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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



THE 

POPULAR SCIENCE 

MONTHLY 



EDITED BY 

J. McKEEN CATTELL 



VOL. LV1I1 

NOVEMBER, 1900, TO APRIL, 1901 



NEW YORK AND LONDON 
MCCLURE, PHILLIPS AND COMPANY 

1901 






•■^ 



I OI'YRIGHT, 19<H 

\:\ McOLURE, PHILLIPS AND COMPANY 



VOL. LVUI.— 



THE 



POPULAR SCIENCE 



MONTHLY. 




NOVEMBER, 1900. 
CHAPTERS ON THE STAES. 

By PROFESSOR SIMON NEWCOMB, U. S. N. 
BINARY AND MULTIPLE SYSTEMS. 

SIE WILLIAM HEESCHEL was the first to notice that many stars 
which, to the unaided vision, seemed single, were really composed 
of two stars in close proximity to each other. The first question to 
arise in such a case would he whether the proximity is real or whether 
it is only apparent, arising from the two stars being in the same line 
from our system. This question was speedily settled by more than 
one consideration. If there were no real connection between any two 
stars, the chances would be very much against their lying so nearly in 
the same line from us as they are seen to do in the case of double stars. 
( hit of 5,000 stars scattered at random over the celestial vault the 
chances would be against more than three or four being so close together 
that the naked eye could not separate them, and would be hundreds to 
one against any two being as close as the components of the closer 
•double stars revealed by the telescope. The conclusion that the prox- 
imity is in nearly all cases real is also proved by the two stars generally 
moving together or revolving round each other. 

Altogether there is no doubt that in the case of the brighter stars 
all that seem double in the telescope are really companions. But when 
we come to the thousands or millions of telescopic stars, there may be 
some cases in which the two stars of a pair have no real connection and 
are really at very different distances from us. The stars of such a pair 
are called 'optically double.' They have no especial interest for us 
and need not be further considered in the present work. 

After Herschel, the first astronomer to search for double stars 
■on a large scale was Wilhelm Struve, the celebrated astronomer of 



4 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

Dorpat. So thorough was his work in this field that he may fairly be 
regarded as the founder of a new branch of astronomy. Armed with 
what was, at that time (1815-35), a remarkable refracting telescope, 
he made a careful search of that part of the sky visible at Dorpat, with 
a view of discovering all the double stars within reach of his instru- 
ment. The angular distance apart of the components and the direc- 
tion of the fainter from the brighter star were repeatedly measured 
with all attainable precision. The fine folio volume, 'Mensurse Micro- 
metricse,' in which his results were published and discussed, must long- 
hold its place as a standard work of reference on the subject. 

Struve had a host of worthy successors, of whom we can name only 
a few. Sir John Herschel was rather a contemporary than a successor. 
His most notable enterprise was an expedition to the Cape of Good Hope 
for the purpose of exploring the southern heavens with greater tele- 
scopes that had then been taken to the southern hemisphere. Herschel, 




Fig. 1. Position-angle and Distance of a Double Star. 



South and Dawes, of England, were among the greatest English ob- 
servers about the middle of the century. Otto Struve, son of Wilhelm, 
continued his father's work with zeal and success at Pulkowa. Later 
one of the most industrious observers was Dembowski, of Italy. Dur- 
ing the last thirty years one of the most successful cultivators of double- 
star astronomy has been Burnham, of Chicago. He is to-day the lead- 
ing authority on the subject. Enthusiasm, untiring industry and won- 
derful keenness of vision have combined to secure him this position. 

The particulars which the careful observer of a double star should 
record are the position-angle and distance of the components and their 
respective magnitudes. To these Struve added their colors; but this 
has not generally been done. 

Let P be the principal star and C the companion. Let N S be a 
north and south line through P, or an arc of the celestial meridian, the 
direction N being north and S south from the star P. 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 5 

Then, the angle N P C is called the position-angle of the pair. It 
is counted round the circle from 0° to 360°. The angle drawn in the 
figure is nearly 120°. Were the companion C in the direction S the 
position angle would be 180°; to the right of P it would he 270°; to 
the right of N it would be between 270° and 360°. 

The distance is the angle P C, which is expressed in seconds of arc. 

We cannot set any well-defined limits to the range of distance. The 
general rule is that the greater the distance beyond a few seconds the 
less the interest that attaches to a double star, partly because the ob- 
servation of distant pairs offers no difficulty, partly because of the in- 
creasing possibility that the components have no physical connection 
and so form only an optically double star. With every increase of tele- 
scopic power so many closer and closer pairs are found that we cannot 
set any limit to the number of stars that may have companions. It is 
therefore to the closer pairs that the attention of astronomers is more 
especially directed. 

The difficulty of seeing a star as double, or, in the familiar lan- 
guage of observers, of 'separating' the components, arises from two 
sources, the proximity of the companion to the principal star and the 
difference in magnitude between the two. It was only in rare cases 
that Struve could separate a pair of distance half a second. Now 
Burnham finds pairs whose distance is one-quarter of a second or less; 
possibly the limit of a tenth of a second is being approached. It goes 
without saying that a very minute companion to a bright star may, 
when the distance is small, be lost in the rays of its brighter neighbor. 
For all these reasons no estimate can be made of the actual number 
of double stars in the heavens. With every increase of telescopic 
power and observing skill more difficult pairs are being found without 
a sign of a limit. 

The great interest which attaches to double stars arises from the 
proof which they afford that the law of gravitation extends to the 
stars. Struve, by comparing his own observations with each other, or 
with those of Herschel, found that many of the pairs which he meas- 
ured were in relative motion; the position angle progressively chang- 
ing from year to year, and sometimes the distance also. The lesser 
star was therefore revolving round the greater, or, to speak with more 
precision, both were revolving round their common center of gravity. 
To such a pair the name binary system is now applied. 

There can be no reasonable doubt that the two components of all 
physically connected double stars revolve round each other. If they 
did not their mutual gravitation would bring them together and fuse 
them into a single mass. We are therefore justified in considering all 
double stars as binary systems, except those which are merely opti- 
cally double. For reasons already set forth, the pairs of the latter 



6 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

class which are near together must be very few in number; indeed, there 
are probably none among the close double stars whose brightest com- 
ponent can be seen by the naked eye. 

The time of revolution of the binary systems is so long that there 
are only about fifty cases in which it has yet been determined with 
any certainty. Leaving out the 'spectroscopic binaries/ to be hereafter 
described, the shortest period yet found is eleven years. In only a 
small minority of cases is the period less than a century. In the large 
majority either no motion at all has yet been detected, or it is so slow 
as to indicate that the period must be several centuries, perhaps several 
thousand years. 

There is a great difficulty in determining the period with precision 
until the stars have been observed through nearly a revolution, owing 
to the number of elements, seven in all, that fix the orbit, and the 
difficulty of making the measures of position angle and distance with 
precision. It thus happens that many of the orbits of binary systems 
which have been computed and published have no sound basis. Two 
cases in point may be mentioned. 

The first magnitude star Castor, or a Geminorum, can be seen 
to be double with quite a small telescope. The components are in rela- 
tive motion. Owing to the interesting character of the pair it has 
been well observed, and a number of orbits have been computed. The 
periodic times found by the components have a wide range. The fact 
is, nothing is known of the period except that it is to be measured by 
centuries, perhaps by thousands of years. 

The history of 61 Cygni, a star ever memorable from being the 
first of which the parallax was determined, is quite similar. Al- 
though, since accurate observations have been made on it the com- 
ponents have moved through an apparent angle of 30°, the observa- 
tions barely suffice to show a very slight curvature in the path which 
the two bodies are describing round each other. Whether the period 
is to be measured by centuries or by thousands of years cannot be de- 
termined for many years to come. 

In his work on the 'Evolution of the Stellar Systems,' Prof. T. J. J. 
See has investigated the orbits of forty double stars having the shortest 
periods. There are twenty-eight periods of less than one hundred years 

In considering the orbits of binary systems we must distinguish 
between the actual and the apparent orbit. The former is the orbit as 
it would appear to an observer looking at it from a direction perpen- 
dicular to its plane. This orbit, like that of a planet or comet mov- 
ing round the sun, is an ellipse, having the principal star in its focus. 
The point nearest the latter is called the periastron, or pericenter, and 
corresponds to the perihelion of a planetary orbit. The point most 
distant from the principal star is the apocenter. It is opposite the 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 7 

pericenter and corresponds to the aphelion of a planetary orhit. The 
law of motion is here the same as in the case of a body of the solar 
system; the radius vector, joining the two bodies, sweeps over equal areas 
in equal times. The apparent orbit is the orbit as it appears to us. It 
differs from the actual orbit because we see it from a more or less 
oblique direction. In some cases the plane of the orbit passes near our 
system. Then to us the orbit will appear as a straight line and the 
small star will seem to swing from one side of the large one to the other 
like a pendulum, though the actual orbit may differ little from a circle. 
In some cases there may be two pericenters and two apocenters to the 
apparent orbit. This will be the case when a nearly circular orbit is 
seen at a considerable obliquity. 

It is a remarkable and interesting fact that the law of areas holds 
good in the apparent as in the actual orbit. This is because all parts 
of the planeof the orbit are seen at the same angle, so that the obliquity 
of vision diminishes all the equal areas in the same proportion and thus 
leaves them equal. 

The two most interesting binary systems are those of Sirius and 
Procyon. In the case of each the existence and orbit of the com- 
panion were inferred from the motions of the principal star before the 
companion had been seen. Before the middle of the century it was 
found that Sirius did not move with the uniform proper motion which 
characterizes the stars in general; and the inequality of its motion was 
attributed to the attraction of an unseen satellite. Later Auwers, from 
an exhaustive investigation of all the observations of the star, placed 
the inequality beyond doubt and determined the elements of the orbit 
of the otherwise unknown satellite. Before his final work was pub- 
lished the satellite was discovered by Alvan G. Clark, of Cambridgeport, 
Mass., son and successor of the first and greatest American maker of 
telescopes. Additional interest was imparted to the discovery by the 
fact that it was made in testing a newly constructed telescope, the 
largest refractor that had been made up to that time. The discoverer 
was, at the time, unaware of the work of Peters and Auwers demon- 
strating the existence of the satellite. The latter was, however, in the 
direction predicted by Auwers, and a few years of observation showed 
that it was moving in fairly close accordance with the prediction. 

The orbit as seen from the earth is very eccentric, the greatest dis- 
tance of the satellite from the star being about ten seconds, the least 
less than three seconds. Owing to the brilliant light of Sirius the satel- 
lite is quite invisible, even in the most powerful telescopes, when near- 
est its primary. This was the case in the years 1890-92 and will again 
be the case about 1940, when another revolution will be completed. 

The history of Procyon is remarkably similar. An inequality of its 
motion was suspected, but not proved, by Peters. Auwers showed from 



8 POPULAR 8CIE2JCE MONTHLY. 

observations that it described an orbit seemingly circular, having a 
radius of about 1". There could be no doubt that this motion 
must be due to the revolution of a satellite, but the latter long evaded 
discovery, though carefully searched for with the new telescopes which 
were from time to time brought into use. At length in 1895 Sehaeberle 
found the long-looked-for object with the 36-inch telescope of the 
Lick Observatory. It was nearly in the direction predicted by Auwers, 
and a year's observation by Sehaeberle, Barnard and others showed 
that it was revolving in accordance with the theory. 

If the conclusion of Auwers that the apparent orbit of the principal 
star is circular were correct, the distance of the satellite should always 
be the same. It would then be equally easy to see at all times. The 
fact that neither Burnham nor Barnard ever succeeded in seeing the 



!835j 



Fig. 2. x:\ 

it .' \ / 

<= . X jl 1869 

Fig. -. Apparent Orbit of oc Centauri, i:y Professob See. 

object with the Lick telescope would then be difficult to account for. 
The fact is, however, that the periodic motion of Procyon is so small 
that a considerable eccentricity mighl exisl without being detected by 
observations. The probability is, therefore, that the apparent orbit is 
markedly eccentric and i lint the satellite was nearer the primary dur- 
ing the years 1878-92 than it was when discovered. 

One very curious feature, common to both of these systems, is that 
the mass of each satellite, as compared with I hat of its primary, is out 
of all proportion to its brightness. The remarkable conclusions to be 
drawn from this fact will he discussed in a subsequent chapter. 



+ 9°37'; 


it 


=11. 45 


-30° 1'; 


a 


= 18. 85 


- 13°38' ; 


a 


=22. 00 


+ 26°34' ; 


it 


=24. 00 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. g 

The system of oc Centauri is interesting from the shortness of the 
period, the brightness of the stars and the fact that it is the nearest 
star to ns so far as known. We reproduce a diagram of the apparent 
orbit from Dr. See's work. The period of revolution found by Dr. 
See is eighty-one years. The major axis of the apparent orbit is 32"; 
of the minor axis 6". 

The pairs of which, so far as known, the period of revolution is the 
shortest, are these: 

Years. 

5 Pegasi ; R. A. =21h. 40m. ; Dec.= + 25°11' ; Period = ll. 42. 

6 Equulei; " =21h. 10m. ; " 
B, Sagittarii;" =18h. 56m. ; " 
ft Argus; '' = 7h. 47m. ; " 
85 Pegasi ; " - 23h. 57m. ; " 

TRIPLE AND MULTIPLE SYSTEMS. 

Systems of three or more stars so close together that there must be 
a physical connection between them are quite numerous. There is 
every variety of such systems. Sometimes a small companion of a 
brighter star is found to be itself double. A curious case of this sort 
is that of y Andromedse. This object was observed and measured by 
Struve as an ordinary double star, of which the companion was much 
smaller than the principal star. Some years later Alvan Clark found 
that this companion was itself a close double star, of which the com- 
ponents, separated by about 1", were nearly equal. Moreover, it 
was soon found that these components revolved round each other in 
a period not yet accurately determined, but probably less than a cen- 
tury. Thus we have a binary system revolving round a central star, 
as the earth and moon revolve round the sun. 

In most triple systems there is no such regularity as this. The 
magnitudes and relative positions of the components are so varied that 
no general description is possible. Stars of every degree of brightness 
are combined in every way. Observations on these systems extend over 
so short an interval that we have no data for determining the laws 
of motion that may prevail in any but one or two of the simplest cases. 
They are, in all probability, too complicated to admit of profitable 
mathematical investigation. There is, therefore, little more of inter- 
est to be said about them. 

There is a very notable multiple system known as the Trapezium of 
Orion, from the fact that it is composed of four stars, one of which is 
plainly visible to the naked eye, while the others may he well seen in 
the smallest telescope. There are also two other very faint stars, each 
of which seems to be a companion of one of the bright ones. This sys- 
tem is situated in the great nebula? of Orion, to be described in the next 



io POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

chapter, a circumstance which has made it one of the most interest- 
ing objects to observers. Xo motion has yet been certainly detected 
among the components. 

SPECTROSCOPIC BINAEY SYSTEMS. 

Among the many striking results of recent astronomical research 
it would be difficult to name any more epoch-making than the discov- 
ery that great numbers of the stars have invisible dark bodies revolving 
round them of a mass comparable with their own. The existence of 
these revolving bodies is made known not only by their eclipsing the 
star, but by producing a periodic change in the radial motion of the 
star. How their motion is determined by means of the spectroscope 
has been briefly set forth in a former chapter. As a general rule 
the motion is uniform in the case of each star. We have described in 
a former chapter the periodic character of the radial motion of Algol, 
discovered by Vogel. This was followed by the discovery that a 
Virginis, though not variable, Avas affected by a similar inequality of 
the radial motion, having a period of four days and nineteen minutes. 
The velocity of the star in its apparent orbit is very great, about ninety- 
one kilometers, or fifty-six English miles, per second. It follows that 
the radius of the orbit is some three million miles. The mass of the 
invisible companion must, therefore, be very great. 

£ MS 



Fig. 3. /a 

Fig. 3. Radial Motion of a Binary System. 



A now form of binary system was thus brought out which, from the 
method of discovery, was called the spectroscopic binary system. But 
there is really no line to be drawn between these and other binary 
systems. "We have seen that as telescopic power is increased, closer and 
closer binary systems are constantly being formed. We naturally infer 
that there is no limit to the proximity of the pairs of stars of such sys- 
tems and that innumerable stars may have satellites, planets or com- 
panion stars so close or so faint as to elude our powers of observation. 
Still, there is as yet a wide gap between the most rapidly moving visible 
binary system and the slowest spectroscopic one, which, however, will 
be filled by continued observation. 

The actual orbit of such a system cannot be determined with the 
spectroscope, because only one component of the motion, that in the 
direction of the earth, can be observed. In the case of an orbit of 
which the plane was perpendicular to the line of sight from the earth 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 



1 1 



to the star the spectroscope could give us no information as to the mo- 
tion. The motion to or from the earth would be invariable. To show 
the result of the orbit being seen obliquely, let E be the earth 
and A S be the plane of the orbit seen edgewise. Drop the per- 
pendicular A M upon the line of "sight. Then, while the star is 
moving from S to A the spectroscope will measure the motion as 
if it took place from S to M. Since S M is less than A S, the 
measured velocity will always be less than the actual velocity, ex- 
cept in the rare case when the plane of the orbit is directed toward 
the earth. Since the spectroscope can give us no information as to 
the inclination under which we see the orbit, it follows that the actual 
orbital velocities of the spectroscopic binaries must remain unknown. 
We can only say that they cannot be less, but may be greater to any 
extent than that shown by our measures. 




Fig. 4. The Mills Spectrograph of the Lick Observatory. 



If the components of a binary system do not differ greatly in bright- 
ness, its character may be detected without actually measuring the radial 
velocities. Since the motion is shown by a displacement of the spectral 
lines and since, in any binary system, the two components must always 
move in opposite directions, it follows that the displacements of the 
spectral lines of the two stars will be in opposite directions. Hence, 
when one of the stars, say A, is moving toward us, and the other, say 
D, from us, all the spectral lines will appear double, the lines made by 
A being displaced toward the blue end of the spectrum and those by 
B toward the red end. After half a revolution the motion will be re- 
versed and the lines will again be double; only the lines of star A will 
now be on the red side of the others. Between these two phases will 



12 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



be one in which the radial velocities of the two stars are the same; the 
lines will then appear single. 

The first star of which the binary character was detected in this way 
is <? Ursse Majoris. The discovery was made at the Harvard Obser- 
vatory. Capella is supposed to be another of the same class. 

About 1896 the Lick Observatory was supplied with the best spec- 




Fig. 5. The New Photographic Refracting Telescope of the Astkophysical 
Observatory at Potsdam, neak Berlin. 



trograph that Brashear could produce, the gifl of Mr. D. 0. [Mills. In 

the hands of Campbell the measurements of radial motion with this 
instrument have reached an extraordinary degree of precision and 
brought to light the fact that systems of the kind in question are more 
numerous than would ever have been suspected. Campbell believes 
that tbe radial motion of about one star in every thirteen is affected by 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 13 

an observable inequality. Such an inequality can arise only through 
the action of a neighborhood of a mass at least comparable with that 
of our sun. A new field of astronomical research is thus opened, the 
exploration of which must occupy many years. The ultimate result 
may be to make as great an addition to our knowledge of the heavens 
as has been made during the last century by the telescope. 

STAR-CLUSTERS. 

A star-cluster is a bunch or collection of stars separated from the 
great mass of stars which stud the heavens. The Pleiades, or 'seven 
stars,' as they are familiarly called, form a cluster, of which six of the 
components are easily seen by the naked eye, while five others may be 
distinguished by a good eye. 

About 1780 Michell, of England, raised the question whether, sup- 
posing the stars visible to the naked eye to be scattered over the sky 
at random, there would be a reasonable possibility that those of the 
Pleiades would all fall within so small a space as that filled by the 
constellation. His correct conclusion was in the negative. It follows 
that this cluster does not consist of disconnected stars at various dis- 
tances, which happen to be nearly in a line from our system, but is 
really a collection of stars by itself. Besides the stars visible to the 
naked eye, the Pleiades comprise a great number of telescopic stars, of 
which about sixty have been catalogued and their relative positions de- 
termined. The principal star of the cluster is Alcyone or i] Tauri, which 
is of the third magnitude. The five which come next in the order of 
brightness are not very unequal, being all between the fourth and fifth 
magnitudes. Six are near the sixth magnitude. The remainder, so far 
as catalogued, range from the seventh to the ninth. 

In this case there is a fairly good method of distinguishing between 
a star which belongs to the cluster and one which probably lies beyond 
it. This test is afforded by the proper motion. All the stars of the 
group have a common proper motion in the same direction of about 
seven seconds per century. The first accurate measures made on the 
relative positions of the stars of the cluster were those of Bessel, about 
1830. In recent years several observers have made yet more accurate 
determinations. The most thorough recent discussion is by Elkin. 
One result of his work is that there is as yet no certain evidence of any 
relative motion among the stars of the group. They all move on to- 
gether with their common motion of seven seconds per century, as if 
they were a single mass. 

A closer cluster, which is plainly visible to the naked eye and looks 
like a cloudy patch of light, is Prassepe in Cancer. It is very well seen 
in the early evenings of winter and spring. Although there is nothing 
in the naked-eye view to suggest a star, it is found on telescopic ex- 



14 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



animation that the individual stars do not fall far below the limit of 
visibility, several being of about the seventh magnitude. 

Another notable cluster of the same general nature is that in Per- 
seus. This constellation is situated in the Milky Way, not far from its 
region of nearest approach to the pole. In the figure of the constella- 
tion the cluster forms the handle of the hero's sword. It may be seen 




Fig. 6. The Great Cluster in Hercules, as Photographed with 
the Crossi.ey Reflector of the Lick Observatory. 



in the evening during almost any season except summer. To the naked 
eye it seems more diffused and star-like than Prasepe; in fact, it has 
two distinct centers of condensation, so that it may be considered as a 
double cluster. 

The two clusters last described may be resolved into stars with the 
smallest telescopes. But in the case of most of these objects the in- 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 



15 



dividual stars are so faint that the most powerful instruments scarcely 
suffice to bring them out. One of the most remarkable clusters in the 
northern heavens is that of Hercules. To the naked eye it is but a 
faint and insignificant patch which would be noticed only by a careful 
observer. But in a large telescope it is seen to be one of the most 
interesting objects in the heavens. Near the border the individual stars 
can be readily distinguished. But they grow continually thicker 
toward the center, where, even in a telescope of two feet aperture, the 




Fig. 7. The Cluster GO Centauri, Photographed by Gill at the Cape Observatory. 



observer can see only a patch of light, which is, however, as he scans it, 
suggestive of the countless stars that must there be collected. By the 
aid of photography, Professor Pickering has nearly succeeded in the 
complete resolution of this cluster. 

In many cases the central portions of these objects are so condensed 
that they cannot be visually resolved into their separate stars, even 
with the most powerful telescopes. . A closer approach to complete 
resolution has been made by photography. We present copies of sev- 
eral photographs which have been made by Pickering, Gill and others. 



16 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

The cluster which, according to Pickering, may he called the finest 
in the sky, is oj Centauri. It lies just within the border of the Milky 
Way, in right ascension, 13h. 20.8m., and declination — 46° -47'. There 
are no bright stars near. To the naked eye it appears as a hazy star 
of the fourth magnitude. Its actual extreme diameter is about 40'. 
The brightest individual stars within this region are between the eighth 
and ninth magnitudes. Over six thousand have been counted on one 
of the photographs and the whole number is much greater. 

The most remarkable and suggestive feature of the principal clusters 
is the number of variable stars which they contain. This feature has 
been brought out by the photographs taken at the Harvard Observa- 
tory and at its branch station in Arequipa. The count of stars and the 
detection of the variables was very largely made by Professor Bailey, 
who, for several years past, has been in charge of the Arequipa station. 
The proportion of variables is very different in different clusters. In 
the double cluster, 869-884, only one has been found among a thousand 
stars. The richest in variables is Messier, 3, in which one variable 
has been detected among every seven stars. It might be suspected that 
the closer and more condensed the cluster the greater the proportion of 
variables. This, however, does not hold universally true. In the 
great cluster of Hercules only two variables are found among a thou- 
sand stars. 

Very remarkable, at least in the case of go Centauri, is the shortness 
of the period of the variables. Out of one hundred and twenty-five 
found, ninety-eight have periods less than twenty-four hours. On the 
subject of the law of variation in these cases, Pickering says: 

"The light curves of the ninety-eight stars whose periods are less 
than twenty-four hours may be divided into four classes. The first is 
well represented by No. 74. The period of this star is 12h. 4m. 3s. and 
the range in brightness two magnitudes. Probably the change in 
brightness is continuous. The increase of light is very rapid, occupy- 
ing not more than one-fifth of the whole period. In some cases, pos- 
sibly in this star, the light remains constant for a short time at mini- 
mum. In most cases, however, the change in brightness seems to be 
continuous. The simple type shown by No. 74 is more prevalent in 
this cluster than any other. There are, nevertheless, several stars, as 
No. 7, where there is a more or less well marked secondary maximum. 
The period of this star is 2d. llh. 51m. and the range in brightness 
one and a half magnitudes. The light curve is similar to that of well- 
known short-period variables, as 3 Cephei and // Aquilae. Another 
class may be represented by No. 126, in which the range is less than a 
magnitude and the times of increase and decrease are about equal. 
The period is 8h. 12m. 3s. No. 24 may perhaps be referred to as a 
fourth type. The range is about seven-tenths of a magnitude and the 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. j 7 

period is llh. 5m. 7s. Apparently about 65 per cent, of the whole 
period is occupied by the increase of the light. This very slow rate of 
increase is especially striking from the fact that in many cases in this 
cluster the increase is extremely rapid, probably not more than ten 
per cent, of the whole period. In one ease, No. 45, having a period of 
14h. 8m., the rise from minimum to maximum, a change of two mag- 
nitudes takes place in about one hour, and in certain cases, chiefly owing 
to the necessary duration of a photographic exposure, there is no proof 
at present that the rise is not much more rapid. 

"The marked regularity in the period of these stars is worthy of 
attention. Several have been studied during more than a thousand, 
and one during more than five thousand, periods without irregularities 
manifesting themselves." 

It may be added that this regularity of the period, taken in con- 
nection with the case of rj Aquilse, already mentioned, affords a strong 
presumption that the variations in the light of these stars are in seme 
way connected with the revolution of bodies around them, or of one star 
round another. Yet it is- certain that the types are not of the Algol 
class and that the changes are not due merely to one star eclipsing an- 
other. That such condensed clusters should have a great number of 
close binary systems is natural, almost unavoidable, we might suppose. 
It will hereafter be shown to be probable that among the stars in gen- 
eral single stars are the exception rather than the rule. If such be the 
case, the rule should hold yet more strongly among the stars of a con- 
densed cluster. 

Perhaps the most important problem connected with clusters is the 
mutual gravitation of their component stars. Where thousands of 
stars are condensed into a space so small, what prevents them from all 
falling together into one confused mass? Are they really doing so, and 
will they ultimately form a single body? These are questions which 
can be satisfactorily answered only by centuries of observation; they 
must, therefore, be left to the astronomers of the future. 

XEBUL.E. 

The first nebula, properly so-called, to be detected by an astronomi- 
cal observer was that of Orion. Huyghens, in his 'Systema Saturnium,' 
gives a rude drawing of this object, with the following description: 

"There is one phenomenon among the fixed stars worthy of men- 
tion which, so far as I know, has hitherto been noticed by no one, and, 
indeed, cannot be well observed except with large telescopes. In the 
sword of Orion are three stars quite close together. In 1656, as I 
chanced to be viewing the middle one of these with the telescope, in- 
stead of a single star, twelve showed themselves (a not uncommon 
circumstance). Three of these almost touched each other, and, with 

VOL. LVIII.— 2 



18 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

four others, shone through a nebula, so that the space around them 
seemed far brighter than the rest of the heavens, which was entirely 
clear, and appeared quite black, the effect being that of an opening in 
the sky, through which a brighter region was visible." 

For a century after Huyghens made this observation it does not ap- 
pear that these objects received special attention from astronomers. 
The first to observe them systematically on a large scale was Sir Wm. 
Herschel, whose vast researches naturally embraced them in their scope. 
His telescopes, large though they were, were not of good defining 
power and, in consequence, Herschel found it impossible to draw a cer- 
tain line in all cases between nebula? and clusters. At his time it was 
indeed a question whether all these bodies might not be clusters. This 




Fig. 8. The Great Nebula of Orion, as Photographed by A. A. Common with 

a Four-foot Reflector. 

question Herschel, with his usual sagacity, correctly answered in the 
negative. Up to the time of the spectroscope, all that astronomers 
could do with nebula? was to discover, catalogue and describe them. 

Several catalogues of these objects have been published. The one 
long established as a standard is the General Catalogue of Nebula? and 
Clusters, by Sir John Herschel. With each object Herschel gave a 
i ondensed description. Recently Herschel's catalogue has been super- 
seded by the general catalogue of Dreyer, based upon it. 

Some of the more conspicuous of these objects are worthy of being 
individually mentioned. At the head of all must be placed the great 
nebula of Orion. This is plainly visible to the naked eye and can be 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 



19 



seen without difficulty whenever the constellation is visible. Note the 
three bright stars lying nearly in an east and west line and forming 
the belt of the warrior. South of these will be seen three fainter 
ones, hanging below the belt, as it were, and forming the sword. To 
a keen eye, which sharply defines the stars, this middle star will appear 
hazy. It is the nebula in question. Its character will be strongly 
brought out by the smallest telescope, even by an opera-glass. Draw- 
ings of it have been made by numerous astronomers, the comparison of 




Fig. 9. The Great Nebula of Andromeda Photographed by Roberts. 



which has given rise to the question whether the object is variable. It 
cannot be said that this question is yet decided; but the best opinion 
would probably be in the negative. In recent times the improvements 
of the photographic process have led to the representation of the object 
by photography. A photograph made by Mr. A. A. Common, F.R.S., 
with a reflecting telescope, gives so excellent an impression of the ob- 
ject that by his consent we reproduce it. 

The most remarkable feature connected with the nebula of Orion 



20 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



is the so-called Trapezium, already described. That these four stars 
form a system by themselves cannot be doubted. The darkness of the 
nebula immediately around them suggests that they were formed at 
the expense of the nebulous mass. 

Great interest has recently been excited in the spiral form of cer- 
tain nebulas The great spiral nebula M. 51 in Canes Venatici has long 
been known . We reproduce a photograph of this object and another. 
It is found by recent studies at the Lick Observatory that a spiral form 
can be detected in a great number of these objects by careful examina- 
tion. 




Fig. 10. The Great Spiral Nebula M. 51, as Photographed with the 
Crossley Reflector at the Lick Observatory. 



Another striking feature of numerous nebulas is their varied and 
fantastic forms, of which we give a number of examples. The Triphid 
nebula' is a noted one in this respect. 

The great nebula of Andromeda is second only to that of Orion. 
It also is plainly visible to the naked eye and can be more readily 
recognized as a nebula than can the other. It has frequently been 
mistaken for a comet. Seen through a telescope of high power, its 
aspect is singular, as if a concealed light were seen shining through 
horn or semi-transparent glass. It is somewhat elliptical in form, as 
will be seen from a photograph by Sir William Roberts, F.E.S., which 
we reproduce (page 19). 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 



21 



Another nebula which, though not conspicuous to the naked eye, 
has attracted much attention from astronomers, is known, from the 
figure of one of its branches as the Omega nebula. Sir John Herschel, 
who first described this object in detail, says of it: "The figure is nearly 
that of the Greek capital Omega, somewhat distorted and very un- 
equally bright." From one base of the letter extends out to the east 
a, long branch with a hook at the end, which, in most of the drawings, 
is more conspicuous than the portion included in the Omega. The 




Fig. 11. The Great Spiral Nebula M. 33, Photographed with the 
Crossley Reflector of the Lick Observatory. 



drawings, however, vary so much that the question has been raised 
whether changes have not taken place in the object. As in other 
cases, this question is one which it is not yet possible to decide. The 
appearance of such objects varies so much with the aperture of the 
telescope and the conditions of vision that it is not easy to decide 
whether the apparent change may not be due to these causes. It is 
curious that in a recent photograph the Omega element of it, if I may 



22 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



use the term, is far less conspicuous than in the older drawings, and is, 
in fact, scarcely recognizable. 

Among the most curious of the nebula? are the annular ones, which, 
as the term implies, have the form of a ring. It should be remarked 
that in such cases the interior of the ring is not generally entirely 
black, but is filled with nebulous light. We may, therefore, define these 
objects as nebula 1 which are brighter round their circumference than 
in the center. The most striking of the annular nebulae is that of 
Lyra. It may easily be found from being situated about half-way be- 




Fig. 12. The Triphid Nebula, Photographed at the Lick Observatory. 



tween the stars Beta and Gamma. Although it is visible in a medium 
telescope, it requires a powerful one to bring out its peculiar features 
in a striking way. Recently it has been photographed by Keeler with 
the Crossley reflector of the Lick Observatory, who found that the best 
general impression was made with an exposure of only ten minutes. 

The ring, as shown by Keeler's photographs, has a quite compli- 
cated structure. It seems to be made up of several narrower bright 
rings, interlacing somewhat irregularly, the spaces between them be- 
ing filled with fainter nebulosity. One of these rings forms the outer 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 



23 



boundary of the preceding end of the main ring. Sweeping around 
to the north end of the minor axis, it becomes very bright, perhaps by 
superposition on the broader main ring of the nebula at this place. 
It crosses this ring obliquely, forming the brightest part of the whole 




Fig. 13. The Triphid Nebula and. its Surroundings, as Photographed 

by Barnard. 



nebula, and then forms the inner boundary of the main ellipse toward 

its following end. The remaining part of the ring is not so easily 

traced, as several other rings interlace on the south end of the ellipse. 

The central star of this nebula has excited some interest. Its light 



24 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



seems to have a special actinic power, as the star is more conspicuous 
on the photographs than to the eye. 

There are several other annular nebulas which are fainter than 
than of Lyra. The one best visible in our latitudes is known as 
H IV. 13, or 4,565 of Dreyer's catalogue. It is situated in the con- 
stellation Cygnus which adjoins Lyra. Both Herschel and Lord Eosse 
have made drawings of it. It was photographed by Keeler with the 




Fig. 14. Nebulous Mass in Cygntjs, including H. V. 14 and H. 2093. 
Photographed at the Lick Observatory. 



Crossley reflector on the nights of August 9 and 10, 1899, with expo- 
sures of one and two hours, respectively. Keeler states that the nebula, 
as shown by these photographs, "is an elliptical, nearly circular ring, 
not quite regular in outline, pretty sharply defined at the outer edge." 
The outside dimensions arc: 

Major axis 42". 5 

Minor axis 40 .5 

Position angle of major axis 32° 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 25 

The nebula has a nucleus with a star exactly in the center. This 
is very conspicuous on a photograph, hut barely if at all visible with a 
36-inch reflector. 

Another curious class of nebulas are designated as planetary, on 
account of their form. These consist of minute, round disks of light, 
having somewhat the appearance of a planet. The appellation was 
suggested by this appearance. These- objects are for the most part 
faint and difficult. 

It is impossible to estimate the number of nebulas in the heavens. 
New ones have been from time to time discovered, located and de- 
scribed by many observers during the last thirty years. Among these 
Lewis Swift is worthy of special mention. On photographing the sky 
near the galactic pole with the Crossley reflector, Keeler found no less 
than seven of these objects in a space of about one-half a square degree. 
He therefore estimates the whole number in the heavens capable of be- 
ing photographed at several hundred thousand. It may be assumed that 
only a moderate fraction of these are visible to the eye, even aided by 
the largest telescopes. 

Among the most singular of these objects are large diffused nebulas, 
sometimes extending through a region of several degrees. A number 
of these were discovered by Herschel. Barnard, W. H. Pickering and 
others have photographed these for us. One of the most remarkable of 
them winds around in the constellation Orion in such a way that at 
first sight one might be disposed to inquire whether the impression on 
the photographic plate might not have been the result of some defect 
in the apparatus or some reflection of the light of the neighboring stars, 
which is so apt to occur in these delicate photographic operations. But 
its existence happens to be completely confirmed by independent testi- 
mony. It was first detected by W. H. Pickering and afterwards inde- 
pendently by Barnard. 

A curious fact connected with the distribution of nebulas over the 
sky is that it is in a certain sense the reverse of that of the stars. The 
latter are, as we shall hereafter show in detail, vastly more numerous 
in the regions near the Milky Way and fewer in number near the poles 
of that belt. But the reverse is the case with the nebulas proper. They 
are least numerous in the Milky Way and increase in number as we go 
from it in either direction. Precisely what this signifies one would not 
at the present time be able to say. Perhaps the most obvious sugges- 
tion would be that in these two opposite nebulous regions the nebulas 
have not yet condensed into stars. This, however, would be a purely 
speculative explanation. 

On the other hand, star-clusters are more numerous in the galactic 
region. This, however, is little more than saying that in the regions 
where the stars are so much more numerous than elsewhere many of 



26 POPULAR SCIEJSGE MONTHLY. 

them naturally tend to collect in clusters. It is, however, a curious 
fact that, so far as yet been noticed, the large, diffused nebulas 
which we have mentioned are more numerous in or near the Milky 
Way. If this tendency is established it will mark a curious distinction 
between them and the smaller nebulas. 

The most interesting question connected with these objects is that 
of their physical constitution. When, about 1866, the spectroscope 
was applied to astronomical investigation by Huggins and Secchi, these 
two observers found independently that the light of the great nebula 
of Orion formed a spectrum of bright lines, thus showing the object to 
be gaseous. This was soon found to be true of the nebulae generally. 
There is, however, a very curious exception in the case of the great 
nebula of Andromedas. This object gives a more or less continuous 
spectrum. Why this is it is difficult to say. 

Beyond the general fact that the light of a nebula does not come 
from solid matter, but from matter of a gaseous or other attenuated 
form, we have no certain knowledge of the physical constitution of these 
bodies. Certain features of their constitution can, however, be estab- 
lished with a fair approach to accuracy. Not only the spectroscopic 
evidence of bright lines, but the aspect of the objects themselves, show 
that they are transparent through and through. This is remarkable 
when taken in connection with their inconceivable size. Leaving out 
the large diffused nebulae which we have mentioned, these objects are 
frequently several minutes in diameter. Of their distance we know 
nothing, except that they are probably situated in the distant stellar 
regions. Their parallax can be but a small fraction of a second. We 
shall probably err greatly in excess if we assume that it varies between 
one-hundredth and one-tenth of a second. To assign this parallax is 
the same thing as saying that at the distance of the nebulas the dimen- 
sions of the earth's orbit would show a diameter which might range be- 
tween one-fiftieth and one-fifth of a second, while that of Neptune 
would be more or less than one second. Great numbers of these ob- 
jects are, therefore, thousands of times the dimensions of the earth's 
orbit, and probably most of them are thousands of times the dimen- 
sions of the whole solar system. That they should be completely 
transparent through such enormous dimensions shows their extreme 
tenuity. Were our solar system placed in the midst of one of them, 
it is probable that we should not be able to find any evidence of its 
existence. 

A form of matter so different from any that can be found or pro- 
duced on the surface of the earth can hardly be explained by our ordi- 
nary views of matter. A theory has, however, been propounded by Sir 
Norman Lockyer, so ingenious as to be worthy at least of mention. It 
is that these objects are vast collections of meteorites in rapid motion 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 27 

relatively to each other, which come into constant collision. Their 
velocity is such that at each collision heat and light are produced. 
In the language of our progenitors, who in the absence of matches used 
flint and steel, they 'strike fire' against each other. The idea of such 
a process originated with Prof. P. G. Tait, in an attempt to explain 
the tail of a comet, but it was elaborated and developed by Mr. Lock- 
yer in his work on the 'Meteoritic Theory.' 

The objections to this theory seem insuperable. A velocity so 
great, at such a distance from the center of the nebulas, would be in- 
compatible with the extreme tenuity of these objects. Every time 
that two meteors came into collision they would lose velocity, and, 
therefore, if the mass was sufficient to hold them from flying through 
space, would rapidly fall toward a common center. The amount of 
light produced by the collision of two such objects is only a minute 
fraction of the energy lost. The meteors which fall on the earth are 
mostly of iron, and, were the theory true, numerous lines of iron 
should be most conspicuous in the spectrum. But the fact is that in 
the great number of these objects there is but a single bright line, 
which does not seem to correspond to the line of any known substance. 
The supposed matter which produces it has, therefore, been called 
nebuhim. 



28 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



RAPID BATTLESHIP BUILDING. 

By WALDON FAWCETT. 

A VARIETY of influences, aside from the occasional exigencies of 
actual war conditions, have, during the past few years, combined 
to force upon naval architects and shipbuilders a conviction of the need 
for more expeditious work in the construction of war vessels, and es- 
pecially of battleships. As the modern fighting vessel has grown in 
weight and complexity of design, the interval necessitated for its con- 
struction has very naturally been lengthened. That this condition of 
affairs would sooner or later induce a sentiment of dissatisfaction was 
the more certain from the fact that throughout the world many gov- 
ernment officers have to do with the construction and operation of naval 
flotilla who are inadequately informed regarding technical details. 

The feeling of impatience on account of the time occupied in build- 
ing a battleship has, of course, disclosed itself first of all to the ship- 
builder, and the practical men of the industry have already set them- 
selves to remedy the conditions in so far as it is possible. How much 
has been accomplished in a comparatively brief space of time is elo- 
quently attested by the records for time economy in battleship con- 
struction which have been made during the past two years, particularly 
in British and American yards. 

Although the shipbuilder has been able to accomplish much by the 
introduction of improved tools and machinery, with the attendant 
speedier methods of handling material, he is becoming more and more 
an advocate of the simplification of the battleship. His contentions are 
receiving the indorsement of many naval constructors of ability and 
experience, who are impressed by the advisability of reducing the cost 
of single ships, on the theory of the old adage against placing all the 
eggs in one basket. Protests have been directed particularly against 
the complication and multiplying diversity of function sought by 
mechanical contrivances, but of late there have been on the part of 
naval architects many expressions of opinion to the effect that the 
auxiliaries arc not the only features of a battleship which might be 
modified with profit. 

As was stated above, it is the shipbuilder who has first been brought 
to a realization of the fact that he must keep pace with modern progress 
by constant reductions of the time necessary to turn out a complete ar- 
mor-clad. Thus the William Cramp & Sons Ship and Engine Building 
Company, of Philadelphia, has recently secured a contract from the 



RAPID BATTLESHIP BUILDING. 



29 



Russian government for the construction of a battleship and a cruiser, 
largely from the fact that the}' were able to guarantee delivery within 
thirty-three months, whereas the French builders who made tenders 
for the contract could not promise the completion of the vessels much 
under five years. 

Some of the most remarkable records in the reduction of the time 
between the laying of a keel and the launching of a vessel have been 
made in British shipyards. Notable in this respect was the battleship 
'Bulwark/ which was launched at the Davenport dockyard on October 
18, 1899. This vessel was laid down on March 20, 1899, and had thus 
been under construction less than seven months. During that time 




Fig. 1. The Battleship ' Hatsuse ' thkee months after the keel had been laid. 



5,450 tons of material had been built into her, and there is nothing to 
controvert the assertions of the dockyard staff that the work created 
records in both the time she had been under construction and the weight 
attained for the period. In order to convey a better idea of the work 
accomplished it may be noted in passing that the 'Bulwark' is 400 feet 
in' length between perpendiculars, 75 feet beam, 27 feet draught and 
15,000 tons displacement. 

The British builders have for some time past made rapidity of con- 
struction a subject of study, and their more recent achievements have 
been attained as the culmination of a series of performances only 
slightly less creditable. Thus, but nine months and nine days inter- 



30 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



vened between the dates of laying the keel and launching the battleship 
'Canopas', a vessel of 12,590 tons displacement, and even then the work 
was delayed by a strike. The cruiser 'Diadem', a sheathed vessel of 
11,000 tons displacement and 16,500 horse-power, was built by the 
Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Limited, of Govan, 
Scotland, in 214 working days, and moreover, the vessel was fitted, be- 
fore launching, with all her armor casements. 

The battleship 'Majestic' of the British navy was launched complete 
and ready to go into commission, and this vessel went into the water 
just twenty-two months from the date of the laying of the keel. An 
even two years was required for the completion of the 'Magnificent,' 




Fig. 2. The Battleship 'Hatsuse' after abovt four and a half months, showing 

the Protective Deck. 



another battleship of the same class. A record almost equal to that of 
the 'Bulwark' was that of the battleship 'Prince George', the displace- 
ment of which is 14,900 tons. This vessel was built and launched in 
eleven months. For purposes of comparison, the fact may be cited 
that Laird Brothers, of Birkenhead, built the torpedo-boat destroyer 
'Sparrow Il.iwk', a vessel which attained a speed in the neighborhood of 
thirty knots on trial, in the space of one hundred days. 

Taking into consideration, however, all influencing conditions, the 
records made since the beginning of 1899 indicate a distinct advance 
on the part of the builders. The Thames Iron Works, Shipbuilding and 
Engineering Company, of Blackwall, made an excellent showing with 



RAPID BATTLESHIP BUILDING. 



3i 



the British battleship 'Venerable', which was christened early in No- 
vember, 1899. This vessel was laid down in the first week of Janu- 
ary, 1899, and her construction proceeded at such a rate that it was 
possible to place her in the water in exactly ten months from the day 
on which her first keel plate was laid. In this case the builders were 
impelled not so much by a desire to establish a record, as to provide a 
slip for the commencement of work on another naval contract. 

It is a singular coincidence that the most favorable records estab- 
lished thus far in the annals of naval ship-building should have been 
made by three sister vessels, the trio being among the largest battle- 




Fig. 3. The Battleship ' Hatsuse ' ready for Launching. 



ships in the world. The performances of the 'Bulwark' and 'Venerable' 
have already been noted. That of the 'London' is scarcely less credit- 
able. This vessel was built at the Portsmouth dockyard and was 
laid down on December 8, 1898. She was thus under construction a 
little more than nine months, and during that time over five thousand 
tons of material were built into her. 

That all the energies of the builders of the United Kingdom are 
not exerted in behalf of their own nation is attested by the showing 
made by the Thames Iron Works, Shipbuilding and Engineering Com- 
pany in the case of the battleship 'Shikishima', completed during the 
early part of 1899 for the Japanese government. The first plate of this 



32 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



vessel was laid down on May 1, 1897, and although the engineers' strike 
resulted in a delay of more than six months in the delivery of armor, 
armament and engines, the trials of the vessel were completed to the 
satisfaction of all parties concerned, and the 'Shikishima' was turned 
over to her owners in less than twenty -nine months from the date above 
given for the commencement of the work. In its way this achievement 
also constitutes a record which has had no parallel, and certainly the fact 
that despite detrimental circumstances a vessel of 15,000 tons displace- 
ment and 19 knots speed can be built, equipped, armored, engined and 




Fig. 4. The Launching <>f the Battleship ' Hatsuse,' June 27. 1899. 



tested under actual service conditions, all in little more than two years' 
time, speaks well for modern erigineering methods. 

The loss of the Russian contracts previously referred to — and other 
circumstances — have seemingly made some impression on French ship- 
builders, and a shortening of the time consumed in some of the principal 
yards has already been made. For instance, it is announced that should 
nothing unforeseen intervene, the first-class battleship 'Snffren\ which 



RAPID BATTLESHIP BUILDING. 33 

was launched at Brest on July 25, 1899, will be completed by July, 1901. 
Should this promise be fulfilled the time consumed in the construction 
of the vessel will be little more than thirty-one months, which is con- 
siderably less than for any French battleship previously constructed. 
It must also be remembered that the 'Suffren' is the largest battleship 
yet designed for the French navy, her displacement being 12,728 tons. 
In some respects, the 'Suffren' outranks the British vessel, as but six 
months and twenty days elapsed between the laying down of the keel 
and the launching. 

Neither Germany nor the United States can show records to com- 
pare with those of the British builders, despite the expeditious delivery 
of merchant vessels which has been made by firms in both countries. 
The United States has now several plants capable of building and 
launching a battleship in an interval very nearly as brief as the best 
of those above recorded, but American builders have been so retarded 
ever since bringing their plants to the present stage of efficiency by 
difficulty in securing prompt delivery of armor and other material that 
the possibility of making records has been precluded, and, indeed, it is 
not strange if under the circumstances there has been small ambition 
to make the endeavor. 

The photographs herewith reproduced as illustrative of the building 
of a battleship represent the 'Hatsuse', which was launched during the 
summer of 1899 at the Elswick shipyard of Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whit- 
worth & Co., of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, the builders of the 
cruisers 'Albany' and 'New Orleans', the only foreign-built war vessels 
of any considerable size in the American navy. The 'Hatsuse' is a 
battleship of the largest size, and represents in every respect the most 
modern practice. She is 400 feet in length, 76^ feet beam, 27 feet 
draught of water and 15,000 tons displacement. Her engines are 
capable of developing 14,500 indicated horse-power. 

The first photograph was taken about three months after the keel 
had been laid. It shows the framing of the extreme end of the vessel, 
with three tires of beams in view. 

The second picture in the series, taken about six weeks later, look- 
ing aft from about amidships, shows the after barbette about half con- 
structed, while the protective deck is practically completed. The third 
view represents the vessel ready for launching, and the fourth and last 
depicts the launch on June 27, 1899. In conclusion, it may be noted 
that the 'Hatsuse', the launching weight of which was fully 8,000 tons, 
went down the ways several minutes before the appointed time. 



VOL. LVIII.— 3 



34 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



ADDEESS OF THE PRESIDENT BEFORE THE BRITISH ASSO- 
CIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE. 

By Sir WILLIAM TURNER, F. R. S. 

II. 

FUNCTION OF CELLS. 

IT has already been stated that, when new cells arise within pre-exist- 
ing cells, division of the nucleus is associated with cleavage of the 
cell plasm, so that it participates in the process of new cell-formation. 
Undoubtedly, however, its role is not limited to this function. It also 
plays an important part in secretion, nutrition and the special functions 
discharged by the cells in the tissues and organs of which they form 
morphological elements. 

Between 1838 and 1842 observations were made which showed that 
cells were constituent parts of secreting glands and mucous membranes 
{Schwann, Henle). In 1842 John Goodsir communicated to the Royal 
Society of Edinburgh a memoir on secreting structures, in which he 
established the principle that cells are the ultimate secreting agents; he 
recognized in the cells of the liver, kidney and other organs the char- 
acteristic secretion of each gland. The secretion was, he said, situated 
between the nucleus and the cell wall. At first he thought that, as the 
nucleus was the reproductive organ of the cell, the secretion was formed 
in the interior of the cell by the agency of the cell wall; but three years 
later he regarded it as a product of the nucleus. The study of the 
process of spermatogenesis by his brother, Harry Goodsir, in which the 
head of the spermatozoon was found to correspond with the nucleus of 
the cell in which the spermatozoon arose, gave support to the view that 
the nucleus played an important part in the genesis of the characteristic 
product of the gland cell. 

The physiological activity of the cell plasm and its complex chemical 
constitution soon after began to be recognized. Some years before Max 
Schultze had published his memoirs on the characters of protoplasm, 
Briicke had shown that the well-known changes in tint in the skin of the 
chameleon were due to pigment granules situated in cells in the skin 
which were sometimes diffused throughout the cells, at others concen- 
trated in the center. Similar observations on the skin of the frog 
were made in 1854 by von Wittich and Harless. The movements were 
regarded as due to contraction of the cell wall on its contents. In a 
most interesting paper on the pigmentary system in the frog, pub- 



ADDRESS BEFORE THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 35 

lished in 1858, Lord Lister demonstrated that the pigment granules 
moved in the cell plasma, by forces resident within the cell itself, acting 
under the influence of an external stimulant, and not by a contractility 
of the wall. Under some conditions the pigment was attracted to the 
center of the cell, when the skin became pale; under other conditions 
the pigment was diffused throughout the body and the branches of the 
cell, and gave to the skin a dark color. It was also experimentally 
shown that a potent influence over these movements was exercised by 
the nervous system. 

The study of the cells of glands engaged in secretion, even when the 
secretion is colorless, and the comparison of their appearance when 
secretion is going on with that seen when the cells are at rest, have 
shown that the cell plasm is much more granular and opaque, and con- 
tains larger particles during activity than when the cell is passive; the 
body of the cell swells out from an increase in the contents of its plasm, 
and chemical changes accompany the act of secretion. Ample evidence, 
therefore, is at hand to support the position taken by John Goodsir, 
nearly sixty years ago, that secretions are formed within the cells, and lie 
in that part of the cell which we now say consists of the cell plasm; that 
each secreting cell is endowed with its own peculiar property, according 
to the organ in which it is situated, so that bile is formed by the cells in 
the liver, milk by those in the mamma, and so on. 

Intimately associated with the process of secretion is that of nutri- 
tion. As the cell plasm lies at the periphery of a cell, and as it is, alike 
both in secretion and nutrition, brought into closest relation with the 
surrounding medium, from which the pabulum is derived, it is neces- 
sarily associated with nutritive activity. Its position enables it to absorb 
nutritive material directly from without, and in the process of growth it 
increases in amount by interstitial changes and additions throughout its 
substance, and not by mere accretions on its surface. 

Hitherto I have spoken of a cell as a unit, independent of its 
neighbors as regards its nutrition and the other functions which it has 
to discharge. The question has, however, been discussed, whether in a 
tissue composed of cells closely packed together cell plasm may not give 
origin to processes or threads which are in contact or continuous with 
corresponding processes of adjoining cells, and that cells may therefore, 
to some extent, lose their individuality in the colony of which they are 
members. Appearances were recognized between 1863 and 1870 by 
Schron and others in the deeper cells of the epidermis and of some 
mucous membranes which gave sanction to this view, and it seems pos- 
sible, through contact or continuity of threads connecting a cell with its 
neighbors, that cells may exercise a direct influence on each other. 

Nageli, the botanist, as the foundation of a mechanico-physiological 
theory of descent, considered that in plants a network of cell plasm. 



36 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

named by him idioplasm, extended throughout the whole of the plant, 
forming its specific molecular constitution, and that growth and activity 
were regulated by its conditions of tension and movements (1884). 

The study of the structure of plants, with special reference to the 
presence of an intercellular network, has for some years been pursued by 
Walter Gardiner (1882-97), who has demonstrated threads of cell plasm 
protruding through the walls of vegetable cells and continuous with 
similar threads from adjoining cells. Structurally, therefore, a plant 
may be conceived to be built up of a nucleated cytoplasmic network, 
each nucleus with the branching cell plasm surrounding it being a cen- 
ter of activity. On this view a cell would retain to some extent its in- 
dividuality, though, as Gardiner contends, the connecting threads would 
be the medium for the conduction of impulses and of food from a cell 
to those which lie around it. For the plant cell, therefore, as has long 
been accepted in the animal cell, the wall is reduced to a secondary posi- 
tion, and the active constituent is the nucleated cell plasm. It is not 
unlikely that the absence of a controlling nervous system in plants re- 
quires the plasm of adjoining cells to be brought into more immediate 
contact and continuity than is the case with the generality of animal 
cells, so as to provide a mechanism for harmonizing the nutritive and 
other functional processes in the different areas in the body of the plant. 
In this particular, it is of interest to note that the epithelial tissues in 
animals, where somewhat similar connecting arrangements occur, are 
only indirectly associated with the nervous and vascular systems, so that, 
as in plants, the cells may require, for nutritive and other purposes, to 
act and react directly on each other. 

NERVE CELLS. 

Of recent years great attention has been paid to the intimate struc- 
ture of nerve cells, and to the appearance which they present when in 
the exercise of their functional activity. A nerve cell is not a secreting 
cell — that is, it does not derive from the blood or surrounding fluid a 
pabulum which it elaborates into a visible, palpable secretion charac- 
teristic of the organ of which the cell is a constituent element, to be in 
due course discharged into a duct which conveys the secretion out of 
the gland. Nerve cells, through the metabolic changes which take place 
in them, in connection with their nutrition, are associated with the pro- 
duction of the form of energy specially exhibited by animals which 
possess a nervous system, termed nerve energy. It has long been known 
that every nerve cell has a body in which a relatively large nucleus is 
situated. A most important discovery was the recognition that the 
body of every nerve cell had one or more processes growing out from it. 
More recently it has been proved, chiefly through the researches of 
Schultze, His, Golgi and Ramon y Cajal, that at least one of the pro- 



ADDRESS BEFORE TEE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 37 

cesses, the axon of the nerve cell, is continued into the axial cylinder of 
a nerve fiber, and that in the multipolar nerve cell the other processes, 
or dendrites, branch and ramify for some distance away from the body. 
A nerve fiber is, therefore, an essential part of the cell with which it is 
continuous, and the cell, its processes, the nerve fiber and the collaterals 
which arise from the nerve fiber collectively form a neuron or structural 
nerve unit (Waldeyer). The nucleated body of the nerve cell is the 
physiological center of the unit. 

The cell plasm occupies both the body of the nerve cell and its pro- 
cesses. The intimate structure of the plasm has, by improved methods 
of observation introduced during the last eight years by Nissl, and con- 
ducted on similar lines by other investigators, become more definitely 
understood. It has been ascertained that it possesses two distinct char- 
acters which imply different structures. One of these stains deeply on 
the addition of certain dyes, and is named chromophile or chromatic 
substance; the other, which does not possess a similar property, is the 
achromatic network. The chromophile is found in the cell body and 
the dendritic processes, but not in the axon. It occurs in the form of 
granular particles, which may be scattered throughout the plasm, or 
aggregated into little heaps which are elongated or fusiform in shape 
and appear as distinct colored particles or masses. The achromatic 
network is found in the cell body and the dendrites, and is continued 
also in the axon, where it forms the axial cylinder of the nerve fiber. 
It consists apparently of delicate threads or fibrillae, in the meshes of 
which a homogeneous material, such as is found in cell plasm generally, 
is contained. In the nerve cells, as in other cells, the plasm is without 
doubt concerned in the process of cell nutrition. The achromatic fibrillae 
exercise an important influence on the axon or nerve fiber with which 
they are continuous, and probably they conduct the nerve impulses 
which manifest themselves in the form of nerve energy. The dendritic 
processes of a multipolar nerve cell ramify in close relation with similar 
processes branching from other cells in the same group. The collaterals 
and the free end of the axon fiber process branch and ramify in asso- 
ciation with the body of a nerve cell or of its dendrites. We cannot say 
that these parts are directly continuous with each other to form an in- 
tercellular network, but they are apparently in apposition, and through 
contact exercise influence one on the other in the transmission of nerve 
impulses. 

There is evidence to show that in the nerve cell the nucleus, as well 
as the cell plasm, is an effective agent in nutrition. When the cell is 
functionally active, both the cell body and the nucleus increase in size 
(Vas, G. Mann, Lugaro); on the other hand, when nerve cells are 
fatigued through excessive use, the nucleus decreases in size and 
shrivels; the cell plasm also shrinks, and its colored or chromophile con- 



38 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

stituent becomes diminished in quantity, as if it had been consumed 
during the prolonged use of the cell (Hodge, Mann, Lugaro). It is 
interesting also to note that in hibernating animals in the winter season, 
when their functional activity is reduced to a minimum, the chromo- 
phile in the plasm of the nerve cells is much smaller in amount than 
when the animal is leading an active life in the spring and summer 
(G. Levi). 

When a nerve cell has attained its normal size it does not seem to be 
capable of reproducing new cells in its substance by a process of karyo- 
kinesis, such as takes place when young cells arise in the egg and in the 
tissues generally. It would appear that nerve cells are so highly special- 
ized in their association with the evolution of nerve energy, that they 
have ceased to have the power of reproducing their kind, and the meta- 
bolic changes, both in cell plasm and nucleus, are needed to enable them 
to discharge their very peculiar function. Hence it follows that 
when a portion of the brain or other nerve-center is destroyed, the 
injury is not repaired by the production of fresh specimens of their 
characteristic cells, as would be the case in injuries to bones and tendons. 

In our endeavors to differentiate the functions of the nucleus from 
that of the cell plasm, we should not regard the former as concerned 
only in the production of young cells, and the latter as the exclusive 
agent in growth, nutrition and, where gland cells are concerned, in the 
formation of their characteristic products. As regards cell reproduc- 
tion also, though the process of division begins in the nucleus in its 
chromosome constituents, the achromatic figure in the cell plasm un- 
doubtedly plays a part, and the cell plasm itself ultimately undergoes 
cleavage. 

A few years ago the tendency amongst biologists was to ignore or 
attach but little importance to the physiological use of the nucleus in 
the nucleated cell, and to regard the protoplasm as the essential and 
active constituent of living matter; so much so, indeed, was this the case 
that independent organisms regarded as distinct species were described 
a6 consisting of protoplasm destitute of a nucleus; also, that scraps of 
protoplasm separated from larger nucleated masses could, when isolated, 
exhibit vital phenomena. There is reason to believe that a fragment of 
protoplasm, when isolated from the nucleus of a cell, though retaining 
its contractility, and capable of nourishing itself for a short time, cannot 
increase in amount, act as a secreting structure, or reproduce its kind: 
it soon loses its activity, withers and dies. In order that these qualities 
of living matter should be retained, a nucleus is by most observers re- 
garded as necessary (Nussbaum, Gruber, Haberlandt, Korschelt), and 
for the complete manifestation of vital activity both nucleus and cell 
plasm are required. 



ADDRESS BEFORE THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 39 

BACTERIA. 

The observations of Cohn, made about thirty years ago, and those of 
De Bary shortly afterwards, brought into notice a group of organisms to 
which the name 'bacterium' or 'microbe' is given. They were seen to 
vary in shape; some were rounded specks called cocci, others were 
straight rods called bacilli, others were curved or spiral rods, vibrios or 
spirilla?. All were characterized by their extreme minuteness, and re- 
quired for their examination the highest powers of the best microscopes. 
Many bacteria measure in their least diameter not more than j~^ of an 
inch, T ^ the diameter of a human white blood corpuscle. Through the 
researches of Pasteur, Lord Lister, Koch and other observers, bacteria 
have been shown to play an important part in nature. They exercise a 
very remarkable power over organic substances, especially those which 
are complex in chemical constitution, and can resolve them into simpler 
combinations. Owing to this property, some bacteria are of great 
economic value, and without their agency many of our industries could 
not be pursued; others again, and these are the most talked of, exercise 
a malign influence in the production of the most deadly diseases which 
afflict man and the domestic animals. 

Great attention has been given to the structure of bacteria and to 
their mode of propagation. When examined in the living state and 
magnified about 2,000 times, a bacterium appears as a homogeneous par- 
ticle, with a sharp definite outline, though a membranous envelope or 
wall, distinct from the body of the bacterium, cannot at first be recog- 
nized; but when treated with reagents a membranous envelope appears, 
the presence of which, without doubt, gives precision of form to the 
bacterium. The substance within the membrane contains granules 
which can be dyed with coloring agents. Owing to their extreme 
minuteness it is difficult to pronounce an opinion on the nature of the 
ehromatine granules and the substance in which they lie. Some observ- 
ers regard them as nuclear material, invested by only a thin layer of 
protoplasm, on which view a bacterium would be a nucleated cell. 
Others consider the bacterium as formed of protoplasm containing 
granules capable of being colored, which are a part of the protoplasm 
itself, and not a nuclear substance. On the latter view, bacteria would 
consist of cell plasm enclosed in a membrane and destitute of a nucleus. 
Whatever be the nature of the granule-containing material, each bac- 
terium is regarded as a cell, the minutest and simplest living particle 
capable of an independent existence that has yet been discovered. 

Bacteria cells, like cells generally, can reproduce their kind. They 
multiply by simple fission, probably with an ingrowth of the cell wall, 
but without the karyokinetic phenomena observed in nucleated cells. 
Each cell gives rise to two daughter cells, which may for a time remain 



4 o POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

attached to each other and form a cluster or a chain, or they may sep- 
arate and become independent isolated cells. The multiplication, 
under favorable conditions of light, air, temperature, moisture and food, 
goes on with extraordinary rapidity, so that in a few hours many 
thousand new individuals may arise from a parent bacterium. 

Connected with the life-history of a bacterium cell is the formation 
in its substance, in many species and under certain conditions, of a 
highly refractile shiny particle called a spore. At first sight a spore 
seems as if it were the nucleus of the bacterium cell, but it is not always 
present when multiplication by cleavage is taking place, and when 
present it does not appear to take part in the fission. On the other 
hand, a spore, from the character of its envelope, possesses great power 
of resistance, so that dried bacteria, when placed in conditions favorable 
to germination, can through their spores germinate and resume an ac- 
tive existence. Spore formation seems, therefore, to be a provision for 
continuing the life of the bacterium under conditions which, if spores 
had not formed, would have been the cause of its death. 

The time has gone by to search for the origin of living organisms by 
a spontaneous aggregation of molecules in vegetable or other infusions, 
or from a layer of formless primordial slime diffused over the bed of the 
ocean. Living matter during our epoch has been, and continues to be, 
derived from pre-existing living matter, even when it possesses the sim- 
plicity of structure of a bacterium, and the morphological unit is the 
cell. ' 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE EGG. 

As the future of the entire organism lies in the fertilized egg cell, we 
may now briefly review the arrangements, consequent on the process of 
segmentation, which lead to the formation, let us say in the egg of a 
bird, of the embryo or young chick. 

In the latter part of the last century, C. F. Wolff observed that the 
beginning of the embryo was associated with the formation of layers, 
and in 1817 Pander demonstrated that in the hen's egg at first one layer, 
called mucous, appeared; then a second or serous layer, to be followed by 
a third, intermediate or vascular layer. In 1828 von Baer amplified our 
knowledge in his famous treatise, which from its grasp of the subject 
created a new epoch in the science of embryology. It was not, however, 
until the discovery by Schwann of cells as constant factors in the struc- 
ture of animals and in their relation to development that the true nature 
of these layers was determined. We now know that each layer consists 
of cells, and that all the tissues and organs of the body are derived from 
them. Numerous observers have devoted themselves for many years to 
the study of each layer, with the view of determining the part which it 
takes in the formation of the constituent parts of the body, more es- 



ADDRESS BEFORE THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 4< 

pecially in the higher animals, and the important conclusion has been 
arrived at that each kind of tissue invariably arises from one of these 
layers and from no other. 

The layer of cells which contributes, both as regards the number and 
variety of the tissues derived from it, most largely to the formation of 
the body is the middle layer, or mesoblast. From it the skeleton, the 
muscles and other locomotor organs, the true skin, the vascular system, 
including the blood, and other structures which I need not detail, take 
their rise. From the inner layer of cells the principal derivatives are 
the epithelial linings of the alimentary canal and of the air passages. 
The outer layer of cells gives origin to the epidermis or scarf skin, and 
to the nervous system. It is interesting to note that from the same layer 
of the embryo arise parts so different in importance as the cuticle — a 
mere protecting structure, which is constantly being shed when the skin 
is subjected to the friction of a towel or the clothes — and the nervous 
system, including the brain, the most highly differentiated system in 
the animal body. How completely the cells from which they are de- 
rived had diverged from each other in the course of their differentiation 
in structure and properties is shown by the fact that the cells of the 
epidermis are continually engaged in reproducing new cells to replace 
those which are shed, whilst the cells of the nervous system have appar- 
ently lost the power of reproducing their kind. 

In the early stage of the development of the egg, the cells in a given 
layer resemble each other in form, and, as far as can be judged from 
their appearance, are alike in structure and properties. As the devel- 
opment proceeds, the cells begin to show differences in character, and in 
the course of time the tissues which arise in each layer differentiate from 
each other and can be readily recognized by the observer. To use the 
language of von Baer, a generalized structure has become specialized, 
and each of the special tissues produced exhibits its own structure and 
properties. These changes are coincident with a rapid multiplication 
of the cells by cleavage, and thus increase in size of the embryo ac- 
companies specialization of structure. As the process continues, the 
embryo gradually assumes the shape characteristic of the species to 
which its parents belonged, until at length it is fit to be born and to 
assume a separate existence. 

The conversion of cells, at first uniform in character, into tissues of 
a diverse kind, is due to forces inherent in the cells in each layer. The 
cell plasm plays an active, though not an exclusive part in the special- 
ization; for as the nucleus influences nutrition and secretion, it acts as 
a factor in the differentiation of the tissues. When tissues so diverse 
in character as muscular fiber, cartilage, fibrous tissues and bone arise 
from the cells of the middle or mesoblast layer, it is obvious that, in 
addition to the morphological differentiation affecting form and struc- 



42 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

ture, a chemical differentiation affecting composition also occurs, as the 
result of which a physiological differentiation takes place. The tissues 
and organs become fitted to transform the energy derived from the food 
into muscular energy, nerve energy and other forms of vital activity. 
Corresponding differentiations also modify the cells of the outer and 
inner layers. Hence the study of the development of the generalized 
cell layers in the young embryo enables us to realize how all the complex 
constituent parts of the body in the higher animals and in man are 
evolved by the process of differentiation from a simple nucleated cell — 
the fertilized ovum. A knowledge of the cell and of its life-history is, 
therefore, the foundation stone on which biological science in all its de- 
partments is based. 

If we are to understand by an organ in the biological sense a complex 
body capable of carrying on a natural process, a nucleated cell is an 
organ in its simplest form. In a unicellular animal or plant, such an 
organ exists in its most primitive stage. The higher plants and animals 
again are built up of multitudes of these organs, each of which, whilst 
having its independent life, is associated with the others, so that the 
whole may act in unison for a common purpose. As in one of your 
great factories each spindle is engaged in twisting and winding its own 
thread, it is at the same time intimately associated with the hundreds 
of other spindles in its immediate proximity, in the manufacture of the 
yarn, from which the web of cloth is ultimately to be woven. 

It has taken more than fifty years of hard and continuous work to 
bring our knowledge of the structure and development of the tissues and 
organs of plants and animals up to the level of the present day. Amidst 
the host of names of investigators, both at home and abroad, who have 
contributed to its progress, it may seem invidious to particularize in- 
dividuals. There are, however, a few that I cannot forbear to mention, 
whose claim to be named on such an occasion as this will be generally 
conceded. 

Botanists will, I think, acknowledge Wilhelm Hof meister as a master 
in morphology and embryology; Julius von Sachs as the most important 
investigator in vegetable physiology during the last quarter of a century, 
and Strasburger as a leader in the study of the phenomena of nuclear 
division. 

The researches of the veteran professor of anatomy in Wiirzburg, 
Albert von Kolliker, have covered the entire field of animal histology. 
His first paper, published fifty-nine years ago, was followed by a suc- 
cession of memoirs and books on human and comparative histology and 
embryology, and culminated in his great treatise on the structure of the 
brain, published in 1896. Notwithstanding the weight of more than 
eighty years, he continues to prosecute histological research, and has 



ADDRESS BEFORE THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 43 

published the results of his latest, though let us hope not his last, work 
during the present year. 

Amongst our countrymen, and belonging to the generation which 
has almost passed away, was William Bowman. His investigations be- 
tween 1840 and 1850 on the mucous membranes, muscular fiber and 
the structure of the kidney, together with his researches on the organs 
of sense, were characterized by a power of observation and of inter- 
preting difficult and complicated appearances which has made his 
memoirs on these subjects landmarks in the history of histological in- 
quiry. 

Of the younger generation of biologists, Francis Maitland Balfour, 
whose early death is deeply deplored as a loss to British science, was 
one of the most distinguished. His powers of observation and philo- 
sophic perception gave him a high place as an original inquirer, and the 
charm of his personality — for charm is not the exclusive possession of 
the fairer sex — endeared him to his friends. 

GENERAL MOEPHOLOGY. 

Along with the study of the origin and structure of the tissues of 
organized bodies, much attention has been given during the century to 
the parts or organs in plants and animals, with the view of determining 
where and how they take their rise, the order of their formation, the 
changes which they pass through in the early stages of development and 
their relative positions in the organism to which they belong. Investi- 
gations on these lines are spoken of as morphological, and are to be dis- 
tinguished from the study of their physiological or functional relations, 
though both are necessary for the full comprehension of the living 
organism. 

The first to recognize that morphological relations might exist be- 
tween the organs of a plant, dissimilar as regards their function, was the 
poet, Goethe, whose observations, guided by his imaginative faculty, led 
him to declare that the calyx, corolla and other parts of a flower, the 
scales of a bulb, etc., were metamorphosed leaves, a principle generally 
accepted by botanists, and, indeed, extended to other parts of a plant, 
which are referred to certain common morphological forms, although 
they exercise different functions. Goethe also applied the same prin- 
ciple in the study of the skeletons of vertebrate animals, and he formed 
the opinion that the spinal column and the skull were essentially alike 
in construction, and consisted of vertebras, an idea which was also in- 
dependently conceived and advocated by Oken. 

The anatomist who in our country most strenuously applied himself 
to the morphological study of the skeleton was Eichard Owen, whose 
knowledge of animal structure, based upon his own dissections, was un- 
rivaled in range and variety. He elaborated the conception of an ideal. 



44 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

archetype vertebrate form which had no existence in nature, and to 
which, subject to modifications in various directions, he considered all 
vertebrate skeletons might be referred. Owen's observations were con- 
ducted to a large extent on the skeletons of adult animals, of the knowl- 
edge of which he was a master. As in the course of development modi- 
fications in shape and in the relative position of parts not unfrequently 
occur, and their original character and place of origin become obscured, 
it is difficult, from the study only of adults, to arrive at a correct inter- 
pretation of their morphological significance. When the changes which 
take place in the skull during its development, as worked out by 
Reichert and Eathke, became known and their value had become ap- 
preciated, many of the conclusions arrived at by Owen were challenged 
and ceased to be accepted. It is, however, due to that eminent 
anatomist to state from my personal knowledge of the condition 
of anatomical science in this country fifty years ago, that an enormous 
impulse was given to the study of comparative morphology by his writ- 
ings, and by the criticisms to which they were subjected. 

