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The Alkaloids of the Aconites.

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Nov. 24, 1876. 10'00 4'5045000

it with sulphuretted hydrogen. The author also obtaine 9:00 4'0540500

another compound, baphinitone, C24H2606, which by o'90 0-4054050

the action of bromine yields a tribromo derivative, 0'05 0'0225225

Cz,H23 Brz06.

The President having thanked Dr. E. J. Mills for com19.95 8.9864775 CaCO3.

municating this paper to the Society, Cacoz to be deducted from the total quantity, for his memoir on " The Alkaloids of the Aconites : on the

Dr. C. R. A. WRIGHT, gave a short abstract of Part I. of Ca contained in CazP208:

Crystallisable Alkaloids contained in Aconitum Napellus." 3'00 4'0540500

After referring to his preliminary notice on the subject 050 0.6756750

(containing an account of pseudo-aconitine, C36H49N011, 0'0540540

the uncrystallisable alkaloid of A. ferox, which, however,

yields well-defined crystallisable salts) he stated that very 3:54 4*783779 CaCO3

different results were obtained with A. Napellus. In one 8.99 CaCO3 for 21'03 CaH4P208

batch of i cwt. of roots, which were worked up, two alka4'94 CazP208

loids were found, one of which, existing in comparatively

small quantity, readily crystallised from ether, whilst the 13.77 total CaCO3 to be deducted.

other did not. The latter, however, yielded crystalline

salts, which have a bitter taste, but do not produce the 45.99 per cent total CaCO3

peculiar prickling of the tongue so characteristic of aconite 13'77

roots. This base, which is comparatively inert, may be

called picraconitine, Cz1H45NO10. The crystalline base 32'22 CaCO3 existing as CaSO4.

aconitine, C33H43N012, which possesses high physiological 30.00 40:8000

activity, can only be obtained pure after repeated crystal

lisation, first in the free state, and then as a salt, finally 2'00 207200

liberating the base by ammonia or an alkaline carbonate. O'20 0'2720

In a second quantity of 2 cwts. of the roots worked up to 0'0272

a condensed extract by Messrs. Hopkin and Williams 32·22 CaCO3 43.8192 CaSO4

according to Duquesnel's process, only one crystallisable

alkaloid, aconitine, was found. The hydrochloride, hydroIt is possible that many chemists would rather calculate bromide, and gold salt of this base, all of which are crysout their results by the ordinary method than trust to any talline, were prepared and carefully examined. tables to do the work for them ; but even to these I feel The President thanked the author for this communicasure they will be of service, if only used to check the cal. tion on a subject so important, both from a chemical and culations.

medical point of view, and hoped that he would soon lay I have calculated the amounts of various substances before them the results of his experiments on the changes (CaH P208, &c.) which correspond to found amounts of produced on the alkaloid by various reagents. Mg2P207, and those which correspond to given amounts Mr. David Howard remarked that it was a point of of P2O5; for in some cases it may be convenient to calcu- peculiar interest to ascertain how far the difference in the late out the P20s at once. I may mention that the alkaloids was due either to diversity of species or to diver "atomic weight" of calcium is taken as 40, and that of sity of growth, occasioned by difference of climate or platinum as 197*2. PtCl 2 KCl is calculated into K20 and soil. PtCl 2 AmCl into Am2SO4

Mr. W. N. Hartley, Mr. C. E. Groves, and Mr. W. It will be seen that these tables are arranged in a similar / H. Perkin called the attention of the members to marked manner to those given by Fresenius, for the calculation of differences produced in plants from circumstances of clivarious substances found, into their required results. mate, soil, season of collecting, &c., which had come

within their personal experience.

Mr. J. Williams said he had every reason to believe

that the different batches of roots employed had grown PROCEEDINGS OF SOCIETIES.

wild in Switzerland, and were even from the same bale. He was of opinion that the different results obtained were

due to alterations in the process. In the first extraction a CHEMICAL SOCIETY.

stronger acid was used : it was heated for a longer time,

and having been made much more dilute had to be conThursday, November 16th, 1876.

centrated more. It was not improbable that the picra

conitine was really an alteration-product of the aconiProfessor ABEL, F.R.S., President, in the Chair.

tine.

