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pound of refined sugar; yet it is well known that the molasses used in cooking will give a greater amount of sweet taste than the sugar.
Some discussion followed in relation to pumps for farm use.
Prof. Mapes. There are a number of pumps that can be found in agriculture warehouses. West's pump was a very good one; also Edney's.
A Mr. Porter has made an improvement in the manufacture of pumps. He makes them out of a metal similar to type metal. They are cast in polished moulds, which saves the expense of finishing, and allows him to sell them at a lower price. They are very good pumps.
Mr. Carpenter inquired whether being made out of this metal would not render them liable to be bruised.
Prof. Mapes.—They are set in an iron tripod, which preserves them from injury.'.
The subject of the Winter Care of Manure was laid over until the next meeting
On motion, it was resolved, that when we adjourn we adjourn to meet on Thursday, the 8th of January, at 11 o'clock A, M. Adjourned.
JOHN W. CHAMBERS, Secretary.
January 8, 1863.
Mr. John G. Bergen, of Long Island, in the chair.
ARE BAROMETERS VALUABLE INSTRUMENTS FOR FARMERS ? Mr. Van Brunt, a Long Island farmer, said that he had carefully observed the barometer for seven years, and is satisfied that it does not give any indication of rain, except thunder storms, and those only because they are accompanied by wind. It is an indication of an approaching wind storm, nothing else.
Mr. Fuller thought his barometer of much use to him. It had fallen an inch since Saturday, and yesterday we had a high wind. As thunder storms are generally accompanied with wind, he thought a farmer could tell when one was approaching, by the barometer, and so find it useful.
Mr. John G. Bergen. I believe the farmer who depends upon the barometer to know the state of the weather, will know just as much about it as he who depends upon telling the future state of the weather by the
If Mr. Van Brunt fails to make the thing useful, I do not believe there are many farmers who will do any better, for I know that he is a very careful, observing man.
INQUIRY ABOUT FIBROUS PLANTS. Mr. G. J. Locke, of Rutland county, Vermont, sent a specimen of fiber of “Indian hemp,” inquiring whether it had ever been cultivated, as it has an abundant and strong fiber-almost as strong as silk, if gathered at the proper time—and grows in bunches in swampy ground, with stalks three feet high, and was, he believed, perennial.
Mr. Fuller.— This plant is indigenous to almost all parts of the United States, and well known as a medicinal plant, the root being a sure cure for worms in children. I have never heard of its being cultivated, but think it might be. I think it belongs to the same family as the plant known as boneset, and grows in similar soil and situations.
Dr. Church.-No, the boneset is Eupatorium, and the Indian hemp Apocynum cannabinum. It is so common that the value of its fiber might be easily tested next summer.
Prof. Mapes. This plant is found growing in all parts of our country. The fiber is coarse, and a very great percentage is lost in dressing it.
A CONVENIENT HOG-SCALDER. Mr. G. Haines, of Medford, N. J., sends us the following description of a very convenient and economical hog-scalder, well known in Burlington and Monmouth counties, and little or none used anywhere else:
"It is made of cedar or white pine plank, two inches thick, with dimensions about as follows: Two feet four inches wide at bottom, two feet ten inches at top, two feet three inches high, six feet three inches long, and clamped well with iron to prevent leaking from being frequently wet and dry. A copper pipe about ten inches in diameter, and nearly the length of the trough, is fastened near the bottom, at one side, with one end opening out of the trough. At this opening is placed a sheet iron door, containing a smaller one for draft of air, like an ordinary stove door. On the other end of the pipe a double elbow, five inches in diameter, is placed, connecting with a return pipe of same size (five inches), which has its exit hole at the same end and near the door. A pipe such as is used for stoves conducts the smoke from the exit hole to eight or ten feet from the ground.
A light rack is placed about two inches above the copper pipe, to prevent the hogs from touching it. Said rack is fastened to its place with a button, so that it may be taken out easily for the purpose of cleaning the trough. A light cover to prevent evaporation, and a small skid for rolling heavy hogs in the trough, accompany each scalder. This description may be vague, but it is as plain as I can make it with so few words.
