In the years 1857 and 1858, the writer, in the capacity of Chemist to the State Agricultural Society of Connecticut, was commissioned to make investigations into the agricultural uses of the deposits of peat or swamp muck which are abundant in this State; and, in 1858, he submitted a Report to Henry A. Dyer, Esq., Corresponding Secretary of the Society, embodying his conclusions. In the present work the valuable portions of that Report have been recast, and, with addition of much new matter, form Parts I. and II. The remainder of the book, relating to the preparation and employment of peat for fuel, &c., is now for the first time published, and is intended to give a faithful account of the results of the experience that has been acquired in Europe, during the last twenty-five years, in regard to the important subject of which it treats.
s of more humid atmosphere, they are more common and attain greater dimensions. In Zealand the surfaces of ponds are so frequently covered with floating beds of moss, often stout enough to bear a man, that they have there received a special name "Hangesak." In the Russian Ural, there occur lakes whose floating covers of moss often extend five or six feet above the water, and are so firm that roads are made across them, and forests of large fir-trees find support. These immense accumulations are in fact floating moors, consisting entirely of peat, save the living vegetation at the surface.
Sometimes these floating peat-beds, bearing trees, are separated by winds from their connection with the shore, and become swimming peat islands. In a small lake near Eisenach, in Central Germany, is a swimming island of this sort. Its diameter is 40 rods, and it consists of a felt-like mass of peat, three to five feet in depth, covered above by sphagnums and a great variety of aquatic plants. A few birches a
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