Dr. Wright replied that he had at first been inclined After the names of the visitors had been announced, and formed by the action of hydrochloric acid on the aconitine,

to believe that picraconitine was an alteration-product the minutes of the previous meeting read and confirmed, but Mr. Groves, of Weymouth, on extracting different the names of Messrs. Edward Horatio Walker Sweete samples of the roots by the same process, had in one in. and Channell Law were read for the third time. They stance obtained picraconitine, whilst in others it was not were then ballotted for and duly elected.

found. It would be interesting to ascertain if any alkaloid The first paper, "On Barwood,” by the late Professor could be obtained from the marc. It was possible that ANDERSON, was then read by the SecrETARY. On ex- the aconite existed in the extract in the form of a compound trading barwood successively with ether and with alco. similar to a glucoside. hol, and evaporating the solution, a crystalline compound, The next paper was by Mr. G. S. JOHNSON, “On Potasbaphnin, C24H 2008, is obtained, together with amorphous sium Tri-iodide.” This was obtained by dissolving iodine substances of a red colour. When baphnin in alcoholic to saturation in an aqueous or alcoholic saturated solution solution is treated with acetate of lead, a white precipitate of potassium iodide, and evaporating slowly over sulphuric of lead baphate is obtained, together with baphnitin, acid. At first potassium iodide is deposited in cubes C24H2406, which remains in solution. A similar decom-coloured by free iodine, but these, after some days, are position takes place on submitting baphnin to the action succeeded by lustrous prismatic crystals of the tri-iodide of a solution of potassic hydrate. Baphic acid, C24H22010, , Kiz, resembling iodine in appearance. It is very delimay be obtained from the lead precipitate by decomposing quescent, and is decomposed by water with liberation of

1

CHEMICAL News,
Nov. 24, 1876.
Action of Water and Saline Solutions upon Lead.

223 odine, but may be crystallised from alcohol. Two fine

PHYSICAL SOCIETY. specimens of the crystals were exhibited. The last communication was “On the Coal-Gas of the

November 18th, 1876. Metropolis," by Mr. T. S. D. HUMPIDGE. The gases examined were those of the Imperial, five of the Chartered, Professor G. C. Foster, F.R.S., President, in the Chair. collected at different stations, and the cannel-gas supplied to the Houses of Parliament, all during the month of May, | The following candidates were elected members of the 1876. The illuminating power was taken, and the gases Society :-Major W. Malcolm, R.E. ; Prof. J. M. Purser; carefully analysed, determinations being made of the car. Dr. W. Francis; Mr. G. Johnstone Stoney; and Mr. D. bonic anhydride, oxygen, nitrogen, marsh-gas, carbonic MacAlpine. oxide, and the hydrocarbons absorbed by sulphuric anhydride. From a comparison of the results with those Action of Films of Water under Various Conditions."

Mr. Tylor read a paper on the Cohesion and Capillary obtained by Dr. Frankland in 1851 (twenty-five years ago), The author endeavours to eliminate the action of all the author is of opinion that the gas now delivered in forces except that of gravity by immersing his “ valves" London is no better than it was then, and that the increase in water. The models which he exhibited consisted of in the illuminating power announced from the various glass tubes, about 3 inches in diameter and 6 inches high, testing stations is to be attributed to improvements in the filled with water, and containing each a piston, which, on test-burner; a comparison of the present referees' testburner with that used prior to 1860 showing a difference being raised, was capable of lifting by cohesion a heavy

mass of metal, the nature of the surfaces in contact dilof more than three candles.

