Front Cover
 Title Page
 Sable-sword fish
 Yam-yellow bird
 Back Cover

Group Title: Young folks' cyclopedia of common things
Title: The young folks' cyclopædia of common things
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00054741/00001
 Material Information
Title: The young folks' cyclopædia of common things
Physical Description: v, 690 p., 2 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Champlin, John Denison, 1834-1915
Henry Holt and Company ( Publisher )
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1886, c1879
Copyright Date: 1879
Subject: Encyclopedias and dictionaries   ( lcsh )
Children's literature, American   ( lcsh )
Children's encyclopedias and dictionaries -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1886
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
Statement of Responsibility: by John D. Champlin ; with numerous illustrations.
General Note: Includes index.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00054741
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002223542
notis - ALG3792
oclc - 36095673

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
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    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text
















THE Young Folks' Cyclopedia of Common Things has been
prepared to fill a vacancy, the existence of which the writer be-
lieves no unprejudiced person will deny. Intelligent parents
and teachers need not be told that one of the most important
habits which can be cultivated in a child is that of consulting
works of reference. There are dictionaries and atlases for the
use of young folks, but unfortunately all the popular cyclopae-
dias are written in language which a child cannot understand,
and no attempt has been made, it is believed, previous to the
publication of this work, to bring cyclopaedic knowledge within
the range of a child's intellect. Yet questions are almost con-
tinually arising in the studies, and in the daily experience of
youth, whiich such a cyclopedia would answer without trouble
to parents or teachers-to say nothing of numerous questions
put by children, which many adults would find a difficulty in
answering satisfactorily without reference to books..
In the present work the writer has attempted to furnish in
simple language, aided by pictorial illustrations where thought
necessary, a knowledge of things in Nature, Science, and the Arts
which are apt to awaken a child's curiosity. Such features of
Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Natural History, and Physiol-
ogy as can easily be made intelligible are explained, special atten-
tion being given to the natural objects which most immediately
affect human happiness-such as the phenomena of air, light,
heat, and electricity, and those parts of the human system whose
health is influenced by our habits. Much attention has been
given, too, to the description and explanation of the manufacture
of articles in common use, and of the various processes con-
nected with the Arts; while all the animals interesting from


their domestic relation or as objects of curiosity have been
treated as fully as the limits of the work will permit. If the
writer has seemed in some instances to go beyond the scope of
"common things," it is because he has preferred to err on the
side of completeness rather than on that of omission. T'he
scheme does not embrace any account of Persons or Places,
as they would have added too much to the bulk of a single
The arrangement is the same as in other cyclopedias, as the
work is intended to be but a stepping-stone to the more com-
prehensive ones for adults, and as it is deemed of importance
to accustom the child early to the forms and methods which ex-
perience has shown to be the best. It has been thought proper,
however, to omit all abbreviations, and in most cases to put the
scientific classifications and etymologies at the end instead of
at the beginning of articles, where they will be less likely to
destroy the continuity of the narrative, and to blunt the child's
interest. While it is not expected that the work will be made a
text-book in any of the departments treated in it, it is yet hoped
that both pupil and teacher may find it a valuable adjunct to
all the more important studies pursued in school, and that it
may be thought worthy of a place wherever a knowledge of
common things is a necessity.
A large number of works have been consulted and freely
used, and the writer, without giving any extended enumeration
of authorities, desires to acknowledge his indebtedness to the
following ones in particular: The American Cyclopaedia; John-
son's Universal Cyclopaedia; The Encyclopedia Britannica; Cham-
bers' Encyclopaedia; Tomlinson's Cyclopaedia of Useful Arts;
Ure's Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, and Mines; Goodholme's
Domestic Cyclopaedia; The Popular Science Monthly; Harper's
Monthly; Scribner's Magazine; St. Nicholas; The Science Prim-
ers, edited by Professors Huxley, Roscoe, and Stewart; Holt's
Hand-books for Students and General Readers; Packard's Guide
to the Study of Insects; Hooker's Child's Book of Nature; and
the works of Audubon, Wilson, Baird, Brewer, Agassiz, Storer,
Huxley, and Figuier.
Thanks are also due to the following firms for the loan of
drawings and illustrations of the several articles manufactured



by them: Brewster & Co., of Broome Street, New York, Brown
& Pray, New York, and H. Killam & Co., of New Haven, Conn.,
for carriages; Collins & Co., of Hartford, Conn., for axes; Fair-
banks & Co., of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, for scales and weighing
beams; Singer & Co., New York, for sewing-machines; Henry
V. Allien & Co., New York, for shoulder-straps of Army and
Navy; and the Pope Manufacturing Co., of Boston, for bicycle.

J. D. C., JR.
NEW YORK, August I, 1879.








1I i















- -~----

























Iy Words printed in LETTERS LIKE THESE are explained in their alphabetical places.


ACID. In common language acid
means sour ; but, though most acids
are sour, there are some which are
not, so this definition will not do for
all acids. Acids are known to chem-
ists by the way they act on colors
got from plants. If a piece of litmus
paper (paper dyed blue with the juice
of a LICHEN called archil) be put
into a liquid which has any acid in
it, its blue color will be changed to
red. If, then, another kind of liquid
called an ALKALI be slowly turned
into the acid liquid, the red of the
litmus paper will fade away little by
little, and after a while the blue
color will come back again. Thus,
acids and alkalies are the opposites
of each other, for one will neutralize
or kill the power of the other.
Acids are found in the juices of
plants and in animal bodies, and in
many mineral substances. We know
of several hundreds, and more are
being found out all the time. In
their common form some are gases,
some liquids, and some solids.
Acids are generally formed by the
union of HYDROGEN, OXYGEN, and
some one other ELEMENT which is
not a metal. For instance, acetic
acid, which makes the sourness in
vinegar, and citric acid, which
makes the sourness in lemons and
limes, are made up of hydrogen,
oxygen, and CARBON, united in dif-
ferent parts. Malic acid, found in
unripe apples and most acid fruits,

such as the gooseberry and currant;
tartaric acid, found in grapes and
many other plants; oxalic acid, so
useful for cleaning brass and copper
and for taking ink stains and rust
stains out of cloth; and CARBONIC
ACID, are other forms of the union
of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon.
Carbolic acid, still another form of
the union of the same things, smells
like smoke. It is valuable as a puri-
fier and for stopping the spread of
disease. Carbolic soap is made out
of it. NITRIC ACID is made up of
hydrogen, oxygen, and NITROGEN,
and SULPHURIC ACID of hydrogen,
oxygen, and SULPHUR.
There are some acids which have
no oxygen in them. Among these
are muriatic or hydrochloric acid,
and prussic or hydrocyanic acid.
Hydrochloric acid is so called be-
cause it is made up of hydrogen and
CHLORINE. The pure acid is a gas,
the liquid commonly called muriatic
acid being the gas mixed with water.
A mixture of four parts of muriatic
acid with one part of nitric acid is
called aqua regia (Latin for royal
water), because it is the only liquid
which will dissolve gold, the king of
metals. Muriatic acid is largely used
in the arts. Hydrocyanic acid, so
called because it is made up of hy-
drogen and cyanogen (carbon and
nitrogen), smells like bitter almonds
and is a deadly poison. It is found
in small quantities in bitter almonds,


in the kernels of peaches and of
plums, and in peach leaves, giving
them their peculiar taste. These
things are sometimes used to flavor
food with, there not being enough of
the acid in them to do any harm.
Common prussic acid, which is so
called because it was first made from
Prussian blue, is hydrocyanic acid
mixed with water.
Acids have many different powers
and uses. While some are healthful
and are used for food, others are
deadly poisons when breathed into
the lungs or taken into the stomach ;
and while some are harmless to
touch, others are very biting. Sul-
phuric acid will char and destroy
most vegetable and animal sub-
stances, and nitric acid will make
yellow stains and wounds where it
touches the skin. In the article
BASE is told how the mixture of an
acid and a base makes a SALT.
The word acid is made from the
Latin acidus, sour or sharp to the
taste, which comes from acus, a
ACORN, the seed or fruit of the
oak tree. Most kinds of acorns con-
tain STARCH and OIL, and have a
bitter taste ; but some are not bitter,
and are largely used as food in
Spain, Algeria, and other Mediter-
ranean countries, being liked better
than chestnuts. In California the
Indians pound up acorns in a mortar

and make cakes and mush out of the
meal. The cup of one kind of acorn
is made into a fine black dye, and
is also used, like bark, for tanning
The word acorn is from the Anglo-
Saxon ac, oak, and corn, corn, grain.
ADZE, a tool for smoothing tim-
ber, much used by ship-carpenters.
It has a handle like an axe, but the
blade, which is made like a broad
chisel, has the cutting edge crosswise
instead of in a line with the handle.
The adze is also used by house-
carpenters in squaring timbers for the
frames of buildings. The head of
the common adze is shown in the


picture. Another kind of adze, used
in making wooden spouts and other
hollow work, has the edge hollowed
out like a gouge. Coopers' adzes
are much like the common adze,
but have short handles, and are
used in one hand like hatchets.
The word adze is the modern form
of the old English addice, which
came from the Anglo-Saxon adese.
AEOLIAN HARP, a box with

oEolian Harp.

strings stretched tightly across it, blows on them. The box is made
which make music when the wind of very thin boards, about five inches



deep and six or eight inches wide,
and usually just long enough to fit
across a window. The strings,
which may be of twisted silk, catgut,
or wire, are stretched across the top
of the box from end to end, and
tuned together. When the harp is
placed on the window sill and the
window is raised just high enough
to let the wind blow on the strings, it
makes a sweet but sad kind of music.
The .Eolian harp is named from
iEolus, the ancient heathen god of
the winds.
ACATE, a kind of QUARTZ,
marked with many colors in clouds,
spots, or layers. Agates are found
in loose rounded pieces inside of
rocks, or as loose pebbles in beds of
rivers or gravel. They vary usually
from the size of a filbert to that of a
small apple, but some have been
found larger than a man's head.
Agates are made up mostly of silica
(see SILICON), and the colors come
from particles of iron mixed with it
in different ways. When cut open
they show a great many beautiful
forms, in some the colors being in
layers, in some in zig-zag lines,
while in others they look like ani-
mals, trees, moss, leaves, and other
natural objects. In the British Mu-
seum is a very remarkable agate
from Egypt which shows on both
sides a likeness of the poet Chaucer.
As agates take a fine polish, they
are much valued as ornamental
stones. Most of the agates sold are
brought from Oberstein, a small
town near Mayence, Germany,
where many of the inhabitants are
employed in cutting and polishing
them. They are first ground on
large miill-stones turned by water
wheels in small mills scattered along
the banks of the river Nahe, and
afterward polished on wheels of soft
wood covered with powdered ROT-
TEN STONE. Agates are much used
in the manufacture of rings, seals,
beads, handles for knives and forks,
sword hilts, cups, smelling bottles,
and many other ornamental things.

Burnishers for polishing, used by
bookbinders and other mechanics,
are also made of agate.
The word agate is from the Latin
achates, and the stone was so named
because it was first found near the
river Achates, in Sicily.
There are several other stones
much like the agate, some of which
differ from it only in their coloring
matter. The principal ones are :
Carnelian, which is found in differ-
ent shades of red and yellow. The
most valuable kind is the deep red.
The best carnelians come from Ja-
pan and from India. The word car-
nelian is from the Latin caro, geni-
tive carnis, flesh, some of the com-
monest ones being flesh color.
Chalcedony, or calcedony, of a
milk-white or whitish-yellow ; some-
times found in such large pieces that
cups and other vessels are made of
it. It is brought from Iceland, Corn-
wall in England, and Nova Scotia.
Chalcedony got its name from the
ancient city of Chalcedon, in Asia
Minor, where much was found.
Onyx, usually found in layers of
white and brown, dark red, or black.
Many cameos are cut in onyx, the
raised figure being in the white, and
the dark layer making the back-
ground ; but sometimes the raised
figure is cut in the dark layer, and
the background made of the white.
Sardonyx is a beautiful and valu-
able kind of onyx, marked with
layers of white and a rich orange
Onyx is named from the Greek
onux, a finger-nail, because the col-
ors are in flat layers, like the marks
in the human nails. Sardonyx is
named from Sardis, in Asia Minor,
or, as some think, from Sardo, the
Greek name of Sardinia.
Blood Stone, a green agate marked
with red spots like blood. It is
sometimes called oriental jasper.
AQAVE, the name of a family of
plants growing chiefly in the hot
parts of America. The most won-
derful of the agaves is the one called




maguey by the Mexicans, and which
is commonly known in this country
as the American aloe or century
plant. It gets its last name because
it is thought to bloom only when a
hundred years old ; but this is wrong,
for though it may sometimes reach
this age in cool countries, it often
blooms when less than ten years old
in hot countries. In the parts
around New York it blossoms when
ten to sixty or seventy years of age.
As soon as the flowers fall the plant
withers and dies. The Mexicans
make a drink called fulque from the
sap of the plant, and from fulque
they distill (see ALCOHOL) a strong
liquor called vino mezcal. A coarse
kind of thread called pita flax, or
sisal hemp, is made from the threads
of its leaves.
The word agave is in Greek
agaue, which is from agauos, illus-
trious or noble.
AIR. We cannot see the air, but
we know that it is all around us, for
we take it into our lungs with every
breath. When it moves we call it
wind, and we can then see and feel
what it does ; but air is in the stillest
places as well as where the wind
blows the hardest.
Air is a gas (see ELEMENT) with-
out taste or smell, and in small quan-
tities it is without color; but when
seen in large quantities, as when we
look up into the heavens in a clear
day, it appears bluish. It is not a
single gas by itself, but a mixture of
several gases, the chief of which are
five gallons of air there are nearly
four gallons of nitrogen and one
gallon of oxygen ; and, fortunately
for us, this amount is always the
same. If the air were all nitrogen,
we should die for want of oxygen;
and if it were all oxygen we should
live so fast that our liv.'s would soon
be spent, and everything that can
burn would quickly burn up. But
just enough of each are mixed to-
gether in the air to make it safe and
healthful to breathe.

The air also has in it, besides
Oxygen and nitrogen, a small portion
Sof another gas called CARBONIC
SACID. This gas is a deadly poison,
Sif breathed into the lungs by itself,
but it is safe when mixed, as it is
in the air, with oxygen and nitrogen.
It has too an important use. Every
breath of air taken into the LUNGS
becomes changed, that which we
breathe out having less oxygen and
more carbonic acid in it than that
which we breathe in. The nitrogen
is not changed ; just as much of that
is breathed out as is breathed in. A
full grown man breathes out every
(lay more than two pounds of car-
bonic acid. As animals, as well as
human beings, are all the time using
up oxygen and breathing out carbonic
acid, there would soon be so little
oxygen and so much carbonic acid
in the air as to make it poisonous, if
there was not some way of getting
more oxygen and of using up the
carbonic acid. This is done by the
leaves of all growing plants, which,
with the aid of the sunshine, are
always taking in carbonic acid and
Giving out oxygen. The carbonic
acid thus taken in gives the CARBON
for the growth of the PLANT, and
the oxygen that comes from the
leaves mixes with the nitrogen of the
air and becomes fit to be breathed
by animals again. Thus the oxygen
and the carbonic acid in the air are
always changing, and animals and
plants are helps to each other.
The air of cities is less pure than
that of the country because there are
more people to breathe it and use up
its oxygen, and fewer plants and
trees to take in the carbonic acid gas
and give back the oxygen. It is also
made impure by gases from sewers,
drains, and filth, and by close streets
and alleys which prevent the blow-
ing in of fresh air.
Water too has mixed in it a good
deal of air, or FISHES could not live.
They also breathe in oxygen and
breathe out carbonic acid, and the
carbonic acid is used up and oxygen





is given out by sea plants just as is
done by plants and trees on land. If
there were no plants in water, the
carbonic acid would increase so as
to kill all fishes and other animals
living in it.
Besides these three gases air al-
ways has watery vapor in it. This is
going up from the earth all the time,
not only from seas, lakes, rivers,
and damp places, but also from the
leaves of plants and the lungs and
skins of animals. Even in the pleas-
antest weather, when the sky looks
clear and blue, there is watery vapor
in the air. We cannot see it then
because it is divided into very small
particles, but it often changes and
turns into CLOUDS or FOG, or falls
as RAIN, and then we see it.
Air may be weighed like lead,
stone, or any other substance. If a
tight vessel full of air be weighed,
and then weighed again after the air
has been pumped out (see AIR
PUMP), it will weigh less the second
time than the first. Air may be
compressed or packed closely into a
smaller space than it usually fills.
If you push a tumbler down bottom
upward into a bowl of water, the
water will rise up inside of the tum-
bler and press the air into a smaller
space. It is the same in the DIVING
BELL. When it is sunk in very deep
water the air becomes so dense or
thick that a man can hardly live in it.
Divers have sometimes been killed
in this way. Air is also elastic-
that is, it will go back into its former
shape when the pressure is taken off
from it. This also is shown by
the diving bell. The air closely
packed in it swells as the bell is
drawn up, and forces the water out,
until at last, when the bell leaves the
water, it becomes of the same thick-
ness as the surrounding air. The
common air which we breathe will
also swell when the pressure is taken
off from it. If a bladder filled with
air be placed in a tight jar and
the air around it in the jar be then
pumped out, the air in the bladder

will swell and burst it. Air is also
impenetrable, by which we mean that
it will keep out all other matter from
the space where it is. A very sim-
ple experiment will prove this. Fit
a funnel tightly into the neck of an
empty bottle, so that no air can get
in at the side. You may then fill
the funnel full of water and it will
not run into the bottle, because the
air within is impenetrable.
When we say that the air has
weight we mean that it is attracted
or drawn by the earth just as all
other things are. Being also com-
pressible, the lower part of it, which
rests on the earth, is pressed down
by the great weight of the air above
it, so that it is much thicker than the
upper air. This pressure is so great
that one half of the whole atmos-
phere is squeezed into a belt around
the earth about two and three
fourths miles high ; while the other
half, which is free from this pressure,
is so spread out that it reaches to a
height of more than forty miles.
Some believe that very thin air ex-
tends still further, but the entire
height of the atmosphere is generally
thought to be about forty-five miles.
The pressure on the earth at the
level of the sea is about fifteen
pounds to each square inch of sur-
face. A man of common size thus
bears all the time a weight of about
30,000 pounds of air, which is equal
to fifteen cart loads of coal. This
would crush him if the air did not
press in every direction, not only
downward, but upward and sideway
as well; and if the body were not
filled with air and other fluids of the
same thickness as the surrounding
air, which press equally outward. If
the pressure of the outer air were
taken off, the fluids within the body
would swell, and the parts in which
they are held would burst. Persons
who go up in balloons often feel
great pain, because the upper air is
much thinner than that below, and
the air and other fluids within them
being partly freed from the outward


pressure expand and force them-
selves through the pores of the
body, especially out through the thin
skin inside the nose and mouth.
The pressure of the air is well shown
by the leather toy called a sucker."'
When this is wet and placed upon a
smooth surface so as to keep out the
air between, the weight of the at-
mosphere pressing on the upper side
causes the leather disk to stick so
firmly that a brick or stone may
easily be raised by it. It may also
be shown in another way with a
glass tube, one end of which is un-
der water. If the air be sucked out
of the tube the water will rise in it
to a height equal to the pressure of
the air on the surface of the water
outside the tube (see BAROMETER).
The common suction PUMP works
in this way.
Air is also swelled by heat and
shrunken by cold. If a bladder
filled with air be heated, the air will
swell and burst the bladder. The
atmosphere gets but little HEAT
directly from the sun; generally the
sun heats the earth, and the earth
heats the air. As it grows warm it
becomes thinner and rises, giving
place to colder air which in turn
becomes heated and rises until the
entire atmosphere is heated. Air is
also condensed and made heavier
by cold. If a bladder filled with
air be put in the cold the air in it will
shrink and the bladder will become
flabby. The continual heating and
cooling of the air by heat and cold
cause the waves of air which we
call WIND.
The word air comes from the
Greek aer, which means the same
AIR-PUMP, a pump for drawing
the air out of a close vessel. In the
picture, A is a glass vessel called a
ell glass, which is open at the bot-
tom, but is made to fit tightly on to
the brass plate B. The cylinder or
barrel, C, has a piston, D, which
moves up and down in it, but fits so
closely that no air can get by it.

The bottom of the cylinder is joined
with the bell glass by the tube E,
which goes through the plate B. At
the bottom of the cylinder is a little
VALVE or kind of trap door, which
opens only upward, and in the pis-
ton is another opening the same
way. Now, suppose that the piston
is at the bottom of the cylinder and
the two valves are closed. If the
piston be pulled up, an empty space
will be left in the cylinder into which
the air from all sides will try to rush.
The air above the piston cannot get
in, because the valve does not open
downward ; but the air from the bell
glass will push open the lower valve
and fill the space. If the piston be
now pushed down, the air under the
piston will press down and close the
lower valve, but will at the same time


open the upper valve and go out into
the outer air. But this air which
was in the cylinder under the piston
was a part of that in the bell glass ;
and every time that we thus work
the piston we draw out a little more
of the air from it, so that in time we
get it nearly all out. Some air-
pumps work in a different way, but
the principle is the same in all.
The space thus made is called
a vacuum (Latin vacuum, empty
space). We cannot make a perfect
vacuum with an air-pump, for a little
air will always stay in the bell glass.
Many curious things may be shown
with an air-pump: in a vacuum
made by it a candle will go out, be.
cause there is no OXYGEN to feed its
flame; smoke will fall down likt
lead, because there is no air to kee,




it up, and an animal will quickly die
for want of oxygen. The air-pump
is used in the low-pressure STEAM
ENGINE, and also in many manufac-
tures, such as condensing MILK,
refining SUGAR, etc.
ALABASTER, a fine grained,
whitish limestone. There are two
kinds, gypsum alabaster, which is
the more delicate and soft, and cal-
careous alabaster, which is firmer in
grain. The latter, which is used
for sculpturing large objects, such
as chimney-pieces and columns, is
sometimes called oriental alabaster.
The name alabaster is now generally
given only to the gypsum kind, which
is carved into vases, statuettes,boxes,
and other small ornaments.
The word alabaster comes from
the Greek alabastron, and the stone
was so named from Alabastron, a
town in ancient Egypt, where it was
largely manufactured.
ALBINO, a person or animal
whose skin and hair are whiter than
is usual, from the want of coloring
matter in them. It is supposed to
be caused by a disease. The name
was first given by the Portuguese to
the white negroes on the coast of
Africa, but it is now applied to per-
sons of any race who are whiter than
they ought to be. Albinos are more
common among dark-skinned than
among yellow and white races. The
skin and hair of the human albino
are of a dull milky white, and some
parts of the eye are deep red. The
eyes are weak in the daytime, but al-
binos can see better at night than
other persons. There are albinos
among animals, birds, and insects ;
the white ELEPHANT, white mouse,
white crow, and white blackbird
are examples.
The word albino comes from the
Latin albus, white.
ALBUMEN. A boiled eggis made
up of two kinds of meat, the yolk,
which is yellow, and a pure white
substance which lies around it.
The white is albumen, hardened and

made white by heat. When raw it
is thin and almost colorless, like
gum. The yolk of the egg is also
albumen, but mixed with a yellow
oil which colors it. Albumen is
found in the blood and the flesh of
all living beings. The more there
is in meat the more tender it is. The
flesh of young animals is more ten-
der than that of old animals because
it contains more albumen; and it
becomes spoiled quicker for the
same reason. Salted meat is not
so good for food as fresh meat be-
cause the albumen is taken out of it
by the brine. Meat boiled too long
becomes tough because the albumen
is hardened like the white of a hard-
boiled egg. Albumen abounds also
in the juices, grains, and other parts
of plants. It is the most important
part of food, because it contains in
a small space more that is good and
easily digested than any other kind
of food. For this reason eggs,
which have so much of it in them,
are the strongest of all foods. Al-
bumen is the principal one of a class
of substances called the albuminoid
or nitrogenous substances, which,
like the starchy and fatty substances,
is made up of CARBON, HYDROGEN,
and OXYGEN, but unlike them has
also NITROGEN in it. (See FOOD.)
The word albumen is Latin, and
is made from albus, white ; the sub-
stance is so called because the white
of egg is almost pure albumen.
ALCOHOL, the spirit in wine,
beer, cider, etc. When the juice of
apples is first pressed out, it is
sweet and has none of the sharp
taste of cider; and it does not be-
come cider until it has fermented or
worked, which takes place after It
has stood a while. Apple juice is
only sugar and water flavored with
the taste of the apple, but after it
has worked its sweet taste is gone
and it has spirit or alcohol in it.
This comes from a change caused by
the working. Neither the water nor
that which makes the flavor is
changed, but only the sugar, which



has become alcohol. It is the same
in making wine. Grape juice is only
sugar and water flavored with the
taste of the grape; but by fermen-
tation the sugar is turned into alco-
hol, and the grape juice becomes
wine. Now sugar and alcohol are
made up of just the same things,
only the parts are different. When
the apple or grape juice ferments,
bubbles of CARBONIC ACID are
given off. Thus some of the carbon
and some of the oxygen of the sugar
escape into the air; the hydrogen
remains just the same, and with the

carbon and oxygen which are left
forris alcohol. Therefore, sugar, by
fermentation, is divided into two
things, carbonic acid gas, which
goes off into the air, and alcohol,
which stays behind in the liquid.
All spirituous liquors have alco-
hol in them, and it is this which
makes people drunk when they
drink too much. Brandy, whisky,
rum, and gin, which are called dis-
tilled liquors, are about one half al-
cohol, sherry and port wines about
one fourth or one fifth, and claret
and white wines one tenth. Ale
and cider have still less in them.

A Still.

Distilled liquors are so called be-
cause they are made by distillation
(from Latin desttllare, to trickle or
drop down). The substance to be
distilled is first heated until it turns
to vapor or steam ; this vapor then
passes into another vessel which is
ept cold, and the coolness conden-
ses it (from Latin condensare, to
make thick), that is, turns it back
into' a liquid. Now alcohol will boil
and turn into vapor at a much lower
heat than water; therefore the alco-
hol vapor will all pass over into the
condenser, or second vessel, and
be condensed into a liquid again

before the water begins to boil
The process is shown in the pic-
ture, where a is a large copper ves-
sel called a still, in which the suo-
stance to be distilled is heated over
a furnace fire. The vapor of the al-
cohol rises, passes through the pipe
b down into the condenser, which is
made up of a coiled tube c (called
from its looks the worm) in a vessel
d, called the worm-tub. The worm-
tub is kept full of cold water by
means of the pipe e. The water
enters the tub near the bottom and
runs off through the pipe f at the




top, so that it is always cool; and
the vapor of the alcohol passing
through the worm is cooled and con-
densed and trickles out of the end of
the pipe at g. Some watery vapor,
or steam, will always pass over and
be condensed with the alcohol, so
that distilled liquors are usually
about half alcohol and half water;
but by distilling several times the al-
cohol may be got nearly pure.
Alcohol is much used in medicine
and in the arts. Medicines are made
by mixing drugs with it, cologne and
other perfumed spirits by flavoring
it with different kinds of oils, and
varnishes by putting into it resins
and gums. When mixed with spir-
its of turpentine it makes camphene
and burning fluid. Alcohol will not
freeze, and therefore it is used in
very cold countries in THERMOME-
TERS instead of mercury. It has a
great liking for water, and mixes
with it readily. Meat put into it will
keep for a long time, for the alcohol
takes the water out of it, and thus
keeps it from decaying. For this
reason it is much used by doctors
and others to preserve specimens in.
Alcohol is burned in lamps when a
very hot flame without smoke is
wanted, and in Germany it is much
used in little cooking stoves.
Alcohol gets its name from the
Arabic al kohol, the powder of anti-
mony, with which people in Asia
stain their eyelids. This powder is
very fine and pure, and the name
was in time given in Europe to alco-
hol, because it is a pure extract ; but
the Arabs never used the word in
that way.
ALDER, a common tree, which
grows usually in wet land. The
principal kinds of it belong to North
America. Alder wood is valuable
for turning and for some kinds of
cabinet work, and it is also used for
mill-wheels and other wood-work
under water. Its CHARCOAL is
considered the best for making
gunpowder, and its bark is used in
tanning leather and in dyeing cloth.

