It is officially announced that the Fair of tiie American Institute will positively close on the 30th of October. The managers may congratulate themselves upon the success of the exhibition. It has been well attended, and has generally, we believe, satisfled both exhibitors and visitors. A common remark of narrow-minded people is, that such exhibitions are mere advertising dodges, got up for the special benefit of the exhibitors, that there is really very little that is new exhibited, and that it does not pay to visit them. Yet these same narrow-minded people are to be found annually in attendance at such displays, finding, it is to be supposed, sufficient pleasure in grumbling to compensate for a trifling expenditure of money and time. Tliere is very little novelty to bo expected in any such display in proportion to the large number of things exhibited. Tiie world never gets on so fast as to satisfy those to whom it owes nothing. No class of men work harder to benefit their fellows than inventors, and yet those croakers who never had an original idea in their brains, and never would have should they live to the world's end, find fault at the slovmess of mechanical progress. These people will spend an evening strolling up Broadway, gazing in at the shop windows at the beautiful things displayed, and never think of finding fault that these things are placed iu the windows to advertise them ; yet, at one of these fairs where a collection of curious, instructive, and beautiful articles ;and machines is brought together, such as they could not see in a week of strolling and gaping at windows, they make complaint because the exhibitors are likely to reap some pecuniary benefit. Of course they are ; and if you who gi-umble object to this sort of thing, you are welcome to stay away, a thing which you cannot do, for it is a characteristic of such people to be found in every place where their growling can mar the pleasure of others. For ourselves, we are satisfied to see the gradual improvement made in old and standard manufactures, and do not complain that it is only now and then anytliing meets our eye that can be called a " novelty." It is this gradual improvement that makes up the bulk of human progress. We iiave, in our notices of various departments, already called attention to the most noteworthy improvements exhibited. We have, doubtless, overlooked some, although it was our intention to treat impartial y all exhibitors of important improvements. Some of the departments not calculated to greatly interest our readers, we have not specially mentioned at all. Those, however, who have followed us '? our weekly notices will own that we have dealt very liberally indeed with exhibitors, and we have received ample assurances that the exhibitors themselves so regard it. We shall now discontinue these notices, with the hope that the future exhibitions of the American Institute may be as successful as this has been, and with the heartiest wishes for the success of such of the exhibitors as are endeavoring through the facilities thus afforded, to introduce new inventions. Many of tliese will date the commencement of success from the Exliibition of the American Institute for 1809. A Perilous Balloon Voyage. The Saginaw (Michigan), Enterprise, relates the story of one of the most perilous balloon voyages on record. Professor La Mountain was the only occupant of the balloon, which ascended from Bay City on the afternoon of the 12th instant. The balloon had leaked badly, and his campanion was obliged to get out of the car, when those who held the balloon let go suddenly, and the air vessel passed upward witli dreadful velocity, without either ballast, instruments, food, or companion. In a few minutes the balloon liad attained an altitude of two miles, and was driven by a very strong gale directly towards the lake. It passedinto a snow cloud, which speedily coated it and everything in and about it. The escape valve was frozen tight, and Professor La Mountain, iu pulling Tvith all his might to open it, drew out the rope and thus cut oflT another means of escape. The balloon still passed upward, and emerged into the clear cold air above. The involuntary traveler felt that something must lie done, and quickly. He climbed the ropes above the hoop and felt for his knife, but he had left it below. Clinging with one hand to the ropes, he tore with his. other hand and his teeth a hole in the side of the balloon. Passing to the other side he repeated the process and then returned quickly to the car. His fingers had been frozen while thus exposed. He heard the cloth tear and saw the rent open from the bottom to the top. The balloon had gradually slackened its upAvard progress, rested a moment in equilibrium, and then began to descend, slowly at first and then with a velocity more frightful than that of the ascent. At the hight of two miles from the ground the gas had completely left the balloon, but the air had rushed in and made it a sort of parachute. Professor La Mountain was in a half unconscious state during the descent, although he rememhers passing through the cloud, less distinctly the sensation on seeing and nearing the earth, and then he became wholly unconscious. When his senses returned he was lying in a wood, and several persons had come to his assistance, having seen him falL He had been stunned and severi-ly bruised, but had broken no bones, and suffered no internal injury. The spot where he landed was seven miles from Bay City ; the time he had been in the air is not stated. Bells and Carillons, or Continental CUlmes. Mr. Thomas Walesby communicates to the Builder an in teresting article on bells. He says : " Our great musical historian, Dr. Charles Burney, in his interesting work, ' The present State of Music in Germany, the Netherlands,' etc. London, 1773, speaking of his visit to Courtray, says : " 'It was in this to\vn that I first perceived the passion for carillons, or chimes, which is so prevalent throughout the Netherlands. I happened to arrive at eleven o'clock, and half an hour after the chimes played a great number of cheerful tunes, in different keys, which awakened my curiosity for this species of music so much, that, when I came to Ghent, I determined to inform myself, in a particular manner, concerning the carillon science. For this purpose I mounted the town belfry, from whence I had a full view, not only of the city of Ghent, but could examine the mechanism of the chimes, as far as they are ])layed by clock-work, and likewise seethe carillonmur perform with a kind of keys, communicating with the bells, as those of the harpsichord and organ do with strings and pipes. The great convenience of this kind of music is, that it entertains the inhabitants of a whole town without giving them the trouble of going to any particular spot to hear it.' " So far so good. The respected author then goes on to say— " 'But the want of something to stop the vibration of each bell, at the pleasure of the player, liRe the valves of an organ, is an intolerable defect to a cultivated ear ; for by the notes of one passag3 perpetually running into another, everything is rendered so inarticulate and conl jsed, as to occasion a very disairrseable jargon.' " Now, having myself examined the bells and mechanism —cylindre et clamer— of the most celebrated carillons in Europe, and repeatedly listened to their music at various distances, I beg to assert most distinctly that the statement made by the learned doctor in the last paragraph is false. I deny that ' everything is rendered inarticulate and confused,' or disagreeable. On this point I speak the more plainly, because almost every Englishman who has written a line about cariions since 1773, has followed Burncy's dictum, and told us that the great defect is the want of a damper to each bell. S vt.ral examples relating to Boston and other chimes have been contributed to public journals since Christmas last. " Perhaps the following observations may suggest what led the Doctor to entertain and publish the notion just mentioned : " Every musician worthy of the name knows that instruments strung with wire ' which have nothing to stop the sounding-strings, make an intolerable jangle to one that stands near,' as, I may add, bells do to one that is in the hell charnier, and hears the continuing sound of dissonant tones. Such an instrument of the wire-string kind is the dulcimer. But the piano-forte has a simple contrivance—a damper—for stopping the vibrations of the strings when the fingers are lifted from the keys. " If, then, instead of going to a spot at some convenient distance from the tower, as he ought to have done, with a view to 'inform himself in a partimilur manner' concerning carilhn music, Dr. Burney stood in the hell chamher during a performance, the effect must indeed have been intolerable to a cultivated ear. " I maintain, however, that musical bells suspended in a tower, require 210 damper whatever ; for, when their sounds have issued from the openings in the sides of the building, they spread themselves in the air, and ultimately reach the auditor with precision in subdued and pleasing tones. Even rai)id passages in carillon music, if properly harmonized so as not to weaken or confuse the melody, and executed by, or upon, a good instrument, produce an admirable effect. " It would be well if the vibrations of many noisy and discordant things called bells were completely stopped. But to say that musical tower bells require dampers in order to produce the desired effect is truly absurd. It is equal to an of the 'moonshine' on bells in general with which we have been favored during the last fourteen years." Convciiieitt lletliod' '.ot Ascertaining tlie Constitution ol" Fimes, M. Dufour recommends the following process for demonstrating, for instance, that the flame of a candle is formed ot a hollow cone, luminous on the tutside only, and dark in the iirterior. For this purpose it is necessary to cut the flame ;. the most preferable method of doing this is by means of a sheet of water or ah. The arrangement is as follows: A caoutchouc tube has, at one of its extremities, a gas jet, such as is used for common gas flames ; this jet has an almost semicircular slit of 0-4m.m. iii depth. The other end of the tube comiuimicates with a reservoir of water placed at a convenient hight. Upon a suitable pressure, the water flows cut by the slit in the jet, producing a clear sheet, capable of preserving for a suificient length of time, an invariable form and size. The slit is placed in such a manner that the sheet presents a horizontal surface ; and this will easily cut the flame of a candle, shoAving a perfect section. The hot gases and carbonaceous particles are carried off by the water. On plac-, ing the eye above the hollow cone, the luminous wall, etc., can be distinctly seen. Sections