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Railroad between Brussels and Antwerp.
The execution of the Railroad between Brussels and Antwerp was divided into two sections; the first reaching from Brussels to Malines, a distance, by the rails, of 134 English miles; and the second, from Malines to Antwerp, 14} miles. The Brussels and Malines Line has been completed, and traversed regularly by carriages for some time. The Malines and Antwerp Line has been recently completed, and on the 4th ult. was opened at Antwerp, in the presence of the king, queen, and court of Belgium, with great ceremony. The design, proposed advantages, and important consequences, of the undertaking, were pointed out in an address to the king, delivered by M. Rogier, the governor of Antwerp, to whom Belgium is principally indebted for the first impulse on the subject. He described it as the means by which Belgium is to be rendered by land what England and Holland are by sea,—a carrier of general commerce. Antwerp is now but an hour from Brussels; the Railroad is a link of that immense chain which, in a little time, will connect every state. In six or seven hours we may then enter Paris; in sixteen, Berlin; in sixty, Petersburgh. Upon a railroad, the tour of the world might be made in six weeks."
The country through which this Belgian line runs, presents, as might be expected, none of the usual causes of extra expense; no extensive viaducts, large bridges, or tunnels, were necessary. The clivities were extremely moderate; on the Brussels section, the greatest difference of level between any two points of the road is but thirty-two feet; on the Antwerp section, thirty-six feet. The Engineers were Messrs. Simmons and De Ridders, whose talents and exertions are spoken of as eminent and successful. The total cost of the whole line, exclusive of locomoteurs and wagons, was 3,200,000 fr. =128,0001., or about 45001. per mile.
Six journeys per day are now made from Brussels to Antwerp, and vice versa, between half-past 6 A.M. and half-past 6 P.M. The trains start simultaneously at Brussels and Antwerp, and meet at Malines. The whole length, including stoppages, is stated to be run in an hour and a half, and the average velocity to be twenty-two miles per hour. There are four kinds of carriages for passengers in each train. The Berlines at 34 francs-about 3s. ; the Diligences at 3 fr.—28. 6d.; the Char-a-bancs (covered), 2 fr.—ls. 10d.; and open wagons at i fr. 20 cents.-15. 2d. This means of reaching Brussels six times a day in an hour and a half, will give Antwerp an important advantage over the other steamer sea-ports. Two of the locomoteurs, the Stephenson, and another, were built in England, the other two, La Belge and L'Anversoise, one of 10, and the other of 20 horse-power, were constructed by Mr. Cockerill, in Belgium, at Seraing.
When the whole system of Railroad, now contemplated in Belgium, is completed, and which is sanguinely looked for by the end of 1839, Malines will be the centre from which four most important Railroads will radiate, viz., those of Brussels, Liege, Antwerp, and Ghent. Nothing will then be wanting to crown the undertaking with abundant success but that amelioration of the duties which M. Rogier entreated of the king,—that liberal system of Transit and Bond, by which merchandise, as well as passengers, may traverse the kingdom, from the sea to the Continent, and vice versa, with scarcely any evidence of its having changed elements or country.
Greenwich mean time. h.
inflamed in min. sec.
Observed Effects of the late Eclipse on Atmospheric Temperature and the
Heat of the Solar Rays. The spot selected by some observers of the eclipse, on the 15th ult., was the summit of Shooter's Hill, about six miles from London, near Woolwich, in Kent: latitude 51° 28' N., longitude in time 15 sec. E., by the Ordnance survey.
A Thermometer (marked A in the following table) was fully exposed to the sun's rays, before the commencement of the eclipse; another (B) was placed in the shade. Gunpowder was also exposed to the solar rays, concentrated by a lens, and the times observed that were required to inflame it. The times, observations, &c., are arranged in the following table ;
Gunpowder Stage of the Eclipse A
61°. I. 51 33 | Commencement, observed 2
1 by 2 persons 3 II. 25 00
63° 4 45 00
60° 5 54 00
0 12 6 III, 700
68° 7 15 00
Middle, greatest obscu15 19
iration 9 16 00
(64°, Greatest depres10 25 00
sion 28°, stationary 58°
Greatest 11 33 30
depression 31° 12 37 00
58° 13 39 00
3 30 14 45 00
0 15 15 47 00
58° 16 50 00
0 11 17 55 00
59° 18 IV. 16 00
59° 19 39 05, Ernsd.sbserved by 4 per-}
003 About the middle of the eclipse, the light assumed a very faint hue, similar to that of very early morning or late evening. The diminution of temperature at this time gave to the human frame a sensation of evening chilliness, to such a degree that the garden-flowers, around the lawn at the place of observation, appeared closing, as if for the night. The poultry commenced retiring as early as six minutes past three, and at the time of greatest obscuration, nine hens and a cock, being the whole of the family, had gone to roost.