The word alder is from the An-
glo-Saxon aler.
ALKALI, the common name of a
class of BASES which differ in some
things from other bases. They have
a peculiar sharp and biting taste.
In the article ACID is told that if a
piece of blue litmus paper be put
into an acid, the paper will turn red.
If now the same piece of paper,
reddened by the acid, be put into an
alkali, it will turn blue again. Thus
the action of the acid is neutralized
or killed by that of the alkali. If
an alkali be mixed with an acid, the
two will unite, like any other base
with an acid, and form a SALT.
Alkalies unite with oils and fats to
form SOAP. The principal alkalies
Some other substances also, such
as lime and magnesia, have the
power of neutralizing acids, and are
therefore called alkaline earths ; but
in other things they are not alto-
gether like alkalies.
The word alkali is from the Ara-
bic al kali, the ashes of a plant from
which soda was once made.
ALLIGATOR, a large reptile, found
only in North and South America. It
lives both on the land and in the
water. It looks like the crocodile, but
differs from it. The crocodile lives
either in salt or in fresh water, but
the alligator never goes into the salt
water. The common alligator found
in the Southern States grows 14 to
15 feet long; its head is about one
seventh of its entire length, and its
mouth is very large, with a single
row of pointed teeth in each jaw.
Fish is its principal food, but it
catches and devours land animals
and sometimes even men. It likes a
negro better than a white man, and
a dog or a hog better than either.
It lays 50 to 60 eggs, about the size
of goose eggs, covers them with
sand, and leaves them to be hatched
by the sun. The young, which are
five or six inches long when they
leave the shell, take to the water as




soon as hatched. They love to play
in the sunshine, and when fright-
ened will scamper away yelping like
puppies. When there is any dan-
ger the mother alligator will some-
times swallow her young, who run
one by one down her throat. The
hide of the full-grown alligator is
covered with bony scales, which are
very hard, but it is not true that a
rifle-ball will not go through them, as
is generally said. A rifle-ball will
go into an alligator almost any-
where, if it strikes fairly. Alligator
skin, when tanned, makes good lea-
ther for boots and shoes.
The alligator is a REPTILE of the
crocodile order.
The word alligator is from the
Spanish el lagarto, the lizard, a name
given to this reptile by the Span-
iards because they thought it looked
like a lizard.
ALLOY. Gold and silver when
pure are very soft and easily worn
out by use. They are not fit there-
fore to make coins of until they are
mixed with some other metal to
harden them. This is called alloy-
ing them, and the mixed metal it-
self is called an alloy. Alloys are
made with different kinds of metal ;
for instance, BRONZE, BRASS, PEW-
TER, and TYPE metal, are all alloys.
The silver coins of the United States
are made up of nine parts of silver
and one of copper; in the gold
coins nine parts are gold and the
other part is one quarter silver and
three quarters copper. A mixture
of MERCURY or quicksilver with an-
other metal is called an AMAL-
The word alloy is from the French
aloi, standard, which is from a la
loi, according to law, meaning the
standard of coin fixed by law.
ALLSPICE, the berry of the pi-
mento tree, so called because it is
supposed to unite the flavor of
cloves, nutmegs, and cinnamon.
The pimento grows in South Amer-
ica and the West India Islands, par-
ticularly in Jamaica. It is an ever-

green, and is sometimes four or five
times as high as a man. The berries
are picked when full grown, but be-
fore they begin to ripen, and are
carefully dried. Allspice is some-
times called Jamaica pepper.
ALMANAC, a book telling the
division of the year into months,
weeks, and days, the time of the ris-
ing of the sun, the moon, and the
tides, and other useful things. The
Arabs are supposed to have first
made them. The first printed al-
manac was a German one, pub-
lished in Vienna in 1457. Most of
the early almanacs pretended to
foretell the weather and other
events, and some almanacs still do
so; but they are believed only by
ignorant persons. Almanacs giving
information about official matters
and other facts are now published
in almost all countries. One of the
most celebrated of these, the Al-
manacl de Gotha (Almanac of Go-
tha), published at Gotha, in Ger-
many, in both French and German.
is now (1879) in its I 6th year.
More than Ioo almanacs of all kinds
are published yearly in the United
It is not certainly known what
this word is made from. Some
think it is an Arabic word, and
others that it comes from the Anglo-
Saxon allmonaght, a sketch or draw-
ing of the course of the moon.
ALMOND, the fruit of the almond
tree, which grows in the countries
around the Mediterranean. Its fruit
or nut is covered with a hard green
shell which dries as it ripens, and
finally bursts open, and lets the al-
mond drop out. There are two
principal kinds of almonds, the sweet
and the bitter. Sweet almonds are
largely used in confectionery and for
dessert, but they are not worth
much for food, and are very hard to
digest. Almond oil, made by press-
ing almonds, is used as a flavor in
medicines, and for scenting toilet
soap. The bitter almond is small'
er than the sweet, and has in it


less oil; and the oil is very poi-
sonous, owing to prussic acid in it.
Almonds are brought from France,
Spain, Italy, Malta, and the East.
The finest kind, called Jordan al-
monds, are brought from Mal-
The almond tree belongs to the
same family with the PEACH, PLUM,
word almond has been changed
from its Latin name amygdala.
ALOES, the dried juice of the
leaves of the aloe tree. There are
several kinds of the tree, which is
found in India, Arabia, and some
other parts of Asia, Madagascar,
the Cape of Good Hope, and the
West Indies. The best aloes comes
from the island of Socotra, in the
Indian Ocean near the mouth of the
Red Sea. Aloes is used as a medi-
The word aloe is from the Latin
and Greek aloe.
ALPACA, an animal living in the
mountains of Peru and of Chili. It
is shaped much like a sheep, but is
larger, and its color varies from gray-
ish white to brown and almost black.
Its wool is nearly a foot long, and is
soft and silky and very strong for its
fineness. A great deal is sent every
year to England, where it is made
into shawls and several kinds of
cloth. The thin cloth called alpaca
is woven out of alpaca wool, mixed
with silk or cotton. The alpaca
is a timid and gentle animal, and
lets itself be led about by those
who tend it, but it is ugly to
The alpaca is a MAMMAL of the
order ruminantia, or cud-chewing
animals, and of the same family with
the camel. The name is Spanish,
and is made from faco, the Peru-
vian name of the animal.
ALPHABET, This word is made
out of the Greek names of the first
two letters of the alphabet, alp/ha
and beta (A and B); so when we
say alphabet, we merely say A B.
All alphabets are not alike. In the

English alphabet and many others
there are letters for the sounds of
both the vowels and the conso-
nants; but in the Hebrew alphabet
there are letters for the consonants
only, the vowels being marked by
slight changes in some of the con-
sonant letters. Some alphabets,
like that of the Cherokee Indians,
have a letter for each syllable. In the
writing of the Chinese, who have no
proper alphabet, there is a charac-
ter or sign for every word in the lan-
The alphabets of most of the Eu-
ropean languages are much like each
other. This is because they came
from the same source, nearly all of
them having grown out of the alpha-
bet used by the Romans. The Ro-
mans got theirs from the Greeks,
and the Greek alphabet was made
out of the Phoenician, which is told
about in the article WRITING. In
most of the European alphabets the
letters are placed nearly as they are
in English, but as some of the lan-
guages do not have all of the Eng-
lish sounds, they want a few of our
letters. Thus, the Italians have no
K, W, X, and Y, the Spanish and
Portuguese no K and W, and the
French no W. The Russian lan-
guage has many sounds not found
in the other languages, and has
thirty-six letters, many of which
are shaped differently from those of
other alphabets.
In English printing many alpha-
bets of variously formed letters are
used, but they all have the same
meaning. The letters most used in
books and newspapers are called
Roman letters, because they are like
those used by the Romans. But the
Romans had no small letters like
ours ; all their letters were capitals.
The slanting letters, which we call
Italics, came into use about the year
I500. They were named Italics by
Aldus Manutius, an Italian printer,
who first made them. Script letters
are also slanting, but they are made
like letters written with a pen. Some




of the other alphabets used in print-
ing are :

OIb ITD nllistD,
6trman iext.
Full Face.

or 33Sacdt letter.

The different sizes of common Ro-
man type are shown in the article
ALUM, a whitish, salty substance,
largely used in the arts. Alum is
sometimes found pure in the earth,
but most of it is made from alum
rocks and alum earth. The mate-
rial is first roasted with fire in heaps
and then mixed with hot water in
great pans; the liquid is afterward
drawn off and boiled down until
most of the water passes off in steam,
and only the solid part is left.
Alum is used largely in medicine.
It is also employed by bakers to
whiten bread made from poor flour,
by sugar-makers for whitening sugar,
by dyers to fix colors, and by tanners
in preparing skins and in coloring
Alum is a SALT made up of alu-
mina (see ALUMINUM), POTASH,
SULPHURIC ACID, and water.
The word alum is a short form of
the Latin alumen.
ALUMINUM, a METAL and one of
the ELEMENTS. When pure it is
bluish white, bright, about one
fourth as heavy as silver, takes a fine
polish, and does not oxidize or rust
in the air at common heat. It may
be hammered out into thin sheets
like gold and silver, and may be
drawn into fine wire. Aluminum is
the most abundant of the metals, and
with the exception of OXYGEN and
SILICON it is the most abundant thing
in the world, being found in clay,
marl, slate, feldspar, mica, and many
other minerals. But no cheap way
has yet been found out to get this
metal, which might be of great use
in the arts. As now made it is about
as costly as silver, but on account of
its lightness it is very valuable for
many purposes. An ALLOY of two
parts aluminum and one part silver

is much used instead of silver for mak-
ing candlesticks, harness ornaments,
drinking cups, spoons and forks, tel-
escopes and opera glasses, mathe-
matical instruments, etc. Aluminum
forms alloys also with iron, zinc,
nickel, and copper. Aluminum
bronze, made of nine parts of copper
and one part of aluminum, is very
hard, may be easily hammered, is
almost as strong as steel, and of a
beautiful golden color. Watch
cases and common jewelry are made
of it.
Alumina (aluminum oxide) is
formed by the union of oxygen with
aluminum. When pure it is a
light, white powder, without taste
or smell, and will not melt in any
common fire. It is the most com-
mon of all earths, and is the chief
thing in CLAY. EMERY is nearly
pure alumina, and the ruby and sap-
phire are made up of alumina col-
ored with oxides or rusts of dif-
ferent metals. Topaz, lapis lazuli,
turquoise, and corundum are also
mostly alumina.
AMALGAM, an ALLOY of metals,
one of which is MERCURY. Mercury,
which is also called quicksilver, has
the power to dissolve most other met-
als and mix with them. This causes it
to be much used in separating gold
and silver from their ores. In gold
mining, the quartz rock in which the
gold is mixed in little grains is
crushed into small pieces and then
washed through several machines in
which mercury is put. The mercury
takes up all the little pieces of gold
and mixes with them,while the earthy
matter is washed away. The mer-
cury is then driven off by heat, as is
explained in the article MERCURY,
and the gold is left. The same pro-
cess, which is called amalgamation,
is used in mining silver. Amal-
gams are largely made use of in the
arts. Metals are sometimes gilded
by washing them with an amalgam
of gold and mercury; the mercury
is then driven off by heat, leaving
the gold on the metal. For the way




of silvering looking glasses with an
amalgam of tin and mercury, see
The word amalgam is made up of
the Greek words ama, together, and
gamein, to marry, meaning that in
it metals are joined together.
AMBER, a hard, light, yellow
substance, often clouded with white,
supposed to be the hardened gum
of a kind of pine tree which does
not grow now. It is found in small
quantities in many parts of the
world, as on the coasts of the Adri-
atic Sea and of Sicily, in Siberia and
Greenland, and in the United States
in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and
Maryland; but most of the amber
sold comes from the Prussian coasts
of the Baltic Sea. Some is dug out
of the ground, and some is picked
up o:i the shores where it is washed
up during storms, but the greater
part is got out of the sea itself. It
is supposed that in ancient times the
climate of North Germany was much
warmer than it is now, and that the
coast of the Baltic was covered with
a great pine forest. Pieces of the
bark and cones of these trees are
often found sticking to the amber,
and many insects belonging to a
warm climate, of kinds which do
not live now, are also found in it.
Such pieces are valued more than
plain pieces. Much of the amber
taken from the sea is found stick-
ing to seaweed. After an easterly
storm, even in the coldest weather,
the peasant men stand in the water
and throw the seaweed with forks
upon the sand, where the women
and children pick off the pieces of
amber. Out in the sea a good many
dredging machines (see DREDGE)
are all the time at work tearing up
the seaweed from the bottom and dig-
ging up the mud, both of which are
brought up and carefully searched
for amber. Lately, men clothed in
diving armor, much like that shown
in the picture in the article DIVING
BELL, have been employed in getting
it, with great success.

Amber is usually found only in
small pieces, from the size of a
grain of wheat up to that of a hen's
egg. The largest piece ever found,
now in the museum in Berlin, is
about as large as a child's head.
Amber is much used for making
ornaments, such as beads, neck-
laces, earrings, pendants, etc., for
the mouthpieces of pipes and cigar-
holders, and for burning for per-
fume. A good deal is sent to
Mecca, where it is burned as in-
cense by Mohammedans in their
If a piece of amber be rubbed
until it gets warm and then put near
some small pieces of paper or cot-
ton, they will fly toward it, cling to
it for a moment, and then fly off
again. This is caused by the ELEC-
TRICITY in the amber, which is
stirred up by the rubbing. There
is so much electricity in it that the
workmen who make things out of
amber have to change the pieces
often to keep it from hurting them.
The Greeks, who knew that amber
would act in this way, named it elec-
tron, and out of this word was made
our word electricity.
The word amber is from the
Arabic word anbar, the name of a
fish from which it was once thought
that AMBERGRIS came; ambergris
was first called anbar, but the name
was finally given to yellow amber.
AMBERGRIS, a gray fatty sub-
stance, usea as a perfume, some-
times found floating in the sea, and
sometimes in the intestines of the
sperm whale. It is formed by the
indigestion of part of the whale's
food, and pieces of mussels or of
fish are often found inside of it.
Usually only a few ounces are got
from a whale, but as much as a hun-
dred pounds have been found. Am-
bergris sometimes floats ashore, and
is picked up on the beach, especially
in India, Madagascar, Japan, and
Brazil. Foxes have a great liking
for it, and often search for it along
the seashore, swallowing every bit





they can find. It passes through
them unchanged excepting in color,
its gray tint having become a clear
white. This is the white ambergris,
which is the most prized of all. It
is sometimes found in South-western
France, far away from the sea, and
it is there called by the peasants
ambre renardd (foxed amber).
Ambergris sells for about $5 an
ounce. When mixed with alcohol it
makes a very delicate perfume, and
it has the power of making other
perfumes smell stronger.
The word ambergris is from the
French ambregris, gray amber,
which is made up of the Arabian
anbar, AMBER, and the French gris,
AMETHYST, a kind of rock crystal
or QUARTZ of a violet or purple col-
or, much used for making seals,
rings, and other ornaments. The
ancients made vases and cups out of
it. The finest amethyst comes from
India, Ceylon, and Brazil. The ori-
ental amethyst, a very valuable pre-
cious stone, of a fine violet color, is
The word amethyst is from the
Greek amethustos, preventing drunk-
enness, because the ancients believed
that liquor drunk out of cups made
of amethyst would not intoxicate.
used in the arts. In its pure state,
and at the common heat and pres-
sure, it is a strong colorless gas (see
ELEMENT), but it may easily be
made into a liquid or a solid. Liquid
ammonia is usually made by mixing
the gas with water. It is commonly
called "spirits of hartshorn," be-
cause it was formerly made by dis-
tillation (see ALCOHOL) from the
horns of the hart or stag. It is now
made mostly from the waste tar
water of gas works. The salt of
hartshorn, usually called smelling
salts," is carbonate of ammonia, a
SALT formed by the union of CAR-
BONIC ACID with the BASE am-
Ammonia is supposed to have

got its name from the temple of Am-
mon, in Upper Egypt, near which
it was made in ancient times.
AMPHIBIANS. These animals are
sometimes made an order in the class
of REPTILES, but as they are really
half way between reptiles and fishes
they ought to be kept separate from
both. Amphibians are cold-blooded
ANIMALS, of small size, which live
both on land and in the water.
Their skin is generally naked and
smooth, without any scale or shell
covering as in the reptiles. They
all begin life as little fish-like crea-
tures, with large flat heads and out-
side gills for breathing air in water,
just as fishes do. At this time they
are called tadpoles. As they grow
up, little air sacs within them be-
come large and act like lungs, en-
abling them to breathe common air.
Some of this class, such as the
sirens, do not lose their gills after
they grow up, but have both gills
and lungs at the same time. Am-
phibians differ from fishes in several
things, but especially in having four
limbs which are not at all like fins.
There are several orders of am-
phibians, but the only common ones
which we need to notice are the
FROGS (including tree-frogs) and the
The word amphibians is in Latin
ampfhibia, and means leading a
double life, that is, in the water and
on land. It is made up of two Greek
words, amfhi, or both sides, and
bios, life.
ANCHOR, an iron hook for hold-
ing a ship by chaining her to the
bottom of a harbor or road, which is
hence called an "anchorage." In
ancient times large stones, bags of
sand, or pieces of wood weighted
with lead were used for anchors.
The Chinese still make use of crooked
wooden anchors. Iron anchors were
first used by the Greeks. Anchors
are now made of the best wrought
iron. The parts of ,the common an-
chor will be seen in the picture : A is
the shank, B the stock, C C the arms,



D one of the flukes, and E the
or shackle. Once the stock
made of wood, but it is now
erally of iron, with one end
down, as shown in the picture.


-- !- -

Common Anchor.

pulling out the pin a the stock may
be pushed through the shank and
-laid down upon it, so as to make
the anchor easier to carry.
The word anchor comes from the
Latin anchora, Greek angkura.
ANCHOVY, a small fish caught in
the Mediterranean Sea in May, June,
and July. The fishermen go out in
the night, carrying torches in their
boats. The fish see the light and
swim up to the boats in great num-
bers, when they are scooped up
with nets. After being cleaned they
are packed in brine in small barrels
and sent to other countries, where
they are usually taken out and put


into bottles. The anchovy looks
like the herring, but it is not more
than three inches long. It is eaten
raw, as a relish, or made into sauce.
Anchovy sauce has been used since
the time of the ancient Romans, who
called itgarum. A kind of anchovy

is plentiful along the coasts of the
United States.
The word anchovy comes from the
Spanish anchova, from an old word
meaniihg a dried or pickled fish.
ANIMAL. Animals differ gener-
ally from plants in being able to
move from place to place, though
there are some animals which have
not this power. Every kind of ani-
mal has some place on the earth
where it lives best, so that the earth's
surface may be divided up into parts,
each of which has its own animals.
All of those which belong to any one
country are called the fauna of that
country. The fauna of warm and
moist climates is much more plenti-
ful than that of cold and dry climates,
and that of the sea is more plentiful
than that of the land. Most animals
live in the light, but some live in
places where there is no light, as in
caves. Such ones do not have fully-
formed eyes, as they have no use for
All animals are classed together
in one great body called the Animal
Kingdom (see ELEMENT). This is
divided into four sub-kingdoms : I.
Vertebrates; II. Articulates; III.
Mollusks; IV. Radiates, the last three
of which are usually called the inverte-
brates. Each of these sub-kingdoms
is again divided into several classes ;
classes are divided into orders; and
orders are divided into families.
For example, the wolf belongs to the
dog family; the dog family belongs
to the order carnivora, or flesh-
eaters; the order carnivora belongs
to the class mammalia, or MAM-
MALS; and the class mammalia
belongs to the sub-kingdom of the
I. Vertebrates have an inside skele-
ton, the back-bone in which is called
the vertebral or spinal column.
This is found in man, in quadru-
peds or four-footed animals, in birds,
in reptiles, in amphibians, and in
fishes. The skeletons of all of these
differ in many things, but they are
alike in having a back-bone or verte,





bral column. This is made up of
many bones fitting together, each
one of which is called a vertebra
(Latin vertebra, plural vertebra, a
joint, from vertere, to turn, because
each one turns on the other). The
number and shape of the vertebrae
differ greatly. In the back-bone of
man there are but 24 vertebrae, while
in that of some snakes there are more
than 400. A human vertebra is

Vertebra of Man.

shown in Fig. I : a is the front part,
and b the sharp rear part which you
feel when you rub your hand up and
down your back. All vertebrate an-
imals are alike also in having red
BLOOD, moved by a heart, and a
brain with a spinal marrow or spinal
cord, as it is sometimes called. The
round hole, c, in the vertebra fits on
to a like one in the next vertebra, so
that when all are joined together a
passage or tube is formed through
the whole spinal column. In this lies
the spinal marrow, from which all the
NERVES branch to the different parts
of the body.
The vertebrates are divided into
five classes : I. MAMMALS ; 2.
ANS ; 5. FISHES. Of these, mammals
and birds are called warm-blooded
animals, because their blood keeps
warm even when the air is very cool,
and reptiles, amphibians, and fishes
cold-blooded animals, because their
blood differs with the warmth and
coolness of the air or water in which
they live. The blood of a fish or a

frog is just as cool as the water in
which it swims, and this is why those
animals feel cold to our hands.
II. Articulates include all animals
whose bodies are made up of rings
jointed together. These rings are
easily seen in the picture of a worm,

Worm, showing Rings.
Fig. 2, whose body is wholly made
up of them. When a lobster shell is
dry it will break up into many perfect
rings. Articulates have no inside
skeleton, like the vertebrates, but
their outside shell answers the same
purpose, all the MUSCLES being fast-
ened to it. The articulates differ
also from the vertebrates in their
nerves. They have no brain and no
spinal cord, but a kind of chain of
nerves, with little knots along it, with
other nerves leading from them to
the different parts of the body. They
have too no heart, and, with a few
exceptions, their blood is white.
They are divided into five classes:
I. INSECTS ; 2. Arachnids, or
SPIDERS (including scorpions and
mites) ; 3. CRUSTACEANS, of which
the principal order is the decafpoda
(ten-footed, from Greek deka, ten,
and fous, foot), in which are CRABS,
LOBSTERS, SHRIMPS, etc. ; 4. Miria-
pods (centipedes, etc.) ; 5. WORMS.
The word articulate is in Latin arlic-
ulata, which is from artus, a joint.
III. Mollusks are soft-bodied ani-
mals, most of which have shells, but
some of which are naked. The shell
is not an outside skeleton, like the
shells of the articulates, but only a
protection for the body. Mollusks
generally have no limbs. Their
bodies are flabby, and have a soft
skin which often hangs over around
them in thick folds, forming what is
called the mantle. This is easily
seen in the oyster and the clam.
The lime (CALCIUM carbonate) from


which the SHELL is made is taken
up from the water in which the ani-
mal lives and spread around by means
of the mantle in layers on the inside.
The blood of mollusks is nearly col-
orless, but has sometimes a light
blue or greenish tinge. Their
NERVES grow out of little lumps call-
ed nerve knots, which are arranged
differently in different kinds of mol-
lusks. Most MOLLUSKS cannot
move, but have to stay always in one
place and get their food as they can
when the waves and currents bring
it to them.
IV. Radiates are named from the
radiated or star-like form of their
bodies. STAR FISH are good exam-
ples of them. Other radiates are
CORAL animals, sea anemones (see
former times many of this class were
supposed to be plants, and they are
very much like vegetables in some
things. None of them have a head,
and though some of them move
about, others always stay in the place
where they grow, some of them being
fixed like plants on a common trunk.
Many radiates have the power of giv-
ing out the light called phosphores-
cence, so often seen in the sea at
night. When the sea is calm its sur-
face looks as if sprinkled with fine
stars, and when the water is rough the
waves roll like billows of fire. Some-
times this light is milky white or
The word radiates is in Latin
radiata, which comes from radius,
a ray. Phosphorescence is made
from the Greek word thosphoros,
light bringer, which comes from
fhos, light, and herein, to bring.
SPONGES are sometimes put into
this class, and sometimes into a class
of their own called Protozoans,
meaning first or earliest animals,
from the Greek words frotos, first,
and zoon. animal.
ANIMALCULE, an animal so small
that it can be seen well only with a
MICROSCOPE. Some animalcules
can just be seen with the naked eye,

but most of them are so small that
if it were not for the microscope we
would not even know that there are
such things in the world. If a single
drop of water be put under a micro-
scope it will be seen to swarm with
living things, some of which are no
thicker than a single hair, and some
are so small that many thousands of
them would not take up any more
room than a grain of sand. Three
common forms of animalcules are
shown in the first picture. There
are thousands of kinds of these little
animals of many different shapes.
Some are like long slender lines,
some coiled up like a watch spring,
some like triangles, some round like
a ball, some round and flat, some


like seeds, and some are shaped like
bells, funnels, thimbles, drums,
shoes, and many other things. They
appear to be always moving, day and
night, and never taking any rest.
Some of them move straight forward
like an arrow so quickly that they can
hardly be seen, while some drag their
bodies along slowly like a worm:
some buzz round like a wheel, some
crawl like a snake, and some move
in little leaps. The water of every
ditch, pond, and river is full of them,
whether in cold or in hot countries,
and there are as many in salt as in
fresh water. They are found too in
the water of hot springs and in the
ice of the Arctic regions.
Not only are all kinds of animal
and vegetable matter seea under the




microscope to be full of living ani-
malcules, but the shells of thousands
of dead kinds are found in many
forms of mineral matter. Large parts
of some kinds of rocks, of sand,
mud, and dust are made up of the
remains of these little animals which
-lived and died ages ago. A piece
of chalk as large as a walnut has in

Shell Animalcule.

it hundreds of thousands of little
shells which were once the homes of
animalcules. The building stone
used in Paris and many other kinds
of building stone are full of like
shells, and the rotten stone called
Tripoli is full of shells so small that
thousands of millions of them are

Shell Animalcule.

found in a single inch. In some parts
of the world they form nearly half the
sand of the sea beach. These. little
shells are of many different sizes and
forms, but all are very curious and
beautiful when looked at with a mi-
croscope. Living forms of some of
these little animals have been found

in the ocean. Their bodies inside
the shells are made up of a jelly-like
substance, from which little arms and
feet, like threads of glass, stretch out
through holes in the shell. They
seize their prey with these arms, and
it is supposed that there is something
poisonous in them, for the animals
caught appear to lose the power of
moving as soon as touched. Two
kinds of these shell-covered animal-
cules are shown in the pictures. The
little threads are also used as feet
when the animalcule climbs up any-
Animalcules are the lowest kinds
of animals known, none of them
having NERVES and organs of sense.
The word animalcule means a
small animal, and is from the Latin
animalculum, which comes from
animal, an animal.
ANISE SEED, the seed of a plant
which grows wild in Europe and
North Africa. It is cultivated in
Malta, Spain, and Germany. An-
ise seed is used for flavoring candies
and liqueurs, and is made into a
The word anise is from the Latin
dish or yellowish dye stuff, made
from the outside of the seeds of a tree
which grows in Brazil. It is used to
color butter and cheese, and also by
dyers, painters, and soap-makers.
ANT. There are several hundred
kinds of ants in different parts of the
world. They live in societies or
families, sometimes many thousands
in number, and are divided into
three classes, females, males, and
workers. The females are the larg-
est, the males next in size, and the
workers the smallest. The females
and the males have wings, but the
workers are without wings.
The male ants have no work to
do. After they have paired with
the females, they go off where they
please and soon after die. The fe-
males lay little eggs, so smal4 that
they can scarcely be seen by the



naked eye, scattering them about in
the nest wherever they happen to
be. The workers gather them up
and take care of them, putting them
in the sun in the morning and into
a safe dry place in the nest at
night, until they are hatched. The
larvae, or grubs, which come out of
the eggs, are small, white worms,
without any legs. They are treated
in the same way as the eggs by the
workers, who feed them with a li-
quid brought up out of their own
stomachs. When the grub gets
large enough it spins a web all
around itself, which covers it like
the cocoon of a SILKWORM. The
cocoons are carried out into the sun
and in at night by the workers, just
as the eggs and the grubs were,
until the time comes for them to be
born again, when the workers cut
the cocoons, and they come out per-
fect ants.
Besides taking care of the eggs,
the grubs, and the cocoons, the
working ants have to get all the
food of the society, to build the
houses and streets, and keep them in
repair. Some of their dwellings are
very wonderful. Most ants buiPd
their houses or nests in the ground,
above which they rise like a cone or
hill, and hence are called ant-hills.
These have many little rooms in
them, in stories one above another,
and connected by galleries. In
South America they are sometimes
seen two or three times as high as
a man. A kind called mining ants
dig long galleries in clay, building
pillars to support the roof, and
thatching them with grass and
heather. Carpenter ants make their
houses in growing trees, boring out
their cells deep into the wood, with
partitions between them no thicker
than a card. A kind of ant in Aus-
tralia builds houses of leaves, which
are brought to the place wanted by
the strength of a great many work-
ing together, and then fastened with
a kind of glue.
Ants are very active and very

strong for their size. A man could
not drag the body of a heavy horse
over rocks and rough places for sev-
eral miles, yet the little ant which
carries off a grasshopper or a beetle
does more than this. An ant will
lift and carry things ten or twelve
times its own weight, and will do it
without appearing to be muchtired.
Ants too are among the most indas-
trious of all animals. They will
work all day long, and in warm
weather, if need be, at night also,
building houses, taking care of their
young, and laying up food. They
eat different kinds of food, some
liking best vegetable food and some
animal. Some kinds of ants keep
other insects for the food which they
give, just as we keep cows for milk.
Their cows are plant-lice, found on
the leaves of plants. These little
insects have a sweet honey-like
liquid within them which ants love
very much. The brown garden ant
may often be seen climbing up the
stalks of shrubs and bushes, looking
for them. When one is found the
ant gently taps the louse with its
feelers, and the louse gives out a
drop of honey which the ant drinks.
Ants also carry off these lice and
shut them up in cells in their houses,
taking great care of them, and
feeding them, just as we take care
of our cattle. They carry off too
and keep the larva of a kind of
beetle, from the long hairs of which
they suck some kind of juice, of
which they appear to be very fond.
In warm countries, where ants are
large and plentiful, they kill and eat
insects, birds, and small animals,
and sometimes even drive people
from towns. In the warm parts of
America is a small shining red ant
called the fire-ant, whose sting is
said to be like a prick from a red-
hot needle. These ants dig gal-
leries through the ground, over-
run houses and eat up food and
clothes. People who live where
they are have to smear the legs of
tables, chairs, and stools with co-





paiba balsam, which the ants do
not like, to keep them from climbing
up them. All food has to be hung
up in baskets held by cords soaked
in the same balsam, and all kinds of
clothes have to be kept with great
care, for they will eat even linen for
the sake of the starch in it. Some-

Blood-red Ant-Male.

times these ants become such pests
that villages are deserted by their
inhabitants. The little red ant of
the United States is also a great pest
in houses, as it will eat anything
which has sugar in it. The large
black ant of the United States is
very destructive, eating food, books,
wooden things, furs, etc.
In some hot countries are large
flesh-eating ants which hunt for
prey in great armies. Wherever
they go all other animals are fright-
ened and try to get out of their way.
As they move along in a thick mass
they search under every leaf and
piece of rotten wood for spiders,
grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars,
maggots, and other insects, and

Blood-red Ant-Female.

clear the ground of all animal mat-
ter, alive or dead. When they find
wasps' nests on low bushes they
run up and gnaw through the cov-
ering of the nest to get at the larvae
within, without paying any attention
to the angry wasps flying about
them. When they have gathered all

the food they want, they march
homeward again, each one carry-
ing his part of the prey for the use
of the society. In South America
these ants do a great deal of good
by eating up insects, and people are
very glad to have them come into
their houses, which in hot weather
are full of all kinds of insects that
bite and sting. When the army of
ants is seen coming the people
leave their houses, and the ants go in
and search every part, peeping into
corners and cracks, dragging all liv-
ing things out and killing them.
When they have been through the
whole house, they set off again
dragging away with them cock-
roaches, centipedes, and even liz-
ards and any other thing which they
can carry.
Some ants make war on other
kinds of ants and carry off their

Blood-red Ant-Worker.
young and make slaves of them.
These fighting ants, which are red,
are mostly idle stupid fellows who
do not know how to take care of
themselves, and who would starve
to death if they did not have slaves
to look after them; but their nip-
pers are very sharp and strong, and
well fitted for fighting. The pictures
show the male, the worker, and the
female of these red warrior ants.
The ants on which they make war
are active little black ones, who live
in well-built houses, and who are
hard workers. When some of the
red ants find one of these colonies,
they go home and tell their friends
of it, and then the red ant army sets
out to attack the enemy's fort. As
soon as the black ant sentinels see
them coming they rush into the
fort, give the alarm, and then rush
quickly out again followed by great


numbers of other black ants, who
fight the invaders bravely, but in
vain. The red ants are the best sol-
diers, and they soon overcome the
black ones and press into the fort.
The blacks fly in all directions, and
in a few minutes the reds are seen
coming out again, each one carrying
in its mouth an egg or a larva of
the black colony. With these they
march home, where they bring up
their prisoners to serve them, treat-
ing them the same as their own
children. They never carry off the
grown-up ants, who would prob-

ably run away when they got a
chance. As soon as the black ant
children grow up they do all the
work of the household, and take the
best of care of their masters. They
lick them, brush them, feed them,
and carry them around on their
backs. The masters, who do noth-
ing but carry on war, become so
used to being waited on that if they
lost their slaves the stupid creatures
would die in the midst of plenty.
A kind of ant in Texas is said to
build cities and roads, and to keep a
regular army. They first clear away

Nests of Termite Ants.

the grass for three or four feet
around their city, and then make a
pavement on it of coarse sand and
gravel. As this would be covered
with water in the rainy season, they
build mounds on it, about a foot
high, and in these they make cells in
which their eggs, young ones, and
their stores of grain are carried when
the rains begin. The only plant al-
lowed to grow in the bounds of their
city is a kind of grain-bearing grass,
whose seeds they gather when ripe
and put away for use.

