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Amador ledger. (Jackson, Amador County, Calif.) 1875-19??, June 08, 1906, Image 2

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn93052980/1906-06-08/ed-1/seq-2/

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THE LAMP'S EVOLUTION.
EXCAVATIONS OF ANCIENT CIT
IES SHOW IT OVER SIX
THOUSAND TEARS OLD.
Originally was a Conch Shell and a
Twist of Cotton-Western Ingen
uity Devised the Brass Burner
and Regulator.
By EDOAH JAMES BANKS, Ph. D.
The Oriental lamp is the same now
ns it always has been — a simple dish
of clay, stone, bronze or jrlass, filled
with oil; its wick is a rag or a twist of
cotton, one end of which is immersed
in oil and the other rests over the edge
of the dish to be lighted. This was
the lamp not only of ancient Babylonia
; and Egypt, but also of the Hebrews,
I Greeks, Komaus, and all other early
. I>eoples. Even to this day it is the com
mon lamp of Mesopotamia. In Saint
Sophia, the great mosque of Constanti
nople, there is no other method of il
lumination.
The first artificial light with which
primitive man brightened the dark
ness of night was the camp fire, the
same fire with which he slightly
roasted his meat and wanned his
naked body. At just what age the
idea of lighting by other means first
occurred to him is no longer known,
but the excavations at the Babylonian
mound, Bismya, the ruin of the oldest
known city in the world, have shown
that it was in the very loug ago, per
haps thousands of years before 4000
B. C.
During the excavations far beneath
a temple which was constructed at
that remote date, among the ruins of
earlier ages, there was found a large
couch shell about 8 inches in length.
Its exterior had been worn smooth by
constant handling, and a section at its
opening and half o. its elongated
valve had been cut away so that it
formed a deep dish terminating in a
long snout. In its interior were slight
traces of a thin, black deposit. At
first the use for which this dish was
intended was puzzling; it was weeks
later when it suddenly occurred to me
that this sea-shell was the primitive
lamp, the ancestor of the great family
of lamps.
Some time later, while excavating
at a higher level in the temple refuse
heap, where the priests of 4500 B. C.
threw the broken and discarded
utensils of the ternp 1 service, there
appeared among the dozens of baskets
full of polished and cut stone several
triangular objects which resembled
the conch shell in shape. One of ala
baster was entire; others were frag
mentary, yet their original forms could
be restored. They were the lamps
which came into vogue after the conch
had. passed away, or when it became
so scarce that it was no longer em
ployed, and stone was substituted in
its place. Although the conch was dis
carded, its triangular form remained,
even to the natural snout for the sup
port of the wick, which was repro
duced in the stone.
To the early Babylonian, the pure,
almost transparent alabaster lamp was
perfect in shape; the next step in the
evolution was hi its decoration. In
stead of the plain exterior, it was
engraved with reticulated or curved
lines; but a more important step in its
decoration was when the lamp-maker
conceived the idea of supporting the
wick in a hole at the sharp corner.
One such example from the Bisinya
temple refuse heap terminated in a
LAMPS OF LATE BABYLONIAN AND PERSIAN PERIODS.
ram's head, tlie lighted end of the wick
projecting from its mouth. After the
discovery of the hole for the wick, it
was an easy step to cover the entire
lamp, with the exception of an opening
in the center to receive the oil. Thus
the lamp of classical times originated.
Another interesting example from Bis
mya is an extremely large marble
lamp, oval in shape and with vertical
walls. The snout for its wick is a
deep groove extending out about 2
inches, and with its support from be
neath it resembles the handle of a mod
ern dish. This lamp held about two
quarts of oil, and, as it was found in
the ruins of the temple, its unusual
size suggests that in the Babylonian
temple, as in the synagogues of a later
era, and in some churches, even to the
present day, a light was kept perpet
ually burning.
Previous to 4000 B. C. the lamps, as
well as most dishes and household ef
fects, were of stone; after that time
objects of burned clay began to ap
pear. Before that date lamps were
found only in the ruins of the temple;
later clay lamps were found in the
dwelling houses of the people. Of the
latter a variety of shapes have ap
peared. Some are triangular, the shape
suggested by the conch; one is a min
iature boat; others of a later period
are identical in shape and size with
those of Rome and Greece. The lamp
of these nations was undoubtedly bor
rowed from the older civilization of
I'.abylonia. The common clay lamp
of Persia and of the time of Haroun
er Kaschid assumed a round form
with a dent in its rim for the wick,
resembling in every respect a minin
ture frying pan, from which the bandla
is missing. The lamp of modern Bag
dad differs from it only in being set
upon a pedestal and provided with a
handle.
