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these particles consist the outer parts or cuticle of the hair. One of these hairs I met with, which seemed rare, being on the one side convex, on the other somewhat concave, and looking like two hairs continuous or growing together. I examined the roots of several hairs plucked out of my hand, nostrils, eye-lid, eye-brow, &c. and clearly saw that the whole root, except the cuticle, consisted of little strings, which I suppose to be veins or vessels, appearing like a common tree with all its roots. Account of the Salt Springs and Salt-making at Droitwich.
By Dr. Thomas RASTELL. — [1678.] The depth of the springs is various : some rise on the top of the ground which are not so salt as others : those that are in the pits we make use of are various also. The great pit, which is called Upwich pit, is 30 feet deep, in which are three distinct springs rising in the bottom. The pit is about 10 feet square ; the sides are made with square elms, jointed in at the full length, which I suppose is occasioned by the saltness of the ground, which appears to me to have been a bog ; the surface of it is made of ashes.
În the great pit at Upwich, we have at once three sorts of brine, which we call- by the names of first-man, middle-man, and last-man ; these sorts being of different strengths. The brine is drawn by a pump; that which is in the bottom is first pumped out, which is that we call first-man, &c. A quart measure of this brine weighs 29 ounces troy, but of distilled water only 24 ounces. This brine yields above a fourth part salt ; so that four tuns of brine make above one tun of salt. The two other sorts less, or 28 ounces. And the pit yields 450 bushels of salt per day. In the best pit at Nether. wich, a quart of brine weighs 28 ounces and a half; this pit is 18 feet deep, and four feet broad, and yields as much brine every 24 hours as makes about 40 bushels of salt. The worst pit at Netherwich is of the same breadth and depth as the former ; a quart of brine out of which weighs 27 ounces, and yields as much brine daily as makes about 30 bushels of salt.
The vats we boil the brine in are made of lead, cast into a flat plate, five feet and a half long, and three feet over ; then the sides and ends beaten up, and a little raised in the middle, which are set upon brick-work, called ovens, in which is a grate to make the fire on, and an ash-hole which we call a trunk. In some seals are six of these pans, in some five, some four, some three, some two. In each of these pans is boiled at a time as much brine as makes three pecks of white salt. For clarifying the salt we should have little need, were it not for dust acci. dentally falling into the brine. The brine of itself being so clear that nothing can be clearer. For clarifying it we use nothing but the whites of eggs; of which we take a quarter of a white, and put it into a gallon or two of brine, which being beaten with the hand, lathers as if it were soap, a small quantity of which froth put into each vat, raises all the scum, the white of one egg clarifying 20 bushels of salt ; by which means our salt is as white as any thing can be; neither has it any ill savour, as that salt has that is clarified with blood. For granulating it we use nothing at all ; for the brine is so strong of itself, that unless it be often stirred, it will make salt as large grained as bay-salt. I have boiled brine to a candy height, and it has produced clods of salt as clear as the clearest alum, like Isle of May salt; so that we are necessitated to put a small quantity of rosin into the brine, to make the grain of the salt small.
Besides the white salt above spoken of, we have another sort, called clod-salt, which adheres to the bottoms of the vats, and which after the white salt is laded out, is digged up with a steel picker. This is the strongest salt I have seen, and is most used for salting bacon and neats' tongues; it makes the bacon redder than other salt, and makes the fat eat firm : if the swine are fed with mast, it hardens the fat almost as much as if fed with pease, and salted with white salt. It is very much used by country-women, to put into their runnet-pots, esteeming it better for their cheese. These clods are used to broil meat with, being laid on coals; but we account it too strong to salt beef with, as it takes away too much of its sweetness. There is a third sort of salt, called knockings, which candies on the stales of the barrow, as the brine runs from the salt after it is laded out of the vats: this salt is most used for the same purposes as the clod salt, though it is not altogether so strong. There is also a fourth sort, called scrapings, being a coarse sort of salt that is mixed with dross and dust, that cleaves to the tops of the sides of the vats; this salt is scraped off the vats when we reach them, that is, when we take the vats off the fires to beat up the bottom; and is bought by the poor sort of people to salt meat with. A fifth sort is pigeon salt; which is nothing but the brine running out through the crack of a vat, and hardens to a clod on the outside over the fire. Lastly, the salt loaves are the finest of the white salt, the grain of which is made something finer than ordinary, that it may the better adhere together, which is done by adding a little more rosin, and is beaten into the barrows when it is laded out of the vat.
Our salt is not so apt to dissolve as Cheshire salt, nor as that salt that is made by dissolving bay-salt and clarifying it, which is called salt upon salt, as appears by our long keeping it without
Letter of Mr. LEUWENHOEK, containing an Account of the
vast Numbers of Animals in Melts of Fish. — [1681.] VIEWING the melt of a live cod-fish, I found the juices which ran from it full of small live animals, incessantly moving to and fro. I have also viewed the melt of pikes or jacks, and found an incredible number of small animals and I judge that there were at least 10,000 of these creatures in the size of a small sand. These were smaller than those I observed in beasts, but their tails longer and thinner.
