the explosion of the powder. In the absence of compressed air, water under pressure may be used and also small powder charges exploded at intervals of a few days. In thinly bedded sandstones, where vertical joints are frequent, it is often possible to separate the desired slabs and Hagstones with crowbars and wedges, without drilling or the use of explosives. When blasting is necessary, some form of gunpowder is generally used, rather than a violent explosive like dynamite, in order to avoid shattering the rock. This, however, applies only to dimension stone. When the production of broken stone for road-making, concrete, or similar purposes is the sole end in view, violent explosives are preferred. In limestones and marbles and in the softer sandstones, channelling machines, driven by steam, are employed, by which vertical or oblique grooves or channels can be cut with great rapidity to a depth of several feet. A level bed of rock is cleared, and on this are laid rails, along which the machine moves. After the channels are cut, a row of holes is bored perpendicular to the former at the desired distance below the surface of the bed, and by driving wedges into these the required blocks are separated.
When the beds of stone to be quarried are thin, and when to
remove the whole of the overlying mass of earth or rock would
stone. be too expensive, it is found convenient to treat the smug quarry as if it were a mine, and to rely upon methods similar to those practised in mining. A horizontal bed of rock is usually opened at its outcrop on some hillside, or if this is impracticable, as shaft or slope is excavated to reach it. If dimension stone is required, a deep horizontal groove is cut near the top or the bottom of the bed. The quarry face is then divided into blocks by saw-cuts, channels, or rows of drill-holes, and the blocks are separated by wedging or blasting. As the excavation or stoping progresses, portions of the rock are left in place as pillars to support the roof. At many localities in Europe where roofing slate is quarried, it is found in beds dipping more or less from the horizontal. These deposits are worked by stopes which follow the inclination of the bed, from which, at convenient intervals, levels are driven across, to take advantage of the cleavage of the slate. As in other subterranean quarries, pillars of rock are left to support the roof, since artificial supports would be more expensive. At some of the marble quarries in Vermont, U.S.A., where the strata are very nearly vertical, the beds are worked to a great depth with a comparatively small surface opening.
See G. P. Merrill, Stones for Building and Decoration (New York, 1898); C. Le N. Foster, A Text-Book of Ore and Stone Mining (London and Philadelphia, 1394); O. Herrman, Steinbruchindustrie und Steinbruchgeologie (Berlin, 1899). (F. J. H. M.)
QUARTER (through Fr. from Lat. quartarius, fourth part), a word with many applications of its original meaning, namely, one of the four divisions of anything; thus as a measure of weight a quarter equals 28 ℔, one-fourth of the hundredweight of 112 ℔; as a measure of capacity for grain it equals 8 bushels; similarly in liquid measure the shorter form “quart ” is a quarter of a gallon = 2 pints, so “ quartern ” is a quarter of a pint (a gill), or, as a measure for bread, 4 ℔. “ Quarter ” is also used of the fourth part of the moon's monthly revolution, and of a fourth part of the legal year, marked off by the “ quarter-days ” (see below). For the division of the heraldic shield into four “ quarters ” and the use of the term “ quartering," the marshalling of several coats on one shield, see Heraldry. From the four principal points of the compass and the corresponding division of the horizon, &c., the word is used generally of direction or situation, and hence of a district in a town, &c., especially when assigned to or occupied by a particular class. It has thus become the usual term applied to stations, buildings, lodgings, &c., in the regular occupation of military troops (see Barracks, Camp, and Cantonments).
There are many technical uses of the word, in which the original meaning has been lost or obscured; thus in carpentry and architecture it is applied to the main upright posts in framing, sometimes called “ studs ”; the hlling in quarters were formerly named “ prick posts ”; in farriery, to one side of the “ coffin ” of a horse's foot; in boot making, to the side piece of leather reaching from the vamp to the heel. The “ quarter ” of a ship is the after part of her side from the main chains to the stern (see Quarterdeck).
There has been much discussion as to the origin of the use of the word “ quarter " in the sense of mercy, clemency, the sparing of the life of a beaten enemy and the acceptance of his surrender. The same use is found in Fr. quartier. Cotgrave explains this word as “ faire war, wherein soldiers are taken prisoners and ransomed at a certaine rate.” The real origin cannot be, as has often been repeated, following De Brieux (Origines de plusieurs façons de parler, 1672), that it was due to a supposed agreement between the Dutch and Spaniards for ransoming officers and men at one quarter of their pay. The true source is either the assignment of “ quarters,” i.e. lodgings, to captured prisoners whose lives were spared, or the use of the word, now obsolete, for relations with or conduct towards another, often in the sense of fair treatment; thus in Bacon's Essay on Cunning, “ two, that were competitors, . . . kept good quarter between themselves.”
Quarter days are the days that begin each quarter of the year. In England they are the 25th of March (Lady Day), the 24th of June (Midsummer Day), the 29th of September (Michaelmas Day) and the 25th of December (Christmas Day). They are the days on which it is usually contracted that rents should be paid and houses or lands entered upon or quitted. In Scotland there are two legal terms, the 15th of May (Whitsunday) and the 11th of November (Martinmas); these, together with the two conventional terms, 2nd of February (Candlemas) and the 1st of August (Lammas), make up the Scottish quarter days. In the Scottish burghs, however, the removal terms are the 28th of May and the 28th of November. In the United States the quarter days are, in law, the 1st of January, April, July and October.
QUARTERDECK, the after part of the upper deck of a ship. In former times the upper deck of a line-of-battle ship or frigate ended at the mainmast, and was connected with the forecastle by two narrow passages, or gangways running along the sides. The quarterdeck is the residence and symbol of authority in a warship. The starboard, or right side looking forward, is reserved to the senior officer. A sailor who had a complaint to make was said to come to the mainmast, because he placed himself at the forward end of the quarterdeck near the mast. According to the ancient custom of the sea, the quarterdeck is to be saluted by all who come upon it, and the salute is returned by all officers present.
QUARTER SESSIONS, COURT OF, in English law, the name for the justices of the peace of any county, riding, parts, division or liberty of a county, or of any county of a city or county of a town, in general or quarter sessions assembled; it includes the court of the recorder of a municipal borough having a separate court of quarter sessions. The word “ general ” in this context is contrasted with “ special ” or “ petty.” The court is a local court of record having a limited criminal jurisdiction, and also to some extent civil jurisdiction. As a court of record it has, in addition to its other jurisdiction, power to punish summarily without the assistance of a jury con tempts committed in its presence, such as insults to the justices or disturbance of its proceedings. At the present time the whole of England and Wales is within the local jurisdiction of some court of quarter sessions. But the history of the court in counties is quite distinct from its history in boroughs.
Counties.—As regards counties the court originated in
statutes of 1326, 1344 and 1360, which provided for justices in counties, and the commission of the peace. The court derived its name from the direction in a statute of 1388 that the “ justices shall keep their sessions in every quarter of the year at the least.” By a statute of 1414 they were directed to make their sessions four times in the year: that is to say, in the first week after the feasts of St Michael, the Epiphany, the clause of Easter and the translation of St Thomas the Martyr, and more often if need be. These dates have only been slightly varied, first in 1814 in consequence of the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, later in 183O by specifying the first week after the 11th of October, 28th of December, 31st of March and 24th of Tune respectively, instead of the church feasts; and in 1894 by
- An earlier statute not repealed (36 Edw. Ill. c. 12) fixes the third and fourth sessions differently, viz. second week of mid-Lent. and between Whit Sunday and Midsummer Day