Not much more than fifty years ago olboncs-went to the refuse or dirt heap, "being thrown away as a valueless substance, with the exception of a very smaSI amount of them which was employed in the manufacture of glue. In our day, however, the trade in bones lias acquired a vasi importance. From them are manufactured soap, glue, phosphorus, bon3 black, and valuable manures. Many ships sail to distant parts of the world in rdcr to obtain cargoes of bone. Tho battle-fields of Europe have even, in some instances, been dug up, and their long" pent treasures sent to the bone mills to be converted into " superphosphate," which, applied to the wheat and fodder crops, has helped in tho shape of bread and meat to support the present generation. Men have thus actually been made to feed upon tho remains of their ancestors through the speculative genius of the manufacturer of artificial fertilizers! Bones are collected along with old rags in every country in the world, but the largest supplies are obtained from South America, where an immense number of cattle are annually slaughtered for the sake of their hides and fat. The city of Hull, in England, is the principal depot for bone.for the European market, and possesses many large and powerful crushing- mills, where they are reduced into fragments of the desired size. We shall limit ourselves to-day to the manufacture of soap and glue from bones; reserving for a future article the method of utilizing thorn in the production of phosphorus and of supe r phosphates. Practical information being what is needed in this matter, we shall sum up the whole subject as concisely as possible for the benefit of our reader?. 1. Place the bones in large baskets, or nets, in running water so as to wash off the adherent dirt. 2. Kano; the baskets to dry and drip, or spread the bones on an inelino so as to allow the water to run off from them. 8, Cany the bones to a crushing1 mill or to a stamp mill, ami reduce them to the sizo of a hickory nut. If this be done between revolving, horizontal cylinders, these must have sharp-edged ridges about three-quai*ters of an inch broad on their outer surfaces. 4. Receive the crushed bones on a bottom formed of parallel-rods which will allow fat and marrow to ooze through, without giving passage to the bone. o. Place the crushed bones in wicker baskets in large vats or tanks, and cover them with water, the temperature of which must be from 120 to 140 Fall., and no more. 6. Skim the fat as it forms from the top of the warm water, and it is then ready, after mixing with alkalies, to be boiled, into soap. If the 'boncsliadbeciiboile.d, the soap obtained would contain glue, be of inferior quality, dark-colored, and bad scented. 7. Take tho baskets unCi their contained bones from the grease vnis, and let them drip, alter which suspend them in wooden vessels, into which pour muriatic acid, diluted with water, until it maiks 7 degrees of Baume's areometer (spec, grav. 1*05.) 7. Leave the bones in this mixture until the upper ones are soft and pliable ; this generally takes places is about six or seven days if the proportion of bone and acid has been well regulated. 9. Sink the baskets in a second set of wooden vessels, filled to half their hight with muriatic acid, diluted with water, till it marks 8 on Baume's areometer, and leave them in this solution until they are transformed into a soft, malleable, semi-transparent substance, out of which all the lime has disappeared. 10. Wash the bones by running a stream of cold water over them for one-quarter of an hour. 11. Place the bones in a tank containing lime water to neutralize the acid, and after this, wash them again several successive times with cold water. The lime must be slaked in the water used, and 1 part of lime by weight employed to every 200 parts of water. The whole must be well stirred, covered, and allowed to rest for some hours. 12. The bones, after these last washings are completed, are now in a suitable state for the manufacture of the best quality of glue. 13. The acid, at 3 Baume, used for the second operation, is suitable for conversion into that of 6 Baume for the next first maceration. 14. Boil the bones in pans constructed as shown in the following cut. The "bottom plate which, supports the bones is perforated by small holes, and is surmounted by a pipe which reaches above their surface in the pan, so that when the water in A begins to boil it runs out through the top of the pipe, B, and fiowsoverand through the mass of bones in a perpetually circulating stream. In large works the operation is performed in successive boilers, in each of which the degree of concentration is increased. 15. When boiled down to the proper consistency, run out the glue in fiat, wooden molds, three feet long by one foot broad, which must be washed and wet tod before the introduction of the glue. 16. Take up the glue sheets from the molds with a knife slipped under them, and cut it crosswise into six or seven lengths by means of a " special" glue cutter. 