This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
I was very much pleased with the recommendation of Sulphate of Ammonia as a fertiliser, by "An Amateur," in your Magazine for June." The one pregnant assurance, "nothing so good can be cheaper, and the substance may be obtained at almost any apothecary's," wrought in me a lively satisfaction - endorsed as it was, by your own professional endorsement. Filled with faith, I straightway sought a drugstore, in search of the requi site " Sulphate of Ammonia," and experienced something very like contempt for the establishment, on learning that no such substance contributed to make up its assortment. But after having visited four other large stores with like success) and finding the said "sulphate" at neither, while its very existence seemed doubted at many, I sobered down into a more accustomed sobriety, and contented myself with a small dose of the Muriate for experiment.
Now, what is the trouble 1 If no Sulphate of Ammonia can be found at the respectably extensive drug stores of Syracuse, am I not warranted in doubting the general ability of horticulturists to easily procure it? Or does "An Amateur" expect us to manufacture for ourselves, as we can do if necessary, from salts which apothecary's do keep? or is it something else than the sulphate which he uses? For one, 1 am really anxious for the means of preparing so valuable a fertilizer. J. M. W. Syracuse, June 6,1862.
[Our correspondent's only error was in saying the sulphate was easily procured. We believe It is only to be had of the wholesale druggists in the larger cities. Muriate of ammonia, (sal ammoniac,) may be had at any druggists, and from some experiments we have made lately, we believe it is a very tolerable substitute for the sulphate, used in the same proportions. En.]