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Vassar Brothers Institui 







Vassar Brothers Institute, 






Puslishing Committee : 







Address by the President, J. Elmendorf, D.D., .... 5 

Address by the Chairman of the Literary Section, Mr. E. Burgess, 24 

London Stone— Mr. E. J. Miller, 25 

The Eternal Heavens— J. M. DeGarmo, Ph.D , .... 26 
Evolution and its Relation to the Mosaic Account \ 

of Creation— C. B. Warring, Ph.D., j " 

Education by the State— Mr. John I. Piatt, '. . . . .28 

Colorado — Rev. H. L. Ziegenfuss, 29 

The Objects and Duties of the Art Section — Prof. H. van Ingen, 29 

Annual Meeting, May 6. 1884, 37 

Treasurer's Report, 37 

Curator's Report, 38 

Librarian's Report, 38 

Secretary's Report, 38 

Trustees and Officers elected for 1884-85, 47 



Specialization in Natural Science — Prof. W. B. Dwight, ) 

Chairman of the Scientific Section, ) 

Gyroscope— C. B. Warring, Ph.D 69 

An Interesting Geological Locality — Prof. W. B. Dwight, 
Carcharodon Carcharias — W. G. Stevenson, M.D., 
Odontaspis Littoralis — W. G. Stevenson, M.D., 
Our Local Mammalian Fauna — W. G. Stevenson, M.D., 
Uniformity of Climate in Past Ages, C. B. Warring, Ph.D . 

Saturn— Prof. Maria Mitchell 

Cyclopterus Lumpus — W. G. Stevenson, M.D., 
From Boyle to Mendeleef on the Compressibility ) 

of Gases — L. C. Cooley, Ph.D., f 

A New Apparatus for Boyle's Law — L. C Cooley, Ph.D., 
Embryonic Forms of Limulus Polyphemus — -Prof. W. B. Dwight 
Fossil Gums and Resins — Mr. C. N. Arnold, .... 

Intelligence in Butterflies — J. M. DeGarmo, Ph.D., 
Papilio Turnus, Melanic Variety — W. G. Stevenson, M.D., 
Ventilation for the Laboratory Table — L. C. Cooley, Ph.D., . 
A List of the Gases, with Temperature and Pressure | 

of their Liquefaction — L. C. Cooley, Ph.D., f 

Simple Devices for Locking Laboratory Drawers and | 

Cupboards— L. C. Cooley, Ph.D,, f 

Report of Progress in Geological Investigation in the \ 

Vicinity of Poughkeepsie — Prof. W. B. Dwight, f 
List of our Local Birds— W. G. Stevenson, M. D., . . . 153 
Chairman's Annual Report for 1883-84, 162 











John Guy Vassar, 
S. M. Buckingham, 
Joachim Elmendorf, 
William B. Dwight, 
Charles N. Arnold, 
LeRoy C. Cooley, 



Wm. G. Stevenson, 
Edward Elsworth, 
Henry V. Pelton, 
Charles B. Heriuck, 
A. P. Van Gieson, 
Henry van Ingen. 


John Guy Vassar, 
S. M. Buckingham, 
Joachim Elmendorf, 
William B. Dwight, 
Charles N. Arnold, 
LeRoy C. Cooley, 

Wm. G. Stevenson, 
Edward Elsworth, 
Henry V. Pelton, 
Charles B. Herrick, 
A. P. Van Gieson, 
Frank L. Moore. 



Joachim Elmendorf, D. D., 
LeRoy C. Cooley, Ph. D., 
Wm. G. Stevenson, M. D., 
Edward Elsworth, Esq., 
Prof. William B. Dwight, 
Robert F. Wilkinson, Esq., 
Frank L. Moore, C. E., 


LeRoy C. Cooley, Ph. D., 
Rev. Henry L. Ziegenfuss, 
Wm. G. Stevenson, M. D., 
Edward Elsworth, Esq., 
Prof. William B. Dwight, 
Prof. Henry van Ingen, 
Frank L. Moore, C. E., 


Vice President. 




Art Director. 



Vice President. 




Art Director. 








J. Elmendorf, D. D., president, in the chair; thirty- 
six members and one hundred fifty guests present. 

Dr. Stevenson announced the receipt, by the trustees, 
of $25,000 from Mr. Vassar, as an endowment fund for 
the Institute, and moved the adoption of the following 
preamble and resolution : 

Whereas, Mr. John Guy Vassar has given to Vassar 
Brothers Institute twenty-five thousand dollars, the in- 
come of which is to be applied for museum and library 
purposes and for the general work of the society ; there- 

Resolved, That in this generous gift we have renewed 
evidence of Mr. Vassar' s desire to benefit this community 
by securing the objects for which this society was 
founded— the promotion of useful knowledge in science, 
letters and art — and we return to Mr. Vassar our earnest 
thanks and gratitude. 

One member was elected. 

Joachim Elmendorf, D.D., president of the Institute, 
gave the following 


Members of the Institute, Ladies and Gentlemen : I 
cordially welcome you to this opening service of our 


course for 1883-84. It occurred to me that Vassar 
Brothers Institute might furnish a topic, whose discus- 
sion would not be destitute of interest and might permit 
some useful suggestions. 

Because the dedication address, as we will gratefully 
remember ic, of Dr. T. Sterry Hunt, to which many of 
us listened with so much delight and profit, was so ex- 
clusively the masterly treatment of a strictly scientific 
subject, the theme I have chosen, seemed thus to be left 
for me. 

The genuine Institute, like the true poet, is born and 
not made. And as, at its birth, it is a symbol of the 
intellectual life of the community from which it springs, 
so in all its growth and through the period of its maturity, 
it is an index of the quality and quantity of that life. 
It can come forth and exist and thrive amid most scanty, 
defective and depressing material appointments, but it 
is most fortunate when it can command, at once, an archi- 
tectural expression and realization, every way confirma- 
tive of its existence, helpful in its work and worthy as its 
home and temple, to share its fame. 

The essential conditions of an Institute, with objects as 
definite, varied and elevated as this has, as thoroughly 
organized and established and as liberally endowed as 
this already is, are rarely found in a city of the size of 
ours. Mind and money in sufficient measure there may 
be, but the will to consecrate both with adequate labor and 
liberality to such cause, results from a combination of 
unusual and harmonious influences. 

It might suffice the historian in his search for its origin, 
to find the mind whose aggressive thought grew into the 
first definite idea of its need and possibility. Yet that 
mind, consciously, or unconsciously, felt the inspiration 
of forces that were issuing from favoring facts. The 
presence in our community of both literary and scientific 
taste and ability cultured, organizing, persistent and 


progressive, had been demonstrated. Teachers of the 
natural sciences, whose eminence had shed luster upon 
the educational institutions with which they had been 
connected, were of us, and were known to be ready to 
contribute freely of the rich treasures of their mental 
acquisitions. Art too, had its representatives here, 
whose merited repute and known public spirit easily 
suggested a distinct department for the promotion of its 
interests, and the exemplification of its principles of 
beauty and truth. And the large pecuniary means, in- 
dispensable to the undertaking, were marvelously wait 
ing for princely bestowment, in the hands of those who, 
with full appreciation of its glory and beneficence, would 
follow the example of an illustrious kindred, and farther 
create and link the honored name — Vassar — with the 
best facilities for the cultivation and triumphs of mind. 

So the idea rapidly became a realization, and Pough- 
keepsie was enriched with an Institute that merits our 
warmest gratitude, and may properly stir our best pride. 

But possessions that are easily gained are not always 
valued at their full worth. 

Few, surely, fail to appreciate the great addition to 
our public buildings, which the costly and elegant struc- 
ture in which we are gathered makes, or in a general 
way, the proof it furnishes of a superior and influential 
intellectuality. But whether the important ends which 
it was designed to subserve shall be effected, depends 
upon several things, which ought to be understood and 
kept in mind. 

The declared objects of Vassar Brothers Institute " are 
to promote education and useful knowledge in the de- 
partments of science, literature, and art, by investi- 
gating and discussing subjects appertaining thereto, and 
by establishing and maintaining a museum, a library, 
and a collection of works of art and objects of historic 
interest in furtherance of such objects." These objects. 


by natural distribution, furnish the specific end of each 
section, according to the meaning of its title. 

To promote education seems at first glance an object 
as definite and comprehensible as it is admirable and im- 
portant. Yet, if it were permissible to raise and press 
the question, l ' How is education contemplated to be pro- 
moted ?" we might be plunged in a sea of controversy of 
unknown depths. Since the discussion began between 
Socrates and his successor, Plato, on one side, and the 
sophists of their day on the other, and which soon grew 
into a bitter contest, there have been the most conflicting 
views among teachers as to the best methods of intellect- 
ual discipline, of imparting instruction, the subjects of 
study, the supreme aim of education and the like, and 
these questions were never more rife than they are now. 
Reformations and radical revolutions in our ideas and 
systems of education are urged with growing intensity 
in the ascent, from the primary school to the university. 
While all these will be proper subjects for the Institute's 
investigations and discussions, the education which it 
proposes to promote may be understood in the large 
sense, which Prof. Faraday once gave the term, "as in- 
cluding all that belongs to the improvement of the mind, 
either by the acquisition of the knowledge of others, or 
by the increase of it through its own exertions." 

Then the knowledge to be promoted is " useful know- 
ledge" in the departments of science, literature, and 
art. How useful % is a fair inquiry, which merits a 
thoughtful answer. Is only that knowledge useful, 
which is capable of application to some practical enter- 
prise or work, and so may be seen to possess a pecuniary 
value \ In other words, is the usefulness of knowledge 
to be estimated according to its mere qualifying power 
in the discharge of life's duties? Such conclusion were 
sadly utilitarian. Lord Bacon, said: "Knowledge is 
not a shop for barter and sale ; but a rich store-house for 


the glory of the Creator and the relief of man's estate." 
Is not that knowledge useful, apart from any nse to be 
made of it, which abides as the sign of the permanent 
mental discipline and development, which resulted from 
its methodical acquisition ? Is not the joy of knowledge 
useful ? When after the laborious mastery of the appa- 
rently arbitrary and disjointed elements of a new lan- 
guage or a new science, their union in the mind of the 
student opens to his enraptured perception the treasures 
of the promised truths, is not that intense exhilaration 
and satisfaction of learning useful, with an elevation and 
strength of meaning that shames the idea of low utility ? 
Whether or not we agree with Aristotle, who like Pla- 
to, as Herbert Spencer tells us, " comes to the conclusion 
that the pleasures of the intellect, reached by the con- 
templative life, constitute the highest happiness," we 
believe that knowledge, that is not essentially evil, is a 
good, and, like virtue, is its own reward. And while its 
purposeless acquisition may create only walking cyclope- 
dias, who ' ' affect us as rich possibilities, but helpless to 
themselves and their times, do not speak to our want," 
yet its increase in any mind enlarges the measure or 
heightens the quality of individual existence, and best 
endows one with the power of usefulness, if the habit of 
imparting be connected with that of acquiring it. This, 
too, as Mrs. Sigourney wrote, "increases mental wealth, 
by putting it in circulation. And it enhances the value 
of our knowledge to ourselves, not only in its depth, con- 
firmation and readiness for use, but in that acquaintance 
of human nature, that self-command and that reaction of 
moral training, which are above all price." 

The fields in which the Institute proposes to promote 
useful knowledge are most ample and inviting. These, 
as we have seen, are the departments of science, litera- 
ture and art. 



The term science possesses a resistless charm for hon- 
est acquirers and promoters of knowledge, because its 
object is truth, and its very name is a perpetual promise 
of the communication of certain knowledge : of wholly 
reliable conclusions or facts. 

Only pure science, however, which is built on self-evi- 
dent truths, can fully redeem the promise. Much knowl- 
edge, that is properly scientific is, and will necessarily 
continue to be, tentative. Its authority will rule until 
discoveries shall show that it was incomplete or errone- 
ous, when it must be corrected or discarded. The science 
of chemistry, for example, is showing that even sub- 
stances which were accepted and declared to be elemental 
are compounds. Scientific theories, which from time to 
time have been held to be true and received the confident 
endorsement of the scientists of their period, have been 
found to be altogether untenable. 

Baron Paul Holbach's System of Nature, which com- 
manded the sweeping assent of the mind of his day, is 
now almost wholly neglected or disregarded. President 
Porter in accounting for this says, " that its science is 
antiquated, having literally been left behind in every 
point of detail, by the rush of discovery and experiment 
since he wrote/' 

We hear the suggestion occasionally issuing from in- 
fluential sources, that even the great science of geology 
may need to be greatly modified or radically recon- 
structed. Certain is it, that the reading of the masterly 
address of the retiring President, Principal Dawson, 
made at the recent meeting of the American Association 
for the Advancement of Science, leaves no distincter im- 
pression upon the mind, than the unsettledness of many 
geological conclusions that have been deemed most 
firmly settled. He refers as to other points, to the theory 
of "the mode of the formation of coal," held most confi- 


dently by himself and many of the most eminent geolo- 
gists that have lived. And then after citing discoveries 
of authoritative microscopists in different countries, 
which bear against their theory, and the impression these 
have made he declares, "it may be, that all that we can 
do, will be required to rescue from total ruin the results 
of our labors.'' 

Such are the experiences, in connection with the nat- 
ural modesty of really gifted natures, which make true 
scientists so cautious and unassuming in their assertions 
of and claims for scientific knowledge. In its very na- 
ture all finite knowledge that is not axiomatic is progress- 
ive. ' ' Knowledge grows, ' ' remarks Prof. Youmans, 
and throughout his writings we find such statements as 
these : " Perhaps the most correct conception of science 
that has yet been formed is that, which regards it as the 
highest stage of growing knowledge." In another place : 
"It matters nothing whether the subjects are stones or 
stars, human souls or the complication of social relation ; 
that most perfect knowledge of each, which reveals its 
uniformities constitutes its special science. Science, 
therefore, he adds, is the revelation to reason of the 
policy by which God administers the affairs of the 

Prof. Dawson years ago said: "In the wider sense 
of the term science, it really includes all that intellectual 
education can effect." 

Dr. Peabody declares: "Science is literally appli- 
cable to all knowledge, and its use might be extended to 
daily events and ordinary affairs without any departure 
from the peculiar or technical sense in which it is com- 
monly employed." 

So we see that, from the atom of the universe up to its 
Infinite Creator and Governor, whether it be earth or ele- 
ment, creature, material or sentient, body, mind, spirit, 
anything, concerning which a rational theory can be pro- 


pounded, in the measure that it can be established, be- 
comes a subject of science. 

The essential character and relative importance of par- 
ticular sciences and classes of science change with the 
changing conditions of humanity. If the ruling mind 
of the age be visionary, the wildest speculations and 
most baseless dreams will be dignified with the titles, 
philosophy and science. If a healthier intellectual activ- 
ity bear sway, metaphysical studies will prevail and the 
science of mind become the absorbing subject. And, 
when from discoverable or unknown causes, the best 
thought, tiring of subjective analyses and subtleties, 
turns to external objects with patient and penetrating 
observation and experiment, the physical sciences rise 
into corresponding prominence and make sublime prog- 
ress. It is not necessary to say that this is pre-eminently 
the scientific epoch in which we live. 

The slightest acquaintance with the history of the 
growth of knowledge shows us that the opening doors 
into new sections of the temple of science have hinged 
upon the discoveries, and been forced by the power of 
rarely endowed individuals. The providential method of 
progress has been the taking captive a great soul with 
some great truth, and then the preparation of the way 
for its revelation, as its earthly author, with self-sacrifi- 
cing devotion and exhaustless energy, through all difficul- 
ties and over all ojyposition, pressed on to its demonstra- 
tion. Such minds can spurn routine, and, without trans- 
gressing, transcend formulated law ; or better, can rise 
into affinity with higher laws of their spheres, and becom- 
ing their expositors, sweep away consecrated and cum- 
brous formulas and realize the grand idea of "lengthen- 
ing life by shortening the road to knowledge." 

In an instructive address, before the Royal Society 
of Great Britain, a few years ago, " On the influence of 
science upon intellectual education," Rev. Dr. Whewell 


lield the view, u that every great advance in intellectual 
education has been the effect of some considerable scien- 
tific discovery or group of discoveries ;" and he declared 
with equal confidence, that " the influence which has ef- 
fected the advance has been that of the intellectual 
achievements of one or two gifted men at the beginning 
of those epochs. 1 ' 

When we remember what the inversion of the methods 
of interpreting nature, from the deductive to the induct- 
ive effected at once, and has since accomplished, who 
shall limit the possibilities of impulse, expansion, con- 
quest, which may be given to the whole family of sciences, 
by the discoveries of any single heaven appointed mind '. 
And when we think of the incompleteness of all the 
great sciences and the warring theories within them, and 
then remember the demonstrated quality and recognized 
standing of minds in our own association, why may we 
not expect the flashing of some grand, harmonizing prin- 
ciple into one or more of them, that shall make and mark 
an era of scientific progress, and link our Institute with 
a glory that shall grow with the ages ? 

Whether this shall be or not, the influence of all true 
work here will surely make more probable the realization 
of the expressed thrilling hope, when "a science of 
sciences" shall show that the sciences are not isolated 
things, but are so bound together as to constitute a unity. 
which is a reflection of the unity of nature and of the 
nnity of that Supreme Reason which pervades all and 
originates all intelligence. 


The range of the department of literature is world- 
wide and extends backward to the first historical record. 

Craik's conception goes quite beyond this. He says. 
tk Literature is composed of words, of thought reduced to 
the form of words ; but the words need not be written : 


it is enough that they be spoken or sung, or even only- 
conceived." Unwritten or unuttered co-temporaneous 
literary conceptions may be worthy of consideration, and 
may indeed seem very important to those who have them 
and who dream that they are clever, and are compla- 
cently waiting for circumstances to disclose the rich 
mines of their intellects, but it is improbable that either 
ambition or enthusiasm will start any member of the In- 
stitute on a search after the unrecorded conceptions of 
Shakspeare, Bacon or Homer for investigation and dis- 

Better, and surely enough for us, is the literature that 
is defined, " the collective body of literary productions 
embracing -the entire results of knowledge and fancy 
preserved in writings." 

The contemplation of this aggregation, by one in any 
way responsibly related to it, is well nigh overwhelming. 
All that is called poetry, from the song that thrills the 
ages to that which chills as agues : all the annals of his- 
toric research : all the reports of the sayings and doings 
of the endless sessions of numberless deliberative bodies ; 
all the sermons, orations, dissertations, countless as the 
leaves of primeval forests : all the tomes little and big 
of philosophers, scientists and authors of every name : 
all the unclassified wisdom of the wise, all the unclassi- 
fiable folly of the fools, all the drivel of idiotic conceit 
and assurance, which have found their way into enduring- 
forms, have been increasing century after century, until 
the wonder is, that St. John 1 s supposition that, ' ' even 
the world itself could not contain the books that should 
be written," has not become a literal fact. 

When one recalls the groaning of Solomon over the mea- 
sure of study obligatory on the men of his day, through 
the persistence of their book-makers, it is affecting to 
think what his agitation would be, if he could make the 
round of one of our greatest modern libraries, like the 


Paris National, with its two million bound volumes and 
one hundred fifty thousand manuscripts. 

There is no doubt that a great plague of our day is the 
plague of books. Like the frogs of Egypt, books force 
themselves in distressing numbers into our houses, bed- 
chambers, beds ; into the houses of onr servants, and 
into the very kneading-tronghs, where, generally, they 
are found in the worst yellow covers, badly begrimed. 
The best parts of the earth would be cleaner, sweeter, 
safer, if mountains of superfluous and worse, literature, 
might illumine them with a bon-fire bigger than the 
world ever saw. A book- critic wrote thus, "There are a 
hundred books worth reading to every one that the or- 
dinary reader has time or opportunity for perusing ; and 
there are ten thousand that are absolutely or relatively 
unworthy of perusal." The literary discussions of the 
Institute can hardly fail to indicate many of the best 
books, to those who shall hear them. 

The legitimate work of the members, according to the 
declared purpose of the department, will carry them be- 
low the mere literary traits and details of standard pro- 
ductions, and past their historic connections even, to the 
forces which formed them, and the leading influences, so- 
cial, moral, religious, which are operative in and through 
them. This philosophic mastery of their profounder 
principles and character will impart a keener apprecia- 
tion of their merits and defects, and develop a literary 
taste and judgment, which shall be increasingly discrim- 
inating and authoritative. It would not be easy, also, to 
over-estimate the value of both the stimulating and re- 
straining XDOwer exerted by the encomiums and protests 
properly issuing from a body like this. The warning- 
voices that have been raised not too soon, and are sound- 
ing in crushing condemnation not too severe, against the 
sentimental, sensual, sceptical literature of modern ?es- 
theticism, will here be distinctly and fervently echoed. 


Here its affectations, puerilities, poverty of thought, 
demoralizing influence and immoral teachings and ten- 
dency can be shown in a way that will deeply impress on 
all thoughtful minds the value of literary sincerity, high 
moral purpose, purity, truth, faith. Here, too, the 
claims of authors and their works, which are generally 
neglected, if not forgotten, may be revived and success- 
fully pressed. "Any one," says an eminent writer, "who 
will take the trouble to ascertain the fact, will find how 
completely even our great poets and other writers of the 
last generation have already faded from the view of the 
present, with the most numerous class of the educated 
and reading public. Scarcely anything is generally read, 
except the publications of the day. Yet nothing is 
more certain,' 1 he adds, "than that no true cultivation 
can be so acquired." 

It is much, in every view, to have a clear and cleans- 
ing and refreshing stream from the fountains of "Eng- 
lish pure and undefiled," flowing into our literary life. 
It is much to have the flame on our altar of literature 
fed by the finest beaten oil of former centuries. If any- 
thing can, the contrast of its pure and steady and per- 
vading radiance with the meteoric flashes and fantastic 
colored lights, of much of our modern popular writings, 
will check the growing desire for mere sensationalism, 
which as a method degrades, as a means deceives, and as 
an end destroys. While we regard the Institute's litera- 
ry record with high satisfaction, we anticipate its work 
in this department with exhilarating anticipation. 


No object could be more timely or important than that 
which aims to promote useful knowledge in the depart- 
ment of art. 

Several years ago it was declared by an intelligent and 
careful artist-author, that "the art-idea had taken full 


possession of the public mind." The facts cited to prove 
his assertion were ' ' the large number of people engaged 
in the production of art ; the numerous books issuing 
from the press indicating a general demand for instruct- 
ive art literature ; the multiplying forms of art manifes- 
tation, not only in the main departments of sculpture, 
architecture and painting, but in the numerous branches 
of decorative art." The years that have followed his 
statement have surely emphasized it and confirmed its 
truth. Yet, it is scarcely a question whether clear views 
and convictions concerning art were the causes of the 
noted interest ; and even less is it a question whether 
real knowledge of art has kept pace with the spread of 
this seeming interest. 

Quite early in the century it was a bitter regret of 
Benjamin Robert Haydon, that the nobility and higher 
classes of Great Britain had ' ' so little dependence on 
their own judgment in art." And he properly attributed 
the lack to defect of education. 

While those of exceptional sensibility to the truth and 
power of art. without any specific knowledge of its his- 
tory or principles, may reach, intuitively, a confident 
and just estimate of works of art : — as a genius may be- 
come an eminent artist without or in spite of instructors, 
yet, those of ordinary gifts, can gain independent conclu- 
sions in art that deserve to be called judgments, only by 
study more persistent, and instruction more systematic, 
than most give and receive. 

There is the science as well as the sense of beauty in 
every department of art : the science and the sense of 
form in sculpture ; of color, form, grouping in painting ; 
of pixxportions and detail in architecture ; of melody and 
harmony in music ; of rhythmical expression in poetry. 
And while any exemplifications of these great arts may 
excite pleasurable feeling in uninstructed observers, a 
knowledge of the combined and illustrated facts and 


principles, only, can make the kindled emotion intelli- 
gent, inspiring, satisfying. 

The perusal of any competent treatise, like Taine's 
Lectures on the Philosophy of Art, shows ns what is 
involved in the mastery of any system of interpretation, 
which shall enable ns to discern real artistic merit, dis- 
tinguish the true from the false, and with equal justice 
approve or condemn the work subject to our criticism. 

It must be immediately apparent, that if the " art in- 
stinct," as it has been called, i. e., the popular taste of a 
community, which is compounded of desire for and ap- 
preciation of art, is to become influential in elevating 
the standard of art, and compelling the betterment of 
artists, and so grow into an established principle, whose 
power shall refine individual character and ennoble the 
public life, this must result from genuine educational 

"What is art," asks Taine, "and in what does its 
nature consist? " and then after thirty pages of masterly 
discussion, apt illustration and advancing definition, — 
all of which cast clearer light on his train of thought, — he 
reaches the answer ' ' that the aim of art is to manifest a 
predominant character, some salient principal quality, 
some important point of view, some essential condition 
of being in the object." This is comprehensible. And 
we easily infer, that according to the artist's success in 
achieving this aim, his productions are true exemplifi- 
cations of art. 

It is the misfortune of learners in a general way, that 
so much of what writers and speakers on art give us, 
seems the affectation of an enthusiasm, which they are 
helpless to explain or impart. 

It may be possible, " that in the visible common place 
of every day," as one says, the artist may find " the 
means for impassioned expressions of emotional impulse 
addressing the moral sense through the sensibility" — 


which he calls art ; but common sense suggests that 
subjects vary endlessly, and that even genius cannot 
make anything more of a subject than is naturally in it. 
And unsophisticated reason asks why appointed and ac- 
cepted teachers cannot oftener talk and write about art 
and nature in words that mean something to ordinary in- 
telligence, rather than in stilted technicalities and iter 
ated, tiresome platitudes, which so often amount to vox 
etpreteria nihil and much disappointment? 

Nature in its relation to art, must be the great, divine, 
universal system of things in which we live, soliciting 
the student of nature, according to the penetration and 
range of his own insight, to discern their beauties, and 
interpret their meaning in words or tones or forms or col- 
ors, to the apprehension of the common mind. 

And that the common mind may be readier to receive 
and appreciate and realize the uplifting power of true 
beauty, its misty impressions of art need to be cleared 
by specific, adapted instruction as to its nature, princi- 
ples and aims ; its restricted idea of art needs to be ex- 
panded, so that the word shall bring to the thought po- 
etry, music, architecture, as quickly as it now suggests 
painting and sculpture, and shall rouse the expectations 
of fresh revelations of beauty by the former, equally as 
by the latter. 

The often pained modesty of the common mind may 
also need to be told that, in the early periods of Greek 
art, and in its most brilliant epochs, draped figures, es- 
pecially female figures, outnumbered those that were 
nude "fifty to one;" and it may also be assured that, no 
true art-interests, through the growth and dominance of 
true art principles and aims, can now or ever demand the 
creations of chisel or pencil, which shall wound the most 
refined sensibility ; or can make that delicate and proper 
which is essentially indelicate or nude. 

It is very pleasing to believe that this Institute, by the 


efforts of those in charge of the department of art, may 
definitely assist in this good work of educating the mind 
that is common to us all, and that in spite of the diffi- 
culties which are thrown in the way by a too ambitious 
and captious literature, abounding with visionary theo- 
ries, conflicting criticisms, changing standards, inflated 
opinions and meaningless twattle, many here may be 
helped more and more clearly to see that " God has made 
everything beautiful in His time," and has given to every 
soul that faculty of taste, through whose exercise he 
comes to the knowledge and appreciation of the beautiful. 

These mere glimpses at the fields which the Institute 
has appropriated and which its members propose to work, 
show that we have undertaken a serious business ; seri- 
ous in the senses — laborious, difficult, responsible. 

There are those who greatly affect science, and yet 
reach scientific conclusions as easily as the political editor 
writes the virtues of his party. They leap startling dis - 
tances and land upon the mere theoretic suggestions of 
acknowledged scientists, which seem to support their 
prepossessions, and glory, as if they were standing firmly 
on the rock of truth. Yet some measure of "the im- 
mense amount of precaution," which John Stuart Mill de- 
clares to be necessary to a scientific experiment, is need- 
ed in proper scientific investigation. 

In discussion too, the distinction between science and 
philosophy, between theory and fact, between inference 
from the most striking analogies and sober demonstra- 
tion, between cause and method, between the names of 
things and the things themselves, so often overlooked, 
must be maintained. As we purpose and shall effect the 
promotion of useful scientific knowledge by investiga- 
tion and discussion, all the conditions that have been 
found necessary to success elsewhere, must here be ful- 
filled. And contentment with anything less than a real- 
ization of our proclaimed object, will be a surrender to 


difficulties, a compromise of principle, a violation of 
pledges and an abuse of our trust. 

The work of literary investigation and discussion is 
accessible to a larger number of our members, than is 
that of the scientific and art departments. It is easier 
to discuss, in a general way, literary topics, than those 
of science or art, because a superficial knowledge of the 
former is more easily obtained and goes farther in talk, 
than does a smattering of the latter. Nevertheless, in 
that of literature, as in the other departments, William 
Wirt's oft-quoted words will be found true : kk there is 
no excellence without great labor." Careful preparation 
only, will enable one to do justice to his subject or to 
himself. Abundant scope is given for the exercise of 
every mental quality in extemporaneous expression of 
the thoughts kindled on the occasion, but the brightest 
and warmest flashings of such, shall be of fuel gathered 
before and stored in the mind. Not mental diversion for 
the sake of a passing gratification, but real intellectual 
refreshment, invigoration and growth, must be the aim 
and result of our meetings, or they will fall below the 
published and proper standard of our Institute. The 
preparations have been too costly, the professions too 
exalted, the possibilities are too grand, to permit without 
reproach, its descent to the level of the ordinary debat- 
ing club. In order to secure thoroughness of work, per- 
manence of results and the avoidance of common-place, 
thoughtful ones of our number have already anticipated 
the need of carefully prearranged subjects, which will 
demand lengthened, continuous study, and secure con. 
nected discussions. Whatever the precise methods may 
be which, from time to time shall be adopted, it is cer- 
tain that Vassar Brothers Institute can fulfill its mission, 
only in the measure that its members shall give it their 
faithful, pains-taking, persistent, united labors. 