It remained for the lamp-maker of
the civilized West, who would no
longer rest the wick upon the edge of
the receptacle for the oil, to pass it
through the brass arrangement which
he called the burner, and to provide
it with a screw in order that It might
be raised or lowered, and the essentials
of the modern oil lamp were as
sembled.
While we have the sea-shell, the
lamp of primitive man of over 6,000
years ago, it would be interesting to
know what kind of oil was burned.
The olive tree produces the illuminat
ing oil of the modei i Orient, and al
though in other parts of the world
the fat of animals was used, the
unchanging customs of the East lead
us to infer that olive oil was also then
employed. The wick was doubtless a
twist of the cotton which grows wild
along the shores of .' c Tigris and the
Euphrates. — Engineering News.
Old Methods Sueeced.
It has been claimed that old methods
of doing business cannot succeed in
this twentieth century of ours, but a
striking example of where old manners
have been and are yet successful may
be found in the busiest city of the world
—New York. Right in the heart of
the wholesale district may be found a
restaurant that is feeding more people
every day of the year than any other
house in New York City, and doing it
along the line of "old methods."
It is claimed for this famous eating
house that every pound of food used
is paid for in cash upon the day it is
purchased and that the proprietors
have never yet given a check in pay
ment for supplies, nor owed one dollar
at the close of the day, and they keep
no books.
Each morning the dealers supplying
this remarkable establishment deliver
the necessary goods at the receiving
department and then form in a line
leading to the cashier's desk where
each one in turn receives his money in
good hard coin.
When evening comes whatever is
left in the cash drawer is profit, less
charges such as taxes, light, fuel &c.
A further boast of the owner of this
restaurant is that its doors have never
been locked since first opened, way
back in "wartime," and that no cne
knows where the key now is.
An idea of the number of people fed
may be gained from the fact that table
salt, used exclusively by the patrons
at the tables and not including any
used for cooking, is purchased every
four months In ten barrel lots, each
barrel containing three hundred
pounds.
Wanted All the Goodies.
Teddy was about to be ten years old.
In view of this interesting event Ted
dy's mother had ordered some ice
cream and cakes ond other dainties,
and Teddy was told to invite his little
friends to a birthday party. The even
ing of the celebration came around,
and all the goodies were waiting to be
enjoyed. Teddy and his mother were
also waiting.
Suddenly the youngster said:
"Mother, don't you think it's time to
eat the ice-cream and cake now?"
"No, indeed, my son," she replied,
"we must wait until your friends are
here."
"Well, to tell you the truth, mother,"
began Teddy, "I just thought that for
once in my life I'd like to have enough
goodies, so I guess we better begin
now, 'cause I didn't invite anyone."
NOW THE WATCH TRUST.
Representative Vreeland the Victim
of a Juke During- Watch Monopoly
Controversy.
When Representative Rainey of Illi
nois, a few days ago, made a speech in
Congress on the alleged watch trust,
he opened up a subject that has been
of decided interest in Congressional
circles ever since. He had a collection
of watches on his desk which he
showed as exhibits. '
Representative Vreeland of New
York found another phase of the watch
question which he wanted to talk
about, and proceeded to stock up with
sample watches and watch cases. He
had the assortment nicely displayed on
his desk, when, by a prearrangement,
he was called out into the corridor.
As soon as he was gone a joker in a
neighboring seat produced three mem
orandum spindles, two short and one
tall. He act them in a row on Vree
land's desk. Then he produced three
oranges and carefully stuck one on
the point of each spindle, producing
the perfect effect of the three golden
balls of the pawn shop sign.
"Well, by gosh!" exclaimed Vree
land, when he came back. The laugh
scared bis intended speech out of him.
Mrs. Ferguson. — George, dear, how
do you like my new bat?
Mr. Ferguson. — Do you want my real
opinion of it, Laura?
Mrs. Ferguson. — No, I don't, you
mean thing!
"Do you think a man's importance is
measured by his pocketbook?"
" "Certainly not," answered Senator
S Sorghum. "A pocketbook couldn't hold
e enough to amount to anything. It's
t the bank book. that counts."—
t ton Star.
FAMOUS VIRGINIA HOME.
WOODLAWN MANSION, PART OF
WASHINGTON'S ESTATE, NOW
CHANGES HANDS.
A Gift trom the First President to
llis Adopted Daughter— Play wnght
Paul Kester Disposes of Manor to
Princeton Woman.