"A lighter and less expensive trough is sometimes made, with a single copper pipe, having a door at one end, and exit hole for stove pipe at the other. It may take a little more fuel, but the difference is not appreciable. Light, dry, flashy fuel is the best; it should be cut fine and about a foot long.
"These scalders, with the appurtenances, cost from about forty to fifty dollars. I never heard of one costing more than the latter sum. We think they are as much ahead of the old way of heating water in kettles hung over a trench, or by hot stones, as that is preferable to covering the hogs with leaves and singing them. If a man has but two or three hogs to kill, I believe the custom is invariably to go and hire a scalder. Two men can load one on a wagon, and I never heard of but one price-fifty cents per day. Two moderate wheelbarrow loads of wood, I think, would be plenty for scalding thirty or forty hogs. When the water is once hot enough, very little is sufficient to keep it just at the right temperature. I am acquainted with scalders which have been in use twenty years, and are now as efficient as ever, though most of the old ones were hired enough in two years to pay for them.”
Prof. Mapes.—There is a cheap boiler made by Mr. Prindle, which is preferable to the one described. Without the top it is like the farm boiler; when the upper section is placed on this boiler it forms a steam-tight boiler. It has a flexible tube which conveys the steam into hogsheads standing near, in which the articles to be scalded are placed. The steam can be conveyed 100 feet, if required, through cheap wooden pipes laid under ground.
Rev. Mr. Weaver, of Fordham.-In connection with this hog question I should like to inquire what are the peculiar qualities of the Berkshire hogs, which render them more valuable than other breeds.
Mr. Solon Robinson.-One of them is the extraordinary amount of lean meat contained in the hams. They are also docile, easily fattened, mature early, and are generally considered a profitable breed.
Mr. Carpenter thought a cross-half Berkshire, half Suffolk-preferable to either.
Mr. Adrian Bergen.—The reason why we breed Berkshires is that they make such large hams.
The Chairman. --Some people prefer large hams very lean, but I prefer a fat ham.
DISCUSSION ABOUT HORSES-FORCE OF MEN AND HORSES COM
PARED. Mr. Solon Robinson opened the discussion by reading the following extract from The Working Farmer:
"Desagulier's Experimental Philosophy gives much information on the subject. The horse draws with the greatest advantage when the line of direction is level with his breast; in such a situation he is able to draw 200 pounds eight hours a day, walking about two miles and a half an hour. This, of course, does not relate to the weight of the wagon, or load, but to the amount of force he exerts upon the shafts. If the same horse be made to draw 240 pounds, he can work but six hours, and cannot go so fast. On a carriage, when friction alone is to be overcome, a middling horse will draw 1,000 pounds. If a weight be suspended in a well by a rope passing over a pulley, a horse will lift, when attached to this rope, but about 200 pounds. His feet cannot hold on to the ground with a force' anything equal to his own weight operating against his line of travel.
“Five men are equal in strength to one horse, and can with as much ease pull the horizontal beam of a mill occupying a circle of nineteen feet, while three men will do it in a walk forty feet wide.
A horse employs much less force when required to draw up hill; if the hill be steep, three men will do more than the horse, each man climbing up faster with a burden of 100 lbs. weight, than a horse that is loaded with 300 lbs. This is due, of course, to the position of the parts of the body being better adapted to climbing than those of the horse. In a horizontal direction the quadruped has the advantage over the biped. Thus a man weighing 140 lbs., and drawing a body along by means of a rope coming over his shoulders, cannot draw above 27 lbs., or exert above one-seventh part of the force of a horse employed for the same purpose.
“The very best and most effectual force in a man is that of rowing, wherein he not only acts with more muscles at once for overcoming the resistance than in any other position, but, as he pulls backward, the weight of his body assists as a lever for continuous labor.
“The horse is enabled to do more work on a surface of variable figure than in a very level country. Horses do not wear well if all the roads they draw upon be on an inclined plane or a fixed gradation. Every change of figure in the surface brings into action another set of muscles, so that all the muscles of the horse are in turn called upon to act on the varied surfaces, whereas those of a continuous figure appeal to one set of muscles alone."