Ants have many enemies. Birds
and some kinds of animals eat great
numbers of them, and there is a
small fly which lays its eggs on
their bodies, and when they hatch
out the larvae go into the bodies and
live there. There is also a small
kind of ant which makes chambers
and galleries in the walls of the nests
of some larger kinds. They are the
bitter foes of the large ants, and
often rush out into their nurseries
and carry off some of the larvae for
food. It is just as if there was a







race of ugly dwarfs living in the
walls of our houses, who would
every now and then carry off a
baby to eat. The large ants can-
not get at these pests, because
they are too large to go into their
Termites, or white ants, are like
:ommon ants in their habits, but
differ from them in many things.
They live mostly in very hot coun-
tries, and do a great deal of injury,
as they eat up everything that can
be eaten which comes in their way.
They will sometimes gnaw out all
the inside of the beams in houses,
leaving only a thin shell. In Africa
these white ants live together in
vast colonies, some burrowing in
wood,: some digging deep houses
underground, and some building up
great hills ten or twelve feet high
above ground, with little hills around
them, like those in the picture. The
one on the right hand is cut down
through the middle to show how the
inside is made. These hills are built
of earth softened in the jaws of the
worker ants, and which when plas-
tered on dries and becomes so hard
that a man can stand on the top
without breaking through. Hunt-
ers looking for game, and even wild
animals searching for prey, some-
times mount on to them to get a
view of the country. The Africans
eat these ants, pounding them up
into a kind of jam, which they think
very delicious. There is also an ani-
mal called the scaly ant-eater, which
feeds on them. It tears open the
hills of the white ants, which it
licks up with its long, round, sticky
Ants belong to the order hymen-
opiera, or membrane-winged IN-
SECTS ; but termites, or white ants,
belong to the order neuroftera, or
nerve-winged insects.
The word ant is changed from
amt, which was shortened from
emmet, the old English name of the
ant. The Anglo-Saxon name is

ANTELOPE. Many antelopes are
so like deer that they can scarcely
be told from them, but deer have
solid horns which they shed every
year, while antelopes have hollow
horns, like those of sheep, goats,
and oxen, which are usually not
shed at all. Antelopes' horns, too,
are round and curved, have rings or
wrinkles running round them, and
are always black. There are a great
many kinds of antelopes, most of
which are found in Africa, but there
are also many in Asia ; there is only
one kind in Europe, and there are
two kinds in North America.
The Gazelles are the most beauti-
ful and the fleetest of the antelopes
of Africa. They are usually quite
small, one kind being no larger than
a hare, though some are as large as
deer. They are famed for the beauty
of their eyes and for the grace of
their movements.
The Gnu, or horned-horse of South
Africa, is about as large as the ass,
and has a body, neck, mane, and tail
like a horse, and the legs and horns
of an antelope.
The Chamois, the only antelope
in Europe, is found in the Pyrenees,
in the Alps, and in other moun-
tains. It is something like a large
goat, but has no beard, and it has
two smooth black horns, about six
inches long, rising straight up from
the top of the brow, and bending
backward at the top. The chamois
does not like heat, and stays on the
highest ridges and snowy valleys of
the mountains, living on herbs and
the shoots of shrubs. It is very
swift, and easily bounds from rock
to rock, going up and down steep
cliffs where other animals could not
keep their feet. The chamois is
much hunted, although the sport
is very dangerous, and the animal is
not worth much when killed, its flesh
not being very good. Its skin is
dressed into a fine leather called
chamois or shammy skin, which is
used for under garments, and for
cleaning silver plate, glass, etc. ;




but most of the leather sold for
chamois skin is made of buck
The Prong-horn, one of the ante-
lopes of North America, is about as
large as the common deer, and has
coarse hair, yellowish-brown above,
and white on the rump and under
parts. The hoofs, horns, and end of
the nose are black. The horns,
which grow nearly straight up and
bend toward each other at the top,
have each a single branch or prong
about half way up, and from this the
animal gets its name. The prong-
horn is often seen by travellers on
the Pacific Railway. One will some-
times run beside a train for a mile or
two, as if trying to run a race with
it. Its speed is so great that it is
almost useless to chase it ; but it is
not a hard animal to kill, because it
has so much curiosity that if the
hunter waves a handkerchief it will
come near enough to be shot. The
Indians lie flat on their backs and
kick up their heels, with a rag or
some other thing fastened to them,
and the prong-horns, coming up to
see what the strange thing is, get
near enough to be killed with the
bow and arrow.
The Rocky Mountain Coat, the
other American antelope, lives in
the wildest and most rugged parts
of the Rocky Mountains, seldom
coming down into the plains. It
is about as large as a sheep, and
it has a beard like a goat, but its
horns are like those of the chamois.
Its body is covered next to the skin
with a fine silk-like wool, and over
this are long shaggy hairs.
The antelope is a MAMMAL of the
order ruminantia, or cud-chewing
animals, and of a family which in-
cludes the gazelle, the chamois, the
gnu, the Rocky Mountain goat, and
many others.
The word antelope comes from
the Greek antholofs, which is made
up from anthos, beauty, and ops, the
eye, and the animal thus gets its
name from the beauty of its eyes.

ANTIMONY, a METAL, and one
of the ELEMENTS. When pure, anti-
mony is a brittle, bluish-white metal,
which shines bright. It is very
brittle, and may easily be pounded
to powder in a mortar. It is some-
times found by itself, but oftener
united with other things, such as
arsenic, nickel, silver, and sulphur.
Most of the antimony of commerce
is got from an ore called gray anti-
mony, in which it is largely mixed
with sulphur. It is made mostly in
Germany, from ores found there,
and in Great Britain, from ores
brought from Borneo and Sumatra.
Antimony is given as a medicine,
chiefly in the form of a white pow-
der called tartar emetic. It is not
used in the arts as a simple metal,
but makes a part of many ALLOYS.
Among these are TYPE metal and
the metal used in making music
plates and stereotype plates, Britan-
nia metal, and PEWTER.
The word antimony comes from
the new Latin antimonium.
ANVIL, an iron block with a
smooth face and a horn, or pointed
end, on which smiths hammer and
shape their work. Anvils are of
many sizes, from the small ones
used by goldsmiths, which are made
of steel, to the immense cast-iron

Blacksmith's Anvil.
ones used under steam HAMMERS,
which are so large and heavy that
they have to be put upon stone
piers built in the most solid manner
in deep holes dug in the earth.
Common anvils are made of cast-
iron covered with steel. Some have


a hole in them, made when they are large ape, nearly as tall as a man, is
cast, to let the air in so that they found only in Africa. It is the
may cool quickly, as this makes them cleverest of all the apes, and the
harder. most like man. Chimpanzees live
In the picture, A is the face of in societies in the forests, where
the anvil, B is the horn, and C is a they build huts of bark, branches,
groove in which a piece of iron can and leaves. They join together in
be shaped round. This piece, which bodies to defend their homes, and
fits into a square hole in the face, drive off even elephants with clubs
can be taken off, and a short chisel, and stones.
on which a bar of iron may be cut The Orang-outang is also nearly
in two, put in its place. as high as a man when it stands up,
The word anvil comes from the and is even stronger than the chim.
Anglo-Saxon anfilt. panzee. It is found in Southern
APE, a kind of monkey without a Asia and in the islands of Borneo
tail. When an ape stands upon its and Sumatra. Orang-outangs build
hind legs, its arms almost touch the nests in trees, and do not leave
ground. The fingers and toes are them in the morning until the sun
the same on the feet as on the has dried up the dew and warmed
hands, so that apes really have four the air. They do not live in troops,
hands. They can thus grasp the like the chimpanzee, excepting when
limbs of trees with great ease, and a pair have a family. They live
jump from bough to bough without mostly on fruits, nuts, and tender
danger of falling. When wild they shoots, and spend much of their
are the spryest of all creatures. time in trees. Orang-outangs may
Many of their actions are much like be tamed, and they are often affec-
those of human beings, whom they tionate in captivity, but are generally
often mimic. When they rest they grave and sober.
do not squat down, like other monk- The ape is a MAMMAL of the order
eys, but stretch themselves out at quadrumana, or four-handed ani-
full length with their heads on their mals, and belongs to the same fam-
hands, or on something for a pillow. ily with the MONKEY.
Other animals fight with their teeth The word ape comes from the
and claws, but apes will throw Anglo-Saxon apa.
stones and use sticks and clubs like APPLE. There were no apples
man. in America when it was first settled,
The Gorilla is the strongest, fierc- but the English brought trees, and
est, and most active of the apes. they are now plenty all over the
It is found only in the wilds of the United States. Apples that grow
hottest parts of Africa. When it in the Eastern States are richer in
stands upright, it is as tall and as taste than those from the Western
large as a man. The male gorilla States, though Western apples are
is very ferocious, and when wounded larger and better looking. Ameri-
it is said to be more terrible than can apples are now sent in large
the lion. It can twist a musket bar- quantities to Europe, China, and
rel in its jaws, and kill a man with India. The kinds most sent are
one blow of its paw. When attack- Rhode Island Greenings, Baldwins,
ing an enemy, gorillas walk on their Newtown Pippins, Spitzenbergs, and
hind legs, beat their breasts with Swaars. Crab apples, which are not
their arms, and roar loudly. Sev- larger than plums, are much used
eral young gorillas have been taken for preserves. The Siberian crab
alive, but none of them have lived apple is the best. All the kinds of
long, for they cannot be tamed. apples now known are supposed to
The Chimpanzee, another very have grown from the wild crab


apple tree. Apple-tree wood is
much used by turners, mostly for
making shoe lasts and weaver's
shuttles. (See CIDER.)
The word apple comes from the
Anglo-Saxon appel.
APRICOT, a fruit that looks like
a peach, but has the stone of a
plum. The tree grows wild in
Northern Africa, and in China, Ja-
pan, and other eastern countries.
It was first brought into Europe in
the time of Alexander the Great.
Apricots are dried in large quantities
in Italy, and sent to foreign coun-
tries. Many also are dried in Bok-
hara and other parts of the East,
and sent to Russia, and the pre-
served apricots of Damascus are fa-
mous. The apricots that come
from France in boxes, dried and
preserved with sugar, are the fruit
of the apricot plum. A black paint,
like India ink, is made from burned
apricot stones. Many apricots are
now raised in California.
The word apricot comes from the
old English apricock, which is from
the Latin prccox, meaning early
AQUARIUM, a tank for keeping
water animals and plants in. It was
once thought necessary to change
the water every few days in the glass
vessels in which fish and other
water animals are kept, because
when water animals breathe they
use up OXYGEN and give out CAR-
BONIC ACID just as land animals do,
and this in a short time makes the
water impure. But about fifty years
ago (1830) a French gentleman, M.
Charles des Moulins, found out that
if water plants are put into the
water with the animals the plants
will take up the carbonic acid and
give off the oxygen which the ani-
mals need, just as is done in rivers
and lakes, as is told about in AIR.
Thus the water is kept pure, and
there is no need of changing it. At
first only fresh-water tanks were

made, in which fresh-water animals
and plants were kept, but it was
soon found out that salt water
plants and animals could be kept
and studied in the same way, and
now many cities have large build-
ings filled with aquaria in which are
kept all kinds of living things from
seas and lakes. These give much
amusement to the people, and fur-
nish to scientific men the means of
studying the habits and modes of
life of many animals of which but
little was before known.
Small aquaria are now often kept
in houses for study and amusement,
just as cages of birds are kept.
They are usually fresh-water ones,
as those with salt water are much
harder to take care of. The one in
the picture is a very good form.
The bottom is made of marble, slate,
or a sheet of zinc ; the framework
is of bronze or iron, and the four
sides of plate glass. The glasses
must be fitted into the frame very
tightly, and fastened with water CE-
MENT, so that the tank will not
leak. On the bottom should be put
about an inch of well-washed river
sand, and on this pebbles should be
strewn. No clay or other dirt should
be put in, as it is apt to color the
water. A little mountain or a grotto
may be easily made with broken
stone stuck together with water ce-
ment. A part of it should come
above the water, for turtles and
other little animals to crawl out
upon. If shells are put in they
should be first burned or well
washed, so as to get all the animal
matter out of them. Fresh-water
plants, such as starwort, water
crowfoot, duckweed, water thyme,
and milfoil, should have their roots
covered with the sand, and have a
few pebbles put over them to keep
them in place. Care must be taken
not to put too many animals in a
small aquarium, as there may not be
air enough in the water for all.
Among the most interesting and
pretty of the small fishes for a fresh-




water aquarium are the stickleback,
gold fish, perch, minnow, tench, and
gudgeon. Some small turtles are
interesting, and a few MOLLUSKS,
such as snails and mussels, should
be put in, as they help to purify the
water, by using up decaying vege-
table matter.
The aquarium should not be let
stand in the sunlight too much, as
it will warm the water, which ought
to be kept cooler than common sit-
ting rooms in winter (the best heat
is 50 to 60o). Every few days the

water should be aired by dipping it
up in a cup and pouring it gently
back into the tank in a small stream
or by blowing into it with a bellows.
Nature does this by constant evapo.
ration and rain, and also by the in-
terchange from springs through
brooks and rivers to the sea. Air
thus becomes mixed with the water,
and the animals have more tc
breathe. If an animal or plant die
it should be taken out at once, for
the water will be made impure by
it. Some aquaria are made so thX


a little fresh water is always running
in at the top while a small pipe car-
ries off a little from the bottom.
A salt-water aquarium should be
taken care of in much the same way
as a fresh-water one. Those who
live near the sea can easily get new
water if that in the aquarium be-
comes impure; and those who live
at a distance can make it pure again
by straining it through a sponge.
Air must also be often put into the
water just as in fresh-water aquaria.

Of course a salt-water aquarium
must have in it only things which
grow in salt water. Everything will
thrive if you are careful to have
about as much vegetable as animal
matter; and it is always better to
have a few healthy animals than
many weak ones.
Green dulce or sea-cabbage is
the best of the sea plants to use,
and it is well to put in a few stones
as large as hens' eggs covered with
green seaweed. Brown and red sea-





weeds are not so good. Sponges
soon die in an aquarium, and spoil
the water. Among the animals
good for a salt-water aquarium are
small fishes, such as minnows and
sticklebacks, shrimp, snails, bar-
nacles, and a few sea anemones.
Sea anemones are a kind of animal
plants, which have stems somewhat
like the stem of a toadstool, with a
jelly-like flower on the top. These
flowers, which are of many colors,
blue, dark red, pink and white, yel-
low, etc., are really feelers, which
stand out all round like a star, and
with which the animal catches its
food. Anemones fasten themselves
to rocks on the bottom of the sea,
with their flower feelers open, and
when a little fish just hatched or a
worm comes along, the feelers close
up, shut it in, and carry it into its
mouth, which is in the middle of
the flower. It is very interesting to
watch the movements of anemones,
which should be fed every day with
small pieces of dried meat, which
may be dropped upon their feelers.
They will take a great many differ-
ent shapes, sometimes looking like
a full-blown flower, sometimes like
a bud, and sometimes like a whole
vase of flowers. In the picture,
which is that of a salt-water aquari-
um, are shown two anemones, fast-
ened to the bottom, and spreading
out their flower-like heads.
The word aquarium (plural aqua-
ria) is made from the Latin word
aqua, water.
AQUEDUCT, a channel to carry
water, generally for the supply of
cities and for other purposes. The
aqueducts of the Romans, some of
which are still in use, were among
the greatest of their works, some of
them being more than sixty miles
long. They were built with a slight
but regular slope, so that water
would easily run down them. Where
they crossed valleys or other low
places they were placed upon high
arches of stone ; where hills were in
the way they were sometimes built

round them and sometimes through
them in TUNNELS. Some of the
aqueducts had several channels, so
that two or three different streams
of water flowed through them. The
largest aqueduct in the United States
is that which brings the water of the
Croton river to New York City. It
is forty miles long, and passes
through sixteen tunnels, cut mostly
through solid rock. The channel
through which the water flows is
high enough for the tallest man to
walk in. It is carried over the Har-
lem river on the High Bridge, which
is more than a quarter of a mile long
and higher than two four story
houses (116 feet). The water flows
into the reservoirs in Central Park,
and is carried from there in pipes all
through the city. Boston is sup-
plied with water through the Cochit-
uate Aqueduct, which is about fif-
teen miles long. There are many
aqueducts on the Erie Canal, by
means of which the waters of the
canal are carried over rivers and val-
leys. These, which would be more
properly called aqueduct bridges, as
a canal itself is an aqueduct, are
much wider and larger than those
built to carry water to cities, and are
open at the top.
The word aqueduct is from the
Latin aqueductus, which is made
up of aqua, water, and ductus, a
ARABESQUE, a kind of decora-
tion in architecture, largely used by


the Spanish Moors or Arabs, from
whom it got its name. As the Mo-
hammedan religion forbade the mak*

I~ I

ing of pictures of animals, the
Moorish arabesques were made up
of vines and plants, leaves, flowers,
and fruit, twisted together in all
sorts of figures. Those of the pal-
ace of the Alhambra, in Granada,
Spain, are the most beautiful and
most famous of the Moorish ara-
besques. Animals, birds, insects,
and even human figures are now put
into arabesque decorations, which
are much used in fresco painting.
The word arabesque is French,
and is from the Latin Arabicus,
ARCH. The arch shown in the
picture is a semi-circular (half-circle)
arch. It is formed of wedge-shaped
blocks piled up from two sides, fac-
ing each other, with the narrow part
of the wedge on the inside, so that
the blocks on the two sides come
nearer and nearer to each other
until they meet at the top. The


Fig. i.-Semi-circular or Round Arch.

stone in the middle, K, is called the
keystone, because it locks the whole
together; if it were taken out the
arch would fall down. The two bot-
tom stones, S S, are the springers,
and the flat stones under the spring-
ers are called the imposts or plat-
bands. The distance across the
widest part of the arch on the line C
is the span, and the distance be-
tween the span and the keystone is
the height. In building an arch a
wooden frame is first put up, shaped
on the top just like the arch, and
the stones are piled up on it until
they meet at the top and the key-
stone is put in, when the frame-

work is taken down, and
stands by itself. The
knew how to make only

the arch
the round

Fig. 2.-Horseshoe Arch.

arch, like the one in the picture.
The Arabs first made the horseshoe
arch, Fig. 2, which is used so much

Fig. 3.-Gothic Arch.

in Moorish architecture. The pointed
or Gothic arch, Fig. 3, was first built
in the middle ages.
The word arch is from the Latin
arcus, a bow.
food, made from the roots and grains
of several plants. The best arrow-
root is got from the roots of a plant
largely cultivated in the West India
islands. The roots, which are about
a foot long and as large as a man's
finger, are carefully peeled and beat-
en or ground to a pulp, and then
washed in water, which takes out the
starch; this settles, and after an-
other washing is dried in the sun.
Arrowroot is made also in the East
Indies, but that prepared in Bermuda
and Jamaica is the best. Arrowroot
which we buy in stores is often mixed




with starch made from potatoes,
wheat, or rice, and with sago flour.
Arrowroot is supposed to have got
its name from the use of its roots by
the Indians to cure wounds made by
poisoned arrows.
ARSENIC, a METAL, and one of
the ELEMENTS. When pure, arsenic
is a shining, steel-gray, hard, and
brittle metal. The white powder
commonly called arsenic, is an oxide
or rust of this metal. It is made
chiefly in Silesia, in Germany, by
heatingan ore called arsenical pyrites.
The fumes or vapors which rise from
it pass into a cold chamber where
they are changed into the form of a
white powder.
Arsenic is a deadly poison, and
when taken into the stomach causes
burning pain, vomiting, and cramps.
The workmen who make it are very
unhealthy. It is used to some extent
in making flint GLASS, SHOT, and in
other manufactures. When mixed
with copper it makes a beautiful
green, used in coloring paper hang-
ings, but these are very unhealthful,
and ought not to be put upon walls.
The word arsenic is from the Greek
arsenikon, which is made from arsen,
strong. The name is given to it be-
cause it is a strong poison.
ARTICHOKE, a plant something
like a thistle, part of which is used
for food. It is supposed to have first
come from Asia, but it was known
in Europe as early as the middle of
the sixteenth century. The unripe
flower-heads are boiled, and the
fleshy lower part of the scales or
leaves eaten, dipped in olive oil or
butter with a little salt and pepper.
The Jerusalem Artichoke is a kind
of sunflower, with a root like a po-
tato. It came first from Brazil, but
was known in England about the be-
ginning of the seventeenth century.
The root, the part eaten, is cooked
like the potato, or eaten raw cut up
with vinegar and salt.
The word artichoke is made from
the Armenian words ardi schauki,
meaning earth-thorn. The Jerusalem

artichoke does not get its nane from
the city of Jerusalem, but from
girasole, the Italian name of sun-
flower,which has been thus changed
in turning it into English.
ASAFCETIDA, a kind of gum with
a very strong smell and a bitter taste,
the dried juice of a plant which
grows in Persia and India. Cuts are
made in the roots of the plant, and
the milky juice which runs out is
then dried in the sun. The gum
varies in color from red to pink and
white. It is used in medicine in
cases of colic, wind in the stomach,
asthma, etc. In some parts of the
East asafoetida is used to season
The word asafoetida is made up
from the new Latin asa, a gum, and
the Latin fwtidus, fetid or stinking.
ASH, a forest tree common in
Europe and North America. There
are about fifty kinds of it. The most
important ones in the United States
are the white ash, the black ash, the
red ash, the blue ash, and the swamp
ash. The white ash has the best
wood ; it is very hard, tough, springy,
and straight-grained, and is much
valued by wheelwrights, carriage-
makers, ship-builders, joiners, and
turners. Ploughs and other farm-
ing tools are made of it, and it is the
best wood for heavy oars, and one
of the best for bows. The tree bear-
ing a red berry, which is called
the mountain ash in the northern
United States, is not a real ash, but
belongs to another family of trees.
The manna of commerce, used as a
medicine, is a sugar from the sap of
a kind of ash tree growing in south-
ern Europe. It is collected princi-
pally in Sicily.
The word ash is from the Anglo-
Saxon asc.
ASHES. When a tree grows it
takes up from the earth, by means
of its roots, certain minerals called
SALTS. These salts, which all plants
need as much as they do air, become
a part of the wood of the tree,
When a stick of wood is burned, the





most of it is turned into gas, and
goes off into the air. All that is left
is the ashes, which cannot burn,
they being only the salts which the
tree took up from the earth when
growing. If the ashes be spread
over the ground, the salts will go
back into the earth again, and this is
the reason why wood ashes make
good manure for land: the salts
which have been taken from it by
growing plants are given back to it
in the ashes, and help other trees
and plants to grow. Some kinds of
wood give more ashes when burned
than others. Willow wood gives
more than twice as much as oak,
and about one fourth more than
elm. The bark of ail trees makes
more ashes than the solid wood.
The salts found in ashes are val-
uable and are much used in the
arts. The most used is POTASH,
with which SOAP is made. Ashes
are also used in bleaching, dyeing,
and glass-making; and they are
sometimes mixed with MORTAR.
When mixed with salt, ashes make
a very hard cement. The ashes
thrown out of volcanoes are not
real ashes; they are only dust and
powdered stone.
The word ashes comes from the
Anglo-Saxon asca.
ASPARACUS, a plant grown in
gardens for the sake of its tender
juicy shoots, which are cooked and
eaten. There was no asparagus in
America before it was settled by
Europeans. It grows wild in West-
ern Asia and in Europe, but was
early cultivated in gardens by the
Greeks and Romans, who made
great use of it for the table. It was
not eaten in England until about the
time of Charles I. Asparagus is not
worth much for food, but is easily
The word asparagus is from the
Greek asparagos, from a, up, and
spargan, to swell with sap or juice.
kind of mineral pitch or solid BITU-
MEN. When pure it is something

like resin, both in color and hard-
ness, but it is usually black or very
dark brown. Asphalt is much used
for making pavements. It is melted
in boilers, mixed with sand and
gravel, and spread evenly with
heavy rollers, and when cool makes
a hard solid pavement. A kind of
black varnish is made from the best
asphaltum, which is used to enamel
the leather called patent leather."
Artificial asphaltum is made from
the coal tar of gas-works.
The word asphalt is from the
Greek aspfaltos, bitumen.
ASS. This animal was first found
in Asia, and it still runs wild in the
mountains of Persia and Armenia.
In ancient times the Persian kings
used to hunt asses, and their flesh
was thought to be excellent for food.
The best asses are still brought from
the East, or from Spain, where they
are raised with great care. The ass
is smaller than the horse, and has a
rough shaggy coat of hair, and very
large ears. It is sure-footed, eats
coarse food, and will safely carry
loads over stony mountainous regions
where the horse cannot go. The
ass does not neigh like the horse,
but brays like the mule. The skin
of the ass is very tough, and is used
for covering drum-heads, making
pocket-books, etc. A kind of grained
LEATHER, called shagreen, is made
from it in Astrakhan, a Russian city.
The ass is a MAMMAL of the order
fachydermata, or thick-skinned ani-
mals, and of the horse family.
The word ass is from the Latin
AUCTION, a public sale of prop-
erty to the person who offers the
highest price. The salesman is
called the auctioneer. The people
who go to the auction make bids,
or offers, one after the other, for the
property, which is given to the one
who bids the most money. Sales by
auction were first made by the
Romans, who sold the spoils taken
in war in this way. They first called
such a sale a sale under the spear.



because a spear was stuck up in
the ground beside the goods; but
they afterwards called it auctio,
which means an increasing, because
each one who bid increased the sum
offered by the one who bid before
him. Perhaps, as many spears had
little flags on them, an auctioneer's
red flag may have grown out of the
early use of the spear.
AUGER. There are many kinds
of instruments for boring holes in
wood. The Brad-awl, which is the
simplest, is a round wire
with a wedge-shaped edge.
Some awls are made three-
cornered, and some four-
sided and pointed. The
last is the kind mostly used
by those who make bird
cages. Awls do not cut
out any wood when they
make a hole, but only push
some of it aside. Awls for
making holes in leather,
used by harness-makers
and shoemakers, are curved
or bent.
The Qimlet bores in a
different way. It has a
sharp screw-point at its
end, by which it is drawn
into the wood, when it is
turned round, instead of
being pushed in like the
awl. As it goes in its sharp
edge cuts a shaving from
the wood round and round,
and this shaving goes up
the hollow of the twisted
Auger. part of the gimlet, which is
called the pod.
The Auger, like the gimlet, has a
screw-point and a spiral or twisted
pod, but it has also a cutting part
called a lip, at each side of the end
of the pod, as shown in the picture.
These lips have sharp side edges,
which cut the hole round, and there
are other sharp edges on the bottom
of the auger, called the floor-lips,
which deepen the hole by cutting
downward. The chips or shavings
pass up the hollow spiral part of the

pod, as in the gimlet. The longer
the twist of the pod is, the deeper is
the hole which the auger can bore;
for if the twist is short, the auger
has to be taken out to clear the
shavings or chips soon after it is
full. Some augers have lips
of different shape, but the
picture shows the common-
est kind. Augers are made
to bore holes from one half
inch to four inches wide.
The Auger bit differs from
the auger in having spurs in-
stead of lips, as shown in the
second picture, where the
points are seen pointing
downward, instead of up-
ward as in the lips of the
auger. The spurs have sharp
edges and cut a ring round
the bottom of the hole, so
that the floor-lips can cut out
the chips more easily. Spurs
are not usually put on augers,
because the auger is meant
to do coarser work than the
bit, and the spurs might get
broken off. There are sev-
eral kinds of spurs used in
auger-bits, some of which
are curved or bent instead of Auge
being straight, and some are
made with both spurs and lips. A
kind of bit is also made with a mov-
able knife having a spur on one
side. This knife can be moved, by
means of the screw seen in the
picture, so that holes of different

Bit with Movable Knife.

sizes can be bored with it. Bits are
made to bore holes less than a quar-
ter of an inch to an inch and a half
Gimlets are usually made by hand,
augers and bits by machinery. Au-



gers and bits are made out of square
rods of steel, which are hammered
out and shaped by means of DIES,
and twisted while red hot. The
screw-point and the lips or spurs are
then roughly made by machines and
finished by hand. The edges of the
pod are ground down so as to make
them perfectly round and even, and
the auger is then tempered, or hard-
ened, by heating it hot and cooling
it quickly in water, and lastly fin-
Gimlets and augers are usually
fitted with handles, by which they


Brace or Bit-Stock.
may be turned, but auger bits are
made to be used in a brace, like that
in the picture. The end of the brace
is so made that the shank or back
end of any bit will fit into it. The
person using the brace puts the
round part a against his breast,
takes hold of the lower part b with
the left hand, and turns the part c
around with the right hand.
The word awl is from the Anglo-
Saxon el. Gimlet is from the old
French guimbelet, which is from an

old word meaning to twist. Auger
is from the Anglo-Saxon nafegar,
which is from nafa, the nave of a
wheel, andgar, a spear or point ; so
that auger really means a nave-borer.
Bit is probably from the Anglo-Sax-
on bitan, to bite.
AURORA BOREALIS, or northern
lights,the bright clouds of light which
are often seen in the northern sky in
the night. Aurora is a Latin word
meaning the light of the dawn or
morning, and borealis, also Latin,
means northern ; and the two to-
gether mean the northern morning-
light, because it often looks like the
daybreak in the east. It would be
better to call it the polar light, be-
cause it is seen at the south pole as
well as at the north pole. The
aurora is sometimes very beautiful,
forming across the sky great arches
of light through which flash bright
streaks of red, blue, green, purple,
and yellow flame. It is not known
exactly what causes it, but it is sup-
posed to be made by ELECTRICITY
or lightning passing through bodies
of air of different thicknesses.
AXE. The axe is one of the most
ancient of tools, and it has been used
by all peoples, civilized and savage.
It differs from the adze in having an
edge like a wedge, instead of like a
chisel, and in having its handle set in
the same way with the edge instead
of across it. Axes have long
handles, and are meant to be used
with both hands. The handle of an
axe, which in this country is made of
hickory, is rightly called the helve,
the thick metal part the head, and
the hole for the handle the eye.
In rude times axes were made out
of a piece of flint or some other
hard stone, ground down to a sharp
edge. The handle was made by
twisting a stick round the head in
much the same way as is shown in
the picture of the stone HAMMER.
Stone hatchets called tomahawks
were much used by the-North Amer-
ican Indians, before they knew
about iron, both for cutting wood




and for fighting. Every Indian
warrior carried one of these in his
belt, and it was his principal weapon
in hand-to-hand fights. Axes were
also used in war by all ancient
peoples, and many battle axes of
stone, bronze, and iron are to be seen
in museums.
When people found out how to
melt copper, axes were made out of
that metal, and in time they learned

Fig. I.-Ancient Bronze Axes.

how to mix a little tin with the cop-
per and so to make BRONZE. Great
numbers of copper and bronze axes
have come down to us from old
times, some of which are very well
made and of good form. Two kinds
of bronze axes are shown in the pic-
tures, in which it will be seen that
the helves are fastened in different
ways. Copper and bronze axes had
been used for a long time before men
found out how to make iron ones.

Fig. 2.-Axe ready for the Steel Edge.

The axe of modern times is made
of hammered wrought-IRON, but its
cutting edge is of STEEL. Such an
axe is not only cheaper than one
made wholly of steel, but it is also
better, for it is much stronger. An
axe or hatchet made wholly of steel
would be more apt to break, on ac-
count of the greater brittleness of

In making an axe a piece of bar iron
is heated red hot, cut off the right
length, and punched through by a
machine to make the eye. It is then
heated again, pressed between DIES

Fig. 3.-Yankee Axe.
to give it the right shape, and
grooved on the edge to make a place
for the piece of steel which is to form
the sharp edge. Its shape at this
time is much like that in Fig. 2.
The steel edge is put in while both
parts are at a white heat, and the
two are hammered together under

Fig. 4.-Kentucky Axe.

a trip HAMMER, and drawn out till
the edge is of the right shape. After
being ground to a finer edge it is
tempered by being heated and cooled
quickly in water, and is then ground
and polished. When finished it is
stamped, and the head is blacked
with a mixture of turpentine and

Fig. 5.-Brazil Axe.

ASPHALTUM to keep it from rusting,
and then packed for sale.
The largest axe factory in the
world is that of Collins & Company,
at Collinsville, Connecticut. Axes




and hatchets made there are sent to
all parts of the world. They are so
much better than the axes made in
Europe that a great many false ones
are manufactured, especially in Ger-
many, and sold for true Collins axes.
Different shaped axes are made for

Fig. 6.-Ecuador Axe.

different countries. Two kinds are
used in the United States : in the
Northern States the Yankee axe,
shown in Fig. 3, is used, but in
most parts of the United States south
of the Ohio River the Kentucky
axe, shown in Fig. 4, is liked best.
In the different countries of South

Fig. 7.-Cooper's Hatchet.
America axes of many different
shapes are used. Most of them
have no heads, but have the eye
close to the top, as shown in Fig.
5, which is the form used in Brazil,
and in Fig. 6, which is the kind used
in Ecuador.

