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balls efficacious in Captain Manby's this last proposition as being practicaservice, as has already been stated in ble as far as the projection of the rope my report of the 3d May, 1809, when is concerned ; the want of success at they succeeded perfectly; and at which the first trial appearing to have arisen time the committee also expressed their from accident in the mismanagement of entire approbation of his method of the rope, to which casualties such ex. illuminating the life-rope, as above periments must always be subject. described.
“ After the most careful attention 66 7th- The distance a deep-sea- to the experiments exhibited by Capt.
line can be projected from the Manby, and the fullest consideration
“ It is also the wish of the commit“ With this view Captain Manby tee to render their full tribute of praise pharged an 8-inch mortar with two to Captain Manby, for his ingenuity pounds of powder, and with an eleva- in so much improving and bringing tion of 23 degrees projected a 68. into practical use this invention, to the pound shot, with the deep-sea-line, to perfecting of which he has so zealousthe distance of 439 yards. The com- ly and skilfully devoted himself. mittee consider this application of the " But the committee at the same 8-inch mortar to promise great utility time feel that they should not entirely in the situations Captain Manby has discharge their duty, were they to described.
omit observing, that the committee of “ 8th- To illustrate by experi. the honourable House of Commons da ment the method and distance an not seem to have been informed of all 8-inch barbed shot can be pro- the means proposed by the late Lieu. jected, for the purpose (when it tenant Bell, of the royal artillery, for is impossible without such aid) the attainment of the same laudable to haul a boat from a beach over object; it being stated in that honoura high raging surf, to go to ships able committee's report, that Mr Bell's, in distress at a distance from the invention is totally inapplicable in land, with a patent Sunderland 2. cases of vessels being stranded,' and inch rope of uncommon strength, that Captain Manby's invention is and which has actually saved, this new. winter, 29 persons.'
" In justice therefore to the memo. • Captain Manby had previously ry of Lieutenant Bell, and to his surplaced two anchors and buoys, united viving family, and with respectful deby a hawser, at two cables length dis- ference due to the judgment of that tance from the mortar, the explosion honourable committee, the concluding of which, with two pounds of powder, of the seven observations inserted in broke the patent rope, and caused the one of the papers of Lieutenant Bell's experiment to fail in the first instance, account to the society for the enCaptain Manby afterwards repeated couragementof arts, manufactures, and the trial with success, projecting the commerce, is subjoined in his own shot and rope 336 yards.
words as published in that society's • The committee therefore consider transactions, and in the Repertory of
Arts for 1809, page 318 ; by which rough state, resembling different kinds observations it appears that Lieutenant of hemp and flax. Bell then proposed what Captain Man. “ Samples of the fibres equal to the by has since so ably and so successful finest flax, and remarkably strong in ly carried into effect.
texture. • There is every reason to conclude “ Samples of very strong yarn pre. that this contrivance would be very pared from the coarsest fibres. useful at all ports of difficult access “ Samples of coarse paper, prepa. both at home and abroad, where ships red from the rough refuse fibres. are liable to strike ground before they “ Samples of the coarse fibres enter the harbour; as Shields Bar, bleached white. and other similar situations; when à . “ Samples of a coarse substance re. line might be thrown over the ship, sembling cotton prepared from the which might probably be the means of bleached coarse fibres. saving both lives and property ; and “Samples of white paper prepared by moreover, if a ship was driven on shore him from the last-mentioned substance. near such a place, the apparatus might easily be removed to afford assistance ; and the whole performance is so ex. 6 Process used in the Preparation of ceedingly simple, that any person once various Articles from Nettles by seeing it done, would not want any Mr Smith, further instruction. I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient humble .“ The kind of nettle capable of be. servant.