Moreover, in order to its continuous progress, the pro- 


nounced co-operative sympathy of our people must be 
bestowed on it. It is not too much to ask or to expect 
that there will be a large local membership, or that this 
will be largely represented at the regular meetings, to 
encourage and stimulate the working members to make 
their best efforts. Such measure of pecuniary and moral 
support is surely due from those who are to share so 
largely the behoof of its best success. 

For beyond the intellectual benefits to accrue from in- 
vestigations and discussions to the working members of 
the Institute and those who form its regular audiences, its 
further objects — "the establishing and maintaining a 
museum, a library and a collection of works of art," — 
must excite the interest and challenge the appreciation 
and endorsement of every thoughtful citizen. 

A museum, that shall gather and garner all obtainable 
specimens of the natural history of this region, will be a 
place of growing attractiveness, and of increasing im- 
portance as an educating agency. 

Carlyle wrote of "the winged and wingless neighbors" 
that were continually meeting him, and much regretted 
that he did not better know them. All who desire to do 
so, can make the familiar acquaintance of our "winged 
and wingless neighbors," through their beautiful repre- 
sentatives collected and collecting in our museum . Many 
other curious and interesting objects, already numbering 
over three thousand, are taking their places there ; and 
their number and value shall increase now and in the 
future, according to the enthusiasm and generosity of 
those, by whose contributions this part of our Institute 
must grow. 

The library and art collection contemplated, if touched, 
were a theme for a whole address. These, with the 
museum, are the permanent elements of the Institute 
and point impressively, through a promising present, to 
a future of ever unfolding importance. Every rare and 


valuable book and every gem of art gathered here will 
be casting light upon inquiring minds, and kindling and 
gratifying a love for the beautiful, long after our actual 
connection with them has ceased. 

It is in a perceived appreciation of the Institute's pur- 
poses and work, that its most generous and worthy donor 
can get the only present return for his munificent gift, 
and the assurance that it was wisely bestowed. 

It is in a progressive realization of its objects, that he 
shall have a pledge of its future prosperity and useful- 
ness, and an earnest of the enviable honor and gratitude 
with which his memory shall be crowned through coming 
years. And I know, I but feebly voice the feeling of the 
entire community, when I utter the fervent hope, that he 
may long be permitted to witness the steady growth of 
Yassar Brothers Institute, and to rejoice in the subdued 
but solid glory, which its mingled radiance of science, 
literature and art shall shed upon this city of his and 
our love. 


L. C. Cooley, Ph.D., vice-president, in the chair; 
thirty-five members and one hundred twenty-five guests 

Dr. Stevenson gave notice of proposed amendments to 
articles ii., iii., vi., vii. and xii. of the by-laws. 

Seven members were elected. 

Prof. W. B. D wight, chairman of the Scientific Sec- 
tion, gave an address on ' ' Specialization in Natural 
Science." (This address is published in Part ii. of this 


J. Elmendorf, D.D., president, in the chair; nine- 
teen members and seventy-five guests present. 


The amendments to the by-laws as proposed at the 
last regular meeting were adopted. 

Mr. Elsworth proposed the following amendment to 
article xv. of the by-laws : "The distribution of the in- 
come of the fund, specifically set apart for 'museum, sci- 
entific, library, and publication ' purposes, shall be under 
the direction of a committee of four members of the In- 
stitute, two of whom, at least, shall be members of the 
Scientific Section. Such committee shall be annually 
ajjpointed by the President, and shall report annually 
to the Institute and to the board of trustees." 

One member was elected. 

Mr. Edward Burgess, chairman of the Literary Sec- 
tion, gave an address relative to the work of this Sec- 
tion. While the speaker did not choose to give his ad- 
dress any formal title, it may be set forth in a single line 
from Pope: "The proper study of mankind is man." 
The speaker urged his hearers to study their own kind 
through every medium, and especially through literature 
in all its forms, — biography, history, biology, theology, 
&c, &c. Dwelling on the subject of biography, he said 
that to learn the foibles of great men was to receive a 
lesson in humility and charity, when we see that such 
have their weaknesses no less than their humble breth- 
ren. The main purpose of the address was evidently to 
urge upon the Literary Section the great advantage of 
system in the preparation of their papers. He dwelt 
with special emphasis on the value of biography as a 
study — it brought one into such intimate communica- 
tion, as it were, with the leaders of mankind in all ages. 
The address elicited a discussion by President Elmendorf 
and Messrs. Gardner, Bartlett, Elsworth and Stevenson. 


J. Elmendorf, D.D., president, in the chair; fifteen 
members present. 


The amendments to the by-laws, as proposed at the 
last regular meeting, were adopted. 

The president appointed Messrs. Stevenson, Dwight, 
Elsworth and Arnold, committee on museum and library. 


J. Elmendorf, D.D., president, in the chair; thirty- 
five members and two hundred guests present. 

Mr. E. J. Miller, of Albany, N. Y., gave an address on 
" London Stone," of which the following is an abstract : 

The American traveler approaching London, first 
catches sight of objects of familiar appearance, the 
dome of St. Paul's and the tower of London — made 
familiar by publications, pictures, &c. Going from St. 
Paul's to the tower by a straight road, he passes many 
antiquities; and passing on he will come to a stone 
monument with an opening near its top, this opening 
containing a small stone, little larger than a man's head. 
We can learn all about St. Paul's, the Tower, and hun- 
dreds of other notable things, but why, when and by 
whom was this stone, known as the l London Stone, ' 
erected % 

It has not always occupied its present position, 
where it has stood only eighty-five years, and is guarded 
now by iron work from possible injury. 

No record of this monument exists — no print or 
description of its extent, except by Hutton, a printer, 
who jotted down everything that came to his notice, 
and who visited the spot. He gives the dimensions as 
about four feet high and two feet broad. 

Whether it is a Roman milestone marking the con- 
verging point of some fifteen roads leading out of Lon- 
don, the corner stone of a heathen temple, or was set up 
in the public meeting place of the people, were hypoth- 
eses supported by an avalanche of antiquarian lore. 


and opposed by an array of witnessing improbabilities.. 
Dates were assigned as early as fifty-five years before 
Christ for its existence. Jack Cade, striking this stone 
with his sword in 1450, made his first proclamation. 
The whole history of London clusters about this venera- 
ble relic which, as the speaker was inclined to believe, 
marked the open field where the public assemblages of 
the ancient people of London were held, for legislation 
counsel, and great doings. 

President Elmendorf spoke in eulogistic terms of the 
address, and invited the members to discuss the subject 

Dr. Stevenson expressed his pleasure in listening to an 
address which reviewed at such length and so critically 
so much of ancient lore, and moved " that the thanks of 
the Institute be given to Mr. Miller for his interesting 
and instructive paper." 

Mr. Bartlett seconded the motion, and complimented 
the speaker of the evening for the address given. 

The motion was carried. 


J. Elmendorf, D.D., president, in the chair; twenty 
members and one hundred guests present. 

James M. DeGarmo, Ph.D., read a parser entitled 
"The Eternal Heavens." The speaker said it was cus- 
tomary, both in scientific and popular writings, to speak 
of the celestial vault' as "the eternal heavens" — as en- 
during, continuing forever. So they have come to be 
looked upon as the very type of the unchangeable and 
the permanent. The expression "eternal heavens," in 
various modified forms, has crept into current literature, 
especially religious literature, and a specific meaning 
has become attached to it; and "the stars in their 
courses" are the symbols of perpetuity, and the repre- 


sentatives of infinite calm and rest. But the whole idea 
involves a misunderstanding of the facts. Xot only are 
their orbital motions swift and far-reaching, but they 
are themselves the theatres of mighty convulsions, in- 
volving terrific tornadoes, conflagrations, and upheavals, 
compared with which the terrestrial convulsions are but 
pigmies. Worlds are consumed and worlds collide ; 
comets from infinite space are caught by the attraction 
of planets and all their direction changed ; masses 
change from stars into nebuhe, and from nebula? back 
again to stars, and probably infinite star-dust is hurled 
into mid-space by stellar eruptions. The solid hills of 
our earth are changing, wasting, and going into the sea. 
Everywhere, too, molecular motion is going on — chem- 
ical changes and cosmical changes advancing together. 
All our thought, then, of the heavens as abiding, re- 
maining forever, must be changed. They cannot abide ; 
but the permanent is to be found, if at all, in the great 
creative and regulating force that is the initiative of all 
this change. To that, and not to the material universe, 
must man, in his weakness and powerlessness, look for 
abiding peace, for permanent, enduring being. 

The subject of the paper was discussed by Messrs. 
Cooley, B wight, Bartlett, VanVliet, Warring and Ste- 


J. Elmendorf, B.B., president, in the chair; fifteen 
members and sixty guests present. 

Professor Bwight gave notice of a proposed amend- 
ment of article iii., of the by-laws, changing the initia- 
tion fee from $5 to $3, and the annual dues from $4 to S3. 

Three members were elected. 

C. B. Warring, Ph.B., addressed the society on "Evo- 
lution, and its Relation to the Mosaic Account of Crea- 


tion," which was further discussed by Messrs. Elmen- 
dorf, Bartlett, Dwight and Stevenson. 


J. Elmendorf, D.D., president, in the chair ; nineteen 
members and one hundred thirty guests present. 

The amendments to the by-laws proposed at the last 
regular meeting were adopted. 

Mr. John I. Piatt read a paper on ' ' Education by the 
State, 11 of which the following is an abstract : The pur- 
pose of the State in providing education is to secure its 
own welfare by training good citizens, and no other ob- 
ject can justify the use of public money for the support 
of schools. The attributes of good citizenship are peace- 
ableness, honesty, patriotism, virtue, thrift, intelligence 
and sufficient information. Of these virtue and dutj- are 
more important than learning, and the training of char- 
acter is more important than the training of the intel- 
lect. Character is formed and morality is inculcated by 
teaching, and no system of education is or can be com- 
plete which does not include the princirjles of morality 
and thrift in its course of study. There should be text 
books prepared for this purpose and these things should 
be taught as a required study in every school. And, 
finally, religion is too closely connected with the welfare 
and usefulness of the individual and the strength and 
honor of the State to be neglected. While we must re- 
spect freedom of opinion religion should not be excluded, 
and any plan that will permit it to resume its proper 
place in our common schools without offending the preju- 
dices of sect, should be welcomed, and wherever and 
whenever practicable should be put in force. 

The subject of the paper was discussed by President 
Elmendorf, and Messrs. Gardner, Crosby, Mian, Dwight 
and Stevenson. 



J. Elmendorf, D.D., president, in the chair ; twenty 
seven members and four hundred fifty guests present. 

Rev. H. L. Ziegenfuss gave an address, (with lantern 
illustrations), on ''Colorado: considered geographically, 
geologically, and industrially." 



Every work of art should possess two qualities : — 

1st. Beauty in the selection of the subject and in the 
objects which represent the subject ; and, 

2d. Beauty in the execution of the objects. 

The distinctions between the different schools of art, 
from the earliest times, have been founded on the pre- 
dominance of either one or the other of these two quali- 
ties. What else was the meaning of the criticism made 
by Quintilian on the Discobolus by Myron, when he 
said: "What can be worse in form or more painful to 
the eye than this quoit-player. If, however, any person 
should undertake to censure it as being unnatural, he 
would only shoAv his ignorance by blaming that which 
gives the peculiar value to this work." 

In regard to this criticism, I would say, that the gen- 
eral idea which we have of man represents his figure to 
us in an erect position, and that the nearer we remain in 
our statue or painting to this, the easier it will be to 
represent one of its essential beauties. The farther we 
depart from this vertical line the less dignity our work 
will possess. 

Myron's statue dates back to four hundred fifty years 
before our era, when the general style of art aimed not 
at close imitation, but at grandeur of form. 

The first quality of which I spoke, rei>resents the aim 
of art, the second the means. 


Every school of art has commenced with the first qual- 
ity, but after acquiring the second it has given this the 
place of both. In every case this has resulted in the en- 
tire decline of the school itself. 

The school of Phidias represented the grand beauty of 
Greek art, and Praxiteles added thereto gracefulness 
and perfection of execution. 

The Romans fully appreciated the latter quality, but 
did not attain to the intrinsic beaut y of the first school. 
Hence as they made the execution their aim, art grad- 
ually declined and finally almost perished under their 

The early painters of Italy and of the Netherlands rep- 
resented the various religious subjects in a child-like and 
naif manner. In contemplating them we are struck by 
the devotional feeling which prevails in their representa- 
tions of sacred subjects. Yet we cannot help smiling at 
the awkward forms through which these sublime subjects 
are represented. 

The execution, drawing, and coloring, improve gradu- 
ally until Michael Angelo appears. With his bold and 
powerful execution he prescribed the style to modern 
art. This Michael- Angelesque style spread throughout 
Europe, and influenced all artists. In striving to imitate 
him, however, these artists copied only his execution, 
failing to attain the beauty of his selection of subjects. 
The general decline of art in the eighteenth century was 
the natural result of this mannerism. In the last half 
of the sixteenth century, the brothers Carracci founded 
the eclectic school. In this they tried to unite the 
beauties of Michael Angelo, of the Venetians and of 
Correggio, to those of the school of Raphael. They 
might have succeeded in giving to the world the most 
perfect works existing, but they failed utterly. The 
reason of their failure was that they imitated these 
several masters themselves, instead of studying the beau- 


ties of nature which these artists had pointed out in their 

After this short review of the varied effect of these two 
essential elements of art on the old art of Europe, let us 
look nearer home and consider for a moment their effect 
on the art of painting in America. 

The art of America only dates back a very short period 
•of time. Copley, Trumbull, West, Allston, Inman, Cole, 
Mount, Morse and others are the first American artists. 
Then follow some who are still living — Weir, Hunting- 
ton, Church, etc. 

Every one of these men aimed at the high function 
which art ought to fill ; and tried to reach it by their 
individual efforts. A few of them studied abroad, but 
at a time when art in Europe was based on the most 
romantic principles. 

The pictures of most of these men look weak, and lack 
thoroughness of drawing and form, when they are com- 
pared with the foreign pictures of the present time. 
They lack the qualities which belong to a fine chiaros- 
curo, and for this reason they have not that appearance 
of reality so attractive in works of the present school of 

The young American artists of to-day perceiving this 
lack in the execution of the art of their country, have 
gone abroad and have studied in the large art centres at 
Paris and Munich. Many of them have since returned 
and have exhibited their work at home. After a careful 
and unbiased examination of the merits of their pictures 
we must come to the following general conclusion : 

Most of these young men in the pursuit of art have 
mistaken the means for art itself. Although they have 
only acquired what they call technique, they consider 
themselves accomplished artists. Let .us look at the 
large number of American artists who have studied in 
Munich, and what do they show us : Most of them ex- 


Mbit as works of art mere studies in the handling of the 
brash, painted from what they call a picturesque 
arrangement of all kinds of articles, which often are 
entirely disconnected. 

Perhaps some of them show us a cleverly-handled 
painting of a most hideous, but, perhaps, picturesque- 
looking man or woman. They appear to select the most 
detestable-looking models, and thus try to see how well 
they can represent them with the fewest possible 

Now this last quality, ease of execution, is a fine 
element in art. That of the Munich portrait- school is 
based on the style of Frans Halls, the Dutch painter. 

In short, this new school of American painters are sat- 
isfied to call only one part of the art its whole. They 
say painting is the art of imitation, and without this 
technical imitation there can be no visible picture. You 
may have the most poetical thought or conception, yet 
if there is no adequate execution the world will never be 
the wiser for it. This is very true. These artists 
forget, however, the true aim of art. 

The aim of painting is not merely to represent the 
natural beauties of objects, but also moral and intel- 
lectual beauties, the representation of which will, so to 
say, render virtue visible. The objects selected by the 
artist ought to familiarize the people with beauty and 
harmony, and thus form their taste ; while the subject 
will contribute to make them better and happier. 

Believing this to be the true aim of art, let us as an 
art club for a moment consider our own duties towards 
art and towards society. 

Article i., of our by-laws, states that our object "is 
the promotion of the fine arts, by means of practical 
work and instruction in the study of art ; by lectures on, 
and discussions of subjects relating thereto ; and by 


securing, maintaining and exhibiting a collection of 
works and objects of art." 

How can we best attain this end ? 

The knowledge of the beautiful furnishes, the key to 
the liberal and noble quality of art ; just as the knowl- 
edge of perspective furnishes the key to the entire tech- 
nical part of the representation. 

The last part, the technical representation, can only be 
acquired by the study of drawing and painting from 
nature. This can be done best in classes, where stu- 
dents by honest emulation aim at great perfection. 
This drawing in connection with the study of composi- 
tion, chiaroscuro and coloring gives what we call the 
language of art. This language should be perfectly 
learned by the art-student in order that he may be able 
to communicate readily his ideas. He should be such a 
master of this language that he is enabled by it to com- 
municate all the different modes of expression. 

We take, for instance, these two pictures as illustra- 
tions. Both are intended to convey a religious impres- 
sion on the beholder. The first, a crucifixion, by Cas- 
tagno, was made by an artist who was thoroughly im- 
pressed by his subject, and who knew that the lines and 
forms in a religious subject should be simple, dignified, 
and pure. He has even drawn his figures with a sort of 
timidity, as if they themselves approached the holy sub- 
ject with awe and reverence. 

We shall find this quality one of the greatest charms 
of the primitive modern school ; — a charm which lasted 
until in Michael Angelo's time the naif following of the 
forms of nature was abandoned to give place to an un- 
bounded passion for extravagant lines and forms. 

The artist of this picture then, being a master of the 
technical parts of art, or of the language, was enabled 
by it to ju'oduce the right impression on our mind. 

How is it with the artist of the second picture ? It is 


one of Prang's prize Christmas cards. He does not un- 
derstand the human form sufficiently to be able to select 
from among his models those who by their simplicity, 
purity and grace would be in keeping with his subject. 
Instead of purity, chastity and grace he puts before us 
the most vulgar of forms, and selects in an unpardonable 
manner such attitudes as will surely invite the sensuous 
eye to dwell upon them. I should consider it almost a 
duty on the part of educators to try and repress the sale 
of such vulgar trash, especially as this picture comes 
with an authority in having received a prize for its 
artistic merit. 

I suppose you begin to see what I meant when I said 
that the Art Section of Vassar Brothers Institute had a 
duty to perform towards the public. It should take care 
that the language of the art is properly taught, so that it 
will not, as in this case, prove detrimental to good taste 
and morals. This instruction then should be intrusted 
to a liberal and thoroughly educated artist, and should 
be entirely under his direction. His method should be 
theoretical, and broad enough to meet and guide the 
various individual likings and feelings of the different 
pupils. He should try to develop the individuality of 
each student, and to make him see through his own 
eyes. After a student in this way has acquired what I 
call the language of his art, which embraces the power of 
executing all forms, he will, if he is a true American, 
paint American art. It will not be necessary for him to 
go abroad. 

Just think of it \ The young American artists who a 
few years ago refused to exhibit in the National Acad- 
emy of Design, opened an exhibition of their own, and 
called it the exhibition of "The Society of American 
Artists." Nearly all the pictures that I saw there were 
imitations of the style of some celebrated European, 
usually Munich, artist. What was more, the figures 


selected, and in many cases the subjects, were all Eu- 
ropean. Most of them were rather low European at that. 
This shows us that the only way to have American art, 
is to educate our artists in America. So much in regard 
to the formation of classes for instruction. 

Let me speak now of our lectures. They, too, should 
be practical, and as much as possible should be given by 
professional artists. Their aim should be to supply the 
required knowledge of the beautiful, teaching how and 
what to select and how to compose. They, in short, 
should supply the complement to the classes, and with 
them complete the instruction of that language which 
may be made so eloquent and so powerful for good. 

Now, the next and last point to consider is the giving 
of exhibitions and the forming of a collection of works 
of art. Let me state, at this point, that this forming of 
a collection is one of the most important duties intrusted 
to this Section. Nothing is more capable of forming 
our taste — which is in reality the sentiment for the beau- 
tiful — than productions of art, in which we can observe, 
study, and become familiar with all the combinations 
which together produce this beauty. If works of art 
lack this beauty their influence will be dangerous, for 
they will help to introduce a bad taste. Moreover, since 
examples of bad taste find also admirers, these vices in 
art, receiving favor from some, will not only introduce 
but also encourage a bad taste. " To form and purify 
the taste," says Sulzer, "is a great national duty. So 
we must not neglect to look into the analysis of art, 
by the aid of which we may reach this aim of purify- 
ing and forming the taste, and, consequently, improve 
the morals." 

Most people, in acknowledging this moral influence of 
art, place it merely in the subjects which the artist may 
select for his painting. I go farther, and find it also in 
the execution of the work and in a subject which may 


in itself be entirely devoid of any moral or intellectual 

All people will agree that the harmony between the 
parts themselves, and between the parts and the whole, 
is as necessary in the performance of a moral act as in a 
painting or a statue. So, by the study of art, this love 
for order, for proportion, for harmony, becomes a vir- 
tue. Hence, it may be brought into every object with 
which we are connected. This love for order becomes 
taste in matters of pleasure and virtue when it is brought 
into our moral life. If it is neglected in youth we shall 
feel the bad results of the neglect through life. 

I would, for these reasons, impress this Section with 
the importance of zealously watching the beginning and 
growth of these intended exhibitions and this proposed 
collection. I would suggest that a committee be ap- 
pointed yearly as a jury, with power. It would be the 
duty of this committee to refuse as a gift, or otherwise, 
anything which was not artistically valuable. 

Institutions like this are always in danger of receiving 
from good people gifts which are often of no value or 
benefit to such an institution. Indeed, the very medioc- 
rity of these gifts might in time make us the laughing- 
stock of others. 

Hence, we see that with us as with the Greeks, art re- 
quires to be beautiful in order to be useful or beneficial. 

The same thing was felt by the Council of Bishops in 
the first centuries of Christianity. They recognized the 
force and influence of painting, and they desired that 
the paintings exhibited to the eyes of the faithful 
should be so many teachers of order, wisdom, and true 

I would suggest, then, that in beginning a collection 
we should procure a number of plaster-casts from 
ancient sculpture. 

But we have not yet come to this, and this suggestion 


may, perhaps, better be deferred until we have the 
means of gratifying our wishes. 

The preceding remarks, however, suggest my closing 
sentiments, which are : — 

The habit of observing in art that which forms optical 
harmony is very likely to make us study it also in all 
private and social matters. Hence, a lack of harmony 
in morals will shock us as much as it would in a 
painting. Harmony and method, and, through these, 
dignity and purity, will at last become qualities so 
much the more attractive and dear on account of the 
pleasure which we experience in tracing and studying 
them in the beautiful works of art. 


J. Elmendorf, D.I)., president, in the chair; seventeen 
members present. 

One member was elected. 

Dr. Stevenson, chairman of the committee on museum 
and library, rendered an itemized report of the sum 
expended for the museum and library, amounting to 

Mr. Pelton, secretary of the board of trustees, gave a 
general report of the condition of the property of the 

Mr. Els worth, treasurer, reported in detail the items 
of receipts and disbursements for the fiscal year end- 
ing May 6, 1884, of which the following is an abstract : 

Total receipts from all sources $1,707 33 

Balance in treasury May. 1. 1883, 462 1 T 

Total credit account May 6. 1884, $2,169 50 

Disbursements during year. 1.660 34 

Balance in treasury, May 6. 1884 $509 16 

Three endowment funds have been given by Mr. Yassar. viz : 

38 secretary's annual eeport. 

Repair fund, .$5,000' 

Museum, library, scientific and publication fund, 10,000 

Insurance, light, fuel and general expense fund, 15,000 

Total endowment fund $30,000 

Prof. Dwight, curator of the museum, reported the 
receipt of 789 specimens for the museum, donated by the 
following persons : Mr. John Guy Vassar, Mr. C. N. 
Arnold, Mr! C. J. A. Van Kleeck, Mr. J. W. Adams, 
Miss M. T. Reynolds, Mr. G. B. Adriance, Mr. Walter 
Corlies, Jr., John Thompson, Esq., Miss Carpenter, Mr. 
E. Elsworth, Dr. E. C. Bolton, Mr. J. C. Pumpelly, Mrs. 
Gilbert E. Hicks, Mr. G. Cornwall, Mr. J. H. Dudley, 
Prof. W. B. Dwight, Rev. G. C. Berkemeier, Mr. S. 
Strauss, Mr. A. Innis, Mr. T. J. Woodman, Mrs. W. B. 
Sinsabaugh, Mr. S. M. Buckingham, Prof. L. C. Cooley, 
Mr. Frank Adriance, Dr. W. G. Stevenson. 

Mr. Moore, librarian, reported the receipt of 109 pam- 
phlets, and 173 bound volumes for the library. The in- 
dividual contributors are as follows : Mr. John Guy 
Vassar, John Thompson, Esq., Rev. H. Loomis, Jr., Dr. 
T. J. Backus, Mr. A. M. Frost, Mr. J. C. Pumpelly, Dr. 
J. B. Holder, Mr. J. A. Seward, Mr. Jacob Corlies, Mr. 
John P. Adriance, Mr. T. N. Dale, Mr. C. S. Wilber, 
Hon. James Bishop, Mr. Charles Grube, Hon. J. H. 
Ketcham, Mr. E. P. Carpenter. The publications that 
have been received from various scientific societies, and 
state departments, will be reported by the secretary. 


Mr. President and Members of Vassar Brothers In- 
stitute : Although no expense arises from any service 
rendered by the officers or members of the Institute, it 
was nevertheless apparent, at the time the society came 
into possession of its valuable building, that an income, 
in addition to that derived from the annual dues of 
members, would be needed in order to meet the neces- 


sary expenses for insurance, taxes, janitor, fuel, and 
light, and at the same time successfully prosecute the 
work for which the Institute was organized. 

Your secretary stated the facts as to the financial 
needs of the Institute to Mr. John Guy Vassar, in the 
early fall of 1883, with the result of securing from him 
the generous gift of $25,000 as a permanent endowment 

The income of $15,000 is to apply to general expenses, 
and the income of $10,000 is to apply to library, publi- 
cation, museum and scientific purposes. 

This benefaction, added to the $5,000 which Mr. Vas- 
sar had previously given as a repair fund, yields an an- 
nual income of $1,550, which secures the society against 
financial contingencies, and makes possible the more 
successful prosecution of its work. 

The details relating to the finances are given in the 
treasurer's report, which shows a balance on hand of 

During the past year eight members have resigned, 
and one member — Mr. Sidney Putnam — has died. 

Twelve gentlemen and two ladies have been elected to 
membership, of whom seven gentlemen and one lady 
have duly qualified, and the names of the remainder 
have been taken from the roll. 

The present membership of the Institute is one hun- 
dred forty- eight. 

The amended by-law of a year ago, which made it the 
duty of the Institute to hold a public meeting on the 
first Tuesday of each month, from October to April in- 
clusive, has operated beneficially, because it has given 
equal advantages to members of the Institute regardless 
of their affiliation with any Section, and has provided 
for the introduction of papers and addresses from those 
who are not members, and who are non-residents of 

40 secretary's annual report. 

The following addresses were given before the Insti- 
tute during the season of 1883-84: — 

October 2, 1883. Inaugural Address. 

J. Elmendorf, D.D., president of the Institute. 
October 9, 1883. "Specialization in Science." 

Prof. W. B. Dwigkt, chairman of the Scientific Section. 
October 23, 1883. "The Work of the Literary Section." 

Mr. E. Burgess, chairman of the Literary Section. 
December 4, 1883. "London Stone." 

E. J. Miller, Esq., of Albany, N. Y. 
January 8, 1884. "The Eternal Heavens" ..J. M. DeGarmo, Ph.D. 

February 5, 1884. ' ' Evolution " C. B. Warring. Ph.D. 

March 4, 1884. "Education by the State" Mr. John I. Piatt. 

April 1, 1884. "Colorado" (lantern illustrations). 

Rev. H. L. Ziegenfuss. 

The average number of members present at these meet- 
ings was twenty-five, and of guests one hundred sixty. 

During the past year the publishing committee issued 
volume i. of the Transactions and Scientific Papers of 
the Institute and its Scientific Section, from the date of 
incorporation, June 13, 1881, to May 1, 1883. 

The volume, of one hundred forty-eight pages, con- 
tains the following papers : — 

Mineral Physiology T. Sterry Hunt. L.L.D. 

Chemistry and the Question of Life. /] 

Examination of a Stain on Monumental Marble, { r L. C. Cooley, Ph.D. 

The work of the Scientific Section, 

Are other Worlds Inhabited ? ] 

The Relation of the Chaldean Creation-ac- J- C. B. Warring, Ph.D. 

count to that in the 1st Chap, in Genesis, J 
The Appearance of the Bean-Weevil (Bruchus ") 

tabee), at Poughkeepsie, [ Prof. W. B. D wight. 

Gradation in Animal Life, j 

The Physiological Significance of Vital Force. . . . W. G. Stevenson, M.D. 

A copy of this publication has been sent to many 
scientific and philosophical societies, Government de- 
partments, public libraries, journals, and individuals, 
and it is gratifying to know that in all cases it has been 
favorably received. 


Your secretary is pleased to report that, after due 
correspondence, the following societies and journals 
have placed the name of the Institute on their exchange- 
lists, and have transmitted to us their respective publica- 
tions, which are valuable acquisitions to our library : — 

American Philosophical Society, of Philadelphia. 

Albany Institute, of Albany, N. Y. 

American Geographical Society, of New York. 

American Monthly Microscopical Journal. 

Academy of Sciences of St. Louis, Mo. 

Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 

Boston Society of Natural History, Boston, Mass. 

Buffalo Society of Natural Science, Buffalo, N. Y. 

Bureau of Education, (Department of the Interior). 

Bureau of Ethnolgy, (Department of the Interior). 

Bureau of U. S. Geological Survey, (Department of the Interior). 

Bureau of Statistics of Labor and Industries of New Jersey. 

Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, New Haven, Conn. 

Cincinnati Society of Natural Science, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Canadian Record and Natural History Society of Montreal. 

Davenport Academy of Natural Science, Davenport, Iowa. 

Department of the Interior. 

Engineer Department of U. S. Army. 

Library Company, Philadelphia. 

