A valuable discovery of bismuth ore has been made near Balhannah, South Australia. An alloy for jewelers ' use, said to be very ductile and malleable and to possess a fine color, is composed of 750 parts of gold,166 parts of silver, and 84 parts of copper. During last year the quantity of silkworms' eggs exported from .Japan amounted to 2,195,631 cards. Ofthis number 800,000 havejbeen sent to FI:.a:nce, Spain. Turkey, Persia. and other countries, and the remainder to Italy. Dr. Poselger has determined by positive experiments that the death of trees growing along streets and promenades is not due, as has been often asserted, to the effects of tbe leakage in gas mains ; but th,at it is owing chiefly to the neglect of so keeping tlie soil that air may freely permeate to the roots. Abundant seams of coal of good quality have been discovered on the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea. Humboldt was of opinion that coal would be found there at no greatdepth, since the entire district abounds in naphtha.x The steamships of that sea have hiterto employed wood as fuel, which had to be conveyed, at great cost,from the Ural mountains. A number of submarine sweet water springs are known to exist in the Adriatic, along the coast of Istria and Dalmatia. As the maritime districts of these prov inces suft'er fror.-:. want of a sufficient supply of water, and as it is possible by means of the Norton pump to save much that is now lost, the Austrian Minister of Agriculture has published a book, on the means, of finding and utilizing submarine fresh water springs on the Austrian coasts. The Pacific railroads are now carrying emigrants to California for $70 from Philadelphia or $42 from Omaha. The number of emigrants since the 1st of September has averaged 100 per day. They are carried on the express freight train, and make the trip in less than ten days. A large increase of business is expected on this train next year. Sir David Brewster found, says the^Engineer, that the fundamental principle of the stereoscope was known to Euclid, who compiled the well_ known Elements about B, C. 280 ; that it was distinctly described by Galen, 1,500 years ago ; and that Baptista Porta, in 1599, gave such a complete sep- aratepicture seen by each eye, and of the combined picture] placed between them, in which we recognize not only,the principle but the construction of the stereoscope. M. Armand contributes a paper to the Comptes Re'ndws^wherein he states that the deleterious: effects of tobacco might be counteracted, if not entirely annihilated, by moistening the tobacco, while undergoing the various preparations and fermentations previou5 to its; delivery to the consumer. with a strong infusion or other preparation of water-cresses. He has discovered thatthis vegetable contains principles which, while the peculiar aroma of tobacco will remain unaffected, will destroy the bad effects of nicotine. The most remarkable railroad in Germany and Europe is the new BlacK Forest road, which will be completed within four years. Between Hornberg and St. George, situated 2,870 feet above the level of the sea, and but four miles distant from Hornberg, the railroad ascends nearly 2,000 feet, and passes through 27,000 feet of tunnels. Eleven thousand feet of the latter have been completed during the last two years. The truly Cyclopean work on the road is progressing rapidly, and attracting thousands of visitors, who flock together from all parts of Southern Germany and Switzerland. iUrcut mmrau and fomp patents;.
This article was originally published with the title "Manufacturing, Mining, and Railroad Items" in Scientific American 21, 17, 268 (October 1869)