Appulses of the moon's limb to several of the numerous spots on the solar disk were also observed.
Additional Remarks on the Eclipse of the Sun on the 15th of May, 1836,
by our Meteorological Correspondent, Blackheath-hill, Kent. The day very fine, and nearly cloudless; a strong haze, occasioned by the London smoke, to the westward; the barometer about 30.60, and nearly stationary, only the diurnal falling perceptible, viz. about .03. The thermometer at the commencement of the Eclipse, In the sun
810 In the shade
And at the greatest obscuration, (or a little after,)
- 66° And the Radiator on the ground to
59° The dew.point, by Daniell's Hygrometer, marked twelve at the commencement, and only seven at the time of the greatest darkness, or, to be plainer, the point of deposition was as high as 57°.
. The sky, when clear and free from haze,“ assumed a much deeper blue, and the gloom was very considerable. The foliage of the trees appeared tinged with orange colour. The planet Venus was seen, about three o'clock, with the naked eye. There was a little wind from the N.E., but just after the middle of the Eclipse it suddenly changed to the S. and S.E., blowing fresh and cold as to sense; after sunset, it gradually got back to N.E. Towards evening I looked out for Venus, and about a quarter of an hour before sunset estimated her brightness to be the same as during the middle of the Eclipse, from which it may be inferred, that daylight was diminished nearly sunsetting. At the time of the greatest darkness, the birds appeared agitated, and among domestic fowls there were evident signs of alarm, the cocks filling the air with their continued crowing.
A Word or two about the REFRACTOR, lately put up at the Royal Observatory
at Bogenhausen, near Munich. [In a Letter from a Correspondent, dated 10th May, 1836. ] “ TOWARDS the close of last Autumn the principal arrangements connected with the building destined for the reception of the Great Refractor were completed, the instrument was therefore put up, with all due care, some three months or so since.
But before speaking of the instrument, it may be as well to state that the building in which it stands differs very materially in its construction from any that till now have been built for this purpose. In place of the usual rotatory dome, provided with sliding shutters, it is furnished with a square roof, running so easily on wheels, that a very moderate force, applied by means of a winch, removes it entirely away from the telescope. The instrument is thus, as it were, erected in the open air. This advantage, by which all currents arising from the inequality of internal and external temperature, are naturally done away with, combined with the economy attending its construction, are the chief reasons which brought about the introduction of a plan which (as far at least as the limited experience of a few months allows one to decide) answers its purpose most effectually.
The dimensions of the Refractor, are, in English measure --Aperture, 11190 inches; focal length, 15.987 feet.
The highest power which has yet been applied to it is 1200. In a late Number of the Astronomische Nachrichten, Professor Struve gives an account of its powers compared .with the Dorpat Refractor, the only instrument executed in all its details by Fraunhofer with which a comparison can be instituted. Professor Struve brought with him hither, from Dorpat, the tablets that he employed as test-objects for his Refractor, in order to subject the Bogenhausen instrument to a similar trial. The result of his examination was not only that the latter showed all the dots and lines which the former
exhibited, but that it gave the more minute details of these objects, with even greater distinctness.
After a careful examination, Professor Struve gives his opinion of the instrument in the following words :-“ The Bogenhausen Refractor is conceived and executed in the true spirit of Fraunhofer, inasmuch as it combines the two chief requisites, the greatest distinctness, and a perfectly colourless image."
Indeed, its powers appear to exceed those of Sir J. F. Herschel's Reflector, for the objects which that astronomer cites as difficult to make out, are shown by it with the greatest readiness; for instance, the small double star near B Equulei, or the minute companion of o2 Cancri. The position and distance of this latter star have long been determined by this Refractor; the Reflector could not do as much; but then it is fair to state that this may be owing to the mirror being “much tarnished.”
