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Useful Water-Proof Cloth for Soldiers' Overcoats

water-proof cloth for soldiers' overcoats
(from the Civilian & Telegraph, of Cumberland, Maryland, July 18, 1861)


Part I​
2 lbs. 4 oz. of alum​
10 gallons of water​
Part II​
2 lbs. 4 oz. of sugar of lead​
an additional 10 gallons of water​


Twenty thousands tunics rendered water-proof and yet porous, were served out to the French army during the late war with Russia. They were prepared after the following recipe: —​
Take 2 pounds and 4 ounces of alum, and dissolve it in 10 gallons of water; in like manner dissolve the same quantity of sugar of lead in a similar quantity of water, and mix the two together. They form a precipitate of the sulphate of lead. The clear liquor is now withdrawn, and the immersed for one hour in the solution, when it is taken out, dried in the shade, washed in clean water and dried again.​
This preparation enables the cloth to repel water, like the feathers of a duck's back and yet allows the perspiration to pass some what freely through it, which is not the case with gutta percha or India-rubber cloth.​