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The cotton-wads, with which engineers clean their machinery, are afterwards worked up into some descriptions of shoddy. Cotton-waste, "the refuse cotton of the mills," is another article of considerable importance, it being manufactured into writing and printing paper; whilst in America it is made into an imitation of papier mâché.

Oakum made from old ropes, again, is the product of a waste substance. Mr. Simmonds states that 1,400 tons, valued at £28,000, are sold annually in Liverpool. The total imports of codilla or tow (the waste fibres which occur in the cleansing of hemp and flax), amounted in 1857 to 13,000 tons, valued at £373,000. It is manufactured into bags, yarn, &c.

Bones form another waste product, though no longer wasted, and Mr. Simmonds gives a very interesting account of the changes which they undergo. Bones are made into manure as superphosphate of lime, or turned into handles for knives, fans, tooth-brushes, umbrellas; or converted into buttons, children's rattles, &c. They are also largely used in the manufacture of animal charcoal (a very important agent in refining sugar). Bones are boiled for the sake of the gelatine which they contain, and this gelatine is used by dyers, and not unfrequently by cooks; the fatty matter obtained being made into soap. The value of bones imported and collected at home is calculated to amount to £700,000 per annum.

This book contains one of the most interesting biographies, that of a dealer in refuse bread, bread crumbs, crusts, &c., which has ever come under our notice.

We must glance rapidly over the list of waste substances, and refer our readers to the complete and varied information which Mr. Simmonds supplies on each subject.

The saw-dust of various woods is a waste product of importance, and employed for a variety of purposes. The husk of the grape, after the fruit has been crushed, is used in making a weaker wine, and also in the manufacture of vinegar. Oil-cakes, formed from seeds after the oil has been crushed from them, are of great commercial importance.

We must not omit to mention another waste material-the waste paper of the Government offices, which sells annually for £7,000.

Dead dogs in Paris and New York are no longer wasted, they are boiled down, and their fat used in the preparation of kid-gloves. Old horses form a perfect mine of wealth, and Mr. Simmonds gives a very curious list of the purposes to which their "remains" are applied.

The waste products of coal show perhaps the most extraordinary results of chemical researches. Gas-water, formerly allowed to run to waste, is now eagerly bought up. The residual products of coal are very numerous, and amongst them are ammoniacal-water, employed in making sulphate and carbonate of ammonia, sal-ammoniac, and alum; coal-tar, which contains a variety of products; naphtha, employed as a solvent, and for burning purposes; benzol, the basis of the endless shades of mauve, Magenta, roseine, &c. Another product is paraffin-wax, which is made into candles; and another creosote, from which carbolic acid is obtained, largely used as an antiseptic. Carbolic, in combination with nitric, produces picric acid, from which are obtained the beautiful greens and yellows so much in fashion of late.

Undeveloped substances afford a still wider and more important field ; for every new and untried product comes, of course, under this denomination. Researches are being constantly made, in order to find substances which may contain qualities similar to those already known, but which may be rare and costly. This inquiry opens a new world in which an endless variety of products offer themselves, first as luxuries, but finally as necessities.

Mr. Simmonds's book is especially interesting on this subject, and many of his suggestions are of easy application.

A great variety of substances have been developed as substitutes for sugar; and we need scarcely refer to the substitutes for cotton. Fibres of every description have been suggested, one of the latest being the delicate fibre of the Zostera marina; but all proposed substitutes appear to possess three difficulties-short supply, increased cost of manufacture, and inadequate result. The substitutes for tea are very numerous, and many of them somewhat peculiar. We need not specially refer to sloe-leaves, and Mr. Simmonds gives us the satisfactory assurance, "that the great bulk of the tea imported into this country for the last ten years has been unadulterated." Upwards of ninety-eight different plants have been cultivated in various parts of the world as substitutes for tea.

The products of the Palmaceæ have never yet been fully developed. In its fruits, nuts, oils, fibres, sugar, spirit, woods, flour, wax, canes, &c., we have a most wonderful variety; but this family contains materials, the qualities of which are not known. It is only of late years that the kernel of the palm-oil nut, Elais Guineensis, has been crushed for the sake of its oil, and this oil now realizes a higher price than that of the fruit. The kernel of the Cohune-nut, Attalea Cohune, produces a most brilliant oil, and a series of experiments have lately been tried with it. The Palms produce many fibres which have not yet been tested. A most beautiful specimen was shown in the Exhibition,-so fine in its character, that it looked like human hair.

