Obrazy na stronie

origin of our judgements; therefore, it must give an equally partial and imperfect account of the origin of our feelings.

If, however, it should be thought that it is too much to say that the judgement is the cause of the emotion; it must, at any rate, be allowed, that the former has a great influence on the latter, so that our conclusion will remain nearly the same.

Nor does the argument, that in all disputes of casuists, concerning rectitude of conduct, the public good is the standard to which these constantly refer, prove any thing in Dr Hutcheson's favour, though he appears to have placed much confidence in it. It is no more than an argument of authority, and therefore, in its very nature, is not of the most convincing kind; and, besides, it may be observed, that an action may promote the good of the community at large, and yet not proceed from Benevalence. For, as the happiness of the community depends on the happiness of each individual in it; so, conversely, the happiness of each individual will depend, in a great measure, on the happiness of the whole community; and, therefore, the most obvious dictates of self-love are, to promote the public good.

For these reasons, among others, I would conclude, that the virtue of an action does not consist in its benevolence.

(To be continued.)

Account of the Application of GAS from COAL to economical Purposes.

By Mr William Murdoch. From Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London, for 1808.

THE facts and results intended to be communicated in this paper, are founded upon observations made, during the present winter, at the cotton manufactory of Messrs Philips and

Lee, at Manchester, where the light obtained by the combustion of the gas from coal is used upon a very large scale; the apparatus for its production and application having been prepared by me at the works of Messrs Boulton, Watt, and Co. at Soho.

The whole of the rooms of this cotton mill, which is, I believe, the most extensive in the united kingdom, as well as its counting-houses and storerooms, and the adjacent dwellinghouse of Mr Lee, are lighted with the gas from coal. The total quantity of light used during the hours of burning, has been ascertained, by a comparison of shadows, to be about equal to the light which 2500 mould candles of six in the pound would give; each of the candles, with which the comparison was made consuming at the rate of 4-10ths of an ounce (175 grains) of tallow per hour.

The quantity of light is necessarily liable to some variation, from the difficulty of adjusting all the flames, so as to be perfectly equal at all times; but the admirable precision and exactness with which the business of this mill is conducted, afforded as excellent an opportunity of making the comparative trials I had in view, as is perhaps likely to be ever obtained in general practice and the experiments being made upon so large a scale, and for a considerable period of time, may, I think, be assumed as a sufficiently accurate standard for determining the advantages to be expected from the use of the gas lights under favourable circumstances.

It is not my intention, in the present paper, to enter into a particular description of the apparatus employed for producing the gas; but I may observe generally, that the coal is distilled in large iron retorts, which, during the winter season, are kept constantly at work, except during the intervals of charging; and that the as it rises from them, is conveyed by iron pipes into large reservoirs, or ga


zometers, where it is washed and purified, previous to its being conveyed through other pipes, called mains, to the mill. These mains branch off into a variety of ramifications, (forming a total length of several miles,) and diminish in size, as the quantity of gas required to be passed through them becomes less. The burners, where the gas is consumed, are connected with the above mains, by short tubes, each of which is furnished with a cock to regulate the admission of the gas to each burner, and to shut it totally out when requisite. This latter operation, may likewise be instantaneously performed throughout the whole of the burners in each room, by turning a cock, with which each main is provided, near its entrance into the room.

The burners are of two kinds: the one is upon the principle of the Argand lamp, and resembles it in appearance; the other is a small curved tube with a conical end, having three circular apertures, or perforations, of about a 30th of an inch in diameter, one at the point of the cone, and two lateral ones, through which the gas issues, forming three divergent jets of flame, somewhat like a fleur-de-lis. The shape and general appearance of this tube has procured it, among the workmen, the name of the cockspur bur


The number of burners, employed in all the buildings, amounts to 271 Argands, and 633 cock spurs; each of the former giving a light equal to that of four candles of the description above mentioned; and each of the latter, a light equal to two and a quarter of the same candles; making therefore the total of the gas light a little more than equal to that of 2500 candles. When thus regulated, the whole of the above burners require an hourly supply of 1250 cubic feet of the gas produced from cannel coal; the superior quality and quantity of the gas produced from that material having given it a decided preference, in this si

tuation, over every other coal, notwithstanding its higher price.

The time during which the gas light is used, may, upon an average of the whole year, be stated at least at two hours per day of twenty-four hours. In some mills, where there is over work, it will be three hours; and in the few where night work is still con tinued, nearly twelve hours. But taking two hours per day as the common average throughout the year, the consumption in Messrs Philips and Lee's mill, will be 1250 × 2 = 2500 cubic feet of gas per day; to produce which, seven hundred weight of cannel coal is required in the retort. The price of the best Wigan cannel, (the sort used,) is 134d. per cwt. (22s. 6d. per ton,) delivered at the mill, or say about eight shillings for the seven hundred weight. Multiplying by the number of working days in the year, (313,) the annual consumption of cannel will be 110 tons, and its coast L.125.

