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tion on board of one of the St. Lawrence on the numerous fertile islands which lie steamers, informed me that he, on one oc- scattered for several hundred miles along the casion, lost 2,5001. by one raft, which coast. The live oak is generally forty or grounded in descending a rapid and broke fifty feet in height, and from one to two feet up. He said the safest size for a raft was in diameter; but it is sometimes much larger, from 40,000 to 50,000 square feet, or about and its trunk is often undivided for eighteen one acre, and that five men were required to or twenty feet. There can be little doubt, work a raft of that size.
from its great density and durability, that The species of forest trees indigenous to this is one of the finest species of oak that different countries is an interesting subject exists, surpassing even that for which Great connected with vegetable physiology. There Britain is so famous. Its cultivation has are said to be about thirty forest trees in- been tried in this country, without success; digenous to Great Britain, which attain the 'but could it be imported, it would be found height of thirty feet; and in France there admirably suited for the construction of lockare about the same number. But according gates, and other engineering works, for which to the best authorities, there are no less than hard and durable timber is required, and for 140 species, which attain a similar height, which English or African oak is generally indigenous to the United States.
used. To notice each of these numerous species, The White Oak (Quercus alba,) is the whose timber is employed by the Americans species of which so much is imported into in the arts, even if I were able to do so, this country. It is known by the name of would greatly exceed the limits to which I am “ American oak," but it is a very different restricted by the nature of the present com- and much inferior wood to the live oak of munication; and I shall therefore only make the United States which I have just dea few remarks regarding those timbers which scribed. It is also much more widely disare most highly prized and most extensively tributed, and occurs in much greater quanused in the ship carpentry and public works tity, than the live oak. It is very common of the country.
throughout the northern states, and in Ca. The first which I shall notice is the Live
nada, from whence it is exported to this Oak (Quercus virens,) so named because it
country. It attains an elevation of seventy is an evergreen, its leaves lasting during se- or eighty feet, with a diameter of six or seven veral years, and being partially renewed feet. It is known by the whiteness of its every spring. It grows only in the southern bark, from which it derives its name, and states, and is one of the most valuable of the from a few of its leaves remaining on the American timbers. The duty imposed by branches in a withered state throughout the our government on wood from the United
winter. The wood is of a reddish colour, States prevents its importation into Britain, and in that respect is very similar to English and as live oak grows only in the United oak. But it is generally acknowledged to be States, and is not found in Canada, it con- greatly inferior to it in strength and durability. sequently never reaches this country as an It is very straight in the fibre, however, and article of commerce; the whole produce can be got in pieces of great length and conbeing consumed by the Americans them- siderable scantling-properties which, for selves in ship-building. Its specific gravity certain purposes, make it preferable to the is equal to, and in some cases greater than, British oak. It is much used in ship-buildthat of water, and it is used along with white ing, and also for the transverse sleepers of oak and cedar for the principal timbers of railways.
There are many other oaks in the vessels. The climate, according to an Ame. United States, but the two I have mentioned rican authority,* becomes mild enough for are those most in use. its growth near Norfolk, in Virginia, though The pines are perhaps the next woods in at that place it is less multiplied and less
importance to the oaks. The species of vigorous than in more southerly latitudes. those are also very numerous, and I shall From Norfolk it spreads along the coast for only mention one or two of the most ima distance of 1,500 or 1,800 miles, extend
portant of them. ing beyond the mouths of the Mississippi. The White, or Weymouth Pine, (Pinus The sea air seems essential to its existence, strobus.) is widely distributed both in the for it is rarely found in the forests upon the United States and in Canada, and is exported main-land, and never more than fifteen or
to Britain in great quantities from the latter twenty miles from the shore. It is most
country. It is the tallest tree of the Ameabundant, most fully developed, and of the
rican forest, having been known, according best quality, about the bays and creeks, and to Michaux, to attain the height of 180 feet.
The wood has not much strength, but it is
free from knots, and is easily wrought. It • The Sylva Americana, by J. D. Browne. Boston, 1933.
is very extensively employed in the erection
of bridges, particularly frame and lattice bridges, a construction peculiar to the United States, and very generally adopted in that country, which I have described in detail elsewhere.* For this purpose it is well fitted, on account of its lightness and rigidity, and also because it is found to be less apt to warp or cast, on exposure to the atmosphere, than most other timbers of the country. It is much used for the interior fittings of houses, and for the masts and spars of vessels.
The Yellow Pine, (Pinus mitis or variabilis,) occurs only in the southern and middle states, and is not found in Canada, and therefore does not reach this country, the wood known by that name in Britain being the Pinus resinosa. It attains the height of 50 or 60 feet, with a diameter of 2 or 3 feet, and is the timber which the Americans employ in greatest quantity for the masts, yards, booms, and bowsprits of their vessels. A large quantity of it is annually consumed for this purpose in the building-yards of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.
