Public curiosity which has been much stimulated by repeated and partially successful experiments with the electric light, is likely tojbe soon fully satisfied by seeing that singularly beautiful and powerful application of voltaic electricity brought into permanent and profitable operation. It will be recollected that up to the present time two serious obstacles have always opposed themselves to the use of this light as a means of illumination ; one being the difficulty of obtaining a steady and permanent light, the other the great cost of the materials employed in its generation. These two difficulties have been at length grappled with by a young but already distinguished man of science (Dr. Watson), who, by a series of patient and highly phiosophic experiments, has attained certain results, which, he has sanguine hopes, will ultimately lead t the successful commercial application of the light to various purposes. The uncertainty: and flickering of the light being caused by the gradual wearing away of the points of the electrodes, and the consequent widening of the space through which the fluid must pass, Dr. Watson has attempted to obviate the difficulty, first by the employment of a new and patented material in the electrodes, which makes themless liable to wear in their incandescent state ; and, secondly, by the action ot a magnet placed in the base of the lamp, which, by its attractive powers, restores any deviation which may have taken place in the relative positions of the electricity under the influence of the light. By this invention the lamp is rendered self-regulating or automatic, and the first great difficulty, the inconstancy of the light, is, to a considerable extent remedied. The light having thus been got into working order, the next point to be considered was the great commerctal question of cost as until the invention could practically be made to pay, there was little hope of its being brought into- general application. Without entering into any detailed technical explanation, it will be sufficient to state that this end is attained by the substitution of cheaper metallic plates in the construction of the batteries, and the employment of such chemicals in the generation of the electric fluid, as shall, having first performed their illuminating duties, undergo such changes in their own forms as to become articles of considerable commercial value and ready sale. For the plates the inventor has substituted cast-iron and plati- nized lead for the more expensive metals— silver, copper, and platina ; and an idea of the saving here effected may be formed from the fact, that whereas a single plate of platina costs Z, one of platinized lead or cast-iron can be made for Is. For exciting agents or electrolytes, as they are called, the patentee employs in one battery prussiate of potash, which, by the galvanic process, is converted into those valuable articles of commerce, Prussian blue, and ultramarine. In another battery, which is excited by nitro-sulphuric acid, he gets, with the addition of bichromate of potash, the well-known color for carriage builders, chrome yellow, and by another chemical combination, he gets red, the third primary color, naving thus, it is almost needless to add, obtained the bases of almost all the pigments used in the useful or decorative arts. [The above is from the London (Eng.) News,—it will be a great boon to science if that which is stated is actually true. We can well see how Prussiai. blue is formed, but how ultramarine can be thus formed surpasses our comprehension, for we have always understood that the said substance contained alumina. The idea that silver, platina, and copper were the only metals heretofore used for the battery, is ridiculous. Zinc and sulphuric acid —the old substances—form a salt as profitable as that which can be made out of the prussiate of potash and iron plates,—that is, when we take tie price of the materials before being used, into consideration. Liebig lately commenced a course of public lectures at Munich, with a lecture on the nature of flame, the influence ot other bodies upon its intensity, &c, accompanying the whole with a great variety of experiments. Literary Notices BOOK OF THE WORLD—No. 7 ; Weik & Wieck, 195 Chesnut st, Philadelphia. The above number of this popular work is adorned with a portrait of Oken. the great Reformer of the Natural Sciences, and three colored engravings, two of which, as usual, are descriptive of natural history. This is a peculiar feature of the publication, and recommends it particularly to the lovers of natural science—good colored engravings beinga very useful aid in acquiring a knowledge of Botany, Conchology, and of Natural History in general. In this number we have colored engravings of the Triton or Water Salamander, of the Thibaudia Macrantha, or large flowered Thibaudia, with a similarly colored illustration of a German Tale, which will please the young folks. SHIPBUILDERS MANUAL—No. 3 of this excellent and useful publication, by J. W. Griffiths, practical shipbuilder, is just issued, and for sale at No, 333 Broadway, W, Stephenson, agent. THE SOUTHERN ECLECTIC—No. 1, Vol. 1; by J. II. Fitten, Augusta, Ga. Terms $3 per annum. The number before us contains several able selections irom European Journals, and bears evidence of judicious management. We hope this journal willsucceed
This article was originally published with the title "New Application of the Electric Light"