About one third of the above quantity, or say forty tons of good com mon coal, value ten shillings per ton, is required for fuel to heat the retorts; the annual amount of which is L.20.

The 110 tons of cannel coal, when distilled, produce about 70 tons of good coak, which is sold upon the spot at 1s. 4d. per cwt., and will therefore amount annually to the sum of L.93.

The quantity of tar produced from each ton of cannel coal is from eleven to twelve ale gallons, making a total annual produce of about 1250 ale gallons, which not having been yet sold, I cannot determine its value; but whenever it comes to be manufactured in large quantities, it cannot be such as materially to influence the economical statement, unless, indeed, new applications of it should be discovered.

The quantity of aqueous fluid which came over in the course of the observations which I am now giving an ac count of, was not exactly ascertained, from some springs having got into the


reservoir; and as it has not been yet applied to any useful purpose, I may omit further notice of it in this state


The interest of the capital expended in the necessary apparatus and buildings, together with what is considered as an ample allowance for wear and tear, is stated by Mr Lee at about L.550 per annum ; in which some allowance is made for this apparatus being made upon a scale adequate to the supply of a still greater quantity of light than he has occasion to make use of.

He is of opinion, that the cost of attendance upon candles would be as much, if not more, than upon the gas apparatus; so that in forming the comparison, nothing need be stated upon that score, on either side.

The economical statement for one year then stands thus:

Cost of 110 tons of cannel coal,

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

L. 125






making the total expence of gas apparatus about L.600 per annum. That of candles, to give the same light, would be about L.2000. For, each candle consuming at the rate of 4-10ths of an ounce of tallow per hour, the 2500 candles, burning upon an average of the year two hours per day, would, at one shilling per pound, the present price, amount to nearly the sum of money above mentioned.

If the comparison were made upon

an average of three hours per day, the advantage would be still more in favour of the gas light; the interest of the capital, and wear and tear of the apparatus, continuing nearly the same as in the former case; thus,

1250 × 3 = 3750 cubic feet of gas per day, which would be produced by 10% cwt. of cannel coals; this multiplied by the number of working days, gives 168 tons per annum, which, valued as before, amounts to... L. 188 And 60 tons common coal, for burning under the retorts, will amount to,..

[ocr errors]




Deduct 105 tons of coak at 26s. Sd. Leaving the expenditure in coal, after deduction of the coak, and without allowance for the tar, at . 78 Adding to which the interest and wear and tear of apparatus, as before, the total annual cost will not be more thran L.650, whilst that of tallow, rated as before, will be L.3000.

It will readily occur, that the greater number of hours the gas is burnt, the greater will be its comparative economy: although in extending it beyond 3 hours, an increase of some of the apparatus would be neces



If the economical comparison were made with oils, the advantages would be less than with tallow.

The introduction of this species of light into the establishment of Messrs. Philips and Lee has been gradual; beginning in the year 1805, with two rooms of the mill, the counting-houses, and Mr Lee's dwelling-house, after which it was extended through the whole manufactory, as expeditiously as the apparatus could be prepared.

At first, some inconvenience was experienced from the smell of the un


consumed, or imperfectly purified gas, which may in a great measure be attributed to the introduction of successive improvements in the construction of the apparatus, as the work proceeded but since its completion, and since the persons to whose care it is confided have become familiar with its management, this inconvenience has been obviated, not only in the mill, but also in Mr Lee's house, which is most brilliantly illuminated with it, to the exclusion of every other species of artificial light.

The peculiar softness and clearness of this light, with its almost unvarying intensity, have brought it into great favour with the work people: and its being free from the inconvenience and danger resulting from the sparks, and frequent snuffing of candles, is a circumstance of material importance, as tending to diminish the hazard of fire, to which cotton mills are known to be much exposed.

The above particulars, it is conceived, contain such information as may tend to illustrate the general advantages attending the use of the gas light: but, nevertheless, the Royal Society may perhaps not deem it uninteresting to be apprised of the circumstances which originally gave rise in my mind to its application as an economical substitute for oils and tallow.

