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Henley's Book of Formulas, Recipes and Processes

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Henley's Twentieth Century Book of Formulas, Recipes and Processes - Pages 326-350





then transfer to a lead dish and make into a thin writing-cream with hydrofluoric acid or fuming sulphuric acid. Use a piece of lead to stir the mixture. The ink may be put up in bottles coated with paraffine, which can be done by heating the bottle, pouring in some melted paraffine, and letting it flow all around. The writing is done with a quill, and in about half a minute the ink is washed off.


Extreme caution must be observed in handling the acid, since when brought in contact with the skin it produces dangerous sores very difficult to heal. The vapor is also dangerously poisonous when inhaled.


Hydrofluoric Formulas.


I.    Dissolve about 0.72 ounces fluoride of soda with 0.14 ounces sulphate of potash in 1/2 pint of water. Make another solution of 0.28 ounces chloride of zinc and 1.30 ounces hydrochloric acid in an equal quantity of water. Mix the solutions and apply to the glass vessel with a pin or brush. At the end of half an hour the design should be sufficiently etched.


II.   A mixture consisting of ammonium fluoride, common salt, and carbonate of soda is prepared, and then placed in a gutta-percha bottle containing fuming hydrofluoric acid and concentrated sulphuric acid. In a separate vessel which is made of lead, potassium fluoride is mixed with hydrochloric acid, and a little of this solution is added to the former, along with a small quantity of sodium silicate and ammonia. Some of the solution is dropped upon a rubber pad, and by means of a suitable rubber stamp, bearing the design which is to be reproduced, is transferred to the glass vessel that is to be etched.


Etching with Wax. Spread wax or a preservative varnish on the glass, and trace on this wax or varnish the letters or designs. If letters are desired, trace them by hand or by the use of letters cut put in tin, which apply on the wax, the inside contours being taken with a fine point. When this is done, remove the excess of wax from the glass, leaving only the full wax letters undisturbed. Make an edge of wax all along the glass plate so as to prevent the acid from running over when you pour it on to attack the glass. At the end of 3 to 4 hours remove the acid, wash the glass well with hot water, next pour on essence of turpentine or alcohol to take off the wax or the preservative varnish. Pass again through clean water; the glass plate will have become dead wherever the acid has eaten in, only the letters remaining polished. For fancy designs it suffices to put on the back of the plate a black or colored varnish, or tin foil, etc., to obtain a brilliant effect.


Etching Glass by Means of Glue. It is necessary only to cover a piece of ordinary or flint glass with a coat of glue dissolved in water in order to see that the layer of glue, upon contracting through the effect of drying, becomes detached from the glass and removes therefrom numerous scales of varying thickness. The glass thus etched presents a sort of regular and decorative design similar to the flowers of frost deposited on window panes in winter. When salts that are readily crystallizable and that exert no chemical action upon the gelatin are dissolved in the latter the figures etched upon the glass exhibit a crystalline appearance that recalls fern fronds.


Hyposulphite of soda and chlorate and nitrate of potash produce nearly the same effects. A large number of mineral substances are attacked by gelatin. Toughened glass is easily etched, and the same is the case with fluorspar and polished marble. A piece of rock crystal, cut at right angles with the axis and coated with isinglass, the action of which seems to be particularly energetic, is likewise attacked at different points, and the parts detached present a corichoidal appearance. The contraction of the gelatin may be rendered visible by applying a coating of glue to sheets of cardboard or lead, which bend backward in drying and assume the form of an irregular cylinder.


Such etching of glass and different mineral substances by the action of gelatin may be employed for the decoration of numerous objects.


Dissolve some common glue in ordinary water, heated by a water bath, and add 6 per cent of its weight of potash alum. After the glue has become perfectly melted, homogeneous, and of the consistency of syrup, apply a layer, while it is still hot, to a glass object by means of a brush. If the object is of ground glass the action of the glue will be still more energetic. After half an hour apply a second coat in such a way as to obtain a smooth, transparent surface destitute of air bubbles. After the glue has become so hard that it no longer yields to the pressure of the finger nail (say, in about 24 hours), put the article in a warmer place, in which the temperature must not exceed 105º F. When the object is removed from the oven, after a few hours, the glue will detach itself with






a noise and removes with it numerous flakes of glass. All that the piece then requires is to be carefully washed and dried.


The designs thus obtained are not always the same, the thickness of the coat of glue, the time of drying, and various other conditions seeming to act to modify the form and number of the flakes detached.


It is indispensable to employ glass objects of adequate thickness, since, in covering mousseline glass with a layer of glue, the mechanical action that it has to support during desiccation is so powerful that it will break with an explosion. Glue, therefore, must not be allowed to dry in glass vessels, since they would be corroded and broken in a short time.


Indelible Labels on Bottles. To affix indelible labels on bottles an etching liquid is employed which is produced as follows:


Liquid I, in one bottle. Dissolve 36 parts of sodium fluoride in 500 parts of distilled water and add 7 parts of potassium sulphate.


Liquid II, in another bottle. Dissolve zinc chloride, 14 parts, in 500 parts of distilled water, and add 65 parts of concentrated hydrochloric acid.


For use mix equal parts together and add a little dissolved India ink to render the writing more visible.


The mixing cannot, however, be conducted in a vessel. It is best to use a cube of paraffine which has been hollowed out.


Etching on Marble or Ivory (see also Ivory). Cover the objects with a coat of wax dissolved in 90 per cent alcohol, then trace the desired designs by removing the wax with a sharp tool and distribute on the tracing the following mixture: Hydrochloric acid, 1 part; acetic acid, 1 part. Repeat this operation several times, until the desired depth is attained. Then take off the varnish with alcohol. The etching may be embellished, filling up the hollows with any colored varnish, by wiping the surface with a piece of linen fixed on a stick, to rub the varnish into the cavities after it has been applied with a brush. The hollows may be gilded or silvered by substituting "mixtion" for the varnish and applying on this mixtion a leaf of gold or silver, cut in pieces a little larger than the design to be covered; press down the gold by means of a soft brush so as to cause it to penetrate to the bottom; let dry and remove the protruding edges.


Etching on Steel. The print should be heavily inked and powdered with dragon's blood several times. After each powdering heat slightly and additional powder will stick, forming a heavy coating in 2 or 3 operations. Before proceeding to heat up, the plate should receive a light etching in a weak solution of the acid described later on. The purpose of this preliminary etching is to clean up the print, so that the lines will not tend to thicken, as would be the case otherwise. Next a good strong heating should be given. On top the dragon's blood plumbago may be used in addition. For etching use nitric acid mixed with an even amount of acetic acid. Some operators use vinegar, based on the same theory. When commencing the etching, start with a weak solution and increase as soon as the plate is deep enough to allow another powdering. If the operator is familiar with lithography, and understands rolling up the print with a lithoroller, the etching of steel is not harder than etching on zinc.


Liquids for Etching Steel.



Iodine                              2 parts

Potassium iodide                    5 parts

Water                               40 parts



Nitric acid                         60 parts

Water                               120 parts

Alcohol                             200 parts

Copper nitrate                      8 parts



Glacial acetic acid                 4 parts

Nitric acid                         1 part

Alcohol                             1 part


IV.   Mix 1 ounce sulphate of copper, ounce alum, 1/4 teaspoonful of salt (reduced to powder), with 1 gill of vinegar and 20 drops of nitric acid. This fluid can be used either for etching deeply or for frosting, according to the time it is allowed to act. The parts of the work which are not to be etched should be protected with beeswax or some similar substance.


V.    Nitric acid, 60 parts; water, 120 parts; alcohol, 200 parts; and copper nitrate, 8 parts. Keep in a glass-stoppered bottle. To use the fluid, cover the surface to be marked with a thin even coat of wax and mark the lines with a machinist's scriber. Wrap clean cotton waste around the end of the scriber or a stick, and dip in the fluid, applying it to the marked surface. In a few minutes the wax may be scraped off, when fine lines will appear where the scriber marked the wax.   The drippings from a lighted wax candle can be used for the






coating, and this may be evenly spread with a knife heated in the candle flame.


VI.   For Hardened Steel. Heat an iron or an old pillar-file with a smooth side, and with it spread a thin, even coat of beeswax over the brightened surface to be etched. With a sharp lead pencil (which is preferable to a scriber) write or mark as wanted through the wax so as to be sure to strike the steel surface. Then daub on with a stick etching acid made as follows: Nitric acid, 3 parts; muriatic acid, 1 part. If a lead pencil has been used the acid will begin to bubble immediately. Two or three minutes of the bubbling or foaming will be sufficient for marking; then soak up the acid with a small piece of blotting paper and remove the beeswax with a piece of cotton waste wet with benzine, and if the piece be small enough dip it into a saturated solution of sal soda, or if the piece be large swab over it with a piece of waste. This neutralizes the remaining acid and prevents rusting, which oil will not do.


If it is desired to coat the piece with beeswax without heating it, dissolve pure beeswax in benzine until of the consistency of thick cream and pour on to the steel, and even spread it by rocking or blowing, and lay aside for it to harden; then use the lead pencil, etc., as before. This method will take longer. Keep work from near the fire or an open flame.



See Cold and Cough Mixtures.



See Cold and Cough Mixtures.




Explosives may be divided into two great classes mechanical mixtures and chemical compounds. In the former the combustible substances are intimately mixed with some oxygen supplying material, as in the case of gunpowder, where carbon and sulphur are intimately mixed with potassium nitrate; while gun cotton and nitro-glycerine are examples of the latter class, where each molecule of the substance contains the necessary oxygen for the oxidation of the carbon and hydrogen present, the oxygen being in feeble combination with nitrogen. Many explosives are, however, mechanical mixtures of compounds which are themselves explosive, e.g., cordite, which is mainly composed of gun cotton and nitro-glycerine.


The most common and familiar of explosives is undoubtedly gunpowder.

The mixture first adopted appears to have consisted of equal parts of the three ingredients sulphur, charcoal, and niter; but some time later the proportions, even now taken for all ordinary purposes, were introduced, namely:


Potassium nitrate                   75 parts

Charcoal                            15 parts

Sulphur                             10 parts


100 parts


Since gunpowder is a mechanical mixture, it is clear that the first aim of the maker must be to obtain perfect incorporation, and, necessarily, in order to obtain this, the materials must be in a very finely divided state. Moreover, in order that uniformity of effect may be obtained, purity of the original substances, the percentage of moisture present, and the density of the finished powder are of importance.


The weighed quantities of the ingredients are first mixed in gun metal or copper drums, having blades in the interior capable of working in the opposite direction to that in which the rum itself is traveling. After passing through a sieve, the mixture (green charge) is passed on to the incorporating mills, where it is thoroughly ground under heavy metal rollers, a small quantity of water being added to prevent dust and facilitating incorporation, and during this process the risk of explosion is greater possibly than at any other stage in the manufacture. There are usually 6 mills working in the same building, with partitions between. Over the bed of each mill is a horizontal board, the "flash board," which is connected with a tank of water overhead, the arrangement being such that the upsetting of one tank discharges the contents of the other tanks onto the corresponding mill beds below, so that in the event of an accident the charge is drowned in each case. The "mill cake" is now broken down between rollers, the "meal" produced being placed in strong oak boxes and subjected to hydraulic pressure, thus increasing its density and hardness, at the same time bringing the ingredients into more intimate contact. After once more breaking down the material (press cake), the powder only

requires special treatment to adapt it for the various purposes for which it is intended.


The products of the combustion of powder and its manner of burning are






largely influenced by the pressure, a property well illustrated by the failure of a red-hot platinum wire to ignite a mass of powder in a vacuum, only a few grams actually in contact with the platinum undergoing combustion.