The Red Pine (Pinus resinosa) is the only other of the pine species that is much used, It occurs in great plenty in the northern and middle states, and in Canada, from whence it is exported in great quantity to this country, and it is known to us by the name of “ American yellow pine." It attains the height of 70 or 80 feet, with a diameter of two feet, and is remarkable for the uniform size of its trunk for two-thirds of its height. Its name is derived from the redness of its bark. The wood, owing to the resinous matter it contains, is heavy; and is highly esteemed for naval architecture, more especially for decks of vessels, both in this coun. try and in America.
The Locust (Robinia pseud-acacia), from the beauty of its foliage and the excellent qualities of its timber, is justly held in great esteem in America. It abounds in the middle states, and in some situations attains the height of seventy feet, with a diameter of four feet. The wood of the locust tree is of a greenish-yellow colour, marked with brown veins, not unlike the laburnum of this country. It is a close-grained, hard, and compact wood, and is of great strength. It is used, along with live oak and cedar, for the upper timbers of vessels, and is almost invariably used for treenails, to which it is well adapted. It is also employed in some parts of the country as transverse sleepers for railways. Its growth being chietiy confined to the United States, it is not imported into Britain. It is one of the very few trees that are planted by the Americans, and may be seen forming
hedge-rows in the highly cultivated parts of Pennsylvania.
The Red Cedar (Juniperus Virginiana) is another valuable wood, the growth of which is confined to the United States. In situations where the soil is favourable, it grows to the height of 40 or 50 feet, with a diameter of 12 or 13 inches. This wood is of a bright red colour ; it is odorous, compact, fine-grained, and very light, and is used, as already stated, in ship-building, along with live oak and locust, to compensate for their weight. It is considered one of the most durable woods of the United States, and being less affected by heat or moisture than almost any other, it is much employed for railway sleepers. I remember, in travelling on some of the railways, to have been most pleasantly regaled for miles together, with the aroma of the newly laid sleepers of this wood. It is now, however, becoming too scarce and valuable to be used for this purpose.
The White Cedar (Cupressus thyoides) and the Arbor Vitæ (Thuja occidentalis) are employed for sleepers and other purposes to which the red cedar is applied, but the latter is preferred when it can be obtained.
The only other tree which I shall notice is the Sugar Maple (Acer sacharinum), which occurs in great abundance in Canada and the northern states. It attains the height of 50 or 60 feet, and is from 12 to 18 inches in diameter. The wood of this tree is soft, and when exposed to moisture it soon decays. It is very close-grained, and when cut in certain directions is remarkably beautiful, its fibres, owing to their peculiar arrangement, producing a surface variegated with undulations and spots. It is also susceptible of a very high polish. These qualities tend to render it a valuable acquisition to the list of American woods for ornamental purposes, for which it is very generally employed, and is well known in this country by the name of “ Bird's Eye Maple.” The wood of the Red flowering Maple (Acer rubrum) is also employed for ornamental purposes, and is generally known by the name of “ Curled Maple." The cabins of almost all Americanbuilt vessels are lined with these woods, or with mahogany inlaid with them, and they are also much used for making the finer parts of the furniture of houses.
The property of the sugar maple, however, from which it derives its name, is of perhaps more importance, in a commercial point of view, than its rise as timber. I allude to its property of distilling a rich sap, from which sugar is largely manufactured throughout the United States. From two to four pounds of sugar can be extracted annually from each tree without hurting its growth. I had an
• Stevenson's Sketch of the Civil Engineering of North America. London: John Weale, 1838.
opportunity of making some inquiries regard. through the Americen forests, which eviing this simple process when on the banks of dently far exceeded that size, and which my the river Ohio, where I saw it in progress. situation, as a passenger in a public conveyOne or two holes are bored with an augur, ance, prevented me from measuring. at the height of about two feet from the M. Michaux, who has written on the forest ground, and into them wooden tubes, formed trees of America, in speaking of their great of the branch of some soft-hearted tree hol- size, states, that on a small island in the lowed out, are inserted. The sap oozing Ohio, fifteen miles above the river Musfrom the maple flows through the tubes, and kingum, there was a button-wood tree, which, is collected in troughs. It is then boiled at five feet from the ground, measured 40 until a syrup is formed of sufficient strength feet 4 inches in circumference. He mentions to become solid on cooling, when it is run having met with a tree of the same species into moulds and is ready for use.
