Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/200

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188
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

It is the representative of the idea of the state which leaves its individual citizens to develop themselves freely according to their inborn natures, and to work together on an equal footing for the good of the whole; which preserves to the villages and the provinces their self-administration, and yet subjects them in every instant to the higher interests and laws of the whole; which appears ready armed against the external enemy, preserves unity and peace within; which applies the capital accumulated by the common labor of all the citizens to the advantage and advancement of the whole, without letting it be preyed upon by any; which in untiring activity never suffers a pause, and by continuous renovation endures for centuries, always increasing, always blossoming, and always bearing fruit.

 
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AMERICAN AND FOREIGN ASPHALTS.
By E. J. HALLOCK.

BITUMINOUS substances, apparently of organic origin, are found in various parts of the world. Sometimes they occur in a free state, as in the Island of Trinidad, and at others impregnating calcareous rocks, or serving as a cement to hold the particles together, as at Val de Travers or Seyssel.

For several reasons the asphalt lake in Trinidad possesses special interest for us. The island, which is the southernmost of the Lesser Antilles, lies off the northern coast of South America, and is easily accessible from any of our sea-ports. Here, amid the most luxuriant vegetation, is a lake three miles in circumference, on the surface of which lies a crust of asphaltum of such tenacity that in the rainy season a person can walk across it; but, under the influence of the hot sun, it softens to a thick tar. This crust receives accessions from beneath, and formerly it would overflow and run into the sea, more than two miles away. A similar substance, known as "Jew's pitch," is washed ashore in considerable quantities around the borders of the Dead Sea. In Texas, south of Shreveport, there is said to be a pitch-lake containing large quantities of bitumen, but little is yet known about it. In Southern California there are accumulations of asphalt on the coast at Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, etc., which resembles, when pure, that from Trinidad. It promises to supply the wants of the western coast, as Trinidad will that of the eastern part of this country.

In Kentucky there is a considerable quantity of asphaltic mineral which may some time be utilized for road-making.

An interesting and valuable asphaltic mineral, known as Albertite, is found in New Brunswick; and a similar one, called Grahamite, oc-