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ART. 11. ANALECTA. From the Philosophical Magasine. after watering, as is the mode in this quar On Flar-stceping, and its Effects on the Co- ter, but dried it all from the water, by what

lour and Quality of the Flar. By Gavin is termed hutting. Inglis, Esq.

As bleaching alone was my object, my To Nr. Tilloch.

inquiries respecting the different shades of DET SIR,

colour after watering were very particular; If you consider the following observatiǝns and I uniformly found that the irhite fias

on llav-steeping worthy of a place in your had been watered in the burn, and the darkvaluable Magazine, I will thank you to insert coloured in ponds dug where water could them. They are the substance of answers he most conveniently obtained. When I furnislıcd by me to inquiries made upon that mention a burn, it must be understood to subject hy G. Thomson, Esq. of the Trus- be a stream so small as to require a dan tees Office, Edinburgh.

being necessary to receive the water into a When in Dumbartonshire in 1801, reduc- temporary pond to cover the fax. ing to practice the process of bleaching by

The succession of clean water, I consteam, I had a few spindles of yarn given ceive, prevents the deposition of colouring to me to prepare for weaving. There was, principles, to be hereafter mentioned, by in the sieckness of the thread, something that washing or carrying them away, after being attracted my attention. Having soaked it extracted from the fax, which I had after over night in warm water to prepare it wards an opportunity of proving, in a pond for steaming, I was much surprised at the so constructed, which produced remarkably change of colour, and the quantity of co white tlax, while the same flax, from several louring matter dissolved in the water. It stagnant ponds dug in the same ground, was then washed, wrung, and soaked in filled with water from the same spring, was a weak alkaline ley, and laid for steaming very dark in the colour. orer some brown linens. After steaming In following up these observations, my the usual time, the covers were taken off. situation in life did not then admit of ex'The yarn was found to have attained a de- periments to the extent the importance of gree of whiteness I never had before ob- the subject would have required. I shall, served under similar circumstances. It was however, narrate these, so far as they er: washed in the stream so long as any colour- tended. The result satisfied me, thai the ing matter came from it, and laid to the grass watering of flax must vary with local cirfor two days. I remember well the colour cumstances, and every where depend on was such as to impress me with a strong be the means afforded by springs, streams, lief that some great and important discovery moss, or marsh, that may be in the neighmiglit be the result of accurately following bourhood of the flax-field, so long as the up the process this flax had gone through; present mode of culture is followed; and and I immediately made inquiry of the lady the colour of the flax after watering very to whom the yarn belonged, who informed much depend on the following causes : me she had it from a person she named, in The ripeness of the flas before pulling: the neighbourhood: to chuis individual I made The state of putridity of the stagnant the same application, and traced the yarn water. to have been purchased at a Kilmarnock The minerals the water may contain. fair.

Whether it is steeped in a pond dug, or Here the matter tested till the nest season one formed by damming a small stream or of lint pulling. I had a particular wish to rill. Or, if a succession of parcels of fax trace, if possible, the matter to its source, (which is sometimes the case) be watered and conceived the best plan would be to in the same pond, where every succeeding traverse that part of the country, from Stir- parcel must partake of the contaminating ling towards Kilmarnock. My time was far dye produced by the fermentation of the too limited; but I saw as much as to satisfy former. myself that the secret with regard to the In the course of my observations, I found bleaching, lay entirely in pulling the far the quantity and solubility of the colouring before it was too ripe; and I also tound that matter in proportion to the degree of ripe this great advantage might again be lost hy ness; and in the ripest, on a principle I ne improper watering.

ver till then knew to have an existence in I saw the flax in all its stages, from the fax, viz. iron, which may be said to abound pulling to the drying aller watering; and in ripe fax. upon inquiry I uniformly found the greenest In unripe flax I found the colouring matter pulled was intended for the finest purposes, soluble in water; but this matter became and that the whitest flax, after drying, had less and less soluble, till the water made been watered in the burn. They were very little or no impression upon it. The time particular in watering, and did not allow it necessary for fax to macerate must in some to remain so long in the water as I had been measure depend on the weather, but more led to believe necessary, from the practice on the state of ripeness than most practihere; nor did they spread it on the grass tioners seem to be aware of.

