The Editors are not responsible for th Opinions expressed by their Correspondents,. The Fossil- Man of Onondaga—Opinion of an Anat omist. MESSRS. EDITORS :—I have read with a good deal of interest the accounts I have seen in your excellent paper of the " stone giant," or the fossil man, found on the farm of a Mr, Newell, by some laborers while engaged in digging a well. Many of the accounts I have seen in the papers are fanciful and wholly imaginary. At first we were told it was a veritable petrifaction, and a full description of the same was given. Next we were informed that it was an image," the work of the Jesuits ; then again it was the work of a Canadian, made in 1868, from Onondaga plaster. Recently I saw an extract from the Syracuse Journal, in which was an article signed by James Hall, State geologist, and S, B. Wool worth. Secretary of the Regents of the university, in which it is maintained that it cannot be a petrifaction, because the soft parts of an animal are never petrified, decomposition taking place so rapidly. Now, Messrs, Editors, the above-named gentlemen may be men of science, in their way ; they ought to be, occupying the places they do ; but it is plain they are \ not anatomists, or they would never make the above statement. . Decomposition is ordinarily the fate of all animal substances, hard as well as soft. But we have many well-authenticated instances of human bodies, buried in certain localities, becoming petrified. It is not more than four or five years ago that we had an account in the New York papers of the removal of a man, or his body rather, that had been buried six or eight years, when it was found that complete petrification had taken place. No part had even begun to decompose except the end of the nose, and that was very slight. Besides, I can show Messrs, Hall and Wood worth, if they will call upen me, the half of a human heart petrified, plaE -ly and distinctly to be seen, as any one acquainted with anatomy will admit at once, I have many other similar" petrifactions in my possessioD. None of these could, for a moment, be supposed the work of the cunning Jesuits or of a shrewd Canadian, hid in the earth to surprise somebody—but were picked up, sojne in Pennsylvania and some in Wisconsin—each partaking of the nature of rock cornmon in the region where it was found, The same thing, no doubt, is true of the plaster man of Our ondaga. As plaster or gypsum is common in that regipn, petrifactions in that locality would, of course partake of the nature of gypsum. I have never seen the storie giant above referred to, but it would take more than I have yet seen to convince me that it is not a fossil mn. Dr. Westcott*s communication in your last issue takes the most common-sense view of the subject of anything I have seen. One good anatomist is a better judge of the nature of the curiosity in question than a thousand State geologists or Regents of the University. Don't let us set a shoemaker to repairing a watch—every man is a judge of his own trade. GEO. W. STOKB, M.D, Warren Center, Pa. Tlie New Fnglisli Method of Setting Tires, MESSRS. EDITORS :—The article headed " A New Method of Setting Tires," in the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, under date of Nov. 6, and which you describe as being patented in England, and as to the utility and serviceability of which you seem to have some doubts, has come to my notice. I not only share your doubts about its general utility, buf, I assert that its theory is all wrong. It is, in my opinion, an imposition upon the common sense of any intelligent wheeL-right, and hundreds of them will bear me out In this assertion. It is a violation of the common laws of nature ; this alone would be suflScient to condemn the whole thing. The nature of iron is such that heat will expand and coid will contract it. How could nature come to the assistance of man any way more favorable, especially in that class of machines which combine wood with more or less iron. What is more simple or requires fess time, than to measure the tire, weld it, and allow a certain amount of draw, according to the size and condition of the wheel ? Every intelligent blacksmith knows exactly how to govern himself in order not to let the action of the tire be too great in its contraction. I say the contraction should not be too great, as it would strain the wheel out of its natural position, and more or less injure its strength by giving it a constrained dish, which we carefully seek to avoid. Now this new method makes necessary a procedure which is entirely injurious to the strength and stability of a sound wheel ; namely, the unnatural contraction by force of tLe wheel in order to set the tire. A well put up wheel can only be contyacted ag %x as it elasticity will admit, aiil to do this 374 t wonld rsqiiire more power and consequent expense than w.l'ild be profitable. N "v aJ milting it could. be done as easy and speedily as you c>J.a tiira uver your hand, would that make it any better? No ; Sir. It, would only tarn out an imperfect and cripph'd wheel, and w.; wotild never get through resetting the tire on the same w:ieel done by this method, as the reaction of the wheel a.iiast the ti re would help to loosen it. No v as t) the expeuso of labor saving, t:ie old method, or the one wo