fering in the several instruments. From experiments Dr. FRANKLAND remarked that it seemed rather a

with them he concludes that the time during which a melancholy fact, that although Parliament had spent much heavy valve can be supported depends upon the size of time and trouble on the matter, and had raised the the surface of contact, the difference of pressure within standard from 14 to 16 candles, yet substantially the gas and without the moving parts, and the smoothness of the was the same as in 1851, and we were actually no better valve. On the contrary, dry bodies—such as Whitworth's off now than we were then. Mr. W. Valentin said most of the photometric obser- Tylor considers that the supporting of a body in water is

surface planes—will adhere for an indefinite period. Mr. vations had been made in the morning or in the afternoon, due to a difference of pressure in the water itself, and he when the gas was perhaps not so good as it was in the adduced Giffard's injector as showing that such differences evening, the time when the Act of Parliament provides

can take place. He has also studied the form assumed that it should come up to the standard of 16 candles. by a drop of water at a tap, and considers that when a fly Some, at all events, of the percentage of hydrocarbons was due to naphthalene, and not to olefines or benzene. This the heavy valves in the models exhibited.

walks on a ceiling its weight acts in the same manner as was a source of great inconvenience, by causing obstruc

Prof. Shelley exhibited some of Sir Joseph Whittions in the service-pipes, &c. In reply to a question by Mr. Vernon Harcourt, Dr. worth's surface planes and gauges, and showed their

bearing on the subject. FRANKLAND said that in his experiments he had found that

Dr. Stone then projected on to the screen the spectra for a given quantity of hydrocarbon vapour, diluted with produced by the diffraction gratings which he exhibited at a mixture of marsh-gas and hydrogen, the illuminating the last meeting of the Society. When received on a power was sensibly the same whether the diluent contained 60, 25, or only 15 per cent of marsh-gas, from bands in the red and violet after transmission through a

screen at a distance of about 25 feet they showed bright which he concluded that marsh-gas was as much without strong solution of permanganate of potash. Mr. Clark has illuminating power as hydrogen. There could be no doubt since ruled for him gratings on the backs of right-angled that benzene gave a very much higher illuminating power prisms, and Dr. Stone has cemented-by means of glycerin than hydrocarbons of the C n H 2n and C» H2n+2 series, but he could not understand Berthelot's statement that | The lines were two thousand and three thousand to the

or oil of cassia-gratings on glass and steel on such prisms. coal-gas owed its illuminating power chiefly to benzene.

inch. Although this might be true of the Paris gas, it certainly was not of the London gas. He might state that all the gases mentioned in his report in 1851 were collected in the MANCHESTER LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL daytime, and the photometric power determined in the

SOCIETY. day. On reference to Mr. Humpidge's results it would be seen that one of his determinations, made at 9.30 a.m.,

Ordinary Meeting, October 3rd, 1876. came fully up to the standard, as it was 16'3. He thought the most important point in the paper was that it showed Rev. William GASKELL, M.A., in the Chair. that the apparent increase in illuminating power was really due to the improvement of the test-burner, which with the

"On the Action of Water and Saline Solutious upon same gas gave a light of 16 candles instead of 13 as the Lead," Part II., bý M. M. Pattison Muir, F.R.S.E., old one did.

Assistant Lecturer on Chemistry, Owens College. Mr. Wills said his experience did not bear out the

1. I have already, in several places* described the statement that the gas was no better now than it was results of various series of experiments, undertaken with twenty-five years ago. He was in the habit of examining a view to arrive at definite measurements of the solvent the gas made by several of the large companies. They action of dilute saline solution upon lead, and to ascertain nuw supplied a gas up to the standard of 16 candles in the circumstances which condition this action. The stead of 12 candles as in 1851. Of this increase only two general results of these experiments may be summed up candles was due to improvement in the burner, and not briefly as follows :three as stated by Mr. Humpidge, leaving a clear gain of

(1.) Nitrates cause water to exert a very marked solvent two candles.

action upon lead. The President, after some remarks on the gas manufactured at Woolwich by the Government, adjourned the

(2.) Carbonates, sulphates, and chlorides greatly dimi. meeting until Thursday, December 7, when the following nish the solvent action of water upon lead.

(3.) These three salts, along with nitrates, greatly depapers will be read :-(1) “ Analysis of a Species of Erythrophyll,” by Prof. Church ; (2) On Phenylen; nitrates when present alone.

crease or even stop the solvent action exercised by the diamin,” by Dr. Otto Witt: (3) “ On Calcium Sulphate," by Mr. Hannay.

