London Journal of Botany, Volume 6 (Google eBook)

Front Cover
H. Baillière., 1847 - Botany
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Page 370 - Murray; in others it spread into four or five channels, some of them several miles apart ; but the -whole country is better watered than any other portion of Australia I have seen, by numerous tributaries arising in the Downs. The soil consists of rich clay, and the hollows give birth to water-courses, in most of which water was abundant. I found, at length, that I might travel in any direction, and find water at hand, without having to seek the river, except when I wished to ascertain its general...
Page 34 - I first noticed the Parang handle that was made of Gutta Percha ; — my curiosity being excited by the novelty of the material, I questioned the workman, a Malay woodsman, in whose possession I saw it, and heard that the material of which it was framed could be moulded into any other form, by dipping it into boiling water till it was heated through, when it became plastic as clay, regaining when cold its original hardness and rigidity.
Page 33 - Europeans for a few years, is now extensively used in the arts for various purposes, as a substitute for caoutchouc, because it has the valuable property of dissolving without being volcanized. But while thus frequently employed, and constituting an important article of commerce, the plant which produces it was unknown, until, by a lucky accident, during the residence of Mr. Thos. Lobb in Singapore, where he has been (and in other Malay islands) employed in a botanical mission by Mr. Veitch of Exeter,...
Page 34 - Gutta meaning the gum, or concrete juice of the plant, and Percha (pronounced Pertcha) the particular tree from which it is obtained. I could not help thinking that the tree itself must exist in Sumatra, and perhaps derive its name from thence, the Malayan name for Sumatra being Pulo Percha; but though the Straits of Malacca are situated only one degree to the north of Singapore, I could not find that the substance has ever been heard of there or in Sumatra. " But to return to the period when 1 first...
Page 35 - ... as timber, but that a concrete and edible oil, used by the natives with their food, is obtainable from the fruit. In many parts of the island of Singapore and in the forests of Johore, at the extremity of the Malayan peninsula, the tree is found : it was also said to grow at Coti, on the south-eastern coast of Borneo, and Dr.
Page 33 - Percha, for though quite unknown to Europeans, a few inhabitants of certain parts of the Malayan forests were acquainted with it. Many, however, of their neighbors residing in the adjacent native villages, had never heard of it; and the use to which it was applied was very trifling, for I could only ascertain that it was occasionally employed to make handles for parangs (or wood choppers) instead of wood or buffalo horn.
Page 36 - ... generally comes home much mixed with extraneous matter : — it may be dissolved by heat and strained ; or passed through a screw press; or melted by the addition of rectified oil of turpentine, and after filtering through flannel or felt the solvent may be evaporated. In every case, the...
Page 128 - ... Madeira are allied in rather a remarkable degree to the S. African species of that genus; a fact which reminds us that the Myrsine Africana, a Cape of Good Hope plant, is a native of the Azores, but of no intervening latitude on the West coast of Africa or the Atlantic Islands, or indeed any where else but Abyssinia. Though not a subject falling immediately within the province of the pure botanist, it may not be amiss here to state, that the four Island-groups in question have been conceived...
Page 138 - They afford us the first glimpses of the fever-smitten coast of Africa, and of slavery. Even the black man here, deprived of freedom, and an alien to the land in which, though guiltless, he is a prisoner for life, is apt to be regarded as a mere object of natural history by his Caucasian fellow-creature; who, before he has time for reflection, may perhaps be excused for pausing to consider, whether a being so different in features and social position, be really of the same origin as himself; whether,...
Page 36 - ... saddles, &c. ; likewise, springs of clocks, clasps, belts, garters and string. Wherever the requisite is flexibility and elasticity, then the quantity of Gutta Percha should be diminished : — and increased where firmness is wanted. By prolonging the process, much hardness may be acquired, and moulds and balls of Gutta Percha will bear turning in the lathe, like wood or ivory. The material is also applicable to useful and ornamental purposes, as picture frames, door-handles, walking-sticks,...

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