Nitro-glycerine is a substance of a similar chemical nature to gun cotton, the principles of its formation and purification being very similar, only in this case the materials and product are liquids, thereby rendering the operations of manufacture and washing much less difficult. The glycerine is sprayed into the acid mixture by compressed-air injectors, care being taken that the temperature during nitration does not rise above 86º F. The nitro-glycerine formed readily separates from the mixed acids, and being insoluble in cold water, the washing is comparatively simple.


Nitro-glycerine is an oily liquid readily soluble in most organic solvents, but becomes solid at 3º or 4º above the freezing point of water, and in this condition is less sensitive. It detonates when heated, to 500º F., or by a sudden blow, yielding carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, and water. Being a fluid under ordinary conditions, its uses as an explosive were limited, and Alfred Nobel conceived the idea of mixing it with other substances which would act as absorbents, first using charcoal and afterwards an infusorial earth, "kieselguhr," and obtaining what he termed "dynamite." Nobel found that "collodion cotton" soluble gun cotton could be converted by treatment with nitro-glycerine into a jellylike mass which was more trustworthy in action than the components alone, and from its nature the substance was christened "blasting gelatin."


Nobel took out a patent for a smokeless powder for use in guns, in which these ingredients were adopted with or without the use of retarding agents. The powders of this class are ballistite and filite, the former being in sheets, the latter in threads. Originally camphor was introduced, but its use has been abandoned, a small quantity of aniline taking its place.


Sir Frederick Abel and Prof. Dewar patented in 1889 the use of trinitro-cellulose and nitro-glycerine, for although, as is well known, this form of nitre-cellulose is not soluble in nitro-glycerine, yet by dissolving the bodies in a mutual solvent, perfect incorporation can be attained. Acetone is the solvent used in the preparation of "cordite," and for all ammunition except blank charges a certain proportion of vaseline is also added. The combustion of the powder without vaseline gives products so free from solid or liquid substances that excessive friction of the projectile in the gun causes rapid wearing of the rifling, and it is chiefly to overcome this that the vaseline is introduced, for on explosion a thin film of solid matter is deposited in the gun, and acts as a lubricant.


The proportion of the ingredients are:


Nitro-glycerine                     58 parts

Gun-cotton                          37 parts

Vaseline                            5 parts


Gun cotton to be used for cordite is prepared as previously described, but the alkali is omitted, and the mass is not submitted to great pressure, to avoid making it so dense that ready absorption of nitro-glycerine would not take place. The nitro-glycerine is poured over the dried gun cotton and first well mixed by hand, afterwards in a kneading machine with the requisite quantity of acetone for 3 1/2 hours. A water jacket is provided, since, on mixing, the temperature rises. The vaseline is now added, and the kneading continued for a similar period.

The cordite paste is first subjected to a preliminary pressing, and is finally forced through a hole of the proper size in a plate either by hand or by hydraulic pressure. The smaller sizes are wound on drums, while the larger cordite is cut off in suitable lengths, the drums and cut material being dried at 100º F., thus driving off the remainder of the acetone.


Cordite varies from yellow to dark brown in color, according to its thickness. When ignited it burns with a strong flame, which may be extinguished by a vigorous puff of air. Macnab and Ristori give the yield of permanent gases from English cordite as 647 cubic centimeters, containing a much higher per cent of carbon monoxide than the gases evolved from the old form of powder. Sir Andrew Noble failed in attempts to detonate the substance, and a rifle bullet fired into the mass only caused it to burn quietly.


Dynamite. Dynamite is ordinarily made up of 75 per cent nitro-glycerine, 25 per cent infusorial earth; dualine contains 80 per cent nitro-glycerine, 20 per cent nitro-cellulose; rend-rock has 40 per cent nitro glycerine, 40 per cent nitrate of potash, 13 per cent cellulose, 7 per cent paraffine; giant powder, 36 per cent nitro-glycerine, 48 per cent nitrate of potash, 8 per cent sulphur, 8 per cent rosin or charcoal.


Smokeless Powder. The base of smokeless powders is nitrated cellulose






which has been treated in one of various ways to make it burn slower than gun cotton, and also to render it less sensitive to heat and shocks. As a rule, these powders are not only less inflammable than gun cotton, but require stronger detonators. As metallic salts cause smoke, they are not used in these powders. The smokeless powders now in use may be divided into three groups: (1) Those consisting of mixtures of

nitro-glycerine and nitrated cellulose, which have been converted into a hard, hornlike mass, either with or without the aid of a solvent. To this group belongs ballistite, containing 50 per cent of nitro-glycerine, 49 per cent of nitrated cellulose, and 1 per cent of diphenylamin; also cordite (see further on), Lenord's powder, and amberite. This last contains 40 parts of nitro-glycerine and 56 parts of nitrated cellulose. (2) Those consisting mainly of nitrated cellulose of any kind, which has been rendered hard and horny by treatment with some solvent which is afterwards evaporated. These are prepared by treating nitrated cellulose with ether or benzine, which dissolves the collodion, and when evaporated leaves a hard film of collodion on the surface of each grain. Sometimes a little camphor is added to the solvent, and, remaining in the powder, greatly retards its combustion. (3) Those consisting of nitro-derivatives of the aromatic hydrocarbons, either with or without the admixture of nitrated cellulose; to this group belong Dupont's powder, consisting of nitrated cellulose dissolved in nitro-benzine; indurite, consisting of cellulose hexanitrate (freed from collodion by extraction with methyl alcohol), made into a paste with nitro-benzine, and hardened by treatment with steam until the excess of nitro-benzine is removed; and plastomeite, consisting of dinitrotoluene and nitrated wood pulp.


Cordite is the specific name of a smokeless powder which has been adopted by the English government as a military explosive. It contains nitro-glycerine, 58 parts; gun cotton, 37 parts; and petrolatum, 5 parts. The nitro-glycerine and gun cotton are first mixed, 19.2 parts of acetone added, and the pasty mass kneaded for several hours.

The petrolatum is then added and the mixture again kneaded. The paste is then forced through fine openings to form threads, which are dried at about 105º F. until the acetone evaporates. The threads, which resemble brown twine, are then cut into short lengths for use.


Another process for the manufacture of smokeless powder is as follows:

Straw, preferably oat-straw, is treated in the usual way with a mixture of nitric acid and concentrated sulphuric acid, and then washed in water to free it from these, then boiled with water, and again with a solution of potassium carbonate. It is next subjected, for 2 to 6 hours, to the action of a solution composed of 1,000 parts of water, 12.5 parts of potassium nitrate, 3.5 parts of potassium chlorate, 12.5 parts of zinc sulphate, and 12.5 parts of potassium permanganate. The excess of solution is pressed out, and the mass is then pulverized, granulated, and finally dried.


The warning as to the danger of experimenting with the manufacture of ordinary gunpowder applies with renewed force when nitro-glycerine is the subject of the experiment.


Berge's Blasting Powder. This is composed of chlorate of potash, 1 part; chromate of potash, 0.1 part; sugar, 0.45 parts; yellow wax, 0.09 parts. The proportions indicated may vary within certain limits, according to the force desired. For the preparation, the chlorate and the chromate of potash, as well as the sugar, are ground separately and very finely, and sifted so that the grains of the different substances may have the same size. At first any two of the substances are mixed as thoroughly as possible, then the third is added. The yellow wax, cut in small pieces, is finally added, and all the substances are worked together to produce a homogeneous product. The sugar may be replaced with charcoal or any other combustible body. For commercial needs, the compound may be colored with any inert matter, also pulverized.


Safety in Explosives. Ammoniacal salts have been used in the manufacture of explosives to render them proof against firedamp, but not with the full success desired. Ammonium chloride has been utilized, but inconveniences are met with, and the vapor is quite disagreeable. In cooperation with equivalent quantities of soda and potash, its action is regarded as favorable. Tests employing benzine vapor and coal dust were made, and the comparative security calculated to be as given below.


I.    Donarite, composed as follows: 80 per cent of nitrate of ammonia, 12 of trinitrotoluol, 4 of flour, 3.8 of nitro-glycerine, and 0.2 per cent of cotton collodion. Security: Donarite alone, 87 parts; 95 per cent of donarite and 5 per






cent of ammonium chloride, 125 parts; 90 per cent of donarite and 10 per cent of ammonium chloride, 250 parts; 86 per cent of donarite and 5.5 per cent of ammonium chloride, with 8.5 per cent of nitrate of soda, 425 parts. The force of the explosion is decreased about 8 per cent, while the security is quintupled.


II.   Roburite, with the following composition: 72.5 per cent nitrate of ammonia; 12 binitro-benzol; 10 nitrate of potash; 5 sulphate of ammonia; 0.5 per cent permanganate of potash. Security: Roburite only, 325 parts; ammonium chloride, taking the place of sulphate of ammonia, 400 parts. Here an intensification of the explosive force is simultaneously produced.


III.  Ammon carbonite I, composed thus: 4 per cent nitro-glycerine; 75.5

nitrate of ammonia; 9.5 nitrate of potash; 9.5 coal dust; 10.5 flour. Security: Ammon carbonite I only, 250 parts; 95 per cent A.C.I. and 5 per cent ammonium chloride, 400 parts; 92 per cent A.C.I.      and 8 per cent ammonium chloride, 500 parts. The addition of 5 per cent ammonium chloride diminishes the explosive force only 3 per cent.


IV.   An explosive of nitro-glycerine base composed thus: 30 per cent nitroglycerine; 1 per cent cotton collodion; 52.6 nitrate of ammonia; 13 nitrate of potash; 3 to 4 per cent starch. Security of this mixture, 150 parts.


V.    Thirty per cent nitro-glycerine; 1 per cent cotton collodion; 47.3 nitrate of ammonia; 11.6 nitrate of potash; 3.1 starch; 7 per cent ammonium chloride. This mixture has a security of 350 parts.


Inflammable Explosive with Chlorate of Potash. Take as an agent promoting combustion, potassium chlorate; as a combustible agent, an oxidized, nitrated, or natural rosin. If, to such a mixture, another body is added in order to render it soft and plastic, such as oil, nitro-benzine, glucose, glycerine, the benefit of the discovery is lost, for the mixture is rendered combustible with nitro-benzine,

fecula, sulphur, etc., and inexplosive with glycerine, glucose, and the oil.


Of all the chlorates and perchlorates, potassium chlorate (KClO3) responds the best to what is desired. As to the rosins, they may be varied, or even mixed. To obtain the oxidation or nitration of the rosins, they are heated with nitric acid, more or less concentrated, and with or without the addition of sulphuric acid. An oxidation, sufficient and without danger, can be secured by a simple and practical means. This is boiling them for several hours in water containing nitric acid, which is renewed from time to time in correspondence with its decomposition. The rosins recommended by M. Turpin are of the terebinthine group, having for average formula C20H30O2. Colophony is the type.


The products, thus nitrated, are washed with boiling water, and, on occasion, by a solution slightly alkaline, with a final washing with pure water, and dried at a temperature of 230º F. or in the open air.


The mixing of the constituents of this explosive is preferably cold. For this purpose they are used in the state of fine powder, and when mixed in the tub, 2 1/2 to 5 per cent of a volatile dissolvent is added, as alcohol, carbon sulphide, ether, or benzine. As soon as thoroughly mingled, the mass is put either in an ordinary grainer, or in a cylinder of wire cloth revolving horizontally on its axis, with glass gobilles forming a screen, by the aid of which the graining is rapidly accomplished. Thus a powder more or less finely granulated is produced free from dust.


