknown prairie; and we may readily picture to ourselves the
turbaned merchant of the olden time, with stout heart and enter-
prising spirit, sallying forth from his city home, and finding,
after a few day's journey, nothing but an apparently endless
plain stretching far before him, across which, with the aid of his
compass, he would boldly prepare to take his way with his attend-
ants and his camels, in the sure hope of reaching the distant
city to which he was journeying.
The following description, translated from the Arabic manu-
script alluded to, gives a certain intimation of the knowledge
of the properties of the magnet on the eastern seas long
before it was generally used in Europe: -
The captains who navigate the Syrian Sea, when the
night is so dark as to conceal from view the stars which might
direct their course, according to the position of the four car-
dinal points, take a basin full of water, which they shelter
from the wind by placing it in the interior of the vessel. They
then drive a needle into a wooden peg or corn stalk, so as to
form the shape of a cross, and throw it into the basin of water
prepared for the purpose, on the surface of which it floats.
They afterwards take a loadstone about the size of the palm
of the hand or even smaller, bring it to the surface of the
water, give to their hands a rotatory motion towards the
right, so that the needle turns round, and then suddenly and
quickly withdraw their hands, when the two points of the
needle face the north and the south."
An attempt has been made by Professor Hansteen to estab-
lish the knowledge of the polarity of the magnet, and its use,
among the Norwegians, in the eleventh century; but the work
which he quotes in support of his opinion, although unques-





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


tionably of ancient date, appears to have been tampered with,
and the passage on which he relies is not to be found in three
of the manuscript copies. There are, indeed, doubts whether
the book itself is of older date than the fourteenth century. The
compass is, however, minutely described in the satire entitled
" La Bible," which was written by Guyot de Provins, and
'appeared about the year 1190; but it is evident, from the
terms used by him, that it was an instrument but little known,
and which had only lately been introduced into Europe. Car-
dinal Vitrey and Vincent de Beauvais, who were attached to
the French army in the crusades, both speak of the compass
as a great curiosity which they had seen in the East. De Pro-
vins was a minstrel; and as he wrote only some twenty or
five-and-twenty years before the cardinal, there is great proba-
bility that he obtained his knowledge of the polarity of the
magnet, and its application to the purposes of direction, from
the same part of the world. It is indeed just such a discovery
as was likely to emanate from Arabian genius; and as one
reads the statements of these old chroniclers, they carry the
mind back to the day of glaive and helm, and the imagination
pictures the wild scenery of a Syrian landscape, where a party
of bewildered travellers, composed of such as the three persons
we have mentioned, are seated by the side of some out-pouring
fount, which, as it wells through the green sward, reflects in
its crystal surface the rich hues of an eastern clime. Around
are scattered the towering and broken hills, clad with the
scanty foliage of climbing shrubs, and, now and then, a dark
luxuriant cedar of mighty growth. There, seated beneath a
lofty rock, with its rude broken front stained by the hues of cen-
turies, and here and there green with vegetation, are the three
individuals who first gave authentic information to Europe of that
invention which was destined to set at nought utterness of dark-
ness, and fog, and wind, and rain, and unite as it were to-
gether the most distant families of the earth. There sits the
6






THE MARINER'S COMPASS.


cardinal, half soldier, half priest, clad in his tonsure, and girt
with his two-handed sword; De Beauvais, with helm by
his side, guarded at all points by his supple chain-armour;
and De Prvin-. l,:o ha-s .just
0&i e h loil aside the- lute "ith wbih
-'i -" be 1. h'ua Iil his he.lt.rers and
S_ the time, listening to.. the strmane

>'. ..'_. L' ^ an, turla: ed trzi%- ller. ho. %ith
~' ','1 'I ^ th- sm,.all c,, ur-"s_, in his I,'n1 ,
is p.tintug t, thle direction they
'_ mn, t tak t to: r,.iin thi.-r f'iinls..


Thus much appears to be established, that before the third
crusade the lmknowledge of the use of the compass for land pur-
poses had been obtained from the East, and that by the year
7





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


1N269 it was common in Europe. Its use for the purpose of
navigation, in this part of the world, was first ascribed to
Flavio Gioja, a Neapolitan, born at Amalfi, and its application
was said to have been made about the beginning of the four-
teenth century. But it is evident, from what has been already
observed, that it was known, as a nautical instrument, long
before his period; and there is evidence in the Tresor" of
Brunetto, the master of the great Italian poet Dante, that it was
not a rarity in his time. How Gioja's name became associated
so prominently with the history of the compass, does not ap-
pear; but it is probable that he either greatly improved it by
the appendage of the card, or brought it into more general use.
We do not find the magnet mentioned earlier in our English
records than the reign of Edward III. ; it was then known by the
name of the sail-stone," or adamant," and the compass was
called the sailing-needles, or dial, though it is long after this
period before we find the word compass. A ship called the
Plenty sailed from Hull in 1338, and we find that she was
steered by the sailing-stone. In 1345, that is, five hundred
years ago, another entry occurs, which states that one of the
King's ships, called the George, brought over sixteen horologies
from Sluys in Normandy, and that money had been paid at the
same place for twelve stones, called adamants or sail-stones,
and for "repairing divers instruments pertaining to a ship."
The construction of the mariner's compass is as follows:-
A magnetized needle is balanced on a pivot raised from a cir-
cular card, on which the points of the compass are described;
the chief of them, or the cardinal points, as they are termed-
from the word carda, a hinge or pivot-showing those which are
intermediate between the east, west, north, and south. This
card is also connected sideways by similar pivots to a frame
formed of what are called concentric circles. These are repre-
sented by two hoops, placed so as to cross each other, and the
card is suspended just in the centre of the two, so that which-
b





THE MARINER'S COMPASS.


ever way the vessel may lurch, the card is always in an hori-
zontal position, and certain to point the true direction of the
head of the ship. The concentric circles, or hoops, are termed
gimbals or gymbals, and they are generally allowed to have been
the invention of an Englishman, though there appears to be no
evidence of the fact.
By whom the marking of the points was introduced is not
known. The French have laid claim to the invention, and
some of their authors have asserted that the marking of the
four cardinal points was merely a modification of their fleur-de-
lis; but a contrary question has been raised on the other hand,
and a supposition has been started that the fleur-de-lis itself is
only a modification of the mouasala, or dart, which the Arabs
used to denote the direction of the needle, and which is em-
ployed to point out the north on our maps at the present time.
Chaucer, who died in 1400, mentions the compass ; and states,
that the sailors reckon thirty-two points of the horizon, which
is the present division of the card.
The discovery of the "declination of the needle," or that
deviation from the true north and south which its poles evince,
has been ascribed to an Englishman. It is unlikely that it
could remain unknown long after the compass had been used
as a nautical instrument in high latitudes. That Columbus
was acquainted with it is evident from a passage in his life written
by his son; and, in all probability, it proved one of the greatest
difficulties with which he had to contend, especially as it is
now known to vary in the different parts of the world, and
is of necessity -i,!,. '... by "terrestial magnetism," or the
magnetism of the earth.
The words "terrestial magnetism" lead us, at once, to the
most absorbing scientific question of the present day; but we
must use the utmost brevity in touching upon it. What was
called the "igneous theory," or doctrine of a central fire within
the earth, has now given way to the belief, among philosophers,






WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


that changes in the temperature of the air, and various other
natural phenomena, are attributable to the earth's magnetic
power. Professor Faraday. among Englishmen, has substan-
tiated the grand fact, that the earth is one vast magnet; and
Gauss, of Gottingen, computes the magnetic power of each cubic
yard of the earth to be equal to that of six steel magnets, each
of one pound weight.
It is also ascertained that magnetic currents are continually
passing from the south to "the north pole, through and around
the earth. All the phenomena attributed to fire may be pro-
duced by these magnetic currents, while it would be difficult to
admit the existence of interior fires unsupplied with the oxygen
of the atmosphere. Now, not only are the causes of earth-
quakes, and of the action of volcanoes, rendered explicable by
these discoveries; but the establishment of the fact that the
electric currents are perpetually passing from the south to the
north pole, through and around the earth, strips the "dip," or
"declination of the needle of the mystery it has so long worn.
In consequence of these influences there is a natural de-
pression at that end of a magnetic needle, when it is suspended
on its pivot, towards which the current of magnetism, as it
may be called, is driven. This has been termed the dip; and
many elaborate and careful experiments have been tried to
ascertain precisely the amount of this dip; and through the
observations made during these experiments, it has been dis-
covered that it varies, and that a magnetic needle oscillates,
to a certain extent, every twenty-four hours. In order to
avoid the mischief that might arise if this were not allowed for,
the magnetic needle of the mariner's compass is always sus-
pended out of the mechanical centre of gravity.
If a needle, or other magnetized substance, be fixed on the
top of a piece of cork, which is then placed on the surface of
water, and left to float unrestrained, it will be found that
one end of the needle will turn till it points nearly towards the






THE MARINER'S COMPASS.


north. This is the point at which the current enters the
needle ; the other end will of course point nearly towards the
south; and if the cork be turned round, so as to direct the
needle to the points opposite to those towards which it was
naturally directed, it will, as soon as it is released from com-
pulsion, again assume the position which it previously held.
This at once explains the reason why the mariner can direct
his ship across the waves, even in the darkest night and among
the remotest regions, as by his compass he can always ascertain
the course his vessel is taking, and by altering the bearing of
the helm, and shifting his sails, he keeps his ship constantly
under command, and guides her to her destined haven.






























LIGHTHOUSES.

THERE is another .facility given to the mariner, which, if
not so absolutely necessary to his progress as the compass,
tends to relieve him from much of that danger to which he is
continually exposed. This is the lighthouse erected along the
sea-coast, or on some rock far away from the shore, over which the
waves of the tempestuous ocean are unceasingly rolling, and
which is placed there to warn passing or approaching vessels of
shoals or other dangers that might cause their destruction. A few
centuries ago, in and around England the sea and the land were
alike dark. The bluff headlands of our coast looked over the
sunken rocks, and the dangerous shoals the shifting sea-
sands had no friendly light to throw its golden streak upon the
boiling eddies, or warn the traveller where Death was ever
12





LIGHTHOUSES.


waiting for his prey. The billows broke, booming upon the
beach, over the wrecked vessel: for then, instead of life-boats
manned with brave men, who from childhood have been familiar
with the dangers of the deep, there were cruel wreckers prowl-
ing upon the shore in the darkness, ready to slay and rob the
half-drowned mariners rather than to rescue them.
One of the earliest lighthouses of which we have any ac-
count was built on a rock called Pharos, opposite the city of
Alexandria, about the year 28?3 n.c., in the time of Ptolemy
Philadelphus, king of Egypt. This island was something
short of a mile from the city, to which it was joined by a cause-
way, and upon the rock, of which it chiefly consists, Sostratus,
the son of Dexiphanes, built a tower of white marble, which
was considered one of the seven wonders of the world. It had
several stories one above another, adorned with columns and
balustrades, and galleries, formed of the whitest marble, wrought
into the most beautiful workmanship. On the top, fires were
kept constantly burning to direct sailors how to gain the har-
bour of Alexandria, which was at that time. .1*. _ly diffi-
cult of access. And such was the splendour of the light, that it
is said to have been visible at the distance of nearly a hundred
miles, a fact that appears to be incredible. No pains were
spared to render this tower as substantial and beautiful as pos-
sible, and the erection is calculated to have cost as much as
eight hundred talents, which, if they are to be considered as
Attic talents, were equal to 165,000 of our money, or if they
were Egyptian coins, would amount in value to more than
300,000 sterling. Its fame indeed became so general, that
its name was adopted as a generic term, and every lighthouse
was afterwards known, almost till our own day, by the appella-
tion of PIharos.
As the arts improved, so did the construction of these
edifices progress, until one of the greatest accomplishments of en-
gineering skill, ever attempted upon such works, was exhibited
13




WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


in the construction of the Eddystone Lighthouse, which is, in-
deed, much more entitled than the Pharos of Alexandria to
be considered one of the wonders of the world. The rock on
which this tower is built is placed about twelve miles south-
west of Plymouth, and consists of a series of submarine cliffs,
stretching from the west side (which is so precipitous that the
largest ship can ride close beside them) in an easterly direction,
for nearly half a mile. At the distance of about a quarter of a
mile more is another rock, so that a more dangerous marine
locality cah hardly be imagined. Both these rocks had
proved the cause of many fatal shipwrecks, and it was at last
resolved to make an attempt to obviate the danger. In the
year 1696, a gentleman of Essex, named Winstanley, who had
a turn for architecture and mechanics, was engaged to erect a
lighthouse upon the Eddystone rock, and in four years he com-
pleted it. It did not, however, stand long, for while some
repairs were in progress under his direction in 1703, on the
26th November, a violent hurricane came on which blew the
lighthouse down, and Mr. Winstanley and all his workmen
perished-nothing remaining of the edifice but a few stones and
a piece of iron chain.
In the spring of 1706 an Act of Parliament was obtained
for rebuilding the lighthouse, and a gentleman named Rudyerd,
a silk mercer, was th/engineer engaged. He placed five courses
of heavy stones upon the rock, and then erected a superstruc-
ture of wood. The lighthouse on the Bell Rock, off the coast
of Fife, and the one placed at the entrance of the Mersey on the
Black Rock, are similarly constructed, so that there seemed to be
good reason for adopting the principle. Mr. Smeaton thought
that the work was done in a masterly and effective manner ;
but in 1755 the edifice was destroyed by fire, and he was next
retained as the engineer for this important building.
The result of his labours has justly been considered worthy
of the admiration of the world, for it is distinguished alike for
14





LIGHTHOUSES.


W" -'^\


THE EDDYSTONE LIGHTHOUSE.
its strength, durability, and beauty of form. The base of the
tower is about twenty-six feet nine inches in diameter, and the
masonry is so formed as to be a part of the solid rock, to the height
of thirteen feet above the surface, where the diameter is dimi-
nished to nineteen feet and a half. The tower then rises in a
gradually diminishing curve to the height of eighty-five feet, in-
cluding the lantern, which is twenty-four feet high. The upper
extremity is finished by a cornice, a balustrade being placed
around the base of the lantern for use as well as ornament.
The'tower is furnished with a door and windows, and the
whole edifice outside bears the graceful outline of the trunk of
a mighty tree, combining lightness with elegance and strength.
15





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


Mr. Smeaton commenced his labours in 1756, and completed
the building in four years. Before commencing operations he
took accurate drawings of the exterior of the rock; and the
stones, which were brought from the striking and romantic
district of Dartmoor, were all formed to fit into its crevices, and
so prepared as to be dovetailed together, and strung by oaken
plugs. When put into their places, and then firmly cemented,
the whole seemed to form, and does indeed constitute, a part of
the solid rock.
The sand-bank off the coast of Ramsgate, known by the name
of the Goodwin Sands, is a far more dangerous foe to the
mariner than the Eddystone rocks ever were before any friendly
lighthouse rose above the waters, and pointed out to approach-
ing vessels the dangers by which they were beset. Situated as
it is in the main track of that watery highway along which
there ever moves to and fro the chief part of the commerce
of the world there, perhaps, more noble ships have foun-
dered than on any other sand-bank in the ocean. At one
moment a ship may be in ten fathoms soundings, and in the
next strike upon this treacherous shoal, where her de-
struction is inevitable. To guard against this fearful danger,
various efforts have been made to plant some beacon on these
sands, which should warn the seaman of the perils which await
him, but one after another, the waves have washed away the
various structures which have been erected for this purpose.
No solid foundation could be found-every attempt failed. So
4eep down under the floor of the ocean do the sands extend
that no plummet could ever sound their depth. Dangerous as
these sands are, which stretch over an extent of nearly ten
miles, they still form a safe shield to the shore, by receiving
the first burst of those mighty waves which are raised by the
easterly winds. Thus they become a barrier against the bil-
lows that would otherwise be rolled upon the beach, and
render the Downs a safe anchorage-ground, which, but for this,





LIGHTHOUSES.


would be as stormy and unsafe fora fleet to ride at anchor in as the
most perilous part of the channel. A floating light has for some
time been placed on the east side of the northern head of these
dangerous sands, and has been instrumental in saving many a
goodly vessel from foundering. There are signs along the coast
which clearly point out traces of the ocean having flowed many
yards higher than it does now, and at that remote period of
time these ancient sands would be buried beneath the waves,
instead of visible, as great portions of them are at low water,
when you may venture upon them with safety; but when the
tide and sea sets in they become soft, and woe to the adven-
turer that remains!-a grave, whose bottom has never yet been
fathomed, would be his lot.
Of course the one grand object in the construction of a
lighthouse is, that it shall be enabled to display as large and
intense a light as possible. On the several coasts of the British
islands the usual plan adopted is to place an argand burner in the
focus of a parabolic reflector; that is, a reflector something in the
shape of the round end of half an egg, which reflector is composed
of highly-polished silver, coated and strengthened by copper.
On the French and Dutch coasts the reflector is generally
made of glass, formed so as to have circle after circle outside of
each other, and thus to obtain a condensing power. When the
light is required to be cast far over the water, the English
light, which is obtained by reflection, is considered the best, as it
causes the rays to be more distributed. But there are difficulties
connected with it; for as it is necessary, not only to render the
several lights along the same coast different in appearance
from each other, but also to accumulate the power of some, a
number of reflectors is frequently used instead of one, and
these require much cleaning when they are made of metal.
The intensity of the French lights is obtained by refraction,
and thus the rays of light being interlaced, as it may be
termed, with each other, their power is greater within a short






WONDERFUL -INVENTIONS.


distance; but their force cannot be thrown so far over the
ocean as the rays from the English lights.
On the British coasts there are now, including floating
lights, of which that placed at the Nore is an admirable ex-
ample, nearly two hundred lighthouses. On the northern and
western coasts of France there are eighty-nine lights; and the
Dutch have twenty-six lights, altogether, on their sea-coast and
on the shores of the Zuyder Zee.
These lights are maintained by a small charge levied on the
tonnage of all vessels approaching or passing them, which varies
from a farthing to twopence the ton. The total amount collected
in this way, from British lighthouses, is about 2.50.00 a year,
the cost of keeping them up being somewhere about a third of
that amount, thus leaving a considerable sum for future improve-
ments.






