There can be no doubt that generalized arrangements do exist in the 
early embryo which, up to a certain stage, are common to animals that 
in their adult condition present diverse characters, and out of which the 
forms special to different groups are evolved. As an illustration of this 
principle, I may refer to the stages of development of the great arteries 
in the bodies of vertebrate animals. Originally, as the observations of 
Rathke have taught us, the main arteries are represented by pairs of 
symmetrically arranged vascular arches, some of which enlarge and con- 
stitute the permanent arteries in the adult, whilst others disappear. The 
increase in size of some of these arches, and the atrophy of others, are so 
constant for different groups that they constitute anatomical features 
as distinctive as the modifications in the skeleton itself. Thus in mam- 
mals the fourth vascular arch on the left side persists, and forms the 
arch of the aorta; in birds the corresponding part of the aorta is an en- 
largement of the fourth right arch, and in reptiles both arches persist to 
form the great artery. That this original symmetry exists also in man 
we know from the fact that now and again his body, instead of corre- 
sponding with the mammalian type, has an aortic arch like that which 
is natural to the bird, and in rarer cases even to the reptile. A type 
form common to the vertebrata does, therefore, in such cases exist, 
capable of evolution in more than one direction. 

The reputation of Thomas Henry Huxley as a philosophic compara- 
tive anatomist rests largely on his early perception of, and insistence on, 
the necessity of testing morphological conclusions by a reference to the 
development of parts and organs, and by applying this principle in his 
own investigations. The principle is now so generally accepted by both 
botanists and anatomists that morphological definitions are regarded as 



ADDRESS BEFORE THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 45 

depending essentially on the successive phases of the development of the 
parts under consideration. 

The morphological characters exhibited by a plant or animal tend 
to be hereditarily transmitted from parents to offspring, and the species 
is perpetuated. In each species the evolution of an individual, through 
the developmental changes in the egg, follows the same lines in all the 
individuals of the same species, which possess, therefore, in common, 
the features called specific characters. The transmission of these char- 
acters is due, according to the theory of Weismann, to certain properties 
possessed by the chromosome constituents of the segmentation nucleus 
in the fertilized ovum, named by him the germ plasm, which is con- 
tinued from one generation to another, and impresses its specific char- 
acter on the egg and on the plant or animal developed from it. 

As has already been stated, the special tissues which build up the 
bodies of the more complex organisms are evolved out of cells which are 
at first simple in form and appearance. During the evolution of the 
individual, cells become modified or differentiated in structure and func- 
tion, and so long as the differentiation follows certain prescribed lines 
the morphological characters of the species are preserved. We can 
readily conceive that, as the process of specialization is going on, modi- 
fications or variations in groups of cells and the tissues derived from 
them, notwithstanding the influence of heredity, may in an individual 
diverge so far from that which is characteristic of the species as to as- 
sume the arrangements found in another species, or even in another 
order. Anatomists had, indeed, long recognized that variations from 
the customary arrangement of parts occasionally appeared, and they de- 
scribed such deviations from the current descriptions as irregularities. 

DARWINIAN THEORY. 

The signification of the variations which arise in plants and animals 
had not been apprehended until a flood of light was thrown on the entire 
subject by the genius of Charles Darwin, who formulated the wide- 
reaching theory that variations could be transmitted by heredity to 
younger generations. In this manner he conceived new characters 
would arise, accumulate and be perpetuated, which would in the course 
of time assume specific importance. New species might thus be evolved 
out of organisms originally distinct from them, and their specific char- 
acters would in turn be transmitted to their descendants. By a con- 
tinuance of this process new species would multiply in many directions, 
until at length, from one or more originally simple forms, the earth 
would become peopled by the infinite varieties of plant and animal 
organisms which have in past ages inhabited, or do at present inhabit 
our globe. The Darwinian theory may, therefore, be defined as 
heredity modified and influenced by variability. It assumes that there 



46 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

is an heredity quality in the egg, which, if we take the common fowl for 
an example, shall continue to produce similar fowls. Under conditions, 
of which we are ignorant, which occasion molecular changes in the cells 
and tissues of the developing egg, variations might arise in the first in- 
stance probably slight, but becoming intensified in successive genera- 
tions, until at length the descendants would have lost the characters of 
the fowl and have become another species. No precise estimate has 
been arrived at, and, indeed, one does not see how it is possible to obtain 
it, of the length of years which might be required to convert a variation, 
capable of being transmitted, into a new and definite specific character. 

The circumstances which, according to the Darwinian theory, deter- 
mined the perpetuation by hereditary transmission of a variety and its 
assumption of a specific character depended, it was argued, on whether 
it possessed such properties as enabled the plant or animal in which it 
appeared to adapt itself more readily to its environment, i. e., to the 
surrounding conditions. If it were to be of use, the organism in so far 
became better adapted to hold its own in the struggle for existence with 
its fellows and with the forces of nature operating on it. Through 
the accumulation of useful characters the specific variety was perpetu- 
ated by natural selection so long as the conditions were favorable for its 
existence, and it survived as being the best fitted to live. In the study 
of the transmission of variations which may arise in the course of devel- 
opment, it should not be too exclusively thought that only those varia- 
tions are likely to be preserved which can be of service during the life of 
the individual, or in the perpetuation of the species, and possibly avail- 
able for the evolution of new species. It should also be kept in mind 
that morphological characters can be transmitted by hereditary descent, 
which, though doubtless of service in some bygone ancestor, are in 
the new conditions of life of the species of no physiological value. Our 
knowledge of the structural and functional modifications to be found 
in the human body, in connection with abnormalities and with tend- 
encies or predisposition to diseases of various kinds, teaches us that 
characters which are of no use, and indeed detrimental to the individual, 
may be hereditarily transmitted from parents to offspring through a suc- 
cession of generations. 

Since the conception of the possibility of the evolution of new 
species from pre-existing forms took possession of the minds of natural- 
ists, attempts have been made to trace out the line on which it has 
proceeded. The first to give a systematic account of what he conceived 
to be the order of succession in the evolution of animals was Ernst 
Haeckel, of Jena, in a well-known treatise. Memoirs on special depart- 
ments of the subject, too numerous to particularize, have subsequently 
appeared. The problem has been attacked along two different lines: 
the one by embryologists, of whom may be named Kowalewsky, Gegen- 



ADDRESS BEFORE THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 47 

baur, Dohrn, Kay Lankester, Balfour and Gaskell, who, with many 
others, have conducted careful and methodical inquiries into the stages 
of development of numerous forms belonging to the two great divisions 
of the animal kingdom. Invertebrates, as well as vertebrates, have been 
carefully compared with each other in the bearing of their development 
and structure on their affinities and descent, and the possible sequence 
in the evolution of the Vertebrata from the Invertebrata has been dis- 
cussed. The other method pursued by palaeontologists, of whom Hux- 
ley, Marsh, Cope, Osborn and Traquair are prominent authorities, has 
been the study of the extinct forms preserved in the rocks and the com- 
parison of their structure with each other and with that of existing 
organisms. In the attempts to trace the line of descent the imagination 
has not unfrequently been called into play in constructing various con- 
flicting hypotheses. Though from the nature of things the order of 
descent is, and without doubt will continue to be, ever a matter of 
speculation and not of demonstration, the study of the subject has been 
a valuable intellectual exercise and a powerful stimulant to research. 

We know not as regards time when the fiat went forth, 'Let there be 
Life, and there was Life.' All we can say is that it must have been in the 
far-distant past, at a period so remote from the present that the mind 
fails to grasp the duration of the interval. Prior to its genesis our earth 
consisted of barren rock and desolate ocean. When matter became 
endowed with Life, with the capacity of self -maintenance and of resist- 
ing external disintegrating forces, the face of nature began to undergo 
a momentous change. Living organisms multiplied, the land became 
covered with vegetation and multitudinous varieties of plants, from 
the humble fungus and moss to the stately palm and oak, beautified 
its surface and fitted it to sustain higher kinds of living beings. Animal 
forms appeared, in the first instance simple in structure, to be followed 
by others more complex, until the mammalian type was produced. The 
ocean also became peopled with plant and animal organisms, from the 
microscopic diatom to the huge leviathan. Plants and animals acted 
and reacted on each other, on the atmosphere which surrounded them 
and on the earth on which they dwelt, the surface of which became 
modified in character and aspect. At last Man came into existence. His 
nerve-energy, in addition to regulating the processes in his economy 
which he possesses in common with animals, was endowed with higher 
powers. When translated into psychical activity it has enabled him 
throughout the ages to progress from the condition of a rude savage to 
an advanced stage of civilization; to produce works in literature, art 
and the moral sciences which have exerted, and must continue to exert, 
a lasting influence on the development of his higher Being; to make 
discoveries in physical science; to acquire a knowledge of the structure 
of the earth, of the ocean in its changing aspects, of the atmosphere and 



48 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

the stellar universe, of the chemical composition and physical properties 
of matter in its various forms, and to analyze, comprehend and subdue 
the forces of nature. 

By the application of these discoveries to his own purposes Man has, 
to a large extent, overcome time and space; he has studded the ocean 
with steamships, girdled the earth with the electric wire, tunneled the 
lofty Alps, spanned the Forth with a bridge of steel, invented machines 
and founded industries of all kinds for the promotion of his material 
welfare, elaborated systems of government fitted for the management 
of great communities, formulated economic principles, obtained an in- 
sight into the laws of health, the causes of infective diseases and the 
means of controlling and preventing them. 

When we reflect that many of the most important discoveries in ab- 
stract science and in its applications have been made during the present 
century, and, indeed, since the British Association held its first meeting 
in the ancient capital of your county sixty-nine years ago, we may look 
forward with confidence to the future. Every advance in science pro- 
vides a fresh platform from which a new start can be made. The human 
intellect is still in process of evolution. The power of application and of 
concentration of thought for the elucidation of scientific problems is by 
no means exhausted. In science is no hereditary aristocracy. The army 
of workers is recruited from all classes. The natural ambition of even 
the private in the ranks to maintain and increase the reputation of the 
branch of knowledge which he cultivates affords an ample guarantee 
that the march of science is ever onwards, and justifies us in proclaim- 
ing for the next century, as in the one fast ebbing to a close, that 
Great is Science, and it will prevail. 



POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES. 49 



THE POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES DUEING 
THE NEXT TEN CENTUEIES. 

By H. S. PRITCHETT, 

PRESIDENT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. 

IS it possible to predict with any degree of certainty the population 
of a country like the United States for a hundred years to come? 

Doubtless the average intelligent person would say a priori that 
the growth of population is not a matter which can be made the sub- 
ject of exact computation; that this growth is the result of many 
factors; and that those factors are subject to such great fluctuations that 
an estimate of the population a hundred years hence can be, in the 
nature of the case, only a rough guess. 

It is true that the growth of population depends on a number of 
factors. It is also true that these factors vary in accordance with laws 
which are at present not known. Nevertheless it does not by any 
means follow that because the law of these variations is unknown we 
cannot represent the variations themselves by a mathematical equation. 
The problem of representing mathematically the law connecting a series 
of observations for which theory furnishes no physical explanation is 
one of the most common tasks to which the mathematician is called. 
And it does not in the least diminish the value of such a mathematical 
formula, for the purposes of prediction, that it is based upon no knowl- 
edge of the real causes of the phenomena which it connects together. 

To illustrate: The black spots on the sun have been objects of the 
greatest interest to astronomers ever since Galileo pointed the first 
feeble telescope at his glowing disc. These spots, as observed from 
the earth, seem to pass across the disc from east to west as the sun 
rotates on its axis. 

Among the problems with which the possessors of the first tele- 
scopes busied themselves were the observation of these spots for de- 
termining the period of the sun's rotation. The observation is a very 
simple one and consists merely in noting the time which elapses be- 
tween successive returns of a spot to the central meridian of the disc. 
The earlier observers were astonished to find that the different spots 
gave different results for the rotation period, but it was only within 
the last thirty years that the researches of Carrington brought out the 
fact that these differences follow a regular law showing that at the solar 
equator the time of rotation is less than on either side of it. 

The explanation which is generally accepted to account for this 
peculiar state of affairs is that the spots drift in the gaseous body of the 

VOL. LVIII.— 4 



5 o POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

sun and that this drift is most rapid near the equator and diminishes 
towards the poles. But this after all only pushes the explanation a 
little further back, and no satisfactory theory of this drifting of the 
spots has ever been reached. Doubtless the phenomenon is due to a 
large number of causes, acting together, whose resultant effect is shown 
in the motion of the spots as we see them. 

However that may be, and although we are still unable to give any 
physical explanation of the phenomenon, a formula has been devised 
which fits the observations fairly well and which enables the astronomer 
to predict the motion of the spots with an accuracy comparable to the 
observations themselves. This formula is a complicated one, when 
written in its mathematical form, and involves a trigonometric function 
of the latitude of the spot raised to a fractional power. 

Now no one pretends that this intricate formula expresses any real 
law of nature. But it does express the mathematical relation which 
connects together the observations, and by means of it the motions of 
the spots at different latitudes on the sun may be predicted with all 
desirable accuracy. 

The problem of deriving an equation which shall represent the 
growth of the population of the United States during the past one 
hundred and ten years and which may be used to predict its growth 
through future decades, is exactly such a case as that of the sun's spots 
just mentioned. The observations in this case consist of eleven de- 
terminations of the population as given in the census returns from 
1790 to 1890. 

In studying these observations of population, taken at regular in- 
tervals of ten years, it occurred to me some years ago to examine them 
with some care in order to discover whether they were related to each 
other in any orderly way, and if so whether they could be represented 
by an equation of reasonable simplicity. It is evident that if an equa- 
tion can be found which will fit the growth of population during the 
hundred years which intervened between 1790 and 1890 it would form 
the most probable basis for predicting the population of the future. 

Somewhat to my surprise I discovered a comparatively simple equa- 
tion which represented the census enumerations very closely and which, 
notwithstanding the fluctuations in the various factors which affect the 
growth of population, followed the general course of this growth with 
remarkable fidelity, as will be seen by the following table, which shows 
the population as given by the Census Bureau and as determined by 
the empirical formula. The discrepancies between the observed popu- 
lation and that computed from the formula are also given for the sake 
of an easy comparison. In each case the population is given to the 
nearest thousand, a figure far within the limit of error of the census 
count. 



POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES. 



5i 



Observed 
Year. Population. 

1790 3,929,000 

1800 5,308,000 

1810 7,240,000 

1820 9,634,000 

1830 12,866,000 

1840 17,069,000 

1850 23,192,000 

1860 31,443,000 

1870 38,558,000 

1880 50,156,000 

1890 62,622,000 



Computed 




Population. 


Discrepancy. 


4,012,000 


83,000 


5,267,000 


41,000 


7,059,000 


181,000 


9,569,000 


65,000 


12,985,000 


119,000 


17,484,000 


415,000 


23,250,000 


58,000 


30,468,000 


975,000 


39,312,000 


754,000 


49,975,000 


181,000 


62,634,000 


12,000 



The smallness of the discrepancies and the consequent close agree- 
ment of the formula with the observations show that the growth of the 
population has been a regular and orderly one. There are, however, 
two residuals which have abnormally large values. The census of 1860 
shows a population of 975,000 larger than the computed value, while 
that of 1870 falls 754,000 below that of the computed value. 

The explanation of these discrepancies is not far to seek. The 
devastating effect of the war would show itself in the census of 1870 
and succeeding years. The effect would be to give 1870 a smaller ob- 
served value than would be expected. This is precisely what we find 
to be the case, the census of that year falling 754,000 short of the com- 
puted value. An abnormally small value in 1870 would, of course, 
have its effect on the population of succeeding decades and would also 
give an apparent difference of opposite sign to the observed population 
in 1860. 

There is, however, good reason to believe that the population in 
1870 as determined by the census was much smaller than the actual 
population at that time. Mr. Robert Porter, in Census Bulletin ISTo. 
12, October 30, 1890, makes the statement that the census of 1870 was 
grossly deficient in the Southern States and that a correct and honest 
enumeration would have shown at that time a much larger population 
than that actually returned by the Census Bureau. There are, of course, 
no means of ascertaining exactly the extent of these omissions, but 
there is no question that the population as computed by the formula for 
1870 is far nearer the truth than the value given by the census for that 
year. 

However this may be, it is evident that the formula represents the 
general law of growth which held between 1790 and 1890 with an ac- 
curacy almost comparable with that of the census determinations them- 
selves. The question of immediate interest, however, is not whether 
the growth of population during the last century can be represented by 
a mathematical formula, but it is that which stands at the beginning 



52 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

of this paper, viz., can the population of the United States an hundred 
years hence be predicted within reasonable limits of error? 

During the past century the factors which govern the growth of 
population have fluctuated enormously; there have been wars and epi- 
demics; there have been decades in which large numbers of emigrants 
landed upon our shores and there have been other decades in which 
emigrants were few; there have been years of plenty and years of want; 
booms and panics, good times and hard times have had their share in 
the century which has passed. Yet notwithstanding all these varying 
conditions, the growth of the population has been a regular and orderly 
one, so much so that it can be represented by a comparatively simple 
mathematical equation. Can this equation be trusted to predict the 
population in the decades which are to come? 

How closely the formula will represent the population of the future 
will depend, of course, upon the continuance of the same general con- 
ditions which have held in the past. This does not mean that exactly 
the same factors are to operate, but that on the whole the change of one 
factor will be balanced by a change in another, so that in the main the 
character of the growth manifested during the past century will be con- 
tinued. A decided change in the birth-rate or a widespread famine 
would bring out large discrepancies. But on the whole it may be ex- 
pected that the experience of the last hundred years involves so many 
varying conditions that the general law of growth which satisfies that 
period will continue to approximate the development of the popula- 
tion for a considerable time to come. 

This does not mean that any particular census enumeration of the 
future will be represented closely, but simply that in the main the com- 
puted values will follow the general growth of the population. The 
law of probabilities will lead one to expect at times considerable varia- 
tions. The preliminary announcements from the Census Office, as 
given in the daily papers, indicate a result for 1900 of about 75,700,000 
people, a value considerably below the computed one. This would mean 
that at this epoch the formula was not representing the actual growth, 
but does not at all indicate that it will cease to represent the general 
growth of the succeeding centuries. In any event this method furnishes 
the most trustworthy estimate which can be made for the future, since 
it gives the result which is mathematically most probable and which is 
based on all the data of the past. Carrying forward, therefore, the 
computation we obtain the following values for the most probable popu- 
lation of the future: 

Computed 
Year. Population. 

WOO 77,472,000 

W10 94,673,000 



POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES. 53 

1920 114,416,000 

1930 136,887,000 

1940 162,268,000 

1950 190,740,000 

1960 222,067,000 

1970 257,688,000 

1980 296,814,000 

1990 339,193,000 

2000 385,860,000 

2100 1,112,867,000 

2500 11,856,302,000 

2900 40,852,273,000 

The law governing the increase of population, as generally stated, 
is, that when not disturbed by extraneous causes such as emigration, 
wars and famines, the increase of population goes on at a constantly 
diminishing rate. By this is meant that the percentage of increase 
from decade to decade diminishes. It will be noticed that the figures 
just given involve such a decrease in the percentage of growth. A 
simple differentiation of the formula gives as the percentage of in- 
crease of the population per decade 32 per cent, in 1790, 24 per cent, 
in 1880, 13 per cent, in 1990, while in one thousand years it will have 
sunk to a little less than three per cent. But according to the formula 
this percentage of increase will become zero, or the population become 
stationary, only after the lapse of an indefinite period. 

The figures just quoted are, to say the least, suggestive. Forming, 
as they do, the most probable estimate we can make for the population 
of the future, they suggest possibilities of the highest social and eco- 
nomic interest. Within fifty years the population of the United States 
(exclusive of Alaska, of Indians on reservations and of the inhabitants of 
the recently acquired islands) will approximate 190 millions, and by the 
year 2000 this number will have swelled to 385 millions of people; 
while should the same law of growth continue for a thousand years the 
number will reach the enormous total of 41 billions. 

How great a change in the conditions of living this growth of popu- 
lation would imply is, perhaps, impossible for us to realize. Great 
Britain, at present one of the most densely populated countries of the 
globe, contains about 300 inhabitants to the square mile. Should the 
present law of growth continue until 2900 the United States would 
contain over 11,000 persons to each square mile of surface. 

With the growth of population our civilization is becoming more 
and more complex and the drafts upon the stored energy of the earth 
more enormous. As a consequence of all this, it would seem that life 
in the future must be subject to a constantly increasing stress, which 
will bring to the attention of individuals and of nations economic ques- 
tions which at our time seem very remote. 



54 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



THE DISTRIBUTION OF TAXES.* 

By EDWARD ATKINSON. 

IN nearly all the discussions upon the subject of taxation which have 
come to my notice, it is assumed that certain specific taxes fall 
upon and are borne wholly by one class; other taxes fall upon and 
are borne by a second class; and so on throughout the list. For in- 
stance, in the discussion regarding a protective tariff it is held by the 
advocates of protection that in some cases the imposition of a duty 
reduces the price of the imported article in the foreign country from 
which it comes. It is, therefore, held that such a tax may be put upon 
the foreign producer and is not paid by the domestic consumer. It is 
held that other duties on other imported articles are added to the cost 
of importation, then as far as possible added to the price, and are thus 
distributed in ratio to their consumption. Unless such should be the 
result of imposing duties on foreign imports, namely, that they may 
either be borne in the first instance by the foreign producer, or may 
be distributed on the domestic consumer, there could be no continuous 
import of any foreign product. Even if it could be proved that some 
duties are paid by foreign producers, such reduction in price would limit 
his power of purchase of our domestic goods taken in exchange. 

It is also held that excise taxes on liquors and tobacco must be 
charged to the cost of production, must be recovered from the sales and 
are, therefore, distributed in ratio to consumption. It is held by the 
advocates of what is called the single tax that a tax on rent or rental 
values will be paid out of the rents accruing to the landlord, and that 
this tax cannot be distributed by him, but that it simply diminishes 
his income. It is held that a tax on incomes is paid by those who enjoy 
the income, diminishing their resources. Finally, it is held that a tax 
on inheritances and successions is taken out of the property and that it 
cannot be distributed. 

All these theories, presented in different forms, are and have been 
subjects of discussion. They have been debated ever since the subject 
of taxation became in any measure a matter of scientific inquiry. The 
conclusions reached by different persons or schools of political economy 
so-called, are as much at variance now as they have ever been. 

I have reached the conclusion that all taxes, wherever placed, how- 
ever imposed, and through whatever agency collected by the govern- 

* Read before the Section of Economic and Social Science, American Association for the 
Advancement of Science, June, 1900. 



THE DISTRIBUTION OF TAXES. 55 

ment, either national, State, city or town, are distributed, falling ulti- 
mately upon all consumers in proportion to the quantity and value 
of the product of the country consumed by each person. 

What is the cost of each person to the community? Is it not what 
each person consumes of the materials needed for shelter, food and 
clothing? What does any one get in or out of life, in a material sense, 
be he rich or poor, except what we call board and clothing? Incomes 
in money are distributed. When paid for service that money becomes 
the means by which the person who has performed the service procures 
shelter, food and clothing. 

If these points are well taken, then it seems to me that the only 
problem is how much time will elapse before the tax will fall upon 
the consumers of all products in ratio to consumption; an incidental 
question being the relative cost of collecting the taxes in one way or 
another. 

I have been led to this conclusion that all taxes are slowly but 
surely diffused throughout the community — some directly, others indi- 
rectly — by reasoning upon the subject without measuring the tax in 
terms of money — money being only the medium by which the real tax 
is measured and brought to the use of the government. Does not the 
same distinction apply to taxes that applies to wages? We are ac- 
customed to speak of money wages and real wages, meaning by real 
wages the things that money will buy. May we not in the same way 
speak of money taxes and real taxes, meaning by real taxes the material 
substances withdrawn from the community for the support of the em- 
ployees of the government? Does not the real tax consist of the ma- 
terial products needed by and consumed for the subsistence of the 
officers of the government and of all persons who are in the government 
service? 

The annual product is substantially the source of these material 
substances. A small part of one year's product is carried over to start 
the next year's product, a small part of that year being carried forward 
on which to begin work in the next. Production is a continuous 
process, but it is governed practically by each series of four seasons. 
Now, if the real tax is that part of the annual product withdrawn from 
general consumption to serve the special consumption of the persons 
who are in the government service, or are pensioned by the government, 
then by so much as the annual product measured in quantities is 
lessened in order to meet that demand, will the quantity remaining 
for distribution among those who directly take part in productive work 
be diminished. 

In the expenditure of the money derived from taxation the govern- 
ment secures materials for constructing buildings, for their furnishings 
and fittings; for constructing coast defenses; for building naval vessels; 



56 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

for supplying food, shelter and clothing to all government employees 
and dependents. With respect to armaments, military and naval, all 
the materials for the construction of vessels, forts, arms and equipments 
must be taken from the common stock which is derived from the annual 
product. The rations and clothing of soldiers, sailors and pensioners 
must be provided in the same way. 

It follows that by so much as these government forces, military and 
naval, are increased will the proportion of products withdrawn from 
productive consumption be augmented. If these military expenditures 
go beyond the absolute requirements for defense, leading to the estab- 
lishment of a large standing army and a great navy, every one must 
bear his proportion of that burden, because what is taken from the 
common stock for these destructive purposes is nothing but the material 
for shelter, food and clothing which would otherwise be constructively 
or productively expended. By so much as the burden of militarism is 
augmented must poverty be increased. 

I do not mean to give the idea that many of the functions of govern- 
ment are not necessary and are not productive in a true sense. The 
functions of the civil government are as necessary to the conduct of 
productive industry and the government employees in this service are 
as much needed as are the services of any other body of men who are 
not directly occupied in the mechanical and manual work of production 
or distribution. The officials of a just government supply mental 
energy, the fourth and paramount factor in all production. Hence, the 
constructive work of governments must be carefully kept distinct from 
the destructive work of militarism. All that is taken from the annual 
product either to pay debt incurred in war, or the interest thereon, 
or for the support of armies or navies, is destructive and not con- 
structive in its immediate application to any given year. By so much 
as food, shelter and clothing are taken from the annual product for 
military or destructive purposes, by so much is the quantity lessened 
which would otherwise be consumed for reproductive purposes. Whether 
or not such destructive consumption may be justified or otherwise is not 
a question at issue in this discussion; I merely present the facts and 
intend to show what militarism costs. 

We now come to the relative burden of taxation. If by way of tax- 
ation so large a part of the annual product is taken for destructive pur- 
poses as to leave less than a sufficient supply for necessity and comfort, 
then the time has come for revision and removal of taxes lest degenera- 
tion should ensue. The case of Italy may be cited. It is stated by 
Italian economists that from twenty-five to thirty per cent, of the an- 
nual product of Italy is expended in support of the government, mainly 
for the destructive purposes of militarism; the consequences being that 
great bodies of people cannot get enough to eat — there is not enough to 



THE DISTRIBUTION OF TAXES. $7 

go round. Of course, the richer classes can buy what they need, there- 
fore the ultimate and destructive burden of militarism falls upon the 
poor and the incapable. I think it cannot fail to be admitted that by so 
much as products are taken by the government for consumption outside 
the civil service, mainly for military purposes, in the form of food, fuel, 
metal, timber and the like, by so much is there less of these materials 
to be expended for subsistence and for the construction of dwelling 
houses, factories, workshops and the mechanism of productive industry. 
If such productive consumption is retarded by an excessive tax on in- 
heritances or on incomes, then the accumulation of capital is retarded, 
and by so much must the rate of interest or profit be higher than it 
would otherwise have been. The distribution may be very remote, but 
it is very certain, unless one is prepared to admit the absurd cry of 
over-production and to defend a waste of substance by way of taxation 
in order to get rid of it. 

All these material substances which are applied in the end to the 
supply of shelter, food and clothing are the joint product of land, labor, 
capital and mental energy. They are derived directly or indirectly from 
the field, the forest, the mine or the sea. There can be no large produc- 
tion conducted exclusively by labor; tools are necessary. Tools are capi- 
tal, whether used by hand or worked by power. On the other hand, there 
can be no production exclusively derived from capital; tools and mechan- 
ism without human power or direction are inert. Land is the basis of all 
production, yet raw land is practically inert. Land is but a tool or in- 
strument of production and has been so ever since the nomadic life 
gave place to civilized life. Again, there can be no great product, 
of either land, labor or capital, of either manual or mechanical work, 
without the directing or coordinating power of mental energy, bringing 
all these material forces to a constantly augmenting product in ratio to 
the number of persons occupied in their conduct. 

If, then, the entire product of land, labor, capital and mental energy 
in a given period, consisting of four seasons or one year, is represented 
by the symbol A, that part of the product which is converted to the 
uses of government by taxation may be represented by the symbol B; 
then A minus B equals X, the unknown quantity. If X, the unknown 
quantity, is the share of the annual product of material substances 
used for shelter, food and clothing, then the whole burden of taxation, 
wherever imposed and however collected, with all the expenses of col- 
lection, be they greater or less, must fall in the end upon all consumers 
in proportion to their consumption by diminishing the quantity or value 
of X. 

It follows that if the demand of governments takes so large a por- 
tion of the product that what is left is insufficient to meet the necessity 
and comfort of those who are not in the government service, then, aa 



58 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

a matter of course, the people with the larger incomes will buy all they 
need with the necessary consequence that the final burden falls on those 
least able to bear it. 

All systems of taxation have adjusted themselves more or less logi- 
cally to these conditions. 

It has been found in practice among all civilized nations that any 
large amount of taxation must be derived from a few articles of very 
general use; as, for instance, our national taxes on liquors and tobacco 
have for twenty years preceding the Spanish war annually averaged two 
dollars and a half ($2.50) per head, that rate sufficing to meet the nor- 
mal expenses of the government during the same period. That is to 
say, taxes on liquors and tobacco, domestic and foreign, have annually 
yielded a revenue in money sufficient for twenty years prior to the 
Spanish war for the support of the civil service, and the army and the 
navy before these forces were augmented beyond the requirement of 
national defense. The taxes necessary to meet pensions and interest 
have been derived from other sources. In other words, under normal 
conditions, had we paid the national debt, as we might have many 
years ago without feeling the burden in any considerable measure, and 
had our pensions been limited to true cases, the people of this country 
would only have been called upon to forego a part of their consumption 
of liquors and tobacco in order to support the national government. At 
the present time, under the augmented taxes on liquors and tobacco, the 
revenue from these sources is between three dollars and a half ($3.50) 
and four dollars ($4) per head. 

Great Britain, France and Germany derive a large part of their 
revenues from the same sources, namely, from these and other articles 
which are consumed in largest measure by the millions rather than by 
the millionaires. These taxes are collected at the least cost for collec- 
tion and they meet a true canon of taxation, taking from consumers a 
part of a product which consumers can spare without impairing their 
productive energy. 

Again, we may find the almost necessary resort of the British Gov- 
ernment in India to a salt tax, because it is only through the tax on 
salt that the masses of the people can be reached, the next great resource 
of East Indian revenue being what is practically a single tax on land, 
assessed directly without regard to the relative product year by year. 
These taxes on salt and land admittedly reduce a large part of the popu- 
lation of India to such condition of extreme poverty that when a bad 
year comes famine devastates the land. The hoards of wealth in India 
are enormous, but they cannot be reached. The problem of taxation 
in India is not a question of will but of power to collect. 

The octroi tax imposed upon the traffic of the city with the country, 
now in force in France, Italy and some other countries, rendered neces- 



THE DISTRIBUTION OF TAXES. 59 

sary by the magnitude of the burden of taxation, is one of the most ob- 
noxious of all methods of distributing military burdens. 

Finally, the relative burden of taxation cannot be estimated nation 
by nation by mere computation in symbols or money. The taxation 
by the measure of money of the United States for national purposes be- 
fore the war with Spain was five dollars per head, tending to lessen. 
In Great Britain and Germany taxes for the same purposes were about 
ten dollars per head; in France about fifteen dollars. But this is no 
measure of the true burden of taxation. The annual product of this 
country measured by quantities is vastly greater than that of any Euro- 
pean country. It may be approximately estimated twenty-five per cent, 
greater than that of the people of Great Britain and Ireland, thirty to 
forty per cent, greater than that of France, double that of Germany, 
and much more than double that of Italy. Hence, the real taxation of 
these European countries under their military establishments is vastly 
more than the mere symbols in money make it appear. 

It follows that if all taxes in money stand for that part of the annual 
product required by Government, and that by so much as the product is 
diminished will the share falling to labor and capital be lessened, the 
only way to prevent taxation becoming a cause of pauperism or poverty 
is to limit the taxes to the necessary conduct of civil government and to 
national defense, avoiding aggression and forbidding armaments for any 
purpose except defense. 



6o POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT NOW AND A HUNDRED 

YEARS AGO. 

By CLINTON ROGERS WOODRUFF. 

A HUNDRED years has wrought marvelous changes. The maps 
of Asia, Europe and America, of the world, have been changed. 
The United States of America has fought four wars and demonstrated 
her prowess on sea and land, at home and abroad. The country has 
grown from a handful of States strung along the Atlantic seaboard to 
a great and powerful nation, extending from sea to sea, conquering 
and subduing in its growth a mighty continent — the mightiest in its 
latent possibilities on the face of the globe. Commerce and industry 
and transportation have grown with equal, if not greater, strides, and 
the time is not far distant, if it has not already arrived, when America 
will dominate the world along these lines. 

Our development thus far has been extensive; during the coming 
century it will be intensive. A few more decades and the partition 
of the globe among the world powers will be practically completed; 
then we shall be compelled to cultivate with closer attention and greater 
zeal and more care our resources. Intensive culture will succeed ex- 
tensive cultivation. The great mechanical inventions of the nine- 
teenth century have directly aided the extensive movement — the steam 
railway, the steamship, the telegraph, the cable, the telephone; the 
inventions of the next century will as directly aid the intensive move- 
ment — they will be designed to make the most of what we have. 

Our political problems have also been problems of extension. First, 
the government and division of the Northwest Territory; then the 
acquisition and organization of the Louisiana Territory; of Florida; of 
Texas; of the Southwest Territory; of the Oregon country and Cali- 
fornia; then the settlement of the great question as to whether the 
country should be divided, and its reconstruction on the principle that 
it was one and indivisible; and latterly, Hawaii, Porto Rico and the 
Philippines. The political problems of the twentieth century will deal 
with questions of internal development and improvement. The gov- 
ernment control, ownership and operation of the great natural monop- 
olies, civil service and constitutional reforms will occupy the time and 
attention of our statesmen. 

Our municipal growth and development during the past hundred 
years has likewise been along the lines of extension. Our cities have 
grown in numbers, population and territory. The figures are so 



MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT. 61 

familiar and have been so frequently exploited as to obviate the neces- 
sity of repetition. The papers are and have been full of Metropolitan 
Boston, Greater New York, Greater Chicago, Greater Jersey City, 
Greater Newark — Philadelphia has been Greater Philadelphia since 
1854, when the Consolidation Act made the City and County of Phila- 
delphia co-terminous. Indeed, municipal expansion seems to be quite 
as much the vogue, quite as much the logical sequence of events, quite 
as much the outgrowth of an inherent Anglo-Saxon instinct, as national 
expansion. 

This development has not been confined to population and terri- 
tory, but has extended to municipal functions as well. In 1800, if 
an American city provided for paving the streets and cleansing them 
of the grosser and fouler impurities; for a few night watchmen and a 
handful of constables; for cleaning and repairing the sewers and docks; 
and for lighting the streets with miserable oil-lamps, its 'Fathers' 
thought that they were performing their whole duty to the inhabitants. 

According to a recent authority (Parsons, in 'Municipal Monopolies', 
1898), the various courts of this country have decided that the fol- 
lowing are now proper public purposes and proper objects of municipal 
control and ownership: "Roads, bridges, sidewalks, sewers, ferries, 
markets, scales, wharves, canals, parks, baths, schools, libraries, 
museums, hospitals, lodging houses, poorhouses, jails, cemeteries, pre- 
vention of fire, supply of water, gas, electricity, heat, power, transpor- 
tation, telegraph and telephone service, clocks, skating-rinks, musical 
entertainments, exhibitions of fireworks, tobacco warehouses, employ- 
ment offices." 

We have made but a beginning, however, according to the testi- 
mony of another recent writer (Dr. Milo E. Maltbie, in 'Municipal 
Functions', page 784), who says: 

"Whither is all this tending? Whatever a few years since may 
have been the answer suggested by conservatism, there is to-day but 
one, and that so obvious as scarcely to be questioned. The extension 
of municipal functions in the direction in which the city is to act as 
the servant of the individual has barely begun; and its scope, certain 
to be indefinitely increased in a comparatively near future, is to be 
measured only by the resources of developing invention and enterprise, 
so rapidly developing of late that their early realization will be such as 
to be unthinkable now. The individual will have cheap facilities for 
transport and communication. The product of his labor will be mul- 
tiplied in advantage to him by the cooperation for which cities alone 
give a chance. He will not be left to the hard paths which chance 
may afford for education of his mind and his senses, but have this 
facilitated by every device of civilization. It is, therefore, natural, 
inevitable, indeed, that there should be provided for him first, water, 
the prime essential of life and health; next, the first of its conveniences 
— artificial light; later, those universal incidents of its growth — high- 



62 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

way facilities (including power supply, as well as a clear path); and, 
finally, education and recreation." 

The tremendous advances of municipal government during the 
present century can be best and most graphically demonstrated by a 
comparison of the respective budgets of a single city for the years 
1800 and 1899. Let us take Philadelphia as an example. According 
to Allinson & Penrose, in their work on the 'Government of Philadel- 
phia' (pages 115-116), the budget for the former year as contained 
in the ordinance of February 20, 1800, was as follows 

To meet the deficiency of the tax of 1799 $1,315.44 

Interest on water loan 4,200.00 

Interest on debts due the banks 1,200.00 

Purchase of paving stones and repair of old pavements 1,600.00 

Repairs to unpaved streets, &c, paving intersections 2,400.00 

For cleansing city 11,250.00 

Cleansing and repairing sewers and docks 1,850.00 

Lighting and watching the city 18,000.00 

Repaifs-ef pumps and wells 2,500.00 

Regulating streets 400.00 

Center Square improvements 1,650.00 

Salaries of City Commissioners and clerk 2,800.00 

Expenses of City Commissioners and clerk 100.00 

Salaries to Mayor, Recorder, High Constable, clerks and 

messengers of Councils 3,000.00 

Pay of constables for patrolling streets on the Sabbath day. . 156.00 

Incidental expenses of Councils 600.00 

Residuary fund for preventing and removing nuisances 4,478.56 

Reimbursement from tax fund to corporate fund, 1799 165.92 

Other advances by citizens 360.00 

Salaries of clerks of markets 1,200.00 

Menial service in markets 560.00 

Repairs, &c 700.00 

Meeting contract engagements for maintenance of two steam 

engines 8,000.00 

Total $68,485.92 

The expenditures for 1899 (exclusive of the amounts appropriated 
for the maintenance of the county offices) were: 

Mayor's Office $587,770.00 

Bureau of Charities 500,308.00 

Bureau of Correction 203,295.00 

Department of Public Safety — 

' Director's Office 18,721.25 

Bureau of Health 251,838.08 

Bureau of Building Inspectors 46,636.75 

Bureau of City Property 777,751.73 

Electrical Bureau 1,118,017.78 



MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT. 63 

Bureau of Boiler Inspection $15,650.00 

Bureau of Fire 979,501.20 

Bureau of Police 2,732,483.31 

Department of Public Works — 

Director's Office 27,963.49 

Bureau of City Ice Boats 22,900.00 

Bureau of Highways 3,343,789.92 

Bureau of Street Cleaning 903,033.00 

Bureau of Lighting 287,690.00 

Bureau of Surveys 5,014,008.36 

Bureau of Water 2,519,425.00 

Board of Port Wardens 20,208.40 

Board of Eevision 147,255.00 

Department of City Commissioners 921,054.50 

Department of City Comptroller 60,249.52 

Department of Law 155,490.00 

Department of City Treasurer 4,416,867.43 

Department of Clerks of Councils 140,237.95 

Fairmount Park Commission 596,104.69 

Reed Street Prison 87,172.25 

Holmesburg Prison 84,307.43 

Public Building Commission 1,011,194.43 

Department of Receiver of Taxes 163,205.93 

Department of Sinking Fund Commissioners 1,450.00 

Department of Education 5,068,253.94 

Nautical School of Pennsylvania 20,000.00 

Department of Gas 5,921.54 



Total $30,958,382.88 

In the year 1897, $3,399,672.43 were appropriated to the Bureau of 
Gas; but in that year the city (through its Councils and the Mayor) 
leased the gas works to a private corporation, so that now the city has 
to maintain a department for inspection only. 

The population in 1800 was 70,287, the budget $68,485.92; the per 
capita expense, therefore, 97 cents. The population in 1899 was ap- 
proximately 1,115,000; the budget $30,958,382.88; the per capita ex- 
pense, $27.76. This great increase is due mainly to the fact that the 
city does more for the citizen than it did one hundred years ago, and is 
constantly doing more, and partly to the fact that a much larger ter- 
ritory is covered. 

In 1897 Philadelphia had 433 public schools, with 3,465 teach- 
ers; in 1800 there were none. In 1899 there were 2,191 policemen, 
commanded by 6 captains, 34 lieutenants, 196 sergeants, with 23 patrol 
wagons, and requiring an appropriation of $2,732,483.31; in 1800 there 
was a handful of constables, paid out of an appropriation of $18,000 
'for lighting and watching the city', and another of $156 for 'patrolling 
streets on the Sabbath day\ In 1899 there were 46 fire engines, 32 
combination wagons and chemical engines, 15 chemical engines, 13 



64 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

hooks and ladders, 15 hose carts, manned by 736 firemen, including 1 
chief, 8 assistant chiefs and 57 foremen, and the appropriation for the 
whole bureau amounted to $979,501.20: in 1800 the city was dependent 
on volunteer fire companies of limited usefulness. In 1899 the sum of 
$1,118,017.78 was appropriated for electric lighting and $279,930.00 
for gasoline lighting, and 19,417 gas lamps were lighted by the gas 
company; in 1800, $18,000 sufficed for 'watching and lighting" the 
city. 

It is when we come to consider the activities of a bureau like the 
Electrical Bureau of Philadelphia, however, that we find the most 
amazing developments. I was about to say changes and advances, but 
there was nothing corresponding to it a century ago. Chief Walker, of 
the Electrical Bureau, in a recent report to the Director of Public 
Safety, summed up the situation in these words: 

"Among the many bureaus in the department over which you so 
ably exercise the directorship, there is none, perhaps, whose duties 
are so varied and which embraces a system so diversified in its branches 
and which is required to be so persistently active, as the Electrical 
Bureau. Correspondents from other cities frequently ask what duties 
are concentrated in, and what knowledge is necessary to an effectual 
supervision of the affairs of the Electrical Bureau. An enumeration 
of the various duties assigned includes, among others, the Police Tele- 
graph, the artery through which the orders and wishes of the officials 
of the executive branches of the municipality are transmitted, and the 
medium of communication for all municipal affairs requiring immediate 
attention; the Fire Signal System, over whose wires the signals are sent 
from localities threatened with the dangers of a conflagration; the Fire 
Alarm System, by means of which the signals received over the Fire 
Signal System are transmitted to those skilled and trained in the 
handling of the magnificent apparatus provided for the suppression of 
fire; the Fire Signal and Telephone System, a very efficient auxiliary to 
the Bureau of Fire, by means of which verbal communication is pos- 
sible between the Chief of the Bureau and his aids, and which at the 
same time serves as an additional means of transmitting alarms to the 
Bureau of Fire; the Police Signal and Telephone System, by means of 
which the officials of the Bureau of Police are in almost constant touch 
with the patrolmen while on their respective beats, and which has 
proved its value many times over; the Trunk Line, between the local and 
long distance telephone exchanges entering the City Hall, which are of 
necessity under control of this office, centering at a switchboard in the 
operating room, where the necessary connections are made by employees 
of this bureau; the Telephone Service between the police stations and 
their sub-stations, by means of which the officers in charge of the district 
are in constant communication with their subordinates. The armories 
of the National Guards and the officers of the various hospitals are in 
direct communication with and the services connecting them are super- 
vised and maintained by this bureau. 

What might be termed the general municipal telephone system, 
embracing the system of inter-communication in City Hall and con- 



MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT. 65 

nections with all officers that are not yet installed therein, and all other 
municipal telephone connections are centered in and controlled by this 
bureau. 

All electric lights authorized by Councils are located and their erec- 
tion supervised by this bureau. Tests of electric lights so authorized 
and erected are made by us, and if not up to contract standard, deduc- 
tions are made from the contracting companies' bills. 

By ordinance of Councils, we are required to locate each and every 
pole for telegraph, telephone, electric light, trolley, or whatever elec- 
trical purpose, to issue a license for the same, for which, with the ex- 
ception of the trolley poles, a fee payable at the City Treasury is charged. 
No poles or wires can be erected within the city limits without a permit 
issued from this bureau, describing its location, if a pole, and its di- 
rection, if a wire. 

All conduits for municipal electrical purposes authorized by Coun- 
cils are laid by this bureau, as are cables necessary for the connection 
of the various municipal electrical services. All scientific electrical 
tests of cables are also made by this bureau. 

As a member of the Board of Highway Supervisors, the Chief of the 
Bureau is required to pass upon the location and position of all electrical 
constructions under and over the highways, and to approve of the ma- 
terials used and the methods employed in its installation and main- 
tenance. All minor details of electrical construction necessary to the 
needs of a municipality are formulated and carried forward to successful 
completion." 

Surely a wonderful work; unheard of, yes — I venture to say, un- 
thought of, in the mind of the most imaginative thinker a century ago! 

Search we never so carefully, we can find nothing in the budget or 
reports of 1800, or for those of many years later, which in anywise ap- 
proaches or approximates this work — for the simplest of reasons — that 
electricity had not as yet been harnessed to bring the distant near and to 
eliminate space. Fancy the constable of 1800 communicating every 
hour with his headquarters without leaving his beat; or having an 
alarm of fire sounded simultaneously in every section of the city, no 
matter how remote! Imagine the look of incredulity which would 
descend upon a citizen who was told that he could be placed in com- 
munication with a city official in less than a minute and without leaving 
his office! 

Our municipalities have grown and have developed along extensive 
lines to an unexpected degree, and the same factors that have been at 
work in our national development in the same direction have been at 
work in our municipal development, and the same observation will ap- 
ply — the next century's development in our cities will be along inten- 
sive lines. Already, we see the tide setting in this direction. Take, for 
instance, the growing demand for charter reform. During the ex- 
pansive period of a city, everything is sacrificed to size and numbers; 
the form and methods of government are considered as of secondary 

VOL. LVIII.— 5 



66 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

importance. When this period is passed there comes a time when the 
necessity for a conscious adjustment of the form of government to the 
new conditions and environment becomes paramount; then follows the 
demand for a new charter; and charter amendments and charter con- 
ventions become the order of the day. 

Recognizing that we had reached this stage of our development, the 
National Municipal League, at its Louisville meeting, held in 1897, 
adopted the following resolution : 

"Resolved, That the Executive Committee appoint a committee of 
ten to report on the feasibility of a municipal program, which will em- 
body the essential principles that must underlie successful municipal 
government, and which shall also set forth a working plan or system, 
consistent with American industrial and political conditions, for putting 
such principles into practical operation; and such committee, if it finds 
such municipal program to be feasible, is instructed to report the same, 
with the reasons therefor, to the League for consideration." 

The committee thus authorized presented its preliminary report at 
the Indianapolis Conference for Good City Government in 1898, and 
its final report to the Columbus Conference in 1899. While it is fully 
aware that its "recommendations do not constitute the last word on 
the subject, nevertheless the fact that a body of men of widely divergent 
training, of strong personal convictions, and who approached the matter 
in hand from essentially different points of view, could and did come 
to unanimous agreement that a 'Municipal Program' was feasible and 
practicable, and by fair and full comparison of opinion were able to 
embody the result of their agreement in definite propositions, is a 
hopeful augury." This committee realized that "good government is 
not to be achieved at a stroke, nor do we exaggerate the importance 
of the form of governmental organization as a factor contributory to 
this end. Civic advance in general, and municipal efficiency in par- 
ticular, are the result of a combination of forces, of which higher stand- 
ards of public opinion and lofty civic ideals are the most important." 

Another sign of the times is the formation of organizations like 
the League of American Municipalities, the State Leagues of Muni- 
cipalities, the American Society of Municipal Improvements, the Na- 
tional Association of Municipal Electricians, the various societies of 
fire and police and other municipal officials. These indicate that those 
who are actually and directly responsible for the administration of 
municipal government are awakening to their responsibilities, to the 
need of conference to advance the interests committed to their care. 
The time was, and that not very far distant, when the principal rivalry 
between cities was confined to population figures and extent of territory. 
Now a healthful and auspicious competition based on efficiency is 



MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT. 67 

springing up, and such societies and organizations as those to which I 
have referred foster and encourage this tendency. 

We have only to examine the program of conventions such as that 
held under the auspices of these societies to be convinced of the earnest- 
ness and sincerity of purpose of their sponsors. Hard practical ques- 
tions of municipal administration are to the front. The men come 
together to exchange views and ideas as to how to conduct certain lines 
of municipal business — not to listen to useless, though perhaps grace- 
ful, oratory and senseless bombast and adulation. Some may decry con- 
ventions; but certainly not such as serve so useful a purpose as those 
conducted under the associations already mentioned. They are a sign 
of the times — a most auspicious sign of the times. Do you read any- 
where a century ago that the mayors or aldermen or constables of that 
time came together to confer about municipal affairs? We may not 
hear of them a century hence, because they may have performed their 
function and gone the way of other good and useful means to an end; 
but at this time they indicate the change taking place in our develop- 
ment; the change in emphasis. 

I do not propose to indulge in prophecy. I am not so gifted with 
foresight as to be able to peer into the future and read its message. 
I can only express a personal opinion as to the possible result of present 
tendencies, based upon a study of present and past developments. I 
have already indicated what I believe will be the greatest change, that 
from extensive to intensive growth and development, and with this will 
come a great amelioration of many of the present-day evils. 

The instinct for territorial expansion gratified, the various world 
powers and their possessions will tend more and more to assume a con- 
dition of permanent equilibrium. Great armaments and vast armies 
will become less and less necessary. Economic causes plus political 
necessity plus moral growth will gradually result in the substitution of 
mediation, arbitration and conciliation for warfare and bloodshed. Al- 
ready the beginning of this substitution is at hand. We have the 
Argentine-Italian treaty providing for the submission of practically 
every difficulty to arbitration; similar treaties under consideration; and 
the Delagoa Bay arbitration has just been completed. 

The accomplishment of these ends will result in a transfer of 
political energy and ability. Constructive statesmanship, liberated 
from considerations of expansion and colonization, will be free to devote 
itself to the great questions of internal improvement. Our muni- 
cipalities will correspondingly benefit and will have at their command 
that genius and that ability which seem to be a chief characteristic 
of the Anglo-Saxon race, but which hitherto have been absorbed by 
national and international activities. 

Civil service reform, which lies at the very foundation of efficient 



68 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

government, will become an accomplished fact from the very necessity 
of things. A century ago there was no need for it, because the number 
of offices was so small and the interests involved practically so limited. 
A century hence the number of offices will be so great and the interests 
so vast, that it will be an impossibility to administer them upon any 
other basis. Public opinion on fundamental political questions changes 
slowly; but already we see evidences that there is a growing resentment 
to the use of public office to pay political debts. The business instinct 
of the people is slowly but surely asserting itself to the same end. 
There is a growing appreciation of the fact that an electrical bureau 
or an engineering bureau or a survey bureau cannot be successfully and 
efficiently conducted on a spoils basis. 

No one doubts or denies that municipal reform is to-day a great 
and pressing problem, constantly attracting more and more attention 
and bidding fair, in the course of advancing years, to become a domi- 
nating one. When we have accomplished what we are now striving 
for — civil service reform, the elimination of State and national politics 
from the consideration of municipal affairs, the conduct of the latter 
upon enlightened principles, the extension of educational facilities, 
municipal reform will choose other objects for its end; otherwise, 
America would not be true to its Anglo-Saxon heritage. One reform 
achieved, then the Anglo-Saxon presses forward to another. He would 
not be true to his instinct if he did not. We may not, and I for one 
believe we shall not, be discussing civil service reform, ballot reform, 
municipal ownership, a century hence; nor will a National Municipal 
League perhaps be needed to preach the doctrine of an aroused civic 
consciousness. These will be accomplished facts, if we may judge of 
the future by the past and present — but none of these things will come 
to pass unless every one who now feels the obligations of his political 
duties is true to the best that is within him. The secret of the greatness 
of America and England in the civilization of the world is that there 
has always been a sufficient number of men to respond when a Nelson 
eaid, 'England expects every man to do his duty.' Whenever that day 
passes, then the greatness of the Anglo-Saxon race shall have departed. 



CHINA. 69 



CHINA.* 

By WILLIAM BARCLAY PARSONS. 

EVEE since the days when Marco Polo brought back to Europe the 
seeming fairy tales of the wonderland of the Far East, the coun- 
try to which we have applied the name of China has been a field more 
and more attractive for commercial conquest. 

At the close of the nineteenth century, when the ever-rising tide of 
industrial development has succeeded in sweeping over Europe, 
America, the better portion of Africa, of Western Asia and India, it is 
the Chinese Wall alone that resists its waves. The movement, however, 
is irresistible, and not even the exclusiveness of the Chinese and their 
extreme disinclination to change their ways will be a sufficient protec- 
tion against it; the recent so-called 'Boxer 5 outbreak will probably prove 
to be the death knell to Chinese resistance. Whatever may be the out- 
come of this outbreak, in so far as it affects the government, or the 
political integrity of the country, it can be predicated in safety that the 
commercial and industrial life of China will be revolutionized, and the 
beginning of the twentieth century will be found to mark the dawning 
of a new era. 

The present moment when we are about to pass from the old into the 
new state of things is a fitting time to survey the field of industrial enter- 
prise by examining into what has been done and to ascertain the sort of 
foundation that has been prepared, on which the Chinese people, aided 
at first by foreigners, will eventually of themselves erect their own in- 
dustrial structure. 

In the consideration of this very interesting land there seems to be 
a surprise at every turn, and one of the most peculiar is that we are met 
at the outset by the curious circumstance that it is a country without a 
name. The Chinese themselves have no fixed designation for their 
country, using as a general thing either the 'Middle Kingdom,' or the 
'Celestial Kingdom,' or the 'Great Pure Kingdom.' The interpretation 
of the first is that the people consider China to be the center of the 
world, all the other countries surrounding and being tributary to it; 
although the term probably originated when what is now the Province 
of Ho-nan was the central kingdom of several other kingdoms which 
went to make up a united country. The name 'Celestial Kingdom' is a 
piece of self -flattery, the Chinese Emperor being called in like manner 

*Thia article will form part of a book entitled "An American Engineer in China," to be 
published shortly by Messrs. McClure, Phillips & Co. 



70 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

the 'Son of Heaven;' while the last name, that of the 'Great Pure King- 
dom,' follows the designation of the present ruling house, which styles 
itself the 'Pure Dynasty,' in contradistinction to the preceeding dynasty 
which it overthrew, and which was called the Ming or 'Bright Dynasty.' 
The foreigner's appellation of China is of uncertain origin, hut it is sup- 
posed to mean the land of Chin or Tsin, a family that ruled about 
250 B. c, and even this name is used indiscriminately as covering two 
areas very different in size. When we use the word China it may mean 
the Chinese Empire proper, the empire of the eighteen provinces; or it 
may mean the eighteen provinces and the dependencies of Manchuria, 
Mongolia and Tibet, whose bond of attachment to the empire, in 
strength, is in the above order. The eighteen provinces comprise in 
area about 1,500,000 square miles, or an area about equal to that por- 
tion of the United States lying east of Colorado. The shape of the 
empire proper is substantially rectangular, extending from the latitude 
of 42° north, which is about that of New York, to 18° north, or the lati- 
tude of Vera Cruz. When the dependencies are included under the title 
of China the northern boundary is carried to the forty-eighth parallel, or 
6ay the latitude of New Foundland, and the whole has an area of over 
4,000,000 square miles, a greater surface than that of Europe, or of the 
United States and Alaska combined. This great area is reputed to sup- 
port a population of upwards of 400,000,000; figures, however, which 
I will later point out to be, in my belief, a gross exaggeration, but 
the balance, even after the most conservative reductions, will still easily 
be the greatest single contiguous conglomeration of people under one 
ruler. Racially speaking, they are a conglomeration. Who the Chinese 
were originally is not known. It is generally believed that they came 
from Western or Central Asia, and, conquering the scattering nomadic 
tribes inhabiting what is now China, seized their country. 

In the dependencies and Chinese proper we find distinctly different 
peoples, with their individual customs; while scattered about the empire 
proper are settlements of strange tribes, whose origin is absolutely un- 
known but who are believed to be relics of the aboriginal inhabitants. 

Lack of intercommunication has allowed the language of the Chinese 
to become locally varied, and to such an extent, that although the 
written characters are the same, the spoken dialect of the North and 
South are so different as to be mutually unintelligible. There are said 
to be in the empire proper eight dialects, each again being many times 
subdivided by local colloquialisms. Of these dialects the most im- 
portant is the so-called Mandarin or Pekingese, the dialect of the North 
and the official language of the country, for it is the one which all gov- 
ernment officials are required to learn and use. It therefore holds the 
position in respect to other dialects that the French formerly held in 
Europe as the Court tongue, or language of diplomacy and officialism. 



CHINA. 



7i 



Historically, China enjoys the distinction of being the oldest con- 
tinuing nation in the world. Fairly authentic records trace back the 
course of events to about 3,000 years b. c, so that it rightly claims an 
existence of at least 5,000 years. Previous to this period there is a vast 
amount of legendary matter in which probability and fiction have not 
yet been separated. 

China's own historians, with characteristic conceit, make out their 
country's history to be contemporaneous with time. Owing to her 
seclusion and isolation from the affairs of other nations, China's history 
possesses a local rather than a world's interest, and for the most part is 
a record of the rise and fall of the several tribes or peoples going to make 
up the nation, each such change establishing a new dynasty. However, 
there are certain epochs of general interest and certain salient points in 
the nation's development and growth that should be understood and 
kept in mind if any study of China or of things Chinese is undertaken. 

Accepted Chinese chronology begins with the reign of Fuh-hi in 
the year 2852 b. c. As to the significance of that date it is interesting 
to note that it is four hundred years before the rise of the Egyptian 
monarchy, five hundred years before that of Babylon and precedes the 
reputed time of Abraham by a period almost as long as the whole record 
of English history, from the conquest to the present time. 

In the Chau Dynasty, which lasted from b. c. 1122 to b. c. 249, we 
find the great period in Chinese literature, an era comparable with that 
of Elizabeth in our records. In 550 b. c. Confucius was born, whose 
philosophical reasonings, owing to the long time he antedated the spread 
of Christianity and Mohammedanism, have affected the thought of more 
human beings than the writings or sayings of any other man, with the 
possible exception of Buddha. 

Although Confucius is the central figure of the epoch, there are at 
least two other men substantially contemporaneous with him, and who 
are but only a little less prominent, Liao-tze, who preceded him fifty 
years, and Mencius, who followed him one hundred years. The former 
was a religious philosopher, on whose writings there has been founded 
the doctrine of Taoism. This philosophy is based on Eeason (Tao) and 
Virtue (Teh), and is of interest in that it leans towards an eternal mono- 
theism. According to his theory the visible forms of the highest Teh 
can only proceed from Tao, and Tao, he says, is impalpable, indefinite. 
Taoism, therefore, contemplates the indefinite, the eternal and a pre- 
existent something which Liao-tze likens to the 'Mother of all things/ 
or what we call a creator. 

In Chinese literature there are the nine classics, the five greater and 
the four lesser books. The former are Yih-King, the Book of Changes; 
Shu-King, Historical Documents; Shi-King, the Book of Odes; Li-Ki, 
the Book of Rites, and Chun-Tsin, a continuation of the Shu-King. Of 



72 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

the above, the second, third and fourth, although long antedating Con- 
fucius, were edited by him, while the fifth is from his pen. The four 
lesser classics are Ta-Hioh, Great Learning; Chung- Yung, the Just 
Medium; the Analects of Confucius; and the writings of Mencius. The 
last is the great production of Mencius, while the first three are a digest 
of the moralizings of Confucius as gathered by his disciples. 

On these nine books are founded Chinese philosophy, morals, 
thought, religion, education, ethics and even etiquette. The spirit of 
the matter in the classics is essentially lofty, moral and good. 

In China, learning transcends all else in importance, and as Con- 
fucius is considered as the fountain head of literature and learning, so 
he has become to be regarded as Europeans in the Middle Ages regarded 
saints, and temples to his honor are found in all large cities. The most 
important is the beautiful example of Chinese architecture in Peking, 
where the Emperor annually worships before his tablet. In spite of this 
apparent adoration, Confucius is not regarded by the Chinese as a god, 
but is clearly understood by them to have been a man, a philosopher and 
the embodiment of wisdom, and is revered as such. He was not the 
founder of a religion, nor was he a religious writer, although his senti- 
ments have become woven in the complicated fabric of Chinese faith. 
The name by which foreigners know him is a latinized corruption of 
Kung-tze, the Master Kung, the last being his family name, as Mencius 
is a similar corruption of Mang-tze, the Master Mang. 

Following the Chau dynasty comes that of Tsin, which was noted for 
supplying the foreign appellation of the country and for the great works, 
both good and bad, of its name-giving Emperor. It was he who united 
the varieus peoples of Eastern Asia under one sway; laid the foundation 
for at least internal commerce by beginning the construction of the 
Chinese system of canals, started the construction of the Great Wall and 
succeeded in raising his country to a point of material greatness not be- 
fore reached. Then, with a view to make all records begin with him, 
he ordered burned all books and writings of every description, includ- 
ing those of Confucius and the other philosophers. Fortunately, in 
spite of an energetic attempt, this sacrilegious act was not completely 
consummated. 

From this period to the Tang dynasty in 618 a. d. the history of this 
country is a succession of different reigning houses, internal wars, rebel- 
lions, more or less successful, and during which the capital was fre- 
quently moved, part of the time being located at Nan-king on the 
Yang-tze, which many of the Chinese of to-day regard as the proper 
site. The great single event of this long stretch of years, and practically 
the only one of foreign interest, was the introduction of Buddhism at the 
close of the first century a. d. 

The Emperor Ming-ti sent an embassy to the West to bring back the 



CHINA. 7i 

teachings of the foreign god, rumors of whose fame had already reached 
the Pacific shore. It has since been supposed by some that this meant 
tidings of Christ; but the basis for such an inference is doubtful. At 
any rate the embassy found its way to India and returned thence with 
the doctrines of Buddhism, which at once became the established re- 
ligion of the country, spreading over the whole of China and eventually 
Japan. It makes an interesting speculation to consider what the effect 
on the world would have been if the embassy had taken a more north- 
ern route, bringing it to Palestine instead of to India. 

The Tang dynasty a. d. 618 to 908 marks perhaps the zenith of 
Chinese development, when, there is no doubt, its civilization and culti- 
vation outshone those of Europe at the same period. Literature flour- 
ished; trade was nurtured, the banking system developed, laws were 
codified and the limits of the empire were extended even to Persia and 
the Caspian Sea. The art of printing was discovered, certainly in block 
form and probably by movable type. The fame of China reached India 
and Europe, whence embassies were despatched bearing salutations 
and presents. Monks of the Nestorian order were received by the Em- 
peror Tai-tsung, who gave permission for them to erect churches, and 
thus was Christianity first publicly acknowledged in China. Although 
the efforts of the Nestorian monks continued for many years from 
perhaps as early as 500 a. d. to 845, yet they were without permanent 
results, as they left no monuments behind them, and the practice of 
Christianity was suspended for some centuries. 

In 1213 a. D. the Chinese for the first time passed under a foreign 
rule, when Genghis Khan, the great Mongol, crossed the wall and began 
to lay waste the country. When he had captured Peking and estab- 
lished a Mongol dynasty, he turned his attention to further conquests, 
and in 1219 led a force westward. With it he overran Northern India, 
Asia Minor, and even entered Europe in Southern Eussia. He then 
withdrew to Peking, having established the largest empire in the world's 
history. Under his degenerate successors this vast power dwindled, the 
only permanent result being found in Europe; for the presence of the 
Turks on that continent is due to the invasion of Genghis, as he drove 
them before him out of their own Asiatic country. 

The last purely Chinese dynasty was the Ming (Bright) which occu- 
pied the throne from 1368 to its overthrow by the Manchus in 1644. 
The capital of this house was originally at Nan-king, but was moved by 
the great Emperor Yung-loh to Pekin in 1403, where he constructed 
the famous Ming Tombs forty miles northwest of the city, where he 
and his successors of Ming lie buried in solitary grandeur. He also es- 
tablished the laws under which China is governed to-day, and under 
him the seeds of Christianity were permanently planted in China in 
1582 by the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci. About two hundred and 



74 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

fifty years before a temporary foothold had been gained by the same 
order. The first effort lasted, however, for but seventy-five years, and 
then, like the Nestorian movement, quietly died without practical re- 
sults. It was also during this dynasty that the first foreign settlement 
was made on Chinese soil, in the Portuguese port of Macao in 1557. 

In the seventeenth century the northern tribes set up a rebellion. 
Gaining adherents to their cause they captured Peking in 1644, swept 
away Chinese rule and established a Manchu dynasty, to which they 
gave the name of 'Ta Tsing* or the 'Great Pure/ The principal effects 
of this change were to establish the northern races in control of the 
government and to stamp upon the whole people their most striking 
outward distinguishing mark in the queue, which was a distinctly 
Manchu custom, the Chinese having cut their hair like Western people. 
On their establishment the Manchu rulers ordered all people to wear the 
queue as a token of subjugation which the Chinese natives still do, 
although the Tibetans and Mongols continue to cut their hair as of old. 
Manchus and Chinese can be readily recognized by their names. Thus 
one of Manchu descent has but a double name, like Tung-lu, while a 
Chinese has three characters as, Li Hung-chang. 

The government of China is an absolute imperialism, with powers 
vested in an Emperor, whose position is well indicated by his most used 
title, the 'Son of Heaven.' He is assisted by two councils under whom 
are the seven boards of: Civil Service, Revenue, Rites, War, Punish- 
ment, Works and Navy, who severally attend to the administration of 
affairs in their respective departments. Then there is the Tsung-Li- 
Yamen, or foreign office; a bureau composed of twelve ministers, with 
and through whom all relations with other nations and foreigners gen- 
erally are conducted. 

The communication between the Imperial authority and the people 
is through the local governments of the provinces. These provinces in 
their organization closely resemble an American State, varying in size 
from Che-kiang, the smallest, within an area of 35,000 square miles, to 
Sz-chuen, the largest, embracing 170,000 square miles. These are re- 
spectively comparable with the States of Indiana (36,350 square miles) 
and California (156,000 square miles). Each province is ruled by a gov- 
ernor appointed by the throne, and he exercises his authority through 
a chain of officialism. The province is divided into circuits, each circuit 
being controlled by an intendant of circuit or taotai. In addition to the 
regular taotais, there are special ones appointed to look after the large 
treaty ports, like Shanghai. Such taotais have immense powers and the 
positions are much sought after. The circuits or 'Fu' are usually again 
subdivided into two or more 'Chau' or prefectures under a prefect, and 
each perfecture into Hsiens or districts, under a magistrate. Cities 
where such officials dwell are usually indicated by adding 'Fu/ 



CHINA. 



75 



'Chau' or 'Hsien' to their names. The Hsien magistrates are the men 
who come in direct contact with the people. The Governor in turn 
reports to an officer properly styled a Governor-General, but whose title 
foreign nations have translated as Viceroy, each of whom usually con- 
trols two provinces. These Viceroys form the real government of the 
country. Their powers are absolute. It is to them, armed with judg- 
ment of life and death, that the people look for justice and protection, 
and to them, also, the throne itself looks for support. Each Viceroy 
maintains his own army, in some instance a portion of which has been 
foreign drilled, which army he has a right to decide whether he will use 
for national purposes or not. 

Of the existing college of Viceroys, there are three who have brought 
themselves by their acts, abilities and force of character to the forefront, 
and who are known as the three great Viceroys. These men are Li 
Hung-chang, formerly Viceroy of Pe-chi-li, but now of Canton, ruling 
the provinces of Kwang-tung and Kwang-si, and so usually referred to 
as the Viceroy of the two Kwang; Chang Chi-tung, the Viceroy of 
Wu-chang, in like manner called the Viceroy of the two Hu, as his 
dominion covers the provinces of Hu-peh and Hu-nan, and Liu Kun-yi, 
the Viceroy of Nan-king, ruling the provinces of Kiang-su and Ngan- 
whui. 

Li Hung-chang, whose reputation is international, needs no intro- 
duction. The other two, while, perhaps not so well known, are in China 
of scarcely less importance, especially as they have a personal hold on 
their people that is not equaled by any other official. They are not rich, 
which is almost the same as saying that they are honest, and, although 
they are decidedly pro-foreign in their views, nevertheless they are at 
the same time imbued with a strong and earnest desire to ameliorate the 
condition of their charges and, therefore, are honored and respected by 
their people. To accomplish this end they do not hesitate to avail 
themselves of occidental ideas or means if therein they see a possibility 
of benefit. 

When the Empress Dowager in 1898 executed her coup d'etat and 
notified the Viceroys of what she had done, Chang Chi-tung and Liu 
Kun-yi were the only ones who had courage to express their disapproval. 
In consequence there is little doubt that she would have removed or 
beheaded them if she had dared to brave the outcry of the people of the 
four provinces, which would certainly have followed. In any reorgani- 
zation of China these three men will play an important part in which 
the influence of Chang Chi-tung and Liu Kun-yi will certainly be of 
weight as they enjoy the esteem and confidence of both foreigner and 
native. 

In the appointing of all officials there is one rule that is curiously 
indicative of Chinese reasoning and methods. No official is allowed to 



76 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

serve in a district in which he was born. The reason for this is that, 
being a stranger, without local prejudice or interest, it is believed that 
he will administer justice quite impartially. Unfortunately, human 
nature being the same in China as elsewhere, the official, on account of 
his lack of local prejudice, administers justice in such a manner as will 
best promote his own interests and secure his advancement. 

Topographically considered, China lies on the eastern flank of the 
great Central Asian plateau and, therefore, its main drainage lines lie 
east and west. There are three great valleys: that of the Yellow, in the 
north; Yang-tze in the center; and the Si (or West), in the south. The 
Yellow Eiver, or Hoang-ho, or as it is frequently called, on account of 
its erratic and devastating floods, 'China's Sorrow,' is a stream very 
much resembling the Mississippi, carrying a great amount of alluvium, 
which it deposits at various places, forming bars and shoals. In 
order to protect the shores from inundations, the Chinese for many years 
have been building dykes with the result of gradually raising the bot- 
tom of the river through the deposition of alluvium. There are now 
many places where the bottom of the stream is actually higher than the 
normal banks. Under such circumstances the breaking of a dyke means 
untold destruction, with possible permanent change of bed. The loca- 
tion of its mouth shows the character of this great river. Eighty years 
ago it flowed into the Yellow Sea, south of the Shang-tung Peninsula. 
To-day it enters the Gulf of Pe-chi-li two hundred and fifty miles in a 
direct line northwest of its previous location, or about six hundred miles, 
when measured around the coast line. The Yang-tze, on the other 
hand, rightly merits its name of 'China's Glory.' This noble stream, 
whose length is about 3,500 miles, of which 1,100 miles are navigable by 
steam vessels, divides the country, approximately equally north and 
south. Its drainage area covers more than one-half of the empire, 
the richest and most valuable portion. This stream, like the Hoang-ho, 
carries a large amount of alluvial matter, but it is much more orderly 
and well regulated. Practically at its mouth, the gateway to Central 
China, although actually on a small tributary called the Wang-Poo, is 
Shanghai. The West River, or Si-Kiang, drains the southern and 
southwestern section of the er ,ire, flowing into the sea at Canton, 
where with the Pei (North) and Pearl rivers it forms the broad estuary 
known as the Canton River. 

In agricultural possibilities and mineral wealth China is particularly 
fortunate. On account of its great dimensions north and south it en- 
joys all varieties of climate from the tropical to the temperate, and in 
consequence possesses the ability to raise almost any crop. The great 
bottom lands of the Yang-tze, Hoang and other rivers, which are sub- 
ject to annual overflow, are thus by nature enriched and automatically 
fertilized as are the bottom lands along the Mississippi and other allu- 



CHINA. yy 

vium-bearing streams. In addition to the ordinary advantages of soil 
and variety of climate to which such a large expanse is naturally en- 
titled, China enjoys one special favor in the singular deposit known as 
Loess. 

The country lying north from the Yang-tze to the Gulf of Pe-chi-li, 
part of which area has been made by the alluvial deposits of the Yang- 
tze and Yellow rivers, is known as the Great Plain. Of this territory 
there is a considerable section in the provinces of Shen-si, Shan-si and 
Shan-tung, which is known as the Loess formation. This particular soil 
is yellow in appearance, resembling alluvial material, but on exami- 
nation is found to consist of a network of minute capillary tubes. The 
best theory for its deposit is that it is the fine dust of dried vegetable 
matter carried down by the winds from the northwest plains and 
dropped where found. The fine tubes are accounted for by believing 
them to be the spaces occupied by the roots of grasses, as the latter have 
been continually raising themselves to keep on the consequently rising 
surface. The Loess soil is of great and unknown thickness, of extraor- 
dinary fertility and with great capacity for withstanding droughts, as 
the tubes by their capillary action serve to bring up moisture from the 
ground water below. This part of the Great Plain has been supplying 
crops for many centuries without fertilizing and supports the densest 
part of the Chinese population. 