Another change of owners has come
to Woodlawn Mansion, that historic
property having been bought by Miss
Elizabeth M. Sharp, of Princeton, N. J.,
from Paul Kester, who dramatized
"When Knighthood Was in Flower,"
and other plays.
Woodlawn Mansion was the home of
Lawrence Lewis, son oX Betty Wash-
WOODLAWN MANSION.
ington and Fielding Lewis, of Fred
ericksburg, and nephew of the great
George Washington. The wife of Law
rence Lewis was Nellie Custis, grand
daughter of Mrs. Martha Washington
and the adopted daughter of George
Washington.
The marriage of Nellie Custis and
young Lewis was the social event of the
year 1799. The marriage took place in
the mansion house at Mount Vernon
on the birthday of Washington, and in
the year of his death. Washington
gave to the couple a tract of forest land
covering a range of hills on the Mount
Vernon property two miles southwest
of the mansion house. Lewis personal
ly saw that a part of the woods were
cleared away, and in the clearing he
had erected the great house which he
called Woodlawn. The place passed to
Lorenzo Lewis at the death of his
mother, Nellie Custis Lewis, and by
him was sold in 1848 to two Quakers
from New Jersey, Chalkley Gillingham
and Jacob M. Troth. The sons of these
men live near the estate to-day, Jacob
M. Troth, the younger, living on an
adjoining farm and on land that was
a part of the original Woodlawn. The
house passed through many hands and
in 1900 was bought by Paul Kester,
who now sells it to Miss Sharp.
HOUSE FOR FREE SEEDS.
(Continued from preceding page.)
Currier, of New Hampshire, where it is
commonly understood one of the chiof
industries is that of raisins rocks,
frranite, and marble, protested against
his assertion that the farmers wore not
in sympathy •with the free-seed busi
ness. They declared the farmers of
their State demanded them anyhow.
Mr. Cocks read letters from the edi
tors of practically every agricultural
paper in the country, denouncing tree
seeds, and when he frankly admitted
he had written these editors askhig
their opinion of the proposed action
of the committees he was attacked by
the advocates of free seeds as if he
had committed some crime.
ALL ABOUT SEED "ADS."
Mr. Bartlett wanted to know if these
papers carried advertisements of the
seed dealers, to which Mr. Cocks af
firmed that he had no doubt of it, as
the business of selling seeds was a
legitimate one. Mr. Fordney did not
believe the answers represented an
honest opinion, as the replies had been
sought.
Mr. Cocks endeavored to proceed
with his argument, re-enforcing it with
citations from a stack of letters, but
he spoke amid a confusion that marked
the day as the most unruly of the en
tire session. Mr. Gains shouted him
self hoarse —and that is a difficult!
thing, even for Mr. Games to do; Mr.
Mann scolded, as he often does when
he fails to approve; Mr. Fordnpy, Mr.
French, Mr. Sims, i»_ . Chandler, and
others asked questions simultaneously,
and the chairman of the committee all
but broke his gavel in a vain ende&vor
to maintain order. At one time it
looked as if the mace, that symbol of
the dignity and power of the House,
would have to be taken from its perch
and waved over the heads of refrac
tory and angry free-seed mutineers
who refused to take their seats when
so ordered.
Magistrate: What's yonr name?
P Prisoner (named Simpson; and a stam-
m merer): Ss-ss-sr-ss-ss —
M Magistrate: Constable, what's the pris-
o oner charged with?
C Constable: Sounds like seltzer water, yer
W Worship,
After threatening to call members
by name if they did not obey, the band
of agriculturists, shouting and yelling
for the free-seeds "loot" quieted down,
and Mr. Oooks was enabled to proceed.
SEEDS VERSUS BATTLESHIPS.
Free seeds found another doughty
champion in South Trimble, of Ken
tucky. Mr. Trimble asserted that the
seed dealers of the country were
instigating the newspapers to fight
free seeds. Real farmers wanted Uiese
seeds, but kid-glove farmers who
run the granges did not need them
and did not want them. If this was
graft, be said, it was the only kind
of which every one of the 70,000,000
people of the country got a piece.
Advocating economy in other direc
tions, Mr. Trimble suggested less ex
penditure on battle ships "if we stay
at home, mind our own business, let
other people alone, we shan't need a
battle ship any more than a burglar
needs a jimmy and a dark lantern,"
shouted Mr. Trimble. This sentiment,
nolwithtanding the speaker was a
tritle mixed in his metaphor, met with
prolonged applause from the gallant
band of free-seeders.
