Joseph Henry Notebook, Oil and Oil Lamps, 1865

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This notebook is primarily related to Joseph Henry's interests in oil and oil lamps. It begins with a record of Henry's travels in New England in September 1865, and then proceeds to document Henry's notes, conversations with other scientists, research, and experiments in relation to lard oil. He dates his entries and includes drawings and diagrams of his experiments. There are also notes about an engine that Henry worked on, and notes about weather phenomena such as water spouts, tornados, and thunderstorms.


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • Joseph Henry was the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, and he served in this position from 1846 to 1878.
  • For more notebooks with similar material, see SIA2013-06853 to SIA2013-06897; SIA2013-06738 to SIA2013-06817; SIA2013-06685 to SIA2013-06693; SIA2013-06818 to SIA2013-06852; SIA2013-06898 to SIA2013-07093.

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Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7001, Box 13A, Folder: 14

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Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,



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ID Number

SIA2013-06694 to SIA2013-06739

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Number of Images: 44; Color: Color; Size: 3.5w x 5h; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Paper

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[[Front cover]] 1865 Principally relating to Lard oil [[preprinted]] No 13 [[/preprinted]] [[Handwritten label covers another label ~ green in color with No.13 at the bottom.]]
[Start page] Down + Minnefield gas metre works 340 West 22nd st N-Y 7.30 Mons so [viwed?] from the intense[meyube?] 185 Francis N Bambaris went to thank him [[tru?]] late [Sorna?] Jim Pope and Johnson [Co.?] [Ill?] [hilled?] 1000 persons 5.20 so received from the time of [hazbrend?] [End page] [Start page] Sept 25 1865 Arrived in Boston Left Washington Sept - 4 [Arestried?] Hill Sept 5 [Convent?] in NY " 13 [Slalen?/Staten] Island " 15 16 NY 17th 18th Left NY 20 Sept in the steamer New Port Capt Brown came to New Port in the night Left us the Light House vessel Sunbeam - Capt. Kevroy left at 10 oclock arrived at Provadence 3 october P.M. Went out to see village of only to see [End page]
[Start page] fog signal - Remained in Providence until Saturday 10 oclock - arrived in Boston 1/2 past 12 on Saturday Oct 23rd - Mr. Godwins had left for home - Went to Cambridge - church on Sunday. Monday 25 Met in Connecticut with Lewrence school the millionare who has given $500000 to form a school at 2 Ithaca [End page] [Start page] saw Gibbs Prenice{{?}} Hill - not graded Ben Cock nominated will probably be confirmed Slept at Dr Grays Tuesday 26th --- Gibb's instruments Discuford [[?}}oil with [his?] alden - advises that purchase a brut off until after [killing or drilling?] in Dec bre- Good season for consistant{{?}} pork fat - lard now very high never so high 30 1/2 in Texas[[?]] 34 in pails [End page]
[Start Page] Formerly 10 cts and 12% lard ^oil^ lust year from [drs?] - southard oil good but first lot best [mined?] early. [Mr?] Alders thinks [best?]to manufacture the oil purchase here[d?]. [norly? or wor buy?] contract by means of a broker and instruct[ion?] pay for purchase by packages not per cent. Continuations always made against - Government difficulty in testing [End page] [Start page] Lard will probably fall after killing time Government looses by advertizing [Alculy?] - carbonate of soda just in [land?] was free [alculy?] [tested?] with litmus paper - Mr Alders says steamers are abandoning use of Kerosene [sinse?] New England burned with it. Mr. Goodwin has reason to believe that one of the [cafer?] of the tenders is in favor of disparaging lard oil [Page end}
