Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/152

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

best tools and weapons, the finest springs and drawn wire, and the best kind of nails for riveting and clinching. Its excellence depends partly on its being free from phosphorus and sulphur, and partly on the superior manner of the smelting, which is done with charcoal. The supply of ore is practically inexhaustible. It is found all over the country; it occurs in the thick strata of the rock and forms the bulk of great mountains in various parts of the kingdom. The largest of these iron mountains is Gellivare, situated in Swedish Lapland, beyond the Arctic Circle. The ore occurs here chiefly in four gigantic strata, and covers so large an area that it is estimated that, if only one metre in depth is taken out a year, the yield would be 943,600 tons, nearly equal to the amount now produced by all the mines in Sweden. The ore contains seventy per cent of iron. Much of it, however, contains apatite, and in such large quantities that the question of turning to account the phosphoric acid held in that mineral is entertained. Iron is chiefly mined in central Sweden, but the best iron comes from the Dannemora mines, a little east of the chief area. Besides making the rougher forms of iron, the Swedes build iron steamships of fine quality, and are very skillful in the manufacture of cutlery, for which they have a dozen factories.

 

Suspended Matter in Flame.—In a communication to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Mr. G. C. Stokes announces that he has secured an optical proof of the existence of suspended matter in flames. Passing a beam of sunlight, condensed by a lens, through the flame of a candle, he noticed that where the cone of rays cut the luminous envelope there were two patches of light brighter than the general flame, which were evidently due to sunlight scattered by matter in the envelope which was in a state of suspension. The patches corresponded in area to the intersection of the double cone by the envelope, and their thickness was insensibly small. Within the envelope, as well as outside, there was none of this scattering. When the beam was passed through the blue base of the flame, there was no scattered light. A luminous gasflame showed the patches indicating scattered light like the flame of a candle, but less copiously. They were not seen in a Bunsen flame or in the flame of alcohol, but were well seen in the luminous flame of ether. The phenomenon shows the separation of carbon, associated, it may be, with some hydrogen, in the flame, and the extreme thinness of the layer which this forms. It shows, too, the mode of separation of the carbon namely, that it is due to the action of heat on the volatile hydrocarbon or vapor of ether, as the case may be. At the base, where there is a plentiful supply of oxygen, the molecules are burned at once. Higher up, the heated products of combustion have time to decompose the combustible vapor before it gets oxygen enough to burn it. Since making his communication, Prof. Stokes has found that he was anticipated in part of his observation in a paper published a few years ago by Mr. Busch.

 

The Vlachs of Turkey.—The Vlachs of Turkey are described by Mrs. L. M. J. Garnett, in her Women of Turkey and their Folk Lore, as a nomadic people, shepherds or traders, who leave a great deal of responsibility to their wives. The women, besides managing their households, have to cultivate the vineyard and garden, herd the sheep, shear the wool, weave the cloth, and generally perform every variety of labor, "not the least arduous part of which is the assiduous attention required by their lords and masters when they return from their wanderings for a spell of domestic repose." The customs of this people are a mixture of Greek and Roman tradition. They belong to the Orthodox Church, and their ceremonies at birth and baptism are essentially similar to those of the Greeks. The marriage forms (save the sacred rite) are more like the Roman. These ceremonies are very minute and protracted; and "it must require a liberal education to master all the details of a Vlach or Greek wedding: to find the five-twigged branch and decorate it with an apple and tufts of red wool and fix it on the top of the bride's house; to prepare the ring-cake and then engage in a hot struggle for it. . . . The unfortunate Vlach must be perpetually trying to remember what function he or she has to perform each week. On New Year's day come the children with olive branches; on the morrow every visitor