The proportions preferably employed



Potassium chlorate                  85 parts

Natural rosin                       15 parts



Potassium chlorate                  80 parts

Nitrated rosin                      20 parts


For employment in firedamp mines, there is added to these compounds from 20 to 40 per cent of one of the following substances: Ammonium oxalate, ammonium carbonate, oxalic acid, sodium bicarbonate, calcium fluoride, or other substance of the nature to lower sufficiently the temperature of the explosive flame.


Gun Cotton. For the production of a high-grade gun cotton, it is important that the cotton used should approach as near as possible pure cellulose. The waste from cotton mills, thoroughly purified, is usually employed. After careful chemical examination has been made to ascertain its freedom from grease and other impurities, the cotton waste is picked over by hand to remove such impurities as wood, cardboard, string, etc. The cotton is then passed through the "teasing machine," which opens out all knots and lumps, thereby reducing it to a state more suitable for the acid treatment and exposing to view any foreign substances which may have escaped notice in the previous picking. The cotton is then dried. When per-






fectly dry, it is removed to air-tight iron cases, in which it is allowed to cool. The iron cases are taken to the dipping houses, and the cotton waste weighed into small portions, which are then transferred as rapidly as possible to the mixed acids, allowed to remain a few minutes, then removed to the grating and the excess of acid squeezed out. The cotton now containing about ten times its weight of acid is placed in an earthenware pot and transferred to the steeping pits, where it is allowed to remain for 24 hours, a low temperature being maintained by a stream of cold water.


The cotton is now wholly converted into nitro-cellulose. The superfluous acid is next removed by a centrifugal extractor, after which the gun cotton is taken out of the machine and immediately immersed in a large volume of water, and thoroughly washed until it shows no acid reaction. The moisture is then run out and the gun cotton is conveyed by tramway to the boiling vats, where it undergoes several boilings by means of steam. When the "heat test" shows that a sufficient degree of stability has been obtained, the gun cotton is removed to a beating engine, and reduced to a very fine state of division. When this process is completed the pulp is run by gravity along wooden shoots, provided with "grit traps" and electromagnets, which catch any traces of sand, iron, etc., into large "poachers," in

which the gun cotton is continuously agitated, together with a large quantity of water. In this way it is thoroughly washed and a blend made of a large quantity of gun cotton.


Soluble Gun Cotton. Soluble gun cotton is made on the same lines, except that greater attention has to be paid to the physical condition of the cotton used, and to the temperature and strength of acid mixture, etc.


The term "soluble" usually implies that the gun cotton is dissolved by a mixture of ethyl-ether and ethyl-alcohol, 2 parts of the former to 1 of the latter being the proportions which yield the best solvent action. The classification of nitro-celluloses according to their solubility in ether-alcohol is misleading, except when the nitrogen contents are also quoted.


The number of solvents for gun cotton which have at various times been proposed is very large. Among the more important may be mentioned the following: Alcohols (used chiefly in conjunction with other solvents), methyl, ethyl, propyl, and amyl, methyl-amyl ether, acetic ether, diethyl-ketone, methyl-ethyl ketone, amyl nitrate and acetate, nitrobenzole, nitro-toluol, nitrated oils, glacial acetic acid, camphor dissolved in alcohol, etc.


Some of the above may be called selective solvents, i.e, they dissolve one particular variety of gun cotton better than others, so that solubility in any given solvent must not be used to indicate solubility in another. No nitro-cotton is entirely soluble in any solvent. The solution, after standing some time, always deposits a small amount of insoluble matter. Therefore, in making collodion solutions, care should be taken to place the containing bottles in a place free from vibration and shock. After standing a few weeks the clear supernatant liquid may be decanted off. On a larger scale collodion solutions are filtered under pressure through layers of tightly packed cotton wool. The state of division is important. When the end in view is the production of a strong film or thread, it is advisable to use unpulped or only slightly pulped nitro-cellulose. In this condition it also dissolves more easily than the finely pulped material.




Fulminating Antimony. Tartar emetic (dried), 100 parts; lampblack or charcoal powder, 3 parts. Triturate together, put into a crucible that it will three-fourths fill (previously rubbed inside with charcoal powder). Cover it with a layer of dry charcoal powder, and lute on the cover. After 3 hours' exposure to a strong heat in a reverberatory furnace, and 6 or 7 hours' cooling, cautiously transfer the solid contents of the crucible, as quickly as possible, without breaking, to a wide-mouthed stoppered phial, where, after some time, it will spontaneously crumble to a powder. When the above process is properly conducted, the resulting powder contains potassium, and fulminates violently on contact with water. A piece the size of a pea introduced into a mass of gunpowder explodes it on being thrown into water,

or on its being moistened in any other manner.


Fulminating Bismuth. Take bismuth, 120 parts; carbureted cream of tartar, 60 parts; niter, 1 part.


Fulminating Copper. Digest copper (in powder of filings) with fulminate of mercury or of silver, and a little water.






It forms soluble green crystals that explode with a green flame.


Fulminating Mercury. Take mercury, 100 parts; nitric acid (specific

gravity, 1.4), 1,000 parts (or 740 parts, by measure). Dissolve by a gentle heat, and when the solution has acquired the temperature of 130º F., slowly pour it through a glass funnel tube into alcohol (specific gravity, .830), 830 parts (or 1,000 parts, by measure). As soon as the effervescence is over, and white fumes cease to be evolved, filter through double paper, wash with cold water, and dry by steam (not hotter than 212º F.) or hot water. The fulminate is then to be packed in 100-grain paper parcels, and these stored in a tight box or corked bottle. Product 130 per cent of the weight of mercury employed.


Fulminating Powder.


I.    Niter, 3 parts; carbonate of potash (dry), 2 parts; flowers of sulphur, 1 part; reduce them separately to fine powder, before mixing them. A little of this compound (20 to 30 grains), slowly heated on a shovel over the fire, first fuses and becomes brown, and then explodes with a deafening report.


II.   Sulphur, 1 part ; chlorate of potassa, 3 parts. When triturated, with strong pressure, in a marble or wedgwood-ware mortar, it produces a series of loud reports. It also fulminates by percussion.


III.  Chlorate of potassa, 6 parts; pure lampblack, 4 parts; sulphur, 1 part. A little placed on an anvil detonates with a loud report when struck with a hammer.



See Photography.



See Essences and Extracts.



See Foods.




"Black Eye" Lotion. "Black eyes" or other temporary discolorations of the skin may be disguised by the application of pink grease paint, or collodion colored by means of a little Carmine. As lotions the following have been recommended:



Ammonium chloride                   1 part

Alcohol                             1 part

Water                               10 parts


Diluted acetic acid may be substituted for half of the water, and the alcohol may be replaced by tincture of arnica, with advantage.



Potassium nitrate                   15 grains

Ammonium chloride                   30 grains

Aromatic vinegar                    4 drachms

Water                               to make 8 ounces.


III.  The following is to be applied with camel's-hair pencil every 1, 2, or 3 hours. Be careful not to get it in the eyes, as it smarts. It will remove the black discoloration overnight:


Oxalic acid                         15 grains

Distilled water                     1 ounce


Foreign Matter in the Eye. If a piece of iron or other foreign matter in the eye irritates it, and there is no way of removing it until morning, take a raw Irish potato, grate it, and use as a poultice on the eye. It will ease the eye so one can sleep, and sometimes draws the piece out.


Drops of Lime in the Eye. If lime has dropped in the eye, the pouring-in of or the wiping-out with a few drops of oil is the best remedy, as the causticity of the lime is arrested thereby. Poppy-seed oil or olive oil is prescribed, but pure linseed oil ought to render the same service, as it is also used in the household. Subsequently, the eye may be rinsed out with syrup, as the saccharine substance will harden any remaining particles of lime and destroy all causticity entirely.



See Cleaning Preparations and Methods and also Household Formulas.



See Waterproofing.



See Cosmetics.




Bear Fat. Fresh bears' fat is white and very similar to lard in appearance. The flank fat is softer and more transparent than the kidney fat, and its odor recalls that of fresh bacon. Bears' fat differs from the fats of the dog, fox, and cat in having a lower specific gravity, a very low melting point, and a fairly high iodine value.


Bleaching Bone Fat. Bone fat, which is principally obtained from horse bones, is very dark colored in the crude state, and of an extremely disagreeable smell. To remedy these defects it may be bleached by the air or chemicals, the former method only giving good results






when the fat has been recovered by means of steam. It consists in cutting up the fat into small fragments and exposing it to the air for several days, the mass being turned over at intervals with a shovel. When sufficiently bleached in this manner, the fat is boiled with half its own weight of water, which done, about 3 or 4 per cent of salt is added, and the whole is boiled over again. This treatment, which takes 2 or 3 weeks, sweetens the fat, makes it of the consistency of butter, and reduces the color to a pale yellow. Light seems to play no part in the operation, the change being effected solely by the oxygen of the air. The chemical treatment has the advantage of being more rapid, sufficient decoloration being produced in a few hours. The fat, which should be free from gelatin, phosphate of lime, and water, is placed in an iron pan along with an equal weight of brine of 14º to 15º Bé. strength, with which it is boiled for 3 hours and left to rest overnight. Next day the fat is drawn off into a wooden vessel, where it is treated by degrees with a mixture of 2 parts of potassium bichromate, dissolved in 6 of boiling water, and 8 parts of hydrochloric acid (density 22º Bé.), this quantity being sufficient for 400 parts of fat. Decoloration proceeds gradually, and when complete the fat is washed with hot water.


Bleaching Tallows and Fats. Instead of exposing to the sun, which is always attended with danger of rendering fats rancid, it is better to liquefy these at a gentle heat, and then add 1/5 in weight of a mixture of equal parts of kaolin and water. The fatty matter should be worked up for a time and then left to separate. Kaolin has the advantage of cheapness in price and of being readily procured.


Freshly burned animal charcoal would perhaps be a more satisfactory decolorizer than kaolin, but it is more expensive to start with, and not so easy to regenerate.


Exposure of tallow to the action of steam under high pressure (a temperature of 250º or 260º F.) is also said to render it whiter and harder.


Coloring Matter in Fats. A simple method for the detection of the addition of coloring matter to fats is here described. Ten parts, by measure, of the melted fat are put into a small separating funnel and dissolved in 10 parts, by measure, of petroleum ether. The solution

is then treated with 15 parts, by measure, of glacial acetic acid and the whole shaken thoroughly. The addition of coloring matter is known by the red or yellow coloration which appears in the lower layer of acetic acid after the contents of the funnel have been allowed to settle. If only a slight addition of coloring matter is suspected, the acetic acid solution is run off into a porcelain basin and the latter heated on a water bath, when the coloration will be seen more readily. This test is intended for butter and margarine, but is also suitable for tallow, lard, etc.


Fatty Acid Fermentation Process. The production of fatty acids from fats and oils by fermentation is growing in importance. These particulars, which are the actual results from recent experiments on a somewhat extended scale, are given: Seven hundred and fifty pounds of cottonseed oil are mixed with 45 gallons of water and 3 1/2 pounds of acetic acid; this mixture is heated to a temperature of 85º F. Castor-oil seeds, 53 pounds, decorticated and ground, are mixed thoroughly with 3 gallons of water and 4 1/2 gallons of the oil, and this mixture is stirred into the oil and water; the whole mass is then kept mixed for 12 hours by blowing air through, after which it is allowed to stand for another 12 hours, being given a gentle stir by hand at the end of every hour. After 24 hours the mass is heated to a temperature of 180

F., which stops the fermentation and at the same time allows the fatty acids to separate more freely. To assist in this effect there is added 1 gallon of sulphuric acid (1 in 3) solution.


