Without this circumstance the retort would only be heated in its bottom the

Without this circumstance the retort would only be

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reverberatory. Without this circumstance the retort would only be heated in its bottom, the vapours raised from the contained substance would condense in the upper part, and a continual cohabitation would take place without any thing passing over into the receiver, but, by means of the dome, the retort is equally heated in every part, and the vapours being forced out, can only condense in the neck of the retort, or in the recipient. To prevent the bottom of the retort from being either heated or coolled too suddenly, it is sometimes placed in a small sand­bath of baked clay, standing upon the cross bars of the furnace. Likewise, in many operations, the retorts are coated over with lutes, some of which are intended to preserve them from the too sudden influence of heat or of cold, while others are for sustaining the glass, or forming a kind of second retort, which supports the glass one during operations wherein the strength of the fire might soften it. The former is made of brick­clay with a little cow's hair beat up alongst with it, into a paste or mortar, and spread over the glass or stone retorts. The latter is made of pure clay and pounded stone­ware mixed together, and used in the same manner. This dries and
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  • Furnace, two bars, Mr Lavoisier

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