University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
collapse sectionS. 
7699. SALT WATER, Distillation.—
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

7699. SALT WATER, Distillation.—

The obtaining fresh from salt water was for
ages considered as an important desideratum
for the use of navigators. The process for doing
this by simple distillation is so efficacious,
the erecting an extempore still with such utensils
as are found on board of every ship, is so
practicable, as to authorize the assertion that
this desideratum is satisfied to a very useful
degree. [442] But though this has been done for
upwards of thirty years, though its reality has
been established by the actual experience of
several vessels which have had recourse to it,
yet neither the fact nor the process is known
to the mass of seamen, to whom it would be the
most useful, and for whom it was principally
wanted. The Secretary of State is, therefore,
of opinion that since the subject has now
been brought under observation, it should be
made the occasion of disseminating its knowledge
generally and effectually among the seafaring
citizens of the United States.—
Report to Congress. Washington ed. vii, 459.


The House of Representatives had referred to Jefferson
the petition of Jacob Isaacs of Rhode Island,
who claimed to have discovered a method of converting
salt water into fresh. Isaacs desired the government
to buy his secret.—Editor.