After 2 hours' standing, the mass will have separated into three layers fatty acids on the top, glycerine water below, and a middle, undefined layer. The glycerine water is run away, and the whole mass left to stand for 2 hours. The middle portion is run off from the separated fatty acids into another vessel, where it is mixed with 10 gallons of hot water, thoroughly stirred, and allowed to stand for 16 hours or more. The watery layer at the bottom, which contains some glycerine, is then run off, while the residue is mixed with a further quantity of

10 gallons of water, and again allowed to stand. The water which separates out, also the layer of fatty acids that forms on the top, are run off and mixed with the portions previously obtained. The various glycerine waters are treated to recover the glycerine, while the fatty acids are made marketable in any convenient way.






Preservation of Fats. To produce fats and oils containing both iodine and sulphur, whereby they are preserved from going rancid, and consequently can be utilized to more advantage for the usual purposes, such as the manufacture of soaps, candles, etc., following is the

Loebell method:


The essential feature of the process is that the iodine is not merely held in solution by the oil or fat, but enters into chemical combination with the same; the sulphur also combines chemically with the oil or fat, and from their reactions the preserving properties are derived.


The process consists of heating, for example, 6 parts of oil with 1 part of sulphur to a temperature varying between 300º and 400º F., then, when at about 195º F., a solution of iodine and oil is added to the mixture, which is constantly agitated until cool to prevent lumps forming. A product is thus obtained which acquires the consistency of butter, and contains both iodine and sulphur in combination.


Purifying Oils and Fats. In purifying fatty oils and fats for edible purposes the chief thing is to remove the free fatty acids, which is done by the aid of solutions of alkalies and alkaline earths. The subsequent precipitation of the resulting soapy emulsions, especially when lime is used, entails prolonged heating to temperatures sometimes as high as the boiling point of water. Furthermore, the amount of alkalies taken is always greater than is chemically necessary, the consequence being that some of the organic substances present are attacked, and malodorous products are formed, a condition necessitating the employment of animal charcoal, etc., as deodorizer.


To prevent the formation of these untoward products, which must injuriously affect the quality of edible oils, C. Fresenius proposes to accelerate the dispersion of the said emulsions by subjecting the mixtures to an excess pressure of 1 to 1 1/2 atmospheres and a corresponding temperature of about 220º F., for a short time, the formation of decomposition products, and any injurious influence on the taste and smell of the substance being prevented by the addition of fresh charcoal, etc., beforehand. Charcoal may, and must in certain cases, be replaced for this purpose by infusorial earth or fuller's earth. When this process is applied to cottonseed oil, 100 parts of the

oil are mixed with 1/10 part of fresh, pure charcoal, and 1/2 part of pure fuller's earth. The mixture is next neutralized with lime-water, and placed in an autoclave, where it is kept for an hour under pressure, and at a temperature of 220º F. Under these conditions the emulsion soon separates, and when this is accomplished the whole is left to cool down in a closed vessel.



See Oil.



See also Dyes.


Bleaching and Coloring Feathers. Feathers, in their natural state, are not adapted to undergo the processes of dyeing and bleaching; they must be prepared by removing their oil and dirt. This is usually done by washing them in moderately warm soap and water, and rinsing in warm and cold water; or the oil may be chemically removed by the use of benzine. To remove it entirely, the feathers must be left in the cleansing fluid from a half hour to an hour, when they may be subjected to the process of bleaching.


Bleaching Plumes. Plumes may be almost entirely bleached by the use of hydrogen peroxide, without injuring their texture.


In specially constructed glass troughs, made the length of an average ostrich feather, 15 or 20 of these feathers can be treated at a time. The bleaching fluid is made from a 30 per cent solution of hydrogen peroxide, with enough ammonia added to make it neutral; in other words when neutral, blue litmus paper will not turn red, and red will take a pale violet tinge. The previously cleansed feathers are entirely immersed in this bleaching bath, which may be diluted if desired. The trough is covered with a glass plate and put in a dark place. From time to time the feathers are stirred and turned, adding more hydrogen peroxide. This process requires 10 to 12 hours and if necessary should be repeated. After bleaching they are rinsed in distilled water or rain water, dried in the air, and kept in motion while drying.


To insure success in coloring feathers in delicate tints, they must be free from all impurities, and evenly white. It has been found of advantage to rub the quill of heavy ostrich plumes while still moist with carbonate of ammonia before the dyeing is begun.


Methods of Dyeing Feathers.


I.    A boiling hot neutral solution, the feathers to be dried in a rotating apparatus. Suitable dyes for this method are chrysoidin,






A, C; crystal vesuvin, 4 B C; phosphin extra, leather yellow, O H; leather red, O, G B; leather brown, O; morocco red, O; azophocphine, G O, B R O; fuchsine, cerise, G R; grenadine, O; safranine, O; ethylene violet, malachite green, crystal brilliant green, methylene green,

methylene gray, coal black II.     


II.   A boiling hot sulphuric solution. Dyes, acid fuchsine, orseilline, R B; acid cerise, O; acid maroon, O; opal blue, blue de lyon, R B; cotton blue, No. 2, China blue No. 2, naphthalene green, O; patent blue, V A; fast blue, O R; fast blue black, O; deep black, G; azo yellow, victorine yellow, orange No. 2, fast brown O, ponceau G R K R, fast red O, Bordeaux, GBR.


III.  An acetic solution. Dyes, Bengal pink G B, phloxine G O, rosolan

O B O F, rhodamine O 4 G, cosine A G, erythrosine.


By appropriate mixtures of the dyes of any one class, plumes can be dyed every possible color. After dyeing they are rinsed, and dried in a rotating apparatus. The final process is that of curling, which is done by turning them round and round over a gentle heat. For white feathers a little sulphur may be burned in the fire; for black or colored ones a little sugar.


IV.   The spray method. The solution of the dye to be used is put into an atomizer, and the spray directed to that part of the feather which it is desired to color. By using different colors the most marvelous effects and most delicate transitions from one color to another are obtained. Any kind of an atomizer can be used, the rubber bulb, pump, or bellows; the result is the same.



See Waterproofing.



See Fats.



See Anti -Ferments and Wines and Liquors.



See Photography.



(See also Phosphate, Artificial.)


Plant Fertilizers. Plants are as sensitive to excessively minute quantities of nutrient substances, such as salts of potassium, in the soil, as they are to minute quantities of poisonous substances. Poisons are said to be infinitely more sensitive reagents for the presence of certain metallic salts than the most delicate chemical, the statement haying been made that a trace of copper which might be obtained by distilling in a copper retort is fatal to the white and yellow lupin, the castor-oil plant, and spirogyra. Coupin has found salts of silver, mercury, copper, and cadmium especially fatal to plants. With copper

sulphate the limit of sensitiveness is placed at 1 in 700,000,000. Devaux asserts that both phanerogams and cryptogams are poisoned by solutions of salts of lead or copper diluted to the extent of 1 in 10,000,000, or less.


As a result of a series of experiments, Schloesing stated that the nitrification of ammonium salts is not for all plants a necessary preliminary to the absorption of nitrogen by the plant. While for some plants, as for example buckwheat, the preferable form of the food material is that of a nitrate, others, for instance, tropeolum, thrive even better when the nitrogen is presented to them in an ammoniacal form.


Artificial Fertilizers for Pot Plants. Experiments on vegetation have shown that a plant will thrive when the lacking substances are supplied in a suitable form, e. g., in, he following combinations:


I.    Calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate, potassium phosphate, magnesium phosphate, ferric phosphate (sodium chloride).


II.   Calcium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, potassium sulphate, magnesium phosphate, iron chloride (or sulphate) (sodium silicate).


It is well known that in nature nitrates are formed wherever, decomposition of organic nitrogenous substances takes place in the air, the ammonia formed by the decomposition being oxidized to nitric acid. These conditions for the formation of nitrates are present in nearly every cornfield, and they are also the cause of the presence of itrates in water that has its source near stables, etc. In Peruvian guano nitrogen is present partly in the form of potassium nitrate, partly as ammonium phosphate and sulphate. As a nitrate it acts more rapidly than in the form of ammonia, but in the latter case the effect is more lasting. Phosphoric acid occurs in guano combined with ammonia, potash, and chiefly with lime, the last being slower and more lasting in action than the others.






Nearly all artificial fertilizers conform, more or less, to one of the following general formulas:


I.    Artificial Flower Fertilizer.






Ammonium nitrate



40.0 parts

Ammonium phosphate



20.0 parts

Potassium nitrate



25.0 parts

Ammonium chloride



5.0 parts

Calcium sulphate



6.0 parts

Ferrous sulphate



4.0 parts




100.0 parts


Dissolve 1 part in 1,000 parts water, and water the flowers with it 2 or 3 times weekly. Dissolve 4 parts in 1,000 parts water, and water with this quantity 10 or 12 pots of medium size.


II.   Compost for Indoor Plants.






Ammonium sulphate



30.0 parts

Sodium chloride



30.0 parts

Potassium nitrate



15.0 parts

Magnesium sulphate



15.0 parts

Magnesium phosphate



4.0 parts

Sodium phosphate



6.0 parts




100.0 parts


One part to be dissolved in 1,000 parts water and the flowers watered up to 3 times daily. Dissolve 4 parts in 1,000 parts water, and water with this solution daily:


III.  Plant Food Solution.





Potassium chloride


12.5 parts

Calcium nitrate


58.0 parts

Magnesium sulphate


12.0 parts

Potassium phosphate


15.0 parts

Iron phosphate, recently precipitated


2.5 parts



100.0 parts


This turbid mixture (1 part in 1,000 parts) is used alternately with water for watering a pot of about 1 quart capacity; for smaller or larger pots in proportion. After using the amount indicated, the watering is continued with water alone.


IV.   Fertilizer with Organic Matter, for Pot Flowers.


Potassium nitrate                   100.0 parts

Ammonium phosphate                  100.0 parts

Phosphoric acid                     2.5 parts

Simple syrup                        1,000 parts


Add not more than 10 parts to 1,000 parts water, and water alternately with this and with water alone. For cactacese, crassulacese, and similar plants, which do not assimilate organic matter directly, use distilled water instead of syrup.


Chlorotic plants are painted with a dilute iron solution or iron is added to the soil, which causes them to assume their natural green color. The iron is used in form of ferric chloride or ferrous sulphate.



Sodium phosphate                    4 ounces

Sodium nitrate                      4 ounces

Ammonium sulphate                   2 ounces

Sugar                               1 ounce


Use 2 teaspoonfuls to a gallon of water.



Ammonium phosphate                  30 parts

Sodium nitrate                      25 parts

Potassium nitrate                   25 parts

Ammonium sulphate                   20 parts

Water                               100,000 parts


One application of this a week is enough for the slower growing plants,

and 2 for the more rapid growing herbaceous ones.



Calcium phosphate                   4 ounces

Potassium nitrate                   1 ounce

Potassium phosphate                 1 ounce

Magnesium sulphate                  1 ounce

Iron (ferric) phosphate             100 grains


VIII. Pot plants, especially flowering plants kept around the house, should be treated to an occasional dose of the following:


Ammonium chloride                   2 parts

Sodium phosphate                    4 parts

Sodium nitrate                      3 parts

Water                               80 parts


Mix and dissolve. To use, add 25 drops to the quart of water, and use as in ordinary watering.



Sugar                               1 part

Potassium nitrate                   2 parts

Ammonium sulphate                   4 parts



Ferric phosphate                    1 part

Magnesium sulphate                  2 parts

Potassium phosphate                 2 parts

Potassium nitrate                   2 parts

Calcium acid phosphate              8 parts


About a teaspoonful of either of these mixtures is added to a gallon of water, and the plants sprinkled with the liquid.


