We have received a number of letters making inquiries about the Ericsson, such as " where is she ?" " when is she going to sea, and to what place ?" " what is the matter with her ?" &c. We do not like saying so much as we have done upon this subject, and were it not for the numerous letters we receive respecting it—showing how interested a great number of our readers are—we would not say another word on the subject at present. It has already been mentioned in our columns, that the Ericsson was to get in furnace crown plates of cast-iron in place of those first put which were of plate wrought-iron. We quote the following extract from the " New York Tribune," the paper which said, alter her second trial trip—" Watt and Fulton belong to the past—Ericsson is the ruling genius of the present and future,—the days ot steam are numbered." "This ship is now lying at her dock in Wil-liamsburgh, just above the Grand street Ferry. Important alterations are going on in her machinery at Hogg-& Delamater's foundry, which the owners are confident will considerably increase her speed. She is to be ready to sail for London, on her first passenger trip soon after the first of July, at which time the improvements now going on will be completed, and she will be in order throughout. Capt. Ericsson and some of the principal owners will go out in herto Europe. She can accommodate about two hundred passengers." It is nearly two years since the Ericsson was commenced ; and yet, not one penny has she earned for her owners. We are really sorry that she has not done better so far ; the loss of interest on the aggregate cost of her hull and machinery for one month, must be a large amount of itself. We also quote the following from the " New York Evening Post," of the 3rd inst. : " We have received the following note from Capt. Ericsson, in relation to the caloric engine, which he has been constructing for the Evening Post:' NEW YOSK, May 2nd, 1853. Dear Sir—I have just received inlormation from my agent in France, that unless a caloric engine shall be in actual operation there before the 2ath of June next, my patent-right lor that countEfeU be forfeited. The patent lawa-wtrEI the countries of Europe reijftire ffSHHEmilar cases, model engines snaj Je iHHHfri11 a given period. Such we aaveSBMBfed to.forward in due time ; tuf'tBns in France in relation to ioreigirpBMj it appears, demand imperatively that'iBWaehine shall be in practical operation, as stated. Under these circumstances, it becomes indispensable to forward an engine to France by the Humboldt this week, and as the caloric engine we have constructed for your printing establishment is the only one completed, I am compelled, most reluctantly, to solicit your permitting me to employ the same for the purpose stated. If you will kindly grantthis request,I will lose not a moment in constructing another'en-gine to take the place ot the one now ready. I am, dear sir, respectfully, your obedient servant, J. ERICSSON. Of course, we cannot hesitate to comply With -faptn Ericsson's request. Much as we regretthe inconvenience and disappointment to which it will subject us, they will not deserve to be weighed a moment against the consequences of a forfeiture of the patent tor this engine in France, which would be the inevitable consequence of our refusal." There is something which we cannot account tor in the above letter, as it stands, in contradiction to our understanding of the French Patent Law, which we shall quote : " Sec. 32. A patentee will be deprived of his rights under the following circumstances : — (I ) If he should fail to pay the annual payment betore the commencement of each year of the term of the patet; (2.) if he shall not put his invention or discovery into execution within two years from ths date of the signature of the patent, or if he shall cease for the space of two consecutive years to work the patent—unless, in either case, he can justify his inaction; (3.) if he introduces into France objects made in a foreign country, similar to those protected by his own patent. Models of machines, the introduction of which is authorized by the Minister of Agriculture and Commerce, are excepted from the operation of the preceding paragraph." By this very law, as it appears to us, Capt. Ericsson, instead of protecting his patent in France, by sending the engine there which was made for the "Post," actually comes up to the very letter and conditions of forfeiture. We have noticed an editorial article, this week, in a magazine professedly scientific, on the Caloric Engine, which exhibits such an utter want of scientific knowledge, that we cannot pass it by without comment, but we have not room to do so in this number. There is a curious ordeal in India, which shows the action of fear on the salivary glands. If a wrong is committed, the suspected persons are got together, and each is required to keep a quantity of rice in his mouth for a certain time, and then put it out again ; and, with the greatest certainty, the man who had done the deed puts it out almost dry, in consequence of the iear of his mind keeping back the saliva.
This article was originally published with the title "Where is the Ericsson" in Scientific American 8, 35, 277 (May 1853)