English Iron and Iron Screw Steamers. MESSBS. EDITORS ;—The national—I may almost acid, the world's supply of iron, has hitherto been shared by England, Scotland, Prance, Germany, ' Belgium, etc.—Scotland doing the lion's share. Now, however, the laurels are fast being wrested from Scotland, and England must inevitably defeat all rivals. Imagine I The main Cleveland seam, in Yorkshire, has been estimated to contain 20,000 tims of ore per acre, and at this rate there must be within the limits of the area named close upon five thousand million tuns of ironstone ! It must be borne in mind that it is not poor ironstone, as it yi elds in many cases upward of 38 per cent of metallic iron, and in some instances 41 per cent. It is probable that something like 6,000,000 tuns of Cleveland ore will be required next year to keep all the blast furnaces in the district engaged ! At present the annual make ot Cleveland pig iron is estimated at 1,439,640 tuns, and at this time next year it is assumed that the make will be increased to 1,739,640 tuns of pig iron. At this moment Cleveland is making about one thixd of our production. The prime requisite in the shape of raw material is raised so cheaply that it can be laid down at the furnaces at a cost of 3s. per tun, less, at the present rate of exchange, than $1 per tun of 3,240 lbs. Containing, therefore, from 38 to 41 per cent of metallic iron, the ore for a tun of iron costs less than 10s., or $3 ! Perhaps one of the applications of iron that interests Americans mostly is that for maritime purposes. Twenty years ago, and since, wooden ships as we all know, were discarded for iron, and a wooden-ship builder of consequence now-a-days is a thing of the past. But now iron ships—yes ! iron shipbuilding is going to decay, so far as sailing vessels are concerned. Those that, at the time referred to, cost 25, say |150 per tun, can now be had at one half, and no takers! What next Why, iron steamers—long, 300 to 400 feet iron screw steamers—these are to supersede everything and do the trafliic of the world. The ink is scarcely dry on the prospectus of one of our new local companies, who have contracted to build twelve such iron screws. And they are right, apart from the question of capacity ; they sail so shallow that they will float " almost wherever it is damj) ;" but, if not this, they will, at any rate, save the Cape of Good Hope by the Suez Canal, and, in due time. Cape Horn by the canal of Panama. ALEX. S. MACEAB. Liverpool, England, Value Received. MESBBS. MUNN Co. ;—Some four or fve years ago I made a tool called " Substitute for the Slide Rest," which I advertised and sold through your paper. After I had made a number of them the party who manufactured absconded with the patterns, and brought me to grief. This is in the nature of tilings, and although I have held up my head since I don't wish to complain. But I do complain that for about every week since parties write to me asking for price list and cuts, and I wish they would stop it. How long after a maa is dead and forgotten will people keep writing to him, if he has adve tised in your papei This is to give notice that I have haci the worth of my money in advertising and don't wish any more. BGBEBT P. WATSON. New York city. Testimony of a Veteran Inventor. GENTLEMEN :—I have this day sent you a box containing two models, and shall be with you on Friday, to explain the same and have the papers drawn. I have taken out upwards of thirty patents, and have had some difficult cases, and I must say that nowhere have my interests been more zeal-ouely guarded than by you, nor any specifications more clearly and definitely drawn. I consider your eflTorts as second only in importance to the inventive genius of our country, in developing its resources at home, and honor abroad With high esteem, I am respectfully yours, JOSEPH A. MILLER, Mechanical Engineer. Boston, Mass., Oct. 20. Inventions at the South. We are happy to recognize a gradual increase iu the number of inventions coming to us from the South. Dr. E. J. Draughon, of Claiborne, Ala., under date of Oct. 11, 1809, writes us as follows : MESSRS. MUNN Co. :—It was with much gratification that I received by to-day's mail your communication, conveying the information that my patent was, on the 1st inst., allowed. 1 now write to convey to you my sincere thanks and kind wishes for the kind and generous manner in which you have conducted my business. The Fossil Man of Onondaga. Letter oi Job ?