In minerals, China is particularly rich. Of the precious metals, gold 
and silver are known to exist, and probably in paying quantities, while of 
the less valuable metals, copper, lead, antimony and others have been 
found, and but await the introduction of proper transportation methods 
to be developed. Petroleum occurs in Sz-chuen, the extreme western 
province lying next to Tibet. But China's greatest mineral wealth lies 
in iron and coal. The great fields of the latter are in Pe-chi-li, Shen-si, 
Shan-si, Sz-chuen, Kiang-si and Hu-nan, where all varieties from soft 
bituminous to very hard anthracites are found. Of the former there are 
coals, both coking and non-coking, fit for steel-making or steam uses, 
while of the latter there are those adapted for domestic use, with suffi- 
cient volatile matter to ignite easily, and others sufficiently hard to bear 
the burden in a blast furnace and sufficiently low in phosphorus, sulphur 
and volatile substances to render them available for the manufacture of 
Bessemer pig, as is done in Pennsylvania. Chinese houses are usually 
without chimneys, and, therefore, the native is compelled to use for 
domestic purposes an anthracite, or, as he calls it, a non-smoking coal, 
which he burns in an open fireplace, the products of combustion escap- 
ing through the doors, unglazed windows or the many leaks which are 
usually found in Chinese roofs. 

In opposing the introduction of occidental reforms, methods and 
commercial relations, China has invited, if not actually obliged, the 



78 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

forming of bases by other nations from which to push their trade. 
Chinese soil is now heid, through some excuse and under various con- 
ditions, by Portugal, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and Japan. 
In addition to this Italy has made an unsuccessful attempt to secure a 
foothold at San Mun Bay. 

The Portugese possession is Macao, situated on the western side of 
the mouth of the Canton Eiver, a charming settlement covering the city 
and a few square miles of territory separated from the main land by a 
narrow neck. It is a delightful little piece of southern European re- 
finement in an Oriental setting, and perhaps the only point on the coast 
to which the word charming can be rightly applied. It was the first 
foreign settlement in China, being ceded to Portugal in 1557 in return 
for services in putting down pirates. On account of the shallowness of 
the harbor, the importance of Macao as a trading point or military base 
is very small. 

The British possessions are Hong Kong, Kow-loon and Wei-hai-wei. 
As a result of the Opium War of 1841, the island of Hong Kong, whose 
greatest dimension is but nine miles, and wholly mountainous, located 
at the eastern side of the Canton estuary, directly opposite to Macao, but 
distant therefrom about forty miles, was given over by China as a part 
of the indemnity. In 1860 there was added the shore of the main land, 
called Kow-loon, across the roadstead whose width is rather more than a 
mile, in order to complete the harbor. On this island the English have 
established a colony, built the city of Victoria, and through the mag- 
nificent land-locked harbor, have developed a trading point, whose com- 
merce ranks with that of the world's greatest ports. There are no cus- 
toms dues, no restricting conditions — all nations and nationalities have 
an equal footing, so that Hong Kong has become the great entrepot or 
warehouse for nearly the whole of the Orient, and absolutely so for 
Southern China, whose gateway it controls. A year's record shows that 
over 11,000 vessels enter and clear, not including upwards of 70,000 
junks. Thus have the English converted an apparently useless island 
into a most valuable possession for themselves and a great stepping- 
stone for the world's commerce. 

The next country to establish a foothold on Chinese soil was France, 
who acquired from Annam, by war and treaty, between the years 1860 
and 1874, part of the province of Tong-king. In 1882 further trouble 
arising between France and Annam, the latter appealed to her pro- 
tector, China, and war ensued. The result was the permanent occupa- 
tion of the whole of Tong-king and the placing of the French frontier 
next to that of China. 

At the conclusion of the Japanese war, the island of Formosa was 
permanently ceded by China and an arrangement made for the tempo- 
rary occupation of Port Arthur. Then Russia interfered, insisted on 



CHINA. 



79 



the withdrawal of the Japanese troops from the North, and, as her price 
for aiding China, secured a lease for twenty-five years of the Liao-tung 
Peninsula, covering eight hundred square miles, including the harbors 
of Port Arthur and Talien-wan, and so, practically obtained the control 
of Chinese Manchuria. 

In 1897 two German missionaries having been killed, the German 
Emperor demanded as compensation a share of Chinese soil, which was 
granted through a 'lease' of Kiao-Chau Bay for ninety-nine years. 

The following abbreviated quotations indicate the tenor of these 
curious arrangements: 

"I. His Majesty the Emperor of China, being desirous of preserving 
the existing good relations with His Majesty the Emperor of Germany 
and promoting an increase of German power and influence in the Far 
East, sanctions the acquirement under lease by Germany of the land ex- 
tending for one hundred li at high tide. 

"Germany may engage in works for the public benefit, such as water- 
works, within the territory covered by the lease, without reference to 
China. Should China wish to march troops or establish garrisons 
therein she can only do so after negotiating with and obtaining the 
express permission of Germany. 

"II. His Majesty the Emperor of Germany being desirous, like the 
rulers of certain other countries, of establishing a naval and coaling 
station and constructing dockyards on the coast of China, the Emperor 
of China agrees to lease to him for the purpose all the land on the south- 
ern and northern sides of Kiao-Chu Bay for a term of ninety-nine years. 
Germany is to be at liberty to erect forts on this land for the defense of 
her possessions therein. 

"III. During the continuance of the lease China shall have no voice 
in the government or administration of the leased territory. It will be 
governed and administered during the whole term of ninety-nine years 
solely by Germany, so that the possibility of friction between the two 
powers may be reduced to the smallest magnitude. 

"If at any time the Chinese should form schemes for the develop- 
ment of Shan-tung, for the execution of which it is necessary to obtain 
foreign capital, the Chinese government, or whatever Chinese may be 
interested in such schemes, shall, in the first instance, apply to German 
capitalists. Application shall also be made to German manufacturers 
for the necessary machinery and materials before the manufacturers of 
any other power are approached. Should German capitalists or manu- 
facturers decline to take up the business, the Chinese shall then be at 
liberty to obtain money and materials from other nations." 

While the area actually covered by the lease is small, the shore line 
being but one hundred li (thirty-three miles), nevertheless the Germans 
have thrown a sphere claim over the whole province of Shan-tung, an 



80 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

area as large as New England, based on the special commercial conces- 
sion, as above quoted. 

The strongholds of Kiao-Chau and Port Arthur, for the Germans 
and Eussians immediately set about fortifying them, so threatened the 
balance of power in the North, that the British government in 1898, de- 
manding something to offset them, secured the harbor of Wei-hai-wei, 
directly opposite Port Arthur and with it marking the entrance to the 
Gulf of Pe-chi-li. This territory is to be held as long as the Eussians 
hold Port Arthur. At the same time Great Britain extended the limits 
of the Kow-loon possession by two hundred square miles, so as to abso- 
lutely protect the harbor of Hong Kong, and secured from the Chinese 
government a promise that no territory in the Yang-tze Valley should 
be alienated to any other power, thus obtaining a so-called sphere of 
influence over the richest half of the empire. France, not wishing to 
see her commercial rivals outdo her, demanded, as her share of the 
plunder, the harbor and port of Kiang-chau-wau near her province of 
Tong-king and secured a lease of the same for ninety-nine years. Thus 
has the Chinese government given away its patrimony. 

In addition to the above possessions of territory actually held under 
the domination of their respective governments, there are at the various 
treaty ports the so-called foreign concessions, which have been given by 
the Chinese government to the temporary care of the people of other 
nationalities, permitting them to establish a police force, courts of jus- 
tice, fire protective service, to collect taxes for local use, and otherwise to 
maintain local governments according to foreign regulations and prac- 
tically without interference by the Chinese government. Such conces- 
sions remain, in name, at least, Chinese territory. The largest and most 
important of them is Shanghai, where grants were made some years ago 
to the English, American and French. The first two have been com- 
bined into the Shanghai municipality, under a system of popular gov- 
ernment with annual elections, where the rate-payers are voters and 
which in all functions closely resembles an independent republic. The 
theory that all nations are on an equal footing within the limits of the 
municipality is carried out to such an extreme that not only does the 
Chinese government maintain a post-office, but so also do all other 
countries whose citizens operate lines of mail steamers to and from the 
port. There are thus to be found, in addition to the Chinese post-office, 
regular establishments of the United States, Great Britain, Germany 
and Japan, while France has hers in the French concession, at all of 
which the stamps of the several countries are for sale. 

Such in a few words is the political and physical status of that nation 
and that country on which the attention of the civilized world is 
focused, and whose development and regeneration will probably be the 
leading feature of the early years of the new century. 



RESCUE WORE IN HISTORY. 81 



EESCUE WORK IN HISTOEY. 

By President DAVID STARR JORDAN, 

LELAND STANFORD, JK., UNIVERSITY. 

AT the November meeting of the Astral Camera Club, Mr. Asa 
■ Marvin presiding, Prof. Abram Gridley, the learned master of 
the Alcalde Union High School, spoke on the unique topic of his pro- 
posed 'Rescue Work in History/ 

He began with the bold declaration that the two great discoveries, 
twin triumphs of the human mind, which will make this age memo- 
rable, were these, the Banishment of Space and the Annihilation of 
Time. He proposed to illustrate the results of these discoveries and to 
show how they could be turned to the advantage of mankind by means 
of an esoteric foray through the echoing aisles of the past. 

"It has been shown by the great Dr. Hickok," said Professor Grid- 
ley, "that matter is but a portion of space rilled with a modicum of 
'force, which is actively engaged in holding itself still.' When this 
activity becomes passive, matter is no more. Thus as matter has no 
real existence, space, which is its matrix, is banished also from the 
category of realities. 

"Even more remarkable is the discovery of the famous Dr. Hensoldt 
that time could be literally 'rolled away as a scroll,' and therefore prac- 
tically annihilated. This fact is stated in these memorable words: 'We 
count our time by the rotations of our planet. If you were to go 
close to the north pole and then travel around it in a westerly direction 
you could walk back all the lost days of your childhood. And if you 
are moderately swift-footed you might run around that pole until you 
caught the earth where it was when Julius Cassar first landed in Britain 
or when the pyramids were built." 

"Only this year," continued the learned schoolmaster, "has the 
practical significance of all this been brought to light." Referring to 
the phenomena of thought-transference, our friend and guide, the ven- 
erable sage of Angels, spoke before us these words: 

" 'All manner of sensations,' Mr. Dean has told us, 'may be trans- 
mitted, and these over any distance or through any time. It is as easy, 
for example, for me as an adept to speak to Marcus Brutus as for me 
to speak to the Lama of Thibet, and equally easy for Plato or Ptolemy 
to speak to me. Through this power I may yet dissuade Brutus from 
his awful deed or save Caesar from that ambition through which fall the 

VOL. LVIII. — 6 



8 2 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

emperors and the angels. In history nothing is too late and the great 
tangled fabric of the past is ever open to reconstruction.' 

"With all this knowledge gained," said Professor Gridley, "the work 
of these adepts should not lapse for want of initiates bold enough to 
act." He proposed that the Astral Club add to its purposes that of 
serious effort in the direction formerly occupied by space and time. 
His thought was nothing less than the perfection of the human race 
through the correction of history. This could be best accomplished 
by collective personal influence on the lives of great men. The value 
of such influence all teachers must admit. That it is not too late is 
now a certain fact, and to work in unison is to do the best work. 

Mr. Dean had already devoted many esoteric and soulful hours to 
this labor, but he had used only the method of telepathy, subtle enough 
in its action, but not powerful enough for large results. Because it is 
dependent on etheric vibrations and electric inductions, it is practically 
ineffective except in settled weather. The turbulent atmosphere of the 
Middle Ages renders settled communication difficult if one tries to go 
back far enough for his influence to be worth while. It is also much 
better to use personal presence than any form of esoteric induction, if 
the former is possible. 

If you wish a thing to be well done, the great Franklin assures us, 
you must do it yourself, and few of us moderns could speak with higher 
authority on electrics and etherics than he. The mere extension of 
a personal aura backward through history, Mr. Dean has privately ad- 
mitted, fails of the highest results, and nothing short of the best can 
be satisfactory to the initiates of Alcalde. Still less can we count on 
projecting such an aura into the future. The forms of men and nations 
of future centuries are now in Devachan, in the subastral or plasto- 
nebulose state. A human aura can have little definite influence upon 
them, especially because, not knowing what influence should be exerted, 
the sensator would work in utter astral darkness which could yield no 
tangible result. It is evident that this great work needs the personal 
presence. How to produce this Dr. Hensoldt's discovery clearly 
indicates. 

If we go around the earth from west to east, as the sun seems to go, 
we have added one whole day for each revolution. If we go to the high 
north, the circles grow shorter, and barring certain difficulties in trans- 
portation, it is easier to go around. If we ascend to the very pole, 
which by the aid of the non-friable astral body is not so very difficult to 
adepts, we find a circle of revolution only a few feet in circumference. 
"Let us suppose," continued Professor Gridley, "that we have ar- 
rived at the north pole on the first day of August. A single circuit 
around it to the eastward and we reach the second of August. A dozen 
circuits and we have August the fourteenth. With the aid of the 



RESCUE WORK IN HISTORY. 83 

mechanical skill now so easily acquired it will be easy to prepare an 
electric turn-table by which these revolutions can be accomplished. 
This can be set in rotation by the electric force of the Northern Lights. 
Seated upon its edge and whirled eastward for a dozen minutes, one 
would find himself, perhaps, in the midst of the twenty-sixth century. 
Then turning southward to the abodes of men, the adept would be 
received with the greatest eagerness. To these far-off people, 'the latest 
progeny of time,' he would appear as a Mahatma wise to overflowing 
with the lore of bygone centuries. It is even possible that such an in- 
vention was already in the hands of the ancient Mahatmas. Of such 
origin beyond a doubt were the sages or Old Men of the Mountains, who 
from time to time in the past have appeared in the cities of men, filled 
with forgotten information and equipped with magic power. Such a 
one of a surety was Trismegistos, three times greatest, and such was 
Peter the Hermit and Gautama. In the light of our present knowledge, 
the appearance of Van Winkle at the town of Falling Waters should be 
carefully reinvestigated. The explanation currently given is far from 
conclusive, and the little men of the Catskills were probably of an astral 
nature and not contemporaneous with the ignorant villagers who 
scoffed at their existence. 

"But far more important than any result from the projection of 
the personal presence into the future are those derived from its retro- 
jection into the scenes of the past. For this purpose the machinery of 
the turn-table should be attuned to the greatest possible accuracy. Its 
movement must be as perfect as that of the finest chronometer. A 
whirl or two too much or too little might leave the personal presence 
stranded in an age on which its influence would be wasted. For in- 
stance, the attempt to rescue Caesar from his ambitions or Brutus from 
his crime would be futile if attempted before Caesar was born. A single 
day too late and the whole matter must needs be gone over again from 
the first, with large chances that the drifting floes of the North may 
have swept away the turn-table. In such case the painful journey on 
foot round and round the pole till the desired meridian is reached 
would be inexpressibly tedious. Even the most eager adept could 
hardly be blamed if he directed his steps toward his own century and 
his bodily home. To prevent gross accidents and to secure the best 
results, therefore, a considerable number of people should cooperate. 
We should make of the matter a kind of Salvation Army. Seated on 
the turn-table a hundred adepts could be whirled round and round to 
the westward, each descending at the time his mission might desig- ( 
nate. Miss Jones, for example, would descend in 1776 to gain the con- 
fidence of Benedict Arnold and thus save him from his treason. Our 
friend, Doctor Cribbs, perhaps could descend in the reign of James II., 
and by a few doses of Swamp Root cure the judge's sad malady and save 



84 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

England from the strain of the Bloody Assizes. Mr. Marvin could 
muffle the bell of St. Germain l'Auxerrois and the name of St. Bartholo- 
mew would lose its dark suggestion. Miss Lucy Wilkins could leave us 
to the north of Cologne and in the time of St. Ursula. This good 
woman could be turned from her useless quest and her sad host of 
martyred virgins could each become a German Hausfrau. Again, our 
fair friend from Fideletown, Miss Violet Dreeme, could find scope for 
her powers in the rescue of Guinevere. These serve simply as illus- 
trations. We may vary them as we please. 

"The preliminary difficulties once surmounted, the auroral turn- 
table once in operation and in the hands of a few hundred adepts, mis- 
sionaries of the present to the past, the tangled jungles of history would 
be turned to a field of the Cloth of Gold. By keeping open telepathic 
connection with the esoteric clubs at home, we can inform the world 
that is, of the progress of our work, and the changes we make in history 
could be announced in our schools. 

"Grand indeed is our conception," said Professor Gridley, "and it is 
not far from realization. The initial expense is but a trifle. A few 
hundred dollars in tense springs, clockwork and dynamos, a table of 
the finest rosewood and the service of a skilled mechanic, an adept in 
electricity and skilled in astral impersonation, and it is done. 

"More than this," continued Professor Gridley impressively, "all 
this is already provided. I have here a letter from the editor of the 
New York Sunday 'Monarch,' an offer of all expenses and a generous 
salary in return for the first telepathic advices, going back beyond the 
present century. For each preceding century, the sum will be doubled. 
I have, indeed, contracted with the great journal for the exclusive ac- 
count of my interviews with the great Bacon, whose noble but polluted 
nature it shall be my life work to redeem." 



JAMES EDWARD KEELER. 85 



JAMES EDWARD KEELEE. 

By Prof. W. W. CAMPBELL, 

ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE LICK OBSERVATORY. 

THE Lick Observatory has lost an ideal director. Astronomy has 
suffered a loss it can ill afford. Colleagues and friends widespread 
will miss a companionship which was simply delightful. 

James Edward Keeler was born in La Salle, 111., on September 10, 
1857. Ealph Keeler, his first American ancestor, settled in Hartford 
in 1635. His father, Wm. F. Keeler, was an officer of the original 
'Monitor' at the time of its engagement with the 'Merrimac' His 
mother (still living) is the daughter of Henry Dutton, former Governor 
of Connecticut and Dean of the Yale Law School. 

In 1869 the family removed from La Salle, 111., to Mayport, Fla. 
Here Keeler prepared for college, under the tutelage of his father and 
his older brother. Here his fondness for astronomical studies was de- 
veloped. He established 'The Mayport Astronomical Observatory' in 
1875-77. It included, at the least, a quadrant, a two-inch telescope, a 
meridian circle and a clock. Under date of 1875, September 22, his jour- 
nal records an observed altitude of Polaris secured with 'my quadrant.' 
Other entries read: 

"1875, November 14. Sent to Queen last night for lenses for my 
telescope." 

"1875, November 29. Lenses from Queen came to-night; one two- 
inch achromatic, and two plano-convex lenses for eyepiece." 

"1875, December 12. Directed my telescope to the stars, and saw 
the rings of Saturn for the first time. . . ." 

"December 14. Saw the Annular Nebula in Lyra. One satellite of 
Saturn. . . . All four of the stars in the Trapezium. . . ." 

"1876, January 26. Got up at half-past four this morning and ap- 
plied my telescope to Jupiter for the first time. . . ." 

In 1877, at the age of twenty years, he constructed a meridian-circle 
instrument. The telescope was that of a common spyglass, 1.6-inch 
aperture and 13.45-inch focus. The axis was turned out of wood. 
Brass ferrules, driven on the ends of the axis and turned down, formed 
the pivots. The wooden circle, 13.3 inches in diameter, was graduated 
to 15'.* 

* Keeler's original sketch of this instrument and his written description of it will be pub- 
lished in the next number of the ' Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.' 



86 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

His 'Kecord of Observations made at the Mayport Observatory' con- 
tains beautiful colored sketches of Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mars, the 
Orion Nebula, of double stars and of 'Scenery on the Moon'; and in 
addition, data of a numerical character. These early drawings are 
characterized by the refined taste and skill so well known from his later 
professional work. 

Keeler entered Johns Hopkins University late in 1877; and, fol- 
lowing major courses in physics and German, he was graduated with 
the de°ree of A. B. in 1881. At the end of his freshman year he 
accompanied Professor Hastings, as a member of Professor Holden's 
party from the Naval Observatory, to observe the total solar eclipse of 
July 29, 1878, at Central City, Col. Although his part was the modest 
one of making a drawing of the corona, his written report on the work 
is a model scientific paper, and may be read with profit by visual observ- 
ers of eclipses. 

In the spring of 1881 Professor Langley, desiring an assistant in the 
Allegheny Observatory, requested the Johns Hopkins University to rec- 
ommend a suitable man for the place. Keeler was named and accepted 
the appointment, beginning work at Allegheny several weeks before re- 
ceiving his degree. I was speaking in June of this year (1900) with one 
of the physicists who had recommended Keeler for the Allegheny posi- 
tion, and the subject of this very appointment came up. "I told Pro- 
fessor Langley," said he, "that one of my strongest reasons for the rec- 
ommendation is that Keeler doesn't claim to know everything." To 
the end of his life this charming trait remained unimpaired. It is to 
Keeler's credit that he largely defrayed his own expenses in college by 
acting as assistant to some of the lecturers in the experimental courses. 

Professor Langley made his noted expedition to the summit of Mt. 
Whitney, Cal., in June-September, 1881, to determine the value of the 
'Solar Constant.' Keeler accompanied the expedition in the capacity 
of assistant, and carried out his share of the program with skill and 
efficiency. Eeturning at once to Allegheny, his work until May, 1883, 
was closely related to the many problems arising from the Mt. Whitney 
expedition. 

The year 1883-84 was devoted to study and travel abroad. The 
months of June, July and August, at Heidelberg, were given to the 
study of light and electricity under Quincke, chemistry under Bunsen, 
and integral calculus under Fuchs. In the winter semester in Berlin 
he heard the lectures on physics by Helmholtz and Kayser, on differen- 
tial equations by Runge and on quarternions by Glan. His main in- 
vestigation in the physical laboratory was on 'the absorption of radiant 
heat by carbon dioxide' — a problem suggested no doubt by his Mt. 
Whitney experiences. 

From June, 1884, to April, 1886, Keeler again served as assistant in 



JAMES EDWARD KEELEE. 87 

the Allegheny Observatory, affording most efficient help to Professor 
Langley in his classical researches on the lunar heat and on the infra- 
red portion of the solar spectrum. 

Early in 1886, on Professor Holden's recommendation, Keeler was 
appointed assistant to the Lick trustees. He arrived at Mt. Hamilton 
on April 25, 1886, and immediately proceeded to establish the time 
service. The telegraph line to San Jose was perfected, the transit in- 
strument, the clocks and the sending and receiving apparatus at both 
ends of the line were installed. The signals were sent out on and after 
January 1, 1887, north to Portland, east to Ogden and south to San 
Diego and El Paso. In addition to the time service, he assisted the 
trustees in installing the various instruments. 

When the observatory was completed and transferred to the regents 
of the University of California, on June 1, 1888, Mr. Keeler was ap- 
pointed astronomer: the original staff consisting of Astronomers Holden, 
Burnham, Schaeberle, Keeler and Barnard, and Assistant Astronomer 
Hill. 

Professor Keeler was placed in charge of the spectroscopic work of 
the observatory. The large star spectroscope, constructed mainly from 
his designs, has no superior for visual observations. Of the many results 
obtained with this instrument we may mention the observations of 
Saturn's rings and Uranus, with reference to their atmospheres; of 
the bright and dark lines in the spectra of y Cassiopeia? and /? Lyra?; 
of the color curve of the 36-inch equatorial, and of the spectra of 
the Orion Nebula and thirteen planetary nebula?. 

His beautiful observations on the velocities in the line of sight of 
these fourteen nebula? mark a distinct epoch in visual spectroscopy. His 
memoir on the subject took its place as a classic at once. The probable 
error of the final result for each nebula, based on the mean of several 
observations, is only 3.2 kilometers per second. Attention should be 
called to one extremely important fact established by these measures, 
viz., the velocities of the nebulae in their motion through space are of 
the same order of magnitude as the velocities of the stars. 

The recognition of the fact that a great refracting telescope is also 
a most powerful spectroscope for special classes of objects, by virtue of 
the chromatic aberration of the objective, is due to Professor Keeler. 
Among the first objects observed with the 36-inch equatorial were the 
planetary nebula? and their stellar nuclei. The observers were struck 
with the fact that the focal length for a nebula is 0.4 inch longer than 
for its stellar nucleus; a discrepancy which Professor Keeler at once ex- 
plained by recalling that the star's light is yellow, whereas that of the 
nebula is greenish-blue. 

Astronomical readers will remember Keeler's splendid drawings of 
the planets Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, made with the assistance of the 



88 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

36-inch telescope during 1888-90. His faithful and artistic drawings of 
Jupiter have no equal. 

He was in charge of the very successful expedition sent by the Lick 
Observatory to Bartlett Springs, Cal., to observe the total solar eclipse 
of January 1, 1889. 

Professor Keeler resigned from the Lick Observatory staff on June 
1, 1891, to succeed Professor Langley as director of the Allegheny Ob- 
servatory, and professor of astrophysics in the Western University of 
Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Observatory has perhaps the poorest loca- 
tion of any observatory in this country for spectroscopic work. But in 
spite of this disadvantage Heeler's investigations continued and pro- 
moted the splendid reputation established for the observatory by his 
predecessor. He comprehended the possibilities and limitations of his 
situation and his means, and adapted himself to them. His spectro- 
scopic researches were largely confined to the orange, yellow and green 
regions of the spectrum, since these would be less strongly affected by 
the smoky sky for which that vicinity is famous. 

The Allegheny spectroscope, designed and constructed soon after 
his acceptance of the position, contained several valuable improve- 
ments. The use of three simple prisms in its dispersive train was a de- 
parture which has been followed with great advantage in many later 
instruments. With this instrument he made an extensive investigation 
of the Orion Nebula and the stars immersed in it, establishing the fact 
that the nebula and the stars are closely related in physical condition.* 
His beautiful observations of Saturn's rings, proving that they are a 
cluster of meteorites — myriads of little moons — have never been sur- 
passed in interest in the entire astronomical field. These observations 
are so well known to every one interested in astronomy that one sen- 
tence suffices. He proved spectrographically, using the Doppler-Fizeau 
principle, that every point in the ring system is moving with the velocity 
which a moon would have if situated at that distance from the planet. 
Professor Keeler's main piece of work at the Allegheny Observatory, on 
the spectra of the third (Secchi) type stars, remains unpublished, but 
the measures and reductions are left in an advanced stage. 

The regents of the University of California appointed Professor 
Keeler to the position of Director of the Lick Observatory on March 8, 
1898. The ties which bound him and his family to Allegheny were 
difficult to sever; but the greater opportunities offered by the instru- 
ments and the atmospheric conditions at Mt. Hamilton decided him in 
favor of accepting the appointment. He entered upon his new duties 
on June 1, 1898. 

Without making any rearrangement of the work of the staff, but 



* Simultaneous observations of the same object made at another observatory led to the same 
conclusion. 



JAMES EDWARD KEELER. 89 

affording them every possible encouragement to continue along the 
same lines, Professor Keeler arranged to devote his own observing time 
to the Crossley reflector. He recognized that the instrument was not 
in condition to produce satisfactory results. He made one change after 
another, overcoming one difficulty after another, until, on November 
14, he secured an excellent negative of the Pleiades, and on November 
16 a superb negative of the Orion Nebula. The enormous power of the 
reflector in nebular photography was established, and he entered upon 
the program of photographing all the brighter nebulae in Herschel's 
catalogue. More than half the subjects on the program have been 
completed. The observatory possesses a set of negatives of the principal 
nebulae which is priceless and unequaled. These photographs have 
already led to many discoveries of prime importance; and they furnish 
a vast amount of material for future investigations of questions bearing 
especially upon the early stages of sidereal evolution. The photographs 
record incidentally great numbers of new nebulae — as many as thirty-one 
on a single plate covering less than one square degree of the sky. A 
conservative estimate places the number within reach of the Crossley 
reflector at 120,000, of which only ten or fifteen thousand have thus 
far been discovered. 

It had previously been supposed that the great majority of nebulae 
were irregular and without form, and that only a few were spiral. 
Professor Keeler's photographs have recorded more spiral nebulae than 
irregular ones. This discovery bears profoundly on theories of cosmog- 
ony, and must be considered as of the first order. 

It is time to refer to Professor Keeler's work as director. I but 
faintly reflect the views of every member of the staff, and indeed of all 
who have been interested in the work of this observatory, when I say 
that his administration was completely successful. He cherished and 
promoted ideal conditions in this ideal place. He made a success of his 
own work in a splendidly scientific manner, and he saw to it that 
every one had all possible opportunities to do the same. No member of 
the staff was asked to sacrifice his individuality in the slightest degree. 
Nor were demands made for immediate results: no one's plans were 
torn up by the roots to see if they were growing. The peace of mind 
of the investigator, so absolutely essential for complete success, was 
full and undisturbed. Withal, Professor Keeler's administration was 
so kind and so gentle — and yet so effective — that the reins of govern- 
ment were seldom seen and never felt. 

The elements of his successes are simple and plainly in view. His 
openness and honesty of character, his readiness and quickness to see 
the other man's point of view, his strong appreciation of the humorous 
as well as the serious, and above all, his abounding good sense — 
these traits made his companionship delightful and charming. Scien- 



90 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

tifically Professor Keeler never groped aimlessly in the dark. He would 
not attack a problem until he had as fully as possible comprehended its 
nature and the requirements for success. With the plan of attack com- 
pletely considered, and the instruments of attack at hand, the execution 
of his plans involved little loss of time. The Crossley reflector affords 
a case in point. Assisted by a fellow in astronomy and by the instru- 
ment-maker, he devoted five months to preparing the reflector for turn- 
ing out the magnificent results which at once followed. 

Professor Keeler's published papers have a finish and a ripeness 
which are rarely seen. His love of the beautiful and his artistic skill 
are evident in all his work. 

To speak of the people who had afforded him encouragement at dif- 
ferent times in his life was one of his pleasures. His father's friend, 
Mr. Chas. H. Rockwell, of Tarrytown, was constant in urging the de- 
velopment of so promising a career. He did not forget Professor Hast- 
ings' continual kindness and interest during his college days. He fre- 
quently spoke of the great value of Mr. William Thaw's interest and 
encouragement, both to himself and to the Allegheny Observatory; an 
interest which was continued after Mr. Thaw's death by other members 
of his family. 

The honorary degree of Sc. D. was conferred upon Professor Keeler 
in 1893 by the University of California. He received the Rumford 
Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1898 and 
the Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences in 
1899. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, an 
Associate of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow and 
Foreign Associate of the Royal Astronomical Society, a Fellow of the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member and 
officer of the Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America, an 
honorary member of the Toronto Astronomical and Physical Society, 
the president of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, a member of 
the Washington Academy of Sciences, and of various other organiza- 
tions. Professor Keeler was an associate editor of 'Astronomy and As- 
tro-physics' during 1892-94, and editor with Prof. George E. Hale of 
'The Astrophysical Journal,' since 1895. 

It appears that Professor Keeler had long been a mild sufferer from 
heart weakness; to run even fifteen steps caused him great physical dis- 
tress. It is feared that on Mt. Hamilton he worked beyond his strength. 
His weakness seemed to develop rapidly this summer. He went away 
from the observatory on July 30, in the best of spirits and with no 
anxiety, to secure medical treatment and to spend a brief vacation in the 
northern part of the State. Increasing difficulty in breathing led him 
to seek skilled treatment in San Francisco on August 10. His dangerous 



JAMES EDWARD KEELER. 91 

condition was recognized on the 11th, and on the 12th a stroke of apo- 
plexy proved fatal. 

Professor Keeler married Miss Cora S. Matthews, at Oakley Planta- 
tion, Louisiana, on June 16, 1891. Of her great sorrow and of the 
grievous loss to the two children it would be futile to speak. 

When the dangerous weakness of his heart was discovered by the 
physicians, Professor Keeler's main regret was that he would have to 
leave Mt. Hamilton and its opportunities in order to live at a lower alti- 
tude. It is known that he had planned his work with the Crossley re- 
flector far into the future. A small spectrograph which he was most 
anxious to employ on certain interesting spectra was completed on the 
day of his leaving the observatory. 

The absence of one so old in experience and so ripe in judgment 
will be seriously felt throughout his profession. 



92 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE. 



SCIENTIFIC AND LITERARY 
HISTORIANS. 

The address of Mr. Thomas Ford 
Rhodes, president of the American His- 
torical Association, on the subject of 
history, delivered before the midwinter 
meeting of that body, and published in 
the 'Atlantic Monthly' for February, has 
gone forth to the world with a high de- 
gree of authority and impressiveness. 
Nevertheless, there are some members 
of the Association — the writer humbly 
trusts enough to make a large ma- 
jority — for whom the president does not 
speak, and who dissent widely from his 
views. 

Mr. Rhodes begins by representing 
himself as an advocate 'holding a brief 
for history,' and proceeds to make im- 
portant concessions to those who re- 
fuse it a place in the front rank of sub- 
jects of human thought. "It is not the 
highest form of intellectual endeavor; 
let us at once agree that it were better 
that all the histories ever written were 
burned than for the world to lose Homer 
and Shakespeare." One more concession 
yields "to the mathematical and physical 
sciences precedence in the realm of in- 
tellectual endeavor over history." But, 
having admitted so much, Mr. Rhodes 
is still of the opinion that the his- 
torian's place in the field remains se- 
cure. Why he thinks so ia not 
made quite clear. It is true enough 
that there has never been 'so propitious 
a time for writing history as in the last 
forty years ' ; that 'there has been a 
general acquisition of the historic 
sense ' ; that 'the methods of teaching 
history have so improved that they may 
be called scientific'; and that 'the 
theory of evolution is firmly estab- 
lished.' There is, however, in all this 
nothing to attract the youth conscious 



of intellectual strength and brimming 
with energy and courage to a study 
which cannot claim to rank among the 
highest forms of intellectual endeavor. 
Shall we suppose that the historian's 
'place in the field remains secure' only 
because the giants do not care to wan- 
der that way? If so, those who love 
history better than they love the his- 
torians will find little satisfaction in 
this security. 

But, following Mr. Rhodes further, 
one finds the apparent gist of his con- 
tention to be that the new thought 
throughout the country, which has re- 
sulted in better work in almost every 
direction, has had no such result in 
historiography; that "with all our ad- 
vantages" we do not "write better his- 
tory than was written before 1859, 
which we may call the line of demar- 
cation between the old and the new," 
and that Thucydides and Tacitus are 
still the best models for the historian. 
The whole address appears to breathe 
the spirit of a somewhat over-reverent 
devotion to the Classics, and the hearers 
may well have imagined that they were 
listening to an appeal for the study of 
Greek and Latin. When the Lord of 
the vineyard comes, there will no doubt 
be a sufficiently grave indictment 
against the keepers of the historical 
portion for the waste they have made 
of the last eighteen hundred years; but 
it is hard to believe that they will be 
found guilty of having failed to im- 
prove on the methods of the classical 
writers. 

Has science, then, done nothing for 
history? Somewhat, even according to 
Mr. Rhodes himself. In addition to 
acknowledgments already quoted, he 
goes on to say: "The publication of 
the 'Origin of Species,' in 1859, converted 
it (the theory of evolution) from a 



DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE. 



93 



poet's dream and philosopher's specula- 
tion to a well-demonstrated scientific 
theory. Evolution, heredity, environ- 
ment, have become household words, 
and their application to history has in- 
fluenced every one who has had to trace 
the development of a people, the growth 
of an institution, or the establishment 
of a cause." Yet it seems that this 
has not enabled us to equal the excel- 
lence of two or three writers who 
flourished more than two-thirds of the 
way back to the dawn of European civil- 
ization. Let us at least be frank with 
ourselves, if such be the fact, and not 
refuse to recognize the disheartening 
nature of the conclusion. 

There are some iconoclasts, however, 
who will not accept it; and, if they 
allowed the barbarian that is in them to 
speak out, in spite of their high respect 
and deference for Mr. Rhodes, it would 
probably assert that there is little hope 
for the elevation of history to the 
highest rank of intellectual endeavor 
by champions so imbued with the spirit 
of the past. He that would show the 
subject worth the attention of the most 
gifted, the strongest and the most pene- 
trating minds can be no worshipper be- 
fore the marble god of the Classics. He 
must — difficult as the task would seem 
to Mr. Rhodes — write history better 
than Thucydides or Tacitus wrote it. 
But this is, after all, not so difficult 
if the proper meaning is given to the 
words. There are several men living 
who do it. This I fully believe; and I 
wish to say that the assertion is made 
in no spirit of defiance to the standards 
of my generation, but rather in the 
spirit of respect for these standards as I 
see them. 

There seems, in fact, to lie some 
subtle poison in the classics whereby 
their devotees become intoxicated. Their 
admiration for the ancient languages 
and literatures, for the civilizations in 
which their chosen work lies, appears 
to grow until they lose faith in the 
present and depreciate it correspond- 
ingly. Modern education, which is 
aimed to fit, rather than to unfit men 



for the life they must live, to adjust 
them to their environment rather than 
to put them out of harmony therewith, 
would not be wholly unjustified in en- 
tering its caveat for all who undertake 
the study of Greek and Latin. 

"If indeed there haunt 
About the moulder'd lodges of the Past 
So sweet a voice and vague, fatal to 

men, 
Well needs it we should cram our ears 

with wool 
And so pace by." 

These expressions are not prompted 
by any sympathy with materialism. I 
am well aware that humanity fed upon 
such meat will never be great. But 
must we look back over two thousand 
years to find ideals — even in the matter 
of history writing ? It will be a sad day, 
if it ever come, when the teaching of 
Greek and Latin shall fail in our uni- 
versities and men shall cease to study 
them; but it is certainly unnecessary 
that the classical measuring rod shall be 
laid to all the dimensions of modern 
thought. Shall we not be free? Shall 
there never be a literary mortmain to 
lift the dead hand of the classics and 
leave us at liberty to render service 
where it is due? 

Wherein lies the hitherto unequaled 
excellence of Thucydides and Tacitus? 
Not in their superior 'accuracy, love of 
truth and impartiality'; for 'Gibbon 
and Gardiner among the moderns pos- 
sess equally the same qualities.' Mr. 
Rhodes would doubtless deprecate any 
suggestion of placing his own name in 
this honorable company, but I believe 
it would occur at once to those who are 
familiar with his works. Certainly it is 
not difficult for the unprejudiced reader 
to see in him a conscientious and brave 
fidelity to the truth that can be found 
in a higher degree in no historian, an- 
cient or modern. 

Nor does the advantage of the classi- 
cal historians lie "in the collection of 
materials, in criticism and detailed an- 
alysis, in the study of cause and effect, 



94 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



in applying the principle of growth, of 
evolution," in all of which 'we certainly 
surpass the ancients.' This with char- 
acteristic fairness Mr. Rhodes admits, 
but it is still his conviction that we 
have not risen to the classical standard 
of historiography. 

Where, then, is the advantage in 
favor of Thucydides and Tacitus? The 
answer of their advocate is that they 
"are superior to the historians who have 
written in our century, because, by long 
reflection and studious method, they 
have better digested their materials and 
compressed their narrative. Unity in 
narration has been adhered to more rig- 
idly. They stick closer to their subject. 
They are not allured into the fascinat- 
ing by-paths of narration, which are so 
tempting to men who have accumulated 
a mass of facts, incidents and opinions." 

Lest this discussion should resolve it- 
self into an unprofitable difference about 
words, it may be worth while to con- 
sider just at this point the meaning of 
'better history,' as Mr. Rhodes uses the 
term. He can hardly mean better from 
the scientific standpoint; for he admits 
that our historical science is superior 
to the ancient. If, therefore, we put 
that into the history we write, we shall 
make it better in so far at least. No 
doubt he means better from the stand- 
point of historiographic art. 

Here lies, I take it, the crux of the 
controversy. Here begins the diver- 
gence between the scientific and the lit- 
erary historians. They differ as to the 
relative values of the elements they 
represent, and this difference rests upon 
another still more fundamental as to 
the relative values of ancient and mod- 
ern thought. This will serve to explain 
the objections I have already made to 
the attitude of Mr. Rhodes. I would 
not deny the justice nor the propriety 
of judging any historical work from the 
artistic standpoint. It would not be 
going too far to say that no history 
which fails when brought to such a test 
can be called good. But there is no 
art that can neglect its fundamental sci- 
ence. Other things being equal, that is 



the best history — even from the artistic 
point of view — which gives the clearest 
explanation of the unfolding of national 
life; and in this respect modern his- 
toriography is beyond all comparison 
superior to ancient. It is, therefore, not 
conclusive of the preeminent excellence 
of Thucydides and Tacitus to show the 
admirable proportion and conciseness of 
their narratives. If the historians of the 
present century show some loss in this 
respect, they do more than make it up 
by gain in others. It is not enough that 
the ancient writers of history told so 
well what they saw and understood; 
there was so much that they did not see 
and understand. If historical literature 
is to be distinguished from other forms 
and have canons peculiar to itself at all, 
its expository completeness must be con- 
sidered in estimating it as good or bad. 

It must be confessed, however, that 
the indictment of Mr. Rhodes against 
modern historians for prolixity is well- 
deserved. It could be sustained not only 
against the historians, but against 
nearly all book-makers of our time, and 
is far graver than his degree of empha- 
sis would indicate. Life is short, and 
there is continually more to be crowded 
into it. The literature of almost every 
field of progressive thought is outgrow- 
ing the capacity of its workers, who are 
striving in truly reckless fashion to add 
thereto each what he can. Conciseness 
and proportion are, if not the most 
priceless jewels of all literature, at least 
their most useful and attractive setting. 
Blessed is he, and a benefactor of his 
race, who can deliver his message in few 
words, and for the rest keep silent. 

One other point made by Mr. Rhodes 
deserves attention, namely, the advan- 
tage of writing contemporaneous his- 
tory. Three difficulties lie in the way of 
it: First, that of getting the perspec- 
tive; second, that of so far removing 
one's prejudices as to see the truth; 
third, that of telling the truth as seen, 
in spite of popular prejudice. If they 
can be overcome, the history of any 
epoch can be written best by those be- 
longing to it. Mr. Rhodes has himself 



DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE. 



95 



shown how this can be done. But I do 
not think that he has established the 
superiority of Thucydides and Tacitus 
over modern historians. Their work may 
excel in conciseness and proportion, but 
that of the moderns has a more than 
compensatory advantage in deeper in- 
sight and clearer exposition. Partisans 
of either may fail to see that the shield 
is silver on one side and gold on the 
other; or, seeing this, they may fail to 
agree as to which is the golden side. 
"Let every man be fully persuaded in 
his own mind." 

George P. Garrison. 
University of Texas. 

THE RETARDATION OF SCIENCE. 

We hear a good deal about the ad- 
vancement of science. There are huge 
associations which make it the object 
of their existence; there are universi- 
ties, colleges, societies, museums, in- 
stitutes and laboratories which reckon 
this as at least one of their aims; and 
the individual scientific workers, even 
those who look upon science as 

"The milch-cow of the field, 
Their only care to calculate how much 
butter she will yield" — 

Even they, we say, profess to regard 
science as 'the goddess great,' and base 
their claim to honor on the service they 
have rendered to her. And, at this 
turning year of time, as we indulge in 
self-complaisant retrospect, we boast 
that, as a result of all this, science 
really has advanced. Contradictions, 
inconsistencies, harkings back: these 
we frankly admit; but the shattered 
theories line an onward path, and the 
discovered errors are lamps on the way 
of truth. We do well to rejoice; but 
we shall not do ill to look also at the 
other side of the shield. Might we not 
be advancing more rapidly, surely and 
easily? Are there not opposing forces 
which combine to effect the retarda- 
tion of science? 

Space need not be occupied by in- 
sisting on the inertia of governments, 
composed of ministerialists rather than 



statesmen on the lethargy and igno- 
rance of the mass of people; on the 
curse of Babel, or on any such obvious 
hindrances to progress. But every 
scientific student knows that many of 
the difficulties in his way have no ne- 
cessity in the nature of things, and 
that many of them are raised by scien- 
tific men themselves. We expect to 
meet with difficulties when we read 
a foreign language, but we resent hav- 
ing to ferret out an author's meaning 
when he publishes in our own tongue. 
This is what one has to do too often, 
for a vast number, if not the majority, 
of scientific men write abominably. It 
is all very well for the chemist in a 
factory, or the electrician to a lighting 
company, to be careless about the parts 
of speech ; it hurts no one except himself 
and his employer. But for the student 
who makes researches in pure science, 
the case is altered. The object of the 
former is to earn his daily bread, and 
the sooner the better; the object — pro- 
fessed, at least — of the latter is to en- 
lighten the world. A man may be a 
profound investigator, and may pene- 
trate far into the mystery of the un- 
known, but if he cannot give an in- 
telligible report to his colleagues, his 
travels in the undiscovered country will 
be disregarded. Worse than this, his 
fellow-workers waste valuable time in 
trying to read his riddles or very likely 
are led astray by his bungling presen- 
tation of veritable facts, and so science 
is retarded. 

We do not propose to arouse the 
anger of our scientific friends by quot- 
ing elegant extracts from their writings 
to support our contention. We pass 
over the phraseology, to consider the 
general plan and the details of the ar- 
rangement. There are, it is true, mas- 
ters in science who are also masters of 
method. But they have gained their 
mastery of the latter, as of the former, 
in the school of experience. This would 
be all very well were it not that we 
others have to suffer during their ap- 
prenticeship. Their immature essays, 
with all the faults of a beginner, have 



9 6 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



to be read and reckoned with, and are 
just as much part of the self-styled lit- 
erature of science as are their magna 
opera. This would not be worth a com- 
plaint were it inevitable; but that is 
just what it is not. If only scientific 
people in general could be got to care 
a little about these things, and if only 
their opinion could be organized and 
brought to bear more directly on the 
evil-doers, improvement would soon fol- 
low. The fact is that we are too con- 
tent to muddle along, and what is 
everybody's business is nobody's busi- 
ness. Hence the student fresh from 
college, or while still a pupil, is set 
to attack some problem in science, 
which, with the help of his professor, 
he solves in a satisfactory manner. 
Then he must print, and here, too often, 
the help of the professor seems to be 
lacking. The student has had next to 
no training in the composition of scien- 
tific articles and none in the preparation 
of work for the press. He does not 
know how to find the previous litera- 
ture, and when found he does not know 
how to quote it. Having no experience 
in the use of other men's writings, he 
does not know what to insert, what to 
omit, or what faults to avoid. He is, 
perhaps, a good draughtsman, but his 
media have been pencil and paint, and 
he has no idea how to do black-and- 
white work for the photo-engraver. He 
begins with a title in the style of the 
eighteenth century, that takes up three 
lines and leaves you in the dark as to 
the contents of his paper. Full of en- 
thusiasm and imbibed knowledge, he 
either plunges into his subject without 
explaining what his subject is, or else he 
introduces it by a lengthy 'history,' 
mostly copied from the last worker that 
preceded him. He ends with a nicely- 
rounded period, but you search in vain 
for a summary of his results. 

One cannot be hard on the poor 
young fellow, who doubtless will do 
well enough in time; but one can pro- 
test against the nonchalance that per- 
mits this state of things. There are 
two sources from which a remedy may 



spring, and to each we herewith make 
appeal. First, let the colleges provide 
instruction in the technique of author- 
ship, just as they provide it in the 
technique of research. This will not 
help to swell the flood of publication, too 
great already; rather it will diminish 
it, by entailing more rigorous prepara- 
tion on would-be authors. Let the stu- 
dent be taught the conventional rules 
that govern the formal aspect of his 
science, just as he is taught the laws 
of chemical combination or dental for- 
mulae. In zoology and botany, for in- 
stance, he should be taught the rules 
of nomenclature, or at least those gen- 
erally followed, and taught how to 
write the names of animals and plants 
in the accepted manner. He should be 
made to study the classical memoirs of 
great masters from the noint of view of 
presentation — of manner rather than of 
matter. And even then he should not 
be turned loose on an unwilling public, 
but should be practised in writing and 
drawing for the press, in proof-correct- 
ing and so forth. The examiners of 
doctoral theses should consider their 
style and arrangement no less than 
their contents, and, if necessary, should 
insist on formal alterations being made 
before they give permission to publish. 
So much for the universities. The 
second source of help lies in the editors, 
whether of independent periodicals or 
of publishing societies. The editor has, 
by tacit agreement, great powers. But 
in the case of publications devoted to 
pure science, those powers often seem 
to be very little used. There is a preju- 
dice against interfering with an author's 
statement of his case; for here the sub- 
stance is regarded as everything and the 
form as nothing, and an editor fears 
lest, in re-shaping the form, he may 
hack away an essential portion of the 
substance. This delicacy is likely to be 
more appreciated by the author in ques- 
tion than by his readers. The editors 
of purely scientific publications labor, 
of course, under a peculiar disadvantage 
in that both the contribution and the 
publication of matter are voluntary of- 



DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE. 



97 



fices with no binding contract; the edi- 
tor is often only too glad to get 'copy,' 
and dare not risk offending a contribu- 
tor. But the experience of many years 
in the conduct of many classes of pub- 
lications has led us to the conviction 
that the authors most likely to be of- 
fended by judicious editing are those 
whose services can best be spared. 
Many, and especially beginners, often 
express their gratitude for editorial ad- 
vice, and in most cases an editor has 
only to act suaviter in modo to be able 
to proceed fortiter in re. Moreover, in 
the case of the more serious and tech- 
nical papers, these positions of author 
and editor are often reversed, since it 
is not so easy for an author to get his 
memoir published, especially with the 
requisite illustrations. Here, then, the 
editor has the whip hand, and his 
power is enhanced if he be acting for a 
learned society of which the author is 
a member. In brief, editors, as a rule, 
have the power, and we beg them to 
use it. Not every author can have a 
university training, but all (except the 
few rich and foolish enough to publish 
for themselves) must submit their man- 
uscripts to the blue pencil of an editor. 
We want to see that blue pencil used. 

But this leads us to another unfortu- 
nate influence tending to retard science, 
and that is the ignorance and incom- 
petence of editors. We speak as one of 
the fraternity. How can an editor 
know the conventions of physicists, of 
zoologists, of botanists, of chemists, of 



geologists and all the rest? Specializa- 
tion has proceeded so far that the editor 
of a general scientific journal nowadays 
must have, some may think, either 
enormous learning or vast audacity. 
But this is not quite a fair view of the 
case. Most scientific journals of any 
importance are, like other journals, run 
by a large staff of specialists in co- 
operation with one managing editor. 
Theoretically, at least, this is the case, 
as may be seen by reference to the cov- 
ers of the 'American Journal of Science,' 
the 'American Naturalist,' 'Science,' and 
many more. If all these associate edi : 
tors could be got to do editorial work, 
the supposed difficulty would vanish. 
Sorrowfully we admit that even editors 
do not always act rightly, and that 'Edi- 
tor, edit thyself!' may be a true re- 
proach. But the realization of a defect 
goes half-way towards curing it. 

To put in few words what we have 
tried to make clear in these notes: 
Among the causes tending to retard 
science is carelessness as regards form 
and expression. The prevalence of this 
carelessness is largely due to want of 
training, and this defect can be rem- 
edied. We appeal, therefore, to teach- 
ing bodies to insist on instruction in 
the methods of scientific authorship: 
and we appeal to editors to exercise 
their powers in all questions of gram- 
mar, lucidity, arrangement and the 
formal conventions of each science. 

An Editor. 



98 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. 



CHRISTMAS ISLAND. 

Those areas of the earth's surface 
outside of the Polar regions which re- 
tain their original fauna and flora un- 
modified by the action of man and the 
organisms which accompany him in his 
migrations are very few and are rap- 
idly passing away. It is obvious that 
it is of great importance that we should 
know something of the conditions, ani- 
mals and plants which exist under such 
circumstances, in order that the effects 
of the influx of human beings into a 
virgin wilderness may be determined 
and recorded. 

Opportunities for such researches 
are very rare and in a few years will 
be non-existent. A settlement has re- 
cently been made upon the isolated bit 
of land known as Christmas Island, 
which lies some two hundred miles 
southwest of the western part of Java 
and is separated from it by sea which 
reaches a depth of three thousand 
fathoms. At the initiative and expense 
of Sir John Murray, known from his 
connection with the Challenger expe- 
dition, Mr. C. W. Andrews, of the Brit- 
ish Museum, was granted leave of ab- 
sence for the purpose of making a thor- 
ough biological survey of this island, 
and the report which is the result of 
his observations and collections, assisted 
by a number of expert naturalists in 
working up the material, has just been 
issued by the Museum. It is believed 
to be the most elaborate account of the 
animal and plant life of an oceanic 
island ever published. 

The island is of volcanic origin and 
comprises, beside igneous rocks, a va- 
riety of tertiary and recent limestones. 
Most of the life upon it is of the Malay- 
sian type, the prevalent winds being 
from that quarter. However, there is 
a recognizable portion of it which is 



related to that of Ceylon and another to 
that of Australia, though the latter 
country is nine hundred miles away. 
About ten per cent, of the plants and 
forty-five per cent, of the three hundred 
and nineteen species of animal or- 
ganisms are regarded as peculiar to the 
island. There are thirty-one species of 
birds, five of mammals and six of rep- 
tiles, of which sixteen are known only 
from this island. These figures, of course, 
exclude all pelagic forms. Altogether, 
many interesting facts have been 
brought out and several puzzling ques- 
tions raised in the discussion of the 
data which form the basis of this val- 
uable report. 

PALEONTOLOGY. 

The absence of a text-book on pale- 
ontology in English which in any ade- 
quate measure reflected the philosophic 
illumination of modern zoology has long 
been a subject of regret. The only man- 
ual worthy of the name which has en- 
joyed any wide reputation among scien- 
tific paleontologists has been that of von 
Zittel, published originally in German, 
but since well rendered into French 
with some additions. Dr. C. R. East- 
man, of Harvard University, having in 
view a translation of von Zittel's 'Grund- 
ziige,' with the permission of the au- 
thor, submitted the different sections 
of the work to various American spe- 
cialists for revision. The original work 
was lavishly illustrated with excellent, 
mostly original figures, which have been 
utilized in the present translation. The 
task of revision was undertaken by a 
number of experts as a labor of love, in 
the desire that the deficiency in our 
text-book literature, above referred to, 
might be done away with and that Eng- 
lish-speaking students might possess a 
work of reference in which modern ideas 



SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. 



99 



of classification and of the relations and 
development of organic life on the globe 
would find a place. This task pre- 
sented many difficulties, both for the 
revisers and for the editor, and one can 
not but regret that the cost of illus- 
tration and the difficulties of finding 
a publisher for a wholly new work 
stood in the way of preparing a manual 
which should be avowedly, as well as 
practically, independent. The excel- 
lent work of von Zittel, good as it is, 
was designed on the lines of the science 
as it was a quarter of a century ago. 
The revision, though in several depart- 
ments fundamental, is naturally more 
or less uneven, the restrictions of space 
insisted on by the publishers and 
other causes hampering the freedom of 
treatment desirable, while the compos- 
ite nature of the work, part of which 
was stereotyped before other portions 
were received in manuscript, has inev- 
itably resulted in some incongruities. 
However, in spite of such minor de- 
ficiencies, the result has been the most 
notable advance in the treatment of in- 
vertebrate paleontology as a whole 
since text-books began to be made. 
This is especially evident in such 
groups as the Polyzoa, Mollusca, 
Brachiopods and Trilobites, in which 
the illustrations and a part of the bib- 
liography are all that remain of the 
older work. Any work in which the 
latest views of large divisions of the 
animal kingdom are summed up by 
such experts as Wachsmuth, Ulrich, 
Schuchert, Hyatt and Beecher must ap- 
peal strongly to students and long re- 
main an indispensable aid to science, 
whether all matters of detail meet with 
final acceptance or not. Wholesale 
changes, such as are indicated in sev- 
eral of the groups, might very well be 
unacceptable to the original author of 
the work thus modified, but, while sus- 
pending his opinion on the advisability 
of some of the novel methods, Dr. von 
Zittel, in his preface to the present 
work, has been moved by the true 
scientific spirit which, while holding 
fast to that believed to be good, is ever 



ready to welcome any new light. The 
untouched riches of American fossilifer- 
ous horizons, especially above the 
Paleozoic, are almost incalculable, and 
the existence of Dr. Eastman's valuable 
text-book can not but be a most impor- 
tant factor in the training of those who 
will hereafter bring to light the riches 
now awaiting the advent of paleonto- 
logical explorers. 

ZOOLOGY. 

There has been somewhat of a 
dearth of works on natural history dur- 
ing the past few months. Among those 
which have appeared is 'Nature's Cal- 
endar,' by Ernest Ingersoll, a book in- 
tended to stimulate the reader's power 
of observation by inducing him to note 
down, day by day, what he sees going 
on in the world of animals and plants 
about him. There are twelve chapters, 
one for each month, in which the au- 
thor writes pleasantly of what is being 
done by the more familiar beasts and 
birds, reptiles, fishes and insects, as well 
as plants, in an ordinary season in the 
vicinity of New York. The limits, 
however, have not been very rigidly 
drawn, and we read of deer, bears and 
wildcats, animals not commonly found 
about that city. We are told, as the 
case may be, how animals and plants 
are guarded against extremes of heat 
and cold, at what time the animals 
make their appearance, when the wood- 
chuck comes from his burrow and the 
shad and herring ascend the streams; 
when they mate; at what time the eggs 
are deposited or the young come forth; 
at what time the buds burst and the 
blossoms open, and of many other oc- 
currences. Each chapter is preceded by 
a full-page plate, after photographs by 
Clarence Lown, of some landscape in 
accord with the text, and at the end of 
each chapter is a 'calendar,' in which 
the birds naturally appear in the major- 
ity, stating what animals are present, 
the approximate times at which, if they 
migrate, they come or go, or the dates 
on which they go into or come out of 
winter quarters. The compact text oc- 



100 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



cupies less than half the page, the re- 
mainder being left for recording the ob- 
servations of the reader, who thus be- 
comes a joint author and has the 
pleasure of seeing whether or not he is 
in agreement with his collaborateur. 

The book is written in a pleasing 
style and while here and there a little 
loose in its statements, one should not 
hold the author too strictly to account, 
since the very object of the book is to 
induce the reader to make his own ob- 
servations and draw his own deduc- 
tions, and the possibility of proving 
someone wrong is a great stimulus to- 
wards this end. 

The recent issue of part four, con- 
sisting of 283 pages of text and 392 
plates, completes Jordan and Ever- 
mann's 'Fishes of North and Middle 
America,' published as Bulletin No. 47 
of the U. S. National Museum. The 
'Synopsis of the Fishes of North Amer- 
ica,' by Jordan and Gilbert, issued in 
1882, was a single volume of 1,074 
pages, with no plates, containing de- 
scriptions of 1,340 species of fishes; the 
present work is in four volumes, con- 
sisting of 3,528 pages, 240 of which are 
devoted to the index and 392 plates, and 
over 3,000 species are described. Natu- 
rally, a considerable portion of this in- 
crease is due to the extension of the 
area covered, but still a large part is 
caused by the increased number of 
species now known to ichthyologists. 
The work is in no sense of a popular 
nature and it goes without saying that 
it is simply indispensable to the student 
of North American ichthyology; it will 
doubtless be many years before any 
revision of it is attempted. It is not 
our purpose to review the work — to do 
that would require much knowledge 
and much time — but to congratulate 
the authors on the completion of their 
task. 

Six years ago Mr. Robert Ridgway, 
at the request of Dr. Goode, undertook 
the preparation of a work that should 
do for birds what Jordan and Ever- 



mann have done for fishes, give a de- 
scription of all forms inhabiting North 
America north of the Isthmus of 
Panama, including as well the West 
Indies, the Galapagos and the islands 
of the Caribbean Sea. Although sev- 
eral times interrupted by the illness of 
Mr. Ridgway, the manuscript of the 
first volume is now ready for the printer 
and the second is so far advanced that 
it will probably be completed by the 
end of the year. The outlines for the 
entire series, which will, it is estimated, 
fill seven octavo volumes of 600 pages 
each, are drawn up, and several of the 
other volumes are well under way. 

The total number of species and sub- 
species to be treated is, roundly speak- 
ing, 3,000, and the first volume, de- 
voted to the Fringlllidae, comprises 
descriptions of over 370 species and sub- 
species. There are keys to the families, 
genera and species, and besides a care- 
ful technical description and very full 
synonymy, the range of each species is 
given; all extra-limital families are in- 
cluded in the keys, but extra-limital 
genera and species only when their 
number is small. As much more work 
has been done in ornithology than in 
ichthyology, the synonymy will be 
much more extensive than in Jordan 
and Evermann's 'Fishes of North and 
Middle America,' and as particular at- 
tention has been given to the verifi- 
cation of references and ascertaining the 
original spelling of generic and specific 
names, this part of the work has neces- 
sitated an amount of labor that can 
only be appreciated by those who have 
been engaged in similar tasks. In ad- 
dition, the type locality of each species 
and the present location of each type 
has been given whenever it could be 
ascertained. 

The work is based on the collections 
of the U. S. National Museum, but 
much material has been examined be- 
longing not only to other museums, but 
to private individuals who have gener- 
ously placed their specimens at Mr. 
Ridgway's disposal. The collections of 
the Biological Survey of ilie Depart- 



SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. 



101 



ment of Agriculture have been particu- 
larly helpful in the case of Mexican 
species. 

AGRICULTURE. 

'The Use of Water in Irriga- 
tion' is the title of an extensive bulle- 
tin just issued by the U. S. Department 
of Agriculture, under the authorship of 
Prof. Ehvood Mead, expert in charge of 
irrigation investigations, and C. T. 
Johnston, assistant. It embodies the 
results of extensive investigations con- 
ducted last year with the assistance of 
a number of collaborators in ten States 
of the arid region and presents an array 
of data on the use which is being made 
of water under different systems of 
management, such as has never before 
been collected for the irrigated region 
of this country. It constitutes a part 
of the irrigation studies which are being 
carried on under the U. S. Department 
of Agriculture. 

To many readers the lavish prodigal- 
ity which has characterized the diver- 
sion and application of water for irri- 
gating will come as something of a 
surprise, when the paramount impor- 
tance of water in developing the arid 
country is considered. This has been 
fostered by the fact that "the laws 
which govern appropriations of wa- 
ter from streams have, in most cases, 
no relation to the actual practice of 
irrigation and therefore fail to secure 
either the systematic distribution or 
best use of the available supply." 
Ditches diverted more water than was 
used : their owners claimed more than 
they could divert, while decrees gave 
appropriators titles to more water than 
the ditches could carry and many times 
what the highest floods could supply. 
Little was known as to the quantity of 
water needed to irrigate an acre of land, 
and in the absence of such information 
the ignorance and greed of the specu- 
lative appropriator had its opportunity. 

In the investigations reported, farm- 
ers whose fields were under observation 
were instructed to use water as they had 
hitherto been in the habit of doing. The 



result of the measurements of the water 
used showed very forcibly the influence 
of waste in lowering the 'duty of water' 
and of care and skill in increasing it. 
They confirm the conviction long held 
by students of the subject that the 
amount of water used in practice bears 
no definite relation to the requirements 
of the crop, but is subject to the whim 
of the individual and the supply of wa- 
ter provided by the contract with the 
canal company. For instance, the aver- 
age amounts of water used in different 
part of New Mexico varied from less 
than three feet to nearly seven feet. 
This was independent of the rainfall. 
In many cases the farmers using the 
least water got quite as good crops as 
those who used enormous quantities. 
On some soils which were not well 
drained there was a very marked injury 
from excessive irrigation. In the Boise 
Valley in Idaho it was found by meas- 
urement that fully one-half the water 
now diverted by canals is wasted under 
present methods. Apart from the losses 
from extravagant use of water, there 
are heavy losses, under present manage- 
ment, from evaporation and seepage 
from the canals. The average of the 
measurements made show the loss from 
this source to be fully thirty per cent. 
Mr. Mead expresses the conviction that 
throughout the sections where measure- 
ments were made last year it will be 
possible, through improved methods, to 
double the average duty of water now 
obtained, so that the quantity now re- 
quired for one acre will serve to irri- 
gate two. 

The importance of this becomes more 
strikingly apparent when it is remem- 
bered that there is a limit to the 
amount of land which can be reclaimed 
with the available water supply, gen- 
erally estimated at about seventy mil- 
lion acres, or approximately one-fifth 
of the arid region, and that the thou- 
sands of miles of canals and laterals 
thus far constructed have only re- 
claimed an area approximately as great 
as the State of New York. 

The results reported in this bulletin 



102 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



not only furnish the basis for improv- 
ing the existing methods of irrigation 
and for framing more equitable laws, 
but they indicate the lines along which 
investigation should be directed. 

This year marks the twenty-fifth 
anniversary of the establishment of agri- 
cultural experiment stations in the 
United States. Beginning with a single 
station in Connecticut in 1875, the num- 
ber has steadily grown until to-day we 
have a system of experiment stations 
embracing every State and Territory in 
the Union. The history of this move- 
ment and the present status of the sta- 
tions is the subject of an interesting and 
attractive volume of over six hundred 
pages, prepared by Dr. A. C. True, di- 
rector of the Office of Experiment Sta- 
tions, and Mr. V. A. Clark, assistant, 
and published by the United States De- 
partment of Agriculture. It is a com- 
prehensive account of the evolution and 
development of the experiment station 
enterprise; the organization, lines of 
work and equipment of the stations; 
some of the more striking results of 
practical application which they have 
attained; and a description of each of 
the fifty-six stations individually. These 
latter descriptions are illustrated by one 
hundred and fifty-three plates, showing 
the buildings, fields, laboratories, herds, 
etc., of the different stations. The 
greatest impulse to the station move- 
ment was given by the passage of the 
Hatch Act, in 1887, providing for the 
establishment of experiment stations in 
connection with the land-grant colleges, 
and appropriating $15,000 a year 
to each State and Territory for their 
maintenance. At that time there were 
some twelve stations, a part of which 
received regular State appropriations. 
During 1888 stations sprang into exist- 
ence rapidly all over the country, and 
in a surprisingly short time these sta- 
tions had justified the expectations of 
their advocates and proved their useful- 
ness to the agriculture of the country. 

During the past ten years more than 
ten million dollars have been expended 



in their maintenance, seven million of 
which has come from the Federal Gov- 
ernment. Dr. True reviews the mani- 
fold benefits which have come from their 
operations, and points out their value 
in (1) the introduction of new agricul- 
tural methods, crops or industries, and 
the development of those already exist- 
ing; (2) the removal of obstacles to ag- 
riculture, such as diseases of plants and 
animals, injurious insects and other 
natural enemies; (3) the defense of the 
farmer against fraud in the purchase of 
fertilizers, feeding stuffs, insecticides 
and in other ways; (4) aiding in the 
passage and administration of laws for 
the benefit of agriculture; and (5) in an 
educational way. Brief as this summary 
necessarily is, it brings out very forcibly 
the wide range of usefulness of the ex- 
periment stations to the farming com- 
munity, touching nearly every phase of 
agricultural operation, and their very 
potent influence in arousing widespread 
interest in the various forms of agricul- 
tural education. "The stations are not 
only giving the farmer much informa- 
tion which will enable him to improve 
his practice of agriculture, but they are 
also leading him to a more intelligent 
conception of the problem with wnich 
he has to deal, and of the methods he 
must pursue to successfully perform his 
share of the work of the community 
and hold his rightful place in the com- 
monwealth." One large result of the ed- 
ucational work of the stations has been 
the general breaking down of the popu- 
lar conception that agriculture is not 
capable of improvement through sys- 
tematic and progressive researches in 
its behalf conducted on scientific prin- 
ciples. "There is now in this country a 
much keener appreciation than hereto- 
fore of the fact that the problems of ag- 
riculture furnish adequate opportunity 
for the exercise of the most thorough 
scientific attainments and the highest 
ability to penetrate the mysteries of na- 
ture." 

Considered merely as organizations 
for the advancement and diffusion of 
knowledge, the stations have attained 



SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. 



103 



to an important position. They now 
include upon their staffs nearly seven 
hundred persons, who constitute a body 
of organized scientific workers such as 
is hardly to be found in any other field 
of investigation. While they are labor- 
ing primarily for the advancement of 
applied science, they have made a quite 
large number of important contributions 
to the sciences, and their investigations 
are followed with interest by workers in 
similar lines the world over. 

The past history of the stations gives 
every assurance of increasing strength 
and efficiency in the future. They have 
passed through the formative period of 
their existence, and year by year have 
secured a better equipment and more 
thoroughly trained officers. "The peo- 
ple generally have come to regard the 
stations as permanent institutions, and 
are convinced of the usefulness of their 
work. They will, therefore, enter upon 
the twentieth century with bright pros- 
pects for the development of their re- 
searches in scientific thoroughness and 
accuracy and for the securing of larger 
practical results." 

The lastest addition to the list of ex- 
periment stations is the Alaska Station, 
which was established last year, with 
headquarters at Sitka. Some prelimi- 
nary work to determine the practicabil- 
ity of conducting station work there 
was carried on the year previous. The 
report of the operations of the Alaska 
Station for 1899 has recently been is- 
sued by the United States Department 
of Agriculture. 

It is only recently that Alaska has 
been regarded as possessing agricultural 
possibilities. Potatoes and a few other 
vegetables were grown in a small way 
by some of the settlers and at a few 
missions, but for more than a quarter 
of a century after Alaska became a part 
of the United States no effort was made 
to encourage agriculture. It was not 
until the discovery of gold in Alaska 
attracted a large number of people there 
and created a demand for foodstuffs 
that any interest was manifested in the 



study of its agricultural capabilities, or 
in the attempt to establish there at 
least sufficient agriculture to meet a 
considerable proportion of the needs of 
its population. The results of the ex- 
periments carried on by the Alaska 
Station have been a surprise to those 
who have regarded the country as 
suited only to the fisheries, the fur trade 
and mining. Professor Georgeson's re- 
port shows that vegetable growing in 
Alaska is no longer a matter of experi- 
ment. "It has been abundantly proved 
that all the common, hardy vegetables 
which are grown in the gardens of the 
States, such as potatoes, cabbage, cauli- 
flower, kale, peas, onions, carrots, pars- 
nips, parsley, lettuce, celery, radishes, 
turnips, beets and the like, in their nu- 
merous varieties, can be grown in Alas- 
ka to a high degree of perfection and 
attain a crispness and delicacy of flavor 
which is rarely equaled in the best 
farming regions of the States, because 
they are there very frequently dwarfed 
and toughened by drought and heat." 
He has also shown that in Southeastern 
Alaska and in Cook Inlet oats, barley, 
buckwheat and spring wheat will ma- 
ture with careful culture. Flax has 
been grown for two years with marked 
success, indicating that the climate is 
particularly favorable for flax growing. 
In addition to the native grasses, which 
grow luxuriantly, a long list of forage 
plants have been successfully grown, 
and Professor Georgeson asserts that it 
is safe to depend on growing an abun- 
dance of feed for live stock every year, 
which leads him to believe that dairy- 
ing, beef, mutton and wool production 
are assured of success. Thus far the ex- 
periments have been confined to the 
southern coast of Alaska, but the pres- 
ent season work will be undertaken in 
the Yukon district and at other places 
in the interior. 

PHILOSOPHY. 

The appearance of a book by the 
veteran Dr. Hutchinson Sterling, from 
whose 'Secret of Hegel,' published in 
1865, the rise of the neo-rationalist 



104 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



school in Britain and the United States 
dates, is always welcome. And, even if 
scientific students lay up old scores 
against him for his attack on Huxley, 
and for his more recent, suggestive, 
though unfair assault on the Darwin- 
ians, they must remember that he rep- 
resents one type of contemporary think- 
ing favored by a large and influential 
group; they must remember, too, that 
he was trained as a physician and has 
competent first-hand knowledge of the 
scientific standpoint. The present 
work — 'What Is Thought,' published by 
the Blacks in Edinburgh, and imported 
by the Scribners — although highly 
metaphysical, in the Hegelian sense, 
contains not a little interesting material. 
The early chapters, on 'Substance,' the 
'Ontological Proof,' 'Self-consciousness,' 
and the like, summarize views familiar 
to philosophical students, and known 
more or less to scientific men through 
such books as Prof. Ritchie's 'Darwin 
and Hegel,' and Prof. Watson's 'Kant 
and his English Critics.' Fortunately, 
these chapters occupy but a third of 
the volume. The three hundred pages de- 
voted to some account of the develop- 
ment from Kant, through Fichte and 
Schelling, to Hegel, are more important, 
and present, in some aspects, the best 
statement of the subject at present 
available in English. The long chapter 
on Kant is full of points demanding 
consideration from thoughtful scientific 
workers; while the estimate of the re- 
lations between Sehelling and Heerel 
must be held of exceptional value. No 
doubt, the book is hard reading; all 
Dr. Sterling's works are, for he has 
never been able to rid himself of the 
curious Carlylese style that so strongly 
marked his first, and greatest, effort. 
Nevertheless, all the old vigor and all 
the power remain. It may be added 
that the book appeals very specially 
to students of the history of European 

thought in the nineteenth century a 

subject which, particularly as concerns 
the relation between the sciences and 
philosophy, is very far from being un- 
derstood as yet. 