[Start page] Mr Alders was informed by one of the venders of sperm that all the lights are showing badly Mr G says none of the keepers [here?] [dand?] to show a bad light - Lard oil when filtered is not as good for burning something is removed of combustible quality [End page] [Start page]7(penciled in R corner) No trouble with the Franklin lamp or [auoriust?] of freezing in the 1% [Deslneck?]. The freezing can be prevented by a coating of [cish?]around the[beut?] [pant?] of the tube next-the wicks [weeks?] only complaint is the challeng between the [house?] fire and the dart[k?] homes - can be prevented probably by means of a cloth. Sperm melts at higher temperature than lard. -Experiment on this - [squiggly vertical line preceeds this last sentene on page} experiments on lard through sand. [End page]
Method of copying letters 1 [[oil ?]] paper under the blank leaf on which the impression is to be taken 2 The letter on this 3 Blank leaf next letter 4 Cloth moistened moderately and uniformly 5 oil over last Press about from 1 to 3 minutes [[illegible strikethrough]] Arnold's copying ink will copy after? 2 weeks --- [[End page]] [[Start page]] 9 [[penciled upper R]] The cloth size of the book kept moist in closed toothbrush box - should be folded square to be opened with least trouble The only difference between the ordinary and the new kerosene burner is an additional cylender to give a stream of air between and next to the [[dais]]chimney [[two sketches at the bottom of page. The left one is labeled common, and the right one is labeled "Kerrosene"]]
This lamp would be unproved by a rack and pinion. When the Franklin lamp runs down to a little less than half the capacity of oil the light begins to be unsteady [[short squiggle line]] In 1866 no sperm will be regained in the [[underline]] [[1st ?]] [[/underline]] District - about [[insertion]] 1600 [[/insertion]] 1600 for light ships and all Both Districts will regain about 20000 gallons of sperm [[end page]] [[start page]] [[penciled page number]] 11 Franklin Camp will burn well for 12 or 14 hours without overflowing-- The Keeper must keep a fire in his lantern and has coal furnished for that purpose -. no difficulty. Land oil has less sensibility as to melting than wales or sperm It will withstand a sudden intense coal for a small time or a considerable heat suddenly [[anpled ?]] The most [[perninet ?]] Keeper must keep the temperature --
[Start page] Mr Goodwin will be lick about Dog newspapers An extra helper is [on or me?] [ground or guenia?] at Matinacus Rock Maine. Had to keep the body of his wife five days said the Goodwins Report. [image of a small cross with 4 dots in each quadrant] At West [Isandy?] Had mains the keeper ]is prouded?] with a [cursure?] 12 pound a on [?] [another?] [chance?] of the [?] [material?] straw [company?] [End page] [Start page] * There are now two keepers on Matinacus two are required to man the boat and the keeper would not get off to bury his wife without leaving the [house?] alone Mr Goodwins map of his [?Icatree?] many finished 2nd District has been sent to the Board Mr [gueces?] of 1st District thinks bills of little use There are eleven in his beat If of no use it is surprising that there should have been so much money spent apon them. [Fays? occurs?] on [this? courts?] from the 1st of June to the [?] of Sept. This years greatest [duress?]