-P. Boynton, Geologist, to Prof. Henry Morton, of the Pennsylvania University : DEAR SIR :—On Saturday last, some laborers engaged in digging a well on the farm of W. C. Newell, nearthe village of Cardiff, about 13 miles south of this city, discovered, lying about three feet below the surface of the earth, what they supposed to be the "petrified body" of a human being of colossal size. Its length is ten feet and three inches, and the rest of the body is proportionately large. The excitement in this locality over the discovery is immense and unprecedented. Thousands have visited the locality within the last three days, and the general opinion seemed to be that the discovery was the " petrified body" of a human being. I spent most of ytsterday and to-day, at the location of the so-called " fossil man," and made a survey of the surroundings of the place where this wonderful curiosity was found. On a careful examination, I am convinced that it is not a fossil, but was cut from a piece of stratified sulphate of lime, (known as the Onondaga Gypsum). If it were pulverized or ground, a farmer would call it plaster. It was quarried, probably, someivhere in this county, from our Gypsum beds. The layers are of diflerent colors—dark and light. The statue was evidently designed to lie on its back, or pai-tially so, and represents a dead person in a posiiion he would naturally assume when dying. The body lies nearly upon the back, the right side a little lower ; the head leaninga little to the right. The legs lie nearly one above the other ; the feet partially cross one another. The toe of the right foot, a little lower, showing plainly that the statue was never designed to stand erect upon itsfeet. The left arm lies down by the left sideof the body, the fore arm and hand being partially covered by the body. The right hand rests a short distance below the umbilicus, the little finger spreading from the others, reaching nearly to the pubes. The whole statue evidently represents the position that a body would naturally take at the departure of life. There is perfect harmony in the proportions of the diflferent parts of the statue. The features are strictly Caucasian, having not the high cheek bones of the Indian type, neither the outlines of the Negro race, and being entirely unlike any statuary yet discovered of Aztec or Indian origin. The chin is magnificent and generous; the eyebrow, or superciliary ridge, is well arched ; the mouth is pleasant ; the brow and forehead are noble, and the " Adam's apple" has a full development. The external genital organs are large ; but that which represents the integuments, would lead us to the conclusion that the artist did not wish to represent the erectal tissues injected. The statue being colossal and massive, strikes the beholder with a feeling of awe. Some portions of the features would remind one of the bust of DeWitt Clinton, and others of the Napoleonic type. My opinion is that this piece of statuary was made to represent some person of Caucasian origin, and designed by the artist to perpetuate the niem.ory of a great mind and noble deeds. It would serve to impress inferior minds or races with the great and noble, and for this purpose only, was sculptured of colossal dimensions. The block of gypsum is stratified, and a dark stratum passes just below the outer portion o. the left eyebrow, appears again on the left breast, having been chiseled out between the eyebrow and chest, and makes its appearance again in a portion of the left hip. Some portions of the strata are dissolved more than others by the action of water, leaving a bolder outcropping along the descent of the breast toward the neck; the same may, less distinctly, be seen on the side of the face and head. I think that this piece of reclining stsdimj is not 300 years old, but is the work of the early Jesuit Fathers in this country, who are known to have frequented the Onondaga Valley from 220 to 250 years ago ; that it would probably bear a date in history corresponding with the monumental stone which was found at Pompey HUl, in this county, and now deposited in the Academy at Albany. There are no marks of violence upon the work ; had it been an image or idol worshiped by the Indians, it could have been easily destroyed or mutilated with a slight blow by a small stone, and the toes and fingers could have been easily broken cff. It lay in quicksand, which, in turn, rested upon compact clay. My conclusion regarding the object of the deposit of tlse statue in this place, is as follows : It was for the purpose of i hiding and protecting it from an enemy who would have destroyed it, had it been discovered. It must have been carefully laid down, and as carefully covered with boughs and twigs of trees which prevented it from being discovered. Traces of this now decomposed vegetable covering, can be seen on every side of the trench, and it is quite evident, this vegetable matter originally extended across and above the statue. Above this stratum of decayed matter, there is a deposit of very recent date, from eighteen inches to two feet in thickness which may have been washed in and likewise turned on by plowing. A farmer who had worked the land told me that he had " back' furrowed" around it, lor the purpose of filling up the slough where the statue now lies. It is posibively absurd to consider this a "fossil man." It has none oi the indications tliat would designate it as such, when examined by a practical chemist, geologist or naturalist. The underside is somewhat dissolved, and presents a very rough surface, and it is probable that all the backer lower portion was never chiseled into form ; and may have been designed to rest as a tablet. However, as the statue has not been raised, the correct appearance of the under surface has not been determined, save by ieeling as I passed my hands as far as I could reach under different portions of the body, while its iower halt lay beneath the water. Th is is one of the greati st curiosities of the early history of Onondaga county, and my great desire is, that it should be preserved for the Onondaga Historical Society. Efforts are being made by some of our citiz! ns to secure this in the comity where it belongs, and not Buffer it to bear the fate of other arclieological specimens found in this region. Syracuse, October 18th, 1869, Ieat Manufacture in Olilo. According to a writer in " Putnam's Montlily," for November, the following is the method employed in the manufacture of Peat near Ravenna, Ohio : " The ppt is dug to a depth of from eight to fifteen feet with shovels and slanes, the latter being a kind of spade,with a wing at the side bent at right angles with the blade, so as to form two sides of a. square, and loaded into dump cars which are drawn up an inclined plane upon iron rails by friction gearing, and the contents rapidly emptied into an immense hopper containing one hundred and fifty tuns of crude peat. At the bottom of the hopper is a large elevating belt, running over drums upon which the peat is thrown and rapidly carried into the condensing and molding machine. Two men are all that are required to keep the machine fuU. The condensing and manipulating laachine is run by steam-power. It receives the crude peat from the elevating belt in a wet or moist state, and delivers it in a smooth, homogeneous condition, through ten oval-shaped dies, each 3f inches by 4| inches in area, from which it is delivered on drying racks, passing horizontally under the machine. Each rack is 36x73 inches, constructed of light pine, holding five bars or canes of peat, w icli, when dry, will yield, to each rack, fiom thirty to sixty pounds of fuel, according to the density of the peat. The racks are carried from the machine on an inclined tramway made of light friction wheels, so that the racks will almost glide from their own gravity. These racks are taken from the tramway and set up like an invta'ted V, on the drying ground, where, being exposed to the sun, and the air circulating freely around and between the bars,they dry in fiom ten to twelve days, and are ready to be loaded into cars tor shipment and use. The distance between the legs or base of the V being the same as their length, the drying ground is greatly economized. An acre will hold about five thousand of these racks, from fifteen thousand to twenty thousand being a requisite complement for the rcfachinery. Sixteen men and ten boys on the rackway will make eighty tuns of prepared fuel per diem—indeed, there is hardly a limit to the capacity of the machinery if labor enough is employed. With thirty-seven men digging and clearing off the racks from the tramway,one hundred and fifty tuns of dried fuel can be made per day. This fuel can be delivered at a less price than the best coal, and the cost of prepai'ing it for market is lighter than that required in coal mining. It can be afforded as low-as $4'50 per tun, and even lower, within a reasonaiile distance from the bogs, and it is more economical than coal. " An analysis of the surface peat of this bog gives the following result : carbon, 68 per cent ; oxygen, 18 ; water, 16 ; and ash 368 per cent. It also contains ammonia, acetate of lime, fixed and volatile oils. The deeper the peat found, tlie richer is it in carbon, and there are portions of the bog which will yield 70 to 75 per cent of carbon. The average amount of carbon, thus far ascertained by analysis of the various peat bogs of the United States, equals 50 per cent." THE use of ornamental pyrographic woodwork is being revived in England. In the ordinary samples, the designs are burnt into veneers of sycamore or maple, and are supplied wholesale to builders, cabinet-makers and others, ready for laying in the ordinary manner ; but, if preferred, the designs can be applied to the solid work, to insure great(r durability. By the use of wood so ornamented all necessity for painting is, of course, avoided. It is inexpensive and worth looking to. A VEIN of excellent coal has been discovered, extending along the line of the Kansas Pacific Railroad east of Denver. This discovery shows that the workable coal-beds of the Rocky Mountains extend miles eastward into the great plains, and is of the greatest importance both to settlers and to the railway company. THE Union Pacific Railroad Company have commenced the erection of snow fences along' the lin-e of their road between 1 Omaha and the Rooky Mountains. Improved Traction upon Steel Balls and Steel-Headed Ralls. It has been too much the practice of railvpay managers to consider only the increased durability of steel. A less strilt-ing, but perhaps equally important advantage, is that it has double the strength and more than double the stiffness of iron. Some three years since, Mr. George Berkley made, in England, above 600 tests of the stiffness of steel and iron rails of equal section. The rails were supported on five feet bearings, and loaded with dead pressure at the middle. The first rails tried weighed sixty-eight pounds per yard, and loads respectively of twenty tuns and thirty tuns were applied. The average of 437 tests of the Ebbw Vale Co.'s and two other standard makers of iron rails, gave, with twenty tuns, a d'Mlection of five-eighth inch and