Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Mr. H. Ashworth moved the adoption of the annual report of the association, which was agreed to; and the meeting was addressed also by Dr. BEKE, a traveller in Abyssinia, as to the capabilities of that country; by Mr. H. Jordan, 'the government commissioner from Queensland, by the Rev. Mr. ARTHUR, who claimed pre-eininence for India as the source chiefly to be relied on for a speedy supply of cotton; by the Rev. Mr. ToWNSEND, from the West Coast of Africa ; by the Rev. Nr. STUART, who is about to join the expedition of Dr. LivingsTONE; and by Mr. HEPPEL, the engineer of the Madras Railway.

Cotton GROWING IN JAMAICA. A commercial letter from Kingston, Jamaica, dated 6th June, shows that the course of events in the United States has affected trade in that island, which is greatly dependent on the northern States for its supplies of food. On another topic, viz., the cultivation of cotton, considerable interest has been developed. The writer says:

“The good to result to Jamaica lies chiefly in the question of cotton cultivation. The British, really trembling for the stoppage of supplies in the raw material, are roaming the world round to discover some new sources of supply. Now, as this island possesses as great facilities for the cultivation of cotton as perhaps any country on the face of the globe, it is not surprising that there should be a share of British capital at this critical moment-critical to the Manchester men, for it looks as if cotton no longer is king—invested in our soil. A company has been formed in England for the purpose of immediately cultivating 60,000 acres in cotton in this island. A lively interest is also being awakened to the subject in the minds of colonists, a great many of whom are thinking seriously of turning their attention to the cultivation of the great staple. I have no doubt, myself

, that Jamaica is destined to be one of the future sources of supply of the raw material to the manufacturers of Great Britain."

SUPPLY OF COTTON AND PAPER MATERIAL. A correspondent of the London Daily News says: As cotton is the all-engrossing topic of the day, and, as events are likely to prove, the all-important one, will you allow me to call your attention to another place in the British possessions where cotton and paper material are obtainable ? South Africa, which is now known to be a fibrous region, produces an indigenous plant, belonging to the armyllidea family, which possesses a mass of the finest fiber, and which, when dressed, could be used for spinning and weaving purposes, and the residue worked into halfstuff and shipped to this country as a substitute for rags, (duty free,) and used as material for paper-making. There is a large quantity of this now obtainable, but it is so prolific and capable of propagation that, by cultivation and due attention, millions of tons could be produced, as I find by calculation that if the yield was only one ton per acre, a piece of land, say 500 miles square, would produce the almost incredible quantity of one hundred and sixty million tons, at the same time capable of producing five times the quantity per annum. Royal letters patent, under the great seal, were

granted in 1847 for the application of this production for textile and paper purposes, but owing to the then abundant supply of cotton from America, and the demise of Mr. Crompton, the eminent paper-maker, little has been done practically in the matter, though samples of the cotton have been exhibited in the Exchange of Manchester, and live samples of the plant introduced to most of our national institutions. Sir WilLIAM Hooker, Professors QUEKETT and BENTLEY, and other eminent scientific judges, eulogize highly the qualities of the fiber, Professor QUEKETT using the following striking language : "I would particularly call your attention to the cotton bulb, the silky filaments of which are no doubt capable of being converted into the most delicate fabrics." With the aid of Kaffir and other native labor, and the improved agricultural implements science has given to the world, there is little doubt but that South Africa could supply as much of this cotton and paper material as Great Britain could consume.

Cotton GROWING IN QUEENSLAND. Mr. M'Millan, having completed his purchase of a cotton farm on the Calliope River, had departed to take possession and commence active operations. He has taken with him a number of cocoanuts, to plant on the shores of Port Curtis. Mr. M'MILLAN arrived from Victoria to commence cotton-growing in this colony. He intends to begin operations at once, employing, if possible, native aboriginal labor. In this kind of labor, however, he says he has not much confidence, and hopes soon to have a draught of coolies on his land. He has to direct his attention chiefly to Sea Island cotton, and “trusts before twelve months are passed to become a public creditor to the amount of several sums of £10 each, for bales of good marketable cotton fit for the English manufacturers.” Mr. M'MILLAN has evidently the most abundant confidence in them, and with good reason no doubt. He rates the population of Brisbane soundly for their sloth and apathy, but for which he says they might have developed a large cotton-growing interest years ago. Mr. M’Millan goes in strongly for coolie immigration, without which he seems to think there will be little cotton or any other cultivation in Queensland.— Australian and New-Zealand Gazette.