• In unripe fax the juices are in a mucilagi. the presence of iron so strongly indicated. nous state; hence its solubility in water. I took another quantity of this full ripe flax, If fax is watered in an unripe state, the and boiled it in a ley of prussiate of potash, mucilage, from its solubility, tends greatly prepared by calcination of common potash to facilitate the process of watering, by pro- with green whins: from this it was washed, moting the fermentation. But if the flax is and immersed in oxymuriate of lime, which allowed to stand on the ground till it has ato produced a beautiful light blue. This extained a rusty-brown colour, and the seed periment I repeated till I produced, by apfully ripened, the juices of the plant are parently the same process, on the unripe then changed from mucilage to resinous Tax a beautiful white, and on the fall ripe, a matter, and certainly no longer soluble in fine, full, Prussian blue. This explained in water, so far as the resin is concerned, un a most satisfactory manner many of the pheless assisted by solvents.

nomena of bleaching I never before could In this stage, instead of having a large comprehend, and appeared to me a most portion of mucilage to expedite the ser wonderful work in nature, the formation mentation, the resin defends the flax for a of a metal in the juices of a plant, whose time against the effects of the water, and existence was not detected, by the same the fermentation must proceed by slow de- means, in the same plant, only fourteen to grees; consequently the time necessary to twenty days younger than where its presteep fax must vary according to the ripe sence became so inanifest. or unripe state of the fax when palled. Tan also exists in fax, and is very soluble What would sufficiently water unripe fax, in water. would hardly penetrate the outer rind of the In steeping fax, the water in the pond beripe ; and the time required for the ripe comes impregnated with tan. The process would entirely destroy the other.

of fermentation comes on, in the progress The choice (where the choice can be of which the iron is acted upon. The iron made) of the water, and the ground into and tan combine, precipitate, and form an which ponds are to be dug, or the rill or almost idestructible dye. stream into which the flax is to be laid, is Thus, by inattention to the steeping of certainly of the highest importance, for the flax, the labour and expense of bleaching colour, quantity and quality of the flax. are greatly increased. The linen toses much

That very great improvements may be of its strength and durability by the necesa made in the mode of separating the flax sary process of bleaching, and destroying a from the rind and boon, so as to render that colour which, by due care, inight be preprocess less offensive, far safer, and equally vented from ever fixing itself. effectual, I have no doubt whatever. But

With esteem, I remain, before promulgating any speculative theory

Dear Sir, yours sincerely, on a subject of such importance to the na

GAVIN INGLIS. tion, would it not be laudable in the Hon. Stratirendry Bleachfield, Dec. 10, 1817. ourable Board of Trustees to cause a full series of experiments on a fair scale, to be made and followed up by some persons of the following account of a Meteor is from skill and observation, which would set the matter at rest, solve all doubts on so impor

the pen of Professor Hall of Viddletant a process, and furnish the farmer and bury College. lax-grower with such instructions that he A Meteor of uncommon magnitude and could not err.

brilliancy was observed, on Friday evening, The presence of iron in the plant was dis- the 17th inst. by a number of the inhabitants covered in my attempts to bleach flax, by of this and the adjacent towns. It made its different modes, to ascertain whether there appearance, according to the most accurate, existed any other principle beside mucilage, chronometers, at twenty minutes after nine. resin and oil, in what stage the juices be. A gentleman of this village, standing in his came ipsoluble in water, and to what extent garden, which inclines to the southeast, hapthese substances existed, with a view to as- pened to be looking towards his house,which certain the safest strength of alkaline appli- was northeast from him, and was surprised cations to be used in the different processes by a dazzling light of a peculiar hue, proof bleaching. Alkalies are the common solo ceeding, as he supposed, from the building. vents used by bleachers; but I did not con- Turning his eye round, he saw the object ceive them altogether adapted to my pre- from which the light emanated. The lumisent purpose. I took alcobol, and succeed- nary was then, by estimation, 33 or 40 deed in bleaching to a very treautiful whiteness grees above the horizon, and in an easterly flax in its unripe state and in its early stages; direction from this borough. but as the flax ripened, its power lessened. It appeared of different magnitudes of difI exposed full ripe flax to the action of alco- ferent individuals. Some affirm, that its aphol, both in a liquid state and in the state of parent diameter was equal to that of the full vapour, till I satisfied myself of having ex- moon, which was then rising, but a few detracted all the resinous matter ;-still a co- grees from it. Others are of opinion, that lour remained. I subjected it to the action it was not more than half as large. If either of an oxymuriate, and was astonished to see of these suppositions be near the truth, it

must have been a budy of immense size; fifteen minutes, its distance must have been for its distance was, manifestly, very con- about two hundred miles. siderable.

