Cotton bales, when secured by metallic bands, are of course much more firm than when tied round by ropes, and not so liable to accidents by fire, but there is a difficulty usually in fastening these metallic bands to ' catch them at the proper tension and prevent them from slipping. The subject of our engravings is a clasp for this purpose, which we will now proceed to describe. Fig. 1 is a longitudinal section of the clasp in a closed or locked state securing the ends of a band; Fig. 2 is an outer view of do., in a locked state ; Fig. 3 is a detached view of the clasp in an open or unlocked state. A represents a metallic plate having openings, a, made through it at equal distances from its center these openings being of rectangular form and extending nearly across the plate, the central portion of the plate being a trifle higher than the ends beyond the openings, a, as seen in Fig. 1. The plate A is of course wider than the band, because the band has to pass through the openings. B is a feutton of metal secured by a screw or rivet, b, to the plate A, so that it can turn freely upon the plate. It is equal in width to the plate, and a recess, c, is made in each end, sufficiently wide to receive the ends of the band. The device is used as follows : when the cotton or other article is fully compressed the ends of the hoop are drawn through the openings a, the device being in the position shown in Fig. 3, and the ends of the hoop are bent over the projection a, Fig.l; the button is then turned to the position ijhown in Fig. 2, thus securing the hoop, and the ends are turned into the recesses c, of the button so that they may be protected from breaking off and thus spoiling the hold on the hoop. If the ends are too long to fit the recesses they can be cut to fit it. It will be seen from Fig. 1 that the angles of a, are obtuse so that the band will not be liable to be cut when the bale is relieved from pressure and the band subjected to the strain caused by the compressed article. Of course any number of hoops and locks may be used on a bale and the device may be cheaply made of cast metal. It is the invention of P. C. Ingersoll, of Greenpoint, N. Y., who has assigned it to himself and H. F. Dougherty, of the same place, both of whom may be addressed for further information, or J. Beattie, Jr., Montgomery, Ala. A patent was obtained May 18, 1858.