Minnesota Academy of Natural Sciences, Minn. 

Middlesex Institute, Mass. 

Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, Mo. 

Magazine of American History. 

New York Academy of Sciences, New York. 

Natural History Society of Glasgow, Scotland. 

Nova Scotian Institute of Natural Science, Halifax. 

Newport Natural History Society, Newport, R. I. 

Portland Society of Natural History, Portland, Me. 

Rochester Society of Natural Science, Rochester, N. Y. 

Royal Society of Canada. 

Sociedad Cientifica Argentina, Buenos Aires. 

Societe Imperiale des Naturalistes de Moscow, Russia. 

Smithsonian Institution. 

Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, Madison, Wis. 

Vassar Miscellany, Vassar College. 

One hundred seventy-three volumes of books, one 
hundred nine panrphlets and journals, mostly the trans- 

42 secretary's annual report. 

actions of scientific societies, and seven maps, have 
been received during the past year, making a total of 
four hundred sixty-one books and five hundred fifty- 
seven pamphlets in the library. 

The large proportion of these books and pamphlets 
has been received through direct appeals made by your 
secretary, to institutions and individuals, and he takes 
pleasure in expressing thanks, in behalf of the Institute, 
to Hon. John H. Ketcham, Mr. James A. Seward, Hon. 
James Bishop, Chief of Bureau of Statistics of New- 
Jersey, and Protap Chandra Roy, of Calcutta, for the 
liberal and valuable donations made by them to the 

Many valuable works have been received from the 
Smithsonian Institution, the Department of the Inte- 
rior, the Bureau of Ethnology, United States Geo- 
logical Survey, and the Engineer Department of 
United States Army. Kant s Infusoria has been 
secured by purchase. 

The librarian is carefully cataloguing the books by 
the card system, designating all principal topics. This 
practically makes a general index of the important sub- 
jects contained in each volume — a work which will be 
greatly appreciated by those who have occasion to use 
the books. 

During the past year the minerals, birds, mammals, 
marine invertebrata, and archaeological specimens, in 
the museum, have been classified and labeled by your 
secretary, acting as assistant curator under Prof. 
Dwight, and seven hundred eighty-nine additional speci- 
mens have been received as donations to the society. 

Your secretary begs to call the attention of the public 
and private schools of this city to the advantages this 
museum offers to those who are studying natural his- 
tory, and expresses the hope that these advantages may 
be utilized. 


The curator, in his report a year ago, mentioned the 
fact that certain specimens of birds, mammals, and rep- 
tiles, of our local fauna, had been placed in the musenm 
with the expectation that they would become the prop- 
erty of the Institute. 

There were, however, at this time, no available funds 
for such a purpose, and if these specimens were secured 
it could only be through private subscriptions to the 
amount of $750. 

Your secretary undertook the unpleasant task of se- 
curing this sum, and, having made a personal canvass 
among the members of the Institute, he is released to re- 
port that $637 of the amount have been subscribed and 
paid by the following gentlemen : — 

John P. Adriance $100 I. Smith $5 

S. M. Buckingham 50 A. L. Allen 5 

C. Van Brunt 50 R. Wilkinson 5 

H.L.Young 50 J. P. Atwater 5 

T.J. Backus 25 B. VanVliet 5 

E. Elsworth 25 A.M.Frost 5 

C. N. Arnold 25 E. S. Atwater 5 

W. B. Dwight 25 N.C.Trowbridge 5 

W. G. Stevenson 25 H. Van Ingen 5 

E. Storm 25 H. S. Wiltsie 5 

W.T.Reynolds 25 C. E. Sweet 5 

W. C. Smillie 25 Wm. Adriance 5 

Herrick & Losey 25 John Sleight 5 

A. P. Van Gieson 20 G.E.Cramer 5 

C. B. Warring 10 J.R.Reynolds 5 

J. M. DeGarmo 10 J.L.Williams 5 

Irving Elting 10 J. C. Pumpelly 5 

W. A. Davies 10 E. Burgess 5 

J.C.Otis 10 J.G.Boyd 2 

The subscriptions have been, by your secretary, handed 
to the treasurer, and by him applied on the account. 

Many other members were solicited for contributions, 
but for various reasons failed to respond to the appeal. 
The balance due has been paid by the trustees, and the 
collection is, therefore, the property of the society. 


secretary's annual report. 

The following papers were read before the Scientific 

Section during the season of 1883-84 : — 

November 7, 1883. 
November 21, 1883. 

October 5, 1883. 

December 19, 1883. 
January 2, 1884. 
January 16, 1884. 

January 30, 1884. 
February 13, 1884. 

February 27, 1884. 

March 12, 1884. 

March 26, 1884. 
April 9, 1884. 

April 9, 1884. 

"The Gyroscope " C. B. Warring, Ph.D. 

"An Interesting Geological Locality at Corn- 
wall, N. Y Prof. W. B. Dwight. 

"Description of two Species of Shark, Carcha- 
roclon carcharias, and Odontaspis littoralis, 
taken off Nantucket, Mass." 

W. G. Stevenson, M.D. 
"Our Local Mammalian Fauna." 

W. G. Stevenson, M.D, 

"Uniformity of Climate in Past Geological Ages." 

C. B. Warring, Ph.D. 

"Saturn " Prof. Maria Mitchell. 

"Description of Cyclopterus lumpus, the first re- 
ported specimen found in the Hudson River." 
W. G. Stevenson, M.D. 
"Laws of the Compressibility of Gases." 

L. C. Cooley, Ph.D. 
"Embryonic Forms of Limulus polyphenols. " 

Prof. W. B. Dwight. 

"Gums and Resins" Mr. C. N. Arnold. 

"Evidence of Intelligence in Butterflies." 

James M. DeGarmo, Ph.D. 
Papilio turnus (Linn), melanic var. (P. glaucus), 
taken at Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 

W. G. Stevenson, M.D. 
"On some New Laboratory Appliances." 
"Influence of the Density of a Gas on the Elec- 
tric Discharge." 
"Notes on the Liquefaction of Gases." 

L. C. Cooley, Ph.D. 
" Report of Progress in Geological Investigation 
in the Vicinity of Poughkeepsie." 

Prof. W. B. Dwight. 
"List of Birds, (genera and species), belonging to 
the Vicinity of Poughkeepsie and represented 
in the museum of the Institute." 

W. G. Stevenson, M.D. 
" Microscopic Study of Rock-Sections ; Crystalliza- 
tion of Gold, and Minute Fresh- Water Crusta- 
ceans," exhibited repectively by — 

Mr. C. N. Arnold, Profs. Cooley and Dwight. 



This Section may feel well satisfied with its year's 
work, for it has made valuable contributions to the sum 
of scientific knowledge, and its papers and discussions 
have been exceedingly interesting and instructive. 

At the annual meeting of the Scientific Section, held 
April 23, 1884, Prof. W. B. Dwight was reelected chair- 
man, and Mr. C. N. Arnold was reelected recording 

The following papers and discussions were given be- 
fore the Literary Section during the season of 1883-84 : — 

1883 — October 30. "Literary Value of Scientific Knowledge" 

Rev. E. A. Lawrence, Jr. 

November 13. "Galileo Galilei" \ Jaraes Nilan > DD - 

( Mr. Henry Bartlett. 

November 20. "Chief Justice Marshall". .J. Hervey Cook, Esq. 

December 10. "Poetry of Matthew Arnold." 

James M. DeGarmo, Ph.D. 

December 18. "The Scientific Basis of Morals." 

Hon. John Thompson. 

1884 — January 15. "Communism" — j Mr. L. F. Gardner. 

pro and con. { Rev. S. H. Synnott. 

January 22. "John C. Calhoun" Edward Elsworth, Esq. 

T , OQ \ "Abraham Lincoln" E. S. Atwater, Esq. 

j anuary &&. -, ,-* ., ^ .„, _ , _ 

J ( " Aaron Burr " S. W. Buck, Esq. 

February 12. "Richelieu" Rev. C. W. Millard. 

[W. G. Stevenson, M.D. 
February 19. "Wendell Phillips". . . < James Nilan, D.D. 

[A. P. Van Gieson, D.D. 
February 26. "A Study of the Last Census." 

H. V. Pelton, Esq. 

March 11. "Monopolies" Truman J. Backus, L.L.D. 

March 18. " Daniel Webster" . .. ....Mr. Edward Burgess. 

March 25. "Emerson and Carly^e" Irving Elting, Esq. 

These papers were of a high order of excellence, and 
the work of the Section is commended to the public as 
worthy of encouragement and support. 

At the annual meeting of this Section, Mr. Henry V. 
Pelton was elected chairman, and Mr. James H. Hamill, 
recording secretary. 

The Art Section has adopted a plan of work and 

46 secretary's annual report. 

elaborated a systematic course for art- study, which has 
been approved by the board of trustees, but no further 
effort has been made to organize the work of the Section. 

The work of this Section can only prove successful 
when members and citizens alike are awakened to the 
importance of securing systematic and correct instruc- 
tion in the various departments of art, and are willing to 
extend a helping hand to the accomplishment of this ob- 
ject. Until such a spirit is made manifest, the Section 
will be justified in delaying further effort to organize its- 

At the annual meeting of the Art Section, held April 
23, 1884, Rev. A. P. Yan Gieson was elected chairman, 
and Mr. A. M. Frost, recording secretary. 

In thus closing the third year of its corporate exist- 
ence, the Institute may justly feel satisfied with the 
work it has done. 

It has established the fact that it is an educational 
force in the community, and represents, to a large ex- 
tent, the intellectual life of this city. 

It seeks to promote useful knowledge, and invites all 
who are interested in the object for which it was 
founded to become its members, and thereby contribute 
a little towards its maintenance. 

True, the funds possessed are sufficient to enable the 
Institute to hold its meetings, and to continue its gen- 
eral work without further aid ; but he who thinks that 
this alone will suffice, has, indeed, a very inadequate ap- 
preciation of the real work there is to be done in order 
to honestly satisfy the conditions of our charter, or 
fulfill the expectations and purposes of those who in- 
spired and executed the organization of the society. 
Respectfully submitted. 

W. G. Stevenson, 




The following gentlemen 

John Guy Vassar, 
S. M. Buckingham, 
Joachim Elmendorf, 
William B. B wight, 
Charles N. Arnold, 
LeRot C. Cooley, 

were elected trustees for 

William G. Stevenson, 
Edward Elsworth, 
Henry V. Pelton, 
Charles B. Herrick, 
A. P. Van Gieson, 
Frank L. Moore. 

The following gentlemen were elected officers of the 

Institute for 1884-85 


Vice President, - 



Curator of Museum, 

Art Director, 


LeRoy C. Cooley, Ph.D. 

Rev. Henry L. Ziegenfuss. 

Wm. G. Stevenson, M.D. 

Edward Elsworth, Esq. 

Prof. Wm. B. Dwight. 

Prof. Henry Van Ingen. 

Frank L. Moore, C. E. 



Vassar Brothers Institute, 




Scientific Section. 





Prof. William B. D wight, - - - Chair man. 
Mr. Charles N. Arnold, - Recording Secretary. 




October 9, 1883. 


I am called upon officially this evening to say some- 
thing appropriate to a general audience, and to Vassar 
Brothers Institute as a whole, while yet addressing my- 
self more especially to the Scientific Section. The sub- 
ject which I have chosen, as well adapted for this pur- 
pose, is "Specialization in Natural Science." I shall 
endeavor to assist in establishing a clear, popular appre- 
hension as to the character, extent, and necessity of such 
specialization, and also to show its bearings upon the 
work of a scientific society. 

The work of the specialist in science, as the term is 
understood to-day, is quite a modern one. During all 
the earlier ages of history, the divisions of scientific 
work were mainly the broad, general divisions of science 
itself, and so few, comparatively, were the facts and 
principles for a long time recognized in the various 
sciences,' that it was then not difficult for men of strong 
minds to be masters, not only of a complete grand divi- 
sion of science, but also of several distinct sciences ; but 
we may go beyond this, and say that one or more 
sciences were often merely appendages to the varied 
acquisitions of the master-minds of those days. 

Thus we recall the names of Pythagoras, Thales of 
Miletus, Hipparchus and Ptolemy, and, later, Copernicus, 
and others, as astronomers and physicists, of Geber in 
the eighth century of the Christian era as chemist, of 


Archimedes as physicist. In the immense single depart- 
ment of natural history we find bnt two prominent per- 
sons who had really done anything to the advancement 
of this science up to as late a period as the -close of the 
middle ages ; these were the originial investigator, Aris- 
totle, and the compiler, Pliny. Both of these last illus- 
trious names, however, illustrate the fact above men- 
tioned that there was in those days so little expansion in 
a dejjartment of science that it could be mastered as a 
concomitant with other great studies. For the great 
Aristotle, who is called the father of zoology, since he 
first elaborated its classification, can as truly be called, 
as indeed he has been, the father of logic and father of 
psychology ; and Pliny only included science as one of 
the departments of his historical treatises. 

Pythagoras also combined with the astronomical stud- 
ies which made him a leader in that branch, the meta- 
physical studies of a great j)hilosopher. 

In seeking to trace the history of scientific specializa- 
tion, it is not possible to find any epochs bounded by 
sharp lines. But the close of the so-called middle ages, 
or the beginning of the sixteenth century, may fairly be 
considered as opening a new era of progress, marked dis- 
tinctly by the development of interest in special minor 
subdivisions of science. The telescope, and, later, the 
microscope, were discovered, and concentrated efforts 
carried them through great strides towards their present 
career of usefulness. During the two centuries succeed- 
ing the middle ages, the astronomers and j)hysicists, 
Galileo, Kepler, Huygens, Newton, and others, were 
laying the foundations for the various subdivisions of 
work in those depatments, while in natural history, Ron- 
delet, Belon and Salviani, applied themselves specially 
to fishes, Redi and Swammerdam to insects, and Leeu- 
wenhoek to microscopic research ; while Ray did illus- 
trious work in classification. 


W. B. DWI6HT. 53 

Science went through still more advanced processes of 
specialization during the eighteenth and the first few dec- 
ades of the nineteenth century, as it expanded grandly 
under the imperishable achievements of the great mod- 
ern masters. Linnaeus, Buffon, Lamarck, and Cuvier. 
in natural history, developed its leading subdivisions 
and laid the germs of its biology. At this period, also, 
under Cuvier and others, geology began to struggle into 
existence, as the great zoologists began to recognize the 
life of past ages, and physicists began to study dynami- 
cal movements of the earth's crust. Mineralogy also 
took shape as a science. Chemistry under Lavoisier, Ber- 
zelius, Dalton, Sir Humphrey Davy, Priestly, and phy- 
sics under Count Rumford and others, had begun to as- 
sume far-reaching proportions of subdivision. 

And now, as we come down to the middle and closing 
decades of our nineteenth century, through the illus- 
trious labors of Faraday, Wollaston, Naumann, Bunsen, 
Kirchotf, Tyndall, Huxley, and many others on a glo- 
rious list too long to quote, what shall we say in regard 
to the refinement of specialization to which science has 
been brought ? In these days of the elaborated micro- 
scope with its legion of costly accessories, of the spectro- 
scope with its fascinations and its amazing revelations 
about things far and near, of the telegraph and the tele- 
phone and the thousand-and-one applications of elec- 
tricity, surely the special subdivisions already created, 
each inviting the scientist to find his sole life-work 
within its limits, already far exceed in number the 
hundred arms of Briareus, and make us wonder what 
the harvest of scientific study will be in the century 
next to come. 

The expansion of one or two scientific departments 
may suffice to illustrate the work of specialization that 
all have undergone. 

The department of natural history has fallen naturally 


into one grand division treating of the inorganic por- 
tions of the earth' s crust, and another treating of its or- 
ganized life. The first has again ramified into miner- 
alogy and geology, two very distinct branches, con- 
nected, however, in an indeterminate way, by the study 
of rock-masses, called lithology, or petrography. And 
this, again, gives rise to a most novel, important, and 
difficult specialty, microscopic petrography, or the 
making and studying of thin microscopic slices of rocks. 
In mineralogy, there are the departments of crystallog- 
raphy and crystallogeny, mathematical and theoretical 
studies of crystals, requiring for their mastery high 
mathematical training and insight. In geology, we find, 
as its chief divisions, physiographic geology, or the 
study of the actual physical characteristics of the earth — 
the life-study of such masters as Bitter, of Germany, 
and our own Griiyot ; palaeontology, or the study of the 
organic remains ; historical geology and stratigraphy, 
or the study of the order of succession in the rocks ; 
dynamical geology, the study of the action of the great 
natural forces on the earth's crust. 

In that branch of natural history which treats of 
organized beings, our modern subdivision begins with a 
division which has been but recently generalized into a 
specialty — if I may use such an expression — out of the 
two subdivisions of botany and zoology. This is the 
grand study of biology, or the facts and principles un- 
derlying all life. Its two subdivisions are botany and 
zoology. Botany has naturally resolved itself into its 
two great branches of phsenogamic, or flowering life, 
and cryptogamic, or flowerless life ; while the latter, at 
least, in its sub-branches of algse, or sea weeds, fungi, 
mosses, etc., furnishes several very absorbing and diffi- 
cult lines of special study. 

The ramifications of zoology are almost bewildering. 
The more important are in two classes. 

W. B. DWIGHT. 5 5 

First, those pertaining to the general philosophy of 
animal life, such as anatomy, or the study of animal 
structure ; comparative anatomy, treating of the rela- 
tions of structure in different types of animals ; phy- 
siology, treating of the active functions of animals ; his- 
tology, the minute study of tissues ; osteology, the study 
of bones ; psychology, the study of faculties of mind and 
instinct ; embryology the study of mode of development 
from the embryo to maturity ; zoo-geography, the dis- 
tribution of animals ; microscopic zoology, the adapta- 
tion of the microscope to the study of animal life. 

Second, those growing out of the classification of the 
immense number of groups of animals, such as entomol- 
ogy, or study of insects ; herpetology, the study of 
snakes ; ornithology, the study of birds ; malacology 
or conchology, the study of mollusks, and the separate 
studies of fishes, corals, spiders, etc. 

Everyone of the these subdivisions, and many others, 
constitutes an important field which may well engross 
the life-work of any scientist of the amplest powers. 

Other fields of scientific labor would show a similar 
tendency towards specialization. 

Another good method of realizing the intense special- 
ization of to-day, as compared with the past, is to com- 
jjare the text-books of to-day with those of former days. 
Let me call your attention to two representative books 
of scientific instruction in the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries. Specimens of the volumes themselves — the 
rarest of books in this country, at least — have been 
kindly loaned to me for this occasion by their distin- 
guished owner, Hon. Henry Barnard, of Hartford, Conn. 
One is the Orbis Sensualium Pictus, (i. e. , The Illus- 
trated World of Material Objects,) by Comenius, pub- 
lished at Nuremberg, in 1658. The other is the Philo- 
sopMca Margarita, or, Scientific Pearls, by Reish, pub- 
lished in 1518. Of these two small books, the first was 



intended to be a pictorial instruction book for element- 
ary schools, and the second as a cyclopedic manual of 
science — a text-book for the universities of the da) r . 
For these purposes they were the standard treatises of 
those times. 

Now set over against these the academic and college 
text-books of to-day, and mark the difference. On any 
single topic alone of scientific instruction out of more 
than a dozen at least, our text-books comprise more in- 
formation in a very concentrated form than does either 
of these volumes. But it is by trying to estimate the 
number and cost of technical works in the various 
special departments that we begin to realize the extent 
of our modern special fields of science ; for their litera- 
ture is enormous in quantity and in expense. 

How feeble is the popular apprehension of the latter 

This is partially illustrated by the often asked ques- 
tion, " What is a good standard work which I can get 
to tell me the names of the insects that I collect V ' 
Such an inquirer has not had even a glimpse into the 
vastness of the special field of the modern entomologist. 
For it is now estimated that there are no less than ninety- 
thousand species of beetles to be described, and twenty- 
four thousand of two-winged flies, and twenty-five thou- 
sand of four- winged flies like the bees, and twenty -five 
thousand of butterflies and moths, which, with eight 
hundred species of centipedes and four thousand of 
spiders, make no less than one hundred ninety thousand 
species of insects. Even our own North American share 
of these would fill volumes on volumes of descriptive 

It is sufficiently evident that the facts and principles 
of any one general department of modern science, have 
been developed to proportions too vast to be easily 
grasped by one mind, as in former years. The greater 

W. B. DWIGHT. 57 

part of scientific work must now be done by specialists, 
or at least by those who combine, with a general zoologi- 
cal knowledge, special study in some limited subdivi- 
sion ; the more limited the more effectual is the work in 
most cases. This is so well recognized that there is now 
a marked tendency in eminent zoologists to der^recate 
the idea that they are working over a general field ; they 
assign to themselves, before the public, often, much nar- 
rower fields than the large ones they are really filling 
with honor. The fact that one's scientific responsibili- 
ties sometimes assign him to a broad field of multifari- 
ous scientific labor is now a thing not to be boasted of, 
but apologized for. It is only the school-girls just out 
from a "finishing-school," or flabby amateurs in science, 
that record a string of sciences among their solid 

In the present state of science, it is not, among true 
scientists, considered a matter for congratulation or boast- 
ing if one has to spread his labors over several or many 
broad fields of scientific inquiry. 

Hitherto I have spoken of specialization only as a nec- 
essary consequence of advanced study. It is not, how- 
ever, an unfortunate necessity, but brings with it impor- 
tant advantages which it will now be well to consider. 

First, it is only by this special study of minute facts, 
and minute changes in organizations that the true phi- 
losophy of life is attained. The keys which, one after an- 
other, unlock the great chambers in nature's magnificent 
palace, are microscopically small. To find them, we 
must search everywhere, by minute study, the nooks and 
corners where they may be hid. Yet again, these keys, 
like some of man's devising, are not simple, but made up 
of separable combination-slips ; and these slips lie scat- 
tered around among the flowers and the insects and the 
rocks. It is only the minutely special student of nature 
who can, by long searching and much thinking, find 



these separated parts, and when he has got them all to- 
gether, can try their various combinations, until he has 
found to which one a lock will yield, and a new door will 
fly open. Now it is a characteristic element of this 
search, that you can never know beforehand in what mi- 
nute, obscure, uninteresting little fact of nature you may 
find the missing link in one of these combination-keys. 
This is the fundamental principle which makes honora- 
ble and worthy of the greatest mind, studies of a host of 
trivial facts which to the world at large are chaff and 
straw. The ignorant farmer laughs at the trifling of the 
geologist who laboriously chisels out a poor little shell 
from a rock. Yet that shell will whisper to the scientist 
the history of the birth-throes of a continent, and may 
point to where its coal-fields lie. Fraunhofer re-discovers 
and records the shadowy transverse lines in the spectrum 
which Wollaston had noticed and then forgotten. The 
great money-kings of his day who would have scorned to 
waste time on such trifles are now mostly in oblivion ; 
but Fraunhofer' s name will honorably travel down the 
ages with those very lines whose brilliant service to sci- 
ence, and even to the arts to-day, is beyond computation 
in gold. 

Few labors of the modern specialist have been more 
trying than the studies in embryology, by which the life- 
histories of many animals have been traced from the egg- 
to maturity. But by no process in zoological study has 
ever so rich a harvest of results been reached before. 
They have re-arranged the classification and modified the 
existing beliefs concerning almost every group of living 

I am happy to quote an instance of the ' immediate 

present, where this very study of embryology, though 

apparently impracticable to the last degree, is achieving 

results destined, at no distant day, to bring millions in 

wealth to one of our prominent industries. 


W. B. D WIGHT. 59 

The oyster has been yearly demanded by consumers in 
a rapidly increasing ratio — while its beds are becoming 
as rapidly denuded. No practical means for its rapid 
propagation could be discovered, and it was in great dan- 
ger of becoming extinct. 

The chief difficulties in artificial breeding of oysters 
lay in certain peculiar physiological conditions, made 
known by the studies of European experts, on European 
oysters. The most patient investigations made by Brooks, 
Rider and others into the embryology of the American 
oyster have, however, recently revealed a most remarka- 
ble and unexpected difference in physiological constitu- 
tion between this and the European mollusk. The na- 
ture of this difference is such that, by taking advantage 
of it, our oysters can be propagated with ease, and the 
great work of developing the best methods is even now 
being perfected by the United States Fish Commission at 
Wood's Holl, Mass. Let no one hereafter laugh at the 
most trivial labors of the scientific specialist. 

Another grea t advantage of the specialization of sci- 
entific studies is that it gives weight and dignity to every 
field of honest, original, faithful work, however narrow 
or however situated. Each observer may give the bene- 
fit of his labor to science, by studying the special field 
which his gifts and inclinations suggest to him, and to 
which circumstances invite him. 

Still another advantage is one kindred to that gained 

in industrial employments by extensive division of labor. 

As in every great factory, so in science, the maximum of 

expertness is reached by assigning to one worker a special 

and narrow field. Yet there is a difference in the two 

cases, which it would be unfortunate to forget, and 

which is greatly to the advantage of scientific work. 

The great evil of division of labor in industries, is the 

mental and moral depression which it brings upon the 

workman. He takes hold of his specialty, it may be the 



straightening of a grin barrel ; in a few days he sees- 
quite through all its features, in a few weeks he has at- 
tained his maxim nm of expertness, and that is all of 
mental zest there is to it. From that time forward it is 
all a dreary plain of sameness ; mental stimulus is gone, 
and the man has become a spiritless machine. 

Far different is it with the scientific specialist ; as he 
attains a high degree of expertness he has only begun to 
see and to enjoy ; at every step he is greeted, not by end- 
less repetitions of the old, but by delightful revelations 
of the new ; nor does he even necessarily reach, at any 
definite period, the maximum level of expertness ; for 
new situations are ever presenting themselves, demand- 
ing new combinations of skillful handling. No amount 
of magnifying power applied to natural objects reaches 
the limit of revelations. The specialist is therefore al 
ways penetrating unknown lands of discovery ; every 
faculty is awake ; his soul is all alive with healthy zeal. 

I should not do justice to my subject if I should pass 
over in silence the fact that there are some positive evils 
in this attitude of modern science. The first of these 
evils which I will mention is one which I think has at- 
tracted but little attention. It is the fact that the devel- 
opment of special studies in science has greatly increased 
the difficulty of finding suitable teachers in natural sci- 
ence for academic and collegiate classes. The facts in 
this connection have been so generally overlooked by 
scientists as to lead to unfortunate misunderstandings. 
Men deservedly eminent as specialists are often disap- 
pointed and chagrined when they are passed over in the 
selections of instructors in desirable positions, because 
they fail to discern the obvious reasons. Some per- 
sons are naturally excellent teachers ; but many are not. 
The mere possession of erudition does not make a good 
teacher. There are certain principles which really con- 
stitute a science of teaching. Specialists are under a. 


W. B. DWTGHT. 61 

strong tendency to drift away from the habits of thought 
and observation of human nature, which can alone bring 
success in behind a teacher's desk. The prime requisite 
of a teacher is not only knowledge of a subject, but the 
ability to adapt its presentation to the mental qualities 
of his pupils ; a matter of which many specialists are as 
profoundly ignorant or careless, as they are learned in 
their specialties. 

Another difficulty is that the specialist, by his narrow 
culture, has in a measure unfitted himself to do the gen- 
eral and elementary work demanded by all schools below 
those which are strictly professional. It frets him to dis- 
sipate his mental powers over broad fields ban-en of dis- 

There are also other points of culture conducive to 
eminent success in a teacher, to which the specialist has 
had no time to give his attention. Of course these state- 
ments are only intended to express general tendencies, 
for there are eminent specialists who are as eminent 
teachers ; but they are rare exceptions. 

A far greater evil, I think, lies in the strong tendency, 
in narrow special pursuits, of dwarfing the breadth of 
the mind, while stimulating its acuteness. Some great 
masters, while following up some special line of research, 
yet keep themselves well informed on the state of the 
whole field, and in sympathy with the whole. They can 
carry on philosophic generalizations as ably and as relia- 
bly as minute specializations. So Napoleon Bonaparte 
could command a knowledge of individual life-histories 
and characters in the companies of his regiments, call- 
ing private soldiers by name, and yet organize the most 
brilliant manoeuvres of a vast battle-field. But it is giv- 
en to very few men to have such self-training. The ten- 
dency among specialists is, first, to neglect to inform 
themselves even of the general facts in the other fields of 
science, and, secondly, by their habits of thought to in- 



capacitate themselves for any trustworthy philosophic 
apprehension of the whole science under which they are 
working. It is very important that the public should 
understand this point. The general scientific views and 
opinions of a great specialist in science are not necessarily 
equivalent, in relative value, to his eminence in his pro- 
fession. A man may be so eminent in ornithology that 
no opinion as to bird-life is more valuable ; yet it may 
be very likely that his opinions on general matters of 
scientific philosophy may be carelessly formed and of 
only a moderate value. As this is an important point, 
let me quote from the words of a prominent scientific au- 
thority in Harvard College. He says : "I have known 
excellent mathematicians and astronomers who had not 
the first word to say about the nebular hypothesis ; they 
had never felt interested in it, had never studied it, and, 
consequently, did not understand it, and could hardly 
state it correctly." Suppose, now, an unprofessional 
man asks such an "excellent " astronomer about the neb- 
ular hypothesis, and receives an answer conveying utter 
indifference about it or misrepresentation of it ; he 
then receives, and probably promulgates, the false idea 
that it is thought little of- among astronomical authori- 

The writer goes on to say: "It is quite possible for 
one to study the structure of echinoderms and fishes 
during a long life, and yet remain unable to offer a satis- 
factory opinion upon any subject connected with 
zoology, for the proper treatment of which there are re- 
quired some power of generalization and some famil- 
iarity with large considerations. * * Indeed, there 
are many admirable experts in natural history, as well 
as in other studies, who never pay the slightest heed to 
questions involving wide-reaching considerations." 

The truth is, that the philosophy of any science is a 

specialty by itself. The value of the philosophic opin- 

W. B. DWIGHT. 63 

ions, therefore, of any specialist, must be determined, 
not by the value of his opinions in his specialty, but by 
his gifts and acquirements as a general philosopher. 