It is not easy to speak of the Eng- 
lish translation from the German ver- 
sion of the Danish original of Hoff- 
ding's 'History of Philosophy.' Pro- 
fessor Hciffding's work is admirable, as 
all know; the translation — well, the 
less said of it, the better. We dismiss it 
with but one comment. The most laugh- 
able of the translator's numerous errors 
happens to be venial, as too many 
others are not. He tells us that 
Geulincx died at Pesth. Knowing of 
the Dutch philosopher's sojourn in 
Lyons, but being in ignorance of a visit 
to Pesth, one naturally turned to the 
original, and found Hoffding record- 
ing that Geulincx died of the 
plague (pest) ! This is fit companion 
for the similar error (now classical) 
whereby the Wolffian psychology (wolf- 
fischen PsycJwlogie) was Englished as 
animal psychology. Pest and Pesth 
obviously bear much the same relation 
to each other as Wolff and wolf! This 
may be sublime, it is hardly translation. 
One may venture to express a hope that 
the publishers will see to a thorough re- 
vision by a competent hand. The work 
is far too important to be left thus; 
moreover, we are unaccustomed to as- 
sociate such a performance with the 
house of Macmillan. As compared with 
other histories of philosophy, Hoffding's 
possesses quite peculiar attractions for 
those whose main interests lie in the 
direction of science. The space at dis- 
posal compels the briefest statement of 
these points. In the first place, then, 
Hoffding devotes great attention to the 
formation and i7nport of the Renais- 
sance view of the universe. He bears 
it specially in mind that this view was 
evolved as much, if not more, by science 
than by philosophy. Consequently, Co- 
pernicus, Galileo and Newton take their 
places alongside Descartes, Spinoza and 
Leibnitz. The importance of this method 
of treatment can hardly be exaggerated 
to-day. For one of the main problems 
at the moment is nothing more than a 
determination of the extent to which 
'modern thought' is still controlled by 



SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. 



105 



the cosmic conceptions and categories of 
the sixteenth, seventeenth and eight- 
eenth centuries. In the same way gen- 
erous consideration is accorded to think- 
ers who are passed over with scant cere- 
mony in the ordinary text-books. Bruno, 
Bacon and Kepler are instances of this. 
The same appreciation of the immense 
importance of science for philosophical 
inquiry marks the perspective in which 
nineteenth century workers are placed. 
Kant, who is more influential for science 
than any other thinker, receives very 
full discussion — a discussion, too, which 
however one may dissent from it, as the 
present writer dissents, bears every- 
where the traits of prolonged study and 
of first-hand acquaintance with the 
principal primary sources. Similarly, 
the English school of Positivists, 
elbowed out in the country of its birth 
as it has been by a metaphysicising 
Hegelianism, is restored to its true im- 



portance, and the post-Kantian ration- 
alism, that has ousted it, is bidden 
come down lower. In a work so ex- 
tensive there are, of course, many points 
on which one can not agree with the dis- 
tinguished author. For example, his con- 
ception of the relation between Des- 
cartes and Spinoza requires revision; he 
makes too much of Bruno; he has not 
reasoned the standpoint of Copernicus 
out to its logical conclusion; Hobbes 
and Rousseau get more than their due, 
and Hume less; the peculiar genius of 
the English school, particularly as rep- 
resented by Locke, does not seem to have 
been caught. But, after all, these are 
defects which appear to the expert and 
do not seriously mar the book as a 
whole. For the scientific man, it is the 
best presentation of the constructive de- 
velopment of philosophical theory from 
the Renaissance till within the last 
twenty-five years. 



io6 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



It is frequently said that the days 
of the discovery of general principles 
and far-reaching laws are past, and that 
students of science are now settling 
down to minor questions and the elab- 
oration of details. The amount of spe- 
cialized work, unproductive of immedi- 
ate result in general truths, is naturally 
increasing, both because of the assiduity 
of scientific workers and because each 
general truth brings a number of minor 
problems. But the acquisition of wide 
theories is by no means at an end when 
we are told, as we have been during the 
last year, that the nebular hypothesis 
of Laplace is at variance with the facts; 
that the atoms are made up of smaller 
bodies whose nature can be known; that 
inertia and gravitation are not special 
facts by themselves, but are the results 
of the electrical charges of bodies. In 
papers in the Journal of Geology and 
the Astrophysical Journal, Prof. T. C. 
Chamberlin and Dr. F. R. Moulton seek 
to show that the nature of the earth's 
atmosphere is not compatible with the 
traditional idea of the formation of the 
earth from a hot gaseous ring ; that the 
force of gravity would not cause such 
a ring to form a sphere; that the mat- 
ter given off by a rotating spheroid of 
gas would not go off in the form of 
rings, and that the present mechanical 
arrangement of the solar system could 
not be derived from a spheroidal nebula 
such as Laplace assumed. It is sug- 
gested that the spiral nebulae may offer 
conditions analogous to those of our 
own solar system in its early stages. 
The hypothesis receives confirmation 
from the important paper published 
just before his death by Keeler, and de- 
scribed by Professor Campbell in the 
obituary notice published above. Keel- 
er's beautiful photographs with the 
Crossley reflector, several of which are 



reproduced by Professor Newcomb in 
the opening article of this issue of the 
Monthly, indicate that most nebulae 
are in fact spiral. 

Recent researches in molecular phys- 
ics threaten to disqualify the time- 
honored position of the atoms as the 
smallest known particles of matter and 
to push the analysis of material sub- 
stances to a point where the dreams 
of a primary order of sub-atoms or 
corpuscles whose varying combinations 
shall account for the so-called 'elements' 
seems almost probable. The work of 
Prof. J. J. Thomson and others on the 
electrical condition of gases has resulted 
in the hypothesis that the ions or bodies 
carrying the electric charges are not 
greater than one-thousandth the mass 
of the hydrogen atom; further, that the 
mass of each ion is the same in the 
case of all the gases tried, regardless 
of their atomic weights. The latter 
statement indicates that atoms of 
totally different constitution yet consist 
of corpuscles that are alike at least in 
mass. Although the experiments and 
reasoning which have led to these con- 
clusions are beyond the comprehension 
of any but the specialist, and so cannot 
be suitably given in this connection, it 
should be remembered that the conclu- 
sions are far from being mere specula- 
tions. On the contrary, they are the re- 
sult of the most careful experimental 
work, accord well with a number of 
facts and have already been tentatively 
applied to the explanation of other 
phenomena. Thus, Dr. Reginald A. 
Fessenden has arrived at certain far- 
reaching hypotheses concerning the pos- 
sible explanation of inertia and gravita- 
tion in terms of electric charges. In a 
recent issue of Science he writes: "We 
thus find that both inertia and gravita- 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



107 



tion are electrical effects and due to the 
fact that the atom consists of corpuscu- 
lar charges. The constant ratio be- 
tween quantity of inertia and quantity 
of gravitation, for a given body, is thus 
explained. We may state the theory 
thus: The inertia of matter is due to 
the electromagnetic inductance of the 
corpuscular charges, and gravitation is 
due to the change of density of the 
ether surrounding the corpuscles, this 
change of density being a secondary ef- 
fect arising from the electrostatic stress 
of the corpuscular charges." 

We are able to publish in the pres- 
ent issue of this Journal an article on 
China, by Mr. William Barclay Par- 
sons, which represents the best knowl- 
edge obtainable from recent and accu- 
rate observations. The present political 
crisis has called forth other articles, and 
books will be forthcoming, giving a cer- 
tain amount of reliable information in 
regard to the physical and social aspects 
of the country. Still, the difference be- 
tween Eastern and Western civilization 
becomes apparent the moment any 
definite question is asked about the 
natural resources or social conditions of 
China. Almost any fair question of this 
nature about our own country would 
meet with a ready and reasonably com- 
plete answer from some one of the gov- 
ernment bureaus or from general sci- 
entific literature. When it is asked about 
China we obtain in general only opin- 
ions of travelers, missionaries or other 
foreign residents, opinions based on 
vague data and guided usually by medi- 
ocre scientific training. On what is per- 
haps the most important questions of 
all: What is the mental and moral 
make-up of the Chinese people? How 
will they act singly or collectively under 
given conditions? we get even less ac- 
curate judgments than we do on the 
mineral resources, the fauna and flora, 
etc. It is a pity that the sciences of 
human nature are not far enough ad- 
vanced to make it practicable to send a 
body of anthropologists and psycholo- 
gists to China to examine and diagnose 



the mental capacities and proclivities of 
the race. Even as things are, such a 
report would be worth something as a 
supplement to the impressions of those 
who have written about China. It 
might be assumed from the general 
principles of the theory of evolution 
that races which have for many cen- 
turies been subject to a nearly constant 
environment will be greatly disturbed 
by new conditions. It is not surprising 
that the native tribes of America and 
Australasia should be exterminated. On 
the other hand, rabbits imported into 
Australia and negroes imported into 
America have flourished, and the Jap- 
anese have adapted themselves to a new 
civilization in a marvelous fashion. Com- 
mon-sense and science are in equal 
measure unable to foretell what will 
happen to China and its peoples. 

It will be remembered that the Tate 
Dr. Alfred Nobel bequeathed nearly all 
his great fortune, estimated at ten mil- 
lion dollars, for the establishment of five 
prizes. The exact terms of his will, 
which have only recently been made 
public, are as follows: 

The capital, converted into safe in- 
vestments by the executors of my will, 
shall constitute a fund the interest of 
which shall be distributed annually as 
a reward to those who, in the course 
of the preceding year, shall have ren- 
dered the greatest services to humanity. 
The sum total shall be divided into 
five equal portions, assigned as follows: 

1. To the person having made the 
most important discovery or invention 
in the department of physical science. 

2. To the person having made the 
most important discovery or having 
produced the greatest improvement in 
chemistry. 

3. To the author of the most im- 
portant discovery in the department of 
physiology or of medicine. 

4. To the author having produced 
the most notable literary work in the 
sense of idealism. 

5. To the person having done the 
most, or the best, in the work of estab- 
lishing the brotherhood of nations, for 
the suppression or the reduction of 
standing armies, as well as for the for- 
mation and propagation of peace con- 
ferences. 



io8 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



The prizes will be awarded as fol- 
lows- For physical science and chemis- 
try by the Swedish Academy of Sci- 
ences; for works in physiology or medi- 
cine by the Carolin Institute of Stock- 
holm; for literature, by the Academy 
of Stockholm: finally for the work of 
peace, by a committee of five members 
elected by the Norwegian Stortung. It 
is my expressed will that nationality 
shall not be considered, so that the 
prize may accrue to the most worthy, 
whether he be a Scandinavian or not. 



The organization for executing this will 
has, after an interval of about three 
years, been completed, and its nature 
has been formally announced in an 
official communication to our govern- 
ment. Nobel's intentions have not 
been exactly carried out, . the chief 
deviations being that part of the money 
is used for the establishment of certain 
Nobel institutes, the objects of which 
are not exactly defined. On these in- 
stitutes and on the incidental expenses 
of awarding the prizes, one-fourth of 
the income may be expended. Further 
—and this seems to be in direct viola- 
tion of the provisions of the will — 
prizes need be given only once in five 
years, and the money thus saved may 
be used to establish special funds 'to 
encourage otherwise than by prizes the 
tendencies aimed at by the donor.' It 
is to be hoped that the administrators 
will make only judicious use of these 
provisions, for Nobel's purpose to estab- 
lish for eminence in science and litera- 
ture a few rewards as munificent as the 
world gives in politics, war or business 
is too wise to be neglected. Any at- 
tempt to divert the funds to the en- 
couragement of local institutions or to 
the education of inferior men should 
be carefully guarded against. Nobel's 
will explicitly ordered that the money 
be awarded in prizes for eminence and 
without any consideration of national- 
ity. 

New York University received 
early in the year a gift of $100,000 from 
Miss Helen Gould for the erection of a 
Hall of Fame. On the colonnades are to 
be inscribed the names of the most emi- 



nent Americans, and thirty of these 
have recently been selected by the Sen- 
ate of the University, in accordance 
with the votes of certain prominent men 
selected as judges. Ninety-seven of 
these handed in their votes, and the fol- 
lowing eminent Americans received the 
majority required: George Washington 
97, Abraham Lincoln 96, Daniel Web- 
ster 96, Benjamin Franklin 94, Ulysses 
S. Grant 92, John Marshall 91, Thomas 
Jefferson 90, Ralph Waldo Emerson 87, 
Robert Fulton 85, Henry W. Longfel- 
low 85, Washington Irving 83, Jona- 
than Edwards 81, Samuel F.B. Morse 80, 
David Glasgow Farragut 79, Henry Clay 
74, Nathaniel Hawthorne 73, George 
Pe'abody 72, Robert E. Lee 69, Peter 
Cooper 69, Eli Whitney 67, John James 
Audubon 67, Horace Mann 67, Henry 
Ward Beecher 66, James Kent 65, Jo- 
seph Story 64, John Adams 61, William 
Ellery Channing 58, Elias Howe 53, Gil- 
bert Stuart 52, Asa Gray 51. It will be 
noticed that the list contains four in- 
ventors—Robert Fulton, S. F. B. Morse, 
Eli Whitney and Elias Howe— while 
there are but two scientific men— J. J. 
Audubon and Asa Gray, unless Benja- 
min Franklin be included. The judges 
probably were more interested in birds 
and flowers than in the history of sci- 
ence in America. Audubon and Gray 
should certainly be included in a list 
of eminent scientific men, but not to 
the exclusion of Benjamin Thompson 
(Count Rumford), Joseph Henry and 
others. Twenty further names are to 
be added in 1902 and thereafter five at 
intervals of five years. 



The papers and discussions before 
many of the congresses of the 
Paris Exposition were technical in 
character, as is demanded by the ad- 
vanced and specialized state of the sci- 
ences, but there also met at Paris dur- 
ing August and September a number of 
congresses devoted to the mental and so- 
cial sciences which perhaps presented 
more aspects of interest to those who 
are not special students. The only one 
of these congresses that can be noted 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



109 



here is that devoted to psychology, a 
science intermediate, in its present state 
of development, between the exact sci- 
ences and those subjects in which indi- 
vidual opinions are more prominent than 
ascertained facts. About three hundred 
students of psychology attended the 
fourth international congress, which met 
in seven sections, namely: (1) Psychol- 
ogy in its relation to anatomy and phys- 
iology; (2) Introspective psychology in 
its relation to philosophy; (3) Experi- 
mental psychology and psychophysics ; 
(4) Pathological psychology and psy- 
chiatry; (5) Psychology of hypnotism 
and related phenomena; (6) Social and 
criminal psychology, and (7) Compara- 
tive psychology and anthropology. 

Among the subjects discussed by the 
Psychological Congress was the estab- 
lishment at Paris of a 'Psychical Insti- 
tute' under the auspices of an interna- 
tional society. This Institute proposes 
to do for 'psychics' what the Pasteur In- 
stitute does for biology and pathology. 
According to M. Janet, its aims are: 

(1) To collect in a library and museum 
all books, works, publications, appara- 
tus, etc., relating to psychical science; 

(2) To place at the disposal of research- 
ers, either as gifts or as loans, accord- 
ing to circumstances, such books and 
instruments necessary for their studies 
as the Institute may be able to acquire; 

(3) To supply assistance to any labora- 
tory or to any investigators, working 
singly or unitedly, who can snow that 
they require that assistance for a publi- 
cation or for a research of recognized 
interest; (4) To encourage study and 
research with regard to such phenomena 
as may be considered of sufficient im- 
portance; (5) To organize lectures and 
courses of instruction upon the differ- 
ent branches of psychical science; (6) 
To organize, as far as means will allow, 
permanent laboratories and a clinic, 
where such researches as may be con- 
sidered desirable will be pursued by 
certain of the members; (7) To publish 
the 'Annales de l'lnstitut Psychique In- 
ternational de Paris,' which will com- 



prise a summary of the work in which 
members of the Institute have taken 
part and which may be of a character 
to contribute to the progress of the 
science. The Institute aims to cover 
the whole field of psychology, but it ap- 
pears from the discussions and from 
those who are interested in the move- 
ment that it will favor those more or 
less occult phenomena which go under 
the name 'psychical.' Thus the Ameri- 
can members of the committee are Prof. 
J. Mark Baldwin, Prof. J. H. Gore 
and Mr. Elmer Gates, which is as if the 
committee on a pathological institute 
consisted of one physician, a lawyer in- 
terested in homeopathy and a faith 
curist. 

The experiment demonstrating the 
relation of mosquitoes to malarial fever, 
undertaken under the auspices of the 
London School of Tropical Medicine, has 
apparently been successful. Its some- 
what dramatic character and wide ad- 
vertisement in the daily papers will 
prove of benefit both in leading people 
to take precautions to avoid infection 
by mosquitoes and in leading to in- 
creased appreciation of the importance 
of experiments in medicine. Drs. Sam- 
bon and Low, who have been living in 
a hut in one of the most malarial dis- 
tricts of Italy since last June, drinking 
the water, exposed to the night air 
and taking no quinine, have so far been 
entirely free from malaria. The con- 
verse of the experiment has been 
equally successful. Dr. Patrick Man- 
son's son, who had never suffered from 
malaria, allowed mmself to be bitten in 
London on three occasions by mosqui- 
toes fed in Rome on patients suffering 
from malaria. He suffered an attack of 
fever and the tertian parasites were 
found in his blood. Americans, and es- 
pecially readers of this journal, may 
be interested to learn that the earliest 
article on the relation of mosquitos to 
malaria was published in the Popular 
Science Monthly for September, 1883. 
Prof. A. F. King, still living in Wash- 
ington, contributed an article entitled 



no 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



'Insects and Disease — Malaria and Mos- 
quitoes,' in which, after calling atten- 
tion to the then recent researches of Dr. 
Patrick Manson, in China, and others, 
proving that the mosquito acts as an 
intermediary host of Filaria sanguinas 
hominis, he proceeds to point out in de- 
tail the connection existing between 
mosquitoes and malaria. Nineteen spe- 
cial arguments are marshaled, several 
of which deserve consideration at the 
present time. Among the points urged 
by Dr. King is the fact that malaria is 
prevented by mosquito nets, a state- 
ment being quoted to the effect that "on 
surrounding the head with a gauze veil 
or conopeum the action of malaria is 
prevented and that thus it is possible 
to sleep in the most pernicious parts of 
Italy without hazard of fever." This 
was, of course, written long before La- 
veran discovered Plasmodium malariae, 
and before exact experiment was pos- 
sible, but Dr. King deserves much credit 
for bringing together so much evidence 
in favor of a theory the correctness of 
which could only be demonstrated 
twenty-seven years later. 

The proper standard for atomic 
weights has occasioned controversies 
among chemists for nearly a century, 
but at last bids fair to be settled, 
through the practical agreement of an 
international committee, under the aus- 
pices of the German Chemical Society. 
The original standard, proposed by Ber- 
zelius, was the weight of the oxygen 
atom taken as 100. This gave rise to 
very large numbers, in the case of num- 
bers with high atomic weights, and 
gradually the use of hydrogen = 1 
came to supersede that of oxygen = 100. 
So long as it was assumed that the oxy- 
gen atom was exactly sixteen times as 
heavy as the hydrogen atom, this stand- 
ard was satisfactory. With increasing 
refinement of analytical work, it began 
to appear that the atomic weight of 
oxygen, with reference to hydrogen, 
was slightly less than sixteen. For 
some time the exact figure was supposed 
to be 15.96. This necessitated a recal- 



culation of the atomic weights of all 
the elements, for they are for the most 
part determined with reference directly 
to oxygen or chlorin, and only indi- 
rectly with reference to hydrogen. As 
it was certain that the final word had 
not been said as to the atomic weight 
of oxygen, the suggestion was made by 
a few chemists to use as a standard 
oxygen = 16. The first article pub- 
lished advocating this new standard was 
by Dr. F. P. Venable, of the University 
of North Carolina, in 1888. Discussion 
was particularly aroused in the Ger- 
man Chemical Society by Professor 
Brauner, of Prague, who was strongly 
supported by Ostwald and opposed by 
Meyer and by Seubert. The latter, who 
is one of the great authorities on atomic 
weights, has since come to the support 
of oxygen = 16. The recent report of 
an international committee represent- 
ing chemical societies of eleven coun- 
tries (America, Belgium, Germany, Eng- 
land, Holland, Japan, Italy, Austria, 
Hungary, Sweden, Switzerland), showed 
forty in favor of oxygen = 16, seven op- 
posed, while two wanted both stand- 
ards. Except one American, none were 
opposed but Germans, and the German 
vote was a tie between the two stand- 
ards. The objections raised against us- 
ing oxygen = 16 as a standard seem to 
be solely from a didactic standpoint, in 
having something other than unity as 
a standard. It was clearly pointed out 
by Dr. Venable in his second paper that 
there was no necessary connection be- 
tween the standard and unity. Some 
objectors would take oxygen as unity, 
but this would be impracticable, as it 
would make such radical changes in the 
numbers now in use. An additional 
reason for the newer standard is that a 
large proportion of those weights most 
frequently used approach very closely 
to whole numbers, a point of no slight 
advantage to the technical chemist. 
While the small minority of the inter- 
national committee are making a vig- 
orous protest against the decision of the 
majority, it seems probable that this 
decision will be concurred in by most 
chemists throughout the world. 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



in 



Foreign men of science have a 
pleasant custom of celebrating the long 
service of their colleagues. Giovanni 
Virginio Schiaparelli was born in 1835, 
and in June, 1860, he was appointed one 
of the astronomers of the Observatory 
of Milan. In June, 1900, thirty-six Ital- 
ian astronomers joined in a memorial to 
him which has been handsomely printed 
in a pamphlet of eighty-eight pages. On 
November 1 of this year Schiaparelli is 
to retire to private life, after more than 
forty years of active service. For thirty- 
eight years he has been director of the 
observatory at the Brera palace, which, 
by his researches, has been raised to a 
very high rank. His first observations 
were made with quite small instru- 
ments, but his successes with limited 
means finally brought splendid modern 
instruments to his observatory. His 
earliest examinations of planets (1861) 
were made with a small telescope of 
only four inches aperture. For many 
years he employed a telescope of eight 
inches, but since 1887 he has had at his 
disposition a refractor of eighteen inches 
— one of the powerful telescopes of the 
world. 

Schiaparelli is best known to the world 
at large by his long continued and very 
successful observations of Mars. It is 
not too much to say that his work has 
revolutionized our notions of the phys- 
ical conditions existing on that planet. 
It is more than likely that some of his 
conclusions will have to be revised; and 
it is certain that some of his less cau- 
tious followers have drawn conclusions 
that the master's observations do not 
warrant. However this may be, his 
own work has a high and permanent 
value. Astronomers rate other research- 
es of Schiaparelli's quite as highly as his 
studies of the planets. The relation be- 
tween comets and meteor-showers was 
most thoroughly worked out by him; 
we owe to him also thousands of accu- 
rate observations of double stars; as 
well as a great number of important re- 
searches on many and various questions 
of mathematics, physics and astronomy. 
It is interesting to note, here and there, 



in the list of the 206 memoirs which he 
has published, certain papers of an anti- 
quarian and literary turn — on the labors 
of the ancients before Copernicus; 
Grseco-Indian studies; on the interpre- 
tation of certain verses of Dante, etc. 
The nomenclature of his topographical 
chart of Mars, among other things, 
proves the accuracy and elegance of his 
classical learning. 

He has been rewarded for a long and 
laborious life by the respect and admira- 
tion of his colleagues and by the con- 
tinued interest of the larger public in 
his discoveries. Academies of science all 
over the world (with the singular excep- 
tion of America) have elected him to 
membership and have awarded their 
medals and other honorary distinctions, 
and he has been decorated with orders 
of knighthood by Italy, Brazil and 
Russia. Finally, he is a life-senator of 
the Kingdom of Italy. 

These tokens of particular appreci- 
ation and his widespread popular repu- 
tation are the rewards of a life devoted 
strictly to science. He has not gone out 
of his way to seek applause, though it 
has come to him in full measure. The 
graceful tribute of his colleagues signal- 
izes his retirement from his official posi- 
tion, but we trust that he may be 
spared for many years to devote his 
genius to the science he has so greatly 
forwarded. 

The New York Central and Hudson 
River Railroad still announces in its 
time tables that the Empire State Ex- 
press is the fastest regular train in the 
world; but this appears to be no longer 
correct. The Empire State Express 
traverses the distance from New York 
to Buffalo, about 440 miles, in eight 
hours and fifteen minutes, or at a rate 
of 53.33 miles per hour. The Sud Ex- 
press on the Orleans and Midi Railway 
travels from Paris to Bayonne in eight 
hours and fifty-nine minutes. The dis- 
tance is in this case 466J miles, the 
speed, including the time taken by six 
stops, is 54.13 miles per hour. The en- 
gine of the New York Central Railroad 



112 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



has, however, a heavier load and is 
cheeked by necessary slacking as it 
passes through crowded streets and 
past level crossings. The fastest long- 
distance train in England is 'The Fly- 
ing Scotsman,' which goes from London 
to Edinburgh, a distance of 393* miles, 
at a rate of 50.77 miles per hour. The 
United States holds the record for 
short distances in the run from Cam- 
den to Atlantic City, which is made by 
the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad 
at a rate of 66.6 miles per hour and by 
the Pennsylvania Railroad at a rate of 
64.3 miles per hour. There is a consid- 
erable number of trains run at these 
rates or nearly as fast, and the rate is 
sometimes as great as eighty-eight miles 
an hour for distances of twenty miles. 
England seems to be now distinctly in- 
ferior to France and America in the 
speed for both long and comparatively 
short distances, although the road- 
beds are better, and although they do 
not have to contend with level cross- 
ings and runs through streets. The 
greater speed of the American trains 
appears to be due to the superiority of 
the engines. It is a fact that the speed 
of railway trains has increased little 
in recent years — scarcely at all in Great 
Britain for thirty years. If more rapid 
transit is required it will probably be 
found in the use of light trolley cars. 
There seems to be no technical difficulty 
in establishing a ten-minute service be- 
tween Jersey City and Philadelphia, the 
time being reduced to one hour. 

Among recent events of scientific in- 
terest we note the following: Prof. H. 
A. Rowland, of the Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity, lias been awarded the grand 
prize of the Paris Exposition for his 
spectroscopic gratings, and Prof. A. 
Michelson, of the University of Chicago, 
the same honor for his echelon spectro- 
scope. —The Balbi-Valier prize (3.000 
francs) of the Venetian Institute of 
Sciences lias been awarded to Profes- 



sor Grassi, at Rome, for his work on 
the relation of Mosquitoes to malaria. 
— The Paris Academy of Moral and Po- 
litical Sciences has awarded its Audi- 
fred prize of the value of 15,000 francs to 
Dr. Yersin for the discovery of his anti- 
plague serum. — A movement has be- 
gun in London for the erection of a 
memorial in honor of the late Sir Wil- 
liam Flower, which will consist of a bust 
and a commemorative brass tablet to be 
placed in the Whale Room of the Nat- 
ural History Museum — one of the de- 
partments in which he was most inter- 
ested and to which he devoted special 
care and attention. — A monument in 
honor of Pelletier and Caventou, the 
chemists, to whom the discovery of 
quinine is due, was unveiled at Paris 
on August 7. An address was made by 
M. Moissan, president of the committee, 
who presented the monument to the city 
of Paris, and by other speakers. — Milne 
Edwards has by his will bequeathed his 
library to the Paris Jardin des Plantes, 
of which he was a director. It is to be 
sold and the proceeds to be applied to- 
ward the endowment of the chair of 
zoology which he held. He also leaves 
20,000 francs to the Geographical So- 
ciety, of which he was president, for the 
establishment of a prize and 10,000 francs 
to the SociSte des Amis des Sciences. 
— The collection of jewels arranged by 
Mr. George F. Kunz and exhibited by 
Messrs. Tiffany & Co. at the Paris Ex- 
position has been presented to the Amer- 
ican Museum of Natural History by Mr. 
J. Pierpont Morgan. — The New York 
Board of Estimate and Apportionment 
has authorized the expenditure of $200,- 
000 for the Botanical Garden and $150,- 
000 for an addition to the American 
Museum of Natural History. — The 
Peabody Academy of Science at Salem, 
Mass., is trying to raise $50,000 for an 
addition to the museum building. Al- 
ready over $26,000 has been pledged for 
the purpose. 



vol. Lvni.— 8 




LAVOISIER MONUMENT. 
Erected in Paris i-.y International Subscription. 



THE 

POPULAR SCIENCE 

MONTHLY. 



DECEMBER, 1900. 



OXYGEN AND THE NATURE OF ACIDS. 

[These selections from Priestley's account of the discovery of oxygen and from Lavoisier's 
first formal presentations of his theory of acids are classical examples of scientific work 
which will always be worth reading. They have also the historical interest due to the fact that 
the discoveries they describe served as the turning-point of chemistry to the paths it has since 
followed. The dates of publication were respectively 1775, 1776 and 1777. We realize the progress 
of the century when we remember that these experiments are now among the first in an elemen- 
tary course. These two papers are also representatives of two well-defined types of scientific 
advance ; Priestley's discovery was one of the happy accidents that often reward the investiga- 
tor, one of the cases where he reaps a hundred fold, while Lavoisier's work was the result of 
gifted insight and careful consideration of the entire range of phenomena concerned. Lavoi- 
sier had, as is shown in this paper, the faculty of giving the right meaning to the data acquired 
by others. The phlogiston theory is now so much a matter of antiquity that it seems proper to 
give the modern equivalents of some of Priestley's terms : Air is used by him in the modern 
sense of gas, dephlogisticated air=oxygen, inflammable air=hydrogen, phlogisticated air=nitro- 
gen, marine acid air=hydrochloric acid gas, fixed air=carbon dioxid, nitrous air=nitric oxid 
(N O), dephlogisticated nitrous air=nitrous oxid (N 2 0), vitriolic acid air=sulphur dioxid, 
mercurius calcinatus=red oxid of mercury.] 

ON DEPHLOGISTICATED AIR.* 

BY JOSEPH PRIESTLEY. 

THERE are, I believe, very few maxims in philosophy that have laid 
firmer hold upon the mind than that air, meaning atmospherical 
air (free from various foreign matters, which were always supposed to 
be dissolved, and intermixed with it), is a simple elementary substance, 
indestructible and unalterable, at least as much so as water is supposed 
to be. In the course of my inquiries I was, however, soon satisfied that 
atmospherical air is not an unalterable thing; for that phlogiston with 
which it becomes loaded from bodies burning in it, and animals breath- 
ing it, and various other chemical processes, so far alters and depraves 
it, as to render it altogether unfit for inflammation, respiration and 
other purposes to which it is subservient; and I had discovered that agi- 

* From 'Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air.' London, 1775. 



n6 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

tation in water, the process of vegetation, and probably other natural 
processes, by taking out the superfluous phlogiston, restore it to its 
original purity. But I own I had no idea of the possibility of going 
any farther in this way, and thereby procuring air purer than the best 
common air. I might, indeed, have naturally imagined that such would 
be the air that should contain less phlogiston than the air of the atmos- 
phere; but I had no idea that such a composition was possible. 

It will be seen in my last publication that, from the experiments 
which I made on the marine acid air, I was led to conclude that com- 
mon air consisted of some acid (and I naturally inclined to the acid that 
I was then operating upon) and phlogiston; because the union of this 
acid vapor and phlogiston made inflammable air, and inflammable air, 
by agitation in water, ceases to be inflammable and becomes respirable. 
And though I could never make it quite so good as common air, I 
thought it very probable that vegetation, in more favorable circum- 
stances than any in which I could apply it, or some other natural process, 
might render it more pure. 

Upon this, which no person can say was an improbable supposition, 
was founded my conjecture of volcanoes having given birth to the at- 
mosphere of this planet, supplying it with a permanent air, first in- 
flammable, then deprived of its inflammability by agitation in water, 
and farther purified by vegetation. 

Several of the known phenomena of the nitrons acid might have 
led me to think that this was more proper for the constitution of the 
atmosphere than the marine acid; but my thoughts had got into a differ- 
ent train, and nothing but a series of observations, which I shall now 
distinctly relate, compelled me to adopt another hypothesis, and brought 
me, in a way of which I had then no idea, to the solution of the great 
problem, which my reader will perceive I had had in view ever since my 
discovery that the atmospherical air is alterable, and, therefore, that it 
is not an elementary substance, but a composition, viz., what this compo- 
sition is, or what is the thing that tec breathe, and how it is to be made 
from its constituent principles. 

At the time of my former publication I was not possessed of a 
burning lens of any considerable force; and for want of one I could not 
possibly make many of the experiments that I had projected, and which, 
in theory, appeared very promising. I had, indeed, a mirror of force 
sufficient for my purpose. But the nature of this instrument is such 
thai it cannot be applied, with effect, except upon substances that are 
capable of being suspended or resting on a very slender support. It 
cannot be directed at all upon any substance in the form of powder, nor 
hardly upon anything that requires to be put into a vessel of quicksilver; 
which a ]) pears to me to be the most accurate method of extracting air 
from a great variety of substances, as was explained in the introduction 



OXYGEN AND THE NATURE OF ACIDS. u; 

to this volume. But having afterwards procured a lens of twelve inches 
diameter and twenty inches focal distance, I proceeded with great 
alacrity to examine, by the help of it, what kind of air a great variety of 
substances, natural and factitious, would yield, putting them into the 
vessels represented in Fig. a, which T filled with quicksilver, and kept in- 
verted in a bason of the same. Mr. Warltire, a good chymist and lec- 
turer in natural philosophy, happening to be at that time in Calne, I 
explained my views to him. and was furnished by him with many 
substances, which I could not otherwise have procured. 

With this apparatus, after a variety of other experiments, an account 
of which will be found in its proper place, on the 1st of August, 1774, 
I endeavored to extract air from mercurius calcinatus per se; and I 
presently found that, by means of this lens, air was expelled from it very 
readily. Having got about three or four times as much as the bulk of 
my materials, I admitted water to it, and found that it was not imbibed 
by it. But what surprized me more than I can well express was that a 
candle burned in this air with a remarkably vigorous flame, very much 
like that enlarged flame with which a candle burns in nitrous air ex- 
posed to iron or liver of sulphur; but as I had got nothing like this re- 
markable appearance from any kind of air besides this particular modi- 
fication of nitrous air, and I knew no nitrous acid was used in the prepa- 
ration of mercurius calcinatus, I was utterly at a loss how to account 
for it. 

In this case, also, though I did not give sufficient attention to the 
circumstance at that time, the flame of the candle, besides being larger, 
burned with more splendor and heat than in that species of nitrous air; 
and a piece of red-hot wood sparkled in it, exactly like paper dipped in a 
solution of nitre, and it consumed very fast; an experiment which I had 
never thought of trying with nitrous air. 

At the same time that I made the above mentioned experiment, I 
extracted a quantity of air, with the very same property, from the com- 
mon red precipitate, which being produced by a solution of mercury in 
spirit of nitre, made me conclude that this peculiar property, being simi- 
lar to that of the modification of nitrous air above mentioned, depended 
upon something being communicated to it by the nitrous acid; and since 
the mercurius calcinatus is produced by exposing mercury to a certain 
degree of heat, where common air has access to it, I likewise concluded 
that this substance had collected something of nitre in that state of heat 
from the atmosphere. 

This, however, appearing to me much more extraordinary than it 
ought to have done, I entertained some suspicion that the mercurius 
calcinatus, on which I had made my experiments, being bought at a 
common apothecary's, might, in fact, be nothing more than red pre- 
cipitate; though, had I been anything of a practical chymist, I could not 



u8 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

have entertained any such suspicion. However, mentioning this sus- 
picion to Mr. Warltire, he furnished me with some that he had kept for 
a specimen of the preparation, and which, he told me, he could warrant 
to be genuine. This being treated in the same manner as the former, 
only by a longer continuance of heat, I extracted much more air from 
it than from the other. 

This experiment might have satisfied any moderate sceptic; but, 
however, being at Paris in the October following, and knowing that 
there were several very eminent chymists in that place, I did not omit 
the opportunity, by means of my friend, Mr. Magellan, to get an ounce 
of mercurius calcinatus prepared by Mr. Cadet, of the genuineness of 
which there could not possibly be any suspicion; and at the same time, 
I frequently mentioned my surprise at the kind of air which I had got 
from this preparation to Mr. Lavoisier, Mr. le Eoy and several other 
philosophers, who honored me with their notice in that city; and who, I 
dare say, cannot fail to recollect the circumstance. 

At the same time I had no suspicion that the air which I had got 
from the mercurius calcinatus was even wholesome, so far was I from 
knowing what it was that I had really found; taking it for granted that 
it was nothing more than such kind of air as I had brought nitrous air to 
be by the processes above mentioned; and in this air I have observed that 
a candle would burn sometimes quite naturally, and sometimes with a 
beautiful, enlarged flame, and yet remain perfectly noxious. 

At the same time that I had got the air above mentioned from mer- 
curius calcinatus and the red precipitate, I had got the same kind from 
red lead or minium. In this process that part of the minium on which 
the focus of the lens had fallen turned yellow. One third of the air in 
this experiment was readily absorbed by water; but, in the remainder, a 
candle burned very strongly and with a crackling noise. 

That fixed air is contained in red lead I had observed before, for I 
had expelled it by the heat of a candle, and had found it to be very 
pure. (Vol. I., p. 192.) I imagine it requires more heat than I then 
used to expel any of the other kinds of air. 

This experiment with red lead confirmed me more in my suspicion 
that the mercurius calcinatus must get the property of yielding this 
kind of air from the atmosphere, the process by which that preparation 
and this of red lead is made being similar. As I never make the least 
secret of anything that I observe, I mentioned this experiment also, as 
well as those with the mercurius calcinatus and the red precipitate, to all 
my philosophical acquaintances at Paris and elsewhere, having no idea 
at that time to what these remarkable facts would lead. 

Presently, after my return from abroad, I went to work upon the 
mercurius calcinatus which I had procured from Mr. Cadet, and, with a 
very moderate degree of heat, I got from about one fourth of an ounce 



OXYGEN AND THE NATURE OF ACIDS. 119 

of it, an ounce-measure of air, which I observed to be not readily 
imbibed, either by the substance itself from which it had been expelled 
(for I suffered them to continue a long time together before I transferred 
the air to any other place) or by water, in which I suffered this air to 
stand a considerable time before* I made any experiment upon it. 

In this air, as I had expected, a candle burned with a vivid flame; 
but what I observed new at this time (Nov. 19), and which surprized 
me no less than the fact I had discovered before, was that whereas a 
few moments' agitation in water will deprive the modified nitrous air 
of its property of admitting a candle to burn in it; yet, after more than 
ten times as much agitation as would be sufficient to produce this altera- 
tion in the nitrous air, no sensible change was produced in this. A 
candle still burned in it with a strong flame, and it did not in the least 
diminish common air, which I have observed that nitrous air, in this 
state, in some measure does. 

But I was much more surprized when, after two days, in which this 
air had continued in contact with water (by which it was diminished 
about one twentieth of its bulk) I agitated it violently in water about 
five minutes and found that a candle still burned in it as well as in 
common air. The same degree of agitation would have made phlogisti- 
cated nitrous air fit for respiration indeed, but it would certainly have 
extinguished a candle. 

These facts fully convinced me that there must be a very material 
difference between the constitution of the air from mercurius calcinatus 
and that of phlogisticated nitrous air, notwithstanding their resem- 
blance in some particulars. But though I did not doubt that the air from 
mercurius calcinatus was fit for respiration after being agitated in water, 
as every kind of air without exception on which I had tried the experi- 
ment had been, I still did not suspect that it was respirable in the first 
instance; so far was I from having any idea of this air being what it 
really was, much superior in this respect to the air of the atmosphere. 

In this ignorance of the real nature of this kind of air, I continued 
from this time (November) to the 1st of March following; having, in 
the meantime, been intent upon my experiments on the vitriolic acid 
air, above recited, and the various modifications of air produced by 
spirit of nitre, an account of which will follow. But in the course 
of this month I not only ascertained the nature of this kind of air, 
though very gradually, but was led by it to the complete discovery of 
the constitution of the air we breathe. 

Till this 1st of March, 1775, I had so little suspicion of , the air 
from mercurius calcinatus, etc., being wholesome that I had not even 
thought of applying to it the test of nitrous air; but thinking (as my 
reader must imagine I frequently must have done) on the candle burn- 
ing in it after long agitation in water, it occurred to me at last to make 



120 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

the experiment; and putting one measure of nitrous air to two measures 
of this air, I foimd not only that it was diminished, but that it was 
diminished quite as much as common air, and that the redness of the 
mixture was likewise equal to that of a similar mixture of nitrous and 
common air. 

After this I had no doubt but that the air from mercurius calcinatus 
was fit for respiration, and that it Lad all the other properties of genuine 
common air. But I did not take notice of what I might have observed, 
if I had not been so fully possessed by the notion of there being no air 
better than common air. that the redness was really deeper, and the 
diminution something greater than common air would have admitted. 

Moreover, this advance in the way of truth, in reality, threw me back 
into error, making me give up the hypothesis I had first formed, viz., 
that the mercurius calcinatus had extracted spirit of nitre from the air; 
for I now concluded that all the constituent parts of the air were equally 
and in their proper proportion imbibed in the preparation of this sub- 
stance, and also in the process of making red lead. For at the same 
time that I made the above mentioned experiment on the air from 
mercurius calcinatus, 1 likewise observed that the air which I had ex- 
tracted from red lead, after the fixed air was washed out of it. was of 
the same nature, being diminished by nitrous air like common air: but, 
at the same time, I was puzzled to find that air from the red precipitate 
was diminished in the same manner, though the process for making this 
substance is quite different from that of making the two others. But 
to this circumstance 1 happened not to give much attention. 

I wish my reader be not quite tired with the frequent repetition of 
the word surprize, ami others of similar import; but I must go on in that 
6tyle a little longer. For the next day I was more surprized than ever 
I had been before with finding that after the above mentioned mixture 
of nitrous air and the air from mercurius calcinatus had stood all night 
(in which time the whole diminution must have taken place, and, con- 
fiequently, had it been common air it must have been made perfectly 
noxious and entirely unfit for respiration or inflammation) a candle 
burned in it and even better than in common air. 

I cannot at this distance of time recollect what it was that I had in 
view in making this experiment; but I know I had no expectation of the 
real issue of it. Having ;icquired a considerable degree of readiness in 
making experiments of this kind, a very slight and evanescent motive 
would be sufficient to induce me to do it. If, however, I had not hap- 
pened, for some other purpose, to have had a lighted candle before me 
I should probably never have made the trial, and the whole train of my 
future experiments relating to this kind of air might have been pre- 
vented. 

Still, however, having no conception of the real cause of this 



OXYGEN AND THE NATURE OF ACIDS. 121 

phenomenon, I considered it as something very extraordinary; but as a 
property that was peculiar to air that was extracted from these sub- 
stances and adventitious; and I always spoke of the air to my acquaint- 
ance as being substantially the same thing with common air. I par- 
ticularly remember my telling Dr. Price that I was myself perfectly 
satisfied of its being common air, as it appeared to be so by the test of 
nitrous air; though, for the satisfaction of others, I wanted a mouse to 
make the proof quite complete. 

On the 8th of this month I procured a mouse and put it into a 
glass vessel containing two ounce-measures of the air from mereurhts 
calcinatus. Had it been common air a full-grown mouse, as this was, 
would have lived in it about a quarter of an hour. In this air, however, 
my mouse lived a full half hour, and though it was taken out seemingly 
dead, it appeared to have been only exceedingly chilled; for, upon 
being held to the fire, it presently revived and appeared not to have 
received any harm from the experiment. 

By this I was confirmed in my conclusion that the air extracted 
from mercurius calcinatus, etc., was al least as good as common air; 
but I did not certainly conclude that it was any better; because, though 
one mouse would live only a quarter of an hour in a given quantity of 
air, I knew it was not impossible but that another mouse might have 
lived in it half an hour, so little accuracy is there in this method of as- 
certaining the goodness of air: and. indeed, I have never had recourse 
to it for my own satisfaction since the discovery of that most ready, 
accurate and elegant test that nitrous air furnishes. But in this case I 
had a view to publishing the most generally-satisfactory account of my 
experiments that the nature of the thing would admit of. 

This experiment witli the mouse, when I had reflected upon it 
some time, gave me so much suspicion that the air into which I had 
put it was better than common air, that I was induced, the day after, 
to apply the test of nitrous air to a small part of that very quantity of 
air which the mouse had breathed so long; so that, had it been common 
air, I was satisfied it must have been very nearly, if not altogether, as 
noxious as possible, so as not to be affected by nitrous air; when, to my 
surprize again, I found that though it had been breathed so long it was 
still better than common air. For after mixing it with nitrous air, in 
the usual proportion of two to one, it was diminished in the proportion 
of 4^ to 3^; that is, the nitrous air had made it two ninths less than 
before, and this in a very short space of time: whereas I had never 
found that in the longest time any common air was reduced more 
than one fifth of its bulk by any proportion of nitrous air, nor more 
than one fourth by any phlogistic process whatever. Thinking of 
this extraordinary fact upon my pillow, the next morning I put 
another measure of nitrous air to the same mixture, and, to my utter 



122 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

astonishment, found that it was farther diminished to almost one 
half of its original quantity. I then put a third measure to it; hut 
this did not diminish it any farther; but, however, left it one measure 
less than it was even after the mouse had been taken out of it. 

Being now fully satisfied that this air, even after the mouse had 
breathed it half an hour, was much better than common air, and having 
a quantity of it still left sufficient for the experiment, viz., an ounce 
measure and a half, I put the mouse into it; when I observed that it 
seemed to feel no shock upon being put into it, evident signs of which 
would have been visible if the air had not been very wholesome; but 
that it remained perfectly at its ease another full half hour, when I 
took it out quite lively and vigorous. Measuring the air the next day I 
found it to be reduced from 1^ to 2-3 of an ounce measure. And 
after this, if I remember well (for in my register of the day I only 
find it noted that it was considerably diminished by nitrous air) it 
was nearly as good as common air. It was evident, indeed, from 
the mouse having been taken out quite vigorous, that the air could 
not have been rendered very noxious. 

For my farther satisfaction I procured another mouse, and putting 
it into less than two ounce-measures of air extracted from mercurius cal- 
cinatus and air from red precipitate (which, having found them to be of 
the same quality, I had mixed together) it lived three quarters of an 
hour. But not having had the precaution to set the vessel in a warm 
place, I suspect that the mouse died of cold. However, as it had lived 
three times as long as it could probably have lived in the same quantity 
of common air and I did not expect much accuracy from this kind of 
test, I did not think it necessary to make any more experiments with 
mice. 

Being now fully satisfied of the superior goodness of this kind of air, 
1 proceeded to measure that degree of purity with as much accuracy as 
I could, by the test of nitrous air; and I began with putting one meas- 
ure of nitrous air to two measures of this air, as if I had been examining 
common air, and now I observed that the diminution was evidently 
greater than common air would have suffered by the same treatment. 
A second measure of nitrous air reduced it to two thirds of its original 
quantity, and a third measure to one half. Suspecting that the dim- 
inution could not proceed much farther, I then added only half a 
measure of nitrous air, by which it was diminished still more; but not 
much, and another half measure made it more than half of its original 
quantity; so that, in this case, two measures of this air took more than 
two measures of nitrous air and yet remained less than half of what it 
was. Five measures brought it pretty exactly to its original dimensions. 

At the same time air from the red precipitate was diminished in the 
same proportion as that from mercurius catcinatus, five measures of 



OXYGEN AND THE NATURE OF ACIDS. 123 

nitrous air being received by two measures of this without any increase 
of dimensions. Now as common air takes about one half of its bulk 
of nitrous air before it begins to receive any addition to its dimensions 
from more nitrous air, and this air took more than four half measures 
before it ceased to be diminished by more nitrous air, and even five half 
measures made no addition to its original dimensions, I conclude that it 
was between four and five times as good as common air. It will be seen 
that I have since procured air better than this, even between five and six 
times as good as the best common air that I have ever met with. 



MEMOIR ON THE EXISTENCE OF AIR IN THE ACID OF NITRE 
(AND ON THE MEANS OF DECOMPOSING AND RECOM- 

POSING THIS ACID).* 



I 



By ANTOINE-LAURENT LAVOISIER. 

TOOK a small retort with a long narrow neck, which I bent over a 
lamp so that the end of the neck could be held under a bell-jar full 
of water standing in a vessel of water. Into the retort I put two ounces 
of slightly fuming acid of nitre, the weight of which was to that of dis- 
tilled water in the proportion of 131,607 to 100,000. I added two ounces 
one dram of mercury and heated it slightly to hasten the solution. 

As the acid was very strong, the effervescence was lively and the de- 
composition very rapid. I received the air which was liberated in differ- 
ent bell-jars in order to be able to tell the differences which might be 
found between the air at the beginning and at the end of effervescence, 
supposing there should be such. When the effervescence had stopped 
and all the mercury had dissolved, I continued to heat the material in 
the same apparatus. Soon boiling appeared in place of the effervescence, 
aud while the boiling went on air was produced in almost as great 
abundance as before. I continued this until all the fluid had passed 
out, either by distillation or as elastic vapors of air, and nothing was left 
in my retort save a white salt of mercury, in a pasty form, dry rather 
than wet, which began to grow yellow on its surface. The quantity of 
air obtained up to this point was about 190 cubic inches; that is to say, 
about four quarts. All this air was of a uniform sort and was nowise 
different from what M. Priestley has called nitrous air. 

On continuing the experiment, I noticed that from the mercury salt 
there arose red fumes like those of the acid of nitre; but this phenom- 
enon did not last long and soon the air in the empty part of the retort 



* Read before the Paris Academy of Science on April 20, 1776. Translated for The Popular 
Science Monthly from the ' Comptes Rendus ' for the meeting. 



i2 4 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

regained its transparence.* Having put to one side the air which had 
been given off during the period of the red fumes, I found ten to twelve 
inches of air very different from what had been given off up till then, 
and apparently differing from ordinary air only in that lights burned 
-lightly better in it. At the same time the mercury salt had turned to 
a fine red precipitate, and, keeping it at a moderate heat, I obtained 
at the end of seven hours 224 cubic inches of air much purer than 
ordinary air, in which a light burned with a much brighter, larger and 
brilliant or more active flame. This air, from all its characteristics, I 
could riot but recognize as the same that I had extracted from calx of 
mercury, known as mercury precipitatum per se; the same that M. Priest- 
ley extracted from a number of substances by treating them with spirits 
of nitre. In proportion as this air had been freed, the mercury had 
been reduced, and I found again, within a few grains, the two ounces 
one dram of mercury which I had dissolved. The slight loss may have 
been due to a little yellow and red sublimate which clung to the upper 
part of the retort. 

The mercury came out of this experiment as it went in, that is. with- 
out change in its quality or to any noticeable extent in its weight. So it 
is evident that the 42G cubic inches of air which I had obtained could 
have been produced only by the decomposition of the acid of nitre. I 
was then right in concluding from these facts that two ounces of acid of 
nitre are composed, first, of 190 cubic inches of nitrous air; second, of 
12 cubic inches of ordinary air; third, of 224 cubic inches of air better 
than ordinary air; fourth, of phlegm; but as it was proved from M. 
Priestley's experiments, that the small amount of common air which I 
had obtained could be nothing save air better than common air, the 
superior quality of which had been altered by mixture with nitrous air 
in the transition or passing from one to the other, I can determine the 
amount of these two airs before their mixture and suppose that the 12 
cubic inches of common air which I got were due to a mixture of 30 
•ill lie inches of nitrous air and 11 cubic inches of air better than ordi- 
nary air. 

After thus determining these quantities, we get as the product of 
two ounces of acid of nitre: 

Nitrous air 226 cubic inches. 

Purest air 238 " " 

Total 464 

[Lavoisier here uses the estimated weight of the gases found to 
decide the composition by weight of nitric acid.] 

1 l hese red fumes are due to portions <>f nitrons air and of .air jmrer than ordinary, which 
are freed from the mercury salt am] which combine and form the acid of nitre. The force of 
this explanation will he fully felt only after the entire memoir has been read. 



OXYGEN AND THE NATURE OF Ad I PS. 125 

Such then is a way to decompose the acid of nitre and demonstrate 
the existence in it of a pure air and (if I may he allowed to use this 
expression) more an air than ordinary air. But the complement of the 
proof was, after having decomposed the acid, to succeed in re-com- 
pounding it out of the same materials, and that is what 1 have done. 

[Lavoisier here inserts some preliminary remarks about the nature 
of nitrous air, and then describes his experiment as follows:] 

I filled with water a tube which was closed at one end and which 
was marked off along its length by equal divisions of volume. I in- 
serted this tube, thus filled with water, in another vessel, likewise filled 
with water; I let into it seven and one-third parts of nitrous air and 
mixed with this at the same time four parts of air purer than ordinary 
air, which I had measured out in another separate tube.* At the 
moment of mixture, the eleven and a third parts of air occupied 12 to 
13 measures, but, a moment later, the two airs mingled and combined, 
very red vapors of spirits of fuming nitre were formed, which were at 
once condensed by the water, and in a few seconds the eleven and a 
third parts of air were reduced to about a third of a measure; that is to 
say, to about the thirty-fourth part of their original volume. 

The water contained in the tube was sensibly acid at the end of this 
experiment, or, rather, it was a weak acid of nitre; when I treated it 
with alkali I got from it by evaporation real nitre. . . . After having 
shown that one can separate and combine again the principles of the 
acid of nitre, it remains for me to show that the same can be done 
with materials not all taken from the acid of nitre. Instead of the 
purest air, or that drawn from the red precipitate of mercury, one may 
use the air of the atmosphere; but much more of it will have to be used, 
and instead of the four parts of pure air which are sufficient to saturate 
seven and one^third parts of nitrous air, one will have to use nearly 
sixteen of common air; all the nitrous air is, in this experiment, as in 
the preceding one, destroyed or rather condensed; but this is not the 
case with common air; not more than a fifth or a fourth of it is absorbed, 
and what remains is no longer able to support the flame of a candle or 
to support respiration in animals. It seems proved by this that the air 
which we breathe contains only a fourth part of real air; that this real 
air is in our atmosphere mixed with three or four parts of a harmful air, 
a sort of choke-damp, which would cause the death of the majority of 
animals if it were present in a little greater quantity. The injurious 
effects on the air of vapor of charcoal and of a large number of other 
emanations prove how near this fluid is to the point beyond which it 
would be fatal to animals. I hope to soon be in a position to discuss 
this idea and to place before the Academy the experiments on which 
it is based. 

*I pass over the tentative efforts by which I came to know the exact proportion. 



126 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

It results from the experiments contained in this memoir that when 
mercury is dissolved in nitric acid, this metallic substance acquires the 
pure air contained in the nitric acid and constituting it an acid. On the 
one hand this metal, when combined with the purest air, is reduced to 
a calx; on the other the acid deprived of this same air expands and forms 
nitrous air, and the proof that such are the facts in this experiment is 
that if after having thus separated the two airs which enter into the 
composition of the acid of nitre, you combine them anew, you make 
pure acid of nitre such as you had before, with the single difference 
that it fumes. 

The acid of nitre, drawn from saltpetre by clay, is consequently 
nothing but nitrous air combined with nearly an equal volume of the 
purest part of the air and with a fairly large amount of water; nitrous 
air, on the contrary, is the acid of nitre deprived of air and of water. 
People will no doubt ask here if the phlogiston of the metal does not 
play some part in this process. Without daring to decide a question of 
so great importance, I will reply that since the mercury comes out of 
this experiment just as it went in, there are no signs that it has lost or 
gained any phlogiston, unless we claim that the phlogiston which 
brought about the reduction of the metal passed through the vessels. 
But that is to admit of a particular sort of phlogiston, different from 
that of Stahl and his school; it is to return to the theory of fire as a 
principle, to fire as an element of bodies, a theory much older than 
Stahl's and very different from it. 

I will end this memoir as I began it, by thanking M. Priestley, to 
whom the greater part of whatever interest it possesses is due; but the 
love of truth and the progress of knowledge, towards which all our 
efforts should be directed, oblige me at the same time to correct a 
mistake which he has made, which it would be dangerous to leave un- 
challenged. This rightly famous physicist, who had discovered that 
when he combined the acid of nitre with any earth, he invariably ob- 
tained ordinary air or air better than ordinary air, believed that he 
could thence draw the conclusion that the air of the atmosphere is a 
compound of acid of nitre and of earth. This bold conception is quite 
overthrown by the experiments contained in this memoir. It is clear 
that it is not air that is composed of acid of nitre, as M. Priestley 
claims; but, on the contrary, it is the acid of nitre that is composed of 
air; and this single remark gives the key to a large number of experi- 
ments contained in Sections III., IV. and V. of M. Priestley's second 
volume. 



OXYGEN AND THE NATURE OF ACIDS. 127 

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ON THE NATURE OF ACIDS * 

By ANTOINE-LAURENT LAVOISIER. 

WHEN" the chemists of olden times had reduced a body to oil, salt, 
earth and water, they believed that they had reached the limits 
of chemical analysis, and consequently they gave to salt and to oil the 
names of 'principles of bodies.' 

In proportion as the art made progress, the chemists who succeeded 
them became aware that substances which had been held to be primary 
could be decomposed, and they recognized in succession that all the 
neutral salts, for instance, were formed by the union of two substances, 
an acid of some sort and a salt, earth or metal. 

Hence arose the entire theory of neutral salts which has held the at- 
tention of chemists for over a century, and which is to-day so near per- 
fection that we may regard it as the surest and most complete part of 
chemistry. 

Chemical science has been handed down to us in this condition, and 
it is our business to do with the constituents of the neutral salts what 
the chemists who went before us did with the neutral salts themselves, 
to attack the acids and bases and to carry chemical analysis along this 
line a step beyond its present limits. 

I have already imparted to the Academy my first efforts in this field. 
I have in earlier memoirs demonstrated to you as far as it is possible 
to demonstrate in physics and chemistry that the purest air, that to 
which M. Priestley has given the name of 'dephlogisticated air,' enters 
as a constituent part into the composition of several acids, notably of 
phosphoric, vitriolic and nitric acids. 

More numerous experiments put me in a position to-day to draw gen- 
eral conclusions from these results and to assert that the purest air, the 
air most suitable for respiration, is the principle which causes acidity; 
that this principle is common to all acids, and that in addition one or 
more other principles enter into the composition of each acid, differenti- 
ating it and making it one sort of acid rather than another. 

In consequence of these facts, which I already regard as very firmly 
established, I shall henceforth call dephlogisticated air or air most suit- 
able for respiration, when it is in a state of combination or fixity, by the 
name of 'the acidifying principle,' or, if one prefers the same meaning 
in a word from the Greek, 'the principle Oxyginej 1 This nomenclature 
will save periphrases, will make my statements more exact, and will 
avoid the ambiguities I would be likely to fall into constantly if I used 
the word 'air.' 

* Read before the Paris Academy of Sciences on September 5,1777. Translated for The Popu- 
lar Science Monthly from the ' Comptes Rendus ' for the meeting. 



128 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

Without repeating details which I have given elsewhere, I will recall 
herein a few words, adopting this new language: 

1. That the acidifying principle or oxygen, when combined with 
the substance of tire, heat and light, forms the purest air, that which 
M, Priestley has called dephlogisticated air; it is true that this first prop- 
osition is not strictly proved and perhaps is not susceptible of strict 
proof; so 1 have proposed it only as an idea that I regard as very prob- 
able, and in that respect it must not be confused with the propositions 
which are to follow, which are based on rigorous experiments and proofs; 

2. That this same acidifying principle or oxygen, combined with 
carbon or substances containing carbon, forms the acid of chalk (car- 
bonic acid) or fixed air: 

3. That with sulphur it forms vitriolic acid; 

4. That with nitrous air it forms nitric acid; 

5. That with Kunckel's phosphorus it forms phosphoric acid; 

6. That with metallic substances in general it forms metallic 
calces, with the exception of the cases of which I shall speak in this or a 
following memoir. 

Such is very nearly our present general knowledge of the combina- 
tions of oxygen with the different substances in nature, and it is not 
hard to see that there remains a vast field to explore; that there is a 
part of chemistry absolutely new and until now unknown, which will 
be completely investigated only when we shall have succeeded in deter- 
mining the degree of affinity of this principle with all the substances 
with which it can combine, and in discovering the different sorts of com- 
pounds which result. 

All chemists know that the simpler the substances are with which 
you are working, the nearer you come to reducing substances to their 
elementary molecules, the more difficult become the means of decompos- 
ing and recomposing the substances; we may suppose, therefore, that the 
analysis and synthesis of acids must present much greater difficulties 
than does the analysis of the neutral salts into the composition of which 
they enter. I hope, however, to be able in what follows to show that 
there is no acid, unless, perhaps, it be that of sea salt, which w T e cannot 
analyze and put together again and from which we cannot at will ab- 
stract the acidifying principle. 

This kind of work demands a great variety of means, and the pro- 
cedures necessary to success in effecting combination vary according to 
the different substances with which one is working. In some cases w T e 
must have recourse to combustion, either in atmospheric air or pure air. 
Such is the case with sulphur, phosphorus and carbon; these substances 
during combustion absorb the acidifying principle or oxygen, and by 
the addition of this principle become vitriolic, phosphoric and carbonic 
acid or fixed air. 



OXYGEN AND THE NATURE OF AC ID 8. 129 

In the case of other substances mere exposure to the air, aided by a 
moderate degree of heat, suffices to bring about the combination, and 
this is what happens to all vegetable substances capable of passing on to 
acid fermentation. In the greater number of cases one has to resort to 
the science of affinities and to employ the acidifying principle already 
united in another compound. 

The example which I am going to give to-day is of this last sort, and 
I shall take it from an experiment, well known for several years, follow- 
ing the memoirs of M. Bergman. It is the formation of the acid of 
sugar. This acid, in accordance with the experiments which I am going 
to recount, seems to me to be nothing else than sugar combined with 
the acidifying principle or oxygen, and I propose to show in order in 
different memoirs that we can combine this same principle with the 
substance composing animals' horns, with silk, with animal lymph, with 
wax, with essential oils, with extracted oils, manna, starch, arsenic, iron 
and probably with a great many other substances of the three kingdoms. 
"We can thus turn all these substances into genuine acids. 

Before entering on the material to be presented, I beg the Academy 
to recall that the acid of nitre, as shown by the experiments which I 
have before described, and which I have repeated in your presence, is 
the result of the union of nitrous air with the purest air or acidifying 
principle; that the proportion of these two principles varies in the differ- 
ent kinds of acid of nitre, the one which gives off fumes, for instance, 
containing a superabundance of nitrous air. 



vol. Lvni.— 9 



130 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



CHAPTERS ON THE STAES. 

By Professor SIMON NEWCOMB, U. S. N. 

Masses and Densities of the Stars. 

THE spectroscope shows that, although the constitution of the stars 
offers an infinite variety of detail, we may say, in a general way, 
that these bodies are suns. It would perhaps he more correct to say that 
the Sun is one of the stars and does not differ essentially from them in 
its constitution. The problem of the physical constitution of the Sun 
and stars may, therefore, be regarded as the same. Both consist of vast 
masses of incandescent matter at so exalted a temperature as to shine 
by their own light. All may be regarded as bodies of the same general 
nature. 

It has long been known that the mean density of the Sun is only 
one-fourth that of the earth, and, therefore, less than half as much 
again as that of water. In a few cases an approximate estimate of the 
density of stars may be made. The method by which this may be done 
can be rigorously set forth only by the use of algebraic formulae, but a 
general idea of it can be obtained without the use of that mode of 
expression. 

Let us in advance set forth an extension of Kepler's third law, 
which applies to every case of two bodies revolving around each other 
by their mutual gravitation. The law in question, as stated by Kepler, 
is that the cubes of the mean distances of the planets are proportioned 
to the squares of their times of revolution. If we suppose the mean 
distances to be expressed in terms of the earth's mean distance from the 
Sun as a unit of length, and if we take the year as the unit of time, 
then the law may be expressed by saying that the cubes of the mean 
distances will be equal to the squares of the periods. For example, the 
mean distance of Jupiter is thus expressed as 5.2. If we take the cube 
of this, which is about 140, and then extract the square root of it, we 
shall have 11.8, which is the period of revolution of Jupiter around the 
Sun expressed in the same way. If we cube 9.5, the mean distance of 
Saturn, we shall have the square of a little more than 29, which is 
Saturn's time of revolution. 

We may also express the law by saying that if we divide the cube 
of the mean distance of any planet by the square of its periodic time 
we shall always get 1 as a quotient. 

The theory of gravitation and the elementary principles of force and 
motion show that a similar rule is true in the case of any two bodies 
revolving around each other in virtue of their mutual gravitation. If 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 131 

we divide the cube of their mean distance apart by the square of their 
time of revolution, we shall get a quotient which will not indeed be 1, 
but which will be a number expressing the combined mass of the two 
bodies. If one body is so small that we leave its mass out of considera- 
tion, then the quotient will express the mass of the larger body. If 
the latter has several minute satellites moving around it, the quotients 
will be equal, as in the case of the Sun, and will express the mass of 
this central body. If, as in the case we have supposed, we take the year 
as a unit of time and the distance of the earth from the Sun as a unit 
of length, the quotient will express the mass of the central body in 
terms of the mass of the Sun. It is thus that the masses of the planets 
are determined from the periodic times and distances of their satellites, 



Oc 



A 




c o 



o 



Fig. 1. 



and the masses of binary systems from their mean distance apart and 
their periods. To express the general law by a formula we put 

a, the mean distance apart of the two bodies, or the semi-major axis 
of their relative orbit in terms of the earth's mean distance from the 
Sun; 

P, their periodic time; 

M, their combined mass in terms of the Sun's mass as unity. 

Then we shall have: 

Another conclusion we draw is that if we know the time of revolu- 
tion and the radius of the orbit of a binary system, we can determine 
what the time of revolution would be if the radius of the orbit had 
some standard length, say unity. 

We cannot determine the dimensions of a binary system unless we 
know its parallax. But there is a remarkable law which, so far as I 
know, was first announced by Pickering, by virtue of which we can 
determine a certain relation between the surface brilliancy and the 
density of a binary system without knowing its parallax. 

Let us suppose a number of bodies of the same constitution and 
temperature as the Sun — models of the latter we may say — differing 
from it only in size. To fix the ideas, we shall suppose two such bodies, 
one having twice the diameter of the other. Being of the same bril- 
liancy, we suppose them to emit the same amount of light per unit of 



132 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

surface. The larger body, having four times the surface of the smaller, 
will then emit four times as much light. The volumes being propor- 
tional to the cubes of their diameters, it will have eight times its vol- 
ume. The densities being supposed equal, it will have eight times the 
mass. Suppose that each has a satellite revolving around it, and that 
the orbit of the satellite of the larger body is twice the radius of that of 
the smaller one. 

Calling the radius of the nearer satellite 1, that of the more distant 
one will be 2. The cube of this number is 8. It follows from the exten- 
sion of Kepler's third law, which we have cited, that the times of revo- 
lution of the two satellites will be the same. Thus the two bodies, 
A and B, with their satellites, C and C, form two binary systems whose 
proportions and whose periods are the same, only the linear dimensions 
of B are all double those of A. In other words, we shall have a pair of 
binary systems which may look alike in every respect, but of which one 
will have double the dimensions and eight times the mass of the other. 

Now let us suppose the larger system to be placed at twice the 
distance of the smaller. The two will then appear of the same size, and, 
if stars, will appear of the same brightness, while the two orbits will 
have the same apparent dimensions. In a word, the two systems will 
appear alike when examined with the telescope, and the periodic times 
will be equal. 

Near the end of the second chapter we have given a little table 
showing the magnitude that the Sun would appear to us to have were 
it placed at different distances among the stars. The parallaxes we 
have there given are simply the apparent angle which would have to be 
subtended by the radius of the earth's orbit at different distances. It 
follows that, were the stars all of similar constitution to the Sun, the 
numbers given in the last column of the table referred to would, in all 
cases, express the apparent distance from the star of a companion, 
having a time of revolution of one year. From this we may easily 
show what would be the time of revolution of any binary system of 
which the companions were separated by 1", if the stars were of the 
same constitution as the Sun. 

Periods of binary systems whose components are separated by 1" 
and whose constitution is the same as that of the Sun. 

Period. Annual 

Mag. y. Motion. 

1 1.8 200° 

2 3.5 102 

3 7.0 51 

4 14.1 25 

5 28.1 13 

6 56.0 6 

7 112. 3.2 

8 223. 1.6 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 133 

It will be seen that the periods are very nearly doubled for each 
diminution of the brilliancy of the star by one magnitude. Moreover, 
the value of the photometric ratio for two consecutive magnitudes is a 
little uncertain, so that we may, without adding to the error of our 
results, suppose the period to be exactly double for each addition of 
unity to the magnitude. A computation of the period for any magnitude 
may be made with all necessary precision by the formula: 

P = (X88 x 2 m ; 
or, log. P = 9.994 + 0.3m. 

It will now be of interest to compare the results of this theory with 
the observed periods of binary systems with a view to comparing their 
constitution with that of our Sun. There are, however, two difficulties 
in the way of doing this with rigorous precision. 

The first difficulty is that there are very few binary systems of 
which the apparent dimensions of the orbit and the periods are known 
with any approach to exactness. This would not be a serious matter 
were it not that the short, and, therefore, known periods belong to a 
special class, that having the greatest density. Hence, when we derive 
our results from the systems of known periods we shall be making a 
biased selection from this particular class of stars. 

The next difficulty is that the theory which we have set forth as- 
sumes the mass of the satellite either to be very small compared with 
that of the star, or the two bodies to be of the same constitution. If we 
apply the theory to systems in which this is not the case, the results 
which we shall get will be, in a certain way, those corresponding to the 
mean of the two components. Were it a question of masses, we should 
get with entire precision the sum of the masses of the two bodies. The 
best we can do, therefore, is to suppose the two companions fused into 
one having the combined brilliancy of the two. Then, if the result is 
too small for one, it will be too large for the other. 

To show the method of proceeding, I have taken the six systems 
of shortest period found in Dr. See's 'Besearches on Stellar Evolution.' 
The principal numbers are shown in the table below. 

The first column, a", after the name of the star, gives the apparent 
semi-major axis of the orbit in seconds of arc. The next column gives 
the period in years. Column Mag. gives the apparent magnitude which 
the system would have were the two bodies fused into one. 

Column P gives the period in years as it would be were the radius 
of the orbit equal to one second. It is formed by dividing the actual 
period by A. The next column gives the period as it would be were 
the stars of similar constitution to the Sun. The last column gives the 
square of the ratio of the two bodies, which, if the stars had the same 



134 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



surface brilliancy as the Sun, would express the ratio of density of 
the stars to that of the Sun. Actually, it gives the product: 

Density x (brilliancy). » 

Star's 
Density. 



k Pegasi. . . 
8, Equulei. . 
£> Sagittarii 
F9 Argus. . . 
42 Cornae. . . 
P Delphirii . 



a." 


Per. 


Mag. 


p. 


Sun's 
Per. 


0".42 


lly.4 


4.2 


41.9 


16.2 


0".45 


lly.4 


4.6 


37.8 


21.0 


0".69 


18y.8 


2.9 


32.7 


6.7 


0".65 


22y.O 


5.5 


42.0 


39.7 


0".64 


25y.6 


4.4 


50.0 


18.5 


0".C7 


27y.7 


3.7 


50.4 


11.4 



0.15 
0.31 
0.04 
0.90 
0.14 
0.51 



The numbers in the last column being all less than unity, it fol- 
lows that either the stars are much less dense than the Sun or they 
are of much less surface brilliancy. Moreover, they belong to a selected 
list in which the numbers of the last column are larger than the average. 

To form some idea of the result of a selection from the general 
average, we may assume that the average of all the measured distances 
between the components of a number of binary systems is equal to the 
average radius of their orbits, and that the observed annual motion is 
equal to the mean motion of the companion in its orbit. Taking a 
number of cases of this sort, I find that the number corresponding to 
the last number of the preceding table would be little more than one 
thousandth. 

A very remarkable case is that of £> Orionis. This star, in the belt 
of Orion, is of the second magnitude. It has a minute companion at a 
distance of 2 ".5. Were it a model of the Sun, a companion at this ap- 
parent distance should perform its revolution in fourteen years. But, 
as a matter of fact, the motion is so slow that even now, after fifty years 
of observation, it cannot be determined with any precision. It is prob- 
ably less than 0°.l in a year. The number expressing the comparison of 
its density and surface brilliancy with those of the Sun is probably less 
than .0001. 

The general conclusion to be drawn is obvious. The stars in general 
are not models of our Sun, but have a much smaller mass in propor- 
tion to the light they give than our Sun has. They must, therefore, 
have either a less density or a greater surface brilliancy. 

We may now inquire whether such extreme differences of surface 
brilliancy or of density are more likely. The brilliancy of a star de- 
pends primarily not on its temperature throughout, but on that of some 
region near or upon its surface. The temperature of this surface can- 
not be kept up except by continual convection currents from the in- 
terior to the surface. We are, therefore, to regard the amount of light 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 135 

emitted by a star not merely as indicating temperature, but as limited 
by the quantity of matter which, impeded by friction, can come up to 
the surface, and there cool off and afterward sink down again. This 
again depends very largely on internal friction, and is limited by that. 
Owing to this limitation, we cannot attribute the difference in question 
wholly to surface brilliancy. We must conclude that at least the 
brighter stars are, in general, composed of matter much less dense than 
that of the Sun. Many of them are probably even less dense than air 
and in nearly all cases the density is far less than that of any known 
liquid. 

An ingenious application of the mechanical principle we have laid 
down has been made independently by Mr. Koberts, of South Africa, 
and Mr. Norris, of Princeton, in another way. If we only knew the 
relation between the diameters of the two companions of a binary sys- 
tem and its dimensions, we could decide how much of the difference 
in question is due to density and how much to surface brilliancy. Now 
this may be approximately done in the case of variable stars of the Algol 
and ft Lyrse types. If, as is probably the most common case, the passage 
of the stars over each other is nearly central, the ratio of their diameter 
to the radius of the orbit may be determined by comparing the duration 
of the eclipse with the time of revolution. This was one of the funda- 
mental data used by Myers in his work on ft Lyras, of which we have 
quoted the results. Without going into reasoning or technical details 
at length, we may give the results reached by Eoberts and Norris in 
the case of the Algol variables: 

For the variable star X Carina?, Eoberts finds, as a superior limit for 
the density of the star and its companion, one-fourth that of the Sun. 
It may be less than this is, to any extent. 

In the case of S Velorum the superior limits of density are: 

Bright star 0.61 

Companion 0.03 

In the case of ES Sagittarii the upper limits of density are 0.16 
and 0.21. 

