At Ottawa, Canada, there is great activity in the sawed lumber trade Nearly 40,000,000 feet are now piled up at the mills there. The nickel ore at the Litchfield, Conn., mines will be worked ae soon aa workmen arrive from Germany. A furnace capable of reducing ten tuns of ore daily is just completed, and two others are building. A dispatch from Central City, Colorado, states that the bullion shipments ? the month of August amounted to $325,000. One company aold 20 tuns of gold ore for $100 per tun, to be shipped to England. A trial has lately been made of a " steam omnibus " in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the experiment, as far as can be judged by the details given, ap pears to have been successful. As to the construction of the new vehicle nothing as yet is said. An Atchison, Kansas, telegram says that the contract_ir"trie Ncmeha Valley Railroad has been let, and ten miles will be ceiplcted by February 15,1870, and the road will be finished to Pawnee City in eighteen months. This is an outrun of the Quincy and Keesvilleroad, and diverts thebusinesa of Southern Nebraska to Chicago instead of St. Louis. The receipts of internal revenue for July and August, this year, were $36,594,031-75, against $31,890,028-62 same months last yearan.increase of $5,704,00313. The receipts for the fiscal quarter ending September 30, 1868 were $38,735,363-08, and it is estimated that for the corresponding quarter this year they will reach $48,000,000. It has recently been decided in this city that " Shippinj? articles " are invalid unless a five cent stamp is aiflxed for the signature of each eailor. Tlie ground of the decision is, that the agreement is made bween the master and each man individually, and lat, therefore, one flvu cent stamp which wasafflxed to tnc articles under consideration, waS insufficient. The number of mechanics and laborers employed in the arsenal works on EpckMand at present is greater than ever before. They areclassifled as foilows: L"aT)u"r grs .-ooorstu-i i e -t. i iU- ? ml- seita, 150; carpenters, 50 ; teamsters, 100 ; total number, 901). Until this month 700 was the largest number on the island. The August pay-roll will not fall short of $100,000. The freight on wines from San Francisco to Chicacio has been reduced to g4'50pcr hundred poundsone half of the old charge. Itis said that this reduction was procured by'the efforts of a committee of Cal fornia winegrowers, who represented to the General Freight Agent of the Central Paciiic Railroad that the previously charged rates had the effect of absolutely prohibiting trade in wines. By the completion of the Western Pacific Railroad on Monday the cars travel continuously from the harbors of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, to the harbor of San Francisco. Arrangements have been made for carryina: through passengers and mails between Sicramento and San Francisco without transhipment inside of four hours. The earnings of the Central Pacillc Railroad for August were $572,000, showing a steady increase In passengers and freight. Professor Hitchcock says that the legislature of New Hampshire has re cently inaugurated an examination of the rocks and minerals of New Hampshire in a manner reflecting great credit upon them. During its progress the bounds of the new go d field have been carefully traced out, extending in a narrow belt from Bellows Falls northwardly along the Connecticut river into the dividing ridge between Canada and Maine. The principal New Hampshire goldmine Is at Lyman. The vein is fourteen feet wide composed chiefly of quartz, containing galena, ankerite and pyrites. I The British Consul at Chee-foo, China, reports that the wild silkworm ia bredinlprge quantities by the country people of Shan-tung, and a great deal of wild silk is produced annually in the central part of the province, and in the vicinity oT Tsi-nau-foo. The silk cloth made from this wild silk is used by the Chinese for summer clothing, is very strong, and wears extremely well. It is thought probable that the wild silkworm may oe acclimatized in Europe, and attention has been drawn to it both in Italy and France. Chee-foo can furnish the eggs of both the wild and the domestic silkworms. Feathers of ostriches and other birds, though naturally black, or dark gray colored, may be bleached by the following process newly discovered by M. Deflot. The feathers are placed for three or four hours in a tepid, dilute solution of bichromate of potassa, to which some nitric acid has been cautiously added. The feathers will then be found to present a greenish, hue, owing to the oxide of chromium precipitated on the substance, and to remove this the feathers are placed in a dilute solution of sulphurous acid in ?vater, whereby the feathers become perfectly white anclbleached. Care is to be taken that the solution of bichromate be not made too strong \ and that not too much acid be used, which would cause an irremovable yellow color. meclianical :E:ns:raviiigs, Such as embellish the SCIENTIFIG AMEKIOAN, are generally superior to those of any similar publication, either in this country or in Europe. They are executed by our own artists,who have had long experience in this brancli of art, and who work exclusively for us. There is one pertinent fact in connection with the preparation and publication of an illustration in our columns, that needs to be better understood by inventors and manu facturers who often pursue a short-sighted policy in bringing their improve ments to public notice. They go to a large expense in printing and circu ating handbills, which few care cither to read or preserve. Now, we undertake to say, that the cost of a first-class engraving, done by our own artists and printed in one issue of the SCIENTIFIC AMESIOAN, will amount to less thanone-half the sum that Avould have to be expended on a poorer illustration, printed in the same number of circulars,and on a sheet of paper in size equal to one page of our journal. A printed handbill has no permanent value. Thousands of volumes of the SCIENTIFIC AMEKICAN are bound and preserved for future referencebeside, we estimate that every iseuo oi'our papcrisrcadby no fewer than one hundred thousand persons. Parties who desire to have their inventions illustrated can address the undersigned,who are also prepared to send artists to make sketches of manufacturing establishments, with a view to their publieation in the SCIUXTIFIO AMEKICAIT For particulars address MTINN & CO., 3? Par Bow, New York Facts for tlie liadies. I have used my Wheeler & Wilson Sewing Machine ten years without repairs, not only for family sewing, but for all the stitching I could get to do, from the heaviest beaver to the finest milslin. In six months I made alone on the machine twenty-five coats, seven vests, ten pairs of pants t wcnty-f our shirts, and a number of cloaks, etc. Miss L. HAKKIS. North East, Pa.
This article was originally published with the title "Manufacturing, Mining, and Railroad Items" in Scientific American 21, 13, 203-204 (September 1869)