Prof. Mapes.—This statement of Desagulier is not intended to show what a horse may do by the exercise of weight and momentum combined, because much more is accomplished by momentum than by any other force. For instance, the stroke of a hammer upon the head of a nail exerts a greater force than many tons of dead weight. So the horse, by the force of his muscles, exerts the power of momentum, combined with his weight, and accomplishes a task far beyond what he could by weight alone. There is a book published by Mayhew, in this city, which contains some details of experiments made by the English Government with a cavalry regiment, which ought to be in the hands of every farmer. It would teach them much about the proper use of horses, and the adaptation of different weights and forms to special work. A horse for speed requires to be of very different construction from one for draft; and every horse requires a particular regulation of the line of draft, to enable him to exert the greatest power. I have seen men change a pair of tall horses for a small pair without changing the draft-rod of the plow. In such a case there is a great loss of power; so there is in the form of the plow; and it is impossible to tell by the appearance of the work of the horses, or the looks of the plow, whether it will run easier than another or not, until both are tested by the dynamometer, and the line of draft equally regulated to suit the size of the horse. In work that is accompanied by quick movement, the weight of a horse has little to do with his efficiency; but in a slow, heavy pull, horses of a heavy weight are much the most suitable. [He illustrated this point by an anecdote of exhibition of strength by a very strong man, who could pull up from the floor, or pull across the room, any man of equal weight with himself, however muscular. The Professor said to him,
Strong as you are, I can take another man as heavy as you under my arm, and with the other hand drag you where I please.” This was done with perfect ease, very much to the astonishment of the exhibitor, who thought he had encountered a man much stronger than himself. On the contrary, it was the mere force of weight that enabled him to keep his feet more firmly fixed on the ground.] It is just so with heavy horses. You may observe them at a hard pull, in starting a heavy load, taking steps of scarcely an inch in length. For such work, the power of draft will not vary five per cent. in horses of equal weight, no matter what their shape. The weight has very much to do with their power in other work. For frequent stopping and quick starting, a large horse is not suitable. In some farm work we want intensity as well as dead weight. For the latter we want a horse built so as they throw the most of his weight upon the fore legs. The joints of a horse's legs work somewhat like the short toggle-joint of a printing press, where great power is required at the last pinch. Some horses are so built as to be almost useless going 'up hill. One of the principles by which a horse works is illustrated by this principle: Suppose a ship rigidly held by a rod of iron. It would only require the motion of a slight wave to snap that iron like a pipe stem. If the same rod were made into a chain, its strength would be amply sufficient. In the traces of a plow harness, the more rigid the better, provided there is no danger of hitching the plow against some rigid substance. Some persons make the most of their traces of iron rods; others endeavor to hitch their horses as near the work as possible, to avoid the spring and reaction of a long chain. The nearer you get the horse to the work the more you gain by the momentum of his weight.
Mr. Solon Robinson.-As a general thing, and taking the average work on a farm, I believe the most economical sized horses are those of about fifteen hands high, and of 900 to 1,000 pounds weight. In training horses they should be hitched to loads so light that they would be sure to be able to start them, and gradually made heavier and heavier, and the horse taught to take very short steps, so as to accomplish by the momentum of a light horse what a heavy one would do by weight. There is much matter for thought by all farmers connected with this question about horses.
Mr. Adrian Bergen.—There is a great deal in having your harness fit the horse perfectly. In plowing, a slight change in the trace chain will make a great alteration in the power applied to the plow. Adjourned
JOHN W. CHAMBERS, Secretary.
January 13, 1863.
Prof. Mapes, of New Jersey, in the chair.
SEEDS OF THE BLACK THORN, A northern farmer asks if the Club will, in their discussions, disclose how to make one in a hundred of the common or black thorn vegetate, and
says, you will thereby render an important service to northern farmers. I have tried a bushel of seed, and never succeeded in making one grow.” 3
In answer to this it was said: That as soon as the seeds are gathered, they should be buried in the ground, where they are left during the winter; in the spring, when the pot is opened, they will be found to have sfwouted; they should then be carefully planted in drills.
PRIZE ESSAYS. The Secretary announced that it would be necessary to appoint a committee to examine and award the medals offered by the Institute for essays upon fruit culture, and also vegetables. Messrs. John G. Bergen, Judge Van Brunt, Wm. S. Carpenter, and R. G. Pardee were appointed upon fruit; and Messrs. Mapes, Pardee and Weaver upon vegetables.