Home >> Chamber's Encyclopedia, Volume 9 >> Lightning to Loretto >> Linnet


oil, plumage, common, chiefly, species, layer, color, chloride, brown and india-rubber

LINNET, Linota, a genus of small birds of the family fringillidm, nearly resembling the true finches, goldfinches, etc. The bill is short, straight, conical, and pointed; the wings long and somewhat pointed; the tail forked. The species are widely distributed in the northern, temperate, and arctic regions, but much confusion has arisen concern ing them, from the difference between the plumaze of the breeding season and that of the greater part of the year, The Cp.vmoN LINNET (L. cannabina), or GP.EATER RED POLE (qu. redpoll), is common in almost every part of the British islands and of Europe, and extends over Asia to Japan. In size it is about equal to the chaffinch. In its winter plumage its prevailing color is brown, the quill and tail feathers black with white edges; in the nuptial plumage the crown of the head and the breast are bright ver milion color, and a general brightening of color takes place over the rest of the plumage. This change of plumage causes it to be designated the brown, gray, or rose linnet, according to the season of the year and the sex. It is the Untie of the Scotch. The sweetness of its song makes it everywhere a favorite. It sings well in a cage, and readily breeds in confinement; but the brightness of the nuptial plumage never appears. The linnet abounds chiefly in somewhat open districts, and seems to prefer uncultivated and furze-covered grounds. Its nest is very often in a furze-bush or hawthorn-hedge; is formed of small twigs and stems of grass, nicely lined with wool or hair; the eggs are four or five in number, pale bluish white, speckled with purple and brown. Linnets congregate in large flocks in winter, and in great part desert the uplands, and resort to the sea-coast.—The MEALY REDPOLE (L. eaneseens) is also a widely distributed species, and is found in North America, as well as in Europe and Asia,' chiefly in very northern regions. It is rare in Britain. In size it is nearly equal to the common linnet. By some it is regarded as a larger variety of the LESSER REDPOLE or CommoN REDPOLR (L. linaria), which is common in Britain, although in the south of England it is chiefly known as a winter visitant. The forehead, throat, and lore are black; in the spring plumage, the crown of the head is deep crimson; the general color is brown of various shades. The species is common in all the northern parts of the world, enlivening with its pleasant twitter and sprightly habits even the desolate wastes of Spitzbergen.—The only other British species is the MourrAm LENTNET, or TWITE (L. monlium), chiefly found in mountainous or very northern districts. It is smaller than the preceding, has a yellowish bill, and never assumes the red color which marks the nuptial plumage of other species.

LrNO'LEIMI is, as its name is intended to denote, a peculiar preparation of linseed oil. In 1849 Nicles and Rochelder independently discovered that chloride of sulphur will solidify oil, and render it usable in many new ways. In 1859 M. Perra cornmunicated to the academie des sciences the details of a mode of effecting this by mixing and melt ing the ingredients, and pouring the mixture out in a thin layer. By varying the pro

portions the resulting substance assumes varying degrees of consistency. Thus, 100 linseed oil + 25 chloride of sulphur produces a hard and tough substance; 100 oil+ 15 chloride, a supple substance like india-rubber; and 100 oil + 5 chloride, a thick pasty mass. This third kind dissolves well in oil of turpentine. Mr. Walton afterwards found that, by the application of heat, linseed oil will become hard without the addition of chloride of sulphur. He conceives that it is.not a rnere drying, but a real oxidizing. Linseed oil, first boiled, is applied as a layer to a surface of wood or glass, then dried; then another layer; and so on till the required thickness is produced. The sheet is then removed, and is found to be very ranch like india-rubber in elasticity; in fact, the pro duction of a layer by this means is analogous to the smearing of clay-molds with caoutchoue juice to produce india-rubber, as practiced in South America. See CAoum cnouc. The drying is a little expedited by adding a small portion of oxide of lead. The solid oil is crushed, and worked thoroughly netween heated rollers; and when treated either with shellac or with naphtha, it becomes applicable in various manufactur ing forms. The term linoleum properly applies to the hardened or oxidized oil itself, but it is chiefly used as a designation for one of the substances made from or with it, a kind of floor-cloth. When the oxidized oil is rolled into sheets it becomes a substitute for india-rubber or gutta-percha. When dissolved as a varnish or mastic and applied to cloth it is useful for water-proof textiles, felt carpets, carriage-aprons, wagon and cart sheets, nursing-aprons, water-beds, tank-linings, table-covers, etc., according to the mode of treatment. When used as a paint, it is useful for iron, for wood, and for ships' bottoms. When used as a cement it possesses some of the useful properties of marine glue. When vulcanized or rendered quite hard by heat it may be filed, planed, turned, carved, and polished like wood, and used for knife and fork handles, mold ings, etc. When brought by certain treatment to the consistency of dough or putty, it may be pressed into embossed molds for ornamental articles. -When used as a grind ing-wheel, touched with emery, it becomes a good cutter. Lastly, when mixed with ground cork, pressed on canvas by rollers, the canvas coated at the back with a layer of the same oil in the state of paint, and the upper or principal surface painted and printed, it becomes the linoleum floor-cloth, for the production of which a factory has been established at Staines. Dunn's patented fabric for siinilar purposes has no oil in it. it is a mixture of cork-shavings, cotton or wool fibers, and caoutehouc spread upon a cotton or canvas back, and embossed with patterns; it is a kind of kamptulicon (q.v.).