The Commissioners h ave reported upon the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads. They compute that, at the date of their examination, in February last, an expenditure of $2,800,000 would be required to bring the Central Road up to a first-class road and equip it for through business with rollingstock, depots, machine shops, engine houses, etc. Two of the Commissioners,Me. srs. Warren and Blick( rsdefer, also think an expenditure of $1,600,000 is required to improve its location. Upon the Union Pacific road they report that at the time of their examination, the sum of $6,700,000 was necessary to complete and equip the 1,035 miles, according to the first-class standard, since which time the Company has been constantly at work completing the road and placing upon it the material necessary fully to equip the same according to the requirements of the Commission and the law. The report states that the haste in which the roads have been constructed has resulted in defects of location and construction, which must be remedied to bring the roads to the standard of efficiency required by law. An English paper saysthat much light is thrown on the interesting question, whether railway traveling is injurious to health, by the statistical investigations of Dr. Wiegand, of Halle. His inquiries are based on the reports of thirty-eight companies, and the results for 1868 are as follows: Of 11,125 engine drivers, stokers, and other officials traveling with the train, 119 or 1-972 per cent died ; while of the 43,853 other officials employed, only 408 or 0-931 per cent died in the same period. It will be seen that the rate of mortality is somewhat higher in the first than in the second class, but te difference is notgreat enough to lead us to suppose that the occupation is more than usually dangerous or unhealthy. The Omaha Republican says that mose-agate jewelry is becoming quite fashionable in the West. The deli jate moss-liko tracery observed in tliem is exquisitely beautiful, and when properly set i i a ring or pin is an ornament that can hardly be surpassed for looks. The opening of thePacitic Railroad has brought these stones from the mountains into the market. The President of the St. JjOuis Iron Mountain Company, has received a dispatch from the President of the Memphis Commercial Convention, informing him that the people will subscribe the 1,000,000 acres asked for the extension of the Iron Mountain Railroad to Memphis. The Commissioner of Mining Statistics estimates,in his report, the bullion product of the whole country at $37,000,000, This is a decrease of $3 000,000 from the total returns ofl867, which showed a falling off of about the same amount as compared with the product of the year before. The people of the Neosho valley have organized a company to build a railroad fromEmporia, Kansas, to Holden, Missouri. This will put Southern Kansaainconnectionwith St. Louis byaroute 150 miles shorter than the railroad connection of the same region with Chicago. The Navy Department continues the reduction of the number of its vessels. It is expected that all the supernumerary war vessels and transports owned b y the Government will be disposed of before the end of summer. TheNorthern Pacific Railroad Company are making preparations for sending out an exploring party to pass over the entire routefrom Lake Superior to Puget Sound. The general agent of the company has called on General Sherman to arrange for a military escort for a portion of the distance. The fastest time between California and Massachusetts has been made.by a gentleman who arrivedin Boston on Saturday from San Francisco, having accomplished the journey in seyen days and eleven hours, including seventeen hours detention on the way. An effort is to be made to employ capital on the immense water power in the eastern part of Maine, in other manufacturing than that of lumber. Several wealtliy companies have recently purchased waterpowers with the intention of erecting manufacturing establishments . The feasibility of lighting tunnels by electricity is to be tested. One hun-dredBunsen elements, with Serrin's automatic regulator, are about to be used to give light to the workmen employed in the Ste. Catharine tunn el, near Rouen, France. M. Coudier has been commissioned to construct a bridge over the Kile, at Cairo. The length of this structure will be about 2,600 feet, and the cost will be about $400,000. It is to be completed in two years. The Hartford andNew Haven Railroad Company have been authorized by the legislature to increase its capital stock $3,000,000 by a new issue,one half of which will "be expended in repairs. Tlie miners of Scranton, Pa., held a formal meeting on May 22, on the question of question of suspension. The vote stood—for suspension,369 ; against suspension, 403. This is decisive ; there will be no suspension there. A bill has een adopted In the Canadian Parliament for the establishment of a telegraph line from Montreal to England by way of Greenland and Iceland. A firm in Dalton,Mass.,havemade three thousand re,ams of bank-note paper for the Italian government. They have another large order from the Brazilian government. The Newfoundland seal fishery has been very successful during the past season. The number of seals landed at St. John is nearly 150,000. There are 50,000 tuns of brimstone used annually in England, and the total amount exported from. Sicily is 300,000 tuns a year. On May 18, Brigham Young broke the first ground for the Utah Central Railroad near Weber river, immediately below Ogden City. American silver cannot be taken into the Dominion of Canada in larger sums than five dollars without the payment of duty . Last year, in Madison, Wis., one firm, sold $630,000 wortli of reapers, and it has orders for six thousand machines for the coming season.
This article was originally published with the title "Manufacturing, Mining, and Railroad Items" in Scientific American 20, 24, 379 (June 1869)