AECTIOUAL IIEW OF EDDI TONE LGCII1IOUV82.








GUNPOWDER AND GUN-COTTON.











W .= -









" -. 5 -1 1.. g


S- Lii Laian- r. i, __hi i the
arms of the knights were emblazoned; the dancing plume, the
glittering helmet, and the dazzling array of men in armour were
on each side visible. Whether the warrior struck with his uplifted
battle-axe, or made a plunge with his sharp-headed and long-
shafted spear, or raising his gauntleted hand, thrust his long
straight double-edged sword between the bars of his opponent's
vizor, he saw the point at which he aimed, and stood face to face
with the enemy to whom he was opposed. Each was alike pre-
pared to attack or defend, and no random bullet came whizzing
through the clouded canopy of smoke, levelling alike the strong
and the weak, the brave and the base, and rendering neither de-
B2





WONDERiFUL INVENTIONS.


termined courage nor skilful defence of anyavail. The thundering
cannon and the death-dealing bullet laid low the plumed and
knightly head of chivalry; and the iron arm of a Cceur de Lion,
that was ever foremost to hew its way into the enemy's ranks,
with the ponderous battle-axe chained to its wrist, might have
been shattered by the hand of the puniest peasant that trem-
bled as it pulled the t : ..i. had the lion-hearted king lived
when the bullet came, without a human hand to conduct it, from
the muzzle of the firelock. Those single combats, which our
early bards loved to celebrate in their rude martial ballads, were
then at an end; the standard could no longer be seen rocking
and reeling above the heads of the combatants, and telling as it
rose and fell the very spot where the heart of battle beat: for
gunpowder came in and sent its blackening smoke over all this
splendour, and under its clouded covering Death walked forth
unperceived, levelling all alike, and making no distinction be-
tween cowardice and valour. War was at once shorn of all its
false charms, and many there were who regretted the stern old
days when men fought shield to shield and hand to hand, and
who exclaimed with Shakspere,-
that it was great pity, so it was,
That villanous saltpetre should be digged
Ou(t of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed
So cowardly."
The jousts and tournaments in which lances were shivered, and
over which queens and titled ladies presided, were at an
end. The fabled giants dwindled to dwarfs, for even fancy could
not create a monster so tall that the bullet could not reach him.
All these old fictions faded away when gunpowder was intro-
duced.
A modern battle-field is the most terrible spectacle that can
be contemplated. Tens and hundreds of thousands of men,
intent on destruction, are pitted together, rank opposed to
20





GiUNPOWDERt AND GUS-COrrON.


rank, while horses and riders rush headlong upon each other,
with glaring eyes and compressed lips. The air is filled with
dark sulphureous smoke, through which the forked flames
of the cannon are every moment flashing, as they send forth
their dreadful messengers of death,-the rushing of mighty
squadrons,-the loud clangour of arms, heard even amid the
roar of the artillery, as at brief intervals its loud reports
crash like some terrible thunder-clap,-the rapid volleys of
the musketry filling up with their incessant rattle that discord-
ant din which is only broken by the imprecations of enraged
men, the screams of anguish, and the groans of the dying;
these, with their fearful accessories, constitute a scene which
is alike revolting to the principles of humanity, as it is opposed
to the doctrines of our religion.
Yet, dreadful as is a scene like this, there is little doubt
but that the principal agent through which it is enacted-
gunpowder-has been instrumental in reducing the horrors of
warfare, and saving human life: that there is less of that
savage butchery and personal revenge which stained the
battle-fields of. ancient times. Allowing for the conflict-
ing statements on both sides, it would seem that at the
battle of Waterloo somewhere about two hundred thousand
men were opposed to each other, and during a conflict of almost
unexampled severity, which lasted from eleven o'clock in the
morning till night had set in, the killed and wounded were
estimated at twenty thousand; while in the battle fought by
Henry V. with the French on the plains of Agincourt, the loss
of life was proportionably much greater; and in the great
battle fought at Lowton in Yorkshire, between the Yorkists
and Lancasterians, which secured Edward IV. on the throne of
England, upwards of forty thousand of the combatants perished,
although the numbers of the contending armies did not exceed.
the strength of the French troops alone engaged at Waterloo.
Nor has the use of gunpowder been less instrumental in
21






WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


abating the angry passions and the demoniacal hatred engen-
dered in that most dreadful of all human scourges, war, than
it has been useful in reducing the number of its victims. In
the warfare of the ancients, and of those who lived in what are
called the middle ages (with the exception of the archers, and
they, in general, formed but a small portion of any army), the
men opposed to each other, as we have already described,
fought hand to hand. Thus, when any one received a wound,
he most likely saw by whomn it was inflicted, and viewing his
opponent with an intense degree of malevolence, returned
the injury, when in his power, with a proportionate ill-will.
So would what we call our English spirit of fair play" have a
check in this feeling of personal revenge. But now the greater
part of every battle is'fought by men who have no opportunity
of perceiving by whom they are wounded or hurt; and being thus
less prompted by personal feeling, the termination of an en-
gagement shows a far greater degree of humanity than was for-
merly known; and the instances are even numerous where those
who but an hour or a few minutes before were at deadly strife,
have evinced the noblest generosity in allaying the sufferings
of each other.
Cruel as war is, it is surely better to end it quickly than to
prolong it. To do in a few hours what might be continued for
days, bad as it' is, is to shorten human suffering; and we
may hope at last that the more powerful the agent of destruc-
tion, the more effective it will be found for the shortening, and
perhaps in time the prevention of war altogether.
An instance of this was given by the naval force under the
command of Sir R. Stopford, who, in 1841, was sent to rescue
Syria from the power of Mohammed Ali, the Pacha of Egypt.
After taking the commercial town of Beyrout, this force sailed
to bombard the town of St. Jean D'Acre, then considered one
of the strongest fortresses in the world. It had been fortified
with the utmost care, and was considered by those who defended
22






GUNPOWDER AND GUN-CO'TroN.


it as almost impregnable. But Sir Robert dispatched a few of
his line-of-battle ships to silence the cannon on the walls,
while, with the steam frigates under his command, he kept
further from shore, and threw, from the mortars on board of his
vessels, large shells into the place.
The fire was close and effective: and the guns of one of
the seventy-fours were so placed, that the whole of her broad-
side was poured into one small space, described by an eye-
witness as not more than ten feet square ; and all the balls
striking nearly at the same instant, the force of the blow was
so irresistible that the solid masonry cracked, yielded, and
with a thundering crash finally fell down into fragments, leaving
a breach sufficiently wide enough for the assailants to enter the
town.
In the meantime the admiral contrived to ply the de-
fenders with volleys of shells from the steam frigates; and one
of these breaking through the roof of an encased building, there
burst. This chanced to be the magazine, where all the ammu-
nition of the place was deposited. The contents immediately
exploded; and one of the most sublime and awful sights that even
tdie terrible machinery of war can produce was witnessed, as
the vast mass of the building, with the bodies of seventeen hun-
dred men, was driven, like the outpouring of a volcano, high
and reddening into the air. The whole town was for a while
enveloped in terrific darkness; and when the cause and tlhe
effect of the accident were perceived, it was considered useless
to continue the contest : and thus, though at a great sacrifice,
in three hours, was brought to a conclusion a war which might
have continued for months or years, and which would have
covered whole provinces and countries with desolation.
Cannons, or guns, as they are more commonly called,
are distinguished by the weight of the ball which they are
capable of discharging. Thus we have 6s-pounders, '32-
pounders, 24-pounders, 18-pounders, and the lighter field-







WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


pieces, from 4 to 12-pounders. The quantity of powder used
for the discharge of the several pieces in general warfare is-
for common brass and iron guns, one-third the weight of powder
to the ball, whatever the weight of the latter may be; for
brass howitzers, which are the same in shape nearly as common
cannon, being larger in the bore or inside and shorter in length,
the quantity of powder used is one-ninth the weight of the ball;
while in the firing of carronades, a still shorter and wider piece,
the quantity of powder used is only .i,, -/i.., the weight of
the ball, being, as you will perceive, considerably less than
what is used for common cannons.
By the use of something like this proportion, in several expe-
riments which have been made, both at Woolwich and in France,
where the several guns were directed point blank, that is, so as to
fire the ball perfectly straight at the object aimed at, the largest
class of cannon-balls was carried a range of 360 yards, and 18-
pounders as far as 400 yards, from iron guns ;-from brass guns,
a 12-pound shot was sent 330 yards, and a 3-pound shot 350
yards; while from carronades, the range of shot was, of 68-
pounders 300 yards, of a 42-pound shot 270 yards, a 24-pound
250 yards, and of a 12-pound shot 230 yards. In general war-
fare, when what is called ricochet practice is often used, the
most effective distances at which cannon can be used, is from
500 to 600 yards, or from a quarter to half a mile. At the
battle of Waterloo, the brigades of artillery were stationed about
half a mile from each other. Cannon and shells, however,
can be thrown with effect to the distance of a mile and a half
to two miles. From its destructive power it will naturally
be supposed that some efforts have been made to ascertain
what the force of gunpowder is when it causes a ball to strike
any object.
The experiments have been numerous, and in Sir Howard
Douglas's "Treatise on Naval Gunnery," it is recorded that seve-
ral trials were made ; in one instance, by firing an 18-pounder
24






GUNPOWDER AND GUN-COTTON.


shot into a butt made of beams of oak, when the charges
were 6 lbs. of powder, 3 lbs., 21 lbs., and 1 lb., the respective
depths of the penetration were 42 inches, 30 inches, 2s inches,
and 15 inches, and the velocities at which the balls flew were
1600 feet in a second, 1140 feet, 1024 feet, and 656 feet. In
1835, in some experiments made at Woolwich, where balls were
fired at a wall of concrete, that is, a composition of stone,
made into a kind of cement, which hardens as it sets
till it is harder than stone itself, two 24 lb. shot fired at a velocity
of 1390 feet in a second, penetrated the wall to the depth of
3 feet 10 inches. When fired into wood, on account of the
resistance of the fibres, which are driven forward by the ball, the
depth reached by a large quantity of powder, exhibits less than
the usual force. The knowledge of these facts is of great impor-
tance, as it enables engineers to judge of the strength of the
erections constructed to resist the power of cannon, and thus
preserve the lives and property of persons in besieged places.
It should be further observed that in attacking fortifications,
it is always necessary to elevate the mouths of the pieces, which
fire the shot and shells, to the extent of from six to nine
degrees of the arch of the horizon, the reason of which shall be
explained hereafter.
Not only, however, is gunpowder employed in the discharge
of deadly missiles above ground, but it is used to undermine
the works of towns, and thus level their defences to allow the
besiegers to enter. These mines which are formed for the
defence of towns, are called defensive mines, and those formed
by their opponents offensive mines.
There were formerly two kinds of mines used in the attack
of a fortress. One was a subterranean passage, run under the
walls, and charged with gunpowder, which being exploded, ena-
bled the besiegers to enter, and thus attack the defenders in
the very heart of their stronghold. The other was employed to
demolish the walls themselves, and thus enable the attacking
25





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


force to bring all their power within the town, through the
breach they had succeeded in making.
In the former case the business was to drive an under-
ground way, or gallery as it was called, and at the end to
deposit a quantity of combustible matter, which, being exploded
at a certain time, opened the way for those attacking to enter
the fortress. In the latter project, the gallery was driven till,
by a peculiar instrument, it was ascertained that it had reached
the walls of the place attacked, and then it was forced out right
and left under their foundations, and supported by timber pil-
lars. These were afterwards consumed by fire, and further
shattered by powder, so that the support giving way, the walls
fell into the gulf occasioned by the explosion.
These attempts were, however, often met by those who de-
fended the fortifications, for the besieged were sometimes before-
hand with their adversaries, and frequently met them face to face.
Of this a remarkable instance occurred at the siege of a place
called Melun in France, which was conducted by the Duke of Bur-
gundy and our Henry V., in the year 1420. In that instance,
the besiegers, who had driven up the mine close to the walls of
the town, found, to their consternation and surprise, that their
enemies had not been behindhand, and when the slight earth-
work .was broken through, and admitted an entrance into
the town, the assailants perceived, with no little astonishment,
their opponents ready to face them, and the king and the
duke fought hand to hand with two of the inhabitants of
the province of Dauphiny across the slight barrier that was left
standing between the combatants.
Another of those terrible uses to which gunpowder is applied
is the forcing open of the gates of fortified places, and a remark-
able instance of the tremendous effect produced by it, was exhi-
bited during the late war in India, when Afghanistan was
overrun by the British forces. The long peace of Europe had
thrown many of the military engineers out of employment, and






GUNPOWDER AND GUN-COTTON.


several had been taken into the service of the different poten-
tates and princes of India. Among such as had retained
some of these mercenaries, were the Ameers of Scinde, and when
the dispute with the British East India Company broke out,
they fortified Ghuznee, which was considered one of their
strongest fortresses. Every effort had been used to render the
place impregnable, and when their opponents approached, it
was fully believed by those in possession, that it was quite
strong enough to resist a siege of eight months, even if all the
powers of artillery were brought against it, and all the balls
fired that could be found in India.
The place was invested, and the ramparts presented a most
imposing appearance; but the troops were posted, and Lord
Keane, at that time in command of the British forces, deter-
mined to take the place by assault. About three hours before
daylight the men were placed, and Lieut. Durand, of the 71st
Highlanders, was commissioned to open the way for his com-
rades. The cannonade had been growing louder and louder for
a couple of hours; and every moment the peals of the musketry,
both from the walls and the assailants, became fiercer and
fiercer. The Afghans burnt blue lights to ascertain the posi-
tion of their foes; and, in one of the intervals of darkness,
Durand advanced at the head of a party of men, each of whom
bore on his shoulders a leather bag filled with gunpowder.
They succeeded in reaching the principal gate of the fortress
without being observed: within were the Afghan soldiers ap-
pointed to guard the entrance, each smoking his pipe with the
immovable gravity of Mahommedans, utterly unconscious of
the tremendous catastrophe that was instantly to hurry them
into eternity, and render all the precautions for the defence
of the town useless.
The bags were quickly attached to the gate; the train was
laid-the fuze was lighted; Durand and his men hurried to a
distance, and, in the next instant, there was a tremendous
27





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


explosion. The gate was scattered in fragments; the solid
masonry of the walls, rent and torn, became a ruin; immense
stones were hurled from their places ; and all within the gate
met with an instantaneous death. The way was opened ; Colonel
Denny, at the head of the forlorn hope, dashed over the ruins;
and, notwithstanding the brave resistance of the defenders, the
British :1 soon waved over the ramparts.
Numerous examples of the powerful effects of gunpowder
were given in that celebrated siege of Gibraltar, when it was
assailed by the united forces of France and Spain, and defended
by General Elliot. From its position at the entrance to the
Mediterranean, Gibraltar has of late years been, as it will
doubtless continue to be, a place of great political importance.
It is connected on one side with the south-eastern coast of Spain;
on its other sides the rock of the fortress bristling with cannon,
and rough with the craggy protuberances by which its face is
broken, towers in the highest part upwards of thirteen hundred
feet above the waves that dash against its base, presenting one
of the most formidable natural fortresses in the world.
Gibraltar had been taken by a combined English and Dutch
fleet in 1704, and was confirmed as a British possession, in
1713, by the peace of Utrecht; but in 1779 it was assailed by
the united forces of France and Spain, and the siege con-
tinued till the 2nd of February, 1783. The chief attack was
made on the 13th September, 1: .. On the part of the be-
siegers, besides stupendous batteries on the land side, mounting
two hundred pieces of ordnance, there was an army of 40,000
men, under the command of the Due de Crillon. In the bay
lay the combined fleets of France and Spain, comprising forty-
seven sail of the line, beside ten battering ships of powerful
construction, that cost upwards of 50,000 each. From those
the heaviest shells rebounded, but ultimately two of them were
set on fire by red-hot shot, and the others were destroyed to pre-
vent them from falling into the hands of the British com-
28





GUNPOWDER AND GUN-COTTON.


mander. The rest of the fleet also suffered considerably; but
the defenders escaped with very little loss. In this engagement
8300 rounds were fired by the garrison, more than half of
which consisted of red-hot balls. During this memorable siege,
which lasted upwards of three years, the entire expenditure of
the garrison exceeded 200,000 rounds,-8000 barrels of powder
being used. The expenditure of the enemy, enormous as this
quantity is, must have been much greater; for they fre-
quently fired, from their land-batteries, 4000 rounds in the
short space of twenty-four hours. Terrific indeed must have
been the spectacle as the immense fortress poured forth its
tremendous volleys, and the squadron and land-batteries replied
with a powerful cannonade. But all this waste of human life
and of property was useless on the part of the assailants; for
the place was successfully held, and Gibraltar still remains
one of the principal strongholds of British power in Europe.


