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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Camphor-tree


CAMPHOR-TREE, noun The tree from which camphor is obtained. According to Miller, there are two sorts of trees that produce camphor; one, a native of Borneo, which produces the best species; the other, a native of Japan, which resembles the bay-tree, bearing black or purple berries. But the tree grows also in Sumatra. The stem is thick, the bark of a brownish color, and the ramification strong, close and extended. The, wood is soft, easily worked, and useful for domestic purposes. To obtain camphor, the tree is cut down, and divided into pieces, and the camphor taken out; it being found in small whitish flakes, situated perpendicularly, in irregular veins, in and near the center of the tree. It is then repeatedly soaked and washed in soapy water, to separate from it all extraneous matter. It is then passed through three sieves of different texture, to divide it into three sorts, head, belly and foot camphor. Camphor oil is camphor, before the operations of nature have reduced it to a concrete form; and concrete camphor may be reduced to oil, by the nitric acid.