For hastening the growth of flowers, the following fertilizer is recommended:







Potassium nitrate                   30 parts

Potassium phosphate                 25 parts

Ammonium sulphate                   10 parts

Ammonium nitrate                    35 parts


The following five are especially recommended for indoor use:



Sodium chloride                     10 parts

Potassium nitrate                   5 parts

Magnesium sulphate                  5 parts

Magnesia                            1 part

Sodium phosphate                    2 parts


Mixed and bottled. Dissolve a teaspoonful daily in a quart of water and water the plants with the solution.



Ammonium nitrate                    40 parts

Potassium nitrate                   90 parts

Ammonium phosphate                  50 parts


Two grams is sufficient for a medium sized flower pot.



Ammonium sulphate                   10 parts

Sodium chloride                     10 parts

Potassium nitrate                   5 parts

Magnesium sulphate                  5 parts

Magnesium carbonate                 1 part

Sodium phosphate                    20 parts


One teaspoonful to 1 quart of water.



Ammonium nitrate                    40 parts

Ammonium phosphate                  20 parts

Potassium nitrate                   0.25 parts

Ammonium chloride                   5 parts

Calcium sulphate                    6 parts

Ferrous sulphate                    4 parts


Dissolve 2 parts in 1,000 of water, and water the plants with the solution.



Potassium nitrate                   20 parts

Potassium phosphate                 25 parts

Ammonium sulphate                   10 parts

Ammonium nitrate                    35 parts


This mixture produces a luxuriant foliage. If blooms are desired, dispense with the ammonium nitrate.


XVII. Saltpeter, 5 parts; cooking salt, 10 parts; bitter salt, 5 parts; magnesia, 1 part; sodium phosphate, 2 parts. Mix and fill in bottles. Dissolve a teaspoonful in 1 3/4 pints of hot water, and water the flower pots with it each day.


XVIII.      Ammonium sulphate, 30 parts; sodium chloride, 30 parts; potash niter, 15 parts; magnesium sulphate, 15 parts; magnesium phosphate, 4 parts; sodium phosphate, 6 parts. Dissolve 1 part in 1,000 parts water, and apply 3 times per day.


XIX.  Calcium nitrate, 71 parts; potassium chlorate, 15 parts; magnesium

sulphate, 12.5 parts; potassium phosphate, 13.3 parts; freshly precipitated ferric phosphate, 3.2 parts. A solution of 1 in 1,000 of this mixture is applied, alternating with water, to the plants.

After using a certain quantity, pour on only water.


XX.   Ammonium phosphate, 300 parts; sodium nitrate, 250 parts: potassium nitrate, 250 parts; and ammonium sulphate, 200 parts, are mixed together. To every 1,000 parts of water dissolve 2 parts of the mixture, and water the potted plants once a week with this solution.


XXI.  Potash niter, 20 parts; calcium carbonate, 20 parts; sodium chlorate, 20 parts; calcium phosphate, 20 parts; sodium silicate, 14 parts; ferrous sulphate, 1.5 parts. Dissolve 1 part of the mixture in 1,000 parts water.


Preparing Bone for Fertilizer. Bone, in its various forms, is the only one of the insoluble phosphates that is now used directly upon the soil, or without other change than is accomplished by mechanical action or grinding. The terms used to indicate the character of the bone have reference rather to their mechanical form than to the relative availability of the phosphoric acid contained in them. The terms raw bone, fine bone, boiled and steamed bone, etc., are used to indicate methods of preparation, and inasmuch as bone is a material which is useful largely in proportion to its rate of decay, its fineness has an important bearing upon availability, since the finer the bone the more surface is exposed to the action of those forces which cause decay or solution, and the quicker will the constituents become available. In the process of boiling or steaming, not only is the bone made finer but its physical character in other respects is also changed, the particles, whether fine or coarse, being made soft and crumbly rather than dense or hard; hence it is more likely to act quickly than if the same degree of fineness be obtained by simple grinding. The phosphoric acid in fine steamed bone may all become available in 1 or 2 years, while the coarser fatty raw bone sometimes resists final decay for 3 or 4 years or even longer.






Bone contains considerable nitrogen, a fact which should be remembered in its use, particularly if used in comparison with other phosphatic materials which do not contain this element. Pure raw bone contains on an average 22 per cent of phosphoric acid and 4 per cent of nitrogen. By steaming or boiling, a portion of the organic substance containing nitrogen is extracted, which has the effect of proportionately increasing the phosphoric acid in the product; hence a steamed bone may contain as high as 28 per cent of phosphoric acid and as low as 1 per cent of nitrogen. Steamed bone is usually, therefore, much richer in phosphoric acid and has less nitrogen than the raw bone.


Brewers' Yeast and Fertilizers. A mixture is made of about 2 parts of yeast with 1 part of sodium chloride and 5 parts of calcium sulphate, by weight, for use as a manure. Pure or impure yeast, or yeast previously treated for the extraction of a portion of its constituents, may be used, and the gypsum may be replaced by other earthy substances of a similar non-corrosive nature.


Authorities seem to agree that lime is necessary to the plant, and if it be wholly lacking in the soil, even though an abundance of all the other essential elements is present, it cannot develop normally. Many soils are well provided with lime by nature and it is seldom or never necessary for those who cultivate them to resort to liming. It would be just as irrational to apply lime where it is not needed as to omit it where it is required, and hence arises the necessity of ascertaining the needs of particular soils in this respect.


The method usually resorted to for ascertaining the amount of lime in soils is to treat them with some strong mineral acid, such as hydrochloric acid, and determine the amount of lime which is thus dissolved. The fact that beets of all kinds make a ready response to liming on soils which are deficient in lime may be utilized as the basis of testing.



See Veterinary Formulas.



See Confectionery.




Composition Files. These files, which are frequently used by watchmakers and other metal workers for grinding and polishing, and the color of which resembles silver, are composed of 8 parts copper, 2 parts tin, 1 part zinc, 1 part lead. They are cast in forms and treated upon the grindstone; the metal is very hard, and therefore worked with difficulty with the file.


To Keep Files Clean (see also Cleaning Preparations and Methods). The uneven working of a file is usually due to the fact that filings clog the teeth of the file. To obviate this evil, scratch brush the files before use, and then grease them with olive oil. A file prepared in this manner lasts for a longer time, does not become so quickly filled with filings and can be conveniently cleaned with an ordinary rough brush.


Recutting Old Files. Old files may be rendered useful again by the following process: Boil them in a potash bath, brush them with a hard brush and wipe off. Plunge for half a minute into nitric acid, and pass over a cloth stretched tightly on a flat piece of wood. The effect will be that the acid remains in the grooves, and will take away the steel without attacking the top, which has been wiped dry. The operation may be repeated according to the depth to be obtained. Before using the files thus treated they should be rinsed in water and dried.



See Alloys.



See Lettering.



See Wood.




A filter which possesses the advantages of being easily and cheaply cleaned when dirty, and which frees water from mechanical impurities with rapidity, may be formed by placing a stratum of sponge between two perforated metallic plates, united by a central screw, and arranged in such a manner as to permit of the sponge being compressed as required. Water, under gentle pressure, flows with such rapidity through the pores of compressed sponge, that it is said that a few square feet of this substance will perfectly filter several millions of gallons of water daily.


The sponges are cleaned thoroughly, rolled together as much as possible, and placed in the escape pipe of a percolator in such a manner that the larger portion of the sponge is in the pipe while the smaller portion, spreading by itself, protrudes over the pipe toward the interior






of the percolator, thus forming a flat filter covering it. After a thorough moistening of the sponge it is said to admit of a very quick and clear filtration of large quantities of tinctures, juices, etc.


For filtering water on a small scale, and for domestic use, "alcarrazas," diaphragms of porous earthenware and filtering-stone and layers of sand and charcoal, etc., are commonly employed as filtering.


A cheap, useful form of portable filter is the following, given in the proceedings of the British Association: "Take any common vessel, perforated below, such as a flower pot, fill the lower portion with coarse pebbles, over which place a layer of finer ones, and on these a layer of clean coarse sand. On the top of this a piece of burnt clay perforated with small holes should be put, and on this again a stratum of 3 or 4 inches thick of well burnt, pounded animal charcoal. A filter thus formed will last a considerable time, and will be found particularly useful in removing noxious and putrescent substances held in solution by water."


The "portable filters," in stoneware, that are commonly sold in the shops, contain a stratum of sand, or coarsely powdered charcoal; before, however, having access to this, the water has to pass through a sponge, to remove the coarser portion of the impurities.


Alum Process of Water Purification. Water may be filtered and purified by precipitation, by means of alum, by adding a 4 per cent solution to the water to be clarified until a precipitate is no longer produced. After allowing the turbid mixture to stand for 8 hours, the clear portion may be decanted or be siphoned off. About 2 grains of alum is ordinarily required to purify a gallon of water. Potassa alum only should be used, as ammonia alum cannot be used for this purpose. The amount of alum required varies with the water, so that an initial experiment is required whenever water from a new source is being purified. If the purification is properly done, the water will not contain any alum, but only a trace of potassium sulphate, for the aluminum of the double sulphate unites with the various impurities to form an insoluble compound which gradually settles out, mechanically carrying with it suspended matter, while the sulphuric acid radical unites with the calcium in the water to form insoluble calcium sulphate.



See Paper,



See Photography.



See Pyrotechnics.



See Pyrotechnics.



See Lubricants.





Calcium chloride                    184 parts

Magnesium chloride                  57 parts

Sodium chloride                     13 parts

Potassium bromide                   22 parts

Barium chloride                     3 parts

Water to make                       1,000 parts


Dissolve and fill into hand grenades.



Iron sulphate                       4 parts

Ammonium sulphate                   16 parts

Water                               100 parts


Mix, dissolve, and fill into flasks.



Sodium chloride                     430 parts

Alum                               195 parts

Glauber salts                       50 parts

Sodium carbonate, impure            35 parts

Water glass                         266 parts

Water                               233 parts


Mix, etc.



Sodium chloride                     90 parts

Ammonium chloride                   45 parts

Water                               300 parts


Mix, dissolve, and put into quart flasks of very thin glass, which are to be kept conveniently disposed in the dwelling rooms, etc., of all public institutions.


V.    Make 6 solutions as follows:



Ammonium chloride                   20 parts

Water                               2,000 parts



Alum, calcined and powdered         35 parts

Water                               1,000 parts



Ammonium sulphate, powdered         30 parts

Water                               500 parts



Sodium chloride                     20 parts

Water                               4,000 parts



Sodium carbonate                    35 parts

Water                               500 parts



Liquid water glass                  450 parts






Mix the solutions in the order named and to the mixture, while still yellow and turbid, add 2,000 parts of water, and let stand. When the precipitate has subsided fill off the clear liquid into thin glass (preferably blue, to deter decomposition) containers each of 3 pints to a half gallon capacity.



Calcium chloride                    30 parts

Magnesium chloride                  10 parts

Water                               60 parts


VII.  Sodium chloride               20 parts

Ammonium chloride                   9 parts

Water                               71 parts



Sodium carbonate                    16 parts

Sodium chloride                     64 parts

Water                               920 parts


The most effective of all extinguishers is ammonia water. It is almost instantaneous in its effect, and a small quantity only is required to extinguish any fire. Next in value is carbonic acid gas. This may be thrown from siphons or sodawater tanks. The vessel containing it should be thrown into the fire in such a way as to insure its breaking.


Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers. The efficacy of these is doubted by good authorities. They should be tested before adoption.