How vast and almost incredible the number of these creatures is, you may somewhat the better conceive by the calculation which I have hereunto annexed. I have formerly said that in a quantity of the juice of the melt of a male cod-fish, of the size of a small sand, there are contained more than 10,000 small living creatures with long tails ; and considering how many such quantities, viz. of the size of a sand, might be contained in the whole melt, I was of opinion, that the melt of one single cod-fish contained more living animals than there were living men at one time upon the face of the
An Account of Okey-hole, and several other_Subterraneous
Grottos and Caverns in Mendip-hills. By Mr. John BEAUMONT, Jun. - [1681.]
On the south side of Mendip-hills, within a mile of Wells, is a famous grotto, known by the name of Okey-hole, much resorted to by travellers.
At first entering this vault, you go upon a level ; but advancing farther into it, you find the way rocky and uneven, sometimes ascending and sometimes descending. The roof in the highest part is about eight fathoms from the floor, and in some places it is so low that a man must stoop to pass through. Its width is also various ; in some parts it is about five or six fathoms, in others not above one or two ; it extends itself in length about 200 yards.
At the farther part of this cavern there rises a good stream of water, large enough to drive a mill, which passes all along one side of the cavern, and at length slides down about six or eight fathoms between the rocks, and then pressing through the clefts of them, discharges itself into a valley. This river within the cavern is well stored with eels, and has some trouts in it, which must of necessity have been engendered there, and not come from without, there being so great a fall near the entrance. In a dry summer I have seen a number of frogs all along the cavern, to the farthest part of it, and other little animals in some small cisterns of water there. Before arriving at the middle of this vault, you find a bed of very fine sand, which is much used by artists to cast metals in. On the roof, at certain places, hang multitudes of bats, as usual in all caverns whose entrance is upon a level, or somewhat ascending or descending.
The next cavern of note lies about five miles from this, on the south-west part of Mendip-hills, near a place called Chedder, famous for cheese ; from this place you may pass up a narrow valley about a mile in length, being bounded with precipitous rocks on the east and west, some of a very considerable height. To enter into this cavern, before you reach half way this valley, you must ascend about 15 fathoms on those rocks which bound it to the east. This cavern is not of so large extent as the former, neither has it any thing pe. culiar in it. These two caverns have no communication with the mines.
It is generally observed, that wherever mines of lead-ore are, there caverns of various kinds and situations are found. The most considerable in Mendip-hills is a cavern in a hill called Lamb. First a perpendicular shaft descends about 10 fathoms, then you come into a leading vault, which extends itself in length about 40 fathoms; it runs not on a level, but descending, so that when you come to the end of it you are 23 fathoms deep by a perpendicular line : the floor of it is full of loose rocks: its roof is firmly vaulted with lime-stone rocks, having flowers of all colours hanging from them, which present a most beautiful object to the eye, being always kept moist by the distilling waters. In some parts the roof is about five fathoms in height, in others so low that a man has much ado to pass by creeping ; the width is mostly about three fathoms. This cavern crosses many veins of ore. About its middle, on the east side, lies a narrow passage into another cavern, which runs between
- 40 and 50 fathoms in length. At the end of the first cavern there opens another large one.
I have been in many other caverns upon Mendip-hills. The frequency of caverns on those hills may be easily guessed at, by the frequency of swallow-pits, which occur there in all parts, and are made by the falling in of the roofs of caverns ; some of these pits being of a large extent, and very deep; and sometimes our miners, sinking in the bottom of these swallows, have found oaks 15 fathoms deep in the earth.
An Account of several curious Discoveries about the Internal
Texture of the Flesh of Muscles, of strange Motions in the Fins, and the Manner of the Production of the Shells of Oysters, &c. By M. LEUWENHOEK. — [1682.]
FORMERLY I have stated, that musculous flesh, viewed with an ordinary microscope, I conceived them to be composed of globules, I now find that they are not globules but rimples. For on examining beef muscles, I found them to be made up of small strings lying close joined together one by another; which were so small that 50 of them, laid one by another, would not make the breadth of the 22d part of an inch, and if supposed a 20th, leaving two for the thickness of the membrane that inclose them, there will be found 1000 of such strings lying one by another to make the breadth of an inch, and consequently 1,000,000 of them in a square inch.
In some of my late observations I took notice, that about 100 of these muscular strings lying by each other were wrapped round, and enclosed with a membrane, which made a muscular chord. At another time I observed in the muscles of an ox's tongue three such muscular chords, each enwrapped with its distinct membrane, whose ends when cut across would be covered by a sand no larger than the 100th part of an inch ; whence we may conceive there may be about 5000 of such muscular chords in a square inch.
I took the season when oysters came to us in a short time from England, and observed, with admiration, what an extraordinary
motion the beard of the oyster made ; and although I took some very minute parts of it, many of which would not together make out the size of a sand, yet these parts, so broken, had such a motion as was inconceivable ; for I imagined that such a small part represented to me a shrimp with its continual moving pattens, and others like a lobster. And one might have sworn that it was no part of the beard of the oyster, but an animal of itself, notwithstanding the contrary