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Barilla

ware, burning, ashes and dry

BARILLA. A substance imported, in considerable quantities, from Spain, and extensively used in soap-works, glass-works, and various other chemical arts. It is obtained by the incineration of the salsola soda, a marine plant, which is cultivated with great care in the neighbourhood of Alicant and Car-. thagena; that of Alicant is generally the most esteemed. An inferior species of Barilla is also manufactured in many parts of North Britain, from the salsola of Linnaeus, or common sea-wrack, and forms such an important article of commerce, that it is said Lord Mac Donald, of the Isles, realizes 10,0001. a year from his kelp shores alone, which his ancestors looked upon as of no value whatever. The following account of the manufacture " on the faros of Stroud, in Harris," possessed in tack by Mrs. Anne Campbell, is taken from the Trans actions of the Highland Society of Scotland. "I. The ware is cut off the rocks with a common book, similar to those used for reaping, but stronger, and having a rougher edge. It is then landed on a clean spreading ground, and if any sand or mud adhere to the weed, it is carefully washed before landing. The ware, or weed, is then spread out every dry day, and made into small cocks at night ; and when it is found to be pretty dry, it is made into larger cocks, and left to heat for six or eight days; after which, a dry day, with a good breeze of wind, is selected for burning it; which operation is performed in kilns, constructed roughly of middle-sized stones, the outside being covered with turf; the length of each kiln is from 15 to 18 feet; breadth, 21 feet; and height, 2 feet. The process of

burning is as follows :A small bundle of straw, or heather, is set on fire ; the driest part of the ware is placed over this, and gradually added until the flames become general through the kiln ; then the ware to be burnt is thrown in, little by little, till the whole is reduced to ashes. If, however, it happens that the day is too calm, or that the ware is not sufficiently dry, so that the ashes cool and cake into white crusts, the manufacturer stops burning any more until he rakes all the ashes out of the kiln ; he then commences burning again, and goes on in this way until the whole is thoroughly burnt. The last process is the raking or working of the ashes with an iron with a wooden handle, made for the purpose, until the whole is brought into a vitrified state ; the mass is after wards broken into pieces of about 2 cwt., in which state it is ready for shipment.