[Start page] [Large ink splotch]Left Washington] [3rd?] 6th arrived in Phila about 6 PM Left in 11 1/4 hours NY about] 3 [?] to Dr Brarook? house took dinner then went to see Prof. B. [End Page] [Start Page] April 9th 1866 (15 light pencil R corner) Quafe? of oil in [strikethru]four[strikethru] 3 Lots [?] no [?] of A sub lots namely A 100 b no g monnes 51 B 100 b " " C 100 b D3000 b in store underlined I 400 b [lb?] Broadway Tank [strikethru illegible]in Tanks [Z?] 5000 chicago [End page]
Black room first lamp black then sand then black. Candles 127 [[?]] instead of 120 English best stop when candle gutters [[?]] dish large [[?]] [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 17 Com. Powell proposes to dig a cellar into the bank in the rear of the Depot at S.I. for oil to be covered with row beams and brick arches [[line]] Let = a = length of scale x = longer part then a -x = other n = number of candles then (a-x)[[superscript 2]]x1 = nxx[[superscript 2]] a[[superscript 2]] - 2ax + x[[superscript 2]] = nx[[superscript 2]] nx[[superscript 2]] - x[[superscript 2]] + 2ax = a[[superscript 2]] x[[superscript 2]](n-1) + 2ax = a[[superscript 2]] x[[superscript 2]] + ((2a)/(n-1))x = a[[superscript 2]]/(n-1) x[[superscript 2]] + (2ax)/(n-1) + a[[superscript 2]] / (n-1)[[superscript 2]] = a[[superscript 2]]/(n-1) + a[[superscript 2]]/(n-1)[[superscript 2]]
x+a/n-1 = √ na[[superscript 2]] -a[[superscript 2]] +a[[superscript 2]] /(n-1)[[superscript 2]] x = a√n/n-1 - a/ n-1 = a(√n-1)/n-1 [[line]] April 10th weighing candle in the lower office 65 25 : 52 :: 60 : 125 30 : 62 :: 170 : 126 35 : 73 :: 60 : 125 40 : 83.5 :: 60 : 125 45 : 94 1/2 :: 60 . 126 50 106 :: 60 127 -------------------- 125 2/3 15 18 1 ---- 6)34 5 2/3 [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 19 [[image - ink drawing:flask with No 1 written in the bulb]] standard oil 58°=95 No 1 at 57 " [[ditto for: oil]] 95 " [[ditto for: No]] 3 " [[ditto for: at]] 52 " [[ditto for: oil]] 105 " [[ditto for: No]] 3 at 59 " [[ditto for: oil]] 93 No 1 has cork in the cockway holds very little more than two pints of water. Hole through which the liquid runs about 1/4 very nearly.
This lard oil cannot be properly tested in a small lamp since it does not contain oil enough to last beyond a few hours not long enough to [[?]] the wicks The great difficulty in determining the solidifying degree of lard oil is the [[?]] property which it [[end page]] [[start page]] possesses of [[freezing?]] at a lower temperature when submitted to it for a long time. The oil we tested April 1866 stood a temperature of 33 and then solidified at about 40 when it was solidified at 32 it suddenly rose to 36° and there remained. This I suppose was due to the [[going?]] out of the latent heat.
Specific gravity of the oil is not a test of value for lard oil is bought by way of 7.5lbs to the gallon - already to the specific gravity it should be 7.320. Lard is said to be of three kinds Leaf [[strikethrough]] [[?]] [[/strikethrough]] [[insertion]] [[?]] [[/insertion]]dead The first purest 2nd made [[strikethrough]] flesh [[/strikethrough]] from the scrapings from guts most from dead hogs can be known by smell [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 23 The Lamps used finally for the test was the 5th order & The first was 4th all filled took too much oil - The 5th & 6th order Franklin is more steady for along time than the 4th so says Mr Franklin. 5 & 6' Lamps are 14 1/2 in. length of tube - 4th order 19 1/2 5 & 6th lamps are the
The 5th order Franklin which is the same as The 6th will burn 18 hours without variation the wick having trimmed. The 4th order will burn only 14 hours [[strikethrough]] there [[/strikethrough]] this is the extreme of the 4th the 5th may in some cases when not disturbed by drafts and shaking [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 25 Mr Frank proposes to make lamps on his plan for the 4th and [[insertion]] all [[/insertion]] orders above. Will give more stability of action. In the higher orders to heat the oil and displace the mechanical lamps. Mr Frank thinks the cause of the irregularity after 10 hours is due to the greater length of
the supply tube when the latter was straight the effect was worse ----- The samples [[furnished]] from the Light House office in Boston to [[Banker?]] a carpenter for the Manhattan Co. was tolerably good but not quite as [[novel?]] - as that sent to the NY depot That sent to Graham Brothers Phild is not as good as the [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 27 last mentioned and about the same as that sent to Chicago. -- Memoranda. The company will take charge of the oil for the cost of insurance cooperage & storage. Can get a cellar 700 dollars per year little insurance [[own? iron?]] house Insurance for a year
arrived in N.Y on Thursday 28th after having attended the commencement at Princeton went down to the Depot- Samples of oil for inspection had been taken - the dark room prepared but so filled with the vapour of turpentine that it could not be used immediately. Put in a furnace of charcoal to dry the paint. Commercial experiments on freezing temperature of the waters 34° 35° &c [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 25 subjected to the reduced temperature 15 thousand gallons of oil to be examined from the Manhatten Comp. Experimented on capilliarly. [[image - pencil drawing of seven test tubes with wicks running into each one connected by a single piece]] all run up to the same altitude but not in the same time.
