The Eightieth Electron

Mercury, or quicksilver as it is sometimes called in the vulgar tongue, is a heavy metal with an unusually low melting point. On that account, it is in liquid form at ordinary temperatures; and its use is possible in thermometers for measuring most terrestrial temperatures. It is produced in five or six times the quantity of a metal like gold; but, because its uses, though unique, are limited, it usually sells for about $1 a lb., while gold is worth 300 times that amount.

The difference between...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!