It is possible, in the mean of a number of cases like these, to esti- 
mate the general average amount by which the densities fall below the 
limits here given. Eoberts' final conclusion is that the average density 
of the Algol variables and their eclipsing companions is about one 
eighth that of the Sun. 

The work of Eussell was carried through at the same time as that 
of Eoberts, and quite independently of his. It appeared at the same 
time.* His formula? and methods were different, though they rested 
on similar fundamental principles. Taking the density of the Sun as 

* 'Astrophysical Journal,' Vol. X, No. 5. 



136 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



unity, he computes the superior limit of density for 12 variables, based 
on their periods and the duration of their partial eclipses. The greatest 
limit is in the case of Z Herculis and is 0.728. The least is in the 
ease of S Caneri and is 0.035. The average is about 0.2. As the actual 
density may be less than the limit by an indefinite amount, the general 
conclusion from his work may be regarded as the same with that from 
the work of Boberts. 

The results of the preceding theory are independent of the parallax 
of the stars. They, therefore, give us no knowledge as to the mass of a 
binary system. To determine this we must know its parallax, from 
which we can determine the actual dimensions of the orbit when its 
apparent dimensions are known. Then the formula already given will 
give the actual mass of the system in terms of the Sun's mass. 

There are only six binary systems of which both the orbit and the 
parallax are known. These are shown in the table below. Here the 
first two columns after the stars named give the semi-major axis of the 
orbit and the measured parallax. The quotient of the first number by 
the second gives the actual mean radius of the orbits in terms of the 
earth's distance from the Sun as unity. This is given in the third 
column, after which follow the period and the resulting combined 
mass of the system. The last column shows the actual amount of 
light emitted by the system, compared with that of the Sim. 



rj Cassiopia? 

Sirius 

Procyon. . . . 
a Centauri . 
70 Ophiuchi 
85 Pegasi . . . 



a." 


Par. 


a. 


Period. 


Mass. 


8.21 


0.20 


41.0 


195^8 


1.8 


8.03 


0.37 


21.7 


52.2 


3.7 


3.00 


0.30 


10.0 


40.0 


0.6 


17.70 


0.75 


23.6 


81.1 


2.0 


4.55 


0.19 


24.0 


88.4 


1.8 


0.89 


0.05 


17.8 


24.0 


9.0 



Light. 



1.0 
32.0 
8.5 
1.7 
0.7 
9 9 



Even in these few cases some of the numbers on which the result 
depends are extremely uncertain. In the case of Procyon, the radius of 
the orbit, can be only a rough estimate. In the case of 85 Pegasi the 
parallax is uncertain. In the case of ?/ Cassiopiae the elements are 
still doubtful. 

So far as we have set forth the principles involved in the question, 
we do not get separate results for the mass of each body. The latter 
can be determined only by meridian observations, showing the motion 
of the brighter star around the common center of gravity of the two. 
This result has thus far been worked out with an approximation to 
exactness only in the cases of Sirius and Procyon. For these systems 
we have the following masses of the companions of these bodies in terms 
of the Sun's mass: 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 137 

Companion of Sirius 1.2 

Companion of Procyon 0.2 

It will now be interesting to compare the brightness of these bodies 
with that which the Sun would have if seen at their distance. In a 
former chapter we showed how this could be done. The results are: 

At the distance of Procyon the apparent magnitude of the Sun 
would be 2 m .8. At the distance of Sirius, it would be 2 m .3. Supposing 
the Sun to be changed in size, its density remaining unchanged, until 
it had the same mass as the respective companions of Procyon and 
Sirius, its magnitudes would be: 

For companion of Procyon 3.9 

For companion of Sirius 2.9 

The actual magnitudes of these companions cannot be estimated with 
great precision, owing to the effect of the brilliancy of the star. From 
the estimate of the companion of Sirius, by Professor Pickering, its 
magnitude was about the eighth. It is probable that the magnitude 
of the companion of Procyon is not very different. It will be seen 
that these magnitudes are very different from those which they would 
have were the companions models of the Sun. What is very curious is 
that they differ in the opposite direction from the stars in general, and 
especially from their primaries. Either they have a far less surface bril- 
liancy than the Sun or their density is much greater. There can be no 
doubt that the former rather than the latter is the case. 

This great mass of the two companions as compared with their bril- 
liancy suggests the question whether they may not shine, in part at 
least, by the light of their primaries. A very little consideration will 
show that this cannot be the case. A simple calculation will show that, 
to shine as brightly as they do, the diameter of the companion of Sirius 
would have to be enormous, at least 1-30 its distance from Sirius. 
Moreover, its apparent brightness would vary so widely in different 
parts of its orbit that we should see it almost as well when near Sirius 
as when distant from it. The most likely cause of the small bright- 
ness is the low temperature of the body. 

Gaseous Constitution of the Stars. 

The results of the last chapter point to the conclusion that the 
stars, or at least the brighter among them, are masses of gas, more or 
less compressed in their interior by the action of gravitation upon their 
more superficial parts. We have now to show how this result was ar- 
rived at, at least in the case of the San, from different considerations, 
before the spectroscope had taught us anything of the constitution of 
these bodies. 

We must accept, as one of the obvious conclusions of modern science, 



138 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

the fact that the Sun and stars have, for untold millions of years, been 
radiating heat into space. If we refrain from considering the basis on 
which this conclusion rests, it is not so much because we consider it un- 
questionable, as because the discussion would be too long and complex 
for the present work. 

One of the great problems of modern science has been to account 
for the source of this heat. Before the theory of energy was developed 
this problem offered no difficulty. In the time of Newton, Kant and 
even of La Place and Herschel, no reason was known why the stars 
should not shine forever without change. Now we know that when a 
body radiates heat, that heat is really an entity termed energy, of which 
the supply is necessarily limited. Kelvin compared the case of a star 
radiating heat with that of a ship of war belching forth shells from her 
batteries. We know that if the firing is kept up, the supply of am- 
munition must at some time be exhausted. Have we any means of deter- 
mining how long the store of energy in Sun or star will suffice for its 
radiation? 

We know that the substances which mainly compose the Sun and 
stars are similar to those which compose our earth. We know the 
capacity for heat of these substances, and we also have determined how 
much the Sun radiates annually. From these data, it is found by a sim- 
ple calculation that the temperature of the Sun would be lowered annu- 
ally by more than two degrees Fahrenheit, if its capacity for heat were 
the same as that of water. If this capacity were only that of the sub- 
stances which compose the great body of the earth, the lowering of tem- 
perature would be from 5° to 10° annually. Evidently, therefore, the 
actual heat of the Sun would only suffice for a few thousand years' 
radiation, if not in some way replenished. 

When the difficulty was first attacked, it was supposed that the sup- 
ply might be kept up by meteors falling into the Sun. We know that in 
the region round the Sun, and, in fact, in the whole Solar System, are 
countless minute meteors some of which may from time to time strike 
the Sun. The amount of heat that would be produced by the loss of 
energy suffered by a meteor moving many hundred miles a second 
would be enormously greater than that which would be produced by 
combustion. But critical examination shows that this theory cannot 
have any possible basis. Apart from the fact that it could at best be 
only a temporary device there seems to be no possibility that meteors 
sufficient in mass can move round the Sun or fall into it. Shooting 
stars show that our earth encounters millions of little meteors every 
day; but the heat produced is absolutely insignificant. 

It was then shown by Kelvin and Helmholtz that the Sun might 
radiate the present amount of heat for several millions of years, simply 
from the fund of energy collected by the contraction of its volume 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 139 

through the mutual gravitation of its parts. As the Sun cools it con- 
tracts; the fall of its substance toward the center, produced by this 
contraction, generates energy, which energy is constantly turned into 
heat. The amount of contraction necessary to keep up the present 
supply may be roughly computed; it amounts in round numbers to 220 
feet a year, or four miles in a century. 

Accepting this view, it will almost necessarily follow that the great 
body of the Sun must be of gaseous constitution. Were it solid, its sur- 
face would rapidly cool off, since the heat radiated would have to be 
conducted from the interior. Then, the loss of heat no longer going on 
at the same rate, the contraction also would stop and the generation 
of heat to supply the radiation would cease. Even were the Sun a 
liquid, currents of liquid matter could scarcely convey to the surface a 
sufficient amount of heated matter to supply the enormous radiation. 
Thus the reason of the case combines with observation of the density 
of the Sun to show that its interior must be regarded as gaseous rather 
than solid or liquid. 

A difficult matter, however, presents itself. The density of the Sun 
is greater than we ordinarily see in gases, being, as we have remarked, 
even greater than the density of water. The explanation of this diffi- 
culty is very simple: the gaseous interior is subject to compression by 
its superficial portions. The gravitation on the surface being 27 times 
what it is on the earth, the pressure increases 27 times as fast when we 
go toward the center as it does on the earth. We should not have to go 
very far within its body to find a pressure of millions of tons on the 
square inch. Under such pressure and at such an enormous tempera- 
ture as must there prevail, the distinction between a gas and a liquid 
is lost; the substance retains the mobility of a gas, while assuming the 
density of a liquid. 

It does not follow, however, that the visible surface of the Sun is a 
gas, pure and simple. The sudden cooling which a mass of gaseous 
matter undergoes on reaching the surface may liquefy it or even change 
it into a solid. But, in either case, the sudden contraction which it thus 
undergoes makes it heavier and it sinks down again to be remelted in 
the great furnace below. It may well be, therefore, that the description 
of the Sun as a vast bubble is nearly true. It may be added that all we 
have said about the Sun may very well be presumed to apply to the 
stars. We have now to consider the law of change as a sun or star con- 
tracts through the loss of heat suffered by its radiation into space. 

This subject was very exhaustively developed by Bitter some years 
since.* It is not practicable to give even an abstract of Bitter's results 
at the present time, especially as every mathematical investigation of 
the subject must either rest on hypotheses more or less uncertain, or 

* Wiedemann's 'Annalen der Physik u. Chemie,' 1878 to 1883, etc. 



140 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

must, for its application, require data impossible to obtain. We shall, 
therefore, confine ourselves to a brief outline of the main points of the 
subject. A fundamental proposition of the whole theory is Lane's 
law of gaseous attraction, which is as follows: 

When a spherical mass of incandescent gas contracts through the loss 
of its heat by radiation into space, its temperature continually becomes 
higher as long as the gaseous condition is retained. 

The demonstration of this law is simple enough to be understood by 
any one well acquainted with elementary mechanics and physics, and it 
will also furnish the basis for our consideration of the subject. 

We begin by some considerations on the condition of a mass of gas 
held together by the mutual attraction of its parts. This attraction 
results in a certain hydrostatic pressure, capable of being expressed as 
so many pounds or tons per unit of surface, say a square inch. This 
pressure at any point is equal to the weight of a column of the gas, 
having a section of one square inch and extending from the point in 





Fig. 2. 



question to the surface. It is a law of attraction in a sphere of which 
the density is the same at equal distances from its center, that if we 
suppose an interior sphere concentric with the body, the attraction of 
all the matter outside that interior sphere, on any point within it, is 
equal in every direction, and, therefore, is completely neutralized. A 
point is, therefore, drawn towards the center only by the attraction of 
the sphere on the surface of which it lies. 

At every point in the interior the hydrostatic pressure must be bal- 
anced by the elastic force of the gas. In the case of any one gas this 
force is proportional to the product of the density into the absolute 
temperature. This condition of equilibrium must be satisfied at every 
point throughout the mass. 

Let the two circles in the figure represent gaseous globes, of the 
kind supposed. The larger one represents the globe in a certain con- 
dition of its evolution; the second its condition after its volume has 
contracted to one half. The temperature in each case will necessarily 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 141 

increase from the surface to the center. The law of this increase is 
incapable of accurate expression, but is not necessary for our present 
purpose. 

Let the inner circle, C D, represent a spherical shell, situated any- 
where in the interior of the mass, but concentric with it. Let E P be 
the corresponding shell after the contraction has taken place. The case 
will then be as follows: 

The two shells will by hypothesis have the same quantity of matter, 
both in their own substance and throughout their interior. 

In case B the central attraction being as the inverse square from 
the center, will be four times as great for each unit of matter in the 
shell. 

This force of attraction, tending to compress the shell, is, in case 
B, exerted on a surface one quarter as great, because the surface of a 
shell is proportional to the square of its diameter. 

Hence the hydrostatic pressure per unit of surface is 16 times 
as great in case B as in case A. 

The elastic force of a gas, if the two bodies were at the same tem- 
perature, would be 8 times as great in case B as in case A, being in- 
versely as the volume. 

The hydrostatic pressure being 16 times as great, while the elastic 
force to counterbalance it is only 8 times as great, no equilibrium would 
be possible. To make it possible, the absolute temperature of the gas 
must be doubled, in order that the elastic force shall balance the 
pressure. 

That a mass can become hotter through cooling, may, at first sight, 
seem paradoxical. We shall, therefore, cite a result which is strictly 
analogous. If the motion of a comet is hindered by a resisting medium, 
the comet will continually move faster. The reason of this is that the 
first effect of the medium is to diminish the velocity of the object. 
Through this diminution of velocity, the comet falls towards the Sun. 
The increase of velocity caused by the fall more than counterbalances 
the diminution produced by the resistance. The result is that the comet 
takes up a more and more rapid motion, as it gradually approaches the 
Sun, in consequence of the resistance it suffers. In the same way, when 
a gaseous celestial body cools, the fall of its mass towards the center 
changes from a potential to an actual form an amount of energy greater 
than that radiated away. 

The critical reader will see a weak point in this reasoning, which it 
is necessary to consider. What we have really shown is that if the mass, 
assumed to be in a state of equilibrium when it has the size A, has to 
remain in equilibrium when it has the size B, then its temperature 
must be doubled. But we have not proved that its temperature actually 
will be doubled by the fall. In fact, it cannot be doubled unless the 



142 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

energy generated by the fall of the superficial portions towards the 
center is sufficient to double the absolute amount of heat. Whether 
this will be the case depends on a variety of circumstances; the mass of 
the whole body, and the capacity of its substance for heat. If we are to 
proceed with mathematical rigor, it is, therefore, necessary to determine 
in any given case whether this condition is fulfilled. Let us suppose 
that in any particular case the mass is so small or the capacity for heat 
so considerable that the temperature is not doubled by the contraction. 
Then the contraction will go on further and further, until the mass 
becomes a solid. But in this case let us reverse the process. The body 
being supposed nearly in a state of equilibrium in position A, let the 
elastic force be slightly in excess. Then the gas will expand. In order 
that it be reduced to a state of equilibrium by expansion, its tempera- 
ture must diminish according to the same law that it would increase if it 
contracted. When its diameter doubles, its temperature should be re- 
duced to one half or less by the expansion, in order that the equilibrium 
shall subsist. But, in the case supposed, the temperature is not reduced 
so much as this. Hence, it is too high for equilibrium by a still greater 
amount and the expansion must go on indefinitely. Thus, in the case 
supposed, the hypothetical equilibrium of the body is unstable. In 
other words, no such body is possible. 

This conclusion is of fundamental importance. It shows that the 
possible mass of a star must have an inferior limit, depending on the 
quantity of matter it contains, its elasticity under given circumstances 
and its capacity for heat. It is certain that any small mass of gas, 
taken into celestial space and left to itself, would not be kept together 
by the mutual attraction of its parts, but would merely expand into in- 
definite space. Probably this might be true of the earth, if it were 
gaseous. The computation would not be a difficult one to make, but 
I have not made it. 

In what precedes, we have supposed a single mass to contract. 
But our study of the relations of temperature and pressure in the two 
masses assumes no relationship between them, except that of equality. 
Let us now consider any two gaseous bodies, A and B, and suppose that 
the body B, instead of having the same mass as that of A, is another 
body with a different mass. 

Since the mass, B, may be of various sizes, according to the amount 
of attraction it has undergone, let us begin by supposing it to have the 
same volume as A, but twice the mass of A. We have then to inquire 
what must be its temperature in order that it may be in equilibrium. 
We have first to inquire into the hydrostatic pressure at any point of 
the interior. Referring once more to a figure like either of those in 
Fig. 2, a spherical shell like C D will now in the case of the more mass- 
ive body have double the mass of the corresponding shell of A. The 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 143 

attraction will also be doubled, because the diameter of the spherical 
shell is the same, while the amount of matter within it is twice as great. 
Hence the hydrostatic pressure per unit of surface will be four times as 
great, or will vary as the square of the density. The elasticity at equal 
temperatures being proportional to the density, it follows that were the 
temperature the same in the two 'masses, the elasticity would be double 
in the case of mass B; whereas, to balance the hydrostatic pressure it 
should be quadrupled. The temperature of B must, therefore, be twice 
as great as that of A. It follows that in the case of stars of equal 
volume, but of different masses, the temperature must be proportional 
to the mass of density. 

But how will it be if we suppose the density to be always the same, 
and, therefore, the mass to be proportional to the volume? In this 
case the attraction at a given point will be proportional to the diameter 
of the body. If, then, we suppose one body to have twice the diameter 
of the other, but to be of the same density, it follows that at correspond- 
ing points of the interior, the hydrostatic pressure will be twice as 
great in the larger body. The density being the same, it follows that the 
temperature must be twice as high in order that equilibrium may be 
maintained. It follows that the stars of the greatest mass will be at 
the highest temperature, unless their volume is so great that their den- 
sity is less than that of the smaller stars. 

Stellar Evolution. 

It follows from the theory set forth in the last chapter that the 
stars are not of fixed constitution, but are all going through a progress- 
ive change — cooling off and contracting into a smaller volume. If we 
accept this result, we find ourselves face to face with an unsolvable 
enigma — how did the evolution of the stars begin? To show the prin- 
ciple involved in the question, I shall make use of an illustration drawn 
from a former work.* An inquiring person wandering around in what 
he supposes to be a deserted building, finds a clock running. If he 
knows nothing about the construction of the clock, or the force neces- 
sary to keep it in motion, he may fancy that it has been running for 
an indefinite time just as he sees it, and that it will continue to run 
until the material of which it is made shall wear out. But if he is ac- 
quainted with the laws of mechanics, he will know that this is im- 
possible, because the continued movement of the pendulum involves 
a constant expenditure of energy. If he studies the construction of the 
clock, he will find the source of this energy in the slow falling of a 
weight suspended by a cord which acts upon a train of wheels. Watch- 
ing the motions, he will see that the scape wheel acting on the pendulum 

* 'Popular Astronomy,' by Simon Newcomb; Harper & Bros., New York. 



144 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

moves very perceptibly every second, while he must watch the next 
wheel for several seconds to see any motion. If the time at his disposal 
is limited, he will not be able to see any motion at all in the weight. 
But an examination of the machinery will show him that the weight 
must be falling at a certain rate, and he can compute that, at the end 
of a certain time, the weight will reach the bottom, and the clock 
will stop. He can also see that there must have been a point from 
above which the weight could never have fallen. Knowing the rate of 
fall, he can compute how long the weight occupied in falling from this 
point. His final conclusion will be that the clock must in some way 
have been wound up and set in motion a certain number of hours or 
days before his inspection. 

If the theory that the heat of the stars is kept up by their slow 
contraction is accepted, we can, by a similar process to this, compute 
that these bodies must have been larger in former times, and that there 
must have been some finite and computable period when they were all 
nebulas. Not even a nebula can give light without a progressive change 
of some sort. Hence, within a certain finite period the nebulae them- 
selves must have begun to shine. How did they begin? This is the 
unsolvable question. 

The process of stellar evolution may be discussed without consider- 
ing this question. Accepting as a fact, or at least as a working hypoth- 
esis, that the stars are contracting, we find a remarkable consistency 
in the results. Year by year laws are established and more definite con- 
clusions reached. It is now possible to speak of the respective ages of 
stars as they go through their progressive course of changes. This 
subject has been so profoundly studied and so fully developed by Sir 
William and Lady Huggins that I shall depend largely on their work 
in briefly developing the subject.* 

At the same time, in an attempt to condense the substance of many 
folio pages into so short a space, one can hardly hope to be entirely 
successful in giving merely the views of the original author. The fol- 
lowing may, therefore, be regarded as the views of Sir William Hug- 
gins, condensed and arranged in the order in which they present them- 
selves to the writer's mind. 

There is an infinite diversity among the spectra of the stars; scarcely 
two are exactly alike in all their details. But the larger number of these 
spectra, when carefully compared, may be made to fall in line, thus 
forming a series in which the passage of one spectrum into the next in 
order is so gradual as to indicate that the actual differences represent, 
in the main, successive epochs of star life rather than so many funda- 
mental differences of chemical constitution. Each star may be con- 
sidered to go through a series of changes analogous to those of a human 

* Publications of Sir William Huggins's Observatory, Vol. I; Lcnion, 1899. 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 145 

"being from birth to old age. In its infancy a star is simply a nebulous 
mass; it gradually condenses into a smaller volume, growing hotter, as 
set forth in the last chapter, until a stage of maximum temperature is 
reached, when it begins to cool off. Of the duration of its life we can- 
not form an accurate estimate. We can only say that it is to be reck- 
oned by millions, tens of millions or hundreds of millions of years. We 
thus view in the heavens stars ranging through the whole series from 
the earliest infancy to old age. How shall we distinguish the order of 
development? Mainly by their colors and their spectra. In its first 
stage the star is of a bluish white. It gradually passes through white 
into yellow and red. Sir William gives the following series of stars 
as an example of the successive orders of development: 

Sirius, a Lyrae. 
a Ursse Ma j oris. 
a Virginis. 
a Aouilae. 
BigeL 
a Cygni. 

Capella — The Sun. 

A returns. 
Aldebaran. 
a Orionis. 

The length of the life of a star has no fixed limit; it depends en- 
tirely on the mass. The larger the mass, the longer the life; hence a 
small star may pass from infancy to old age many times more rapidly 
than a large one. 

A remarkable confirmation of this order is found in the generally 
yellow or red color of the companions of bright stars in binary systems. 
The two stars of such a system naturally commenced their life history 
at the same epoch, but the smaller one, going through its changes 
more rapidly, is now found to be yellower than the other. Additional 
confirmation is afforded by the very great mass of the companions of 
Sirius and Procyon, notwithstanding the faintness of their light. 

At the same time, up to at least the yellow stage, the star continu- 
ally grows hotter as it condenses. A difficulty may here suggest itself 
in reconciling this order with a well-known physical fact. As a radiat- 
ing body increases in temperature, its color changes from red through 
yellow to white, and the average wave length of its light continually 
diminishes. We see a familiar example of this in the case of iron, 
which, when heated, is first red in color and then goes through the 
changes we have mentioned. The ordinary incandescent electric light 
is yellow; the arc light, the most intense that we can produce by 
artificial means, is white. When the spectrum of a body thus increasing 
in temperature is watched, the limit is found to pass gradually from the 

VOL. LVIII.— 10 



146 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

red toward the violet end. It would seem, therefore, that the hotter 
stars should be the white ones and the cooler the yellow or red ones. 

There are, however, two circumstances to be considered in connec- 
tion with the contracting star. In the first place, the light which we 
receive from a star does not emanate from its hottest interior, but from 
a region either upon or, in most cases, near its surface. It is, there- 
fore, the temperature of this region which determines the color of the 
light. In the next place, part of the light is absorbed by passing 
through the cooler atmosphere surrounding the star. It is only the 
light which escapes through this atmosphere that we actually see. 

In the case of the Sun all the light which it sends forth comes from 
an extreme outer surface, the photosphere. The most careful tele- 
scopic examination shows no depth to this surface. It sends light to 
us, as if it were an opaque body like a globe of iron. This surface 
would rapidly cool off were it not for convection currents bringing up 
heated matter from the interior. It might be supposed that such a 
current would result in the surface being kept at nearly as high a tem- 
perature as the interior; but, as a matter of fact, the opposite is the case. 
As the volume of gas rises, it expands from the diminished pressure and 
it is thus cooled in the very act of coming to the surface. 

In the case of younger stars, there is probably no photosphere 
properly so called. The light which they emit comes from a consider- 
able distance in the interior. Here the effect of gravity comes into 
play. The more the star condenses, the greater is gravity at its sur- 
face; hence the more rapidly does the density of the gas increase from 
the surface toward the interior. In the case of the Sun, the density of 
any gas which may immediately surround the photosphere must be 
doubled every mile or two of its depth until we reach the photosphere. 
But if the Sun were many times its present diameter, this increase 
would be less in a still larger proportion. Hence, when the volume is 
very great the increase of density is comparatively slow; there being no 
well-defined photosphere, the light reaches us from a much greater 
depth from the interior than it does at a later stage. 

The gradual passing of a white star into one of the solar type is 
marked by alterations in its spectrum. These alterations are especially 
seen in the behavior of the lines of hydrogen, calcium, magnesium and 
iron. The lines of hydrogen change from broad to thin; those of 
calcium constantly become stronger. 

Of the greatest interest is the question — at what stage does the 
temperature of the star reach its maximum and the body begin to cool? 
Has our Sun reached this stage? This is a question to which, owing 
to the complexity of the conditions, it is impossible to give a precise 
answer. It seems probable, however, that the highest temperature is 
reached in about the stage of our Sun. 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 147 

The general fact that every star has a life history — that this history 
will ultimately come to an end — that it must have had a beginning in 
time — is indicated by so great a number of concurring facts that no 
one who has most profoundly studied the subject can have serious 
doubts upon it. Yet there are some unsolved mysteries connected with 
the case, which might justify a waiting for further evidence, coupled 
with a certain degree of skepticism. Of the questions connected with 
the case the most serious one is: How is the supply of energy radiated 
by the Sun and stars kept up? Only one answer is possible in the light 
of recent science. It is that already given in the last chapter — the con- 
tinual contraction of volume. The radiant energy sent out is balanced 
by the continual loss of potential energy due to the contraction. 

On this theory the age of the Sun can be at least approximately 
estimated. About twenty millions of years is the limit of time during 
which it could possibly have radiated anything like its present amount 
of energy. But this conclusion is directly at variance with that of 
geology. The age of the earth has been approximately estimated from 
a great variety of geological phenomena, the concurring result being 
that stratification and other geological processes must have been going 
on for hundreds — nay, thousands of millions of years. This result is 
in direct conflict with the only physical theory which can account for 
the solar heat. 

The nebulae offer a similar difficulty. Their extreme tenuity and 
their seemingly almost unmaterial structure appear inadequate to ac- 
count for any such mutual gravitation of their parts as would result in 
the generating of the flood of energy which they are constantly radiat- 
ing. What we see must, therefore, suggest at least the possibility that 
all shining heavenly bodies have connected with them some form of 
energy of which science can, as yet, render no account. This suspicion 
cannot, however, grow into a certainty until we have either seen the 
nebulae contracting in volume or have made such estimates of their 
probable masses that we can compute the amount of contraction they 
must undergo to maintain the supply of energy. 

In the impressive words of Sir William Huggins: 

"We conclude filled with a sense of wonder at the greatness of the 
human intellect, which from the impact of waves of ether upon one 
sense-organ, can learn so much of the Universe outside our earth; but 
the wonder passes into awe before the unimaginable magnitude of Time, 
of Space and of Matter of this Universe, as if a Voice were heard saying 
to man : 'Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight.' " 



148 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



MICKOBES IN CHEESE-MAKING. 

By Professor H. VV. CONN, 

WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY. 

CHEMISTS tell us that cheese is one of the most nutritious and, at 
the same time, one of the cheapest of foods. Its nutritive value 
is greater than meat, while its cost is much less. But this chem- 
ical aspect of the matter does not express the real value of the cheese 
as a food. Cheese is eaten, not because of its nutritive value as ex- 
pressed by the amount of proteids, fats and carbohydrates that it con- 
tains, but always because of its flavor. Now, physiologists do not find 
that flavor has any food value. They teach over and over again that 
our foodstuffs are proteids, fats and carbohydrates, and that as food 
flavor plays absolutely no part. But, at the same time, they tell us that 
the body would be unable to live upon these foodstuffs were it not 
for the flavors. If one were compelled to eat pure food without flavors, 
like the pure white of an egg, it is doubtful whether one could, for 
a week at a time, consume a sufficiency of food to supply his bodily 
needs. Flavor is as necessary as nutriment. It gives a zest to the 
food, and thus enables us to consume it properly, and, secondly, it 
stimulates the glands to secrete, so that the foods may be satisfactorily 
digested and assimilated. The whole art of cooking, the great develop- 
ment of flavoring products, the high prices paid for special foods like 
lobsters and oysters — these and numerous other factors connected with 
food supply and production are based solely upon this demand for 
flavor. Flavor is a necessity, but it is not particularly important what 
the flavor may be. This is shown by the fact that different peoples 
have such different tastes in this respect. The garlic of the Italian 
and the red pepper of the Mexican serve the same purpose as the 
vanilla which we put in our ice-cream; and all play the part of giving 
a relish to the food and stimulating the digestive organs to proper 
activity. 

The primary value of cheeses is, then, in the flavors they possess. 
One can hardly realize the added pleasure they give to the life of hun- 
dreds of thousands of poor people whose food must be of the coarsest 
character. A bit of well-flavored cheese adds relish to the humblest 
meal and gives the highest delight. We must recognize, then, 
that the chief value of the cheese lies exactly in these flavors 
which the chemist does not include in his analysis of cheese and which 
the physiologist refuses to call food or to regard as having any nutritive 



MICROBES IN CHEESE-MAKING. 149 

value whatever. Incidentally, it is true that the cheese also furnishes 
a considerable amount of food material. Thus it nourishes as well as 
stimulates and delights; but, after all, we must recognize that its chief 
value is in its flavor rather than in its nutritive quality. 

Hence it becomes a very significant question to inquire into the 
source of this flavor. We find, first, that the cheese as originally made 
possesses no flavor, or, at least, none of that peculiar flavor which we 
know as cheesy. Cheese is made from milk by causing the casein in 
the milk to be precipitated, i. e., causing the milk to curdle, commonly 
by the addition of rennet, or, in so-called Dutch cheeses, by simply 
allowing the milk to sour. The precipitated casein is then separated 
from the liquids of the milk, and the curd, when subsequently pressed 
and molded, becomes the cheese. But the freshly-made cheese possesses 
no flavor, nor does the flavor develop to any degree until after it has 
passed through a process known as 'ripening.' The ripening of cheese 
may take several days or several months, or, in some cases, one or two 
years; but the flavor always arises during this process. Moreover, the 
various cheeses with their varieties of flavors are mostly made from the 
same kind of milk, but are subjected to different modes of ripening, and 
the distinctive quality in the endless types of cheeses is due in large 
measure to differences in the method of bringing about this ripening. 
Clearly enough the flavor is a product of cheese ripening, and if we wish 
to find the source of these most valuable flavors we must seek it in the 
ripening process. 

This cheese ripening proves to be a two-fold process. The first 
change in the cheese is a chemical one, which results in altering the 
chemical nature of the cheese in such a way as to render it more easy 
of digestion. This change appears to be due in part to a certain ferment 
which is found in milk. This material belongs to the class of chemical 
ferments or enzymes and is a normal constituent of milk, although 
its presence was not mistrusted until recently pointed out by two 
American investigators. With the chemical changes produced by this 
enzyme we are not here particularly concerned. It is certainly not the 
cause of all the flavors which develop in the cheeses, and, therefore, 
this character of the ripened cheese must be chiefly attributed to another 
factor. There is no doubt that this other factor is a living one. The 
flavors can generally be traced directly to the growth upon and within 
the cheese of a variety of plants; and the ripening is carried on in a 
fashion designed, at the same time, to stimulate the growth of some 
species of plants and to check the growth of others. 

Cheeses are of two kinds, hard and soft. As implied in the name, 
there is a difference in the consistency of the cheese. But this is not 
all; for on account of the methods of manufacturing, the ripening is 
produced by different classes of plants in the two classes of cheeses. 



150 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

In the soft cheese, the plants contributing most to the ripening and 
to the formation of the flavor are what are commonly called molds, at 
least in some cheeses, while in the hard cheeses the molds play probably 
no part, and bacteria are the most active agents in producing the flavors 
developed during the ripening. 

In making the soft cheeses — little known in this country — the 
general mode of procedure is as follows: The milk, sometimes whole 
milk, sometimes partly skimmed, is caused to curdle by the action of 
rennet. The curd is either cut to pieces by knives designed for the 
purpose, thus allowing the whey to drain off more readily, or it is 
simply ladled out of the vessel in which it curdled and placed at once 
into forms. As the whey is drawn off from the forms, through holes 
in the sides or through a false straw bottom, the curd soon assumes 
the shape of the forms. It is at first very soft, since it is subjected to 
no pressure whatever. At short intervals this soft mass is turned, 
so as to rest upon a new surface, and this turning is continued for two 
or three days. By this time the curd has become dry and consistent 
enough to handle, and it is then carried off to the cheese cellar for 
ripening. The details of this process differ considerably. In quite a 
number of cheeses particular methods are adopted to favor and hasten 
the growth of molds. Sometimes it is laid upon special straw mats 
or wrapped in straw, which, having been used over and over again 
in the dairy, has become thoroughly impregnated with mold spores. 
The cheese is then placed in a cool, damp atmosphere, which causes 
the spores to germinate and grow upon the cheese, already 
slightly acid, and in a condition favorable to the growth of molds. 
They grow rapidly over the whole surface of the cheese, and this 
step in the process is not ended until a good covering of molds has 
developed. Sometimes, indeed, special methods are adopted to insure 
their proper development. In making the Eoquefort cheese 
specially prepared bread is allowed to mold, and after it becomes 
thoroughly impregnated with the mold it is finely grated to a powder 
and mixed with the curd as it is placed in the form for shaping. 
Fine holes are pierced in the cheese by a special machine to let in the 
air which is necessary for the luxuriant growth of the molds. Such 
treatment insures, of course, a very rapid growth of these plants, inside 
as well as outside. Most commonly, however, the cheese-maker depends 
upon his straw mats for the molds, and expects them to grow chiefly on 
the surface. The molds which develop in the cheese are not all of the 
same species. The common blue mold is most usual, but most cheeses 
are not properly ripened until several species of molds grow together 
within them. 

The development of molds, however, is by no means the end of the 
ripening, but rather its beginning. Indeed, in some of the soft cheeses 



MICROBES IN CHEESE-MAKING. 151 

their growth is entirely prevented by a thorough salting and washing 
of the surface. In such cheeses the mold may grow within the 
mass, but not on the surface. Whichever method is used, however, 
the cheese is presently removed to the so-called 'cheese cellar' for its 
proper ripening. These cellars may be cool, damp rooms, or caves, and 
the flavor of some kinds of cheeses is largely due to the nature of the 
caves in which the subsequent ripening is carried on. In these cellars 
there is a constant but not very high temperature, and the atmosphere 
is generally damp. Since the temperature and the moisture are kept 
as constant as possible during the whole year, the cheese ripening can 
continue slowly and indefinitely. To a considerable extent differences 
in the ripening of soft cheeses are due to the different temperatures 
of the cheese cellars, and this determines the kind of plant life that 
shall flourish in this soft, nutritious food. 

After the removal to the ripening chambers, a new series of changes 
begins in the cheese, due to new kinds of plant life. But as yet neither 
the cheese-maker nor the bacteriologist, who has studied the matter 
most carefully, can tell us much of the nature of the actual changes 
which occur during this ripening. When the cheese is placed in the 
ripening chamber it is certain that the growth of the molds is largely 
stopped, and it is also certain that here begins a growth of a new class of 
plants which we call bacteria. This moldy cheese, rendered alkaline by 
the growth of the molds, furnishes a favorable medium for the 
growth of different species of bacteria. At high temperatures they 
would speedily decompose the mass, even to extreme putrefaction, but 
at the low temperatures of the cheese cellars a complete putrefaction 
does not occur. Bacteria growth takes place probably in all soft cheeses, 
and as a result the nature of the cheese is profoundly modified. 
Numerous new chemical products make their appearance, either as by- 
products of decomposition or as actual secretions from the growing bac- 
teria and molds. These new products have strong tastes and odors which, 
as they slowly develop, gradually produce the characteristic flavor of 
the ripened cheese. If the ripening continue long enough the decompo- 
sition grows too advanced even for the strongest palate. But when the 
proper ripening has been acquired and the tastes and flavors are of the 
desired character, the cheese is sent to market, highly flavored by the 
joint action of the bacteria and molds. It is still soft and moist, and the 
ripening process continues, so that the cheese will not keep good for a 
very long time. But while it is in the proper condition it furnishes the 
educated palate with a flavoring product of great intensity, and most 
highly relished by the numerous lovers of soft cheeses. 

While such is the general method of manufacture of the soft cheeses, 
it must be recognized that the details of the manufacture differ widely. 
Differences in the kind of milk used, whether whole milk, skim milk, 



152 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

sheep's milk, goat's milk, etc., differences in the handling of the soft 
curd, differences in the amount of salting and drying, differences in the 
temperature and moisture of the 'cheese cellar/ all result in the growth 
of different kinds of molds and bacteria, producing variously flavored 
products. It is evident, too, that the character of the product will de- 
pend upon the abundance and varieties of the plants which furnish the 
flavor. Unless a dairy is supplied with the proper species of molds and 
bacteria, it is hopeless to expect the desired results. Here lies the work 
which the scientist must perform for the further development of the 
cheese industry. 

The second type of cheeses, with which we are more familiar in 
this country, is the type of hard cheeses. These are not only of denser 
consistency, but they have commonly a less pronounced taste and odor 
and are not so suggestive of decomposition. They are, also, commonly 
made in much larger form, their denser nature making it possible for 
them to be made in very large sizes. They keep longer and are, there- 
fore, much more generally exported into different countries. 

The difference between the hard and soft cheeses, great as it is in the 
perfected article, is due to quite slight variations in the method of manu- 
facture. The hard cheeses are made from curdled milk, curdled in just 
the same way as in the making of soft cheeses. But, after the curdling 
and the cutting up the curd to allow the whey to separate, the curd is 
broken up into small bits and placed in forms, where it is subjected to 
heavy pressure. Sometimes, immediately after the cutting of the curd, 
it is subjected to a moderate heat. For example, the Swiss cheeses are 
heated to about 110° Fahr. for a short time after cutting up the curd. 
This heating changes the nature of the curd somewhat and gives it 
a tougher and more elastic texture. In all the hard cheeses the curd is 
finally placed in wooden forms and then subjected to pressure, moderate 
at first, but soon increased until the pressure is quite high. This pres- 
sure converts the curd into a very dense, compact mass, and one in which 
microscopic plants cannot so readily grow. 

But the hard cheeses require a ripening to develop the flavor as well 
as the soft cheeses, and the ripening is a longer and slower process. The 
pressed cheese is placed in rooms, or caves, or other locality where the 
temperature is not very variable or where it can, perhaps, be artificially 
controlled. Here it remains for weeks and frequently for months, dur- 
ing which time it slowly changes its chemical nature as a result of the 
action of the chemical or organic ferments, and simultaneously acquires 
the flavors which characterize the perfected product. 

It is generally believed that the flavors here, as well as in the soft 
cheeses, are due to the growth of microscopic plants; but the subject 
has proved a very difficult one to investigate. Molds play little or no 
part in ripening the hard cheeses. Indeed, their growth is prevented by 



MICROBES IN CHEESE-MAKING. 153 

salting, oiling and rubbing the surface. But bacteria appears to have, 
if not the chief share, certainly a large share in the production of the 
flavors. Experiment has shown that bacteria grow abundantly in the 
cheese during the ripening; that some species of bacteria can produce in 
milk flavors similar to those found in the ripened cheese; that treat- 
ment which prevents the growth of bacteria prevents also the develop- 
ment of the flavors in the cheese. Further, in the manufacture of the 
famous Holland cheese (Edam cheese), the cheese-makers have learned 
fliat by planting certain species of bacteria in the milk out of which 
the cheese is to be made, the ripening may be hastened and made more 
uniform. In Holland about one third of the cheese is made by thus 
inoculating the milk with 'slimy whey,' which is simply a mass of whey 
containing in great numbers certain species of bacteria. These facts 
indicate strongly that the bacteria are agents in this flavor production. 
But, at the same time, the subject has proved so difficult of investiga- 
tion that our bacteriologists are as yet by no means satisfied with the 
results. Indeed, they differ very decidedly in their conclusions. Some 
believe that the ripening is chiefly due to the same class of bacteria 
which produce the souring of milk; others think it due to bacteria which 
produce an alkaline rather than acid reaction; some believe it to be a 
combination of the two, while others, again, decide that cheese ripen- 
ing is a long process, involving the action of many species of bacteria 
and perhaps of molds as well. The difficulty lies in the fact that, 
since the ripening is a long process, many species of bacteria are 
found in the cheese at different times. This makes it almost impos- 
sible to determine what is the cause of the ripening and what is only 
incidental. 

It will be readily understood that the problem of cheese ripening is 
one most eagerly studied by bacteriologists. The immense financial in- 
terests involved in the discovery of definite methods of handling the 
manufacture and the ripening of cheese would insure this, entirely inde- 
pendently of any scientific interest. A very large per cent, of cheeses are 
ruined by improper ripening, and the discovery of methods for prevent- 
ing this loss would mean the saving of millions of dollars annually. 
Moreover, many favorite cheeses have hitherto been capable of manu- 
facture only in certain localities, probably because these localities are 
filled with the peculiar species of micro-organisms needed for their 
ripening. If it were possible to cultivate the requisite organisms and 
use them for artificial inoculation, it might be possible to manufacture 
any type of cheese anywhere. Already it has been found that new 
cheese factories may sometimes be stocked with the proper micro- 
organisms by rubbing the shelves and vessels with fresh cheeses imported 
from localities where the desired variety is nominally made. It is 
evident that immense financial interests may be involved in the proper 



154 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

scientific solution of the micro-organisms for cheese ripening, and the 
practical application of the facts to cheese making. 

As the result of these facts, many bacteriologists are engaged in the 
study of the problems connected with cheese ripening. Many new dis- 
coveries have been made, and various practical suggestions in cheese 
making have resulted from these researches. But every bacteriologist 
has been studying a different problem. In Holland some valuable studies 
of the ripening of Edam cheese have been made, but naturally, the re- 
sults differ decidedly from those obtained by Swiss bacteriologists in 
their study of the ripening of Swiss cheeses, inasmuch as the Holland 
cheese itself is such a different product from that made in Switzerland. 
The study of cheese ripening in our own country will probably show 
little agreement with the researches in Europe, since our cheeses differ so 
much in taste from most of the continental cheeses, although they are 
not so very unlike the English cheeses. In short, the problems to be 
solved are as numerous as the varieties of cheese, and each problem has 
shown itself to be so complex as, thus far, almost to baffle the most 
patient investigation. It is true that one or two bacteriologists have 
announced that they have discovered the species of bacteria and molds 
which produce the ripening of the particular type of cheese that they 
have been studying, and in some cases cultures of these bacteria have 
been placed on the market for use in cheese making. In one case, a 
scientist announces that he has made many thousands of pounds of 
cheese by means of his artificial cultures and has met with the highest 
success. But, in general, these cultures have been of problematical 
value, none of them having, as yet, resulted in the extension of the 
manufacture of special types of cheeses in localities where it had been 
hitherto impossible. 

As stated before, this country is perhaps more interested in the suc- 
cessful issue of these investigations than any other. Hitherto, Swiss 
cheeses have been made in Switzerland, Holland cheeses in Holland 
and all other types of cheeses in their own rather limited localities. This 
includes hard cheeses as well as soft. If we desire any of these prod- 
ucts we are obliged, in the main, to import them. Certain imitations 
have been produced in this country, it is true; but the imitations are 
more in shape than in quality. If it were possible, however, for our 
dairymen to learn a method of making, not inferior imitations of Euro- 
pean cheeses, but products actually their equal in flavor and quality, it 
is certain that an immense market would be speedily opened to them. 
This condition is probably dependent upon the success of the scientist in 
solving the problem of regulating the growth of bacteria and molds in 
the ripening cheese. As fast as the bacteriologist succeeds in showing 
how the ripening process may be so controlled as to make it possible 
for our dairymen to produce cheeses similar in character and equal in 



MICROBES IN CHEESE-MAKING. 155 

grade to those of the European market, we may look for the expansion of 
the industry. 

What the future may develop cannot be foretold. The problem is a 
large one, but the fruits of successful solution are great. Students of 
dairy bacteriology recognize the possibilities and have in recent years 
turned their attention quite largely to this subject. From continued 
experiments and investigations we may confidently expect some prac- 
tical results, and it is not at all improbable that in a few years at all 
events, we may see an almost complete revolution in the manufacture of 
cheeses, especially in such a large country as this, where the possibilities 
for the development of cheese manufacture are almost unlimited, and 
where the demand must be as varied as the population. 



156 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



SUBMARINE NAVIGATION. 

By Professor W. P. BRADLEY, 

WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY. 

IN a paper read before the Society of Naval Architects, Nov. 11, 
1898, Lieut. Commander W. W. Kimball, who commanded the 
torpedo flotilla during the war with Spain, said: "If it be granted 
that the surface torpedo boat has a place in naval warfare, and that 
her primary duty is the attack by night upon ships attempting blockade 
or raiding operations, then most assuredly the submarine torpedo boat 
has a most important tactical place, since she, and she alone, is com- 
petent to deliver a torpedo attack by day upon ships attempting 
blockading, bombarding or raiding operations. She is the only kind 
of inexpensive craft that can move up to a battleship in daylight, in 
the face of her fire and in spite of her supporting destroyers, and force 
that ship to move off or receive a torpedo. That there is no physical 
difficulty in the problem, is amply proved by the accurate functioning 
of the boat now in this harbor (the 'Holland'), which has shown to 
scores of doubters that perfect control in both the vertical and hori- 
zontal planes has been accomplished, that the boat can be held at any 
depth to within a foot, and be made to take porpoise-like dives, ex- 
posing the conning tower for only six or eight seconds, and can be 
steered on any desired course." 

Rear-Admiral Jouett testified before the Senate Committee on 
Naval Affairs: "If I commanded a squadron that was blockading a port, 
and the enemy had half a dozen of these Holland submarine boats, I 
would be compelled to abandon the blockade and put to sea, to avoid 
destruction of my ships from an invisible source from which I could 
not defend myself." 

Lieut. A. P. Niblack, who commanded the torpedo boat 'Winslow' 
during the latter part of the war, wrote in 'Marine Engineering/ 
December, 1898: "The crowning virtue of a submarine boat is that it 
makes blockades almost impossible. Strategically in war, it has a 
place all to itself." He is authority also for the statement: "If Spain 
had had the 'Holland' at Santiago, the blockade of that port by the 
United States would have been impossible, within the radius of action 
of the boat." 

Admiral Dewey testified before the House Committee on Naval 
A Hairs, April 23, 1900: "I saw the operation of the boat ('Holland') 
down off Mount Vernon the other day. I said then, and I have said 



SUBMARINE NAVIGATION. 157 

it since, that if they (the Spanish) had had two of those things in 
Manila, I never could have held it with the squadron I had." 

Rear-Admiral Philip Hichborn, Chief of the Bureau of Construc- 
tion, writes in 'Engineering Magazine' for June, 1900: "Submarines 
can secure our coasts more perfectly than they can be secured in any 
other way at present practicable." 

Mr. W. E. Eckert, consulting engineer of the Union Iron Works, 
of San Francisco, which built the 'Oregon' and the 'Olympia,' said, 
after the trial of the 'Holland' of September, 1899, in Peconic Bay, 
Long Island: "I have been on the trial trips of many of the new 
vessels built for the Government, and would say that I would feel safer 
in the Holland boat when under water than in the engine or fire rooms 
of any of the fast torpedo boats." 

Rear-Admiral Endicott says: "The Holland submarine torpedo 
boat will revolutionize the world's naval warfare. It will make the 
navies of the world playthings in the grasp of the greatest naval engine 
in history." 

However successful or safe submarine navigation may be to-day, 
the story of its development shows sufficiently that the risks to be 
taken have been very great, even though the actual loss of life incurred 
has been, on the whole, remarkably slight. To the venturesome spirits 
who have sought thus to master the ocean depths the risk involved has 
only added a new fascination. 

The history of man's attempts to penetrate the depths of the ocean 
is not brief. The diving-suit, indeed, is modern, but the diving-bell 
appears to have been known in the time of Aristotle and diving itself is 
as old as man. 

But essential mastery of the depths can never be attained by these 
means. The expert diver can remain below but two minutes or so, 
at the most. The tenant of a diving bell or suit is not, indeed, so 
limited in time, but, because absolutely dependent upon the flexible 
tube by means of which air is pumped down to him by companions 
at the surface, he is limited in space, and, by conditions of weather 
and sea, is limited also as to times. In no such sense is he independent 
as is the captain of an ocean greyhound or man-of-war, or even as 
the lone lobsterman at the helm of an undecked boat. To be master 
under water one must navigate under water, and any contrivance 
deserving the name of submarine boat must be able not only to sink 
beneath the surface, but also by its own power to move about under 
water for a reasonable time freely and independently. They who go 
down to the sea in suits and bells are not navigators. 

The number of recorded attempts truly to navigate under water is 
surprisingly large. In a report of the United States Fortifications 



158 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

Board made in 1885 to the Forty-ninth Congress may be found a 
selected list of about fifty submarine boats. This list extends over a pe- 
riod of three centuries. It includes no boats which have been projected 
or described merely, nor even those which have been patented merely, 
but only such as had been actually built and practically tried up to 
that date. In the invention of these boats and in experimenting with 
them have been engaged the citizens of England, France, Holland, 
Spain, the Scandinavian countries, Italy, Eussia and the United States 
— nearly all of the civilized countries. England has probably accom- 
plished as little in this direction as any nation. France has shown 
by far the greatest zeal as a nation, and, on the whole, has been the 
most prolific. But the greatest practical success has been attained un- 
doubtedly in our own country. 

It would be a thankless as well as a wearisome task merely to enu- 
merate the vessels of this list, still more so to describe them all, how- 
ever briefly. Most of them were of ephemeral interest only. But there 
are some which should be mentioned in any account of submarine 
navigation, however concise. 

Thus, in 1624 a Hollander named Cornelius Van Drebbell con- 
structed a boat which was tried with some success in the Thames at 
London. James I. is said on one occasion at least to have been a 
witness of the experiments. But navigation under water in that day 
was an uncanny thing. Drebbell was regarded first as a magician, then 
as a madman, and then as an agent of the devil. Meeting no encourage- 
ment he died, and his secret died with him. It is curious to notice that 
Drebbell claimed to have discovered a certain fluid which possessed the 
power of purifying air vitiated by respiration. He called it 'Quint- 
essence of Air.' From the standpoint of present knowledge this singu- 
lar name and Drebbell's claim for the liquid are very suggestive. Oxy- 
gen was not discovered, as we believe, until a century and a half after 
Drebbell's time. But oxygen is the life-giving component of air. 
Moreover, volumetrically oxygen is the 'quintessence' — the fifth part — 
of air. Is it possible that Drebbell had discovered some liquid which 
easily disengaged the then unknown oxygen gas and thus was able to 
restore to vitiated air that principle of which respiration deprives it? 
Undoubtedly not. It is much more likely that he possessed a solution 
capable of absorbing the carbonic acid gas which is produced by respi- 
ration, and that the name given it was entirely fanciful and without 
special significance. But even if Drebbell's claim was a piece of pure 
quackery, with no substantial basis at all, it is nevertheless not without 
interest, for it shows, as we might have anticipated, that the problem of 
ventilation, one of the most important with which the inventors of 
submarines have had to deal, was at least appreciated by Drebbell the 
pioneer. 



SUBMARINE NAVIGATION. 



159 



In the latter half of the eighteenth century, an engineer named Day 
made one successful dive in the harbor of Plymouth, England, in a 
boat of his own designing. He went down a second time and did not 
return. 

It may be said in general that the necessities and opportunities of 
war have always been the greatest, indeed, almost the only incentive to 
experiments under water. The War of Independence proved remark- 
ably stimulating to submarine invention. In 1775 David Bushnell, of 
Connecticut, constructed a diving boat for use against English men-of- 
war. A minute description of this boat is contained in a letter written 
by him to Thomas Jefferson in 1787. It resembled externally two 
upper turtle shells joined together by their edges, whence its name 
'Tortoise.' It carried a crew of one man, but this man was not David 






Fig. 1. The Confederate Submarine Boat which Sank the U. S. Steamship ' Housatonic 
in Charleston Harbor During the Civil War. 

Bushnell, as it appears! During the harbor trials the boat was con- 
nected with the dock by means of a rope so that it might be recovered 
in case of accident. David Bushnell manipulated the safer end of 
this rope on the dock, while his brother, Ezra, and afterwards Sergeant 
Lee, did their best to learn the proper use of the mechanism within. 

The following year, the first of the war, Sergeant Lee steered the 
'Tortoise' beneath the hull of the British ship 'Eagle,' of 64 guns, 
lying off Governor's Island in New York harbor. He attempted to 
fix to her bottom a torpedo by means of a wood screw, but being 
rather unskillful still in maneuvering the 'Tortoise,' he lost the 'Eagle' 
altogether and was finally forced to the surface for air. Daybreak 
prevented further operations at that time. Two similar attempts were 
afterwards made on the Hudson, but they also failed and the 'Tortoise' 
was finally sunk by a shot. 



160 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

In 1800 Bobert Fulton, the father of steam navigation, built a 
very successful diving boat for Napoleon. It was called the 'Nautilus/ 
and possibly suggested the theme of that fascinating story, 'Twenty 
Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.' By its use, he actually succeeded 
in blowing up in the harbor of Brest an old hulk which had been 
provided for the purpose. But Napoleon's favor proved fickle, and 
Fulton's success led to nothing further at the time. 

Early in the Civil War the Federal government entered into negoti- 
ations with a certain Frenchman to build and operate a submarine boat 
against Confederate vessels. It was desired in particular to blow up 
the Confederate 'Merrimac' in Norfolk harbor. Ten thousand dollars 
was to be paid for the boat when finished and $5,000 for each success- 
ful attack with her. The boat was constructed at the navy yard at 
Washington and paid for, whereupon the wily Frenchman decamped 
with his money, leaving the government to learn the secret of running 
the craft. This they never did. In fact, it seemed the general opinion 
that even the Frenchman would have experienced some difficulty in 
so doing. 

Much more successful were the Confederates. The following ac- 
count is condensed from Admiral Porter's 'Naval History of the Civil 
War': On the 17th of February, 1864, the fine new Federal vessel 'Hou- 
satonic,' 1,261 tons, lay outside the bar in Charleston harbor. At 
8:45 p. m. Acting Master Crosby discovered something about 100 yards 
away which looked like a plank moving through the water directly 
toward his ship. All the officers of the squadron had been officially in- 
formed of the fact that the Confederates had constructed a number of 
diving boats, called for some reason 'Davids,' and that they were 
planning mischief against the Northern navy. Moreover, a bold, 
though unsuccessful, attempt of four months before to blow up the 
Federal 'Ironsides' was fresh in the minds of all. When, therefore, 
the officer of the deck aboard the 'Housatonic' saw this object ap- 
proaching, he instantly ordered the anchor chain slipped, the engines 
backed and all hands called on deck. It was too late. In less than 
two minutes from the time of first discovery the infernal machine was 
alongside. A torpedo carried at the end of a pole thrust out from the 
bow of the stranger struck the 'Housatonic' just forward of the main- 
mast on the starboard side in direct line with the magazine. A terrific 
explosion took place, and the 'Housatonic' rose in the water as if lifted 
by an earthquake, heeled to port and sank at once, stern foremost. 
The crew, who most fortunately had reached the deck, took to the rig- 
ging and were soon rescued by boats from the 'Canandaigua,' which 
lay not far oil'. The 'David' was afterwards found fast in the hole 
made by her own torpedo. She had been sucked in by the rush of 
water which filled the sinking wreck. Her crew of nine were all dead 



SUBMARINE NAVIGATION. 



161 



— killed doubtless not by drowning, though they must eventually 
have been drowned, nor as it would seem by suffocation, though in the 
end that would have followed; but probably by the concussion of their 
own torpedo. 

The sublime heroism of these men is accentuated by the previous 
history of the 'David' to which they entrusted their lives. In her trial 
trip this boat sank for some unknown reason and her entire crew was 
drowned. Lieutenant Payne, her commander, escaped as by a miracle 
and succeeded in making his way to the surface. No sooner was the 
boat recovered from the bottom than he offered to try again. A new 
crew volunteered, and all went well for a time. But one night off Fort 
Sumter the boat capsized and four only escaped. The next essay 
was made under the lead of one of the men who had constructed the 
boat. This time she sank again and all hands were drowned. It was 




Fig. 2. Goubet's Submarine Toepedo Boat. 



such a boat, with such a history, in which that gallant crew of the 17th 
of February faced death and found it. North and South are united 
to-day as never before. We are permitted to treasure the memory of 
these brave men. They belonged to the same section as Hobson and 
displayed the same sublime heroism at Charleston as did he and his 
comrades at Santiago harbor. 

The close of the Civil War marks an era in the history of submarine 
navigation. Previous to that time nearly all the boats were crudely 
designed and crudely built. Moreover, the nature and magnitude of 
the problems to be solved had not as yet been adequately understood. 
Whatever practical success has been achieved since is due to the fact 
that these problems have been thoughtfully and carefully studied, that 
those who have studied them have been in general better equipped 
therefor by education and training and have laid under requisition 
all the wealth of modern mechanical and physical science. 

Of the many boats of this period, some of which have been quite 

VOL. LVIII 11 



1 62 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

successful, one may easily recall the French 'Le Plongeur,' the 'Gustav 
Zede/ the 'Morse/ the 'Narval,' the Nordenfeldt boats and those of 
Goubet and Baker. Here also belong, of course, the latest and most 
successful boats of all, the 'Holland' and Mr. Lake's 'Argonaut,' of 
which some account will follow. 

Turning now from the history of submarine navigation to a con- 
sideration of certain practical problems connected with it, we are 
brought at the outset face to face with a fact of fundamental sig- 
nificance, namely, that even with the aid of very powerful electric 
illumination it is not possible to see clearly through ordinary sea 
water for more than a few feet. According to Mr. Lake of the 'Argo- 
naut,' about fifteen feet is the limit of visibility in our Northern waters, 
and about twice that in Southern. Submarine navigation is like navi- 
gation in the densest sort of a fog. High speed under water is just as 
possible mechanically as upon the surface. But the fact just stated 
is a death blow to high speed. Unless there shall be discovered some 
hitherto unsuspected means of perceiving at a distance invisible ob- 
jects, high speed will unquestionably be fraught with great peril. 

For the same reason it will probably be found impracticable to 
attempt very long journeys under water. There will probably never 
be trans-sub-atlantic lines, much less submarine greyhounds. 

In fact, practical inventors of submarine craft, at least of late years, 
have ceased to attempt to provide more than a surface-going boat which 
shall be able at any time or place to dive beneath the surface to the 
depth desired, to remain under water for considerable periods of time, 
either stationary or moving, with both safety and comfort to the crew, 
and then, the purpose of the dive having been accomplished, to return 
speedily and safely to the surface. Even these requirements constitute 
a pretty large contract, but that they have been met satisfactorily ap- 
pears sufficiently, so far as the 'Holland' at least is concerned, from the 
quotations given at the beginning of the article, and from the further 
fact that our government, ultra-conservative in adopting new devices 
for use in warfare, has purchased the 'Holland,' which is now at New- 
port in charge of Lieutenant Caldwell, Admiral Dewey's aid at Manila, 
and that Congress has authorized the building of six more 'Holland' 
boats of an improved type. Two of these are now being built at the 
Union Iron Works, at San Francisco, the rest at Elizabethport, N. J. 

Obviously, a prime essential for any sojourn under water is an ample 
supply of pure air. When possible to make use of it there is but one 
rational source of pure air, and that is the exhaustless supply at the 
surface. Provided she herself secures it, a submarine boat does not 
in the least surrender her independence by utilizing this supply. This 
the 'Argonaut' does at ordinary depths by means of a pair of vertical 
tubes, one for inflow, the other for discharge. 



SUBMARINE NAVIGATION. 



163 



The method answers very well for the peaceful commercial work 
of the 'Argonaut.' In war, however, this would usually he impossible. 
The 'Holland' in action must he entirely concealed from the enemy 
for considerable periods of time. The normal air capacity of her hull 
is, therefore, supplemented by compressed air tanks capable of with- 
standing pressures upwards of a ton to the inch, and of holding 4,000 
feet of free air compressed into the volume of thirty cubic feet. These 
tanks are recharged by her own engines when at the surface. 

Ever since the days of Drebbell's 'Quintessence of Air' a great deal 
of thought has been given to the problem of purifying the air once 




Fig 3. The 'Argonaut' in Dry Dock. 

vitiated by respiration and thus rendering it tit for use again. While 
it would seem to be a very simple task to restore from tanks or by chemi- 
cal generation within the boat the oxygen which respiration consumes, 
and to absorb the water vapor and carbonic acid gas which respira- 
tion produces, those who have built the latest boats seem to have aban- 
doned the attempt entirely. It is easy to imagine emergencies where 
fresh air could not well be obtained, and where such means of restoring 
air once breathed would be of prime value. 

Objects under water are subject to pressure, which varies with the 
depth of submergence. At a depth of thirty-three feet this water pres- 



164 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



sure is about fifteen pounds to the squrre inch, or more than a ton to 
the foot. Solid construction is naturally in order for a submarine 
boat. But power to resist pressure depends also upon shape. A cir- 
cular section, because it involves the principle of the arch, is the strong- 
est. With a given thickness of metal, therefore, a spherical boat 
could safely dive deeper than one of any other form. But the ex- 
terior of such a boat is ill-adapted to propulsion, and the interior for 
the arrangement of machinery. 

Since the days of Captain Nemo and the fabulous 'Nautilus' the 
cigar shape has doubtless been associated with submarine navigation in 




&&5E^ 



Fig 4. The 'Holland' in Dry I j. 



the minds of ninety-nine out of every hundred persons who have 
thought of the matter at all. And it is equally a matter of sober his- 
tory that this form has been almost universally adopted. Some in- 
ventors in the earlier days, with the vision of high speed in mind, have 
trimmed down the lines to almost needle-like fineness, as in the 'Gustar 
Zede.' Now that attempts at high speed have been abandoned, the 
elongated spheroidal or egg-shape is the favorite, as illustrated both 
by the 'Holland' and the 'Argonaut.' 

But what of power for locomotion under water? Obviously steam 
power, at least as ordinarily produced elsewhere, will not do. Even 
supposing the necessary draft to be secured, how shall the smoke be 



><l r I IMA JUNE NAVIGATION. 



165 



concealed, and how shall the crew endure the excessive temperature 
to which coal fires with little ventilation would subject them? For- 
tunately, the problem of power for propulsion is much simplified by 
the fact already mentioned, that for the most part, even a submarine 
boat lives and moves and has its being on the surface. When at the 
surface, steam power may be used as on any boat. Many of the earlier 
boats were thus equipped with boilers and steam engines. These 
served not only for surface propulsion, but were used also to store up 




Fig. 0. Sketch of the 'Argonaut' as She Might Appear at the Bottom of the Sea. 

energy in the form of electricity or compressed air to be available as 
power when diving. 

Nowadays gasoline and oil motors have been so perfected and 
they allow such economy of fuel space and withal such freedom from 
the dust, smoke and heat incident to a steam plant that they are com- 
ing into very general use, both afloat and ashore, where moderate 
amounts of power are required. Both the 'Holland' and the 'Argo- 
naut' are equipped with gasoline engines. As these require for their 
operation much larger quantities of air than can be conveniently sup- 
plied from compressed air tanks, wherever concealment is necessary 



1 66 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



and a supply of air from the surface is out of the question, recourse is 
stili had as before to some form of storage power for propulsion. At 
present this is always electric. 

The problem of diving demands attention next. For surface sailing 
a submarine boat, like any other, needs considerable buoyancy, so as 
to float with a considerable fraction of its bulk free above water. For 
diving, on the other hand, her buoyancy must be very small. These 
conditions are met by varying the amount of ballast carried. This is 
universally done by admitting water into, or expelling it from, suitable 
air-tight tanks distributed through the bottom of the boat. The filling 
of these tanks recuircs only the opening of a valve. To empty them 




' , "*wp* s ""» 




Fig. 6. Photographs of a Trial of the 'Holland,' showing her in Cruising Trim, 
in Diving Trim, Diving, and Rising after the Dive. 



requires power. Formerly this was done by means of pumps. But 
pumping is slow work. A much more expeditious method of emptying 
the water tanks is to blow out the water by admitting compressed air 
from the reservoirs. The air so used is finally delivered into the living 
rooms for breathing, and the pressure in the reservoirs is restored 
again win n at the surface. By thus varying the quantity of ballast a 
boat may be caused to sink, or, if already beneath the water, be caused 
to rise to the surface either slowly or rapidly as may be desired. It 
is easy to imagine circumstances, either accidental or otherwise, where 
a very sudden return to the surface might be imperative. To provide 
for this in emergencies the most practical boats are furnished with 



SUBMARINE NA VIGA TION. 



167 



a very heavy false keel of iron, which may almost instantly be de- 
tached by the throwing of a lever or the turning of a screw within the 
boat, The effect is precisely the same as that produced by throwing 
out a large quantity of ballast from the car of a balloon. 

To sink a boat, take on sufficient ballast; to rise, discharge ballast, as, 
in a balloon. But the ballast that will sink a boat beneath the surface aft 
all will sink her to the bottom, and on the other hand if ballast be- 
discharged until the rise begins, the rise will continue till the boat is, 
again at the surface. To regulate the depth of submergence, therefore-,, 
something more is needed than mere adjustment of ballast. Practi- 
cally there are but two ways of securing this regulation. One, repre- 




Fig. 7. Cross Section of the 'Holland' Amidships. 

sented in the Nordenfeldt boats and in some others, depends on the 
action of propellers arranged to act vertically instead of horizontally 
as do the ordinary. Although this method has the advantage of 
being applicable whether the boat is progressively in motion or not, 
it is now entirely abandoned. No sane person would advocate lateral 
propellers for moving a boat to right or left, and the disadvantages of 
vertical propellers for vertical motion are of the same order. The 
'Holland' dives, rises or runs at a constant depth by the use of a rud- 
der at the stern set at right angles to that for steering to right and 
left. By means of this rudder in the hands of a skilled steersman the 
'Holland' can be held for a mile or over to within less than a foot of 
any depth desired. „ _, ^ 



168 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

As may be inferred from the quotations at the beginning of this 
article, the 'Holland' certainly embodies the highest attainments ever 
made in a submarine war vessel. In the words of Eear Admiral 
Hichborn, "The 'Holland' is an improvement upon anything that has 
ever been built in the history of the world." She is fifty-four feet long 
and is able with her forty-five H. P. gasoline engines to run consider- 
ably more than a thousand miles on the surface without recourse to 
any base of supplies, and, with her storage batteries and electric motors, 
thirty miles under water. Her offensive equipment is represented by 
an expulsion tube and three Whitehead torpedoes. 

Her plan of operations when in the presence of a hostile vessel is to 
dive beneath the surface and steer by compass straight for the enemy. 
At intervals of a mile or so she rises till the top of her conning tower 
only protrudes, corrects her course and dives again. An emergence of 
eight to ten seconds only is required. Having arrived within a few hun- 
dred yards of the enemy the 'Holland' emerges for the last time, fires 
her torpedo, dives, turns back on her course and runs home. 

During all this time she is perfectly protected by her invisibility. 
Even when rising she exposes so small a surface and that so low in the 
water that the chances are all against her being detected at all, espe- 
cially as no one can tell when or where she will appear. Or if seen by the 
enemy there is no time to train guns upon her, and if there were, the 
chances are infinitesimal that so small an object could ever be hit. On 
the other hand, no defensive armor could save from absolute destruction 
a vessel once hit by the 'Holland's' torpedo. 

After all is said which may be, of the terribly destructive power of 
the 'Holland,' or of any other submarine boat, it seems unquestionable 
that the greatest argument in favor of her adoption into a navy is not 
based thereupon, but rather upon the moral effect which would follow 
the knowledge that a nation possessed such a boat at all. "There is 
nothing more terrifying and demoralizing than to be attacked by an 
invisible foe; nothing more trying, bewildering and ineffective than 
striving to answer such an attack." If a captain of a battleship should 
see the turret of a submarine appear at the surface, straighten her 
course toward him, and then in ten seconds, before a shot could be 
fired, sink out of sight again, what would be his duty as a brave man, 
charged with responsibility for millions of property and hundreds of 
lives and with the performance of effective service for his country? To 
seek means of defense? There is no defense but flight, swift and im- 
mediate. 

Hostile transports especially would not dare to approach a coast 
where the proximity of such a boat was suspected. High authorities 
insist that blockading also would be impossible if a harbor contained 
half a dozen of these terrible engines, which strike where no armor can 



SLILMMUNIJ NAVIGATION. 



169 



afford protection, which come one knows not whence nor when, and 
which are invulnerable because invisible. Any nation suitably equipped 
with such means of defense would be impregnable on the side of the sea. 

Every submarine boat with a single exception, so far as the writer 
knows, has been designed solely or at least chiefly with reference to 
use in war. That exception is the 'Argonaut,' designed by Simon Lake 
and owned by the Lake Submarine Company. 

The 'Argonaut' is intended for peaceful pursuits and is built and 
equipped accordingly. Her purpose is to save property, not to destroy 
it. Hit work is to be quiet and prosaic, but none the less efficient and 
valuable. The success of her inventor and his company depends not 
upon the favor of governments and department officials, but upon the 
successful performance of forms of work which have a direct com- 
mercial value. 




Fig. S. Longitudinal Section of the Submarine Boat 'Akgonaut.' 



She is built to travel on the bottom and is provided accordingly 
with wheels like a tricycle. Except in war, there is scarcely a single 
valuable object which can be served by navigation between the surface 
and the bottom. The treasures of the deep are on the bottom. On 
the bottom are the sponges, the pearls, the corals, the shell fish, the 
wrecks of treasure ships and coal ships and the gold-bearing sands. 
On the bottom are the foundations of submarine works, explosive 
harbor defenses and cables. To the bottom the ■Argonaut* goes, and 
on it she does her work. 

Propelled at the surface by her gasoline engines, sbe looks much 
like any other power boat. The upper part of her hull is that of ordi- 
nary surface-going boats. Underneath she has the ovoidal form. Con- 
spicuous on her deck are the two vertical pipes by means of which 
during submergence fresh air is drawn from the surface and the viti- 



170 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



ated air within expelled. On the deck are also a derrick and a power- 
ful sand pump for use in wrecking or in Submarine construction, while 
a powerful electric lamp in her conical under-water how illuminates 
the field of her operations. Most interesting is the sea door at the bot- 
tom forward, through which divers enter and leave the boat when on 
the ocean floor, the inrush of water into the diving compartment being 
prevented in the meantime by air pressure within, equal to and balanc- 
ing the water pressure without. The 'Argonaut' has already traveled, 
it is said, hundreds of miles on the surface and scores on the ocean 




Fig. 9 1 ross Section of the 'Argonaut' Amidships. 



bottom. She can remain at the bottom as long as her gasoline and 
provisions hold out, with no other inconvenience to her crew than is 
occasioned by the somewhat restricted room within. 

Mastery is the motto of mankind. Instinctively the race is ever 
obedient to that ringing commission of the Omnipotent: "Replenish 
the earth, and subdue it — and have dominion." Man longs to explore 
every unknown realm. He thirsts for knowledge, which is power, and 
by it he masters the mighty forces of nature and makes them his ser- 
vants. It seems a little thing to have dominion over the habitable por- 



SUBMARINE NAVIGATION. 



171 



tions of the earth — he must search the stretches of the desert, the realms 
of frost and eternal snow and the expanse of the sea. It is not enough 
to know the length and breadth of the earth — he must scale the 
heights of the mountains and penetrate the secrets of the great deep. 
Alexander weeping because, as he thought, there were no more worlds 
to conquer, is an ancient type of that same masterful spirit of which 
Kipling is the mighty modern prophet. But modern Alexanders 
find no place for tears. 

According to competent judges, the submarine is to-day ready to 
serve mankind; the 'Holland' to make war less popular, the 'Argonaut' 
to make peace more valuable. 

We should take genuine pride, should we not, in the fact that 
citizens of our own country are to-day foremost in the construction 
and use of these mighty engines? 




Fig. 10. The 'Argonaut' Submerged. 



172 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



/ 



MUNICIPAL WATEK-WOKKS LABORATORIES. 

Bv GEORGE C. WHIPPLE, 
MT. PROSPECT LABORATORY, BROOKLYX, N. Y. 

THE laboratory idea is fast taking hold of our municipalities. It 
is the natural result of modern science and American practical- 
ity. More and more our civilization is making use of the great forces 
of nature, and more and more is it becoming necessary that nature's 
laws should be understood: hence the need for the precise data of the 
expert and the long-continued observations of the specialist. This is 
emphatically true in the domain of sanitary science, where the advances 
in chemistry, microscopy and bacteriology have wrought revolutionary 
changes. The microscope is no longer a toy, it is a tool; the microscopic 
world is no longer a world apart, it is vitally connected with our own. 
The acceptance of the germ-theory of disease has placed new responsi- 
bilities upon health authorities and has at the same time indicated the 
measures necessary to be taken for the protection of the public health. 
With the knowledge that certain diseases are caused by living organisms 
find that these may be transmitted by drinking-water has come the need 
of careful supervision of public water supplies, which has resulted in 
the establishment of many laboratories devoted to water analysis. 

