The Minister of the Treasury of the Peruvian Government has recently offered to lease the quicksilver mine of Ruancavelica to any responsible company or man for 100 years, at a rent of $5,000 per annum for the first 10 years, increasing afterwards, the lessee to give bonds for the prosecution of the work, and to incur a fine of $200,000 if the mine should be injured by talse excavations. The Huiincavelica mine is about 240 miles from Lima, and has always been regarded as little inferior to the celebrated Almaden mine in California; but the bad state of the Huancavelica, and the great ob stacles offered by the mountain roads, have prevented it being profitably worked. The Vienna Board of Trade have published a report on German railways, including those of the German Austrianprovinces. According to this there were 13,639 English miles open for public traffic. The working expenses amounted in the highest case to between 96 and 100 per cent on the gross receipts, and in the lowest to 30 per cent, namely, the Turnau-Kralup and Kaiser Ferdinand's liae. The highest dividend paid was 85 per cent, the lowest 2 per cent, and there were seven lines that paid nothing. By accidents during the last three years, from 1865 to 1868, there were 473 persons Silled and 686 injured. During the rainy season the macadamized roads of Paris are frequently inches deep in what is called macadam milk, which is a great nuisance in the sewers, filling them up very rapidly. An adventurous individual has found an application for this stuff, and at the same time, it is said, an income of 2,000 a year for himself. He collects the milk, allows it to settle in large tanks, passes the precipitate through silk sieves, and forms it afterward into what we call Flanders bricks, for knife cleaning, which sell at a franc each. Addison county, Vermont, appears to be making progress in the raising of the poppy and manufacture of opium. It is stated that last year, a man in Monckton raised poppies and manufactured opium to the value of $3,000, and a number of farmers propose this year to cultivate the plant quite extensively. There are to be several acres of poppies on one farm in East Middlebury. SILVEK COIN.—Silver was first coined by the Lydians, by Phidon of Argos,869B.C. At Rome itwas first coinedby FabiusPictor,269B.C. Used in Britain 25 B.C. The Saxons coined silver pennies, which were 22% grains weight. In 1302, the penny was yet the largest silver coin in England. From 1816to 1840 inclusive, there were coined at the mintin London, 11,108,-295Z. 15s. in silver, being a yearly average of 444,330?. The Government Commission have reported favorably on the plan of Mr Eoebling for the East Eiver Bridge, holding thatahightof one hundred smd thirty-five feet, will not be an obstruction to commerce, and therefore ih requisite Government consent, as provided for in the act of Congress, should be forthwith given to the proposed structure. A new route is to be opened to India, from England, by way of Ostend, via Innspruck and the Tyrolese Alps. The same car will run through from Os-tend to Brindisi, at the southeast end of Italy, and the passengers from London will reach Egypt in six days, or one day less than by way of Mar-serges. It has*ecently been decided by the New Hampshire SupremeCourt, that travelers n,tst withdraw their baggage from the Keeping of railroad companies upon arrival; thattlie companies are under no obligation to store the baggage, ana,ire not liable for its loss if " not removed within a rea-Bonable time." The Boston Journal, OS May 19, reports that in the second week of May, the Hoosac tunnel at the east en*,., was driven thirty-two feet, an'd good progress made at the shaft and other headings. Five and a-third f eet on one face is the best progress thus far made. Reports from Nevada state that tfte ore from the Hale and Norcross lower level assays as high as $125 per tun, apd that the whole mine yields at the rate of 1,100 tuns per week, averaging .ftpwards of 860 per tun. Parties in Albany are making arrangements to commence-the manufacture of matches by a new process. '"They will use sodium instead of phos phorus. Sodium is as easily ignited, and is free of the unpleasant smell that attends phosphorus. With the announcement of the completion of the railway to the Pacific comas the information that the last rail has been laid on the Eock Island and Council Bluffs road, thus finishing this line fromChicago to Omaha, and opening a competing road to the Missouri river. The work was pushed forward with remarkable energy. A party of gentlemen in Jackson, Mich., recently organized a company for the manufacturing of soda ash, sal soda,bicarbonate of soda, caustic Boda, chlorate of potash, and muriatic acid. Three hundred hands will be employed. The capital is about $500,000. The Kansas Pacific Railway is now in operation from State line (Kansas City) to Sheridan, near eastern boundary of Colorado and head of Smoky Hill river, 405 miles; Leavenworth & Lawrence branch, 84 miles ; "Wyan-dotte branch, 2 miles. Tot al, 441 miles. There are fifteen hundred miles of railroad under contract in Indiana. That State has never made such progress in the construction of railroads as she is making this year. A large hotel, saw mill, shingle, and clapboard mill, a large tannery, a musical instrument factory, several stores, and a masonic hall will be erected in Foxcrof t, Maine, during the coming season. The Erie Railroad Company sell through tickets by the [Tnion Pacific Railroad, from New York to San Francisco for $197 35. The first invoice of tea from Japan for St. Louis was shipped on the 10th May, thus inaugurating the overland trade with China and Japan. The Amador mine, at Sutter creek, according to the Amador (Cal.) Ledger, produced $65,000 during the month of February. The pig iron product of Great Britain in 1858 was 4,800,000 tuns ; the United States, 1,603,000, and Pennsylvania furnished 985,555 of this amount.
This article was originally published with the title "Manufacturing, Mining, and Railroad Items" in Scientific American 20, 23, 364 (June 1869)