We cannot doubt, that, at the moment of Its descent, many imagined, was in a right the above mentioned agitations, stones, deline perpendicular to the horizon. But this nominated meteoric, were projected from could not have been. It probably fell in a the principal mass, and precipitated to the parabolic curve, or in a figure approaching earth. Such, we believe, is universally the such a curve. Its velocity we are unable fact with meteors, which explode in the atcorrectly to compute. The celerity of its mosphere. These stones are usually of a movement was so great, that no person, with globular form, and always covered with a whom we have conversed, has ventured to black or deep brown incrustation, composed estimate the length of time, during which it chiefly of iron. The internal part of the mass was visible. It could not have been, at most, is of a grayish colour, and of a coarse, gramore than a very few seconds.

nular texture. Chemical analysis has shown, We have heard its appearance compared they are made up principally of iron, sul. to that of iron in a furnace, the instant it is phur, magnesia, clay, lime, and silex. These beginning to fuse. Some say, its light was stones have fallen in almost every part of somewhat different from that afforded by the globe, and of all sizes, from that of a melting iron, but that it was more brilliant. pea, to that of a body of several yards in

Three explosions took place, while the diameter. But one instance of this kind has, meteor was in the heavens. The report was to my knowledge, occurred in New-Eng. so loud as to be heard by most of the people land. This is th neteor, which burst over in this village. The houses were jarred as the town of We on, in Connecticut, in they are by a slight earthquake. The sound 1807; an excellent account of which was was thought, by some, to resemble that of given to the public by Professors Silimar heavy thunder. By others it was compared and Kingsley. The body of it was comto the noise of three cannon discharged in puted to have been not less than twelve or quick succession.

thirteen hundred feet in diameter. A little before the explosions occurred, or If stones fell from the body, which we rather before the report was heard, a brisk have hastily and very superficially described, scintillation, or sparkling, of the meteor was we are anxious to know where they sell. observed. Particles proceeded from the We hope to hear something on this subject body, and continued luminous till they had from our friends in the eastern part of this arrived at considerable distance from it, but state, or in New-Hampshire. Should we gradually growing less and less vivid, till obtain any additional information, which is they disappeared. Many individuals saw interesting, relative to this extraordinary the light, who did not see the meteor. celestial visitor, we shall not fail to comme

A gentleman belonging to Whiting, states, nicate it to the public. The above is taken that he witnessed the phenomenon, during from the months of those who witnessed the iis passage from near the zenith, till it was phenomenon.

F. HALL totally extinguished ; that he saw it three times, violently agitated, so, to itse his own In the connexion with the above account of language, “as to turn over;" that, at each professor Hall, we extract the following agitation, or leap, its bulk diminished, and description of a similar phenomenon that that shortly after the third, the luminary occurred in Ireland. wholly disappeared; that, at the time of Account of a Shower of Meteoric Stones ækick these agitations, an unusual quantity of light was emitted, and that, in about fifteen min.

fell in ihe County of Limerick. Conimuni. utes, as he believed, after the agitations, he

caled by William Higgins, Esq. heard three distinct reports. It was proba.

To Mr. Tilloch. bly the light sent forth at the second explo- Sir, sion, which was observed by the gentleman I send you a copy of a letter which I have mentioned, who was standing in his garden. received from a gentleinan of the highest He also heard the report, but imagined, that respectability, who was an eye witness to not more than three minutes intervened be one of the most remarkable showers of tween the flash and the time the sound reach- meteoric stones on record. This shower ad his ear. Other gentlemen of this village fell in the county of Limerick. suppose, that the intervening time could not The information with which I present have been short of five ininutes.

you, was in answer to the following queries

, Though the motion of this, as well as all which George Tuthill, Esq. of this city was other meteors, is rapid (and they have been good enough to transmit to his friend in seen to move one thousand miles in a mi- Limerick, soon after the event occurred. mute,) it is well known that the motion of 1. Have any persons seen the stones in sound is comparatively slow, passing over the act of falling? less than thirteen miles in a minute. Sup 2. How soon after the large stones fell posing the intervening time to have been were they discovered ? and were they hot! five minutes, the meteor, when it exploded, 3. Was the fall accompanied by thunder must have been about sixty-five miles disé and lightning; and if so, was there but one tant from this place. If the interval was clap and one flash, er how many?