The pioneer work of the Massachusetts State Board of Health and 
the Board of Health of New York City has been followed by the instal- 
lation of laboratories in most of our large cities. In many cases these 
are operated in connection with departments of health, and the super- 
vision exercised over the water supplies is of great benefit to the com- 
munities. An instance of this is furnished by the Health Department 
of Chicago. The water supply of Chicago is taken from Lake Michigan, 
and before the operation of the drainage canal the sewage of the entire 
city was discharged into the lake. The location of the water-works 
intakes was such that the water pumped to the city was subject to 
great changes in quality, varying from day to day according to the 
direction of wind and currents. For a long time it has been the practice 
of the department to issue daily bulletins as to the sanitary condition 
of the water in the city. Samples from the various sources of supply 
are received at the laboratory each morning, and upon the results of 
certain rapid methods of analysis the chemist bases his judgment as to 
the probable character of the water in the city mains during that day. 
The report is promptly given to the representatives of the press, and the 
consumers are thus warned of approaching danger. 



MUNICIPAL WATER-WORKS LABORATORIES. 



'/:> 



The work of supplying water to a community is, however, an engi- 
neering problem, and for some years water-works' officials and engineers 
have felt the need of having in their own hands the means of determin- 
ing the quality of the water. This has not been because they wished to 
assume duties pertaining to the health authorities or because they stood 
in fear of criticism, but because the management of the water supplies 
demands immediate information of a character not always appreciated 
by a physician and not always promptly obtainable from the laboratory 
of a health department. Accordingly, there has been developed in this 
country during the last decade an interesting group of water-works 
laboratories devoted to sanitary supervision and to experiments upon 
water purification. 

The first of these laboratories was that of the Boston Water Works, 
established in 1889 by Mr. Desmond Fitzgerald, C. E., then Superin- 
tendent of the Western Division. At that time, and for several years 
previous, the water supplied to the city was in ill favor with the con- 
sumers because of its brown color and its vegetable taste. The primary 
object of the laboratory was the study of these objectionable conditions 
and the means for relieving them, but as the work proceeded it de- 
veloped along broader lines. The laboratory, situated on the shore of 
Chestnut Hill Eeservoir, consisted of a small frame building of two 
rooms, one used for general biological work and the other fitted up as a 
photographic dark room. The working force consisted of one biolo- 
gist and three assistants, besides a number of attendants at the reser- 
voirs, who devoted a portion of their time to the collection of samples 
and the observation of the temperature of the water. The following 
were the general outlines of the work: 

The water supply of the city was derived from Lake Cochituate and 
from a series of storage reservoirs on the Sudbury River. The waters 
from these sources differed from each other and varied at different sea- 
sons of the year. Accordingly, a system of inspection and analysis was 
arranged in such a way that the superintendent knew at all times the 
exact condition of the water throughout the system. Samples of water 
were collected regularly from all streams tributary to the supply, from 
reservoirs at various places and at different depths, and from the aque- 
duct^. and distribution pipes. When these reached the laboratory they 
were examined microscopically and bacteriologically, the presence of any 
odor-producing organism was carefully noted and an immediate report 
was rendered when necessary. Careful observations of color were also 
made. When the work in Boston was started the methods of biological 
examination of water were in their infancy. The Sedgwick-Rafter 
method of ascertaining the number of microscopic organisms in water 
had just been devised and the methods of plate culture of bacteria were 
just becoming popular. The new methods were adopted in the Chestnut 



174 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



Hill laboratory and constant use resulted in important improvements. 
The old method of obtaining the temperature of water beneath the sur- 
face by the use of a weighted thermometer gave way to the electrical 
'thermophone/ and new methods for measuring the color of water were 
devised. An apparatus for photography was installed, and excellent 
photographs were made of all the important microscopic organisms in 
the water. A set of these photographs was on exhibition at the World's 
Fair in Chicago. In addition to the routine work, many lines of experi- 
mental work were undertaken. Studies were made upon the seasonal 
distribution of various organisms, the effect of temperature, light and air 
upon their growth, and upon the cause and nature of the odor imparted 
by organisms to drinking water. The effect of swamp-land upon water 




Fig. 1. Mt. Prospect Laboratory, Brooklyn, N. Y. 

supplies, the stagnation of deep lakes, the bleaching action of sunlight 
upon colored waters were likewise considered, while for several years the 
laboratory was operated in connection with an experimental filter plant. 
After the Metropolitan Water Board assumed control of the water 
supply of Boston and its suburbs the laboratory was moved from Chest- 
nut Hill Reservoir into the city, where it now occupies rooms at No. 3 
Mt. Vernon street. In 1897 Dr. F. S. Hollis succeeded the writer as 
biologist, and he in turn lias been succeeded by Mr. Horatio N. Parker. 
During recent years the conditions of the water supply have changed. 
New reservoirs of large capacity have been built, and the great Wachu- 
sett Reservoir is in process of construction. Swamps have been drained 
and fillers have been installed where there was danger of polluted water 



MUNICIPAL WATER-WORKS LABORATORIES. 175 

entering the supply. Thus new fields of work have been opened to 
the laboratory. The center of gravity of the system is now much farther 
from the city than formerly, and the logic of the situation points to the 
future establishment of a laboratory upon the watershed operated in 
connection with a department of sanitary inspection and equipped for 
chemical as well as biological work. 

In 1893 the Public Water Board of the city of Lynn, Mass., 
fitted out a small room in the basement of the City Hall to serve 
as a laboratory for microscopical work. Weekly samples were col- 
lected from the supply ponds and examined by one of the lady assist- 
ants in the office. The results of the examinations were used by the 
superintendent in the operation of the works, and in several instances 




Fig. 2. Mt. Prospect Chemical Laboratory. 



they proved the direct means of preventing the consumers from receiv- 
ing water of an inferior quality. They also resulted in the undertaking 
of improvements in one of the reservoirs and tributary swamp areas that 
materially reduced the growths of troublesome algse. 

Bad tastes and odors in the water supply of Brooklyn, N. Y., led to 
the establishment of Mt. Prospect Laboratory by the Department of 
Water Supply in 1897. As this laboratory is typical of its class it de- 
serves more than a passing notice. Situated upon the shore of Mt. 
Prospect Reservoir, near the entrance to Prospect Park, the laboratory 
has a fortunate location. In addition to being within convenient dis- 
tance of the office of the department, the main distribution reservoirs of 
the city and the railway depot at which samples from the watershed are 



i/6 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



received, it- isolation and elevation make it comparatively free from 
noise and dust, while the building is well lighted by large windows, 
heated by hot water and provided with gas, electricity and telephone. 
The upper portion of the building contains three rooms, known as the 
general laboratory or [(reparation room, the biological laboratory and 
the chemical laboratory. In the basement are the physical laboratory, 
the furnace room and the general storeroom. The general laboratory is 
used for the shipment of samples, the washing of glassware, the sterili- 
zation of apparatus, the preparation of culture media and for such chem- 
ical processes as might charge the air with ammonia and the fumes of 
acids. The biological laboratory is devoted to the bacteriological and 




Fig. 



Laboratory of the Sewer Department, Worckster, Mass. 



microscopical examination of samples of water and to the study of the 
various organisms found. It also serves as the office of the director. The 
chemical laboratory is the largest of the three rooms. Its atmosphere is 
kept free from ammonia and acid fumes in order not to vitiate the 
results of the water analyses there carried on. Analyses of coal are also 
made in this room. A storage room opens from the chemical laboratory 
and there is also a small dark room. All three laboratories have marble 
tiled floors, and the tables and shelves are covered with white tiles 
throughout. The partitions between the rooms are largely of glass. 
The apparatus is of the most complete description, much of it having 
been designed for the particular work at hand. The physical laboratory 



MUNICIPAL WATERWORKS LABORATORIES. 177 

in the basement contains all the necessary apparatus for testing cement, 
analyzing sand, etc. The laboratory force consists of one biologist and 
director, one chemist, one assistant chemist and three assistants. 

The routine work of the laboratory consists of the regular examina- 
tion of samples of water from all parts of the watershed and distribution 
system, i. e., from the driven wells, streams, ponds, aqueducts, reser- 
voirs and service taps. The complicated and varied character of the 
water supply requires the examination of an unusually large number of 
samples, and it is safe to say that no water supply in this country is 
examined more thoroughly and minutely than that of Brooklyn. Dur- 
ing the three years that the laboratory has been in operation over eight 
thousand samples have been analyzed. 

The problems of the Brooklyn supply are very different from those 
met with in Boston. The supply is drawn, not from a few storage reser- 
voirs of large size, but from a large number of small supply ponds, sup- 
plemented by an almost equal amount of water from deep and shallow 
driven wells. There are no extensive swamp areas, but the watershed is 
sandy and serves as a natural filtering medium. The entire supply, 
therefore, partakes largely of the character of ground water. The stor- 
age of ground water in an open reservoir has been almost always at- 
tended with troubles due to growths of microscopic organisms, and the 
Brooklyn supply has proved no exception to the rule. The mingling 
of surface water, seeded with plant life, and ground water, laden with 
plant food, has resulted in the enormous development of microscopic 
organisms in the distribution reservoirs. During the summer and au- 
tumn of 1896 the condition of the water in the city caused general com- 
plaint because of its bad odor. An examination, made by Dr. Albert R. 
Leeds, showed that the diatom asterionella was responsible for the 
trouble, and that the fishy odor was caused by an oil-like substance 
secreted by this microscopic plant. Since 1896 growths of asterionella 
and other odor-producing organisms have recurred regularly in the dis- 
tribution reservoirs, but by the use of the new by-pass, through which 
water may be pumped around the reservoirs direct from the aqueduct 
to the distribution pipes, the water in the city has been kept compara- 
tively free from them. The organisms appear and disappear according 
to laws that are now beginning to be understood, and while their growth 
in the Brooklyn reservoirs cannot be wholly prevented under present 
conditions, the laboratory is doing an important service by constantly 
noting their condition of growth and by forecasting their effect on the 
city supply for the guidance of the engineer in his manipulation of 
the reservoirs. The chief service of the laboratory, however, is in con- 
nection with the sanitary condition of the watershed, and upon this 
most of the bacteriological and chemical work is concentrated. The 
laboratory was- installed and equipped under the direction of Mr. I. M. 

VOL. LVIII.— 12 



178 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

De Varona, Engineer of Water Supply, with the writer in immediate 
charge. 

The filtration of all surface water used for domestic supply is one 
of the probabilities of the future. For years many of the large cities of 
Europe have been supplied with filtered water, and in England alone 
more than ten million people are using water from which all danger 
from disease germs has been removed. In x\merica filtration has gained 
ground but slowly, and in some of our cities the condition of the drink- 
ing-water is a disgrace to civilization. A German health officer once said 
to me: 'You Americans are a queer people; you filter sewage, but you 
drink water raw.' One reason for our tardiness in following the practice 
of the Old World is the fact that the conditions here are not in all re- 
spects the same as in Europe. The old methods of filtration cannot be 
successfully applied to many of our American waters, and water-works' 
engineers have felt that before expensive works were undertaken the 
problems should be carefully studied by direct experiment with respect 
to existing conditions. Thus, recent years have witnessed the operation 
of experimental filter plants unequalled in magnitude, in the scope of 
their work and in the accuracy of their methods of investigation. 

The experiment station of the Massachusetts State Board of Health 
at Lawrence was started in 1897 and is still in operation. The results 
of the investigations of the principles involved in the purification of 
water and sewage by sand filtration have become classic in the annals 
of sanitary engineering, and the annual reports are still furnishing 
results of the highest scientific value. At the present time the work 
is in charge of Mr. H. W. Clark, Chemist of the Board. One practical 
result of these experiments was the construction of a sand filter of novel 
type for the purification of the water supply of the city of Eaw fence, 
and the immediate reduction of the typhoid fever rate showed the suc- 
cess of the undertaking. The water of the Merrimac River, at Law- 
rence, though polluted, is comparatively clear, and it became evident 
that methods of filtration that were applicable to water of this character 
would not be necessarily successful where the water was highly colored 
and turbid. Experiments were, therefore, begun in other cities. 

In Boston, where the water was of higher color than at Lawrence, 
and where microscopic organisms were sometimes numerous, a filtration 
station was in operation from 1892 to 1895. Six sand filters, each with 
.in area, of one-thousandth of an acre, and a large number of smaller 
filters, were used under varying conditions. The station was in charge 
of Mr. Win. E. Foss, under the direction of Mr. Desmond Fitzgerald, 
C. E. The analytical work was done partly at the Massachusetts Insti- 
tute of Technology and partly at the Biological Laboratory described 
above. It is much to be regretted that the results of these experiments 
\ere never published. 



MUNICIPAL WATER-WORKS LABORATORIES. 179 

In 1893 Mr. Edmund B. Weston, C. E., of Providence, R. I., con- 
ducted for the water department of that city a series of experiments 
upon the purification of the water of the Pawtuxet River by means of 
mechanical filters. Though less extensive than the experiments above 
mentioned, they are of historic interest as giving the first adequate dem- 
onstration of the possibilities of that method of purification. 

The system of mechanical filtration, or the 'American System,' as it 
is sometimes called, differs from natural sand filtration by the use of 
alum or some similar coagulating substance before sedimentation and 
filtration, by the higher rate of filtration employed and by the use of 
certain mechanical devices for cleaning the sand beds. The application 
of this process to the treatment of turbid water was next investigated. 
In 1895 the Louisville Water Company undertook a most extensive 
series of experiments to determine the relative efficiency of various 
types of mechanical filters in the purification of the water of the Ohio 
River. The w T ork was placed in charge of Mr. Geo. W. Fuller, C. E., who 
was assisted by a large corps of trained assistants. For nearly a year 
the experiments were earned on without interruption: the filters were 
operated by the companies interested in them, and their efficiency was 
determined by Mr. Fuller on behalf of the water company, who had at 
hand a complete laboratory equipment and who used every means 
known to science in the analysis of the water before and after treatment. 
The most important result of these experiments was to prove beyond 
doubt the applicability of mechanical filtration to the purification of 
water rendered turbid by the presence of fine particles of clay. 

The experiments in Louisville were followed in 1898-9 by a some- 
what similar investigation at Cincinnati, 0., also conducted by Mr. 
Puller. As in Louisville, the water supply is taken from the Ohio River, 
but the character of the water at this point is not in all respects the 
same as that farther down stream. The problem in Cincinnati was to 
determine wdiether the English system of sand filtration or the Ameri- 
can system, involving the use of a coagulant, was best suited to the puri- 
fication of the water, and whether any preliminary treatment of the 
water before filtration was advisable. To solve this problem the Board 
of Trustees, Commissioners of Water Works, decided to appropriate for 
needed experiments a sum equivalent to about one year's interest on the 
probable cost of a plant for filtering the supply of the city. The equip- 
ment consisted of four steel tanks, each with a capacity of 100,000 gal- 
lons, fifteen experimental filters, arranged for operation under different 
conditions, and a large laboratory fully equipped for chemical and bac- 
teriological work. After a period of continuous operation, covering 
about ten months, the evidence showed that either the American system 
or the English system operated with preliminary coagulation and sedi- 
mentation would satisfactorily purify the water, but that the American 



180 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

system could be operated with less difficulty and with somewhat less 

expense. 

In 1896 the city of Pittsburg, Pa., appointed a commission to con- 
sider the character of the water supply and the advisability of its puri- 
fication by some means of filtration. The supply is taken from the 
Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, streams which are often turbid 
and which are subject to contamination by sewage. The conditions were 
such that direct experiment was necessary to determine the most suit- 
able system of purification. Accordingly, an experimental station was 
located on the shore of the Allegheny Kiver and placed in charge of 
Mr. Morris Knowles, under the direction of Mr. Allen Hazen, Consult- 
ing Engineer. Arrangements were made for the comparative study of 
sand filters and mechanical filters, and a laboratory was built and 
equipped for making all necessary analyses. The plant was in continu- 
ous operation for more than a year, and the results seemed to show that 
while satisfactory clarification of the water could be obtained by either 
system, the method of sand filtration could be depended upon to remove 
more completely the effect of pollution. 

The report of a similar series of experiments made to determine the 
feasibility of purifying the water of the Potomac River at Washington, 
D. C, has been issued by the War Department. The work was carried on 
in a manner similar to that at Cincinnati and Pittsburg, the object of 
the studies being to find the best method adapted to the local conditions. 
Col. A. M. Miller, XJ. S. A., had charge of the investigations, and Mr. 
Robert Spurr Weston conducted the analytical work. Recently the 
Department of Public Works, of Philadelphia, Pa., has established 
a testing station near the Spring Garden Pumping Station for 
the purpose of studying the problems of filtration incident to the con- 
struction of filter beds for the water supply of the entire city, for which 
the sum of ten million dollars has been already appropriated. The work 
is in charge of Mr. Morris Knowles. Still more recently a testing station 
has been established by the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, 
with Mr. Robert Spurr Weston as Resident Expert. 

In July,1899,the newly-constructed water filtration plant at Albany, 
N. Y., was put in operation, Mr. Allen Hazen having been Chief En- 
gineer of construction and Mr. Geo. I. Bailey Superintendent of Water 
Works. In connection with this plant is a small laboratory in which are 
made daily bacteriological examinations of the water before and after fil- 
tration. Physical, chemical and microscopical examinations are also 
made at frequent intervals. The results obtained indicate the amount 
of purification that is taking place, and they already have shown that 
the filter is rendering efficient service in protecting the community from 
water-borne diseases. 

The combined work of these various laboratories of supervision and 



MUNICIPAL WATER-WORKS LABORATORIES. 181 

experiment lias been of incalculable benefit to sanitary science, and the 
results have been not only of local and immediate value, but they have 
acquired a world-wide reputation and form a permanent contribution to 
scientific literature. If one doubts the practical worth of a laboratory in 
the management of a water-works system, no more convincing argu- 
ment could be presented than the fact that a private water company in 
Wilkesbarre, Pa., has recently gone to the expense of establishing a 
laboratory for chemical, microscopical and bacteriological analyses of 
the Water sold to the community, and this in spite of the fact that the 
water supply is taken from a watershed not seriously open to the danger 
of contamination. The work is in charge of Prof. Wm. H. Dean. 

It is an interesting fact that in many instances the laboratories have 
been found to have a wider field of usefulness than that for which they 
were originally intended. For example, the laboratory in Cincinnati 
did not cease its existence when the filtration experiments were com- 
pleted; it was continued as a laboratory for testing the materials of 
engineering construction. It is now in charge of Mr. J. W. Ellms, 
Chemist, under the direction of Mr. Gustav Bouscaren, Chief Engineer. 
The building has seven rooms and contains not only the apparatus 
necessary for water analysis and general chemical work, but a complete 
outfit for testing cement. The work now includes the chemical analysis 
of paints and oils, asphalts, rock, sand and cement, physical tests of 
cement, besides experimental investigations of the properties of cement 
mortars and asphalts. 

At Pittsburg, also, the laboratory has been made permanent. The 
Department of Public Works has erected a two-story brick building, 
known as the Herron Hill Laboratory. The first floor and basement 
are used by the Bureau of Water Supply for water analysis, tests of 
supplies purchased and experimental work upon the filtration of water; 
the second floor is used by the Bureau of Engineering as a cement 
laboratory. In the water laboratory the floor and operating-shelves 
are covered with white tiles and the walls are painted with white 
enamel, so that the room may be washed from ceiling to floor. Steam 
from a neighboring boiler house is used for heating the water-baths and 
for distilling water. The incubators used for bacteriological work are 
placed in the basement, where the temperature can be kept more con- 
stant than on the floors above. The ammonia stills, sterilizers, autoclav 
and other apparatus are of the most modern type. A safe in the base- 
ment serves to protect the records in case of fire. One biologist, one 
chemist and one attendant are employed in the water laboratory, and 
a chemist is employed in the department of cement testing. Mr. Wm. 
R. Copeland is the biologist in charge. 

In the Mt. Prospect Laboratory, of Brooklyn, the miscellaneous work 
is constantly increasing. The coal used at the various pumping stations 



[82 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

is purchased under specifications that require the analysis of a sample 
that must accompany every bid, and the determination of the heating 
power of a sample from every consignment. Lubricating oils, boiler com- 
pounds, samples of steel and other materials are analyzed and the 
laboratory is also equipped for the chemical and physical testing of 
cements. 

Other departments of municipal work are taking up the laboratory 
idea. The Sewer Department of Worcester, Mass., has two laboratories. 
One is located at the disposal works and is devoted wholly to the super- 
vision of the process of treatment of the sewage. The other occupies 
attractive rooms in the City Hall. Here a great variety of work is under- 
taken. During the year 1899 more than a hundred carloads of cement 
were used by the department, and over eight thousand samples were 
tested for tensile strength; many chemical analyses were also made. 
Bricks were frequently tested for absorption, and several samples of steel 
used in the construction of shovels and offered to the department by dif- 
ferent dealers were analyzed. Coal, oil, lime and many other materials 
purchased by the department were analyzed. In addition to this, over 
seventy-five samples of butter and oleomargarine were examined for the 
Department of Milk and Butter Inspection, and a number of water 
analyses were made for the water department. A large amount of 
experimental work was carried on in connection with the problem of 
sewage disposal. Both laboratories are under the general direction of 
Mr. Harrison P. Eddy, Superintendent of Sewers. 

It seems apparent, therefore, that the laboratory is destined to be 
an important factor in municipal engineering as well as in municipal 
sanitation, and it is not difficult to foresee a time when every city of 
importance will be provided with a laboratory equipped in accordance 
with its needs. In large cities, work of this kind is preferably spe- 
cialized and distributed through different departments, in order that it 
may be under the control of those directly interested in the results, 
but in small cities, all the analytical work can be more economically 
accomplished in a single laboratory. In such a laboratory the work 
would cover a very broad field. Coal, cement, oil, brick, asphalt and 
various structural materials would be tested before purchase and during 
delivery; illuminating gas regularly examined; water, milk and various 
food products analyzed to determine their purity and healthfulness; bac- 
teriological cultures made for diagnosis of diphtheria, typhoid fever, 
tuberculosis and kindred diseases; disinfection of buildings supervised, 
etc. All this would require the services of an engineer, a chemist and 
a bacteriologist, or of these three combined in one person. The expense 
of such an institution would be small in comparison with the saving that 
would result to the citizens in the purchase of supplies and in the 
protection of the public health. 



FREEDOM AND 'FREE AY ILL: 183 



FREEDOM AND TREE-WILL.' i 

By Professor GEORGE STUART FULLERTON, 

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA. 

LET us suppose two men before a jury on the accusation of 
homicide. Each admits that he has occasioned the death of a 
man, but each has his own account of how the thing came about. In 
the first instance, the accused was holding the gun that sped the fatal 
bullet; his finger was on the trigger and pressed it; the discharge fol- 
lowed; the victim fell. But it seems that the gun had been forced into 
his unwilling hands by one stronger than he; an iron finger lay above 
his own, and it was under its pressure that his finger became the proxi- 
mate cause of a series of events which he cannot even now contemplate 
without horror. He was the unwilling instrument of a bloody deed, and 
does not account himself the responsible cause; he slew because he 
'couldn't help it.' 

The second man lays before his jurors a story in many respects dif- 
ferent, but ending with the same words. He was alone when the shoot- 
ing occurred. He was under no compulsion at the hands of another, 
but was shooting at a mark, and taking delight in dotting the target 
near the bull's-eye, when lo! across the field, above the hedge that 
bounds the horizon on that side, appears a tempting mark, the rubicund 
face of a rustic whose open mouth strikes his joyous mood at just that 
instant as an irresistible target, and one altogether too delightful to be 
passed by. "I had not the faintest intention, a moment before, of shoot- 
ing any man," he explains; "but, really, it was too good a shot to miss, 
and I simply couldn't help it." 

Let us suppose it possible for the same jury to hear these two ex- 
planations, one after the other. The action of a petit jury is said to be 
most uncertain, but there can be little doubt that even a jury would 
detect an important distinction between these two "couldn't help's.' 
The world seems to be full of 'couldn't help's' of the two sorts; the man 
who stumbled on the stairs couldn't help rolling to the bottom; the 
man who was thrown from a window couldn't help descending to the 
street; the man who was seized by the police couldn't help failing to 
meet his engagement; the greedy boy couldn't help taking the larger 
muffin; the devoted mother couldn't help spoiling her only child; the 
emotional philanthropist couldn't help feeling in his pocket on hearing 
the plausible tale of the wily tramp. 

Probably most jurymen would refuse to recognize "couldn't help's' 



1 84 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

of the second class as worthy of the name at all. Certainly, as jurymen, 
they have little concern with them. It is only with those of the first 
class that the law has to do, except in cases in which the sanity of the 
accused is in question. But suppose one of the jurymen happens to be 
a philosopher, and is accustomed to reflect upon matters which most 
men are in the habit of passing by without much thought. He may 
say to himself: "As a juryman I cannot think of listening to the absurd 
excuse for homicide offered by this second fellow. If I did I should 
have to admit that no man is a moral agent and that no crime should 
be punished. The smuggler, the burglar, the murderer, may be as- 
sumed to be influenced by motives of some sort. There is no case in 
which something may not be pointed to as that which occasioned the 
deed. Human life must be protected; society must be preserved; evil- 
doers must be punished. If some men find the attractions of crime 
irresistible, so much the worse for them. And yet, as a philosopher, I 
find that I must accept the fact that, in a certain sense of the words, 
the guilty man couldn't help doing what he did. He was what he was; 
the target was attractive; the result followed. He was free from ex- 
ternal compulsion, but he was not and could not be free from himself 
and his own impulses." 

The man who reasons thus is called a determinist. Whether our 
determinist is wise to express things exactly as he does will appear in 
what follows. But the thought which he is at least trying to express 
is sufficiently clear. A determinist is a man who accepts in its widest 
sense the assumption of science that all the phenomena of nature are 
subject to law, and that nothing can happen without some adequate 
cause why it should happen thus and not otherwise. The fall of a rain- 
drop, the unfolding of a flower, the twitching of an eyelid, the penning 
of a sentence — all these, he maintains, have their adequate causes, 
though the causes of such occurrences lie, in great part, beyond the line 
which divides our knowledge from our ignorance. Determinism is, of 
course, a faith; for it is as yet wholly impossible for science to demon- 
strate even that the fluttering of an aspen leaf in the summer breeze 
is wholly subject to law; and that every turn or twist upon its stem 
must be just what it is, and nothing else, in view of the whole system 
of forces in play at the moment. Much less is it possible to prove in 
detail that that complicated creature called a man draws out his chair, 
sits down to dinner, gives his neighbor the best cut of the beef, dis- 
cusses the political situation, and resists the attractions of the decanter 
before him, strictly in accordance with law — that every motion of every 
muscle is the effect of antecedent causes which are incalculable only be- 
cause of the limitations of our intelligence and our ignorance of existing 
facts. And yet the faith of science seems to those trained in the 
sciences a reasonable thing, for, as is pointed out, it is progressively jus- 



FREEDOM AND 'FREE-WILL. 3 185 

tified by the gradual advance of human knowledge, and even in fields in 
which anything like exact knowledge is at present unattainable the little 
we do know hints unmistakably at the reign of law. There are few in- 
telligent men who would care to maintain that the fall of a rain-drop or 
the flutter of an aspen leaf could not be completely accounted for by 
the enumeration of antecedent causes, were our knowledge sufficiently 
increased; but there are a considerable number who take issue with the 
determinist in his view of the subjection to law of all human actions. 
They maintain that there is a necessarily incalculable element present 
in such cases, and that all the antecedents taken together can only in 
part account for the result. As opposed to determinism they hold to 
the doctrine of indeterminism, or, as it has too often unhappily been 
called, the doctrine of 'free-will.' 

I say as it has unhappily been called, because it is a thousand pities 
that an interesting scientific question, and a most difficult one, should 
be taken out of the clear atmosphere of passionless intellectual investi- 
gation, and, through a mere confusion, brought down among the fogs of 
popular passion and partisan strife. We have all heard much about 
fate and free-will, and no man with the spirit of a man in him thinks, 
without inward revolt, of the possibility that his destiny is shaped for 
him by some irresistible external power in the face of which he is impo- 
tent. No normal man welcomes the thought that he is not free, and 
the denial of free-will can scarcely fail to meet with his reprobation. 
We recognize freedom as the dearest of our possessions, the guarantee, 
indeed, of all our possessions. The denial of freedom we associate with 
wrong and oppression, the scourge and the dungeon, the tyranny of 
brute force, the despair of the captive, the sodden degradation of the 
slave. The very word freedom is enough to set us quivering with emo- 
tion; it is the open door to the thousand-fold activities which well up 
within us, and to which we give expression with joy. 

But it must not be forgotten that the antithesis of freedom is com- 
pulsion, that hateful thing that does violence to our nature and crushes 
with iron hand these same activities. The freedom which poets have 
sung, and for which men have died, has no more to do with indeter- 
minism than has the Dog, a celestial constellation, with the terrestrial 
animal that barks. St. Thomas and Spinoza, who differ in many things, 
have both pointed out that one must distinguish between the two 
latter, and the distinction is not broader than that which exists between 
the former. Determinism is not fatalism, and indeterminism is not the 
affirmation of freedom in any proper sense of that word, the sense in 
which men take it when it sets their pulses bounding and fills their 
breasts with high resolve. We have seen that even a determinist can 
distinguish between the two 'couldn't helps,' and recognize that they 
must be differently treated. We may now go so far as to insist that, 



1 86 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

since they do differ so widely, they should be given different names, 
and we may call upon the determinist to avoid altogether, as other 
men do, the use of the term 'couldn't help' in the second sense. He 
may then say, without serious danger of being misunderstood, that the 
first prisoner at the bar couldn't help doing what he did, but that the 
second could have helped doing it if he had so elected. Without doing 
violence to the common use of speech, nay, strictly in accordance with 
common usage, he may declare that the one man was not free, but was 
under compulsion, while, on the other hand, the second man was free. 
He may very well do this without ceasing to be an out-and-out deter- 
minist. 

Before going on with the topic which is the main interest of this 
paper, it is right that I should say just a word as to what determinism 
does not imply, it does not imply that all the causes which may be 
assumed to be the antecedents of human actions are material causes. A 
determinist may be a materialist, or he may be an idealist, or he may 
be a composite creature. As a matter of fact, there have been deter- 
minists of many different kinds, for the dispute touching the human 
will is thousands of years old; and the fact that the doctrine happens 
at the present time to be more closely associated in our minds with one 
of the 'isms' ] have mentioned than with another, says little as to 
their natural relationship. Nor need the determinist necessarily be 
either an atheist, a theist, or an agnostic. He may, of course, be any one 
of these; but if he is, it will not be because of his determinism. As a 
determinist he affirms only the universal applicability of the principle 
of sufficient reason — the doctrine that for every occurrence, of what- 
ever sort, there must be a cause or causes which can furnish an adequate 
explanation of the occurrence. I say so much to clear the ground. It 
is well to remember that materialists have been determinists, idealists 
have been determinists, atheists have been determinists, theologians 
have been determinists. The doctrine is not bound up with any of the 
differences that divide these, and it should not be prejudged from a 
mistaken notion that it necessarily favors the position taken by one of 
these classes rather than that taken by another. We may approach it 
with an open mind, and make an effort to judge it strictly on its own 
merits. 

But to judge it on its own merits, the very first requisite is to purge 
the mind completely of the misconception that the 'freedom' of 
the will, or indeterminism, has anything whatever to do with freedom 
in the ordinary sense of the word — freedom from external compulsion. 
Here I sit at my desk; my hand lies on the paper before me; can I raise 
it from the paper or not, just as T please? To such a question, both 
determinist and indeterminist must give the same answer. Of course 
I can raise it or not, as I please. Both must admit that I am free in 



FREEDOM AND 'FREE-WILL: 187 

this sense. The question that divides them lies a little farther back; the 
determinist must hold that, if I please to raise my hand, there is some 
cause within me, or in my environment, or both, that brings about the 
result; and if I please not to raise it, he must believe that there ia 
some cause or complex of causes that produces just that result. He does 
not deny that I can do as I please. He merely maintains that my 
'pleasing' is never uncaused. On the other hand, the advocate of the 
'liberty of indifference' maintains that under precisely the same cir- 
cumstances, internal and external, I may raise my hand or keep it at 
rest. He holds, in other words, that, if I move, that action is not 
to be wholly accounted for by anything whatever that has preceded, 
for under precisely the same circumstances it might not have occurred. 
It is, hence, causeless. 

Now it would be a horrid thing to feel that one were not free to 
move or not to move. Freedom is a pearl of great price. But there is 
nothing especially attractive in the thought of causeless actions, in 
themselves considered. They strike one, at first glance, as at least some- 
thing of an anomaly. It seems reasonable to suspect that the great 
attraction which the doctrine of indeterminism exercises upon many 
minds must be due to a confusion between it and something else. That 
this is indeed the case I can best illustrate by citing a passage from 
Professor James' delightful 'Talks to Teachers.'* It reads as follows: 

"It is plain that such a question can be decided only by general an- 
alogies, and not by accurate observations. The free-willist believes the 
appearance to be a reality; the determinist believes that it is an illusion. 
I myself hold with the free-willists — not because I cannot conceive 
the fatalist theory clearly, or because I fail to understand its plausibility, 
but simply because, if free-will were true, it would be absurd to have 
the belief in it fatally forced on our acceptance. Considering the inner 
fitness of things, one would rather think that the very first act of a 
will endowed with freedom should be to sustain the belief in the free- 
dom itself. I accordingly believe freely in my freedom; I do so with the 
best of scientific consciences, knowing that the predetermination of the 
amount of my effort of attention can never receive objective proof, and 
hoping that, whether you follow my example in this respect or not, it 
will at least make you see that such psychological and pyschophysical 
theories as I hold do not necessarily force a man to become a fatalist or 
a materialist." 

I have taken this extract because it may stand as the very type of a 
'free-will' argument, and as an ideal illustration of the persuasive in- 
fluence of the ways of expressing things natural to a gifted writer. The 
school-teacher who has no prejudice against fatalism and materialism, 
to whom the idea of being endowed with freedom is not attractive, who 

* Chapter XV., pp. 191-192. 



1 88 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

is willing to have even good things fatally forced upon his acceptance, 
and who is not inspired by the thought of believing freely in his 
freedom, must be a poor creature indeed. But suppose Professor James 
had expressed his thought baldly; suppose he had said: "I myself hold 
to indeterminism, not because I fail to see the plausibility of the oppo- 
site doctrine, but because, if human actions were causeless, what more 
natural than that man should causelessly believe in their causeless 
origination? Accordingly, I causelessly believe in the causelessness of 
my actions, confident that no one knows enough about the matter to 
prove me in the wrong." Would the doctrine thus stated — and this 
only means the doctrine stripped of misleading associations — have 
proved particularly attractive? 

It is not attractive even when superficially considered; it only seems 
arbitrary and unreasonable; a something to be taken rather as a play 
of fancy than as a serious argument. But looked into more narrowly, the 
doctrine is seen in its implications to be something very serious and 
terrible. So little has been said upon this topic in the vast literature 
of the dispute regarding the will, that I make no excuse for discussing 
it at some length. The issue has too often been clouded by the associa- 
tions which hover about the words 'liberty,' 'freedom' and 'free- 
will,' and the true significance of indeterminism has not been clearly 
seen. I have said above that it is a pity to stir the emotions when one is 
trying to settle a question of fact; but as very much has been said upon 
the topic of the terrors of determinism that it is allowable, as an anti- 
dote to this poison, to point out the much more real terrors of 'free-will.' 

Let us suppose that the 'libertarian' or 'free-willist' — the indeter- 
minist — is right, and that human actions may be causeless. I am, 
then, endowed with 'freedom.' This is not freedom in the usual sense 
of the word, remember; and I have put it into quotation marks to indi- 
cate that fact. It means only that my actions cannot wholly be ac- 
counted for by anything that has preceded them, even by my own 
character and impulses, inherent or acquired. But, I ask myself, if I 
am endowed with 'freedom,' in what sense may this 'freedom' be 
called mine. Suppose that I have given a dollar to a blind beggar. Can 
I, if it is really an act of 'free-will,' be properly said to have given the 
money? Was it given because / was a man of tender heart, one prone 
to benevolent impulses, and naturally incited by the sight of suffering 
to make an effort to relieve it? Not at all; in just so far as the gift 
was the result of 'free-will,' these things could have had nothing to 
do with the matter. Another man, the veriest miser and skinflint, the 
most unfeeling brute upon the streets, might equally well have been 
the instrument of the benevolent deed. His impulses might all be selfish, 
and his past life a consistent history of sordid greed; I am a lover 
of my kind; but what has all this to do with acts of 'free-will'? If 



FREEDOM AND 'FREE AY ILL: 189 

they are 'free/ they must not be conditioned by antecedent circum- 
stances of any sort, by the misery of the beggar, by the pity in the heart 
of the passer-by. They must be causeless, not determined. They must 
drop from a clear sky out of the void, for just in so far as they can be 
accounted for they are not 'free.' 

Is it then I that am 'free'? Am I the cause of the good or evil deeds 
which — shall I say? — result from my 'freedom'? I do not cause them, 
for they are uncaused. And, since they are uncaused, and have no 
necessary congruity with my character or impulses, what guarantee have 
I that the course of my life will not exhibit the melancholy spectacle 
of the reign of mere caprice? For forty years I have lived quietly and 
in obedience to law. I am regarded as a decent citizen, and one who 
can be counted upon not to rob his neighbor, or wave the red flag of the 
anarchist. I have grown gradually to be a character of such and such 
a kind; I am fairly familiar with my impulses and aspirations; I hope 
to carry out plans extending over a good many years in the future. 
Is it this / with whom I have lived in the past, and whom I think I 
know, that will elect for me whether I shall carry out plans or break 
them, be consistent or inconsistent, love or hate, be virtuous or betake 
myself to crime? Alas! I am 'free,' and this / with whom I am familiar 
cannot condition the future. But I will make the most serious of re- 
solves, bind myself with the holiest of promises! To what end? How 
can any resolve be a cause of causeless actions, or any promise clip the 
erratic wing of 'free-will'? In so far as I am 'free' the future is a wall 
of darkness. One cannot even say with the Moslem: 'What shall be, 
will be;' for there is no shall about it. It is wholly impossible for me 
to guess what I will 'freely' do, and it is impossible for me to make any 
provision against the consequences of 'free' acts of the most deplorable 
sort. A knowledge of my own character in the past brings with it 
neither hope nor consolation. My 'freedom' is just as 'free' as that of 
the man who was hanged last week. It is not conditioned by my 
character. If he could 'freely' commit murder, so can I. But I never 
dreamt of killing a man, and would not do it for the world! No; that is 
true; the I that I know rebels against the thought. Yet to admit that 
this I can prevent it is to become a determinist. If I am 'free' I cannot 
seek this city of refuge. Is 'freedom' a thing that can be inherited as a 
bodily or mental constitution? Can it be repressed by a course of educa- 
tion, or laid in chains by life-long habit? In so far as any action is 
'free,' what I have been, what I am, what I have always done or striven 
to do, what I most earnestly wish or resolve to do at the present mo- 
ment — these things can have no more to do with its future realization 
than if they had no existence. If, then, I really am 'free,' I must face 
the possibility that I may at any moment do anything that any man can 
'freely' do. The possibility is a hideous one; and surely even the most 



190 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

ardent 'free-willist' will, when he contemplates it frankly, excuse me 
for hoping that, if I am 'free/ I am at least not very 'free,' and that I 
may reasonably expect to find some degree of consistency in my life and 
actions. An excess of such 'freedom' is indistinguishable from the most 
abject slavery to lawless caprice. 

And when I consider my relations to my fellow-men the outlook is 
no better. It is often said that the determinist may grant rewards or 
inflict punishments as a means of attaining certain desired ends, but 
that for him there can in all this be no question of justice or injustice. 
One man is by nature prone to evil as the sparks fly upward; another 
is born an embryo saint. One is ushered into this world, if not 'trailing 
clouds of glory,' yet with such clouds, in the shape of civilizing in- 
fluences, hovering about the very cradle in which he is to lie; another 
opens his eyes upon a light which breaks feebly through the foul and 
darkened window-pane, and which is lurid with the reflections of 
degradation and vice. One becomes the favorite of fortune, and the 
other the unhappy subject of painful correction. Unless there be 
'free-will,' where can we find even the shadow of justice in our treat- 
ment of these? We have all heard the argument at length, and I shall 
not enter into it further; nor shall I delay over the question of the true 
meaning of the terms justice and injustice, though this meaning is often 
taken for granted in a very heedless way. I shall merely inquire 
whether the assumption of 'freedom' contributes anything toward the 
solution of the problem of punishment. 

Let us suppose that Tommy's mother is applying a slipper to some 
portion of his frame for having 'freely* raided the pantry. Does she 
punish him for having done the deed, or does she punish him to prevent 
its recurrence? In either case, she seems, if the deed was a 'free' one, 
to be acting in a wholly unreasonable way. Was the deed really done by 
Tommy — i. e., was it the natural result of his knowledge of the con- 
tents of the pantry, his appetite for jam, and the presence of the key in 
the door? Not at all. The act was a 'free T one, and not conditioned 
by either Tommj-'s character or his environment. The child's grand- 
father might have 'freely' stolen jam under just the same circum- 
stances. Thus, in a true sense of the words, the child did not do it. 
Who can cause what is causeless? Moreover, by no possibility could 
he have prevented it. Who can guard against the spontaneity of 'free- 
dom'? No resolve, as we have seen, can condition the unconditioned. 
Then why beat the poor child for what he did not do and what he could 
not possibly have prevented? Surely this is wanton cruelty, and worthy 
of all reprobation! 

Is the punishment intended to prevent a recurrence of the deed? 
How futile a measure! Does the silly woman actually believe that she 
(•an with a slipper make such changes in Tommy's mind or body as to 



FREEDOM AND 'FREE-WILL.' 191 

determine the occurrence or non-occurrence of acts which are, by 
hypothesis, independent of what is contained in Tommy and his en- 
vironment? Does she forget that she is raining her blows upon a 'free' 
agent? As well beat the lad to prevent the lightning from striking the 
steeple in the next block. 

The utter absurdity of punishing a 'free' agent, in so far as he is 
a 'free' agent, must be apparent to every unprejudiced mind. It is 
unjust and it is useless. And it seems clear that it is equally useless 
to make an effort to persuade him. To what end shall I marshal all 
sorts of good reasons for not doing this or that reprehensible action? 
To what end shall I pour forth my torrent of eloquence, painting in 
vivid colors the joys of virtue and the varied miseries which lurk upon 
the path of the evil-doer? Are my words supposed to have effect, or are 
they not? If not, it is not worth while to utter them. Evidently they 
cannot have effect in determining 'free' actions, for such actions cannot 
be effects of anything. It seems, then, that Tommy's mother and his 
aunts and all his spiritual pastors and masters have for years approached 
Tommy upon a strictly deterministic basis. They have thought it worth 
while to talk, and to talk a great deal. They have done what all peda- 
gogues do — they have adjusted means to ends, and have looked for 
results, taking no account of 'freedom' at all. Of course, in so far as 
Tommy upon a strictly deterministic basis. They have thought it worth 
of the melancholy situation of the man who finds himself the father of 
half a dozen little 'free-will' monsters who cannot possibly be reached 
either by moral suasion or by the rod! 

It is a melancholy world, this world of 'freedom.' In it no man can 
count upon himself and no man can persuade his neighbor. We are, it 
is true, powerless to lead one another into evil; but we are also powerless 
to influence one another for good. It is a lonely world, in which each 
man is cut off from the great whole and given a lawless little world all 
to himself. And it is an uncertain world, a world in which a knowledge 
of the past casts no ray into the darkness of the future. To-morrow I 
am to face nearly a hundred students in logic. It is a new class, and I 
know little about its members save that they are students. I have 
assumed that they will act as students usually act, and that I shall 
escape with my life. But if they are endow r ed with 'free-will,' what may 
I not expect? What does 'free-will' care for the terrors of the Dean's 
office, the long green table, and the Committee of Discipline? Is it 
interested in Logic? Or does it have a personal respect for me? The 
picture is a harrowing one, and I drop the curtain upon it. 

Fortunately for us all, 'freedom' is the concern of the philosophers; 
freedom is what we have to do with in real life. The judge, the philan- 
thropist, the moralist, the pedagogue, all assume that man may be a 
free agent without on that account being forced beyond the pale into 



192 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

the outer darkness of utter irrationality. Men generally regard a man 
as free when he is in a position to be irfluenced by those considerations 
by which they think the normal man not under compulsion naturally is 
influenced. They do not think that he is robbed of his freedom in so 
far as he weighs motives, seeks information, is influenced by persuasion. 
What would become of our social system if men were not affected by 
influences of this sort? It would be the annihilation of all the forces 
which we have put in motion, and upon which we depend, for the 
amelioration of mankind. 

There is scarce any tyranny so great as the tyranny of words. It 
is as reasonable to believe that strong drink will make a man strong, 
as that 'freedom' will make a man free, and yet how many believe it! 
So difficult is it to escape the snares of verbal confusion that I cannot 
be confident that some of my readers will not suppose that I have been 
arguing against human freedom. The forms of expression which have 
been chosen by some determinists are in part responsible for their error. 
The 'free-willists' are not wholly to blame. I feel, then, that I ought 
to close this brief paper with an unequivocal and concise statement of 
my position. It is this: 

I believe most heartily in freedom. I am neither fatalist nor 
materialist. I hold man to be a free agent, and believe that there is 
such a thing as justice in man's treatment of man. I refuse to regard 
punishment as the infliction of pain upon one who did not do the thing 
for which he is punished, could not have prevented it, and cannot possi- 
bly be benefited by the punishment he receives. I view with horror the 
doctrine that the teacher's desk and the pulpit, the force of public 
opinion and the sanction of law, are of no avail. I am unwilling to as- 
sume without evidence that each man's breast is the seat of uncaused 
and inexplicable explosions, which no man can predict, against the con- 
sequences of which no man can make provision and which set at defi- 
ance all the forces which make for civilization. 



CHINESE COMMERCE. 193 



CHINESE COMMERCE.* 

By WILLIAM BARCLAY PARSONS. 

THE foreign commerce of China is carried on through and at 
twenty-nine Treaty Ports. Previous to 1840 trade with foreign- 
ers was much hampered owing to its being subject to local regulations, 
all of which were annoying, many of them ridiculous, and some actu- 
ally jeopardizing to both life and property. In 1842 Great Britain, 
availing herself of the successful outcome of what is known as the 
Opium War, stipulated that as one of the indemnities, China should 
declare the ports of Canton, Amoy, Fu-chow, Ning-po and Shanghai to 
be thrown entirely open to British trade and residence, and that com- 
merce with British subjects should be conducted at these ports under 
a properly regulated tariff and free from special Chinese restrictions. 
Although Great Britain nominally secured for herself special considera- 
tions, she intended and actually accomplished the establishing of com- 
merce between China and all other nations on a sound and liberal basis. 
The treaty of Nan-king was immediately followed by similar treaties 
with other powers, that with the United States being executed in 1844. 
Additional ports, decreed by treaties or other arrangements by the 
Chinese Government, have been added from year to year. At the end 
of the year 1899 the Maritime Customs reported twenty-nine of these 
ports, with several branch or sub-ports in addition. At nearly all of 
them there is a special reservation, called the foreign concession, where 
foreigners are allowed to reside and regulate their method of living in 
their own way. Although foreigners are permitted to dwell in the 
Chinese quarter if they so desire, the right to hold property in the con- 
cessions is usually denied to Chinese, and they are discriminated against 
in other ways. 

Previous to 1860 the management of foreign commerce had been 
in the hands of Chinese officials, with the usually unsatisfactory result 
attending any official department handled by native overseers. In that 
year the business of the port of Shanghai was placed temporarily in 
the hands of English, American and French Commissioners, who were 
able to so improve the receipts by efficient and honest management that 
the Chinese Government, recognizing the desirability of continuing for- 
eign supervision, organized the Imperial Maritime Customs and placed 

* This article will form part of a book entitled ' An American Engineer in China ' to be! pub- 
lished shortly by Messrs. McClure, Phillips & Co. 

vol. lviii.— 13 



194 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

the management of the whole foreign trade in the hands of a single 
Commissioner, called an Inspector-General, and appointed to this posi- 
tion Mr. Lay, succeeded in 1863 by Mr., afterward Sir, Robert Hart, 
who has continued in the control since then, and to whom is due the 
present very satisfactory condition of the management of this Bureau, 
to which has since been attached, in order to secure efficiency, a Marine 
Department, covering lighthouses and harbor regulations and the 
Chinese Imperial Post-office. 

The ports open in 1899 were: Niu-chwang, Tien-tsin, Che-foo, 
Chung-king, I-chang, Sha-si, Yo-chow, Hankow, Kiu-kiang, Wu-hu, 
Nan-king, Chin-kiang, Shanghai, Soo-chow, Ning-po, Hang-chow, Wen- 
chow, San-tuao, Poo-chow, Amoy, Swa-tow, Wu-chow, Sam-shui, Can- 
ton, Kiung-chow, Pak-hoi, Lung-chow, Meng-tsz and Szmao. Of these 
Niu-chwang is located in the north, at the terminus of the Chinese 
Imperial Railway, and is the gateway through which the trade passes 
from China to Russian Manchuria. Two ports, Tien-tsin and Che-foo, 
are situated on the Gulf of Pe-chi-li, while the next eleven on the list, 
Chung-king to Soo-chow, are on the Yang-tze Kiang or its tributaries. 
Seven ports, Ning-po to Swa-tow, are on the East Coast. Wu-chow and 
Sam-Shui are on the West River. Canton is the great port of Southern 
China and the oldest seat of foreign trade in the country. Kiung-chow 
is on the Island of Hainan, and Pak-hoi, Lung-chow, Meng-tsz and 
Sz-mao are on the Franco-China frontier of Tong-king. The last three 
and Niu-chwang are the only places not situated on important water- 
ways. Of the total foreign trade about three-quarters is transacted 
through Canton, Shanghai, Tien-tsin and Hankow, which are the great 
distributing points for the south, middle coast, north and interior. 

The importance of Canton, Shanghai, Tien-tsin and Hankow is fixed 
by geographical conditions. Canton is at the head of the Canton River, 
which is really the estuary for the combined flow of the West, the North 
and the East Rivers, the three principal streams and consequent trade 
routes of Southern China. With its fine harbor and juxtaposition to 
Hongkong, it is of necessity, and must always continue to be, the gate- 
Avay to the southern part of the Empire. In like manner, Shanghai, at 
the mouth of the Yang-tze, is the controlling point for the whole of 
the central zone; while Tien-tsin, the port of Peking, is the entrance to 
the north, the northwest and Mongolia. Hankow is at the head of 
steamsli ip navigation on the Yang-tze, and at the junction of that 
stream and its principal tributary, the Han, and if the extreme western 
part of the country be omitted, which part is mountainous and very 
thinly populated, Hankow is approximately the geographical center of 
the Empire. 

Native vessels trading between native ports report at custom-houses 
administered by native officials, where the records are hopelessly con- 



CHINESE COMMERCE. 195 

fused, and which, as a source of income to the Chinese Government, 
need not be considered in this place. 

The foreign commerce of China, both import and export, is growing 
steadily, having doubled since 1891, the figures for 1899 showing that 
foreign goods to the value of 264,748,456 Haikwan taels ($185,324,000) 
were imported, and native goods to the value of 195,784,332 Haikwan 
taels ($137,049,000) were exported, or a total commerce of 460,533,288 
Haikwan taels. 

Owing to the lack of internal communication, the distribution of 
Chinese commerce is singularly restricted. Of the imports more than 
one-half is confined to two classes of articles alone; thus cotton and 
cotton goods in 1899 accounted for 40.2 per cent., and opium, unfor- 
tunately, for 13|- per cent. In like manner the exports, silk and tea, 
stand out almost without competition with other articles; these two 
together also aggregating more than 50 per cent, of the total. Silk 
provided no less than 41.8 per cent, and tea 16.3 per cent. Kerosene oil, 
metals, rice, sugar and coal are other articles largely imported, and 
beans, hides and furs, mats and matting, and wool other exports. 

Although the extent of the traffic entered at native custom-houses, 
or, at least, not passing through the Maritime Customs, cannot be ascer- 
tained, that it is considerable is well understood, as can be showm by the 
single item of the export of rice. The exportation of this article was in 
1898 prohibited in order to prevent a possible shortage at home. The 
Maritime Customs, therefore, report no rice as having been shipped out- 
ward during that year. The Japanese Customs, however, report having 
received rice from China to the value of $2,000,000 United States gold. 
It had been smuggled out in native vessels through the native customs 
and the Government deprived of revenue. An amusing explanation of 
this is given, which so thoroughly illustrates Chinese methods as to 
be w T orth repeating. As rice forms the greatest single item in Chinese 
food, any falling off in supply threatens a famine, the one thing the 
Government most dreads. Such being the case in 1898, stringent orders 
were sent to the Customs Tao-tai in Shanghai to prohibit any export of 
the grain, the greatest source of supply for which being the Yang-tze 
Valley, Shanghai is the natural point of shipment. On account of 
the power attached to it, and the opportunities offered, the position 
of Shanghai Tao-tai is one specially sought after, and it is generally 
believed that the price paid for a three-year appointment, in the way 
of 'presents' to the Palace officials, is about 200,000 taels. Since the 
authorized emoluments are about 20,000 taels per annum, out of which 
expenses exceeding that amount must be paid, it is evident that great 
financial skill must be displayed by the official in order to make both 
ends meet. On receipt of the restraining order the Tao-tai, under 
the advice of the syndicate who were 'financ-in"-' him, held the order for 



ig6 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

some days, during which time the energetic syndicate members bought 
all the rice in sight, put it in vessels and rushed it abroad to Japan, 
a country which buys the inferior grade of Chinese rice for home con- 
sumption and ships abroad its own superior article. As soon as the 
embargo was published, the value of rice afloat at once rose and the 
Tao-tai syndicate cleared a handsome profit. This illustrates Chinese 
fiscal methods, and warrants the statement that the actual foreign com- 
merce of the country is greater than the figures indicate. 

China levies on its foreign commerce a tariff for revenue only. The 
rate charged on nearly all articles is five per cent, on imports and ex- 
ports alike, although there are some special rates and a number of 
articles on the free list. The actual average rate on imports and exports 
runs from three to four per cent. It is the general opinion of merchants 
in China that, should it become necessary to add to the Government's 
income, this rate could be increased without any serious detriment to 
foreign commerce. In Japan the Government has found it necessary, 
in order to derive more revenue, to seriously increase its customs tariff, 
so that the present charges range from thirty to fifty per cent, ad 
valorem. 

Foreign articles destined for consumption at the treaty ports or 
places of importation pay no further taxes. When, however, they are 
sent into the interior they are obliged to pay internal transportation 
taxes, called 'Likin,' collected at various stations along the trade routes. 
These likin charges, although they form a perfectly legitimate method 
of taxation, are objected to by the Chinese quite as much as by foreign 
traders, on account of their uncertain amount, which, according to 
Chinese custom, is left largely to the official in charge, who collects as 
much as he can. The foreign nations, in order to obviate these difficul- 
ties, have arranged with the Chinese Government to permit foreign 
articles destined for the interior to pay a single tax of two and a half 
per cent, to the Imperial Maritime Customs and then to receive what is 
called a 'transit pass' entitling the goods to pass the interior likin sta- 
tions without further charge. Unfortunately, these transit passes are 
not always respected by officials in the interior, unless they think that 
the shipper will appeal to a foreign government, and, therefore, the 
officials are apt to levy likin in accordance with their own needs, and 
of the total collected but a small part finds its way into the public 
treasury. 

The native merchant has no such advantage as the foreigner in 
securing immunity from likin extortion, and has to resort to all sorts 
of subterfuges to escape the impositions of his own countrymen, one 
of the most frequent of such resorts being to keep his goods under the 
name of a foreign merchant if possible. Another device was told to 
me by a customs official on the West River, where the local farmers 



CHINESE COMMERCE. 197 

raise tobacco which is consumed mostly in Northern Kwang-tung. If 
it were shipped direct it would be charged en route a large and uncer- 
tain likin tax, the uncertainty of the amount being the worst feature, 
as it may easily convert an apparently profitable transaction into a 
serious loss. To avoid this the tobacco is loaded on a sea-going junk and 
shipped to Hongkong. From there the junk brings it back and enters 
it at the point of original shipment as a foreign importation. For this 
the merchant secures a transit pass under which he ships it to its 
destination. He has paid the freight and import taxes of five per cent, 
each; the transit pass fee of two and a half per cent., and the 
shipping charges both ways to Hongkong, and the expense of 
rehandling. These items he can ascertain accurately beforehand, and, 
therefore, prefers paying them rather than run the likin gauntlet, which 
may be from ten per cent, to fifty per cent, or more. 

The Chinaman is by very instinct a trader, is quick to see and seize 
an opportunity to turn a profit, and has, what few other Eastern 
Asiatics have, a high sense of commercial honor. Although the great 
mass of them is poor, yet there is a wealthy class, and there exists, even 
in the interior, a demand for much more than the mere necessaries of 
life. 

Now, what have the United States done in the past in this great 
country, how do they stand there to-day, what can they do and what 
should they do in the future? These are the considerations that most 
concern us. 

To answer the first two of these questions there are two sources of 
statistics which we can examine — the returns of the United States, and 
of the Imperial Chinese Maritime Customs. Unfortunately, both of 
these sources are rendered valueless for exact deductions because of 
Hongkong. This, as is well known, is a British colony, and one of the 
few places on the globe where actual free trade exists. Being a British 
colony, enjoying free trade and possessing a magnificent harbor, it has 
become a great depot, or warehouse, where goods, whose ultimate des- 
tination, either in China or anywhere else in the Far East, is not defi- 
nitely fixed, are shipped in the first instance, and thence rebilled to the 
point of consumption. 

In this act their nationality is lost, for the returns of the shipping 
nation classes them as exports to Hongkong, while China, of course, 
treats them as imports from that place. The import returns of the 
Imperial Maritime Customs show that nearly one-half of the foreign 
commerce entering China comes from Hongkong. Thence many writ- 
ers fall into errors, either by taking the direct trade between China and 
any other country as limited to the reported figures, or by classing 
Hongkong under the head of Great Britain and Colonies. The con- 
clusions reached in these ways are grievously wrong. Although foreign 



198 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

goods are transshipped from Hongkong to Japan, the Philippine 
Islands, Siam and other parts of the Orient, yet at least three-quarters 
of all goods (of American probably a higher proportion) received there 
find their final market in China; so to determine approximately the ex- 
ports from the United States, or from any other country to China, the 
only way is to add to the direct exports three-quarters of the shipments 
to Hongkong. And to determine the relative standing of the trade of 
several nations, we should deduct the Hongkong trade from China's 
total as shown by the returns of the Imperial Maritime Customs, and 
then compare the reported direct imports or exports. This last calcu- 
lation will not yield the actual amount of trade by about one-half, but 
it will show with fair closeness the percentage of trade secured and the 
rate of increase. I have in this manner obtained the figures for the 
year 1893, the period just previous to the Japanese War; those of 1883 
and 1873, respectively the tenth and the twentieth year preceding 1893; 
and those for 1898, the fifth year following, and also for 1899, the Last 
complete year of normal trade conditions existing before the Boxer 
revolution. This table shows the import trade of China exclusive of 
Hongkong and the relative standing of the leading commercial powers, 
the actual trade of which is not as stated, for the table does not include 
shipments through Hongkong. 

DIRECT EXPORTS TO CHINA. 

1875. 1883. 1893. 189S. 1899. 

Total, except Hong- Hk. Tis. Hk. Tls. Hk. Tls. Hk. Tls. Hk. Tls. 

kong 44,202,000 45.863,000 72,435,922 116,737,079 146,652,248 

Great Britain 20,991,000 16,930,000 28,156,077 34,962,474 40,161,115 

India 16,709,000 17,154,000 16,739,588 19,135,546 31,911,214 

Japan 3,207,000 3,738,000 7,852,068 22,581,812 31,414,362 

Continent of Europe.. 662,000 2,385,000 5,920,363 10,852,073 13,405,637 

United States 244,000 2,708,000 5,443,569 17,161,312 22,2h8,745 

In the above table all the Continental powers of Europe are grouped 
as one. From this it will be seen that the export trade of the United 
States, an insignificant amount in 1873, has now outstripped the com- 
bined exports from the whole Continent of Europe, and will be soon 
contesting for second place with India and Japan. Had it not been for 
sudden increased shipments in 1899 of certain special articles like coal 
on the part of these countries, which articles China can and -should 
produce, the United States would have passed the Indian trade and be 
close on to that of Japan. In point of exports from China the United 
States trade in 1899 had reached a point surpassing that of any other 
country except Great Britain. 

But along what lines have these increases been made? Do they rep- 
resent only a greater outturning of raw material — the direct products 
of the soil — or of manufactured articles, carrying with them the results 
of American ingenuity and American labor, a form of export trade 
always the most desirable? 



CHINESE COMMERCE. 199 

Taking the full list, there were, according to the United States 
Government classification, exports in 1893 under fifty-seven heads, but 
in 1898, according to the same classification, exports under seventy-six 
heads. The greater part of the increase in the five years (amounting to 
a total of $6,091,613) was due to manufactures of cotton, which in- 
creased $3,558,791; to raw cotton, which increased from nothing to 
$370,670; to manufactures of iron and steel, including machinery, 
$116,018; and to oils, chiefly kerosene, $1,055,797. The manufactures 
of cotton, which in 1898 amounted to $5,193,127, reached, during the 
next United States fiscal year (1899), $9,811,565. That is to say, the 
value of cotton cloths alone was, in the year 1899, almost as large as the 
value of the total American imports into China during the preceding 
year of all articles of whatsoever nature. This class of goods, the prod- 
ucts of our New England and Southern mills, is the greatest single item 
of American commerce, and has already reached a point where, in cer- 
tain grades, it dominates absolutely the Chinese market. 

Taking drills, jeans and sheetings, the three great items of cotton 
goods consumed by the Chinese, and examining the trade of the three 
northern ports of Niu-chwang, Tien-tsin and Chefoo, American goods 
comprise of total receipts at the first: ninety-eight per cent., and at the 
second and third ninety-five per cent., the small remaining balance be- 
ing divided between the English, Indian, Dutch, Japanese and other 
manufacturing nations. But quite as extraordinary as this there must 
be kept in mind the fact that of the total exports to all countries of 
American manufactures in cotton cloths, the Chinese market consumes 
just one-half. 

Another article of American commerce that figured very small in the 
early returns, but now shows a great and increasing importance, is flour. 
It is shipped almost wholly to Hongkong, and thence forwarded to 
Canton, Amoy or other southern Chinese ports. In the fiscal year 
ending June 30, 1898, no less than $3,835,727 worth was exported from 
here, and during the corresponding period of 1900, a value of $1,502,- 
081. Wheat is not grown in southern China, and American flour has 
captured the demand, just as American cottons have done in the north. 
Next to Great Britain and Germany our best customer for American 
flour is China. 

Such is the state of our Chinese trade to-day, and no one can find 
fault with its present condition and its recent development. But what 
of the future ? 

The success of the American commercial invasion depends abso- 
lutely on the maintenance of the existing status. China, in the liber- 
ality of the regulations affecting foreign commerce, is second to no 
other nation. In levying a tax, amounting to less than four per cent., 
she gives preferential duties to none, special privileges only as com- 



200 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

pelled by the stress of force in Manchuria and Shan-tung, and extends 
a freedom of welcome to all. It is true that nations occupying Chinese 
territory make so far no invidious distinction between their own and 
other people; but it must be remembered that their tenure is only 
nominal, and while the title to these lands remains vested in China, 
it would be difficult, in the face of existing treaties, to impose discrim- 
inating rules. Let Eussia, however, become legally, as she is virtually, 
possessed of Manchuria; let her Trans-Siberian railway be completed, 
and let her claim openly as her own, not only Manchuria, but also the 
metropolitan province of Chi-li, is it to be supposed for one moment 
that the present freedom and equality of trade that China offers will 
be maintained? If anyone believes this let him talk with those in 
China who direct the course of Muscovite affairs. These officials, when 
in a confidential mood, will explain that the Trans-Siberian railway 
is a Government enterprise, and that it is much more important for 
Russia to give low and special rates to Russian cotton and other manu- 
factures which the Government is fostering at home than to look for 
a direct profit from the operation of the railway. And yet Manchuria 
and the northeastern part of China are to-day the best market for 
American goods. During the year 1899 no less than $6,297,300 worth 
of our cottons alone entered the port of Tien-tsin, and $4,216,700 
worth entered the port of Mu-chwang in addition. The latter amount 
was for consumption in Manchuria, Chinese and Russian. It is inter- 
esting to note that the whole import trade (including exports through 
Hongkong) from Russia, Siberia and Russian Manchuria to the whole 
of the Chinese Empire amounted to less than the imports of two grades 
of American cotton goods at ISTiu-chwang alone. When, therefore, 
Russia seized Lower Manchuria, the country most interested next to' 
China, whose territory was being despoiled, was not Japan, who was 
being robbed of her fruits of victory; was not Russia, who was adding 
another kingdom to her empire; was not Great Britain, the world's 
great trader, but it was, little as it was appreciated, the United States. 
The American interests in seeing commercial equality maintained, far 
and away transcend those of any other nation. 

Foreign trade in China to-day is confined exclusively to the treaty 
ports located along the coast and up the Yang-tze River. "When goods 
are shipped to China, they are resold by the foreign houses resident in 
these treaty ports to Chinese merchants, and by them in turn are re- 
tailed in the interior. So far, therefore, as the foreigner directly is 
concerned, his trade is confined simply to the outer edge of the country; 
to him the interior is a terra incognita. The success of a commercial 
invasion depends, not on these treaty ports, not on the purchase of 
goods along the outer edge of the country, but on the possibility of 
reaching directly that great mass of population which lies far away 



CHINESE COMMERCE. 201 

from the sea, out of reach of existing means of transportation, and 
practically buried in the interior. If they cannot be got at, or if, when 
reached, they cannot and will not trade, then it is not worth while to 
consider any general forward movement. 

In the course of my journey in the interior of China, I went through 
the province of Hu-peh, which the Yang-tze Kiang traverses; the 
province of Kwang-tung, lying along the China Sea, and, between 
these two, the province of Hu-nan, which practically had not been tra- 
versed before by white men. Here evidently was virgin soil, and its 
condition can, therefore, be taken as a criterion of what the Chinaman 
is when unaffected by foreign influences. Even here I found that, 
although the foreigner's foot might never before have trodden the 
streets of the cities, his goods were already exposed for sale in the shop- 
windows. 

In thinking of the Chinese, especially those in the interior, we are 
wont to consider them as uncivilized; and so they are, if measured 
scrupulously by our peculiar standards. But, on the other hand, they 
might say with some justice that we are not civilized according to the 
standards that they have set for themselves, founded on an experience 
of four thousand years. "With all its differences from ourselves, a nation 
that has had an organization for five thousand years; that has used 
printing for over eight centuries; that has produced the works of art 
that China has produced; that possesses a literature antedating that of 
Eome or Athens; whose people maintain shrines along the highways 
in which, following the precepts of the classics to respect the written 
page, they are wont to pick up and burn printed papers rather than 
have them trampled under foot; and which, to indicate a modern in- 
stance, was able to furnish me with a native letter of credit on local 
banks in unexplored Hu-nan, can hardly be denied the right to call 
itself civilized. In the interior — in those parts where no outside in- 
fluence has ever reached — we found cities whose walls, by their size, 
their crenelated parapets, and their keeps and watch-towers, suggested 
mediaeval Germany rather than Cathay. Many of the houses are of 
masonry, with decorated tile roofs, and elaborately carved details. The 
streets are paved with stone. The shops display in their windows arti- 
cles of every form, of every make. The streams are crossed by arched 
bridges unsurpassed in their graceful outline and good proportions. 
The farmer lives in a group of farm buildings enclosed by a compound 
wall — the whole exceeding in picturesqueness any bit in Normandy or 
Derbyshire. The rich mandarin dresses himself in summer in brocaded 
silk, and in winter in sable furs. He is waited on by a retinue of well- 
trained servants, and will invite the stranger to a dinner at night com- 
posed of ten or fifteen courses, entertaining him with a courtesy and 
intricacy of etiquette that Mayfair itself cannot excel. Such are actual 



202 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

conditions in parts of China uninfluenced by foreign presence, and so 
far the civilization of the interior is a real thing. That the Chinaman 
allows his handsome buildings to fall into disrepair; that his narrow 
city streets reek with foul odors; that the pig has equal rights with 
the owner of the pretty farm-house; and that the epicure takes delight 
at his dinner in sharks' fins instead of terrapin — these are merely differ- 
ences in details; and if they are faults, as we consider them to be, they 
will naturally be corrected as soon as the Chinaman, with his quick wit, 
perceives his errors, when the opportunity to study Occidental standards 
comes to him. 

Chang-sha, the capital of Hu-nan, is one of the most interesting 
cities in the whole Empire, as marking the very highest development of 
Chinese exclusiveness and dividing with Lhassa in Tibet the boast of 
shutting its gates tightly in the face of foreign contamination. In a 
previous chapter an account was given of how the present conservative 
governor had closed the schools organized by his more liberal prede- 
cessor, and had tried to root up the budding movement toward reform 
and progress. But he made one interesting and highly suggestive omis- 
sion in allowing the electric-light plant to continue. When, at the end 
of our first day at Chang-sha, as I stood on my boat watching the city 
wall, the picturesque roofs, the junks on the shore and the surging 
crowd slowly lose their distinctness in the twilight, and then saw them 
suddenly brought into view again by the glare of the bright electric arcs 
as the current was turned on to light the narrow streets, I smiled as I 
realized the utter impossibility of stopping the onward march of nine- 
teenth century progress, and that the Chinese themselves, even at the 
very heart-center of anti-foreignism, are ready to turn from the old to 
the new. 

In the shop-windows at Chang-sha there are displayed for sale arti- 
cles with American, English, French, German, Japanese and other 
brands. One shop, I noticed, displayed a good assortment of American 
canned fruits and vegetables. This is the condition of affairs, not in 
Shanghai or Amoy, open ports, but in the most exclusively Chinese 
section in the whole Empire. That the Chinaman will buy, that he 
will adopt foreign ways, there is no question; and he is just as ready to 
make the greater changes in his life that must result from the intro- 
duction of railways as to buy a few more pieces of cotton or a few more 
tons of steel. 

But in order to buy more the Chinaman must be able to sell more; 
for no matter what his inclination may be, unless he has something to 
give in return, he cannot trade. The exports from China have been 
expanding gradually, and in step with the imports. In 1888 they were 
92,401,06? tails: had increased to 116,632,311 taels in 1893, and had 
further advanced to 195,784,332 taels in 1899. The two great items 



CHINESE COMMERCE. 203 

of Chinese export, as was shown above, are silk and tea. The output 
of silk is increasing steadily, especially in the manufactured form. The 
amount of tea exported, however, is not on the increase, being about 
the same that it was ten years ago, the tea trade having been adversely 
affected by the competition of Japan, Ceylon and India, where more 
favorable transportation facilities have given advantages. Both tea and 
silk, however, are staple articles, with no chance of substitutes being 
found, and the world's demand for both is steadily increasing. The 
possibility of enlarging the output of silk is great, for there are in 
Northern Kwang-tung alone large areas of land capable of producing 
mulberry, that are lying idle at present because there are no transporta- 
tion facilities. 

The idea we have of the interior of China as overpeopled, and with 
every square foot of land under cultivation, is entirely without founda- 
tion, except possibly in certain portions of the great loess plain in the 
north. There is a great amount of land, capable of producing crops of 
various kinds and of supporting a population, that to-day lies fallow and 
unfilled. Given the means of sending their produce to the sea and so 
to the foreigner, the people of the interior will see to it that the produce 
is ready. 

Then there are vast mineral resources that are practically un- 
touched. China, with coal-fields exceeding in quantity those of Europe, 
imported last year no less than 859,370 tons of coal, valued at $4,477,- 
670 gold, nearly the whole of which came from Japan. With railways 
to bring the output of the mines to market, there will not only be no 
importing, thus permitting at least that amount to be expended for 
other foreign goods, but there should be a large export of coal to 
Hongkong for foreign shipping, and to other Eastern countries for local 
consumption. In addition to the coal, there are beds of copper, iron, 
lead and silver that, to-day untouched, are only awaiting the screech of 
the locomotive whistle. 

In short, the resources, both agricultural and mineral, are at hand 
to permit a foreign commerce to be carried on — to pay the cost of build- 
ing of railways and to provide sustenance for a commercial invasion. 

But as yet China has made no effort to develop her latent powers. 
As was shown, the bulk of her exports are confined to two articles, due 
to her people not utilizing their natural advantages in diversity of soil 
and climate. Each locality produces that single article which gives the 
best local result, without considering broad market conditions. Thus 
in the south it is mostly silk and rice; in the central zone, rice and tea, 
and in the north, millet and wheat. Every bit of valley land is culti- 
vated, but the hills are let go waste. There are great areas of grazing 
land where some day the Chinese will let herds roam, producing beef 
and hides, which they will turn to commercial profit; while on other 



204 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

hillsides, as I saw being done in places, they will set out forests, and 
arbor culture will be well suited to their patient ways. As yet they 
have worked their lands only with a view to home consumption; there 
are many ways in which they can devote them and their energies to 
furnish export articles for the imports they will buy. 

The position of the United States in China is peculiarly advanta- 
geous, because, in the first place, China regards our country as friendly 
in the desire to protect rather than despoil her territory, and because, 
in the second place, other nations have been willing to see ours come 
forward when they would have objected most strenuously to the same 
advancement on the part of one of their own number. The men who 
guide our national affairs and foreign commerce should always see to it 
that China's confidence is not abused. But as for the friendliness of 
other nations toward us in relation to China, so soon as the pressure 
of American trade begins to be felt by them, efforts will be made to 
thwart it if possible; and it must be remembered that to-day all the 
machinery of commerce, in the way of banks, transportation com- 
panies, cable lines, and other forms, is in their hands. When the meet- 
ing of the American and European invasions takes place, unless we 
have an organization, a base and rallying point, a tangible something 
besides mere labels on boxes or bales as representing American force, 
the struggle will be a hard one, for the native is apt to judge his asso- 
ciates by the outward visible signs, and with a natural tendency to 
deal with the strongest. In this respect commerce in the Far East 
stands, and will stand for a long time, on a different footing from that 
of commerce in Europe. 

