HOUSES BUILT OF COTTON.
Of all substances apparently the least likely to be used in the construction of a fire-proof building, cotton would, perhaps, take the first rank and paper the second; and yet both these materials are actually being employed for the purpose indicated, and there use will probably extend. Compressed paper pulp is successfully used in the manufacture of doors, wall panelings, and for other similar purposes, with the result that all risks of warping and cracking is obviated, while increased lightness is attained and the fear of dry-rot is forever banished. Papiermache, after having served a useful purpose in an unobstructive manner for years as a material for small trays, paper knives and other such light articles, has now suddenly assumed a still more important position in the industrial world. A still more sudden and striking advance has been made in the employment of co ton as a building material. A preparation called celluloid, in which cotton is a leading ingredient, has been used lately as a substitute for ivoiy in the manufacture of such articles as billiard-balls and paper cutters, and now a Canadian manufacturer has invented a process by which compr. ssed cotton may be used, not merely for doors and window-frames, but for the whole facade of large buildings. The enormous and in reasing demand for paper for its normal uses as a printing and writing material prevents the extended use of the papier-mache as a building material, for which it is so well suited in so many ways; but the production of cotton is practically unlimited, and there seems to be a large field available for i’s use in i s new cap .city as a substitute for bricks—or at least plaster—and wood. Treated with certain chemicals ard compressed, it can be made perfectly fire-proof and as hard as stone, absolutely air and damp proof; and a material is thus produced admirably adapted for the lining—internal or external—of buildings of which the shell may or may not be made of other material while it easily lends itself to d-corative purposes.