This tendency to dwarfing of the mind, in certain di- 
rections, by the pursuit of a special line, is sometimes 
manifested in its leading a scientist to despise other 
lines of research, even though closely related to his own 
and every way as important. This charge is not a 
"man of straw,' 7 which I am setting up that I may have 
a target. It is a sad and undoubted fact, and has its 
illustrations, though rare, among those of the most emi- 
nent scientific attainments. It is not only wrong in sen- 
timent, but, as I could easily show, were it best to bring 
forward detailed facts, it in some respects works posi- 
tive evil to science. It is a duty that all specialists owe 
to the welfare of science, in general, that they should 
courteously and sincerely interest themselves in the 
facts of kindred lines of study, at least, and cultivate a 
close sympathy with their fellow-workers in such 
branches and in their labors. 

Another evil tendency in scientific specialization I 
bring forward with some diffidence, because, while I am 
profoundly convinced of its existence and its mischief, I 
believe it to be little apprehended by scientific men. 
This evil tendency is, that certain scientific classifica- 
tions, grounded solely on the convenience of specializa- 
tion in work, may be, and are, wrongly treated as true 
classifications in scientific philosophy and in the nature 
of things. Thus is the truth perverted, and useless disa- 
greements result. The great unseemly, unnatural con- 
tentions between science and religion often spring from 
this error. 

I will briefly illustrate this point by a single example, 
not claiming, however, in this instance, to represent 
views other than my own. 

When the naturalist or physicist tells us that natural 



philosophy covers the study of material forces alone, 
that is, of forces commensurable by foot-pounds, there 
is no fault to be found with this statement in so far as it 
signifies that these are the proper working limits con- 
ventionally and universally assigned by scientists to 
this department. There are other, subtler, psycholog- 
ical forces permeating and shaping nature, which are 
conventionally gathered up into another department 
called psychology, and most effectually studied as a 
special department by themselves. Confusion would 
doubtless arise from the promiscuous mingling of these 
forces in special study. But when the naturalist asserts, 
as is often done, that this department of natural philos- 
ophy is the study of nature, and that natural forces are 
material forces; when he makes the word "natural" 
habitually synonymous with the word "material;" 
when he stubbornly refuses, in his studies of nature, 
even to recognize the inseparable interweaving effects of 
psychological forces on the material, he is endangering 
truth by carrying his provisional working classifications 
into the higher philosophy of things ; he is misleading 
younger students, and preparing a crop of needless con- 

The truth is, that the expression "natural philoso- 
phy, 1 ' a term founded on the Latin name for nature, and 
the term "physics," founded on the Greek word of iden- 
tical meaning, as now conventionally limited, mean only 
the study of the objects and material forces of nature and 
their laws ; also that the word "natural" is not really 
and essentially synonymous with the word "material," 
since natural forces include the inseparable intermingling 
of psychological and material forces. Some recognition 
of these facts by naturalists and physicists in their treat- 
ises, would aid, rather than prevent, the truth. 

I am happy, in reinforcing my views on this point, to be 
able to quote words uttered, not long ago, by one of the 


W. B. DWK.iHT. 65 

most advanced and distinguished of scientists and biolo- 
gists, in which he warns his fellow scientists, in memorable 
language, against allowing their narrow specialization in 
work to go beyond its bounds in crowding out the truths 
of a higher philosophy. These are the words of the 
learned Dr. William B. Carpenter, in his inaugural ad- 
dress before the British Association for the Advancement 
of Science, in 1872. They may be found in Appleton's 
Popular Science Monthly, vol. i., for that year. Dr. Car- 
penter says : 

" The science of modern times, however, has taken a 
more special direction. Fixing its attention exclusively 
on the order of nature, it has separated itself, wholly 
from theology, whose function it is to seek after its cause. 
In this, science is fully justified, alike by the entire in- 
dependence of its objects, and by the historical fact that 
it has been continually hampered and impeded in its 
search for the truth, as it is in nature by the restraints 
which theologians have attempted to imi3ose upon its in- 
quiries. But when science, passing beyond its own lim- 
its, assumes to take the place of theology, and sets up 
its own concep^ion of the order of nature as a sufficient 
account of its cause, it is invading a province of thought 
to which it has no claim, and not unreasonably provokes 
the hostility of those who ought to be its best friends. 
For while the deep-seated instincts of humanity, and the 
profoundest researches of philosophy, alike point to 
mind as the one and only source of power, it is the pre- 
rogative of science to demonstrate the unity of the power 
which is operating through the limitless extent and 
variety of the universe, and to trace its continuity 
through the vast series of ages that have been occupied 
in its evolution." 

I cannot leave this subject, without suggesting, in a few 
words, some of its manifest applications to the work of 
our Scientific Section. This is the first year in which we 



begin our season with the full equipment of a completed 
building, a museum of very creditable proportions, fur- 
nished with many instructive specimens, and a sufficient 
endowment from our generous founder to keep us from 
the "carking cares" of debt. It is now an excellent 
time for those here, who have any scientific tastes, and 
are willing to give some time to science, to take a new 
start in some special scientific work. It is especially an 
appropriate time for the young people of Poughkeepsie 
to start out on scientific careers, with the prospect of 
many days and years in which to learn to do accurate 
and noble work. I am very desirous of seeing such an 
uprising of scientific spirit among our young people, to 
which they may contribute a jDortion of that time which 
they now give, probably, in some excess, to athletic 
games. Were I a young man, and I feel as if I were, I 
would much prefer to acquire some of my athletic power 
in rambles and climbs of investigation, that would give 
me a growth of scientific strength, as well as of bodily 
strength, year by year. But I must also urge those in 
middle life, or even on its down-hill side, to feel encour- 
aged to take up some scientific specialty, confident of at 
least a fair measure of success, and at any rate of much 
mental up-building and enjoyment, if they take hold 
with zeal. Instances have not been rare of much effect- 
ive scientific work begun and carried on entirely in the 
later periods of a long life. I have personal knowledge 
of one, who, though a clergyman, in active charge of a 
parish, has recently acquired an honorable reputation 
as a scientific specialist ; yet he did not apply himself 
to these scientific studies until after the period of gray 
hairs. And this is a good place to say that the work of 
an unscientific profession need not necessarily prevent 
your doing good scientific work. One of the most emi- 
nent paleontologists in the United States is a lawyer in 
practice ; quite a number of physicians, and not a few 


W. B. DWIGIIT. 67 

clergymen, doubtless without injury to their other work, 
have contributed labors of value to science. 

Do you ask what scientilic specialty you shall select ? 
I reply, first, one suited to your tastes and talents ; thus, 
one having too little mathematical or mechanical skill 
for the studies of physics or astronomy, might be very 
successful as an accurate and patient observer of the 
habits of animals. Again, select a specialty well suited 
to your circumstances and vicinage ; and, yet again, as a 
third suggestion, as to the choice of a topic for study, let 
me remind you of a rule that the late Louis Agassiz laid 
down for himself on this point. He looked through 
libraries of scientific works, and where he found gaps on 
the shelves — places where works were lacking on cer- 
tain topics — those suggested to him his fields of labor. 
Such gaps are still abundant. Much of cryptogamic life 
all about us is little understood ; the minute organisms 
that probably cause many blood diseases, are yet to be 
resolved ; troops of undescribed insects run over our 
hills ; there is not yet a single respectable descriptive 
list of the spiders of a single state of our whole country. 

Do not, however, let your scientific aspirations begin 
and end with the collecting and labelling of specimens. 
While there is a scientific value in collections, carefully 
made, yet, after all, there is very little of the scientist 
about a mere collector. Scientific work requires that, 
beyond the collecting of specimens, there should be the 
studying of structure, habits, and principles of classifi- 
cation, the comparison of fauna, the noting of unusual or 
unrecorded phenomena ; and this implies the study of 
the literature of the subject. 

I will close by remarking that there is a special work 
for science, of which there is much need, for which some 
residents of this city are well fitted, and to which I 
earnestly invite their attention. Modern science can do 
little without its tools ; these tools are books, instru- 



ments, and collections ; all of these are quite costly. Do 
you need a fairly complete work on the geological fauna 
of the world ? You can get one in Germany for between 
$800 and $900. If you wish a work on shells, compre- 
hensive, and with full and correctly colored plates, you 
find it in Reeve's Iconica Concliologica ; but it costs in 
England about $1,000. A work giving a descriptive list 
of diatoms in our waters, will cost, perhaps, $40. One 
describing the rhizopods, not far from $35. Edwards' 
standard work on butterflies, in two series, will cost $30 
a series. A good library for a working entomologist will 
cost several hundred dollars. But we are absolutely 
manacled in scientific work, unless we have such books, 
if not in our private libraries, at least in those public 
ones which we can daily consult. It will not answer that 
they are in a New York or a Philadeljihia library. To 
be of much use, they must be here. Then there are 
needed instruments, such as telescopes, spectroscopes, 
microscopes, general and lithological, aquaria, and vari- 
ous physical, chemical and dissecting instruments. 

Now. the men who possess the spirit of scientific re- 
search are rarely the ones who have also the money to 
buy freely these important tools. Science cannot flour- 
ish unless the means are freely contributed by men of 

May we be cheered in our scientific work by the abun- 
dant contributions of those who are able and willing to 
help science in this special way. And do not wait, men 
of wealth, to help the cause in your wills. Imitate that 
n< >ble benefactor of Yale's scientific schools, Joseph E. 
Sheffield, who for nearly twenty years had the pleasure 
of looking daily from the portico of his mansion upon 
the great schools he had founded, partly on his own 

This costly building and these liberal endowments are 

present testimonials that our generous founder, Mr. John 


W. B. D WIGHT. 69 

Guy Vassar, has clone himself a pleasure which he can 
never regret, in doing this society a lasting service. AVe 
shall owe him a still greater debt of gratitude if his lib- 
erality shall inspire others to come to our aid by their 


Prof. W. B. D wight, chairman, presiding ; thirteen 
members and twelve guests present. 

The following is an abstract of a paper read, on the 



This is a very curious instrument, or rather it is a sim- 
ple little instrument which behaves in a very curious 
manner, apparently violating the law of gravitation. 

The instrument consists of a small disk, or wheel, 
moving freely on an axis which itself is supported by 
a ring going around the disk and axis both. On one 
side of the ring, close by one end of the axis, is a small 
projection or lug. The wheel is set going like a top, by 
a string wound around one arm of the axis, and then 
pulled as fast as possible. The wheel revolves very 
rapidly, perhaps thirty times in a second. So far there 
is nothing strange, but if one takes the thing in his 
hands and tries to turn it, it seems to be suddenly en- 
dowed with remarkable powers of resistance. There 
seems to be something uncanny about it. If now, while 
yet rapidly rotating, the lug (in the under side of which, 
by the way, there is a small round depression) be placed 
on a pointed standard, the instrument will keep itself out 
straight (horizontal) in the air and begin to revolve 
slowly around the point, always going in the opposite 
direction from that of the upper side of the disk. At 
the same time it drops very slowly — one-tenth of an inch 



or less in a second (more or less according to certain cir- 
cumstances). It seems as if it had lost its weight, or as 
if gravity no longer acted on it, but if placed on scales 
while in this condition, it will be found to weigh exactly 
as much as when not moving. 

If a string be attached to the lug, and the Gyroscope 
lifted off its support, it will go up into the air at right 
angles to the action of gravity, and still moving slowly 
horizontally around the end of the string. If it be jerked 
rapidly up, or dropped down, it continues its motion 
and position with the most perfect indifference. If an- 
other string be attached to the opposite end of the axis, 
and the thing be lifted by that, gently or roughly, it 
will instantly begin to rotate (horizontally) in the oppo- 
site direction. Everything else will be as before. 

It falls so very slowly that this motion seems to be of 
no consequence, but if it can't fall just as it pleases, it 
gets the sulks, and falls as if dead ; in fact it won't stay 
up at all. The horizontal motion also seems so small as 
to be of no account, but if it can' t do that, it won' t do 
any thing, and down it falls at once. It is the most con- 
trary piece of mechanism ever invented. 

The two questions which most naturally arise when 
this instrument is exhibited, are first, why does it main- 
tain the horizontal position without apparent support? 
and, secondly, why does it revolve around the point of 
support ? 

There are many other questions which any explanation 
must meet and answer, but these are enough for the 
present purpose, and answering them really answers all. 

Those who are familiar with the literature of the sub- 
ject are aware that many attempts have been made to 
show why the Gyroscope acts in this manner. Some of 
the explanations are absurd, while others bring in the 
higher mathematics, and therefore, can be understood 

by but few. 


C. B. WARRING. 71 

Some attribute the two effects largely to friction, but 
this explanation is disproved by the simple fact that the 
less the friction the better the instrument works. A 
writer in ApjpletorC s Encylopedia says that gravity acts 
with the motion of the disk on one side and against it 
on the other; i. e., the side which is going downward is 
accelerated by gravity, while the other side, moving up- 
ward, is retarded. Thus, there is a greater force on one 
side than on the other, and of course the Gyroscope is 
pushed around by the greater force. This is sufficiently 
disproved by placing the instrument so that it is free to 
move around its support horizontally, but not to fall any. 
It is found on trial that no matter how fast or how slow 
the disk revolves on its axis, there is no horizontal mo- 
tion whatever. Without going any further in the expla- 
nations which have been offered, it is enough to say that 
the problems involved have been regarded as offering 
very considerable difficulty, and in all school works are 
passed over without any real solution. 

The two questions which have been mentioned I shall 
endeavor to answer. 

First. Why, in apparent defiance of the law of gravita- 
tion does the Gyroscope, when supported only at one 
end, remain in a horizontal position? 

Before attempting an explanation, I ask that the fol- 
lowing self-evident principles be admitted : 

A body set in motion will continue in motion until 
something stops it. This is a part of Newton's first law 
of motion. Its best illustration for the present purpose 
is afforded by the pendulum. When the latter reaches 
the bottom of its arc it does not stop, but continues on 
its course up the opposite arc until the continued action 
of gravitation has produced a counter-force just equal to 
that caused by the fall, and then it stops. Again 
gravity draws it down, and again it rises. And so it 
goes on. Except for outside resistance — that from the 



air and from friction — it could never cease that up and 
down movement. In the first part of its swing it ac- 
cumulates energy, and in the other part spends it. The 
work and the energy for each vibration are equal. 

Another principle equally important must also be re- 
membered. A body moving in any direction is not re- 
tarded by a force, exerted at right angles to its direction. 
The pendulum illustrates this also. The rod which 
holds up the weight pulls at right angles to the direction 
of the latter, but does not affect its velocity. 

If these two principles are clearly grasped, the ex- 
planation of the Gyroscope is simple enough. 

We will suppose the ring to be laid aside, since it 
serves no other purpose than a convenience for holding 
the disk, and that the disk (or wheel) is cut away until 
only a narrow strip is left, like two arms extending in 
opposite directions from the axle. No one who has a 
Gyroscope will wish to treat it in this manner, and as to 
conceiving such a thing most people find it too difficult ; 
we will therefore change the Gyroscope for something- 
cheaper and more simple, but which will enable us to 
show the working of the same principles. We will take 
a common tee-square, or if we have none, we will nail a 
small strip of wood, say one inch square and ten inches 
long, at its middle on the end of another similar strip. 
This will make a tee-square sufficient for our purpose. 
Now hold the stem of the square in the left hand close 
to the end, and make the cross-piece vertical. Hold the 
left hand still, and let the cross-piece move up or down. 
Evidently, it will describe part of a circle. If it is held 
so that the cross is just in front of a plumb line — so that 
both can be viewed at once — it will be seen that the 
upper end of the cross moves away from the plumb to 
the right, while the lower moves away from it also, but 
to the left. If, while the left hand remained stationary, 
the cross had been allowed to drop freely, the top and 


C. B. WARRING. 73 

bottom would evidently acquire a certain horizontal* mo- 
tion, one to the right, the other to the left. If now the 
tee-square be quickly turned over, so that the top and 
bottom change places, this will not interfere with mo- 
tion previously acquired. The bottom (which has now 
become the top) will continue to move to the left, while 
that which a moment before was the top will move to 
the right, and, as the motion continues (as in case of a 
pendulum) the ends of the cross are pushed back to 
where they were, and the instrument rises to its first po- 
sition. So long as this continues the instrument will 
maintain its position, or at least it would if the change 
were instantaneous. As it is not, it falls slowdy. 

This answers the first question. 

Second. Why does the instrument rotate around the 
central point, in a direction always the opposite of that 
of the disk % 

Take the tee-square again. Let it fall again a few 
inches. As in the first experiment, the top, when the 
tee goes down, gets a motion towards the right — (if held 
as before) — but, before the instrument can be reversed, 
it must go half way, and point, instead of up and down, 
horizontally. Evidently the motion which sends the 
upper end to the right, will push the instrument (if the 
top Avas revolved towards the south) toward the north. 
Hence we have the horizontal motion. 

Another question naturally suggests itself. Why, it 
may be asked, is the horizontal motion slow in propor- 
tion as that of the disk is rapid % 

All depends upon the movement of the arms of the tee. 
If this turns slowly, it has more time to give motion to 
the ends of its arms, consequently they push it around 
faster. If the tee turns very quickly, it falls a very 
short distance, (has so little time), hence the ends of the 
arms get very little motion, and, of course, can impart 
but little. Hence a quick motion of the disk makes a 



slow horizontal movement, and a slow motion of the disk 
makes a quick horizontal movement. 

A careful consideration of the above will render it 
easy to see why the Gyroscope ceases to maintain itself 
if the lateral (or horizontal) motion is stopped, for, in 
order to maintain itself, the motion imparted to the 
ends of the tee-square, when vertical, must be expended 
in lifting. If spent in any other way, nothing is left to 
overcome gravity. Now if, as the square falls, and the 
tee has become horizontal, some obstacle should prevent 
its moving still farther to the right, its motion in this 
direction would cease, and, of course, when it arrived 
at the lowest point nothing would be left to lift the 

Another paradox is that the instrument must fall 
some in order to produce any of its peculiar phenomena ; 
but this, too, is easily explained. Everything depends 
upon the two extremities of the tee getting a motion, 
one to the right and the other to the left, when the tee 
is vertical. Now, if the tee does not fall, or if it is not 
lifted up, — for either movement will do equally well — 
there will be no such motion : only, if the first sends the 
instrument north the other will send it south. 

This, directly or impliedly, explains all the phe- 
nomena of the Gyroscope. 


Prof. W. B. I) wight, chairman, presiding ; eight mem- 
bers and twenty five guests present. 

Dr. Stevenson reported five hundred fifty-five speci- 
mens that had been received for the museum. 

Mr. John I. Piatt was elected a member. 

The following paper was read : 


My visit to this locality occurred on September 22, 
1883, and occupied but a few hours of that day. It was 


W. B. D WIGHT. 75 

occasioned by information kindly furnished to me by 
Rev. Alfred Roe, lately residing at Cornwall landing. 
He informed me that at this spot he had seen f ossifer- 
ous limestones, which he was quite sure were higher 
than the lower Silurian rocks, which are the prevalent 
ones in that- region, and that they were associated with 
a fine grained red sandstone which so closely resembles 
the New Jersey triassic sandstone that he thought it 
most probably of the same age. 

From the directions given to me for finding the spot, 
I was not able by any chart in my possession to locate 
it, since I was to travel on a railroad constructed since 
the publication of my charts. I could not therefore, 
before making the journey, ascertain what investiga- 
tions might already have been made there, nor what 
opinions as to its age had been formed. This I consider 
a fortunate circumstance, since it enabled me to reach 
an entirely unprejudiced and independent conclusion, 
founded only on my own observations. 

The locality, when reached, proved be the hematite 
mine of Mr. H. Van Duser, (station-master at that place), 
and about a quarter of a mile southwesterly from the 
Cornwall station, on the Erie railroad branch from New- 
burgh to Turners. 

After a careful survey of the positions of the strata, 
and an examination of the fossils exhibited, I became 
convinced that the limestones are of the lower Helder- 
berg group, and that the adjoining red sandstone and 
conglomerate are not of the Triassic, like the New Jersey 
red sandstone, but are the Oneida conglomerate and the 
fine grained sandstones of the Medina epoch. 

More definite statements as to the reasons for these 
conclusions, and the fossils which I found, will be post- 
poned until I have given a description of the localiry 
and statements as to the views of previous observers as 
I ascertained them after returning home. 



VanDuser's iron mine is four miles southwest from 
Cornwall landing, one quarter of a mile westerly from, 
the Cornwall station on the railroad above mentioned, 
and a half mile from Pine Hill. In this position there is 
a low northeast and southwest ridge, about ninety feet 
high above the valley, — called Cold Hill. Its eastern 
flank, and most of its summit, consists of reddish rock, 
coarse red and white conglomerates interstratified with 
fine grained red sandstones and shales ; the strike is N. 
11° E. to 15° E. (true) and the dip about 75° westerly, or 
in places more nearly vertical. 

The western portion of the summit and the west side 
of the hill is limestone in well marked beds, cropping 
out along a line extending at least one thousand feet in 
length and exhibited on each side of the road which here 
crosses the ridge. At about eight hundred feet south of 
this cross-road, the whole hill, as it lowers, becomes a 
mass of intensely red shale. Under the drift which is 
heaped up against the western side of this ridge, south 
of the cross-road, and which extends down into the val 
ley to the west, are the beds of hematite ore. The most 
conspicuous and complete exhibition of the limestone 
strata and their fossils is at a small quarry about four 
hundred feet south of the cross-road, on the west side of 
the hill a little below its summit. Here the limestone 
has a strike of N. 19° E. (true) and a dip of 85° westerly. 
Catskill shaly fossils may also be found in abundance 
in the small out-crops on the west slope to the north of 
the road. This road is the one which passes from the 
railroad station directly towards and over the Cold Hill 

This locality has in former years been observed and 
reported by Dr. William Horton, Prof. H. D. Rogers, 
and Prof. W. W. Mather. Dr. Horton made a more 
thorough examination of that region than was made by 
any one, unless in recent years. His observations are. 


W. B. D WIGHT. 77 

embodied in a minute and valuable report made to the 
~New York Legislature in 1839. He calls the red con- 
glomerate and grits above described the "millstone grit 
of Eaton," which is equivalent to the Oneida conglom- 
erate and Medina sandstone of our present system. He 
shows that the same rock extends to and lies at the base 
of Round Hill, composes a large part of Skunnemunk 
Mountain, Bellvale Mountain, and many other localities 
in this valley ; also, that Pine Hill, a three-mile ridge 
near and parallel to Cold Hill, is of the same red rock, 
which he says in many places cannot be distinguished 
in appearance from the New Jersey red sandstone. He 
remarks : "Its structure varies, in different layers, from 
tine-grained, nearly compact, to that which is composed 
of pebbles the size of lilberts. Most of the layers are 
very hard, some are sandy, and others even slaty. Its 
-colors are white gray, grayish and reddish white, and 
brick red." (Horton's rep., 1839, pp. 152, 153.) 

He adds : "The hematite mine of Mr. Thomas Town- 
send" (now H. Van Duser's) "is connected with this 
rock two and one-half miles west of Canterbury." 
There are no fossils, he says, in the red rock. 

In describing the other features of this locality, he con- 
tinues : "A limestone containing an abundance of fossils 
is found in the town of Cornwall, two and a half miles 
west of the village of Canterbury, on the road to Salis- 
bury Mills. Its apparent position is between the slate 
and grit rock, or millstone grit of Professor Eaton. Its 
dip is to the southeast at a high inclination. Mixed in 
between the layers of this rock is the hematite or limon- 
ite ore on the land of Mr. Thomas Townsend. Where 
the ore exists the limestone is all more or less decom- 
posed, some parts of the rock and its fossils retaining 
their form, they but have become white or yellow, and 
soft ; other parts, even the nodules of hornstone are so 
far changed that they have fallen to fine powder mixed 



up with the ore in the same condition. The limestone 
makes but indifferent lime. The distinctive fossil of 
this rock is the encrinite, although it contains many 
others." (Horton's Kept., 1839, p. 151.) 

Prof. Mather, (Geol. Kept, first district of N. Y., p. 
362,) says of the red sandstone of Cold Hill, "Prof. H. 
D. Rogers is doubtful about the geological age of this 
formation, but he inclines to the opinion that it is equiva- 
lent to the sandstones of the middle secondary, (new red 
or triassic sandstone) which are associated with the trap- 
pea n rocks in New Jersey and New York. The observa- 
tions on the geological survey of the first district of New 
York do not quite demonstrate the age of this rock, but 
if the red slates and grits on the east side of the Hudson, 
which are the same as those of Pine Hill in Cornwall, 
Orange county, are the same as those of the Bellvale 
mountain near Long Pond, and the Green Pond moun- 
tain, which they strongly resemble, and of which they 
appear to be an extension, they are older than the mid- 
dle secondary sandstone (new red sandstone) of New 
Jersey, to which Prof. Rogers refers them, and are 
probably the geological equivalents of, and, in fact, iden- 
tical with, the red rocks overlying and interstratified 
with the upper part of the Shawangunk grit. 

At Townsend's iron mine in Cornwall, the decomposed 
"delthyris shales," (Catskill shaly limestone,) "with 
their characteristic fossils, (one of the members of the 
Helderberg division,) are seen, and the red slates of the 
formation under consideration adjacent, and a coarse 
pebble rock, sometimes white, sometimes red like the 
Shawangunk grit, also near at hand in a nearly vertical 
position. This locality is a mile or two northeast of the 
the northeast point of Skunnemunk mountain in Corn- 
wall, Orange county." 

Here Prof. Mather speaks of the uniform, nearly ver- 
tical dip of all these red and grit rocks in the counties of 


W. B. DWIGIIT. 79 

Orange, Dutchess, Columbia, &c, after which he adds, 
' ' The association of the Helderberg limestone with these 
red slates, grits, and red and white conglomerates, may 
be considered as very strong evidence, almost decisive, 
that these red rocks are the equivalents of those of the 
west side of the Shawangnnk mountain, and of the cen- 
tral portions of New York (the Medina sandstones, 
Oneida conglomerate, Onondaga salt group and grey 
sandstone,) instead of the red sandstones of the middle 
secondary of Rockland county and New Jersey." He 
also says, (p. 365,) " Limestone was frequently seen as- 
sociated with these red rocks in the valley of Smith's 
Clove in Orange county, and in the counties on the east 
of the Hudson River ; but no fossil remains were ob- 
served in it at any other place than Townsend's iron 
mine in Cornwall." 

Prof. Mather (pp. 350 and 351) quotes, and apparently 
adopts, Horton's description already given of the Town- 
send mine at Cornwall, finding no fault with the state- 
ment about the position of the ore. Again quoting Hor- 
toh and speaking of the same mine Prof. Mather says, 
"For years past this ore has been considerably used, and 
although a lean ore, it makes excellent iron. It is mostly 
in powder or very small fragments, mixed with balls and 
pieces of the hematite of a few pounds weight. It lies in 
limestone rock and between the limestone and the grit 
rock. * * * This stratum of limestone and hematite 
can be traced across this town into Monroe, until we 
reach the beds of magnetic oxide. It is seen a quarter 
of a mile north of the Clove mine, and at many inter- 
mediate places between this and the Townsend mine in 
Cornwall. The distance between these extreme points is 
full ten miles." (p. 490.) 

Mather considers this ore bed as an anomaly in its 
geological situation, as being connected with Helder- 
berg limestones with its fossils, and he doubts whether 



Dr. Horton is right in supposing this limestone continu- 
ous to Monroe. He thinks that the geological relations 
of the limestone at Warwick and Monroe, are rather 
those of the calciferous, and that its whole aspect is like 
that of the Newburgh limestone. I have reason, from 
my own personal observations in the region, to believe 
that he is right in these latter opinions. For example, on 
Andrew Thompson's farm, two miles south of Salisbury 
Mills, what appears to be a combination of this lime- 
stone lies against the gneiss of Woodcock Hill, unless 
there might be a belt of Potsdam quartzite between, of 
which, on account of intervening soil, I was not able to 
make myself certain. 

In the light of more recent experience, however, there 
is nothing anomalous in the occurrence of iron ore 
beds in connection with lower Helderberg limestones. 
For instance, in the Report on Pike Co., Penn. Geol. 
Survey, such beds are reported as having been formed 
in fossiliferous Helderbeg limestone by decomposition 
of overlying Oriskany beds. 

I will now give a more particular description of the 
strata in Cold Hill and their fossils, as I made them out 
in my short visit, during which it was impossible to 
make any very thorough examination. 

The red sandstones and conglomerates on the east side 
and summit had generally a strike of about N. 11° to 16° 
E. (true) and a dip of about 75° W. with local variations. 
I do not find any memorandum of the thickness of this 
stratum as far as visible. Its eastern border is buried in 
soil — and all the rocks visible in the fields and hills' to the 
eastward are Hudson River shales. 

In the little quarry above mentioned near the top, on 
the western side several hundred feet south of the cross- 
road, the limestone crops out in a ledge conformable to 
the red sandstone, though I did not find the line of junc- 
tion. The inner (eastern) portion of this is evidently 


W. B. DWIGHT. 81 

the water-lime group, and while about four feet of this 
formation in thickness is visible, its true width is not- 
apparent, a portion being concealed under the soil to the 
east. The inner layers showed no fossils, but exhibited 
the fine grain and drab color so common in the group. 
The outer (western) layers, for a thickness of two feet, 
show the characteristic Leperditia alia in abundance, 
with some other fossils, but no tentaculites. 

Immediately outside of these layers, and resting con- 
formably upon them, there are visible about twelve feet 
of limestone of a higher group ; but the actual thickness, 
winch is considerably greater, cannot be ascertained, as 
it is buried in the drift which envelops the hill. Its most 
striking feature is the presence, in certain layers, of a 
profusion of sharply defined encrinal columns. - Ortho- 
cerata and many brachiopods, and corals are also pres- 
ent. The relative position of this rock, and its fossils, 
appear to characterize it as the lower pentamerus. 

In my hasty examination, I did not discover any higher 
group of the lower Helderberg, at this quarry, though 
I have no doubt that the Catskill shaly limestone exists 
there, and if it does not crop out, could easily be uncov- 
ered. But on the same side of the hill several hundred 
feet northerly to the north of the road, there are numer- 
ous small outcrops of Catskill shaly with its characteris- 
tic fossils, pushing up through the soil. 

