Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Testimony of Mark Delafontaine, 1886 July 30.

Volume K, 674-681, 8 p.
Delafontaine, Mark.

Direct examination by Mr. Ingham. Cross-examination by Mr. Foster. Testified on behalf of the Prosecution, People of the State of Illinois.

Worked with witness Walter S. Haines (vol.K 664-674). Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): Louis Lingg and bomb-making (vol.K 675).

Go to Next Witness | Return to Previous Witness | Return to Trial TOC | Return to the HADC Table of Contents
[Image, Volume K, Page 674]


a witness called and sworn on behalf of the people; was examined in chief by Mr. Ingham and testified as follows:

Q What is your name

A Mark Delafonatine.

Q What is your proffession?

A Chemist.

Q Do you occupy any position?

A I am a teacher of chemistry in the high school in this city.

Q How long have you been a chemist?

A Been a chemist for over thirty years.

Q During that time you have been enegaged in practical work

A All the time.

Q Did you make an examination of the substances described by Prof. Haynes?

A Yes sir.

Q How many of the substances did you examine with him?

A None. All separate.

Q Did you compare your results?

A Yes sir.

Q Did your results agree practically?

A They agreed as

[Image, Volume K, Page 675]

closely as they can.

Q Did you make an examination of the piece of candle stick or toy which I now show you?

A Yes sir.

Q What did you find it to contain?

A I found it to be a mixture of antimony, tin, lead, zine and a trace of copper.

Q Can you say anything about the proportion?

A No--well not weighing. just from the look of it. There was probably not over two per cent of zine. The tin and antimony were about in equal proportions. Then there was more lead; but I didn't do any weighing. It was what we call a qualitative examination.

Q Did you make any experiments with old lead pipe, upon which there was solder?

A Yes sir.

Q For the purpose of seeing whether a mixture could be gotten in that way which would produce the amount of tin found in the bombs described by Prof. Haynes as the "Lingg's bombs"?

A Yes.

Q What was the result of your experiment in that direction?

Objected to as immaterial and incompetent. The Ccourt overruled the objection. To which ruling of the court counsel for defendants then and three excepted.

A I took a piece of old lead pipe that had been very much mended, that is much solder put on it. It was certainly as bad as it could be in that respect. I melted it and analyzed it, and the amount of tin contained in that mixture was about

[Image, Volume K, Page 676]

seven tenths of one per cent.

Q Describe to the jury about how much solder there was on that pice of pipe?

A Well, there was at both times-- the cicumference of the pipe, the sample was about nine inches long. Then there was a crack extending from one end to the other that had been plugged with plenty of solder, not only the crack filled but there was a great deal on the surface and above the surface of the metal.

Q Was it what the plumbers call wiped at both ends?

A Yes sir.

Q In addition to that there was solder running along one side?

A Yes, evidently the pipe had burst, and it was filled with solder lavishly.

Q You melted that, and found the proportion of tin was less that one per cent?

A It was less than seven tenths of one per rent

Q Is there any commercial product which you know of, any one commercial product of which the pieces of bomb which you examined could be composed?

A I don't know of any. I have analyzed commercial leads of different brands many times during the past twelve or fourteen years, but I never found a sample of lead containing the least traces of tin and I do not believe that there is any at all.

Q So that the pieces that you examined, you would say were compositions?

A Yes sir. Of course there is solder which

[Image, Volume K, Page 678]

contains tin and lead, but their proportions are vastly different-- from thirty to fifty per cent tin.

Cross examination by
Mr. Foster.

Q This experiment you speak of there with a lead pipe, what was the weight of it altogether?

A I did it for the purpose of finding out if possible whether those bombs were made exclusively by melting old lead pipes which are generally more or less covered.

Q How heavy was the specimen that you had of this lead pipe?

A It weighed about a pound.

Q How much of that was lead pipe and how much was solder?

A I did not of course separate the solder from the lead, but it was I take it the worst of the lot I could get, with as much solder as I possibly could get.

Q That were the relative proportions as near as you can give it? I don't expect you know.

A I should judge that there was about half an ounce.

Q Half an once in a pound?

A Yes sir.

Q That would be one thirty, second part?

A That is just a mere guess.

Q You say in lead you don't find tin?

A No sir, never.

Q You do in solder don't you?

A Yes sir.

Q Do you find traces of zinc in either lead or solder?

A Very frequently you find traces of zinc incommercial lead

Q In examining a specimen of commercial lead, you would not

[Image, Volume K, Page 679]

be disappointed at all to find zinc?

A No, sir, nor iron.

Q Nor antimony?

A Nor, antimony, but of the iron there is a mere trace.

Q Your idea would be from your examination of all these bombs that they are principally composed of lead, but there had been a little tin, or something containing tin thrown in?

A Yes sir.

Q Do you agree with Prof. Haynes as to the probable quantity probably one part to fifty or two per cent of the whole?

A We agree in regard to the quantity of tin found in all the bombs. Our figures come very close together. They are very close-- as close as you can expect from two men working separately on different pieces of metal.

Q Now, you take this solder-- is there any rule that you know of for froming the combination of metal known as solder?

A There are two cheap grades of it. That is, one is half and half, which is called tinner's solder, and the plumber's solder generally contains thirty per cent or there abouts of tin-- more or less.

Q That is a purer article?

A I don't know whether it is purer. I suppose it suits them better.

Q It is a less expensive article?

A Yes sir.

Q Tin is more expensive than lead?

A Yes sir.

Q To determine what quantity of tin was contained in any quantity of solder, it would be necessary to know of course how the solder was composed?

A Of course.

[Image, Volume K, Page 680]

Q That you couldn't tell after you melted up that lead?

A I didn't try to find out, no sir.

Q Have you any figures from which you can tell the percetages of tin you found in these different bombs?

A Well, I can refresh my memory.

Q Have you designated them by the same name, of Murphy bomb and Degan bomb?

A Yes sir.

Q Just tell us how much there is in the Murphy bomb of tin, what per cent?

A In the Murphy bomb I find tin one and nearly six tenths per cent.

Q As to the Degan bomb?

A The Degan bomb is one and six tenths.

Q That is the same?

A The same, a trifle over.

Q Give us the Spies bomb?

A The Spies or Arbeiter Zeitung bomb is one and one tenth.

Q You learned of course, at least you were told for the purpose of identification, that the Murphy bomb and the Degan bomb was part of the same bomb-- they were fragments taken from the bodices of Murphy and Degan.

A I was not told that they were fragments of the same bomb. I was told to analyze them to find out what they were composed of.

Q There is quite a perceptible difference between six tenths and one tenth, as to the quantity of tin you found in the one you designate as the Arbeiter Zeitung bomb and the Degan bomb?

A Yes sir-- there is not much difference.

[Image, Volume K, Page 681]

Mr. INGHAM: Q Did you find any difference in the amount of tin in the bombs designated as the Lingg bombs?

Objected to.

THE COURT: He has already told you that his analysis agreed with the other.

Return to Top of this Witness
Go to Next Witness | Return to Previous Witness | Return to Trial TOC | Return to the HADC Table of Contents