Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

In the same year there were consumed in the production of distilled spirits by American distillers, 25,202,901 bushels of grain, and 2,198,538 gals. of molasses. New York is the greatest producer of fermented liquors, having made in 1890, a total of 8,572,223 barrels. Next comes Pennsylvania, with 2,762,352.

FERMENTED LIQUORS are alcoholic beverages made by fermentation of saccharine fluids and juices; the principal being the different kinds of ale or beer, made by fermentation of an infusion of malt, chiefly of barley, but also sometimes of other kinds of grain; and wine, made by fermentation of grape-juice. Cider is made by fermentation of the juice of apples; perry, of that of pears; palm-wine, by fermentation of the sap of different kinds of palm. Fermented liquors, commonly called wines, are also made from the juice of various kinds of fruit, as currant wine from that of the red currant: and from the juice of some roots, as parsnip wine from that of the parsnip, etc. The sap of the American aloe, or agave (q.v.), yields the fermented liquor called pulque, much used in Mexico. A wine is made from the sap of the birch, and that of some other trees is used for a similar purpose. Mead is a fermented liquor inade from honey. From every fermented liquor, a kind of spirit may be obtained by distillation.

FERMO, a t. of Italy, in the province of Ascoli Piceno, is situated on a rocky height 4 m. from the Adriatic, and 32 m. s.s.e. of Ancona. It is well-built and fortified, surrounded with walls and ditches, is the seat of an archbishop, and has a cathedral and an elegant theater. Formerly F. possessed a university. It has some trade in corn and wool. Pop. about 17,800. In the immediate vicinity are the ruins of the ancient Firmum, whose name F. inherits. Firmum had been a Roman colony from the year 264 B.C.

FERMOY, a t. in the e. of Cork county, Ireland, chiefly on the right bank of the Blackwater, 19 m. n.e. of Cork city. Its origin dates from the 12th c., when it was the seat of a great Cistercian abbey; but its present importance, which commenced in the end of last century, is due to Mr. (afterwards Sir John) Anderson, who introduced mail-coaches into Munster. The hills to the s. of the town rise in Knockinskeagh 1388 feet. F. is handsomely built and regularly laid out. It has a large ecclesiastical establishment (Roman Catholic), consisting of a church, a bishop's house, convents with large schools, and a college, on a hill rising from the Blackwater. A bridge of 13 arches, built in 1689, crosses the river. Infantry and cavalry barracks stand on the left bank of the river, and command the approach to Cork. F. has a trade in agricultural produce, and contains flouring mills. Pop. '61, 8,705; '91, 6421.

FERN, FANNY. See PARTON, SARA PAYSON (WILLIS).

FERN, MALE, a name given, in consequence of an erroneous notion, long since exploded, to a fern very common in the woods of Britain and of the continent of Europe, the aspidium filix mas of some botanists, and lastræa filix mas and nephrodium

filix mas of others. The fronds are bipinnate; the pinnules oblong, obtuse, and serrated; the sori near the central nerve, orbicular, kidney-shaped, and fixed by the sinus; the stipes and rachis chaffy. If not one of the very finest of our ferns, it is certainly a chief ornament of many of our woods, and a plant of very considerable beauty. The subterranean stem (rhizome) is officinal. It is about a foot long and of the thickness of a quill, almost inodorous, with a nauseous sweet taste, becoming astringent and bitter. It was anciently used as an anthelmintic. and its use has been revived, especially in cases of tapeworm, in which it is believed to be very efficacious. Its anthelmintic powers are due to a thick, almost black volatile oil which it contains, and which is now itself also used in medicine. See adjoining illus., fig. 7.

FERN, SWEET, Comptonia asplenifolia, a shrub of the natural order amentaceo, sub. order myriceæ, a native of the sterile hills of North America, forming a small bush with linear pinnatifid, fern-like leaves. Its leaves have a powerful aromatic fragrance when rubbed. It is tonic and astringent, and is much used in the United States as a domestic remedy for diarrhea.

