We have received communications relative 0 building houses—the most economical ma-erials to employ, &c. There is a natural law vhich comes into operation in man at a cer-ain age ; that law is self-reliance. It is this aw which prompts all men to love their own ire-sides best, and which causes grief and nany unpleasant forebodings, when the heart s not satisfied because it hath no ingle ide it 5an call its own, round which loved and hap-Dy faces sit and sing and call it " home." A man is relieved of many cares when he las a free home and fire-side of his own. It Nould add greatly to the happiness of every lonest and industrious man if he was lord of lis own house—the baron of his own cottage, [n and around our cities this is possible to a iery limited number of our workers. The ;auses which operate against this are the high price of building lots and materials for building with. Timber Is becoming dearer every yrear, and will continue to do so. Bricks are tiigh in price, so is iron and stone. Is there no other building material which is cheaper ind which will answer a good purpose? There is; Mr. Fowler, of the firm of Fowlers & Wells, of this city, with his real practical mind, has built a house near Fishkill, on the Hudson River, the walls of which are made of prepared gravel. The cheapness of the material, the unique character and comforts 5f the building have engaged much attention. Walls 256 leet in circumference, and 11 feet 1 inches high, cost seventy.nine dollars to put up, and this amounts to as many feet is are embraced in a house 45 feet long, 25 i feet wide, and 21 feet high—two stories and j a-half. The materials of which the walls are j made are compounded of 8 bushels of slacked 1 lime, sixteen bushels of sand, and about sixty bushels ot fine and coarse gravel. This is thoroughly mixed up together in a bed to a proper consistency, and laid up in walls with standard guide boards, braces, &c., to lay the wall solid and straight. This wall has stood summer heats and winter frosts well. It is plastered inside and out, and is both comfortable and solid. The inside walls are made of studs lathed and plastered, but we only refer to the outside wall as being made of a cheap material, which is asserted to stand the weather perfectly, and is getting harder and better every day. Messrs. Fowlers & Wells have publi hed a small book entitled " A Home for All," which contains diagrams and a full description of the whole method of building such a house. We have a strong predilection for brown freestone as a building material, but it is tar too dear for common houses. Many improvements in brick machines have been made within a few years, but the price of bricks is still high. Some buildings are now being erected in this city of drab colored bricks, but we like the red kind better— Every improvement which is made to cheapen the materials for building houses adds greatly to the comfort and happiness of the j people, because many are thereby enabled to secure homes for themselves, which otherwise they would not be able to do.
This article was originally published with the title "Materials for Building Houses" in Scientific American 8, 10, 77 (November 1852)