* Led by the Sage. l. 195. Dr. Priestley's discovery of the production of pure air from such variety of substances will probably soon be applied to the improvement of the diving bell, as the substances which contain vital air in immense quantities are of little value as manganese and minium. See additional notes, No. XXXIII. In every hundred weight of minium there is combined about twelve pounds of pure air, now as sixty pounds of water are about a cubic foot, and as air is eight hundred times lighter than water, five hundred weight of minium will produce eight hundred cubic feet of air or about six thousand gallons. Now, as this is at least thrice as pure as atmospheric air, a gallon of it may be supposed to serve for three minutes respiration for one man. At present the air can not be set at liberty from minium by viriolic acid without the application of some heat, this is however very likely soon to be discovered, and will then enable adventurers to journey beneath the ocean in large inverted ships or diving balloons.
Mr. Boyle relates, that Cornelius Drebelle contrived not only a vessel to be rowed under water, but also a liquor to be caried in that vessel, which would supply the want of fresh air. The vessel was made by order of James I. and carried twelve rowers besides passengers. It was tried in the river Thames, and one of the persons who was in that submarine voyage told the particulars of the experiments to a person who related them to Mr. Boyle. Annual Register for 1774, p. 248.
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