It is now nearly sixteen years since, in a course of experiments I was making at Redruth in Cornwall, upon the quantities and qualities of the gases produced by distillation from different mineral and vegetable substances, I was induced, by some observations I had previously made upon the burning of coal, to try the combustible property of the gases produced from it, as well as from peat, wood, and other inHammable substances. And being struck with the great quantities of gas which they afforded, as well as with the brilliancy of the light, and the facility of its production, I instituted several experiments, with a view of as

certaining the cost at which it might be obtained, compared with that of equal quantities of light yielded by oils and tallow.

My apparatus consisted of an iron retort, with tinned copper and iron tubes, through which the gas was conducted to a considerable distance; and there, as well as at intermediate points, was burned through apertures of varied forms and dimensions. The experiments were made upon coal of different qualities, which I procured from different parts of the kingdom, for the purpose of ascertaining which would give the most economical results. The gas was also washed with water, and other means were employed to purify it.

In the year 1798, I removed from Cornwall to Messrs Boulton, Watt, and Co's works, for the manufactory of steam engines at the Soho Foundry, and there I constructed an apparatus upon a larger scale, which, during many successive nights, was applied to the lighting of their principal building, and various new methods were practised, of washing and purifying the gas.

These experiments were continued, with some interruptions, until the peace of 1802, when a public display of this light was made by me in the illumination of Mr Boulton's manufactory at Soho, upon that occasion.

Since that period, I have, under the sanction of Messrs Boulton, Watt, and Co. extended the apparatus at Soho Foundry, so as to give light to all the principal shops, where it is in regular use, to the exclusion of other artificial light; but I have preferred giving the results from Mess. Philips' and Lee's apparatus, both on account of its greater extent, and the greater uniformity of the lights, which rendered the comparison with candles less difficult.

At the time I commenced my experiments, I was certainly unacquainted with the circumstance of the gas from


coal having been observed by others to be capable of combustion; but I am since informed, that the current of gas escaping from Lord Dundonald's tar ovens had been frequently tried, and I find that Dr Clayton, in a paper in vol. xli. of the Transactions of the Royal Society, so long ago as the year 1739, gave an account of some observations and experiments made by him, which clearly manifest his knowledge of the inflammable property of the gas, which he denominates "the spirit of coals;" but the idea of applying it as an economical substitute for oils and tallow, does not appear to have occurred to this gentlemen; and I believe I may, without presuming too much, claim both the first idea of applying, and the first actual application of this gas to economical purpo


ACCOUNT of BOOKS committed to the Flames, suppressed, or censured. (Continued from p. 731.)

[ocr errors]

N the unlawfulness of the oath of allegiance required by James I." Published at Rome (by Reboul) in 1611. This work was the cause that the author was hanged (not beheaded, as some have supposed.) When James I read this virulent work, in which Reboul boasts that he will come over immediately to England, will raise an insurrection against the king, and will strangle the tyrant with his own hands, he imputed it to Cardinal Duperron; but the latter was justified by Casaubon, who, even in Paris, had received certain information that the piece was written by Reboul. It was the Pope who ordered the punishment of this furious writer, as one guilty of having violated Majesty in the person of King James. It is not known what could have induced the Pope to interest himself so much for a prince whom he regarded as a heretic.

"Reply of the English people to "their king Edward, upon certain ar"ticles respecting religion, which have "been sent to them in his name.". This work was condemned by a decree of the parliament of Paris, 13 February, 1550, upon a complaint made to the King of France by the English ambassador.

"Satirical couplets ascribed to Jean "Baptiste Rousseau, 1709." These couplets occasioned a very long and very serious criminal prosecution, which terminated in a decree issued the 7th April 1712, which condemned Jean Baptiste Rousseau to perpetual banishment from the kingdom, not only as a suborner of witnesses, but as author of the impure and satirical verses to which this prosecution relates. This decree, which was attached to la Greve, fully acquitted Saurin, upon whom Rousseau had attempted to throw the odium of these shocking verses. The following was the occasion on which these famous couplets appeared. A coffeehouse, called the coffee-house of la Laurent, was, in 1708, the literary and political rendezvous of the wits and idlers of Paris. Lamotte and Rousseau were the leaders of this Parnassus, when Danchet's opera of Hesione appeared. A very ill-natured poet, suspected to be Rousseau, dared to publish very satirical couplets against those who frequented this coffee-house. The first of these were not those which gave rise to the famous process of which we speak; they only caused the desertion of the coffee-house of la Laurent. The literary men, who had been illtreated in these couplets, having resolved to go no more to this coffee-house, met at the house of M. de Liviers; but the satirical poet pursued them with new couplets of the same nature as the first. It is pretended that these second couplets did not occasion the process in question, but that they were occasioned by the publication of a third set. Paris and Versailles were inundated with these compositions. The tribu


« PoprzedniaDalej »