Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/441

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

polysulphide of calcium, a one-in-five solution of chloride of manganese, a one-in-five solution of sulphate of iron, a one-in-five solution of borate of soda, a one-in-five solution of tannic acid, a one-in-ten solution of sulphate of quinine, a one-half solution of hyposulphite of soda, essence of turpentine, and monobromide of camphor; of gases, ammonia, sulphurous acid, and chloroform. A saturated solution of oxalic acid, a one-in twenty solution of permanganate of potash, a one-in-five solution of soda, vapor of chlorine, and sulphide of carbon, destroyed the fresh virus, but had no effect on that which had been dried, while the activity of the latter was destroyed only by solutions of carbolic acid (two per cent), salicylic acid (1 in 1,000), nitrate of silver (1 in 1,000), sulphate of copper (1 in 5), boric acid (1 in 5), saturated salicylic alcohol, corrosive sublimate (1 in 5,000), and bromine vapor. Thus many substances, unanimously regarded as antiseptic, were without effect upon the virus, even in the fresh state. This is the case with pure and camphorated alcohol, with which surgeons are accustomed to wash their instruments, quicklime, with which dead bodies are consumed, etc.

 

The Poisons in Tobacco-Smoke.—Herr Kissling, of Bremen, has published a useful paper on the poisonous constituents of tobacco-smoke, among which he specifies as strong in quality, carbonic oxide, sulphureted hydrogen, prussic acid, picoline bases, and nicotine. The first three substances, however, occur in such small proportions, and their volatility is so great, that their share in the action of tobacco-smoke on the system may be neglected. The picoline bases, too, are present in comparatively small quantity; so that the poisonous character of the smoke may be almost exclusively attributed to the large proportion of nicotine present. Only a small part of the nicotine in a cigar is destroyed by the process of smoking, and a relatively large proportion passes off with the smoke. The proportion of nicotine in the smoke depends, of course, essentially on the kind of tobacco; but the relative amount of nicotine which passes from a cigar into smoke depends chiefly on how far the cigar has been smoked, as the nicotine-content of the unsmoked part of a cigar is in inverse ratio to the size of this part that is, more nicotine the shorter the part. Evidently, in a burning cigar, the slowly advancing zone of glow drives before it the distillable matters, so that in the yet unburned portion a constant accumulation of them takes place. More, relatively, of this substance passes into smoke in the case of cigars that are poor in nicotine than in the case of cigars with much of that substance. Nicotine, notwithstanding its high boiling-point, has remarkable volatility.

 

Fisheries of New York.—According to the reports of the Census Bureau, New York is fourth in the list of fish-producing: States the value of its products being $4,380,565, but it holds a still more prominent position in several special branches. Its menhaden fisheries are more extensive than those of any other State, its yield of the products of that branch being more than half that of the whole country. The value of its oyster-products, $1,577,050, is greater than that of any of the other States, except Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey. It returns the largest quantities of clams, both hard and soft; and it ranks third in respect to the shad-fisheries. Seven thousand two hundred and sixty-six of its inhabitants, and $2,629,585 of capital are engaged in the fishing industries.

 

Liquid Air and Solid Alcohol.—M. Cailletet, a French chemist, some time ago succeeded, by liquefying ethyline and causing it to boil, in producing a temperature of -105° C. (-157° Fahr.), at which he liquefied a few gases under strong pressure, and even caused oxygen to approach the liquid state. M. Wroblewski, of Cracow, one of his pupils, continuing the experiments, has, by boiling liquid ethyline in a vacuum, produced a temperature of -136°C. (21245° Fahr.), at which sulphuret of carbon and alcohol were congealed, and oxygen and nitrogen became liquid. The change in the form of oxygen was obtained on the 9th of April in three experiments in which the conditions of pressure (2212 to 2612 atmospheres) and temperature were slightly but not essentially varied. Liquid oxygen is transparent and colorless, differing in this from ozone, which