Mr. LUteT, of Connecticut, read let
ters from his consituents, some asking
for Shropshire sheep, Durham bulls,
i^"*Y^Ar(wind the world
w^^^^ 60 minutes
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of successful men and women, delightful stories, entertaining and ma ji. By our liberal offer every family can possess one of these
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is any home. It is published monthly at 50c." a year. from.
act at once and address OPPORTUNITY. 279 Dearborn St Chicago.
XL E.— Sea* money as? safe way, but DON'T send checksoa your local bank.
postage stamps, and cash. Instead of
the seeds he has been sending out
since he came to Congress. The read
ing of these letters again plunged the
House in disorder and canfusion.
PITY THE POOR FARMER.
Mr. Games, of Tennessee, endeav
ored to be heard above the noise and
confusion. As he sat down, by com
mand of the Chair, he managed to say
that the bill was loaded with all kinds
of appropriations to take care of and
suppress the "mouth and foot disease,
hollow horn, and hollow tail," but took
away from the farmer the few seeds
that he every year looked forward
to receiving.
This new outburst of eloquence on
the part of Mr. Games threw the
House into convulsive laughter.
When the members had partially re
covered their composure Mr. Gain^s
rushed down the aisle, carrying a mass
of manuscript in both hands, holding it
shouting that he had hundre t
of letters from farmers favoring free
seeds.
As chairman Wadsworth reached out
his hand for them, Mr. Games laid
them on a desk and began pulH-g from
the bunch various documents. It
developed that among these "hun
dreds" of letters there were an unusu
ally large portion of bills of various
sorts and other "pub. docs." that had
no relevancy to the seed question.
Again the members shrieked and
gathered in the aisle, forcing the
chairman to resort t" every parlia
mentary expedient to secure order.
When the bill came up for a vot*
the free seeds were continued by a
vote of 153 to 82. A fight for the abol
ishment of the free seed practice will
continue, for it Is believed that the
sending out of tho packages are of no
practical benefit to the farming classes
of the country, and it is safe to say
that next year's bBJ Trill find the ap
propriation for these seeds omitted
when it comes from the committee
and the probabilities are that by that
time a majority of the members of the
House will support the committee.
Since 1896 the world's annual pro
duction of gold has doubled.
There are now one million pension
ers on the pension rolls of the United
States.
The nunrber of cameras made In the
United States last year was 300,000,
worth about $20,000,000. A gener
ation ago a camera was an unusual
object.
FARMER IMMIGRANTS.
Some of Our Citizens Make Good
Farmera-But Poor City Dwellers.
Many of our Italian immigrants are
good farmers, after their fashion of
laborious intensive cultivation. They
are wretchedly poor, but they are chil
dren of the soil and where they occa
sionally do get into the same con
genial occupation in this country they
make good farmers and eventually
good citizens.
The greater part of the immigrants,
in fact, now pouring into the country
are better qualified for agricultural
and horticultural pursuits than for
any others. These pursuits were theirs 1
in their European homes, and but for!
certain difficulties they would natural
ly resort to them here. The trouble is,
there is nobody ready, as a general,
thing, to offer them employment, in]
groups, on the land; and transporta-'
tion to the land is more or less expen
sive. On the other hand, there are al
ways contractors ready to engage them
for railroad, mining and similar em
ployments in the seaboard States, and
sometimes in other States; more often
they simply settle down in the big and
already congested cities. They take
what they can get; and, more espe
cially, what will be most likely to en
able them to enjoy the continued com*
panionship of their fellow immigrants.
The newcomer dreads the isolation
which will usually be his lot if he ac
cepts employment on a farm.
Under the far-sighted plan of the
men who are colonizing some Western
areas, particularly In California and
New Mexico, all these difficulties are
avoided. Groups of agriculturists of
the same nationality are brought to
gether, and invited to become owners
of small tracts, sold to them on easy
terms. Ten acres of good land, so ob
tainable — and the price of which ha
can usually pay in labor for others —
is a very attractive proposition to the
average immigrant, especially when,
in his new home, he may be sur
rounded by others of his own race.
The plan has been already demon
strated to be very profitable to .the
promoters also.
The highest mountain in Colorado
Is Massive, 14,424, and the next ia
Elbert, 14,421. Pike's Peak is 14,108
feet high and there are twenty moun
tains hi Colorado higher .than this.
The most expensive flsh r iri"the*flsb
markets of the United States is tha
English sole -which retails, for about
sixty cents per pound.

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