FERNANDEZ, JUAN, a Spanish discoverer, b. about 1538. While sailing along the coast of South America early in the 16th c., he found that the winds near the shore were almost constantly from the s., and that they greatly retarded his progress. Standing off shore he met the trade-winds, which blew from a different direction, and made a voyage so remarkable for its short time that he was, on returning to Spain, arrested on a charge of sorcery. By some unusual leniency, however, his explanation was accepted, and he was acquitted. During one of his voyages, 1563, he discovered the islands which now bear his name. See JUAN FERNANDEZ. He was so pleased with their fertility and beauty, that he asked for their possession, and the Spanish government gave them to him in 1572. A colony was established, but it was not permanent, and the only relic of it is the goats, which have continued to thrive ever since. In 1574 he discovered the islands of St. Ambrose and St. Felix. His companions during a voyage made in 1576 say that he saw a large island or continent in the southern ocean. This, if not an illusion, may have been New Zealand, or Australia. Died about 1602.

FERNANDI'NA, city, port of entry, and co. seat of Nassau co., Fla.; on Amelia island, Amelia river, and the Florida Central and Peninsular railroad; 33 miles n. by n.w. of Jacksonville. It has an excellent harbor, is a popular winter resort for people from the Ferozeshah.

north, and is principally engaged in oyster canning, the manufacture of lumber, plastering fiber, and other articles, and the shipment of lumber and phosphates. Pop. '90, 2803.

FERNANDO DE NORONHA, a lonely island of the southern Atlantic, in lat. 3° 50 s., and long. 32° 25' w., about 125 m. from the coast of Brazil, to which empire it belongs. It is about 8 m. in length. The surface is rugged, and rises into a peak about 1000 ft. high, the upper part of which is very steep, and on one side somewhat overhanging. The island is mostly covered with wood; but as little rain falls, there is not much of tropical luxuriance. It is used as a place of banishment for Brazilian criminals. No woman is allowed to land on the island. Pop. 2,000, half of whom are convicts, who cultivate small farms.

FERNANDO PO, an island on the w. coast of Africa, in the bight of Biafra, is situated about 20 m. from the nearest point on the shore, and is about 44 m. long and 5 to 20 m. broad. The appearance of this island from the sea is exceedingly picturesque and beautiful. It is traversed by a mountain ridge, which, in Clarence peak, rises to the height of 9350 ft., and is fertile, well watered, and in many parts thickly wooded. Besides swarms of monkeys, some of which are of great size, the island contains many goats and sheep in a state of nature. The climate, always excessively hot, is rendered more intolerable during the rainy season by a pestilential wind from the continent. The population, which is composed of the native negroes, is variously

estimated at from 15,000 to 25,000 The island is used as a place of exile for criminals. The island takes its name from the Portuguese navigator, Fernando, or Fernão do Pao, who discovered it in the latter part of the 15th century. In 1778 it was occupied by Spain. The English, with the consent of Spain, made an attempt in 1827 to form a settlement on the island, but abandoned it in 1834. A few years later it was again taken possession of by Spain. The capital is Clarence Cove, known to the Spaniards as Santa Isabel.

FERNAN-NUNEZ, a small t. of Spain, in the province of Cordova, and 10 m. s. of the town of that name. It has some linen and woolen manufactures. Pop. 5,500.