on the right bank of the Ohio, thirty-six Such is a brief notice of some of the prin- miles above Marietta, whose base was swolcipal timbers of the United States, which, len in an extraordinary manner; at four feet from their great abundance and variety, are from the ground it measured 47 feet in cire suitable for almost every purpose connected cumference, giving a diameter of no less than with the arts, and thus serve in some degree 15 feet 8 inches; and another of nearly as to compensate for the want of stone, while great dimensions is mentioned by him as exat the same time they afford great advantages isting in Genessee ; but these trees had perfor the prosecution of every branch of car- haps been swollen to this enormous size from pentry, an art which has been brought to the effects of some disease. He also mea. great perfection in that country. Many in- sured two trunks of white or Weymouth genious constructions have been devised to pine, on the river Kennebec, in a healthy render timber applicable to all the purposes state, one of which was 154 feet long, and of civil architecture, and in no branch of 54 inches in diameter, and the other was engineering is this more strikingly exemplified 142 feet long, and 44 inches in diameter, than in bridge-building. Excepting a few at three feet from the ground. M. Michaux small rubble arches of inconsiderable span, also measured a white pine which was 6 feet there is not a stone-bridge in the whole of in diameter, and had reached probably the the United States or Canada. But many greatest height attained by the species, its wooden bridges have been constructed. top being 180 feet from the ground. It is Several of them, as is well known, are up- difficult for an inhabitant of our island, withwards of a mile and a quarter in length, and out having seen the American forests to the celebrated Schuylkill Bridge at Philadel- credit the statements which have been made phia, which was burnt about two years ago, by various authors, as to the existence of but was in existence when I visited the coun- these gigantic trees of 180 feet in height try, consisted of a single timber-arch of no (being about 40 feet higher than Melville's less than 320 feet span. Canal locks and monument in St. Andrew-square, in Edinaqueducts, weirs, quays, breakwaters, and all burgh ;) but such trees undoubtedly do exist. manner of engineering works have there been Mr. James Machab, of the Royal Botanic erected, in which wood is the material chiefly Garden, in a paper on the local distribution employed ; so that if we characterize Scot. of different species of trees in the native fo. land as a stone, and England as a brick coun- rests of America,* mentions having measured try, we may, notwithstanding its granite and numerous specimens of the Pinus strobus in marble, safely characterize the United States Canada, which averaged 16 feet in circumas a country of timber.
ference, and 160 feet in height; and one speI shall only, in conclusion, very briefly cimen, which had been blown down, and of allude to the appearance of the American which the top had been broken off, measured forests, of which so much has been written 88 feet in length, and even at this height was and said, and on this subject I may remark, 18 inches in diameter. that it is quite possible to travel a great dis- The ascent of the sap in trees is a subject tance without meeting with a single tree of which has long occupied the attention of very large dimensions; but the traveller, I physiologists. Some difference of opinion, think, cannot fail very soon to discover that however, exists regarding it, and hitherto, it the average size of the trees is far above is believed, no very definite conclusions have what is to be met with in this country. I been arrived at ;--and although not strictly measured many trees, varying from 15 to 20 connected with the subject of this paper, I feet in circumference, and the largest which may be excused for remarking, that the quanI had an opportunity of actually measuring tity of sap required to sustain such enormous was a Button-wood tree (Platanus occiden- trees as these I have been describing, and the talis) on the banks of Lake Erie, which I source and nature of the power by which a found to be twenty-one feet in circumference. I saw many trees, however, in travelling
• Agricultural Journal for 1835.
supply of fluid is raised and kept up, at the great height of 180 feet from the ground, are inquiries which, could they be satisfactorily solved, would form most interesting and instructive additions to our knowledge regarding vegetable physiology.
William Hill Darker, senior, and William Hill Darker, junior, both of Lambeth, engineers, and William Wood of Wilton, in the county of Wilts, carpet-manufacturer, for certain improvements in looms for weaving. December 14.
Archibald Templeton, of Lancaster, silk-spinner, for a new or improved method of preparing for spinning silk and other fibrous materials. December 16.
James Colley March, of Barnstaple, surgeon, for certain improved means of producing heat from the combustion of certain kinds of fuc). Dec. 16.
Christopher Dumont, of Mentz, but now residing in Mark-lane, London, gentleman, for improvements in the manufacture of metallic letters figures, and other devices. (Being a communication from abroad.) December 16.
Morris West Ruthven, of Rotherham, engineer, for a new mode of encreasing the power of certain media when acted upon by rotary fans or other similar apparatus. December 16.
Henry Augustus Wells, of Regent-strcet, gentleman, for improvements in machinery for driving piles. (Being a communication from abroad.) December 17.
Henry Booth, of Liverpool, Esq., for improvements in the method of propelling vessels through water. December 17.