SATNT GEORGE'S HALL, GIBRALTAR.





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


During the progress of the siege, the fortifications were
considerably strengthened, and numerous galleries were exca-
vated in the solid rock, having port-holes at which heavy guns
were mounted, which, keeping up an incessant fire, proved
very efficacious in destroying the enemy's encampments on the
land side. Communicating with the upper, tier of these gal-
leries are two grand excavations, known as Lord Cornwallis's
and St. George's Halls. The latter, which is capable of hold-
ing several hundred men, has numerous pieces of ordnance
pointed in various directions, ready to deal destruction on an
approaching enemy.
In modern times one of the most striking examples of the power
of gunpowder was shown in promotingthe arts of peace. This was
the experiment so boldly ventured upon by Mr. Cubitt, the civil
engineer, who was employed to construct the South-Eastern
Railway, and who, to avoid a tunnel of inconvenient length,
determined to reduce the South Down Cliff, a portion of the
chalk rock which girds the Kentish coast between Folkestone
and Dover. The range of land between these two towns con-
sists of a series of lofty hills, upraised by the chalk rock which
extends from the middle of England to the centre of Poland,
divided of course by the sea. It was desirable to avoid a long
gallery, through which the trains would have had to pass,
unless a durable sea-wall could be formed by which the car-
riages might proceed in open daylight. With characteristic force
of intellect, Mr. Cubitt resolved to level this mighty barrier;
and as the reduction of it, if accomplished by manual labour,
would not only cost an immense expense, but would also
occupy a great amount of time, the engineer determined to
blow it up with gunpowder. Accordingly a gallery of small
dimensions was opened in the rock from the western end;
and at certain intervals chambers, or open spaces, were
formed, in which large quantities of gunpowder were depo-
sited. These chambers were then closed, only leaving
30





GUNPOWDER AND GUN-COTTON.


small openings for the communication of fuzes, or ropes
having within them a copper-wire which communicated with
a little house on the surface, at a considerable distance
from the spot where the catastrophe was to take place. These
wires were attached, at the other extremity, to a galvanic
battery, which, by the passage of electricity through them,
would fire the gunpowder. Mr. Cubitt was assisted by Lieut.
Jackson, of the Royal Engineers. On the day appointed for
the operation a large assemblage was gathered on the Downs
to witness the result of the experiment. There was nothing to
be seen but the undulating surface of the country, and the
multitude of gay spectators of this novel sight, with the sea
stretching in repose beyond, a little hut in which the operators
were engaged, and a small rope, which, at a short distance,
seemed to be lost in the ground. The battery was charged,
and, after a few seconds, a low rumbling noise was heard,
apparently under foot-an almost imperceptible uprising oc-
curred, and, within a few seconds afterwards, the whole of the
immense mass of rock, weighing upwards of 500,000 tons,
was cast forward, and lay ground and shattered on the edge of
the Channel waters. It was calculated that upwards of eight
months of labour, and 10,000 of expense, were saved by
this bold experiment. It was a sight not to be seen once in a
century; it was the carrying of a stubborn and ancient barrier
by peaceable science-a turning of the elements of war into the
channels of civilization.
It is almost needless to dwell on the several other offices
of peace which gunpowder fulfils, but we must not omit to
mention the great aid it renders in bringing to the surface of
the earth those metals which constitute one of the great
sources of this country's wealth. Few sights indeed are more
striking than that of blasting rocks in a mine. When, it is
requisite to remove a large quantity of earth or stone, a per-
foration is formed in the side, at the end of which a chamber or
31






WONDERFUL INVENTIONS,


a Juze, so made as to allow the work.
men to get to a safe distance before it
ignites the powder, is then lighted, and in a few minutes the rock
is torn from its bed, and the miners are enabled to proceed
in the extraction of the mineral wealth which this explosion
may bring to light.
Who it was that first invented gunpowder is unknown. It
was for a long time believed that its properties were first dis-
covered by Berthold Schwartz, a Prussian monk, but it is now
generally agreed that it was used by the Chinese, many centuries
before the Christian era, but only as an agent of peaceful arts,
such as the levelling of roads, the reduction of hills, and the
formation of canals, although some of their ancient pieces of
ordnance seem adapted only for the use of gunpowder. Of its first
application by them for the purpose of warfare we have no certain
account; indeed, the earliest instance of its employment for the
destruction of human life is found in the account of the battle
of Crecy, fought with the French by our Edward III. in 1346.
32






GUNPOWDER AND GUN-COTTON.


Roger Bacon, the celebrated English natural philosopher,
gives some obscure account of its composition in his treatise on
Natural Magic, but, as just stated, to Berthold Schwartz the
general knowledge of its real nature is traced. His discoveries
were made known in 1336, ten years before cannon appeared
in the field at Crecy.
Gunpowder is formed by a chemical mixture of nitre,
charcoal, and sulphur, in different proportions. One would
suppose, that as the objects to be attained are explosion,
power, and rapidity of firing, or combustion, that the propor-
tion of the several ingredients used would be the same for
all purposes; but such is not the case. It is necessary,
that whatever quantity of each ingredient be required, they
must all be of the utmost purity. The charcoal is procured
from burning alder, willow, or dogwood, and it is prepared,
not in the usual way, but by consuming the woody fibre
in iron retorts; the sulphur is of the volcanic kind, and is
chiefly procured from Sicily, while the nitre is first fused
to divest it of water, and afterwards wetted to enable it to
mix with the other ingredients.
When these substances are in a fit state for mixing
together, they are formed separately into pound powders, and
then mixed in their proper proportions. They are after-
wards sent to the powder-mill, which consists of two stones
reared uprightly, and moving on a bed placed flat. On this
bed the powder is deposited, and wetted sufficiently to enable
the stones to act upon it without firing; but not so as to
bring it into a state of paste. The stone runners are made
to revolve over this mass until it is in a fit state to be sent
to the cooning house, where it is cooned or grained. There
it is pressed into a firm mass, and afterwards broken into
small lumps and made to pass through sieves with small
apertures, in which there is put a piece of wood called lignum
vitce.





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


The sieves are formed of parchment skins, which have
round holes punched in them, and within the sieves the piece
of lignum vitce is made to revolve till it has forced all the
powder through the apertures, and grains of several sizes are
consequently formed. From these grains the dust caused by
the rubbing is separated, and then the hard corners and edges
of the particles left are taken off, by being run for some time
in a reel, which is made to describe a circular motion by the
aid of machinery. This process is called glazing, as it puts a
slight gloss upon the powder, which is afterwards sent to a stove
to be dried, care being taken to regulate the heat by a ther-
mometer, that the sulphur may not be dissipated or driven off
by the process. Only about forty or fifty pounds of this composi-
tion is worked at a time, as explosions occasionally occur from
the upright stones coming in contact with the bed on which
the powder is placed and on which they revolve.
The cause of the explosion of gunpowder is this: a spark
falling on one particle heats it to the degree of ignition, then
nitre is decomposed, and its oxygen being set free, imme-
diately combines with the charcoal and sulphur, which are also
made hot, and the combination produces heat enough to inflame
the whole mass with such rapidity, as to cause it to force away
any object before it with great power.
While on the subject of gunpowder, we may mention the
apparently remarkable invention of a gentleman named Warner,
a captain in the navy, who has lately offered to sell to the
government the secret of his discovery for the benefit of the
country, but demanded a large price as his reward. The value
he placed upon his invention induced one of those noble-spirited
and patriotic individuals who have risen through the exercise
of their own faculties to station, influence, and wealth, of which
the annals of the country contain so many examples, Mr.
Joseph Soames, a shipowner, to present a vessel of his own, of
about four hundred tons burden, to test the truth of Capt.






GUNPOWDER AND GUN-COTTON.


DESTRUCTION OF THE JOHN OF GAUNT.
Warner's assertions. That gentleman had declared that, with-
out any communication with the vessel at all, he could in an
instant blow the largest ship to atoms.
The experiment was made off the coast of Brighton; and,
as the time approached, the shore was crowded with eager
spectators, among whom were the government commissioners,
and a large number of officers eminent in the military service
of the country. Shortly before the time fixed, the John of Gaunt
hove in sight, towed by a small steamer, while Capt. Warner,
in another boat, was waiting to fulfil or disappoint the anxious
multitudes on the cliff, who were observing his proceedings.
The tow-rope was cast loose; and, at a signal from the shore,
the inventor completed his design. The distance between
Capt. Warner and the John of Gaunt might be from half to
three-quarters of a mile; but within two or three minutes
after the signal had been given, the fated vessel was seen to
rise upon the surface of the sea, her decks were forced out,
and, in the succeeding instant, her masts and rigging were
c 2 35





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


dishevelled, and she sank a ruin beneath the waters-a com-
plete evidence how one puny hand, directed by reason and
armed by science, can, in an instant, destroy the proudest
vessel that may have braved unscathed the wildest storm.
Capt. Warner has also stated that, by his discovery, he is able
to destroy ships even at five miles' distance, and with a variety
of objects intervening; and a trial, at the expense of govern-
ment, was made on the Marquis of Anglesea's estate in Wales.
But it would seem that the invention is not yet complete, as
the experiment in that instance failed.
Another equally efficacious, and indeed more powerful in-
strument of destruction than gunpowder, has of late been made
known to the world by M. Schonbein, a professor of chemistry
at Berlin. He found that by immersing the common flax
cotton in equal quantities of nitric acid and sulphuric acid, and
then washing and drying it, that an explosive power was ob-
tained quite equal to that of gunpowder. It is stated in a
report of the Parisian Academy of Sciences, that "if we are to
believe the statements that have been made by persons of high
respectability, the explosive cotton of M. Schonbein is a perfect
substitute for gunpowder, possessing, weight for weight, much
more strength than that article, and, at the same time, being
free from the many serious objections which attend the manu-
facture of gunpowder. On the other hand, it does not appear
that any of the specimens of other discoverers have given fully
satisfactory results, that is to say, they are by no means of so
destructive a property as the cotton of M. Schonbein. Many
charges of illiberality have been brought against that gentle-
man for not making his process known, and endeavouring to
make a good speculation of it for his own interest, under the
protection of patents. We do not join in this outcry. If M.
Schonbein, who is reported, we know not how truly, to have
disposed of his patent right in England for 40,000, could
make a million sterling of his different patents, we should not






GUNPOWDER AND GUN-COTTON.


think him too highly rewarded, if it be true that his cotton is
so much more powerful than that of his competitors, as his
friends represent it to be. The man who invents the most
rapid and the most effectual means of destruction, as regards
war, is the greatest friend to the interests of humanity. Before
gunpowder was invented war was a very favourite pastime of
the rulers of nations, for it served to gratify their bad passions
without presenting the chances of utter ruin to them. By
risking a portion of the money derived from the labour of their
subjects, and sacrificing a few hundred lives, they were able to
play at the game of ambition; and, having always the hope of
success before them, they had a constant excitement to violence
and outrage. Nor did the pastime cease with the invention of
gunpowder. The scale on which it was carried on was greater;
but in a few years, when military tactics had been improved,
and fire-arms had been made on surer principles, the game be-
came too hot for the gamesters, and they were glad to retreat
at length from the struggle of vain glory. The bow and arrow
work of the ancients was nothing more than child's play to the
fields of Austerlitz and Waterloo; and, when once a suspension
of hostilities had taken place, governments began to reflect
that the game was too costly. Thirty years of peace have
served to give birth to better ideas; but there is every now
and then an indication of a desire to involve nations in warfare.
We are quite sure, however, that if any man could invent a
means of destruction, by which two nations going to war with
each other would see large armies destroyed, and immense
treasure wasted, on both sides, in a single campaign, they
would both hesitate at entering upon another. We repeat,
therefore, that in this sense the greatest destroyer is the
greatest philanthropist; and supposing what is said of M.
Schonbein's invention to be true, we think that all governments
will, in the event of differences, try all possible means of con-
.cession and conciliation before coming to a trial of strength in
37





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


which the strong as well as the comparatively weak must be
such great losers."
No better result could have been desired, and as the world
grows wiser the truth of these assertions will be not only
readily recognized, but acted on. The governments of Eng-
land and France have both declined to use the "gun-cotton,"
as it is called, instead of gunpowder, because it is alleged that
it explodes with such a small degree of heat, that after a few
discharges a musket would be so hot as to go off the moment
the charge was put within the barrel.
The invention is not, however, quite so new in principle as
was generally supposed, for at the same meeting of the
academy to which we have alluded, M. Pelousi, one of the
members, said, Although M. Schonbein has not published
the nature or mode of preparation of his cotton, it is evident
that the properties which he assigns to it can only apply to
xyloidine. M. Dumas, as well as myself, made this remark
in the origin of the first communications of M. Schonbein.
Reasoning on the hypothesis that the poudre coton is nothing
else than xyloidine, I may be permitted to say a few words
with respect to its history, and some of its properties.
Xyloidine was discovered in 1833 by M. Braconnet, of Nancy.
He prepared it by dissolving starch and some other organic
substances in nitric acid, and precipitating these solutions in
water. In a note inserted in the Comptes rendis de V Aca-
demie des Sciences, in 1833, I showed that the xyloidine re-
sulted from the union of the elements of the nitric acid with
those of starch, and explained, by this composition, the ex-
cessive combustibility of the substance produced. I ascer-
tained-and this I think is a very important result in the
history of the applications of xyloidine-that, instead of pre-
paring it by dissolving the cellulose, it might be obtained
with infinitely greater facility and economy by simply im-
pregnating with concentrated nitric acid, paper, cotton, and
38






GUNPOWDER AND GUN-COTTON.


hemp, and that these organic matters thus treated took fire at
180 degrees, and burnt almost without residuum, and with
excessive energy; but I think it right to add, that I never for
an instant had an idea of their use as a substitute for gun-
powder. The merit of this application belongs entirely to M.
Schonbein. Eight years ago, however, I prepared an inflam-
mable paper by plunging it into concentrated nitric acid. After
leaving it there for twenty minutes I washed it in a large
quantity of water, and dried it in a gentle heat. I have re-
cently tried this paper in a pistol, and with about three grains
pierced a plank two centimetres in thickness (about three
quarters of an inch) at a distance of twenty-five metres."
M. Otto, of Brunswick, Dr. Knapp, of Berlin, Mr. Taylor,
of London, Mr. Phillips, of Brighton, and several other indi-
viduals connected with science, have produced similar results,
not only from cotton, but from other vegetable products. The full
effects of this discovery have not yet been ascertained, though
its manufacture in this country is likely to be very extensive
for both sporting and mining purposes. The history of ex-
plosive substances, so far as our present experience extends,
may here be said to terminate. This review of them teaches
us at least one truth, that mental exertion, especially when
employed in scientific investigation, will always prove superior
to brute force, no matter how skilfully directed.








