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.
Mr:- Downing - Dear Sir: I wish to trouble you with a few inquiries about the water ram, and. glass structures, such as cold graperies. The principle of the water ram has been made plain, through the Horticulturist and other papers, but the cost of the apparatus, and the effective force of the instrument, with the conditions necessary to its use; are data which I have been wafting some three years to know. We have never been able to learn what relative quantity of water is required to be discharged, to elevate a certain quantity a given height; nor have I been able to ascertain bow great a fall is essentially Decenary to the effective operation of a ram, elevating water say 2ft or 40 feet. 1 have been induced to trouble you with these questions, thinking you might be familiar with the practical operation and economy of this instrument, or could refer my interrogatories to some manufacturers of your acquaintance, who, I suppose, are prepared to give all necessary information in regard to it.
I am beginning to feel the want of a vinery, which, withes* heating apparatus, I conceive to be a simple and plain structure, but am unable to devise means to prevent injury from hail storms. I don't know whether you ore subject to the fall of hail of sufficient size to endanger these structures, or whether you use shutters. It strikes me that shutters, unless entirely removed, would intercept too much fight; but I am quite afraid to risk them, where hail from half an inch to one and a half inches in diameter, sometimes falls. Another question arises, which I wish to ask you. My farm is one mile in extent in its longest measurement, and presents an undulating surface, with several good building sites, which I design to improve for my tenantry. I would like to improve the different sites with houses of different style, to give variety, <am I right?) and wish to know if I should place edifices In the pointed style on the highest eminences, or the lowest. You will probably consider this a very foolish question for any one to ask, but I assure you that I am content to ask simple questions in regard to what constitutes good taste in architecture and the landscape, and trust yon will pardon the same, when you consider that I have a new farm, directly from the hand of nature, and am located where I have not the benefit of erudite example.
I have now In cultivation and in English grass, near 300 acres of my 420, and when some twenty-five more have been subdued, I shall direct my energies to the ornamental improvement of my timbered lands.
I obtained some good Devon cattle from Michigan this fall, as a beginning of my original design, formed seven or eight years ago, to stock my lawns with choice breeds of animals; and shall be able to have them sufficiently increased, with what additions I hope to be able to make by the time I get my grounds ready, to make a respectable show in the way of stock. We have had a delightful autumn and early winter - no cold weather until the 12th of December. Since which time, the thermometer has ranged below zero, the greatest portion of the time, sometimes as low as 20°; so I suppose we may say good bye again to the peaches. Tours, respectfully, J.. W, Muscatine, Iowa, Remarks. - As almost every case where the hydraulic ram is used, differs slightly from another, we can only generalize in our answer to our correspondent's first query. The fall needed in most cases, is from three to four feet ; the quantity of water forced up by the ram, (say at 200 or see feet distant, with 60 or 40 feet of elevation,) is about one-tenth; that is nine gal. Ions of a given supply from a spring or stream, are used In obtaining the power necessary to force up one gallon. The cost of the ram itself, (usual sizes,) varies from 12 to 18 or 20 dollars.
Besides this, enough lead pipe is need-ed to convey the water from the ram to the place where it is wanted. This is usually half-inoh pipe, worth, at the manufactories, five or six cents a running foot; also about 20 feet of one and a half-inch pipe, to drive the ram, worth 25 or 30 cents a foot.
Severe hail storms occur occasionally here - though not so frequently as at the west. It is rarely the case, however, that greenhouse glass is greatly damaged by it. A shower of very large hail stones - averaging three-fourths of an inch in diameter, took place last autumn, while we were at a gentleman's seat upon which was a range of glass neraly two hundred feet long. The owner expected to find the glass roofs entirely destroyed after the storm. But only 60 panes were broken among so many hundreds. The steeper the roof, the less the breakage. What is termed " double thick" glass, - made especially for greenhouses, is much stronger, and is rarely broken.
In building several tenant houses upon a single piece of property, we would much prefer to construct them all in one general style - or with only slight variations, growing out of different sines, positions, and wants. The passion for variety is the bane of modern art. It is at variance with simplicity, certainly one of the noblest and highest beauties of art, and it destroys breadth of repose and expression. When a man always pursues a certain consistency in all that be does, he stamp the rank of character on his actions ; when he changes his plans and motives every day, we say he has no character. So, in building a city, a village, or even the cottages on a farm, let every man's house be different, (as they are in the city of New-York,) and the effect is only that of a confused jumble. But let certain portions of a city, or the whole of a village or country place, show distinctly some one single pervading influence or feeling in design, and a character of dignity and importance, is at once conferred. Variety is a good thing, but it is only a secondary source of pleasure- - based on the weakness, rather than the strength of man's nature.