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Earthquaky Weather. —lt is a general belief that earthquakes occur only in close, murky weather. In the following account of the one which took place on Wednesday w'eek, taken from a North Island paper, something will be found to shake the belief :—At 3.14 on Wednesday morning one of the severest shocks of earthquake felt for many yearn was experienced at Foxton. The direction was from north to south. The quake was preceded by the usual rumble, which was instantly followed by a severe shock ; scarcely had this ceased when it was succeeded by a much heavier one, lasting about five seconds, a third winding up the performance. A phenomenon that usually accompanies an earthquake followed—namely, the crowing of the roosters throughout the township. One or two country residents informed us (Manawatu Herald) that the same thing was noticed to a marked degree in the bush, the pheasants and other birds making loud noises. Although no chimneys were thrown down, nor other damage done, residents generally speak of the shock of Wednesday as the severest felt for many years past. The common impression that earthquakes are felt during close, murky weather, was proved incorrect on Wednesday, the sky being extremely clear and the air bitterly cold. We have felt them (adds the Herald) in all weathers. We remember a most severe shock at Poverty Bay some five years ago, while a heavy storm was raging.

A Bankers’ Battle. —The “Rock” gives the following anecdote, in which the two greatest (pecuniary) potentates of the age were concerned, on what it regards as' good authority “At the time of the last great commercial crisis, when the money market was just beginning to show signs of tightness, Messrs Rothschild lodged a large sum (£300,000, we believe) in Lord Overstone’a Bank (then Jones, Lloyd, and C 0..) This seemed so strange a procedure that it aroused the noble lord’s suspicions, and he bid his cashier put the money away in a parcel by itself and await further orders, which was done accordingly. Meanwhile money grew more and more in demand, and just as the pressure was at its height Messrs Rothschild drewa cheque for the £300,000, hoping,, no doubt, thereby to embarrass their puissant rival. So far from that, Lord Overstono had the exquisite satisfaction of returning the parcel of money precisely in the state in which he had received it some months before. It was such a bagatelle that he had not even cared to make use of it.”

Lamp-Black. —The large quantities of lamp-black employed in the manufacture of printers’ ink and of black and grey pigments, are invariably obtained in Europe by the combustion of resins, pitches, and tars. Burned in a limited supply of air, insufficient to transform them entirely into gaseous products, these substances throw out a dense carbonaceous smoke, which is collected on coarse cloths, and thence removed for use. As thus prepared, lamp-black always retains a certain proportion of liquid hydro-carbons, which give it a greasy feel to the touch, and a brownish rather than deep black tint.. Professor Mallet draws attention to a new process of manufacture introduced by him in the United States, which furnishes a produce far superior in quality to that obtained by the usual method. He makes use of the natural gas mines occurring in the Ohio district, and by burning oft - the gas night and day, at 1800 jets connected with a suitable apparatus, produces lamp-black at the rate of 32,090,0001 b. a year. On analysis this product proves to be of a perfectly black tint, and to contain no oily matter, while on combustion it leaves only a slight trace of ash composed of the oxides of iron and copper. It is, in fact, almost absolutely pure carbon in a state of extremely fine i divipinn,

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Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, 16 October 1879

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