FERNS, Filices, an order of acrogenous or cryptogamous plants, divided by some botanists into several orders; whilst some make filices a sub-class, and include in it lycopodiaceae, marsileacere, and equisetacea. See these heads. F. are either herbaceous peren. nial plants, or more rarely trees, the root-stock or the stem producing leaf-like frond: (often called leaves), which are sometimes simple, sometimes pinnated, or otherwise compound, exhibit great variety of form, and are generally coiled up (circinate) in bud. The fronds are traversed by veins, generally of uniform thickness, which are simple or forked, or netted, sometimes produced from the sides of a midrib or primary vein, sometimes from a primary vein on one side, sometimes radiating from the base of a frond or segment of a frond. The fructification takes place either on the lower surface or on the margin of the fronds, and arises from the veins. The spores are contained in capsules or sporecases (thecæ, sporangia), which are often surrounded with an elastic ring, and are either naked or covered with a membrane (involucre or indusium), and are generally clustered in round or elongated or kidney shaped masses (sort). The margin of the frond is sometimes folded so as to cover the spore-cases, and sometimes, as in the flowering fern (08munda) (q.v.), the fertile part of the frond is so transformed that its leaf-like character entirely disappears, and it becomes a spike or panicle. The spore-cases burst at their circumference, or irregularly, scattering the spores which germinate into the prothallus, a minute, kidney shaped cellular expansion with unicellular root hairs. On the under-surface of this, arise inale and female reproductive organs, the antheridia and archegonia. The former develop ciliated spiral filaments, the "antherozoids;" the latter, an oosphere, from which, when fertilized, the “fern” arises; an alternation of generations (q. v.) thus taking place.—The species of F. are about 2,500. They are found in all parts of the world, but are fewer towards the poles than within the tropics, and fewer in continental than in maritime countries, abounding exceedingly in mountainous tropical islands, as in Jamaica. Many of them delight in moisture and shade, although some are found in the most exposed situations. Some of them resemble mosses in size and appearance; whilst tree ferns (q.v.) resemble palms, and sometimes attain a height of 40 feet. A few are climbers. One climbing species (lygodium palmatum) is found in North America as far n. as Boston.-F. are divided into polypodieæ, hymenophylleo, gleichenieæ, schizær, osmunder, danææ, and ophioglosseæ, of which sub-orders (or orders) the first, second, fifth, and seventh alone contain British species, and the first contains a great majority of all ferns.—The root-stocks of some F. contain so much starch that they are either used as food, or food is prepared from them, par ticularly those of the tara (q.v.) F. in New Zealand and Van Diemen's Land, and those of aspidium (or nephrodium) esculentum in Sikkim and Nepal; also the stems of some of the tree-ferns, as of cyathea medullaris in New Zealand, and alsophila spinulosa in India. The young and tender fronds of some F. are occasionally used as put-herbs in the High. lands of Scotland, Norway, the Himalaya, etc. The fronds are generally mucilaginous, slightly aromatic and astringent. Those of some species of maidenhair (9.v.) are used for making capillaire; whilst the bitter and astringent root-stocks of some F. are occasionally used in medicine, as those of the male fern (see FERN, MALE) and the Peruvian polypodium caliguala, particularly as anthelmintics. The fronds of a few species are delightfully fragrant.- The cultivation of F. is now in many places successfully conducted on a somewhat extensive scale, both in the open air and in hot-houses; and to such an extent has the occupation of fern-collecting reached, that many excellent

1

[graphic][ocr errors]

FERNS.-1. Polypodium vulgare (common Polypody); a, division of frond with sori (fruit-dot

3. Asplenium Trichomanes Dwarf Spleenwort); a, pinna, with sori. 4. Aspl:nium Ru Fern). 6. Athyrium (Asplenium) Filix fæmina (Lady-Fern); a, pinnule, with sori · 6, section of sporangium ; -, d, e, f, development of prothallium and young fern ; 78, so margin; 6, sporangia ; C, cross-section of rhachis. 9. Scolopendrium officinarum (Hart

[merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed]

s); b, sporangium (spore-case). 2. Polypodium (Phegopteris) Dryopteris (Beech-Fern). ta-muraria (Wall-rue); a, division of frond in fruit. 5. Adiantum cuneatum (Maidenhair (indusium. 7. Aspidium Filix-mas (Male Fern. Shield-Fern); a, pianule, with sori; ale on rhachis. 8. Pteris aquilina (Brake); a, pinnule, with fructification under reflexed s Tongue). 10. Botrychium Lunaria (Moon-wort); a, sporangium.

« PreviousContinue »