[[circled]][[No 12 & 9 mixtures?]] [[/circled]] The news in the dark room 3 scales one of 100 inches another 150 inches and a third 200 inches These had been divided by young Been under the direction of the Mr Lederle. [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 31 [[image - pencil drawing of a long rectangular vessel with a filling hole, marked: Lamp for testing lard oil -]] With a long photometric scale the indications of the position of equably of the light is not as precise as with a shorter one but then the spaces through which the [[direcs?]] moved is proportionally greater. When a thin greased diaphragm is used to observe quality of light on the two sides or
[[diagram in ink - two sets of parallel diagonal lines in a 'v' shape]] should be used making the same [[diagram - angle]] with the plane of the disp. With the unequal lights as a candle over a Franklin Lamp the indications as read from the two sides are very different when read from the side of the smaller light the indications is smaller. [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 33 The specific [[strikethrough]] grafit [[/strikethrough]][[insertion]] gravity [[/insertion]] very nearly the same. These kinds of lard from one hog head gut & leaf 1 Head and trimming 2 scraping guts 3 [[?]] from the kidney Leaf best Head next - gut last Lard depends on curing if suffered to become tainted lard for ever deteriorated stream of cold water running on
experiments with [[gr?]] screen and with clear [[image - pen drawing of small vase like vessel]] Ten experiments towards the smaller lights the mean was with [[grown?]] chimney 6.38 with clear chimney 6.47 --------[[par of ?]] 101.1 Exper to determine within the means of the disappearance of other spot on each end is the same spot of a single observation of equality of illumination [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 35 Exp. with vanishing of spot on different sides towards candle and towards lamp with gas companys photograph---- Turned to candle 7.02 Turned to Lamp 12.35 ----- 2/19.37 ------- average --- 9.68 Equal illumination on both sides 10.02 Ten experiments in each set of the above
experiments with [[gr?]] screen and with clear [[image - pen drawing of small vase like vessel]] Ten experiments tow[[ards?]] the smaller lights the means was with [[grown]] chimney 6.38 with clear chimney 6.47 -----------[[par of ?]] 101.1 Exper to determine whether the means of the disappearance of other spot on each end is the same spot of a single observation of equality of illumination [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 35 Exp. with vanishing of spot on different sides towards candle and towards lamp with gas companys photograph---- Turned to candle 7.02 Turned to Lamp 12.35 ----- 2)19.37 ------- average --- 9.68 Equal illumination on both sides 10.02 Ten experiments in each set of the above
[[line]] with ring photometer rendered translucent with spirits of turpentine oil Toward candle 799 Towards lamp 13.65 ----- 2)21 64 ----- average 10.82 By equality of illumination mean of 10 sets 9.51 [[line]] with tracing paper Toward candle 5.15 Towards Lamp 23.90 ----- 2)29 05 ----- mean of --- 14 50 2 exp each way [[strikethrough]] This [[/strikethrough]] [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 37 with equal illumination two sets mean 10.00 From these results is apparent that the mean with this or more translucent paper is not the safest since the extremes are so far apart.