wiork by at present, will also have the advantage in my opinion. The invaator of this new method surely cannot be a practical wheel wright, or if he is he does not understand the action of the force which the axletree of a vehicle exerts upon its wheel. A w:"fu)el has almost as much (and sometimes more) strain to b.1'I.r from the horizontal force (caused by the weight) as ;from the perpendicular. Now the dish in a wheel is to tlie eflect to resist the horizontal force which is brought to bear upon the hind part of the hub, and the more dish the greater is the resistauce. An arch would illustrate this principle well. It is a fixed fact that the more crowned or rounded an arch is constructed the greater weight it can bear. SQ it is with a wagon wheel. Its dish should be regulated according to the weight it has to carry. ITow how can a wheel be expected to stand up to its load when the dish is strained into it. Would not the reaction of the spokes favor the horizontal strain of the axle aga.inst the hub and destroy the wheel ? I could enumerate a great many more minor objections which I have to this new method, but I think I have said enough to convince any one of its entire fallacy, both scientifically and naturally. I don't mean to say that the apparatus with which the inventor conducts his work and sets the tire, is beneath any notice. Not at all. It must be a very ingenious contrivance and well worthy of attention, if ha can set a tire cold upon a wheel and do a good job, B. QUAST. Freedom, Mo, Railroad Accidents by High Wind. MESSBS. EDITORS .-Occasional accidents by trains lifted by gales of wind and thrown from the track, may render a simple safeguard desirable. A recent case of this kind occurred at Boston Corners, on the Harlem Railroad. A high velocity makes the train more subject to this action of the wind than slow motion ; for revolution or motion at a great velocity detracts from the weight of bodies, as a spinning top, leaning in any direction, plainly shows. This is more obvious even if the rapidly vertically revolving heavy top, or wheel, is supported only at onli' end of the horizontal axle, and kept in sus pense tiU slackening of the speed permits it to drop. Locomotives are known to h ave leapt at a hi.gh speed horizontally 'across the ch asm of open drawbridges, etc. The bending of the iron rails under a paBiling locomotive or car at low 'Speed, may be considerablt' at sklw' motion. but imperceptibl e at high spend. Pieces of a bursting grindstone or fly wheel, or of an exploding boiler, or in a gunpowder explosion, are almost invariably hurled upwards. The boomerang of the New Zaalander practically applies the same fact. Whatever the explanation of the phenomenon, the facts are established beyond controversy, that a great velQcity' of bodies detracts Irora, their weight. The prevention of the above railroad accidents may be found in s!Mking speed at places particularly exposed. to the fury o1 a sweeping gale. E; H. How to Braze a Band Saw, MESSRS. EDITORS :—t sand you a method of brazing band .'liw,s, whicU may be of some use to some of your numerous readers. The tools required are a small portable forge, brazing clamps, et., and a s-raight edge, 4 or 3 ft. long, also some small brass wire, and powdered borax. Take the saw and cut it to the proper length, scarf the ends from one half to three fourths of an inch, then put the saw in the clamp (I would say that I use a very small and simple clamp in the shape of a double vise), keeping the back of the s tw out of the jaws of the vise, or clamps, and apply the straight edge to the back, as it is very necessary to braze it straight. Make the fire in as small a compass as possible, place the clamps directly over the center of the fire, and then put on three pieces of brass wire, bent in the shape of the let ter U, so that they will pinch the laps together ; put on as much borax as will stay on the saw ; cover the whole with a piece of charcoal ; let tie brass melt so it wil flow over the saw, before taking it off the fire, and cool very slow so as not to make the braze brittle. File off what brass remains on the saw, and it is ready for use. I s;ni you a piece of saw that has been in use several ra.)at:"s, and has never broke in the braze. RUSSELL WmTNEY. F;tc,'.i''U.rg, Mass. [I'll a imple sent is- good evidence that the method de-scriba 1 i)_v uur correspondent is an excellent one.—EDS. The C'io.:ing of Gas Mains by NaphthaUne, MESSRS. EDITORS :—In my last communication, I endeavored to substantiat e the view, that the destruction of the wood-presarving establishment, in Brooklyn, occurring on the 3Sth of October, most have been causad by the obstruction of the pipes, leading from the still into the chamber containing the timber, with naphthaline. In glancing over 0/Olburn's "Ua,s /V.jrks of Lond-:m," I find the following passage, whic'i Dears relation to the subject, and which I therefore quote here : "We ought here to notice the presence of the vapor of naphthalinein gas, and which begins indeed, to deposit in thin, micaceous-looking scales of exceeding lightness, almost at the moment when the gas leaves the purifiers. Indeed, large patches of naphthaline flakes may often, if not generally, be found on the undersides of the lids of the purifiers themselves, and this