4. What was the state of the weather? blackislı, of the same appearance with the 6. What is the shape of the larger stones ? first mentioned, and weighed above twenty

6. Have smaller stones fallen at the same four pounds. Its shape is very irregular. time, and at what distance were they found This stone is in my possession, and for its from the larger ones?

volume is very beavy. 7. Were there appearances of recent frac * There was no flash of lightning at the time tares on the surface of the large masses; of, or immediately before orafter, the exploand if so, whether those fractures corres. sion; the day continued very calm and seponded in shape and number with the small rene; was rather close and sultry, and withfragments ?

out wind or rain. It is about three miles in In consequence of the foregoing questions, direct line from the lands of Brasky, where I received the following letter :

the very large stone descended, to the place

" Limerick. where the small ones fell in Adare, and all the I "Sir,-Friday morning, the 10th of Sep- others fell intermediately; but they appeared tember 1913, being very calm and serene, to descend horizontally, and as if discharged and the sky clear, about nine o'clock a cloud from a bomb and scattered in the air. appeared in the east, and very soon aster I “ I am. sir, heard eleven distinct reports, appearing to

6. Your obedient servant, proceed from thence, somewhat resembling

SAM. MAXWELI.. the discharge of heavy artillery. Imme « WILLIAN HIGGIN3, Esq. diately after this, followed a considerable

" Dublin Society. House."' noise, not unlike the beating of a large

There is no phenomenon in nature so dram, which was succeeded by an uproar strange or so difficult to be accounted for, resembling the continued discharge of mus

as the existence of meteoric stones in the quetry in line. The sky above the place atmosphere, and the circumstances attending whence this noise appeared to issue, became their motion and descent to the earth. The darkened, and very much disturbed, ma fiery meteors which deposit them are often king a hissing noise; and from thence ap seen at a considerable height above the peared to issue with great violence, different clouds, moving in a horizontal direction masses of matter, which directed their with great velocity, but gradually approachcourse with great velocity in a horizontal di- ing towards the earth. When they reach rection towards the west. One of these was

within a certain distance of it, or when they observed to descend ; it fell to the earth, and ineet with clouds, the phenomena of thun. sunk into it more than a foot and a half, on der and lightning are produced, the ignition the lands of Scach in the neighborhood of ceases, and the stones come down, most fre. Pobuck's Well, in the county of Limerick. quently shattered into masses of different It was immediately dug up; and I have been sizes, with the effects of fusion, without ex informed by those who were present, and on ceptior, on their surface, the fractured parts whom I could rely, that it was then warm, excepted, although internally they exhibit and had a sulphurous smell. It weighed no such appearance. about seventeen pounds, and had no ap In whatever part of the irorld those stones pearance of having been fractured in any are found, they exhibit very nearly the same part, for the whole of its surface was uni

appearance as to colour, texture, fracture, formly smooth and black, as if affected by &c. and on analysis give the saine ingresulphur or gunpowder. Six or seven more

dients, sometimes varying very little in their of the same kind of masses, but smaller, and proportions. fractured, as if shattered from each other, The stone which fell a few years agn in or from larger ones, descended at the same

the county of Tipperary, and which weighed time, with great velocity, in diiferent places, seven pounds and a half, was found by my between the lands of Scagh and the village analysis to consist of the same substances of Adare. One more very large mass pas. with many which had fallen on different sed with great rapidity and considerable parts of the globe, according to the analyses noise at a small distance from me; it came of Mr. Howard. to the ground on the lands of Brasky, and The following are the constituents of those penetrated a very hard and dry earth, about stones, viz. two feet. This was not taken up for two Silex in large quantities. days; it appeared to be fractured in many Magnesia. places, and weighed about sixty-five pounds! Iron in its metallic state. Its shape was rather round, but irregular: it Nickel in small proportions. cannot be ascertained whether the small

Sulphur and oxide of iron, fragments which came down at the same As no other mineral substance hitherto time corresponded with the fractures of this discovered on our globe consists of the large stone in shape or number; but the on

above ingredients, we must consider them as fractured part of the surface has the saine foreigners. Some philosophers suppose that appearance as the one first mentioned. they are projected from the volcanoes of the There fell also, at the same time, on the moon; that they are projected from the earth lands of Faha, another stone, which does not by means of volcanoes--that they are proappear to have been part of, or separated duced in the atinosphere by the gradual ac. from, any other mass: its skin is sinooth and cumulation of minute and invisible atomų, VOL. II.--No. IV.


