As usual, immediately previous to the commencement of a new year, the attaches of the Patent Office are hard at work, bringing up arrears. The list of claims on another page faithfully indicates the labors of the Examiners, and we congratulate tha inventors generally, and our patrons in particular, that there is one period in a year beyond which their business before the Patent Office is not often delayed. The list of claims referred to above shows the number of patents issued last week to have been eighty-five ; the number issued during the same week in 1859 was seventy-three, thus showing a considerable increase over last year. It occurs to us that the Revising Board must have been very busy during the past week to have examined carefully over eiglity specifications and drawings and passed them for issue ! The largest class of cases represented in this week's list is the agricultural, which numbers thirty-six. A NEW STIMULANT.The decoction of the leaves of the cocaa Peruvian Erythoxylon, recently introduced into Europe, is exciting attention as possessing a peculiar stimulating power and favoring digestion more than any other known beverage. Theso leaves chewed in moderate doses of from four to six grains, excite the nervous system, and cnablejthoso who use them to make great muscular exertion, and to resists the effect of an unhealthy climate, imparting a sense of cheerfulness and happiness. In larger doses coca would occasion fever, hallucinations, delirium. Its exciting power over the heart is twice that of coffee, four times that of tea. It has no equal in its power of stimulation, in cases of forced abstinence. Dr. Mantegazza, of Milan, states that, although he has a weak constitution, he has been enabled, by the use of coca, to follow his usual studies uninterruptedly for forty hours: without taking any other aliment but two ounces of coca chewed during that time. He adds that he felt no fatigue after this experiment. The Indians of Boliva and Peru travel four days at a time without taking food, their only provision consisting in a little bag of coca, It is regulary administered to the men who work in the silver mines, and who, without it, could not resist the hard labor and bad diet to which they are subjected. What a chance this is for a patent medicine man ! THE LARGEST YIELD OP CORN YET.We find the following statement in the Country Gentleman, of Albany. It far surpasses anything we ever heard of before in the way of corn crops:Ellis R. Lake, of Marion county, took premiums on corn at the Indiana State Fair, as follows: For 1 acre, 263 bushels ; 5 acres, 247 bushels per acre ; 10 acres, 263 bushels per acre. The soil was sand and loam, based on clay, a river bottom ; the ona acre was plowed ten inches deep and planted in drills three feet apart, and merely plowed out with shovel plow three times ; the five acres were plowed six inches deep and planted in hills three and a half feet each way, plowed out with shovel plow four times, hoed once ; the ten acre piece was plowed six inches deep and had the same cultivation as the five acres. The corn was measured by weight, and would probably shrink considerably in drying. THERE is a greater difference between the New York and the Cincinnati ferry boats than between the former and those on the Mersey, at Liverpool (England). The Ohio ferry boats are very high ; their machinery is cumbersome and ocenpies so much of the middle part as to shut off communication between the two end. One end contains cattle, the other, foot passengers. These boats land sideways, and two gangways conduct to the decks. IF our larger gold coins were made thinner and broader, it is believed that much fraud would thereby be prevented. Cunning and skillful forgers frequently split oar thick gold pieces through the middle, and take out a portion of the gold ; then they fill up the interim with inferior metal, press tho whsle together, and re-mill the edge. It is very difficult to detect such frauds, but if the coins were made thinner, the rogues would find a barrier to the success of their nefacwus practices.
This article was originally published with the title "Renewed Activity at the Patent Office" in Scientific American 3, 25new, 395 (December 1860)