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generally in proportion to the rapidity of the rise in the barometer. If the rise be sudden the wind will not continue long; neither will it be cold. If it sbould rise very slowly, or fall some after the wind changes, as it sometimes does, it will be of long continuance.
“From the above remarks it will appear that an extreme light atmosphere is an indication of fair and colder weather, for it denotes northwardly winds. On the other hand, a very heavy atmosphere denotes warmer and dull weather, because southwardly winds follow. I have known the barometer to rise very high with a northeast wind, and to fall very low sometimes, the wind blowing from the same quarter. The latter is generally stormy, and is followed by northwest winds; and the former by southwardly winds. If the air is very dry when the barometer ranges high, or begins to fall, it may continue to fall very low and remain clear. An instance of this kind happened one year ago, the latter part of last winter. I was called on by a inan who had lately purchased a barometer. He said, according to the rules laid down, it should be raining, and it is now fair. It was the lowest he had ever seen it-29.50. He was not a farmer. I told him to place no reliance on the rules laid down—they were not to be depended on. We would soon have a very hard northwest wind, and so it proved. I have known many other instances when the barometer has fallen low without rain, and sometimes without clouds, and northwest winds mostly follow very dry.
“ If the air becomes humid or heavily charged with moisture while the barometer is high, which is sometimes the case, it indicates a spell of wet weather, because the air is too heavy for a northwest wind to blow, and too humid for any other wind to clear it-so it remains wet until the air grows lighter. If the above views are correct, and I believe they are, rain depends more on the humidity of the atmosphere than on a fall of the barometer.
“One of your body condemned the barometer as a weather denoter, because it rained when the barometer rose, I do not consider that fact alone, without some other evidence, any proof against the usefulness of barometers. If the thermometer and barometer rise at the same time, it is a pretty sure indication of fair weather. If they both fall, it is a sure indication of foul weather; but if the thermometer falls while the barometer rises, and that brings rain, it is no evidence against a barometer, because a fall in the temperature will cause water to condense and fall, even if the barometer does rise. Beside that, a fall in the temperature of 20 deg. or 25 deg., which is not uncommon when a gust rises, will of itself cause a rise in the barometer. This may be easily proved by taking a barometer from a stove room and placing it out of doors in cold weather. When I told a barometer maker of this fact, he was incredulous, and looked on me with astonishment.
"A very light atmosphere, in very warm, sultry weather, accompanied with clouds, is a pretty sure indication or forerunner of hail-storms; and why? but because a light atmosphere denotes wind, and wind and heat cause the moisture to revolve into the upper regions, where perpetual congelation exists, if I may use the term; the water becomes frozen and falls in the form of hail. I have been witness to the effect of these tornadoes, and have been credibly informed that trees have been twisted off at the but and carried to considerable distances without touching the ground. “One
year last summer, before barvest, my barometer stood in the early morning at 29.75, air very warm, and some cloudy. I told my folks the signs of the weather were indicative of hail-storms; that if we did not, others would feel it that day. Towards noon a destructive storm passed over parts ot Cumberland county, and another crossed parts of the State further up. Last summer we were visited by another, so near as to affect us seriously. In the vicinity of these storms the water falls in torrents. Why is it the learned have never enlightened the farmers, and others interested, as to the cause of these tornadoes—the why and wherefore ?
“To test the humidity of the atmosphere, I had a strip of ash wood, half an inch wide and four feet long--the length is to show more effect; this was planed down to an even thickness of less than a quarter of an inch. Short pieces of white pine, equal in length to the width of the first pieceenough to cover its whole length-were planed down to an equal thickness with the first piece; these were glued on across the first piece, close together, covering its whole length. I attached a small block to ope end of the first piece, and fastened it with a screw, edgewise, on a door exposed to the atmosphere, but not to the sun, so the lower end could vibrate with freedom. The white pine, by expanding in wet weather and contracting in dry weather across the grain of the long piece, has caused the lower end of the stick to describe part of a circle eighteen inches long. It is sensitive to the slightest change in the humidity or dryness of the atmosphere. It need not cost over fifty cents anywhere. Any cabinet maker, or even a farmer, may make one."
Mr. Robinson.—I hope all farmers who have barometers will preserve this letter, and apply to their use the experiences of that old Jersey farmer.