Alum                                24 parts

Ammonium sulphate                   52 parts

Ferrous sulphate                    4 parts



Sodium chloride                     8 parts

Sodium bicarbonate                  6 parts

Sodium sulphate                     2 parts

Calcium chloride                    2 parts

Sodium silicate                     2 parts



Sodium chloride                     6 parts

Ammonium chloride                   6 parts

Sodium bicarbonate                  8 parts



Ammonium chloride                   10 parts

Sodium sulphate                     6 parts

Sodium bicarbonate                  4 parts


Oil Extinguisher. To extinguish oils which have taken fire, a fine-meshed wire net of the size of a boiling pan should be kept on hand in every varnish factory, etc. In the same moment when the netting is laid upon the burning surface, the flame is extinguished because it is a glowing mass of gas, which the iron wire quickly cools off so that it cannot glow any more. The use of water is excluded, and that of earth and sand undesirable, because both dirty the oil.


Substitute for Fire Grenades. A common quart bottle filled with a saturated solution of common salt makes a cheap and efficient substitute for the ordinary hand grenade. The salt forms a coating on all that the water touches and makes it nearly incombustible.




For Textiles.

I.    Up to the present this has generally been accomplished by the use of a combination of water glass or soluble glass and tungstate of soda.

The following is cheaper and more suitable for the purpose:


Equal parts, by weight, of commercial white copperas, Epsom salt, and sal ammoniac are mingled together and mixed with three times their weight of ammonia alum. This mixture soon changes into a moist pulp or paste, that must be dried by a low heat. When dressing the material, add 1/2 part of this combination to every 1 part of starch.


II.   Good results are also obtained from the following formula: Supersaturate a quantity of superphosphate of lime with ammonia, filter, and decolorize it with animal charcoal. Concentrate the solution and mix with it 5 per cent of gelatinous silica, evaporate the water, dry, and pulverize. For use mix 30 parts of this powder with 35 parts of gum and 35 parts of starch in sufficient water to make of suitable consistency.


III.  As a sample of the Melunay process, introduced in France, the following has been published: Apply to a cotton fabric like flannellet, or other cotton goods, a solution of stannate of soda (or a salt chemically equivalent) of the strength of 5 to 10º Bé., then dry the fabric and saturate it again, this time with a solution of a titanium salt; any soluble titanium salt is suitable. This salt should be so concentrated that each 1,000 parts may contain about 62 parts of titanium oxide. The fabrics are again dried, and the titanium is ultimately fixed by means of a suitable alkaline bath. It is advantageous to employ for this purpose a solution of silicate of soda of about 14º Bé., but a mixed bath, composed of tungstate of soda and ammonium chloride, may be employed. The objects are afterwards washed, dried, and finished as necessary for trade. A variation consists in treating the objects in a mixed bath containing titanium, tungsten, and a suitable solvent.


IV.   Boil together, with constant






stirring, the following ingredients until a homogeneous mass results:


Linseed oil                         77 parts

Litharge                            10 parts

Sugar of lead                       2 parts

Lampblack                           4 parts

Oil turpentine                      2 parts

Umber                               0.4 parts

Japanese wax                        0.3 parts

Soap powder                         1.2 parts

Manila copal                        0.7 parts

Caoutchouc varnish                  2 parts


V.    For Light Woven Fabrics. Ammonium sulphate, 8 parts, by weight; ammonium carbonate, 2.5 parts; borax, 2; boracic acid, 3; starch, 2; or dextrin, 0.4, or gelatin, 0.4; water, 100. The fabric is to be saturated with the mixture, previously heated to 86º F., and dried; it can then be calendered in the ordinary way. The cost is only 2 or 3 cents for 16 yards or more of material.


VI.   For Rope and Straw Matting. Ammonium chloride (sal ammoniac), 15 parts, by weight; boracic acid, 6 parts; borax, 3; water, 100. The articles are to be left in the solution, heated to 212º F. for about 3 hours, then squeezed out and dried. The mixture costs about 5 cents a quart.


VII.  For Clothing. The following starch is recommended: Sodium tungstate, perfectly neutral, 30 parts; borax, 20; wheat or rice starch, 60. The constituents are to be finely pulverized, sharply dried, and mixed, and the starch used like any other. Articles stiffened with it, if set on fire, will not burst into flame, but only smolder.


VIII. For Tents.

                                    Parts by weight

Water                               100

Ammonium sulphate, chemically pure 14

Boracic acid                        1

Hartshorn salt                      1

Borax                               3

Glue water                          2


Boil the water, put ammonium sulphate into a vat, pour a part of the boiling water on and then add the remaining materials in rotation. Next follow the rest of the hot water. The vat should be kept covered until the solution is complete.


IX.   For Stage Decorations. Much recommended and used as a fireproofing composition is a cheap mixture of borax, bitter salt, and water; likewise for canvas a mixture of ammonium sulphate, gypsum, and water. Ammonium sulphate and sodium tungstate are also named for impregnating the canvas before painting.


X.    For Mosquito Netting. Immerse in a 20 per cent solution of ammonium

sulphate. One pound of netting will require from 20 to 24 ounces of the solution to thoroughly saturate. After withdrawing from the bath, do not wring it out, but spread it over a pole or some such object, and let it get about half dry, then iron it out with a hot iron. The material (ammonium sulphate) is inoffensive.


Fireproofing of Wood. Strictly speaking, it is impossible to render wood completely incombustible, but an almost absolute immunity against the attacks of fire can be imparted.


Gay-Lussac was one of the first to lay down the principal conditions indispensable for rendering organic matters in general, and wood in particular, uninflammable.


During the whole duration of the action of the heat the fibers must be kept from contact with the air, which would cause combustion. The presence of borates, silicates, etc., imparts this property to organic, bodies.


Combustible gases, disengaged by the action of the heat, must be mingled in sufficient proportion with other gases difficult of combustion in such a way that the disorganization of bodies by heat will be reduced to a simple calcination without production of flame. Salts volatile or decomposable by heat and not combustible, like certain ammoniacal salts, afford excellent results.


Numerous processes have been recommended for combating the inflammability of organic tissues, some consisting in external applications, others in injection, under a certain pressure, of saline solutions.


By simple superficial applications only illusory protection is attained, for these coverings, instead of fireproofing the objects on which they are applied, preserve them only for the moment from a slight flame. Resistance to the fire being of only short duration, these coatings scale off or are rapidly reduced to ashes and the parts covered are again exposed. It often happens, too, that such coatings have disappeared before the occurrence of a fire, so that the so-called remedy becomes injurious from the false security occasioned.






Some formulas recommended are as follows:


I.    For immersion or imbibition the following solution is advised: Ammonium phosphate, 100 parts; boracic acid, 10 parts per 1,000; or ammonium sulphate, 135 parts; sodium borate, 15 parts; boracic acid, 5 parts per 1,000. For each of these formulas two coats are necessary.


II.   For application with the brush the following compositions are the best:


a. Apply hot, sodium silicate, 100 parts; Spanish white, 50 parts; glue, 100 parts.


b. Apply successively and hot; for first application, water, 100 parts; aluminum sulphate, 20 parts; second application, water, 100 parts; liquid sodium silicate, 50 parts.


c. First application, 2 coats, hot; water, 100 parts; sodium silicate, 50 parts; second application, 2 coatings; boiling water, 75 parts; gelatin, white, 200 parts; work up with asbestos, 50 parts; borax, 30 parts; and boracic acid, 10 parts.


Oil paints rendered uninflammable by the addition of phosphate of ammonia and borax in the form of impalpable powders incorporated in the mass, mortar of plaster and asbestos and asbestos paint, are still employed for preserving temporarily from limited exposure to a fire.



Sodium silicate, solid              350 parts

Asbestos, powdered                  350 parts

Water, boiling                      1,000 parts


Mix.  Give several coatings, letting each dry before applying the next.



Asbestos, powdered                  35 parts

Sodium borate                       20 parts

Water                               100 parts

Gum lac                             10 to 15 parts


Dissolve the borax in the water by the aid of heat, and in the hot solution dissolve the lac. When solution is complete incorporate the asbestos. These last solutions give a superficial protection, the efficiency of which depends upon the number of coatings given.


V.    Prepare a syrupy solution of sodium silicate, 1 part, and water, 3 parts, and coat the wood 2 to 3 times, thus imparting to it great hardness. After drying, it is given a coating of lime of the consistency of milk, and when this is almost dry, is fixed by a strong solution of soluble glass, 2 parts of the syrupy mass to 3 parts of water. If the lime is applied thick, repeat the treatment with the soluble glass.


VI.   Subject the wood or wooden objects for 6 to 8 hours to the boiling heat of a solution of 33 parts of manganese chloride, 20 parts of orthophosphoric acid, 12 parts of magnesium carbonate, 10 parts of boracic acid, and 25 parts of ammonium chloride in 1,000 parts of water. The wood thus treated is said to be perfectly incombustible even at great heat, and, besides, to be also protected by this method against decay, injury by insects, and putrefaction.


VII.  One of the simplest methods is to saturate the timber with a solution of tungstate of soda; if this is done in a vacuum chamber, by means of which the wood is partly deprived of the air contained in its cells, a very satisfactory result will be obtained. Payne's process consists in treating wood under these conditions first with solution of sulphate of iron, and then with chloride of calcium; calcium sulphate is thus precipitated in the tissues of the timber, which is rendered incombustible and much more durable. There are several other methods besides these, phosphate of ammonia and tungstate being most useful. A coat of common whitewash is an excellent means of lessening the combustibility of soft wood.


Fireproofing Wood Pulp. The pulp is introduced into a boiler containing a hot solution of sulphate and phosphate of ammonia and provided with a stirring and mixing apparatus, as well as with an arrangement for regulating the temperature. After treatment, the pulp is taken out and compressed in order to free it from its humidity. When dry, it may be used for the manufacture of paper or for analogous purposes. Sawdust treated in the same manner may be used for packing goods, for deadening walls, and as a jacketing for steam pipes.


Fireproofing for Wood, Straw, Textiles, etc. The material to be made fireproof is treated with a solution of 10 to 20 parts of potassium carbonate and 4 to 8 parts of ammonium borate in 100 parts of water. Wherever excessive heat occurs, this compound, which covers the substance, is formed into a glassy mass, thus protecting the stuff from burning; at the same time a considerable amount of carbonic acid is given off, which smothers the flames,








I.    In coating steel or other furnaces, first brush over the brickwork to be covered a solution made by boiling 1 pound each of silicate of soda and alum in 4 gallons of water, and follow immediately with composition:


Silica                              50 parts

Plastic fire clay                   10 parts

Ball clay                           3 parts


Mix well.


Fireproof Compositions.


II.   For furnaces, etc.:


Pure silica (in grain)              60 parts

Ground flint                        8 parts

Plaster of Paris                    3 parts

Ball clay                           3 parts


Mix well together by passing once or more through a fine sieve, and use in the same way as cement.


Fireproof Paper. Paper is rendered fireproof by saturating it with a solution of


Ammonium sulphate                   8 parts

Boracic acid                        3 parts

Borax                               2 parts

Water                               100 parts


For the same purpose sodium tungstate may also be employed.


Fireproof Coating. A fireproof coating (so-called) consists of water, 100 parts; strong glue, 20 parts; silicate of soda, 38º Bé., 50 parts; carbonate of soda, 35 parts; cork in pieces of the size of a pea, 100 parts.


Colored Fireproofing.


I.    Ammonium sulphate, 70 parts; borax, 50 parts; glue, 1 part; and water up to 1,000 parts.


II.   Solution of glue, 5 parts, zinc chloride, 2 parts; sal ammoniac, 80 parts; borax, 57 parts; and water up to 700 parts.


If the coating is to be made visible by coloration, an addition of 10 parts of Cassel brown and 6 parts of soda per 1,000 parts is recommended, which may be dissolved separately in a portion of the water used.