ing manufactured into cloth, &c. it is (Signed)
scarcely necessary to say, is that which « Vaug. LLOYD, Col. Com. in general is denominated the stinging
Lt. Gen.” nettle. The most valuable sort, which “ R. H. Crew, Esq. &c. &c. &c.” many years practical experience has
In consequence of the preceding furnished me with a knowledge of, in report, a motion was made by Mr regard to length, suppleness, fineness Wilberforce, on the 14th June, and of the lint, brittleness of the reed, carried, for an address to the Prince which dresses most freely, with less Regent, praying that he would be gra- waste of fibre, and yields the greatest ciously pleased to order that Captain produce of long and fine strong harl, Manby's invention should be stationed I have found growing in the bottom on different parts of the coast, &c. and of ditches among briars, and in shaded assuring him that the house would valleys, where the soil has been a blue make good the expense.
clay, or strong loam, but from which situations I have selected some which
have measured more than twelve feet Report on the Manufacture of Thread, in height, and upwards of two inches
Paper, and a Kind of Cloth from in circumference. Plants growing in the Fibres of the common Nettle, by the situations above described are in - Mr Edward Smith.
general from five to nine feet in height,
and those growing in patches, on a c? The following specimens produced good soil, standing thick, and in a fa
from nettles by Mr Smith, are de, vourable aspect, will average in height posited in the Housekeeper's Office about five feet and a half, will work of the Society for promoting Arts. kindly, and the stems are thickly cloth
Samples of the fibres, in their ed with lint. Those that grow in
poorer soils, and in less favourable si- preserved. The fine quality of such I tuations, with rough and woody stems, ascertained last autumn, and found the and have many lateral branches, run height of them to average three feet much to seed, are stubborn, and work and a half; they were gathered the less kindly; they produce lint more latter end of November. The followcoarse, harsh, and thin. In every si. ing are the processes adopted by me. tuation and different soil I have expe. “ After the nettles are gathered rienced the most productive nettles to they should be exposed to the atmo. be those which have the smoothest and sphere till they gain some firmness, in most concave tubes, the largest joints, order to prevent the skin from being the fewest leaves, and which produce damaged in the operations of dressing the least quantity of seed.
off the leaves, the lateral branches, and “In gathering them, as they are pe seeds. This should be done a handful rennial plants, I have preferred the at a time ; and afterward they should mode of cutting them down, instead of be sorted, viz. those which are long pulling them up by the roots. This I and fine by themselves; those which recommend to be the practice, with a are long and coarse by themselves, view to obtain a second crop where the and those which are short and coarse situations will allow of it, and to secure by themselves; then made up into buna the propagation of them the subsequent dies as large as can be grasped with
both hands, a convenient size for put“ The most favourable time for col. ting them into the water, and taking lecting them is from the beginning of them out ; a place for this purpose beJuly to the end of August, but it may ing previously prepared, either a pond, be continued even to the end of Octo. or a pit free from mud, or a brook or ber, only the lint of those which re- river. The bundles should then be main growing to that time will be less immersed, and placed aslant with the supple, and will not work so freely; root end uppermost, and, to prevent and if the season happens to be unfa. their floating upon the surface, some vourable, it is probable there would weight should be laid upon them. not be sufficient time to steep and "The time required for steeping grass them, in which case they should them is from five to eight days; but it be dried by the heat of the atmosphere, is better they should remain rather too or if the state of the weather would not long in the water than too short a time, permit of this, then by means of arti- yet great care should be taken that ficial heat; and when dried they should they are not overdone. When the fibre be housed or stacked till the spring, approaches to a pulp, and will easily when they might successfully un- separate from the reed, and the reed dergo the same operation of steeping becomes brittle and assumes a white as those of the first collection. Such appearance, this operation is finished. as grow in grass fields, where the grass « The bundles should then be taken is intended for hay, should be cut out singly, very carefully, to avoid dawhen the hay is cut, in order to pre- maging the fibres, and be rinsed as they vent their being spoiled by the cattle are taken out of the water to cleanse when feeding ; the harls of which them from the filth they may have would be fine in quality, and well suit- contracted; they must then be strewed to be wrought up with the second ed very thin upon the grass, and be crop, and which crop may be obtained gently handled. When the surface of after those of the first cutting, where them is become sufficiently dry, and the situation will admit of their being the harl has obtained a degree of firm
VOL. IV, PART II.