The subject of the day was then called up, viz:
BEAUTIFYING OUR COUNTRY HOMES. Mr. R. G. Pardee.--I have lately been traveling, and have seen so many naked, barren, desolate looking homes, that I am glad that the Club have adopted this question, and hope it will be continued until we shall be able to awaken a great spirit of improvement, and teach the people that no amount of money will make a costly house look cheerful and home-like, without the inexpensive surroundings of the garden, lawn, shade trees, fruit, shrubbery and flowers. About the adornment of home, the people need continual instruction and prompting to act. It is a scandal to us as a people to see how much this subject is neglected, and how unattractive this neglect makes many country and city houses. There is a great want of a starting point-something for an example of what is proper in the way of adornment.
In my opinion the first step necessary, in all improvements around the house, is a thorough system of under-draining and subsoil stirring of the earth. Then trees will grow. If carelessly stuck into holes, with but little preparation, what but a miserable result can be expected ? I lately noticed up the Harlem railroad a splendid and costly house, with a few maplestumps of trees planted in small holes in front, struggling to live under such treatment, and this was the extent of the attempt of artificial adornment of the grounds.
Of course the trees and grass had but a stinted growth, for the land had never been prepared. Everything within the house, as well as the house itself, showed that no expense had been spared, yet all around looked desolate. What an influence such a home exercises upon children! What a, contrast to such a one as that of Mr. Robinson, who, with but little expense, has made a neat, pleasant, convenient cottage, which in summer is perfectly enshrined in flowers, and surrounded with shrubbery, green grass, shade and fruit. When I first saw the place it was most unattractive and lacking in home comforts. Where it was then covered with swamp bushes and briers, it is now garden, with strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries and other fruit. Comfortable as it looks, it shows no labored style, but all of the adornments and comforts seem to have come naturally, and without extra expense.
I see around me gentlemen whose places are an ornament to the country. Many gentlemen of this city spend large sums of money to build country seats, and when the surroundings are completed by tasteful and experienced artists, they lend a charm to country life.
There is another place that is worthy of the attention of all who are about to build upon a very rough spot.. It is that of Henry A. Underwood, at Yonkers. It was covered with forest trees and rocks, nearly all of which have been utilized and made ornamental. The steep hill-side has been terraced and made fruitful, and altogether it is one of the most lovely spots and delightful homes for a family of refinement. Such improvements of rough spots have an influence far beyond that upon the families who occupy them. It a great pity they were not more frequently to be seen.
Prof. Mapes.—It is but a few years ago that all of our designs were imported, and, to bring out native talent, the school of design was established in this city; and now its fruits are seen everywhere, yet we need a great deal more of art, especially in the adornment of country homes. Everywhere we see examples of the grotesque. For instance, a house without a curved line in its architecture, nor a bracket added to fill up a corner and break the harshness of abrupt angles. The house with its square doors and windows and peaked roof, presents its flat side to the road, with nothing to break the monotonous appearance of its bad form and color but a row of gaunt, ragged, Lombardy poplars. I recollect that Prof. Morse lectured in this city a few years ago upon landscape gardening, and imparted some very valuable information. One of the prominent matters to be insisted upon is that the letter S should be kept constantly before the artist's eyes. Let curved lines be the rule in everything, and straight ones only adopted as a necessity. Never plant trees for ornamental purposes
in rows, and never arrange them so that a view in any direction will disclose an abrupt termination, but rather that the view shall fade away into obscurity. The science of chromatography must be carefully observed by all who undertake to beautify a homestead. You may write red, yellow, blue, in an endless circle, and then, no matter what other colors you use, you will find that the three colors on your circle must occur at every third, fifth and seventh position. So in planting, building, paint
ing, and all adornments of your house, keep the laws of color and curve always before you. If you educate the eye to beauty, grace will pervade all around.
I see around me those who remember when all our crockery and china vare were embellished with a pagoda, the bridge and boat, a Chinaman carrying a large umbrella, but since schools of design have been established, these patterns have all passed away, and their places have been supplied with articles of great beauty.
