A FIRE-RETARDENT COTTON BALE.
At Havre, France, the fire brigade recently put to a very severe test the fire-retardent qualities of the Lowry cylindrical cotton bale, as compared with the old-fashioned square bale. Two bales of American cotton, one square, the other cylindrical, were laid down in the yard of the local fire brigade, and in the presence of some merchants, brokers, etc, were set on fire with matches, candle, and petroleum lamp. The square bale was horizontally placed, and separated from the soil by several bricks, to make a current of air and thus simulate the conditions on the wooden pavements of the quays and of the warehouses upon which bales are generally laid down. As soon as the jute canvas was set on fire it was burned through in a few minutes, and fire began to reach the cotton over all its surface. The cylindrical bale was vertically placed not verv far from the square bale, and equally separated from the soil to make a current of air; the canvas was set on fire in the same manner as the square bale, and slowly cor.s med, but fire refused to attack the cylindrical part, because of the nressing of the cotton. The two ends alone burned slowly, without bursting away the wires that held the bale in its shape. The two bales had burned about four hours when the order was given to put out the fire; it was immediately executed with an apparatus similar to that used for making a shower-bath, in order to avoid harming the physical conditions of the bales. As soon as the fire was put out the bales were kept under observation in the yard. On the following morning a set of menders opened the bales and nicked the cotton out, sorting good, burnt, and damp. The weights were as follows Weight of square bale before the fire, 227 kilos; of the Lowry, no kilos; damp, 261. in; damaged cotton, 156, 29; good cotton. 105, 82; loss, 68.7 per cent., 26.3 per cent.