A BEAUTIFUL SWORD.—The recent war greatly stimulated the production of military goods in this country, and many improvements in arms and equipments were made the subject of letters patent. Not only were there many more engaged in the business than ever had been previous to 1861, but better workmen were employed, and more artistical designs were executed. The impetus thus given to this department of manufacture and trade, it still continues to feel, although, of course, the close of the war has largely diminished the demand. We were shown, tlie past week, a beautiful sword, manufactured by Mr. Virgil Price, 144 Greene St., New York city, which does great credit to the manufacturers. It is a Knight Templar's sword, with richly ornamented silver hilt and scabbard, and in style and finish would be hard to beat. Mr. Price is an enterprising inventor, who has long been a valued client of ours, and it gives us pleasure to thus testify to the meritorious character of his workmanship. SURGICAL OPERATION ON A MULE.—The New Jersey Enter prise says : "Dr. Cattoll, vetinary surgeon, of Bridgeton, N. J. last week performed a surgical operation on a mule, which had a large lump upon its shoulder blade. Upon opening the excrescence, to the astonishment of all present, a silver ten-cent piece was discovered in the wound. How it got there is a mystery." The mule might have been brought from the South or Southwest in some parts of which it is the practice to insert a small silver coin underneath the skin of a horse or mule, so that in case the animal is stolen, the owner has proof positive of his ownership at hand should he chance to find the animal again. The marked coin is placed in various positions, so that it is difficult to find, except by the one who inserted it. IT is known to the readers of the SCIENTIFIC AMEEICAN that Fell's over-mountain railroad across Mt. Cenis was opened for tralnc in June last. Considering that the tunnel under the mountain lacked but two miles of being completed, it required a great deal of boldness to carry forward an enterprise which, according to reports has cost its projectors upwards of $2,500,-000, or equal to about $50,000 per mile. The total receipts up to this time have been, in round numbers, about $100,000 which is far from a satisfactory exhibit. Engineering estimates that the tunnel will be through in 1871, and that unless the traffic largely increases before that time arrives, the shareholders will have hopelessly loft at least five-sixths of their principal. A PHYSIOLOGICAL BXPEEIMHNT.—A most extraordinary experiment was recently made by Professor Dickson, a distinguished physiologist. A few grains of barley were placed before a hungry pigeon, which at once began pecking. During this operation the brain of the pigeon was frozen by means of a spray of ether, and the bird being thus suddenly deprived of consciousness, ceased pecking, and remained for awhile as if deprived of life. At this moment the grains of barley were all cleared away, and the ether spray having ceased, the brain was allowed to thaw; the bird returned in a short time, as it were, to life, and the first thing it did was to continue pecking for awhile, though no grains were preBent.—Ex-change. TUB IMPEOVED FIEE-AKMS.—An article on the new firearms, published by the Journal Official, of Paris, says :—" The results of a comparative trial in the School of Musketry at Spandau, in Prussia, among the breech-loaders adopted by the different armies, were, according to the official report, the following: The Prussian needle gun can fire 12 shots a minute ; the Chassepot, 11; the Snider, 10 ; the Remington (Denmark), 14 ; the Peabody (Switzerland), 13 ; the Wcenzl (Austria), 10 ; the Werndi (same state), 12 ; and the Winchester repeating rifle (United States), 19." THE Berliner Vossische Zeitung states that the Prussian Gov ernment has proposed to the legislature of tho North German Confederation that, in future, no patents shall be granted for new inventions in that country. If such a law should be sanctioned, inventors would be robbed of the earnings of many years'work; and the consequence would be that most inventions wovild not be brought to such perfection as under the the existence of a good patent law, where the inventor has a chance of getting repaid in the end. CAEBOLIC ACID FOE WOUNDS UPON HOUSES.—If a wound will heal by the first intention, the less done to it the better. If, on the other hand, suppuration is inevitable, the mest beneficial effects follow the use of carbolic acid combined with glycerin or linseed oil, in the proportion of 1 to 20; it may be applied, night and morning, with a feather. Of course, as with all other dressings, the wound must be kept clean,and in the case of backs and shoulders,all pressure removed by small pads of curled horse-hair, sown on to the harness, above and below the sore. ZINC may be given a fine black color, according to Knaffl, l y cleaning its surface with sand and sulphuric acid, and immersing for an instant in a solution composed of four parts of sulphate of nickel and ammonia in forty of water, acidulated with one pan of sulphuric acid, washing, and drying it. The black coating adheres firmly, and takes a bronze color under the burnisher. Brass may be stained black with a liquid containing two parts arsonious add, four hydrochloric acid, and one of sulphuric acid in eighty parts of water. FOURTEEN WEEKS WITHOUT SLEEP.—Dr. Newcomer, of Cleveland, Ohio, in noticing the paragraph, recently published in the SCIENTIFIC AMEEICAN, about the experiments made fcy parties in Berlin who undertook to find out which could longest hold out against sleep, informs us that he had a case in his own practice when tho patient had no sleep for fourteen weeks. ThiB is certainly a queer case, and very hard to believe. TASTE OF TURNIPS IN BUTTEE OE MILK,—The flavor of turnips cannot be removed entirely from milk or butter when the cows are fed on them, but much may be done to mitigate it. It is said that a tablespoonful (per gallon of milk) of niter dissolved in as much water as it will take, and put in the pail before mi&ing the cow, and giving no turnips to the cow for two or three hours before milking, will lessen the flavor, as will, also, giving only the center part of the turnip, having the top and bottom cut off. THE English War Department has thrown aside the Armstrong gun altogether, after expending millions upon it and knighting the inventor. The thing is a failure. The British War Office has issued an order,intimating its purpose to withdraw all the breech-loading rifled guns, and. substitute muzzle loaders. A FOREIGN journal, Le 8tra.de Ferrati d' Italia, speaks in high terms of an electrical brake, recently invented, to be applied to a train of cars. The announcement is couched in the ambiguous, pseudo-scientific verbiage, so fashionable nowadays, both at home and abroad, and no definite idea can be obtained from it of the nature or value of the discovery. QUALITY OP UNGUENTS.—The elevation of temperature produced by the friction of a journal is sometimes used as an experimental test of the quality of unguents. When the velocity of rubbing is about four or five feet per second, the elevation of temperature is said to have been found by some recent experiments to be, with good fatty and soapy unguents, 40 to 50 Fahr.; with good mineral unguents, about 30 . TEE Exhibition of machinery and of agricultural products, which is to commence at Santiago,. (Chili) on the 1st of April next, will remain open until the 1st of July following, so that opportunity will be afforded for the display of all articles that may be offered for the purpose before the 1st of June. WE notice street venders of dentrifices that will instantaneously remove tartar and discoloration. Their wares should be shunned—they contain chemicals destructive to the teeth, A SPACIOUS room has been fitted up by the Collins Company, at Collinsville, Conn., as a library for their employee.
This article was originally published with the title "Editorial Summary" in Scientific American 20, 9, 131 (February 1869)