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BARREL (a word of uncertain origin co...

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Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 432 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BARREL (a word of uncertain origin common to Romance languages; the Celtic forms, as in the Gaelic baraill, are derived from the English), a vessel of cylindrical shape, made of staves bound together by hoops, a cask; also a dry and liquid measure of capacity, varying with the commodity which it contains (see WEIGHTS AND MEASURES). The term is applied to many cylindrical objects, as to the drum round which the chain is wound in a crane, a capstan or a watch; to the cylinder studded with pins in a barrel-organ or musical-box; to the hollow shaft in which the piston of a pump works; or to the tube of a gun. The "barrel" of a horse is that part of the body lying between the shoulders and the quarters. For the system of vaulting in architecture known as " barrel-vaulting " see VAULT. BARREL-ORGAN (Eng. "grinder-organ," "street-organ," " hand-organ," " Dutch organ"; Fr. orgue de Barbarie, orgue d'Allemagne, orgue mecanique, cabinet d'orgue, serinette; Ger. Drehorgel, Leierkasten; Ital. organetto amanovella, organo tedesco), a small portable organ mechanically played by turning a handle. The barrel-organ owes its name to the cylinder on which the tunes are pricked out with pins and staples of various lengths, set at definite intervals according to the scheme required by the music. The function of these pins and, staples is to raise balanced keys connected by simple mechanism with the valves of the pipes, which are thus mechanically opened, admitting the stream of air from the wind-chest. The handle attached to the shaft sets the cylinder in slow rotation by means of a worm working in a fine-toothed gear on the barrel-head; the same motion works the bellows by means of cranks and connecting reds on the shaft. The wind is thereby forced into a reservoir, whence it passes into the wind-chest, on the sides of which are grouped the pipes. The barrel revolves slowly from back to front, each revolution as a rule playing one complete tune. A notch-pin in the barrel-head, furnished with as many notches as there are tunes, enables the performer to shift the barrel and change the tune. The ordinary street barrel-organ had a compass varying from 24 to 34 notes, forming a diatonic scale with a few accidentals, generally F#, G#, C. There were usually two stops, one for the open pipes of metal, the other for the closed wooden pipes. Barrel-organs 432 malcontents in the streets near the Tuileries, 13 Vendemiaire (5th of October 1795). Thereupon Barras became one of the five Directors who controlled the executive of the French republic. Owing to his intimate relations with Josephine de Beauharnais, he helped to facilitate a marriage between her and Bonaparte; and many have averred, though on defective evidence, that Barras procured the appointment of Bonaparte to the command of the army of Italy early in the year 1796. The achievements of Bonaparte gave to the Directory a stability which it would not otherwise have enjoyed; and when in the summer of 1797 the royalist and constitutional opposition again gathered strength, Bonaparte sent General Augereau (q.v.), a headstrong Jacobin, forcibly to repress that movement by what was known as the coup d'etat of 18 Fructidor (4th September). Barras and the violent Jacobins now carried matters with so high a hand as to render the government of the Directory odious; and Bonaparte had no difficulty in overthrowing it by the coup d'etat of 18–19 Brumaire(9th–IothofNovember) . Barras saw the need of a change and was to some extent (how far will perhaps never be known) an accomplice in Bonaparte's designs, though he did not suspect the power and ambition of their contriver. He was left on one side by the three Consuls who took the place of the five Directors and found his political career at an end. He had amassed a large fortune and spent his later years in voluptuous ease. Among the men of the Revolution few did more than Barras to degrade that movement. His immorality in both public and private life was notorious and contributed in no small degree to the downfall of the Directory, and with it of the first French Republic. Despite his profession of royalism in and after 1815, he remained more or less suspect to the Bourbons; and it was with some difficulty that the notes for his memoirs were saved from seizure on his death on the 29th of January 1829. Barras left memoirs in a rough state to be drawn up by his literary executor, M. Rousselin de St Albin. The amount of alteration which they underwent at his hands is not fully known; but M. George Duruy, who edited them on their publication in 1895, has given fairly satisfactory proofs of their genuineness. For other sources respecting Barras see the Memoirs of Gohier, Larevelliere-Lepeaux and de Lescure; also Sciout, Le Direcloire (4 vols., Paris, 1895-1897), A. Sorel, L'Europe et la Revolution francaise (esp. vols. v. and vi., Paris, 1903–1904), and A. Vandal, L'Avenement de Bonaparte (Paris, 1902–1904). (J. His R.)
End of Article: BARREL (a word of uncertain origin common to Romance languages; the Celtic forms, as in the Gaelic baraill, are derived from the English)
ISAAC BARRE (1726-1802)

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