17. Dry your glue on twine netting, the strands of which must bo y1- inch, in diameter. The netting is stretched on frames G feet long and 1-J- feet broad. The temperature*, of the drying rooms must be maintained at from 59 to 77 Fall. When the outer air has this temperature, it is allowed to freely circulate among the layers of frames, through lattices situated all round the building, and which can be closed or opened at will. When dry it is ready for market. 13. The muriatic acid solutions are separately treated, in a manner we shall describe in a future article, in order to save the valuable phosphoric acid they contain. Hydropathic Treatment of Railroad Stocks. The Merchant's Magazine publishes tho somewhat startling fact that twenty-eight of the .leading railroads of the country have, within the short space of two years, increased their combined capital from 287 millions to 400 millions of dollars, showing an average inflation of 40 per cent. The editor argues, what is undoubtedly true, that it is impossible to adduce any really sound justification of the " watering " policy. It is, in most cases, simply a deceptive game played by speculative directors, who, after the inflation has been consummated, will be the first to forsake the bubble, and quietly wait to profit from the ultimate violent revulsion in values; while the attempt to draw out of the consumers of the country high charges for freight, so as to pay dividends on the increased stock, is a direct check to our material progress. The Game of Croquet. A counterpart to the railway velocipede, illustrated on another page, for the amusement of young persons, is the game of croquet, one of the out-of-door entertainments which has become very popular within a few years. It has the advan-i tag'o over the railway velocipede in the matter of expense the price of a set of croquet implements costing but a frac- tion of that o f the railway ; but where parties can afford it wo recommend the introduction of both. The game of croquet is healthful, graceful, and social, and for young persons of both soxes we know of no open-air amusement that combines so many beneficial qualities with that of pleasure. The introduction of the game into schools is becoming quite common. The manufacture oi croquet implements has grown into an extensive business at Springfield, Mass., and the firm of Milton Bradley & Co., of that city, has become identified with tho. manufacture of the finest qualities of these goods. Explosion of a Gasometer. The city of Cincinnati felt the rumble and roar of a great explosion on the 24th ult. The Commercial says: "A great mass of black smoke rose above the Gas Works, then came a concussion that shook the windows, and immediately the smoke was crowned with a big, red Same-burst that shot up to an amazing hight. The shock was felt all over the city, except in the extreme limits, and probably not less than a third of the population realized immediately that something extra ordinary had occurred. "The gasometer, or holder, which burst, was a mass of boiler-iron of a quarter of an inch thickness, 127 feet in diameter, and 85 feet in height. It was an immense, inverted, circular tank, that rose and fell slowly, accord-ing to the amount of gas confined between its top and the surface of the water. Sunk into the ground, with a depth of 35 feet, is the tank proper, circular, of course, of stone, brick, and mortar. There were 375,000 feet of gas in the holder when the explosion occurred. We find it impossible to state the cause of the explosion, and difficult to convey any idea of the appearance of it. It appeared as if the roof of the holder was rent in twain from north to south, that as it rose and fell back the overwhelming sound was heard, and then the great bursts of flame and smoke arose, For an instant, for a square around, the breath of a mighty heat played. The woodwork of doors and \windows was blistered and blackened. Men a hundred feet away found their faces, arms, and hands scorched to the flesh, and for many squares around, the close, stifling heat was felt, and then it was all over. “The explosion is not accounted for by even the best informed gas manufacturers. When it occurred there was no fire near the holder, and no gas had been let into it for six hours. One theory is that of great expansion of the gas by solar heat on the holder, the consequent bursting of the roof, and flame communicated to the escaping contents from tho stack of the Globe Rolling Mill. The idea has quite generally prevailed that there is no danger of an explosion to a holder. Several instances refute this. In October, 1865, a gasometer of the London Gaslight Company's works, at Nine Elms, Battersea road, exploded, killing ten men. It was twice the .size of this. Not long since, we are informed, there was a similar explosion at Chicago. Both thes-3 explosions, however, were accounted for, the fire communicating- from the governor in the first instance. How this ever occurred no one seems to know. The officers and employes of the works are puzzled, and cannot solve the mystery. So far as we can learn the only sufferers as to property, by this affair, is the gas company, whose loss is about $100,000, on which there is no insurance.”
This article was originally published with the title "Utilization of Bones"