PITCH

1495

PITT

used to denote one of the three distinguishing features of any musical tone. The pitch of a note depends upon the number of vibrations per second which produce this note; and the numerical value of the pitch is the number of vibrations per second or the frequency of the note. See Acoustics. Pitch, a black resinous substance, is obtained from the tar of coal or of wood by the application of heat at low temperatures, the heat driving out the volatile naphtha or spirit. In the production of pitch the fire must be withdrawn before the heat of the distilling vessel reaches the point at which coke or carbon will be produced. Pitch is also obtained from natural petroleum, bone-tar and stearine-residues. The last two are valued by varnish and turpentine makers. Wood-tar pitch is much used to protect timber from insects and the weather; coal-tar pitch is used in the manufacture of black varnishes for coating iron and for making lampblack. In Persia it is prepared from goat and sheep dung. Burgundy pitch, produced in Finland, is a drug inuch used as a medicine.

Pit'cher=Plants, those whose leaves form tubes or urns of various shapes, which contain water and to which insects are attracted . and drowned. The common pitcher-plants of the temperate regions are a species of Sarracenia, which grow in swampy areas. In the tropics striking illustrations of pitcher-plants are found among the various species of Nepenthes and their allies, in which urns of various shapes are developed swinging at the ends of tendrils. See Carnivorous Plants.]

Pith, a term which has both a general and a special application. In the former case it applies to any loose, spongy tissue in plants. Strictly, however, it means the spongy tissue within the vascular cylinder of gymnosperms and dicotyledons. The tissue is parenchyma (which see), and it is apt to die so early, that the pith of ordinary experience is a dead and empty mass of cells. The pith of ordinary commercial use is obtained from the elder.

Pit'man, Sir Isaac, a British educator and the father of modern shorthand, was born at Tiowbridge, Wiltshire, England, Jan. 4, 1813. He was educated at the Normal College near his home, and himself became the master of a school at Barton-on-Humber in 1832. He published his first studies of the art which was to make him famous in a volume entitled Stenographic Shorthand (1837). A few years later he put forth Phonography or Writing by Sound. Such was the general acceptance

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PITCHER-PLANT

his system found, that little remains of earlier attempts. In 1843 he founded the Phonetic Society, and soon after began the publication of the weekly Phonetic Journal. He issued many textbooks upon phonography, and his system was introduced into the United States in 1847. He was knighted in 1894, and died on Jan. 22, 1897. His brother, Ben Pitman, settled at Cincinnati about 1850, and made that city the headquarters for the publication of works similar to those printed by Isaac in the Old World. His system differs slightly from that of his brother, but essentially they are one. See Shorthand. Pitt, William, Earl of Chatham, sometimes styled Pitt the Elder, one of the greatest of all English orators and statesmen, was born at Westminster, Nov. 15, 1708. He was educated at Eton and Oxford, and entered Parliament in 1735, where he took sides against the king and led the young Whigs, known as patriots, in opposition to Walpole, then at the head of affairs. Though deprived of his commission, his influence increased rapidly both in and out of the house of commons. Walpole was driven from power in 1742, and, though the king hated Pitt, he found it necessary to permit his return to the government service. Some wealthy admirers of Pitt's oratory and patriotism left him large sums of money, and on the dismissal of Fox Pitt became secretary of state. While Pitt was in power, success returned to the British arms. French armies were defeated everywhere by Britain and her allies — in India Africa, Canada, on the Rhine — and the few ships left her were driven from almost every sea. But Pitt, the prime mover of all these brilliant victories, found himself compelled to resign on the accession of George III, when the British government adopted a vacillating policy. But he did not cease to take an interest in public affairs. He spoke strongly against the arbitrary and harsh policy of the government toward the American colonies, and warmly urged an amicable settlement of the difficulties. But when, America having entered into treaty with France, it was proposed by the duke of Richmond to remove the ministers and make peace on any terms, Chatham, sick though he was, came to the house of lords. In a powerful address he protested against the implied prostration of Britain before the throne of the Bourbons, and declared that war, with whatever issue, would be preferable to the proposed terms of peace. This address secured a majority against the motion, and the war was continued. But it was the orator's last effort, for his physical powers suddenly failed, he fell back into the arms of his friends, and was carried from the house by his son William,, who in less than five years was himself prime minister.