A good form of brazing lamp which any tinman can construct, is shown in the accompanying engraving. It is made of copper, with the exception of the screws. The outside case is a cylinder, D, about four and a half inches high, and two and a half inches diameter, with a hole, E,as shown in the sketch ; it is without ends, 80 that the receiver, marked A, may slide in the top, and the lamp, marked B, fit in the lower part. The parts fit together, as shown in section. The part marked A has a small chamber in the inside, with a small opening at the top. To use the lamp, the spirit lamp is' fixed in the bottom of the case, the part A is filled up to the line with spirit, the lamp is then lighted, which soon boils the spirit in A, the vapor then enters the chamber marked C, and is forced down the small pipe,G, against the flame of the lamp with sucIl force that it sends a strong fierce flame through the hole to the outside of the lamp. The outside hole of the blowpipe is to be made very small—so small that the point of a filie needle will only just enter. Origin and Improvement ot Steel Pens. "B'ew of the millions who use a steel pen give its origin a thought, yet there is no invention which is so universally used. During the first twenty years of this century, a Mr. James Perry was the proprietor and conductor of a popular school near London. To save himself from the drudgery of making and mending pens for scrawling urchins, he invented, in the year 1820, in imitation of the ancient stylus, a pen made of steel ; and after many unsuccessful attempts, so far succeeded .as to substitute it for the quill in the school room. Mr. Perry, although a schoolmaster, was a keen business ^^n. He followed up this success vigorously, and it ended in the production of the celebrated Perryan pen, known and used to this day. Mr. Perry, even in those early days, knew the value of advertising. He gave his invention a wide eir culation, and in 1824, only four years after the first introduction of steel pens in Perry's school room, Robert Griffin (who is still alive) says : “ During this year I wrote with pens. made of steel, manufactured under the direction of Mr. James Perry—a pen that lasted about eight or nine weeks, writing about eight hours a day.” In 1825 Mr. Perry employed fifty operators in London to manufacture steel pens ; but although he was the in ventor of the steel pen, he was not able to make them popular. That was left for a very remarkable man, namely, the still living philanthropist, Josiah Mason. Mr. Mason, who endowed an orpba.n asylum a few months ago in Endenton, near Birmingham, England, with £250,000, was in his younger days a carpet weaver in Kiddermin ster. He, however, left that occupation and went to Birmingham, where he sold shoelaces, pins. needles, etc., in the market place. One day he saw the Perryan pen exposed in a shop window at the moderate price of sixpence each ; he bought three of them, determined to see whether he could not imitate them, and soon produced a pen lighter and better than the original. Far from taking a mean advant'age in selling them to customers (Perry being then, 1830, the only maker), Mr Mason sent three dozens of his pens, mounted upon cards, to Perry, in London, offering to make them at fifteen shillings a gross. Mr. Perry, who seems to have been a liberal and shrewd business man, soon saw that a genius had got hold of the invention who could make great progress in the production. He at once accepted Mr. Mason's offer, made him small advances of money, and only stipulated that Mason should furnish him the sole supply. Mason then began to give his whole mind to the subject. His first effort was to get the steel rolled to the proper thinness, in which alone at that time the difficulty lay. Then the machinist was called in to aid by a regular cut form what had before been shaped by hand. When Mr. Perry saw that Mason could turn out more pens. in Birmingham in a day than he himself could do, with all his hands :n London in a week, he thought it time to propose a partnership to Mason, which was accepted, and since Mr. Perry's death the Pel 'ryan pen is manufactured and owned by Mr. Mason, in Birmingham. Hay Fever caused by Vlbriones. Helmholz says in VivrchrnVs Archives, that since 1847, he has been attacked every year, at some time between May 20th and the end ofJune, with a catarrh ofthe upper air passages. These attacks increase rapidly in severity ; violent sneezing comes on/"With secretion of a thin, very irritating fluid ; in a few hours there is a painful inflammation of the nose, both externally and internally ; then fever, violent headache, and great prostration. This train of symptoms is sure to follow if he is exposed to the sun and heat, and is equally certain to disappear in a short time if he withdraws himself from such exposure. At the approach of cold weather these catarrhs cease. He has otherwise very little tendency to catarrhs or colds. For five years past, at the season indicated, and only then, he has regularly succeeded in finding vibrios in his nasal secretions. They are only discernible with the immersion lense of a very good Hartnak's. The single joints, commonly isolated, are characterized by containing four granules in a row; each two granules being IDrore closely connected, pairwise, and the combined length equaling 0 004mm. The joiJlts are also found united in rows, or in series of branches. As they are seen only in the secretion which is expelled by a violent sneeze. and not in that which trickles gradually forth, he concludes that they are probably situated in the adjoining cavities and recesses of the nose. On reading Binz's account of the poisonous effect of quinine upon infusoria, he determined to try it in his own case. He took a saturated neutral solution of qui- nire sulph. in water =1 : 740. This excites a moderate sensation of burning in the nasal mucous membrane. Lying upon his back, he dropped 4 centim. of the solution, by a pencil, into each nostril ; moving his head mean - while in all directions, to bring the fluid thoroughly into contact with the parts, until he felt it reach the resophagus. Relief was immediate. He was able, for some hours, freely to expose himself