Mr. Simmonds draws attention to new edible roots, and mentions a large variety. Amongst others, the root-stocks of the Arrowhead, so common in our streams; the roots of various species of the Arum; the bulbous roots of the Star of Bethlehem. In Germany, the roots of the dandelion are consumed. The pig-nut, Bunium flexuosum, is well known in England, and might be made an important article of food. The tubers of a species of Oxalis have been imported from Peru, and found equal in quality to the potato; and the Journal de Chambery, quoted by Mr. Simmonds, states, that the bitter principle in the dahlia can be removed by boiling, and that the root can be used as a substitute for the potato.

Fibres and their substitutes have a chapter to themselves. The beautiful silk cotton of the West Indies has not been employed for weaving purposes, on account of the want of staple. In America it is used in the manufacture of hats. Very beautiful fibres have been obtained from the leaves of the pine-apple and stems of the banana. The aloe, of Mexico, now supplies a very important material, known as Mexican Fibre, and largely used in making into brushes, imitation horsehair, &c.

The substitutes for rags in the manufacture of paper form a most curious

list, and Mr. Simmonds gives some valuable hints respecting new substances which might be used. We must refer our readers to this chapter for much varied information, and after reading it, one is inclined to ask what vegetable fibre has not been employed in the manufacture of paper. Mr. Simmonds mentions that, as early as 1857, a patent was taken out for obtaining paper pulp from wrack-grass, Zostera marina, lately introduced as a substitute for cotton.

With reference to suggestions, we would specially refer to the economic application of sea-weeds, for purposes of manure, manufacture of iodine, acetic acid, muriate of potash, sugar, as food, stiffening for fabrics, &c.? Our space will not allow us to do more that allude to the chapter on the uses of Peat, and also to the article on the Utilization of the Waste of the Fisheries for Manure; but we would particularly draw attention to this chapter.

The whole work, although full of the most practical business information, is written in a pleasing style, and the circumstances relating to the transformations of refuse often read like a romance, rather than a dry detail of the uses of "waste and undeveloped substances."

A Plain and Easy Account of British Fungi. By M. C. COOKE, Author of "A Manual of Structural Botany," "A Manual of Botanic Terms," &c. Twenty-four coloured Plates. London: Robert Hardwicke.


HE author of this volume is already favourably known as having written a "A Manual of Structural Botany." It is introductory to the more elaborate works of Schleiden, Henfrey, Balfour, Lindley, Hooker, &c.; and we have no hesitation in saying that it is the very best and cheapest manual which can be placed in the hands of a beginner.

Mr. Cooke writes for those whose education and means are limited, and with pre-eminent success. It is really a pleasure to read the manuals which he has published, for they are up to the mark, and so complete as to leave hardly anything to be desired.

This new work on the Fungi appears to be equally valuable with those which he has already printed. It contains descriptions of the escu lent fungi, the manner in which they are prepared for the table, how to discriminate the nutritious from the poisonous species, details of the principles of their scientific classification, and a tabular arrangement of orders and genera.

It is very creditable to Mr. Cooke that the drawings in his book are all sketches from nature, made by his own pencil. This shows work, and is more respectable than the too common practice of copying engravings from the authorities in the particular branch of science.

This little book is valuable because, in some respects, it is certainly a good guide-book to a number of edible fungi unknown to the public. Unfortunately, our author has not given us the time of the year when they may be gathered, but has left this to conjecture. If found at all seasons, he ought to have said so; if peculiar to the autumnal

months, the fact ought to have been mentioned at the close of the description. In this respect the book is not "a plain and easy account of British fungi." We are surprised at such an omission. We know that some fungi are peculiar to autumn, and others may be found at all seasons of the year. The author had better mention the time when the fungi are most abundant. It will render his book more available.

Dr. Badham, who has written a work on the esculent fungi of Britain, is quoted by Mr. Cooke as saying:

"I have this autumn myself witnessed whole hundred-weights of rich wholesome diet rotting under trees; woods teeming with food, and not one hand to gather it; and this, perhaps, in the midst of potato-blight, poverty, and all manner of privations, and public prayers against imminent famine. I have, indeed, grieved when I have considered the straitened condition of the lower orders this year, to see pounds innumerable of extempore beef-steaks growing on our oaks, in the shape of Fistulina hepatica; Agaricus flavipes, to pickle, in clusters, under them; puff-balls, which some of our friends have not inaptly compared to sweetbread for the rich delicacy of their unassisted flavour; Hydna as good as oysters, which they somewhat resemble in taste; Agaricus deliciosus, reminding us of tender lamb-kidney; the beautiful yellow Chantarelle, growing by the bushel, and no basket but our own to pick up a few specimens in our way; the sweet nutty Boletus, in vain calling himself edulis, where there was none to believe him; the dainty Orcella; the Agaricus heterophyllus, which tastes like the crawfish when grilled; the red and green species of Agaricus, to cook in any way, and equally good in all."