Lard from dead animals Test good whole hog put into a [[ta?]] at once called dead or whole hog lard. Animals which have been bled - A hundred Hogs put into the same vat cut into forquarters and heated by steam. Lard oil deteriorates by time if exposed in the course of a year [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 39 Millshaw if in an open tank but if in light barrels not so Mixes oils 20 per cent of peanut coal oil and lard Mistic oil from kernel coal will stand a heat of 150. Manhattan signal oil Doubtful as to oil of naphtha which will stand 3 or 400
15 thousand gallons not yet given to The Manhattan Company Left open for open purchases The company has now on hand 17000 gallons 1st class oil which is probly all now in the market. Bought it up. [[end page]] [start page]] [[in pencil]] 41 July 9 1866 Mr Roper came to Washington on arrival of my letter assures me that Crosby &c have no control over him He sold his patent to Elmer Townsend of Boston reserving the right to manufacture the engines and obtained afterwards the right to sell. Crosby &co are patent brokers for shoe apparatus and have obtained from Mr Townsend the right to sell their engine as a source of power to there shoe customers & others. Mr Roper has made the patterns and nearly completed two engines on
the plan adapted at New haven. These were ordered by Mr Goodwin after an interview with Mr Roper - They will be finished in the course of two weeks Mr Roper has also made an engine of ringing the larger bell on the plan proposed at New Haven This has been delivered I have given Mr Roper a written order to construct an engine for experimenting to be [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 43 finished by the middle of next month I shall probably go on to Boston after the meeting at Northampton Mr Roper will also make arrangements for determining the quantity of steam necessary to blow the steam whistle Mr Roper says the [[Eskron?]] engine used last summer is now at Staten Island. Mr Roper has not sold to Mr Townsend the modification which
he has made for the better adaptation of the engine to fog signals the experimental higher wall he furnished with a joint movement so as to sweep the horizon. Mr Roper has the old Trumpet used at New Haven The two engines now completed will be used one at West Quoddy Head and the other at Boon Island [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 45 Mr Roper thinks that one engine has been taken from Crosby and co and stored at Staten Island. This is not right.
Aug 14 1866 Mr Goodwin brother of the engineer informed me that in Boston and also in all pts of Maine the path of the thunder storm is from a point north of west. Also the paths of tornados the same. Mr Goodwin other engineer gives the same testimony [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 47 Mr Goodwin has promised to furnish me with a drawing and description of a water spout on the gulf observed by himself and Mr Bonsalles The direction of this was opposite to that of the storms in Maine A tornado near Portland in Sept 6 the direction was N38W true Mr Goodwin will send me a detailed account
August Wednesday 15th New Port - Friends in courses 1st & 2nd [[series?]] 2nd best Rev Mr Dalrymple [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 45 Rev Dr. Dalrymple University of Maryland Mulberry St Baltimore Md - Florian Alexander - Freyberg. Saxony School of mines 25th-
Aug 24th -66- Mr Alder called. He informs me that carbonate soda is added to the lard as a purifier but this enables the lard to absorb water the carbonate forms a soap and retains water. This lard will not keep & so becomes rancid. This may be the case [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 51 with oil and the cause of deterioration Mr Alden thinks with me that oil for burning in large lamps ought not to stand too low a temperature. From his experiences no bad effect is produced by freezing. Straining through sand may take out some ingredients
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 53
Lard is largely adulterated with water by blowing in steam Mr Alder in making oil always uses good stock and manufactures it carefully. Lard oil will keep as well as sperm best preserved in a dark [[insertion]] cool [[/insertion]] cellar Whale oil does not keep as well as lard or sperm. [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 55 Lard oil may be kept in a cool place a year and a half - lard oil is used for perfumery much is used in this way. Mr Alden thinks that the kerosene mixed with lard oil would be driven off by the heat. Sperm is now more than 3 dolls per gallon.