ness, they should be turned repeatedly, are used. Another source of productill they are sufficiently grassed; the tive labour of great magnitude would time required is known only by expe- be derived from a new substance, caprience, so much depends on the state able of being converted into so many of the weather during the process; beneficial uses, if my speculations when they are sufficiently done, the should be finally accomplished. In harl blisters, and the stems become contemplating these subjects, I was brittle ; they must then be taken up induced to believe the refuse and underand made into bundles, and secured growth might be converted into paper from the weather.
of various sorts, according to the “ The harl is now to be separated changes they might be made to underfrom the reed, afterthe manner practised go from the several operations neces. on flax and hemp, either by manual la- sary to reduce them to a proper state bour or machinery now in use in those for this use ; having frequently obser. manufactories. This operation was ved, with regret, the deterioration in performed in my experiments by hand, the quality of writing and printing and with implements constructed by paper, occasioned by the use of cotton myself, but which I consider too simple rags in the paper manufactory; which here to describe.
evinces itself even to the most super. “ The harl being separated from ficial observer, who may only casually the reed, it requires next to be beaten, open many of the modern publications, that it may become more ductile for and which it must be admitted is of the the operation of dressing, which may utmost moment, as it endangers the be performed with such implements preservation of works of literature. Be. as are used for dressing flax or hemp. ing convinced of the superior strength
« This operation being accomplish. of nettle substance, I thought, could ed, the produce of the nettles is arri. my speculations be reduced successved at a state ready for spinning, and fully to practice, it would not only re. may be spun into various qualities of medy this great evil, and operate as an yarn, either by hand, or by machinery antidote to the use of cotton rags in constructed for the purposes of spin- that part of the paper manufactory, ning flax or hemp ; and this yarn may but eventually effect a reduction in the be successfully substituted for the ma. prices of books, which for some years nufacturing every sort of cloth, cord. have been rapidly increasing, and are age, rope, &c. which is usually made now become excessive, to the great ob. from hemp or flax, and is particularly struction of disseminating useful knowcalculated for making twine for fish- ledge among mankind, and contribute ing-nets equal to the Dutch twine im- to the diminution of our exports in that ported for that purpose, the fibres of material branch of commerce. the nettles being stronger than those “ In addition to the above incenof flax, and not so harsh as the fibres tives, the consideration of the high of hemp.
price of paper, chiefly occasioned, as “ In the course of my experiments I conclude, from the extravagant price on nettles it often occurred to me, that of linen rags, and impediments to the the refuse, and such parts as were da- procuring a foreign supply of them, maged in different processes with the arising from the circumstances of the undergrowth, might be applied to use. times, and seeing that the use of linen ful purposes, and in addition to the cloth is in a great measure superseded nettle manufactory, as applicable to by the very general introduction of the purposes for which hemp and flax cloth manufactured from cotton, which
consequently must materially diminish the nettles are first gathered, should
be reduced to a proper length for pa-
as was practicable with such an imple. “When I signify as my opinion, that ment; then it was macerated in cold the fibres of pettles should be dressed water about ten days, and brought as the same as for yarn, previous to their much to a pulp as could be effected being prepared with a view to the ma, without the aid of grindin , &c. Beking of paper, I wish not to be under. ing a stranger to the composition used stood to convey the idea that the ope. to procure the adhesion of the partiration cannot be dispensed with ; be. cles, if any is used for this purpose, I cause I conceive, that by the aid of tried several glutinous substances, none such machinery as is in use with the of which answered so well as a solution paper manufacturers, or by some im- of gum ; but I am well aware this canprovements therein, they might be not be generally used, being too ex. brought to a pulp easily, even when pensive.