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Mifflin county.-- In this county there are four furnaces. They were built previous to 18+2, but there was but one in blast in that year, and that not the whole time. In 1813, '44, '45, '46, and 947, these were all in blast, yielding about 150 tons of metal weekly, or 6,500 tons a year. At the present time but one of these is in blast, and that one is to stop in a few days.

Venango and Clarion counties. There were in these two counties five furnaces previous to 1842, all of which were idle. In 1816 the number of furnaces was increased to upwards of twenty; some of the largest capacity ; and the amount of pig metal made estimated at fifty thousand tons a year. There are only five or six of these furnaces now in blast.

Mercer county.-There are 14 furnaces in this county, about one half of which are dead, and the balance doing a little to keep their hands from starving. In 1812 there were but two in the county, both of which were idle. In 1816 all these furnaces were in full blast, producing about 30,000 tons of pig metal a year. Their product this year is estimated at 8,000 tons.

The rolling mill at Greenville has ceased operations. Yours, tauly,

THEO. FENN. Hon. W. M. MEREDITH.

The import of pig, bar, and scrap iron, for the year ending. June 30th, 1847, amounted to only $3,576,382; for the year ending June 30th, 1848, it amounted to $5,610,264, and for the year ending June 30th, 1852, it reached nearly $11,000,000 ; showing an increase of imports corresponding with the decline of the iron business at home. It scarcely admits of a doubt that, had the tariff of 1842 remained unchanged, the produce of iron in this country would have kept pace with the demand, and that, instead of having incurred a large amount of indebtedness to foreign capitalists for railroad iron, we should now be supplying the entire demand on better terms than it can be obtained in Great Britain.

But were it certain that, by abolishing the duties, the price of rails would be reduced thirty per cent., still but few of the railroad companies of this country would be in a better condition than they are at present. They have already carried more bonds to market tban can be sold; and unless they resort to the commun sense and safe method of building railroads by the application of their own money, instead of relying solely upon the sale of bonds to purchase iron, they will be compelled to suspend operations until a more propitious season.

Instead of repealing the law imposing a duty on railroad iron,

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it is the true policy of the country to use the advantages offered by the present demand, to build up and establish the American Iron trade upon a solid and permanent foundation. It would be much easier to do this than to find the means of purchasing foreign made iron. For if wisely managed, these two branches of industrythe building of railroads and the making of iron - would impart assistance and strength to each other; and both being sustained by the natural resources and labor of cur own country, there would be no danger that either would fail for the want of means.

Though none more than we desire to see the accomplishment of a complete system of railways in every part of the country, yet we deprecate the spirit of impatience that would urge the work on regardless of consequences, crushing in its mad career the iron business, a branch of industry of more vital importance to a state of civilization than all the advantages that can be expected from any one mode of public improvement.

The difficulty of obtaining means to carry on the numerous railroad projects already commenced affords strong evidence that the country has undertaken more work than can be accomplished, in the time proposed, with the means that cau be safely drawn from other pursuits ; and, according to our observation, whenever any branch of business reaches that point, it cannot be sustained and successfully carried on by a resort to legislative expedients. In such cases no act of the legislature can overrule the laws of industry and com

It may check their operations for a time; but every expedient designed to sustain a branch of business already overdona serves but to accummulate and make more certain the evil conse: quences involved in the violation of natural laws.

In view of the subject in all its relations, we have regarded the high price of iron as one of the most fortunate consequences of the spirit of public improvement now prevailing in this country. We have looked to this state of things as a means of building up the Iron trade of the United States, and of freeing it from the control of the iron-masters of Great Britain; as a means of creating a market in our mineral districts for a vast volume of agricultural and horticultural products, which would never find a market elsewhere; and finally, as a means of making our inexhaustible deposits of iron ore and coal supply the place of the precious metals, and become in time the very basis and most reliable support of all public improvements.

merce.

All this we firmly believe will be realized in time, if the General Government should pursue a wise policy in respect to the tariff on foreign iron. Already extraordinary results have been developed in this direction. The production of iron has greatly increased within the last two years; and if nothing should occur to check its progress in the next two years, the competition between the producers of this country and those of Great Britain will begin to operate in favor of the consumers. No branch of industry ever introduced into this country has grown with more rapidity, or attained a greater degree of importance in the same length of time, than has the manufacture of rails within the last eighteen months. We find in several of our most reliable exchanges a list of sixteen iron establishments which it is said will turn out 160,000 tons of rails during the current year ; this will be sufficient to lay about 1,600 miles of road, and we know that there are other establishments not enumerated in the list.* The capital invested in these

• List of 16 mills and their estimated production for the year 1854 furnished by a correspondent of the Philadelphia Bulletin. Montour Iron Works, Danville, Penn- | Trenton I. W., Trenton, N. J.. 15,000 sylvania ....

tons 18,000 Massachusetts). W., Boston. Mas 15,000 Rough & Ready, Danv., Pa.... 4,000 Mt. Savage I. W..Mt.Savage, Md 12,000 Lackawanna, Scranton, Pa..... 16,000 Richmond Mill, Richmond, Va. 5,000 Phoenix 1. W., Phoenixv., Pa.. 20,000 Washington Rolling Mill, WheelSafe Harbor, Safe Harbor, Pa.. 15,000!ing, Va....

5.000 Great Western, Brady's Bend,Pa 12.000 Crescent Works, Wheeling, Va. 5,000 New Works, Pittsburg, Pa..... 5,000 New Mills, Portsmouth, Ohio.. 5,000 Pottsville I. W., Pottsville, Pa.. 3,000 Cambria I. W., Cambria, Pa 5,000 Total ......