* Proc. Glasgow Phil. Soc., 1871-72, 184 ; Soc. Sci. Congress, 1874 Manchester Lit, and Phil. Soc., 1875-6, 35.

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CHEMICAL NEWS, 224 Action of Water and Saline Solutions upon Lead.

Nov. 24, 1876. (4.) The amount of lead increases with the length of 2. These or similar general conclusions had been time during which the water remains in contact with the arrived at by previous experimenters; but I have been lead.

able to give a considerable series of actual measurements (5.) Water charged with carbon dioxide exercises no of the amount of action exercised by the various solutions very marked solvent action upon lead, but when the water upon given surfaces of lead under stated conditions. is charged with the gas under pressure the solvent action 3. In carrying out the experiments alluded to above I is very greatly increased.

was often struck by apparent discrepancies in the results A.-EXPERIMENTS CARRIED OUT IN CORKED FLASKS NEARLY FILLED WITH LIQUID, 500 cbc. IN EACH.

Total Lead'in Milligrms. in Solution in the Liquid after

Surfaces of
Nature of Solution.

Lead Ex-
Litre.

68
70
140 168

340 505 posed in sq.cm.

hours: hours. hours. hours. hours. hours. hours. hours. hours Distilled water 25 07

I'2

195 50 07

o'9 I'o бо

0-5 095 0.8 0.8 I 20

02

0°4 0°4 Potassium nitrate

0'132
бо

0'5 0'5 07
I 20

02
240

ΟΥ
0'232
60

07
O'200
25 0'7

I'2
50
I'o

I'2

I'5 Ammonium nitrate

O'200
25 0'9

18 1.8 50 I'4

I'5 1'5 Calcium chloride

Oʻ132 бо

004 04 07 I20

02

0'4
240

0:15
O'200
25

I'3 1.8

3.0 50

2'o
25

2'5
0'232
60

07 Potassium carbonate ..

0200
25

traces 0*3

0'3 50

0'3

0-3 Ammonium sulphate .. 25

0'5 07

07 50

07 B.--EXPERIMENTS Carried out in BEAKERS HALF FILLED WITH LIQUID (500 cbc.) AND COVERED WITH UNSIZED

PAPER; DIAMETER OF Mouth OP BEAKER = 11'5 cm. Distilled water 25 004

0'5 0.8 50 04

I'2 1.8 120

I'o I'O I'2 240

I'2 I'2
Potassium nitrate

O'132
I20

I'O I'O
240

I'2
O'200
25 0'4

0'4 0'5
50
0'6

2'2

2'5 0'232

I 20
Ammonium nitrate

O'200
25 0'4

2'0
50
0.8

3'5 4'0 Calcium chloride

0'132
120

I'3 193 15
240

I'2
0200
25

13 I'5

2:8 50

2'0 3'0

35 0'232 120

1'5 Potassium carbonate..

O'200
25

0'2 03

0'3 50

03

0-3 Ammonium sulphate.. 25

0'7 I'O

13 50

07 I'O

195

97 0200

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C.-EXPERIMENTS CARRIED OUT IN BASINS FULL OF LIQUID (500 cbc.) AND COVERED WITH UNSIZED PAPER

DIAMETER OF MOUTH OF BASIN = 14'5 cm.
Distilled water

25
0.6

2'0 4'2 50 0:8

145 3'5 120

I'5
Potassium nitrate

0*132
I20

I'5
O'200

25
0.8
1:6

2.8 6.0
50
I'I

2:8

3'5 Ammonium nitrate

O'200

25
I'o

80

16'o 50 I'3

100

16'o Calcium chloriae

0132
120

1.8
O'200
25

200 3'0

5'5 50

2'5 3'5

4'5 Potassium carbonate..

0200
25

0-5 0°7

07 50

07 0'9

o'9 Ammonium sulphate ::

0 200
25

25 9'0

Ібо 50

2'5 7'5

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CHEMICAL NEWS

Nov. 24, 1876.

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Practical Portrait Photography.