In order to be thoroughly successful, to expand our trade far beyond 
its present boundaries, we should make a careful and intelligent study 
of the Chinaman in his tastes and habits. If we wish to sell him goods, 
we must make them of a form and kind that will please him and not 
necessarily ourselves. This is a fact too frequently overlooked by both 
the English and ourselves, but one of which the Germans, who may be 
our real competitors in the end, take advantage. For example, at the 
present moment, if a careful study were made of Chinese designs, the 
market for American printed goods could be largely broadened. It 
is not for our people to say that our designs are prettier; the Chinaman 
prefers his own, and he will not buy any other. The United States 
Minister to China, talking upon this subject, gave me a striking in- 
stance of foolish American obstinacy. The representative of a large 
concern manufacturing a staple article in hardware, let us say screws, 
had been working hard to secure an order for his screws, which he 
knew were better than the German article then supplying the demand. 
At last he obtained a trial order, amounting to $5,000, which he cabled 
out; but it was given on the condition that the screws be wrapped in 



CHINESE COMMERCE. 205 

a peculiar manner, say in bine paper, according to the form in which 
the native merchant had been accustomed to buy them. Was the 
order filled? Not at all. The company cabled back that their goods 
were always wrapped in brown paper and that no change could be made. 
The order then went to Germany. To the American concern an order 
for $5,000 was of small moment, perhaps; but they overlooked entirely 
the fact that this was the thin edge of the wedge, opening a trade that 
could be developed into tremendous proportions. This instance is not 
isolated, for, unfortunately, the reports of all our consuls are filled with 
parallel ones. 

A study must also be made of the grade and quality of the article 
shipped. It is no use to send to China, to be sold in the interior, tools, 
for instance, of the same high finish and quality that our mechanics 
exact in their own. A Chinaman's tools are hand-made, of rough 
finish and low cost. In the interior cities one sees a tool-maker take a 
piece of steel, draw all the temper, hammer it approximately to the 
shape of the knife or axe, chisel or razor, or whatever other article he 
may be about to make; then, with a sort of drawing-knife pare it down 
to the exact shape required, retemper it, grind it to an edge and fix 
it in a rough wooden handle. This work is done by a man at a wage 
of about ten cents a day, and this is the competition that our manu- 
facturer must meet. In spite of the difference in cost of labor he can 
do so, because his tools are machine-made and are better; but he must 
waste no money on unnecessary finish. 

As an example, the case of lamps is directly to the point. The 
Chinaman fairly revels in illumination; he hates the dark, and every- 
where, even in the smallest country towns wholly removed from foreign 
influence, it is possible to buy Standard oil or its competitors in the 
Chinese market, the Russian and Sumatra brands. The importation of 
illuminating oils is increasing tremendously. In 1892 it was 17,370,600 
gallons, and in 1898 it was 44,324,344 gallons. But what of the lamps 
in which this oil is burned? In 1892 the United States sent to China 
lamps to the value of $10,813, and in 1898 to the value of $4,690. That 
is to say, lamps are one of the few articles which show a decrease. 
While the consumption of oil had increased more than two and one-half 
times, the importation of American lamps had decreased in almost 
the same ratio. This was not due to the manufacture of lamps in 
China, but to the German and Japanese manufacturers making a study 
of the trade and turning out a special article. These lamps — and I 
saw them for sale everywhere, even in unexplored Hu-nan — have a 
metal stand, generally of brass, stamped out from thin sheets, with 
Chinese characters and decorations; and were it not for a small imprint 
of the manufacturer's name on the base, they would be considered of 
Chinese make. They are inexpensive, of the kind desired by the China- 



206 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

man, although perhaps not for sale in Hamburg or Berlin. On the 
other hand, the American article, much more handsome, from our point 
of view, but also more expensive, is of the same style as is sold on Broad- 
way, in Xew York. 

There is no need to multiply examples. There awaits the American 
manufacturer an outlet, especially for tools, machinery and other arti- 
cles in iron and steel. He will find a demand for the smaller and lighter 
machines, rather than for the larger ones. That is to say, he must 
appeal first to the individual worker who exists now, rather than aim 
at the needs of a conglomeration in a factory, which will come about 
in the future. The tools should be simple in character, easily worked 
and kept in order, and without the application of quick-return and 
other mechanical devices so necessary for labor-saving with us. Light 
wood-working machinery can be made to supplant the present manual- 
labor methods; and a large field is open for all kinds of pumps, wind- 
mills, piping and other articles of hydraulic machinery. 

Cotton goods of the finer grades, as well as the coarser which are 
supplied, household articles of all kinds, glassware, window-glass, wall- 
paper, and plumbing fixtures will find a ready market, as will also farm 
equipments, such as light-wheeled vehicles and small agricultural imple- 
ments of all kinds. In these, as in many manufactured articles, Ameri- 
can trade has as yet made little or no impression ; and yet the American 
article has an acknowledged superiority over any other foreign make. 

It is necessary for us also to study the Chinaman himself. The 
English and American traders make but little attempt to learn the 
language, and, therefore, frequently fail to come into personal contact 
with the native merchant. They are inclined to leave such negotiations 
to be conducted through a compradore, a native in the employ of the 
firm, who makes all the contracts, and who guarantees to his firm all 
native accounts, receiving a commission for his services. The German, 
and especially the Japanese, merchants, on the other hand, make a great 
effort to come into direct relations with those with whom they trade. 
They are still making use of the compradore system, but within reason- 
able limits. As to which course is preferable in the long run there 
ran be no question. Our houses should adopt the suggestion made in 
the report of the Blackburn (England) Chamber of Commerce, "to 
train in the Chinese spoken language and mercantile customs youths 
selected . . . for their business capacity. Such a system," the 
report adds, "would give us a hold over foreign trade in China that 
present methods can never do." 

Finally to be considered, there is the official representative of the 
United States, the consul. It is bad enough, as our practice is, to send 
consuls to France, or Germany, or Italy, who are unacquainted with the 
language of the country. But how much worse to send as our Govern- 



CHINESE COMMERCE. 207 

ment agents to China, the nation most difficult of all to come into rela- 
tions with, men without any idea, not only of the language, but of the 
customs and the idiosyncrasies of the people. 

This is not a reflection upon our present staff, many of whom are 
excellent and worthy men and who are now acquainted with the char- 
acteristics of those to whom they are accredited. But under our system, 
by the time a man understands his duties, he is removed. Nowhere else 
in the world is there so great a need for a permanent consular service as 
in China. 

The British Government long ago established a separate consular 
service for the East, entirely distinct from that elsewhere, so that a man 
once in the Chinese service stays there, and is not likely to be trans- 
ferred to a European or American post. Secretary Hay has lately made 
a beginning toward this end by proposing to establish a school at 
Peking. If the idea is not carried out now, circumstances will compel 
its adoption later. We should awake to the realization of our oppor- 
tunities, and unite for the invasion, not only of China, but of other Ori- 
ental lands as well. 



208 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE. 



ENERGY AND WORK OF THE 
HUMAN BODY. 
In discussing 'The Human Body as 
an Engine,'* I referred to some experi- 
ments made at Middletown with the 
Atwater-Rosa Respiration Calorimeter, 
in which a man lived several days in 
each of the experiments in a sealed 
chamber of about 180 cubic feet capa- 
city, eating, sleeping and working, 
while under minute observation. The 
potential energy supplied to the sub- 
ject of the experiment through the food 
which he ate was determined by serving 
him with accurately weighed portions 
of the various articles of the prescribed 
diet, and analyzing and burning in a 
small calorimeter carefully selected sam- 
ples of the same. The energy yielded 
by the subject consisted of three por- 
tions, all of which were carefully deter- 
mined. These were: (1) the heat of 
radiation and respiration which was 
measured by the calorimeter, (2) me- 
chanical work done within the calori- 
meter and (3) potential energy carried 
off in the refuse products of the body. 
The immediate purpose of the work was 
to verify experimentally the law of the 
conservation of energy for the living 
body; to show that the total energy 
taken into the body is equal to the sum 
of all the energy given out by the body 
during the same period (provided there 
is no net gain or loss of energy by the 
body) ; to show, indeed, that the funda- 
mental law of physics applies to the 
animal body, as it does to an engine or 
a dynamo or any other machine or me- 
chanical system. The law has been 
amply verified for inanimate systems; 
it seemed desirable to test it for an 
organic system. The statement was 



* Popular Science Monthly for September, 



1900. 



made in the article referred to that "In 
some cases the man under investigation 
worked regularly eight hours a day, 
the work done being measured by ap- 
paratus designed for the purpose." Some 
inquiry having been made as to how 
this work was measured, and whether 
it is possible, after all, to do this, the 
editor has asked me to answer the in- 
quiry through the columns of the 
Monthly. 

Confusion often arises in considering 
questions like the present one through 
inexact ideas concerning force and work. 
When force is exerted through a finite 
distance, work is done and energy is 
transferred from one body to another; 
and the work done is equal to the en- 
ergy so transferred. It is also equal to 
the force exerted in the direction of the 
motion multiplied by the distance 
through which the force acts. For ex- 
ample, when a man lifts a stone he ex- 
erts a force equal to that of gravity 
upon the stone through a certain verti- 
cal distance; and the work done is 
equal to the force exerted (that is, to 
the weight of the stone) multiplied by 
the height it is lifted. The energy ex- 
pended by the body is here transferred 
to the stone in its elevated position. 
This energy stored up in the stone is 
called potential energy, and it remains 
constant in amount so long as the stone 
remains at the same level. If the stone 
falls to a lower level its potential energy 
is reduced, but kinetic energy equal to 
the decrease of potential energy appears 
as heat. 

If the man lifts the stone one inch 
the work is only one thirty-sixth part 
as much as if he lifts it three feet. If 
he pull on the stone but does not move 
it, no work is done, in the mechanical 
sense. Muscle has contracted and work 
is doubtless done within the body, but 



DISCUSSION AND COBBESBONDENCE. 



209 



so far as the stone is concerned no work 
is done. So a man may hold a heavy 
weight in his hand or on his shoulder, 
sustaining it with considerable effort 
against the force of gravity, and yet no 
work is done on the stone so long as it 
is not raised to a higher level. If the 
stone is carried in a horizontal plane, 
no work is done on the stone; while if 
it is carried down hill or lowered verti- 
cally, negative work is done on the 
stone. That is, since the stone possesses 
less potential energy at the foot of the 
hill than at the top (the difference being 
equal to the weight of the stone multi- 
plied by the difference of altitude), the 
stone has lost energy, and this energy 
lost by the stone has been communi- 
cated to the man, who has had work 
done upon him by the stone, albeit he 
may have lugged it down the hill or 
lowered it from an elevated position 
with considerable effort. 

When a car is propelled by an elec- 
tric motor deriving its current from a 
storage battery carried on board the car, 
the energy of the car consists of three 
parts: (A) Mechanical potential energy 
due to the mass of the car being at 
some elevation above the surface of the 
earth. (B) Kinetic energy, due to the 
motion of the car as a whole and of its 
parts with respect to one another and 
the heat of the car. (C) Chemical po- 
tential energy stored up in the battery. 
When the car is running up grade, en- 
ergy is being expended not only in over- 
coming friction, but also in lifting the 
car against the force of gravity. In 
doing this, energy is transferred from C 
to A. When the car descends again to 
its former level the energy stored up in 
A is given up, less energy is therefore 
required from the battery to propel the 
car, and the battery is accordingly in 
so much spared. If the grade be steep, 
the motor may actually be driven as a 
dynamo, and the current which is there- 
by generated may be stored up in the 
battery. In this case energy is trans- 
ferred from A to C, and at the bottom 
of the hill the energy C may be greater 
than that at the top. The battery has 

VOL. LVIII.— 14 



done negative work on the car coming 
down the hill: that is, the car has done 
work on the battery and stored up en- 
ergy. 

The same considerations apply to the 
animal body. If a man carries himself 
up a hill, he is doing work upon his 
body in so elevating it against the force 
of gravity, and if he weighs 150 pounds 
and ascends an altitude of 10,000 feet, 
he has done 1,500,000 foot-pounds of 
work upon his body. This represents 
the quantity of energy which has been 
transferred from his tissues to his body 
as a mass; from chemical potential en- 
ergy to mechanical potential energy. 
The tissues correspond to the storage 
battery, the muscles to the motor and 
the man's weight to that of the car. So 
when the man walks down the moun- 
tain again he does negative work, low- 
ering his body (like lowering the car), 
involving the transfer of potential en- 
ergy from his body as a mass to his 
tissues. Just what form the energy 
takes as it is so transferred is not alto- 
gether clear, but the distinction between 
the potential energy of the body as a 
mass, due to its elevation above the sur- 
face of the earth, and the potential and 
kinetic energy resident in the tissues of 
the body, is one of fundamental impor- 
tance and should be kept clearly in view. 

We may consider the man to be a 
complex machine, weighing, say, 150 
pounds and having a quantity of poten- 
tial and kinetic energy stored up within 
his body, which store of energy is 
drawn upon whenever external work is 
to be done, and which, besides, is being 
constantly expended in keeping the body 
warm and performing the internal work 
of the body. The energy of the body, 
like that of the electric car, then, con- 
sists of three portions, viz.: (A) Me- 
chanical potential energy of the body 
as a whole, due to its position with re- 
spect to the earth. This is zero when it 
is at the earth's surface, or say the sea 
level, and increases as it rises above the 
sea level. (B) Kinetic energy, due to 
the heat of the body and to the motion 
of the body as a whole and of its several 



210 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



parts with respect to each other. (C) A 
store of chemical potential energy in 
its tissues and in food undergoing as- 
similation. Now when a man walks up 
hill, A increases, B remains nearly con- 
stant (increasing slightly), while O de- 
creases rapidly, due partly to the in- 
crease of A and partly to the loss of heat 
by radiation and respiration. When 
he walks down hill, A is transferred to 
C or B, or both, and because of this ac- 
quisition C decreases more slowly than 
it would do if it received nothing from 
A, while yet giving off energy at the 
same rate. The man does positive work 
upon his body when he lifts it against 
the force of gravity, storing up poten- 
tial energy A; he does negative work 
when he goes down hill, and the energy 
A passes to the interior of the body. 

Suppose a laborer lifts 20,000 pounds 
of brick 5 feet; he does 100,000 foot- 
pounds of work, this energy being trans- 
ferred from A to the bricks, and it will 
remain in the bricks as long as they re- 
main at their elevated position. Next, 
suppose he lowers the same bricks to 
their former position. This 100,000 foot- 
pounds of energy is now transferred 
back from the bricks to the laborer's 
body. Because he is expending energy 
all the time he will possess less energy 
at the end of the task than at the be- 
ginning. Nevertheless, he does not lose 
as much as though he had not received 
the 100,000 foot-pounds of energy from 
the bricks, and had given off the same 
amount of energy in other ways. 

We do not understand the process 
whereby the body converts chemical po- 
tential energy of tissue into mechanical 
energy; that is, we do not understand 
how the body does work. Still less do 
we understand how negative work is 
done; that is, how the body receives 
energy from without when it lowers a 
weight or walks down hill. That it 
does so acquire energy we cannot doubt. 
But whether it appears at once as heat, 
or as some other form of energy, and 
where the energy so received first ap- 
pears, has not been proved. Neither 
have experiments been carried out to 



determine the relation between (1) the 
quantity of negative work done in a 
given period, (2) the total heat radiated 
from the body in the same period, (3) 
the amounts of oxygen absorbed and 
carbon dioxid respired, and (4) the ex- 
cess of energy expended over that ex- 
pended in the same length of time dur- 
ing rest. Indeed, to repeat the experi- 
ments already done with the respiration 
calorimeter balancing the total income 
and outgo of energy for a given period, 
with this important difference, that the 
subject of the experiment was doing 
negative work (that is, having work 
done on him by an external agent) 
would be an extremely interesting and 
valuable piece of work. 

Consider now what occurs in walking 
on a level. The foot and leg are lifted, 
work is done in lifting them, and energy 
is stored up in them; they are advanced 
and lowered to the ground, and this 
stored up mechanical potential energy 
is then recovered by the system. The 
center of gravity of the body as a whole 
is also raised slightly at each step, but 
the work done in raising it is only 
equal to the energy yielded by the body 
when it descends again to the former 
level. Assuming an absence of friction 
against the ground and the atmosphere, 
the total external work done in walking 
on a level is zero. Force is exerted in 
holding the body erect or in holding the 
arm in an extended position. But no 
work is done in either case, for the force 
is not exerted through any distance. 
So also force is exerted by the huge 
cables which sustain the Brooklyn 
Bridge against gravity, but no work is 
done by these cables so long as the 
bridge is not lifted. Force is exerted by 
the foundations of a building in resist- 
ing the attraction of gravitation upon 
the mass of the superstructure, but no 
work is done by the foundation in so 
sustaining the weight. What the inter- 
nal work of the body may be when 
muscle is contracted and force exerted 
without doing external work is another 
matter. That question is deserving of 
careful study, and the respiration calori- 



DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE. 



211 



meter might perhaps lend itself to such 
an inquiry. 

In the experiments referred to, the 
man under investigation received daily 
a known quantity of potential energy 
in the form of food. Part of this was 
converted into external mechanical en- 
ergy and was measured; of the remain- 
der, part appeared as heat and part was 
carried away in the refuse products of 
the body. The internal work of the 
body is ultimately converted into heat, 
and appears in the total heat of radia- 
tion and respiration. Thus energy is 
expended in causing the heart to beat 
and the blood to circulate and the lungs 
to expand. This internal work is not 
stored up, but is transformed into heat 
and radiated away with that which re- 
sults directly from combustion. But 
external work done, like turning a 
grindstone or sawing wood, is not repre- 
sented in the heat radiations of the 
body. 

In order to do the desired amount of 
work within the calorimeter, the man 
operated a stationary bicycle, which was 
geared to a small dynamo. The front 
wheel of the bicycle was removed, and 
the rear wheel served as a driving pul- 
ley for the dynamo. The latter gener- 
ated a current, the energy of which was 
measured by an ammeter and a volt- 
meter. When this current passed out 
of the calorimeter, its energy was not 
included in the heat measured by the 
calorimeter. But in some cases the cur- 
rent flowed through an incandescent 
lamp inside the calorimeter. Then the 
mechanical energy done by the man 
was all turned to heat within the calori- 
meter; part of it through friction in 
the bicycle and dynamo, part through 
the electric current which flowed 
through the lamp. The former was 
measured as accurately as possible by 
seeing how much energy was required 
to drive the bicycle when using the 
dynamo as a motor, supplying current 
to the latter from a battery and meas- 
uring the energy so supplied by an 
ammeter and volt-meter. The quantity 
of heat resulting from this friction must 



be subtracted from the total heat meas- 
ured, in order to ascertain the quantity 
which was given off from the man's 
body directly as heat. And in those 
cases where the electric lamp was inside 
the chamber (and hence the work done 
by the subject was converted into heat 
within the chamber) this total amount 
must be subtracted from the heat meas- 
ured to give the amount of heat given 
off as such by the subject of the experi- 
ment. 

Thus we measure the quantity of ex- 
ternal work done; but nothing is here 
learned about the internal work. The 
latter is converted into heat within the 
body and, when radiated away, is meas- 
ured with the rest by the calorimeter. 
The amount of external work done in 
driving this bicycle-dynamo combina- 
tion in one of the experiments (which 
continued for 96 hours) was equivalent 
to 256 large calories per day. This was 
about 40 watts for eight hours, or 
788,000 foot-pounds, or 394 foot-tons. 
The total quantity of energy yielded 
was 3,726 large calories on the average 
for each of the four days. Since 256 is 
about 7 per cent, of 3,726, we see that 
the man converted 7 per cent, of the 
energy contained in his food into me- 
chanical energy, 93 per cent, appearing 
in the heat of radiation and respiration. 
This gives the man, regarded as a ma- 
chine for doing mechanical work, a 24- 
hour efficiency of 7 per cent. During the 
eight hours in which work was done 
the total consumption of energy was 
about 1,850 calories. Dividing the work 
done by this figure, we have for the me- 
chanical efficiency during working time, 
14 per cent. But there is still another 
way of reckoning this efficiency. Inas- 
much as a large part of the energy sup- 
plied to the body would have been re- 
quired to do internal work and keep the 
body warm, if no work had been done, 
we can fairly charge against the work 
done only the excess of energy supplied 
during the days when work was done 
over that required by the same man 
when no appreciable external work was 
done. The average quantity of energy 



212 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



supplied in several experiments in which 
the man did no considerable external 
work was 2,500 large calories. The ex- 
cess in the work experiment was there- 
fore 1,226 calories. Dividing the work 
done, 25G calories, by the excess of en- 
ergy absorbed, 1,226, and the quotient 
is .21. Thus 21 per cent, of this excess 
of energy absorbed was converted into 
work, or the efficiency of the man as a 
machine for doing work is 21 per cent. 
This is far greater than the efficiency of 
small portable steam engines, such as 
could be compared with respect to size 
or power with a human machine, and 
equals or surpasses that of the largest 



It may be of interest to show how a 
man's weight varies during twenty-four 
hours. The accompanying diagrams* 
give the variation in the weight of the 
man under investigation in one of the 
rest experiments; that is, in a four-days' 
experiment, where no mechanical work 
was done, except that involved in eating, 
dressing and making some records and 
observations within the calorimeter. 
The routine followed each day was near- 
ly but not exactly the same, and the 
fluctuations of weight are accordingly 
similar but not identical each day. 

Increase of weight is due to food and 
drink taken into the body and oxygen 




compound condensing engines taken in 
connection with the most perfect water- 
tube boilers. 

The bicycle-dynamo combination is 
not the most effective device upon which 
to develop mechanical power; and in 
the experiments quoted no attempt was 
made to secure the maximum efficiency 
of conversion of the potential energy of 
foodstuffs into mechanical energy. Al- 
though many experiments have already 
been carried out, further experiments 
are needed to show more fully what the 
human machine is capable of doing, and 
what circumstances are favorable to a 
high efficiency of conversion. 



respired from the atmosphere. Decrease 
of weight is due to feces and urine leav- 
ing the body, and carbon dioxid and 
water vapor carried away from the lungs 
and skin. Part of these changes in 
weight occur more or less suddenly, 
while the change due to respiration, in 
which oxygen is absorbed and carbon 
dioxid and water vapor are evolved, is 
gradual. In the diagrams the sudden 
changes are indicated by vertical lines, 
the numbers indicating the quantity of 
the change in grams. The gradual 



♦Copied from an article by the writer in the 
'Physical Review' for March, 1900, 'On the 
Metabolism of Matter in the Living Body.' 



DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE. 



213 



changes due to respirations are indi- 
cated by sloping lines, the number in 
each case indicating the net loss in 
grams; that is, the difference between 
the quantity of carbon dioxid and water 
vapor exhaled and the oxygen absorbed. 
All the vertical lines indicating sudden 
decrease in weight are due to urine ex- 
cept the two (on the second and fourth 
days) which are marked 'feces.' 

Starting at 7 o'clock on the morning 
of the first day with a weight of 68,420 
grams, the subject loses 45 grams in one 
hour by respiration. This loss by respi- 
ration was determined to be 270 grams 
in six hours, and in making up this dia- 



weight drops during the afternoon and 
then supper brings it up to the maxi- 
mum of the day. During the night the 
weight falls again, so that at 7 o'clock 
on the second morning it is almost ex- 
actly the same as at the start. It is 
noteworthy that the loss by respiration 
is nearly as great during sleep as during 
the morning and afternoon hours, there 
being a loss of 254 grams in six hours 
during sleep as compared with 270 in 
six hours during the day. 

The variations in weight in the three 
succeeding days can be followed from 
the diagram. These diagrams were made 
from the records of the experiment, and 




A.M. 



gram it was assumed to be uniform dur- 
ing the six hours. The loss by carbon 
dioxid is almost exactly 25 per cent, 
greater than the gain by oxygen ab- 
sorbed. Sitting on a good balance, one 
can literally see one's self grow lighter 
as one quietly breathes one's self away. 
Breakfast adds 675 grams, respiration 
reduces his weight by 110 grams up to 
10.30, when a drink of water adds 200 
grams; a further loss of 110.3 grams by 
respiration is followed by a loss of 341 
grams of urine, then 28 by respiration, 
and at 1.30 dinner adds 804 grams. The 



the computed weights agreed quite well 
with actual weighings made at several 
different times during the experiment. 

Such diagrams have not as yet been 
prepared for work experiments, but they 
could not fail to be of great interest in 
the cases we have been considering; 
namely, where the subject of the ex- 
periment does first positive work, then 
negative work, and, finally, positive and 
negative work together. 

Edward B. Rosa. 
Wesley an University. 



214 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



SCIENTIFIC LITEKATUKE. 



PHOTOGRAPHY OF SOLAR 

ECLIPSES. 
It is often supposed by readers of 
popular articles on astronomical pho- 
tography that the introduction of the 
methods of 'the new astronomy' has 
done away, once for all, with the diffi- 
culties of the old. The photographic 
plate has taken the place of the observ- 
er's eye and the personal equation is 
supposed to have been abolished. Those 
who work in astronomical photography 
are the first to extol the merits of the 
new methods. But they are fully aware 
of difficulties peculiar to them which 
must be treated very much as if they 
were errors peculiar to an observer. The 
plate has its own personal equation. It 
is impossible to overestimate the bene- 
fit to eclipse observations, for example, 
that has resulted from the introduction 
of photography as a means of register- 
ing the forms and details of the solar 
corona. Yet the photographic plate has 
serious failings of its own. Some of them 
have lately been done away with by a 
device invented by Mr. Charles Burck- 
halter, Director of the Chabot Observa- 
tory, in Oakland, California; and it is 
the purpose of this paragraph to exhibit 
the advance made by Mr. Burckhalter's 
methods. 

The solar corona is very bright near 
the edge of the sun's disc and fades 
away gradually till at a distance of 
some 80 to 100 minutes its brilliancy 
is about the same as that of the sky- 
background. If a photograph is taken 
with a very short exposure, only the 
brighter parts of the corona are regis- 
tered on the plate. The fainter por- 
tions do not appear at all. If a pho- 
tograph is taken with an exposure suffi- 
ciently long to record the fainter por- 
tions, all the inner regions of the co- 
rona are much overexposed, and all de- 
tail is lost near the sun*s edge. By the 



ordinary methods, then, the corona, as 
a whole, cannot be exhibited on any 
single plate. Each exposure is suitable 
for registering one region, and only one. 
The corona must be studied on a series 
of negatives of varying exposures. 

Mr. Burckhalter has devised and tried 
at two eclipses (the India eclipse of 1898 
and the Georgia eclipse of 1900) a simple 
plan which has worked very well. He 
uses an ordinary photographic telescope 
and plate, but in front of the plate he 
places a rapidly revolving shield or dia- 
phragm, cut to such a shape that dif- 
ferent portions of the corona have dif- 
ferent exposures. At the Georgia 
eclipse, for example, one of his negatives 
was exposed for eight seconds, but it 
was, at the same time, screened from the 
light so that the equivalent exposure 
at the sun's edge was only 4-100 of a 
second; at 4' from the sun's edge, Os.32; 
at 8', 0s.80; at 12', ls.38; at 16', ls.76; 
at 24', 2s.40; at 34', 3s.20; at 44', 4s.00; 
at 64',5s.60; at 94' and at all greater dis- 
tances, 8s.00. The resulting negative is ex- 
tremely fine, and it exhibits the corona 
as it has never before been seen on a 
single plate. The bright inner corona 
and prominences are shown in their true 
form and brilliancy alongside of the faint 
polar rays and the delicate masses of 
the outer coronal extensions. Those 
who are especially interested should 
consult Mr. Burckhalter's report (illus- 
trated) in the Publications of. the As- 
tronomical Society of the Pacific, No. 
75, for October, 1900. The advance 
over previous work of the same kind 
is so marked that it is to be hoped that 
this method will be adopted at the 
Sumatra eclipse of May, 1901. 

PSYCHOLOGY AS LITERATURE 
AND FICTION. 

Messrs. Harper & Bros, are re- 
sponsible for the publication of 'Hyp- 



SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. 



215 



notism in Mental and Moral Culture,' 
by John Duncan Quackenbos, an un- 
fortunate volume which may be per- 
mitted to speak for and condemn itself. 
To begin with, the work was written 
'in premeditated ignorance of recent 
works on hypnotism.' Hypnotism is 
presented as a miraculous panacea. "A 
recent experiment of the writer's estab- 
lishes the fact that disequilibration may 
be adjusted; a congenital cerebral defi- 
ciency overcome; a personality crippled 
by thought inhibition, mental apathy 
and defective attention transformed 
into a personality without a blot upon 
the brain, and so impending insanity 
shunted — by the use of hypnotic sug- 
gestion as an educational agency." "Dif- 
ferences induced by objective education 
are obliterated; and the fundamental 
endowments of that finer spiritual organ 
in which under God we have our highest 
being — endowments conferred by Deity 
on all human souls without favor and 
without stint— dominate the intellec- 
tual life. The divine image is supreme 
in the man, and creative communication 
on the broadest lines and on the most 
exalted planes becomes possible. Hyp- 
notic suggestion is but inspiration. Not 
only does the subject share the latent 
knowledge, but he borrows as well the 
mental tone of the operator. His mem- 
ory becomes preternaturally impressi- 
ble. The principles of science, of lan- 
guage, of music, of art, are quickly ap- 
propriated and permanently retained 
for post-hypnotic expression through ap- 
propriate channels. Confidence in talent 
is acquired; and embarrassment, confu- 
sion, all admission of inferiority, are 
banished from the objective life — by 
placing the superior self in control." 
Among the patients are "several ladies 
who are making a profession of fiction 
writing. To these latter were imparted 
in hypnosis, first, a knowledge of the 
canons of narration, viz., the law of 
selection, which limits the story-teller 
to appropriate characteristic or indi- 
vidual circumstances; the law of succes- 
sion," and other laws of like flavor. 
The result: "In the light of instantane- 



ous apprehension, barrenness gives place 
to richness of association, the earnest 
thought and honest toil of the old 
method to a surprising facility, disin- 
clination to select details to zest in ap- 
propriating whatever is available. Op- 
portunity and mood are thus made to 
coincide, and the subject spontaneously 
conforms to the eternal principles of 
style. Under the influence of such in- 
spiration, rapid progress has been made 
in the chosen field of authorship." The 
art of acting is equally easily accom- 
plished. "The response of the woman's 
soul to such suggestions with post- 
hypnotic import is followed by her 
speedy ascent to the heights of his- 
trionic art, and by subsequent triumphs 
on the stage through an apprehension 
of her own deathless power as revealed 
by the creative communication of her 
hypnotist. An actress once so inspired 
is inspired forever." For music the same 
formula holds. "The automatic mind is 
gently wooed to the summits of soul life, 
where it becomes susceptible to inspira- 
tion and burns to launch itself, through 
music as a medium of artistic expres- 
sion, into the objective world." Moral 
perfection is likewise achieved. Here 
is a typical case before treatment: 
"Philetas M., aged twenty-one, an adept 
in all kinds of deviltry; a cigarette 
fiend; an incorrigible liar, unblushingly 
denying scarce-cold crimes with the 
proofs of their commission in our very 
hands, and constantly deceiving his 
parents with rotten-hearted promises; a 
borrower of money under false pre- 
tences, and an out-and-out thief for 
whom jail had no terrors; a gambler: a 
profligate ready to pawn the clothes on 
his back at the bidding of town-dow- 
dies: a trencher-knight of the subloins 
of the Tenderloin," etc.; and this is the 
appearance after taking: "The weak- 
nesses of the past are forgotten, vice 
loses its attractions, and the inspired 
soul seeks to make reparation for its 
shortcomings by an exaggerated loy- 
alty to the spirit of the moral law. 
The young man who has regarded 
with contempt a father's advice and a 



2l6 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



mother's love becomes, after treatment, 
the incarnation of filial reverence and 
affection. The liar looks his interlocu- 
tor in the face and speaks the truth 
without regard to consequences. The 
thief parts with all inclination to appro- 
priate what is not his. The libertine ac- 
cepts the white life. Human sapro- 
phytes that thrive on social rottenness 
are not wholly destitute of moral chloro- 
phyl." Nor is this all. By the same 
means, "Habits of thought concentra- 
tion may be made to take the place of 
habits of rambling, ability to use gram- 
matical English for uncertainty in syn- 
tax, a taste that approves elegance for 
an inclination to slang." Though potent 
for good, this panacea refuses to work 
ill. "Fortunately for the protection of 
society, the power of suggestion to de- 
prave is providentially limited, while its 
influence for good is without horizon. A 
mesmerizee quickly discovers the hypo- 
crite in a suggestionist, and a pure soul 
will always revolt at the intrusion of a 
sordid or sensual self and spontaneously 
repel its advances." That the sugges- 
tionist must have unusual gifts to ac- 
complish such vast results seems natural 
enough. "A practitioner of hypnotism 
should be a proficient in the physical 
sciences, in literature, language, belles- 
lettres, art, sociology and theology." 
"Ignorance in an operator is a disquali- 
fying defect; soul-exalting suggestions 
are full of atmosphere." Nor is it sur- 
prising to learn that the mesmerizee evi- 
dences "supranormal perceptive powers, 
possessed by subliminal selfs, acting at 
a distance from their physical bodies (a 
rational explanation of clairvoyance 
and clairaudience), or of automatic com- 
munications between the subliminal 
selfs of such unconscious mediums and 
outside personalities not human, who 
are cognizant of the events described, 
and are independent of time and space 
limitations;" and that "human beings 
are hypnotizable by other human be- 
ings, between whom and themselves ex- 
ists a peculiar sympathy or harmonious 
relationship known as rapport." 

There is no need to continue. If the 



above citations prevent the spread of 
false notions regarding the contents and 
character of the work they will in part 
have fulfilled their purpose. That the 
volume contains interesting, possibly 
valuable observations, may be true; but 
the general distrust of any results so 
sensationally presented will deservedly 
prevent recognition of any sound con- 
tribution of fact that may happen to 
be buried beneath this tinsel and paste. 
Were it not for the 'premeditated ig- 
norance,' the author might have known 
of similar observations more soberly 
presented by other writers; and he 
might have been induced by a knowl- 
edge of the present status of hypnotism 
to present his own results with more re- 
serve, proportion and scientific accepta- 
bility. It is difficult to say whether the 
author offends most deeply our scientific 
sensibilities by his extravagant, false 
and misleading representations, or our 
aesthetic sense by his grotesque and 
tactless manner of presentation, or our 
moral judgment by his disregard of ob- 
vious relations and his irrelevant and 
officious appeal to religious beliefs. On 
account of its popular tone, such a vol- 
ume has great power for evil, and the 
condemnation of author and publisher for 
such abuse of a popular interest should 
be expressed in no uncertain terms. 

'Medicine and the Mind,' trans- 
lated from the French of Dr. Mau- 
rice de Fleury by Stacy B. Collins, 
M. D., and published by Downey & Co., 
is the type of work which the scien- 
tifically-minded are likely to dismiss as 
too 'literary,' and the litterateur to dis- 
regard as too scientific. Neither dis- 
paragement is quite warranted, how- 
ever natural. If one assumes a proper 
attitude towards the volume — or per- 
haps one should say, finds himself in a 
sympathetic mood for this kind of read- 
ing — he may find attraction, suggestive- 
ness and profit in its perusal. But it is 
distinctly a kind of writing to which the 
Anglo-Saxon mind is unresponsive; our 
standards of popular science are totally 
different in ideal and execution from 



SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. 



217 



those of our Gaelic colleagues; and, ac- 
cordingly, when a book such as Dr. 
Fleury's leaves its native soil, it comes in 
contact with forms of critical judgment 
which it cannot successfully meet. As 
the author himself almost naively notes, 
in contrasting French works with those 
of an English writer, Sir John Lubbock, 
"With us a philosopher writes books for 
his own renown. Sir John Lubbock 
thinks of himself not at all." Dr. Fleury 
follows the French ideal and produces 
a chatty volume thoroughly infused 
with his personal opinions and interests, 
kaleidoscopic in scope, rather aimless in 
design, literary in form, and, judged by 
our own ideals, a very bad exemplar for 
popular science. 

The general point of view is that of a 
physician who wishes to record for the 
benefit of other types of professional 
men, the medical aspect of the large 
and ever-present problems of civiliza- 
tion. From responsibility in cases of 
crime, and the methods in use at the 
Salpetriere, to an essay on the bad ef- 
fects of tobacco, and the proper regimen 
for literary men (illustrated by copious 
testimonials from men of literary note) ; 
and again from disquisitions on the ef- 
fects of serum and other liquids hypo- 
dermically applied and an account of 
the nervous system, through discussions 
of mental and physical fatigue and the 
treatment of indolence and melancholy, 
to the psychology of love and anger as 
morbid passions, and the 'physiological 
analysis of flirtation,' — the volume pro- 
ceeds at times interestingly, often 
touching upon new and significant ob- 
servation, but always aimlessly, self- 
consciously and with a strained attempt 
to introduce novelty and paradox. When 
the author remarks "who knows but 
the twentieth century may rewrite 
Werther in its own way, with figures 
in the text, as a medical publication," 
he suggests only a moderate exaggera- 
tion of some of his own pages. The 
scientific point of view and useful scien- 
tific writing are not dependent upon 
diagrams and phrases, but on the natu- 
ral outcome of fullness of learning, of a 



fundamental training and a combination 
of enthusiasm and skill. Dr. Fleury's 
book affords glimpses of an attractive 
personality endowed with some of these 
requisites; but his volume can have lit- 
tle influence upon the English reading 
public. 

Of translations, as of the dead, it is 
generally best to say nihil nisi bonum. 
But the imperfections of the present 
task are all of that totally unnecessary 
type which makes them particularly ag- 
gravating. The foreignness of the pres- 
entation is left unmitigated by skillful 
phrasing; the existence of appropriate 
technical terms in English is ignored, 
and minor errors (such as the wrong re- 
translation of an English work cited by 
the French author) are numerous. 

Prof. Flotjrnoy's skillful descrip- 
tion of a remarkable case of sub-con- 
scious automatism was noticed in a re- 
cent issue of this Monthly. It is in 
every way worthy of presentation to 
English readers; and such readers are 
under obligations to Messrs. Harper & 
Bros, and the translator for the credit- 
able appearance of the English volume. 
The translation is fluent and ac- 
ceptable, and the composition of the 
book eminently satisfactory. Apart 
from the general query as to the de- 
sirability of placing a volume of this 
type before the public at large in a 
form intended to suggest its popular 
assimilability, the temper of the trans- 
lator's preface demands a word of com- 
ment and of protest. To present this 
volume as a contribution to the mysti- 
cal aspect of that composite activity, 
the results of which are denominated 
'Psychical Research,' is a wrong to the 
author's purposes and (with few excep- 
tions) is antagonistic to his own point 
of view. To put forward the volume as 
a contribution to a line of investigation 
that shall scientifically prove to be 'the 
preamble of all religions,' that shall 
demonstrate unsuspected and anoma- 
lous mental powers, and all but demon- 
strate immortality, to claim that for 
any one skeptically inclined and out 



218 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



of harmony with this point of view 'the 
book will have no interest' — all this 
serves to place the entire volume in so 
misleading and unfortunate a position 
that it would have been far better, 
rather than have it thus introduced, to 
have left the work untranslated. Under 
its present auspices it will prove to be 
a useful convenience to many, but a 
source of misconception and a stumbling- 
block to many more. 

EDUCATION. 

Dtjbtng the later part of the eight- 
eenth century the conception of educa- 
tion as one phase of the development of 
the individual was established. There 
followed attention to the methodologic- 
al aspect of the subject which resulted 
in the basing of the method of educa- 
tion upon psychology, instead of upon 
more or less fantastic analogies with na- 
ture. During the latter half of the pres- 
ent century has been established the 
conception of education as a social proc- 
ess, as one phase of human develop- 
ment. As a result, the historical and 
social aspects of education are becoming 
more scientific. There has been no his- 
tory or historical sketch of education 
for the English reading public that pos- 
sessed historic and scientific value until 
the recent appearance of Prof. Thomas 
Davidson's 'History of Education.' The 
author defines education as conscious 
human evolution and attempts to 
sketch the history of education in terms 
of dominant evolutionary thought. Fre- 
quently the author is guilty of that 
generality that has brought much of 
sociological thought into disrepute. His 
definition of education is so broad that 
it would include political and other 
phases of evolution that are conscious 
processes so far as the race is con- 
cerned. However, the revision of old 
ideas or the formulation of new ones 
is certain to provoke disagreement con- 
cerning essentials or details. It is the 
attempt that is significant in this case. 
It is but an earnest of the future. There 
is further evidence to this more scientific 



conception of the history of education. 
Hitherto the historical aspect of educa- 
tion has not passed beyond the bio- 
graphical stage. But educational biog- 
raphy is now being written from this 
broader point of view. The interest is 
less in the individual and more in 
his relation to social practices and de- 
veloping ideas. This attitude is best il- 
lustrated in the issues of the 'Great 
Educator Series,' edited by Prof. Nicho- 
las Murray Butler. The latest issue, 
'Comenius and the Beginnings of Edu- 
cational Reform,' by Will S. Monroe, is 
well up to the higher standard set by 
previous issues. Comenius was to edu- 
cation what his contemporaries, Bacon 
and Descartes, were to science and phi- 
losophy. A biographical sketch of Co- 
menius from this point of view, such as 
Mr. Monroe gives, is a valuable contri- 
bution to the literature of the new as- 
pect of education. 

Dk. L. Viereck publishes in the Ed- 
ucational Review an article narrating 
how even in the German gymnasium 
Latin is losing its traditional position. 
A movement is gaining ground looking 
toward beginning the study of Latin 
not in the lowest class of the gymna- 
sium, but only after three years, thus 
leaving six years for the language. In 
this case Greek is begun two years later 
and is confined to the last four years of 
the course. This plan has the obvious 
advantage of not requiring boys to de- 
cide on their career in life at the age of 
ten years, but permits students of the 
'real' gymnasium and of the traditional 
gymnasium to carry on the same studies 
for the first three years. The system, 
which was first tried in Frankfort in 
1892, had a year ago been adopted in 
twenty-one schools and appears to be 
favored by the Prussian Government. 
Other straws showing how the current 
is setting in Germany are the estab- 
lishment within a year of a doctorate 
in applied science and the decision that 
hereafter the doctor's diploma shall be 
written in German instead of Latin. 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



219 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



The statue of Lavoisier, shown in 
the frontispiece of this number, was 
unveiled at Paris on the 27th of July. 
It stands facing the Rue Tronchet, near 
the house in which Lavoisier dwelt. The 
figure, of bronze, stands upon a granite 
pedestal, ornamented by bas-reliefs rep- 
resenting Lavoisier before his colleagues 
at the Academy, and at work in his 
laboratory. M. Leygues presided at the 
ceremony, at which the members of the 
international congress of chemistry were 
present. In the course of the address 
written for the occasion M. Berthelot 
characterized Lavoisier's work as fol- 
lows: "The labors of Lavoisier are re- 
lated to a fundamental discovery from 
which they all spring, namely, the dis- 
covery of the chemical constitution of 
matter and of the difference between 
bodies possessing weight and imponder- 
able forces — heat, light, electricity — the 
influence of which extends over these 
bodies. The discovery of this difference 
overturned the old ideas handed down 
from antiquity and held till the end of 
the last century." Lavoisier was a no- 
table example of the excellence of scien- 
tific men in other than scientific fields 
of activity. He wrote a good book on 
education, was an efficient officer in a 
number of public undertakings, and was 
for some years 'fermier general.' His 
scientific work is summed up by the in- 
scription on the pedestal of the monu- 
ment: 'Fondateur de la chimie mod- 
erne.' 

There is now evidence that yellow 
fever, as well as malaria, is caused by 
inoculation by mosquitoes which serve 
as the intermediate hosts of the para- 
sites. Drs. Reed, Carroll, Agramonte 
and Lazear, who were appointed last 
summer by the Surgeon-General to in- 
vestigate infectious diseases in Cuba, 



have in a preliminary report of their 
work denied that the bacillus icteroides 
of Sanarelli is the cause of yellow fever. 
In general they have not found it pres- 
ent in the blood of yellow fever patients 
or in the organs of those who have died 
of the disease, and consider that when 
present it is a secondary invader. After 
these results had been reached they test- 
ed the hypothesis advanced by Dr. Car- 
los J. Finlay of Havana in 1881 that 
yellow fever is transmitted from person 
to person by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes 
which had bitten fever patients were al- 
lowed to bite eleven persons. In nine 
cases no evil results followed, but in two 
cases, Dr. Carroll himself being one, reg- 
ular attacks of yellow fever followed. 
It is true that in these cases there was 
a possibility of infection from other 
sources, but since out of 1,400 non-im- 
mune Americans at the Columbia Bar- 
racks there were in two months only 
three cases and since of the three two 
had been bitten within five days of the 
commencement of their attacks by con- 
taminated mosquitoes, the board seems 
justified in assigning the role of effi- 
cient cause to the mosquitoes. The pos- 
itive evidence is increased by the sad his- 
tory of Dr. Lazear, one of the investi- 
gating board. Dr. Lazear was one of 
the nine who had not suffered in the 
inoculation experiment just described. 
While working with yellow fever pa- 
tients he was bitten by a mosquito, 
which because of the previous experi- 
ment he did not even attempt to avoid. 
He was bitten on September 13, and be- 
came ill on September 17 with the fe- 
ver, which thereafter ran its course, 
ending in death. It was not demon- 
strated that this particular mosquito 
had previously bitten any yellow fever 
patient, but of course there was every 
opportunity for it to do so. Dr. Reed 



220 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



and his associates feel justified in the 
following conclusion: "The mosquito 
serves as the intermediate host for the 
parasite of yellow fever, and it is highly 
probable that the disease is only prop- 
agated through the bite of this insect." 

One of the most obscure points in 
chemistry is the action of ferments. 
These have been grouped in two classes : 
Organized ferments like the yeast plant, 
or the mycoderma aceti, which oxidize 
alcohol to acetic acid; and the unorgan- 
ized ferments, like diastase, which con- 
vert starch into sugar. In both cases 
a very small quantity of the ferment is 
capable of converting an indefinitely 
large amount of the fermenting sub- 
stance into the fermented product, al- 
though the ferment itself does not enter 
as such into the reaction. Further, the 
action of ferments can be inhibited by 
heat and by the action of certain sub- 
stances which act as poisons. Recent 
investigations seem to show that the or- 
ganized ferments may owe their action 
to unorganized ferments which they se- 
crete. More recently attention has been 
called by Bredig and von Berneck to 
the similarity between the action of fer- 
ments, and what has been called con- 
tact action of metals. For example, fine- 
ly divided platinum can oxidize alcohol 
to acetic acid, and can invert cane sugar. 
Much more marked is the action of a 
solution of colloidal platinum, obtained 
by passing a strong current of electric- 
ity between platinum poles under water. 
The action of the platinum in this con- 
dition is remarkably like that of a fer- 
ment. When its effect upon hydrogen 
peroxide was studied it was found that 
one part in about 350,000,000 parts of 
water was sufficient to decompose hydro- 
gen peroxide appreciably. Minute traces 
of certain poisons affect the reaction 
strongly; especially is this true of prus- 
sic acid, hydrogen sulfid and corrosive 
sublimate. Like many ferments the plat- 
inum solution gradually recovers from 
the poisonous effects of traces of potas- 
sium cyanid. It also appears that the 
platinum plays no chemical part in the 



reaction, and thus it is apparently a true 
ferment. It seems probable that the 
study of these inorganic ferments may 
throw much light upon the action of 
the very complicated organic ferments. 

When the discovery was made some 
ten years ago that leguminous plants 
are able to assimilate the free nitrogen 
of the atmosphere, and thus to supply 
themselves with one of the necessary 
elements of plant food, its importance to 
agriculture as an economical means of 
maintaining soil fertility was recognized 
almost immediately. In working out 
the practical application of the discov- 
ery it was found that the micro-organ- 
isms which effect this nitrogen assimi- 
lation are not the same for all kinds of 
legumes, but that different kinds have 
their specific organisms, and further- 
more that these micro-organisms are 
not universally disseminated through 
the soil. This led to inoculation of the 
soil, either with pure cultures of the 
specific bacteria or with soil from a 
field known to contain them in abun- 
dance. What seemed so simple theoret- 
ically has been found in practice to be 
only partially successful, so that the 
progress in its application has been 
somewhat delayed. A very interesting 
account of experiments in inoculating 
soils for the growth of the soy bean 
has recently been published by the Kan- 
sas Experiment Station as Bulletin No. 
96. It is one of the most successful at- 
tempts at soil inoculation on a large 
scale that has been reported in this 
country or in Europe, where this 
method for promoting nitrogen assimi- 
lation was first suggested. It- was 
found that the Kansas soil contained 
none of the organisms necessary for the 
soy bean, and that in such soil the roots 
produced none of the tubercles which 
are intimately associated with nitrogen 
assimilation. A quantity of soil was 
obtained from the Massachusetts Ex- 
periment Station, where the soy bean 
had been grown for several years, and 
mixed in very small proportion with 
the Kansas soil, with the result that 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



221 



the soy bean plants produced root 
tubercles abundantly, indicating that 
they were drawing their nitrogen from 
the air. Local soil which had once been 
inoculated and produced a crop of soy 
beans was found to be suitable mate- 
rial for inoculating other soils; and a 
practical method for treating large 
fields has been worked out and tested 
through several seasons. The result is 
especially important as the soy bean is 
well suited to a wide range of country, 
and aside from being a valuable forage 
crop its growth materially enriches the 
soil. 

The recent announcements of the 
census bureau, which have been widely 
circulated in the daily press, throw light 
on a sociological question often dis- 
cussed. It has been said that the 
course of population is toward the great 
cities, that the metropolis is swallowing 
up the county centers and small cities. 
A recent prophet of the future made the 
England of his fiction a single great city 
with the rest of the country as its farm 
and garden. Some alarm has been 
caused lest this supposed tendency to 
centralization of population prove disas- 
trous to nervous health and moral wel- 
fare. It now appears that such a ten- 
dency does not exist. For the eighty- 
one small cities, those of from 25,000 to 
50,000, have increased during the last 
decade practically as fast as the nineteen 
great cities of over 200,000, namely, 
about 32 per cent. New York, it is true, 
has increased 37.8 per cent. The rate 
of increase of the cities above 25,000 is 
about 11 per cent, higher than that of 
the country at large, but there is no 
cause for sociologists to lament this dif- 
ference. The inhabitants of the hundred 
and twenty cities under 100,000 have in 
many ways a superior intellectual and 
moral environment. They are freed 
from the petty annoyances of rural life, 
its isolation from broadening institu- 
tions and its emptiness of appeal to am- 
bition, without losing outdoor freedom 
or the chance of participation in com- 
munity life. They enjoy the good 



schools, libraries, entertainments, the 
municipal improvements, the services of 
superior professional men, etc., of great 
cities, without suffering from metropol- 
itan restrictions, abuses and vices. The 
small city is in a measure the golden 
mean among dwelling-places. It would 
be interesting to observe on a large 
scale the magnitude of another great 
movement in population, that connect- 
ed with the growth of suburbs. The 
natural supposition is that the rate of 
increase of the suburbs has been very 
much above the average even of the 
cities. In so far as the nature of our 
surroundings determines our make-up, 
such new conditions as we have in sub- 
urban life are of vital interest to the 
student of human nature. 

The growth of interest in forestry, 
one of the youngest of the applied sci- 
ences, is attested by the establishment 
this year of the Yale Forest School, 
which confers the degree of Master of 
Forestry on graduates who have obtained 
the bachelor's degree elsewhere. At the 
opening of the school there were regis- 
tered seven regular students, besides 
seventeen from other departments of 
the University. The residence of the 
late Professor O. C. Marsh is used 
as a school building. Lecture- 
rooms, a library, a laboratory and an 
herbarium room have been furnished 
with such equipment as has been 
found necessary for the present re- 
quirements of the school. A considera- 
ble amount of museum material has al- 
ready been acquired and is being class- 
ified and arranged as rapidly as possible. 
The grounds about the building, ten 
acres in extent, are already covered with 
a great variety of trees and shrubs, both 
native and foreign, and it is the inten- 
tion to plant a considerable number of 
varieties which are not represented. A 
forest nursery will be established on the 
grounds, but the regular forest plant- 
ing will be done on waste land on the 
outskirts of New Haven. The New Ha- 
ven Water Company has offered to the 
school the use of several hundred acres 



222 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



of woodland for the practical field work 
of the students, and several other own- 
ers have expressed their desire to devote 
their wood-lots to this purpose. 

Such schools as the Yale Forest 
School and the thoroughly equipped 
school at Cornell under Professor Fer- 
now's direction meet a definite, practi- 
cal need, for it is an undeniable fact 
that the supply of lumber is being di- 
minished beyond safety. Twenty million 
dollars' worth of native lumber is used 
annually in the manufacture of wood- 
pulp alone. Nearly half of the original 
resources of Washington Territory, the 
home of supposedly inexhaustible for- 
ests, have been used. Indiana once pos- 
sessed 28,000 square miles covered with 
valuable timber. It sent timber to the 
East in large quantities, but now must 
import 82 per cent, of the lumber it uses. 
Lumbermen from the Lake States are 
now taking up timber land on the Pa- 
cific coast. Experts agree that if things 
had been left to take their natural 
course, a timber famine would have been 
the probable fate of the next generation 
or two. The Government with its for- 
est preserves and the awakened land- 
owner with economical methods of tim- 
ber-cutting will delay and probably 
avert such a catastrophe, but a future 
scarcity in lumber is by no means the 
only bad result of a laissez faire policy 
regarding forests. The forests are the 
guardians of the water supply; useful 
water power, regular irrigation and the 
absence of dangerous freshets are all de- 
pendent on the proper condition of the 
vegetation of watersheds. It is supposed 
that the freshet which caused the Johns- 
town flood of May, 1889, was due in part 
to the denudation of the Mill Creek wa- 
tershed, and at the request of the Johns- 
town Water Company this region has 
been examined by experts from the Di- 
vision of Forestry of the United States 
Department of Agriculture, who have 
recommended that where the land has 
not been covered by a second growth, it 
be planted and that careful protection 
against fire be given to the whole dis- 



trict. When one considers that similar 
measures, if taken a generation ago, 
might have prevented the loss of $10,- 
000,000 worth of property, to say noth- 
ing of the tremendous loss of life at the 
Johnstown disaster, one realizes the im- 
portance of forest preservation as a 
prophylactic against floods. We should 
teach even the children in the schools 
Humboldt's warning, "In felling trees 
growing on the sides and summits of 
mountains, men under all climates pre- 
pare for subsequent generations two ca- 
lamities at once — a lack of firewood and 
a lack of water." 

These national forest reservations 
are located in the western third of the 
country, and agitation is now in prog- 
ress for similar reservations in Minne- 
sota at the head-waters of the Mis- 
sissippi and in the Southern Appala- 
chians in the western part of North 
Carolina. The proposed Minnesota 
Park would include over 200,000 
acres of water surface and over 
600,000 acres of land. It would serve 
as a game preserve, as well as a 
profitable forest and an assurance to an 
important water supply. The only ob- 
jection seems to be on the ground of the 
expense of purchase of Indian rights, 
which General Andrews, Chief Forest 
Warden of the State, estimates as not 
over $75,000 per year. $2,250,000 has 
this year been devoted for deepening 
and improving the Mississippi River. 
Yet this is dependent on the proper 
treatment of the very region in question. 
The passage of the bill was apparently 
favored by all those competent to judge 
of the case. It was postponed and will 
probably be again considered in Decem- 
ber. Concerning the proposed Southern 
Appalachian reservation Prof. J. A. 
Holmes said at the New York meeting 
of the American Forestry Association: 
"Such a reserve, if judiciously managed, 
will pay a good interest on the invest- 
ment, besides proving of inestimable 
value to the people of this country as a 
public resort for health and pleasure, 
as a lesson in practical forestry, and as 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



223 



a means of preserving the head-waters 
of important rivers." 

Two lines of work by the Federal 
Government along the line of forest 
preservation are especially worth com- 
ment. One is the attempt to get an ex- 
act estimate of just what forests the 
country possesses and just what condi- 
tions they are in. This knowledge is 
required as a basis for all theoretical de- 
ductions, and as a starting point for 
all practical measures. This work is 
now being extensively carried out by 
the United States Geological Survey. 
The other is the attempt definitely to 
assist land-owners to develop wisely 
their forest lands and thus to spread 
over the country practical acquaintance 
with the principles of forest manage- 
ment. This work is in the hands of the 
Division of Forestry of the Department 
of Agriculture. In the nineteenth and 
twentieth reports of the Geological Sur- 
vey, Mr. Gannett gives the following 
statistics concerning the area of wood- 
land in the United States. Of the whole 
country 37 per cent, is wooded; along 
the Atlantic border the percentage va- 
ries from 40 to 80 per cent.; in Ohio, it 
is 23 per cent.; in Illinois, 18 per cent.; 
in Kansas, 7 per cent. ; in North Dakota, 
1 per cent.; in California, 22 per cent., 
and in Washington, 71 per cent. The 
areas reserved and their percentage of 
the total area of the State and of the 
wooded area of the State are as follows : 

Area in Per Cent. 

Beserva- Per Cent. of 

tion. of Total Wooded 
State. Sq. Miles. Area. Area. 

Arizona 6,285 6 27 

California . . . 13,509 9 30 

Colorado 4,848 5 15 

Idaho 6,264 7 18 

Montana 7,885 5 19 

New Mexico. 4,273 3 18 

Oregon 7,271 8 13 

South Dakota 1,893 2 76 

Utah 1,474 2 15 

Washington .12,672 19 27 

Wyoming . . . 4,994 5 40 

One of the most interesting questions 
concerning human nature is the degree 
to which special aptitudes may appear 



as the result of innate organic condi- 
tions quite apart from experience. It is 
well enough known that general men- 
tal ability is born in us if we have it 
at all, but we do not know so well how 
far any special ability, for instance in 
mathematics, music or sculpture, is due 
to inborn structural or functional pecul- 
iarities. The 'prodigies' in special fields 
may be instanced as evidence that such 
highly specialized gifts are inborn, but 
in some cases interest in the facts con- 
cerned and the habit of thinking about 
them seem to be sufficient to account 
for the prodigy's success. The latest 
mathematical prodigy, a boy who 
has been carefully studied by Professor 
Bryan and Dr. Lindley of Indiana Uni- 
versity, seemed to owe his success to 
the habit of constantly thinking about 
numbers. Any intelligent person who 
would be as much engaged in the pur- 
suit might do as well. It is hard, how- 
ever, to explain in this way the cass 
of the musical prodigy exhibited before 
the International Congress of Psycholo- 
gists by M. Charles Jtichet. The boy, 
then three years, seven months and 
seven days old, played the piano with 
at times remarkable skill in both tech- 
nique and expression, but especially in 
the latter. He knows a score of pieces 
by heart, all of which he has learned 
by ear. If twenty or thirty measures 
are played before him he can then play 
them. He also, though with more dif- 
ficulty, plays on the piano tunes he has 
heard sung. Of his inventiveness Pro- 
fessor Richet said: "It is certain that 
when Pepito starts to improvise, he is al- 
most never at a loss, and he often finds 
extremely interesting melodies which 
appear more or less new to all those 
present. There is a variety and rich- 
ness of tone which would perhaps be as- 
tonishing if he were a professional mu- 
sician, but which in a child three years 
and a half old are absolutely overwhelm- 
ing." In all else than music he seems 
to be an ordinary child. Pepito, accord- 
ing to his mother's narrative, was a 
good player from the start. His first 
performance was to play throughout a 



224 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



piece which she had played a number of 
times. This he did absolutely independ- 
ently of any teaching whatever. Only a 
special anatomical basis for musical 
ability seems competent to explain a 
case like this. 

Among recent events of scientific in- 
terest, we note the following: Dr. Henry 
S. Pritchett, superintendent of the 
Coast and Geodetic Survey, was in- 
augurated as president of the Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technology on Oc- 
tober 24. — Sir Michael Foster has been 
reelected a member of the British Par- 
liament, representing the University 
of London. — Cambridge University has 
conferred the degree of Doctor of 
Science on Professor S. P. Langley, di- 
rector of the Smithsonian Institution. 
— Professor George F. Barker, for twen- 
ty-eight years professor of physics in 
the University of Pennsylvania, and 
Professor F. H. Bonney, for thirty-three 
years professor of geology in University 
College, London, have retired. — A com- 
mittee has been appointed to erect a 
memorial to the late Spencer F. Baird 
at Wood's Holl. Subscriptions may be 
sent to the Hon. E. G. Blackford, Ful- 
ton Market, New York City.— The 
Rumford Committee of the American 
Academy of Arts and Sciences has 
voted a grant of $200 to Mr. C. E. Men- 
denhall of Williams College for the fur- 
therance of his investigations on a hol- 
low bolometer, and a grant of $500 to 
Professor George E. Hale of the 
Yerkes Observatory in furtherance of 
his researches in connection with the 
application of the radiometer and a 
study of the infra-red spectrum of 
the chromosphere. — Professor Ernst 
Haeckel is at present in Java, seeking 
for further remains of Pithecanthropus 
erecUts. — Dr. Eobert Koch has re- 



turned to Berlin after fifteen months 
spent in the study of malaria, chiefly 
in the German colonies. — Harvard Ob- 
servatory has sent an expedition to 
Kingston, Jamaica, to observe the 
planet Eros in its approaching opposi- 
tion. — Mr. E. P. Baldwin is planning 
an expedition to the North Polar re- 
gions, the expenses of which will be de- 
frayed by Mr. Ziegler, of New York 
City.— The New York Board of Health is 
building, at a cost of $20,000, a labora- 
tory to be wholly devoted to the study 
of the bubonic plague. — The great Ser- 
pent Mound of Ohio, which has long 
been a subject of study and research for 
American archeologists, has been given 
by the Harvard Corporation to the 
Ohio State Archeological and Histori- 
cal Society. — The fine new lecture hall 
of the American Museum of Natural 
History was opened with appropriate 
exercises on Tuesday, October 30. At 
the same time the new anthropological 
collections were exhibited. — The new 
National Museum at Munich, contain- 
ing the collection of Bavarian antiqui- 
ties, has been opened, and the valuable 
collections can be viewed to much bet- 
ter advantage than hitherto. The build- 
ing contains more than a hundred 
rooms and has been erected at a cost 
of about $1,000,000.— The Authors' Cat- 
alogue of the British Museum, contain- 
ing four hundered large volumes and 
numerous supplements, has now been 
completed. The compilation of the cata- 
logue has occupied twenty years and 
cost $200,000. A subject-catalogue is 

now in course of preparation The 

Russian Government has decided to 
adopt the metric system of weights and 
measures, and the ministry of finance 
is now engaged in considering the time 
and manner of introducing this re- 
form. 



THE 

POPULAR SCIENCE 

MONTHLY. 



JANUAKY, 1901. 



ASPHALTUM FOE A MODEBN" STREET. 

By S. F. PECKHAM. 

ASPHALTUM is the solid form of bitumen, as it occurs in nature. 
It has been known to man from prehistoric times. The word 
is said to be derived from oc privative, and a^cxXXo 'I cause to slip.' 
It, therefore, signifies a substance that prevents one from slipping, 
and was applied to the solid forms of bitumen that soften in the 
sun. This substance was not rare in so-called Bible lands, embracing 
the Valley of the Euphrates, the table lands of Mesopotamia and 
the Valley of the Jordan. It was of frequent occurrence along the 
shores of the Dead Sea, and was gathered and sold in the caravan trade 
that passed through the land of Moab and Petrea into Egypt, where 
it was used in the preparation of mummies. 

During the Middle Ages, asphaltum appears to have found but few 
uses, and is seldom mentioned. The words asphaltum, petroleum and 
naphtha appear to have been used with different meanings, and also in- 
terchangeably or synonymously; yet the words were generally used to 
signify a thing that was located and defined by further description, so 
that the bitumen of the Dead Sea was recognized as asphaltum or solid 
bitumen. 

Within the present century, however, both words and definitions 
have been more exact. As other and slightly differing material was 
obtained that in some respects resembled coal, it was claimed that some 
of the deposits of bitumen were beds of coal, and this claim led, about 
1850, to important litigation, in which, as experts, scientific men gave 
very conflicting testimony, one party claiming that the material of 
certain deposits was asphaltum, and the other that it was coal. It was 
finally decided that the material — the albertite of New Brunswick — was 
not coal, and, therefore, did not belong to the Crown. At about this 
time a deposit occurring in West Virginia, since known as Graham- 
ite, which, in appearance, is much more like splint coal than albertite, 

VOL. LVIII.— 15 



226 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

attracted attention. There were veins of material in Cuba that were 
also included in the argument, Coal vs. Asphalt. 

The late Dr. T. Sterry Hunt, as long ago as 1863, separated asphal- 
tuni from pyrobituminous minerals, or minerals that on being heated 
to destructive distillation yield products that resemble bitumens. These 
pyrobituminous coals, schists and shales are nearly as insoluble in the 
solvents of bitumen, viz., ethyl ether, chloroform, benzole, etc., as they 
are in distilled water; hence, Dr. Hunt made the action of these solvents 
the test of the two classes of substances. All true bitumens are miscible 
with or almost wholly soluble in chloroform, a test that clearly separates 
them from pyrobituminous minerals. So-called 'asphaltic coals' are 
not coals at all, but are geologically old asphaltums. 

Besides the asphaltums, almost wholly soluble in chloroform, there 
are a large number of minerals that consist only in part of true bitu- 
mens. These are found as beds of sedimentary or crystalline rock, often 
of immense extent and thickness, impregnated with bitumens of varyi in- 
consistency and quality, sometimes very soft and seldom quite solid 
after being separated from the rock. In some instances the bitumen 
appears to be convertible into asphaltum, and in others not. The 
French writers have called these rocks 'asphalte,' but, unfortunately, 
they have also called asphaltum by the same name, as if the things 
w r ere identical and the words synonymous. Among English writers no 
uniform custom prevails, but German authors use generally the French 
word, at the same time calling asphaltum 'Erdpech' or 'Glanzpech.' I 
think it would promote clearness of expression if this word 'asphalte' 
were uniformly introduced into all modern languages to designate those 
bituminous rocks, with the qualifying words, siliceous, calcareous or 
argillaceous, added as required. 

The so-called Trinidad pitch, as it is found in and around the lake, 
on the island of Trinidad, is a mixture of bitumen, water, mineral and 
vegetable matter, the whole inflated with gas. When removed from 
the deposit, most of the water dries out, the gas escapes, the mass 
changes in color from brown to blue-black, becoming brittle, and at 
the same time more or less sticky as it loses water. At a rough esti- 
mate, about 25 per cent, of the natural cheese-pitch is bitumen. 

Various theories have been formulated by scientific men to' account 
for the origin of asphaltum and other forms of bitumen. By some it 
is thought that complex chemical changes take place between water. 
•carbonate of lime and iron, and other elements that are supposed to 
exist in the free state or in combination with carbon as carbides, at 
great depths from the surface. When they have been formed they are 
supposed to rise towards the surface with steam and water. This is 
called the 'chemical' theory. Others think that organic animal and 
vegetable matter that lias been buried in strata near the surface of the 



ASPI1ALTUM FOR A MODERN STREET. 



227 



earth has been converted by a process of partial decay into bitumen. 
This is called the 'indigenous' theory. Others think that the natural 
heat of the crust of the earth generated by pressure and, perhaps, other 
causes, has distilled bitumens from pyrobituminous minerals, and, in 
some instances, from coal, and they have penetrated the surround- 
ing and overlying porous formations, often filling crevices and forming 
veins, Avhen the pressure becomes sufficient to rupture the overlying 
formations. I am inclined to think this latter theory, of 'distillation,' 
will best account for all the varying conditions under which the various 
forms of bitumen occur. 

Bitumens occur in all periods of the geological history of the earth's 
crust, but are mainly confined to the formations anterior to the coal 
period and to the later formations of the tertiary. While asphaltum 
is found in some of the oldest formations, the greater number of the 
deposits of solid bitumen and bituminous rocks occur in the more recent 
formations. 

In order to show graphically the relations of the pyrobituminous 
minerals to the various forms of bitumen, I have arranged the following 
table, which represents the development of our present knowledge of 
these substances from the time when M. Leon Malo first published a 
similar table about forty years ago: 

[Anthracite, North America, "Wales, Belgium, France, etc. 



, * 

r => 
o 



c 

o 



In 

o 






3 

S 
% 



Splint, 

Cannel, 

Peat, 

Shales, 

Schists. 

Natural gas 



^2 

o .9 



\ 



i 



- 



Found all over the world ; yielding bituminous sub- 
stances by destructive distillation, shales of 
Autun and Mansfeld, Bog-head mineral, Wollon- 
gonite, etc. 

In the United States, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc. 
Russia, France, China, etc. 
Natural naphtha. — Persia, Cuba and generally in petroleum regions. 
Petroleum. — Central United States, California, Peru, Cuba, Russia, 

Borneo, Java, etc. 
Maltha. — Persia, Albania, Texas, California, Peru, Trinidad, Mexico, 
Cuba, etc 
North America. — New Brunswick, West Virginia, Utah, Califor- 
nia, Mexico. 
Central America. — Cuba and other West Indies. 
South America. — Trinidad, Peru, Venezuela. 
Europe. — Caucasia, France, Dalmatia, Italy, Germany. 
Asia. — Asia Minor, Persia, Euphrates Valley. 
Africa. — Egypt and other localities. 

North America. — Kentucky, Indian Territory, California, Utah, 

Texas, Athabasca River. 
Central America. — Mexico and Cuba. 
South America. — Island of Trinidad, Venezuela. 
Europe. — Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Austria, etc. 
Asia. — Asia Minor, Palestine, Persia, China. 
Africa. — Egypt and other localities. 



ea 

A 

a* 

aa 



5^ 






228 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



While it might be interesting to describe in detail all the minerals 
mentioned in this table, we are at present concerned with only two, viz., 
asphaltums and asphaltes. Again, while it might be interesting to 
describe asphaltums and asphaltes from all the many localities in which 
they occur, we are at present concerned only with those in use in street 
paving, and particularly those in use in the United States. 

It is said that the idea of constructing a roadway of asphalte was 
first suggested by the observation that lumps of asphalte that have 
dropped from carts upon a road, when trodden by animals and rolled 
beneath wheels, became compacted into a homogeneous and resisting 
surface. These observations were made in eastern France, in the valley 
of the Rhone, where very extensive deposits occur, extending into 
Switzerland. They were first brought into notice, about 1721, by Eirinis 




Fig. 1. The Pitch Lake in Trinidad as it Appeared Before 1890. 



d'Erynys, a Greek physician, who published a pamphlet in which were 
described deposits of sand and limestone saturated with bitumen that 
he had discovered some years previously in the Val de Travers, Canton 
of Neufchatel, Switzerland. He described also a bituminous distillate 
which he used in the treatment of disease. He compared the deposits 
to similar beds in the valley of Siddim, near Babylon. They were for- 
gotten for nearly a century and then re-discovered. 

By whom this material was first used in road building is unknown. 
Early in 1850, M. de Coulaine published a paper in the "Annales des 
Ponts et Chausses/ in which he discussed the use of bitumen in road 
building as if it was an established industry. He states, without giving 
any date, that the first attempt to construct a street of bitumen in Paris 
was made upon the Place Louis XV., opposite the Church of Saint 



ASPHALTUM FOR A MODERN STREET. 



229 



Koch. This pavement was formed of fragments of quartz and of mastic 
of coal-tar, upon a bed of sandstone, the joints of which were filled with 
the mastic. These coal-tar streets, even with a concrete base, were 
not satisfactory, thus early establishing the undesirable qualities of coal- 
tar preparations in the construction of streets. 

He states his preference for the asphaltes found at Seyssel, Val de 
Travers and Lobsan, which are composed principally of carbonate of 
lime and bitumen or sandstone and bitumen. As found in nature, these 
asphaltes consist either of chalk, sandstone or coarser gravel which 
have been filled to saturation with bitumen, which when extracted or 
separated from the mineral constituents of the rocks, is semi-fluid, re- 
sembling mineral tar. The deposits occur in beds between more dense 
and barren rock, and are mined out by running galleries and tunnels 




Fig. 2. Digging and Removing Pitch from the Lake prior to 1890. 

into the hills that border the valleys, in a manner similar to the mining 
of coal in some sections of country. 

Other deposits of similar material occur at Eagussa, in Sicily, and 
at Limmer, in Hanover. The Seyssel and Neufchatel rocks are gen- 
erally preferred for streets, as they contain more lime and less sand, and 
are also freer from sulphur compounds. 

On the North American continent there are deposits of vast extent 
both of asphaltum and asphaltes. Generally speaking, asphaltum is not 
used in street construction; the deposits being either too pure, and hence 
too valuable for such uses, or, on the other hand, so impure as to be 
purified only at too great cost. As the asphalte is used in enormous 
quantities, freight becomes a very important consideration in the selec- 
tion of the material used in any given locality. This item of cost has given 



230 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



the deposit on the island of Trinidad very great importance as a source 
of supply for all the Atlantic Coast cities and even those as far west as 
Denver, while the Pacific Coast cities have been supplied from deposits 
in California, which to some extent have competed with Trinidad pitch, 
not only in the Mississippi Valley, but even in New York and other 
Eastern cities. 

The deposits in Trinidad are comprised in the so-called lake and 
extensive masses outside of it that have either overflowed from the lake 
or have been derived from independent sources. In the aggregate the 
extent of the deposits can only be estimated, as their boundaries cannot 
be determined with any approach to accuracy. They amount, without 
any doubt, to several millions of tons. 