I remember a few years ago that every iron railing in front of city houses or around parks, was all made up of straight rods and sharp angles. Paulus Heddle, a smith, but a natural-born artist, introduced curved lines, and made himself a fortune, while he added so much to the beauty of the city. What we now need is, not only to discuss this subject here, but more lectures like those of Prof. Morse, until the public taste is better educated upon this important matter.
The subject was continued.
JOHN. W. CHAMBERS, Secretary.
December 16, 1862. Mr. Edward Doughty, of Newark, N. J., in the chair.
A New CULINARY PLANT. Mr. Robinson presented a specimen of a plant known to Germans as Beifuss, and used by them for flavoring poultry, roasted meats, more especially for roast goose, duck and pork, and read a letter on the subject from Chas. F. Erhard, of Ravenswood, L. I.:
“I respectfully present to the Club a dried specimen of the Artemisia vulgaris, which plant seems as yet scarcely known in the United States.
"In Germany and France, and probably in other European countries, it is highly valued as an aromatic to give a flavor to roasted meats, omelets, etc., more especially to roast goose, duck and pork. In addition to its very agreeable flavor it is considered to promote digestion to a remarkable degree, and in some parts of Germany it is even thought to be a preventive and cure for consumption.
“To prepare the plant for kitchen use, the flower stems are cut just before the buds open, and the larger leaves plucked out from between the flower buds; they are then bundled and dried in the shade.
“When used with roast goose or duck, the hollow of these fowls is stuffed with these plants tied in little bundles and a portion of them is generally served out on every plate, the buds on them to be eaten off as any one may best contrive to do it.
"Finding it impossible to procure a root in New York or Philadelphia, I imported a number of them from Germany in the spring of last year (1861), which propagated with great success, so that I have now a good supply of them."
Mr. John W. Chambers, the Secretary, announced that Mr. Edwin Ken
dall, of New Lebanon Springs, was present, and was desirous of making a few remarks in relation to barometers.
Mr. Solon Robinson.--Mr. Kendall is the manufacturer of the fine aneroid barometer that I presented to the Club last week, and I hope he can make it apparent that barometers are generally more useful to farmers than my remarks last week would indicate.
Mr. Kendall said:
Gentlemen of the Farmers' Club of the American Institute: I am before you at my own request, to speak of the barometer, and its utility as an instrument worthy to be recommended to farmers as a weather indicator.
You are all familiar, no doubt, with the principles of the barometer, so I will merely say that the Torricellian tube is made of glass, thirty-two inches in length, hermetically sealed at one end, and forming a syphon at the other end, three or four inches in length. The tube is then filled with mercúry and inverted. In the long arm of the tube the mercury rises at tide water, or sea level, to about thirty inches; in the short arm it rises two or three inches. The atmosphere, pressing upon the surface of mercury in the short arm, suspends the mercury in the long arm to about thirty inches; thus the weight of the column of thirty inches forms a counter balance against the weight of the atmosphere pressing upon the surface of the column in the short arm.
Other forms of construction have been introduced for the purposes of convenience, ornament or portability—the latter being the greatest object, as it is an exceedingly delicate instrument to handle, and one very liable to derangement. The various methods used to render it portable render it less sensitive to atmospheric changes.
The aneroid barometer is a metallic instrument, the vacuum of which is obtained by forming a box or chamber of thin elastic metal, about two and a half inches in diameter, and one-quarter of an inch thick. From the chamber the air is exhausted by means of an air pump; when thus exhausted the walls of the chamber are pressed together by the external pressure of the air. When the chamber in its place in the instrument, the chamber walls are suspended by a lever, and held in suspense by a spiral spring placed under the long arm of the lever, thus forming a counter balance, by its own strength, against the pressure of the air upon the external surface of the chamber, and by a combination of levers and springs motion is given to a pointer or index, which passes over a graduated dial in a way to correspond with the movement of the mercury over its scale, thus making an instrument answering all the purposes of a good barometer, and one more sensitive, and free from every other objection to the mercury barometer,
Having given you a short description of the various forms of barometers, I proceed to speak of the manner of using it. Early in my experience in making barometers, I sought in all scientific works within my reach to find rules for observation, and could only find this, that in clear weather the merçury stood high, and before a storm it fell. I then from my own observation drew up the rules which I furnish with my aneroids, and which have been read to you by my friend Solon Robinson, and after mature observation I am satisfied that they embrace everything necessary to be under