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with men and boys engaged in various operations. In the cutting and stamping room the paper-cutting machine, invented by Mr. Wilson, is brought into extensive operation, moulds of every description being used to produce the different articles; and so great is the demand for new combinations of gutta percha, that scarcely & week passes without some addition to the stock of curious con. trivances — some unique pattern, some elegant design, or some useful appliance. As we said before, the novelty of the manufacture has introduced a vast number of curious looking tools, etc.; but it may be affirmed that the principal and indispensable necessaries are, boiling water, the knife, the mould, the press, and the plastic hand of the workman. The operation of the cutting machine is as instantaneous as it is curious. If shoe-soles are required, the band is applied to the machine, and a dozen pieces of one shape is the result; if line or string is wanted, a series of sharp knives press down on the material, and the necessary quantity is ready for the workman's hand to roll and polish; and so of every article in which a distinct outline is necessary.
The next process is the moulding or stamping. The sheets are cut into pieces, and each piece is warmed sufficiently to take the impress of the die. These moulds, many of which display great ingenuity and originality, are all made on the premises, and constitute a distinct branch of the company's operations. We come Dow to speak of
THE USES OF GUTTA PERCHA. The most important use to which this material has been applied is undoubtedly that of tubing. The history of water-carrying is the history of civilization. First the spring at which the wayfarer stooped to drink; then the rude passage formed of trunks of trees laid end to end; then the aqueduct, carried o’er bill and valley to imperial Rome; then the gay, splashing fountain, with its retinue of water-carriers ; lastly, the leaden pipe, which does its office stealthily beneath the earth, and bears the stream from distant country places into our very homes. . But even the reign of the leaden pipe is doomed, and must give way in turn to gutta percha. Even while we write, the system of supply for large cities is under. going change, and medical men are beginning to perceive that the conveyance of water in leaden pipes is hurtful to the health. “Many serious and alarming disorders," says Dr. Thomas Smith, "guch as mania, epilepsy, sudden death, nervous affections, paralysis, consumption, hydrycephalus, heart disease, etc., owe their origin, in some instances, their intractable character in others, to the gradual and continuous infinitesimal doses of lead, copper, etc., introduced into the system through the channel of our daily drink.” For all sanitary purposes the gutta percha tubing is ad mirably adapted, as it possesses strength, purity, and is entirely anaffected by frost. It is accordingly extensively used for pumpbarrels, ship-pumps, fuel-pipes, for locomotive engines ; and, being unaffected by acids, is available for bleaching and all chem ical purposes. It may be united to a metal pipe without difficulty; is unhurt by gas or chlorine ; and, as for strength, it has been found to resist a pressure of 200 lbs. to the square inch. At New York a gutta percha pipe of 1,000 feet in length, and of but two and a half inches calibre, has been laid down for conveying the Croton water from Blackwell's Island. Its durability has been proved by the fact of its having lain in damp ground quite uninjured for two years, and its ductility is seen in the fact that it may be bent, twisted, or coiled in all directions without injury. A curious and valuable use has been made of the gutta percha tube in illuminating buildings. One end being attached to a gas-pipe, and the rest coiled round a cylinder, the light may be carried about by hand to any part of the building, the tube being coiled and uncoiled at pleasure.
Formed into carboys, flasks, funnels, bowls, scoops for ladles, inings for cisterns, battery-cells, buckets, troughs, or syphons, he Indian gum answers its purpose equally well, and is found far more strong and eeonomical than any material hitherto tried.
In acoustics the gutta percha tubing has been found of admirable service; and whether employed as an ear-trumpet for the deaf; as a speaking tube in a railway carriage; a domestic telegraph by which messages may be conveyed from one part of the house to another, and whereby the lowest whisper is distinctly heard ; a speaking apparatus from the mouth to the lowest depths of mines; or as an appliance whereby a minister may address the deaf among his congregation—it has been found equally certain and unfailing. In various churches and chapels it has been applied to the latter purpose, being conveyed under the flooring from the pulpit to the most distant pews; and in more than one instance it has been attached to the doorway of the medical man, and carried up to his bedside, so that he is enabled to communicate with the messenger of his patients as readily as if he attended them in person in the cold night air.
