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storing on the powers of even the best kind, I confidently recommend Mr. Siddon’s preparation to the sportsmen of Bengal. Those who once try the smokeless cotton in a tiger encounter will not readily forego its use for this and similar purposes. I should add that it is not suited for the patent breech, but it answers admirably in the military two-grooved rifle. I have no apprehension about its alleged bursting properties. I have now used it with pistols and rifles, and witnessed its use with cannon and mortars to such an extent, as to warrant my expressing the most decided opinion, that regarding the best kind of cotton as 4 times the strength of powder all ordinary proportional charges may be used with but the same risk as would be attendant on the explosion of powder. The extraordinarily effective use of cotton in mining or blasting has been already proved by the extensive trials made in Europe. Here again cost is the only objection to be vanquished.
I should not conclude however without stating for the consolation of the powder interest that for the manufacture of rockets the cotton is apparently useless-neither would it produce the effect of powder if fired in bags against a gate, as in the memorable instance of Ghuzni ; nor can it be used in the loading of Shrapnell shells.
I have now endeavoured to give an impartial account of the merits and defects of this new explosive. In the hands of the Artillery officers at Dum-Dum it could not but have met a candid and liberal trial—and although the Select Committee with myself may be but of one opinion as to the present inapplicability of gun cotton to military purposes, all must participate in the feeling that the utmost credit is due to Professor Schoenbein for his most interesting and promising invention.
TABLE Of observations on hygrometric properties of the best kind of Gun
Cotton. The cotton used was of the finest kind, 100 grains were dried till it ceased to loose weight, were placed in the left pan of a Kater's balance, sensible to Too of a grain. The frame of the balance was perforated so as to allow the air to circulate freely through it. 6th February, 1847. 4 p. m. grains 100.00 Remarks. 7th, ....
100.40 2 p. m. 100.23 4 p. m. 100.20
8 a. m.
p. 7 a. m. »
Remarks. 100.47 100.25 100.60 Night cloudy, W.S. 100.44 100.67 100.74 Clouded all day. 100.84 100.91 Very cloudy. 100.54 100.90 100.64 101.14 A thick mist. 100.80 100.60 Day bright. 101.20 Thick mist. 100.90 100.74 100.63 100.43 House opened up a few
5 p. m. 51 p. m.
minutes previous to ob
servation. 101.07 Thick fog. 101.20 Some rain at 9 a. m. 100.43 100.97 101.00 Sky overcast ; Therm. 74°. 100.95 Occasional showers all day. 100.83 Ditto. 100.93 Ditto. 101.23 Clouded all day. 101.33 Ditto. 101.30 Ditto. 100.80 Ditto. 100.63 Sky bright, W. N. W. 100.55 Ditto. 100.40 Ditto. 100.23 Ditto.
99.96 Ditto. 100.30 Therm. 74o.
7 a. m.
Therm. 64. 100.40 100.10 Therm. 74o. 100.90 Cloudy. 100.23 Clear. Therm. 76o. 100.29 Ditto. 100.59 Thick fog. Therm. 72o. 100.53 100.23 Bright. 101.00 Fog. Therm. 73o. 100.63 Bright. Therm. 81°. 101.20 Fog. Therm. 74°. W. S. 100.73 Bright. Therm. 83° W. S.
doors and windows open
ed just after observation. 100.63 Being a loss of 00.10 in
25 minutes. 101.13 Fog just cleared off. 101.20 Bright.
5 p. m.
7 a. m. 8 a. m.
101.10 Therm. 73o.
breeze. Therm. 71°. 99.40 99.56 Ditto. Therm. 84°. 99.70
99.50 W. N. E. Therm. 84°.
Estimate showing the actual cost of manufacturing 3 lbs. of Gun Cotton, mixed quality. Acids at Calcutta prices.Description of Articles. Quantity.
Cost. Total cost in Co.'s Rs.
Equal to 5rs. 7ans. 8 p. per lb. mixed, = to 10. 15. 4 for 1 lb. of the best kind.
An estimate to manufacture 1} lb. of best Gun Cotton, assuming that the cost of Nitric Acid ought only to be 3 as. per lb. and that of the Acid can be reco. vered by re-distillation, after use. The Sulphuric Acid not to be charged, as nearly the whole of it is recovered by reconcentration. Description of Articles. Quantity.
Cost. Total cost in Co.'s Rs.
Rs. A. P. Tolas 651=17lbs. @3 as. per lb.
3 4 9 Ditto 810 21 lbs.
Nil. Ditto 100 3 lbs. @16 Rs. per md.
0 8 0 Total, ....
3 12 9 Equal to 2 rs. 9 ans. 6 p. per lb.
Examination of some Atmospheric Dust from Shanghae, forwarded to
the Asiatic Society of Bengal by D. J. MacGowan, Esq. M. D.
SHOWER OF ASHES OR DUST.
Ningpo, June 5th, 1846. SIR, - I beg to enclose for the Meteorological annals of the Asiatic Society, the subjoined communication from Mr. Bellott, the scientific surgeon of H. M. Ship Wolf. I have been unable to obtain any information from men, or books, in relation to showers of ashes (such things readily escaping the notice of Chinese observers) though from the proximity of this part of the coast of China, to the volcanic chain which girts the eastern and southern shores of Asia, and the force of the N. E. Monsoon, phenomena of this description might be occasionally expected. I have however learnt from Dr. Robertson of H. C. Steamer Nemesis (stationed at this port) that on the day in question (viz. 15th March,) he and some other officers noticed similar appearances to those described by Dr. Bellott, vegetation being covered with sand, and parts of the vessel, and the atmosphere misty. Wind was N. E. At the time I was absent at Chusan, where I am not aware that any sand or dust was perceptible. If I may presume on an opinion I should refer the phenomenon to volcanic action, and probably emanating from Mount Fusi, on the island of Niphon, the chief of the Japan archipelago. The altitude of Mount Fusi is about 14,000 feet, and it is regarded by the Japanese with awe, and wonder. Kæmpfer says, that “Poets cannot find words, nor painters skill and colours sufficient to represent it as they think it deserves.” It is subject to frequent eruptions, accompanied with earthquakes, which have destroyed vast numbers of villages. In the eruption of 1707, cinders were carried ten leagues, and ashes fell several inches thick at Dezima. The phenomenon referred to, although occurring in the remotest field of the Society's domain, is not, I think, without some degree of interest. I forward the small packet of sand transmitted to me by Mr. Bellott.
Yours very truly,
D. J. MACGOWAN. Copy of a letter from Thomas Bellott, Esq. Surgeon R. N., Fellow of the Royal
College of Surgeons, to Dr. Macgowan.
H. M. SHIP WOLF, Shanghae, March 16th, 1846. MY DEAR SIR,-1 transmit an account of a descent of fine sand that occurred at this place yesterday. On the 15th, the wind was N. N. E. in