CATERPILLAR

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CATERPILLAR. (See JPapilio.) CATGUT. The strings of certain musical instruments, the cords of clockweights, and those of some other machines and implements, are made of a dense, strong animal substance, denominated catgut It is made from the intestines of different quadrupeds, particularly those of cattle and sheep. The manufacture is chiefly carried on in Italy and France. The texture from which it is made is that which anatomists call the muscular coat, which is carefully separated from the peritoneal and mucous membranes. After a tedious and troublesome process of steeping scouring, fermenting, inflating, &c.? the material is twisted, rubbed with horsehair cords, fumigated with burning sulphur, to improve its color, and dried. Cords of different size, and strength, and delicacy, are obtained from different domestic animals. The intestine is sometimes cut into uniform strips, with an instrument made for the purpose. To prevent offensive effluvia during the process, and to get rid of the oily matter, the French make use of an alkaline liquid, called eau de Javette. Catgut for stringed instruments, as violins and harps, is made principally in Rome and Naples. For the smallest violin strings, 3 thicknesses are used; for the largest, 7; and, for the largest bassviol strings, 120. In the kingdom of Naples, whence the best strings, commonly called Roman, are obtained, there are large manufactories of this article.