See Celluloid.



See Paper.



See Pyrotechnics.



See Plating.




Oil of rhodium                      3 parts

Oil of cumin                        2 parts

Tincture of musk                    1 part


Mix.  Put a drop or two on the bait, or rub trigger of trap with the solution.





                                    Parts by weight

Shellac                             40

Sandarac                            20

Spirit of wine                      940


II.   During the Civil War, when both alcohol and shellac often were not purchasable, and where, in the field especially, ink was almost unknown, and sized paper, of any description, a rarity, men in the field were compelled to use the pencil for correspondence of all sorts.

Where the communication was of a nature to make its permanency desirable, the paper was simply dipped in skim milk, which effected the purpose admirably. Such documents written with a pencil on unsized paper have stood the wear and rubbing of upward of 40 years.


To Fix Pounced Designs. Take beer or milk or alcohol, in which a little bleached shellac has been dissolved, and blow one of these liquids upon the freshly pounced design by means of an atomizer. After drying, the drawing will have the desired fixedness.



See Photography.



See Laundry Preparations.



See Photography.



See Condiments.



See Insecticides.



See Household Formulas.



See Paint.


Floor Dressings

(See also Paint, Polishes, Waxes, and Wood.)


Oil Stains for Hard Floors.


I.    Burnt sienna, slate brown, or wine black, is ground with strong oil varnish in the paint mill. The glazing color obtained






is thinned with a mixture of oil of turpentine and applied with a brush on the respective object. The superfluous stain is at once wiped away with a rag, so that only the absorbed stain remains in the wood. If this is uneven, go over the light places again with dark stain. In a similar manner all otherwise tinted and colored oil stains are produced by merely grinding the respective color with the corresponding addition of oil. Thus, green, red, and even blue and violet shades on wood can be obtained, it being necessary only to make a previous experiment with the stains on a piece of suitable wood. In the case of soft wood, however, it is advisable to stain the whole previously with ordinary nut stain (not too dark), and only after drying to coat with oil stain, because the autumn rings of the wood take no color, and would appear too light, and, therefore, disturb the effect.


II.   Boil 25 parts, by weight, of fustic and 12 parts of Brazil wood with 2,400 parts of soapmakers' lye and 12 parts of potash, until the liquid measures about 12 quarts. Dissolve in it, while warm, 30 parts of annatto and 75 of wax, and stir until cold. There will be a sufficient quantity of the brownish-red stain to keep the floor of a large room in good order for a year. The floor should be swept with a brush broom daily, and wiped up twice a week with a damp cloth, applying the stain, when necessary, to places where there is much wear, and rubbing it in with a hard brush. Every 6 weeks put the stain all over the floor, and brush it in well.



Neatsfoot oil                       1 part

Cottonseed oil                      1 part

Petroleum oil                       1 part



Beeswax                             8 parts

Water                               56 parts

Potassium carbonate                 4 parts


Dissolve the potash in 12 parts of water; heat together the wax and the remaining water till the wax is liquefied; then mix the two and boil together until a perfect emulsion is effected. Color, if desired, with a solution of annatto.



Paraffine oil                       8 parts

Kerosene                            1 part

Limewater                           1 part


Mix thoroughly. A coat of the mixture is applied to the floor with a mop.


Paraffining of Floors. The cracks and joints of the parquet floor are filled with a putty consisting of Spanish white, 540 parts; glue, 180 parts; sienna, 150 parts; umber, 110 parts: and calcareous earth, 20 parts. After 48 hours apply the paraffine, which is previously dissolved in petroleum, or preferably employed in a boiling condition, in which case it will enter slightly into the floor. When solidification sets in, the superfluous paraffine is scratched off and an even, smooth surface of glossy color results, which withstands acids and alkalies.


Ball Room Floor Powder.


Hard paraffine                      1 pound

Powdered boric acid                 7 pounds

Oil lavender                        1 drachm

Oil neroli                          20 minims


Melt the paraffine and add the boric acid and the perfumes. Mix well, and sift through a 1/16 mesh sieve.


Renovating Old Parquet Floors. Caustic soda lye, prepared by boiling for 45 minutes with 1 part calcined soda, and 1 part slaked lime with 15 parts water, in a cast-iron pot, is applied to the parquet to be renovated by means of a cloth attached to a stick. After a while rub off the floor with a stiff brush, fine sand, and a sufficient quantity of water, to remove the dirt and old wax.  Spread a mixture of concentrated sulphuric acid and water in the proportion of 1 to 8 on the floor. The sulphuric acid will remove the particles of dirt and wax which have entered the floor and enliven the color of the wood. Finally, wax the parquet after it has been washed off with water and dried completely.



See Oils.



See Paper.



See Polishes.



See Varnishes.



See Waterproofing.



See Waxes.



See Oil.




I.    To preserve flowers they should be dipped in melted paraffine, which should be just hot enough to maintain its fluidity. The flowers should be dipped one at a time, held by the stalks and moved about for an instant to get rid of air bubbles. Fresh cut flowers, free from moisture,






are said to make excellent specimens when treated in this way. A solution in which cut flowers may be kept immersed is made as follows:


Salicylic acid                      20 grains

Formaldehyde                        10 minims

Alcohol                             2 fluidounces

Distilled water                     1 quart


II.   The English method of preserving flowers so as to retain their form and color is to imbed the plants in a mixture of equal quantities of plaster of Paris and lime, and gradually heat them to a temperature of 100º F. After this the flower looks dusty, but if it is laid aside for an hour so as to absorb sufficient moisture to destroy its brittleness, it can be dusted without injury. To remove the hoary appearance which is often left, even after dusting, a varnish composed of 5 ounces of dammar and 16 ounces of oil of turpentine should be used and a second coat given if necessary. When the gum has been dissolved in the turpentine, 16 ounces of benzoline should be added, and the whole should be strained through fine muslin.


III.  Five hundred parts ether, 20 parts transparent copal, and 20 parts sand. The flowers should be immersed in the varnish for 2 minutes, then allowed to dry for 10 minutes, and this treatment should be repeated 5 or 6 times.


IV.   Place the flowers in a solution of 30 grains of salicylic acid in 1 quart of water.


V.    Moisten 1,000 parts of fine white sand that has been previously well washed and thoroughly dried and sifted, with a solution consisting of 3 parts of stearine, 3 parts of paraffine, 3 parts of salicylic acid, and 100 parts of alcohol. Work the sand up thoroughly so that every grain of it is impregnated with the mixture, and then spread it out and let it become perfectly dry. To use, place the flowers in a suitable box, the bottom of which has been covered with a portion of the prepared sand, and then dust the latter over them until all the interstices have been completely filled with it. Close the box lightly and put it in a place where it can be maintained at a temperature of from 86º to 104º F. for 2 or 3 days. At the expiration of this time remove the box and let the sand escape. The flowers can then be put into suitable receptacles or glass cases without fear of deterioration. Wilted or withered flowers should be freshened up by dipping into a suitable aniline solution, which will restore their color.


VI.   Stand the flowers upright in a box of proper size and pour over and around them fine dry sand, until the flowers are completely surrounded in every direction Leave them in this way for 8 or 10 days, then carefully pour off the sand. The flowers retain their color and shape perfectly, but in very fleshy, juicy specimens the sand must be renewed. To be effective the sand must be as nearly dry as possible.


VII.  A method of preserving cut flowers in a condition of freshness is to dissolve small amounts of ammonium chloride, potassium nitrate, sodium carbonate or camphor in the water into which the stems are inserted. The presence of one or more of these drugs keeps the flowers from losing their turgidity by stimulating the cells to action and by opposing germ growth. Flowers that have already wilted are said to revive quickly if the stems are inserted in a weak camphor water.


Stuccoed Gypsum Flowers. Take natural flowers, and coat the lower sides of their petals and stamens with paraffine or with a mixture of glue, gypsum, and lime, which is applied lightly. Very fine parts of the flowers, such as stamens, etc., may be previously supported by special attachments of textures, wire, etc. After the drying of the coating the whole is covered with shellac solution or with a mixture of glue, gypsum, lime with lead acetate, oil, mucilage, glycerine, colophony, etc. If desired, the surface may be painted with bronzes in various shades. Such flowers are much employed in the shape of festoons for decorating walls, etc.


Artificial Coloring of Flowers. A method employed by florists to impart a green color to the white petals of "carnation pinks" consists in allowing long stemmed flowers to stand in water containing a green aniline dye. When the flowers are fresh they absorb the fluid readily, and the dye is carried to the petals.


Where the original color of the flower is white, colored stripes can be produced upon the petals by putting the cut ends into water impregnated with a suitable aniline dye. Some dyes can thus be taken up by the capillary action of the stem and deposited in the tissue of the petal. If flowers are placed over a basin of water containing a very small amount of ammonia in a bell glass, the colors of the petals will generally show some marked change. Many violet-colored flowers when so treated will become






green, and if the petals contain several tints they will show greens where reds were, yellows where they were white, and deep carmine will become black. When such flowers are put into water they will retain their changed colors for hours.


If violet asters are moistened with very dilute nitric acid, the ray florets become red and acquire an agreeable odor.



See Weights and Measures.




Aesculin gives pale blue by (1) reflected light, straw color by (2) transmitted light.


Amido-phthalic acid, pale violet (1), pale yellow (2). Amido-terephthalic acid, bright green (1), pale green (2).


Eosine, yellow green (1), orange (2).


Fluorescein, intense green (1), orange yellow (2).


Fraxin, blue green (1), pale green (2).


Magdala red, opaque scarlet (1), brilliant carmine (2).


Quinine, pale blue (1), no color (2).


Safranine, yellow red (1), crimson (2).



See Enameling.



See Soldering.


Fly-Papers and Fly-Poisons

(See also Insecticides.)


Sticky Fly Papers. The sticky material applied to the paper is the following:



Boiled linseed oil                  5 to 7 parts

Gum thus                            2 to 3 parts

Non-drying oil                      3 to 7 parts


For the non-drying oil, cottonseed, castor, or neatsfoot will answer in fact, any of the cheaper oils that do not readily dry or harden will answer. The proper amount of each ingredient depends upon the condition of the boiled oil. If it is boiled down very stiff, more of the other ingredients will be necessary, while if thin, less will be required.



Rosin                               8 parts

Rapeseed oil                        4 parts

Honey                               1 part


Melt the rosin and oil together, and incorporate the honey. Two parts of raw linseed oil and 2 parts of honey may be used along with 8 parts of rosin instead of the foregoing. Use paper already sized, as it comes from the mills, on which to spread the mixture.



Castor oil                          12 ounces

Rosin                               27 ounces


Melt together and spread on paper sized with glue, using 12 ounces glue to 4 pints water.



Rosin                               8 ounces

Venice turpentine                   2 ounces

Castor oil                          2 ounces


Spread on paper sized with glue.


Poisonous Fly Papers.



Quassia chips                       150 parts

Chloride of cobalt                  10 parts

Tartar emeiic                       2 parts

Tincture of long pepper (1 to 4)    80 parts


Water 400 parts


Boil the quassia in the water until the liquid is reduced one-half, strain, add the other ingredients, saturate common absorbent paper with the solution, and dry. The paper is used in the ordinary way.



Potassium bichromate                10 ounces

Sugar                               3 drachms

Oil of black pepper                 2 drachms

Alcohol                             2 ounces

Water                               14 ounces


Mix and let stand for several days, then soak unsized paper with the solution.



Cobalt chloride                     4 drachms

Hot water                           16 ounces

Brown sugar                         1 ounce


Dissolve the cobalt in the water and add the sugar, saturate unsized paper in the solution, and hang up to dry.