The Dorpat Refractor was originally furnished with no power above 700; but as, lately, eye-pieces as high as 1000 have been adapted to it with success, it may perhaps be found that the instrument lately erected here will bear a much higher power than that mentioned above as the extent of its present range. Indeed, when it is mentioned that 1200 may, under favourable circumstances, be used for Saturn, it can hardly be doubted that a higher power may be applied to stars. Two object-glasses of similar aperture and focal length, and in every respect equally perfect, were made here at the same time for this Refractor. The remaining one is yet for sale at the Optical Institute, and the price demanded for it is said to be 10,000 florins, that is to say, about 800 guineas. Is it not very desirable it should find its way to England ? The Optical Institute has now in hand Refractors of much larger dimensions than this. It will not be long before one is completed of 12-789, and another of, it is said, even 14:921 inches aperture."
Bequest to “ Ingenious Men and Women.” “John Scott, chemist, late of Edinburgh, by his will, made in the year 1816, bequeathed the sum of four thousand dollars in the funded 3 per cent. stock of the United States, to the corporation of the city of Philadelphia, directing that the interest and dividend to become receivable thereon, should be laid out in premiums, to be distributed among ingenious men and women, who make useful inventions, but no such premium to exceed twenty dollars*, and that therewith shall be given a copper medal, with this inscription, .To the most deserving.'"
Such are the terms in which this liberal Scotchman devoted about £530. for ever, to the extension and improvement of the useful arts.
The patronage which the distribution of money so appropriated would confer, has, by a most honourable act of self-denial on the part of the corporation of the city of Philadelphia, been delegated to the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, a scientific and meritorious institution, of vigorous growth, in the same city.
We regret to be obliged to remark, that the first move of the Institute in this matter is not conceived, either in the cosmopolitan spirit of the foreigner to their shores who made the bequest, nor in that disinterested sentiment which actuated the corporation. The Institute has published the particulars of the legacy, and of the conditions which are to regulate the distribution of the premiums, "for the information of the ingenious throughout the United States !"
* About £4. 108.
This selfishness of patriotism had no dwelling in the heart of the Edinburgh chemist, he drew no petty circle of privilege round the United States, nor round any particular state, kingdom, nor empire, nor even as a “ lord of the creation," round his own sex; his remarkable phrase is “TO INGENIOUS MEN AND WOMEN," and we do an act of duty to the memory of this benefactor to the useful arts and to his species, and to the vast scattered family of the ingenious whom he intended to stimulate and reward, by adding a rider to the programme of the Franklin Institute, and sending it out as extensively as our means can accomplish, to announce this bequest “to ingenious men and women," wherever they may exist, or of whatever colour they may be tinted. We shall, to further this extension, adopt a very useful plan, well known and frequently practised among our Trans-Atlantic brethren. We invite the editors of every periodical whatever-magazine, journal, or newspaper, in every country and language, to print gratuitously and display conspicuously, the paragraph containing Mr. Scott's legacy, in ler that it may have the greatest possible circulation, and be known among all who may have the right to become candidates. The number of these we estimate at about 740 millions, instead of twelve millions,—the population of the United States; and to be spread over a surface of above 37 millions of geographical square miles, instead of less than two millions, the area to which the Franklin Institute confine their information.
Science assisted by the State. No. II. We noticed, p. 68 of the present volume, an instance in which some scientific inquiries were facilitated by the French minister, and urged the important services which could be rendered to Science by governments and other public bodies, if they would take advantage of the means within their reach.
We are happy to record another case: in this, the United States' government has distinguished itself, by requesting of the Franklin Institute of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, the designing and conducting of a series of experiments, the object of which should be “to test the truth or falsity of the various causes assigned for the explosions of Steamboilers, with a view to the remedies either proposed, or which may be consequent upon the result of the investigation."
A more important inquiry could scarcely be suggested on the present very extensive, and still most rapidly extending, use of Steam-boilers. This request of the United States' government, has, we presume, been accompanied by a suitable grant of funds, as the Institute has proceeded “to provide for the experiments an apparatus of such dimensions, as to furnish results applicable to practice.” But we think this important fact about the funds should not have been left to conjecture, in justice to the government, or to the Hon. S. D. Ingham, late Secretary of the Treasury Department, who has the high merit of being the originator of the investigation. It would, also, be instructive to know at what expense (though no sum, properly expended, could be too large), such inquiries can be conducted.
The Institute have completed the investigation of no less than twelve queries relating to the subject, and are publishing their report in successive numbers of their Journal. When this is completed, we shall lay an analysis of it, at least, before our readers.