Crumbling or Pistons and Packing Sings. MESSRS. EDITORS:—Can you give me any scientific reason or explanation why the packing-ringa or piston head should, vv'ii ;; in operation, crumble and fall,to pieces like plumbago ? In two i nstances it has happened in my experience ; first on a 13 by 30-inch engine, with 120 lbs. steam, making 00 revolutions per minute, apparently working well, perfectly smooth, and without jar. When main belt and steam were oil', I could turn the engine by its 10-ft. fly pulley with ease, proving that it was not too tightly packed. After the accident the cylinder was perfectly smooth, and not in the least cat. The piston head was completely annihilated with the exception of the hub, wtich remained keyed to the rod. Then- was not a piece which weighed more than a pound, aiiil those wore few. The others were about the size of buckshot, or smaller, resembling plumbago. The. oil used was machine oil, made in a candle factory. Accident No. 2. Engine, 12 by 30 inch ; steam, 50 lbs., 50 revolutions per minute ; engine running beautifully, and had been for three months without removing cylinder head, when, hearing some disagreeable noiso inside, I immediately shut down and removed the back head. To my surprise I discovered that the engine had turned into a shot factory, about two thirds of the outside rings had crumbled entirely to pieces about the size of buck shot, the remaining third beiu'j smooth on the under side of the piston. The oil used in tins cylinder was crude oiivo oil of the country. In this case the follower and the remainder of the head remained inn;t. Both engines were horizontal. Tliti first accident occurred in San Franciwo, Cal., in 1853. The second near this place (Saltillo) ill 1860. Of the legion of inquiries I have made not one p"rson have I found who *-,ould give me any satisfaction concerning the cause, or who ever heard or witnessed a similar accident; still I cannot believe that I am the first to whom this phenomenon has presented itself, as I firmly believe that there is no effect without a cause, and that certain causes produce similar effects. Then; must certainly boa reason which can be given, either cliisuieallv or mechanically, or both combined; but I must confess that my limited knowledge is not sufficient to solve the problem. Steam has been used to propel pistons in cylinders for a sufficient length of time to have shown all its different results as regards temperature connected with the different lubricators, but in the above cases the lubricators as well as temperatures differ widely, and still produce similar results, which seems to clearly prove that neither the one nor the other is the immediate cause. GrEOllGE S. PlBKCB. haltillo, Mexico. Our correspondent is mistaken in supposing neither temperatures or lubricators have anything to do with the phenomenon described. Such accidents do not frequently occur, but have been observed and accounted for. The change in the piston head and packing rings is a chemical one; the iron combining with carbon liberated from the lubricators. It is perhaps not generally known that oils or tallow may be decomposed in steam cylinders at high temperatures, their I'arijon nutting with the iron to form a substance resembling bago or xhe substance formed from cast iron when long exposed to sea water. This is more apt to occur in jacketed cylinders where an excess of oil is employed.—EDS. Purifying Drinking Water. MBSSKS. EDITORS :—Perchloride of iron, no doubt, will an-sv.'T very well for the purification of muddy water of streams jikc the Maas in the Netherlands, or the Mississippi and Rio Colorado on this continent, and where there is time for the muddy deposit to settle. The action is similar to alum for the precipitation of clay in water. But for wells, cisterns, reservoirs, private or public, for water en chipboard, from springs or tanks—in all of which more or !cr,r; organic substance is taken from the soil or deposited by the atmosphere, to breed diseases among those who have to use it—the simple method of forcing air tlirough it purifies it perfectly, even when vary foul before. The nitrogenous l;irU iwfi oxidixwd -wd precipitated. A, perforAtd jnt in the eceptacle, not so near the bottom as to stir up the muddy de-losit, and connected with an air pump above, by which air is mpelled through the water a few times during the day, will n.ake and keep the water perfectly sweet and wholesome. As stated in your issue of August 7th, under the head of Bread Baking," the patentee gives it free for family use, or or private cisterns, wells, or tanks. K. dTlEUBETJSE. , lioekjaw Cured ly Tobacco. MBSSKS. EDITORS :—Reading in the late papers the account if the recent melancholy death of the Engineer Roebling 'rom tetanus, or lockjaw, reminded me of an incident in the nilitary campaigns of a friend of mine, a Major in the 10th indiana Cavalry during the war, and which he only a short hue ago related to me among other events of his soldier life. In view of the late unhappy event, I deem it worthy of Doing generally known, as his remedy is very simple, quick, sfficacious, and obtained almost anywhere. It would in the ibove case have certainly saved