The Broad Axe, which has a very
wide blade, is used by ship carpen-
ters for shaping the timbers of ships,
and by house carpenters, in places
where sawed timber cannot be had,
for hewing out the frames of houses.
A Hatchet is a little axe with a
short handle, made to be used with
one hand. There are many kinds,

Fig. 8.-Lathing Hatchet.
made for different uses. In 1he
pictures, Fig. 7 is one used by
coopers in making barrels and tubs ;
Fig. 8 is a lathing hatchet, for
nailing lathes on the inside walls of
buildings, to hold the plaster; and
Fig. 9 is a shingling hatchet, for
nailing shingles on to roofs. The
slits in the heads of the last two are
for drawing out nails.

Fig. 9.-Shingling Hatchet.

The word axe is from the Anglo-
Saxon word eax, which came from
axine, the Greek name of the axe.
Hatchet is from the French word
hachette, a little axe, a small form
of hache, an axe, which is made
from hacker, to chop.




BACBON, a kind of monkey with
a very short tail, found mostly in
Africa. Baboons are among the
largest of the monkeys, and their
strength is very great. They are
ugly and pierce, cunning, and danger-
ous when attacked. Their fore and
hind limbs are of nearly the same
length, so that they run well on the
ground; they are also good climb-
ers and live a good part of the time
in trees. Their food is mostly fruits,
twigs, and roots, but they some-
times eat birds, lizards, and other
small prey. There are several
kinds, among which the pig-faced
and the dog-faced baboons and the
mandrill are the largest and fiercest.
The baboon is a MAMMAL of the
order quadrumana, or four-handed
animals, and of the same family
with the MONKEY and APE.
The baboon is so called on ac-
count of its large lips. The word is
from the French babouin, which is
from babies, the large lips of a
BACON, the cured sides of the
hog. The thin parts of the ribs and
belly make the best bacon. It is
cured by rubbing into the flesh a
mixture made of eight parts of salt
and one part of saltpetre, every day
for about three weeks, the meat
being always kept in a cool place.
Sometimes a little brown sugar is
added to give it flavor. When the
salting is done, the bacon is either
dried or smoked.
The word bacon is from the new
Latin baco, meaning ham or salt

BADGER, an animal about as
large as a small pig, but fatter in
the body and with very short legs
and a long sharp nose. It lives in
Europe and in the northern parts
of Asia and of North America, but
not in South America. The Amer-
ican badger is yellowish-brown,
marked sometimes with darker and
sometimes with lighter colors, and
its hair is long and coarse. It lives
in burrows in the ground and feeds
on roots, insects, birds' eggs, frogs,
marmots, and other small animals.
On the plains of the West, it digs so
many holes in following its prey that
horses are often hurt by breaking
through into them. It uses its nose
and fore paws in digging, and
pushes the earth back with its hind
feet. Badger skins are sometimes
used for covering soldiers' knap-
sacks and the pistol cases on their
saddles, and the hair is made into
shaving and paint brushes.
The badger is a MAMMAL of the
order carnivora, or flesh-eating ani-
mals, and of the bear family.
The word badger comes from the
old English bageard, which was
changed from the new Latin blada-
rius, from bladum, corn. The ani-
mal was called bladarius because it
carried away corn from the fields.
BAGPIPE, a musical instrument
much used by the Scotch High-
landers, and by country people in
other parts of Europe. It is made
up of a leather bag, which is blown
full of wind by a tube leading from
the player's mouth, and three or
four pipes, one of which, called the


chanter, has eight holes, and is han-
dled something like a flute; the
others are called drones, and make
the peculiar droning sound of the
instrument. The player squeezes
the wind bag under his arm, which
forces the air into the pipes. The
bagpipe is a very ancient instrument,
and was known to the Greeks and
Romans. Pipers, dressed in High-
land costume, form a part of the
Highland regiments in the British
BAIZE, a coarse woollen cloth,
usually dyed green. Sometimes it
has a long nap or furry surface, on
one side. It is used mostly for cov-
ering tables, screens, doors, etc.
The word baize is from the
French baye, which is probably from
Baia, where this cloth is said to
have been first made.
BALLOON, a bag filled with a
GAS lighter than air, so that it will
rise and float in it. The gas used
in balloons is usually HYDROGEN,
which is about fourteen times lighter
than air, or common coal gas, such
as is burned for lights, which is two
or three times lighter than air. The
bag in which the gas is put is made
of silk or of muslin, painted with
india-rubber varnish so as to make
it air-tight. It is about twice as
high as it is wide, and shaped like a
pear, and when filled with gas floats
with the large end-upward and the
neck hanging down. The neck is
always left open, because the up-
per: air is thinner than that below,
and the pressure being thus taken
off the outside of the bag as the
balloon goes higher, the gas inside
swells so that it would burst it if it
were closed. The bag is covered
all over with a network of small
rope, the ends of which come down
below the neck, and are fastened to
a hoop; and below the hoop, and
hung from it by ropes, is the car,
which is usually a wicker-work bas-
ket, though sometimes a boat is
used on the chance of the balloon
coming down in the water. The

network strengthens the bag and
makes the weight of the car and its
load bear equally on all parts of its
top. A long rope which hangs down
through the neck of the bag within
reach of the balloonist, who sits in
the car, is fastened to a VALVE or
little door on the inside of the top
of the bag. When the balloonist
sees that his balloon is going up too
high, he pulls the rope; this opens
the valve, and lets out some of the
gas, and the balloon begins to come
down again. When it has come
down far enough, he lets go of the
rope and the valve closes so that no
more gas can escape. Some bags


of sand, called the ballast, are al-
ways cared in the car. If the bal-
loon loses too much gas and goes
down too low, it may easily be light-
ened by emptying the sand out of
the bags. Every balloon has alsc
a long rope with a hook on the end,
called the grappling iron, which is
used to catch hold of something on
the ground when the balloon is com-
ing down, and to anchor it just as a
ship is anchored to the bottom of
the sea.
Balloonists sometimes carry up
with them a kind of large umbrella
called a parachute, which can be
used in case of accident to the bal-




joon. It is made very .large and
strong, and when opened wide is
borne up by the air, so that the man,
who sits in a small basket fastened
to the handle, comes down to the
earth quite easily and safely.
Although balloonists have the
power of making their balloons go
up or down, they cannot guide them
in any other way. Many balloons
have been made to be steered by
fans, paddles, or sails, but none of
them have been successful, and al-
though it is about a hundred years
since balloons were first made, they
are but little better now than they
were in the beginning.
In 1862, two men in England,
Messrs. Glaisher and Coxwell,
went up seven miles in a balloon,
which is higher than anybody had
ever been before. The AIR was
so thin that they could scarcely
breathe, and it was so cold that Mr.
Glaisher became numb. Mr. Cox-
well's hands were so nearly frozen
that he could not use them, and he
had only strength enough left to catch
the valve rope in his teeth and let
his head drop on his breast. This
opened the valve and let out the gas,
and the balloon, soon came down
where it was warmer, so that they
recovered their strength.
Balloons are sometimes used in
war, both to watch the movements
of troops on battle fields, and to send
messages out of besieged cities.
The French used one at "the battle
of Solferino (1859), and found it
very useful in spying out the posi-
tions of the different parts of the
Austrian army. Balloons were also
used in our civil war in the battles
around Richmond ; and more than
sixty were sent out of Paris at
different times during its siege by
the Germans (1870-71). Several
of these fell within the German
lines, and were seized by the enemy,
but most of them came down safely,
though some were carried by the
wind a great way from the city.
One fell in the middle of Norway.

Three were never heard from, and
are supposed to have been swept
out into the ocean. Almost all the
letters sent from Paris during the
siege were carried out in this way,
and carrier PIGEONS were usually
taken along to send back an-
The first balloons ever sent up
(1783) were filled with heated AIR,
because not much was known then
about hydrogen gas. Toy balloons
made of tissue paper are much like
them in principle. They are easily
made by cutting the .paper into
pieces nearly like quarters of orange
peel, and pasting the edges together.
The bottom, which is left open,
should be pasted over a hoop of
very light wood or of wire, and a
wire should be stretched across the
middle of it to hold a sponge wet
with turpentine or alcohol. When
this is lighted the air inside will
soon get heated enough to cause the
balloon to rise; and if the balloon
go up with the sponge burning it
will stay up much longer, because
the air will keep heated longer.
The word balloon comes from the
French ballon, a ball; and the bal-
loon was so named because the first
ones made were round.
can bird, often wrongly called Balti-
more oriole ; but there are no ori-
oles in America. It is sometimes
also called hang-bird, fire hang-
bird, and golden robin. It is found
all over the United States, coming
North in summer and going South
again in the autumn. The male birds
are very beautiful, the head, neck,
wings, and tail being black, and the
under parts and back bright orange,
with a tinge of vermilion on the
breast. The colors of the females
are duller than those of the males,
and they are a little smaller. The
nests of these birds are hung from
the end of a shady branch by a net-
work of strings, and are very neatly
and skilfully made. Baltimore birds
lay five or six light-brown eggs, spot-



ted with dark brown. Their food is
mostly insects.
The Baltimore bird belongs to the
order insessores, or perching BIRDS,
and to the starling family.
It is so called because its colors,
orange and black, are like those of
the livery of Lord Baltimore.
BALUSTER, a small column or
pillar for supporting the rail of a
staircase, balcony, etc. It is some-
times wrongly called banister and
balcaster. Balusters are usually
made of wood; stone, or metal.
Wooden ones are turned in a
LATHE, stone ones are generally
cut with chisels, and metal ones are
cast. A row of balusters, with the
rail and other parts by which they
are held together, is called a balus-
trade. Balustradef are used to en-
close stairs, balconies, chancels,

terraces, and the tops of buildings.
In the balustrade of a staircase the
large post at the foot is called the
newel, or newel post.
The word baluster comes from the
Latin balaustium, the flower of the
wild pomegranate, either because
balusters were shaped like that flow-
er, or were ornamented with it.
BAMBOO, a kind of reed growing
in Asia and in the West Indies. It
is really a GRASS, but it grows as
large as some trees, being usually
forty or fifty feet high, or as tall as a
pretty high house. Its stems are
from one to eight inches thick and
jointed. The Chinese, who use
bamboos more than any other peo-
ple, plant shoots of the tree in large
plantations, and after four or five
years the reeds or canes are ready to
cut. The bamboo does not blossom

until it is about thirty years old, and
dies after it goes to seed. The
Chinese eat the seeds like rice and
the tender shoots like asparagus;
they also make the shoots into
pickles and preserves. Almost
everything is made from bamboo-
houses, fences, boats, water-wheels,
furniture, umbrellas, canes, fans,
hats, paper, water-pipes, and han-
dles for tools and weapons. Some
cities in the East are entirely built of
The word bamboo is from bambd,
the Malay name of this plant.
BANANA, the fruit of a plant
growing in hot climates, which be-

Banana Plant with Fruit.

longs to the same family with the
plantain. The plantain and the
banana were once thought to be
different fruits, but they are now
generally thought to be only differ-
ent kinds of the same fruit. Plan-
tains are coarser than bananas and
are used mostly for cooking, while
bananas are usually eaten raw,
though they are sometimes made



into puddings and pies, or fried like
The banana plant, the shape of
which is shown in the picture, is
really a kind of herb, the stem of
which is made up by the union of
the leaves as they grow. The leaves
are sometimes as long as a man, and
are of a beautiful emerald green.
The fruit grows in great bunches,
which often weigh as much as a
hundred pounds each. When ripe
the skin is of a bright yellow, but the
bunches are usually picked when
green and hung up in a cool place.
All those sold in the United States
are picked green and ripen on the
vessel or after they get here. One
kind of banana, brought from the
West Indies, has a red skin when
The banana is one of the most
important of foods in hot countries.
A piece of ground of a size to
grow wheat enough to feed one man
will, if planted with bananas, make
food enough to feed twenty-five men.
A plantation will bear all the year
round. The young shoots of the
plant are eaten as greens, and a
kind of grass cloth of great beauty is
made from the thready part of the
The banana is said by some to
have first grown in the East Indies,
and to have been brought to the
West Indies and other parts of
America by the Spaniards.
The word banana is Spanish.
BANDANA, a kind of handker-
chief, dyed usually red, yellow, or
blue, and having on it round or dia-
mond-shaped white spots. The
cloth is first dyed of the color
wanted. A pile of the handkerchiefs
is then put into a press between
two copper plates, one of which is
fastened to the bottom and one to
the top of the press. These plates
are pierced with holes just like the
spots that are to be made on the
handkerchiefs. A great pressure is
now put on the pile and a bleach-
ing liquid called CHLORINE is made

to flow over the top plate. The
liquid goes down into the holes,
passes through the cloth and comes
out of the holes in the bottom plate,
taking out all the color and making
white spots just the size and shape
of the holes in the plates. The
pressure is so great that the liquid
can reach the cloth only where the
holes are.
The word bandana is Spanish.
BANJO, a stringed musical instru-
ment, played with the fingers. The
neck and head of the banjo are
something like those of the guitar,
but the body is round and is covered
with PARCHMENT like a drum-head,
instead of with thin wood as in the
guitar. It usually has five strings.
The banjo is much played by nt-
groes in the Southern States, and by
negro minstrels.
The word banjo is made from
bandore, the name of a kind of gui-
BANK. Every child old enough
to read and write ought to keep a
bank account with his father, or some
other grown-up person, for he will
thus learn something about taking
care of money and doing business.
Money carried about in the pocket or
kept in a cash box or drawer is apt to
be stolen or lost, so business men put
what they do not want to use into a
bank. When a person leaves money
in a bank, it is put to his credit,
that is, it is set down under his name
on the books of the bank. If he
wants his money again, or a part of
it, he draws a check for the sum
needed, and hands it to the proper
officer in the bank. The sum named
in the check is given to him, and the
bank officer takes it from the sum to
his credit on the books.
When a child keeps a bank ac-
count with his father, he gives him
all the money he wishes to keep,
and the father keeps an account of
it just as the bank does for the busi-
ness man. The child also should
have a little book in which his fa-
ther will set down on one side all



the money he gets from him, and on
the other all which he pays back to
him. He will thus know all the
time exactly how much money he
has in bank. When he wants any
money, he should draw a check and
give it, just as the business man does.
The following is the form of a
check :
No. 20. NEW YORK, July I, 1879.
National Park Bank.
Pay to John Doe, or bearer,
One and 5o Dollars.
$1.50 JOHN DOE.
Such a check is called a check
payable to bearer, because any per-
son who has it can get the money
for it; but if it were written to
John Doe, or order," no one could
get the money but John Doe, unless
it were indorsed by John Doe. To
indorse a check means to write one's
name across the back of it, the word
being made from the Latin in, on,
and dorsum, the back. A check
payable to bearer is mostly used
when a person draws money from
a bank, and one payable to order
when a person pays out a check to
some other person whom he owes,
thus using it for money.
Checks payable to order are
usually drawn as follows:
No. 16. NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 1879.
National Park Bank.
Pay to the order of Richard Roe,
Three and Dollars.
$3.19 JOHN DOE.
Such a check is an order on the
bank to pay the money to Richard
Roc, who would have to indorse it
before he could make use of it. A
child who keeps a bank account with
his parent would generally use only a
check payable to bearer, but he
ought to know about both kinds.
When he gives a check to his parent
he will at the same time give him
his book, and the sum named in the
check will be taken from the ac-
count of money paid in, and set down
under that paid out.

The use of checks saves business
men much trouble ; indeed, business
could hardly be done without them.
When a merchant wishes to send
money to a distance, he does not
send gold or bills, but a check in
which the bank where he keeps his
money is ordered to pay the sum
named in it to the person to whose
order it is made. That person writes
his name across the back of it, and
puts it into his own bank, where it is
put to his credit ; and this bank gets
the money from the bank named in
the check.
To understand about banks we
must first look a little into their his-
tory. The first bankers in England
were Italian Jews from Lombardy.
Lombard Street, the principal bank-
ing street in London, was named
after them. They were called bank-
ers because they first had benches
or bancos (Italian banco, bench) in the
market place, where they exchanged
small pieces of money for large.
After a time they began to take care
of money for people who had no safe
place to keep it in, and to lend
money to those who needed it.
When a banker lent money he made
the borrower leave with him goods,
jewels, title deeds to land, and other
valuable things, which were worth
more than the money lent, so that
if the borrower failed to pay the
money, the banker could get it back
by selling the things left with him.
If the borrower paid the money at
the time named, and gave the bank-
er a small sum besides to pay him
for the use of it, he got back his
property. The property thus held
for borrowed money was called
security (Latin securitas, safety),
because it made it safe, and the sum
paid for the use of money, interest
(Latin interest, it is of benefit), be-
cause the banker got that much ben-
efit for the loan of his money.
There are now three kinds of
banks-banks of deposit, banks of
discount, and banks of circulation.
A Bank of Deposit is one which re-




ceives and takes care of money, and
pays it out for checks.
A Bank of Discount is one which
lends money on security, just as the
old bankers used to do. But banks
do not now take goods, jewels, and
such things as security ; that is done
only by pawnbrokers. When a per-
son wishes to borrow money from a
bank, he usually makes his note for
the sum wanted. A note is a writ-
ten promise to pay a sum of money
at a time and place named in it.
The following is a common form :
NEW YORK, August I, 1879.
Sixty days after date, for value re-
ceived, I promise to pay to the order
of Richard Roe, One Hundred and
Twenty-five and -y dollars, at the
National Park Bank.
The person who makes or signs
the note is called the maker, and the
one to whose order it is made the
payee. The person who owns a note
is called the holder. A note written
like the above, or if written "to
Richard Roe, or order," or to Rich-
ard Roe, or bearer," is negotiable,
that is, it may be used as money. If
written to order," as in the first
two cases, Richard Roe would have
to indorse it by writing his name
across the back ; but if to bearer,"
it may be paid out without indorsing.
There are two kinds of indorse-
ments. If the payee merely writes
his name across the back, it is called
a blank endorsement, and it may then
be paid out like a note to bearer.
But the payee may direct to whom
the note shall be paid, and he then
writes on the back : Pay to the
order of ," writing in the name
of the person to whom he wishes it
paid, and signs his name below it.
This is called a special endorsement;
the person to whom it is indorsed
is called the indorsee and the person
indorsing the indorser. The indorsee
can indorse to a second indorsee, and
so on to any number. In indorsing

a note, the indorser promises to pay
the note when the time named in it
comes, if the maker fails to do so.
The bank which lends money for
the note thus has a double security
for its payment.
Banks always charge a little inter-
est for money loaned. This interest
is taken out when the money is lent,
and only the remainder is paid to the
borrower. For instance, if the note
is for $ioo, and the time named in
it for the repayment of the money is
one year, the bank will take out $6,
if the rate of interest is 6 per cent
(Latin per, by, and centum, hun-
dred, meaning 6 dollars on each Ioo
dollars), and will pay the borrower
only $94; and at the end of the year
the borrower will have to pay the
$1oo in full to the bank, thus return,
ing the money which he received and
the interest added. Interest is thus
the sum which the bank gets for the
use of its money. Interest is usually
6 per cent., but in some States it is
7 i-er cent., and in a few States still
All banks of deposit are now banks
of discount also. If a banker acted
merely as a keeper of people's money
he would get no profit from it; he
therefore loans it out on interest, and
thus gets paid for his trouble. The
money lent out by banks does a great
deal of good. If it were hoarded up
in vaults and safes it would be of no
use to anybody, but when put into
public use it goes all through the
country and makes business prosper-
ous. Banks lend not only the money
of others, but also their own money.
Their own money is called their
capital. A bank without capital
would not have the confidence of the
people, and would get no deposits,
because if it lost any of the money
which it loaned out it would have no
means of repaying it.
A Bank of Circulation or issue is
one which pays out its own notes for
money. A bank note is not money;
it is only a promise to pay money;
but when people have full faith that




the promise will be kept, it passes just
the same as money. The promise is
usually to pay the amount of the note
to cne bearer of it, on demand, in
gold coin. Banks of deposit and
discount are usually also banks of
circulation ; but there are some
which do not pay out their own
A Savings Bank is a bank of de-
posit which receives and takes care
of money, and gives interest for the
use of it. Such banks are used
chiefly by poor people, who can thus
lay up small sums of money in a safe
place, where it will all the time be
gaining interest. The bank lends
this money to other people on good
security, for a larger interest than
that which it pays, and thus makes
money for itself. Such banks are
not allowed to lend money simply on
indorsed notes, like banks of dis-
count, but are obliged by law to have
good security, such as bonds, land,
etc., which will sell for more than the
money loaned.
BANK NOTE. In no other coun-
try in the world are bank notes made
with so much skill as in the United

Bank Note Counter.

States. Every bank note in this
country is a fine engraving, printed
from a steel plate. The making of
the plate is a long and difficult work,
which takes the labor of many per-
sons. Each one is made up of sever-
al parts. Take, for instance, a five-
dollar United States note: in the
middle is a picture, with the words
DOLLARS" on each side of it ; on the
left is a small portrait, called a vign-
ette ; and in each of the two upper

corners is a black space covered
with a network of fine white lines,
the one on the left with a V on it,
and the one on the right with a fig-
ure 5 on it. These network spaces,
which are called "counters," are
somewhat like the one shown in the
These different parts of the note
are made separately and on separate
plates. In making a vignette, a
large drawing is first made with the
greatest care on paper. A daguerre-
otype is then taken of this, of ex-
actly the size of the engraving
wanted. The engraver marks with
a steel point on the daguerreotype
plate all the outlines of the picture.
A print is taken from this plate,
just as from a steel plate (see EN-
GRAVING), and while the ink is still
damp the paper is laid face down-
ward on a steel plate, which has
been softened by heating it red hot
and then letting it cool slowly, and
pressed in a press. An exact copy
of the outline is thus printed on the
plate, and the engraver then finishes
the vignette with the burin, like any
other steel engraving, excepting that
nothing but line engraving is put on
a bank note plate.
This plate is never used to print
from, but only for making other
plates. It is first hardened, by heat-
ing it and cooling it quickly. A lit-
tle roller of softened steel, just as
wide as the engraving, is then rolled
over the plate by a very powerful
machine until its soft surface has
been forced into all the lines cut into
the plate. This makes a relief of
the engraving that is, the lines
which in the plate are all sunk below
its surface appear on the roller in
relief, or above the surface. The
roller is then hardened and may be
used to roll over other plates, in
each of which the lines will thus be
sunk exactly like those in the first
or engraved one. This is called the
transferring process, because the
original engraving is transferred or
changed to other plates.



The picture in the middle is also
engraved and transferred to a soft-
ened roller like the vignette ; but the
counters are made in a different
way, by a machine named a lathe.
All the network designs on the back
of the note are also made by the
lathe. They are so perfect that they
cannot be made by hand, and it is
almost impossible for counterfeiters
to get one of these machines, which
cost about $5000 apiece. After the
counter has been engraved by the
machine on softened steel, the figure
is engraved by hand in the middle,
and it is then hardened and trans-
ferred to a cylinder just like the
The plate from which the bills are
to be printed is of softened steel,
and is large enough to print four
bills at once ; so four engravings of
the note are made on it. If all these
had to be engraved by hand it would
take a long time, and all would differ
a little from each other; but when
made by the transferring process
they are done quickly and all are ex-
actly alike. For instance, in making
the plate of the five-dollar bill the
little steel roller having the raised
picture on it is rolled backward and
forward over the middle of the four
plates until the picture is pressed
into each one. The vignette is next
rolled on in the same way in its
proper place in each of the plates,
and the other parts one after the
other. After all the parts have been
rolled on, the plate is finished by
the hand engraver, who engraves on
it all the lettering excepting the fine
lettering around the border, which
is made by a machine and transferred
to the plate like the pictures.
Bank notes are printed like any
other steel engraving. All the black
part is printed first. After the note
is dry the green back is printed on
it, and when that is dry the red
stamps are put on and the note is
signed. To make sure that none of
the money be stolen, one part cf the
note is usually engraved and printed


at one place, and another part at
another place, and then the note is
sent to Washington to be finished
and signed.
BARBERRY, a shrub which grows
wild in the northern parts of Europe
and Asia, and in many parts of
the United States. Its berries,
which are about the shape and size
of grains of wheat, and bright red,
are so sour that birds will not eat
them; but they make a pleasant drink,
and gQod preserves and jelly. A fine
yellow dye for leather is made from
its bark and roots, and its bark is
also used for tanning.
The word barberry comes from
berberis, the Spanish name of the
plant, which is from the Arabic
BARIUM, a METAL, and one of the
ELEMENTS. It is never found as a
metal, but always mixed with other
things, such as OXYGEN and SUL-
PHUR. The chemist sometimes
makes a little of the metal, but not
enough for much use. The com-
pounds of barium with other things
are used in medicine and the arts.
Baryta or barytes (barium oxide),
made up of barium and oxygen, is
a poisonous earth, used by chemists ;
but what is commonly called baryta
or barytes is the sulphate of baryta
(barium sulphate), which has sulphur
in it. This is a heavy white min-
eral, called also heavy spar, which,
when ground fine, is much used to
mix with white lead. It is also put
into paper pulp to make paper weigh
more, and to give it a gloss. White
satin paper is made with it.
The word barium comes from the
Greek barus, heavy, and the metal
gets its name from its great weight.
BARK, the rind or skin of PLANTS.
The bark of trees is usually made
up of two parts, an outer and an
inner bark. The outer bark is only
a covering to protect the inner one,
and has no life in it. In many kinds
of trees it is coarse and rough, and
it often breaks off in pieces as the
tree grows. The whole outer bark



of the white birch tree may be easily
peeled off. The inner bark, which
lies between the outer rind and the
wood, is always fresh and full of sap
when the tree is alive, and is the
cause of its growth. The sap, which
goes up through the wood of the tree
from the roots to all the branches
and leaves, comes down again
through the inner bark and makes
new wood and new bark grow every
year. If the sap did not thus go
down through the bark, the tree
would die. You can now see why a
tree is killed when it is girdled by
cutting a strip of the bark off all
around it. The bark of some trees
is very thin, and of others very thick,
such as that of the great trees in
California, which is sometimes two
feet thick. Bark has many uses:
many kinds are used in dyeing and
in tanning leather, and corks are cut
from a kind of oak bark ; the Indians
make canoes and huts out of it, the
SSouth Sea Islanders cloth, and many
peoples paper, baskets, ropes, and
twine. Cinnamon is the bark of a
tree that grows in Ceylon, and
quinine is made from Peruvian
The word bark is from the Dan-
ish or Swedish, both of which lan-
guages have the same word.
BARLEY, a kind of grain. It is
not known in what country barley
first grew, but it has been raised by
almost all nations from the most
ancient times. It grows in climates
too cold for other grains, and is also
raised in warm climates. Barley is
good food for cattle, and in the
northern parts of Europe it is ground
and made into a coarse kind of
bread, but it is mostly used in mak-
ing BEER. In Scotland it is made
into barley broth. The grains of
barley, called barley corns, are yel-
lowish-brown on the outside and
white on the inside. When stripped
of the outer husk and rounded in a
mill, they look like little pearl-white
shot, and are called pearl barley.
Pearl barley cooked and mixed with

milk is among the best foods for

Head of Barley.

The word barley is from the old
English bcrlie, which is from the
Anglo-Saxon bere.
BAROMETER, an instrument to
measure the weight of the AIR.
If you put one end of a tube into
a bowl of water, and the other end
into your mouth, you can draw the
water up through the tube into your
mouth by sucking. You may think
that you suck the water up, but you
do not; you only suck the air out
of the tube, and the weight of the
outer AIR, pressing down on the
water in the bowl, forces it up into
the tube. As soon as you let the
air into the tube again the water runs
hack into the bowl. If you had a
tube long enough, and you could
suck all the air out of it, the water
would rise up in the tube nearly
thirty-four feet. It would stop at
this height because the weight of a
column of that height just balances
the weight of the air which presses
down on the surface of the bowl.
If the tube is more than thirty-four
feet long there will be above the
water a space in which there will not
be anything, not even air. This is




called a vacuum. If you should put
the tube into some fluid lighter than
water, the fluid would rise higher in
the tube than thirty-four feet, be-


B c


cause it would take
more of it to' balance
the weight of the air;
and if the fluid were
heavier than water it
would not rise so high,
because it would take
less of it to balance the
weight of the air.
More than two hun-
dred years ago, an
Italian named Torri-
celli, who knew that
water would rise up in
a tube about thirty-
four feet when the air
was drawn out, but did
not know why, tried to
find out the reason of
it. He filled a glass
tube thirty-three inches
long, and open at only
one end, with MER-
CURY, and then put-
ting his finger over it
so as to keep the mer-

cury in, he turned it bottom upward
into a bowl of mercury, and then
took away his finger. As mercury
is one of the heaviest things in the
world, it would seem as if it ought
to have all run out of the tube into
the bowl; but it only fell a little
way, and remained there standing in
the tube. As mercury is about four-
teen times heavier than water, Torri-
celli saw that the height of the mer-
cury in the tube was about one four-
teenth part of that of the thirty-four
foot column of water, and he at once
concluded that both the mercury and
the water were held up by the pres-
sure of the air on the surface of the
bowl. He afterward found out that
the mercury did not always stand at
the same height, but that it would
rise and fall with the changes in the
This led to the flaking of the
barometer, which is the same in

principle as the tube used by Torri-
celli. In the picture, A B is the
tube, and C the dish of mercury.
The space above the mercury is
called the Torricellian vacuum (Lat-
in for empty space), because Torri-
celli first found it out. A scale of
figures is put on the side of the tube,
so that as the mercury rises or falls
the pressure of the air can easily be
seen. Such a barometer is called a
straight-tube barometer, but the one
most used has a bent tube, like that
in the second picture. In this the
tube, A B C, is bent like a SIPHON ,
but it works the same as the other,
because the air presses down on the
mercury through the open end of
the shorter tube with just as much
force as it does on the surface of the
bowl. This is called a siphon ba-
rometer. A little weight, D, rests
on the top of the mercury in the open
end, and rises and falls with it. It
is fastened to a thread which passes
out of the tube and around a wheel
which moves a pointer, F, like a
clock hand. This pointer turns
round a dial, G, and
points to figures
showing the height A
of the mercury, and
also to words such
as Fair Rain "
"Changeable," etc.
In pleasant weather,
when the air is dry
and free from damp-
ness, it is heavier
than in wet weather, F
and the mercury rises
in the longer tube,
causing the little
weight to fall and c
move the pointer |
round till it points to
the word Fair," or
some place near it. Siphon Baro-
When the air is moist meter.
it is lighter than when
it is dry, and the pressure being
partly taken off from the weight, it
rises and the mercury in the longer
tube falls. This moves the pointer




round the other way, and it then
points to Stormy" or Rain."
The barometer is often used to tell
the height of mountains and other
high places. As the air gets thinner
the higher we go, the pressure be-
comes less and less on the mercury
in the open end of the tube and
causes that in the long tube to fall.
As we know about how much the
mercury will fall in going up a hun-
dred feet, we can tell very nearly the
height of a mountain by noticing the
height of the barometer at the bot-
tom and then at the top.
The word barometer is made up
of the Greek words baros, weight,
and metron, measure.
BARREL. The sides of a barrel
are made up of narrow pieces, called
staves, which are made wider in the
middle than at the ends, but are bent
so that their edges fit tightly to-
gether. This forms what is called
the bulge of the barrel-that is, the
swell of the middle-and adds greatly
to its strength. A barrel made with
staves of the same width from end to
end would be straight instead of
bulging, and would be much more
easily broken in from the outside, but
the bulge acts like an ARCH and re-
sists pressure.
The staves are held together by
hoops, which are sometimes of wood
and sometimes of iron. Grooves are
cut around the inside of the staves,
near each end, to receive the heads,
which are round flat pieces of wood,
shaved thin at the edges so as to fit
into these grooves. Heads are usu-
ally made of two or more pieces,
fastened together at the edges by
wooden pins called DOWELS. When
they a,:e put into place the last hoops
are put on and driven down tight,
which brings the ends of the staves
closely together and causes the
grooves to hold the heads firmly.
The ends of the staves which reach
beyond the heads are called the
Barrels made for liquids usually
have a large round hole, called a

bung, in the middle of the side, by
which they may be filled and the con.
tents may be drawn off. Barrels for
dry articles are always unheaded by
removing the hoops at one end, when
the head readily comes out. The
barrel is much more convenient to
handle than the square box. It can
be quickly rolled from place to place,
and is swung in and out of vessels by
means of hooks caught under the
chines. Barrels were once always
made by hand, but great numbers
are now made by machinery. The
staves are planed, bent, and grooved
in a machine, and come out all ready
to be made up into barrels. Differ-
ent sizes of barrels are called
kegs, casks, pipes, hogsheads, and
The word barrel is from the
French baril.
BASALT, a very tough, heavy
igneous ROCK, usually dirty brown,
greenish-black, or black. It is often
found in regular jointed columns,
as in Fingal's Cave, Scotland, t[ e
Giant's Causeway, Ireland, and on
the shore of Lake Superior. Basalt
is much used, on account of its hard-
ness, for macadamizing roads and
making pavements. It is also some-
times melted and cast into blocks for
building and mouldings.
The word basalt is from the Latin
BASE, the name of a class of sub-
stances which, when mixed with
ACIDS, unite with them and form
compounds (see ELEMENT) called
SALTS. Bases, like acids, are made
up usually of the elements HYDRO-
GEN, OXYGEN, and some one other
element; but, while in acids this
third element is something which is
not a metal, such as NITROGEN, SUL-
PHUR, and CARBON, in bases the
element which unites with hydrogen
and oxygen is usually a metal, such as
For instance, nitric acid is formed by
the union of hydrogen and oxygen
with nitrogen, which is not a metal;
and the base caustic potash is formed





by the union of hydrogen and oxygen
with potassium, which is a metal.
Thus we have two classes of sub-
stances, one called acids and the
other bases, which are wholly dif-
ferent from each other. If now we
mix one of these acids with a base,
the two will unite and form a sub-
stance entirely different from either.
Thus, nitric acid and the base caus-
tic potash will unite when brought
together, and form nitre or SALT-
PETRE (potassium nitrate), which is
not like either nitric acid or potash.
The compounds made by the union
of acids and bases are called salts,
because they have a general likeness
to common SALT, which was one of
the first salts known. A certain
class of bases are called ALKALIES.
The name base, which comes from
the Latin basis, foundation, is given to
this class of substances because they
are the foundation of compounds.
BASKET. The weaving of wicker
work is one of the oldest arts known
to man. Baskets made before the
time of Christ have been found in
Egyptian tombs. The ancient Assyr-
ians were skilful in wicker work, and
even made boats of it for use on the
river Tigris; and the same kind of
boats are still used on that river.
These boats, which the Arabs call
gooffah, are merely large, round,
flat bottomed baskets, made of
strong wicker work. They are made
water-tight by a coat of ASPHALT,
smeared about an inch thick all over
the inside and outside. This, which
is mixed with some other things,
soon becomes as hard as stone.
Some gooffahs are large enough to
hold as many as twenty persons at
once, and camels, horses, cattle, and
sheep are often carried across the
river in them. The Romans found
the same kind of boats in use among
the Britons. The Britons also built
huts of wicker work, and made great
cages out of it in which they shut up
and burned alive their prisoners of
war. Indeed, so skilful were they
in this kind of work that baskets

made by them were much sought af-
ter and brought high prices in Rome.
Many kinds of twigs and splints
are now woven into baskets, but the
shoots of the WILLOW, or osier, are
most generally used. These, which
are cut yearly, are first soaked in
water, and then peeled by a tool
made for the purpose. They are
sometimes used whole and round,
but for fine work they are split into
flat strips, like the straw used in
plaiting straw hats and bonnets.
Ash, elm, and birch shoots and
splints are also used in basket mak-
ing. Splints are thin flat strips got
by beating logs of wood with a maul
or mallet until the layers of wood
separate from each other, when they
are peeled off and cut into the proper
widths. There are now several
machines for making splints, which
cut the wood from the log into the
right thickness. Strong baskets are
woven from rattan canes, used either
whole or split, and much furniture
also is now made from them.
Basket making is very simple.
Strong pieces are first laid across
each other and woven together to
make the bottom ; the ends of thin-
ner pieces are then fixed in these and
turned up to form the ribs, and the
sides are made by knitting or weav-
ing smaller rods in with these until
the basket is high enough, when the
ribs are turned down and woven in
so as to hold the whole tightly to-
gether. This is the way to make
the rudest kind of basket. Fine
baskets are woven in many different
patterns and colors, the splints being
colored before using. The most
elegant baskets are made in France,
China, and Japan. In South Amer-
ica the Indians make baskets of
rushes so closely woven that they
will hold water; and the North
American Indians also make very
pretty ornamented baskets.
Our word basket comes from the
Welsh word based, which is from
basg, a netting or plaiting, as of twigs
or osiers.




BASS. Fish of this name are
found in almost all parts of the world,
some in fresh and some in salt water.
The principal fresh-water kinds in
the United States are the black bass
and the rock bass.
The Black Bass is found in most
of the Western lakes and streams,
and many have been put into lakes
in New York and New England. It
is blue-black above with bronze shad-
ings, and lighter below. This fish
sometimes weighs seven or eight
pounds. It bites well, and fishing
for it is good sport. The best bait
is the minnow or other small live fish.
The Rock Bass is broad like a
roach, and is coppery yellow in color,
with dark bands and marks. It sel-
dom weighs more than a pound, but
makes good fishing, and is much
liked for the table. It was once
common only in the streams of the
valley of the St. Lawrence, but many
are now caught in the Hudson river.
Other fresh-water bass, such as the
white bass and the grass bass, are
caught in the great lakes.
The Sea Bass, sometimes called
the black bass, is the most important
of the salt-water bass of the United
States. It never goes into fresh wa-
ter. Its color is blue-black above,
lighter below, and the scales are all
edged with black so that it looks as
if it were covered with a network.
Sea bass are caught almost all along
the northern Atlantic coast. The
bai. used is chiefly salted clams.
The Striped Bass, generally called
rock fish south of New Jersey, is the
largest of all the basses, some of them
weighing sixty or seventy pounds, or
as much as a boy ten years old. It
is bluish-brown above and silvery-
white below, and is marked length-
wise with brown stripes. It lives in
the deep salt-water bays in the win-
ter, and goes up rivers in the spring.
Striped bass are caught generally
with rod and line, with minnow,
shiner, crab, shrimp, or shad-roe
bait. They are sometimes caught
also in nets.

Bass belong to the perch family of
fishes, and the name bass is made
from the Anglo-Saxon word beers
which means a perch.
BASSOON, a bass wind music.
instrument, used in ORCHESTRAS
and military bands. It is made of
a long tube of wood, usually maple
wood or plane tree, and is in two
parts, bound together side by side
for sake of convenience. It is played
by blowing through a bent brass
mouth-piece, which is fitted with a
reed or tongue like that in a clarinet.
It has generally eight holes and ten
keys, and the tube is bent together
so that the fingers can easily reach
them. Military bands have several
sizes of bassoons.
The bassoon was first made by the
Italians, who named itfagotto (bun-
dle), because it is made of pieces
put together. The French call it
basson de hautboy. Basson is from
the Italian bassone, which comes from
basso, bass, and the name is given to
the bassoon because it is a bass in-
BAT, an animal with wings made
of a thin membrane or skin, which
is stretched from the fingers of the
hands and along the sides back to the
legs and the tail. The four fingers
are very long and slender and joined
together by the membrane, but the
thumb is short and armed with a
claw. The feet have five short toes,
all with hooked nails. Bats hang
themselves up by these, with the
head downward, as shown in the pic-
ture, when they sleep or are at rest,
usually in some dark place. When
they want to fly they let go and their
wings at once spread out. They fly
easily, and are very active in the air,
but are awkward and clumsy on the
ground. When a bat walks it
reaches forward, catches hold of
something with one thumb, and
draws its body up to it; it then
does the same with the other thumb,
so that it makes a kind of zig-zag
In old times the bat used to be





called a flittermouse," and it was
well named, for the common kind
looks much like a mouse with wings.
The color of both is nearly the same.
The bat has small eyes, but the ears
are large and its hearing is very
sharp. The mouth too is large, so
that it can easily catch insects when
it is flying.
Bats are found in almost all parts
of the world excepting ihe coldest,
but chiefly in hot countries. Those

Bat Hanging by its Toes.

in North America live mostly on
insects, but the food of some foreign
bats is principally fruits. The vam-
pire bat of South America, when
very hungry, will suck the blood of
poultry and of animals.
The bat is a MAMMAL of the order
cheiroptera, or hand-winged ani-
The word bat is changed from the
old English back. The Scotch call
the bat bakie-bird.

BATH. Bathing was a part of the
religion of many ancient nations,
particularly the Egyptians, Hebrews,
and Greeks; and the laws of Mo---
hammed require that the face, hands,
and feet shall be washed five times
a day. In the desert, where water
is very scarce, Mohammedans do
this with sand.
The public baths of the Romans
in the times of the emperors were
the most splendid that have ever
been built. Those built by the Em-
peror Diocletian were large enough
for eighteen thousand persons to
bathe at once, and those of the Em-
peror Caracalla were more than a
quarter of a mile square. They had
in them hot and cold water baths,
hot air and vapor baths, swimming
baths, waiting rooms, rooms for un-
dressing, and courts for games and
manly exercises, all adorned with
mosaics, marbles, paintings, and
The Turkish Bath is a copy of the
ancient Arabian hot air bath, which
was largely used also by the Rom-
ans. The bather goes first into a
room where the air is heated quite
hot; when he begins to perspire he
passes into a still hotter chamber,
where the air is almost hot enough to
cook an egg, and as soon as he per-
spires freely he goes into a wash
room, where his body is scrubbed
with soap and water, and cooled with
a shower bath. He then plunges
into a swimming bath in which the
water is about as cool as the* air,
and after being dried passes to still
another room, where he lies on a
lounge, rolled up in a blanket, until
his body is thoroughly dry and
brought back to its common heat.
The Russian Bath is very much
like the Turkish, excepting that hot
steam is used instead of hot air.
The Turkish bath can be borne at a
much greater heat than the Russian.
If taken with care these baths are
healthful, but if either be taken too
hot the blood will become so heated
as to make it dangerous.




The Cold Bath always gives the
bather a sudden chill when he
plunges in, but this is followed by a
feeling of warmth and a glow all over
his body. This is called the reaction.
If he leave the water at this time and
rub himself dry, he will feel light and
strong, but if he stay in long after
the reaction, he will again become
chilled and his body will feel weak.
Thus, when properly taken, the cold
bath is healthful, but if abused it
is unhealthful. None but strong,
healthy persons should bathe in cold
water, and it should not be used when
the body is tired or overheated by
The Warm Bath is very pleasant,
and gives no shock to the bather. It
causes a gentle glow throughout the
body, quiets the nerves, and causes
the blood to flow quicker ; but it does
not strengthen like the cold bath, and
if used too often it makes the bather
feel changes of heat very quickly.
Still, the best and pleasantest bath
for a healthy person is one in
which the water is tepid or luke-
The Hot Bath brings the blood
quickly to the surface, the skin be-
comes red and swollen, the pulse full,
and there is a feeling of weight about
the head. This causes fatigue and
weakens the body. It should not
be taken regularly by healthy per-
sons, but if used the bather should
begin with a lukewarm bath and
then let in the hot water little by
little. He should leave the bath be-
fore he feels any loss of strength, take
a cold shower bath, and then rub
himself dry with a coarse towel.
Sea Bathing in the proper season is
healthful, as the salt is good for the
skin and strengthens the body.
But care should be taken not to re-
nain in the water too long, as the re-
action will pass off and the body be-
come chilled. The body should be
rubbed dry and the clothing put on
at once on coming out of the water.
No bath should be taken until two
or three hours after eating.

The word bath is from the
Anglo-Saxon baefh.
BAYONET, a steel pike or sword
which can be fastened on the end
of a gun, and used by foot soldiers.
Before bayonets were made, men
armed with long pikes or spears
were mixed in with musketeers to
help them to keep off cavalry, as
horses cannot be forced to run on a
sharp-pointed thing ; but when bay-
onets were added to muskets, pike-
men were no longer needed. Com-
mon bayonets are made straight and
three-cornered, but some are like a
sword, and others are shaped like a
trowel, and can be used both to fight
with and to dig the ground up to

a 6 A

a, Sword Bayonet; b, Common Bayo-
net; c, Trowel Bayonet.
make banks of earth called entrench-
ments, behind which soldiers can lie
in safety. These three kinds of bay-
onets are shown in the picture, a
being the sword bayonet, b the com-
mon bayonet, and c the trowel bay-
The bayonet is named from Bay-
onne, in France, where bayonets are
said to have been first made about
BEADS. The principal places for
making glass beads are Murano,
near Venice, and Birmingham, Eng-
land; but many are also brought
from China. They are made from
glass tubes of different sizes, which
are cut up into little pieces and then




rounded on the edges by melting
with a blowpipe, or by mixing them
with sand and wood ashes and then
shaking them up in a red hot iron
pan until they are rounded. The
sand and ashes keep the beads from
melting together into one mass. The
large beads used for dolls' eyes are
made in Birmingham. Beads are
used for ornamenting slippers,
purses, and fancy work, and great
quantities are sent to Africa, India,
and the islands of the Pacific, where
they are worn as ornaments. In
China every mandarin wears a string
of beads when in full dress. The
long beads called bugles" are much
used by ladies for trimming dresses.
Beads are also made out of met-
als, precious stones, coral, amber,
wood, and many other things.
The word bead comes from the
A nglo-Saxon bead or bede, a prayer ;
in former times beads were used to
number prayers, as they still are
used by some in strings called rosa-
BEAN, the seed of several kinds
of PLANTS which bear pods. The
common bean is cultivated both in
gardens and in fields. There are
many kinds, with seeds of different
shapes, sizes, and colors, some of
Which grow on running vines and
some on bushy shrubs. Beans make
good food for men and animals.
Both the seeds and the green pods
are cooked for the table. In Ger-
many the pods are cut up while green
and salted for winter use. The
French kidney bean, or haricot, and
the Lima bean are the seeds of
plants entirely different from the
common bean.
The word bean is Anglo-Saxon.
BEAR, a large animal found in
Europe, Asia, and America, but not
in Africa and Australia. Bears,
though flesh-eaters, eat also vegeta-
bles, honey, and other things. They
live in both warm and cold climates,
but those in warm countries are not
so strong and savage as those in the
polar regions.

There are many kinds of bears.
The Arctic or White Polar Bear lives
in the most northerly parts of Asia
and America, and always near the
sea, because its food is principally
seals, fishes, and sea birds. It is
very large, often weighing fifteen
hundred pounds, or more than a
large horse, and is strong and fierce.
In the winter it goes into its den,
which is sometimes only a deep hole
dug in the snow, and spends most
of the time there until spring. It is
a very cunning animal, and has many
tricks for getting food.
A polar bear once saw a seal
lying on the ice near a hole. He
knew that if he went towards the
seal on the ice it would go into
the hole and escape him; so he

Head of Polar Bear.

crept along until he got as near as
he could without being seen, then
dropped into the water and swam
under the ice until he reached the
hole into which the poor seal expect-
ed to retreat, and coming up through
it seized him.
The captain of a whaling vessel
wanted the skin of a white bear
whole and perfect, and thought he
would try to kill one without shoot-
ing it ; so he laid a cord with a run-
ning noose on the snow, and put a
bait in it. A bear, going about on
the ice, found the bait and got
caught in the noose by one paw, but
succeeded in getting it off with his
other paw and carried away the bait.
The snare was laid again. The
bear came a second time, but remem-




being what had happened, he pushed
the cord aside and again took the
bait. The snare was laid a third
time, the cord being hidden with
snow, but this succeeded no better
than the others. For a last trial the
bait was put into a hole so deep that
the bear could not get it without put-
ting in his head, and a noose, hidden
under snow, was put around it. But
the bear had grown very suspicious
by this time, and began by carefully
pawing away the snow around the
edges of the hole. He soon found
the cord, put it aside, and carried off
the bait as before.
But white polar bears are some-
times caught and are to be seen in
most menageries. As they always
suffer from the heat, blocks of ice
are kept in their cages, pails of cold
water are frequently thrown over
them, and tanks are made for them
to bathe in. In hot weather they
may often be seen panting like a
dog. The polar bear cannot be
tamed, but always keeps up a stupid
and brutal fierceness.
The Grizzly Bear of North America
is found mostly in the Rocky Moun-
tains and the great plains near them.
It is the fiercest animal in North
America, and often grows very large,
being sometimes nine feet long, or
half as long again as a man. Its hair
is shaggy, and usually grizzled, or a
mixture of black, white, and brown.
The Black Bear is found in all the
wild parts of North America. Its
fur is soft and smooth and glossy
black. This bear is seldom more
than five feet long, is timid, and lives
mostly on vegetable food, although
when oppressed by hunger it will
carry off and eat hogs and calves.
It is a great climber of trees, and
often robs wild bees of their honey.
The brown bear of Europe is much
like it in character and habits.
The Cinnamon Bear, which lives
west of the Rocky Mountains, is so
called because its fur is the color of
cinnamon. It also is much like the
black bear in its habits.

Bears can be taught, by hard train-
ing, to do many tricks which, on ac-
count of the animal's solemn face,
grave manners, and clumsy motions,
are very amusing. They will dance
to the music of fife and drum, stand
on their hind legs and carry a stick
as a soldier does his gun, and even
jump through a ring with flame
around it. Tame bears kept about
a house often get troublesome and
carry off things from the kitchen
and pantry. One once tried to carry
away a pot of hot coffee which
the cook had set on the hearth,
but spilled the coffee and burned
himself. This made him so angry
that he threw it down and smashed
the coffee pot with one stroke of
his paw. His master then fastened
a log of wood with a chain to his
collar, so that he could not get into
the house. But Bruin did not like
this, and tried in vain to strike off
the log with his paws. Then he
dragged it down to the river and
threw in the log, and got very angry
because every time he tried to sink
it it would come to the top again.
At last he dug a hole, put the log
in, scraped the earth over it, and
stamped it down with his feet;
and, thinking he had got rid of
his trouble, started to walk away,
but found himself worse off than
before. This made him still more
angry, and he gave several hard
jerks which broke the chain, and
Bruin thus got free, leaving his tor-
mentor buried in the ground.
The bear is a MAMMAL of the or-
der carnivora, or flesh-eating ani-
The word bear is from the Anglo-
Saxon bera.
BEAVER, a small animal valued
for its fur. It is found mostly in the
northern parts of North America
and of Asia. It was once common
in Europe, but is now rare. The
beaver is usually about two feet long,
and weighs thirty to sixty pounds,
or as much as a boy from three to
six years old. Its color is reddish




brown or chestnut, but sometimes
black ones are found, and sometimes
ALBINOS, or white ones. Its fur is of
two kinds, a soft thick fur which
grows next to the skin, and long,
coarse glossy hair on the outside.
Each foot has five toes, but only
the hind feet are webbed, so that
in swimming they only are used,
the fore feet being folded under
the body. The tail of the beaver

Fore Foot of Beaver.

is large and flat, and is used as
a scull in swimming. Some writers
say it is also used as a trowel
to pound down the earth and clay
with which it builds its house, but
this is doubtful. Beavers always live
near lakes or rivers, and where there
are plenty of trees, because their
food is mostly the roots of water
plants and bark. They build their

huts or lodges in groups near the
edge of the water, scraping away
the earth and mud in front so as to
make the water deep ; and they also
dig holes in the banks near their
huts, with their openings under
water, into which they fly when their
huts are attacked. When the water
of a running stream is too shallow
to make it free from freezing, they

Hind Foot of Beaver.

deepen it by building across it a
dam of small trees, roots, branches,
stones, moss, grass, and mud. Their
teeth are so sharp that they can
easily gnaw through a trunk five or
six inches thick. All their work is
done by night. They always lay up
in summer a supply of food for the

Tail of Beaver.

Beavers are hunted .both in winter
and in summer. In winter-time they
are usually caught in their huts or
holes, but in warm weather they are
taken in nets and in traps baited with
a substance called castor, which is
got from a kind of pouch in the male
beaver. Great numbers are killed
yearly by the Indians and trappers
in the far West for the sake of their

furs. Beavers are easily tamed so
as to answer to their name and to
follow' their master around like a
dog. They love to be fondled, and
will creep up into a person's lap and
behave much like a petted cat.
In former times men's tall hats,
which are now covered with silk
plush, were covered with a felt made
of beaver fur, and were therefore





called beavers, a name still some-
times given to them. In England a
law was once (1638) passed forbid-
ding the use of any other material
for hat-making, and the beaver was
hunted so much that the supply was
nearly used up ; but since silk hats
have been in fashion beavers have
had some chance to increase in num-
ber. Beaver fur is now principally
used for the trimmings of ladies'
dresses and cloaks, and for men's
collars and gloves.
The beaver is a MAMMAL of the
order rodentia, or gnawing animals.
The word beaver comes from the
Anglo-Saxon beofer, which is from
the Latin fiber.
BED. Savages generally sleep
on the ground on piles of leaves
or boughs, or on the skins of ani-
mals. The East Indians sleep on
the floor on light mattresses, which
they roll up and put away in the
morning; the Japanese lie on mat-
ting, resting their heads on a wood-
en rest which fits closely to the neck,
and the Chinese on low bedsteads
just raised above the ground. Most
peoples in Europe have beds and
bedsteads like those used in this
country, but German bedsteads are
shorter than others, and instead of
sheets and blankets are covered with
a second mattress made of down,
almost as thick as the under one.
The best beds are now made with
steel springs, covered with mat-
tresses. Mattresses are filled with
many i~faterials, such as hair, wool,
cotton, feathers, moss, cocoanut
fibre, and shavings of paper or wood,
but horse-hair mattresses are the
best. Feather beds were once much
used, but they are not so healthful as
beds of hair. Pillows and bolsters
are generally stuffed with hair or
goose feathers. Beds should be
turned over every day, so that
the dampness caused by sleeping
upon them may not make them
The word bed comes from the
Anglo-Saxon bedd.

BED BUQ. This insect is found
in beds and pigeon houses, and in
the nests of swallows and bats. It
usually hides away in the daytime,
and comes out at night to seek its
food. It bites by pricking through
the skin with a kind of three-jointed
sucker, through which it also sucks
blood. The bed bug has a small
head and a flat body; old ones are
of a rust-red color, but the young are
so light that one can almost see
through them. It is hatched from
oval white eggs, and is full grown in
eleven weeks. Bed bugs are very
hard to kill; one has been kept alive
in a sealed bottle without food for
more than a year. Cockroaches are
the enemies of bed bugs, and kill
great numbers of them.

Bed Bug.

Sucker of
Bed Bug.

The bed bug is an INSECT of the
order hemiltera, or half-winged in-
BEE. There were no honey-bees
in America until they were brought
here by Europeans, but they are
now found all over North and South
America, although they did not
reach South America until 1845 and
California until 185o. The Indians
call them the white man's fly, be-
cause they go wherever the white
man settles.
Bees live in communities or socie-
ties, and are divided into females,
males, and workers. Each hive has
but one female, called the queen,
who governs the society and lays the
eggs. The males, who do no work,
are called drones, and there are
sometimes several hundreds or even
thousands of them in a hive, there
being usually one in every thirty


bees. The queen bee seldom leaves
the hive except in the swarming sea-
son, after which all the drones in the
hive are killed by the workers. The
workers, who form the principal

Honey Bee-Queen.

part of each society, do all the work,
gathering the honey, making the
wax and building the cells, and feed-
ing and taking care of the young.
Bees are very strong, and can fly
very fast and for a long time with-

Honey Bee-Drone.

out lighting. Their eyes are made
to see at great distances; when ab-
sent from home they go up into the
air until they see the place where
their hive is, and then fly toward it
in a straight line with great speed,

Honey Bee-Worker.

from which the shortest line between
two places is sometimes called a
" bee-line." This habit of bees is
well known to hunters of wild honey,
who often find hives in the woods

by following bees who are going
home. Drones have no stings, but
the females and the workers each
have one at the back part of the
body. The sting of a bee is shown
in the picture. In this a is the place
where the poison is made, b the tube
through which it is carried to c, the
poison-bag, where it is kept for use,
and d the tube through which it
flows to the sting. This is made
of a sheath, e, in which are two
darts, with sharp points and ragged
edges like saw teeth, one of which,

Sting of Honey Bee, much Enlarged.
e, Stings in Sheath; f Point of one of
the Stings.
much enlarged, is shown in f.
When a bee stings it first makes a
wound with the sheath, along which
the poison flows in a groove; and it
then thrusts in the darts to deepen
the wound. The saw teeth edges
are very hard to pull out, and bees
are often so hurt in trying to get
them out quickly that they die. Bee
poison is so deadly that a single
sting will kill an insect, and animals
and men have been sometimes killed
by bees which attacked them in
great numbers.





When the queen bee- has paired
with one of the drones, she goes to
work to lay eggs, laying sometimes
as many as two or three thousand in
a day. Worker eggs are first laid in
one set of cells, and then drone
eggs in another ; and if the hive is
very full and it is thought best to
have another queen, she lays a third
set of eggs in a third set of cells.
In three days the larva, which look
like small white worms, come out of

Swarm of Bees.

the eggs. They are fed by the
workers with the pollen or dust of
flowers mixed with honey and water.
After five or six days more .the
larvae begin to spin a covering or
cocoon around themselves, from
which the workers come out, perfect
bees, in twenty days, and the drones
in twenty-four days.' Queen bees
are ready to come out of the cocoon
in sixteen days. If the hive is not
full the new queens are all stung to

death in the cells by the old queen;
but if the colony is large, one of the
new queens is permitted to come
out. As soon as she appears, the
old queen leaves the hive, taking with
her a part of the bees, and goes off
to form a new one. This is called
swarming, because when they leave
the hive they usually collect in a
mass, called a swarm, on the branch
of a tree, a bush, or some other
handy place, as shown in the picture.
If the owner of the bees then sets
an empty hive near them, they will
go into it and set to work to make
wax and honey, just as they did in
the old one. The new queen of the
old hive rules until another queen
appears, when she too leaves and
founds a colony. When two queens
come out at the same time, they
fight until one of them is killed.
The food of bees is of two kinds,
the pollen of flowers and sweet
juices. The pollen is gathered on
the hairs of their legs and carried to
the hive for the food of the young
ones. The juices of flowers are
licked up by the hairy proboscis, or
trunk, which serves as a sort of
tongue. This, which is made up of
several parts, can be lengthened,
shortened, twisted, and bent in any
way, so that it gathers all the sweets
from the petals and the bottom of
the flower-cups. If a flower is not
full blown, the bee will open it wide
enough to get in its proboscis for the
juices ard its front legs for the pol-
len. Bees also gather a great deal
of honey from the sweet juices which
plant lice scatter in little drops
upon the leaves of trees. Juices are
carried by the proboscis into the
mouth, from which they pass into
the honey bag, a kind of first stom-
ach, where they are changed into
honey; but they are not digested,
for bees have a second stomach for
the digestion of food. The honey
can be brought up from the first
stomach at will, either to feed the
young or to be stored up in the cells.
WAX is made only by the working


bees. They have a pouch in the
back part of the body in which the
wax grows little by little. When
the pouch is full the wax sticks out in
little scales, and either the bee him-
self or some of his fellow-workers
take it off and use it in making honey
comb. The cells in the comb are
always made six-sided, as shown in

Cells of Honey Comb.

the picture, so that no room is
wasted. They are at first soft and
white, but soon become firm and
dark yellow. Cells made for HONEY
and pollen are about twice as large
as those for hatching, and are always
built with their mouths slanted up-
ward, so as to be easier filled. The
honey combs, which are begun at
the top of the hive and built down-
ward, are about an inch thick, and
are each made up of two sets of cells
placed back to back. Between every
two combs is left a space about
half an inch wide, so that the bees
can carry honey to the cells. As
each one is filled, it is sealed up with
wax. The honey and pollen thus
stored up serve the bees for food
during the winter. Farmers often
take the honey with care out of the
combs and put the empty combs
back into the hive to be again filled
by the bees.
The honey bee is an insect of the
order hymenoptera, or membrane-
winged INSECTS.
The word bee comes from the
Anglo-Saxon beo.
BEECH. The beech tree grows in
Europe and America. In the United
States it is sometimes more than

a hundred feet high, or four or five
times the height of an apple tree,
and makes a beautiful shade tree.
It bears little three-cornered nuts,
which squirrels and other small wild
animals and some birds like very
much. They are also fed to swine
and poultry, and some people eat
them. In France beech oil is made
out of them, which is both eaten and
burned in lamps. Beech wood rots
easily in the air but not under water,
and is used for making mill-wheels.
It is also made into shoe lasts, tool
handles, bowls, rollers, etc., and in
France into sabots or wooden shoes.
The word beech comes from the
Anglo-Saxon bedce.
BEEF, the flesh of the ox or
cow, when killed. Beef is the best

Animal cut up for Beef.
a, Porterhouse Steak; b, Sirloin; c,
Middle Ribs; d, Fore Ribs; e, Rump;
f Mouse Buttock; g, Chuck Ribs; h,
ound; i, Clod; j, Shoulder; k, Brisket;
1, Thin Flank; m, Thick Flank; n, Leg;
o, Shin ; p, Neck.



kind of meat for food, and is rich- and for porter and brown stout,
er in flavor and more easily di- still other kinds of beer, the malt is
gested than any other meat. Good dried until it is browned. Malted
ox beef is bright red with yellowish barley has a much sweeter taste than
fat, and has a loose grain ; cow beef fresh grain, for it has more sugar in
is not quite so red, the fat is whit- it. It is also softer and can easily
ish, and the flesh a little firmer, be crushed in the fingers. The malt
Poor beef, or beef too old for food, is now ground or bruised, when it is
is usually dark red with hard skinny called grist. The grist is put into a
fat. large wooden tub and mixed up
An animal for beef is cut up by with hot water. Another change
the butcher into parts, as shown in now takes place in the barley-most
the picture. These parts are cut of the starch in it is turned into a
into smaller pieces by the retail kind of sugar called grape SUGAR.
butcher, when he sells the beef to The water melts this sugar and gets
families. from it a pleasant sweet taste. The
Corned beef is made by soaking liquid, which is now called sweet
the lean parts in a pickle made of wort, is next drawn off and boiled in
salt, saltpetre, and a little brown a great copper kettle with HOPS.
sugar. Smoked beef is first cured in Hops give the bitter taste to beer,
pickle, like corned beef, and then so that more or less is put in accord-
smoked over a wood fire. Beef ing to the bitterness wanted in
cut into thin slices or strips and it.
dried in the sun is called jerked After boiling, the liquor is strained
beef. and cooled as quickly as possible,
The word beef comes from the and put into a large vessel called a
French bweuf, which is from the fermenting tun. A little YEAST is
Latin bos, genitive bovis, an ox. added, and after it has stood a while
BEER, a drink made out of malt, it begins to bubble up and to froth
hops, and water. Malt is made at the top, and in a short time a
chiefly of barley, though wheat, rye, change takes place in it. After this
oats, Indian corn, and in India change, which is called fermenta-
rice, are sometimes used. The per- tion, the liquid has a new taste and
son who makes the malt is called a smell ; the sweet taste of the sugar
maltster. He wets his barley in is gone, and it is much stronger and
great heaps and then spreads it over sharper than before. This is be-
the floor of a dark room, where it cause the sugar in it has been
swells and sprouts just as it would changed by the action of the yeast
if it were planted in the earth. It is into two things, CARBONIC ACID and
then dried on the floor of a kiln, ALCOHOL. Alcohol is made up of
when the little sprouts drop off and just the same things, CARBON, OXY-
are afterward sifted out. The GEN, and HYDROGEN, as sugar,
sprouting is stopped just at this only they are put together in differ-
time because the grain then has in it ent proportions. When yeast causes
the most sugar; if the sprout was the sugar to turn into alcohol, it
allowed to grow more it would use simply takes from it some of its oxy-
up the sugar. The barley, which is gen and some of its carbon, and
called malt at this stage, is dried a forces them to unite, forming car-
long or a short time according to bonic acid, which passes off in bub-
the kind of beer that is wanted. bles of gas into the air. All of the
For light-colored ale, which is the hydrogen of the sugar remains be-
name of several kinds of beer, it is hind, and uniting with what is left of
dried a short time; for dark-col- the oxygen and the carbon, becomes
ored or heavy ale, a longer time ; alcohol. Any liquor which has passed




through the change of fermentation
is called a fermented liquor.
The beer is now put into large
hogsheads and left to settle until it
is clear, when it is pumped into
beer barrels for sale. The German
beer called lager bier is fermented
in a different way from ale, the yeast
being put into the bier in the casks,
which are then laid up in cool cel-
lars, where the fermentation goes
on slowly. What we call lager bier
in this country is properly schenk
bier, for it is not kept long enough
in cellars to be called lager, which
in German means something laid up.
The name of beer is also sometimes
given to drinks made from spruce,
sassafras, ginger, and other herbs
and roots, but they are generally
called root beer. The way to make
beer from malt was first found out
by the ancient Egyptians.
The word beer comes from the
Anglo-Saxon beor, which is from
bere, barley.
BEET, a common vegetable, four
kinds of which are cultivated, the
common beet, the mangel-wurzel,
the chard, and the sea beet. There
are several varieties of the com-
mon beet, all different in shape,
size, and color. The small red
and the long yellow are the best
for table use. Mangel-wurzel beets
are larger and coarser than common
beets, but very sweet, and make ex-
cellent food for cattle in winter.
The chard is a small beet much
eaten by farmers and laborers in
Germany and France. The sea beet
is cultivated in gardens for use as
Beet sugar is made from the juice
of the white beet. It was first made
in France in the time of the Em-
peror Napoleon I., who being at war
with England, would not let British
cane sugar be brought into the coun-
try. When refined it looks and tastes
like the best cane sugar.
The word beet comes from the
German beete, which is from the
Latin beta.

BEETLE. Beetles may be known
from other insects by the two horny
sheaths or wing-covers called elytra,
which cover their true wings so
closely when they are not flying
that they look as if they had no
wings. The wing-covers are often
very beautiful, being of various col-
ors, blue, green, yellow, etc., and
sometimes spotted with gold. The
wings, which fold up under the
covers very curiously when closed,
are commonly twice as long and
twice as wide as the covers. Most
beetles' legs are long and fitted for
running, and they have two strong
horny mandibles or jaws, made for
gnawing and chewing. They live
on different kinds of food, some on
other insects and worms, some on

Tiger Beetles.
carrion, some on rotten wood and
some on growing wood, some on
grain, some on roots, and some on
leaves and flowers.
Beetles pass through three full
stages or changes in life. The lar-
ve or grubs have long, flat, worm-
like bodies, with horny heads and
three pairs of legs; but some,
which are hatched inside of nuts
and fruits, have no legs. Before
going into the second or pupa state,
the larva often makes a case or co-
coon for itself out of earth or of lit-
tle chips and dust fastened together
by threads. Larva sometimes lie
in these cases for years before turn-
ing into full beetles.
Beetles are found mostly in woods,





under leaves, logs, and stones,
under the bark of rotting trees, or in
ditches and beside streams. Some
live in the water, and may often be
seen darting over the surface catch-
ing little insects. There are many
thousand kinds of them, more than
eight thousand of which live in the
United States. Tiger Beetles are so
called from their stripes and because
they are as fierce among insects
as tigers are among quadrupeds.
They prey on caterpillars, flies, and
other beetles, and will even eat each
other when shut up together. The
pictures of two kinds of common
tiger beetles are given on page 59.
The Bombardier Beetle is so called
from its habit of shooting a strong
liquid from behind at its enemies;
bombard being an old name for
a cannon. Scavenger Beetles have
feet fitted for digging,
and make deep holes in
the ground. They live
on filth, of which they
clear up a great deal.
Some of them are called
Carrion Beetles because
they eat up dead ani-
Bombardier mals. Others, called
Beetle. Sexton Beetles, bury the
bodies of animals.
They have a very strong scent, and
when they smell the dead body of a
mouse, frog, or other small animal,
they gather round it and examine
the ground. If it is hard and
stony, they look for a better place,
and then a great many of them to-
gether carry the body there ; but if
the ground is soft they all set to
work digging with their long legs
under it till the animal sinks down
into the hole. They then lay their
eggs in it, cover it up, and when
the larva are hatched they feed on
it. If they left the body above
ground, it would dry up and be-
come unfit for their food, or some
other animal might eat it. Among
this class of beetles are also those
commonly called tumble bugs,"
which make little balls out of ma-

nure and then roll them away with
their hind legs. They lay their eggs
in these balls, and roll them into
deep holes which they dig. If the
road is too rough they lift them up
on their heads, which are broad and
flat, and thus carry them. The an-
cient Egyptians thought these ani-
mals were so useful in manuring the
ground with their balls that they
called them sacred beetles, and wor-
shipped them. They also carved
figures of them in gold, precious
stones, and other materials, and
wore them as ornaments and charms.
Many of these are still found in their
tombs, and are called scarabcei
(beetles, plural of Latin scarabceus, a
Other wonderful beetles are the
stag-horn beetles, whose long jaws
look like the horns of a stag. Our
common Horn Bug belongs to this
class. In some countries this kind
of beetle is very useful in clearing
up dead wood in forests. They lay
their eggs in the bark of trees blown
down by tempests, and their grubs
eat up the whole tree, which is thus
turned to dust and enriches the
earth. The Spring Beetle or snap-
ping bug is so called because when
laid on its back it can spring up,
turn over, and come down on its
feet. Curculios or weevils are a kind
of beetles that live on fruits and
grains, and do great injury to crops.
The worms found in plums, apples,
chestnuts, and other fruits come
from eggs laid in them by beetles.
The Spanish Fly, which is ground to
powder and made into blistering
plasters, is a bright green beetle.
FIRE FLIES or lightning bugs, LADY
BIRDS, potato bugs, squash bugs,
June bugs, and many other common
insects are also beetles.
The beetle belongs to the order
coleoptera, or sheath-winged IN-
The word beetle is from the An-
glo-Saxon bitel, which is from bitan,
to bite.
BELL. Bells have been made of

_ ___ ~_



different kinds of metal, but an AL-
LOY of copper and tin, called bell-
metal, is thought to be the best.
This is usually made of three parts
of copper to one part of tin, and a
little zinc and lead are sometimes
added. Very good bells are now
made of cast-steel in England and
Germany. Bells of fine tone have
been made out of glass, but they
break too easily to stand long the
blows of the tongue. In casting bells
the first thing to do is to make the
mould, which is built up of fine
sand. (See STATUE.) The core or
part which fills the inside of the bell
is first made, and then around this is
built up the outside, which must be
as far from the core as the bell to
be cast is thick. A place is left at
the top to pour in the metal, which
is drawn off from the furnace into a
great crucible or earthen pot. This
is swung by a CRANE, to which it is
fastened by chains, over the mould,
which is in a pit beneath the floor,
and tipped up and the metal turned
in as fast as it will run. After cool-
ing, the mould is drawn out of the
pit, and the bell, which is very rough,
is finished with chisels and files.
According to most books the larg-
est bell in the world is the one called
the king of bells, in Moscow, Rus-
sia; but there is a larger one in Ja-
pan. The Russian bell is more than
three times as high as a man (19
feet and 3 inches), and weighs as
much as two hundred and twenty
common cart loads of coal (443,000
pounds). It has a large piece
broken out of its side, so that it can-
not be rung, and it is set upon a
stone foundation and used as a lit-
tle church, of which the broken
place is the door. The Japanese
great bell is hung in the tower of a
temple in the city of Kioto. It is as
high as four men (24 feet), and is
sixteen inches thick at the edge. It
has no clapper, but is rung by means
of a great beam of wood, which
strikes it on the outside. Another
great bell in Moscow is more than

thirteen feet across at the bottom,
or about as wide as a fair-sized room,
and weighs as much as eighty cart
loads of coal (16o,000 pounds). The
next largest bells in the world are in
Peking, China, where there are eight
each weighing as much as sixty
loads of coal, (120,000 pounds).
The largest bell in America is in the
Cathedral of Notre Dame in Mon-
treal; it weighs nearly as much as
fifteen loads of coal (29,400 pounds).
The largest bells in New York are
those on the fire alarm towers : they
weigh as much as five loads of coal
each (about I1,ooo pounds). One
of the most noted bells in this coun-
try is the liberty bell in Independ-
ence Hall, Philadelphia, which was
rung when independence was de-
clared. It is now cracked so as to
be unfit for use. Some churches now
have chimes or peals of bells. The
best chimes consist of eight to
twelve bells of different sizes, so
made that they sound musical
notes, like those of a piano. Tunes
can thus be played on them.
In old times it was believed that
bells'had the power of driving away
evil spirits ; and so it was the cus-
tom to ring the church bell when a
sick person lay dying, to frighten
away the evil spirits which were
supposed to stand about the foot of
the bed waiting for his soul. A bell
rung at such a time was called a
" passing bell," because the dying
person was passing away to another
world. Church bells are now tolled
only after death. Bells were also
once thought to have the power of
protecting buildings from lightning
and tempests, and some church
bells had the following verse en-
graved on them :

" Men's death I tell by doleful knell,
Lightning and thunder I break
On Sabbath all to church I call,
The sleepy head I raise from bed,
The winds so fierce I do disperse,
Men's cruel rage I do assuage."






The word bell is from the Anglo-
Saxon bellan, to make a loud sound.
Our word bellow also comes from it.
BELLOWS, an instrument or ma-
chine for making a blast of air, used
for blowing fires, for giving air to
mines, for filling organ pipes with
wind, etc. Common bellows are
made of two wooden sides, whose
edges are joined together by a strip
of leather, fastened all around to
both, so that the sides will rise up
from and close down upon each
other. Through one of the sides is
a hole, a, covered on the inside with
a VALVE, b, made so that it will
open and shut like a little door, and


at the end is a nozzle or small tube,
c. When the two sides are raised
up from each other, as shown in the
picture, the outside air pushes open
the valve and fills the inside of the
bellows. On pushing the sides to-
gether again the air inside closes the
valve, so that it can get out only
through the nozzle, and as this is
much smaller than the valve it
rushes out with much more force
than it entered and makes a strong
blast. Another kind of bellows is
told about under ORGAN.
The word bellows comes from the
Anglo-Saxon baelg, a bag, the first

bellows having been made like a
BERCAMOT, a kind of citron, be-
longing to the same family of fruits
as the orange, lemon, and lime. It
is sometimes called bergamot
orange, as it is round and looks
much like an orange. From its
rind is distilled (see ALCOHOL) the
oil of bergamot, much used in mak-
ing perfumery, eau de cologne, hair
oils, essences, and liqueurs. Oil of
bergamot is also made by grating
the rind and then pressing it in glass
The word bergamot is from the
French bergamotte, named from the
town of Bergamo, Italy, from which
the fruit is said to have first come.
BIRCH, a tree growing in Eu-
rope, Asia, and America, generally
in cold places. There are several
kinds, the white birch, which has
white bark, being the most common.
It is a very useful tree : in some coun-
tries its bark is made into shoes,
hats, shingles, boats, drinking-cups,
and ropes, and its wood is used
by turners, coopers, and wheel-
wrights. Indian birch bark canoes
are made out of the bark of another
kind called the paper birch, which
grows in Canada and the Northern
United States. The Indians also
make beautiful boxes, baskets, buck-
ets, and cups out of it, and thin
sheets of it are used for paper. The
black or red birch grows in the
Southern and Middle States. Birch
brooms are made from its twigs and
its branches make the best barrel
hoops. Russia leather is tanned
with birch bark, which gives it its
delightful smell.
The word birch is from the Anglo-
Saxon birce or beorc.
BIRDS. Birds, like MAMMALS,
are warm-blooded, but they differ
greatly from mammals in many
other things. They are all oviparous
(Latin ovizarus, from ovum, egg,
and parere, to bring forth), that is,
their young are hatched from eggs
which are laid by the parent, and


they do not suckle their young. With
few exceptions they are covered
with a coat of feathers, which are
mostly fitted for flying, while among
mammals only BATS can truly fly.
They have hard horny bills, in
place of teeth ; and they have a giz-
zard to grind their food, which is
found in no other animals.
As birds are much heavier than
the air, they have to use a great
deal of strength to fly in it. The
bones in their wings are much like
those in the arms and hands of
man, but the MUSCLES which move
them are much stronger for their size
than those in man. All birds which
use their wings much have a sharp
strong ridge standing out from the
front of the breast-bone, something
like the cut-water or keel on the
bow of a vessel. On each side of
this are fastened the muscles, which
enable them to spread out and work
their wings so as to raise their bod-
ies into the air and keep them there
a long time without resting.
In some birds which do not fly,
but whose wings aid them only in
running, as in the ostrich, there is
no need of such strong muscles, and
the breast-bone has therefore no
ridge at all, but is nearly flat, like that
in man.
To enable birds to fly, swim, or
move rapidly on land, it is necessary
that they should be not only very
strong but also very light. Their
bones are therefore made very thin,
and their whole body is filled with
numerous air cells. Birds which
fly highest and fastest have the
most air cells : the eagle, for in-
stance, has them in all its bones, but
the ostrich only in its thigh bones.
The air from the lungs, which is
much warmer and therefore lighter
than the.outside air, passes into and
out of these cells at the will of the
bird, some birds being able to fill
even the quills of their feathers.
All this adds much to the lightness
of the body, but still the bird could
not fly if his wings were not fitted

with long FEATHERS, which add
much to the size of the wings with-
out making them much heavier.
The feathers on the under side of
the wing, which strike against the
air in flying, are larger and stronger
than the others, and are called quill-
feathers or simply quills. At the
base of the quills, on both sides of
the wing, are smaller feathers called
wing coverts. The tail feathers,
which are like the quills of the
wings and have coverts above and
below them, serve as a rudder to
guide the bird in flying and to bal-
ance it in the air. They are also the
principal ornament of most birds.
The bodies of birds are covered with
a thick coat of down and feathers,
their swift motion in flying being
apt to cool the blood, just as fast
motion in a carriage or boat has the
effect of a cooling breeze; so they
need warmer clothing than most ani-
mals. Arctic birds are more warmly
clad than those which live in hot cli-
mates, but the latter have more
beautiful plumage. Birds moult or
change their feathers usually once a
year, and their colors vary much be-
tween summer and winter.
Birds live on different kinds of
food : some on flesh alone, some on
fish, some on insects, some on seeds
of plants, and some on a mixture of
all these kinds. Most of them swal-
low their food whole or simply torn
into pieces. It goes, when swal-
lowed, through the gullet into a first
stomach called the crop, where it is
soaked and softened. It then
passes through another part of the
gullet, where it becomes mixed
with a liquid called gastric juice,
into another stomach called the giz-
zard, which is made up of strong
muscles, and has a very tough
leathery lining. This acts like a kind
of mill, the muscles rubbing the
two sides of the lining together and
grinding the food as between mill-
stones. To add to the grinding
power of the gizzard, birds swallow
sand and small stones, which aid in




crushing hard food. The gastric
juice, which is a kind of acid, helps
to digest the food. The gizzard is
most perfect in birds which live on
seeds and grains; in other birds
it differs according to their food.
Those that live on fish have no giz-
zard, as their food is easy to digest
without grinding.

Inside Parts of Common Fowl.

The inside parts of the common
fowl are shown in the picture, in
which a is the gullet, k the crop, b
the part of the gullet where the gas-
tric juice is made, c the gizzard, i the
liver, d, e, f, and h parts of the in-
testine, and g the place where the
waste parts of the food pass off.

Birds have most of the senses, but
those of taste and of touch are gen-
erally very dull. But their sight is
very keen, especially in birds of
prey. Their eyes are wonderfully
made, and are fitted with a kind of
thin skin or membrane inside of the
eyelids, which they can draw down
at will, and which, while they can
see through it, protects the eyes
from injury and enables them to
look at the sun without being dazzled
by its rays. The nostrils of all birds
open on the top of the beak, and it
is supposed that some birds, such as
birds of prey, have a strong sense
of smell; but this is denied by some
writers. With a few exceptions,
birds have no outer ear, but they
all have the sense of hearing. All
birds have some kind of a cry, but
many have no song. Both sexes
call to each other, but of the singing
birds only the males, as a general
rule, are able to sing. Water birds
are more noisy than land birds, and
tame birds sing more than wild ones.
Generally birds of bright and beau-
tiful plumage do not sing so sweetly
as those which are less gayly dressed.
Many birds change their homes with
the change of the season. Most of
those which enliven our fields and
forests during the summer leave with
the coming of cool weather for the
South, where they can more easily
get food during the winter ; but they
always return with the spring, and
many visit the same places year after
All birds lay EGGS, mostly in care-
fully built nests, but a few lay them
on the bare ground or in the sand of
the sea shore (see BIRDS' NESTS).
They hatch their young from the
eggs by sitting on them, but a few
leave them to be hatched by the
sun. The object of sitting on them
is only to keep up the right amount
of heat, the warmth of the body be-
ing just enough for this. Equal
warmth made in any other way will
do as well. Eggs may be hatched
by steam or oven heat. When the





time comes for a bird to be hatched,
it cuts its way out of the shell by
means of a hard scale fitted to the
end of its beak, and which soon after
falls off. Some birds are able to run
about and to pick up food as soon as
they leave the shell; others are
hatched without feathers, and need
to be fed and cared for by their
parents for days and even weeks.
The legs of birds are made much
like those of man. The feet are di-
vided into toes, usually three in front
and one behind; but some, as com-
mon fowls, have a fifth toe or spur
behind ; some, as the bustard, have
no hind toe; some, as the parrot,
woodpecker, etc., have two toes in

Foot of Bird of Prey-Falcon.

front and two behind; while the
ostrich has only two toes forward
and only a part of one behind.
Birds' feet vary according to their
mode of life: some have strong,
hooked claws; some long, straight,
weak ones ; some have the toes all
separate, and some have them con-
nected with a web or membrane.
Birds are divided into seven orders,
according to the shape of their feet
and claws :
I. Raptores, or birds of prey,
which have short stout legs and four
toes, three in front and one behind,
all armed with strong curved claws
or talons made for seizing and hold-
ing their prey. The upper bill in

these birds is longer than the lower,
and forms a kind of hook, which
shuts over the under one. There are
three families of raptores : vul-
tures; 2, falcons (including eagles
and hawks) ; 3, owls.

Foot of Perching Bird-Lark.

The word raftores is from the
Latin rapere, to seize.
II. Insessores, or perching birds,
which have short slender legs and
four long thin toes, three in front and
one behind, with long, slightly curved
claws, fitting them for perching on
trees. They include all the birds
living in trees, excepting birds of
prey and the climbers. They are di-
vided into four families :
I. Cone-billed birds, or those with
a beak shaped like a cone, includ-
ing the crows (crow, rook, black-
bird, jay, etc.), the finches (larks,
sparrows, innets, etc.) starlings,
(meadow lark, oriole, etc.), and
birds of paradise.
2. Tooth-billed birds, having a
tooth or notch near the end of the

Foot of Perching Bird-Kingfisher.

beak, including the thrushes (robin,
mocking bird, cat bird, etc.), warb-
lers (blue bird, chickadee, etc.), and
fly-catchers (king bird, phebe bird,
3. Split-beaked birds, whose bills




are divided far back, so that they can
open the mouth very wide, and thus
catch insects while flying. Among
these are the swallows, the goat
suckers, kingfishers, bee-eaters, and
4. Slender-billed birds, whose long
slim bills fit them for sipping the
honey from flowers, or for reaching
into narrow places to catch small
insects. Among these are the hum-
ming birds, which are found only in
The word insessores is from the
Latin insider, to sit upon.
III. Scansores, or climbing birds,
which are fitted for climbing, having
two toes in front and two behind.
Some of these have three toes in

Foot of Climbing Bird-Woodpecker.

front, but they have the power of
turning back the outside one when
they wish to climb. There are four
families in this order: I, parrots ;
2, toucans ; 3, woodpeckers ; 4,
The word scansores is from the
Lathn scandere, to climb.
IV. Rasores, or scratching birds,
whose feet and claws are fitted for
scratching in the earth. Their chief
families are : I, pigeons (including
doves) ; 2, curassows ; 3, pheasants
(peacocks, common fowls, turkeys,
and pheasants proper) ; 4, grouse
(partridges, prairie hens, quails,
The word rasores is from the Latin
radere, to scratch.

V. Cursores, or running birds,
marked by the length and strength
of their legs, and by their small and

Foot of Scratching Bird-Pheasant.
weak wings. As they do not fly,
the strips which make up the soft
parts of their FEATHERS are not
hooked together by ex-
ceedingly small barbs
as in other birds. So
their feathers curl.
Among them are the
ostrich, the emu, and
the cassowary.
The word cursores
is from the Latin cur-
rere, to run.
VI. Crallatores, or FootofRunning
wading birds, which Bird-Casso-
have long legs like wary.
stilts, enabling them
to wade, and long
necks and bills so
that they can reach
their food in the
water. They live
mostly on MOLLUSKS
and water worms and
insects. Their chief fa-
milies are the cranes,
the herons, the plo-
vers, the snipes (in-
cluding woodcock),
and the rails.
The word gral-
latores is from the
new Latin gralle,
stilts. Foot of Wad-
VII. Natatores, or ing Bird-
swimming birds, Crane.
which are web-footed
-that is, their toes are connected
with a kind of skin or web so that
their feet serve as paddles in swim-




ming. Their legs are usually short
and are set back further than in
other birds, and their necks are long.
Their families are the ducks (includ-
ing ducks proper, geese, and swans),
divers, auks (including penguins),
gulls (including the petrel and the
albatross), and pelicans (including
the cormorant).

Foot of Swimming Bird-Pelican.

The word natatores is from the
Latin nature, to swim.
Birds make up the second class of
vertebrate ANIMALS.
The word bird comes from the
Anglo-Saxon bird or brid.
BIRDS' NESTS. Birds differ from
all other kinds of animals in building
nests to lay their eggs and to hatch
their young in. Different birds have
different kinds of nests: some are
very simple and rude, and some are
wonderful in their plan and in the
way in which they are built.
Birds may be divided, according
to their nests, into two great classes,
those which build on or in the
ground, and those which build above
the ground, as in trees, etc. Among
ground-building birds are included
all which dive under water, almost
all which swim, and a large part of
those which live along the shore and
wade in the water. Some which are
classed with the ground-builders
make no nest at all. Thus many
water birds lay their eggs on the bare

surface of rocky cliffs or in sandy
places along the shore. Among
land birds the whip-poor-will makes
no nest, but lays its eggs on dry
leaves in the woods, and the night-
hawk drops its eggs on bare rocks
or sometimes nr the flat roofs of
houses. Otiner ground builders
make hollows in the sand for their
eggs, and some nuild nests of reeds,
sticks, and leaves near the edge of
rocks near the water. Among these
last are most of the sea-ducks,
geese, swans, and gulls. The eider
duck builds first a rough platform of
sea-weeds and rushes, and then
covers it with DOWN taken from its
own breast.
It is said that water fowl always
build their nests on the sides of rocks
which look toward the west and
northwest. The archipelago of
Faroe, between the island of Faroe
and the Shetland Islands, is a fa-
vorite place for sea birds. There are
twenty-five great rocks there, called
Vogelberg (Bird-rock), on which
birds of many kinds build their nests
every year. One of these is an im-
mense black rock, more than a quar-
ter of a mile high, formed of many
layers and ledges which reach to its
top. Boats can go near it only in
calm weather, when the sea at its
foot is smooth. When the weather
is stormy the sea roars and boils
around it, and dashes its waves up
its steep sides nearly as high as a
steeple, falling back in foaming
showers. This is the home of mil-
lions of birds, who build their nests
side by side on its ledges, where
they may be seen sitting day after
day, during the hatching season,
with their heads all turned toward
the sea. The different kinds of birds
do not all build their nests together,
but each kind has a separate place.
Highest up are the nests of the
black-backed gulls, next below them
those of the silver-gull, and below
them other birds, such as petrels,
geese, and ducks. While the females
are seated on the nests, the male




birds perch near them and seem to
try to amuse them with the clacking
of their beaks and their cries.
In Australia is a kind of'turkey
called the brush-turkey which piles
up a large heap of decaying leaves,
grass, etc. After the heap has be-
come warm from the rotting of the
vegetable matter, the brush-turkey
digs a hole about two feet deep in
the top, lays its eggs in it, buries them
and leaves them to be hatched out by
the heat. These mounds are always
built like pyramids, and sometimes
have in them many cartloads of grass
and leaves. Another kind of bird
builds high mounds of sand, grass,
and leaves, and still another makes
earth mounds sometimes more than
twice as high as a man and buries its
eggs deep in them.
Among other ground building
birds are those called miners, which
either dig deep holes in the earth
for their nests or use burrows made
by other animals. The kingfisher
digs a crooked gallery nearly as long
as a man in the side of a bank, and
at its end makes a round hole in
which it lays its eggs. The sand-
martin lives in large families or col-
onies, which build their nests in
holes about three feet deep dug in
the side of a sand bank; but when
the gravel is too coarse the holes are
made deeper until fine sand is
reached. The bird begins its hole
by pecking away the sand with its
beak, while it clings on to the out-
side of the bank with its sharp
claws; but as soon as the place is
large enough for it to get into it digs
with its claws and brushes out the
sand with its wings. At the end of
the hole it makes a little round cham-
ber and lines it with soft grass and
feathers. The common petrel (see
GULL) digs a winding burrow in
the side of banks, but makes no
nest in it, laying only one egg on
the bare earth. Its burrow is some-
times very long, turning now this
way and now that, and lastly coming
back under the place where it began,

and ending in a chamber nearly un-
der the opening. The burrowing
owl makes its nest in the holes of
the prairie dogs on the plains of the
West, and in the burrows of the
ground squirrel in California.
Almost all the class of birds
which include common fowls, tur-
keys, peacocks, pheasants, grouse,
partridges, and quails make their
nests on the ground. The wild tur-
key hides hers in tall grass and cov-
ers up her eggs with leaves when
she has to go off for food. The
quail, the meadow lark, and other
birds also hide their nests away be-
side tufts of grass, making a kind of
arched covering over them. Most
of the American sparrows nest on
the ground, but the common house
sparrow does not. Many of the
larks, thrushes, and other small
birds also build their nests on the
The most wonderful birds' nests
are those which are built in trees,
bushes, and other places above the
ground. Some of these are made of
a kind of mortar plastered together
by the birds' beaks, some are cut
out by their sharp bills from the solid
wood of trees, some are beautifully
woven together from grass and hair,
and hung from the branches of trees
or set up in the crotches of limbs,
and some are made of leaves sewn
together as neatly as if done with
needle and thread. Among the
birds which build their nests of mor-
tar, or moist clay, are the cliff and
barn swallows of America and the
house swallow of Europe. The
cliff swallows build flask-shaped
nests, like those in the picture, formed
entirely of mud and plastered against
the side of high rocks or cliffs. Six
or seven birds generally work at one
nest, flying off in all directions and
coming back with their beaks filled
with mud, which they soften by
working before plastering it on the
nest. One of them, whom we may
call the master-builder (while the
others are only masons), sits inside



the nest, smooths down the clay, and
sees that the work goes on properly.
The clay, when baked by the sun. be-
comes very hard. In wet weather
swallows work very Cast and soon
finish their nests, but in dry weather
they work only in the morning and
evening, when the clay is moist. Barn
swallows' nests are built in much the
same way, but they are a little dif-

Nests of Cliff Swallows.

ferent in shape and the walls are
usually knit together with bits of
hay. They are plastered up under
the eaves and against the rafters of
barns, and sometimes even of dwell-
ings. Beside the nest is almost
always built a little platform or
perch on which the male bird can sit
and sing to his mate while she sits on
the nest. It is said that when the

season is to be cold, the nest is
nearly closed, with a hole just big
enough to let the bird in, but that
when the season is to be very warm
the nest is open at the top all the way
Birds which cut holes in trees to
build their nests in are called carpen-
ter birds. The chief of these are
the woodpeckers, whose sharp beaks
peck away at the hardest living
trees until a hole fit for the nest has
been cut. A short tunnel, sloping
upward, only large enough for one
bird to go through at a time, is first
cut, and then a larger hole is made
downward in the middle of the tree,
sometimes three or four feet deep.
The eggs are laid at the bottom of
this on the small chips that have
fallen. Both the male and female
birds work by turns at cutting these
nests, seldom stopping until their
house is done. In the plains of the
West, where there are no trees,
woodpeckers dig out their nests in
earth in the sides of banks.
Eagles and some other birds build
what are called platform nests, on
the tops of the highest trees. They
are made of branches of trees and
sticks woven together so as to form
a nearly level floor, and so strong as
to bear the weight of a man. On
this, without building any nest, the
eagle lays her eggs and hatches her
brood. A few eagles, however,.lay
their eggs on the edges of high cliffs,
almost on the bare rocks. Pigeons
also build platform nests of sticks so
loosely laid together as scarcely to
hold the eggs laid on them.
Many birds build rude baskets of
sticks in the limbs of trees and then
make a soft nest inside. The mag-
pie, a sly and cunning bird, which
steals and eats the eggs and young of
other birds, is very careful to guard
its own nest by building a strong
defence around it of sticks and
thorns woven closely together, as
shown in the picture. Inside of this
its nest is made of roots of plants
wool, and feathers, plastered to





gether with mud. The mocking bird
also builds its nest of fine woven
roots inside of a wall of brambles
and thorns. Among the most curi-
ous nests are those made by the birds

Nest of Magpie.

called weavers, among which are in-
cluded the orioles and others. The
Baltimore bird weaves a kind of long
round pouch, open at the top, out of
several kinds of grass, fastening it to
the branches of a tree, and sometimes
weaving the twigs in with it. It is

Nest of Weaver Bird.

