Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/547

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pose. It is, however, very much cheaper; and this, in the estimation of many, more than compensates for the less convenient form. Certain it is that much more cement than felt is used as a non-conducting covering.

The paint finds extensive application; a layer of it, while not rendering a wooden surface absolutely fire-proof, is yet proof against sparks and slight flames, and thus prevents the spread and increase of many an incipient fire.

In the form of rope it is used in the construction of fire-escapes and supports that may have to withstand fire. We have also asbestus paper. As a wall-paper it aids in rendering a building fire-proof. In the form of writing and printing paper it presents a fire-proof paper that may be used in valuable legal and commercial documents.

Not only does our mineral resist high temperatures, but it is also proof against the action of the majority of chemicals. It therefore forms a very valuable substance for use in filtering apparatus, especially where acid and alkaline liquids which corrode ordinary filtering paper and cloth have to be dealt with. As a filtering medium it is used not only in chemical laboratories, but in manufacturing establishments as well.

Though the asbestus industry is only in its infancy, many other uses might be mentioned; but, bearing in mind that it is possible to produce from it fire-proof fabrics of any form or shape, there will readily occur to the mind of the reader many other possible applications of this curious product of Nature's laboratory which has waited so long for an opportunity to minister to the comfort, convenience, and safety of man.


EVERY season has its peculiar flowers. Even in our extremely irregular climate there are few times in the year when we can not have some pretty blossom to admire. The explorations that are made into all the quarters of the globe, with importations that have followed them, have endowed our flora with such a number of varieties that we may say we have only to choose from among them to get the handsomest there are. There are few flowers that do not wear an infinite charm, and very few are those which fail to make an impression with their elegant form and fresh colors. Some among them, however, unite in themselves such combinations of qualities that they are lifted above their fellows, and occupy a place of honor among