I S
1'- : Lii i K _ .. .



i eHE measurement of Time must have been an
art which the earliest of mankind were desirous
of discovering. No accurate account of events could
be transmitted to their posterity without it; and
when human society began to take an orderly form,
this division of time became the more necessary for
the regular performance of social duties and labours.
The lights in the firmament of the heaven" were
not only to divide the day from the night, but were to be "for
signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years." The
regulation of the seasons" men beheld to be evidently depen-
dent on the sun ; and their periodical return began to be classed
as comprising a "year."
The day," or period between the apparent rising and
setting of the sun, or, as inclusive of night, the period from
sun-rise to sun-rise, would afford a ready means of enabling the
first men to apply their rude science of numbers to the length
of a year. The moon, by its succession of phases in twenty-
eight days, afforded an easy reference for the subdivision of
months; while the fourth of this period dictated the further
subdivision of weeks, common to all the early nations.
Our own island-king, Alfred the Great, had no clock with
which to measure out time, only the sun and shadow to divide
the hours, both useless in the dull cloudy day and amid the
darkness of night. To overcome this difficulty, and divide the
night and day into twenty-four portions, he made wax candles,
40






CLOCKS.


twelve inches in length, and each of these he marked at equal
distances; and, although the time occupied in replacing and
relighting them would scarcely serve to mark the lapse of
minutes accurately, yet they were so equally made, that six of
them, used in succession, with but little variation, burnt
through the twenty-four hours. To guard against the casualties
of winds and draughts, he enclosed these candles in thin white
transparent horn, and this led to the invention of lanterns. It
was several centuries after the death of this great king before
clocks were discovered.
The division of the day into hours was fixed at the number
twenty-four, from the earliest date of authentic history; but
the means of determining the hours, with such further sub-
divisions as would soon be found necessary, were at first very
imperfect.
The sun-dial was in use among the earliest nations.
Herodotus says that the Greeks borrowed it from the Baby-
lonians. The art of Dialling, or Gnomonics, was, up to the
end of the seventeenth century, considered a necessary part of
a mathematical course; it will, now, be sufficient to explain
familiarly the principles on which dials are constructed.
If a person were to place a staff in the ground, so as to
.point either vertically or otherwise, and to watch its shadow at
the same hour, on different days at some intervals from each
other, marking its direction at each day's observation, he would,
in all probability, find that the direction of the shadow, the
hour being always the same, varied from day to day. He
might, however, find that the shadow was always in one direc-
tion at the same hour, and this might happen in two different
ways. First, he might by accident fix the staff in a direction
parallel to that of the earth's axis, in which case the direction
of the shadow would always be the same at the same hour, at
all times of the year, and for every hour. Secondly, having
fixed the staff in a position not parallel to the axis of the earth,
41





WONDERFlUL INVENTIONS.


he might happen to choose that particular hour, or interval
between two hours, at which the shadow of a staff in that one
direction always points one way. But if, as is most likely, he
were to fix the staff in a direction which is not that of the
earth's axis; and if, as is again most likely, he were to choose
any time of observation but one, the shadow would certainly
point in different directions at different periods.
Now a sun-dial consists of -two parts: the gnomon (repre-
sented by our supposed staffs), usually supplied by the edge of
a plate of metal, always made parallel to the earth's axis, and
therefore pointing towards the north; and the dial, which is
another plate of metal, horizontal or not, on which are marked
the directions of the shadow for the several hours, their halves
and quarters, and sometimes smaller subdivisions.
The objections to a sun-dial are, that the shadow of the
gnomon is not sufficiently well defined to give very accurate
results, even for ordinary purposes; that refraction, which
always makes the sun appear a little too high, throws the
shadow a trifle towards noon at all times, that is, makes the
time too fast in the morning, and too slow in the evening; and
that a correction is always necessary in order to find mean or
civil time. Even if the first objection could be got over, the
corrections requisite for the two latter would prevent persons
in general from making use of the instrument.
The clepsydra, or water-clock, which measured time on the
principle of the common hour-glass, was in use among the
Chaldeans and ancient Hindoos. Water was allowed to run
out of the small orifice of a vessel, as sand falls from the
common hour-glass, and by this means time was rudely
measured. Sextus Empiricus tells us that the Ch' I-. used
such a vessel for finding their astrological data, but remarks
that the unequal flowing of the water, and the alterations of
atmospheric temperature, rendered their calculations inaccurate.
The truth of this observation may easily be verified by filling
42






CLOCKS.


a glass cylinder with water, and slightly opening an orifice at
one end held downwards; when it will be seen that the upper
surface of the fluid will not descend equally in equal times.
And again, if the cylinder be kept constantly full, it will dis-
charge its own bulk of fluid in exactly one-half the time in
which it will empty itself undisturbed. "., 1,., is a Greek
word, and the use of this instrument in Athens is often indi-
cated by Demosthenes in his pleadings. Such a meter of time
was used in the courts of justice in Athens. In the third
consulship of Pompey, it was first adopted at Rome. Of what
particular form the water-clocks of the East were, we have no
means of judging; but from remaining Greek and Roman ac-
counts we learn, that the water which fell drop by drop from
the orifice of one vessel fell into another, floated a light body that
marked the height of the water as it rose, and thus denoted
what time had elapsed; but we further learn that these
instruments required much care and regulation, in order to
perform their end with the least approach to correctness.
Water-clocks, in modern times, have, however, been con-
structed with so much skill as to demand mention among the
most ingenious contrivances. Dom Charles Vailly, a Benedic-
tine monk, is said to have first improved the water-clock into a
scientific instrument, about 1690; though others attribute the
invention (which he first introduced in France) to Martinelli,
an Italian. This instrument was made of tin, and consisted
of a cylinder divided into several small cells, and suspended by
a thread fixed to its axis, in a frame on which the hour-distances,
found by trial, were marked. As the water flowed from one
cell into the other, it very slowly changed the centre of gravity
of the cylinder, and put it in motion, so as to indicate the time
on the frame. By later improvements, an alarum, consisting
of a bell and small wheels, was fixed to the top of the frame
in which the cylinder was suspended, and afterwards, a dial-
plate with a handle was also placed over the frame: the






WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


advantages of our common clock were thus, in some measure,
obtained.
The French historians describe a clock sent to Charlemagne
in the year 807, by the famous Eastern Caliph, Haroun al
Raschid, which was evidently furnished with some kind of wheel-
work, although the moving power appears to have been pro-
duced by the fall of water. This clock was a rather wonderful
affair, and excited a great deal of attention at the French
court. In the dial of it were twelve small doors forming the
divisions for the hours, each door opened at the hour marked
by the index, and let out small brass balls, which, falling on a
bell, struck the hours-a great novelty at that time. The
doors continued open until the hour of twelve, when twelve
figures representing knights on horseback came out and
paraded round the dial plate.
Wheelwork was known and skilfully applied by Archimedes;
but no description of any piece of mechanism resembling
our clocks is found among the ancient Greeks. The term
horologe, by which clocks only came to be denoted in process
of time, was formerly applied indiscriminately to dials and
clocks, so that nothing decisive, as to the era of invention, can
be inferred from its use; nor is it possible to point out any
individual who can with propriety be called the inventor of
clocks. The first author who has introduced the term as
applicable to a clock that struck the hours appears to be Dante,
who was born in 1265, and died in 1821. In Italy, however, it
would appear that striking clocks moved by weights were
known in the latter part of the twelfth century. Our own
country was in possession of these improved time-meters
at rather a later period. In the 16th of Edward I.; or
1288, a fine imposed on the Chief-Justice of the King's-
Bench was applied to the purpose of furnishing a clock for
the clock-house near Westminster Hall, which clock was to be
heard by the courts of law. This clock was considered of such





CLOCKS.

consequence in the reign of Henry VI. (which commenced in
1422) that the king gave the keeping of it, with the appurte-
nances, to William Warby, dean of St. Stephen's, together
with sixpence per day, to be received at the Exchequer. The
clock at St. Mary's, at Oxford, was also furnished, in 1523, out
of fines imposed on the students of the university. Mention
is made in Rymer's Fcedera" of protection being given by
Edward III. to three Dutch horologers who were invited from
Delft into England, in the year 1368 ; and we find in Chaucer,
who was born in 1328, and died in 1400, the following lines:
"Full sickerer was his crowing in his loge,
As is a clock, or any abbey orloge."
In the year 1334 Giacomo Dondi erected at Padua his
, celebrated clock, which, besides the hour of the day, showed the
course of the sun in the ecliptic, and the places of the planets.
The celebrity which this clock acquired, tended greatly
to advance this particular branch of mechanical art, and the
author was dignified with the surname of Horologius.
About the middle of the fourteenth century, the famous
Strasburg clock appears to have been erected in the cathedral
church of 'that city. It was a most complicated piece of
mechanism, the plate exhibiting a celestial globe, with the
motions of the sun, moon, earth, and planets, and the various
phases of the moon, together with a perpetual almanac on
which the day of the month was pointed out by a statue; the
first quarter of the hour was struck by a child with an apple,
the second by a youth with an arrow, the third by a man with
the tip of his staff, and the last quarter by an old man with
his crutch. The hour itself was struck on a bell by a figure
representing an angel, who opened a door and saluted the
Virgin Mary.; near to the first angel stood a second, who held
an hour-glass, which he turned as soon as the hour had finished
striking. In addition to these was the figure of a golden
cock, which, on the arrival of every successive hour, flapped its
46





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.

wings, stretched forth its neck, and crowed twice. Two
hundred years after, this celebrated clock was almost eiitirely
renewed, when great al-
terations in the original
mechanism were made.
At present we believe it
has fallen quite into
disuse. A clock with
a similar complicated
e machinery, though dif-
Sfering considerably in its
At external performances,
a was erected somewhere
about the year 1385 ini
the cathedral of Lyons.
-The next important
S-o Xclock of which we have
any description was re-
gulated by a balance;
it was the work of
Henry de Wyck, a Ger-
man mechanician of con-
siderable ingenuity, and
Te.. r .Uo CLOCK. was placed in the tower
of a palace of the Emperor Charles V. about the year 1364.
This clock of De Wyck, and indeed all those made with a
balance for the regulator, without any regulating spring, must
have been very imperfect machines, yet our present clocks
and watches are but improvements upon this rude beginning.
At what period portable clocks were first made, is uncer-
tain; there is, however, a story told of a gentlemen of the court
of Louis XI. of France, which shows that the reduction of the
time-piece to a portable compass had taken place towards
the end of the fifteenth century. It appears that the courtier





CLOCKS.


in question, after having lost a large amount of money at play,
stole a clock belonging to the king, and hid it in his sleeve.
The clock nevertheless continued its movements, and after a
time gave notice of its place of concealment by striking the.
hour; this immediately discovered the theft, and the king, caprici-
ous in his kindness as well as in his cruelties, not only forgave
the offender but actually made him a present of the clock.
In the year 1544 the corporation of master clock-makers at
Paris obtained from Francis I. a statute in their favour,
forbidding any one who was not an admitted master to make
clocks, watches, or alarms, large or small. Before portable
clocks could be made, the substitution of the main-spring for a
weight, as the moving power, must have taken place; and this
may be considered a second era in horology, from which may be
dated the application of the fusee; for these inventions com-
pletely altered the form and principles of horological machines.
The application of a pendulum to the clock, marked another
era in their construction. Galileo and Huygens contended for
the priority of applying the pendulum to clocks; but the
honour really belongs to a London artist named Richard Har-
ris, who invented and made a long-pendulum clock in 1641,
seventeen years before the date at which Galileo describes
himself to have made, or directed the making of one.
In 1617, Barlow, a London clock-maker, invented the
repeating mechanism by which the hour last struck may be
known by pulling a string; but a much more important addition
to the improvements in clocks speedily followed, namely, the
invention of the anchor escapement, which, like most others
that have stood the test of time, belongs to the English. This
was the work of Clement, a London clock-maker, in 1680.
It would be a matter of some difficulty to determine what
artist first reduced the portable spring-clock to the dimensions
of a watch to be worn in the pocket. The small clocks prior
to the time of Huygens and Hooke were very imperfect
47




WONDERFUL INTENTIONS.


machines; they did not even profess to subdivide the hours
into minutes and seconds until the invention of the balance-
spring, which is to the balance what gravity is to the pendulum,
and its introduction has contributed as much to the improve-
ment of watches as did that of the pendulum to clocks. The
honour of this invention was warmly contested by the last-
named individuals previous to 1658; but, so far as priority of
publication is concerned, the honour is due to Hooke.
Towards the end of the last century a clock was constructed
by a Genevan mechanic named Droz, capable of performing
a variety of surprising movements, which were effected by the
figures of a negro, a shepherd, and a dog. When the clock
struck, the shepherd played six tunes on his flute, and the dog
approached and fawned upon him. This clock was exhibited
to the King of Spain, who was highly delighted with the
ingenuity of the artist. The king, at the request of Droz, took
an apple from the shepherd's basket, when the dog started up
and barked so loud that the king's dog, which was in the same
room, began to bark also. We are moreover informed, that the
negro, on being asked what hour it was, answered the question
in French, so that he could be understood by those present.
A common watch has for its moving power a main-spring,
the variable force of which is equalized, or rendered uniform, by
the introduction of the fusee-a very beautiful contrivance, which
is, nevertheless, nothing more than a variable lever, upon which
the main-spring acts through the medium of the chain. As the
chain winds upon it, the distance from the centre of motion of
the fusee to the semi-diameter of the chain which is in contact
with it varies, in the proportion, that the distance of the centre
of motion of the fusee to the semi-diameter of the chain, at that
point where it leaves the fusee for the barrel, multiplied by the
force of the main-spring acting on the chain at that time, shall
be what mathematicians term a constant quantity-that is, it
shall be the same whatever point of the fusee may be taken.





PRINTING.


Printing described by the I Children returning from
monks as the workof magic. FUsT. GUTTENBERG. SCHOEFFER. schoolwith their horn-books.
(The Inventors of Printing.)

