Leadership

Spontaneous Combustion.

Issue 24 and Volume 1878 1.

Spontaneous Combustion. A remarkable case of spontaneous ignition occurred a few years ago in England. A strong smell of fire was suddenly perceived to issue from a horse-hair mattress. The mattress was immediately cut open and it was discovered that the upholsterer had cheated ; that the mattress, which had cost so much, contained only a thin layer of horse-hair, while all the rest of the stuffing was made up of a mixture of coarsely-broken hemp and oakum—two substances which, it is well known, are liable to ignite upon mere contact with oil or fat. In the case in question, no doubt the ignition was caused by the bodily warmth of the person sleeping on the bed. Under similar circumstances a sofa recently ignited in Manchester. On investigation it was found that the sofa was upholstered with greasy refuse wool. The temperature in almost any room is high enough to…

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