very curiously and strongly woven,
the threads of grass being passed
through and through as if sewed with
a needle. There are other kinds of
weaver birds in Asia and Africa, one

of which builds nests like that shown
in the picture, almost always hang-
ing them from the ends of twigs and
branches, and often over water.
This is on account of the monkeys
and snakes, which abound in hot
countries, and which are the greatest
enemies birds have. The twigs
which will bear birds' nests will not
bear the weight of the monkey, who
is too cunning to trust himself on a
slender branch which may break and
let him drop into the water. There
is another weaving bird in Africa,
called the social weaver, a number of
which club together and build im-
mense grass canopies like umbrellas
in the tops of trees, weaving them so

Nest of Social Weavers.

closely that they will shed water as
well as a roof. Under this shelter
each pair of birds build their own
The tailor bird of India makes a
still more curious nest than the weav-
ers, for it actually sews the edges
of leaves together, as shown in the
picture. After picking out a leaf
large enough for its nest, it pierces
rows of holes along its edges with its
sharp beak, and then sews it up into a
bag with a long fibre of grass, which
makes excellent thread. If the leaf
is not large enough it brings another
one and sews it on to the first one in
the same way. It is said that the



tailor bird will even make a knot at
the end of his thread to keep it from
slipping through. The bag thus
made is only the outside of his home,
and after it is done he builds a warm
downy nest within. The nest is

Nest of Tailor Bird.

always at the end of a limber twig,
so that no mischievous animals can
reach it, and as the outside is of the
color of the other leaves it is quite
securely hidden. There is another
bird that sews, but which uses only
short threads just long enough to go
across once, and ties a knot in the
end of each piece as it draws it
through. This bird, called the fan-
tailed warbler, is found in some parts
of Europe.
BITUMEN, the general name of
several kinds of mineral pitch or
resin. They are all found in the
earth or in rocks, or bubbling up
from springs. Some suppose that
they are vegetable in origin like coal,
but they differ from coal in many
ways. The common kinds of bitu-
men are : that which flows like oil,
such as naphtha or PETROLEUM ;
that which is both soft and hard, be-
ing either pasty like pitch or hard
as ASPHALT ; and that like india rub-
ber, which is soft and springy, and
will rub out pencil marks. The last
has been found only in three places

in the world, in England, in France,
and near Southbury, Massachusetts,
but the oil and soft and hard bitumen
are common in many countries.
In the island of Trinidad in the
West Indies is a large lake of bitu-
men, which boils up in the middle,
but is hard enough to walk upon near
the edges. There are celebrated
bituminous springs near the site of
ancient Babylon, from which the bitu.
men flows like oil, together with salt
water, on which it floats. It is
skimmed off and left in the air, when
it grows hard. The Babylonians
used this to make cement for build-
ing. There is also much bitumen
along the Dead Sea in Palestine, sup-
posed to come from springs at its
The ancient Egyptians used bitu-
men for embalming or preserving
dead bodies ; and this is what makes
mummies so black and hard. It is
now used for covering roofs and ter-
races, for all kinds of work under
water, and for making walks and
The word bitumen is Latin, and is
from the Greek pitus, the pine or
pitch tree.
BLACKBERRY. The wild bush
or shrub on which the blackberry
grows is rightly named the bramble,
and in England the fruit is commonly
called the brambleberry. The rasp.
berry bush has the same name, and
they both belong to the rose family
of PLANTS. The blackberry grows
almost all over Europe and Asia, and
in most parts of North America. In
the United States are found the high-
bush blackberry, the low-bush black-
berry, and the dewberry, all of which
grow wild. There are also several
cultivated kinds, among which are
those called the Lawton, the Dor-
chester, and the Wilson. The fruit
of the cultivated kinds is larger and
better than the wild fruit. Black-
berries are eaten for dessert, and
made into preserves, jelly, and jam.
A kind of wine is also made from




The blackberry is not a real berry,
but a collection of stone FRUITS.
BLACKBIRD. The bird com-
monly called blackbird in the United
States is really a starling. In New
England it is usually called the red-
winged blackbird, because it has a
patch of scarlet on each wing. This
bird is found in summer nearly all
over North America, living usually in
swamps and low meadows. It
builds its nest in May in low bushes
or tufts of grass, and lays three to six
white eggs marked with blue or pur-
ple. In the early part of the season
it lives on insects and grubs, but
when corn is ripening it eats the juicy
grains and does some damage to the
crops. Farmers then hunt them,
and their flesh is very good eating.
The Crow Blackbird is the purple
grakle, which also belongs to the
starling family. It is a large bird,
but not quite so long as a crow, and
is blue-black with shadings of green
and bronze. These birds are found
from New England to Florida. In
the spring they follow the farmer's
plough and pick up grubs and worms,
which would destroy a good deal of
corn, but they also do some damage
by pulling up corn. They build their
nests in trees and lay four to six blu-
ish-white eggs, with brown and black
The European Blackbird belongs
to the thrush family. It is a fine
singer, and, like all the thrushes, is
easily taught. When wild it sings
only from March to July, especially
at night, but in the cage it sings
nearly all the year round. Its mem-
ory is so good that it will learn to
sing several tunes without mixing
them, and it will sometimes even im-
itate words. The blackbird should
be kept in a large cage by itself, as
it will often peck smaller birds to
death. It should also have plenty of
fresh water, as it loves to bathe. It
will eat bread crumbs, and both raw
and cooked meat, and, in their sea-
son, likes cherries, elderberries, and
other berries. This blackbird lays

four to six pale green eggs, spotted
with buff.
BLACKFISH. The common name
of a fish found on the coasts of New
England and New York. The Indi-
ans called it the taut; and it is now
often called the tautog, which is the
plural of the Indian word. The
blackfish or tautog is a thick chubby
fish, without any split in its tail, and
has a slimy skin covered with small,
hard scales. Its back and sides are
black mottled with brown, and its
lower parts are white. It is caught
in rocky places near the shore, with
lobster, crab, or clam bait, and is
usually eaten broiled or baked.
Blackfishing is very good sport in the
spring and early summer.
BLACKING, a preparation for pre-
serving or polishing boots and shoes,
harness, and other leather articles.
It is usually made of BONE or ivory
black, which is mixed with oil, a lit-
tle sugar or molasses, some vinegar or
sour beer, and a little strong sulphu-
ric acid. Sometimes a little gum
arabic is put in. All the materials of
blacking are ground together in a
paint mill until the paste is smooth,
when it is put up in the tin boxes in
which it is usually sold. Blacking
is sometimes made in a liquid form
and put into bottles.
BLACK LEAD, a mineral chiefly
used for making lead PENCILS. It
is wrongly called lead, for there is
no lead in it. Its proper name is
graphite, but it is also called plum-
bago. It is grayish-black, soft and
greasy, and is usually found in lumps
between layers of slate. The prin-
cipal places where it is mined are
Cumberland, England; Germany,
Austria, Siberia, Ceylon ; and in the
United States at Ticonderoga and
Fishkill, New York; at Sturbridge,
Massachusetts ; at Brandon, Ver-
mont ; and at Sonora, California.
That mined at Ticonderoga is the
best in the world, being almost pure
carbon. Black lead is CARBON, but
is usually mixed with clay, lime, and
some iron. It is very hard to melt,




on which account it is often mixed
with clay in making crucibles or
melting- pots which have to stand
great heat. Blacking for polishing
stoves and grates is made from it,
and it is used to dust the wax
moulds in making electrotype plates
(see PRINTING). It is also smeared
on machinery and belts to keep them
from wearing by rubbing.
BLOCK, a round box or case with
a pulley or little wheel inside of it,
much used in the rigging of ships
for raising and lowering the sails,
masts, yards, etc. In the article
LEWIS is a picture of a block, show-
ing how it is used in drawing up a
heavy stone, to which it is made fast

a, Sheave; b, Double Block; c, Long
Tackle Block; d, Snatch Block.
by the lewis. The rope goes round
the pulley inside the block, and as
the pulley turns round like any other
wheel it is much easier to pull the
rope over it than if there were no
wheel in the block. The case of a
block, which is called the shell, is
usually cut out of a solid piece of
elm or other tough wood. The
pulley, called by sailors the sheave,
is generally of iron, but sometimes
of LIGNUM VITAE or other hard
The shape of the sheave is
shown in the picture in a. Some
blocks are made with several sheaves
in them. Thus, b is a double block,
with two sheaves in it ; and c is a

long-tackle block, with two sheaves,
one above the other. In d is shown
a snatch-block, which has a notch
cut through one of the sides of the
shell so that the rope which goes
over the sheave can be lifted in
and out without the trouble of put-
ting its end in first and pulling it
through, as has to be done in the
other blocks. The piece of iron
around a block to fasten it in its
place is called a strap.
The word block is block in Ger-
man and blok in Danish and Dutch.
BLOOD. In the article MAN it is
told that everything in the body is
made from the blood. By this is
meant that the blood gives food to
all parts of the body, and makes
them strong enough to grow and do
their work, just as the sap in plants
gives life and strength to the stem,
the branches, and the leaves. Thus
the blood is the building material of
the body, just as the sap is the build-
ing material of the plant; and the
blood in man and in other animals is
made from the food which they eat,
just as the sap of plants is made
from the food which they suck up
from the earth. You cannot see
blood in food any more than you can
see sap in earth, and there really is
no blood in food and no sap in
earth ; but the stomachs of animals
take from food what is needed to
make blood, and the roots of plants
take from earth what is needed to
make sap. Blood is made from
different things in different animals :
the blood.of the cow comes mostly
from grass and other vegetable food,
that of wild beasts from flesh, and
that of man from both flesh and veg-
etable food. This is because the
STOMACH is made differently in
When fresh, blood will run like
water, and it really has much water
in it, but it is thicker than water, and
is not clear like water. To the
naked eye blood looks like a bright
red fluid, but when looked at under
a MICROSCOPE it is seen to be made




up of little round flat red bodies
floating in a clear fluid. These little
red discs are so small that if three
thousand of them were put together
in a row, like a roll of coins, they
would stretch along just about one
inch. When one of them is looked
at alone it is yellowish, but when
many are seen together they appear
bright red. All the color in blood
is made by these red corpuscles, as
they are called, corpuscle being from
a Latin word meaning a little body.
There are also a few white cor-
puscles in blood, but it is not neces-
sary to tell about them here.
When blood runs out of the body
of any animal, it soon becomes
clotted or thick like jelly. If caught
in a dish it will in a few minutes be-
come so solid that when turned out
it will keep its shape like a mould of
jelly. But if left standing for a few
hours it will separate into two parts,
a thick part which has in it all the
coloring matter of the blood, and a
thin part much like the white of a
raw egg ; and this thin part is really
much the same as the white of egg,
for it is made up chiefly of ALBUMEN
and water. Most people think that
blood clots because it gets cool, just
as jelly does, but this is not so. It
will clot quicker if it be kept warm.
It is hard to tell exactly why it clots ;
all we know is that while it is in the
body of a live animal there is some-
thing which keeps it fluid, and that
when it leaves the body it thickens.
When in the body the blood is
always moving, carrying to the
muscles, the brain, the skin, the
lungs, the liver, the kidneys, and the
other parts, the things which they
need, and carrying away those things
with which they have done. While
the blood moves all these parts do
their work, but when it stops they
all die, starved for the lack of the
things they need, and choked with
the things they do not want. This
movement of the blood is through
the blood-vessels, of which there are
two kinds, arteries and veins. The

arteries are tubes which carry blood
from the heart to all the parts of the
body; and the veins are another set
of tubes which carry the blood, after
it has done its work, back to the
heart again. These arteries and
veins go into almost every part of
the body: the arteries divide into
many branches and grow smaller
and smaller until each one loses it-
self in a network of tubes as fine as
hairs, called capillaries (Latin cajil-
lus, a hair), which finally come to-
gether again and form a vein. To
understand exactly how the blood
travels through the arteries to all
parts of the body and is then
squeezed through the capillaries into
the veins, through which it returns
to the place it started from, ready to
go round again, you ought to know
all about the way the heart acts;
but as this is hard to show without
a heart to look at, I shall tell about
it in as few words as possible.
The human heart is about as
large as a man's fist, and is shaped
something like the figure which we
commonly call a heart. It lies in
the body between the lungs, with the
point slanting toward the left lung.
It is a kind of bag with a network of
MUSCLES wrapped round it, and is
divided up and down into two sepa-
rate parts. Each of these parts is
again divided crosswise, or nearly
so, for the upper and lower parts
connect with each other. Thus the
heart is divided into a right half and
a left half, and each of these halves
is again divided, but not completely
so, into two parts, making an upper
and a lower chamber; so that in
all there are four chambers, two
upper and two lower ones. The
two upper ones are called the right
and the left auricle, and the two
lower ones the right and the left
ventricle. The right auricle opens
downward into the right ventricle,
and the left auricle opens in the
same way into the left ventricle.
Now, by looking at the picture
you will be able to understand just




how the blood goes round, or circu-
lates, as it is called. But you must
remember that this does not show
the circulation just as it is, but only
the principle of it. If you had no
arms nor legs, and only a few cap-
illaries in your lungs and a few more
in the lower part of your body, it
might look something like this; but
the capillaries are in all parts of the
body, in the head as well as in the
other parts. The picture therefore
only shows the principle on which
the blood works. In this the dot-
ted line h stands for the heart; d
is the right auricle, g the right ven-

Circulation of the Blood.

Circulation of the Blood.
tricle, e the left auricle, and f the
left ventricle. To see how then
blood goes round through the body,
suppose that the right auricle d is
full of blood. The blood first passes
down into the right ventricle, then
upward into the lung-arteries b,
from which it passes through the
lung-capillaries and down through
the great lung-vein c into the left
auricle e; it then passes into the left
ventricle, from which it passes down
through the great artery i, called the
aorta, from which t passes through
all the other arteries and through

the capillaries 1, into the veins k, and
then upward through the great vein
into the right ventricle again. Thus
the blood has travelled all the way
round, after visiting by means ot
the capillaries all parts of the body,
and come back to the right auricle,
where it started. So the blood has
really two circulations, one through
the lungs, marked a in the picture,
and the other through the other
parts of the body, marked lin the pic-
ture. The right side of the heart re-
ceives all the veins from the body
and sends all its arteries to the lungs,
and the left side receives all the
veins from the lungs and sends its
arteries all over the body.
You have thus learned that the
blood is always travelling in the same
way, from the right over to the left
side, and then around to the right
side again. The reason of this is
that the heart is a kind of PUMP.
You will remember that in the pump
there is a little door called a valve
which lets water pass through it one
way but will not let it flow back
again. It is the same in the heart;
between the right auricle and the
right ventricle is a valve which lets
the blood flow through, but will not
let it go back again ; and there is
another valve between the right ven-
tricle and the great lung-artery, and
two like ones on the left s'de of the
I have said that the heart is a kind
of bag divided into four parts and
covered with muscles. These mus-
cles are all the time at work, squeez-
ing together these parts and then
letting them go again. First the two
auricles are squeezed up, both at
the same time, and then, just as the
muscles have done, the ventricles are
squeezed up ; then the muscles let
go of the ventricles, and for a brief
space the heart is quiet; the auri-
cles then begin again, and so on,
first one and then the other, all the
time, night and day, while the body
is alive. This squeezing up of the
different parts forces the blood




from one to the other, and keeps
pushing it through the arteries and
the veins until it comes round to the
heart again. Thus the restless heart
is all the time pumping and forcing
the life-giving blood into all parts of
the body, so that every bit of it is
bathed by fresh blood. The beat-
ing of the heart may be seen and
felt on the left breast. Many peo-
ple think this is the pumping of the
blood, but it is really caused by the
striking of the point of the heart,
which I have told you lies toward the
left side, against the chest. When
the muscles squeeze up the ven-
tricles, the point of the heart is
thrown a little forward, and gives a
thump on the chest. When the
blood flows through an artery, it
goes in little throbs, caused by the
pumping of the heart, there being
always one throb to each heart beat.
Doctors usually feel the throb of the
artery in the wrist, and this is called
feeling the pulse; but the pulse
may be felt in any part of the body
where there is an artery, for ex-
ample, on the temple or on the in-
side of the ankle.
The blood which goes through
the arteries looks different from
that which passes through the
veins. Blood taken from an artery
has a bright scarlet color, while
blood from a vein is of so dark a
purple that it is called "black
blood." There is one exception to
this. In the arteries which go to
the lungs the blood is dark, and in
the veins which come from the
lungs the blood is light. This will
be seen by looking at the picture,
where b shows dark blood going
through arteries to the lungs, and c
red blood coming through veins
from the lungs. This is because
the dark blood has to pass through
the lungs to become changed to red
Scarlet blood is commonly called
arterial blood, and black blood ven-
ous blood. The principal difference
between them, besides their color,

is that arterial blood has more oxy-
GEN and less CARBONIC ACID in it
than venous blood. In the article
LUNGS is told how every breath of
AIR which is breathed in gives oxy-
gen to the blood ; and in the arti-
cle STOMACH is told how the blood
takes up the good parts of the food
which we eat. Now the greater
part of this food is CARBON, which
is needed to supply fuel to the body,
just as the carbon in wood and coal
is needed for the fuel of an engine ;
and as the carbon in wood and coal
is burned by uniting with the oxy-
gen of the air, so the carbon of the
blood is burned by uniting with the
oxygen which the blood takes in
through the lungs. Wood and coal
give off heat in burning, and heat is
the power which causes the engine
to move; food also gives off heat
in burning, and this heat too is
the power which gives our bodies
strength to do what we want them
to do.
Now, let us go over this once
more, so that it may be thoroughly
understood. The food which goes
into the stomach is there digested,
and the good parts pass into and
become part of the blood. The
blood, driven by the heart's pump,
is forced through the arteries and
into the capillaries, by means of
which it reaches almost every part
of the body ; and as it is also draw-
ing oxygen from the air every time
it goes round through the lungs, it is
thus always carrying through the
arteries fuel to burn, and oxygen to
burn it with, to muscles, bones,
nerves, brain, and skin. Burning is,
therefore, going on in all parts of
the body, and thus the arterial
blood, which is rich in oxygen, is
changed into venous blood, which
has but little oxygen in it. From
most places where this burning is
going on the venous blood goes
away the hotter for it, and all this
hot blood carried through the veins
keeps the body warm and gives it
the power and the strength to act.




Every part of the body is wearing
away little by little and is being
made anew by the blood. The same
blood makes different things in
different parts ; the bones and mus-
cles get strength from it, and the
brain and nerves power to feel. The
arterial blood, in thus refreshing
and building up every part of the
body, loses its oxygen, which unites
with the carbon and forms carbonic
acid ; and this is the reason why it
is dark-colored when it goes back to
the heart through the veins. It is
then pushed again through the
lungs, where it loses its carbonic
acid and takes in more oxygen, and
goes down into the left side of the
heart and becomes arterial blood
once more.
There is also some other waste
matter in the blood besides carbonic
acid which has to be got rid of.
Much water passes off through the
lungs when we breathe, and a good
deal also and various SALTS pass off
from the blood through the skin as
perspiration. Urine also, which is
made up chiefly of water, ammonia,
and salts, comes from the blood
through the kidneys. The kidneys
are little bundles of long tubes
bound up in a round mass. Small
blood vessels lead to these, and as
the blood passes through the urine
dribbles into these little tubes, which
unite into a larger tube that leads
into the bladder.
Thus the impurities of the blood
pass off chiefly through three chan-
nels, the lungs, the SKIN, and the
kidneys ; but it is possible that some
waste things are used up in other
parts of the body, for the waste of
one part is not exactly like the waste
of another.
Sometimes when a person has lost
much blood from sickness or acci-
dent, some of the blood of a healthy
person is squirted into his veins.
Not enough is taken from the heal-
thy person to hurt him, and the
other is often made well by it. It
was once thought that the blood of

a sheep or other animal might thus
be used, but it is now known that
the blood must be of the same kind
as that with which it is to be mixed.
About four hundred years ago a
physician tried to save the life of
Pope Innocent VIII. by putting into
his veins the blood of boys; but it
was so carelessly done that three
boys, from whom the blood was
taken, died, and the pope was not
helped any.
The Old Testament forbids the
eating of blood, and therefore the
Jews eat only the meat of animals
killed by being bled to death.
The word blood is from the An-
glo-Saxon blood.
BLOWPIPE, a tube for blowing
air across the flame of a candle,
lamp, etc. It makes a pointed flame
which is very hot, and which may
easily be turned upon anything so

as to heat it. The blowpipe marked
b in the picture is one much used by
jewellers. A better form is the one
marked a, which is a tube about
eight inches long, small at the top,
where the mouth-piece is, and wider
at the bottom, which is closed.
Near the bottom a small pipe, with
a fine pointed end, leads out of it.
When this small end is put into the
flame of a candle and the tube is
filled with air by blowing or breath-
ing into it, the flame is blown out
into a long point which is much hot-
ter than common flame. This is be-
cause more OXYGEN is thus blown




into the flame than it would com-
monly get from the air. The blow-
pipe is used in soldering metals
by jewellers and gold and silver-
smiths, and by chemists, and others.
The glass-blower's blowpipe is told
about under GLASS.
The Oxy-hydrogen Blowpipe is
used when a very great heat, much
greater than can be got in any other
way, is wanted. This is made of two
tubes, one inside of the other. The
inner tube is joined to a gas-bag
filled with OXYGEN, and the outer
one to a gas-bag filled with HY-
DROGEN. The hydrogen gas is
first turned on and lighted at the
end of the tube, and then the oxy-
gen is slowly let on, both of the bags
being pressed with a weight so as to
force the gas through the pipes.
The two gases mix together at the
end of the tubes where they are
lighted, and blow the flame out into
a fine point, which is so very hot that
almost anything can be melted in
BLUEBIRD. The bluebird is
found only in North America. In
the United States it flies northward
in early spring and is one of the first
birds to appear in New England after
the snow begins to melt. For this
reason it is always welcomed as the
messenger of spring. It spends
the winter in the Gulf States and in
The bluebird is bright sky-blue
above, and yellowish-brown below.
Its song is a soft, full warble. It
usually builds its nest near a house
in some sheltered place, such as
a hole in a tree, or a rail-hole in a
fence-post. It also likes a little box
like a martin box, and will often
fight with the wrens for one. It
lays five or six pale-blue eggs, and
hatches several broods in a season.
When the nest is attacked by snakes
or other animals, both the male and
the female will defend it with great
courage. Bluebirds live mostly on
insects in summer, and on cedar-ber-
ries and fruits in autumn. They


may be easily tamed, and they
make very pretty pets.
The bluebird belongs to the order
insessores, or perching BIRDS, and
to the warbler family. It gets its
name from its color.
BLUEFISH. This fish is some-
times called horse-mackerel and
sometimes skipjack. The bluefish
is usually one to three feet long,
and is bluish-black on the back and
whitish below. It comes along the
coast of the Middle United States
in the spring, following the weakfish
and mackerel, on which it feeds, and
is caught during all the summer
months and until late in the autumn
along the New England coast. It
is a very greedy fish, and may often
be seen chasing the mackerel, spring-
ing out of water, and following them
so closely as to drive many on
shore. It also feeds largely on sand
eels. It will bite at almost any-
thing moving quickly through the
water, and is usually caught by
trolling behind a sail-boat a line
fitted with a squid, or piece of lead
or bone made like a fish, and a hook.
The bluefish snaps at it, thinking it
to be a small fish, and gets caught
on the hook. Sometimes a thing
called a spoon is used instead of
a squid. This is usually silver-
plated, and is made hollow like the
bowl of a spoon, which causes it to
whirl round and round when drawn
through the water. When a blue-
fish is hooked the line must be drawn
in quickly and steadily, for this fish
is so strong and lively that it will
often run ahead and unhook itself.
In the last of summer and the fal
the bluefish is very fine eating.
The bluefish belongs to the same
family with the MACKEREL. It gets
its name from its color.
BLUE JAY. The blue jay is found
only in America. It sometimes stays
all the year round in New England,
but usually goes south in autumn.
Its color is purplish-blue above and
whitish below, with lighter blue
wings and tail marked with black



bands, and in some places tipped
with white. On its head is a beau-
tiful blue crest. The blue jay is
noisy, mischievous, and quarrel-
some. It is a great scamp and robs
the nests of other birds of their
eggs and young, and when these
fail it steals from the farmer's crib.
Its usual note is a harsh scream,
but it is a great imitator of voices
and sounds. It seems to take great
delight in frightening other birds by
screaming like a sparrow hawk and
then wailing like a little bird in pain.
The negroes in the Southern States
believe that the blue jay is the agent
of the devil, and that it carries to
him all sorts of slanderous stories
about colored people. They there-
fore take great delight, whenever
they catch one, in wringing its
If taken from the nest when quite
young the blue jay may be easily
tamed. It will become much at-
tached to its owner, and will readily
learn to talk, but not so well as the
parrot. It is very vain of the few
words it speaks, and likes to show
off before strangers.
The blue jay belongs to the order
insessores, or perching BIRDS, and
to the crow family. It gets its name
from its color.
BOBBIN, or SPOOL, a little roller
with raised ends, to wind yarn or
thread upon. Bobbins are largely
used in spinning and weaving. In
laying the warp threads for making
CLOTH, the threads are first wound
upon bobbins. The little reel or
spool in the SHUTTLE, on which the
weft thread is wound, is a bobbin.
The bobbins used in making bob-
bin-net LACE are usually made of
iron. The spools or bobbins on
which cotton thread is wound for
the retail trade are turned on the
bobbin LATHE, from little blocks of
hard wood. A boy feeds it by drop-
ping the blocks into a kind of box
called a hopper, and the machine
turns them and drops them out one
by one all finished at the other end.

It will make fifteen hundred spools
in an hour.
The word bobbin is in French bo-
BOBOLINK. This bird is found
only in America; it passes the
winter usually in the West Indies,
and comes northward in the spring,
travelling mostly by night, reaching
New England in May. At this time
its plumage is black, varied with a
little yellowish-white on the rump
and tail-feathers, and with a patch
of brownish-yellow on the back of
the neck. Bobolinks live in cool,
grassy meadows, which they make
cheerful with their merry song, made
up of a mixture of short notes sung
so quickly that it sounds as if a
dozen birds of different kinds were
singing all together. The female
makes her nest of dried grass on
the ground, and lays five or six
purplish-white eggs, blotched with
darker purple, and spotted at the
larger end with brown. While she
is sitting, the male bird flits about
and cheers her with its song. To-
ward the end of June the bobolink
ceases singing and changes its suit
of glossy black for one of rusty-
brown, its lower parts becoming dull
yellow. It now flies away to the
banks of the Delaware and Schuyl-
kill rivers, where it feeds on the
seeds of the wild rice and gets very
fat. In that part of the country it is
called the reed bird, and is much
hunted by sportsmen. Later, in Sep-
tember and October, it goes to the
rice fields of the South, where it
grows so fat that it can scarcely fly,
and when shot will often burst open
as it strikes the ground. In the
Carolinas it is called the rice bird, or
rice bunting, and it is highly es-
teemed for eating. Still later it
appears in Cuba and other of the
West India Islands, where it fat-
tens still more on the seeds of the
guinea grass, and is called the but-
ter bird.
The bobolink may be tamed, if
taken when young from the nest,




and it makes a very pretty and
sprightly pet, but it will sing only in
spring and summer. It may be
treated in the same way as the cana-
ry, whose notes it will quickly learn.
The bobolink belongs to the order
insessores, or perching BIRDS, and
to the finch family.
BOLT, a strong pin, usually of
metal, used to fasten or hold some-
thing in place. A common bolt is
much like a large nail or spike, only
it is generally round. In ship-build-
ing many kinds of bolts are used;
they are usually of iron or of copper,
and differ in size from a few inches
to several feet in length. Some of
the longest ones, used for bolting to-
gether very thick and heavy timbers,
are as large round as a man's wrist.
These long bolts are usually fastened
in by clinching-that is, by hammer-

Bolt and Nut.

ing down the end so that it cannot
be pulled back again through the
hole, or by driving a plug of iron
through a hole in the end.
A Screw-Bolt or tap-bolt is a bolt
with the end made like a screw,
which holds it firmly in its place.
It has no slit across the head for a
screwdriver, as in a common screw,
but has to be screwed into wood by
means of a WRENCH.
A Bolt and Nut is a bolt which is
fastened in place by a movable piece
called a nut, which is screwed on to
the end. The one shown in the
picture is a kind used in making
ploughs. The screw itself does not
hold on to the wood, as in the screw-
bolt, but is meant only for the nut;
and when the nut is screwed on, the
bolt really has two heads. Such
bolts are much used by carriage-

makers and stove-makers, and also
by railroad and bridge builders.
The fish-plates which hold the ends
of rails on RAILROADS are fastened
with bolts and nuts.
The word bolt is Anglo-Saxon,
and formerly meant a short arrow
used in a cross-bow. The iron bolt
was probably so called because its
shape is something like that of the
cross-bow bolt,
BOMBAZINE, a kind of twilled
CLOTH having a silk warp and a
worsted weft. Black bombazine is
worn by ladies for mourning. It is
made mostly at Norwich, in Eng-
The word bombazine is from the
Latin bombycinus, silken, which is
from the Greek bombux, silk.
BONE, the substance of which
the skeleton of most ANIMALS is
made. Bone is chiefly made up of
GELATINE, a kind of colorless and
tasteless jelly; of phosphate of lime,
which makes more than half its
weight ; and some other earthy
matter. If bone be soaked in weak
ACID all the earthy matters will be
taken out, leaving only the gelatine,
which will be of the same shape
and size as the bone, but will be
soft and elastic or springy. If, on
the other hand, bone be burned in a
hot fire all the gelatine will be burned
and only the earthy matter will be
left; this will at first keep the form
of the bone, but the least touch will
make it crumble to dust.
Bones are largely used in the arts,
being worked up into handles for
knives and forks, tooth and nail
brushes, combs, buttons, etc. When
burned in an open fire and ground,
bones are made into bone ash,
which is largely used for manure.
When carefully prepared, bone ash
is called burnt hartshorn, and is
used for cleaning jewellery. It is
also used for making PHOSPHORUS
for tipping matches.
Bone black, sometimes called ani-
mal charcoal, is a black powdered
charcoal, made by burning bones




in a close vessel called a retort
and then grinding them fine. It
has the power of taking all the color
out of most liquids, and leaving
them clear as water. It is much
used for refining the syrups of
sugar, and for taking the impurities
out of water and other liquids. It
also has the power of absorbing or
taking up odors, especially bad
smells, and is used to purify rooms,
clothing, etc.
Bone dust, obtained by grinding
bones, is largely used as a manure.
Plants take up from the soil certain
salts, which are sometimes returned
as ASHES. When animals eat grass-
es and plants, the salts in them are
made into bone. Hence, when the
bones of animals are ground up and
put upon the land as manure, some
of the salts are returned to the soil
from which they were taken.
The word bone comes from the
Anglo-Saxon ban.
BOOK. Paper like that which is
now used was unknown in ancient
times. The Egyptians wrote on a
kind of paper called papyrus, made
from the inner bark of the papyrus
plant, which grew in Egypt, and
this came into general use in all
countries. Parchment, made from
the skins of sheep and calves, fur-
nished a more lasting writing mate-
rial, but its cost was much greater.
Books of papyrus and of parchment
were generally made in one long
narrow piece, and wound around a
wooden roller, just as a wall map is
rolled up. When unrolled these
books were sometimes several hun-
dred feet long. Books of this kind
were used by the Greeks and Ro-
mans, and by all other ancient peo-
ples, but they also had books made
of wood, ivory, bronze, and other
metals, and these were generally
square or oblong, like our books,
and were made of several sheets
or leaves bound together. This
more convenient form at last came
into use everywhere, and since
the invention of printing nearly

all books have been made in this
There are many sizes of books.
A common sized school reader is
a I2mo, or, as it is called in Latin,
a duodecimo; the next larger size
is 8vo, or octavo, and then follow
4to, or quarto, and folio. The
next smaller size to I2mo is I6mo,
then i8mo, then 32mo, and then
36mo. When these names were
first given to books they were used
to mean the number of leaves into
which the sheet of printing paper
was folded in making a book. For
example, a sheet folded once, so as
to make two leaves, was called a
folio ; folded twice, making four
leaves, a quarto; and folded three
times, eight leaves, an octavo. But
these words now mean rather the
size of the page than the number of
folds in the sheet. Folio and quarto
books are not easy to handle, and
are now seldom printed ; the most
common sizes are 8vo for large
works, and I2mo and I6mo for
small books.
The making of a book properly
begins with the author who writes
it. The book as it comes from the
writer's hands is called a manuscript.
It should be written only on one
side of the sheet, because it is hand-
ier for the printer who sets up the
types. When the manuscript is
done, the next step is to publish it,
that is to have it printed, bound, and
brought before the public. Authors
sometimes publish their books them-
selves, but it is customary for a pub-
lisher to do this for them. Every
author has by law a right to share
in money made from the sale or use
of his books during a certain number
of years. This right is called a
copyright. He may either sell all
his copyright to the publisher for a
sum of money, or he may sell it for
a certain part of the profits. This
is the usual way. The publisher
now puts the manuscript into the
hands of the printer, to be printed.
(See PRINTING). A very few pub-