the life of a very useful man. His command was then—Christmas 1864—in middle Tennessee near the Alabama line. One of his men was wounded slightly in the foot, hardly serious enough to go back a few miles to the nearest hospital, and as the command was,after a short march or so, going into winter quarters, and not wishing to leave it, he concluded to press on with it. The consequence was he took cold in his wounded foot, and tetanus ensued before they reached their winter quarters. All their surgeons and assistants had been left at various hospitals, and the hospital steward knowing nothing better to do, had made arrangements to abandon the man, as hopeless, to die at a plantation. The major casually learned his condition, and as it was a case of life or death anyhow (or rather certain death), he resolved to try an experiment and save him if possible. The man had the lockjaw more than forty hours, they had no medicines along (useltssif they had) and the major's only resource was a plug of navy tobacco. He cut off a square of it (about three inches square), put it in a mess pan with boiling water until it was hot through, and saturated with the water; taking it out he allowed it to cool so as not to blister, then flattening it out, he placed it on the pit of the man's stomach, i In about five minutes the patient turned white around the lips, which also began to twitch—the man was getting very sick—and in nine or ten minutes the rigid muscles relaxed and his jaws fell open. Indeed, it seemed as if the patient would fall all apart and go to pieces, so utterly was his entire muscular system relaxed. The tobacco was immediately removed and some whisky gruel given to stimulate him. Next day the man was taken along in ambulance, and in a few days mounted his horse all right, as bold a " soger boy" as as any. So much for a dead man. It seems necessary in this disease to produce nausea, or sickness of the stomach, to cause the rigid muscles to relax. It is very difficult or almost impossible to administer internal medicines, and some external application becomes necessary to produce nausea, and this is furnished by the tobacco. The major found afterwards that damp tobacco applied to any part of the body would produce sickness, but much more quickly of course when applied to the stomach. Mount Vornon, Ind. AABOH BAKEK. [We give the above for what it is worth. The remedy proposed is one of great power, and would need to be used with extreme caution to avoid fatally nicotizing the patient.—EDS Argentine Republic Exposition. MBSSKS. EDITORS :—The Exposition National, in Cordova (Argentine Kepublic), is to take place in the early part of next year. It may be interesting to American manufacturers to learn that agricultural implements will be admitted free of duty, and that articles intended for this exposition will be conveyed to Cordova from Buenos Ayres at the expense of the State. Information will be furnished to those interested on application to EDIY. F. DAWSON, Consul Genl. 128 Pearl street, New York city. Car Improvements. MESSRS. EDITORS:—For a freight car or way passenger car, I would have an iron box fastened up under the car over the truck, having drip pipes. The box will contain water and the drip to be supplied by a set faucet. It will act the same as in a rolling mill. For the through passenger cars, from New York to San Francisco, I would have four extra sets of trucks—one set at Chicago, another at Echo, another near Cisco, and the fourth at the end of the line. The cars to be raised by machinery, { and the fresh trucks placed under. No delay need arise from i the change. It will give satisfaction to the public and enable the train men to perfect their time. H. N. ARMSTRONG. Stillwater, Minn. A IHaclilnc Swindler. If swindlers still thrive, it is also certain that all the fools are not yet dead. We are convinced of this by the receipt of a letter from the proprietor of the Machine Works at Exeter, N. H., who informs ns that there is a firm at St. John, New Brunswick, that carries on the business of ordering machinery from manufacturers in the States, under the very plausible pretext that it is simply for the purpose of opening up a larger trade. The proprietor of the, Exeter Machine Company was not exactly satisfied to ship his machinery to a strange firm without knowing something more about it, therefore he dispatched an agent to St. John, who there learned that the senior of the firm was a noted rascal, and that he waa in constant j receipt cf machinery vlii"4 bo soM as quickly s possible, md pocketed the money and cheated the shipper. It does not ieem to us possible that any of our manufacturers could lie nduced to ship machinery to a firm about which they know lothing—but so it appears. Extinction of Fires in Manufactories. The Bulletin of the National Association of Wool Mimufttc-'urers for July, contains the following account of the use of sprinklers for the extinction of fires in cotton and woolen nills : Sprinklers, within a few years, have been extensively introduced into the Lowell mills, and in connection with the system of reservoir and mains, are considered the most effective means known for extinguishing fire. In