may easily be made near the wick or near the point ; nothing hinders observation, j which may be prolonged at pleasure, and a lens may be used , if desired. A flame of gas may be cut and examined in the same manner, but the current of gas must not be strong enough to traverse the sheet of water. If a current of air be caused to come out of the slit by lellows, an invisible sheet of air is formed which is, also, very convenient for making a section of flame. Close observation is quite possible ; for the i aerial current prevents the heated gases from reaching the , eyes, and a lens may be used, as in the former case. The i flame forms a cone, whose luminous walls are extremely thin, and their interior can be plainly seen. A platinum wire may be introduced across the section ; and on being plunged ' as far as the wick, it will remain unreddened in the dark in- terror of the cone. A jet of gas issuing from a circular opening, of from 1 to 2m,m. in diameter, may also be cut very conveniently by the sheet of air. It will be seen to consist of a cone whose walls I are brilliant and extremely thin. Upon bringing the sheet I of air close to the aperture whence the gas escapes, the flame I will be divided at its base and will reappear a little higher. By this means, the entire length of the luminous cone, its ! thin walls, and their interior may be examined, i If a jet of gas produced by a fan-tail burner be cut, the j luminous fan will be found to consist of two brilliant blades, between which there is a narrow obscure space. The blades are at a greater distance apart, and the dark space is wider towards the end of the fan-tails ; and, by assuming a suitable position, it is easy to see through the section of fiame into ' the dark space which separates the brilliant walls, and at the end of this will be seen the slit by which the gas escapes. Instead of throwing the sheet of air perpendicularly to the flame, M. Dufour thinks it better to throw it partly on one side, on such a plane as to make a slight angle with the axis of the conical flame, or with the plane of the fan shaped flame. A lateral suction is then produced by the infiuence of the current, wlfich draws the flame, and inclines it against the sheet of air, by which it is cut. By placing the sheet of air on a more or less inclined plane, and approaching or removing it from the base of the flame, the section is easily made at points more or less distant from that base. The method described above may, of course, be applied to any kind of flame. M. Dufour suggests that it might be of service in the chemical analysis of flames. When a flame is cut by a sheet of water, the water draws off the gases of which it is composed. If the section be made with a sheet of air, it will be easy, by placing suction pipes through the length, and ending at fixed points in the interior of the cone, to collect the gases whose composition is desired to be ascertained. —Les Mondes. The Monnd Builders In the Rocky Mountains. An account was recently given of the opening of an ancient mound in Southern Utah, similar to those of the Mississippi Valley, in which were found relics of the unknown builders indicating much artistic skill It was stated that this was the first evidence found of the existence of the Mound Builders west of the Rocky Mountains. We are now able to anj nounce, for the first time, as we suppose, the discovery of similar mounds, evidently built by the same race, high upon the Rocky Mountains. The discovery was made by Mr. C. A, Deane, of Denver, while at work on a Government survey, in the mountains, a f ew weeks since. He found upon the extreme summit of the snowy range,structures of stone evidently of ancient origin, and hitherto unknow or unnoticed. Opposite to and also north of the head of South Boulder Creek, and on the summit of the range, Mr. Deane and his party observed large numbers of the granite rocks, many of them as large as two men could lift, in a position that could not have been the result of chance. They had evidently been, placed uprig. t in a line, conforming to the general contour of the dividing ridge, and frequently extending in an unbroken line for one or two hundred yards. Many of the stones have fallen over or are leaning, while others retain their upright position. In two places, connected with this line, are mounds of stone, loosely laid up, about two feet in hight, and embracing a circular area of about ten feet in diameter. The stones were evidently collected on the spot, as the surface is cleared for a space of several yards around the structures. These lines and mounds of stone bear every mark of extreme antiquity, as the disintegrated granite has accumulated to a considerable depth at their base, and the rocks in the mounds are moss-grown. The feature, more particularly identifying these structures with those of the Mound Builders elsewhere, is that they present, at intervals, projections pointing to the westward. We are thus particular in the description of these Rocky Mountain mounds which are extraordinary in position if not in character, in the hope that antiquarians, visiting our Territory, may be induced to examine them. It would not involve much labor to open them and possibly they cover relics tLat may add something to our small stock of knowledge of the ancient ra,:e who constructed these and similar works 11 over the continent. The walls and mounds are situated 3,000 feet above the timber line. It is, therefore, hardly supposable that they Avero built for altars of sacrifice. They were not large enough for shelter or defense. The more probable supposition is, that like the larger mounds elsewhere, they Were places of sepulture, and perhaps, also, at the same time, historical memorials, pointing, with their stone fingers, in the direction of the country from which the bufiders, or their an-eestors, migrated. The three mounds may mark the resting places of those who, for some distinction, were buried as near to heaven as possible.