Billeder på siden

But to resume the process. The Iron-stoue when sufficiently roasted, is broken into small pieces, and after a fire of coke has obtained a sufficient intensity, thrown into the furnace by a small quantity at a time, accompanied by a proportionate quantity of flux. "The Ore gradually subsides into the hottest part of the furnace, where it becomes fused; the earthy part being converted into a kind of glass; while the metallic part is reduced by the coal and falls through the vitreous matter to the lowest place. The quantity of fuel, the additions and the heat must be regulated, in order to obtain iron of any desired quality; and this quality must likewise, in the first product, be necessarily different, according to the parts which compose the ore."

Perhaps it may be necessary to mention, that the furnaces made use of for smelting Iron ore, are from 16 to 30 feet high, and shaped within according to the taste or judgment of the iron-master. They are of that kind called Blast-Furnaces, having an aperture near the bottom for inserting the pipe of a pair of large bellows, generally worked by steam or by water, and which are so constructed as to keep up as nearly as possible, a continual current of air. Various apertures are left at convenient places in the sides of these furnaces, which may be opened and shut at pleasure. Their use is to permit the scoria or the metal to flow out, whenever the process may require it.

When a sufficient quantity of the fluid metal is collected at the bottom of the furnace, which is generally twice in the course of twenty four hours, one of the apertures is opened, and the metal suffered to run out along a channel or groove made in a bed of sand, which serves only as a road or canal, to conduct it into small channels which are connected with it on each side, and which form altogether an appearance something similar to the trunk of a tree, and its branches. In these channels or moulds the metal is received, here it cools, becomes solid, and consequently retains the form given to it by the hollowed furrows.

These pieces of Cast-Iron have their technical denominations; the larger one or trunk of the tree being called a sow, and each of the lesser ones a pig.

This however is but a very crude imperfect metal, and without another fusion, unfit even for casting into moulds to form any utensils; that therefore which is intended to be cast into ovens, boilers, saucepans, kettles, &c. is remelted in a lesser furnace, from which it is taken in iron ladles and carried to the respective moulds.

The Iron thus produced, though the parcels may frequently vary very much from each other, may in general be reduced to one or other of the following


1. WHITE CRUDE IRON. This is brilliant in its fracture, of a crystallized texture, more brittle than the two following, completely immalleable, and so hard as perfectly to resist the file.

2. GREY CRUDE IRON. This is granulated and dull in its texture, not so hard and brittle as the former, and is useful for the manufactory of artillery, or any other articles which require boring and turning.

3. BLACK CAST IRON. This is very coarse in its texture, and compared with the others bas very little adhesion. It is generally re-fused with the first kind.

Thus having traced the getting of the Ore to its reduction into metal, our next chapter shall be devoted to the converting of that crude, and comparatively useless mass, into (so different are their properties) what might almost be termed a new metal; IRON, malleable, infusible, and capable of being welded; to converting this Iron into Steel, and that Steel into the finest of its kind, a production without which our native workinen would not have been able to establish their superiority of manufacture and polish over all the Artists of the Continent, and even over those of all the world.

Original Correspondence, Selections, &c.



To the Editor of the Northern Star.

In looking over the Literary Panorama for this month, I felt rather interested in the following article, inserted on page 969, under the head Switzerland.

"A Society for the promotion of Natural Philosophy was established at Geneva, in October 1815. Among the Rules adopted by this institution was one which imported that the Society should, assemble as a Body, and hold a meeting during three days, in the cities of Switzerland, in rotation. The town first fixed on for this purpose was Berne; and accordingly the members assembled there on October 3, 4 and 5, under the presidency of M. Wyttenbach, who opened the Sessions with a discourse on the objects and importance of the Society.

"The experiments and information communicated on the occasion, included the safety lamp of our countryman Sir H. Davy, the luminous pile of Dr. Wollaston, and the new azimuth compass of Kater. A memorial of a deceased Member was also read.

"The principal rules of this Society are the following:

". The object of this association is, to encourage and enlarge the study of Nature in general, and particularly the Natural History of Switzerland..

2. The Members shall meet once every year during three days, in the cities of Arau, Basle, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, St. Gall, and Zurich, "3. A new President shall be chosen every year. 4. Strangers are admitted as Honorary Members.

"The Society is divided into Six Classes; Natural Philosophy and Chemistry, Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy, Medicine, Agriculture and Technology.

"Prize Questions will be admitted.

"We believe that this is the only Scientific Society, of which Perambulation is a principle: certainly it must be exceeding pleasant to a number of intelligent and well-informed men to enjoy each other's friendship and liberal intercourse during three days; not merely within doors, but also on such excursions, botanizing, &c. to which the Season may invite. Is Switzerland the only country in which a recreation so delightful, animating, and profitable, is practicable ?"


As a native of Yorkshire I answer No. But as assertions are not proofs, be necessary to give the affair a calm and candid consideration.


Our County is populous and extensive, abounding every where with subjects for the investigation of Philosophers, and offering the greatest facilities for such investigation. Its Natural History is but little known; of its products nothing conclusive has been published; it has only been visited by Agriculturists, and all their observations have been bounded by one sole object, the state of the country and the consequent improvement of its culture; while its mineralogy, its botany, its commerce, its technology have been altogether neglected, or skimmed over so as to afford no satisfactory results.

An Institution of a Nature similar to this, but modified according to the existing circumstances of time and place, cannot but be every way useful both to the County itself and the Kingdom at large.