a permanent set of one-half inch. With thirty tuns the deflection was two and one-fifth inch and the permanent set two and one sixteenth inch. With Brown's steel rails, forty-five tests gave an average de-fiection of but five-sixteenth inch and a permanent set of one-eighth inch. With heavier rails and loads, the comparative stifl'ness of steel was still more marked. The great and constant resistence to traction, and the wear and tear of track wheels and running gear, due to the deflection of rails be tween the sleepers and the perpetual series of resulting concussions, may be much reduced, or practically avoided, by the use of rails of twice the ordinary stifl'ness ; in such a case, however, reasonably good ballasting and sleepers would be essential. When a vhole series of sleepers sinks bodily into the mud, the consideration of defiecrion between the sleepers is a premature refinement. If the weight of steel rails is decreased in proportion to their strength, these advantages of cheaper traction and maintenance will not, ot course, be realized. The best practice here and abroad, is to use the same weight for steel as had been formerly employed forirnn. Many attempts liave been made in England, on the Continent, and in this country, to produce a good steel-headed rail, and not without success. Puddled steel heads have all the structural defects of wrought iron, as they are not formed from a cast, and hence homogeneous mass, but are made by the %vrouglit iron process, and are, in fact, a "high," steely wrought iron. They are, however, a great improvement upon ordinary iron, although probably little cheaper than cast steel heads. Rolling a plain cast steel slab upon an iron pile has not proved successful. The weid cannot be perfected, on so large a scale, and the steel peels off under the action of car wlieels. Forming the steel slab with grooves, into which the iron would dovetail when the pile was rolled into a rail, has beeii quite successful. Tiie greater part of some 500 tuns of such rails, made in this country, and put down where they would be severely tested, about four years ago, have outworn some three iron rails. Others failed in the iron stem, which vas too light, after a shorter service. Rolling small bars of steel into the head of an iron pile Xias been recently commenced at various mills in this country and in England. No conclusions arc yet warranted by the short trial of these rails. Tliere is a growing feeling among engineers and steelmakers that the compound rail, made wholly or partly of steel, will prove more safe and economical than any solid rail, and that the defects of the old compound iron rail, largely used in this State some years since, may be avoided, since these defects were chiefly due to the nature of the material. The experiments in this direction wUl be watched with great interest by railway managers, for if the same durability of track can be obtained with a steel cap as with an all steel rail, the first cost will be greatly decreased. A rail made in two or three continuous parts, breaking joints, is also a practical insurance against disaster from broken rails.—State En-fjinccr's Report on ll'iUroads. Saline Solutions for Street Watering. The Superintendent of street cleansing, etc., of Liverpool, has j ust issued his report to the Healtli Committee upon tire trials ruade during tiie past se-JSon of Mr. Cooper',-; street wa-teringsalts. The main tliorou.iihhrre along Lord, Church,and Bold streets, cirefly macadamized, is considered to have at-foided as severe a st as possible from the heavy traffic over it during the jiott si period of summer. It is stated in the report that the ubi; of tiiese salts has been entirely suc-cessiul, and beyond comparison superior to plain water. In practical results, tv.'O water carts with the weak solution v.'ere found equal to ?-,?? under the old system upon the macadamized road ; but in paved streets one may be expected to do the work of five where tlio traffic is only ordinary. Fi-lumcially, notwithstanding the saving of horses and carts, it appears that, at the jirice of .3 per tun hitherto charged for the Baits, no economy can be effected ; but then the supply lias been so far in e.xperimental quantities, and it should be stated,that tire patentee is now prepared to deliver in quan-i'-y at forty shiUijjgs. It is further considered that a reduction of 70 per cent would be eflhcted in water wasted in the streets, and tliat there is the collateral advantage of the surface j! the roadw.i.ys bring maintained in superior condition, a saying of 30 p r cent in the cleansing being due to this effect. The system lias also been tested in Greenock, and is reported upon equally favorably by Mr. Barr, C.E., the master of the works. The last trip of the Preire from Havre to New York was performed in eight days and sixteen hours. If our memory serves us, this is the fastest trip on record. A COMPANY of gentlemen are about erecting a large building in Hartford, Ct., for the accommodation of small families who do not wish to board itnder the present system, and yet cannot afford to keep house.
This article was originally published with the title "Correspondence" in Scientific American 21, 19, 294-295 (November 1869)