From the New York Tribune The number of patented articles in our country is so great that no one man can have a'knowledge of them all When one invention comes into general use, a demand grows out of it for another which shall operate with what it produces, or in combination with what others produce ; and we may say that the first invention of the human mind is comparable to the seed of fruit, since it contains within itself the nucleus of innumerable leaves and branches, and other fruit and seed which in the progress of outgrowth take on innumerable variations and developments When a tree is planted the growth for a few seasons is slow, and it is a law that the more valuable and enduring the sort the more tardy is its progress ; iind when men first planted, no little energy was required, for the natural mind, being without a standard, could not look forward except by a dim light to the season of depending and fruitful branches Casualties of the passing timeinsects, winter vitli its snow, its cold, fierce winds, and frost, searching for tlie heart and the mainspring of life seemed so direful in their effects that when spring showers and gentle sunshine came it was almost miraculous to behold tlio bare twigs become adorned with tender leaves, and the delicate bloom foreshadow the fruit that was to be As ages passed, each gave a little to the preceding of culture and care, and finally minds, grown into harmony with familiar trees, dissociated themselves from the mass of men, and the purBuit of horticulture issued out of ages of poverty, plague, and pain Not dissimilar has been the progress of invention, and in like manner has the mind of man struggled with the adversities everywhere rushing in to avert, to 'overwhelm, and to destroy It is almost miraculous to see how ideas have been preserved and matured amidst tlie darkness ; and now those ideas spread out manifold, and triumph with foliage and fruit We can see how the mind rises step by stephow, in gathering to itself comforts and riches, it uses the power which these give to grasp for still more, and changes arise, and what seemed established conditions pass away Inventions must be introduced by degrees, and only as strength is acquired If tlie inventions of the last thirty years could at once have been given to man in the age of Queen Elizabeth, they would have been useless, because society and mental development were not in condition to admit of their application There can be no doubt that in ages past many things were invented, or at least conceived, which could neither be understood nor adopted, for they were before their time, and they floated back into the great, and, to us, unknown infinity of intelligence and mechanism We have, in our day, what would seem a singular condition regarding applied inventions Notwithstanding the vast amount of labor which they save, and of wealth which they create, we are still as much in need of new inventions as were the people of any former age, and this evidently because the mind has enlarged, and new wants have been created Perhaps the need for new inventions is felt nowhere so much as in the household, and a grievous burden rests upon at least one half of the race, which is more sensibly felt because in other industries and in the arts human ingenuity has brought automatic labor into successful operation, and it is demanded that the household shall enjoy corresponding results In this we are not speaking of the higher, or of the wealthy, but of the great middle class Upon investigating the claims of this household, it will be seen that the deficiency arises from a want of motive power to perform the labor now supplied by muscles unequal to the task The work for inventors is tlie discovery of some power which shall be cheap, so compact that it will not be ungainly, and which can be used in all places We need a philosophic and analytic history of inventions It would show, we think, that progress commenced in the obvious, and that it has been gradually approaching to the abstract The higher class of inventions demand deep research in every department of human study, that each may contribute something The inventive and the creative powers are akin, and the more we inves+igate their relations fhe more will this part of the nature of man appear to partake of those attributes which called the "world itsoll into existence However much is to be expected from an individual during the extension of his existence, we ought not to look for one ago to accomplish much To the coming children, work and endeavor and great cares must be allotted, that they, too, may spread out branches, and that at no remote period of tim e they may, by superior powers, bring out of the invisible, despite unwilling nature, such things as elude our weaker grasp Testing Petroleum Oil, There seems to be various opinions in regard to the true method of testing refined oil in this country, owing to the fact that refiners and inspectors do not confine themselves to a uniform standard and method of operation, and are inclined to advance each his own mode as the true and only one, and inspect his oil to the best advantage, so long as it suits individual interest Hence the great difference in comparative fire test of inspection through tlie country, and the evil tends to furnish a basis for difference of opinion and contention, and, in many cases, throw discredit alike upon the dealer and nspector The true method of testing refined oil is by fractional distillation, to determine the proportions of benzine or gasoline and naphtha which they contain As this is not generally understood by inspectors or refiners, and would occupy too much time for practical mercantile business, the next best method ie of great importance The State law authorized the use of G Talmbur'* instru ment, which is an inclosed vapor test, delicate and accurate, when understood Another method in use is the open water bath, with a small flame suspended above the oil ; and still another, an open water bath and testing by passing a light over the surface The objection to the first is that any fluid or gas heavier than the atmosphere will rise by capillary attraction through a wick, or tube to the flame, and indicate a | lower fire test; and the uncertainty of equal distance of the l flame in the latter is an objection We are inclined to believe that so long as fractional distillation is not known by the masses that the true commercial mode is that similar to Professors Roscoe, Penny, and Attfield, in use by the British board, and described in the British petroleum act A porcelain vessel is usedextra protection