COTTON IN ENGLAND. From the investigations of the Cotton Supply Association of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and of individual persons well competent to form an opinion upon the subject, it appears that in the British colonies there are larger spaces of territory, more eligible climates, a greater amount of cheap labor for the production of the raw material of the chief manufacture of the mother country, than there are in any other portions of the earth. India or Australia, it is said, could, under conditions, alone supply our markets; large quantities of cotton could be obtained from our stations in Southern Africa, and the western coast of that continent could quickly rival the United States in the cotton export trade.

The political complications of the United States may, however, produce

*

*

the most disastrous results in 1862. We have already enumerated the vast resources for cotton supply which are even now at our command.

There is yet time to render them more productive, and we have had fair warning. We do not care again to refer to the consequences to be dreaded from a real dearth of cotton in markets. One good consequence is to be anticipated from the present alarm; it will destroy for ever the monopoly of the United States, and will convert our manufacturers to the judicious policy of free competition among many markets.-Westminster Review.

SHIP TIMBER AND ITS VARIETIES.

By Robet MURRAY, Engineer Surveyor to the British Board of Trade.

I. ACACIA. II. ALDER. III. Bieci. IV. Box. V. CEDAR. VI. CHESTNUT. VII. CYPRESS.

VIII. HORNBEAM. IX. LIGNUM VITÆ. X. MAPLE. XI. MAHOGANY. XII. POPLAR. XIII. SYCAMORE. XIV. WALNUT,

We propose to describe a few species of timber trees, of minor importance to the builder, but still useful for many purposes of construction.

Acacia is of small dimensions, seldom exceeding two feet in diameter, but when used in house-carpentery is very durable. It is harder, tougher and more elastic than the best oak. It is a valuable timber for tree-nails for ship-building : also, for posts and rails for fences, in which capacity it is very enduring.

Alder.— The wood of this tree lasts a long time under water, which renders it valuable for piles, water-pipes, &c. It has a close texture, a fine color, and works well under the plane, which makes it a favorite with the cabinet-maker. The best charcoal for gunpowder is made from this wood. When burned in the open air, 1,000 lbs. of the ashes yield 65 lbs. of potash.

Birch. This wood is hard but not very durable. It is chiefly used for making cheap furniture and for firewood.

Box is a valuable wood, being very close-grained, hard and heavy, and cuts very clean under the chisel or graving-tool, being, therefore, used almost exclusively by the wood-engraver. Being susceptible of a fine polish, it is much used by the turner, mathematical instrument maker, &c. It is also very durable.

Cedar (Cedrus pinus) grows to a great size; the timber is resinous, of a reddish-white color, light and spongy in its texture, easily worked, but apt to shrink and warp if great attention be not paid to the seasoning. It was much valued by the ancients for its durability and preservative properties. The wood is odoriferous, and admirably adapted for joinerwork, being light and easily worked. Although a resinous wood, it contains but a small quantity of that substance. It resists the attack of insects.

Cedar, Indian, (Cedrus deodara,) is also a very large tree. The wood is very compact, highly impregnated with resin, and possessed of a hard and tine grain. Its durability, when exposed to the weather, is very great; some bridges constructed of it in India have lasted for five hundred years. It is much used by the Hindoos in their buildings.

Chestnut (Castanea) has been already mentioned as a very excellent timber for building purposes. The horse-chestnut, on the other hand, is a soft, inferior wood, of but little strength or durability. It resists moisture, however, and may be advantageously used for water-pipes under ground.

Cypress is a fine-grained wood, remarkable for its great durability and its freedom from injury by worms or insects. Owing to this property it was employed in Egypt for mummy-cases.

Hornbeam is a hard, heavy, tenacious wood, very close grained. It is much used for cogs of wheels and other engineering purposes, where the material is exposed to friction.

Lignum Vitæ is a very hard, dense wood, much used by millwrights and turners; its chief use, however, is for the sheaves of blocks. It is also employed by the engineer for lining the sockets of shafts, which are found to revolve in it with little friction and wear.

Lime, though a highly ornamental tree, and growing to a great size, is not of much value for its timber, which is soft and light, and deficient in strength and durability. Being close grained and smooth in its texture, however, it is well adapted for carving and cabinet-work.

Maple is a clean, white wood, prized for its lightness, and is used by the turner for making dishes, bowls and trenchers, and by the joiner for common furniture. As it is not liable to warp or split, it is readily stained to imitate mahogany and other woods.

