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The First Piece of American Hollow Ware.—In the first of Mr. Durfee's series of articles on Early Steps in Iron-making, in The Popular Science Monthly for December, 1890, "a small iron pot capable of containing about one quart," which was cast at Lynn, Mass., in 1645, was mentioned as having been the first piece of hollow ware made in America. Mr. Durfee added that "this pioneer of all American-made castings was in existence in 1844, but recent efforts [by C. H. J. Woodbury] to ascertain its whereabouts have been unsuccessful." We are informed by the Lynn Daily Item that Mr. Durfee's article attracted the attention of F. W. Pope, of Lynn, who happened to have recently seen the pot, and made a photographic picture of it. We give an engraving of it. The pot is in the possession of the sons of Alonzo Lewis, the historian and poet, whose description of the Saugus Iron Works is quoted by Mr. Durfee. It is an heirloom, having descended to the present owners through their father from "Thomas Hudson, of Linne," the original possessor. It holds less than a quart, and weighs two pounds thirteen ounces. When photographed by Mr. Pope, it was standing on a common tea-plate; and there was room enough on the flat bottom of the plate to accommodate its spreading legs and leave an ample border of flat around them.
Metal Railway Ties.—A large share, probably twenty per cent, of the timber cut in this country is used by the railroads, and an important item in this portion is the quantity used for ties. With the purpose of lessening the drain upon our forest resources, the Forestry Division of the Department of Agriculture is endeavoring to lead the railroads to substitute iron ties for wood. A Report on the Substitution of Metal for Wood in Railroad Ties, made by E. E. Russell Tratman, has been published by the department, in order to furnish the companies with information in regard to the use of iron ties, and thereby facilitate their general adoption. The report is introduced by A Discussion on Practicable Economies in the Use of Wood for Railway Purposes, by B. E. Fernow, Chief of the Forestry Division, in which suggestions are given as to seasoning and preserving wooden ties, the use of improved tie plates, and also in regard to the use of stone and metal for buildings, bridges, etc., of hedges for fencing, and of metal for rolling stock. The report of Mr. Tratman gives detailed information respecting the use of different systems of iron ties in all quarters of the world. Outside of the United States and Canada there are reported 25,000 miles of railroad laid with metal ties. The most in any one country is in British India, where there are over 9,000 miles; Germany has nearly as much; and the Argentine Republic is third, with 3,500. In the United States, with a total mileage of 161,000, or four ninths of the whole mileage of the world, there are only two miles of metal track. Egypt has nearly 900 miles, and the rest of Africa makes up 400 miles more. In little Holland there are 329 miles,