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Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 1000 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TINNEVELLY, a town and district of British India, in the Madras presidency. The town is on the left bank of the Tambraparni river, on the other side of which is Palamcottah, the administrative headquarters of the district. Pop. (1901), 40,469. It is the terminus of a branch of the South Indian railway, 444 M. S.W. of Madras. Its most noteworthy building is a beautifully sculptured temple of Siva. The DISTRICT OF TINNEVELLY has an area of 5389 sq. in. It is for the most part a plain with an average elevation of 20o ft., sloping to the east with slight undulations. It is watered by numerous short streams, the principal being the Tambraparni with a length of 8o m. The chief irrigation work is the Srivaikuntam anicut or dam on this river, In the north the scenery is unattractive and the soil poor; in the south red sandy soil prevails in which little save the Palmyra palm will grow. This palm yields toddy as well as a coarse sugar. Along the banks of the rivers are rice-fields and a variety of trees and crops; and coffee is grown on the slopes of the Travancore hills. The district contains many ancient and magnificent buildings. But the most interesting antiquities are the large sepulchral earthen urns of prehistoric races, which have been found at several places, especially along the course of the Tambraparni; they contain bones, pottery, beads and bronze ornaments, iron weapons, implements, &c. The South Indian railway has its maritime terminus at Tuticorin, the chief seaport. The principal exports are rice to Ceylon and cotton to Japan and Europe. In 1901 the population was 2,059,607, showing an increase of 8% in the decade. The number of native Christians was 159,213, Tinnevelly being the most Christian district in India. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the Church Missionary Society have important and flourishing stations at Tinnevelly town and Palamcottah, as also have the Jesuits. It was here that St Francis Xavier began his preaching in India. The Shanans, or caste of toddy-drawers, have supplied many converts to Christianity. In 1899 their treatment by the Vellalars, or cultivating caste, led to serious riots and bloodshed. The early history of Tinnevelly is mixed up with that of Madura and Travancore. Down to 1781 it is a confused tale of anarchy and bloodshed. In that year the nawab of Arcot assigned the revenues to the East India Company, which then undertook the internal administration. Several risings subsequently took place, and in 18o1 the whole Carnatic, including Tinnevelly, was ceded to the British. TIN-PLATE and TERNE-PLATE. Tin-plate consists of sheets of iron or steel which have been thinly coated with tin by being dipped in a molten bath of that metal. Terne-plate is a similar product, but the bath is not of tin, but of tin and lead mixed, the latter metal constituting from 75—9o% of the whole; it has not the bright lustre of tin-plate, whence its name, from lerne, dull, tarnished. The sheets employed in the manufacture are known as " black plates," and are now of steel, either Bessemer or open-hearth. Formerly iron was used, and was of two grades, coke-iron and charcoal-iron; the latter, being the better, received a heavier coating of tin, and this circumstance is the origin of the terms " coke plates " and " charcoal plates " by which the quality of tin-plate is still designated, although iron is no longer used. Tin-plate is consumed in enormous quantities for the manufacture of the tin cans in which pre-served meat, fish, fruit, biscuits, cigarettes and numerous other products are packed, and also for the household utensils of various kinds made by the tinsmith or silversmith; terne-plates, which began to be produced in England about the middle of the lgth century. are widely employed in America for roofing purposes. The manufacture of tin-plate was long a monopoly of Bohemia, but about 162o the industry spread to Saxony. In 1665 Andrew Yarranton (1616-1684?), an English engineer and agriculturist, was commissioned to go to Saxony and if possible discover the methods employed. According to his own account (England's Improvement, pt. ii. 1681), he was " very civilly treated " and was allowed to see the whole process. On his return to England his friends undertook the manufacture on an experimental scale, but though they were successful they had to abandon it, because their method became known and a patent for it was " trumpt up " by a rival, who, however, from lack of technical skill was unable to work it. Half a century later the manufacture was revived by Major John Hanbury (1664–1734) at Pontypool; the " method of rolling iron plates by means of cylinders," said to have been devised by him, enabled more uniform black plates to be produced than was possible with the old plan of hammering, and in consequence the English tin-plate became recognized as superior to the German. During the next hundred years or so the industry spread steadily in England and Wales, and after 1834 its expansion was rapid, especially in Wales, Great Britain becoming the chief source of the world's supply. In that year her total production was 180,000 boxes of to8 lb each (in America a box is too ib), in 1848 it was 420,000 boxes, in 1860 it reached 1,700,000 boxes, in 187o nearly 3 460,000 boxes, and in 1890 it exceeded 9,500,000 boxes. In the United States the manufacture of tin- and terne-plates did not make much way until about 189o, and up to 1892 the bulk of the supply was imported from Great Britain. But subsequently the advance was rapid, and the production, which was about 2,236,000 lb in 1891, had by 1900 increased to more than 849,000,000 lb, of which over 141,000,000 lb- were terne-plates. The total imports in that year were only 135,264,881 lb. In later years, again, there was a decline in the American production, and in 1907 only 20% of the American tin-plate mills were at work, while the British production reached 14 million boxes. There are two processes for the tinning of the black plates. In the " palm-oil " process, which is the older, the plates, after being properly annealed, are scoured with sand and water and pickled in dilute sulphuric acid alternately until they are perfectly clean and bright. They are then washed in 'water, and after being boiled inpalm oil to remove all traces of acid and water are dipped into a bath of molten tin, covered with oil to prevent oxidation. They are then taken to a second bath containing purer tin than the first. After this they are scoured with a hempen rubber and dipped in a third bath containing the purest tin of all; then they are passed through rolls to finish the surface and regulate the thickness of the coating. As the tin in the third bath becomes alloyed with iron from the operation, it is removed into the second, pure fresh tin being substituted; and similarly the metal of the second, as the amount of iron in it increases, is removed to the first. In the " acid process " only a single bath of tin is required. The molten metal is covered with a layer of muriate of zinc, which acts as the flux, and by means of rolls the plates are passed through this down into the tin, to be brought out at another point in the bath where there is a layer of oil on the surface.
End of Article: TINNEVELLY

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