In Yorkshire however, at least in the Southern part of it, we are in want of Philosophical Societies of a more local kind, and your intelligent correspondent "Philo" in your second number has endeavoured to call the attention of his brother Yorkshiremen to the subject. Whether any thing has in consequence been acted upon or not, is not for me to say; but that such local Societies may be easily established, we have the evidence of a neighbouring town in a bordering County, where a Society was formed and continued many years, if it is not yet in existence, on the following simple plan.

The Members entered into a regular subscription for defraying such expenses as were necessary, and in order to avoid the renting of any room for their meetings, they held them on a certain day in every month at the house of some one of the members in regular rotation, each member knowing when it would be his turn to provide a room for his brethren.

Here then is the spirit of the Swiss perambulating meetings, though on a smaller scale. Could not similar societies be formed in various towns in Yorkshire, and would it be difficult afterward to form all these into one general Institution, which should hold its meetings like that above spoken of, in one of the various towns where the integrant societies were formed, once every sum mer, in an order to be arranged and determined on afterwards?

These hints Sir, I should like to submit to the consideration of your readers. To establish Institutions which shall have the improvement of Society, and the extension of Knowledge for their basis, must at all times be desirable; and if by these suggestions I can but rouse the dormant energies of my county, to such an exertion in the cause of Science, as they have often evinced their capability of on less important occasions, I shall with the true “amor patriæ” of my province, feel myself on that account at least, a happy

Pontefract, September 7, 1817.




To the Editor of the Northern Star

In a Wood (but you may probably be well acquainted with the situation) a little above the village of Grimesthorp, in the Township of BrightsideBierlow, and Parish of Sheffield, directly on the summit of a very high hill, are the remains of an ancient mound and trench, of a form nearly approaching to the circular, but rather irregular in its figure, is if laid ont without the help of any very accurate instruments.

This circle measures from North-East to South-West about one hundred and sixty yards in diameter, from the outside of the mound. The trench is very deep, and the slope of the mound proportionally high, but being at present overgrown with trees, shrubs, brambles and briers, it is very difficult of measurement. One bridle road runs across it, nearly in the direction of a diameter, and another passes along the inner side of the mound for nearly a quarter of its circumference, joining the other road at its North-Eastern egress.

From this mound, a raised road or bank runs in a direction nearly NorthEast, and passing Meadow Hall, Kimberworth, the upper side of Bradgate, &c. is traceable to within a short distance of Mexborough. It is in various parts of its course distinguished by a different name. Near the village of Wincobank it is called the Roman Rigg, a little below it receives the name of "Dane's Bank," near Bradgate it is called the "Bauk, &c." but whatever it ought to be, or to what it owes its origin I have not been able to determine.

Dr. Whitaker the able historian of Manchester, and Author of some of our most elaborate and valuable topographical publications, some years ago in company with a Mr. John Jervis of Sheffield, paid a visit to the remains at Wincobank, and gave them a very close examination. What was the result of his

[ocr errors]

-The more Sir, I re

investigation has not I believe yet been made public. flect on the remains, the less I am persuaded of its being a Roman work, though I am well convinced of its having been an encampment of some kind, and forined too in an early age. The camps of the Romans were generally square, and if of any other form, were always made with that attention to regularity, that might be expected from a nation at its acme of refinement; now this as before mentioned is irregular, or rather such an imitation of a circle, as as we might expect to have seen traced by a savage people, to whom the meaning of radius, or diameter was utterly unknown. The encampment not more than two miles distant, known by the name of Templeborough, is a specimen of regularity worthy of the Roman nation, and which on the slightest glance, points itself out as the work of a people far different from that which formed the one at Wincobank; therefore, they cannot both be Roman. Now Templeborough, is proved to have been a Roman station; 1st from its being situated directly on one of their well known Military Roads; 2ndly, from the vestigia which have been found there; and 3dly, by its name. Now Wincobank has none of these supports, and what I should conceive a still more cogent reason, must have been entirely unnecessary to the Romans, either in their wars, or when they were in the peaceable possession of the Island.

Now whether this was anterior or posterior, to the Roman invasion or domination, remains to be considered. If anterior, its for points it out as a Druidical vestige, and its situation will well support the conjecture; for it is in the centre of a large wood; but allowing the wood to be of after formation, it is situated on an eminence which commands an extensive landscape on every side, in fact where the whole country for a radius of many miles is laid out like a map around it. Here then might their priests exercise their public rites, hence might they promulgate their decrees, and on this point assemble their warriors to repel an invading foe. It cannot certainly boast of the massy piers and transoms of Stone-henge, nor of the rude unshapen blocks of Arbor-lowe, but these were not always the necessary accompaniments of Druidism, for we have undoubted evidence of many situations, having been the scites of some of their temples, or rather of their places of assemblage, which are not marked out by any stone whatever.

What will again strengthen the conjecture of these remains being anterior to the establishment of the Romans in this. The Britons particularly in this part of the country disputed every inch of land with their invaders; driven from one post, they re-collected their scattered forces on another, always acting in such a manner as to barrass the straggling parties of their enemies.

Now the Romans appear to have followed in their conquest the course of the river, and as they gained ground, to erect forts on its banks, in order to secure the country in their rear, and enable themselves to make a stand against any attack in front; thus they would probably from Danum, approach Conisbrough, construct a ford to secure the river, erect another fort at Mexbrough, a third probably at Aldwark or Masbrough, and constructing another ford, lastly build, (if it may be called building) the station at Templeborough. The


[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »