Francis Galton The Art of Travel

ISBN 13: 9781770450400

The Art of Travel

 
9781770450400: The Art of Travel
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Excerpt: ...or German tinder, is made from a kind of fungus or mushroom that grows on the trunks of old oaks, ashes, beeches, etc.; many other kinds of fungus, and, I believe, all kinds of puff-balls, will also make tinder. "It should be gathered in August or September, and is prepared by removing the outer bark with a knife, and separating carefully the spongy yellowish mass that lies within it. This is cut into thin slices, and beaten with a mallet to soften it, till it can easily be pulled asunder between the fingers. It is then boiled in a strong solution of saltpetre." A Roll of Rag.--Cotton rag will easily take fire from the spark from a flint, in a very dry climate, if well struck. It must be rolled up moderately tight, so as to have the end of the roll fluffy; the rag having been torn, not cut. A rag rolled in this way is not bad tinder, if the sparks are strong, and one commences to blow it the instant one of the fibres is seen to be alight. If its fluffy end be rubbed into a little dry gunpowder, its property as tinder is greatly improved. Cotton Lamp-wick.--A piece of it drawn through a tin tube, to shield the previously charred part from being rubbed off, is excellent in dry climates. (See fig. 1, p. 180.) Touch-paper is merely paper dipped in a solution of saltpetre, or what comes to nearly the same thing and is somewhat better, paper smeared with damp gunpowder until it is blackened. Some grains of uncrushed gunpowder should be left adhering to the paper, and a few more should be allowed to lie loosely upon it. Unsized paper, like that out of a blotting-book, is the best suited for making into touch-paper; paper is rendered unsized by being well soaked and washed in water. (See next paragraph.) Saltpetre for Tinder.--In all cases the presence of saltpetre makes tinder burn more hotly and more fiercely; and saltpetre exists in such great quantities in the ashes of many plants (as tobacco, dill, maize, sunflower), that these can be used, just as...

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Review:

Darwin's first cousin, Francis Galton, is most famous today as the man who developed eugenics. But he was also a meteorologist, a pioneer in the science of using fingerprints for personal identification, and widely travelled. As a young man he explored the Near East and South West Africa, and these experiences inspired him to write this remarkable guide to the art of travelling, which ran through eight editions in his lifetime.

The book still makes for fascinating reading, as much for the extraordinary historical detail which it provides as for its advice. Some tips are still first-rate--on bivouacking and caring for the backs of pack-animals for instance--and give pointers which are very difficult to find today: how to build pack-saddles or stone ovens, the construction of calabash boats, and so on. Other tips will be of less use to the modern traveller, but, nevertheless, the sections on the "management of savages" and "taking prisoners" give a wonderful perspective on the Victorian world view.

Today, The Art of Travel comes across as a highly unusual book. It is written in the measured, graceful prose of the Victorian age, which gives an elegant reminder of how flabby some contemporary writing has become. Whether he is writing about flocks of sheep sheltering in Hyde Park or making complicated computations of the optimum weights for people and animals to carry, Galton is an engaging companion, and, even 130 years on, often a useful one. --Toby Green

Book Description:

Francis Galton, later a pioneer of biostatistics, published this book in 1855, drawing on his experiences during an extensive journey around Africa. The work is wide-ranging and practical, giving an insight into the needs and expectations of British travellers as they ranged ever more widely over the world.

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Francis Galton
Published by Rarebooksclub.com, United States (2013)
ISBN 10: 1770450408 ISBN 13: 9781770450400
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
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Book Description Rarebooksclub.com, United States, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Excerpt: .or German tinder, is made from a kind of fungus or mushroom that grows on the trunks of old oaks, ashes, beeches, etc.; many other kinds of fungus, and, I believe, all kinds of puff-balls, will also make tinder. "It should be gathered in August or September, and is prepared by removing the outer bark with a knife, and separating carefully the spongy yellowish mass that lies within it. This is cut into thin slices, and beaten with a mallet to soften it, till it can easily be pulled asunder between the fingers. It is then boiled in a strong solution of saltpetre." A Roll of Rag.--Cotton rag will easily take fire from the spark from a flint, in a very dry climate, if well struck. It must be rolled up moderately tight, so as to have the end of the roll fluffy; the rag having been torn, not cut. A rag rolled in this way is not bad tinder, if the sparks are strong, and one commences to blow it the instant one of the fibres is seen to be alight. If its fluffy end be rubbed into a little dry gunpowder, its property as tinder is greatly improved. Cotton Lamp-wick.--A piece of it drawn through a tin tube, to shield the previously charred part from being rubbed off, is excellent in dry climates. (See fig. 1, p. 180.) Touch-paper is merely paper dipped in a solution of saltpetre, or what comes to nearly the same thing and is somewhat better, paper smeared with damp gunpowder until it is blackened. Some grains of uncrushed gunpowder should be left adhering to the paper, and a few more should be allowed to lie loosely upon it. Unsized paper, like that out of a blotting-book, is the best suited for making into touch-paper; paper is rendered unsized by being well soaked and washed in water. (See next paragraph.) Saltpetre for Tinder.--In all cases the presence of saltpetre makes tinder burn more hotly and more fiercely; and saltpetre exists in such great quantities in the ashes of many plants (as tobacco, dill, maize, sunflower), that these can be used, just as. Seller Inventory # LIE9781770450400

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