225

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140

340

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D.-EXPERIMENTS CARRIED OUT IN CORKED FLASKS NEARLY FILLED WITH LIQUID (500 cbc.) THROUGH WHICH A

STREAM OF AIR WAS CONTINUALLY Passed.
Surfaces of

Total Lead in Milligrms. in Solution in the Liquid afterNature of Solution.

Lead Ex-
Litre.

42
posed in sq.cm.

138

168
336

505 hours. hours. hours.

hours. hours. hours. hours. hours. hours. Distilled water 25

I'5 2'0 Potassium nitrate

0132
25

I'2

I'5 240

0:8 Calcium chloride

O'200
25

3'5 3'5

35 50

0'5 05

? 0:5 Potassium carbonate.. 25

04 0.6 50

0:5 0'5

095 Ammanium sulphate.. 25

I'3 30

5'0 07 I'3

2'5 E.-Experiments Carried out in Beakers HALF FILLED WITH LIQUID (500 cbc.) and COVERED with UNSIZED

Paper: DIAMETER OF MOUTH OF BEAKER = 11'5 cm. THE LEAD WAS SUSPENDED IN THE LIQUID SO THAT

AN AMOUNT OF SURFACE, EQUAL TO THAT IMMERSED, was Exposed TO THE AIR.
Calcium chloride

O'200
25

25

3'5 50

2'1
3'5

4'0 Potassium carbonate ..

25

traces 02

0'3 50

0:5 07

0'7 Ammonium sulphate :: 25

0.8
1'5

2'5 50

I'O 2'o

35

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obtained; hence I was led to the belief that the action of with liquid and covered with porous paper I think the dilute saline solution upon lead is one which may be very conclusion may be deduced that there is generally an materially altered ty what appear at first sight to be increase of solvent action with increase of exposed sur. slight alterations in the conditions of the action. The face; this is especially evident in the case of those salts object of the experiments detailed in the present paper which increase the solvent action (nitrates, &c.) and after was, is possible, to determine more narrowly what these the lapse of considerable periods of time-300 to conditions are. The questions to which I shall endeavour 500 hours. The results of the experiments carried out in at present to give answers, partial though they must be, basins do not permit me to draw any general conclusion are these :-Does the amount of lead dissolved increase on the subject now under consideration; there is somewith increase of surface exposed to the action of the times an increase, at other times a decrease, in the solvent? Does the free admission of air to the surface, amount of lead dissolved associated with a fixed increase or the passage of air through the body of the liquid influ. in surface exposed. It would almost appear as if expoence the quantity of lead dissolved ? Do the solvent sure of the liquid to large surfaces of air was less fitted to actions of dilute saline solution upon lead continue during promote solvent action than exposure to smaller surfaces lengthened periods, or is there a limit reached after which of air. And the experiments carried out in flasks through little or no further action is exercised upon the lead ? which a stream of air continually passed seem to coun.

4. And, in the first place, does the amount of lead dis- tenance some such conclusion as this. In these experi. solved increase with increase of surface exposed to the ments there was invariably a diminution in the quantity action of the solvent ? In order to obtain an answer to of lead dissolved associated with an increase in the surthis question experiments were carried out with the same face exposed. It is only in the last set of experi. solvent, but with varying surfaces of lead exposed, and ments carried out in beakers half filled with water, and under somewhat varying conditions of action.

loosely covered, and having one half of the lead immersed The results of these experiments are presented in in the liquid and the rest exposed to the air-that an Table I.

increase in lead dissolved is invariably associated with These results do not point to a regular increase of lead increase of surface exposed. So far as the first inquiry is dissolved associated with increase of surface exposed. In concerned these experiments do not warrant the assumpcertain cases the amount of lead dissolved does increase tion of an invariable increase in the quantity of lead most notably as the surface exposed is increased, but in dissolved associated with an increase in the surface of other cases it diminishes. The other conditions affecting lead exposed to the action of the solvent. the solvent action appear to exercise a disturbing influ

