A new material, says a London paper, for paving is now being introduced into London. It is composed of granulated cork and bitumen pressed into blocks, which are laid like bricks or wood paving. The special advantage of the material lies in its elasticity. When used for pavement it gives a soft tread which is exceedingly pleasant, recalling the feel of a carpet. In roadways it furnishes a splendid foothold for horses, and at the same time almost abolishes the noise which is such an unpleasant feature of city traffic. A short piece of pavement is to be seen in Liverpool street, E. C.; while the outlet to Tickford’s yard in Gresham street is laid with this material. It yet remains to be seen how it will bear the ordinary traffic of a London street, but there is evidence to show that in Australia short pieces of roadway have given good results. A company called the Patent Cork I’avment Company, Limited, of 7, Great St. Helens, E. C., is undertaking the manufacture in this country.
SUBSTITUTE FOR GLASS AND Celluloid.—A new giasslike material which may be used for a great variety ot purposes has been produced by Frederick Eckstein of Vienna. It is made by dissolving four to eight partsof collodion wool in about loo parts by weight of ether or alcohol, adding two to four per cent of castor oil, and four to ten per cent of rosin or Canada balsam, and drying upon a glass plate at a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The com|>ound soon solidifies into a transparent sheet, having substantially the properties of glass. It resists the action of salts, alkalies and dilute acids, and has the advantage over glass of being flexible. It may be colored or ornamented with printed designs. The addition of magnesium chloride reduces its inflammability, and zinc white gives it the appearance of ivory, adapting it for use for cuffs, shirt fronts, etc. Increasing the relative proportions of castor oil and rosin imparts to it the toughness and pliability of leather, and it may even be made into driving belts.
WHERE WHETSTONES COME From.—A deposit made in a very early geological period in the old river bed near Ratisbon, Germany, furnishes the stone from which is made the German razor hone, preferred by barbers over all others for sharpening razors. This deposit varied in color, being white in some years and blue in others. Both afterward hardened into stone, and the white layers, being much the best, are the material chosen, the blue stone being used only for the base or back of the hone. For sharpening other keen-edged tools, the snowwhite “ novaculite” or “ altered schist ” of Arkansas is preferred to any other stone, and is chiefly obtained from a single hill in that State, which supplies not only the American market but also a considerable foreign demand. The long spike or “ steel,” as it is called, which housekeepers use for sharpening kitchen and carving knives, may be of either the dark gray “ Labrador stone ” of Cortland county, New York, or another gray sandstone called “ Hindustan stone,” which comes from Orange county, Indiana. Of foreign whetstones used in this country, one, the Turkey oil stone, resembles the novaculite of Arkansas ; another, a fine-grained schist known as the “ Water of Ayr,” which comes from Scotland, is used by carpenters and stone-cutters for rubbing down the surface of other stones. The grindstones used in this country come mostly from Ohio and Novia Scotia, the latter variety being preferred, especially for scythes. Of foreign grindstones the main supply is from England.
ELECTRICITY AND Water.—Electricity will find one of its most extensive and advantageous uses in the utilization of water power. An example of this on a large scale is presented at Dover, N. H., where a water-wheel giving 500 horse power is turned by the Salmon Kails river and supplies power for the dynamos which operate the electric street railway and the electric lights of Dover, and also furnishes electric energy to sev;ral neighboring towns.
THE ORDINANCES OF Secession.—The beginning of the Civil war in the United States dates from the secession from the Union of the Southern States in the sprfng of 1861. The ordinances of secession were passed by these States in the following order: By South Carolina, December 20, i860; Florida, January 7. 1861 ; Mississippi, January 9, 1861 ; Alabama, January 11, 1861 ; Georgia, January 19, 1861 ; Louisiana, January 26, 1861 ; Texas, February 7, 1861 ; Virginia, April 17, 1861 ; Arkansas, May 6, 1861 ; Tennessee, May, 1861 ; North Carolina, May 20, 1861.
IRON Paper.—Smooth paper which could be easily written on has been made by rolling iron into sheets so thin that 1S00 of them made a pile only an incli high. It is said that 1200 sheets of the thinnest tissue paper make a thickness of a little more than an inch, from which comparison the marvelous delicacy of the iron sheet may be in some degree appreciated. The iron paper, however, has no special utility, according to The London Papermaker, which states that this extreme thinness was attained in a contest which began with the display of a specimen of iron paper in the great exhibition of 1851, and was kept up merely as an encounter ol skill among rival manufacturers.