F wE could call up before us the library of an
English monastery in the olden time, we should
see the monks seated at their desks, their ink,
pens, brushes, gold, and colours before them:
one busily employed in finishing some richly
illuminated initial, another slowly adding letter
to letter, and word to word, translating and copy-
ing the ancient manuscript before him as he pro-
gressed with his tedious task. From day to day,
and mouth to month, would he slowly proceed,
forming those thick, angular, black-letter cha-
racters, with no cessation, saving to attend to
his meals, his prayers, and his sleep, unless he paused now
and then to erase some error he had made upon the parch-
ment, as with his quaint old-fashioned knife he carefully





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


obliterated the mistake, before he again proceeded with his
labour. Greece and Rome were then the great marts for
books, and many a journey did our ancient Saxon forefathers
make to obtain those rare manuscripts, which they purchased
at great cost, and, on their return to England, translated
into the Saxon language, or. merely multiplied copies from the
Latin. So precious were manuscripts in those days, that an
Anglo-Saxon bishop named Wilfred had the books of the four
evangelists copied out in letters of gold upon purple parchment;
and such value did he set upon the work when it was completed,
that he kept it in a case of gold adorned with precious stones.
Few men, excepting the monks, were capable of writing in those
early times. We find Wilitred, the king of Kent, affixing to a
charter the sign of the cross, and causing the scribe to add
below, that it was on account of his ignorance of writing that
he could not sign his name. Literature would have made
greater progress among the Saxons than it did, had it not been
for the ravages of the Danes. These brave but ignorant sea-
kings were heathens, and they looked upon the Saxon Christians,
who once worshipped Woden, and were idolaters like them-
selves, as renegadoes to the old religion, and thus considered
that they were performing a pious duty by destroying their
monasteries and libraries; for their ideas of heaven consisted
in the belief that after death they should drink ale out of the
skulls of their enemies, and feast off a bone whose bulk never
diminished, however much they ate. Many valuable manu-
scripts, which had cost the Saxon monks years of labour to pro-
duce, were burned by the heathen invaders, or England would
no doubt, but for these ravages, have possessed the most valuable
histories of any country in Europe, since the commencement of
Christianity. Many treasures that we lost for ever would have
been made familiar to us in the present day, through the dis-
covery of printing, but for these savage sea-kings.
It is a pleasing change to turn from the survey of a discovery
50





PRINTING.

like that of gunpowder, which only increases man's power of
slaughter, to an inquiry into the origin of an invention so grand
and important as that of printing. We leave the records of
death and destruction, havoc and suffering, conquest and false
glory, to enter on the path of an art which has already led to
grand results in civilisation, and opened the door of science and
wisdom, and that must better the condition of man. Every
human invention sinks into inferiority when compared with the
discovery of printing. The period of its birth, late as it was in
human history, may, indeed, be styled the era of light-the
commencement of tru6 civilisation. Men built pyramids, reared
obelisks and temples, dug canals, constructed aqueducts and
bridges, and formed gigantic highways for the march of armies,
thousands of years ago; but their civilisation, with a few bright
exceptions, only amounted to an advance above barbarism com-
pared with the progress society has made since the discovery of
printing. Knowledge, it has been wisely said, is Power, and
while the few possessed knowledge they too generally employed
it only to rule over and keep down the many. And this
condition of things must have continued but for the means of
printing, which made knowledge universal.
The blessings which will be eventually derived from this dis-
covery are certain; and yet the date of their complete accom-
plishment may be distant. We have already observed that man
learns but slowly. The great consolation is, that now he possesses
the means of learning, and also of recording all that he doeslearn.
his discoveries cannot, again, be lost; his inventions can no more
sink into oblivion. One discovery produces another-and print-
ing renders it impossible that any valuable invention can fail
to yield its full improvement for the human race. Languages
much more philosophical in construction, and copious in
expression, than any living tongues, were spoken and written
in ancient times; but, so long as the thoughts they embodied
were restricted to laborious methods of inscription, knowledge
D 2 51





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


was, necessarily, confined to a few. The cheap and rapid
multiplication of copies of thought was the grand end; and this
the printing press, with all its improvements, and, above all,
the application of steam-power to its original capacity, has
secured.
Blocks, or pages of characters, were, beyond doubt, in use
among the Chinese, centuries before the Christian era; and
similar methods of producing copies of words were known among
the monks in our own country, and other parts, of Europe, at
an early period, though they appear but rarely to have been
made use of. But these modes of embodying thought, like the
Oriental engraving on wood and stone, were too laborious and
inconvenient to come into common practice to aid the general
spread of knowledge. We almost wonder that the simple con-
trivance of moveable types did not present itself, until so late,
to mankind; but its very simplicity, doubtless, as in the instance
of other important discoveries, prevented the human mind from
recognizing its great utility, even if a glimpse of it were gained
by the thinkers of ancient times.
The great merit of this discovery requires that we should
give a clear account of the memorable person to whom the
invention of printing owes its origin; while the individuals who
were soon associated with him in the furtherance of the same
eventful enterprise, deserve scarcely less enlarged notice at our
hands.
In the early part of the fifteenth century, a young man,
named John G&cnsfleisch, who was born at the neighboring
village of Selgeloch, in the year 1397, went to reside at Mentz,
or Mayence, with a family of the name of Guttenberg, whose
appellation, from a not uncommon custom in primitive societies,
he soon attained and ever afterwards bore. Whilst there he
became implicated in one of the insurrections of the citizens
against the nobility, which, during that part of the middle ages,
were so frequent, and ultimately terminated in the establish-





PRINTING.

ment of the institutions which were the bases of the whole
freedom of the commercial classes in Germany.
In this case, however, the movement appears to have been
unsuccessful, for Goensfleisch, or Guttenberg as he afterwards
called himself, and is now called by others, was obliged to flee
to Strasburg, where. he had to look out for the means of a
livelihood. Whether Strasburg was at that time a literary city
or not, is not well known; but in all probability it was, as it is
still a considerable mart for the sale of books. If it were, it is
not unlikely that Guttenberg's mind might be turned to the
making of books as a good mode of obtaining subsistence. While
engaged in the slow and laborious occupation of taking off, page
by page, the writings of others from the carved blocks, his
enterprising intellect was directed to some means of hastening
the process, and the germ of the notion broke upon him, the
full development of which was to produce such glorious results.
The supposition crossed him that if the several letters which
are to be seen upon the block could be separated from each
other, they might be put together again in different positions,
and form other words; and thus there would be a power of end-
less combination with only a small stock of materials. How
he elaborated the process we have no certain information,
for his first object was, of course, to keep his discovery to
himself.
After some years the anger of his persecutors was assuaged,
and he returned to Mayence, where he met with a wealthy burgher,
whom in all probability he had known in more prosperous times;
and he then engaged in partnership with Herr Faust or Fust,
and, together, they entered upon an undertaking to supersede
the laborious occupation of the manuscript-writer. Between
them-for to which the honour is due is not clearly explained
-they hit upon the expedient of casting their types in metal,
which, being a more durable substance, was likely to increase
and perpetuate their profits. Fust had at this time a young man
53





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


in his employment whose name was Peter Schoeffer, a native
of Hesse Darmstadt, who entered warmly into their designs,
andwho suggestedthe idea of stamping the
forms of the letters in lead or other soft
substance, so that they could renew their cha-
racters as they liked. This they succeeded
in accomplishing; and thus the whole of the
initiatory process of printing was fully ob-
tained. The principle \ of the screw press had
long been known, for it was just the time
when the learning and scientific principles of the ancients were
beginning to be revived. Here the whole principle of printing
was developed. Yet years were necessary to bring the art,
even in its primitive state, into actual operation. From the
best accounts it would appear that the connection between
Guttenberg and Fust commenced shortly after the year 1440 ;
but their labours were not productive till nearly ten years after
that date.
It has been stated that the letters were, in the first instance,
made of wood, but it was quickly perceived that this was a sub-
stance quite unfitted for long service, and Schoeffer being ardently
desirous of promoting the design of Fust, discovered the method
of forming the letters at the bottom of a sort of case or mould
called a matrix. He privately cut the whole alphabet, and
when he showed his master the result of his labours and in-
genuity, Fust was so delighted that he promised to give him his
only daughter, Christina, in marriage-a promise which he soon
afterwards fulfilled. The types first cast are supposed to have
been of lead, but afterwards, by the infusion of antimony, the
metal was made sufficiently hard to bear the work to which it
was subjected.
The harmony between the partners appears to have been
interrupted soon after Schoeffer entered the business, and in
1458 Guttenberg was obliged to retire from the concern, and
44





PRINTING.


he shortly afterwards left Mayence for a number of years-not,
however, until he had completed several works of importance,
and among others an edition of the Bible, now known as the
Mazarine Bible, which met with a ready and extensive sale.
A curious story is told, and certainly with the air of much
veracity about it, to the effect that the copies of the Scriptures
printed by Guttenberg and his companions, were produced so
quickly, that none but the devil was considered competent to
make them. Certain it is that when these copies were circu-
lated in Paris, that they were eagerly bought up by the Roman
Catholic authorities, and that thus fresh funds were supplied
for the production of new editions.


A statue of Guttenberg, by the celebrated sculptor Thor-
walsden, was erected at Mayonce on the 14th of August,
1837, and deputations from all the great cities of Europe
attended the ceremony, to do honour and homage to the inven-
95





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.

tor of printing. This statue of the man who had won for his
city the gratitude of the world was exposed to view amid such
joyful demonstrations of popular feeling as have been wont only
to greet the return of some mighty conqueror.
The knowledge of the art of printing was first generally
spread by the dispersion of the men in the employment of its
three originators, which occurred in consequence of the storming
of Mayence by the Archbishop Adolphus of Nassau, in 1462. In
three years afterwards it was practised at Subiaco, in Italy;
and was followed at Paris in 1469; it was introduced at West-
minster, by Caxton, in 1474; and had spread as far as Barcelona,
in Spain, by the year after; and in little more than half a century
after that, it had become common all over Europe.
From that time down to the close of the last century there
appears to have been no alteration in.the mode of proceeding-
the improvements consisting in the gradual increase in the size
and the power of the press, and the greater beauty and variety
of the types.
It would appear from the device of Badins Ascensius,
an eminent printer of Paris and Lyons at the beginning of the
fifteenth century, as well as from that of Anthony Scholoker
(an Englishman, notwithstanding his name), at Ipswich, that
the matrices and punches then used were much in the same
form as at the present time. For a long period the printers
were their own typefounders; but when the business began
to spread rapidly, the casting of the letters became a separate
business. The earliest authentic record of this change, which
contributed so materially to the improvement of the art, is
found in a decree of the Star Chamber, dated the ll1th of
July, 1637. This decree was issued for the suppression of
publications issued by the Puritans and those joined with them
in opposition to the Government, and who, it was believed, had
established secret printing-offices for that purpose. By that
decree it was ordained that there should only be four letter-
66





PRINTING.

founders throughout the kingdom; and that when any vacancy
occurred in that number, by death or otherwise, that it should
only be filled up under the orders and with the sanction of the
archbishop of Canterbury-the primacy being at that time held
by Laud, bishop of London, and six other commissioners.
The decree also imposed the most stringent regulations on the
taking of apprentices and the employment of journeymen.
Although the Commonwealth was established under the
supposition that it was to increase and confirm the liberty of
the subject, many of the arbitrary and unconstitutional regula-
tions of the Star Chamber remained in force (even when the
Court itself had been abolished), and among others the restraint
of the typefounder. The restrictions, therefore, remained in
force and were enacted into a law in the second year after the
assumption of power by Charles II., and were continued for
limited periods two years afterwards. They were again renewed
for seven years in 168.5, shortly after the accession of his
brother James II.; but finally expired at the end of that term
in 1693, when the Bill of Rights had finally established and
confirmed the Great Charter of Henry III.
For the introduction of printing into England we are
indebted to William Caxton, and his successor Wynkin de
Worde, who established for themselves a high reputation both
as printers and letterfounders. Caxton, who, in many respects,
was a very remarkable person, and a man of eminent ability,
was, according to his own account, born in the Weald of
Kent, about the year 1412; and in his eighteenth year was
apprenticed to Master Robert Large, a mercer in London of
very considerable eminence, who afterwards became both sheriff
and lord mayor of the City. By virtue of his indentures
Caxton became a freeman of the Mercers' Company; and that
his conduct was good, is shown by the fact that his master, at
his death, left him a legacy of twenty marks as a testimony of
respect. That Caxton had acquired reputation also as a'man
57




WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


of business is evident, for shortly after this time we find him
travelling in what were called the Low Countries, either as an
agent or on his own account. There he obtained both experi-
ence and respect, for in 1464 he was joined in a commission
with Robert Whitehill to consolidate or make a commercial
treaty between Philip, the then duke of Burgundy, and our
King Edward IV., and in this commission they were styled
ambassadors and special deputies. In 1469, during a period of
comparative leisure, he began a translation of Raoul le Fevre's
French History of Troy, and finished it about three years
afterwards, having in the meantime entered into the service of
Margaret, duchess of Burgundy, who assisted him with
critiques upon his English, and liberally rewarded him on the
conclusion of his book.
It was his leisure that in all probability gave him his taste
for literature, and brought him into contact with the printers,
whose profession was at that time not only novel, but also
lucrative and highly honourable. How he acquired a knowledge
of the art is not known, but, according to the account of
68





PRINTING.

de Worde, be was printing his first work at Cologne in 1470.
He had not, evidently, at that time, seen the beautiful produc-
tions of the Parisian and Venetian presses; and his own types
were consequently cut in some part of Flanders and Brabant.
In 1474 he returned to England, and set up his press in the
Almonry at Westminster, then a rural spot, with a sufficient


population to render it cheerful. The house he occupied, which
is represented in the above woodcut, fell to the ground we
believe in the early part of 1847. Caxton's second office
was in King Street, and Wynkin de Worde, after his death,
removed it to the present great mart of printing in the neigh-
bourhood of Fleet Street.
SCaxton's first work in the opinion of some was The
59





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


Game of Chesse;" but, according to others, it was the original
of Raoul's History; his third work was his own translation of
this history, and his second the Oration on Russell being
created a Knight of the Garter. He combined in him-
self the three separate callings of author, printer, and pub.
lisher, and by his own translations from the French, and
the translations which he caused to be made, contributed greatly
to stimulate the literature of his native country. He appears
to have made use of five distinct founts of type. According to
Rowe Mores, his first was what was called Secretary. He had
also other founts, one of about English face, and three others of
Great Primer, one rudely cut in 1474, and another much
better, and a third, a vast improvement on the other two, cut
in 1482 ; another fount of Double Pica, cut in 1490, and another
of the body of Long Primer, which he used shortly afterwards.
At this time all the books were printed in the old black letter,
as it was called-that is, an imitation of the mode of writing
used by the monks. Towards the middle of the sixteenth
century the style of type now used to express an emphatic
word was introduced by Aldus, and was called, from the place
of its origin, Italic. The greater plainness of the Roman charao-
ters being soon perceived, they subsequently, but gradually, super-
seded all other kinds of type for book-work, except in Germany.
Although the efforts of Caxton and Wynkin de Worde had
firmly established the art of printing in this country, still
typefounding remained in a depressed state for many years
afterwards, and England was for a long time supplied with
its letter from the Continent. Indeed the art was at so
low a point that the London printers only used the types
imported from the Dutch foundries in superior works. But
a change was to come over this state of things, and William
Caslon, the founder of a house which yet exists, and which
is still represented by one of the same name and family,
as honourable and as high-minded a man as ever graced
60





PRINTING.


commercial life, has the merit of removing this disgrace from
his country. Caslon, in the early part of the last century, was
employed in engraving ornaments and cutting letters for the
use of bookbinders; but having finished some remarkably neat
specimens of his art in the latter branch, he was engaged by the
Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge in 1720 to
cut a set of punches for an Arabic fount. In this, and his
succeeding efforts, he was prompted and assisted by William
Bowyer, who was himself a man of learning and a printer, and
the son of a printer, and therefore quite competent to under-
stand and appreciate the abilities of the man to whom he lent
his aid. The result was that the Caslon Foundry not only
obtained a pre-eminence for the British types, and put an end
to the demand for those from abroad, but occasioned considerable
call for the article from the best offices on the Continent.
Nor has the firm which he originated lost any of its credit for
business or artistical qualities.
The next name eminently deserving of celebrity in this line
is that of John Baskerville, of Birmingham. Baskerville was
himself a striking instance of the force of ingenuity and ability
overcoming the opposition of circumstances. He was born
at Wolverly, in Worcestershire, in 1706, and had early to find
a living for himself. When only twenty years of age he was
keeping a school at Birmingham, and soon afterwards became
connected with the japanning business at that place, by which
he realized a considerable property. But his taste for literature
induced him to turn his attention to the improvement and
perfection of the art of printing, yet still retaining his old
concern.
Caslon had made considerable improvement upon the Dutch
types before Baskerville's attempts at typefounding; but with
that improvement the latter was not satisfied, and zealously
set himself to carry it further, and most eminently succeeded-
not however, it is stated, until after he spent upwards of 600
61





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


before he could get a single letter to please him, and several
thousands before he realized any profit from the pursuit. His
types, however, ultimately were of great beauty; and at his death,
in 1775, were sold by his widow to a literary society at Paris,
and were used in printing some of the best editions of their first
classics. He doubtless laid the foundation for that beautiful
style of letter which has of late years so greatly improved our
own castings.
The Glasgow foundries, as well as those of Edinburgh, have
always stood in high estimation. Typefounding was commenced
at Glasgow in 1718, by James Duncan, whose foundry after-
wards came into the hands of Mr. Alexander Wilson, a gentle-
man of great shrewdness, ability, energy, and ultimately of
capital, and whose descendants at the present day continue to
exhibit the same excellent qualities as he who laid the founda-
tion of their present property and position. Another foundry
was established by Dr. Fry, who got together the most complete
set of founts for the Oriental languages that probably ever
existed, and the business has been continued most worthily
by his successor, Mr. Thorowgood, and his partner, Mr. Besley,
followed passibus equis by the Messrs. Figgins, and Messrs.
Stephenson, Blake, and Company, of Sheffield-all of those
which we have enumerated classing, for the extent of their
means and material, and for the beauty of their productions,
in the first order of their profession.
Abroad the advancement of the art has been equally
attended to, and very extensive foundries exist both in Ger-
many and France as well as in Italy-the Propaganda in the
last named country possessing one of the most complete
establishments in the world. That, however, does not exceed
in extent the foundry of Brieskopf, which is said to contain
punches for not less than four hundred alphabets. Nor is it
equal to that of Didot, in Paris, where the most minute and
beautiful specimens of ordinary typography have been pro-





PRINTING.


duced that ever were seen in the world-some of them, it is
said, even requiring a magnifying glass to read them, the
press-work being equally admirable with the beauty of the
letters which compose the words. In the latter respect, how-
ever, especially in the production of those illustrated works
which require the combination of artistical science and skill-
and of which this little volume may serve as a humble example
-English printers infinitely surpass all others.
Of the convenient form, and gradual improvement, of the
cases in which the letters are contained, it is needless to say
anything. As time proceeded, the best mode developed itself,
and the order in which the letter is placed or laid differs even at
present in some offices, although one plan is generally observed.
















There are two cases, upper and lower, the upper for capital and
small capital letters, the lower for small letters, divided into com-
partments for each, those most frequently in use being largest
and nearest the compositor's hand. The compositor, having
placed his copy on the upper case in front of him, takes in his
left hand his composing stick, a small iron frame with slider and
screw, which is capable of being adjusted to any required length
63





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


of line, and with the forefinger and thumb of the right hand he
picks up the types forming the words of his copy, and receives
them with the thumb of the left in the stick, feeling that the
nick, which is on the under side of each type, is uppermost as
he drops it into its place. Between words are inserted spaces,
which being lower than the letters do not produce an impression
on the paper, and, varying in thickness, allow each line to be
spaced out to a uniform width. All the letters are separate
pieces of metal, fitting closely to each other; and, in a page
such as this, there are upwards of 2,000 distinct pieces, each of
which the compositor has to pick up separately, his wages being
regulated by the number of thousands he sets up.
It is nevertheless requisite to remark that attempts have
lately been made to supersede to a very great extent the manual
labour of the compositor, in the arrangement of the letters, by
two machines, which are acted on in the same way as the keys
of a piano-forte are touched. The letters of each kind are
arranged in different compartments, and one of each drops
through, at each touch, as the key opens a valve at the bottom
of the receptacle. These machines-the invention of Messrs.
Young and Delcambre-are exceedingly ingenious; but peculiar
skill and a long education is required before they can be
brought into effective play, and either from the indisposi-
tion of men to quit their old habits, or from the want of
capital, on the part of the proprietors, to submit their inventions
to the principals of establishments in an effective state, they
have received very scanty encouragement in any department
of the business.
If, however, it has hitherto proved unprofitable to adapt
machinery to the process of arranging the types, such has not
been the case with regard to the impressions to be taken from
them. Until towards the close of the last century, but little
improvement had been made in the form of the old wooden
printing press, except, as has been stated, in enlarging the
64





PRINTING.


size and increasing the power of the screw. But, at the period
alluded to, Earl Stanhope, a nobleman of great ingenuity,
who was himself an amateur
printer, and exceedingly de-
sirous of improving the art,
invented, and, with the assis-
tance of Mr. Walker, a skilful 1
machinist,, brought to perfec-
tion, an iron press in which
the power, instead of being
derived from the screw, was
derived from a bent lever that
impressed the platten or iron
plate upon the paper, which
is brought down on the surface
of the types. The peculiar
property of this press is, that
when the platten first moves .CIXNT wOO.N... .rI IN3 149.
downward, its motion is rapid, while, when the power is about to
be applied, it is slow, so that the greatest amount of force is con-
centrated just at the time when it can be of the greatest effect.
This press of Lord Stanhope's was followed by several others, for
which patents were taken out; all of very ingenious construc-
tion, and which came into very general use. The most powerful
of those was one called the Columbian press, invented by an
American named Clymer; and the quickest in its action was
the Albion press, invented by Mr. Cope of Finsbury, and
greatly improved by his successor, Mr.. Hopkinson. The
power in both these is obtained from the effect of levers
alone.
A press called the Ruthven press was much used when first
brought out. Its peculiarity consists in the bed on which the
type is placed being stationary, while the platten producing
the impression is drawn over by the hand. It has very con-
E 65





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


HUPKINSON'S IMPROVED ALBION PRESS.
siderable power, but from the bar being pressed, down by the
left hand is very laborious to the pressman, and owing to the
confined position of the works preventing their being oiled or
cleaned with facility it is now almost entirely disused; and
those now more generally adopted for manual printing are on
the principles of Clymer and Hopkinson.
Of the various modes adopted for the execution of those
beautiful works in which several colours are used for embellish-
ment, we have not space, within the limits here assigned, to
speak. The examples which have already issued from the
type press show to what an extent this beautiful art has been
carried. Want of room also prevents us from dwelling upon
the equally beautiful art of printing from wood engravings,
in which the lines, instead of being sunk beneath the surface,
as in copper plates, are left raised, the other portions of the
surface being cleared away.
To enter fully into these processes, as well as the depart-
ments of lithography and copperplate printing, would require
66





PRINTING.


a volume. Let us, however, turn to the crowning discovery, the
application of the Steam Engine, which makes the printing
press, in one sense, a voluntary machine, and brings by its
aid the productions of the noblest genius within the reach of
the myriads whose means little more than suffice for the
necessaries of life. This was accomplished by the invention
of the Printing Machine, by which cylindrical pressure is applied
in lieu of the flat, or platten, impression obtained by the com-
mon press.
Before, however, stating the circumstances of the application
of steam power to printing, we should notice an invention,
without which we may almost venture to say steam-machine
printing could never have been generally adopted. This is an
improvement for inking the types by means of composition
rollers. Printing ink consists chiefly'of lamp-black and varnish,
with some other constituents to increase the brilliancy of the
colour, and to keep the principal substances in coherence with
each other. Formerly the ink was laid upon a flat surface by
a little triangular piece of iron, with a handle to it, called a
slice. A small portion of it was then taken and brayed out
with a sort of wooden mallet as evenly as possible. The
workmen employed to put the ink upon theforme (or a quantity
of types which are arranged in their several pages in certain
positions on the bed of the press, where they are to give their
impression to the paper) held in each hand a wooden stock, in
the shape of a stoke-mason's hammer, which was hollowed out
on its lower surface. That hollow was stuffed with wool, until
there was a convex surface formed, and over this there was
stretched a piece of untanned sheepskin, so as to be perfectly
tight, even, and smooth. These are technically called balls;
and the great art of keeping them fit for service consisted in
retaining the pelts or sheepskin in a certain state of moisture
and softness, so that they would receive the ink equally all over.
The pressman, having taken a small portion of this ink on one
E 2 67





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


of the balls, worked it against the other spirally, and occasionally
dabbing the balls together until the ink was very evenly
spread or *ithi/i',il over them both.
l With these he then dabbed the forme,
/keeping them constantly twirling round
/ in his hands, when not absolutely touch-
ing the face of the types, until at length
S. the whole of the letters were equally and
-- sufficiently covered. This process required
-great nicety, and was moreover very labori-
ous, while considerable trouble and atten-
tion were necessary to keep the balls in proper working order.
All was at length obviated by the discovery of Mr. Foster, who,
by the intermixture of glue, treacle, tar, and isinglass, formed a
composition which retained all the requisite qualities of soft-
ness, elasticity, and readiness to receive and impart the ink,
and which could, moreover, be made to adhere round a wooden
S" roller. It com-
Spletely obviated a
most unpleasant
-.and unprofitable
part of the art,
: and has proved of
apparently indispensable value in machine printing. These
rollers have of late years been immensely improved by the
ingenuity of the Messrs. Harrilds, of Great Distaff Lane, in the
city of London, and an inspection of the apparatus, which they
possess for making composition balls and rollers, will amply
gratify any one who has a taste for the useful arts.
But, to return to the Printing Machine. The want of some
means to meet the increasing demand for books and news-
papers had long been felt, and as early as 1790, before even
Lord Stanhope's press had been brought into use, Mr. W.
Nicholson had taken out a patent for two machines, the one
68





PRINTING.

somewhat resembling in outward form the common hand
presses of that time, but the other very similar to the machines
now in general use. In both these machines, which he describes
as being applicable to printing books, paper-hangings, calico,
linen, silk, &c., he proposes to make use of cylindrical instead
of surface pressure, and to derive his motive power from wind,
water, steam, or animal strength. Although Mr. Nicholson
published the details of his process with drawings of the
requisite machines, he was not successful in getting his inven-
tion generally adopted by the trade. His numerous pursuits,
combined with the sudden death of his patron Lord Camelford,
in all probability prevented his bestowing that constant appli-
cation so necessary to establishing a new invention. Some
years afterwards, one Herr Konig, a German, who had been
unable to obtain any support on the Continent, came over to
this country with the idea of applying steam, as the moving
power, to common presses, which by his plan should acquire
accelerated speed, and at the same time dispense with the
employment of the man who inks the types. Three enter-
prising printers, Messrs. Bensley, sen., R. Taylor, and
G. Woodfall, liberally supplied the necessary capital to the
ingenious foreigner. After spending several years in fruitless
experiments to reduce his ideas to practice, Konig abandoned
this scheme and turned his attention to cylindrical machine
printing, the practicability of which, as we have before stated,
Mr. Nicholson had demonstrated in 1700. Two or three
years of renewed exertion passed away, and finally a small
machine was produced by Konig, capable of working 1,000
impressions per hour, and requiring only the superintendence
of two boys. This machine was set to work in April, 1811,
and 3,000 copies of part of the New Annual Register was
printed by this means. This machine proving successful,
it was considered practicable so to extend its principles and
capabilities as to print a newspaper. As the accomplishment
69





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


of this object was highly desirable, the late Mr. Walters,
proprietor of the "Times" newspaper, was shown the
machine already erected, and also made acquainted with the
contemplated improvements. The result was, that an agreement
was entered into with that gentleman, for the erection of two
larger machines, for printing his journal, which at once brought
the merits of the invention into general notice. On the
28th of November, 1814, the readers of the Times" news-
paper were informed that they were, for the first time, perusing
a paper printed by the application of steam power.
These machines were necessarily of a very complicated
construction, and it may suffice to say that each consisted of a
number of cylinders, which so revolved as to carry the sheets
of paper, through the agency of a number of tapes and wheels,
placed between them and the types on the surface of the table,
which constantly moved backwards and forwards, receiving
in turn the ink from the inking rollers, and impressing its
form on the paper subjected to its influence. Each of these
machines was only capable of printing one side of the news-
paper, and the sheets thus half printed by the one were
perfected, as it is technically termed, by the other. The per-
formance of these machines was in every way satisfactory, so
far as they went; but they were shortly afterwards greatly
improved upon, at least in the simplicity of their construction,
by Messrs. Applegarth and Cowper, who were, at the time
of K6nig's invention, at the head of one of the most con-
siderable typographical establishments in the metropolis.
Their principle was much the same as that of KSnig's, but
they did away with many of the intricate parts, removing at
one stroke forty superfluous wheels, and making the machine
altogether more simple, available, and permanent. These
gentlemen, having patented their improvements, erected a
new machine for the "Times," which cost the proprietor of
that newspaper 3,000.
70





PRINTING.


The next improvement was the construction of a perfecting
machine by K6nig, for Messrs. Bensley, which delivered the
sheet of paper printed on both sides. This double, or perfect-
ing machine, threw off from 800 to 900 sheets per hour, worked
on both sides; while the single, or non-perfecting machine,
delivered in the same space of time from ],300 to 1,400 sheets
printed only on one side.













COWPER'S DUUBLE CTLINDEIL MACBIHR.
Messrs. Donkin and Bacon in 1818 obtained a patent for
a most ingenious but complex machine, which claims the merit
of being the first to print with the types arranged upon a
horizontally revolving cylinder, instead of being placed on a
fixed table as in other machines. Although the fundamental
principle of this invention was found objectionable, one great
point was gained, namely, the introduction of the composition
inking rollers, which were first applied to this machine, and
immediately superseded those covered with leather which were
used by K6nig.
After this came Mr. Napier, one of that distinguished
family whose scientific abilities and attainments we have
before had to notice, and which have secured to them a reputation
wide as the extent of civilization. He still further simplified
71





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


the printing machine, and secured the more easy, certain, and
excellent working of the forces.
Some years after the erection of Cowper and Applegarth's
machine at the Times" office, the increased circulation of the
leading journal rendered more rapid means of printing its
daily number highly necessary. This demand was satisfied by
Mr. Augustus Applegarth, who skilfully and ingeniously com-
bined in one leviathan machine four of the single or non-
perfecting machines, all being simultaneously driven by steam.
In this machine, which prints the Times" at the present day
(May, 1848), there are four places at which to feed it with
paper, four printing cylinders, and four places at which' the
sheets are delivered when printed; the combined action of
these four auxiliaries producing from 4,350 to 4,500 sheets
per hour, printed on one side.
It may be observed as a somewhat remarkable fact that
the periodical inefficiency of the Times printing machines,
to supply its almost incredible circulation with sufficient
promptitude, is the cause of every progressive step in the
improvement of printing machinery. At the time we write
the machine just described, which for years has been
considered a typographical wonder, is found incompetent to
supply the increased demand for the Times newspaper.
We understand Mr. Applegarth is again engaged in constructing
a new machine to print from 8,000 to 10,000 sheets per hour.
The principle totally differs from all the machines we have
been describing, inasmuch as the types are piled up one upon
another, laterally, round a large cylinder which revolves in a
perpendicular position instead of in an .horizontal one, as was
the case with Donkin and Bacon's machine. The sheets of
paper are supplied edgeways in an upright position, something
like what you would adopt to pass sideways through a tall narrow
entrance; while in the ordinary machines, to carry out the
common-place simile we have adopted, the sheets are supplied
72





PRINTING.


horizontally, as you would pass on your stomach through an
aperture which, from its diminutive height, is only capable of
admitting you in a recumbent position.
It is however greatly doubted, by skilful engineers, whether
the principle of Mr. Applegarth's new machine will be found
to work with sufficient perfection when thoroughly tested.
In concluding this article, we feel much pleasure in recording
Mr. Little's invention of the Double Action Printing Machine,
for working daily newspapers at a speed varying from 10,000
to 12,000 copies per hour, while the average rate of produc-
tion of the Four Cylinder Fast Machines at present in use is not
more than 4,500 per hour.
The principle of the Double Action Machine being the
solution of a problem which the most scientific machinists
had hitherto considered impossible, our young readers would
only be puzzled were we to present them with too minute a
description of its construction; we shall therefore confine our-
selves to explaining its advantages, by comparing it with one of
the present Fast Machines, working with four cylinders, two
of which constantly revolve in one direction, while the remain-
ing two move unceasingly in an opposite direction. With this
machine only two sheets of paper can receive an impression from
the forme of type with each passage of the table on which the
type is placed. The reason of this is, the cylinders which cause
the impression must always travel in the same direction as the
table. Thus, while two of the cylinders are occupied in giving
impressions, the other two are waiting the return of the table,
so that the machine produces two printed sheets with every
forward, and two with every backward motion of the type, making
four in all. Now the Double Action Machine works with eight
cylinders, six of which have a reversing motion, by which they
print first forwards and then backwards. This machine produces
seven printed sheets with every passage of the table on which
the forme of type is placed, just the same as in the Four Cylinder
73





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


Machine. If our young friends be sufficiently interested in
the machine we are describing, they will naturally wonder why
the eight cylinders only produce seven sheets. The reason is
this: in consequence of six of the cylinders having a reversing
motion, by which they print first forwards and then backwards,
it is necessary that the two end cylinders (the 1st and the 8th)
should work slower, while the reversing of the other six takes
place; thus it is explained why the end cylinders )only print
one sheet each, while the remaining six produce two sheets each,
from every revolution of the table.
Now while in the Four Cylinder Machine only half the
cylinders are working, in the Double Action Machine seven out
of eight are continually occupied in printing, and another great
advantage possessed by the latter machine is the great saving
effected in the distance the forme of type has to travel. This,
combined with the constant working of seven cylinders, causes
the machine, as we have before stated, to produce from 10,000
to 12,000 newspapers per hour, while the Four Cylinder
Machines print only 4,500 in the same space of time.
Before the invention of the Printing Machine, the news-
paper offices, in order to supply the number of copies required
for daily publication, were compelled to set up or compose the
types twice, and on extraordinary occasions even three and four
times over. In those days the newspapers were necessarily
much smaller than at the present time, and were worked by
hand presses, the types being inked with the sheepskin balls
already described. The speed at which the men were compelled
to work required such great exertion that the stoutest constitu-
tions, after a few years' time, fell sacrifices to such laborious
occupation. Hence, beyond the advantage of rapidly producing
the daily papers, we may regard the invention'of the Printing
Machine as highly beneficial to humanity.
To attempt to describe the several portions of the Printing
Machine would be useless, as it will be by far the best under-
74





PRINTING.


stood by the engraving which is given at page 71. Other
plans have been adopted, and several flat surface machines,
which communicate the impression by a platten like the
ordinary press, and are admirably adapted for fine book-work,
are now in use. Their motion is similar to that of the hand
press, and the work produced by them almost equals that from
the hand press in excellence.














NAFIER'S PLARTTN MACHINE.
The most recently constructed platten machine is that of
Messrs. Napier & Son, in which the inking apparatus is brought
to very great perfection. A considerable portion of the Boy's
Own Library is printed by this machine.
Another highly important invention connected with the art
of typography is the process of Stereotyping, by which all the
letters, forming a page of type, are cast in one piece or plate
of type-metal about the eighth of an inch thick.
This process was first practised by William Ged, of
Edinburgh, in the year 1725, who, after much perseverance,
formed an arrangement with the University of Cambridge for
casting their Bibles and Prayer-Books, thereby saving the
necessity of employing a large quantity of type; but the plan
76





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


received so much opposition from the workmen, in making
errors and injuring the plates, that it was discontinued, and
the stereotypes ultimately melted down at the Caslon Foundry.
The merits of the invention were, however, eventually
recognized, and its adoption has become almost universal. We
will now endeavour to explain the process. The moveable
types of two or four pages, according to their size, are first
slightly oiled over with a brush, and then burnt plaster of
Paris (termed gypsum), mixed with water to the consistency of
cream, is poured upon the pages, which are surrounded by
narrow slips of wood, or metal, forming a wall just sufficiently
high to retain enough of the plaster mixture to produce a
matrix, or mould. This matrix is left until the greater portion
of the moisture becomes evaporated. It is then lifted from
the type and is put into an oven to dry, or rather bake out
all the remaining moisture. It is next secured in a flat
dipping-pan, surrounded by an iron frame which regulates the
thickness of the stereotype plate, and the pan being covered is
immersed in a cauldron of melted metal, where it remains
sufficiently long for the metal thoroughly to insinuate itself into
every part of the matrix. The dipping-pan being removed
from the cauldron, sufficient time is allowed for the metal to
set. It is finally cooled by being plunged into cold water,
and the superfluous metal is sawn from the stereotype plate by
a circular saw. The back of the plate thus produced is turned
in a lathe to a certain guage, which regulates all the plates
forming the pages of a book to one uniform thickness.
When stereotype plates are printed they are fixed upon
wooden or metal stands of such thickness that when the
plate is added the two combined become exactly the same
height as the regular printing types. Stereotype plates are
adapted for working both by hand presses and machines.
















-- ; HE origin of the Thermometer, like that of the
mariner's compass, remains in obscurity. We
~(|! only know that the idea of measuring the degree
.y of heat, which the atmosphere at different periods
ry presents, was first conceived in Italy, that country which,
during the latter portion of the middle ages, was dis-
tinguished by the attainments and discoveries of its scien-
tific men.
In the year 1626, there was a book published entitled,
"Commentaries on the Works of Avicenna," by a physician,
named Santoria, who resided at Padua; and in this work he
claims the honour of having invented the thermometer. Corne-
lips Drebble, of Alkmaar in Holland, makes the same claim, and
after carefully examining the evidence, it appears, that although
Santoria was the first to point out the use of this instrument,
Drebble had also discovered and made its properties known be-
fore he heard anything of the invention of the Italian physician.
For some time after the invention of the thermometer, it
was chiefly used for ascertaining the changes of temperature
alone, and the instrument was of the simplest description. A
glass tube was formed with a ball at one end; the other end
was open, and inserted in a vessel partly filled with mercury or
coloured spirit-generally the latter. Previous to this the air
inside the instrument was heated by a lamp, so that when the
77





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


temperature of the atmosphere was increased, it caused the air
within the ball and the tube to be rarified. As this expanded
and occupied more space, it pressed down the spirit-; and on
the contrary, when the temperature was reduced, its pressure
upon the surface of the spirit decreased, and the latter was
forced higher up the tube, as the quantity of air within became
contracted in bulk. A scale was then fixed alongside the tube,
divided into certain degrees, so that the several changes could
be measured as correctly as might be expected from the sim-
plicity of the contrivance.
Such an invention was not long before it attracted notice;
and after a few years the celebrated Robert Boyle, who had
turned his attention to natural philosophy, and already made
great improvements in the air-pump, devised an alteration in
what might be called the form of the heat measure. He
left the tube open at both ends, and turned one of them up-
wards in a curve; this he sealed hermetically, by melting the
glass to a vessel, on the top of which a hole was pierced, and
the pressure of the atmosphere caused the spirit to rise and
descend, in the upright portion of the tube, as the condition of
the atmosphere was changed. Boyle, who was a son of the Earl
of Cork, was a man distinguished in every way for noble qualities
of mind and heart. After travelling through Europe, he settled
in England; and during the great civil war which was waged
between Charles I. and his Parliament, he had the good fortune
to enjoy the favour of several eminent men on both sides; and
having thus obtained protection both for person and property,
he was enabled to follow his literary and scientific pursuits at
leisure and in peace.
Boyle's chemical experiments date from the year 1646; and
in all probability it was shortly after this period that he first
turned his attention to the improvement of the thermometer.
He settled at Oxford in the year 1654, and resided there till
1668, being during that time a member of the association which
78





THE THERMOMETER.


was then termed "the Invisible College," and which afterwards
obtained a permanent existence, and has obtained so much
reputation under the title of the Royal Society.
In 1702, Amontons, a French philosopher, invented an air
thermometer, which was about four feet long. It consisted of
a tube open at both ends, one end turning up, and terminating
in a ball with an aperture, so that there was the pressure of
two atmospheres on an enclosed column of mercury, which was
about twenty-six inches and a half in length. Some spirit, or
other similar substance, floated on the top of the mercury;
and in this a piece of wire was inserted, while on the top there
was an index, which showed the various changes on the scale
that was attached to it.
Some of these thermometers were tolerably correct in
their working; but they were all defective in one particular,
inasmuch as the several expanses of the air are not exactly in
proportion to the heat contained in the atmosphere; to remedy
this, towards the middle of the seventeenth century the mem-
bers of an Italian Academy had instruments constructed in
which alcohol or spirits of wine was used instead of mercury.
In that case the instrument was much like those of the present
day. There was a tube with a ball at the bottom of it; and from
this ball the air was expelled by heat, and mercury was intro-
duced. The top of the tube was then hermetically sealed;
and as the degree of warmth without expanded or contracted
the air, the spirit was either raised or depressed in the tube.
Alcohol is very sensitive of the influence of heat, and expands
very readily under its influence; but it has never been known
to be frozen, and these spirit thermometers are therefore well
adapted for ascertaining degrees of intense cold; but that very
quality prevents it from being a good thermometrical medium
for measuring high temperatures, as it boils at 176 degrees of
Fahrenheit's scale, or 36 degrees below the point at which
ebullition takes place in mercury. It has accordingly been
79





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


frequently used to ascertain the degree of cold in elevated
places; and several of the French philosophers-and the
Genevan professor, Saussure, especially-have employed it in
the ascent of Mount Blanc and other lofty mountains in the
Alpine district of Europe.
Horace Benedict de Saussure, whose father was also a
philosopher, was, at the age of twenty-two, appointed to the
chair of philosophy in the college of Geneva; and for five-and-
twenty years he discharged the duties of a public teacher,-
taking advantage of the intervals between his official labours
to ascertain the natural phenomena of the sublime and romantic
district in which he was born. From his very childhood he
had indulged this passion; and before he was eighteen years
of age, he had explored the mountains in the neighbourhood of
his native place. These excursions only created in him new
desires for the indulgence of his curiosity; and he became more
eager than ever to explore more closely the lofty heights of the
Alpine mountains, on whose barren and exalted summits, and
in whose dark and yawning ravines are written the records of
the world's history, before man 'became an inhabitant of the
earth, and where nature seems to reign supreme in solemn
majesty. At length, in the year 1760, alone, and on foot, he
made his way to the glaciers of Chamouni, then little visited
even by those who lived in the locality, and which were almost
altogether unknown to the world in general.
The ascent and descent were both difficult and dangerous,
but it was accomplished in safety; and the next year, Saussure
returned to renew his observations. From that time, the spirit
of exploration was not to be restrained; and year by year he
made not only excursions, but undertook many journeys, to
carry on his observations among the mountains, in different
parts of Europe.
Between the years 1758 and 1779, he traversed the whole
chain of the Alps no less than fourteen different times by
80





THE THERMOMETER.


OLCIEBS OF CHMOCUNL
eight different routes, and made sixteen other excursions to the
centre of the mountain mass. He went over the Vosps and
the Jura, traversed the passes of Switzerland, trod the craggy
heights of Germany, surveyed those of England, of Italy, and
of Sicily and the adjacent islands, inspected the ancient
volcanoes of Auvergne, and visited the mountains of Dauphin6
and the other parts of France. And all this he did with his
mineralogist's hammer in his hand, clambering up to every
peak to observe the various strata, and making his notes on the
very spot, where the different peculiarities existed, which he had
set out to describe.
In 1787, when forty-seven years of age, he ascended to the
top of Mont Blanc, and in the intense cold of that lofty region,
surrounded by the winds which howl among the heights and
rush down like the blasts that sweep across the stormy ocean,
he remained three hours and a half, noting the natural pheno-
mena of that sublime district.





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


MONTB ROSA.
In the following year, accompanied by his eldest son, he
encamped on the Col du Geunt, at a height of 11,170 feet
above the level of the sea, and remained there seventeen days
without quitting his position, and in the year after he reached
the summit of Monte Rosa in the Penine Alps.
During his several journeys, while Saussure naturally turned
his attention to the meteorological phenomena, he invented
several philosophical instruments, the necessity for which he
learned from his personal experience. Among others, a ther-
mometer for ascertaining the temperature of water at great
depths, an hygrometer to show the quantity of watery vapour
in the atmosphere, and an electrometer to develop its electri-
cal condition.
Up to the time of Sir Isaac Newton, mercury and spirit
had been the only materials used for thermometers, but he was
dissatisfied with them both, and adopted linseed-oil, a substance
which has nearly the same power of expansibility, while it may
at the same time be subjected to both very high and low degrees





THE THERMOMETER.


of temperature, without either freezing or boiling. But an
almost equal objection existed to the use of oil, for in time it
became viscid, and adhered a good deal to the middle of the
tube; a fault which prevented the observations being depended
upon, and the use of it, consequently, in the construction of
thermometers has of late years been entirely, discontinued.
Mercury is now the only substance used for thermometers,
and its first application has been variously ascribed to Dr.
Halley, and Mr. Romer, the discoverer of the motion of light.
According to Dr. Boerhaave, Romer invented the mercurial ther-
mometer in 1709, but it was not till 1724 that any knowledge
of it was obtained in this country, during which year an account
of the thermometer invented by Mr. Fahrenheit, of Am-.
sterdam, was first read to the Royal Society. In that
paper it was shown that ihe Mnercury more nearly repre-
sents the alteration in the amount of heat in the
atmosphere, than either alcohol or air. Being easily
deprived of the air it contains, and from its metallic
quality, and ability to conduct heat rapidly, the change a
in its volume both quickly and accurately represents
the alterations in the atmosphere.
Fahrenheit's thermometer is the one now in general
use in this country, although that arranged by M.
Reaumur is usually employed in France. The main
difference between the two consists in the gradation of
the scale-Reaumur fixing his zero at 32 degrees of Fahren-
heit, and dividing the ranges between that point and the point
of boiling water into 80 degrees, while Fahrenheit takes a scale
of 212 degrees between his zero and the boiling point.
It is said that Fahrenheit obtained his zero by having
mercury exposed in a tube to intense cold, in Iceland, during
the year 1709. He then immersed the tube in freezing water,
and found that the mercury stood at the 32nd degree above.
On immersing it in boiling water, it stood at 212 degrees.
P 2 83




WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


This scale he obtained by ascertaining the capacity of the bulb,
and dividing it into ten thousand parts, he found that the
expansion of the mercury was just equal to two hundred and
twelve of these parts when it was exposed to boiling water.
The thermometer constructed by Reaumur was a spirit ther-
mometer. He divided the capacity of the ball into one thousand
parts, and then marked off the divisions, two of which were
equal to one of those parts. He found his zero by exposing the
instrument to freezing water; and then plunging it into
boiling water, he observed whether the spirit rose to exactly
eighty of those divisions, and if it did not he strengthened or
diluted the spirit until it rose. But this could give no fair
indications of heat, as spirit boils long before it reaches the
point of boiling water, and the one now termed Reaumur's ther-
mometer is an improvement upon the instrument constructed
by him.
Other kinds of thermometers have been invented for com-
bined purposes. One of the chief of these is rather a barometer
and thermometer united in the same instrument. Another, in
which coloured sulphuric acid is employed as an indicator, is
in fact two thermometers, each having a rectangular addition
at the bottom, where the ends are joined and hermetically
sealed. There are balls at the upper end of each of the
upright tubes, and just as the air contained in each of the balls
varies from the other, the spirit rises in the tube in which the
air is most rarified.
Such are the several gradations through which one of the
most important instruments in the service of the useful arts
has been brought to its present state of perfection-one which
has rendered invaluable aid in those more abstruse scientific
investigations which have resulted in so much benefit to man-
kind.









THE BAROMETER.