some of the lepartments of a cotton mill, fire spreads over a whole room with such rapidity that hydrants, or other ordinary means, seem to be wholly inadequate to extinguish it. In such a ;a?e, a suitable sprinkler appears to afford the greatest projection practicable. As constructed at Lowell, a sprinkler cojiNists of a network of pipes perforated with small holes, so arranged and lirected that when a valve connecting the sprinkler with the main pipes is opened, the water will flow into all parts of the system of pipes, and escape at the perforations with sufficient, "orce to wet thoroughly and in a very short time every part jf the room it is designed to protect. The idea is not now or peculiar to Lowell, but perhaps it has been more extensively md systematically adopted there than elsewhere. It was irst introduced at Lowell, in thj year 1845, into the picking room of the Suffolk Manufacturing Company, by Mr. John Wright, the agent of that company. As is well known, this department of a cotton mill is p-juliarly liable to fire from the action of the machinery on the cotton, and particularly on the foreign substances which aie 3iten found mixed with it. After the construction of the reservoir, the advantages of the sprinklers, when used in connection with it, were so obvious, that they were soon introduced into the picking departments of all the cotton mills in Lowell. In 1852 and 1853, sprinklers wore put into the roof's of the mills. In one of the old mills, which have slated roofs, the plan adopted was to carry a six-inch pipe from the main in the mil] yard up near the middle of the mill to the level of the perforated pipe, which was placed a few feet below the ridge-pole, and extended the whole length of the mill in a single line, gradually diminishing in size from five inches in diameter near the middle, to three inches at the ends. This pipe was perforated with two holes three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, in each foot in length. These holes point in different directions, so as to wet, as far as practicable, all parts of the roof. The water, after striking the roof, falls; and a large portion of it finds its way into the stories below. The valve connecting the sprinkler with the main pipe is placed in or near the ground, usually in a pit, in the ground, near the mill so as to be always readily accessible, and, the water being constantly maintained in the main pipe at a high pressure, the sprinkler can be put in operation with very little delay. The roof sprinkler is deemed a very great security against heavy losses by fire, as it affords the means of applying a large volume of water at the top of the mill, whore, from the elevation, it would otherwise be difficult to apply it. This apparatus is expected to discharge about four hundred gallons of water per minute, and is intended to be used only for a, few minutes at a time, unless the fire is confined to the roof. Its efficient action requires that most of the hydrants should be shut off. Between the years 1853 and 1850, sprinklers had been introduced into many of the carding and spinning rooms of the cotton mills, which rooms are particularly liable to the rapid spread of fire. In the year 1859, sprinklers were required to be put into all such rooms, as well as into all picking rooms, and all other buildings and rooms liable to the rapid spread of fire or of difficult access. It has been found by experiment that about four hundred and firty gallons per minute is the largest quantity of water which can be drawn from the main pipes in some of the mill yards, from the reservoir alone, and maintain an effeeti vo working pressure. If a large fire should occur at a lime when the canals are drawn off, as they often are during the night and on holidays to enable repairs tobemade, the force-pumps could not be operated, and the supply of water would le limited to that which could be drawn from the reservoir. By operating one section at a time, the sprinklers can be effectively used in such an event; but in a large fire, the supply of water would be much too small tor the efficient action of all the apparatus provided. The remedy is a larger main pipe, an improvement we are looking forward to, in order to perfect the system. THEKE is said to be a grape vine near Santa Barbara, Cali fornia, the trunk of which measures thirteen inches in diameter, the branches covering an area of sixty-five feet in diameter. It is trained upon a trellis-work supported by sixty-four posts. It is stated that the vine last season yielded six tuns of grapes, which brought $260. The vine is twenty-four years old. Another vine', trellised in the same way, eleven years old, bids fair to outstrip the old one. It now covers an area of thirty-six feet in diameter. AN" exchange states that a new description of lava, is being thrown from the crater of Vesuvius since the last eruption, j consisting of a beautiful mass of crystallized salt. This i beautiful phenomenon has hitherto been unknown in volcanic natural history. The scientific bodies are occupied in investigating' the cattse and composition of the crystals. None of ill" iwans (':! ir;lijwd to f?o down sujd WJI-J into it ag yet.