The castor bean is becoming an important industry In Perry county, California. One prominent dealer received at his warehouse 1,000 bushels in one day, paying $3'18 per bushel. It yields more bushels to the acre than wheat. Tanned cotton, or “cotton leather “ Is prepared by treating cotton fabrics in a manner similar to that in which skins and hides are treated for the manufacture of leather. Cotton is thereby made stronger and better able 0 resist the effects of moisture. There is only one steam fire engine in France. This is oue of the American pattern, and is owned by the city of Havre. The other French towns, including the capital itself, depend for the extinguishment of fires upon hand-engines, about the size of a garden hose, and worked by soldiers, called pompiers. M. Morin states in Cosmos of October 2, that he has in his possession wooden water wheels which have been in use more than 1,500 years forthe evacuation of water from a copper mine. These wheels are more than 18 eet in diameter. The wood was found on analysis to be perfectly sound, and to be partly converted into a compound ofcellulose and copper. The following statistics of coffee production are given by Professor J. Darby. Of the 713,000,000 lbs. produced by the world, per annum, Brazil furnishes 400.000,000, or more than half of the whole. Java 140,000,000, Ceylon 40,000,000, St. Domingo 40,000,000, Cuba and Porto Rico 25,000,000, Venezuela 25,000,000, Sumatra 25,000,000, all others, including the Mocha, 18,000 000 A ship called the Ariadne, of 1,400 tuns register, and 200-horse power, is to sailfrom London on the 16th of November for Buenos Ayres, for the purpose of bringing live cattle from Soutli America to England. The vessel was built expressly for the end contemplated. Her return Is expected aboutFebruary next, and if the voyage will prove a success, other ships are to be built on tile same principle, and a regular trade in live cattle will be established. Attention is called by the Argentine Government to the National Exhibition to be held at Cordova about the 17th of April, 1870. Foreign machines and products of art, industry, and science are to be admitted on an equal footing with those of native origin. Details regarding the conditions of exhibition, the provisions for transportation, etc., may be had, on application, from the Minister Plenipotentiary or any of tile consuls of the Argentine Republic in this country. Mr. Lange, the London representative of the Suez Canal Company has made some experiments on the canal with a corvette carrying ten Armstrong guns and driven by engines of SOO-horse power. He has ascertained the following important points: First, the speed necessary to be maintained on a vessel of the dimensions of the ship experimented with, in order to enable a straight course to be steered, is from 3'2 to 8'7 knots an hour. Second, the embankments suffered no ioj ury while the vessel was going at a rate of 5'4 or 6'4 knots an hour. Third, it was found that the loss of speed incurred by the vessel navigating the canal when compared with the rate on the open sea In smooth water, amounted to one fourth, the same power being employed in both cases. While some of the workmen employed in a pit situated at the east end ot Clarkstreet, Airdrie, Scotland, were working in a seam of gas coal, called the Tongue seam, they turned out a frog which had been embedded In the j coal. They bad just fired a shot, and out of the debris issued a pretty golden-coloredfrog, dead, to be sure; but the body was warm and fresh, as though life had been newly extinct. The seam was 60 fms. deep, and had been previously worked as an ironstone pit at a less depth. There was, however, 50 fms. of rock penetrated before either of these seams were peached. The frog was about 6 in: long by 4 in. broad. The miners cut up the body, and discovered gas coal in a paste state in the stomach. Supposing the frog flrmly embedded in the coal, how would the poor batfa- chian's jaws find reom to perform the duties of mastication, even supposing it had got successfully located inside an uctuous seam of gas coal ? Or are we to .suppose that it imbibed the coal paste through the poi'es of the skin
This article was originally published with the title "Manufacturing, Mining, and Railroad Items"