Plane.—The wood of this tree much resembles the beach. It is used by the joiner and cabinet-maker, but is not remarkable for strength or endurance. It keeps best under water, and is used in America for quays and other marine works.

Poplar.—The wood of this tree (of which several kinds are grown in this country) is much used by builders for floors, especially as it does not easily split by driving nails into it, and it has the property of not readily catching fire. When used for this purpose, however, it requires from two to three years seasoning, as it shrinks much in drying. Sycamore, when kept dry, is durable, but is readily attacked by the

It is a species of maple, and is possessed of similar qualities. Walnut is one of the most valuable of English timbers. The wood is solid and compact, easy to work, not liable to crack or warp, and handsome in appearance; it is, therefore, much used for the better class of furniture. The screws of presses and gun stocks are generally made of it. The black Virginia walnut is the most prized. It prefers hilly, calcareous soils.

Willow is a soft, smooth, light wood, of little value ; but, if kept dry, it will last a long time in situations where much strength is not required.

Yew was principally used of old for the making of bows, and is now a favorite wood with turners, from the smoothness and toughness of its grain, and from its taking a high polish. It sometimes attains an extraordinary bulk. At Gresford, near Wrexham, there is a yew 29 feet in circumference at a little distance below the branches; and in Dibden churchyard, New-Forest, there is a yew tree measuring 30 feet in girth at the ground, while others, of large size, occur at Iflley, Hampton Court, Dorly-in-the-Dale, Tisbury and other places. When found growing in churchyards, they may be generally reckoned as coeval with the church itself.

worm.

The weight or density of a timber is, in general, a sure index to its strength, the densest wood being at the same time the strongest and the most durable. The oak, as well as all other timbers, varies in its specific gravity, according to the soil which produces it, the density mainly depending upon the length of time occupied in the formation of the wood. Those trees which grow fast, from being located on moist, sandy soils, never produce such strong timber as others of slower growth. It has been found by experiment, that the bottom part of the trunk, with the corresponding branches, is denser and stronger than the upper part of the same tree. Those trees, which are suffered to complete their full term of growth before being cut down, have their heart-wood throughout of the same weight and strength, taking a cross section of the trunk at any one place, whilst those that are felled prematurely are found to possess these qualifications in the central portion of the wood only, which is then considerably harder than that immediately surrounding the sapwood. In trees which have been overgrown, on the other hand, the central portion of the wood is the weakest

, the process of natural decay always commencing in the heart of the tree. It is a common thing to see the heart of some fine tree (blown over by the wind, perhaps,) which, to an untrained eye, looks perfectly sound and flourishing, to be already disintegrated by the spreading filaments of the dry rot, which have attacked it so soon as its vigor began to flag. The age at which oak timber is at its prime is generally supposed to be from eighty to a hundred years, although this depends, as we have before explained, upon the nature of the soil on which it is grown. The weight of good oak timber is about 60 lbs. in the green state; and, when seasoned, about 50 lbs. If the seasoning is carried beyond this by artificial desiccation, the strength of the timber is impaired.

The decay of wood by the growth of fungus, denominated dry-rot, may be traced to the putrifying of the sap, when this has been left within the pores of the timber in the same condition as it exists in the living tree. The various means which are employed to arrest this destructive fermentation are, either to wash out the sap by long soaking in water aided by the action of the sun; to dry up the sap, either naturally by exposure to the sun and wind, or artificially by baking, or by heated currents of air; or else by injecting into the pores of the wood some metallic salt, to combine with the albumen and render it insoluble, or some antiseptic substance to preserve the vegetable tissue. The processes of natural seasoning and artificial desiccation, being those most in use for the preservation of ship-timber, will be found amply described in the article Ship-Building; also, the best mode of creosoting, although the latter process, from the increased inflammability and the strong smell it imparts to timber, is scarcely applicable to the building either of ships or houses. For the preservation of railway-sleepers and other wood-work out of doors, which is not particularly liable to danger from fire, the creosoting process has been proved to be most valuable. Its efficiency depends, in a great measure, upon the mode of operation, and the quantity of creosote injected into the timber, which should be done under pressure in a closed cylinder. The process is most applicable to fir and other soft woods, which should imbibe at least seven pounds of the creosote oil per cubic foot; oak imbibing not more than two or three pounds, even under a pressure of 120 pounds per square inch. This substance VOL. XLV.-NO, IV.

25

« EdellinenJatka »