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try, as the climates are nearly equal; but our Catawba wants less trimming. The people here, not acquainted with, nor accustomed to, Rhenish wines, and who were using highly brandied, and very seldom properly fermented wines, as Madeira, Port, Malaga, and Sherry, judged our wines, at first, to be hard and weak, or called it pleasant Cider. But there are thousands, now, who appreciate the bouquet of a pure Catawba wine, when of proper age, the grapes cut when fully matured, and fermented in good cellars and proper barrels. The physicians have already detected its restora. tive properties and advise it for convalescents.
By my experiments, during a period of six years, I am convinced that our climate is fully adapted to the raising of wines. By comparing the specific gravity or the quantity of sugar in our Catawba must, with the must of the grapes in Europe, since 1844, our Catawba must is found to exceed European, mostly, more than 10 degrees. Besides this, we never, even in our worst years, will have a wine below the medium of Europe, and of less failure than there.
The above valuable letter of Mr. Rehfuss did not reach Dr. Warder, at Rochester, until after the committee had held their examination. The scientific application by Mr. R., of a special manure, referred to in his letter, is a very interesting experiment, and, doubtless, will prove of great value to the cultivators of the grape.
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. Judges.-Hon. A. B. Conger, Chairman.
The committee on Musical Instruments, Class D. No. 67, beg leave to report, that they entered upon their arduous labors, rendered the more so by the absence of any precedent, of any report in the department of the records of the Society, to which they had access,
and by causes connected with the insufficient accommo
dation of the larger instruments they were called upon to inspect. In view of these impediments, in the way of discharging to a degree of perfection, which would have been more agreeable to your committee; a duty in which every nice vibration should be carefully weighed, and the relative merits of instruments suited to all tastes, either of judgment or natural sensibiliy more correctly stated, your committee would suggest, that at all coming Fairs, this division of the manufacturers' hall, should be so arranged as to be in point of fact, an apartment by itself, capable by the aid of windows and doors of excluding all extremes of temperature, and regulating the admission of spectators; that all future judges may, . with all necessary seclusion, be able to discern all variatians of range and purity of tone, delicacy of touch, and the like, with greater ease and satisfaction to themselves, than your committee have been able to gain, and with a greater probability of expressing such judgment as may satisfy, not only the agricultural, but the musical community.
Your committee would cheerfully state, in regard to the pianos exhibited in competition for the prizes to be awarded, that they are each in their style, most excellent instruments, of elegant external finish; no expense having seemingly been spared to attract the public eye, and all worthy of commanding ears, not over fastidious. As your committee have frankly avowed the uusatisfactory circumstances, under which they were called upon to decide, what is mainly a question of taste after all, and are in obedience to the President's circular, desired to furnish their reasons on which they have based their method of judgment, would express with equal frankness, that under the circumstances of the case, they have been forced more to regard these instruments as in the light of a mechanical exhibition, than of a purely musical one, and they hope that this method of judgment may seem appropriate to an institution, which is eliciting for wise purposes of future application as well as present use, all the mechanical talent and ingenuity of the State, as well as right to the exhibitors themselves, who have shared with your committee the unfavorable circumstances attending this branch of the exhibition.
And your committee are called upon to record as explanatory of their award of the Diploma, to the exhibition of two Rosewood instruments, numbered 64, and as well for the information which they thought was proper to communicate to the public; as from a sense of justice to the inventor, whose merit might have been otherwise merged in the eclat gained by the manufacturer, that the Rosewood Piano of 7 octaves, with carved drapery on the rim and plinth, of Rosewood, with mother of pearl keys, and metalic plate likewise so ornamented, has new and many contrivances, the invention of Mr. Dwight Gibbons, now of the city of Rochester, and which your committee would briefly notice.
1. An alto-sostenuto or over bracket bridge, of composition and underlined with vellum, so applied as to secure a greater solidity to the pins which hold the treble strings and to sustain the sounding board, superceding with all, the ordinary wooden bracket of a more fragile nature.
2. The sinking of the surface of the metalic frame beneath that of the wooden bridges, which sustain the strings between the points of vibration, by which all metalic jingle or the possibility thereof is prevented.
3. The Iso-baron damper, by which an even touch is secured to the keys, whether the damper is down or up.
4. The Iso-chordon scale, by which the unequal tension of the two strings which are struck for each note throughout the instrument, excepting the few deepest strings of the basso-scale, is remedicd on simple and scientific principles.
The other instrument of 7 octaves, with a sub-bass attachment of Iwo octaves and great power, to which the title or designation of Pod-és Chulalon may well be applied, is designed by Mr. Gib bons, to give to the square pianos the orchestral strength of the Erard grand at much less cost. The merit of the application of this sub-bass attachment is very great, and your committee woulo
beg to recommend that one of your secretaries be specially charged to grant from the funds of the society to Mr. Gibbons, what aid might, if at all be found necessary, in procuring a patent for this attachment, (so great an improvement upon the French model,) as well as for his other very ingenious essays, towards the perfection of so valuable and popular an instrument as the Piano Forte.
Your committee would also notice in both these instruments, the use of the capsule flange, on which centers each hammer, both being so arranged as to secure an easy play to the butt, and a rapid transfer adjustment of the same.
Your committee cannot conclude this already lengthy report, without noticing two works; the one, as evincing the pursuit of an end under circumstances of great difficulty; the other, as the almost infantile startings of an idea, which may realize great things to the concert-going world. The one, a violin, of really good tone, made when the eye could scarcely discern the skill of the hand, and the other, an attempt of procuring from one performer, by the aids of keys, as in the piano forte, the benefit of an orchestra of real performers. Your committee hope, that some share of the success and fame, which, under similar circumstances, enured to a Prescott, in a higher range of art, may fall to the lot of the first of these youthful competitors, and that the glory which crowns the successors of Fulton in the development of his first mechanical essay, may await the followers of the second one, if it never descends
upon his own name.
Your committee would further suggest that all specimens of sheet music presented for any prize, be entered in future by the publishers thereof only; dealers being permitted to exhibit music published by others as they may please.
Your committee would award the following premiums:
To Frederick Starr, of Rochester, N. Y., the Diploma of the Society, for general and ingenious excellence, in the construction of his Piano Forte of 7 octaves.
To Frederick Starr, Rochester, N. Y., a Silver Medal, (large) for a sub-bass attachment of two octaves, to an instrument of 71 octaves.
To Dwight Gibbons, the ingenious inventor of the sub-bass, applied as exhibited, a special testimonial for mechanical merit in his profession, and if the Secretaries cannot grant under the rules of the Society, a Diploma.
TO J. D. Hutchinson, Bennington, N. Y., a Silver Medal, for an excellent violin, finished under almost a complete loss of the power of the visual organs.
To Samuel Waters, Avon, Small Silver Medal, for his viol-orchestra.
To Samuel Waters, Avon, exhibiting an Æolian Piano Forte, Small Silver Medal.
To Geo. Dutton, Jr. exhibiting one of Carhart's Melodeons, a copy of Transactions.
To Geo. W. Clark, exhibiting Mellophene, a copy of Trans.
To Alexander Grant, exhibiting specimens of sheet music, from the House of W. Hall & Son, a copy of Transactions.