About five hundred feet southerly from the quarry, as 
the hill begins to break down in a gentle slope, there 
is a heavy outcrop on its western side, of a very red, 
highly ferruginous, exceedingly friable shale, apparently 
having the same strike and dip as the rocks previously 
mentioned. These may be a portion of the Hudson River 
shales, which everywhere surround these ridges, and 
which in places exceptionally are red. But as they dif- 
fer in appearance somewhat from the red Hudson River 
shales, which I have seen elsewhere, and for other rea- 



sons, I am strongly impressed with the belief that they 
may be a layer of the Clinton group — overlying the red 
conglomerate and sandstones. I was not able to search 
them for fossiliferous evidence. 

There appears to be no foundation whatever for the 
statements put forth by Horton and Mather, that iron 
ore is here intercalated between the layers of limestone. 
There is no trace of any ore in the limestone, but the 
hematite, as is usual in such cases, lies in loose masses on 
top of the rock, under and mingled with the drift in the 
vallejr and against the western side of the hill. It has 
evidently been derived, as in many other cases, from the 
mutual decomposition of the adjoining layers of lime- 
stone and the highly ferruginous shales which I have 
just described. 

I now append a list of such fossils as I was able to 
gather and examine ; but it is necessarily a very imper- 
fect representation of the fauna existing in the rocks of 
the locality. It may be regarded only as a preliminary 
statement. I hope to make a more thorough investiga- 
tion of the fossils represented in these interesting lime- 
stones hereafter. The bryozoans are especially abun- 
dant, and worthy of study. 

The only fossils mentioned by previous explorers as far 
as I can ascertain, are "encrinites" by Horton, and "the 
characteristic fossils of the delthyris shaly," by Mather. 

I. Waterlime group, Tentaculite division. 

Leperditia alta, abundant. 

Atrypa plicata, one specimen. 

Stromatocerium ? numerous specimens, two inches in diameter and less-. 

No tentaculites were found. 

II. Lower Pentamerus. 

Pentamerus galeatus, one specimen. 

Hemipromites radiata, several. 

Strophodonta variastriata, two. 

Atrypa reticularis, several. 

Spirifer perlamellosa. 


W. E. DWIGHT. 83 

Tentaculites (elongatus?) several. 

Favosites helderbergiee (?) one. 

Favosites small columns, sp: ? 

Cyathophylloid coral, sp. ? 

Orthoceras longicameratum, several. 

Bryozoans in variety, fenestella, stictopora, &c, abundant. 

Stromatocerium ? 

III. Catskill Shaly Limestone. 

Strophomena rhomboidalis, several. 
Hemipronites radiata. 
Spirifer perlamellosa. 

I do not find the Spirifer macropleura mentioned in 
my memoranda, but am under the impression that I saw 
fragments of it, and have no doubt that it can be found 


Prof. W. B. Dwight, chairman, presiding ; ten mem- 
bers and thirty guests present. 

Dr. Stevenson presented to the museum a fine speci- 
men of the "man-eater" or white-shark, the only speci- 
men of this species, so far as known, to be found in this 

The following paper was read : 

Carcharodon Car char ias — "man-eater" shark. 



Carcharodon carcharias, (Jordan & G^bert) 
eater shark ;" At wood's shark. 

[Syn. — Squalus carcharias (Linnreus) : Carcharias 
lamia (Cuvier) : Carcharias verus (Agassiz) : Carcharo- 
don rondeletii (Miiller & Henle) : Carcharias rondeletii 
(Gunther) : Carcharondon capensis (Smith) : Carcha- 
rias atiooodi (Storer) : and Carcharodon atwoodi (Gill).] 



The various descriptions given of this species are so 
very imperfect and confusing that it is safe to say with 
Prof. D. S. Jordan, in a recent letter to me, " there is no 
good description of the animal extant. The earlier wri- 
ters spoke of it without knowing it, and all had more or 
less confusion between it and C. lamia.'" 

This shark was taken by C. B. Herrick, Esq., and my- 
self on the fourth day of August, 1883, about two miles 
off Great Point light-house, Nantucket, Mass. 

The experienced fishermen of Nantucket, with all their 
opportunities to investigate this interesting family of 
fishes, were ignorant of the correct name of this speci- 
men, though they regarded it as a rare species in the 
waters of that vicinty. It, therefore, became to me an 
object of special interest and study. 


Length from snout to the end of caudal fin (straight line), 10 feet 

Length from snout to the pectoral fins (straight line) 30 inches 

Length from snout to the ventral fins 67J^ inches 

Length from snout to the anal fins 86 inches 

Length from snout to the first dorsal fin 44 inches 

Length from snout to the second dorsal fin 82^2 inches 

Length from snout to the caudal fin 98 inches 

Length of pectorals, at base 8 inches 

Length of first dorsal, at base 12 inches 

Length of second dorsal, at base 1% inches 


Length of anal, at base 1% 

Circumference, anterior to branchial openings 56 

Circumference, posterior to branchial openings 58 

Circumference, posterior to pectorals 58 

Circumference, anterior to first dorsal 53 inches 

Circumference, posterior to first dorsal 48 inches 

Circumference, anterior to ventrals 42 inches 

Circumference, posterior to ventrals 33 inches 

Circumference, anterior to anal 22 inches 

Circumference, of caudal peduncle anterior to caudal fins, 12 inches 




The color is drab or ashy-gray, lighter on the abdo- 
men ; darker or leaden-gray towards the tail and on the 
borders of the pectoral and caudal fins. 


The head is short, with snout three inches above the 
mouth, projecting four and three-quarter inches beyond 
the jaws. The body is stout, tapering gradually from 
the pectorals to the tail. The abdomen is somewhat 
pendant anterior to the ventrals. 


When rubbed in a forward direction the surface feels 
like minute sharp points or barbules, which, under a lens, 
are seen to be calcified, imbricated papillae or shagreen, 
about one one-hundred-twentieth of an inch in diame- 
ter, retrorse, and arranged in irregular rows. These pa- 
pillae have their free ends serrated, which give to each 
papilla three unequal teeth-like points, of which the 
middle one is generally the longest and sharpest. 


The lateral lines of the two sides, united by a trans- 
verse line nine and one-half inches from the end of the 
snout, are distinctly marked on each side of the body 
from the snout to the caudal peduncle, where they dis- 
appear in the keel. The snout is covered with pin-hole 
like mucus openings, which are more numerous around 
the nasal apertures, and form five irregular rows on 
either side of the median line of the head, above the 


The eyes are orbicular, without nictitating membranes, 
one and one-half inches in diameter, seven inches from 



the end of the snout, three and one-half inches above the 
mouth, with an inter-orbicular space of nine inches. The 
irides are dark brown, and the pupillary openings are 
large and black. 


The nostrils are of irregular form, one and one-half 
inches long and half an inch wide, extending from two 
and a quarter inches in front of the lower level of the 
orbits downward and inward. They are not confluent 
with the mouth, and have a flap-like fold on their exter- 
nal margin. 


The mouth is large, inferior, and without labial folds. 
The jaws, narrower at the inner angle, have the shape of 
a horse-shoe. The upper jaw is ten inches long on the 
dental margin, seven and one-half inches wide in front, 
(at the fourth tooth), and six and one-half inches wide 
behind at the inner angle. The lower jaw is nine inches 
long, six and one-half inches wide in front (at the fourth 
tooth), and Ave and one-half inches wide behind at the 
last tooth. 


R 12 or 13 T,13 — 2 5 or 2 6 
TT • -^ TT — 2 2 • 

The teeth in both jaws have the form of an isosceles 
triangle, compressed, with the inner surface slightly 
convex, and the margins rectilinear and markedly ser- 
rated. They have no basal cusps, and stand a little ob- 
liquely inward. The upper are larger than the lower 
teeth, and, in both jaws, the largest teeth are in front. 
In the upper jaw the front teeth measure seven-eighths 
of an inch at the base, and one and one-quarter inches 
on each side, and in the lower jaw live-eighths of an inch 
at the base, and seven-eighths of an inch on each side. 





One row of teeth only is fully visible in either jaw, 
though a second row is partially exposed as it rises 
above the enclosing tissues, while four rows in the 
upper and five rows in the lower jaw, overlying each 
other — the teeth in each succeeding inferior row being 
smaller and less dense — are entirely concealed in the 
deep groove of the mucous membrane of the jaws. 
These concealed rows of rudimentary or non-functional 
teeth, when exposed by cutting away the enclosing tis- 
sues, reveal, even in the smallest and most rudimentary 
stage, the same triangular form, with serrated margins, 
as is seen in the fully developed teeth. 


The pectoral fins, twenty-four inches in length, are 
large, low, falcate, with anterior margin entire, convex. 
The posterior margin is twenty inches long, with a large 
lobe at the base. The pectorals are thirty inches from 
the end of the snout (straight horizontal line), and have 
a basal insertion of eight inches, with an antero-pos- 
terior diameter, across the basal lobe, of thirteen inches. 

The first dorsal fin is forty-four inches behind the 
snout, and six inches behind the pectorals. It is large, 
triangular, ten inches high, with a basal insertion of 
twelve inches. Its anterior margin is entire, convex ; 
its posterior margin is somewhat repand, with a trian- 
gular lobe at the base. 

The second dorsal fin, twenty-six and one-half inches 
behind the first dorsal, and fourteen inches in front of 
the caudal, is a small, somewhat rhomboidal-shaped fin, 
only two inches high, with an obliquely truncated end, 
and one and one-half inches wide at base. 

The ventral fins, twenty-nine and one-half inches 
behind the pectorals, are abdominal, horizontal, fan- 
shaped, and of medium size. No claspers. 


The anal fin, two inches behind the second dorsal, is 
two inches high, one and one-half inches wide at the 
base, and two inches wide at the free extremity. 

The caudal fin is large and strong, lunate. The two 
lobes are nearly of equal size, the upper lobe being- 
twenty -three inches long, and the lower lobe eighteen 
inches. The upper lobe has a notch in the posterior 
edge near its end. The width of the caudal fin, in the 
median line, is eight inches. Greatest width of lobes, 
ten inches. Distance between extremities of the two 
lobes is thirty inches. 

The caudal peduncle is ten inches long and carinated 
on both sides ; the keel is thirteen inches long, ex- 
tending an inch in front of the anal fin. There is no pit 
at the root of the caudal. 


The gill-openings, five in number, are lateral, anterior 
to, and their lower extremities on a level with, the base 
of the pectorals. The first and second are thirteen 
inches long, and the other three are eleven and one-half 
inches long. The last branchia on either side is close to 
the base of the pectoral, and overlaps it an inch or one- 
half of the branchial width. Gill-openings occupy a 
horizontal space of nine and one : half inches above and 
seven inches below. The inter-branchial space, sub-tho- 
racic, is fifteen inches. No spiracles. 

In making a diagnosis of the species here represented, 
I shall follow the general analysis given by Professors 
Jordan and Gilbert, in their Synopsis of the Fishes of 
North America, published under the direction of the 
Smithsonian Institution in 1882. 

There are thirteen families in the order Squall (the 
sharks ;) and, by analysis, it is found that the existence 
of an anal fin, two dorsal fins without spines — the first 
dorsal being anterior to the ventrals, — a caudal fin 



lunate and a caudal peduncle carinated, gill-openings of 
moderate size, and well-developed teeth, are the charac- 
teristics which place this shark in the family Lamnidoe 
(the porbeagles), which is thus described : l ' Large size, 
with body stout, the mouth wide, with large teeth, and 
the caudal fin lunate, the two lobes being not very 
unequal, the upper lobes strongly bent upward ; caudal 
peduncle with a keel on each side ; gill-openings wide, 
all in front of the pectorals, entirely lateral, not ex- 
tending under the throat ; first dorsal large ; pectorals 
large ; ventrals moderate ; second dorsal and anal very 
small ; pit at the root of the caudal ; spiracles minute or 
absent ; genera, three ; species, six or more. Those in- 
habiting our coasts have been much confused by 

The specimen which is the subject of this study differs 
from this family description (1) in the position of the 
last branchia3, which partly overlap the pectorals, and 
(2) in the absence of a pit at the root of the caudal. 

This family — Lamnidoe — includes three genera, viz : — 

i Isurus ; 
< Lamia; 
[ Carcharodon. 
These are distinguished from each other by the form and 
construction of their teeth. 

The genus Isurus has two species, (1) /. dekayi (J. 
& Gr.) — mackerel shark. [Syn. — Lamna punctata (De 
Kay), Isuropsis de kayi (Gill), Lamna glauca (Gun- 
ther) — ]. (2) /. spallanzanii (Raf.) [Syn. — Lamna 
punctata (Storer) — ]. Jordan and Gilbert say there is no 
evidence that this last named species is found in our 

Both species of the genus Isurus have teeth, "long, 
lanceolate, with sharp, entire cutting edges and no basal 
cusps," which excludes the specimen before us from this 
genus ; it is also excluded from the genus Lamia, because 



its only known species — L. cornubica — has teeth "tri- 
angular, pointed, entire, each one with a small cusp on 
each side at base." This specimen is therefore not a 
"mackerel shark." There remains for examination of 
the family — Lamnidce. only the genus Carcharodon — 
' ' man-eater ' ' sharks. 

"This genus differs from Isurus chiefly in -the denti- 
tion, the teeth being large, flat, erect, regularly triangular, 
their edges serrated ; first dorsal moderate, nearly mid- 
way between pectorals and ventrals ; second dorsal and 
anal very small ; pectoral large, ventrals moderate, caudal 
peduncle rather stout ; spiracles minute or absent." 

The generic characteristics thus given so well agree 
with the specimen under examination, that I conclude 
it is, without doubt, a Carcharodon ; and it only re- 
mains to determine its identity with the only known 
species of this genus, viz., Carcharodon carcharias (J. 
& G.), "man-eater" shark, which is thus described: 

"Body stout — depth, 5|- in total length; mouth very 
large ; both jaws with five rows of large, triangular, ser- 
rated teeth — those in lower jaw narrower — about ff in 
each jaw ; first dorsal somewhat behind pectorals ; cau- 
dal fin large and strong — color, leaden gray ; tips and 
edges of pectorals black." (Storer) — quoted from Jor- 
dan & Gilbert, who add : ' ' one of the largest of the 
sharks, reaching a length of fifteen feet and the weight 
of nearly a ton. It is found in all temperate and tropi- 
cal seas, but is rare on our coasts. American specimens 
have been named C. atwoodi, but are probably not dis- 
tinct from the European." 

At the time this was written Professor Jordan had not, 
as he informs me, seen this species, but quoted from 
Storer, who had mistaken the genus. Since then, how- 
ever, Professor Jordan has seen a specimen thirty-two 
feet long, taken at Monterey Bay, California, the jaws 
of which only were saved. 



The above description, although incomplete, covers so 
many of the principal characteristics of my specimen 
that I regard it as identical with the species described, 
and therefore name it Car char odon cartfiarias, — " man- 
eater" shark. 

This diagnosis has been confirmed by my friend, Prof. 
William B. Dwight, of Vassar College, who has exam- 
ined the specimen, and also by the distinguished natu- 
ralist, Prof. David S. Jordan, to whom photographs and 
measurements of the fish were sent for study, and whose 
valuable assistance I hereby acknowledge. 

There are, however, as before stated, two important 
discrepancies between the description given by authors 
and this specimen, viz., (1) the absence in this shark of 
the caudal pit, which authorities state belong to all 
lamnoid sharks, and (2) the position of the last bran- 
chiae which, in this specimen, partly overlap the front of 
the pectorals, but which, according to authorities, 
should be entirely in front of the pectorals. Professor 
Jordan says he cannot now explain these differences, 
which "may change with age." 

The expression, as published by Storer and quoted 
by subsequent writers, "five rows" of • teeth is an un- 
happy one, for it includes the non-functional or rudi- 
mentary teeth which are partly or wholly concealed in 
the groove of the jaws, and which can only be seen when 
the enclosing tissues are cut away. 

The specimen which gives me the data for this report 
I have placed in the museum of Vassar Brothers Insti- 
tute in this city, and since it is, so far as I know, the only 
specimen of this species preserved in this country, it is 
hoped that it may prove useful in helping to clear away 
the confusion which has so long existed relative to the 
lamnoid sharks. 

Note. — As showing the importance of the specimen above described, 
I subjoin the following letter from the distinguished zoologist of the 



British museum, — Dr. Gunther, — to whom a description, with photo- 
graphs of the shark, was sent. — W. G. S. 


Cromivell Road, South Kensington, S. W., 15.5. '84. 

Dear Sir : I am truly obliged to you for your kind- 
ness in sending me the photographs of the shark which, 
with your description, leave no doubt that you have had 
the extraordinary good fortune of obtaining a Car chart as 
rondeletii. It is one of the most interesting discoveries 
in Atlantic ichthyology. Although I have been endeav- 
oring for years to get a specimen, I have been unsuccess- 
ful hitherto. 

Believe me, yours very truly, 

A. Gunther. 

Dr. W. G. Stevenson. 

On the same evening the. following description was 
given of 

Odontaspis littoralis — sand-shark ; shovel-nose. 


Odontaspis littoralis — (Mitch.) J & G. 

[Syn. — Squalus americanus (Mitch). Squalus littoralis 
(Mitch). Carcharias griseus (Storer). Odontaspis ameri- 
canus (Gunther). Eugomphodus littoralis (Gill). Car- 
charias littoralis (De Kay) — ]. 

The second shark which I have the pleasure of present- 
ing to the Institute this evening was also taken, by Mr. 
C. B. Herrick and myself, on the fourth day of August, 
1883, about two miles off Great Point light-house, Nan- 
tucket, Mass. 

Its perfect skin and large size, for this species, make it 
desirable to place its description on record. 

It is a common species in American waters — at least 
along the Atlantic sea-board — and is known as 

Odontaspis littoralis, — Sand-shark. 



This is the only species found along our coasts belong- 
ing to the family Odontaspididcr, and is the species that 
was partially described by DeKay, under the name of 
Carcharias littoralis. 

DeKay speaks of this species as having a length of 
from five to eight feet, while Jordan and Gilbert in their 
Synopsis of the Fishes of North America refer to it as 
from four to six feet in length. 

This specimen, when taken from the water, measured 
eight feet seven inches in length, and may, therefore, 
be regarded as of full size. 


Length from snout to the end of caudal fin (straight 

line) 8 feet 7 inches 

Length from snout to the pectoral fins 26 inches 

Length from snout to the first dorsal fin 48 inches 

Length from snout to the second dorsal fin 71 inches 

Circumference, anterior to pectoral fins 48 inches 

Circumference, posterior to pectoral fins 49 inches 

Circumference, anterior to first dorsal fin 41% inches 

Circumference, anterior to ventral fins 38% inches 

Circumference, anterior to anal fin 19 inches 

Circumference, of caudal peduncle at base of caudal 

fin 11% inches 


The color is a light-yellowish-brown. 


The head is short and somewhat flattened on top. The 
snout is one inch and a half above the mouth, projecting 
four inches beyond the jaws. 

The body is covered with rough tubercle-like scales or 
papillre, which give to the surface an appearance and a 
feeling as if sand had been sprinkled evenly over it. 




The lateral lines, united by a transverse line posterior 
to the orbits, are distinctly marked on each side of the 
body from the snout to the tail. Pin-hole like mucus 
openings thickly cover the snout and head and to a less 
extent the entire surface of the body. 


The eyes, without nictitating membrane, are small, 
seven and one half inches from the end of the snout, three 
inches above the mouth, with an inter-orbicular space of 
seven inches. 

Irides silvery -gray, pupillary openings small and black. 


The nostrils, midway between the orbits and the end 
of the snout, are oblong and not confluent with the 


The mouth is inferior, wide, with the shape of the let- 
ter U. The upper jaw is eight and one half inches long, 
on the dental margin, and eight inches wide ; the lower 
jaw is six and one half inches long and seven inches 

Dental formula- Rff L - 2 -H°P- 4 = ^ T °f". 

The teeth in front are long, subulate and curved in- 
ward, with basal cusps. The first tooth on either side of 
the median line in the lower jaw, and the fourth tooth 
on either side in the upper jaw are very small, — project- 
ing sharp points, — without basal cusps. 

In the posterior part of each jaw there are six visible 
rows of teeth, but, the last ten of each row are so small 
and so crowded together, that they appear like a single 
tuberculated tooth. 

In front two full rows of teeth in each jaw are fully 


W. <r. STEVENSON. 95 

exposed; and a third row is partially exposed as it rises 
above the enclosing tissues, of the deep groove in either 
jaw, which conceal several other rows of rudimentary 


The pectorals, twenty-six inches behind the snout, are 
of medium size, with a basal diameter of six and one 
half inches, and a posterior basal lobe two and one half 
inches in anterio-posterior diameter. Their general form 
is triangular or sub-falcate, with an anterior margin en- 
tire, convex, and thirteen inches long, and a posterior 
margin somewhat repand and ten and one half inches 

The first dorsal, forty-eight inches from the snout, is 
live and one half inches high and eight inches long at 

The second dorsal, fifteen inches behind the first dor- 
sal, is the same form and height as the first dorsal, with 
a nasal diameter of six and one half inches. 

The ventrals are of medium size and anterior to the 
second dorsal. 

The anal is nearly underneath the second dorsal, and 
is of the same size and form. 

The caudal fin has an upper lobe, twenty- three inches 
long, notched near its top on the posterior border, and a 
small lobe at the base. 

The caudal peduncle has no keel. 


The gill-openings, five in number, are lateral, of mode- 
rate size, and entirely anterior to the pectorals. The 
third or middle branchia is eight and one half inches 
long, and the other four are each seven and one half 
inches long. 

The inter-branchial space, sub-thoracic, is fourteen 




Prof. W. B. Dwight, chairman, presiding ; eight mem- 
bers and seven guests present. 
The following report was read : 



The Institute seeks, through its Scientific Section, to 
"promote useful knowledge in the departments of nat- 
ural, physical and biological science," not only by in- 
vestigating and discussing subjects appertaining thereto, 
but by collecting, preserving, naming and classifying 
such specimens as illustrate the biological and physical 
history of this vicinity. 

Already our museum contains many representatives of 
our fauna, and a complete collection of our flora, — all 
well preserved, labeled and displayed. 

It is my purpose to report from time to time the names 
of the specimens in our possession that belong to our 
local fauna and flora, and the hope is expressed that 
such reports may not only prove interesting items of in- 
formation to our members and to the public, but that 
they may encourage many to contribute to our museum 
until our local natural history collection is complete. 

To-night it is my pleasure to report the specimens we 
have received during the past year belonging to our local 
mammalian fauna. 

Order : Carnivora. Family : Felidce. 

Lynx rufus — American wildcat. 

Two specimens, one old and one young, were taken at 
Mercer Mountain, Columbia County. This species is 
practically extinct in this part of the State. 


w. a. STEVENSON. 97 

Vulpes vulgaris — red fox. 
Two specimens, one old and one young. 

Family : Mustelidce. 

Putorius vulgaris (Mustela pusilla) — least weasel. 
One specimen. 

Putorius erminea — common weasel, stoat, or ermine. 
Under this name Dr. Cones includes the various species 
described by different authors as Putorius noveboran- 
censis, P. fusca, P. ricliardsoni, P. kanei, and P. ci- 
cognani. Between these various species Dr. Coues, 
whose authority I accept, says there is no dividing line. 
He regards the question of size and of color as entirely 
within the limits of individual variation under external 
conditions, and not of themselves indicative of specific 

Of the six specimens in our collection, four are much 
smaller than the other two, and by most authors have 
been described as a distinct species known as P. cicog- 
nanii. Dr. Coues, however, denies their specific differ- 
ences. Of the four smaller ones, two are in their sum- 
mer or brown pelage, and two are in their winter or 
white pelage, which has a slight yellowish tinge on the 

The two larger specimens are the same as DeKay de- 
scribed under the name of P. nomborancensis, — "New 
York ermine, 11 or "white weasel' 1 — which, he says, he 
" had never seen in its summer dress" of brown. 

The two specimens in our collection are interesting be- 
cause, though taken in summer — one in August and one 
in early September — they have not a single brown hair 
on their bodies. The upper portions of the head and 
neck are white, and the rest of their bodies is of the 
characteristic "sulphury-yellow" color. 

Putorius vison — common mink. 

Three specimens. 


Mephitis mephitica — common skunk. 

Three specimens, one of which is entirely black, ex- 
cepting a small white occipital patch, and the end of the 

Family : Procyonidce. 

Procyon lotor. — raccoon. 
One specimen. 

Order : Ckiroptera. Family : Vespertilionidce . 

Vespertilio subulatus — little brown bat. 

Two specimens. 
Vespertilio noctivagans — silver black bat. 

One specimen. 
De Kay says the history of this species is incomplete ; 
the largest size attained as reported by him is ten or 
eleven inches across the wings ; the specimen in our 
collection measures seventeen inches. 

Order : Insectivora. Family : Talpidce. 

Scalops aquations — common mole. 

One specimen. 
Condylura cristata — star-nosed mole. 

One specimen. 

Family : Soricidce. 

Sorex platyrhinus — common shrew. 
One specimen. 

Order: Rodentia. Family: Sciuridce. 

Sciuropterus volucella — common flying-squirrel. 

Two specimens. 
& niger — fox-squirrel. 

Two specimens from northwestern New York (?) no 
longer found in this vicinity. 

8. Carolinensis — gray-squirrel and black-squirrel. 

Two specimens of the gray variety, one specimen of 



the black variety, and one specimen of the rare-white 
or albino variety of this species. 
S. hudsonius — red-squirrel. 

Six specimens, three old and three young. 
Tamias striatus — chipmunk, or ground-squirrel. 

Three specimens. 
SpermopMlus franklini — gray gopher. ■ 

Five specimens, one old, four young. 
Arctomys monx — woodchuck or ground-hog. 

Three specimens, one old, two young. 

Family : Zapodidce. 

Zapus hudsonius — jumping mice. 
Two specimens. 

Family : Muridce. 

Mus decumanus — brown or Norway rat. 

One specimen. 
M. mus cuius — common house mouse. 

One specimen ; also, one specimen of the albino vari- 
ety, and a specimen of a hybrid between common house 
mouse and albino. 
Hesperomys leucopus — deer mouse. 

Two specimens. 
Fiber zibethicus — muskrat. 

Two specimens, one of which is an albino. 
Armcola riparius— American meadow mouse. 

One specimen. 

Family : Spalacopodidce. 

Eritliizon dorsatus — white-haired porcupine. 

Two specimens, male and female, very fine and large. 


Prof. W. B. Dwight, chairman, presiding ; fifteen mem- 
bers and guests present. 



The following is an abstract of a paper read, on the 



In geological times as late as the miocene and probably 
the early pliocene, the climate in very high latitudes was 
about the same as now in our southern states, as is shown 
by abundant remains of animals and plants identical in 
species with those of low latitudes. 

This condition is so unlike present polar climate that 
it presents a problem of the greatest interest. 

To most persons — and to all writers hitherto — the prob- 
lem has been summed up in one word, warmth. But 
there are two other problems involved. Was the climate 
uniform, or at least approximately so, as now in the trop- 
ics % Was the supply of actinic influence subject to ex- 
tremes ? Or, to put the two questions in another form, — 
do the plants and animals that lived near the pole in 
those remote times, indicate the presence or the absence 
of long days and nights such as those of the present 
period '. 

I assume that plants and animals were affected by heat 
and cold, light and darkness, then as now. 

If the axis of the earth was inclined at that time 23^° 
the days and nights must have varied as they do at pres- 
ent. Hence in Spitsbergen, lat. 80°, and at Captain 
Xaire's winter quarters, 81°-40' the mid-winter night 
must have been four months long. Four months of un- 
interrupted day would tend to raise the temperature 
very high, while four months with no heat at all from 
the sun, would make excessive cold. These extremes 
were undoubtedly greatly modified by the capacity of 
water to take up and give out heat, and the winters made 
milder by the inflow of ocean currents. The same ca- 
pacity, however, exists now, and ocean currents continue 


C. B. WAHHINi;. 101 

to flow, yet in Spitsbergen — one of a group of not large 
islands surrounded by a broad expanse of water — the 
cold is very intense. The capacity of water for heat 
has not changed, — did the Gulf Stream, or the Japan 
Current, in geological times have a greater flow than at 
present \ The effective cause of these streams is the 
difference between high and low latitude temperature. 
If this difference was nothing, there would be no cur- 
rents, and the less the difference the less the currents. 
In geological times the difference must have been small 
for the same plants and animals lived from the tropics, 
if not from the equator, to as near the pole as has been 
explored. Hence the flow of these currents must, to say 
the least, have been no greater than at present. 

But it may be said that some change in the arrange- 
ment of the land caused a change in the direction of the 
current. It is now generally admitted that the outlines 
of the continents are the same as they were from the be- 
ginning. If this is true, there has been no great change 
in the direction of the ocean currents. Moreover, the 
eastward trend of the Gulf Stream is due to the rotation 
of the earth on its axis ; hence, it would not, in any 
case, flow up Baffin's Bay ; and, therefore, the warmth 
of Disco Island must be accounted for in some other 
way. If it be said that the Japan current flowed 
through a wider and deeper channel into the Arctic 
Ocean, there must have been some way of keeping it 
warm while slowly coursing several thousand miles 
around the northern shores of North America. As the 
same plants and animals lived in arctic regions, lat. 81° 
40', and well down toward the equator, it would seem 
that climatic conditions could not have been affected by 
enormous differences in the length of their days and 
nights, or, in other words, that the nights there were 
not as they are now. 

The influence of light, or actinic force, on plants is very 



great. The same species of plants lived all over the 
world in the earlier geological ages. In view of this fact, 
any great difference in the mode of the application of 
that force seems impossible ; and, still more, because 
in more recent times, i. e., in the miocene and pliocene, 
the very species originated in circumpolar regions, which 
nave since furnished the forests of our southern states. 

It seems to me that the fossil plants and animals of 
polar countries afford the strongest evidence possible in 
the nature of the case, that down to the pliocene the 
earth's axis was nearly perpendicular. 