John Hale, of Breezes Hill, Ratcliff Highway, sugar-refiner, for improvements in the construction of boilers for generating steam, and in the application of steam to mechanical power. December 17.
Henry Browne, of Codnor Park Iron Works, Derby, iron manufacturer, for improvements in the manufacture of steel. December 18,
William Newton, of 60, Chancery-lane, civil engineer, for certain improvements in engines to be worked by gas, vapour, or steam. (Being a communication from abroad ) December 20,
LIST OF PATENTS GRANTED FOR SCOTLAND
BETWEEN THE 12TH OF NOVEMBER AND THE 20TH OF DECEMBER, 1841. John Annes, of Plymouth, painter, for a new and improved method of making paint from materials not before used for that purpose. Nov. 12, 1811
William Palmer, of Sutton-street, Clerkenwell, Middlesex, manufacturer, for improvements in the manufacture of candles. (Being a communication from abroad, and partly by invention of his own.) November 17.
George Bent Ollivant and Adam Howard, of Manchester, mill-wrights, for certain improvements in cylindrical printing machinery, for printing calicoes and other fabrics, and the apparatus connected therewith, which is also applicable to other useful purposes. November 17.
John Steward, of Wolverhampton, Esq., for certain improvements in the construction of piano. fortes. November 22.
George Lowe, of London, civil engineer, fór improved methods of supplying gas under certain circumstances, and of improving its purity and illuminating power. November 24.
William Edward Newton, of 66, Chancery-lane, civil engineer, for certain improvements in the production of ammonia. (Being a communication from abroad.) December 1.
James Balderston, of Paisley, manufacturer, for certain improvements in machinery, or apparatus for doubling, twisting, twining, and finishing cotton and other fibrous substances. December 7.
James Colman, of Stoke, Holy Cross, county of Norfolk, starch-manufacturer, for improvements in the manufacture of starch. December 10.
Alexander Parkes, of Birmingham, for certain improvements in the production of works of art in metal by electric deposition. December 10.
William Irving, of Rotherhithe, gentleman, for improvements in the manufacture of bricks and tiles. December 10,
George Hickes, of Huddersfield, York, agent, for an improved machine for cleanin; or freeing wool and other fibrous materials, of burs and other extraneous substances. December 10.
Joseph Needham Taylor, of Devonport, a post captain in her Majesty's Navy, for a certain method or certain methods of abating or lessening the shock or force of the waves of the ocean, lakes, or rivers, and of reducing them to the comparatively harmless state known by the term," broken water," and thereby preventing the injury done to, and increasing the durability of, breakwaters, mole-heads, piers, fortifications, lighthouses, docks, wharfs, landing-places, embankments, bridges, or pontoon bridges, and also of adding to the security and desence of harbours, road-steads, anchorages, and other places exposed to the violent action of the waves. December 11.
Robert Holt, of Manchester, cotton spinner, and Robinson Jackson, of Manchester, engineer, for certain improvements in machinery or apparatus for the production of rotary motion for obtaining mechanical power, which sad improvements are also applicable for raising and impelling fluids. December 11.
LIST OF PATENTS FOR IRELAND GRANTED
IN NOVEMBER, 1841. W. E. Newton, for certain improvements in the manufacture of fuel.
L. Kortwright, for certain improvements in treating and preparing the substance commonly called whalebone, and ihe fins, and such like other parts of whales, and rendering the same fit for various commercial and useful purposes.
R. L. Sturterant, for certain improvements in the manufacture of soap.
M. J. Roberts and W. Brown, for certain improvements in the process of dyeing various maiters, whether the raw material of wool, silk, fax, hemp, cotton, or other similar fibrous substances; or the same substances in any stage of manufacture; and in the preparation of pigments, or painters' colours.
W. Scamp, for an application of machinery to stcam-vessels for the removal of sand, mud, soil, and other matters, from the sca, rivers, docks, harbours, and other bodies of waters.
Intending Patentees may be supplied gratis with Instructions, containing erery particular necessury for their safe guidance, by application (post-pail) 10 Messrs. J. C. Robertson and Co., 166, Fleci-street, by whom is kept the only COMPLETE REGISTRY OF PATENTS EXTANT, (from 1617 to the present time ;), Patents, boih British and Foreign, solicited. Specifications prepared or reviscil, and all other Putent business transacted.
LONDON: Edited, Printed, and Published by J. C. Robertson, at the Mechanics' Magazine Office,
No. 166, Fleet-street.---Sold by W. and A. Galignani, Rue Vivienne, Paris;
Machiu and Co., Dublin; and W. C. Campbell and Co., llan:burgh.