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&c. But as these speculations are inconsis. ty ; therefore, it appears rather singular that tent with sound philosophy, or even with they should not be accompanied with lightplausible hypotheses, I shall drop the subject ring, which is generally the case ; but probere.

bably the opacity or darkness of the clouds, It is supposed hy Cladini that they never during the fall in the county of Limerick, belonged to any planet, and that they were rendered it invisible. I am, sir, opaque wandering masses, before tliey

Your very humble servant, reached the confines of our atmosphere.

W. HIGGINS Tois, certainly, is the most rational mode of accounting for their presence in the situation in which we first behold them in the atmos

From the Philosophical Magasine. phere.

However, to account for their becoming This amusement being now in the hands luminous or red hot, when they descend into of almost every person, any description the upper regions of our atmosphere, regions more particular than what will present itseli of eternal frost, has been a desideratuin with in the subjoined historical detail, will here me, and engaged much of my attention some be unnecessary. time past.

Dr. Brewster, the patentee of this amusing These masses, like all other ponderalıle instrument, is charged by many with being materials, contain specific heat round their a plagiarist, and claiming that, as a new inatoms and particles; in moving through the vention of his own, which is really old, and atmosphere they collect electricity; and this the discovery of another. We shall lay the continues increasing, as there is no other so. grounds of this charge before our readers ;lid matter in those upper regions to prevent and we begin with some remarks which its accumulation. When they acquire a suf- have appeared in the French Journals : ficient quantity of electric matter, the entire “ Scarcely," says one of them, “ had the or a portion of their specific heat is liber. Kaleidoscope been imported into Paris, ated, and much of it is thrown on their suur when twenty competitors started forward. face; this gives the luminous appearance : and each, his glass in his hand, contended as they contain much iron and sulphur, a for the attention of the public. To the portion of oxygen unites to their external Kaleidoscope one opposed the Polyoscope ; parts. The degree of heat produced by these another the Metamorphosiscope; and as the different circumstances will account for the great majority of spectators called out for superficial fused crust which invariably sur something French, we saw immediately this pounds these substances. It is probable also, wish gratified by the Transfiguraleur, the that a quantity of electricity collects round French lamp, &c.” those masses, so as to form a considerable “ M. Robertson," a mathematical-instruand dense atmosphere, and that this electric ment maker in Paris, of some eminence, atmosphere as they move along, keeps the “reclaims for France the priority of this inair in contact with them in a constant blaze. vention. He brings in proof an instrument,

These electric stones in descending to of great dimension it is true, but which for wards the earth, wlien they meet a cloud many years has furnished in his cabine! comparatively negative, lose a portion of the same various pictures which an adroit their electricity; which bursting forth with speculator has introduced into the Kaleidosgreat vehemence exhibits the phenomena of cope. Thus Professor Brewster of Edinthunder and lightning ; at the same time burgh, to whom the English have attrithat they are most commonly shattered into buted the honour of this discovery, is nothing pieces. So soon as this takes place, their more than an imitator. This is not the first luminous appearance ceases, their specific time that a French discovery has taken the heat resumes its former station, and they are longest way of arriving at Paris

. M. Cheva. precipitated to the earth, still retaining a lier too enters the lists; holding in one band considerable degree of heat. The stone that a work, published more than fifty years ago: fell in the county of Tipperary could not be in which the principle of this agreeable ilusouched with the hand some time after its siou is described, while in the other he predescent.

sents us a lamp which, by adding much to It is somewhat strange that those meteors the inagic of the effects, merits truly the should be found to move from E. to W. name whicli he gives it of the French Álultiwhich is contrary to the motions of the plicutor." earth; unless it had been occasioned by the However mortifying it may be to our electrical explosion, which might have scat- ingenious neighbours, the French, to have tered the stones in every direction by its vio- their claims to the originality of this invenlence. It is impossible that such explosions tion denied, the fact is, that should the opticould be produced but by means of electrici. . cal principle on which the instrument is

founded, and earlier publication, be held to The apper part of the atmosphere which constitute the invention, the discovery u ill extends beyond the reach of clouds, contains a

be found to belong to England, notwithconsiderable quantity of free electricity, as the standing the French work " published more phenomenon of the aurora borealis suficiently than fifty years ago, in which the principle evinces.

of this agreeable illusion is described;" for

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