It is probable that water will be mixed with lard at the works and thus diminish the value of lard and the expense of oil. Dr. Torrey informs me that the glass chimney becomes crystalized and partially opaque with intense heat [[Look? or took?]] to this use grey paper for scrim of light [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 57 Phil society Sept 7th 1864 While in the rooms of the society The Journal of the Geological Society came in from Henry Stevens and also The Antiquarian. The clerk informed me that he paid 5 1/2 for The [[Memore de la Real Academy De la Juan de Tromo?]] Kerosene oil does not act upon the [[?tal]] as lard does The cohesion of kerosene great lubricants will
[[image - ink drawing of a pipe with an entrance at the left-hand end marked with an arrow and the word 'steam', and an arrow within the pipe leading to a second entrance half way along the pipe for steam but also showing air coming out. The word 'steam' is also written at the pipe exit]] rushing through the long pipes draws in air through the short pipe. Dr Torrey saw the New Brunswick roads at the distance of a mile or two. He was about four miles from N.B. The nature appeared that of a rotation around a horizontal axis but irregular [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 55 For a very remarkable hail storm described by Commodore Pointer see his book on Constantanople See also Dr. Dekays years in Constantanople See also [[?]] [[?]] Dr Torrey informs me that in letting off carbonic acid through a hole no larger than a sewing needle a larger cone of air was carried forward to close a door 35 distance the vapour from a chimney [[strikethrough]] a chimn [[/strikethrough]] that of the assay office
See Parry's voyages for the effect of cold on alcohol &c. The fatty oils consists of an acid and a [[strikethrough]]solid [[/strikethrough]] [[insertion]] base [[/insertion]]which is decomposed by copper which is previously oxidised. Tallow shrinks in solidifying write to Cunard about Cape [[New?]] [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 61 The same slowness of solidification is observed in a salt mentioned by cooks.
[[underlined]] Sept -7th- 1869 [[underlined]] started at about 10 o'clock arrived at the Cape Elizabeth - at eleven - two ligts - keepers have the Blank forms ^[[insertion]] should be [[/insertion]] supplied to the keepers for which fog [[time?]] - Barometer at Fog stations - lard oil not as good at first when began to use [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 63 steam apparatus going under direction of Mr Foster 60lbs pressure 50 as well with [[?]] and [[ju?]] Rape oil according to commodore Pope best -- Snow 20 feet deep in hollow The coal consumed account of wind & Fog signal near water [[Image- in pencil]] well dug [[co?d]] point water drawn
Picknics - company day summer 8 years - all timekeepers - Mr [[Mar?ner]] Gen Duane proposes to exp on steam and air Gen Duane found that 12 inch whistle gave louder sound than 6 inch with same amount of steam Larger quantity worth smaller pressure Gen will supply a man occasionally to attend to the whistle [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 65
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George A Parker higher of Scis Bd [[end page]] [[start page]] 77
The Richie Photometer cannot be correct since [[image - ink drawn]] an equal quantity of Light is lost on each side by the reflection which destroys the ratio. [[image] - ink drawn] Same must be the case in Potters Photometer suppose when the two lights through the paper b. b of the [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 79 same intensity we interpose a plate of grass between each then the ratio will be disturbed [Experiment on these points]
Yale and Harvard have taken so severe a course in regard to the war that southern students would prefer the College of N.J.. A scientific school should therefore be established. [[line]] violent thunderstorms on Wednesday 27 along the Hudson. It commenced probably about 2 oclock from Poughkeepsie to the sources of the river At New York Princeton a tremendous [[end page]] [[start page]] [[in pencil]] 61 fall of rain commenced at about 6 o'clock and continued until 7 oclock the next morning. This rain I think was the overflow of the outspreading of the upward rush of moist air along the Hudson [[image - pen drawing of spouting air]] no thunder & lightning [[accompanyed?]] the fall of rain at [[strikethrough]] NY and [[/strikethrough]] N.J. [[in pencil]] Princeton [[/in pencil]]
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