(To be continued.) ence upon that one condition, the action of which it was desired to trace. Thus in the case of distilled water, wnether the surface of lead exposed measured 25 or 50 sq. cm. when the action was allowed to proceed for 42 hours,

NOTICES OF BOOKS. the amount of lead dissolved was the same, nor did carrying out the experiment in a corked flask, a beaker, or a basin loosely covered with porous paper, materially affect Practical Portrait Photography, &c. By WILLIAM the result. But when the action had proceeded for

HEIGHMAN. London: Piper and Carter. 340 hours, the conclusions to be drawn are found to be This little work would have been a much more satisfacvery considerably affected by the nature of the vessel em- tory performance had the author recollected its title and ployed. In closed flasks the amount of lead dissolved confined himself entirely to the manipulatory portion of slightly decreased with increase of surface exposed; in photography, which he has treated capitally, instead of beakers there was a very marked increase in lead dissolved constantly interlarding his practical directions with dicta with increase of surface exposed, while in basins again on the chemistry of the subject, which only serve to show increase of surface was associated with decrease of solvent once more that " a little learning is a dangerous thing." action. By looking at the experiments carried out in Mr. Heighman is evidently an expert manipulator who corked flasks I think it would be altogether unwarrantable has pu sued photography much more as an art than a to say that an increase of surface exposed is generally science: hence his descriptions of the various processes associated with an increase in quantity of lead dissolved. and his remarks on the artistic part of the matter are all Feom the experiments carried out in beakers half filled that can be desired. The chapters on “ Photographic

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226 The D-Lines Spectra Flame Examined by the Blowpipe. (CHNICAL NEWS,

{

Nov. 24, 1876. Æsthetics,” “Expression,"

," " Pose," " Illumination," and blast-furnaces, even in the upper part, was strikingly dis. “ Retouching," might be studied with advantage by many integrated. On analysis it was found that carbon had even of our first-class photographers, who are only too been deposited within the texture of the bricks to the frequently deficient in artistic taste and feeling. With extent of from 2'05 to 5.97 per cent, whilst the proportion this part of the book, however, we have but little concern. of potash present, amounting to 2.60 per cent in the

The numberless formulæ published in the columns of original brick, was increased in one case to 7.54 per cent. our photographic contemporaries, which are generally the The issue further contains papers on the “Casson. invention of some enthusiastic amateur who wants to Dormey Puddling Furnace," by Mr. E. F. Smith ; on make his name famous, have long since become so bewil. “Cleveland Steel Rails ;" on“ Overcoming Steep Gradi. dering to the professional photographer who is desirous ents on Railways," by Mr. H. Handyside ;” “ Notes on of improving his art to the utmost, that a work like the Iron-Ore Deposits at Naeverhaugen, Bodo, Norway," by present, giving new and tried recipes, will be warmly wel. | Mr. Thorsten Nordenfelt;" on Improved Casting Arcomed by him. The practical worker now.a-days has no rangements for the Siemens-Martin Process," by Mr. time for trying experiments; the consequence is that a Michael Scott; together with “ Reports on the Progress new formula or the improvement of an old one is quite a of the Iron and Steel Industries in Foreign countries and rarity in the annals of photography. These remarks in the United Kingdom. apply with still greater force to the amateur, who, as a rule, is too much given to run after worthless novelties in the way of sensitising baths and developing solutions.

CORRESPONDENCE.
Mr. Heighman's remarks on precision and cleanliness will
be found most valuable to all classes of photographers.
The author himself is apparently excessively precise and

THE SOCIETY OF PUBLIC ANALYSTS. cleanly in manipulation, and we question whether some of his methods would succeed with the hurried professional