1300K BOOK

lishers have printing offices of their
own, but most of them have their
printing done somewhere else. The
number of copies of a book printed
and published at one time is called
an edition. An edition is usually
one thousand copies. When the
book comes from the printer it is in
large flat sheets, printed on both
sides. In a I2mo book, each sheet
has twelve pages printed on one side
and twelve on the other, so placed
that when the sheet is folded the
pages will come in right order.
The book is then sent to the bind-
ery to be bound, that is to have the
covers put on. The sheets are first
taken to the sheet-room, where they
are folded, gathered together, and
sewed. A I2mo book of four hun-
dred pages is printed on seventeen
sheets of paper. At the bottom of
the first page of each sheet is
printed a figure or letter called the
signature, which marks the number
of the sheet. When the sheet is
folded, it forms a little pamphlet of
twelve leaves or twenty-four pages,
with the signature at the bottom of
the first page. If you look at page
I of such a book, you will see the first
signature at the bottom ; if you then
count twelve leaves or twenty-four
pages beyond, you will find the sec-
ond signature at the foot of page 25 ;
the third at the foot of page 49, and
so on. The folding of the sheets is
usually done by girls. A girl can
fold about three hundred sheets in
an hour; but folding machines are
sometimes used which fold twelve
hundred sheets an hour. When
the sheets are all folded they are
piled on the gathering table, all of
each signature being in one pile.
A person called the gatherer then
walks round the table, picking up
one from each pile, until he has all
the signatures of a volume collected
in the right order in his hand. The
volume thus gathered then passes to
another person called the collator,
who examines the signatures to see
if they are in proper order, and then

puts them evenly together. The vol-
ume is now pressed tightly in the
smashing machine and five little
grooves or channels are sawed
across the back. These grooves are
cut to receive the chords or bands to
which the sheets are to be sewn.
If you will open this book and
look at the top or bottom of it, you
will see that it is made up of a num-
ber of small parts. Each of these
parts is a signature. Now find the
first page of one of these signatures,
count six leaves or twelve pages on-
ward from it, and you will find the
middle of the signature. By open-
ing the book wide, you will see the
five grooves and the thread with
which the part is sewn to the bands.
The girl who sews the book has be-


fore her a frame called a sewing-
bench," like that shown in the pic-
ture, up and down which are tightly
stretched three pieces of strong
twine, just wide enough apart to fit
into the three middle cuts in the
back of the book. The girl piles up
a number of books beside her and
then takes up the first signature
and holds it so that the pieces of
twine, which are called the bands,
are closely pressed into the cuts.
She then passes her needle through
the upper cut and down the middle
of the signature, passing under the
bands at each of the three middle
cuts, thus fastening the signature
firmly to the bands. The other sig-
natures are fastened to the bands in
the same way, and when all are




sewed the bands are cut above and
below the signatures, leaving about
an inch of the twine on each side.
These ends are afterward pasted to
the covers of the book, thus strength-
ening the binding. You can prob-
ably see little ridges caused by them
on the inner edges of the cover.
Many books are now sewn by ma-
chines, which do the work faster
than it can be done by hand.
After sewing the book goes to the
forwarding room, where the front
edge is cut smooth in a machine. The
back is then beaten round by a ham-
mer and smeared with glue, so as
to hold the parts firmly together.
The two ends are now trimmed
smooth in a machine, and the book
is ready for the cover. The cover is
made of two pieces of thick paste-
board, called millboard, and is
usually covered with muslin fast-
ened on with glue. The lettering
and ornamenting on muslin covers
are done before the cover is put on
to the book. They are stamped on
by means of metal DIES in a ma-
chine made for the purpose. If the
cover is to have gilded figures on it,
the gold leaf is laid on first in a
sheet with a little sizing or thin
glue ; it is then pressed with a hot
die, which stamps its form on it,
and the rest of the gold leaf is then
brushed off. The cover is next fast-
ened on with paste, and the book
is then pressed until dry. Books
bound with morocco and other costly
materials are done in a somewhat
different way. After the book is
finished it returns to the hands of
the publisher, who sells it and gives
the author his share of the amount
of the sales.
The word book comes from the
Anglo-Saxon boc, which is from
beoce, beech tree; and it was so
called because beechen boards were
used to write on.
BORAX, a SALT formed of boric
ACID and carbonate of soda (so-
DIUM carbonate). Boric acid, also
called boracic acid, is made up of

an ELEMENT called boron united
Much boric acid is brought from
Tuscany, where it comes out of
cracks in a volcanic mountain in a
white vapor or steam. The vapor is
made to bubble through water as it
rises, and is thus mixed with it, and
the liquid is then boiled down until
the water passes off in steam, leav-
ing the acid in hard clear crystals
something like common salt. This
boric acid is afterward mixed with
the alkali carbonate of soda, and
the two unite and form the salt
called borax. Borax is also found
native, that is by itself, in several
parts of the world, especially in
India, China, Persia, and Ceylon;
and, in the United States, in Califor-
nia and Nevada.
Borax is a colorless salt, with a
greasy feel, and a smell like soap.
When heated it melts into glass,
which mixes easily with the oxides
(see OXYGEN) of metals, and be-
comes colored by them. For this
reason it is much used for making
ENAMELS, artificial or false gems,
and paints and glazes for pottery.
It is also valuable for cleansing,
and is used instead of soap in wash-
ing the gum out of silk, instead of
soda in washing clothes, and in clean-
ing the hair. Cockroaches do not
like it, and may be driven away from
houses by scattering it where they
The word borax comes from the
Arabic birak.
BOTTLE, a small hollow vessel
made usually of glass or earthen-
ware. In ancient times bottles were
made of the skins of animals, mostly
goats; and such bottles are still
used in Spain and Italy for carrying
wine, and in Asia and Africa to
carry water in. The ancient Egyp-
tians had bottles of earthenware,
glass, ivory, alabaster, and different
The ancients made their GLASS
bottles by blowing them with a
blowpipe, a hollow iron tube about




five feet long. The end of the blow-
pipe was dipped into the melted
glass, and enough taken up to make
one bottle. The glass maker then
blew gently through the tube, which
swelled up the glass like a soap bub-
ble, and while it was still soft shaped
it with an iron tool. Bottles are now
sometimes made in the same way,
but they are usually pressed in a
mould. The hot glass is taken up
at the end of the blowpipe, and the
blower then rolls it round and round
on an iron table, called a marver,
blowing gently through the tube at
the same time. As soon as he
thinks it is shaped right, he puts it
into a mould like that in the picture.
After closing the two parts, he
blows gently through the blowpipe,

_- --
,,-- -

Glass Bottle Mould.

which forces the soft glass into every
part of the mould, and causes it to
take the print of any letters or fig-
ures engraved on the inside of it.
The mould is then opened, the bottle
taken out, and an iron rod, called a
punty, is fastened by a little melted
glass to its bottom. By touching a
cold iron or a wet stick to the end of
the neck it breaks off from the blow-
pipe, and the bottle then passes to
the finisher. The finisher has a
bench with two arms to it. He lays
the punty across these arms and
turns the bottle round and round by
rolling it with one hand while he
forms the neck of the bottle with the
other. Several kinds of tools are
used to shape the mouth. After it is

done the bottle is taken off from the
punty and put into an oven, where
it is heated almost hot enough to
melt, and then allowed to cool
slowly. This, which is called an-
nealing, toughens the glass and
makes it less apt to break.
The word bottle is from the French
BOW. Before it was found out
how to make gunpowder, bows and
arrows were used in war and in hunt-
ing instead of guns. We read about
them in the Bible, and pictures of
them are engraved on many ancient
monuments. In old times battles
were usually begun by shooting ar-
rows, which were fired by soldiers
called bowmen or archers, of whom
there were sometimes many thou-
sand in one body. The bows used
were very large and strong, and the
arrows had sharp points made of
iron or copper. They were shot
with such force that they often went
clear through the body of a man or
a horse. Soldiers wore iron armor
and carried shields on their arms to
protect themselves against them, but
arrows sometimes went through both
armor and shields.
Among modern archers, the Eng-
lish were the most famous, and
many of their battles were won by
their skill with the bow and arrow.
In early times shooting matches
were held, where prizes were given
to the best shot, just as in our rifle-
matches; and many wonderful sto-
ries are told of the skill of some of
the marksmen. The English bow,
usually called the long bow, was
made of yew or ash wood, and was
six feet long. The arrows, which
were of ash, were a yard long, just
half as long as the bow, and were
tipped with steel and feathered with
goose feathers. The long bow was
so much liked as a weapon by the
English that it was used in their
armies even in Queen Elizabeth's
time, when the gun had taken its
place almost everywhere else.
Bows and arrows are now used




only by savage peoples, like the
North American Indians, or as play-
things. Another kind of bow, called
crossbow or arbalast, was also used
in former times. In this the bow,
which was much shorter than the
long bow, was fixed across the end
of a stock like a gun-stock.
The word bow comes from the
Anglo-Saxon began, to bend or
BOX, a hard kind of wood, much
used by wood-engravers and turn-
ers. The box tree is an evergreen,
with shining deep-green leaves.
In Asia and in Southern Europe it
often grows more than three times
as high as a man. Its wood, which
is light-yellow, is very tough, heavy,
and fine-grained, and takes a fine
polish. It is the best of all woods
for wood-engraving, and it is also
used for making fine rules, and
flutes and other musical instruments.
Large quantities of it are brought
from Turkey, the Greek Islands, and
Spain. The dwarf box grown in gar-
dens is a kind of the same tree.
The word box is Anglo-Saxon,
and comes from the Latin buxus,
Greek _uxvis, the box tree.
BRAKE, a machine for stopping
a wheel, or for making it turn
slowly, by pressing a rubber against
it. Brakes are sometimes used on
loaded wagons, to check them when
going down hill ; but their chief use
is on railway cars. The common
brake is made up of a block or rub-
ber made to fit the outside of the
wheel, a lever, one end of which is
made fast to the block and the other
to a chain, and a WINDLASS on the
platform of the car to wind up the
chain. The way in which it works
is shown in the picture, where a is
the windlass, on the platform of the
car. When the brakeman turns the
windlass, the chain is wound up
around the shaft. This shortens the
chain, and pulls forward the upper
end of the iron bar b, which presses
the brake-block h against the car
wheelj, and at the same time pulls

the iron rod g, which pulls the iron
bar c, and presses the brake-block d
against the car-wheel k. Thus the
two brake-blocks are pressed hard
against the two wheels, and this
tends to stop them. At the same
time, in pulling the rod c, the rod e
is also pulled, which presses other
brake-blocks against the wheels of
the next truck (see RAILROAD) ; and
there are like rods and other brake-
blocks on the other side of the car,
so that when the windlass is turned
all the wheels are pressed and the
car is thus stopped by friction, or by
the rubbing of the blocks against
In the Creamer Brake, the blocks
are pressed against the wheels by

Common Railroad Brake.

the power obtained from a very
strong spring, coiled up in a round
box at the bottom of the windlass on
the platform of the car. The brake-
man can use it by turning the wind-
lass, or it can be worked by pulling
the rope in the car. The Westing-
house Air Brake is worked by the
elastic power of compressed AIR con-
tained in an iron box on the engine.
Under each car is a round iron bar-
rel about the size of a small keg,
which is joined by pipes with the
iron box on the engine. When the
engine driver wishes to stop the
train, he opens a VALVE which lets
the compressed air rush from the
box into the barrels. This forces
out a piston in each cylinder (see
STEAM ENGINE) and these act upon
all the blocks on the wheels of the
cars at once, and stop the train very




The word brake is made from the
Latin brachium, the arm, meaning
BRANDY, a liquor made out of
grape wine by distillation. (See
ALCOHOL). It is usually about half
alcohol and half water. In the
United States brandy is made out of
the fermented juice of fruits, like the
cherry, peach, pear, and apple.
Apple brandy is sometimes called
cider brandy; and pear brandy,
perry. All these brandies differ
from brandy made from wine only
in the flavor given to each by the
fruit from which it is made. Wine
brandy when first made is white,
but it becomes colored by the wood
of the cask. This color, which
grows deeper as the brandy grows
older, is sometimes made in new
brandy by putting burnt sugar into
it. The best brandy is made in
France, but little of it is pure. A
great deal of WHISKEY is sent from
the United States to France, where
it is made into a false brandy and
sent back here for sale.
The word brandy was formerly
brandy-wine. It comes from the
German Branntwein, burnt wine,
which is made up of brannt, burnt,
and wein, wine.
BRASS, an ALLOY of copper and
zinc. It is usually made of two parts
of copper and one part of zinc, but
sometimes more copper is used,
and sometimes a little tin and lead
are added. Brass is largely used
for the ornamental parts of machin-
ery, the pipes of organs, tubes of
telescopes, stair rods, buttons, pins,
tacks, screws, etc. It is also some-
times used instead of bronze for
statues, because the tin in bronze
makes it more costly. Pinchbeck,
oreide, Mannheim gold, tombac,
and other alloys that look like jew-
ellers' gold, are kinds of brass, as
they are made principally out of cop-
per and zinc. Brass was known in
very ancient times, and is supposed
to have been worked even before

The word brass is from the An-
glo-Saxon braes.
BRAZIL NUT, the fruit of a large
tree found chiefly on the Orinoco
River in South America. The nuts
are three-sided, with hard dark-
brown shells, and the meat, which
is all in one piece like an almond
nut, is white in. de and covered with
a thin dark skin. When fresh they
are very good to eat, but as they
have much oil in them they soon
spoil. This oil is sometimes pressed
out for use in lamps.
Brazil nuts grow on the tree in a
smooth round case, half as large
as a man's head. Inside of this the
three-sided nuts are packed closely
together, with the sharp edge in-
wards, somewhat like the parts of an
orange, as many as twenty or thirty
being sometimes in one case. It is
dangerous to pass under the trees
when the fruit is ripe, as the nut
cases, which are heavy enough to
break a man's skull, are apt to fall.
Sometimes the cases burst open
when they strike the ground, and
this is at once the signal for an
amusing scramble among the monk-
eys, who swing themselves down
from branch to branch by the help
of their tails, and fight furiously for
the nuts, of which they are very
fond. The monkeys, too, often
pick the cases and throw them
down to break them. This has
taught the Indians how to get the
nuts: they pelt the monkeys with
stones, and the monkeys hurl down
the cases full of nuts at them. In
this way large quantities are col-
lected on the banks of the Orinoco,
and brought down the river in boats.
The Brazil nuts are so called be-
cause most of them are brought
from Brazil.
BRAZIL WOOD, a red dyewood,
used in dyeing silks. The tree from
which it is got grows in the West
Indies and in Brazil, but most of the
wood is now brought from Brazil.
Only the heart of the tree is used for
dyewood, the rest being of no value.



The red dye is got by boiling the
wood in water. It makes a very
fine red, but is not very lasting. By
using ACIDS and ALKALIES, shades
of orange, yellow, violet, and purple
are made from it. It is also used for
making red ink. An African wood,
called camwood, brought from Sierra
Leone, is now much used instead of
Brazil wood.
The word Brazil is from the Por-
tuguese braza, meaning glowing
embers, a name given to this wood
on account of its color. The coun-
try of Brazil got its name from the
wood, because a great many of these
trees are found there.
BREAD. Of all FOOD bread is
the most important, and it is used
in some form in almost every coun-
try in the world. It is made prin-
cipally from wheat, although rye,
barley, oats, Indian corn, and rice
are much used in it. In Africa it is
made sometimes of the pith of the
sago palm, in Southern Europe of
ground chestnuts and acorns, in
Lapland of a kind of moss, and in
South America of the seeds of a
kind of pine tree. In the South Sea
Islands the bread-fruit, and in the
West India Islands the banana, are
largely used instead of bread.
The best bread is made from
wheat FLOUR. In the most ancient
times the grain was merely pounded
in a mortar or between two stones,
and then wet with water and baked
before a fire. Such bread was not
raised or spongy, but was solid and
hard. It was called unleavened
bread, because it had no leaven or
YEAST in it. If you look at a slice
of wheat bread you will see that it is
full of little holes, which prevent its
being solid, hard, and tough. Such
bread is called leavened or raised
The way of making leavened
bread by raising it with yeast was
early found out, it is supposed by
the Egyptians. In making bread the
flour is first worked into a paste,
with about half its weight of water ;

a little yeast is then added, and the
dough is put for several hours into
a warm place to rise. This is caused
by fermentation, which is told about
in the article BEER. The yeast
causes the sugar in the flour to fer-
ment, and changes it into ALCOHOL
and CARBONIC ACID. The alcohol
passes off as steam into the air, but
the carbonic acid works its way all
through the dough in little bubbles
of gas, which are kept in by the
sticky GLUTEN of the flour, and the
whole mass rises or becomes puffed
up with it. When it is light enough
the dough is worked again with
some salt, made into loaves and
baked in an oven. The carbonic
acid gas swells with the heat during
the baking and bursts out, leaving
the little holes which we always see
in bread.
As long as fresh bread is warm,
fermentation is going on, and as this
makes bread hard to digest, it is
best not to eat it until it is cold.
Baked bread always weighs more
than the flour ; a pound of flour will
make about a pound and a quarter
of bread. Bread made from rye or
barley is as good for food as wheat
bread, except that it does not digest
so easily. Aerated bread is made
without yeast by mixing the flour
with water which has carbonic acid
in it. Baker's bread is not so
wholesome as home-made bread be.
cause poorer flour is generally used,
and alum and other unhealthful
things are put into it to make it white.
Graham bread is made from wheat
flour, out of which the pieces of
shell of the grain, which are called
bran, have not been bolted or sifted.
It is much eaten by people with weak
The word bread comes from the
Anglo-Saxon breod.
BRICK, a building material made
of clay, moulded into blocks, and
burned. The clay, if too rich, is
mixed with a little sand or ashes,
which keeps the brick from crack-
ing. It is then ground in a mill




until it is soft like putty, when it is
moulded into the right shape in a
little box with a loose bottom, so
that when the sides are lifted up the
brick is left on the bottom. This is
the old way, but bricks are now
more commonly moulded by a ma-
chine forming a part of the mill
which grinds the clay, and which
will make about twenty thousand
bricks in a day. After being moulded
the bricks are well dried in the sun
and then piled up loosely in great
stacks called kilns, with holes under
them to build fires in, and flues left
open up to the top, so that the heat
and gases of the fire will pass freely
through the whole pile. It once took
about two weeks to burn a large kiln
of bricks, but some makers now
mix the dust of anthracite coal in the
clay, and thus burn them in three or
four days. Bricks in a kiln are not
all burned alike, some being baked
too much and some not enough.
Those not burned enough are put
into the next kiln and baked again.
Bricks are not usually red until they
are burned ; their color comes from
the oxide or rust of iron, which is
rusted more by fire. If the clay
has not much iron in it, the bricks
will be lighter-in color. Milwaukee
bricks have no iron in them, and are
of a cream color. Building bricks
are usually two inches thick, twice
as broad as they are thick, and twice
as long as they are broad. Fire
bricks are made of kinds of clay that
will not melt in fire, mixed some-
times with ground stones. They are
used to line furnaces and stoves
with, and are moulded in the proper
shapes to fit the places where they
are to go.
Bricks have been used for building
from the most ancient times. The
walls of Babylon were built of bricks
laid in BITUMEN. The Egyptians,
Greeks, and Romans made excel-
lent bricks; some of the bricks in
Roman buildings have lasted better
than the stone used with them. The
Chinese make bricks with a face like

porcelain. (See POTTERY). Many
bricks are now moulded in hand-
some designs and are used in archi-
tectural decorations ; and some are
chiselled like stone into ornaments
after they are put up in buildings.
The sun-dried bricks of which
houses are built in California and
Mexico are called adobe bricks.
The word brick is in French
brique, and comes probably from an
old word meaning clay.
BRIDGE, a roadway over a
stream, a valley, or low ground. A
bridge for carrying a canal or water
to supply a city is called an AQUE-
DUCT (water leader) ; one over which
a railway passes is sometimes called
a viaduct (road leader). The first
bridges were made of wood by laying
beams from one bank of a stream to
the other, or, when these were too
wide apart, resting them on posts or
stone piers in the middle. The Chi-
nese built bridges at a very early
date, but it is supposed that the Ro-
mans were the first to make stone
bridges, and some of them, more
than a thousand years old, are still
in use.
There are many splendid stone
bridges in Europe, but few of much
size in the United States. The finest
are the High Bridge of the Croton
Aqueduct, over the Harlem River,
and the Starucca Viaduct on the Erie
Railway. But the United States have
the best wooden bridges in the
world. These are made of timbers
put together in such a way as to
brace and support each other. The
bridge over the Susquehanna River
at Havre de Grace is three fifths of
a mile long.
As wooden bridges are apt to
catch fire, those made of iron and
steel are now taking their place on
railway lines. Among the most
wonderful of these are the wrought
iron bridge over the Menai Strait,
called the Britannia Bridge, and the
Conway Bridge, both in Great Brit-
ain, and the Victoria Bridge over the
Saint Lawrence River at Montreal.




These are all what are called tubu-
lar bridges, being made of great iron
tubes or pipes, through which rail-
way trains run. The Victoria Bridge
is a huge square iron tube, two miles
long, held up over the river on great
stone piers. Some of the finest iron
and steel railway bridges in the
United States are those over the
Mississippi River at Saint Louis and
at Rock Island, and that over the
Ohio River at Louisville.
Among the most remarkable
bridges are those not held up from
below but hung on some kind of
ropes or chains, and called therefore
suspension (Latin suspendere, to
hang) bridges. The Chinese built
this kind of bridge out of iron chains
in very ancient times, and the Peru-
vians made them out of bark ropes.
Modern suspension bridges are
built of large and strong cables,
made out of many small wires
twisted together. The great bridge
now building over the East River,
from New York to Brooklyn, is sus-
pended by four such cables, each
as thick as a very large man's
waist (16 inches). Other suspension
bridges in this country are those
over the Ohio River at Wheeling
and Cincinnati, and that at Niagara
Falls. Among the finest in Europe
are that at Fribourg in Switzerland,
and that over the Danube at Pesth.
Bridges are sometimes made so
that they can be moved in order to
let a vessel pass. These are of va-
rious kinds : draw bridges are made
to raise and lower; swing or turn
bridges, to turn round on a pivot;
and rolling or sliding bridges, to roll
backward and forward on little
wheels or rollers. Bridges that are
to be used for only a little while,
like those built in war time by sol-
diers to cross rivers, are sometimes
made by fastening many small boats
together and building a floor over
them. Casks and rafts have also
been used for the same purpose.
Military bridges are usually sup-
ported by floats called pontoons,

made of frames of timber covered
with copper, tin, leather, tarred sail-
cloth, or India-rubber cloth, or of
copper cylinders. The pontoons are
laid from bank to bank and securely
fastened, and the bridge platform is
then laid upon them.
The word bridge comes from the
Anglo-Saxon bricge.
BROADCLOTH, a fine kind of
woollen cloth, so called because it is
wider than other cloths (56 to 60
inches). It is woven very closely,
and has a smooth shiny surface.
It was once largely used for men's
coats, and still is, especially for even-
ing dress ; also for ladies' cloaks.
BROCADE, a silk stuff, sometimes
woven with gold and silver threads,
so as to show gold and silver fig-
ures on it, and sometimes woven
with all silk, so as to make a beau-
tiful pattern of raised flowers, foli-
age, and other figures. Brocade is
now seldom made with gold and
silver threads, because they lose
their brightness so easily. It is used
mostly for curtains and for covering
furniture, but sometimes for ladies'
The word brocade is from broc-
cata, the Italian name of this cloth.
BRONZE, an ALLOY made by
mixing copper and tin, to which
zinc and lead are sometimes added.
Gun metal, from which cannon are
cast, contains about nine parts of
copper and one part of tin, and bell
metal about three parts of copper and
one part of tin. Modern French
bronze, out of which most of the
small bronzes sold in the stores are
made, contains about nine parts of
copper, and one part made up of
zinc, tin, and lead. In making
bronze the copper is first melted in
the furnace, the tin and other met-
als are then put in, and the whole is
stirred until it is well mixed. (See
As bronze costs a good deal, many
imitation or false bronze ornaments
are made, which look like real




bronze, but are much cheaper.
Many figures and other small orna-
ments for mantels and many gas-
fixtures are made of it. They are
usually cast in ZINC or some other
cheap metal, and covered with a kind
of paint or varnish, which gives
them the look of bronze. Orna-
ments made of wood, clay, and plas-
ter are also sometimes bronzed in
this way. But some cheap orna-
ments are covered with a real coat-
ing of bronze or copper.
In old times, before it was known
how to use iron, all kinds of tools
and weapons were made of bronze,
and that time is called by historians
the bronze age ; the time before it,
when only stone tools and weapons
were known, is usually called the
stone age, and the time when iron
came into use the iron age. The an-
cients knew how to harden bronze
so that swords, knives, axes, chisels,
and other tools made of it would cut
as well as steel ones ; but we do not
know how they did it.
The word bronze comes from the
Italian bronzo, which is perhaps
from bruno, brown.
BROOM, a brush for sweeping
floors, so named because it is
usually made of the broom corn
plant. The broom corn plant grew
first in India. It is said that Dr.
Franklin planted a single seed,
which he took from a whisk of
broom corn brought from England,
and that from it have sprung all the
broom plants now in this country.
The plant, which grows more than
twice as high as a man, looks some-
thing like Indian corn ; but the head
or brush, from which brooms are
made, is much larger than that of
Indian corn. Broom corn bears no
ear, the seeds being all on the brush.
The brushes are cut off when ripe,
leaving about six inches of stalk on
each, and are freed from the seeds
by means of a machine called a
scraper," which scrapes them off
without hurting the broom corn.
The seed is fed to horses and poul-

try, and sometimes, when ground
into meal, to cattle.
Brooms are made in this country
mostly by the Shakers. The han-
dles are usually of soft maple wood
turned round in a LATHE. The
twine for tying the broom is wound
on a roller. The end of it is fastened
to the broom handle, one end of
which is cut down smaller than the
rest, and as the broom corn is laid on
the whole is turned so that the twine
winds round and fastens it. Layer
after layer of broom is put on, the
twine winding round each one, until
the broom is large enough, when the
twine is cut and fastened. The
broom, which at this stage is round,
is now pressed out flat and sewed
with twine to keep it so. Whisk
brooms are made in the same way.
The word broom is from the An-
glo-Saxon brom.
BRUSH. Most brushes are made
of bristles, the long, stiff hairs
which grow on the neck of the hog.
Bristles, great quantities of which
are sent from Russia and Germany
to other countries, are of many
colors and sizes. Brush-makers first
sort them according to color, putting
the black, brown, gray, yellow, and
white ones in different piles. The
whitest ones are called lilies," and
are used for making tooth brushes.
Each color is then sorted again by
pushing the bristles through a row
of steel teeth, like a comb, which
catch the coarse ones; by passing
them through several such combs,
each finer than the other, the
bristles are all separated into dif-
ferent sizes.
Many brushes, such as hair and
clothes brushes, are made by draw-
ing bunches of bristles, which are
bent in the middle, through holes
in a stock or handle made of wood,
bone, or some other material. This
work is mostly done by women,
who sit round a table, on the edge
of which the stock is held tight by a
CLAMP. Each woman has a lap full
of bristles, and in her right hand a




piece of fine brass wire. She makes
a loop in the wire and pushes it
down through one of the holes;
then taking some of the bristles in
her left hand she lays them in the
loop, which she next pulls back
through the hole. The bristles are
thus doubled up and held by the
wire. When all the holes have been
filled the ends of the bristles are
clipped even with shears. A back
piece is then glued on, which covers
up the wires and the bristles and
holds them tight. In some hair
brushes there is no back piece : the
holes are bored not quite through
the stock, and the bristles fastened
in with wire and glue. Tooth
brushes have no back piece, but the
bristles, which are bent and put into
holes as in hair brushes, are held
by wires which are put through lit-
tle holes made from the end. If you
look at the end of a tooth brush, you
will see where the little holes have
been stopped up. In some tooth
brushes slits for the wires are cut in
the back, and after the wires are
fastened the slits are filled up with
red sealing-wax.
In making large paint brushes, the
bristles are gathered into a bundle
around the small end of the handle
(thus leaving the large end sticking
out of the front of the brush), and
tied tightly with twine. The brush
is then set on a board with a hole in
it, through which the handle is driv-
en till the large end of it is in the
middle of the brush. This tightens
the strings which hold the hairs.
The back of the brush is then cov-
ered with glue.
Small paint brushes, used by
artists, are made of the hair of the
camel, badger, sable, squirrel, and
other animals. Enough hairs to
make one brush are tied together
and then passed point first through
the large end of a quill, which has
been softened by soaking in water,
until the point comes far enough out
of the small end. When the quill
dries it becomes smaller and holds

the hairs tight. Such brushes are
sometimes called pencils.
The word brush is from the Ger-
man borste, a bristle.
BUCKSKIN, the tanned skin of
the deer, the male of which is called
a buck. After tanning it is dressed
by what is called the oil-process :
all the rough parts of the skin are
cut off and smoothed, and it is then
dried and rubbed full of a mixture
of oil and tallow and laid aside until
this soaks in. It is next rubbed
with a board until it is soft and pli-
able. Buckskin is much used for
polishing silverware and jewellery,
and for rubbing furniture. In old
times short breeches were often made
of it, and were therefore called
buckskins." Most of the so-
called chamois or shammy"
leather now sold is buckskin, and
not the skin of the chamois, as its
name would pretend.
BUCKWHEAT. The French call
this grain Saracen wheat, because
the Saracens or Moors are believed
to have brought it into Spain from
the East. It is much valued as a
crop in France, Germany, arid the
United States. A white flour is
made from its grain, which in Ger-
many is made into gruel, in France
into bread, and in the United States
into breakfast cakes. The grain is
good food for horses and poultry.
The word buckwheat is from the
Anglo Saxon boc hwcte, beech-
wheat, which is made up of boc,
beech-tree, and hwete, wheat. The
plant was so called because its grains
are shaped like beechnuts.
BUFFALO, the name commonly
but wrongly given to the wild cattle
of North America, which are not
buffaloes, but bisons. The true
buffalo is found only in India and in
South Africa; but the name has
been given so long to the American
bison that it will probably always be
called a buffalo, and his hide a
buffalo robe. Buffaloes were once
found almost all over North Amer-
ica, but they have been hunted so


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