F IKE all great discoveries, the Barometer was
found out by accident. The Duke of Florence had
employed some pump-makers upon his premises,
and they found that they could not raise the water
above thirty feet, when the air in the tube was exhausted.
In their dilemma they applied to the celebrated philosopher
Galileo. He replied that nature had no power to destroy
a vacuum beyond thirty-two feet; for, learnedas Galileo was,
he understood not the equipoising weight of atmosphere.
It was left to his pupil Torricelli to make this discovery.
Evangelista Torricelli, who in early life distinguished him-
self for his mathematical and
philosophical knowledge, was
a native of Piancondoli, in
Romagna, where he was born
inthe year 608. Bythe care
of an uncle, he received an ex-
cellent education at the Jesuit
School in Faenza, where he
became remarkable for his
mathematical and scientific
attainments. At twenty years -
of age his uncle sent him to
Rome, and he there became
intimate with Castelli, then .va... TRo.. .
mathematical professor of the college of that city. About this





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.

time Galileo was endeavouring to overturn the received doctrine
that substances descended in speed according to their natural
gravity; and that consequently, if two weights were to descend
from a high position, the one which was ten times the weight of
the other would reach the ground ten times as soon. Galileo
had discovered the pressure of the atmosphere, and was con-
vinced of the principle of its specific gravity, and of the oppo-
sition which it occasioned to the effect of the earth's attraction.
He went, attended by several officials, to test its validity,
and two stones, of very unequal weight, were dropped from
the falling tower in Pisa. The truth was evident from the fact
that the stones reached the ground nearly at the same moment;
but it was in vain that Galileo pointed out that the difference
in the time of their descent was entirely owing to the unequal
resistance of the air. Prejudice had darkened reason too much
for conviction to enter into the minds of the officials by whom
he was accompanied.
These several experiments, and similar facts which had
been educed by them, were too important to be overlooked by
the acute mind of Torricelli; and he published two tracts,-one
on the motion of fluids, and the other on mechanics,-which
soon obtained the favourable notice of the venerable Galileo,
by whom he was invited to Florence. After Galileo's death,
which shortly took place, the Duke of Florence gave Torricelli
the chair of mathematics in the Academy; and he thus became
his* friend's successor when he was about thirty-nine years of
age.
As has been observed, Galileo had ascertained, through
the representations of the workmen of the Duke of Florence,
that water cannot be raised higher than thirty-two feet in a
cylinder when the air is exhausted. With this circumstance
Torricelli had also become acquainted; and being desirous of
confirming the fact, or of discovering that the assertion was
erroneous, he employed a more convenient medium for the
86'





THE BAROMETER.


purpose than water, and therefore used, in place of it, mercury,
which is about fourteen times as heavy. Having closed a glass
tube hermetically at one end, he filled it with mercury, and
then brought the open end inverted into a vessel partly filled
with the same substance, taking care that the end of the tube
should be under the surface of the mercury in the open vessel.
He thus observed that the column in the tube contracted till
the top of it stood at between twenty-nine and thirty inches
above the mercury in which it was immersed. Having marked
the specific gravity of the mercury, the weight of the column
of air between the mercury and the top of the tube became of
course apparent, from the respective proportions of the columns
of air and mercury and the whole length of the tube. It
should be stated, that in 1631, that is, twelve years before
Torricelli's observations, Descartes, the French philosopher,
had made the same observation, although he does not appear
to have turned it to any account.
This was the first and the great step; but whether Torricelli
is entitled to the honour of having been the first to discover
the true reason of the depression of the mercury, is uncertain ;
at any rate, there was at once an end of the vacuum" asser-
tions, and a great step was gained towards sound philosophical
principles, and to that merit he is most decidedly entitled.
The subject had excited too much attention to be dropped;
and Pascal Mersenne in France, and Boyle in England, took
it up. Of these, Pascal appears to have been the most sen-.
sible and rational observer. He very reasonably argued, that if
it were the column of air which occasioned the alteration of the
column of mercury, the higher the point in the atmosphere, the
higher the mercury would stand in the tube; and Boyle had well
prepared the way for him by testing the barometer with airs of
different densities, by means of the air-pump.
To carry this principle to some practical conclusion, Pascal
requested his friend, M. Perrier, to ascertain the height at
87





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


which the mercury stood at the base and on the summit of the
Ruy de Dome, one of the loftiest mountains in the province of
Auvergne. The result perfectly answered his expectations.
At the base, the mercury stood at a height of Q26 inches,
while on the summit it was only 231 inches; the mountain
being between three and four thousand feet above the level of
the sea. A like result was afterwards ascertained by Pascal
himself; and he also discovered that the same rule prevailed
and was very sensibly shown, in the ascent of a private house
and a church tower.
Thus the fact was satisfactorily established, that
the weight of a column of air was equal to that
of a column of mercury about twenty-eight inches
high, that is, a pressure of about fifteen pounds on
a square inch.
The barometer only required the addition of an
S index and a weather-glass, to give a fair and true
[0) announcement of the state and weight of the atmo-
sphere. The instruments are now manufactured in
several different forms, but the principle is the same
in all, and repeated observations during the ascent of
the loftiest mountains in Europe and America, have
confirmed the truth of barometrical announcements;
for by its indications, the respective heights of the
acclivities in high regions can now be ascertained by
means of this instrument better than by any other
course, with this advantage, too, that no proportionate
height need be known to ascertain the altitude.
In navigation the barometer has become an im-
portant element of guidance, and a most interesting
f incident is recounted by Capt. Basil Hall, indi-
cative of its value in the open sea. While cruising off the
coast of South America, in the Medusa frigate, one day, when
within the tropics, the commander of a brig in company was
b8





THE BAROMETER.


dining with him. After dinner, the conversation turned on the
natural phenomena of the region, when Captain Hall's attention
was accidentally directed to the barometerin the state-room where
they were seated, and to his surprise he observed it to evince
violent and frequent alteration. His experience told him
to expect bad weather, and he mentioned it to his friend.
His companion, however, only laughed, for the day was
splendid in the extreme, the sun was shining with its utmost
brilliance, and not a cloud specked the deep blue sky above.
But Captain Hall was too uneasy to be satisfied with bare
appearances. He hurried his friend to his ship, and gave
immediate directions for shortening the top hamper of the
frigate as speedily as possible. His lieutenants and the men
looked at him in mute surprise, and one or two of the for-
mer ventured to suggest the inutility of the proceeding. The
captain, however, persevered. The sails were furled; the top-
masts were struck ; in short, everything that could oppose the
wind was made as snug as possible. His friend, on the contrary,
stood in under every sail.
The wisdom of Captain Hall's proceedings was, however,
speedily evident; just, indeed, as he was beginning to doubt the
accuracy of his instrument. For hardly had the necessary prepa-
rations been made, and while his eye was ranging over the
vessel to see if his instructions had been obeyed, a dark hazy
hue was seen to rise in the horizon, a leaden tint rapidly over-
spread the sullen waves, and one of the most tremendous
hurricanes burst upon the vessels, that ever seaman encountered
on his ocean home. The sails of the brig were immediately
torn to ribbons, her masts went by the board, and she was left
a complete wreck on the tempestuous surf which raged around
her, while the frigate was driven wildly along at a furious rate,
and had to scud under bare poles across the wide Pacific, full
three thousand miles, before it could be said that she was in
safety from the blast.
















HAT wonders yet remain to be discovered by the
Telescope we know not, although every year
brings to light some new world by its aid, that
had stood unobserved, in the immensity of space,
by the eye of man, since the day it was first rolled
o into the illimitable and starry expanse, at the
bidding of the Omnipotent. Through the power
of this wonderful instrument the human eye is
enabled to sweep through vast systems-a bound-
less extent of space that, had the swiftest race-horse
which ever struck its hoof upon the earth, set out from' the
orb of Uranus, about three thousand years ago, and plunged
on in his headlong course day and night without ceasing, he
would not yet have traversed the half of this huge diameter
that extends 3,600,000,000 of miles. Even by the sides of our
system, where but few stars are visible, the gigantic telescope
of the Earl Rosse has been turned, and there firmaments have
been discovered like our own, covered with countless stars,
seeming in that vast distance like a spot glittering with the
dust of thousands of diamonds, one almost appearing to touch
another, yet each lying from each millions of miles apart, and
every one a huge world to which our own earth bears no more
proportion than a single daisy does to the field in which it grows.
By the aid of the telescope we have been enabled to
90





THE TELESCOPE.


distinguish objects in the moon; to see huge volcanoes sending
forth their awful fires; to distinguish mountains ranged pile
above pile with vast yawning pits at their feet, ,some of
which appear to be 22,000 feet deep. By it we are enabled
to trace the course of the fiery comet, as it goes threading its
terrible way between the vast worlds that circle round us, until
it is lost in that immense sea of space which, like eternity,
seems to have no shore.
The telescope can scarcely be called a discovery; its con-
struction may, but it was by accident that a poor Dutch spec-
tacle-maker first-threw two lenses together in an influential
position, and by chance stumbled upon the origin of the most
wonderful instrument that was ever perfected by man. "The
magnitude of the heavenly bodies," says a writer in the "North
British Review," and their almost infinite distance from us,
and from each other, fill the mind with views at once magnifi-
cent and sublime, while our ideas of the Creator's power rise
with the number and magnitude of his works, and expand with
the ever-widening bounds which they occupy. The telescope
was a mighty gift which God gave to man, to place before him
and beside him new worlds, and systems of worlds, probably
the abodes of spirits-the dwellings of saints that have suffered,
and of sages that have been truly wise.
When viewed from the highest peak of a mountainous
region, our own globe is the largest magnitude we can perceive,
and the circuit of its visible horizon the greatest distance we
can scan; but vast as are these units in relation to the eyeball
by which they are seen, they are small when compared with the
globe itself, or with its circular outline. The navigator who
has measured the earth's circuit by his hourly progress, or the
astronomer who has paced a degree of the meridian, can alone
form a clear idea of velocity when he knows that light moves
through a space equal to the circumference of the earth in the
eighth part of a second of time-in the twinkling of an eye.
91





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


Bearing in mind this unit of velocity, we are enabled to soar to
far higher conceptions. The light of the sun takes 160 minutes
to move to the Georgium Sidus, the remotest planet of our
solar system; and so vast is the unoccupied space between
us and the nearest fixed star, that light would require five
years to pass through it, and this, be it remembered, travelling
a space vast as the circumference of the earth which we inhabit
in the twinkling of an eye. But this space is nothing, compared
to the distance of stars which have been discovered by the
telescope, which are, beyond doubt, many thousands of times
more distant from us than the nearest fixed star, the light of
which must have travelled thousands of years before it became
visible to us, even by the aid of the telescope. The swiftest
messenger that could have been dispatched, had it started from
one of these distant stars on the morning of the Mosaic crea-
tion, would not yet have reached our own planetary system."
Vast and astounding as this immeasurable distance is,
and even when the telescope has discovered the faintest star,
whose distance could not be comprehended by the aid of figures,
we are still only on the borders of the infinity of space above,
around, and beneath, lie the endless, the dim, and the
undiscovered, light, or darkness, or millions of millions of
leagues hung with suns, and worlds, and stars, or black,
silent, and desolate; into this immensity of space no human
eye will ever look, nor no instrument ever be invented to gauge
its endless silence.
Before the discovery of the telescope our earth was sup-
posed to be the only planet that had a sun to light it by day,
and a moon to shine upon it by night. By it other suns and
moons and vast worlds have been discovered, many to which
our earth may but be likened as a mole-hill to a mountain. By
it tho Pleiades, which, to the naked eye, showed only a cluster of
seven stars, was discovered by Galileo to contain forty; and in
the moon he found, by the aid of this mighty instrument, high





THE TELESCOPE.


mountains, whose summits were gilded by sunshine, and deep
valleys, into which the gloomy shadows thrown from these high
ranges settled down.
Such is the privilege man obtains by this scientific dis-
covery. It has opened to him the contemplation of the sublime,
and yet enabled him to feel that he is still in the region of
fact. Men gazed on the starry heavens but to conjecture and
to theorize in the most civilized times of old. The instrument
was wanting which enables us to guage the depths of space,
and to interpret the problems of suns and systems. Printing,
which secures the permanence of every discovery, and renders
the universal spread of knowledge certain-the steam-engine,
v-hich increases the mechanical and locomotive powers of man
beyond limit--the mariner's compass, which renders his track
across the ocean independent of the celestial lights-seem
each of greater value than the telescope, because the advan-
tages they secure to man belong more to his natural dwelling-
place. But the wonders unfolded by this instrument, and the
true relation of our earth to the vast universe of organized
worlds which it opens to him, entitles it to be called his sub-
limest invention. Yet is it so simple that the reflection still
follows us of man's dulness to learn and to seize upon the
teachings of nature through a long lapse of ages.
Some knowledge of the properties of a lens, or convex
glass, it has been already said, was possessed by the ancient
Greeks, but we have no clear intimation of the power of a lens
to present objects in greater magnitude than when seen by the
naked eye till the thirteenth century. Vitello, an Italian,
makes this earliest statement; and soon after our illustrious
countryman, Roger Bacon, in his Opus Majus," plainly speaks
of the power of a sphere of glass to augment the apparent size
of objects placed before it. There is little doubt but that the
combination of two lenses, or of a concave and a convex
mirror and a lens, had often been tried between the time of
93





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


Roger Bacon (1292) and that of Dr. Dee, who published his
preface to Euclid's Elements" in 1570, which is considered to
be the epoch of the real discovery of the powers of the
telescope. In that treatise the doctor, who, after speaking of
the skill necessary to discover the numerical strength of an
enemy's army at a distance, says that a captain may wonder-
fully help himself thereto by the use of perspective glasses,"
by which nothing can be understood but a telescope. That
this is the correct conclusion is confirmed by a passage in a
work called Pantometria," written by a person named Digges,
which appeared in 1571, and which was brought out by his son
twenty years afterwards.
In this work it is shown that by concave and convex mirrors
of circular and parabolic forms, or by frames of them placed at
certain angles, and using the aid of transparent glasses whichmay
break or unite the images produced by the reflection of the
mirrors, there may be represented a whole region; also, that
any part of it may be augmented, so that a small object may
be discerned as plainly as if it were close to the observer,
though it may be as far distant as the eye can descry.
This is doubtless one of those conceptions of the imagination
as to the powers of a new instrument rather than a detail of
fact. But be that as it may, it is very evident that before the
commencement of the seventeenth century the capability of
discerning distant objects with facility through the agency of
lenses and mirrors, combined in some way or other, had been
decidedly obtained.
That this combination, however, had not been applied to
. any great purpose of practical utility for many years afterwards,
appears to be tolerably evident from the little intimation we
have of it during the first half of the seventeenth century. In
the year 1655 a work entitled De Vero Telescopii Inventore"
was published at the Hague by Peter Borellus, who was in
all probability some relative of Mr. Borell, at that time
94





THE TELESCOPE.


minister from the Hague to the British Court. In this work he
ascribes the invention to two individuals, one named Zachariah
Jans, or Jansen, and the other Hans Lippershinn, both of
whom were spectacle-makers at Middleburgh. In a letter
written by a son of Jansen, it is asserted that the invention
was completed in the year 1] 590, while in other accounts it
is stated not to have been made until twenty years afterwards-
that is, in 1680. It is also stated that in the year 1610
these two makers, Jansen and Lapprey, presented a tele-
scope to Prince Maurice of Nassau, who desired the inven-
tion to be kept secret, as his country was at that time at
war with France, and he expected to obtain some advantages
over the enemy by ascertaining the number of their forces
when at a distance. Descartes, however, gives a different
account to this. He says, in his Dioptrics," that the principle
of the telescope had been discovered about thirty years before,
that is, about, or soon after, the year 1600, by a person named
Metius, a native, or at any rate a resident at Alckmaer, and
who was fond of amusing himself with making burning lenses of
glass and ice, and who accidentally placed a concave and a
convex lens at the end of a tube. At any rate, whoever was
the chief inventor of the instrument, the Jansens appear to
have been the first to apply it to astronomical purposes; and
the younger of the two is said to have been the first to discover
the satellites of Jupiter, for he perceived four small stars near
that planet, but did not continue his observations long enough to
become acquainted with their true character, or at least
not sufficiently so to authorize him in publishing his dis-
oovery to the world. It is, however, certain that the cele-
brated mathematician Harriott used a telescope magnifying
from one to thirty times, and that with it he discovered, in
1610, the spots upon the sun's disc; but whether he got his
instrument from Holland or elsewhere is not specified in his
papers.





WONDERFUL INVENTIONS.


About the time that the Jansens were surveying the heavens
in the Netherlands, Galileo entered upon that field of observa-
tion by which his name has been immortalized. He contrived
a telescope with a convex object-glass at one end of a leaden
tube, and a concave eye-glass at the other. With the first in-
strument which he made he, obtained a magnifying power of
three, then he made another of eight, and some time afterwards
he obtained a magnifying power of thirty times; and through
the aid of these instruments the great, philosopher succeeded
in making larger contributions to the knowledge of the visible
heavens than had ever been made since the days of Ptolemy.
Before his time the sun and moon were the only celestial
bodies which had been ascertained to possess any particular
form or magnitude; for although the stars and the planets
were objects with whose appearance men were familiar, the
sky only seemed to them to be one great vault of ether, in
which they shone in beauty, it is true, but also in uselessness
to mankind-vague, uncertain, undefined points in the heavens.
But the use of the telescope opens out new views of the economy
of the universe. The dim small specks that broke through
the misty haze of the atmosphere were discovered to be worlds,
or suns in some remote region of space, while the planets
were found to be nearer to the earth, and to undergo certain
changes, and to be of magnitudes measurable by the human
intellect. By the spots upon its surface, the sun was found to
revolve on its own axis; and the difference of tint observed in
the moon, was found to result from the deep ravines and the
lofty mountains on the face of our satellite. In 1610, the
same year in which the younger Jansen discovered what were
afterwards found to be satellites of Jupiter, although he was
not able to define their real nature, Galileo also perceived
them, and made out their true character. Shortly afterwards
he discovered that there was a remarkable appearance about
the planet Saturn, which at first seemed to arise from the
9S




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