2. Report Of The Committee Of The American Society Of Civil Engineers On The Preservation Of Timber, Presented And Accepted At The Annual Convention, June 25, 1885.

The name of Dr. Boucherie is generally applied to the process, which he invented and extensively applied, of preparing wood by forcing a solution longitudinally through the pores of the wood by means of hydraulic pressure. As, however, he also patented the use of sulphate of copper, and his name became attached to the use of that antiseptic, it will be convenient here to classify experiments made with that substance under this head.

Dr. Boucherie was a distinguished French chemist, who between 1836 and 1846 made many elaborate researches and experiments upon the preservation of timber. He tried many substances, and at first recommended the use of pyrolignite of iron, but subsequently used sulphate of copper, which he considered more effective.

His first experiments were conducted by vital suction, that is, by tapping the living tree, and allowing the ascending sap to carry up a preserving solution. This was not found to give uniform or satisfactory results, and Dr. Boucherie then invented the process which bears his name. This was practiced either by applying a cap to the end of a freshly cut log, through which the solution was allowed to flow by pressure, or by sawing a log nearly through in the middle, raising it at the center slightly, so as to open the joint, placing a strip of tarred rope or a rubber band just inside the periphery of the cut log, and letting it spring back, so as to form a tight joint by pressing upon the rope or band. An auger hole bored diagonally into the cavity so formed then served to admit the solution under pressure.

This process, applied with a solution of about one pound of sulphate of copper to one hundred pounds of water, has been extensively applied in France for many years, with satisfactory results. It was found, however, that to be successful it must be applied to freshly cut trees in the log only, and that this involved so much delay, moving about, waste, and annoyance, that it has now been abandoned. These difficulties would be still greater in this country, and in the Northern States the process could not be applied at all during the winter (or season for cutting down trees), as the solution would freeze.

On this page is a list of the experiments which your committee have been able to learn about, as having been made with sulphate of copper in this country.

RECORD OF AMERICAN EXPERIMENTS.

SULPHATE OF COPPER, OR BOUCHERIE.

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| | | | Material |Subsequent| |

No| Locality |Year|Process.| Treated. | Exposure.| Results. | Authority.

--+--------------+----+--------+----------+----------+----------+---------------

1|Chili, S.A. |1857|Boucher.|Poplar |R.R. track|Favorable |W.W. Evans

| | | | ties | | |

2|Cleveland, O |1870|Thilmany|Ties | " " |Favorable |J.R. Conrad

| | | | | | to 1875 |

3|Washington |1872| " |Paving |Laboratory|Unfavor. |W.C. Tilden

| | | | blocks | | |

4|Pensacola |1874| " |Live oak |Teredo |Failure |W.H. Varney

| | | | | | |

5|Charleston, SC|1875| " |Pine block| " | " |Q.A. Gillmore

| | | | | | |

6|San Francisco |1876| " | " " | " | " |C.S. Stewart

| | | | | | |

7|Milwaukee |1876| " | " " |Pavement |Favorable,|Schlitz Bg.

| | | | | | 1882 | Co.

8|Norfolk, Va. |1876| " |Hackmatack|Teredo |Failure |P.C. Asserson

| | | | | | |

9|Charlestown, |1877| " |Various |Laboratory|Favorable |J.F. Babcock

| Mass | | | | | |

10|Wabash R.R. |1877| " |Ties |R.R. track|Unfavor. |R.A. Houghton

| | | | | | |

11|Wabash R.R. |1878| " | " | " " | " |W.S. Lincoln

| | | | | | |

12|New York, |1879| " | " | " " | " |C. Latimer

| Pennsylvania,| | | | | |

| and Ohio R.R.| | | | | |

13|Lake Shore and|1879| " | " | " " | " |R.A. Houghton

| Michigan | | | | | |

| Southern R.R.| | | | | |

14|Cleveland and |1879| " | " | " " | " |C. Latimer

|Pittsburg R.R.| | | | | |

15|Charlestown, |1879| " |Spruce |Sidewalk |Success |S.G. White

| Mass | | | plank | | to 1882 |

16|Baltimore and |1879| " |Ties |R.R. track|Too recent|J.L. Randolph

| Ohio | | | | | |

17|Hudson River |1869|Hamar | " | " " |Success |E.W. Vanderbilt

| R.R. | | | | | |

18|St. Louis |1882|Fladd | " | " " |Too recent|H. Fladd

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