—Bochy Mountain News. Steam Plowing. We learn from the Engineer that a highly iiteresting test of steam apparatus for cultivating and plowing the soil was carried out recently at Eye, near Peterborough, England. The object on this occasion was two-fold, viz., to introduce an improved self-acting anchor for using with the round-about system, and to show what could be done with more powerful ' machinery and direct action by the use of two engines. The latter, system was exhibited by Messrs. Fowler and Co., of Leeds. The new application referred to was invented by Mr. I Champion, a practical farmer near Shalding. It consists in what we may term a self-acting anchor. The form of the invention is simply a cross-bar in which are fixed spikes or claws for entering the ground. There are two or three spikes fastened by clasps on each side of the square iron bar, according as the soil may be, hard or soft, and more or less resistance is required. The iron bar wlficli carries these spikes is placed across the back part of Messrs. Fowler and Co.'s disk anchor and outside the frame, attached to the revolving bar, is a ratchet with four catches, into which falls the stop notch I of a lever. The distance, therefore, which the anchor advances depends on the square and the length of the spikes and the size of the ratchet. The one shown at work on this occasion was so constructed that the anchor advanced three feet each time the lever was raised, and the ratchet turned round one fourth of its circle or side. When a plow or digger, however, has four breasts or " diggers " on it, and more than three feet of work is done at a drag, the anchor does not advance sufficiently far if the ratchet is allowed to turn only one fourth round. Every three or four drags, therefore, which the plow takes, it is allowed to turn half round, which keeps it in the right position for a direct action of the rope. But this is a matter of minor detail. The result of this application is, the claw anchors, which required a man at each end to shift and keep in their place, are entirely dispensed with, and three men and two boys, viz., one man at the engine, one at the windlass, and one on the plow, with the two boys at the rope-porters, can ???? do the work more easily than the five men and two boys previously required, could do. An important difference in the cost on first outlay is also the result of this system. The anchor is undoubtedly the most simple and efficient that has yet been introduced. It will bear a strain of 20-horse power, and it has never been turned over ; while in hard ground the claw anchors are difficult to insert, and in soft ground it is next to impossible to keep them in a proper position. In tills method of plowing, clip-drum engines are placed at each end of the field, and the gang ot plows is drawn backward and forward by a wire rope. Results, therefore, need only now be given. Here almost a revolution is just now occurring. The small 10-horse engines are being replaced by SO-horse engines, and for the superior work and greater ceon omy of this Increased power it has been satisiactorily calculated that 50-horse engines will be even more efficient. By 30-horse engines and thirteen-tined cultivators an aveiage of thirty-six acres per day has been accomplished, the cost of which is actually 2s. 6d. per acre. The calculation mentioned with regard to the 50-horse engines is that thecost can thereby be reduced to Is. 6d. or Is. per acre at a depth of 10 inches. The practical experience which has led to these conclusions has occurred at Buscote Park, Berks. Mr. Campbell Las there worked since harvest the 30-horse engines, weighing twenty-eight tuns each, which we saw at the royal meeting at Manchester. He has done between t\vo thousand and three thousand acres at the actual cost named—2s. 6d. per acre—his land being of the strongest and heaviest kind. The rate at which he works is from three and a half to four miles per hour, at which pace from three to four acres are broken up in the same time. The increased efficiency, too, of the work done by this greater power is gri-atly due to the increased pace which it permits, for not only is the soil smashed up, but it is shattered at the same time. The wsrk done with the 10-horse engine and cultivator was perfection itself. Nothing could be better at the depth of 10 inches. Between 7 A. M. and 2-30 P. M. eighteen acres were done in the way described. I Facts for the Ladles. My Wlieeler Wilson Sewing Mactiine, No.-'?G. litis done the sewing of my family, and a good deal for neiglibors, for fotirtcen years and three months, without any repairs. One needle served to do all the serving for more than four years. W. A. HAWLOir. Syracuse, N. T.
This article was originally published with the title "Close of the Fair of the American Institute" in Scientific American 21, 19, 298-299 (November 1869)