To the Editor of the Chemical News. or careless amateur. His recommendation to coat the glass plate with ammoniated albumen before coating it Sir, — The time has arrived when those members who, with collodion would, we fear, prove a failure in most

like myself, consider that the present editorship is com. cases. With great perfection of manipulation, no doubt, promising the Society of Public Analysts have to choose the albumen and ammonia will not injure the silver-bath, from the Society. The irregularities in the Society, and

between making a change in the editorship and retiring but perfection is not attained by everybody. The arrangement of the dark room is more fully dwelt upon than in the want of vitality shown by the scantiness of the attendmost manuals of the kind, but the directions for doctoring

ance at the ordinary meetings, and by other unmistakable spoilt and worn-out baths are too complicated for general signs, discourage the effort to attempt a reformation, and, practice. An odd omission, too, occurs in the remedy for following the example of our Treasurer, I am adopting a too acid bath. Liquor ammoniæ is to be dropped in the easier course of retiring from the Society. I have laid until a black precipitate is formed, but nothing is said down my office of Vice-President, and ceased to be a about subsequent filtration and acidification, without which member of the Society of Public Analysts. I am, &c., the bath would be distinctly alkaline. In the directions

J. ALFRED WANKLYN. for making a negative bath the learner is told to dissolve 117, Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, London, W. silver nitrate in water, to iodise it in the usual manner,

November 18, 1876. after which it is to be filtered and made alkaline with liquor ammoniæ; it is then exposed to the sunlight, when THE D-LINES SPECTRA FLAME EXAMINED it deposits “ organic matter as thick mud at the bottom of the bottle !" May we ask Mr. Heighman whence this

BY THE BLOWPIPE. organic matter comes ? At page 22 the author states that " the effect of acid in the bath is to decompose any organic

To the Editor of the Chemical News. matter present in the solution," whereas at page 28 he Sir,—The communications of your contributor, Major says that “ acid holds the organic matter in solution.” Ross, are—so often as they are confined to the subject of Surely Mr. Heighman's ink must have been strongly Pyrology”-sometimes interesting, and always amusing. alkaline when he wrote this portion of his manual. But it does not seem to occur to Major Ross that when

The style of the book is, to say the least of it, eccen- they treat of subjects "external to the pyrocone," they are tric. “Graduate " for graduated measure, “flow" for not brilliantly candescent, and that they may, besides, do pour or coat, and "skylight” for glass room, are certainly positive harm. For it is not impossible to suppose that not Queen's English. We hope to see another edition of among the readers of the CHEMICAL News there may be this really useful work, but divested of all such defects as numbered some who may think that, notwithstanding the we have pointed out. There are also several misprints accumulated evidence to the contrary, Major Ross has that ought to be corrected, such as “hyposulphate” for raised a reasonable doubt that the D-lines in the spectrum “ hyposulphite," " liquor ammonia” for “ammoniæ." are produced, not by sodium, but by water, and that the

series of experiments which he adduces in proof are a fair

specimen of the experimental method as followed by cheThe Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute, 1876. Lon- mists; and if this be so, it may be desirable to point out don: E. and F. N. Spon.

-(1) That at a “white heat" the sodium salt adherent This issue contains the respective discussions on Mr. to platinum wire or foil is readily volatilised, and soon Sandberg's paper on “ The Strength of Rail Joints," and fails to afford the spectrum characteristic of sodium, while on Mr. Snelus's paper on “ Fire-Clays and other Refrac- at a lower temperature—the salt being less volatile-the tory Materials.” In this latter much weight was laid on spectrum is more permanent. (2) That the absorption of the importance of an accurate determination of potash an orange flame (sic) by fused boracic acid, and the con. and soda, the constituents which mainly imparted a sequent opacity of the latter, is not positive evidence of the fusible character to clays. There is also a discussion on absence of sodium in that flame. the “Use of Molten Iron Direct from the Blast-Furnace But Major Ross, who writes as if he really believed in for Bessemer Purposes ;” and papers on the “Uses of his own theory, will hardly, I think, gain many co-believers Ferro-Manganese," by M. F. Gautier, of Paris; on the among scientific men unless he can demonstrate that, "Ferroux Rock Drill and Air Company,” by Mr. H. W. (a) A vacuum tube containing sodium on platinum points Pendred; and on “Carbon and other Deposits from the will not, on the passage of an electric spark, give the D. Gases of Blast-Furnaces in Cleveland," by Mr. J. Pattin- lines unless it also contains water; and (b) that water son. It appears that the fire-brick lining of certain which he can prove to be free from sodium will give them

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