The gross receipts of the American Institute Fair were $59,216'87; expenses, $37,212'52. Profits, in round numbers, $21,000. The new Blackfriars Bridge and the Holborn Valley Viaduct, London, were opened by the Queen on November 6. .Crowds of people throngedxhe streets. and the neighborhood was gaily decorated. During the last fiscal year 760,000,000 letters passed through the United States mails-forty millions more than during ap.y previous year, and an average of twenty for every man, woman, and child in the land. Mr. Thornton, the British Minister at Washington, has Intimated that the British Government Is prepared to reduce the single rate of postage for prepaid letters between the United States and the United Kingdom to three pence. There Is little doubt, therefore, of the early adoption of this measure of postal reform. According to a Paris dispatch, dated November 6, the concession for the proposed cable between the United States and Belgium was signed on the 5th inst in that city by the Belgian Minister. The grantees are W. C. Barney, E. E. Paulding, and J. S. Bartlett. The cable is to be laid from 0s- tend to some point between Maine and Georgia by an American company. It is estimated that by the end of the year 1869 there will be laid in the United States, in round numbers, 110,000 tuns of steel rails, equal to 1,100 miles of steel road; and of this amount about 36,000 tuns, equal to 360 miles, will be laid during the present season. These rails are in use on more than fifty different roads, and are partly ofAmerican, principally ofEnglish, and t o a small extent of Prussian manufacture. A dispatch from San Francisco states that the restoration o1 public lands herertofore reserved for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, will probably cause the Company to make Its location through the San Joaquin Vallfey, connecting with the Western Pacific near Stockton, thus constituting the California and Oregon and the Southern Pacific Road, a gra®d trunk line from Columbia. river north to Colorado south, passing through the richest agricultural valley of the State. The New York Commercial Advertiser calls attention to the conflagrations that have resulted near Cairo, Illinois, and at other places from locomotive sparks. It says that farmers along the line of the North Missouri Road have been compelled to keep a constant watch to prevent their buildings, fences, stacks of grain, and fields of stubble from being ignite... Some effective contrivance, it sugests, should be employed on railway engines to confine the sparks which now fly about hither and thither along the path of the fiery locomotive. While on a visit at a manufactory on the upper part of the river Saale which flows through Thuringia, M. Reichardt noticed a dark,brown colored incrustation appearing almost to consist of an oxide of iron and manganese. The analysis gave—Water, driven off at 100", 210 per cent; insoluble in hydrochloric acid, 17'12 ; soluble therein, 80*78. Fall analysis, in a hundred parts, gave t^MbJlowIhg results; Water, at 100", 2'10; white clay and sand, 8*81; oil and pitch, 8'25; sulphate of lime, 1'30 ; peroxide of iron, 1'20-; protoxide,0"22; carbonate of lime, 68*52; carbonate of magnesia, 9'60. The dark color was due to the organic matter, decomposed by the high temperature and converted into a kind of pitch. It is announced that England alone consumes every year at least two thousand tuns of beeswax' valued at $2,100,000. With gold at 131, the best bright pressed yellow American beeswax is now selling in England at from 45 to 51 cents a pound. Wax candles are used extensively in the royal palaces of Europe, and in one palace alone it is stated that ten. thousand wax candles are burned every night. The method of lighting this large number of candles instantaneously, is to connect the wicks by an inflammable and scented thread of gun cotton. On touching the end of the thread with a torch, the flame flashes like lightning round the connected candles, an agreeable odor is emitted, and the apartments are illuminated a:1d perfumed as if by magic. An investigation has recently been instituted in Paris with regard to the exemption from cholera of men engaged in working with copper. Statistics, obtained in such a way as to warrant entire reliance on their accuracy, appear to show that wherever the manipulation of copper was carried on, the men engaged in it almost invariably eeeaped unharmed, and, further, that the preservation varied in accordance with the degree n which tho metal wasjhandled by the operatives. During the epidemics in1865 and 180, the number of deaths was in the proportienof 3 to every 10,00 of the adult workmen employed in working copper in some form or other. Of goldsmiths, silversmiths, and watchmakers, there died one of every 719 employed; among founders, tap-makers, lamp-makers, workers in bronze, sham jewelry, and copper utensils, the mortality was 1 in 2,000; and among opticians, makers of mathematical instruments, dry polishers, stampers, turners, and musical instrument makers—the number of whom was 6.650-there was no case at all. The society known as the Bon Aceord, founded in 1819, and entirely composed of bronze workers, had not a single death, and had been only cdled upon to pay for106 days ofsickness divided among ten members. If further inquiries establish the truth of the theory, results exceedingly valuable from a hygienic point of view will follow.
This article was originally published with the title "Manufacturing, Mining, and Railroad Items"