For shoe and boot-soles it has been extensively applied, and numerous testimoniais speak of its efficacy in resisting damp, and protecting the feet from cold and frost in all situations. As a substitute or addition to leather for these purposes it is undoubtedly of great and important use.
We would willingly speak at length of its services in telegraphic communication ; but when we say, as is already known to all ou readers, that through its agency the British Channel has been spanned, and Paris, and Berlin, and Brussels have been brought within speaking distance of London; when by a flash of lightning the submarine telegraph conveys intelligence from shore to shore, wo think we have sufficiently testified to its usefulness and importsonce in this respect.
As a decorative and fine art material, gutta pereha has been brought into use in an immense variety of ways. In gutta percha are formed all manner of domestic appliances and ornamentstrays of all sorts and sizes; vases, watch-stands, and plates ; bouquet-holders, statuettes, brackets, jugs, mugs, inkstands, and clothes-lines ; flower-pots and stands, paper-weights, medallions, cornices, doors, mouldings, picture and glass frames, drinking cups, fishing nets, and portmanteaus; skates, policemen's batons, and boats ; oil-cans, washing basins, and whips ; stethoscopes, splints for dislocations, and curtain-rings; stuffing for horses' feet, mill-bands, and stop.cocks ; cutting boards, cabmen's hats, and traces ; life preservers, bottling boots, and seals; powder-flasks, air-guns, and book-covers ; sponge-bags, galvanic batteries, and bandages for broken limbs. For all these, and thousands of other purposes, it has been found of eminent utility, and we think enough has been said to commend it to the reader's attention. It may
be mentioned, in conclusion, that many imitations and falsifications of the company's patent have been attempted, to obviate which the names and offices of the patentees are now stamped on all articles issuing from their establishment. We could go on, but space forbids.
To the stranger in London, and the seeker after novelty in manufactures, an bour or two cannot be more profitably spent than in visiting the works of the Gutta Percha Company. Much that is useful, much that is curious, and much that is beautiful, awaits his inspection.
[From the Peoria Democratic Press. ] Wild and Cultivated Fruits, etc., in Oregon.
OREGON CITY, 0. T., March, 20, 1851. “Are there any wild fruits in Oregon?” is an inquiry often made in the States, and a particular answer may be acceptable to the curious on such subjects. There are no walnut, butter-nut, hickory, pecan, mulberry, persimmon, nor chesnut trees in the territory, excepting a few in the nursery gardens, and these have not yet commenced bearing. They sell at $2 a piece, six inches to three feet in length. Hazel bushes are abundant among all the undergrowth in every direction. In some localities they attain a very large size for bushes of this kind, and the nuts are larger than those in the western states, though smaller than filberts, but better. The Indians collect large quantities of them for winter stores. Chincopins, sweet little nuts (like small round chestnuts,) are found in the Calapooiah mountains and a few other places. Cherries, same as the Michigan eboke cherry," grow in many places. The young trees are used as stocks for grafting, and is is believed that they do well for this purpose, yet scientific fruit growers would probably be slow to recommend the practice. No wild plums nor grapes have been seen north of the Umpqua valley. The plums found in and south of that valley have considerable resemblance to peaches, in taste at least. Crab-apple trees are met with in nearly every thicket and almost invariably form part of the undergrowth of low and bottom lands. In favorable situations the trees grow to the ordinary size of cultivated appletrees. The blossoms are very fragrant and pretty. Fruit scarcely equals in size the large red haws of your State — shape, regular, oblong, narrowing to the eye, thin skin, glossy with a slight blush of red and yellow next the sun, core small, flesh solid and strong. ly, though very pleasantly, acid. They grow in bunches almost like black haws. They are esteemed by many persons for making preserves. In the way of berries nature has dealt more liberally with Oregon.