To this two serious objections may be made : (1) The 
stability of the position of the earth's axis, which astron- 
omers assure us cannot be XDermanently disturbed by 
any force known to science; (2) the fact, .as shown by 
Meech and repeated by Croll, that, other things remain- 
ing as they are, a perpendicular axis would make the 
circumpolar climate colder even than it now is. 

As to the stability of the axis, astronomers prove too 
much. If the nebular hypothesis be true, the moon and 
earth should revolve around axes perpendicular to the 
ecliptic, for no force of avulsion could change their posi- 
tion. They could not revolve around two axes when 
one body ; hence it must have been after they were sepa- 
rate bodies that one or both became tilted. 

The moon now is nearly in the normal position ; there- 
fore, the great change has been in the earth. Hence, it 
follows that if our earth was developed mechanically, it 
somehow, by some "force unknown to science," got 
into its present position, and the only question that con- 
cerns us is that of the date. Astronomers may declare 
their own ignorance, nevertheless, the event occurred, 
for we see that the axis is inclined. 

The only theory for the formation of our system other 
than the nebular hypothesis is that which relegates the 

C. B WARRING. 103 

whole matter to Infinite power. If that is allowable, the 
case becomes simple enough. 

The second objection which was mentioned is a very 
serious one, and, if it could not be answered, would re- 
quire us to give up all hope of at present solving the 
problem of geological climate. 

It is true that, under present conditions polar re- 
gions would be colder than they now are if the earth's 
axis was perpendicular, because, as has been shown by 
Mr. Meech, a smaller number of solar rays would fall 
during the year upon each unit of polar surface. But 
temperature depends far more upon the amount of heat 
retained than upon the amount received. And in this 
lies the explanation. 

Professor Tyndall, in Heat, a Mode of Motion, has 
shown that many gases and vapors permit solar heat to 
pass freely through them, while they largely intercept 
heat from bodies of a low temperature ; and that some 
other gases, notably oxygen and nitrogen, whose mix- 
ture forms almost all the atmosphere, allow both kinds 
of heat to pass through them with almost equal freedom. 
Carbonic acid and aqueous vapor belong to the first 

All the carbon in the coal, lignite, petroleum, and 
other animal and vegetable substances in the earth's 
crust, once existed as carbonic acid, and formed a much 
larger part than at present of the atmosphere, — and, by 
retaining the heat, raised the temperature. This, in its 
turn, increased the capacity of the air for moisture. 
The aqueous vapor taken up acted in the same sense, 
and thus the earth was covered from pole to pole by "a 
warm blanket." 

It was also shown by Professor Tyndall that when the 
amount of CO 2 was large, successive increments produced 
comparatively little effect upon the diathermanicity ; 
but that when the amount became small, the effect upon 


heat-transparency was proportional to the decrements. 
Hence, one would expect a more rapid fall of tempera- 
ture in the later than in the early geological periods. 
This is in accord with the facts. The change was very 
slow during the first half of the geological time, a little 
more rapid during the next portion, — the mesozoic — 
more rapid in the tertiary, increasing yet more through 
its latter part, till, at last, the air becoming probably as 
pure as now, polar regions ceased to be inhabitable, 
snow and ice accumulated under the action of a sun that 
never rose above the horizon at the poles, and, in 
present temperate latitudes, rose only to its present 
height at the equinoxes. Under such conditions, aided 
by high latitude uplifts, it seems not difficult to under- 
stand why that time of cold known as the glacial epoch 
set in, and that it would have continued to the present 
day had the axis remained perpendicular to the ecliptic 
and the land retained its elevation. Furthermore, we 
know that the land in high latitudes was depressed after 
that until it was much lower than now — sufficiently so 
to submerge a very large part of what is at present dry 
land. The effect of this was to hasten the departure of 
the ice and to soften the climate, making it even warmer 
than it is now. When the land rose to its present eleva- 
tion, present temperature set in. 

It is believed that this theory, in its entirety, pos- 
sesses the merit of novelty, whatever that may be. It 
may be summed up in a few words. The warmth of pre- 
glacial climate was due chiefly to the large amount of 
CO 2 and aqueous vapor in the atmosphere. The even- 
ness of temperature and the uniformity in those bio- 
logical conditions which depend upon actinic influences 
were due to the axis being perpendicular. The cold of 
the glacial epoch was due to the loss of CO 2 and aqueous 
vapor, and to the perpendicularity of the axis aided by 
high latitude uplifts. The warmth of the Champlain 


C. B. WARRING. 105 

was due to the axis having become oblique, and to the 
depression of the land in high latitudes far below its 
present level. The cooler climate that followed the 
Champlain was due to an upward movement compara- 
tively local in extent. Subsequent changes have pro- 
duced the climate of to-day. 

I have not thought it best to speak of other theories. 
Dr. Croll, in his Climate and Time, has collected all 
the most important, and pointed out their absolute 
failure. As for his own theory, I have shown in an ar- 
ticle in Penn Monthly what seem to me insuperable ob- 
jections to it. I add here only this : Dr. Croll utterly 
ignores the two questions, which, with that of warmth, 
make up the problem of geological climate, and, conse- 
quently, leaves unsolved what seems to me the most per- 
plexing part of the question. 


Prof. W. B. Dwight, chairman, presiding ; twenty 
members and fifty guests present. 

Miss Mary W. Whitney, was elected a member. 
The following paper was read : 



To the eye, Saturn is far less conspicuons than Jupiter. 
It is farther from us, it is smaller, its color less ruddy. 
It might easily be taken for one of the countless stars. 

The first look at it, with a telescope, is an unexpected 


106 SATURN. 

Like Jupiter, it lias its moons ; like Jupiter it has bands- 
crossing its disc, nearly parallel to its equator ; unlike 
every other planet, it is surrounded by a ring, usually so 
inclined that it stands out in front of the ball of the 
planet. It is a broad, flat ring ; perhaps we might call 

it a bottomless placque. At times, when the edge of the 
ring is presented to the sun, or, when the plane of the 
ring passes through the centre of the earth, it appears as 
a line across the ball, a line so narrow, that it can be seen 
only by large telescopes. 

The thickness of the ring is 
supposed by some observers 
to be one hundred miles, by 
others to be only forty miles. 
With powerful glasses, the 
ring is seen to be made up of several rings. When these 
rings are tipped obliquely to the plane of Saturn's equa- 
tor, dark open spaces are seen between the ball and the 
ring ; these are supposed to be the sky ; dark curved 
lines upon the plane of the rings are supposed to be- 



spaces between the different rings. An inner dusky 
ring, called the "gauzy ring" stretches toward the ball. 
Although it is supposed that we see the background of 
the sky between the rings and the ball, yet there is no 
record of a star seen in this space. I have seen Saturn 
in a strong warm twilight, yet the blackness of this 
space has not been modified by the brilliant back- 

In certain positions of the ring, the gauzy,, dusky, 
inner ring is projected upon the ball as a dark band ; at 
times, on the other border of the ring is also a dark 
band. What can this dark bordering of the outer ring 

That the ring is of unequal thickness is obvious. 
When it is seen as a line, this line is broken up into 
small points, as the coast line is when you leave the 
shore and go out into full sea. 

Spots are seen upon the surface of the ring. We call 
them shadows. If there are shadows thrown by the ball, 
the ball must be irregular in shaj>e. 

We are so liable to illusions, that an astronomical ob- 
server is fortunate if he can call to his aid some novice 
in astronomy to assist his judgment in regard to the 
meaning of lights and shades — if possible, an artist. 
Above all other combats, the old observer has that with 
his own perceptions and with his favorite hyj)otheses. 

Minute objects, which will bear no illumination of the 
field of view, but are seen only in intense darkness, can- 
not be measured ; different eyes must do the work of 
the micrometer ; relative size, color, brightness, and mo- 
tion must be determined by the estimates of unbiased 

Saturn is known to have eight moons. 

Mimas, the nearest to the planet, is rarely seen. It 
shoots out quickly from the edge of the ring, rushes 
quickly back, and is lost in the brilliancy of Saturn. 


108 SATURN. 

In years of looking for it, with a glass of more than 
twelve inches aperture, I have seen it very few times., the next in distance from Saturn, is a diffi- 
cult object. 

Tethys can be seen with a Clark glass of three inches 
aperture. It has more sparkle than the others. 

Rhea is whitey-blue in color, large, blurry, and shows 
something of a disc. 

Titan could probably be seen with an opera-glass. It 
is always seen when not behind the planet or in course 
of transit. It is the Jupiter of the system — readily rec- 
ognized by its orange color. 

The next satellite in the order of distance is Hyperion, 
which I have never seen. It is too small for the tele- 
scope at Vassar College. 

Japetus, the farthest of the satellites yet known, is 
very peculiar in the changes of its light. It is very per- 
ceptibly variable. Sweeping around at an enormous dis- 
tance from Saturn, it is bright when on one side of the 
planet and pale on the other side. 

The grouping of these little moons is very beautiful. 

At one time they will arrange themselves in a line ; 
next, they curve above the ball ; and, anon, they cling- 
around one of the ansse, as if the ring had dropped its 
jewels. When the quickly-moving moons are seen near 
together, changes of position are noticed in a few min- 

Although Jupiter is the only satellite spoken of as va- 
riable in text-books, I have little doubt of the varia- 
bility of Rhea and Dione, and a suspicion of changes in 

Dione is sometimes as bright as Tethys, and I have 
seen the pale Rhea glowing like Titan. 

With the times and the rate of motion, and the angles 
of inclination of the orbit, the problem of possible com- 
binations must involve an infinite variety of groups. 



The 2)ossibilities for the observer are the discovery of 
new satellites if the satellites are thrown from the ring 
and if the processes continue to go on. 

If, as is supposed, the dusky ring tends toward the 
ball, do the moons lessen in their time of revolution? 
Are the processes of throwing off and falling back still 
going on ? 

Cosmical changes are so slow that we do not expect to 
meet them in one lifetime. It is the comparison of the 
records of different ages which shows the order of law. 

A general discussion of subjects suggested by the 
paper followed, and was participated in by Miss Whit- 
ney, Professor Dwight, and Doctor Warring. 

Dr. W. G. Stevenson exhibited to the society a speci- 
men of 

Cyclopterus lumpus — (Linn.) — lump-stoker ; sea-owl. 

[Syn. — Lumpus anglorum (DeKay)]. 

This species is found in the North iVtlantic, and is 
common on the coasts of America and Europe. 

This specimen is specially interesting, because it was 
taken in the Hudson River at this city, and is the first 
reported specimen found in fresh water or inland rivers. 


Prof. W. B. Dwight, chairman, presiding ; twenty-one 
members and guests present. 
The following pax^ers were read : 





What is the law which governs the compressibility of 
gases and what are its* limitations? Experimental inves- 
tigations to answer these questions have been going on 
at intervals during the last two hundred years. The 
literature of the subject is quite extensive and consider- 
ably scattered. It is my purpose in this paper to bring 
together, into a single story, these experimental investi- 
gations as far as I have been able to find them, and to 
embody in it all that has been learned about this subject 
by experiment down to the present time. 


The relation between the volume of air and the press- 
ure it sustains was first experimentally sought by Robert 
Boyle in 1661 1 . Taking a long glass tube he bent it near 
one end until the branches were parallel. The end of 
the shorter branch was closed ; that of the other was left 
open. He fixed this bent tube in a vertical position and 
alongside of its branches he placed scales to measure 
their lengths. Pouring a little mercury into the instru- 
ment he rilled the bend up to the zeros of these scales. 
By so doing he enclosed in the short branch a portion of 
air which could neither be augmented nor diminished in 
quantity during the experiments. The next thing was 
to bring this mass of air under the influence of various 
degrees of pressure, and he did this by pouring mercury 
into the longer branch. 

Now Robert Boyle measured the volume and the cor- 
responding pressure, represented by the mercury column, 

1 Defensio Doctrinae de Aire Contra Linus. 
Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 8th Ed.— Pneumatics. 



from time to time and tabulated their values. On com- 
paring these numerical values he discovered that any 
two volumes under pressures greater than that of the 
atmosphere were inversely proportional to the corres- 
ponding pressures. 

It then remained for him to determine whether the 
same relation would exist if the pressure should be di- 
minished more and more below the normal pressure of 
the atmosphere instead of being raised above it. 

Boyle, accordingly, proceeded as follows : Taking a 
tube closed at one end he enclosed a portion of air with- 
in, by nearly filling it with mercury, inverting it in a 
deep cistern of the same liquid and depressing it until 
the level was the same in both. At this moment the 
pressure was that of the atmosphere. On lifting the tube 
the mercury in it arose also, but more slowly, and the 
pressure was lessened by an amount always equal to 
the weight of the column of mercury. As this column 
lengthened the air above was subjected to pressures less 
and less. Again the numerical values of the volumes of 
air and of the corresponding pressures were tabulated, 
and again it was discovered that the volumes were 
mathematically proportional inversely to the pressures. 

The statement of Boyle's results generalized has come 
•down to us in the form of the well-known "Boyle's 
law," which says that when all other things remain con- 
stant, the volume of a given mass of air varies inversely 
as the pressure which it sustains. 

To-day we find this among the most fundamental prin- 
ciples in the physics of gases, but in 1661 it was the 
most advanced conception which the human mind had 
reached. Remember how scanty was the knowledge 
of nature at that time. The age had scarcely banished 
the Aristotelian philosophy which attributed all the phe- 
nomena of atmospheric pressure to " nature's abhorrence 
of a vacuum." Indeed twenty -five years had not yet 



elapsed since the memorable experience of Galileo and 
the pump-maker, which revealed the fact that this emo- 
tion of nature did not extend to a vacuum over water 
at a height of more than thirty-three feet. Only eigh- 
teen years had passed since Torricelli's capital experi- 
ment which substituted thirty inches of mercury for 
thirty-three feet of water, showing that this abhorrence 
on the part of nature seemed to be of the work to be 
done rather than of the vacuum which would attend 
its performance. And finally it was but fourteen 
years backward from Boyle to Pascal, who, by his 
famous experiment in which he caused the Torricellian 
tube to be carried to the top of the Puy de Dome, dem- 
onstrated the existence of atmospheric pressure and 
banished the so called nature's abhorrence of a vacuum 
from the realms of science. The discovery of Boyle's 
law which so soon followed was an achievement scarcely 
less important. Galileo, Torricelli, Pascal and Boyle 
together laid the foundations of science in the depart- 
ment of gases during the second third of the seventeenth 

MARRIOTTE ' — 1676. 

Several years afterward and without knowledge of 
Boyle's experiments, but by an identical method and 
with similar apparatus the Abbe Marriotte in France ar- 
rived at the same principle, which is accordingly known 
by the French to-day as the law of Marriotte. 

sulzer 2 — 1753. 

The experiments of Boyle and Marriotte were reported 
by several observers in both England and France, without, 
however, resulting in any marked' addition of either fact 

1 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 8th ed., Pneumatics, vol. xvi. 

Essai sur le nature de l'Air, 1679. (Euvres de Marriotte, 1740, torn. 1. 
9 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 8th ed., Pnuematics, vol. xvi. 

Mem. de l'Academie de Berlin, 1753. 



or principle. Boyle had himself noticed that the actual 
results of experiments were not in exact accordance 
with the law which he had formulated ; others had 
witnessed the same discrepancies, but the deviations, 
which seemed to increase as the pressure became greater, 
were by him and them attributed to errors in their ex- 
periments. These deviations from the law were exhib- 
ited in a marked degree in a more extended series of ex- 
periments made by Sulzer in 1753. Nevertheless he also 
regarded them as effects of imperfect manipulation. It 
may be said that Sulzer added no new method ; that he 
contributed nothing to the forms of apparatus, and that 
his experiments are worthy of special notice only be- 
cause they surpassed those of his predecessors in the 
amount of pressure applied. In theirs it had not exceed- 
ed four atmospheres ; in his it was augmented to eight. 


Sulzer' s experiments were afterward repeated by Rob- 
inson with precautions against what he regarded as the 
chief sources of error. These were, first of all, the pres- 
ence of other gases, notably of the vapor of water in 
the air operated upon, and then, also, the presence of 
impurities such as bismuth and tin, together with air in 
the mercury employed for pressure. He therefore care- 
fully removed the vapor of water from the air by desic- 
cation, and the air from the mercury by boiling, while 
by using the same mercury for his experiments as that 
employed in his standard barometer he hoped to elimi- 
nate the effects of any baser metals which might be 

The following table contains the results of his experi- 
ments on dry air. The first column gives the densities 

1 Encyclopaedia Britannica 8th ed., vol. xvi. 
Encyclopaedia Metropolitana. 

System of Mechanical Philosophy, vol. iii., p. 637. 




of the air under pressure, while the pressures stated 
in atmospheres is to be found in the second, and the 
pressures required by Boyle's law in the third. 






















Robinson also experimented with air containing vapor 
of water and in another case with air containing the va- 
por of camphor. In every case his figures indicated 
marked deviations from those required by the law. But 
on the other hand the law commended itself by its mathe- 
matical simplicity, while the experiments could lay no 
claim to be considered perfect, and the apparent devia- 
tions were small. Hence, the experimental results ob- 
tained by Sulzer and Robinson failed to seriously impair 
confidence in it, and Boyle's law was still generally held 
to be the expression of an absolute truth until 164 years 
after its discovery. 

despretz 1 — 1825. 

But in 1825 the problem was stated by Despretz in a 
novel form and attacked by a method entirely new. All 
previous experiments had been made on air. Admit that 
Boyle's law is rigorously true for air, is it likewise true 
for other gases? This question Despretz seems to have 
been the first to ask ; assuredly he was the first to answer 

Taking several tubes as nearly alike as possible, and 
inverting them all in a vessel of mercury, he filled one 
with air and each of the others with a different gas 

1 Bulletin de Sciences, torn. viii. 
Annales de Chernie et de Physique, 2d series, torn, xxxiv. 



whose compressibility he intended to compare with 
that of air as a standard. Thus arranged he placed the 
tubes and cistern in a strong glass cylinder completely 
filled with water and having a screw piston through the 
top by means of which pressure could be applied and 
greatly augmented. 

Under these conditions the several gases were simul- 
taneously brought under identical pressures and any 
difference in behavior could be readily detected. Ob- 
serving the air and hydrogen tubes, the mercury rose in 
them equally until the pressure reached fifteen atmos- 
pheres, but when it surpassed that amount the mercury 
Tose more slowly in the hydrogen tube, showing that hy- 
drogen is less compressible than air. Sulphuretted hydro- 
gen, ammonia, cyanogen and carbon dioxide, submitted 
to the same treatment showed still larger variations, and 
at much lower pressures. But unlike that of hydrogen 
the compressibility of all these gases was greater than 
that of air. 

In fact each gas at high pressures exhibited a com- 
pressibility peculiar to itself. Hence Boyle's law could 
not be universal in its application. If it be rigorously 
true for air it must be untrue for all other gases. 

pouillet. 1 

The unequal compressibility of gases was soon after- 
ward verified by Pouillet, with an apparatus which per- 
mitted the use of still greater pressures. His gas tubes 
were about six feet high, one-tenth of an inch internal 
diameter and carefully calibrated. Their feet were firmly 
fastened into a cast iron vessel. The bottom of this ves- 
sel communicated, by an iron tube, with a cast iron reser- 
voir containing mercury surmounted by oil, which com- 
pletely filled it. Projecting into the oil through the top 

1 Elements de Physique, Pouillet, 5th ed., torn. i. 
Deschanel Natural Phil., Everett, p. 173. 



of the reservoir was a solid metallic plunger which could 
be thrust still further by means of a powerful screw. 

Equal vol umes of two gases, dry and pure, introduced 
into the tubes could be submitted to enormous pressures 
by this screw plunger whose descent would drive the 
mercury against them, while the great lengths and small 
diameters of the gas columns would permit the changes 
of volume to be distinctly seen even when the volumes 
of the gases would be reduced to a small fraction of 
their original values. 

Pouillet's apparatus fully confirmed the results of 
Despretz's experiments. It showed that no two gases 
suffered compression exactly alike, and that hydrogen 
alone was less compressible than air. 


Despretz's experiments did not question the truth of 
Boyle's law in its application to air. For this substance 
and for its constituents — nitrogen and oxygen — the law 
was still supposed to hold good. Bat when it is remem- 
bered that this ^opinion had no better foundation than 
the fact that there were obvious sources of error in the 
experiments which exhibited the deviations of air it will 
be seen that the attitude of this substance toward the 
law was still an open question. 

Dulong and Arago, in 1829, submitted the question to 
an experimental test. Their apparatus was essentially 
the same as that used originally by Boyle, but with 
such modifications and refinements as would secure 
greater accuracy and admit the use of vastly greater 

The tube which enclosed the air was about six feet 
high, an eighth of an inch in diameter inside, and accu- 

lMemoires de I'Academie des Sciences, torn. x. 
Annales de Chemie et de Physique, 3d series, torn, xliii. 
Ganot's Physics, Atkinson, 8th ed., p. 135. 
Cooke's Chem. Physics, p. 293. 



rately graduated with the zero at the bottom of the scale. 
The other tube, destined to hold the pressure- column of 
mercury, was about seventy feet high. It was built up 
of successive lengths, joined with the greatest care to 
avoid leakage, and supported alongside a mast by 
means of staples, each length being at the same time 
counterpoised by weights attached and suspended over 
pulleys. The two tubes were joined together by a cast- 
iron pipe, which was also in communication with a 
forcing pump. 

Mercury was driven out of this forcing pump in both 
directions equally, crowding the air in the air-tube and 
rising freely in the other. To keep the air from being 
heated by compression, the air tube w T as enclosed in a 
jacket through which a stream of water slowly circu- 
lated. The mercury rose to greater and greater heights, 
the air was crowded into smaller and smaller space, 
while the readings of the scales from time to time gave 
the numerical values of the volumes, and the corre- 
sponding pressures up to twenty-seven atmospheres. 

At this pressure the air should by Boyle's law occupy 
just one twenty-seventh of its original volume. The 
actual reading of the scale showed it to be somewhat 
less than this, and air did accordingly seem to be more 
compressible than the law required that it should be. 

Nevertheless, the departures from the law were very 
small, and, remembering the difficulties they had expe- 
rienced in their attempts to avoid error, and the slight 
uncertainty which they could not banish from their 
judgment in reading the minute changes on the meas- 
uring scale, Dulong and Arago decided to regard them 
as falling within the limits of experimental error. It 
was, therefore, generally conceded that in the case of air 
the rigorous truth of Boyle's law had been established 
by their experiments. 


BEGNAULT 1 — 1841 . 

Twelve years later this conclusion was overthrown by 
the classic experiments of Victor Regnault. Regnault' s 
method and apparatus were in principle essentially those 
of Dulong and Arago, surpassing them and all others, 
however, in the refinements introduced for the purpose 
of banishing or correcting those troublesome sources of 
error which hitherto had perplexed the judgment of all 
observers. These errors were 

First, Moisture in the air operated on, which would 
cause it to seem more compressible than it really is. 
Regnault provided an efficient system of absorption tubes 
by which every trace of vapor could be removed. 

Second, Heat generated in the air by its own compres- 
sion, which would reduce its observed compressibility 
below the real value. Regnault enclosed his air tube in 
a jacket, through which a stream of water flowing kept, 
a constant temperature as shown by a delicate ther- 

Third, Variations in the temperature of the mercury 
in the pressure-column during the experiments, which 
would cause the same length of column to contain differ- 
ent weights of mercury, exerting a greater pressure if 
colder and a lesser pressure if warmer. Regnault placed 
thermometers at intervals along the pressure column, ob- 
served the actual temperature, calculated the error and 
corrected the observed height of the column accordingly. 

Fourth, Compressibility of the mercury itself due to 
its own weight, which would diminish the height of the 
pressure column and reduce the observed pressure below 
the actual value. Regnault calculated this compressi- 
bility in every instance, and made the proper corrections 
for it. 

1 Memoires de l'Acadernie des Sciences, torn, xxi— (Original.) 
Cooke's Chem. Physics, p. 296— (a table.) 
Deschanel Natural Phil., Everett — p. 173— (Apparatus.) 



Fifth, Errors in reading very minute changes by 
scale, which forbids the measurement of volumes with 
entire exactness and, which, when reduced to their 
lowest limits, become more serious as the volumes be- 
come smaller, since the same error which may be neg- 
lected when the volume is very large in comparison 
will be a hundred fold more serious when the volume is 
reduced to the hundredth part. Regnault's tubes were 
gauged with great precision, and by the use of a cathe- 
tometer he could read a difference of half a millimeter 
with considerable exactness, and to forbid the multipli- 
cation of the value of the error by small volumes he forced 
a fresh supply of gas into his apparatus before every ob- 
servation, until he should have the same large volume to 
measure at the highest as at the lowest pressures. 

Nothing can better illustrate the progress of experi- 
mental science during the two centuries than a compar- 
ison of this powerful and refined apparatus of Regnault, 
with the primitive bent tube employed by Boyle and 
Marriotte. The latter contemplated the action of pres- 
sure alone, as if it were an isolated principle in nature, 
unhindered and unaided by any other, while the 
former recognizes it as only one of many, each of which 
asserts itself in determining the result. Seen from the 
standpoint of Boyle's tube, natural phenomena are sepa- 
rate effects of single causes ; there is a subject and a 
predicate, but no modifiers. Boyle's tube bears a rela- 
tion to Regnault's apparatus similar to that which the 
simplest sentence framed by the schoolboy bears to the 
smooth period of the rhetorician or the well-rounded ar- 
gument of the skilled logician. 

The results of Regnault's experimental logic were at 
once adopted into science. They may be summarized as 
follows : 

First, That for neither of the gases operated on, viz., 



air, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, is Boyle's 
law exactly true. 

Second, That the deviations increase more rapidly 
than the pressures increase. 

Third, That hydrogen is less compressible than the 
law demands. 

Fourth,' That other gases are more compressible than 
they would be if the law were general ; and, 

Fifth, That both carbon dioxide and air vary less at a 
higher temperature — the former conforming to the law 
almost exactly at 100° C. 

But even these trustworthy experiments were not des- 
tined to long remain the last effort in this direction. It 
afterwards apjjeared that they did not reveal the whole 
truth. In fact, true as Regnault's results might be 
within the limits of pressure which he employed, the 
most natural inferences projected beyond those limits 
could not be verified. The pressures employed ran up 
to about thirty atmospheres. Air and other gases, ex- 
cept hydrogen, became more and more compressible as 
this limit was approached, — why should they not con- 
tinue to do so when this limit was surpassed % Such 
was generally conceded to be the fact. 

NATTERER 1 — 1850. 

But this inference was contradicted by the investiga- 
tions of batterer, who in 1850 experimented with gases 
under pressures enormously greater than had ever be- 
fore been reached. By a powerful forcing pump nearly 
three thousand atmospheres were brought into action. 
Hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, air and nitrous oxide were 
submitted to these tremendous pressures. Hydrogen 
alone maintained its behavior the same as when treated 

1 Cooke in Chemical Physics, p. 299, gives a table of Natterer's results taken from 
Leibig and Kopp, Jahresbericht Pur 1851, seite 88, to which he refers. For full results 
the same author refers to Wien Acad. Ber. xii, 199. or Pogg. Ann. xciv, 436. 



in Regnault's apparatus. The compressibility of all rhn 
others changed sign. Instead of steadily becoming more 
compressible, as they had done below thirty atmospheres; 
they became at one hundred less compressible, and their 
deviations in this direction became larger and larger as 
the pressure was still further augmented. 

This curious change in the sign of I he compressibility 
of a gas at some high pressure has not been left without 
confirmation. M. Cailletet has shown that, for air at 
least, batterer's conclusion is essentially correct. The 
change took place at about eighty atmospheres, and 
thence up to six hundred its compressibility grew less 
and less. 

We must now admit that there is one degree of press- 
ure at which air conforms exactly to the requirements 
of Boyle's law — a pressure of about eighty atmospheres 
or twelve hundred pounds to the square inch. Accord- 
ing to Natterer the same is true for several other gases. 
Among those tried hydrogen is the only exception. 

But what is the effect of low pressures? Regnault's 
experiments showed that the deviations from the law in- 
creased rapidly with the increase of pressure. "Hence 
we may conclude that as the pressure diminishes and the 
gas expands, the deviation from the law of Marriotte 
becomes gradually less, until at an infinite degree of ex- 
pansion, this law would be the exact expression of the 
truth."— {Coolie's Chem. Phys., p. 297). 

This is a most natural inference, and without waiting 
for experimental confirmation it became the general be- 
lief. Indeed an inference so well grounded as this would 
appear to be, would seem to need no experimental evi- 
dence to maintain it, nevertheless the investigation was 
finally undertaken in Russia by Mendeleef. 



MENDELEEF 1 — 1872-76. 

Briefly described, the apparatus devised by Mendeleef 
consisted of a reservoir of mercury, in the upper part of 
which was the air to be submitted to low pressure, com- 
municating by means of a capillary tube with a branch 
of a siphon barometer. The height of the mercury in 
this barometer indicated the pressure at work. By 
withdrawing mercury from the reservoir the pressure 
was reduced, and the weight of the mercury withdrawn 
gave the data from which to calculate exactly the volume 
of the expanded gas. 

This method is very simple, but its application de- 
manded the utmost care and skill. Various and nice 
precautions were needed in order to eliminate sources of 
error and to reveal minute details in the results. 

Among these sources of error are some which even 
Regnault had neglected. The surface of mercury in 
any tube is convex. Mendeleef took account of the air 
which lay below the plane across its summit. 

Every change of pressure not only changes the volume 
of the air, but it changes also the capacity of the vessel 
which contains it. This compressibility of the reservoir 
had to be determined and introduced as a correction of 
the results. 

The last traces of air had to be expelled from the mer- 
cury and from the barometer. Mendeleef devised a 
new mode of filling the barometer for this purpose. 

The tubes had to be calibrated with the greatest exact- 
ness ; the joints of the apparatus had to be tight to the 
last degree of perfection ; the gas had to be desiccated 
with care ; and, finally, the temperature of the whole 

1 " On the Elasticity of Gases, (Russian,) Mendeleef. 
Russian Journal of Artillery, 1872. 
Bulletin St. Petersburg Acad, of Sciences, 1874. 
Annalcs de Chemie de Physique, 1876. 
Nature, xv. p. -155. 