singular substance will often cbpke the largest main so as to almost entirely prevent the passage of the gas. A blast of steam turned into the mains will disperse the obstruction, but a sort of chimney-sweeping contrivance, called a ' cat,' is oftener employed to open the great routes of communication between the gas works and the consumers. Fortunately, too, naphthaline is seldom deposited at any considerable distance from the works, and it can generally be cleared out without going off the premises." ADOLPH OTT. New York city. Improvements In Farm Implements, MESSRS. EMTORS :—During the summer you requested any of your readers to suggest improvements in f..rm implements, or anything else that was practically useful. In accordance with that request, allow me to make the following suggestions : The only objection to our corn planters is that they drop the seed in a htmp. There are two objections to this. First, the greatest enemy a plant can have is one or more of its kind growing close to it, thereby using the same nutriment. The second is, that the plants cannot be weeded or hoed as conveniently as if separated to a proper distance. I therefore suggest that inv entors make a planter to drop the seed at least three inches apart in a line, thus : . 3 . 3 . A ma-machine to do this properly will supersede all others as well as the old, yet, so fa;r, best plan of hand dropping. There is a great want of some practical, effective, and cheap plan of attaching three horses to one plow. It is much needed in deep or trench plowing, which, in conjunction with draining, must be resorted to in old and high-priced lands to make them pay. . We also want some of those English steam plows (it is a disgrace to inventors that we do so), with attachments, to do the mowing, harvesting, and thrashing. We can then furnish England cheaper wheat for her plows. We want an arrangement to water beef cattle and other stock in the cars in transit from shipping points to Eastern markets. This will be a much better sanitary measure than excluding good, healthy, and cheap beef from the southwest. It seems as if the breeder of fancy stock feared the competition of Western stock, which would certainly cheapen beef for millions of operatives. The road that first adopts this plan will receive the preference over all others. This plan is in use on many of the English roads where the distances cattle are carried are short, and the climate mild compared to that of this country. I suggested the present horse corn cutter some years ago, and now it is nearly perfect. JAS. HARKNESS. St. Louis, MO; Filing and Setting Mill Saws. MESSRS. EDITORS :—1 have noticed recently several articles upon filing saws, hand and cross-cut, but nothing about mill saws. I have been running and supsrintending saw mills several years, both circular and sash sa ws, and my experience is, that a bevKl-pointed tooth is the best for general use. In filing, I hold the file at an angle of 10 degrees on the bottom or front of the tooth, and square or flat on top ; changing sides or hands every alternate tooth, then bending 01" setting the tooth point outward sufficient to keep the saw clear. This method obviates the necessity of swaging, which is a great saving in time and labor. I have gained m uch information from the SCIENTIFIC RICAN, but have never written you before. Eufaula, Ala. JAMES R. POSTON. Valuable Testimonial Letters. MESSRS. MUNN & CO., Gentlemen :—Your esteemed favor of the 10th, inclosing certificates of allowance of English and French patents on my high and low-water detector, was received on ThUl sday. The very satisfactory manner in which cases are prepared by your Patent Agency, and your facilities for obtaining American and foreign patents is certainly all the inventor could desire. On the 11th day of August, 1857, my first patent was issued from the U. S. Patent Office, th rough your Agency, since which time I have obtained thirteen American and eight foreign patents;sixte6n of which were obtained through the Scientific American Patent Agency. In every instance I have found your drawings and tracings artistically executed, specifications able and full, and claims broad ; and in no case have you failed to obtain a patent on my petition. In conclusion, I began to assure you, that it will always be a pleasure to me to be able to advance your interests as patent attorneys and mechanical j ournalists, knowing as I do, that the inventors' interests will always be safe in your hands. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, G. B. MASSEY. New York city, Nov. 12, 1869. A Voice from the West. Gentlemen : I was agreeably surprised to-day on receiving a letter from you stating that my patent was allowed. You have done your work nobly and well. I can but return you my sincere thanks for your promptitude and energy in conducting my case, and I must confess you have converted me into a walking advertisement for your interests in this wooden city of ours. Your valuable journal and I have been companions for the last five years, and now I cannot live without it. It has grown with me from boyhood, and I've always found it instructive and entertaining in my journey through life. Chicago, 1ll., Nov. 13, 1869. J. F. DUFFY.
This article was originally published with the title "Correspondence"