Cornhill Magazine,  2 (1860), 709–17.

Our Natural Enemies

[David T Ansted]




Pollution, Mineralogy, Chemistry, Experiment, Patents

    Warns that, as well as hostile nations, 'we have other enemies'. These are the agents of pollution—'worms or boring animals [...]; the fungus called dry rot [...]; and the moisture and gases in the air'—which threaten even the most prestigious buildings in the country (709). Advises that 'if there be any defence, it must come from the mineral kingdom' and that the 'architect and builder must appeal to the chemist' for a protective substance that will penetrate behind the surface of stone (713). Such a substance, based on a solution of flint called water-glass, was pioneered in France by Charles F Kuhlmann, and has recently been further developed in England by Frederick Ransome. The initial trials of Ransome's 'patented [...] method' (716) have been successful, although they are 'manifestly too recent to justify an opinion' (717). Also notes that 'any allusion to chemical technicalities' has been 'purposely avoided' in the main text of the article (instead they are dealt with in a brief footnote) (715–16n.).

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