160,000 Represented Items in the production of 160,000 tons of Railroad Iron. Pig Iron required.. 1 1-3 ton per ton of rails.... tons 113,333 Coal used. • 5 1-4 tons per ton of rails.

840,000 Iron Ore. 3 1-2 tons per ton of rails.

560,000 Limestone. ..........1 1-8 ton per ton of rails ......

214,333 Total number of tons raw material..

.. 1,826,666 Labor employed from the Materials in the ground to the finished rail in market. In mining, transporting and delivering coals, p. ton of coal at $1,92.. $1.612,800 In mining, transporting and delivering iron ore, p. ton of ore at $1,60, 896,000 In mining, transporting and delivering limestone p. ton at 65 cents. 138,666 At and about the furnace p. ton of Pig Iron at $3,00...

663,466 At and about the Mill, per ton of rails at $12..

1,920.000 Carrying Rails to market, say average $2......

320,000 Number of men employed, 18,500-yearly earnings, $300 per head. - $5.550,932 Population supported, 5 times 18,500, equal to....

92,5000 Breadstuffs consumed per annum, 92,500 persons, at $50 per head. ... 4,625,000 Capital employed in rail iron Works now erected....

• 10,000,000

Other interests as below : Owners of Coal Lands--royalty-valued on a ton af rails at $1,84.... $294,000 Coal Operator-his average profit valued on a ton of rails at 95 cents.. 152.000 Owners of Ore Lands-royalty-valued on a ton of rails at $1,11..... 225,600 Owners of Limestone Quarries-quarry cave-valued on a ton of rails at 13 cents.

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establishments is, estimated at $10,000,000, and their estimated produce for this year-valued at $75 per ton-amounts to $12,000,000. Viewed as an object of national wealth, it will be perceived that much the greater portion of this sum is a clear gain to the people of this country. For by reference to the statement to which we refer, it will be seen that but a very small proportion of the elements constituting this value of $12,000,000, could have been exchanged for foreign iron at any price. .By the operation of these mills, iron ore, coal and limestone, articles of scarcely any appreciable value in a commercial point of view, are converted into useful, substantial wealth, imparting vigor and stability to every branch of industry, and preventing the exportation of the precious metals in exchange for the products of similar materials abroad.

But why should we multiply facts and arguments when we have reason to apprehend that a majority in Congress have already resolved in their hearts to abo‘ish the duties on iron to be used in the construction of railroads ? But few public men, as we are constrained to believe, aspire to be statesmen. Empiricism in legislation seems to have usurped the place of statesmanship, and our best protection against an unwise, and perhaps a ruinous course of legislation is the conflicting interests and prejudices of different parts of the country. We can imagine how hard it is for an American legislator to rise entirely above these influences, and take a clear, disinterested view of any subject relating to the industry and commerce of the nation; and therefore we admonish the friends of this measure that they are treading upon dangerous ground. If it be their odject to check the production of American iron, and secure to the subjects of Great Britain a monopoly of the iron trade at their own prices, for an indefinite period, they will doubtless succeed in their design, in case their measure becomes a law. But if it be their purpose to give er.couragement to the building of rail. roads, and profitable employment to American industry, we can scarcely imagine a scheme, tho' devised by an enemy, which would be more certain to depress those objects, and result in injury instead of benefit.

20,800 Capitalists use of money, interest,&c. valued on a ton of rails at $1,50 240,000 Transportation Companies—clear profits over and above working expenses, valued on a ton of rails at $3,78..

604,800 Storekeepers and others, for merchandize, oil, brass, fire-brick, &c., valued on a ton of rails at $1,39, .

382,400 Total

$1,919,60

.....

ARTICLE II.

[From the Magazine of Art.] Manufacture of Gutta Percha.

The following remarks from an English periodical, upon one of the most useful articles recently discovered, and applied to an immense variety of purposes, will, we doubt not, be read with interest:

We live in eventful times ; and every day brings to light some new discovery in science and the arts, or some special application of hitherto known but upappreciated agents. Here, a flash of the electric spark conveys intelligence from point to point, over mountains and through the very sea itself; there, the discovery of a new law in nature robs romance of half its charms, and explains, in part, the dreamy superstitions of our ancestors ; everywhere the mind of man is active and awake, and ready to receive new impressions. Indeed, one of the most remarkable characteristics of the age in which we live is an inquiring spirit, which, in some cases, amounts almost to blameable credulity. Within the memory of living men, steam and gaslight, electricity and galvanism, photography and mesmerism, were unknown agencies to the great mass of the people; and it is only within the last ten years that the substance called "Gutta Percha” has become a useful appliance in domestic life.

We purpose to record briefly the history and uses of this curious vegetable gum. Let us glance at the

GUTTA PERCHA IN ITS NATIVE WOODS. Like photography and the new planet, this product seems to have had more than one discoverers- Dr. Montgomerie, assistant surgeon to the Presidency at Singapore, and Mr. Thomas Lobb, botanical agent to the Messrs. Veitch, the well-known florists of Exeter, each claiming the discovery as his own though each was miles distant from, and acting independently of, the other. Priority of discovery, however, seems by common assent to be given to the first-named gentleman. The home of the gutta percha tree is in the islands of the Indian Archipelago, where there is reason to believe that it is indigenous. In the year 1824, Dr. Montgomerie was out in the woods at Singapore, when he observed, in the hands of a parang, or native woodsman, a hatchet, the handle of which was coroposed of a strange substance. "I questioned the workman, in whose possession I found it,” says the Doctor, in his account to the Society of Arts, "and heard that the material of wbich it was formed could be moulded into any form by dipping it into hot water, when it became as plastic as clay, and when cold regaining its original hardness and rigidity.” Subsequent inquiry led to the fact that gutta percba, like caoutchouc, or india-rubber,

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