LE ROY 0. COOLEY. 123 

had to be kept constant, and the readings of volumes 
and hights had to be taken with extreme precision. 

The pressures employed lay between about eighty-five 
hundredths and twenty-six thousandths of an atmos- 
phere, or more exactly between 650 mm. and 20 mm. of 
mercury column. 

The gases examined were air, hydrogen, carbon diox- 
ide, and sulphurous oxide, with the following results : 

Hydrogen, which had proved to be less compressible 
under great pressures than it should be according to 
Boyle's law, maintained that characteristic to the end ; 
but, contrary to the prediction, its departures became 
greater and greater as the pressures diminished. In 
fact, its deviation from the law was five times greater 
when the pressure was reduced to 120 mm. than when 
the greater pressure of 400 mm. was upon it. 

Air, as the pressure ran down from one atmosphere to 
600 mm., was found to remain more compressible, as it 
had been at higher pressures. But at about that point 
the sign of the deviation changed, and, like hydrogen, 
it became less and less compressible, thenceforth, with 
increasing deviations from the law. 

For the other gases the same change of sign occurred. 
Carbon dioxide, for example, varies from the law, its 
compressibility being too great —twenty-nine parts in 
ten thousand — when the pressure diminishes from 
635 mm. to 200 mm., while, carrying the pressure still 
lower — from 190 mm. to 22 mm. — the same gas departs 
from the law the other way to the extent of seventeen 
parts in ten thousand. 

At a certain degree of low pressure, all these gases, 
except hydrogen — which is already so — change from 
being more compressible to being less compressible than 
if Boyle's law were rigorously true ; and we must admit 
that at this pressure, determinate for each gas, the law 
is an exact expression of the truth. When rarefied be- 

75 ' 


yond this point, each gas becomes less submissive to 
pressure — its behavior towards pressure becomes more 
and more like that of a liquid or a solid. 

These results of Mendeleef are the last words of ex- 
perimental science in regard to the relation of the 
volume of a gas to the pressure it sustains. 

As the case now stands, the behavior of a gas under 
varying pressures may be described as follows : 

There are two degrees of pressure — one considerably 
above the normal atmospheric pressure, the other con- 
siderably below it — at which the volume of a given mass 
of gas varies inversely as the pressure upon it, the ratio 
being exact. 

Between these two points all gases, except hydrogen, 
are more compressible than this ratio indicates. 

Outside these limits, whether above the highest or 
below the lowest, all^gases, without exception, are less 
compressible than this ratio indicates — the rarefaction 
of the gas as well as its condensation rendering it less 



This new form of apparatus for experiments on Boyle's 
law was devised for the following purposes, viz. : 

First, To avoid the necessity of adjusting the volume 
of the air to the zero of the scale. 

Second, To secure a quick, easy and certain transition 
from one definite degree of pressure to another. 

Third, To combine in one piece the means of employ - 

1 For descriptions of some recent forms of apparatus for the demonstration of this 
law, see 

Weinhold's Experimental Physics, by Loewy — p. 240. 
Science, Vol. 11—284. 



ing pressures both above and below the pressure of an 

Fourth, To provide an apparatus for projection 
wherewith the mathematical relation of volume to pres- 
sure may be accurately exhibited to large classes. 

A vertical standard made of wood is 
provided with a groove which extends 
throughout its length. In this groove 
a wooden block, a, (fig. 1), moves, with 
little friction, and carries a glass reser- 
voir of mercury counterpoised by a 
weight acting over a pulley on the top 
of the standard. A rubber tube con- 
nects the bottom of the reservoir with 
the lower end of an accurately gradu- 
ated glass tube, t, containing a conven- 
ient volume of air. This air- tube is 
placed at a distance of about six 
inches from the standard, to which it is 
attached by means of a metallic arm. 

The zero of the graduation of this air 
tube is at the top, and the scale reads 
downward. The scale reading at the 
top of the mercury always shows the 
volume of. the air. And since it is the 
exact measurement of the volume and 
not any particular quantity that is 
necessary, this simple artifice obviates 
the necessity of adjusting the volume 
*"*§• 1 * for experiment. 

The lifting and lowering of the reservoir along the 
standard, which is easily done by means of the counter- 
poise, increases and diminishes the pressure upon the 
air at pleasure, the transition from one degree to another 
being quick, easy and precise. 

Moreover, since the air tube is placed about the mid- 


height of the standard, the reservoir may be raised above 
it or lowered below it, and thus pressures either above 
or below an atmosphere may be applied with equal 

To measure these pressures, a light scale of inches and 
tenths is attached to an arm, o, projecting from the 
block, which carries the reservoir and hangs parallel 
and alongside of the graduated air- tube. The zero of 
this scale is at the top, and is exactly on a level with 
the mercury in the reservoir, when this level is the same 
as that in the air-tube and the air is at the normal pres- 
sure of the atmosphere. It is movable, rising and 
falling with the reservoir to which it is firmly attached. 
Moreover, it is a flexible scale, and is kept tense by a 
spring or a weight which winds it upon a drum, or 
allows it to unwind, as the motion of the reservoir de 
mands. The division on this scale, which coincides with 
the top of the mercury in the air-tube, shows the height 
of the mercury column at any moment. 

The reservoir is made large in comparison with the air- 
tube : on this account the change of level in it is slight. 
Nevertheless, its sides are made straight — its capacity 
uniform in order that its rate of change may be deter- 
mined ; after which a correction can be introduced if 
greater accuracy is desired. 

This scale is not only movable and flexible,- it is also 
transparent, being made of the finest quality of vege- 
able tracing paper. Accordingly, the air under experi- 
ment and the adjacent part of this scale may together be 
projected on a screen, when the volume and the corre- 
sponding pressure can be read in the image by an audi- 
ence with even greater accuracy than otherwise, on ac- 
count of the enlargement. A beam of sunlight from a 
porte-lumiere may be used, or these parts of the instru- 
ment may be placed as an object in front of tie condens- 
ers of a modern lime-light lantern. With either of 



these illuminations the opaque divisions of both scales 
may be distinctly projected. 

The grooved standard and the rubber tube are features 
borrowed from a German apparatus figured in Wein- 
hold? s Physics. 

The following are believed to be novel : 

First, The substitution of a counterpoise for clamps 
in lifting and lowering the mercury-tube. 

Second, The placing of the zeros of the scales at the 
top and reading downward. 

Third, The use of an adjustable scale to measure the 
heights of the mercury column ; and, 

Fourth, The use of a flexible and transparent scale. 


Prof. W. B. Dwight, chairman, presiding ; fifteen 
members and guests present. 
Prof. W. B. Dwight gave a description of the 


Specimens of the larvae of the "king crab" L. polyplie- 
mus were shown in the stage of development immediately 
subsequent to their hatching from the egg, which were 
four millimeters in length. At this stage the abdominal 
spine is either entirely unformed, or, more generally, 
barely indicated in its rudimentary condition. Although 
these larvge must be in abundance on our shores, for some 
reason they were rarely seen or collected by scientists. 
These were discovered in a crowded mass or nest in the 
sand, on the shore of a lagoon, at Martha's Vineyard, 
Mass. They were the first he had found on the seashore, 
and on inquiry, he had ascertained that there were no 
specimens of them in many of our leading museums. 

The larval forms of the Limulus bore important rela- 
tions to the extinct trilobite, the facts pertaining to 
which were first discovered by Prof. Samuel Lockwood, 

128 W. B. DWIGIIT. 

who reported thereon in a paper before the New York 
Lyceum in October, 1869, and in a published paper in 
the American Naturalist, vol. iv., July, 1870. 

Prof. D wight discussed the structure and relations of 
the trilobite, and stated that Burmeister's opinion that 
it had membranaceous swimmerets instead of stout, 
chitinous legs, had been, until very recently, the most 
accepted theory among naturalists. Mr. C. D. Walcott 
had, however, very lately shown, by comparing many 
microscopic cross-sections of trilobites, that they proba- 
bly had spiral gills, and round, strong, and jointed 
legs. A still more recent discovery of a specimen in 
Ohio, described in the American Naturalist, December, 
1883, by J. Mickleborough, which appears to possess 
legs of this kind, seems to reinforce strongly this theory. 
This is one of the most interesting iDoints brought out in 
modern paleontological research. 

It has been stated that among thousands of moulted 
carapaces of the Limulus, examined at various stages of 
growth, not one had been found possessing the peculiar 
nippers of the male. From this fact, it had been concluded 
that these male appendages did not exist until after the 
creature had undergone its last moulting. Prof. Dwight 
had noticed that the nippers of the male were never to be 
found on any of the young specimens or moulted carapaces 
which he had examined, and that he had searched in vain 
for this distinction between the sexes in hundreds of ex- 
quisitely formed larvae. It therefore seemed to him that 
the observation was probably correct in so far as regards 
the earlier stages of the development. That the "king 
crab' 1 never moults after developing the nipper-claws, is,, 
however, to say the least, not proven. Professor Lock- 
wood has attacked this statement, and shown that such 
moulting may well occur and yet the rejected carapaces 
may not be found on our beaches. It was suggested that 
such maturer moulting occurs only in deep waters, be- 
yond the reach of wave-action. 


J. M. DEGARMO. 129 

Mr. C. N. Arnold read some notes on, and exhibited 
specimens of '"Fossil Gums and Resins." 


Prof. W. B. Dwight, chairman, presiding ; twenty- 
four members and guests present. 
The following paper was read : 



The limits of knowledge among Lepedoptera are soon 
reached, and are very narrow. To such as hesitate to 
apply the term "intelligence" to these lower manifesta- 
tions of the knowing power, we shall offer no objections. 
For whatever significance may be attached to the extreme 
phenomena of "instinct" and "intelligence," there is 
no doubt a border land where these terms seem inter- 
changeable. Some of the phenomena of this disputed 
region can be readily and reasonably classed under either 
head. If any prefer to call these facts evidence of in- 
stinct rather than of intelligence, they are welcome to 
the privilege. 

• The knowledge essential to self-preservation first claims 
our attention. On slight examination this seems almost 
entirely limited to a perception of danger arising from 
motion. They have no knowledge of jiersons or animals 
apart from motion. The wildest and most timid will 
remain at rest if a person approaches them so gently that 
no movement is perceptible. The Papilio turnus, most 
alert and restless of all our local varieties, will remain 
perfectly quiet, if the approach be made sufficiently 
gradual. They can even be picked up with the fingers 
at times. But the slightest evidence of motion, especially 

above them, alarms them at once. I have sent a small 



stone near them, and witnessed every evidence of alarm. 
When once disturbed, they become more restless and 
wary. Some, as the Turnus and Troilus, when rudely 
disturbed by a stroke of the net, rise high in the air, 
and immediately seek another resting place, even when 
on their choicest feeding grounds. Others, as Papilio 
asterias, will make a detour, alighting briefly on some 
other flower or leaf, and then almost invariably return 
to the one from which they were frightened. 

The Argynnidce are also likely to return again, as is 
Nymphalis ephestion. But the most perverse disre- 
gard of all measures of safety is exhibited by the lit- 
tle Grapta comma. This little butterfly usually takes 
his pastime towards sunset, when only now and then a 
patch of sunlight remains among the shadows of trees, 
especially upon some gate post, or the trunk of a tree, 
or a sidewalk. When disturbed very roughly they will 
take a zigzag trip over a tree, or a house-top, or a fence, 
and often without lighting anywhere, return to the old 
spot within six inches. Many times I have put my 
hands on the coveted spot, and had the little Grapta 
light upon them. Sometimes they will light upon my 
hat, or the net I hold in my hand, evidently entirely un- 
conscious of danger. But motion, even of a straw, will 
frighten them away. This peculiarity in their sense of 
danger is easily explicable. The enemies most deadly 
to them are the birds. These attack mostly from above, 
and always on the wing. They use no caution in securing 
their prey, but swoop down upon them at great velocity. 
In all my watching, I have never seen a bird take a but- 
terfly from beneath. The pewee will either drop like 
lightning from its branch upon the prey, or if the prey 
is above it, will rise to an altitude above the prey and 
drop down upon it. Hence its knowledge of danger, or 
if you prefer it, its organized experience of danger, is 
all from above, and from something in rapid motion. 

J. M. DEGAK.MO. 131 

From beneath, even when in a position on a pendulous 
flower or leaf to see perfectly, they ran be approached 
with much greater ease and certainty of capture. 

Another manifestation of intelligence is in their plain 
efforts to hide from danger. After pursuing a Turnus 
for some time, and repeatedly starting it from its feeding 
grounds by ineffectual attempts to capture it, I have 
often seen it seek the dense foliage of some large-leaved 
tree, like the maple, hickory, or tulip, and getting itself 
snugly ensconced on a leaf immediately sheltered by one 
or more others, it was apparently feeling absolutely safe. 
Then, any ordinary degree of caution is sure to result in 
its capture. The Argynnis aphrodite once exhibited re- 
markable knowledge and as remarkable stivpidity in this 
matter. I found quite a number of them feeding on a 
cluster of thistles in front of a disused barn. Behind 
the barn was a patch of low sumac bushes, through 
whose foliage the sunlight filtered in tiny blotches, as 
from a sieve. The ground underneath was covered with 
vines of the running blackberry. I came to the barn 
hurriedly, and when near the butterflies, tripped in the 
tangled grass and fell, flinging the net into the thistles. 
When I rose, not a butterfly was to be seen. I went to 
several adjacent clusters of thistles, but found nothing. 
I searched all about in vain. Returning in an hour, I 
found them there again, and caught two in a single 
cast of the net. But after securing them, I discov- 
ered that the rest were all gone again. The next day I 
came determined to spy out the performance. A com- 
panion threw the net at the thistles, and lo ! the butter- 
flies all flew round the barn, and lighted under the 
sumac bushes, each on a blackberry leaf. Now the 
oddest part of this was, that they had made the circuit 
of one-half the circumference of the barn to get to the 
hiding place, when they could have reached it by a 
short trip directly across the end of the barn. More- 



over, part of this route was through the shade, which a 
butterfly usually shuns. Here was another problem. 
The short cut was direct and in the sun. Why did they 
take the roundabout way? The next day solved it, for 
on coming in sight of the place, I saw three or four 
small boys approaching the thistle patch, straw-hats in 
hand, from the end of the barn, and after their on- 
slaught, not a butterfly was to be seen. The boys were 
communicative, and I found had made many attempts 
to catch them. They had invariably come up the same 
way, for they were barefooted, and the tangled grass 
was full of stones, while the ground at the end of the 
barn was grazed close or mown. The butterflies had 
availed themselves of their "organized experience" to 
dodge the boys. 

On following them into their retreat, I found them 
motionless. Not a wing or an antenna stirred, — they 
were as "still as mice." But right here their stupidity 
began, for I caught two of them with my fingers, and 
could have taken the whole with a little care, had I 
wanted them. Then I made a grand swing with my net 
into the sumac bushes, and a more bewildered set of 
beings it would be difficult to find. They went helter- 
skelter, — on the barn, on the wall, anywhere and every- 
where, without method or sense. On going back again, 
not a butterfly was to be found. Whether the boys ulti- 
mately frightened them away, or whether my inroad 
upon their harbor of refuge disheartened them, I never 
ascertained. Similar wisdom and stupidity were exhib- 
ited by a Vanessa antiopa, in its preparation for winter 
quarters. It had selected for this purpose the open end 
of a street drain, built of stone. For two or three days 
it remained there, but a warm sun called it out, and I 
tried to catch it. It was very active and alert, but finally 
went to its hiding place, where it felt so perfectly secure 
that I took it in my fingers with ease. 

J. M. DEUARMO. 133 

Often, in pursuing butterflies, I have seen them show 
the most perfect stupidity, apparently courting capture, 
and, then again, exhibiting good sense in evading pur- 
suit. Here, as elsewhere, motion is the main source of 
their alarm. If the net can be carried after them so as 
to conceal any motion they will allow it to approach 
quite close, even to overshadow them while flying. 

One of the most curious features of a butterfly's life 
is its sportive or playful moods and ways. It was some 
time before I appreciated the fact that they indulged in 
such moods at all. Seeing them start vigorously after 
other insects on the wing, I assumed, without investiga- 
tion, that these were movements in self-defense, till all 
the facts pointed to them as movements in play. This 
opened a new and interesting held of observation. The 
spirit of playfulness I found to prevail more towards 
sundown than in the morning. Only a very few times 
have I seen any signs of it in the morning, and never in 
the absence, of sunshine. I found it far more common 
among the highly developed four-footed butterflies, as 
the Graptas, Vanessas, &c, than among the six-footed 
Papilios. Among the Turnus, Troilus and Asterias 
varieties, as well as the Ephestions, I never saw the least 
spirit of playfulness. These seem to be bent on the 
earnest business of their lives alone, and especially the 
Turnus and Troilus wing their stately flight as if this 
were not a world where even a butterfly needed play. 

But with the smaller varieties this playfulness is quite 
common. The yellow Philodice will often dart from its 
flower with great velocity, and make quick sallies at 
another, either of its own species or of a different species. 
It will fly about the companion, if that one is not dis- 
posed to join in the fun, — if it is, away they will go, 
tumbling over and over in the air, now receding from 
each other, now approaching. I have never ascertained 
if they had any playful touches of antennae, as their 


motions are too swift for the eye. Often the little Grapta 
comma will follow a much, larger butterfly, perhaps the 
Aphrodite or Idalia, now under, now over it, in swift 
zig-zag movements, as if enjoying it hugely, while re- 
ceiving no attention from the larger specimen. Some- 
times the Grapta will pursue, as if in sport, a beetle or 
a wasp, — -in such cases keeping a good distance away, 
but continuing the pursuit for some rods. 

Once I saw a Grapta and an Alope rising high in the 
air together, going over and over each other in sportive 
mood, when a pewee bird shot swiftly upon the Alope, 
and bore it off. The little Grapta folded its wings back 
to back, and in half the time I am taking to tell it, lite- 
erally dropped to within two or three feet of the ground, 
recovered its wing and then hid in a thick evergreen tree 
close by. On following it, it seemed unhurt, but greatly 
alarmed, ceaselessly changing its position from limb to 
limb, and finally getting under a large limb, and remain- 
ing very nearly motionless. On another occasion, how- 
ever, a bird seized a Ttirnus, breaking a portion of its 
anterior wing, but the butterfly exhibited no alarm and 
continued steadily on its way, minus a bit of wing. It 
evidently did not appreciate the fact that it had very 
nearly lost its life, or else it held life much more cheaply 
than the ordinary animal. 

But the greatest manifestation of fun and frolic was 
in a group of Alopes, some thirty in number, clustered 
under a tree in the shade. Such wild gambols on the 
wing I never saw, often in one compact cluster, wings 
and legs and antennas in a confused jumble, then off in 
pairs, then in two crowds, with all the marks of "mirth 
and jocund din." Such scenes do certainly appear like 
an intelligent appreciation of fun, as they clearly have 
no reference to any necessary functions of body, and 
seem intended only for gratification. 

One other class of facts would demand our attention, 


J. M. DEGABMO. 13.0 

were it not that they are usually relegated to the domain 
of instinct. I refer to the selection of proper plants on 
which to deposit their eggs, so that the larvse may have 
aijpropriate food when hatched. Yet if it be instinct, it 
is not always unerring, for I have found eggs upon leaves 
which the larvae would not eat, but left to seek more 
palatable supplies. If instinct never errs, then this can- 
not be instinct, — if it errs at times, then it has a striking 
resemblance to intelligence. 

On the whole, we can safely say that the intelligence 
exhibited by butterflies is of a very low order, and is 
mostly confined to the disputed region where it touches 
the domain of instinct. 


[Syn. — Papilio glaucus : glaucus.^ 
Dr. W. G. Stevenson reported a specimen of this but- 
terfly taken at Poughkeepsie in August, 1882. It is four 
and a half inches across the wings, and is a beautiful 
example of melanic antigeny. 

Mr. Scudder in his work on Butterflies, states that ' ; the 
home of this butterfly stretches from Alaska to Florida, 
but north of the southern boundary of New York or there- 
abouts not a black female can be found." This specimen 
is interesting because it is the first one — so far as known 
— of this variety that has been found in this vicinity. 


Prof. W. B. Dwight, chairman, presiding ; twenty-five 
members and guests present. 

The following papers were read : 



In the Vassar Brothers Laboratory of Vassar College, 
a Richard's aspirator is placed at every table and pro- 




vided with the necessary supply and waste pipe. Be- 
sides rapid filtration, the usual object sought by the use 
of this apparatus, the writer lias found it to be an ad- 
mirable means for aspiration in all the usual applications 
of the process. Iu addition to these purposes he has 
also employed the same instrument for carrying off nox- 
ious vapors from the laboratory table in the process of 

To fit the aspirator for general use it is mounted over 
a small sink at one corner of the work table, with con- 
nections shown in Fig. 1. A small glass tube, t, joined 


1. 2. 3. 

to the exhaust pipe by rubber tubing, 7/, jjasses through 
the air tight cork of an eight ounce wide mouth bottle. 
A larger tube, c, reaches nearly to the bottom of this 
bottle. The end, a, of another tube is drawn down to 
proper size to be thrust into the outer end of this 
tube, c, through a piece of rubber tubing stretched over 
their junction. By this means an air tight but flexi- 
ble joint is secured through which fluids may flow with- 
out contact with the rubber. This tube is supported 
against the back of the table by a tin clasp, d, through 
which it passes loosely. The end, b, is bent forward and 
carries a short piece of rubber tube by which connection 

is made with whatever apparatus is to be exhausted. 



Disconnection is made at this point always while the as- 
pirator is still running to prevent the water in the bottle, 
s, from backing over into the vacuum produced in the 
filter flask or Other vessel employed. 

For evaporation, a glass funnel is selected whose di- 
ameter is a trifle less or a trifle more than that of the 
evaporating dish, and whose stem is six or eight inches 
long, and bent at right angles, close to the body. Let 
this funnel be inverted over the evaporating dish and 
rest ivpon it, (fig. 2), and let its stem be connected with 
the aspirator by being thrust through the rubber tube 
at b ; then turn on the water and apply the heat. Air 
will be drawn into the funnel, entering between its edge 
and that of the dish and out through the aspirator into 
the waste-pipe, carrying the corrosive vapors with it. 

Since the edge of the funnel may rest either inside or 
outside that of the dish with the same result, one funnel 
will fit dishes of different sizes. One of three inches in 
diameter for evaporating dishes, and another of one and 
a half inches for crucibles, are in use. 

With this ventilating funnel strong nitric acid can be 
evaporated to dryness on the open work-table without 
inconvenience from its fumes. 

Or a ventilating flask may be used for the same pur- 
pose. Close a flask with an air-tight stopper pierced 
with two glass tubes, one reaching well down toward the 
surface of the liquid within, the other only through the 
cork (fig. 3). The latter is to be connected with the as- 
pirator. A rapid current of fresh air will thus be drawn 
over the surface of the evaporating liquid and with the 
corrosive vapors off into waste. 

Or, let the cork be pierced with a single tube to con- 
nect with the aspirator. A partial vacuum will then be 
formed within, and the evaporation will occur under di- 
minished pressure and at lower temperature. 












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A strong small staple is fixed in the framework be- 
tween the adjacent corners of four drawers. A disk of 
heavy sheet brass is provided with a rectangular slit at 
the centre, only large enough to receive the staple. A 
small padlock is then applied. The disk projects over 
the corners of the drawers and effectually fastens them. 
Those in use are only four and a half inches in diameter ; 
the padlock is one and a-half inches across. 



For rows of larger drawers or of cupboard doors, a 
strong hard wood slat, about one and one-half inches 
wide, by three-quarters of an inch thick, and long enough 
to reach the length of from four to six drawers, is hinged 
to the woodwork, just above their tops. A brass plate 
projects from behind the middle of the slat, with a slit 
which fits over a staple, firmly fixed in the wood below. 
A small padlock secures the whole. The friction on the 
hinges can be easily made sufficient to keep the slat from 
falling; when lifted. 


Prof. W. B. Dwight, chairman, presiding ; eighteen 
members and guests present. 
The following paper was read : 



The two papers on this subject which I have previously 
presented before Poughkeepsie audiences, were read in 
the meetings of the Poughkeepsie Society of Natural 
Science, to which our present society is virtually the 
successor. The first of these papers was read April 21, 
1880, and was published in the proceedings of the 
society for that year. After giving a resume of former 
investigations, it took up the more recent ones, describ- 
ing the finding of numerous Hudson Rfver group fossils 
in our shales, by Mr. T. N. Dale, the subsequent discov- 
eries of fossils of the Trenton group by Prof. J. D. Dana 
and myself, and the still later identification by myself, 
of calciferous fossils at Salt Point and Rochdale. 

A second paper was presented in 1881, which, however, 
was never published, owing to the throes of dissolution 



into which the P. S. ~N. S. had already entered. On this 
occasion was announced the surprising discovery, in what 
had been already identified as calciferons rock, of a large 
and remarkable lot of orthoceratites and other fossils 
of various species hitherto mostly, if not entirely, un- 
known in that formation, and hardly to be expected 
there. A large number of these fossils, still in their 
rough, unstudied condition, were exhibited at that time. 

It is the object of the present paper to indicate very 
concisely the main points of interest in the progress that 
has been made in this field of research since the date of 
the last report above mentioned. 

My own special explorations have been confined al- 
most entirely to the belt of limestone extending north- 
easterly and southwesterly through these wide fields of 
shale. Having had my hands full of work from the 
limestone, it is only at the junction of the two, that I 
have given much attention to the shale. The fossils 
found in the shales by Mr. Dale, both on the east and 
west side of the Hudson River, wefe decided by Pro- 
fessor Hall to represent the Hudson River group. The 
only fossils reported by Professor Mather in the State 
Report forty-one years ago, were Utica slate graptolites 
on Marlborough Mountain. It now appears that the 
Utica slate is represented nearer to our city. For 
Messrs. Henry Booth and C. Lown lately found some 
graptolites in the shale at Blue Point, opposite our city, 
which, on being submitted to Mr. E. P. Whitfield, were 
identified by him as species of the Utica slate forma- 
tion. They cover the following species : 

Diplograptus pristis, Climacograptus bicornis, Di- 
chograptus furcatus, and perhaps D. divaricatus, Mon- 
ograptus gracilis, M. Sagittarius, and perhaps Diplo- 
graptus marcedus. A statement of these facts will be 
found in the American Journal of Science, for Novem- 
ber, 1883. 


W. B. DWIGHT. 143 

My own explorations in the limestones have been con- 
tinued, as far as my other engagements would permit, 
without any intermission, to the present time. The re- 
sults have been, not simply the increase in the number 
of specimens of the species obtained at the time of the 
last rexDort, but a very material increase in the number 
of species and also in the area of fossiliferous rock above 
that previously discovered. The large collection of fos- 
sils thus brought together is of unusual value, for the 
reason that there is nowhere any known collection of 
similar species. But the peculiarly imperfect, fragment- 
ary and obscure condition of the specimens makes the 
work of their study and classification extremely difficult. 
I speak advisedly when I say that such a task is ex- 
tremely rare in paleontology. It is doubtful whether 
there ever has been another instance where so many 
hundreds of fossils, representing two formations and at 
the very least over sixty species, many unknown else- 
w T here, have presented themselves in such fragmentary, 
metamorphosed and obscure forms.. 

The case is one much beyond the ordinary requirements 
of paleontological study. Among the countless numbers 
of specimens visible in the ledges, I have never yet found 
a single one weathered out more or less entire, detached, 
and fallen to the ground, as we commonly find them in 
geological localities. All are more or less imbedded and 
amalgamated with the surrounding rock ; all have some 
of their important features altered or obliterated by a 
partial metamorphic alteration of the rock. In the case 
of the orthoceratites, in particular, the mode of presen- 
tation of the specimen, in the majority of cases, is very 
embarrassing. It consists usually of a plane longi- 
tudinal section of the orthoceratite, in the accidental 
position caused by the natural abrasion and weathering 
of the rock, while it is not in many cases possible by use 
of hammer and chisel to develop any more of the shell. 



Such a specimen may show the character and distance 
of the septa approximately, and give some idea of the 
curvature, and of the relative size of the chamber of 
habitation ; but unless we can know the exact relative 
position of the exhibited plane, then the true amount of 
taper and curvature, the degree of convexity and marginal 
arching of the septa, the shape of the septal sutures, the 
position, size, and shape of the siphon, and the shape of 
the transverse section of the shell are all unrevealed ; 
yet unless a fair number of these elements can be made 
out, little progress can be made in the specific determi- 
nation of the fossil. In some cases a more or less longi- 
tudinal section of the siphon appears in the section of 
the shell. This at once reveals the true plane of the 
section, and becomes the key to many of the specific 
characters which we desire to know. 

Under the difficulties mentioned, it has been necessary 
to adopt many devices for bringing to view the concealed 
structure. Grinding and polishing the surface has been 
of much assistance ; but sawing across the fossil at one 
or more points, followed by a thorough polishing, labo- 
rious and time-consuming as it is, has often yielded the 
most satisfactory and decisive results in determination. 
It is scarcely necessary to mention that the making of 
microscopic slices has also proved of invaluable service. 

Following the natural division of my subject, I will 
speak first of the points of progress in the knowledge of 
the local stratigraphy, and then of those belonging more 
particularly to paleontology, so far as the latter have 
not been necessarily brought forward in the stratigraphi- 
cal discussion. 

In regard to the stratigraphy, one point gained is that 
it proves to be far more complicated than it was at first 
supposed to be. 