of an extra glass tube around the stem of the thermometer, which is placed one and one half inches below the surface of the oil Great accuracy in filling the water in bath to an exact hight, and fresh water used for every testgreat accuracy in filling oil to a certain prescribed highta small wire or guard is placed one quarter of an inch above the rim of the vessel, which is flat, with a raised edge, one quarter of an inch in highta screen is placed two thirds around the apparatus to protect it from uneven draft, and a few inches above the level of the vessel Great care is used in not too rapidly heating, otherwise the test is unsatisfactory When the thermometer indicates the desired heat, say 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a small flame is quickly passed across the wire over the surface of the oil If no pale blue flicker or flash is produced, t he test will be applied at every three degrees in thermometer above this, when flash point has been reached and noted The test is repeated with a fresh sample of the oil and fresh water as before, withdrawing the source of heat from the outer vessel, when the temperature approaching that noted in the first experiment is reachedF 8 Pease's Oil Circular Manufacture of OilCloth The manner of making oilcloth, or, as the vulgar sometimes term it, oilskin, was at one period a mystery The process is now well understood, and is equally simple and useful Dissolve some good resin or gumlac over the fire in drying linseed oil, till the resin is dissolved, and the oil brought to the thickness of a balsam II this be spread upon canvas, or any other linen cloth, so as fully to drench and entirely to glaze it over, the cloth, if then suffered to dry thoroughly, will be quite impenetrable to wet of every description* This varnish may either be worked by itself or with some color added to it: as verdigris for a green ; umber for a hair color; white lead and lampblack for a gray; indigo and white for a light blue, etc To give the color, you have only to grind it with the last coat of varnish you lay on You must be as careful as possible to lay on the varnish equally in all parts A better method, however, of preparing oilcloth is first to cover the cloth or canvas with a liquid paste, made with drying oil in the following manner: Take Spanish white or tobaccopipe clay which has been completely cleaned, by washing and sifting it from all impuriiies, and mix it up with boiled oil, to which a drying quality has been given by adding a dose of litharge one fourth the weight of the oil This mixture, being brought to the consistence of thin paste, is spread over the cloth or canvas by means of an iron spatula equal in length to the breadth of the cloth When the first coating is dry, a second is applied The unevennesses occasioned by the coarseness of the cloth or the unequal application of the paste, are smoothed down with pumice stone reduced to powder, and rubbed over the cloth with a bit of soft serge or cork dipped in water When the last coating is dry, the cloth must be well washed in water to clean it; and, after it is dried, a varnish composed of gumlac dissolved in linseed oil boiled with turpentine, is applied to it, and the process is complete The color of the varnished cloth thus produced is yellow; but different tints can be given to it in the manner already pointed out An improved description of this article, intended for figured and printed varnished cloths, is obtained by using a finer paste, and cloth of a more delicate textureThe Painter, Gilder, arid Varnisher's Companion An Oxygen Explosion The oxyhydrogen, or lime light, is now in use, with great success, in the theaters of this city, and is regarded as indispensable in the making up of all effective scenes The best light is produced by the ignition of two jetsone of hydrogen and one of oxygen, which impinge against a piece of lime In some cases the common street gos, which contains hydrogen, is substituted for hydrogen; but the light is better when the pure article is employed The oxygen is supplied to the theaters in portable cylinders of rolled iron, of convenient size for lifting by one man The gas is condensed into the cylinders, under a pressure of from 100 to 150 lbs per square inch, by steam power During a recent performance at Niblo's Garden Theater, in this city, one of these oxygen gas holders suddenly exploded, with a report equal to a cannon, causing the utmost consternation among the audience, and doing some damage to the theater No cause is assigned for the explosion ; but the cylinder probably was too weak to stand the pressure ! Japanese Matches, Mr B Trevor Clarke has stated in the Chemical News that | the Japanese matches are identical with the spurfire of the Chinese He gives the following form for making this beautiful little firework : Lampblack, 5 ; sulphur, 11 ; gunpow *This preparation will likewise be found both useful and economical in securing timber from the effects of wet der from 26 to 30 parts, this last proportion varying with the quality of the powder Grind very fine, and make the material into a paste with alcohol; form it into dice, with a knife or spatula, about a quarter of an inch square ; let them dry rather gradually on a warm mantelpiece, not too near a fire When dry, fix one of the little squares in a small cleft made at the end of a lavender stalk, or, what is better, the solid strawlike material of which housemaids' carpetbrooms are ? made (panicular stems of Arundo Donax) Light the material at a candle, hold the stem downward, and await the result : After the first blazing off, a ball of molten lava will form, from which the curious coruscations will soon appear JPoAver of the Wind The Vicksburg Times, says that recently a young lad at Lake Station, Mississippi, had a very large and beautiful kite presented to him, about six feet by four in size, which he attempted to raise, j ust as the wind was increasing and a storm was threatening The wind drew the kite so heavily as to drag the boy along also To prevent losing the favorite, he wound the cord around his body At last the gust bore kite and boy along in the rapid air currents The boy seemed to be about 100 feet above the earth, and the kite five times that distance At last the young kiteflyer caught in the top of a tree, and was suspended 75 feet above the ground A flood of rain came on, slackening the line, abating the wind, and allowing the little sufferer to be rescued He was found to bo unconscious, and so bruised and marred as to be scarcely recognized, but was restored the same evening, and is now i doing well