to the heat of the sun. Three applications a day sufficed to keep him free from the catarrh, under circumstances the most unfavorable. The vibriones, also, were no longer to be found. The experiment was made in 1867 ; and was repeated at the first recurrence of the al.tack in May, 1868, preventing the further development of the attack for that year. Graphic Sketch of Col. Drake, tile Oil Pioneer. About a mile below Titusville, Pa., the first oil well derrick that was ever built, in this or any other country, is still to be seen. In the light that petroleum has thrown upon the world since, it is sad to reflect that the man who first bored for oil, and, by his pluck and parseverance, not only flooded a community with sudden riches, but increased the wealth of the world, died as a, common paupe.r. Colonel E. L. Drake first .made his appearance here in 1857. Previous to that time he had been a conductor on a railroad in Connecticut. He came to Oil Creek to obtain for Another person an acknowledgment of a deed from one Squire Trowbridge, living in Cherrytree Township, Venango County. Calling casually at the office of Brewer&Watson, in Titusville, he there found a bottle of crude oil, and his curiosity being excited concerning it, he ltJarned from Dr. Brewer all facts of interest connected with its production, namely, that it flowed from natural springs- on the Watson flats ; had been known to the Seneca Indians before the settlement of this region, and had been introduced by them as liniment or medicine to white persons, and sold to the druggists,' and latterly had been gathered by Brewer&Watson, and used for lighting the sawmills of the firm and for lubricating purposes. Drake visited the flats to examine the oil springs, and while there conceived the ide:1. of boring to the sources of the oil. Returning to the East, he presented his view to a number of friends, and the result was that in the following year he came back to the oil region as the agent of an existing oil company at New Haven, who had purchased an oil tract, and Drake had full authority to bore, but very little means for the undertaking. Drake may have got his idea from having heard that parties, sinking artesian wells for salt down on the Allegheny, were sometimes annoyed by meeting with a flow of oil. At all events, his first step was to visit the salt works near Pittsburgh, and .engage experienced hands to go up and sink a well for him. A bargain was made ; but it was not kept, the honest drillers for salt concluding, after Drake's departure, that the man must be a fool who thought of drilling for oil. A second trip to Pittsburgh, in a buggy (there was no railroad from Oil Creek then), resulted in another contract, which was broken for similar reasons. Drake then made a third trip ; and finding it idle to talk of oil to men who were accustomed to regard it only as a nuisance troubling their salt water veins, he proposed to one of them to go with him and bore for salt. Salt seemed reasonable, and the man accepted his offer ; and finally, in June, 1859, ground was brokenfor tho first artesian oil well. The drillers wished to make a large cribbed opening to the rock, which seems to have been their usual method of starting a well. But Drake said he would drive down an iron tube instead. ':&bis plan, which his friends claim was original with him (if so, it is a pity he didn't secure a patent for it. which would have been worth a fortune to him) was adopted, and it has been in use ever since, not only in sinking oil wells but in artesian boring for other purposes. The pipe was dri ven thirty-two feet, to the first stratum of rock. The workmen then drilled thirty-seven feet and six inches farther, entering what is known as the first sand rock, and making a total depth of sixty-nine and a half feet. They were at this point, when, one day—August 28, 1859—as the tools were lifted out of the bare, a foaming, dingy fluid, resembling somewhat, in appearance, boiling maple sugar, rushed up, and stood within a few inches of the top of the pipe. It was oil. In the meanwhile Drake had great difficulties to overcome, and greater were before him. There was still no railroad in that part of the country, and all his machinery and apparatus had to come in wagons from Erie, a distance of forty miles. He had til) send to Erie for everything—once for a pair of common shovels, the store at Titusville being unable to furnish them. He had soon spent the money advanced to him by the company, and it refused to advance him more. He had exhausted his credit, too, and could not get trusted for the value of an oak plank: or a center bit. He was thought insane, and people called him “Crazy Drake.” His workmen were unpaid and discontented, and his enterprise must have failed when on the very verge of success, had not two gentlemen of Titusville, worthy of mention here— Messrs. R. D. Fletcher and Peter Wilson—having faith in the man and his work, come to his assistance. They indorsed his paper and loaned him money—and with this timely aid he struck oil. Yet even now, with his well in operation, pumping twenty- five barrels a day, he seemed to be getting deeper and deeper into difficulty. He found, as he afterward said, that he had an elephant on his hands. There had been a demand for oil , at a good price, in small quantities, but there was no demand for it in large quantities. Imitators followed him, other wells were sunk, and the market was flooded. Teamsters charged $10 for hauling a barrel to Erie, where it could not fetch $10. The oil could not be generally used as an illuminating agent without being refined, and the coal oi,! refiners refused to touch a rival production, whose success in the market would be likely to injure their interests. Drake's health, if not his spirits, gave way under these complications, and he returned to the East about the time when petroleum —first refined by James McKeown and Samuel Kier, of Pittsburgh—was coming into general use. The great oil excitement came too late for poor Drake to profit ty it. He died recently in a Connecticut poor house.
This article was originally published with the title "A Useful Brazing Lamp" in Scientific American 21, 22, 340-341 (November 1869)