Whortleberries grow in many places — some on bushes eight to twelve inches and others eight to twelve feet in height. The first produce abundantly a very sweet fruit about the size of common red currants, and the larger bushes bear much larger berries, some red and others deep blue or black. The red ones are the favorites.
Cranberry swamps are found along the coast and in Washington territory, some of them many acres in size. Indians gather and bring the berries to market. Raspberries and black or dewberries are numerous in many places. The former produce remarkably well, and the berry is very large and finely flavored. The latter is a running vine which also bears well, an excellent fruit. Several persons from California were here the past winter gathering large numbers of raspberry roots to ship to and sell in that state. Strawberries grow all over the country, but as you go south they appear more plenty, larger in size and of superior flavor. Near tne bases of the mountains in the upper part of the Willamette valley it is not uncommon to find them equal in size to the largest of Hovey's seedling. A berry called the “Oregon grape," but scarcely resembling in any particular its namesake of the states, is frequently met with in rough places. The bushes grow from two to six feet high, often with several branches, and are evergreen ; leaves unequally pinnate, leaflets hard, glossy, serrated and very pointed ; blossoms yellow; fruit average size of Illinois wild grapes, and very acid, too much so to be of material account for any purpose. The gooseberry found here is very like its namesake still seen in some of the old gardens in the eastern states, and not inferior to it in any respect.
We have also a variety of the black currant, which is more admired on account of its beautiful red blossom (which sometimes appear early as the middle of February,) than for the berry which is sweet but has a flavor unpleasant to most persons. Then we have service-berries, large and excellent; sallad, salmon and thimbleberries, of not much account, except that the sallad berry is a favorite food of swine. The white oaks also generally produce “a good mast” for that quadruped, which is of considerable import
Another question, and one in which there is deservedly a deeper interest manifested, is, “Do fruits cultivated in the states succeed well in Oregon?” The experiments and experience in horticulture have been amply sufficient to give a most decisive and satisfactory reply in the affirmative. There is no room for even the "shadow of a doubt” on this subject. Apple trees of nearly all the superior and most approved varieties have already been introduced here, and many of them produced fruit last year, and some have been in bearing several years. The same may be said of pears, quinces, peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, cherries and almonds. A number of persons are engaged in the nursery business, one or two on a pretty large scale. But they have been unable fully to supply the demand. This, however, may to some degree be attributed to the orders for fruit trees sent from California ; but the Oregon settlers manifest the right spirit in this matter-they seem to be fully sensible of the importance of making an early start in growing fruit, and, judging from their selections from the many different varieties, they generally appear to understand what they are about. The prices range from seventyfive cents to $2 a piece for trees of one or two years growth, from the bud or graft. They grow finely, and commence bearing remarkably soon; and their early maturity does not, as might be supposed, interfere with their growth. It is a common remark that "greater bearers were never seen,” which is owing to the favorable character of the climate - frosts seldom injure the blossoms. The fruit is finely flavored, beautiful in form, and generally larger than it grows in the states. To give you the size of apples, plums, &c., grown here last year would scarcely fail to provoke a credulous su ile. Only a single case, too well attested to admit of doubt, will, therefore, be named. General McCarver (who resides near this place,) last autumn sent to the California Horticultural Society's fair, a number of pears which he took from the tree four or five weeks before maturity in order to reach their destination in time. As a matter of course, he plucked the largest. They lacked 2 oz. of weighing two pounds a piece. He took the premium at the fair, and the society voted him a handsome medal. When the pears which remained were taken from the tree they bad attained the size of those sent away, showing pretty conclusively that if the first had remained, they would have exceeded the weight of two pounds a piece. He says they were of the variety known as the "pound pear.” The same gentleman sent a load of twenty-five or thirty bushels of seedling apples to