We are afraid, after such a development as this, that some of the purchasers of Mr. Cooke's volume will be hurrying off to the woods, expecting to find "tender lamb-kidney," "beef-steak," "grilled crawfish," and "oysters" under the trees, and that they will probably come home disappointed.

The author has, however, carefully drawn and described several of the fungi mentioned in this rather strongly-worded passage,-the extempore beef-steak, Fistulina hepatica, and the tender lamb-kidney mushroom, Agaricus deliciosus, for example. The latter, according to our author, is now called Lactarius deliciosus.

As this book may very possibly fall into the hands of persons who may have occasionally some difficulty in procuring a family beef-steak, we sincerely hope they will be successful in finding the extempore one, Fistulina hepatica, which our author has carefully figured, and thus describes :

"Fistulina hepatica (hepar, Lat., the liver), from its colour, which resembles that of the liver. This fungus assumes a great variety of forms. In its earliest stages it sometimes looks like a strawberry; when more advanced, it has often the appearance of a tongue. One of its continental local names is Lingua di Castagna, which applies to this resemblance. It is a fleshy juicy fungus, with an undivided unstalked pileus, and when cut, presents a bright streaky appearance, not unlike beetroot, and contains a red juice; the porous under-surface is yellowish or flesh-coloured. The trunks of old oaks are very commonly the habitat of this species, which occasionally attains a very large size. When old it becomes rather tough, but in all its stages it affords an excellent gravy, and when young,

if sliced and grilled, would pass for a good beef-steak. Specimens are now and then met with that would furnish four or five men with a good dinner. The liver-colour and streaky interior are sufficient guides whereby to recognize this species under all its protean forms."

We agree with Mr. Cooke, that the fungi are deserving of a far greater share of public attention than they have hitherto received, "as articles of food," and we think that his book is well calculated to incite to their study.

Speaking of the sub-genus Tricholoma, our author says:

"It is extremely probable that this group does not contain a single unwholesome species, and it certainly contains several with very fair esculent properties. The whole of these, and indeed, almost every species except the common mushroom, are characterized by the majority of our countrymen, as toadstools.' Let us hope that such names, which were originated and have been perpetuated in ignorance, will soon become extinct."


We are afraid that the author will long have slept beneath the " daisysod of Britain" before this state of things will be realized. Nevertheless his book cannot fail to do good. There is truth in its pages, and the knowledge imparted by them is calculated not only to add new dainties to the table of the rich, but to enable the poor to provide nutritious food for their families when other means fail them, at certain seasons of the year.

We have little doubt too, from the accuracy of Mr. Cooke's previous works, that this volume on the British Fungi is a safe as well as “plain and easy guide" to these plants. He says that

"The number of poisonous species has been greatly exaggerated; but of these there are many, and the properties of a few are extremely virulent. We have always imagined it prudent to taste unknown species with caution, since we have learnt that some mycologists, having perhaps more enthusiasm than caution, have, from merely tasting very virulent species, suffered for some time afterwards considerable pain and inconvenience."

In default of general rules, our author recommends no one to experiment on species which are unknown, or which he has not pointed out as safe.

"It is not advisable to venture upon such as have a decidedly acrid taste in the raw state, unless they are known to be edible. One or two species which possess such properties when uncooked, are wholesome when dressed; but there are exceptions to the general rule. If only such species are employed as we have described in the foregoing pages, and delineated in the plates, there is no fear of unpleasant results."

The author thus writes about his cookery of the Lycoperdon giganteum:

"A gardener brought us a large puff-ball, equal in size to a half-quartern loaf, and which was still in its young and pulpy state, of a beautiful creamy whiteness when cut. It had been found developing itself in a garden at Highgate, and to the finder its virtues were unknown. We had this specimen cut in slices, about half an inch in thickness, the outer skin peeled off, and each slice dipped in an egg which had been beaten up, then sprinkled with bread-crumbs, and fried in butter with

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