In place of the one or two folds of the two limestones, 
at first made out, there now appear to be several main 


w. b. DWiaiiT. 145 

folds, the relative positions of which are complicated by 
frequent "faults," while in some places several alterna- 
tions of the Trenton and calciferous occur within the dis- 
tance of a few feet. These phenomena occur both at 
Rochdale and at Cliffdale, (the estate of Mrs. Andrew 
Boardman), near the barns at the northeast corner of 
the premises. The estimated width of a single thick- 
ness of the Trenton, at Rochdale, is apparently from 
seventy-five to one hundred feet, while that of the cal- 
ciferous is estimated to be nearly three times as great. 
There are probably four main folds of the two combined 
limestones at the latter place. The narrow alternations 
above mentioned require some special explanation, and 
their cause is not to be hastily assumed. I have 
thought them to be local slips, or ''faults" parallel 
with the "strike." But to others they are strongly sug- 
gestive of possible synchronism of the life of the two 
sets of fauna, in consequence of which, according to 
varying conditions, -alternations of one or the other were 

If this latter theory should be the right one, then we 
have in these phenomena of our vicinity facts of emi- 
nent importance in stratigraphical and paleontological. 
philosophy. The more recent and careful investigations 
which I have made, however, seem to me to favor the 
former and more commonplace explanation rather than 
the latter. 

There is another feature of much stratigraphic impor- 
tance revealed by the later explorations. There is to-day 
no apparent reason for receding from the ground pre- 
viously taken, that the limestone identified as Trenton 
and that called provisionally calciferous are entirely and 
plainly distinct in their fossil fauna, and, as a general 
rule, in their lithological characters. This is so pal- 
pable that experienced geologists who have visited this 
field have immediately yielded their assent to this fact. 



Moreover, they have been able, after a single glance, as 
it were, at the two kinds of rocks, to assign the succes- 
sive exposures of ledges, in passing over the fields, at 
once to their right groups. 

Yet it is also beyond question a fact that the Trenton 
rests directly upon the so-called calciferous, and is at 
that plane so intimately in union, or amalgamated with 
it, that it appears to grow out of it solidly, without any 
definite seam of separation, such as is usually found be- 
tween different strata. Thus the rock is not a whit more 
inclined to break under a blow along a plane which would 
separate between the Trenton and calciferous, than it is 
in any other direction. It is not therefore uncommon to 
find in the debris, fragments of homogeneous solidity 
throughout, which contain portions of both formations. 
These come from such positions of junction. Where the 
two formations thus come together, their characteristic 
fossils are in the closest juxtaposition. There, and there 
only, the Ophileta compacta lies alongside of the Choe- 
tetes compacta. But more than this : as the surface of 
the lower rock, the calciferous, was evidently undulating 
with ridges and hollows, at the time that the Trenton 
fossils began to be deposited upon it, it follows that, as 
referred to a horizontal plane, in these places Trenton 
fossils may lie at a lower level than calciferous ones, and 
calciferous fossils, in close proximity, may lie in the solid 
rock at a higher level than their Trenton neighbors. 
Thus, in a certain sense, but I think not in the full, true 
sense of the expression, the Trenton and calciferous fos- 
sils seem to be intermingled, for a very narrow space, at 
the line of junction. 

Here again questions of general stratigraphical im- 
portance are raised. If there is a true and absolute in- 
termingling of the two fauna here, then it follows that 
for a certain limited transitional period these two distinct 
systems of life were synchronous. This is a point of so 


W. B. D WIGHT. 147 

much interest in geological science that it is one of the 
most prominent features in this local exploration, and 
deserves the most careful study. Though it would give 
me much pleasure, if the facts observed should enable 
me to announce the certainty of synchronism in the two 
fauna as established at Rochdale, yet, as I have already 
intimated, there has not yet been evident that true inter- 
mingling of fossils which would fairly establish this con- 
clusion Further observations may modify this view. 

Another conclusion desirable from this proximity of 
the two sets of fossils, is that it shows that no inter- 
mediate deposit could have occurred in this vicinity ; 
consequently, if the lower limestone is the calciferous, 
there must have been quite a suspension of deposits 
here, (presumably by temporary elevation into dry land,) 
while the intermediate strata found elsewhere, were be- 
ing deposited. The facts, however, give additional prob- 
ability to the theory that the lower limestone is more 
closely related to the Trenton limestone than the calcifer- 
ous would be. 

This brings me to the last point which I will mention 
in connection with the stratigraphy, which I will put in 
the form of a question. Do the investigations of the 
last two or three years increase or diminish the proba- 
bility of the view taken in the earlier stages of the work, 
that the lower limestone belongs to the calciferous 
group \ 

The first assignment to the calciferous group was 
made by myself, in consequence of finding fossils corre- 
sponding better to the ordinary calciferous fossils of the 
United States than to any others. It is true that the 
list of such fossils in our country is exceedingly meagre, 
very poorly understood, and very vaguely described. 
But those at that time found at Rochdale were not of a 
nature to raise much doubt, or, at least, to give much 



importance to doubt, as to the correctness of this assign- 

When, about a year later, these numerous orthocera- 
tites were found, a violent shock was thereby given to 
this original determination of the horizon. The equi- 
librium, however, was soon restored for awhile by dis- 
covering also other fossils corresponding with some de- 
scribed in the Canadian calciferous, notably, Ophileta 
cojnpacta, Salter. This gasteropod is fortunately admi- 
rably described and illustrated in Decade i., page 16, 
Can. Geol. Survey. This evidence seemed so conclusive, 
not only to myself but to several paleontologists of the 
highest experience, to whom the specimens had been 
submitted, that these orthoceratites were then accepted 
as being indeed a new phase of our calciferous. 

If, as is undoubtedly to be admitted, there is far more 
doubt as to the true geological horizon of these fossils 
to-day, it is not at all because of any weakening of the 
hitherto accepted evidence as to the presence of charac- 
teristic calciferous fossils, but solely to the very remark- 
able nature and extent of the cephalopods, brachiopods, 
gasteropods and trilobites, which later explorations have 
developed. These are so far beyond anything which has 
been yet known in the so called calciferous of the United 
States, if not that of Canada, that on this ground alone, 
we are compelled to revise our earlier views. No real 
discussion of the question is possible in the limits of this 
article ; nor indeed would any such discussion be profit- 
able at this stage of the investigation. Some of the fea- 
tures of these fossils show close relations to- the Trenton 
group ; in other respects they as remarkably and essen- 
tially differ from that group, belonging in so far to ear- 
lier types of fauna. This question is complicated by the 
fact that the so-called " calciferous," both of the United 
States and Canada, is itself seriously in question at the 
present time. It is very likely that important modifica- 


W. 13. DWTGHT. 149 

tions will soon be made in the nomenclature and classi- 
fication of much of the rock now called such in the 
United States ; it is not unlikely that the phenomena of 
our Wappinger limestone, as now developed, will have 
much to do in determining such a reclassification. 

I will close this part of the subject by saying that at 
the present stage of investigation, (1) this lower limestone 
still seems to me more properly referable to the so called 
" calciferons " than to any other formation, and that 
I will continue for the present to give it that name pro- 
visionally ; (2) that if not calciferons, it will probably 
prove to be a member of the Canadian rather than the 
Trenton period — and may not unlikely prove to be the 
Chazy group ; (3) that any extended discussion of this 
question is scarcely profitable until these fossils are 
fully studied and described ; (4) that whatever the future 
decision as to the horizon, the fossils themselves will re- 
main remarkable and important. 

Before leaving the stratigraphical questions, it is 
proper to say a few words as to the relative extent and 
exposures of the two limestones. The great mass of the 
limestone along the Wappinger creek, from Willow 
Brook, at least, to New Hamburgh, appears to be cal- 
ciferous, and shows its fossils in many places all along 
this line. On the west side of the Hudson, from Marl- 
borough to three miles southwest of Newburgh, the 
mass of the rock lithologically appears to be calciferons, 
though I have entirely failed to find a single calciferons 
fossil in all that region. The Trenton rock and fossils 
are much more limited in their exposures, and yet there 
are long stretches of this formation usually lying on the 
eastern sides of the limestone ridges. A little Trenton 
crops out at Wallace's quarry, Salt Point, ten miles 
northeast of Poughkeepsie. It appears largely at Pleas- 
ant Valley, six miles from this city, then at Rochdale. 

and for about one mile south of that place. 



There are no fossils of any kind between this last point 
and the northeast limits of Cliffdale (the estate of Mrs. 
Andrew Boardman.) Fossiliferous Trenton forms the 
eastern edge of the limestone ridge from this point, for 
at least three miles south, and appears again on the farm 
of Thomas W. Jaycox, about five miles south of Pough- 
keepsie. It is doubtless continuous throughout the 
whole range mentioned, though not always recognizable. 
It also appears in the parallel ridges to the west of Cliff- 
dale, and further south. 

On the west side of the Hudson, it appears three and 
and a half miles north of Newburgh, on the east face of 
the ridgf, and also at a point from four to five miles 
southwest of that city. 

It remains to make a few brief statements as to the re- 
cent progress in that part of the work which is more 
strictly paleontological. 

The development of points of interest as regards the 
number and character of the fossils in these two lime- 
stones has much exceeded anything which I could have 
anticipated when I last addressed you on this subject. 
No adequate idea could be given of these facts without 
going into detailed descriptions, which, when completed, 
would fill a volume. All, that lean say within the re- 
maining limits of this occasion must necessarily be so 
general that I fear it will hardly secure much interest in 
the subject. 

To the various Trenton fossils previously reported 
here are now to be added Strophomena deltoidea, and 
an undescribed species of Triples ia. The fossil called 
Choetetes compacta has been the subject of controversy 
as to its true character. Some would assign it to the 
sponges rather than to the corals. A very careful ex- 
amination of many microscopic sections, however, seems 
to prove that one or more corals — one a Tetradlum — are 

gTouped under this name. I hope to publish before 


W. B. DWIGHT. 151 

long a full discussion of this very difficult and inter- 
esting subject. Microscopic sections have revealed 
other unsuspected minute corals of various genera, not 
yet sufficiently examined for description. 

In the calciferous group, in addition to the gastero- 
pods, Holopea of unknown species, Ophileta covipacta, 
complanata, and sordida, formerly reported, there are 
several species of Raphistoma, one new species of Bu- 
cania, probably several new species .of Ophileta, and a 
large species of what is perhaps Ilelicotoma. Of brachi- 
opods, there are one or more species of Orthis and Lep- 
toma ; also, Triplesia (Carrier ella) calcifera, a fossil of 
the Canadian calciferous, in large numbers. Of trilo- 
bites, by blasting at Rochdale, I have found a sufficient 
number to describe two new species provisionally under 
the genus Bathyurus, to which they do not thoroughly 
conform. One of these species has a smooth and exceed- 
ingly convex glabella ; the other has a glabella covered 
with pustules and of very low convexity. 

Of the orthoceratites I can only say that after over 
three years labor on them, I have at last worked them 
up sufficiently to begin to publish descriptions of some of 
them. In the April number of the American Journal 
of Science, I have described and illustrated by a plate, 
six new species of orthoceratites and the two species 
of trilobites above mentioned, from this limestone. A 
large and fine cyrtoceras, with an elliptical marginal 
siphon, which is one of the most abundant, I have named 
Cyrtoceras vassarina. The five other orthoceratites de- 
scribed are named as follows : Orthoceras spissiseptum. 
and henrietta, Cyrtoceras dactyloides, and viicroscopi- 
cum and Oncoceras oasiforme. Of the trilobites, the 
smooth one is named Bathyurus taurifrons, and the 
pustulated one, B. crotalifrons. I hope to follow up 
these descriptions very soon by others. It is as yet im- 
possible to give a very near estimate as to the number of 



species of orthoceratites present in this limestone, bnt 
there are apparently at least from twenty-five to thirty 
species, mostly new. There are probably over sixty 
species of fossils in our immediate neighborhood in the 
Wappinger limestone, hitherto pronounced unfossilifer- 

As a group, it is very probable that the orthoceratites 
will prove to be of much interest to students of cephalo- 
podic structure. 

There is in this group of orthoceratites a predomi- 
nance (1) of curved forms, (2) of frequent or crowded 
septa, (averaging, perhaps, eighteen or twenty to the 
inch), (3) of marginal siphuncles (not a single central 
siphon has yet appeared in the whole number, so far as 
I recollect), (4) of proportionately very large siphuncles, 
generally without any cone, (ft) of elliptical or oval cross- 
sections, (6) of smooth shells. 

The facts here developed have already far outgrown 
the limits of the serial contributions begun in the Amer- 
ican Journal of Science. It is my present plan, there- 
fore, that this series should be carried to completion by 
giving general statements, covering the whole ground of 
the stratigraphy and paleontology, accompanied by 
illustrated, descriptions of some of the more character- 
istic fossils. The complete details, with copious plates 
and maps, I hope to be able to present in the form of a 
book as soon as the task of working up the mass of ma- 
terial on my hands and the notes in my field-books can 
be completed. 


Prof. W. B. Dwight, chairman, presiding ; six mem- 
bers present 

Messrs. Arnold, Cooley, and Dwight exhibited, under 
the microscope, specimens of rock-sections, crystals of 



gold, and minute fresh water crustaceons, supplementing 
the views with explanatory remarks. 
The following paper was read : 



Order : Passeries — perchers. 
Family : Turdidce — thrushes. 

Hylocichla {Tardus) pallasi — hermit thrush. 

One specimen. 
Hylocichla {Tardus) swainsonl — olive-backed thrush. 

One specimen. 
Hylocichla {Tardus) fuscescens — Wilson's thrush. 

One specimen. 
Turdus migrator ms — American red-breast : robin. 

Two specimens. 
Harporhy nchus rufus — brown thrush : thrasher. 

Two specimens. 
Mimus polyglottus — mocking-bird. 

One specimen. 
Galeoscoptes carolinensis — cat-bird. 

Two specimens. 

Family : Saxicolidas — stonechats. 

Sialia sialis — commom blue-bird 

Three specimens : two old and one young. 

Family : Parida 1 — titmice. 

Lophophanes oicolor — tufted titmouse. 

One specimen. 
Parus atricapillus var. carolinensis — southern chick- 

Two s}>ecimens. 



Family : Sittidce-^mithntches. 

Sitta carolinensis — white-bellied nuthatch. 
Two specimens. 

Family : Troglodytidce — wrens. 

Troglodytes cedon — house-wren. 
Two specimens. 

Family : Motacillidce — wagtails. 

Anthus ludovicianus — titlark : brown lark. 
Two specimens. 

Family : Sylmcolidoe — warblers. 

Mniotilta varia black-and-white creeping warbler. 

Three specimens. 
Ohlorls (Parula) americana— blue yellow-backed war- 

Two specimens. 
Helmintliophaga ruficapilla — Nashville warbler. 

Two specimens. 
Dendrosca cestiva — summer or golden warbler. 

Four specimens. 
Dendrceca ccerulescens — black-throated blue warbler. 

One specimen. 
Dendrosca virens— black- throated green warbler. 

Two specimens. 
Dendrosca coronata — yellow-rumped warbler. 

Two specimens. 
Dendrceca maculosa — black-and-yellow warbler. 

Three specimens. 
Dendrwca pennsyloanica — chestnut-sided warbler. 

Four specimens. 
Dendrwca castanea — bay-breasted warbler. 

Two specimens. 
Dendrwca blackburnice — orange- throated or Black- 
burnian warbler. 

Two specimens. 


W. &. STEVENSON. 155 

DendrtBca plnus — pine-creeping warbler. 

Two specimens. 
Slums aurlcaplllus — golden-crowned thrush or wag- 

One specimen. 
Siurus ncevius — water-thrush. 

One specimen. 
Wilson la canadensis— Canada fly-catching warbler. 

Two specimens. 
SetopJiaga ruticllla — American redstart. 

One specimen. 

Family : Tanagfidce — tanagers. 

Pyranga rubra — scarlet, tanager. 
Two specimens. 

Family : Hlrundinldw — swallows. 

Hlrundo erythrogastra — barn swallow. 

Two specimens. 
Petrochelldon lunlfrons— cliff swallow. 

One specimen. 

Family : Ampelldce — chatterers. 

Ampells cedrorum — cedar-bird ; southern wax-wing. 
Three specimens : two old and one young. 

Family : Vlreonidm — vireos. 

Vireosylvla ollvacea — red-eyed vireo. 

Two sxDecimens. 
Vireo noveboracensis — white-eyed vireo. 

Two specimens. 

Family : Laniidce — shrikes. 

Lanius borealis — great northern shrike ; butcher-bird. 
Two specimens. 



Family : Fringillidce — finches. 

Pinicola enucleator — pine grosbeak. 

Two specimens. 
Carpodacus purpureus — purple finch. 

Three specimens. 
Loxia curmrostra {Curmrostra americana) — red cross- 

One specimen. 
2Egiothus linarius — red poll linnet. 

Two specimens. 
Chrysomitris tristis — yellow bird ; thistle bird. 

Two specimens. 
Plectrophanes nivalis — snow bunting. 

Two specimens. 
Passer domesticus — English sparrow. 

Pour specimens : two old and two young. 
Ammodromus passer inus — yellow- winged sparrow. 

One specimen. 
Zonotrichia leucophrys — white-crowned sparrow. 

One specimen. 
Zonotrich ia albicollis — white-throated sparrow. 

Two specimens. 
Spizella monticola — tree-sparrow. 

Two specimens. 
Melospiza melodia — song-sparrow. 

.Two specimens. 
Junco hy emails (J. or eg onus) — Oregon or black snow- 

Two specimens. 
Passerella illaca — fox spa now. 

Two specimens. 
Qon iaphea ludomclana — rose] treasted grosbeak. 

( hie specimen. 
Cyanosplza cyanea— idigo bird. 

Two specimens. 



Pipllo erythrophthalmus — marsh or ground robin ; 
Two specimens. 

Family : Icteridce— orioles. 

DolicTionyx oryzivorus — bobolink : reed-bird. 

Four specimens. 
Molotlirus ater — cowbird. 

Two specimens. 
Ageltms phcenlceus — red-winged blackbird or starling. 

Two specimens. 
Sturnella. magna — meadow lark. 

Five specimens : two old and three young. 
Icterus baltimore — Baltimore oriole. 

Five specimens : two old and three young. 
Icterus spurius — orchard oriole. 

Two specimens. 
Scolecophagus ferrugineus — rusty grackle ; rusty 
black- bird. 

Two specimens. 
Quiscalus purpureas — crow black-bird; purple 

Two specimens. 

Family : Corvidce — crows and jays. 

Corvus americanus — common crow. 

One specimen. 
Cyanurus cristatus — blue-jay. 

Two specimens. 

Family : Tyrannidie — fly-catchers. 

Tyr annus carolinensis — king-bird. 

Two specimens. 
Myiarclius crinitus — great-crested fly-catcher. 

One specimen. 



Order : Picarue — picarian birds. 

Family : Caprimulgidce — goatsuckers. 

Antrostomus carolinensis — Chuckwill's widow. 
One specimen. 
Chordeiles virginianus — night-hawk. 
Two specimens. 

Family : Cypselidce — swifts. 

Chcttura pelaglca — chimney swift. 
Two specimens. 

Family : Alcedinidce — king-fishers. 

Ceryle alcyon — belted king-fisher. 
Four specimens. 

Family : Cuculidce — cuckoos. 

Coccygus americanus — yellow-billed cuckoo. 

One specimen. 
Coccygus erythr ophthalmitis — block-billed cuckoo. 

Two specimens. 

Family : Picidce — woodpeckers. 

Plcus mllosus — hairy woodpecker. 

One specimen. 
Picus pubescens — downy woodpecker. 

Two specimens. 
Sphyrapicus varius — yellow-bellied woodpecker. 

Three specimens. 
Melanerpes erythrocephalus — red-headed woodpecker. 

Two specimens. 
Colaptes auratus — golden-winged woodpecker. 

Eight specimens — two old and six young. 
Centurus aurifrons — yellow-faced woodpecker. 

One sjDecimen. 



Order : Raptor es — birds of prey. 
Family : Strigidce — owls. 

Asio otus {Otus loilsonianus) — long-eared owl. 

One specimen. 
Asio or achy otus {Br achy otus palustris) — short-eared 

One specimen. 
Syrnium nebulosum — barred owl. 

Four specimens : two old and two yonng. 
Nyctale acadica — saw-whet owl. 

One specimen. 
Scops asio — screech owl. 

Two specimens : one with grey and one with red 
Bubo mrginianus — great horned owl. 

Four specimens : two old and two young. 

Family : Falconidce — falcons. 

Falco columbarius — pigeon hawk. 

One specimen. 
Falco sparverius — sparrow hawk. 

One specimen. 
Pandion halicetus — osprey : fish hawk. 

Two specimens. 
Circus cyaneus var. hudsonius — marsh hawk or 

Three specimens. 
Astur palumbarius var. atricapillus — goshawk. 

Three specimens. 
Accipiter f us cus — sharp-shinned hawk. 

Three specimens. 
Accipiter cooperi — chicken hawk. 

Two specimens. 
Buteo borealis — hen hawk : red-tailed blizzard. 

Five specimens: three old and two young. 


Buteo borealis var. montanus — 

Four specimens. 
Buteo lineatus — red-shouldered buzzard. 

Six specimens : three old and three young. 
HaUcetus leucocephalus — -bald eagle. 

Three specimens : one old and two young. 

Order : ColumbcB — columbine birds. 
Family : Columbidce — doves. 

Ectopistes migrator ius — wild pigeon. 

One specimen. 
Zencedura carolinensis — mourning dove. 

Three specimens. 
C hammpelia passerina — ground dove. 

Three specimens. 

Order : Gallince — gallinaceous birds. 

Family : Tetraonidce — grouse. 

Bonasa umbellus — partridge. 
Two specimens. 

Order : Limicolce — shore birds. 

Family : C7iaradriido3 — plovers. 

JEgialitis melodus- -piping plover. 
One specimen. 

Family : Scolopacidas — snipe. 

Philohela minor — American woodcock. 

Two specimens. 
Gallinago wilsoni — American snipe. 

One specimen. 
Tringa bairdii — Baird' s sandpiper. 

One specimen. 


W. G. STEVENSON". 161 

Totanus melanoleucus — greater tell-tale :; yellow 

Two specimens. 
Tringoides macularius — tip-up : spotted sandpiper. 

Eight specimens : two old and six young. 

Order : Herodiones — herons and storks. 
Family : Ardeidce — herons. 

Ardea herodias — great blue heron. 

Three specimens. 
Butorides vireseens — green heron. 

Two specimens. 
Nyctiardea grisea var. ncevia — night heron : squawk. 

Two specimens. 
Botaurus minor — stake driver : bittern. 

One specimen. 

Order : Alectorides — cranes and rails. 
Family : Mallidce — rails. 

Porzana Carolina — Carolina rail. 

One specimen. 
Oallinula galeata — Florida gallinule. 

One specimen. 

Order : Lamellirostres — anserine birds. 
Family : Anatidce — ducks. 

Anas boschas — mallard duck. 

One specimen. 
Anas obscura — black duck. 

Two specimens. 
Querquedula discors — blue-winged teal. 

One specimen. 
Aix sponsa — wood duck. 

One specimen. 



Bucephala albeola — dipper: butter-ball. 

One specimen. 
Harelda glacialis — "old wife : " long-tailed duck. 

One specimen. 
Mergus merganser— shell-drake : goosander. 

Two specimens. 

Order : Longipennes — long-winged swimmers. 

Family : Laridce — gulls. 

Hydrocheltdon lariformis (fissipes) — black tern. 
One specimen. 

There are in the museum, in addition to the above- 
named, two specimens of "bitterns," four specimens of 
"grebes," of the genus Pod iceps, and three specimens 
of the genus Podilymbus, all found in this vicinity, 
whose species have not yet been determined. 

From southern localities we have a srjecimen of the 
"snake bird," "rosy-spoonbill," "great white egret," 
and from the w T est there are specimens of " Calif ornia 
quail," pinnated grouse, or, "prairie hen," and "ptar- 
migans" in summer, fall, and winter plumage. 


Prof. W. B. Pwight, chairman, presiding ; ten mem- 
bers present. 

The chairman presented the following Annual Report : 

To the Members of the Scientific Section, Vassar 
Brothers Institute : The scientific meetings of this Sec- 
tion have been held with unbroken regularity during 
the present season. As required by our by-laws, I will 
make the following report of the work that has been 

Dr. C. B. Warring gave the first paper, on the Gyro- 
scope, to the most lively entertainment of all who lis- 


chairman's annual report. 163 

tened to it and who watched the illustrative experiments. 
He presented an analysis of the various problems in- 
volved in the subject as they had appeared under his 
own careful observation, and in a wholesome way taxed 
the powers of the society in their endeavor to follow his 
original and exceedingly ingenious explanation of its 
mysterious motions. He also, on another evening, 
opened, in a very able and interesting manner, the ques- 
tion of the " Uniformity of Climate in Past Geological 
Ages,' 1 the discussion being subsequently continued at 
considerable length by other members. 

Dr. W. G. Stevenson introduced to the Section a 
couple of fine sharks, captured by himself and Mr. C. B. 
Herrick, at Nantucket, Mass., and gave an elaborate 
and accurate description of their characteristics and re- 
lations to other species. This will be one of the most 
valuable jjapers in our proceedings for the year. On 
two other occasions, he also read a paper on ' l Our Local 
Mammalian Fauna,' 1 and gave a "List of Birds found 
in this Vicinity, and represented in the Museum," by 
which he endeavored to increase the interest of the Sec- 
tion in the complete collection and study of the ani- 
mal forms of this vicinity. 

Prof. Maria Mitchell presented, in her usual clear and 
attractive way, the subject of the planet Saturn, 
bringing before the society, with the assistance of black- 
board illustrations, the results of many careful original 

Prof. Cooley discussed, during one evening, with ad- 
mirable clearness, "The Laws of the Compressibility of 
Gases," describing the successive systems of experimen- 
tation which have been devised to ascertain these laws 
and the latest conclusions reached. He also exhibited a 
new, simple, and perfectly effective apparatus, of his 
own invention, which demonstrates these laws with 
scientific accuracy, while by the lantern the results are 



shown upon a screen to a large audience. On a subse- 
quent occasion, he presented consecutively these three 
topics: "On Some New Laboiatory Appliances," com- 
prising some ingenious original modifications of Rich- 
ards' aspirator for the immediate and perfect removal of 
noxious fumes in a laboratory, and other appliances ; 
also, "Influence of the Density of a Gas on the Electric 
Discharge," illustrated by some remarkably fine experi- 
ments ; and, "Notes on the Liquefaction of Gases." 

Dr. J. M. DeGarmo occupied an evening, with much 
acceptation, on "Evidence of Intelligence in Butterflies." 
Much of the interest and value of this paper was due to 
the feature that many of the facts from which conclu- 
sions were drawn were derived from his own careful and 
extended observation. 

Mr. C. N. Arnold entertained and instructed the 
society by a full account of "Gums and Resins," in 
which their origin, nature, and economical value were 
well described. 

The chairman, on three separate evenings, presented 
the topics, "An Interesting Geological Locality at Corn- 
wall, N. Y.," and " Report of Progress in Geological In- 
vestigations in the Vicinity of Poughkeepsie," in both 
of which the results of original investigation were de- 
scribed, and "Embryonic Forms of Limulus polyphe- 
mus" in which many interesting facts, as developed by 
various naturalists, were collated. 

The last stated meeting was given up to microscopic 
work. Professor Cooley showed some rare and beau- 
tiful forms of microscopic crystals of gold, and de- 
scribed their artificial formation. Mr. Arnold showed a 
number of rock sections, and the chairman exhibited 
some of the minute crustaceans of our ponds. 

With this varied list of subjects the evenings have 
been filled out to their utmost capacity, and profitably 
filled. It is proper for me to state also that, in addition 


chairman's annual report. 165 

to the work of the regular Section meetings, the Scien- 
tific Section has made valuable contributions on scien- 
tific subjects to the course of lectures given before the 
entire Institute. Thus, besides the address of the chair- 
man on "Specialization in Science," Doctor DeGarmo 
gave a lecture on "The Eternal Heavens," Doctor War- 
ring one on "Evolution," and Rev. H. L. Zeigenfuss 
one on "Colorado, Geologically and Industrially Con- 
sidered," with lantern illustrations. 

These exercises have been conducted throughout with 
an earnest spirit, and with a manifest desire on the part 
of the members to carry out heartily the work properly 
belonging to our Section. We cannot but notice with 
pleasure the large proportio.n of original work and orig- 
inal thought which has entered into the contributions of 
our members. This is a most essential feature in the 
success of a modern scientific society, and as long as it 
is sustained it will be a guarantee of success. 

The exercises have been generally held in the lecture 
room, but occasionally, for convenience, in the museum. 
The audiences have generally been larger than could 
have been expected, and, in many instances, our room 
has been filled to overflowing. It is evident that among 
certain classes of your citizens, this honest, earnest, tech- 
nical scientific work of our Section room is becoming 
more appreciated. But there is yet need of developing 
a more thorough and practical interest in this work 
among the citizens in general. If they can be better in- 
formed, month by month, of the work the Section is 
doing, they may be induced to give us more full expres- 
sions than we at present receive of their interest and 
sympathy in our labors. And such sympathy is never 
a mere matter of sentiment. It opens the doors to as- 
sistance of practical value. 

Although the museum and library are not technically 
the special property of this Section, yet the fact that the 



former, and the scientific works which form the larger 
portion of the latter, are collected by, and practically be- 
long to, the work of our Section, justifies me in includ- 
ing a few words in regard to them in this report. A 
large number of specimens have been acquired in the 
museum, both by donation and purchase, thus adding 
much to bur opportunities for comparison and study. 
The most valuable of these is the white shark (Carcha- 
rodon car char ias), the skin of which, with that of its 
companion, the sand shark, were presented to the In- 
stitute by Doctor Stevenson. Many valuable scientific 
treatises have been placed on the shelves of our library 
this year. One of the most valuable of these are the 
volumes on tk Infusoria," by W. Saville Kent. It is an 
elegant and expensive book, acquired by purchase, and 
those who possess microscopes will find it to their advan- 
tage to consult this book in their examination of infu- 
sorial organisms. 

In conclusion, I would thank the members of the Sec- 
tion for the most cordial and effectual way in which 
they have cooperated with their chairman in making the 
record of the present season one of which we have no 
reason to be ashamed. 

Willi a 3i B. D wight, 


The officers for 1884-85 were elected, viz. : 
Prof. W. B. Dwight, - - Chairman. 
Mr. C. N. Arnold, - - Recording Secretary.