Quassia chips                       150 parts

Cobalt chloride                     10 parts

Tartrate antimony                   2 parts

Tincture of pepper                  80 parts

Water                               400 parts


Boil chips in the water until the volume of the latter is reduced one-half, add other ingredients and saturate paper and dry.


Fly Poison.


Pepper                              4 ounces

Quassia                             4 ounces

Sugar                               8 ounces

Diluted alcohol                     4 ounces


Mix dry and sprinkle around where the flies can get it.


Non-Poisonous Fly Papers.


I.    Mix 25 parts of quassia decoction (1:10) with 6 parts of brown sugar and 3 parts of ground pepper, and place on flat dishes.


II.   Mix 1 part of ground pepper and 1 part of brown sugar with 16 parts milk






or cream, and put the mixture on flat plates.



Macerate 20 parts of quassia wood with 100 parts of water for 24 hours, boil one-half hour, and squeeze off 24 hours. The liquid is mixed with

3 parts of molasses, and evaporated to 10 parts. Next add 1 part of alcohol. Soak blotting paper with this mixture, and put on plates.


IV.   Dissolve 5 parts of potassium bichromate, 15 parts of sugar, and 1 part of essential pepper oil in 60 parts of water, and add 10 parts of alcohol. Saturate unsized paper with this solution and dry well.



Boil together for half an hour


Ground quassia wood                 18 pounds

Broken colocynth                    3 pounds

Ground long pepper                  5 pounds

Water                               80 pounds


Then percolate and make up to 60 pounds if necessary with more water.

Then add 4 pounds of syrup. Unsized paper is soaked in this, and dried as quickly as possible to prevent it from getting sour.


VI.   Mix together


Ordinary syrup                      100 ounces

Honey                               30 ounces

Extract of quassia wood             4 ounces

Oil of aniseed,                     a few drops.


Removing the Gum of Sticky Fly Paper. The "gum" of sticky fly-paper that has "leaked" over furniture and shelfware can be removed without causing injury to either furniture or bottles.


The "gum" of sticky fly-paper, while being quite adhesive, is easily dissolved with alcohol (grain or wood) or oil of turpentine. Alcohol will not injure the shelfware, but it should not be used on varnished furniture; in the latter case turpentine should be used.



See Insecticides.




A harmless gum cream is the following:


I.    Digest 100 parts of Panama wood for 8 days with 400 parts of water and 100 parts of spirits of wine (90 per cent). Pour off without strong pressure and filter.


For every 5 parts of lemonade syrup take 5 parts of this extract, whereby a magnificent, always uniform foam is obtained on the lemonade.


II.   Heat 200 parts of quillaia bark with distilled water during an hour in a vapor bath, with frequent stirring, and squeeze out. Thin with water if necessary and filter.




Abstract of a monograph by W. D. Bigelow and Burton J. Howard, published by the Department of Agriculture.


Generally speaking, the methods of chemical analysis employed in food laboratories can be manipulated only by one who has had at least the usual college course in chemistry, and some special training in the examination of foods is almost as necessary. Again, most of the apparatus and chemicals necessary are entirely beyond the reach of the home, and the time consumed by the ordinary examination of a food is in itself prohibitive.


Yet there are some simple tests which serve to point out certain forms of adulteration and can be employed by the careful housewife with the reagents in her medicine closet and the apparatus in her kitchen. The number may be greatly extended by the purchase of a very few articles that may be procured for a few cents at any drug store. In applying these tests, one general rule must always be kept carefully in mind. Everyone, whether layman or chemist, must familiarize himself with a reaction before drawing any conclusions from it. For instance, before testing a sample of supposed coffee for starch, the method should be applied to a sample of pure coffee (which can always be procured

unground) and to a mixture of pure coffee and starch prepared by the operator.


Many manufacturers and dealers in foods have the ordinary senses so highly developed that by their aid alone they can form an intelligent opinion of the nature of a product, or of the character, and sometimes even of the proportion of adulterants present. This is especially true of such articles as coffee, wine, salad oils, flavoring extracts, butter, and milk. The housewife finds herself constantly submitting her purchases to this test. Her broad experience develops her senses of taste and smell to a high degree, and her discrimination is often sharper and more accurate than she herself realizes. The manufacturer who has developed his natural senses most






highly appreciates best the assistance or collaboration of the chemist, who can often come to his relief when his own powers do not avail. So the housewife, by a few simple chemical tests, can broaden her field of vision and detect many impurities that are not evident to the senses.


There are here given methods adapted to this purpose, which may be applied to milk, butter, coffee, spices, olive oil, vinegar, jams and jellies, and flavoring extracts. In addition to this some general methods for the detection of coloring matter and preservatives will be given. All of the tests here described may be performed with utensils found in any well-appointed kitchen. It will be convenient, however, to secure a small glass funnel, about 3 inches in diameter, since filtration is directed in a number of the methods prescribed. Filter paper can best be prepared for the funnel by cutting a circular piece about the proper size and folding it once through the middle, and then again at right angles to the first fold. The paper may then be opened without unfolding in such a way that three thicknesses lie together on one side and only one thickness on the other. In this way the paper may be made to fit nicely into the funnel.


Some additional apparatus, such as test tubes, racks for supporting them, and glass rods, will be found more convenient for one who desires to do considerable work on this subject, but can be dispensed with. The most convenient size for test tubes is a diameter of from 1/2 to 5/8 inch, and a length of from 5 to 6 inches. A graduated cylinder will also be found very convenient. If this is graduated according to the metric system, a cylinder containing about 100 cubic centimeters will be found to be convenient; if the English liquid measure is used it may be graduated to from 3 to 8 ounces.


Chemical Reagents. The word "reagent" is applied to "any substance used

to effect chemical change in another substance for the purpose of identifying its component parts or determining its percentage composition." The following reagents are required in the methods here given:


Turmeric paper.

Iron alum (crystal or powdered form).

Hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid), concentrated.


Caution. All tests in which hydrochloric acid is used should be conducted in glass or earthenware, for this acid attacks and will injure metal vessels. Care must also be taken not to bring it into contact with the flesh or clothes. If, by accident, a drop of it falls upon the clothes, ammonia, or in its absence a solution of saleratus or sal soda (washing soda), in water, should be applied promptly.


Iodine tincture.

Potassium permanganate, 1 per cent solution.

Alcohol (grain alcohol).


Boric acid or borax.   

Ammonia water.

Halphen's reagent.


With the exception of the last reagent mentioned, these substances may be obtained in any pharmacy. The Halphen reagent should be prepared by a druggist, certainly not by an inexperienced person.


It is prepared as fellows: An approximately 1 per cent solution of sulphur is made by dissolving about 1/3 of a teaspoonful of precipitated sulphur in 3 or 4 ounces of carbon bisulphide. This solution mixed with an equal volume of amyl alcohol forms the reagent required by the method. A smaller quantity than that indicated by these directions may, of course, be prepared.


If turmeric paper be not available it may be made as follows: Place a bit of turmeric powder (obtainable at any drug store) in alcohol, allow it to stand for a few minutes, stir, allow it to stand again until it settles, dip a strip of filter paper into the solution, and dry it.


Determination of Preservatives. The following methods cover all of the more important commercial preservatives with the exception of sulphites and fluorides. These are quite frequently used for preserving foods the former with meat products and the latter with fruit products but, unfortunately, the methods for their detection are not suitable for household use.


Detection of Salicylic Acid. The determination of salicylic acid can best be made with liquids. Solid and semisolid foods, such as jelly, should be dissolved, when soluble, in sufficient water to make them thinly liquid. Foods containing insoluble matter, such as jam, marmalade, and sausage, may be macerated with water and strained through a piece of white cotton cloth. The maceration may be performed by rubbing in a teacup or other convenient vessel with a heavy spoon.


Salicylic acid is used for preserving






fruit products of all kinds, including beverages. It is frequently sold by drug stores as fruit acid. Preserving powders consisting entirely of salicylic acid are often carried from house to house by agents. It may be detected as follows:


Between 2 and 3 ounces of the liquid obtained from the fruit products, as described above, are placed in a narrow bottle holding 5 ounces, about a quarter of a teaspoonful of cream of tartar (or, better, a few drops of sulphuric acid) is added, the mixture shaken for 2 or 3 minutes, and filtered into a second small bottle. Three or 4 tablespoonfuls of chloroform are added to the clear liquid in the second bottle and the liquids mixed by a somewhat vigorous rotary motion, poured into an ordinary glass tumbler, and allowed to stand till the chloroform settles out in the bottom. Shaking is avoided, as it causes an emulsion which is difficult to break up. As much as possible of the chloroform layer (which now contains the salicylic acid) is removed (without any admixture of the aqueous liquid) by means of a medicine dropper and placed in a test tube or small bottle with about an equal amount of water and a small fragment a little larger than a pinhead of iron alum. The mixture is thoroughly shaken and allowed to stand till the chloroform again settles to the bottom. The presence of salicylic acid is then indicated by the purple color of the upper layer of liquid.


Detection of Benzole Acid. Benzoic acid is also used for preserving fruit products. Extract the sample with chloroform as in the case of salicylic acid; remove the chloroform layer and place it in a white saucer, or, better, in a plain glass sauce dish. Set a basin of water as warm as the hand can bear on the outside window ledge and place the dish containing the chloroform extract in it, closing the window until the chloroform has completely evaporated. In this manner the operation may be conducted with safety even by one who is not accustomed to handling chloroform. In warm weather the vessel of warm water may, of course, be omitted. Benzoic acid, if present in considerable amount, will now appear in the dish in characteristic flat crystals. On warming the dish the unmistakable irritating odor of benzoic acid may be obtained. This method will detect benzoic acid in tomato catsup or other articles in which it is used in large quantities. It is not sufficiently delicate, however, for the smaller amount used with some articles, such as wine. It is often convenient to extract a larger quantity of the sample and divide the chloroform layer into two portions, testing one for salicylic acid and the other for benzoic acid.


Detection of Boric Acid and Borax.  Boric acid (also called boracic acid) and its compound with sodium (borax) are often used to preserve animal products, such as sausage, butter, and sometimes milk. For the detection of boric acid and borax, solids should be macerated with a small amount of water and strained through a white cotton cloth.

The liquid obtained by treating solids in this manner is clarified somewhat by thoroughly chilling and filtering through filter paper.


In testing butter place a heaping teaspoonful of the sample in a teacup, add a couple of teaspoonfuls of hot water, and stand the cup in a vessel containing a little hot water until the butter is thoroughly melted. Mix the contents of the cup well by stirring with a teaspoon and set the cup with the spoon in it in a cold place until the butter is solid. The spoon with the butter (which adheres to it) is now removed from the cup and the turbid liquid remaining strained through a white cotton cloth, or, better, through filter paper. The liquid will not all pass through the cloth or filter paper, but a sufficient amount for the test may be secured readily.


In testing milk for boric acid 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls of milk are placed in a bottle with twice that amount of a solution of a teaspoonful of alum in a pint of water, shaken vigorously, and filtered through filter paper. Here again a clear or only slightly turbid liquid passes through the paper.


About a teaspoonful of the liquid obtained by any one of the methods mentioned above is placed in any dish, not metal, and 5 drops of hydrochloric (muriatic) acid added. A strip of turmeric paper is dipped into the liquid and then held in a warm place near a stove or lamp till dry. If boric acid or borax was present in the sample the turmeric paper becomes bright cherry red when dry. A drop of household ammonia changes the red color to dark green or greenish black. If too much hydrochloric acid is used the turmeric paper may take on a brownish-red color even in the absence of boric acid. In this case, however, ammonia changes the color to brown just as it does turmeric paper which has not been dipped into the acid solution.


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