Y\ nile I have classed the Trinidad pitch with the asphaltes, it is 
really a unique substance. 1 have elsewhere called it 'Parianite,' from 




Fig. 



Loading Ships at Wharf. 



the beautiful bay of Paria, near the coast of which the deposit occurs. 
The lake is a lake only in name; the deposit, without doubt, filling the 
crater of an old mud volcano. As described for more than a century 
preceding 1890, it exhibited an expanse of about one hundred and four- 
teen acres, with a nearly circular outline, in which irregular areas of 
pitch are separated by smaller areas of water. Around the borders of the 
lake, vegetation, commencing at some distance from the edge, is rooted 
in the pitch itself, and, increasing in vigor as the border is approached, 
becomes upon the land a tropical jungle of canna and palms, perhaps 
thirty feet in height. In the center is a circle of islands that float on 
the pitch. The irregular water areas are many feet in depth, with 
nearly perpendicular sides, containing very transparent water that ap- 



ASI'lIALTUM FOR A MODE US STREET. 



231 



parent! y has its source in subterranean springs. The areas of pitch 
arc of considerable extent, highest in the middle, but still nearly level 
and gently sloping on all sides to the precipitous edges of the water 
areas. These areas are being continually elevated in the center by rising 
gas, which, forcing up the center in huge bubbles, cause a continual 
ebullition of the plastic mass and a gradual transference of the material 
from the center towards the circumference, so that trunks ami branches 
of trees submerged in the pitch come to the surface, rise, and after 
assuming a perpendicular position, are in time again submerged to an 
unknown depth. From the escaping gas the whole central portion of 
the lake is maintained in a constant motion that prevents vegetation 




Fig. \. Tramway and Trucks on PrTCH Lake. 



from taking root, and leaves the surface of the areas of pitch bare 
and of a blue-black color. 

When the pitch is dug, a negro will drive a long, slender pick to the 
eye at a single blow, and, by using the handle as a lever, will break out 
a flake of pitch larger than he can lift. From less than an inch below 
the surface the pitch is of a brown color, saturated with water and filled 
with bubbles of gas. A broken mass will soon dry on the surface and 
melt, forming a pellicle that will enclose the wet mass for years and 
prevent the escape of the water. In this wet and porous condition it is 
calied "cheese pitch.' It is not sticky at all, as the water can be squeezed 
from it in the hand, as if it were a sponge. 

Formerly the large lumps of this cheese pitch, as it was broken out, 
were transported to the beach in carts, but about 1893-4 a wharf was 



232 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



constructed on the Bay of Paria, near the lake, and a trolley line and 
tramway, leading from the wharf up to and out upon the lake in a loop, 
by which the pitch since then has been transported direct from the sur- 
face of the lake to the vessel being loaded. Formerly the pitch was car- 
ried from the beach to ships lying in the bay in lighters, the shipping 
entailing a great deal of labor from repeated handling. Since the tram- 
way was installed, the pitch is dug along the line of the tramway and 
thrown into iron buckets, resting on trucks that are propelled along the 
tramway by an endless cable. Great difficulty was encountered when the 
tramway was laid to prevent its sinking in the pitch, which, while hard 
enough on the surface to bear up a loaded team, will slowly engulf any 




Fig. 5. A Lot Outside the Lake that has Filled in Six Months after being Excavated- 

20 Feet. 



article of even moderate weight. This trouble was overcome by laying 
the tramway on a bed of the leaves of the Moriche palm, some of which 
are twenty-five feet in length. When the car-buckets are loaded they 
are run to the power-house in groups of three or four, where, after 
being weighed, they are transferred by an ingenious device from the 
trucks to a trolley that runs on an endless rope from the lake to the 
wharf, where the contents of the buckets are dumped into the hold of 
the ship-like coal. The plant will handle 500 tons a day in the manner 
described. 

Immense quantities of the pitch lie outside the lake, and the pitch 
from these deposits, wherever worked, is still shipped by means of 



ASPHALTUM FOR A MODERN STREET. 



233 



lighters. The surface of the lake is 148 feet above the sea-level, and 
the pitch has flowed down to the sea from the lake in an immense 
stream that resembles a black glacier. Excavations made in this mass 
soon fill up again and all traces of them are in time obliterated, and 
buildings, the foundations of which are placed in or upon the pitch, are 
soon thrown out of perpendicular, from the unstable condition of the 
pitch, which appears to be moving or flowing towards the sea under 
a great pressure. These phenomena present the unique spectacle of a 
mass so solid as to be walked or driven over, and at the same time so 
plastic as to be in a state of unstable equilibrium, with constant ebulli- 
tion from escape of gas and also in constant motion towards the sea. 

Before the pitch is put to any use it is refined. In the operations 
attending its shipment and subsequent removal from the hold of the 




Fig. 6. Barrels of Iipuree at La Bria, Trinidad, and Piles of Pitch awaiting Shipment 

in the Lighters near Shore. 



ship, it has been very much broken up, and much of the gas has escaped 
with some of the water. In this condition it is put into enormous 
kettles, which are heated from above downward, and very slowly, until 
the contents of thirty tons or more are melted. The heat necessary to 
melt the pitch expels the water, the fragments of wood and other light 
impurities rise to the surface, and the heavy mineral matter, in large 
part, sinks to the bottom. The clean pitch between them is drawn off 
into barrels. 

A more primitive method of refining the pitch is used at the island, 
where the pitch is boiled in old sugar kettles and skimmed, when the 
'dean pitch is ladled into barrels and enters commerce as 'epuree.' 

In the neighborhood of Trinidad, on the mainland of Venezuela, is 
■another so-called Bermudez lake. It is found in a low savannah, extend- 



234 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

ing between a range of mountains and the shore o tone of the estuaries 
that enter the northern part of the delta of the Orinoco from the Bay of 
Paria. The lake lias an irregularly shaped surface, about one mile and a 
half by one mile in dimensions, giving an area of something less than 
1,000 acres. This area is covered with rank grass and shrubs, from one 
to eight feet in height, with groves of large Moriche palms. There is no 
extended surface of clean pitch as at Trinidad; but instead, at certain 
points, soft pitch wells up as if from subterranean springs. As the gen- 
eral surface of the deposit is not more than two feet above the surround- 
ing swamp, in the rainy season it is flooded, and at other times so low 
that any excavation will immediately fill with water. 

Instead of being more than a hundred feet in depth as at Trinidad, 
this deposit is a shallow exudation from numerous springs, over a wide 
surface, from a mere coating to from seven to nine feet in depth, the 
average being perhaps four feet. The largest of the areas covered with 
soft pitch is not more than seven acres in extent. The soft material 
has become hardened in the sun at the edges, but at the center is too 
soft to walk upon, in this respect resembling many of the deposits of 
less extent in California. This pitch is also too soft to hold permanently 
the escaping gas, as at Trinidad, but when covered with water it ri>es 
in mushroom-like forms. 

Some of these areas have been burned over, producing from the 
combustion of the vegetation and of the asphaltum itself an intense heat- 
that has converted the bitumen into coke and glance pitch. When 
this crust of hardened material is removed, beneath it is found asphal- 
tum that may be used for paving. 

Under the classification that I have adopted, the bitumen of the 
Bermudez deposit is nearly pure asphaltum, which has been formed by. 
the heat of the sun and by fire, from an exudation of maltha, or mineral 
tar, over a wide expanse, beneath the coke and other products of combus- 
tion, while here and there are masses of glance pitch, which are the 
result of less violent action of heat. 

Many of the West India islands, from Trinidad around to Cuba, 
contain deposits of asphaltum. The most noted among them are the 
Mumjack of Barbadoes and the asphaltum veins of Cuba. These, how- 
ever, have not entered commerce, with the exception, perhaps, of the 
very pure asphaltum found in Cardenas harbor, which is obtained in 
limited quantities and is used in varnish-making. None of these are- 
used in paving. 

In Mexico there are very extensive deposits of asphaltum of great 
purity, but up to the present time they have not entered commerce. 

In Texas, and extending into the Indian Territory, there axe large 
deposits of both siliceous and calcareous asphaltes. In Uralde county, 
Texas, near Cline, to the west of San Antonio, on the Southern Pacific 



ASPIIALTUM FOR A MODERN STREET. 



235 



Railroad, are very extensive deposits of coquina or shell limestone, filled 
with bitumen. As found, the material is very tough and difficult to 
break. When the bitumen is dissolved out with chloroform, there re- 
mains a mass of small shells, very light and porous, but with sufficient 
stability to form a rock. The shells contain from nine to thirteen per 
cent, of bitumen. While a large sum has been expended on a plant 
for extracting this bitumen, the enterprise has never proved a pecuniary 
success. In northern Texas, near the Eed Eiver, are extensive deposits 
of bituminous sand, which has been used locally for sidewalks with suc- 
cess. Across the Eed Eiver, near the Arbuckle Mountains, in the 
Chickasaw Nation, beds of bituminous sand occur of great extent. They 
extend across the country in anticlinal folds for miles in length. The 
material is not stone, as the sand falls into a powder as soon as the 




Fig. 7. The ' Big Spring ' of Tar. 30 Feet in Diameter. Upper O.tai. Ventura County, Cal 



bitumen is removed from it. When the material is broken into small 
pieces and placed in boiling water, the bitumen rises to the surface 
nearly free from sand, while the bulk of the sand sinks through the 
water clean. The bitumen thus obtained is of very superior quality for 
any purpose. Still farther north and east, near the town of Dougherty, 
several deposits occur. One is a mass of great extent of fragments of 
chert and limestone cemented together with bitumen. A mastic has 
been made by grinding this material. Another mass consists of a magne- 
sian chalk, of carboniferous age, saturated with bitumen. Another is a 
mass of large shells filled with more than twenty per cent, of bitumen. 
Other deposits of loose sand occur in beds, saturated with ten per cent, 
of bitumen. These materials have been used separately and ground 
together for paving mixtures for street surfaces. 



236 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



In Utah, upon the Uintah Indian reservation, are found veins of 
asphaltum of remarkable purity, to which the name 'Gilsonite' has been 
given. It has been found very useful for insulation and a great variety 
of purposes, but has only been used in combination with softer material 
for paving. 

Among the coast ranges of California there are deposits of asphal- 
tum and siliceous asphalte of vast extent. At Santa Cruz, to the east 
and west of Santa Barbara, near the coast near San Buena Ventura and 
Los Angeles, on the Ojai ranch, and at Asphalto, in Kern County, the 
principal ones are found. Those of commercial value are at the works 
of the Alcatraz Company, west of Santa Barbara, and near Asphalto. 
At the works of the Alcatraz Company the bitumen is dissolved in a 




Fig. 8. Asphaltum Glacier, Kern County, Cai 



solvent and conveyed through pipes some thirty miles to the coast, 
where the solvent is removed and the bitumen prepared for shipment. 

At Asphalto, on the north side of the Coast range, in Kern County, 
the asphaltum occurs nearly pure in veins of great extent that have been 
mined to a depth of more than three hundred feet. From these state- 
ments it will be seen that the deposits of asphaltum and asphalte in 
the United States are of vast extent and variety. 

While the bitumen in these different deposits in different parts of 
the world bears a generic relation, there are specific differences between 
the different varieties that render some of them more desirable for cer- 
tain purposes than the others. The purest asphaltums are brilliant 
black, brittle solids that consist of compounds of carbon and hydrogen 
with small proportions of oxygen, sulphur and nitrogen. The latter 



ASPHALTUM FOR A MODERN STREET. 



237 



of these constituents are not always present and vary widely in amount 
when present, so that, from a chemical standpoint, the different asphal- 
tums and the bitumens of the different asphaltes are very unlike sub- 
stances. In the practical uses to which these substances are applied, the 
selection for any given purpose does not appear to depend upon differ- 
ence of composition. The purest varieties are used for making fine 
varnishes and lacquers. Others are used for coarser varnishes that are 
baked on to iron and other surfaces. Others are applied, softened with 
solvents that evaporate. These substances find wide uses for insulating 
purposes, alone and in mixture with other materials. 

The widest use to which they are applied is in street-paving sur- 
faces, for which purpose vast quantities are used every year. It has been 




Fig. 9. Shaft on Asphaltum Vein near Asphalto, from which mass was taken 

weighing 6,500 Pounds. 

found in practice that good streets and poor streets have been made 
from nearly all the different varieties of asphaltums and asphaltes that 
can be obtained in such quantity and at such a price as to render their 
use possible. The different results obtained appear to be due to causes 
external to the asphaltum or asphalte employed, such as the kind and 
quality of the materials with which they are mixed and the method, or 
lack of method, by which they are mixed. These conclusions appear 
to be warranted by a large number of experiments extending over many 
years, some of which have been very expensive for the municipalities 
making them. 



238 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



THE EFFECT OF PHYSICAL AGENTS ON BACTERIAL LIFE.* 

By Dr. ALLAN MACFADYEN, 
THE JENNER INSTITUTE OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE. 

THE fact that life did not exist upon the earth at a remote period of 
time, the possibility of its present existence as well as the pros- 
pect of its ultimate extinction, can be traced to the operation of certain 
physical conditions. These physical conditions upon which the main- 
tenance of life as a whole depends are in their main issues beyond 
the control of man. We can but study, predict and it may be 
utilize their effects for our benefit. Life in its individual manifesta- 
tions is, therefore, conditioned by the physical environment in which 
it is placed. Life rests on a physical basis, and the main springs of 
its energies are derived from a larger world outside itself. If these 
conditions, physical or chemical, are favorable, the functions of life 
proceed; if unfavorable, they cease — and death ultimately ensues. 
These factors have been studied and their effects utilized to conserve 
health or to prevent disease. It is our purpose this evening to study 
some of the purely physical factors, not in their direct bearing on man, 
but in relation to much lower forms in the scale of life — forms which 
constitute in number a family far exceeding that of the human species, 
and of which we may produce at will in a test-tube, within a few 
hours, a population equal to that of London. These lowly forms of 
life — the bacteria — belong to the vegetable kingdom, and each individ- 
ual is represented by a simple cell. 

These forms of life are ubiquitous in the soil, air and water, and 
are likewise to be met with in intimate association with plants and 
animals, whose tissues they may likewise invade with injurious 
or deadly effects. Their study is commonly termed bacteriology — a 
term frequently regarded as synonymous with a branch of purely medi- 
cal investigation. It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that 
bacteriology is solely concerned with the study of the germs of disease. 
The dangerous microbes are in a hopeless minority in comparison 
with the number of those which are continually performing varied 
and most useful functions in the economy of nature. Their^ wide 
importance is due to the fact that they insure the resolution and re- 
distribution of dead and effete organic matter, which if allowed to 
accumulate would speedily render life impossible on the surface of the 
earth. If medicine ceased to regard the bacteria, their study would 

* Lecture before the Royal Institution of Great Britain. 



PHYSICAL AGENTS AND BACTERIAL LIFE. 239 

still remain of primary importance in relation to many industrial 
processes in which they play a vital part. It will be seen, therefore, 
that their biology presents many points of interest to scientific workers 
generally. Their study as factors that ultimately concern us really 
began with Pasteur's researches upon fermentation. The subject of 
this evening's discourse, the effect of physical agents on bacterial life, 
is important not merely as a purely biological question, though this 
phase is of considerable interest, but also on account of the facts I have 
already indicated, viz., that micro-organisms fulfil such an important 
function in the processes of nature, in industrial operations and in 
connection with the health of man and animals. It depends largely on 
the physical conditions to be met with in nature whether they die or 
remain inactive. Further, the conditions favoring one organism may 
be fatal to another, or an adaptability may be brought about to unusual 
conditions for their life. To the technologist the effect of physical 
agents in this respect is of importance, as a knowledge of their mode of 
action will guide him to the means to be employed for utilizing the 
micro-organisms to the best advantage in processes of fermentation. 
The subject is of peculiar interest to those who are engaged in com- 
bating disease, as a knowledge of the physical agents that favor or 
retard bacterial life will furnish indications for the preventive measures 
to be adopted. With a suitable soil and an adequate temperature 
the propagation of bacteria proceeds with great rapidity. If the 
primary conditions of soil and an adequate temperature are not present, 
the organisms will not multiply, they remain quiescent or they 
die. The surface layers of the soil harbor the vast majority of the 
bacteria, and constitute the great storehouse in nature for these forms 
of life. They lessen in number in the deeper layers of the soil, and 
few or none are to be met with at a depth of 8-10 feet. As a matter 
of fact, the soil is a most efficient bacterial filter, and the majority of 
the bacteria are retained in its surface layers and are to be met with 
there. In the surface soil, most bacteria find the necessary physical 
conditions for their growth, and may be said to exist there under natural 
conditions. It is in the surface soil that their main scavenging func- 
tions are performed. In the deeper layers, the absence of air and the 
temperature conditions prove inimical to most forms. 

Amongst pathogenic bacteria the organisms of lockjaw and of 
malignant oedema appear to be eminently inhabitants of the soil. As 
an indication of the richness of the surface soil in bacteria, I may 
mention that 1 gramme of surface soil may contain from several hun- 
dred thousand to as many as several millions of bacteria. The air 
is poorest in bacteria. The favoring physical conditions to be met 
with in the soil are not present in the air. Though bacteria are to be 
met with in the air. they are not multiplying forms, as is the case in 



240 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

the soil. The majority to be met with in air are derived from the 
soil. Their number lessens when the surface soil is moist, and it in- 
creases as the surface soil dries. In a dry season the number of air 
organisms will tend to increase. 

Town air contains more bacteria than country air, whilst they 
become few and tend to disappear at high levels and on the sea. A 
shower of rain purifies the air greatly of bacteria. The organisms 
being, as I stated, mainly derived from the surface of the ground, 
their number mainly depends on the physical condition of the soil, 
and this depends on the weather. Bacteria cannot pass independ- 
ently to the air; they are forcibly transferred to it with dust from 
various surfaces. The relative bacterial purity of the atmosphere is 
mainly, therefore, a question of dust. Even when found floating about 
in the air the bacteria are to be met with in much greater number 
in the dust that settles on exposed surfaces, e. g., floors, car- 
pets, clothes and furniture. Through a process of sedimentation 
the lower layers of the air become richer in dust and bacteria, and 
any disturbance of dust will increase the number of bacteria in the 
air. 

The simple act of breathing does not disseminate disease germs 
from a patient; it requires an act of coughing to carry them into the 
air with minute particles of moisture. From the earliest times great 
weight has been laid upon the danger of infection through air-borne 
contagia, and with the introduction of antiseptic surgery the en- 
deavor was made to lessen this danger as much as possible by means 
of the carbolic spray, etc. In the same connection numerous 
bacteriological examinations of air have been made, with the view of 
arriving at results of hygienic value. The average number of micro-' 
organisms present in the air is 500-1000 per 1000 liters; of this 
number only 100-200 are bacteria, and they are almost entirely harm- 
less forms. The organisms of suppuration have been detected in 
the air, and the tubercle bacillus in the dust adhering to the walls of 
rooms. Investigation has not, however, proved air to be one of the 
important channels of infection. The bactericidal action of sunlight, 
desiccation and the diluting action of the atmosphere on noxious 
substances will always greatly lessen the risk of direct aerial infec- 
tion. 

The physical agents that promote the passage of bacteria into the 
air are inimical to their vitality. Thus, the majority pass into the 
air not from moist but from dry surfaces, and the preliminary drying 
is injurious to a large number of bacteria. It follows that if the air 
is rendered dust-free, it is practically deprived of all the organisms 
it may contain. As regards enclosed spaces, the stilling of dust and 
more especially the disinfection of surfaces liable to breed dust or 



PHYSICAL AGENTS AND BACTERIAL LIFE. 241 

to harbor bacteria, are more important points than air disinfection, 
and this fact has been recognized in modern surgery. In an investi- 
gation, in conjunction with Mr. Lunt, an estimation was arrived at 
of the ratio existing between the number of dust particles and bacteria 
in the air. We used Dr. Aitken's dust-counter, which not only renders 
the air dust particles visible, but gives a means of counting them 
in a sample of air. In an open suburb of London we found 
20,000 dust particles in 1 cubic centimeter of air; in a yard in the 
center of London about 500,000. The dust contamination we found 
to be about 900 per cent, greater in the center of London than in a 
(iniet suburb. In the open air of London* there was on an average 
just one organism to every 38,300,000 dust particles present in the 
air, and in the air of a room, amongst 184,000,000 dust particles, only 
one organism could be detected. 

These figures illustrate forcibly the poverty of the air in micro- 
organisms, even when very dusty, and likewise the enormous dilution 
they undergo in the atmosphere. Their continued existence is 
rendered difficult through the influence of desiccation and sunlight. 
Desiccation is one of nature's favorite methods for getting rid of bac- 
teria. Moisture is necessary for their development and their vital 
processes, and constitutes about 80 per cent, of their cell-substance. 
When moisture is withdrawn most bacterial cells, unless they pro- 
duce resistant forms of the nature of spores, quickly succumb. The 
organism of cholera air-dried in a thin film dies in three hours. The 
organisms of diphtheria, typhoid fever and tuberculosis show more 
resistance, but die in a few weeks or months. 

Dust containing tubercle bacilli may be carried about by air cur- 
rents, and the bacilli in this way transferred from an affected to a 
healthy individual. It may, however, be said that drying attenuates 
and kills most of these forms of life in a comparatively short time. 
The spores of certain bacteria may, on the other hand, live for many 
years in a dried condition, e. g., the spores of anthrax bacilli, which 
are so infective for cattle and also for man (wool-sorters' disease). 
Fortunately few pathogenic bacteria possess spores, and, therefore, 
drying by checking and destroying their life is a physical agent that 
plays an important role in the elimination of infectious diseases. 
This process is aided by the marked bactericidal action of sunlight. 
Sunlight, which has a remarkable fostering influence on higher plant 
life, does not exercise the same influence on the bacteria. With few 
exceptions we must grow them in the dark in order to obtain success- 
ful cultures; and a sure way of losing our cultures is to leave them 
exposed to the light of day. Direct sunlight is the most deadly agent, 
and kills a large number of organisms in the short space of one 
to two hours; direct sunlight proves fatal to the typhoid bacillus in 

VOL. LVIII— 16 



242 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

half an hour to two hours; in the diphtheria bacillus in half an hour 
to one hour, and to the tubercle bacillus in a few minutes to several 
hours. Even anthrax spores are killea by direct light in three and 
a half hours. Diffuse light is also injurious, though its action 
is slower. By exposing pigment-producing bacteria to sunlight 
colorless varieties can be obtained, and virulent bacteria so weak- 
ened that they will no longer produce infection. The germicidal 
action of the sun's rays is most marked at the blue end of the spec- 
trum, at the red end there is little or no germicidal action. It is 
evident that the continuous daily action of the sun along with desic- 
cation are important physical agents in arresting the further develop- 
ment of the disease germs that are expelled from the body. 

It has been shown that sunlight has an important effect in the 
spontaneous purification of rivers. It is a well-known fact that a 
river, despite contamination at a given point, may show little or no 
evidence of this contamination at a point further down in its course. 
Buchner added to water 100,000 colon bacilli per cubic centimeter, 
and found that all were dead after one hour's exposure to sunlight. 
He also found that in a clear lake the bactericidal action of sunlight 
extended to a depth of about six feet. Sunlight must, therefore, be 
taken into account as an agent in the purification of waters, in addition 
to sedimentation, oxidation and the action of algae. 

Air or the oxygen it contains has important and opposite effects on 
the life of bacteria. In 1861, Pasteur described an organism in con- 
nection with the butyric acid fermentation which would only grow in 
the absence of free oxygen. And since then a number of bacteria, 
showing a like property, have been isolated and described. They 
are termed anaerobic bacteria, as their growth is hindered or stopped 
in the presence of air. The majority of the bacteria, however, are 
aerobic organisms, inasmuch as their growth is dependent upon a free 
supply of oxygen. There is likewise an intermediate group of organ- 
isms, which show an adaptability to either of these conditions, being 
able to develop with or without free access to oxygen. Preeminent 
types of this group are to be met with in the digestive tract of animals, 
and the majority of disease-nroducing bacteria belong to this adaptive 
class. When a pigment-producing organism is grown without free 
oxygen its pigment production is almost always stopped. For anae- 
robic forms N" and H= give the best atmosphere for their growth, 
whilst CO.' is not favorable, and may be positively injurious, as, e. g., in 
the case of the cholera organism. 

The physical conditions favoring the presence and multiplica- 
tion of bacteria in water under natural conditions are a low altitude, 
warmth, abundance of organic matter and a sluggish or stagnant con- 
dition of the water. As regards water-borne infectious diseases, such 



PHYSICAL AGENTS AND BACTERIAL LIFE. 243 

as typhoid or cholera, their transmission to man by water may be 
excluded by simple boiling or by an adequate nitration. The 
freezing of water, whilst stopping the further multiplication of or- 
ganisms, may conserve the life of disease germs by eliminating the 
destructive action of commoner competitive forms. Thus the typhoid 
bacillus may remain frozen in ice for some months without injury. 
Employment of ordinary cold is not, therefore, a protection against 
dangerous disease germs. 

As regards electricity, there is little or no evidence of its direct 
action on bacterial life, the effects produced appear to be of an indirect 
character, due to the development of heat or to the products of elec- 
trolysis. 

Ozone is a powerful disinfectant, and its introduction into polluted 
water has a most marked purifying effect. The positive effects of 
the electric current may, therefore, be traced to the action of the 
chemical products and of heat. I am not aware that any direct action 
of the X-rays on bacteria has up to the present been definitely proved. 

Mechanical agitation, if slight, may favor, and if excessive, may 
hinder bacterial development. Violent shaking or concussion may 
not necessarily prove fatal so long as no mechanical lesion of the 
bacteria is brought about. If, however, substances likely to produce 
triturating effects are introduced, a disintegration and death of the 
cells follows. Thus Eowland, by a very rapid shaking of tubercle 
bacilli in a steel tube, with quartz sand and hard steel balls, produced 
their complete disintegration in ten minutes. 

Bacteria appear to be very resistant to the action of pressure. At 
300-450 atmospheres putrefaction still takes place, and at 600 
atmospheres the virulence of the anthrax bacillus remained unim- 
paired. Of the physical agents that affect bacterial life, tempera- 
ture is the most important. Temperature profoundly influences 
the activity of bacteria. It may favor or hinder their growth, or it 
may put an end to their life. If we regard temperature in 
the first instance as a favoring agent, very striking differences 
are to be noted. The bacteria show a most remarkable range of tem- 
perature under which their growth is possible, extending from 
zero to 70° C. If we begin at the bottom of the scale we find organ- 
isms in the water and in soil that are capable of growth and 
development at zero. Amongst these are certain species of phosphor- 
escent bacteria, which continue to emit light even at this low tempera- 
ture. At the Jenner Institute we have met with organisms growing 
and developing at 34-40° F. The vast majority of interest to us find, 
however, the best conditions for their growth from 15° up to 37° C. 
Each species has a minimum, an optimum and a maximum tempera- 
ture at which it will develop. It is important in studying any 'given 



244 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

species that the optimum temperature for their development he as- 
certained, and that this temperature he maintained. In this 
respect we can distinguish three broafl groups. The first group in- 
cludes those for which the optimum temperature is from 15-20° C. 
The second group includes the parasitic forms, viz., those which grow 
in the living body, and for which the optimum temperature is at 
blood heat, viz., 37° C. We have a third group, for which the opti- 
mum temperature lies as high as 50-55° C. On this account this 
latter group has been termed thermophilic on account of its 
growth at such abnormally high temperatures — temperatures which 
are fatal to other forms of life. They have been the subject of per- 
sonal investigation in conjunction with Dr. Blaxall. We found 
that there existed- in nature an extensive group of such organisms to 
which the term thermophilic bacteria was applicable. Their growth 
and development occurred best at temperatures at which ordinary pro- 
toplasm becomes inert or dies. The best growths were always ob- 
tained at 55-65° C. Their wide distribution was of a striking nature. 
They were found by us in river water and mud, in sewage and 
also in a sample of sea water. They were present in the 
digestive tract of man and animals, and in the surface and deep layers 
of the soil, as well as in straw and in all samples of ensilage examined. 
Their rapid growth at high temperatures was remarkable, the whole 
surface of the culture medium being frequently overrun in from fifteen 
to seventeen hours. The organisms examined by us (fourteen forms 
in all) belonged to the group of the Bacilli. Some were motile, some 
curdled milk and some liquefied gelatin in virtue of a proteolytic 
enzyme. The majority possessed reducing powers upon nitrates 
and decomposed proteid matter. In some instances cane sugar 
was inverted and starch was diastased. These facts well illustrate 
the full vitality of the organisms at these high temperatures, whilst 
all the organisms isolated grew best at 55-65° C. A good growth in 
a few cases occurred at 72° C. Evidence of growth was obtained even 
at 74° C. They exhibited a remarkable and unique range of tempera- 
ture, extending as far as 30° of the Centigrade scale. 

As a concluding instance of the activity of these organisms we 
may cite their action upon cellulose. Cellulose is a substance that 
is exceedingly difficult to decompose, and is, therefore, used in the 
laboratory for filtering purposes in the form of Swedish filter paper, 
on account of its resistance to the action of solvents. We allowed 
these organisms to act on cellulose at 60° C. The result was that in 
ten to fourteen days a complete disintegration of the cellulose had 
taken place, probably in CO2 and marsh gas. The exact conditions that 
may favor their growth, even if it be slow at subthermophilic tempera- 
tures, are not yet known — they may possibly be of a chemical nature. 



PHYSICAL AGENTS AND BACTERIAL LIFE. 245 

Organisms may be gradually acclimatized to temperatures that 
prove unsuited to them under ordinary conditions. Thus the anthrax 
bacillus, with an optimum temperature for its development of 37° C, 
may be made to grow at 12° C, and at 42° C. Such anthrax bacilli 
proved pathogenic for the frog with a temperature of 12° C, and for 
the pigeon with a temperature of 42° C. 

Let us, in a very few words, consider the inimical action of tem- 
perature on bacterial life. An organism placed below its minimum 
temperature ceases to develop, and if grown above its optimum tem- 
perature becomes attenuated as regards its virulence, etc., and 
may eventually die. The boiling point is fatal for non-sporing organ- 
isms in a few minutes. The exact thermal death-point varies accord- 
ing to the optimum and maximum temperature for the growth 
of the organism in question. Thus, for water bacteria with a low 
optimum temperature, blood heat may be fatal; for pathogenic bacteria 
developing best at blood heat, a thermophilic temperature may be 
fatal (60° C); and for thermophilic bacilli any temperature above 
75° C. These remarks apply to the bacteria during their multiply- 
ing and vegetating phase of life. In their resting or spore stage 
the organisms are much more resistant to heat. Thus the anthrax 
organism in its bacillary phase is killed in one minute at 70° C; in 
its spore stage it resists this temperature for hours, and is only killed 
after some minutes by boiling. In the soil there are spores of bacteria 
which require boiling for sixteen hours to ensure their death. 
These are important points to be remembered in sterilization or dis- 
infection experiments, viz., whether an organism does or does not pro- 
duce these resistant spores. Most non-sporing forms are killed at 60° 
C. in a few minutes, but in an air-dry condition a longer time is neces- 
sary. Dry heat requires a longer time to act than moist heat: it re- 
quires 140° C. for three hours to kill anthrax spores. Dry heat can- 
not, therefore, be used for ordinary disinfection on account of its 
destructive action. Moist heat in the form of steam is the most ef- 
fectual disinfectant, killing anthrax spores at boiling point in a few 
minutes, whilst a still quicker action is obtained if saturated steam 
under pressure be used. No spore, however resistant, remains alive 
after one minute's exposure to steam at 140° C. The varying thermal 
death-point of organisms and the problems of sterilization cannot be 
better illustrated than in the case of milk, which is an admirable soil 
for the growth of a large number of bacteria. The most obvious ex- 
ample of this is the souring and curdling of milk that occurs after 
it has been standing for some time. This change is mainly due to the 
lactic acid bacteria, which ferment the milk sugar with the production 
of acidity. 

Another class of bacteria may curdle the milk without souring 



246 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

it in virtue of a rennet-like ferment, whilst a third class precipitate 
and dissolve the casein of the milk, along with the development of 
butyric acid. The process whereby milk is submitted to a heat of 
65° to 70° C. for twenty minutes is known as pasteurization, and the 
milk so treated is familiar to us all as pasteurized milk. Whilst the 
pasteurizing process weeds out the lactic acid bacteria from the milk, 
a temperature of 100° C. for one hour is necessary to destroy the 
butyric acid organisms: and even when this has been accomplished 
there still remain in the milk the spores of organisms which 
are only killed after a temperature of 100° C. for three to six hours. 
It will, therefore, be seen that pasteurization produces a partial, not 
a complete sterilization of the milk as regards its usual bacterial in- 
habitants. The sterilization to be absolute would require six hours 
at boiling point. But for all ordinary practical purposes pasteur- 
ization is an adequate procedure. All practical hygienic require- 
ments are likewise adequately met by pasteurization, if it is properly 
carried out, and the milk is subsequently cooled. Milk may carry 
the infection of diphtheria, cholera, typhoid and scarlet fevers, 
as well as the tubercle bacillus from a diseased animal to the human 
subject. For the purpose of rendering the milk innocuous, freez- 
ing and the addition of preservatives are inadequate methods of 
procedure. The one efficient and trustworthy agent we possess is 
heat. Heat and cold are the agents to be jointly employed in the 
process, viz., a temperature sufficiently high to be fatal to organisms 
producing a rapid decomposition of milk, as well as to those which 
produce disease in man; this is to be followed by a rapid cooling to 
preserve the fresh flavor and to prevent an increase of the bacteria 
that still remain alive. The pasteurized process fulfils these require- 
ments. 

In conjunction with Dr. Hewlett, I had occasion to investigate in 
how far the best pasteurizing results might be obtained. We found 
that 60° to 68° C. applied for twenty minutes weeded out about 
90 per cent, of the organisms present in the milk, leaving a 10 per 
cent, residue of resistant forms. It was found advisable to fix the 
pasteurizing temperature at 68° C, in order to make certain of killing 
any pathogenic organisms that may happen to be present. We' passed 
milk in a thin stream through a coil of metal piping, which 
was heated on its outer surface by water. By regulating the length 
of the coil, or the size of the tubing, or the rate of flow of the milk, 
almost any desired temperature could be obtained. The temperature 
we ultimately fixed at 70° C. The cooling was carried out in similar 
coils placed in iced water. The thin stream of milk was quickly 
heated and quickly cooled as it passed through the heated and cooled 
tubing, and whilst it retained its natural flavor, the apparatus ac- 



PHYSICAL AGENTS AND BACTERIAL LIFE. 247 

complished at 70° C. in thirty seconds a complete pasteurization, in- 
stead of in twenty minutes, i. e., about 90 per cent, of the bacteria 
were killed, whilst the diphtheria, typhoid, tubercle and pus organisms 
were destroyed in the same remarkably short period of time, viz., thirty 
seconds. This will serve to illustrate how the physical agent of heat 
may be employed, as well as the sensitiveness of bacteria to heat when 
it is adequately employed. 

Bacteria are much more sensitive to high than to low tempera- 
tures, and it is possible to proceed much further downwards than 
upwards in the scale of temperature, without impairing their vitality. 
Some will even multiply at zero, whilst others will remain alive when 
frozen under ordinary conditions. 

I will conclude this discourse by briefly referring to experiments 
recently made with most remarkable results upon the influence of 
low temperatures on bacterial life. The experiments were conducted 
at the suggestion of Sir James Crichton-Browne and Professor Dewar. 
The necessary facilities were most kindly given at the Eoyal Institu- 
tion, and the experiments were conducted under the personal super- 
vision of Professor Dewar. The action of liquid air on bacteria was 
first tested. A typical series of bacteria was employed for this pur- 
pose, possessing varying degrees of resistance to external agents. The 
bacteria were first simultaneously exposed to the temperature of liquid 
air for twenty hours (about — 190° C). In no instance could 
any impairment of the vitality of the organisms be detected as regards 
their growth of functional activities. This was strikingly illustrated 
in the case of the phosphorescent organisms tested. The cells emit 
light which is apparently produced by a chemical process of intra- 
cellular oxidation, and the phenomenon ceases with the cessation of 
their activity. These organisms, therefore, furnished a very happy 
test of the influence of low temperatures on vital phenomena. These 
organisms when cooled down in liquid air became non-luminous, but 
on re-thawing the luminosity returned with unimpaired vigor as the 
cells renewed their activity. The sudden cessation and rapid re- 
newal of the luminous properties of the cells, despite the extreme 
changes of temperature, was remarkable and striking. In further ex- 
periments the organisms were subjected to the temperature of liquid 
air for seven days. The results were again nil. On re-thawing the 
organisms renewed their life processes with unimpaired vigor. We 
had not yet succeeded in reaching the limits of vitality. Professor 
Dewar kindly afforded the opportunity of submitting the organisms 
to the temperature of liquid hydrogen — about — 250° C. The same 
series of organisms was employed, and again the result was nil. This 
temperature is only 21° above that of the absolute zero, a temperature 
at which, on our present theoretical conceptions, molecular movement 



248 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

ceases and the entire range of chemical and physical activities with 
which we are acquainted either cease, or, it may be, assume an entirely 
new role. This temperature again is iar below that at which any 
chemical reaction is known to take place. The fact, then, that life 
can continue to exist under such conditions affords new ground for 
reflection as to whether after all life is dependent for its continuance 
on chemical reactions. We, as biologists, therefore follow with the 
keenest interest Professor Dewar's heroic attempts to reach the absolute 
zero of temperature; meanwhile, his success has already led us to re- 
consider many of the main issues of the problem. And by having af- 
forded us a new realm in which to experiment, Professor Dewar has 
placed in our hands an agent of investigation from the effective use of 
which we who are working at the subject at least hope to gain a little 
further insight into the great mystery of life itself. 



FLIES AND TYPHOID FEVER. 249 



A 



FLIES AND TYPHOID FEVER. 

By Dr. L. O. HOWARD, 

U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. 

FTEE the outbreak of the late war with Spain in the early sum- 
mer of 1898, typhoid fever soon became prevalent in concen- 
tration camps in different parts of the country. In many cases — in 
fact in fully one-half of the total number — the fever was not recognized 
as typhoid for some time, hut towards the close of the summer it was 
practically decided that the fever which prevailed was not malarial, 
hut enteric. During that summer the medical journals and the news- 
papers contained a number of communications from contract sur- 
geons au<l others advancing the theory that flies were largely respon- 
sible for the spread of the disease, owing to the fact that in many of 
these camps the sinks or latrines were placed near the kitchens and 
dining tents, and that the enormous quantity of excrement in the sinks 
was not properly cared for. One of the most forcible writers on this 
topic was Dr. H. A. Veeder, whose paper, entitled 'Flies as Spreaders 
of Disease in Camps/ published in the 'New York Medical Record' of 
September IT, 1898, brought together a series of observations and 
strong arguments in favor of his conclusion that flies are prolific con- 
veyors of typhoid under improper camp conditions. 

This idea was not a new one. Following the proof of the agency 
of flies in the transmission of Asiatic cholera by Tizzoni and Uattani, 
Sawtchanko, Simmonds, Uffelmann, Flugge and Macrae, it was shown 
by Celli as early as 1888 that flies fed on the pure cultures of Bacillus 
typhi abdominalis are able to transmit virulent bacilli in their ex- 
crement. Dr. George M. Kober, of Washington, in his lectures before 
the Medical College of Georgetown University, had for some years been 
insisting upon the agency of flies in the transmission of typhoid, and 
in the report of the health officer of the District of Columbia for the 
year ending June 30, 1895, referred to the probable transferrence of 
typhoid germs from the privies and other receptacles for typhoid stools 
to the food supply of the house by the agency of flies. 

Moreover, the Surgeon-General of the Army, Dr. George M. Stern- 
berg, was fully alive to the great importance of the isolation and dis- 
infection of excrement, as evidenced in his prize essay on 'Disinfection 
and Personal Prophylaxis in Infectious Diseases,' published by the 
American Public Health Association in 1885, and in the first circular 
issued from his office in the spring of 1898 (April) careful instruc- 



250 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



tions were given regarding the preparation of sinks and their care, with 
a direct indication of the danger of transfer of typhoid fever by flies. 
These instructions were not followed, and the result was that over 21 
per cent, of the troops in the national encampments in this country dur- 
ing the summer of 1898 had typhoid fever, and over 80 per cent, of the 
total number of deaths during that year were from this one cause.* 

This condition of affairs was not confined to the United States. 
An epidemic occurred in the camp of the Eighth Cavalry at Puerto 
Principe, Cuba, in which two hundred and fifty cases of the fever oc- 
curred. The disease was imported by the regiment into its Cuban camp, 
and Dr. Walter Eeed, U. S. A., upon investigation, reported to the 
Surgeon-General that the epidemic "was clearly not due to water 
infection, but was transferred from the infected stools of the patients 
to the food by means of flies, the conditions being especially favorable 
for this manner of dissemination. . . . "f 

In all the published accounts, and in all literature of closely allied 
subjects, the expression used in connection with the insects has been 





Fig. 1. Musca domestica— enlarged. 

simply the word 'flies.' Nothing could be more unsatisfactory to the 
entomologist than such a general word as this, except it were taken for 
granted that the house-fly (Musca domestica) was always meant. It 
has not apparently been realized that there are many species of flies 
which are attracted to intestinal discharges, nor does it seem to have 
been realized that, while certain of these species may visit, and do visit, 
food supplies in dining rooms, kitchens and elsewhere, many others 
are not likely to be attracted. 

In 1895, the writer made a study of the house-fly, not from this 



* Conclusions reached after a study of typhoid fever among American soldiers in 1898, hy Dr. 
Victor C. Vaughan, a member of the Army Typhoid Commission, read before the annual meet- 
ing of the American Medical Association at Atlantic City, N. J., June 6, 1900. 'Philadelphia Med- 
ical Journal,' June 9, 1900, pages 1315 to 1325. 

t 'Sanitary Lessons of the War,' by George M. Sternberg, Surgeon-General, TJ. S. A., read at 
the meeting of the American Medical Association, at Columbus, O., June 6 to 9, 1899. 'Phila. 
Med. Jour.,' June 10 and 17, 1899. 



FLIES AND TYPHOID FEVER. 



251 



standpoint, but from a desire to learn the principal source from which 
our houses are supplied with this eternal nuisance, with a view to 
being able to suggest remedial measures. Experimental work in this 
direction was continued for some years. In the course of this work he 
early decided that an overwhelming majority of the house-flies found in 
domiciles breed in horse manure. This substance is its favored larval 
food, and experimental work showed that by the semi-weekly treatment 
of the horse manure in one large stable, the house-fly supply of the 
neighborhood was very greatly reduced. In confined breeding cages he 
had been unable to breed house-flies in any other substance than horse- 
dung, and consequently when the camp typhoid question and the agency 
of flies became a matter of such general comment in 1898, he saw the 
desirability of a careful study of the insects which frequent or breed in 
human excrement, in order to give exact data from which reliable state- 




Fig. 2. Sepsis violacea— enlarged. 



Fig. 3. Nemopoda minuta- 
enlarged. 



ments could be made and upon which reliable conclusions could be 
based. This work was begun and carried on through the summer of 
1899 and to some extent in the summer of 1900, with results which will 
be briefly summarized in the following paragraphs. The exact details, 
somewhat too technical, altogether too long and certainly too un- 
pleasant for publication in a journal of this character, will be published 
in the Proceedings of the Washington Academy of Sciences. 

In all seventy-seven distinct species of flies, belonging to twenty- 
one different families, were found by actual observation, either by 
rearing or by captures, to be coprophagous; thirty-six species were found 
to breed in human fasces under more or less normal conditions, while 
forty-one were captured upon such material. All have been studied 
with more or less care, and their other habits ascertained. The most 



252 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



abundant of the flies reared were Helicobia quadrisetosa, Sepsis violacea, 
Nemopoda minuta, Limosina albipennis, Limosina fontinalis, Sphrero- 
cera subsultans and Scatophaga furcata, while the most abundant forms 
captured were Phormia terramovce and Borborus equinus. In a second 
class, not including the most abundant forms reared and captured, but 
including species which were rather abundantly found, were Sarcophaga 
sarracenice, Sarcophaga assidua, Sarcophaga trivialis, Musca domestica 
(the common house-fly), Morellia micans, Muscina stabulans, Myospila 
meditabunda, Ophyra leucostoma, Phorbia cinerella, and Spharocera 
pasilla, of the reared series, and PseudopyrelUa cornicina and Limosina 
crassimana among the captured series. All the others of the seventy- 
seven species were either scarce or not abundant. 

The results so far stated and the observations made in the inves- 
tigation as a whole have a distinct entomological interest, as showing 
the exact food habits of a large number of species, many of the obser- 




Fig. 4. Scatophaga furcata— enlarged. 



vations being novel contributions to the previous knowledge of these 
forms. But the principal bearings of the work are only brought out 
when we consider which of these forms are likely, from their habits, 
actually to convey disease germs from the substance in which they 
have bred or which they have frequented to substances upon which 
people feed. Therefore, collections of the Dipterous insects (flies) 
occurring in kitchens, pantries and dining rooms were made, with 
the assistance of correspondents and observers in different parts of the 
country, through the summer of 1899, and also in the summer and 
autumn of 1900. Such collections were made in the States of Massa- 
chusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Florida, 
Georgia, Louisiana, Nebraska and California. Nearly all of the flies thus 
captured were caught upon sheets of the ordinary sticky fly-paper, 
which, while ruining them as cabinet specimens, did not disfigure 
them beyond the point of specific recognition. 



FLIES AND TYPHOID FEVER. 



253 



In all 23,087 flies were examined.* They were caught in rooms 
in which food supplies are ordinarily exposed, and may safely he said 
to have been attracted by the presence of these food supplies. Of 
these 23,087 flies, 22,808 were Musca domestica; that is to say, 98.8 per 
cent, of the whole number captured belonged to the species known as 
the common house-fly. The remainder, consisting of 1.2 per cent, of 
the whole, comprised various species, the most significant ones being 
Homaloymia canicularis (the species ordinarily known as the 'little 
house-fly'), of which 81 specimens were captured; the stable-fly 
(Muscina stabulans), 37 specimens; Plwra femorata, 33; Lucilia ccesar 
(screw-worm fly), 8; Drosophila amelophila, 15; Sarcophagatrivialis, 10; 
and Calliphora erythrocephala (the common blow-fly), 7. 

Musca domestica is, therefore, the species of greatest importance from 





Fig. 5. Sph.erocera subsultans- 
enlarged. 



Fig. 6. Phormia terr;enov.e- 
enlarged. 



the food-infesting standpoint; Homaloymia canicularis is important 
and Muscina stabulans is of somewhat lesser importance. Drosophila 
amelophila, although not occurring in the former list of abundant 
species, does rarely breed in excreta and is an important form; it would 
have been much more abundant in the records of house captures had 
more of these been made in the autumn, after fruit makes its appear- 
ance upon the dining tables and sideboards, since this species is the 
commonest of the little fruit-flies which are seen flying about ripe 
fruit in the fall of the year. The Calliphora and the Lucilia are of 
slight importance, not only on account of their rarity in houses, but 
because they are not, strictly speaking, true excrement insects. They 



* The determination work in the Diptera was all done by the writer's assistant, Mr. D. W. 
Coquillett, who is an authority on this group of insects. 



254 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



are rather carrion species. Other forms were taken, but either their 
household occurrence was probably accidental or from their habits 
they have no significance in the disease-transfer function. 

It appears plainly that the most abundant species breeding in or 
attracted to dejecta do not occur in kitchens and dining rooms, but 
it is none the less obvious that while the common house-fly, under 
ordinary city and town conditions as they exist at the present day, 
and more especially in such cities and towns, or in such portions of 
cities as are well cared for and inhabited by a cleanly and respectable 
population, may not be considered an imminent source of danger, it 
is, nevertheless, under other conditions a factor of the greatest im- 
portance in the spreading of enteric fever. 

The house-fly undoubtedly prefers horse manure as a breeding 
place. We have shown that it is not one of the most abundant species of 
flies breeding in or attached to human fasces, but, in the course of the 
observations made in the summer of 1899, we have definitely proved 





Fig. 7. Sarcophaga assidua— enlarged. 



the following facts relative to the house-fly, and in the statement of 
these facts it must be remembered that every specimen has been 
carefully examined by an expert dipterologist, so that there can be 
no mistake: 

(1.) In the army camps the latrines are not properly cared for 
and where their contents are left exposed, Musca domestica will, and 
does, breed in these contents in large numbers, and is attracted to 
them without necessary oviposition. 

Such observations were not made by the writer at the concentra- 
tion camps of 1898, but were made at the summer camps of the 
District of Columbia Militia, during the summers of 1899 and 1900. 

The contrast between the conditions here observed and those which 
existed at the great army camp at the Presidio, San Francisco, Cali- 
fornia, as observed by the writer through the courtesy of Surgeon- 
General Sternberg and Colonel W. H. Forwood, surgeon in charge of 
the Department of California, in the late autumn of 1899, was most 



FLIES AND TYPHOID FEVER. 



255 



striking. At the Presidio camp, the chance for the transfer of typhoid 
by flies had by intelligent care been reduced to zero. This, however, 
Mas, of course, a more or less permanent camp and opportunities were 
better, but indicated in a beautiful way what might be done and what 
should be done even in a temporary camp. 

(2) In towns where the box privy nuisance is still in existence 
the house-fly is attracted to such places to a certain extent, though not 
as abundantly as other flies, which, however, are not found in houses. 
Observations to this effect were made by the writer and his assistants 
in many parts of the United States. 

(3.) In the filthy regions of a city, where sanitary supervision is 
lax, and where in low alleys and corners and vacant lots deposits are 
made by dirty people, the house-fly is attracted to the stools, may breed 
in them, and is thus a constant source of danger. The writer has seen 
a deposit made over night in South Washington in an alleyway swarm- 




FlG. 8. MORELLIA MICANS— ENLARGED. 



Fig. 9. Myospila meditabukda— enlarged. 



ing with flies, in the bright sunlight of a June morning, temperature 
92° F., and within thirty feet of this substance were the open doors and 
windows of the kitchens of two houses occupied by poor people, these 
two houses being only elements in a long row. 

The conclusions which the writer has reached after two years of 
this experimental work are: 

(1) Of the seventy-seven species of flies found under such conditions 
that their bodies, especially their feet and their proboscides, may 
become covered with virulent typhoid germs, only eight are likely to 
carry them to objects from which they can enter the alimentary canal 
of man. 

(2) Of these eight species, two, namely, Lucilia ccesar and Calliphora 
erythrocephala. can very rarely carry such germs, though they may 
carry the germs of putrefaction and cause blood-poisoning, in alighting 
upon abrasions of the skin or open wounds. 



256 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



(3) Four of these specimens, namely, Homaloymia canicularis, 
Muscina stabulans, Phora femoraia and Sarcophaga trivialis, possess • 
some degree of importance, but their comparative scarcity in houses • 
renders them by no means of prime importance. 

(4) The common little fruit-fly, Drosophila ampehphila, is a 
dangerous species. 

(5) The house-fly is a constant source of danger, and wherever 
the least carelessness in the disposal of or the disinfection of dejecta 
exists, it becomes an imminent source of danger. 

When we consider the prevalence of typhoid fever and the fact 
that virulent typhoid bacilli may occur in the excrement of an indi- 
vidual for some time before the disease is recognized in him, and that 
virulent germs may be found in the excrement for a long time after 
the apparent recovery of a patient, the wonder is not that typhoid is 
so prevalent, but that it does not prevail to a much greater extent- 





Fig. 10. Muscina stabulans— Enlarged. 



FlG. 11. I'HORIilA CINEKELLA — ENLARGED. 



Box privies should be abolished in every community, or they should be 
disinfected daily. The depositing of excrement in the open within the 
town or city limits should be considered a punishable misdemeanor 
in cities which have not already such regulations, and the law should be 
enforced more vigorously in towns in which it is already prohibited. 
Such offenses are generally committed after dark, and it is often diffi- 
cult, or even impossible, to trace the offender; therefore, the regulations- 
should be carried even further, and should require the first responsible 
person who notices the deposit to immediately inform the police, so 
that it may be removed or covered up. Dead animals are so reported,, 
but human excrement is much more dangerous. Boards of health in 
all communities should look after the proper treatment or disposal of 
horse manure, primarily in order to reduce the number of house- 
flies to a minimum, and all regulations regarding the disposal of garbage 
and foul matter should be made more stringent and should he more 
stringently enforced. 



GEOMETRY: ANCIENT AND MODERN. 257 



GEOMETRY: ANCIENT AND MODERN. 

By Professor EDWIN S. CRAWLEY, 

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA. 

AMONGST the records of the most remote antiquity we find little 
to lead to the conclusion that geometry was known or studied as 
a branch of mathematics. The Babylonians had a remarkably well- 
developed number system and were expert astronomers; but, so far as we 
know, their knowledge of geometry did not go beyond the construction 
of certain more or less regular figures for necromantic purposes. The 
Egyptians did better than this, and Egypt is commonly acknowledged 
to be the birthplace of geometry. It was a poor kind of geometry, how- 
ever, from our point of view, and should rather be designated as a sys- 
tem of mensuration. Nevertheless it served as a beginning, and prob- 
ably was the means of setting the Greek mind, at work upon this sub- 
ject. Our knowledge of Egyptian geometry is obtained from a papyrus 
in the British Museum known as the Ahmes Mathematical Papyrus. It 
dates from about the eighteenth century B. C, and purports to be a copy 
of a document some four or five centuries older. It is the counterpart 
of what to-day is called an engineer's hand-book. It contains arithmeti- 
cal tables, examples in the solution of simple equations, and rules for 
determining the areas of figures and the capacity of certain solids. 
There is no hint of anything in the nature of demonstrational geometry, 
nor any evidence of how the rules were derived. In fact, they could not 
have been obtained as the result of demonstration, for they are generally 
wrong. For example, the area of an isosceles triangle is given as the 
product of the base and half the side, and that of a trapezoid as the prod- 
uct of the half-sums of the opposite sides. These rules give results 
which are approximately correct so long as they are applied to triangles 
whose altitude is large compared with the base, and to trapezoids which 
do not depart very far from a rectangular shape. Whether the Egyp- 
tians ever came to realize that these rules were erroneous we cannot say, 
but it is known that long after the Greeks had discovered the correct 
ones they were still in use. Thus Cajori, 'History of Mathematics,' page 
12, says: "On the walls of the celebrated temple of Horus at Edfu have 
been found hieroglyphics written about 100 B. C, which enumerate the 
pieces of land owned by the priesthood and give their areas. The area 
of any quadrilateral, however irregular, is there found by the formula 
a + b c + d „ 

2 — * — 2 * *- a a ^and for one pair of opposite sides and 

c and d for the others.] It is plausibly argued that a superstitious tra- 

VOL. LVIII.— 17 



258 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

ditionalism made it an act of sacrilege to alter what had become part of 
the sacred writings. 

When we consider the conditions of life in Egypt we can easily see 
why this particular kind of geometric knowledge so early gained cur- 
rency. The annual inundation of the Nile was continually altering the 
minor features of the country along its course, and washing away land- 
marks between adjacent properties. Some means of re-establishing 
these marks and of determining the areas of fields was therefore essen- 
tial. To meet this demand the surveyors devised the rules which Ahines 
has given us. The further necessity of ascertaining the contents of a 
barn of given shape and dimensions likewise gave rise to the rules for 
determining volumes. 

We learn also that the Egyptians were acquainted with the truth of 
the Pythagorean theorem, that the square of the hypotenuse of a right 
triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides, for 
they applied this knowledge practically by means of a triangle whose 
sides were 3, 4 and 5 respectively, in laying down right angles. This 
general truth was derived in all probability by deduction from a large 
number of individual cases. The Egyptian rule for the area of a circle 
was remarkably accurate for such an early date. It consisted in squar- 
ing eight-ninths of the diameter. This gives to n the value 3.1605. 

It is generally supposed that the Greeks had their attention drawn 
to geometry through intercourse with the Egyptians. It was but a step, 
however, for them to pass beyond the latter, and with them we find the 
birth of the true mathematical spirit which refuses to accept anything 
upon authority, but requires a logical demonstration. It is well known 
what an important place was held by geometry in Greek philosophy. 
The Pythagorean school contributed much that was important along 
with a great deal that was fanciful and of little value. Pythagoras him- 
self was the first to prove the theorem referred to above, which goes by 
his name. The Greeks for the most part pursued the study of geometry 
as a purely intellectual exercise. Anything in the nature of practical 
applications of the subject was repugnant to them, and hence but little 
attention was paid to theorems of mensuration. This reminds one of 
the story told of a professor of mathematics in modern times who, in 
beginning a course of lectures, made the remark: "Gentlemen, 'to my 
mind the most interesting thing about this subject is that I do not see 
how under any circumstances it can ever be put to any practical use." 
Euclid in his 'Elements' does not mention the theorem that the area of a 
triangle is equal to half the product of its base and altitude, nor does he 
enter into any discussion of the ratio of the circumference to the diam- 
eter of a circle. This last, however, was a problem which as early as 
the time of Pythagoras had attracted much attention. 'Squaring the 
circle' was a stumbling block to the Greeks and has been ever since. 



GEOMETRY: ANCIENT AND MODERN. 259 

The pursuit of the impossible seems to have an irresistible attraction for 
some minds. This remark applies only to the modern devotees of the 
subject, however. The Greeks did not know that the thing they sought 
was an impossibility. To square the circle, to trisect an angle and to 
duplicate the cube were three problems upon which the Greeks lavished 
more attention probably than upon any others. It was not labor 
wasted, because it led incidentally to many theorems, which otherwise 
might have remained unknown, but the principal object sought was not 
attained. To make matters clear it should be stated that to meet the 
requirements of Greek geometry the instruments used in the solution 
must be only the compasses and the unmarked straight edge. So that 
to square the circle meant to construct by these means the side of a 
square whose area should equal that of a given circle. The Greeks 
eventually succeeded in solving the last two problems by the aid of 
curves other than the circle, but this, of course, was unsatisfactory. As 
we know now they were pursuing ignes fatui. Nevertheless it is 
brought to the knowledge of mathematicians with painful frequency 
that a vast amount of energy is still wasted upon these problems, espe- 
cially the first. Let me, therefore, take the space here to repeat that 
squaring the circle is not simply one of the unsolved problems of 
mathematics which is awaiting the happy inspiration of some genius, 
but that it has been ably demonstrated to be incapable of solution in 
the manner proposed. 

When Euclid compiled his 'Elements' the knowledge of geometry 
current amongst the Greeks was about the same as that which we have 
to-day under the name of elementary geometry. The term Euclidean 
geometry has a somewhat different signification, which will be ex- 
plained below. 

About a century before Euclid's time the Greeks discovered the 
conic sections, and Apollonius of Perga, who lived about a century after 
Euclid, brought the geometry of these curves to a high degree of per- 
fection. Archimedes, whose time was intermediate between that of 
Euclid and of Apollonius, had a more practical turn of mind and applied 
his mathematical knowledge to useful purposes. Amongst other things 

he showed that the value of n lies between 3- and 3=^ that is, 

between 3.1429 and 3,1408, a closer approximation than the Egyptian. 
We see, therefore, that in the few centuries during which the Greeks 
occupied themselves with the study of geometry the knowledge of the 
right line, circle and conic sections reached about as high a state of de- 
velopment as it was possible to attain until the invention of more pow- 
erful methods of research, and many centuries were destined to elapse 
before this was to occur. I do not overlook the fact that the beautiful 
and extensive modern geometry of the triangle and the systems of re- 



2 6o POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

markable points and circles associated with it, which has been developed 
by Brocard, Lemoine, Emmerich, Vigarie and others, was within the 
reach of the Greeks; but this does not destroy the force of the remark 
above. 

The operations of mathematics are divided fundamentally into two 
kinds, analytic, which employ the symbolism and methods of algebra 
(in its broadest sense), and geometric, which consists of the operation of 
pure reason upon geometric figure. The two are now only partially 
exclusive, however, for analysis is frequently assisted by geometry, and 
geometric results are frequently obtained by analytic methods. 

With the Greeks, Hindoos and Arabs, the only peoples who con- 
cerned themselves to any extent with mathematics until comparatively 
modern times, the operations of algebra and geometry were entirely 
distinct. With the Hindoos and Arabs algebra received more atten- 
tion than geometry and with the Greeks the reverse was true. Many 
of the theorems of Euclid are capable of an algebraic interpretation , 
and this fact was probably well known, but nevertheless the theorems 
themselves are expressed in geometric terms and are proved by purely 
geometric means; and they do not, therefore, constitute a union of 
analysis with geometry in the modern sense. 

The seventeenth century brought the invention of analytic geome- 
try by Descartes and that of the calculus by Newton and Leibnitz. 
These methods opened hitherto undreamed-of possibilities in geometric 
research and led to the systematic study of curves of all descriptions- 
and to a generalization of view in connection with the geom- 
etry of the right line, circle and conies, as well as of the 
higher curves, which has been of the greatest value to the 
modern mathematician. To point out by a very simple illustration the 
nature of this work of generalization let us consider the case of a circle 
and straight line in the same plane, the line being supposed to be of 
indefinite extent. According to the relative position of this line and 
circle the Greek geometer would say that the line either meets the 
circle, or is tangent to the circle, or that the line does not meet the 
circle at all. We say now, however, that the line always meets the 
circle in two points, which may be real and distinct, real and coincident 
or imaginary. Thus a condition of things which the Greek was obliged 
to consider under three different cases we can deal with now as a 
single case. This generalized view is a direct consequence of the 
analytic treatment of the question. 

It will be seen from the illustration used above that two very im- 
portant conceptions are introduced into geometry by the use of the 
analytic method. One of these is the conception of coincident or con- 
secutive points of intersection, as in the case of a tangent, and the other 
is that of imaginary elements, as in the case of the imaginary points of 



GEOMETRY: ANCIENT AND MODERN. 261 

intersection of a line and circle which are co-planar and non-intersect- 
ing in the ordinary sense. It is impossible to exaggerate the im- 
portance of these conceptions. Without them the beautiful fabric of 
modern geometry would not stand a moment. It will be seen to many 
readers, no doubt, that a fabric built upon such a foundation will have 
very much the same stability as a 'castle in Spain.' Such, however, is 
far from the case. The analysis by which our operations proceed is a 
thoroughly well founded and trustworthy instrument, and when we 
give to it the geometric interpretation which we are entirely justified in 
doing, we find frequently that it reveals to us facts which our senses 
unaided by its finer powers of interpretation could not have discovered. 
These facts require for their adequate explanation the recognition of 
the so-called imaginary elements of the figure. Let us take one more 
illustration. If from a point outside of, but in the same plane with, a 
circle we draw two tangents to the circle and connect the points of 
tangency with a straight line, the original point and the line last men- 
tioned stand in an important relation to each other and are called re- 
spectively pole and polar with regard to the circle. Now suppose the 
point is inside the circle. The whole construction just described be- 
comes then geometrically impossible, but analytically we can draw from 
a point within a circle two imaginary tangents to the circle, and simi- 
larly we can connect the imaginary points of tangency by a straight 
line, and this straight line is found to be a real line. Moreover, in its 
relations to the point and circle it exhibits precisely the same properties 
which are found in the case of the pole and polar first described. Hence 
this point and line are also included in the general definition of pole 
and polar. Such examples might be multiplied indefinitely, but they 
would all go to emphasize the fact of the great power of generalization 
which resides in the methods of analytic geometry. 

While the power of the analytic method as an instrument of re- 
search is far greater than that of the older pure geometric method, yet 
to many minds it lacks somewhat the beauty and elegance of that 
method as an intellectual exercise. This is due to the fact that its 
operations, like all algebraic operations, are largely mechanical. Given 
the equations representing a certain geometric condition, we subject 
these equations to definite transformations and the results obtained de- 
note certain new geometric conditions. We have been whisked from 
the data to the result very much as we are hurried over the country 
in a railroad train. We may have noted the features of the country as 
we passed through it or we may not; we arrive at our destination just 
the same. Pure geometric research, on the other hand, resembles travel 
on foot or horseback. We must scrutinize the landmarks and keep a 
careful watch on the direction in which we are traveling, lest we take 
•-a wrong turn and fail to reach our destination. The result is that we 



262 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

acquire a thorough familiarity with the country through which we pass. 
The analytical method, however, affords abundant opportunity for men- 
tal activity, although of a different kind from that required in the 
other. First, the most advantageous analytic expression for the given 
geometric conditions must be sought; then the proper line of analytic 
transformation must be determined upon; and finally the result must 
be interpreted geometrically. This last step requires keen insight in 
order to ensure the full value of the result, for it is here that we often 
find far more than we anticipated, or than a casual glance will reveal. 

The obligation thus incurred by geometry to analysis has been 
largely repaid by the aid which analysis has derived from geometry. 
The study of pure analysis is unquestionably the most abstruse branch 
of mathematics, but it is now advancing with rapid strides and demands 
less and less the aid of geometry. The results of the analytic method 
in geometry, however, are too fruitful for it to be either desirable or 
possible for us to go back to a condition of complete separation of these 
two methods. 

Amongst the distinctly modern developments of geometry is what 
is known as hyper-geometry, the geometry of space of more than three 
dimensions. The fact that the product of two linear dimensions is 
representable by an area, and the product of three linear dimensions by 
a volume, naturally leads us to ask what is the geometric representa- 
tive of the product of four or more linear dimensions. The answer to 
this question leads to the ideal conception of space of four or more 
dimensions. Just as in space of three dimensions, the space of our 
every-day experience, we can draw three concurrent straight lines such 
that each one is perpendicular to each of the other two, so in space of 
four dimensions it must be possible to draw four concurrent straight 
lines such that each one is perpendicular to each of the other three. 
It is needless to say it transcends the power of the human mind to 
form such a conception, nevertheless it is possible to study the geome- 
try of such a space, and much has been done in this way both analyti- 
cally and by the methods of pure geometry. If our space has a fourth 
dimension (not to speak of any higher dimension) as some mathemati- 
cians seem disposed seriously to maintain, a body moved from any posi- 
tion in the direction of the fourth dimension will disappear from view. 
In fact, it will be annihilated so far as we are concerned. Again, a 
body placed in an inclosed space can be removed therefrom while the 
walls of the envelope remain intact; or the envelope itself can be turned 
inside out without rupturing the walls. For example, it would be 
possible to extract the meat from an egg and leave the shell unbroken. 
For most persons, however, the geometry of four-dimensional space is 
likely to remain a mathematical curiosity, serving no useful purpose 
except to furnish an opportunity for acute logical reasoning, for in- 



GEOMETRY: ANCIENT AND MODERN. 263 

studying the geometry of such space we have only our reasoning powers 
to guide us and cannot fall back upon experience, as we so often do 
more or less unconsciously, perhaps, in ordinary geometry. 

Geometry of three-dimensional space is often studied by projecting 
the solid in question upon two or more planes and working with these 
plane projections instead of with the solid itself. This is done exclu- 
sively in descriptive geometry, the geometry of the engineer and builder 
with their plan and elevation, so called. The geometry of four-dimen- 
sional figures has been studied in an analogous way. A four-dimen- 
sional figure, it should be remarked, is a figure whose bounding parts 
are three dimensional figures, just as a three-dimensional figure is 
one whose bounding parts are surfaces or two-dimensional figures. A 
four-dimensional figure can be projected on a three-dimensional space 
and its properties studied from such projections made from different 
points of view, corresponding to the plan and elevation of ordinary 
geometry. The mathematical department of the University of Pennsyl- 
vania has in its possession wire models of solid projections of all the 
possible regular four-dimensional hyper-solids, the number of which is 
limited in the same way as is the number of regular three-dimensional 
solids. These models were constructed, after a careful study of the 
question, by Dr. Paul E. Heyl, a recent student and graduate of the 
University. 

Amongst the subjects of most profound interest to mathe- 
maticians of recent years has been an investigation into the foundations 
of geometry and analysis. It was found, as the growth of the science 
proceeded, that much of fundamental importance, which hitherto had 
been accepted without question, would not bear searching scrutiny, and 
it began to be feared that the foundation might collapse in places 
altogether. We are concerned here with this only so far as it relates to 
geometry. Whatever may be said of geometry as a science which pro- 
ceeds by pure reason from certain axioms, postulates and definitions, 
it is undoubtedly true that for at least the most fundamental concep- 
tions we are thrown back upon experience; and that in the matter of 
axioms or postulates there is some latitude as to what we shall accept. 
Amongst the axioms or postulates given by Euclid is one known as the 
parallel-postulate, which states that if two coplanar straight lines are 
intersected by a third straight line (transversal) and if the interior 
angles on one side of the transversal are together less than two right 
angles, the two straight lines, if produced far enough, will meet on the 
same side of the transversal on which the sum of the interior angles is 
less than two right angles. This is, in fact, a theorem, and it is hardly 
possible to suppose that Euclid did not adopt it as a postulate only 
after finding that he could neither prove it nor do without it. It be- 
longs to a set of theorems which are so connected that if the truth of 



264 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

any one of them be assumed the others are readily proved. The 
theorem that the sum of the three angles of a triangle is equal to two 
right angles belong to this set. Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus, sec- 
ond century A. D.) seems to have been the first to publish an attempted 
proof of this postulate of Euclid. Almost all mathematicians down to 
the beginning of the nineteenth century have given more or less atten- 
tion to this question, and the account of their efforts to prove the postu- 
late forms one of the most interesting chapters in the history of mathe- 
matics. Cajori, in his 'History of Elementary Mathematics/ says, 
page 270: "They all fail, either because an equivalent assumption is 
implicitly or explicitly made, or because the reasoning is otherwise 
fallacious. On this slippery ground good and bad mathematicians alike 
have fallen. We are told that the great Lagrange, noticing that the 
formulas of spherical trigonometry are not dependent upon the paral- 
lel-postulate, hoped to frame a proof on this fact. Toward the close 
of his life he wrote a paper on parallel lines and began to read it before 
the Academy, but suddenly stopped and said: 'II faut que j'y songe 
encore' (I must think it over again); he put the paper in his pocket and 
never afterwards publicly recurred to it." 

About the time to which I have referred, the end of the eighteenth 
aud beginning of the nineteenth century, the idea began to force itself 
upon mathematicians that perhaps there was more in the question than 
appeared on the surface. It was one of the many instances which have 
occurred in all branches of human knowledge where some truth of 
fundamental importance has begun to force itself simultaneously on a 
number of minds. We leave the significance of this aspect of the ques- 
tion to the psychologists. Another curious fact to be noted in connec- 
tion with the writings which have finally shown us the true meaning, 
of the parallel-postulate is that either they attracted little or no gen- 
eral attention when they first appeared, or else they remained unpub- 
lished. The names of Lobatchewsky and the Bolyais have been made 
immortal by their writings on this subject, but it was not until long 
after they were published that their vast importance was recognized. 
The inimitable Gauss wrote on the same subject, but left his work un- 
published, and Cajori (ibid., p. 274) mentions two writers of much 
earlier date who anticipated in part the theories of Lobatchewsky and 
the Bolyais. These are Geronimo Saccheri (1667-1733), a Jesuit father 
of Milan, and Johann Heinrich Lambert (1728-1777), of Muhlhausen, 
Alsace. 

Lobatchewsky (Nicholaus Ivanovitch Lobatchewsky, 1793-1856) 
conceived the brilliant idea of cutting loose from the parallel-postulate 
altogether and succeeded in building up a system of geometry without 
its aid. The result is startling to one who has been taught to look upon 
Ihe facts of geometry (that is, of the Euclidean geometry) as incon- 



GEOMETRY: ANCIENT AND MODERN. 265 

trovertible. The denial of the parallel-postulate leaves Lobatchewsky 
to face the fact that under the conditions given in the postulate the 
two lines, if continually produced, may never meet on that side of the 
transversal on which the sum of the interior angles is less than two 
right angles. In other words, through a given point we may draw in 
a plane any number of distinct lines which will never meet a given line 
in the same plane. A result of this is that the sum of the angles of a 
triangle is variable (depending on the size of the triangle), but is always 
less than two right angles. Notwithstanding the shock to our precon- 
ceived notions which such a statement gives, the geometry of 
Lobatchewsky is thoroughly logical and consistent. What, then, does 
it mean? Simply this: We must seek the true explanation of the 
parallel-postulate in the characteristics of the space with which we are 
dealing. The Euclidean geometry remains just as true as it ever was, 
but it is seen to be limited to a particular kind of space, space of zero- 
curvature the mathematicians call it; that is, for two dimensions, space 
which conforms to our common notion of a plane. Lobatchewsky's 
geometry, on the other hand, is the geometry of a surface of uniform 
negative curvature, while ordinary spherical geometry is geometry of 
a surface of uniform positive curvature. The Lobatchewskian geometry 
is sometimes spoken of as geometry on the pseudo-sphere. 

The 'absolute geometry' of the Bolyais (Wolfgang Bolyai de Bolya, 
1775-1856, and his son, Johann Bolyai, 1802-1860) is similar to that of 
Lobatchewsky. 'The Science Absolute of Space,' by the younger Bol- 
yai, published as an appendix to the first volume of his father's work, 
has immortalized his name. 

The work of Lobatchewsky and the Bolyais has been rendered ac- 
cessible to English readers by the translations and contributions of 
Prof. George Bruce Halsted, of the University of Texas. 

If we proceed beyond the domain of two-dimensional geometry we 
merge the ideas of non-Euclidean and hyper-space. The ordinary 
triply-extended space of our experience is purely Euclidean; and if we 
approach the conception of curvature in such a space it must be curva- 
ture in a fourth dimension, and here the mind refuses to follow, 
although by pure reasoning we can show what must take place in such 
a space. 

H. Grassman, Blemann and Beltrami have written profoundly on 
these questions, and it is to the last that is due the discovery that the 
theorems of the non-Euclidean or Lobatchewskian geometry find their 
realization in a space of constant negative curvature. 

We naturally ask the question: Is there any reason to suppose that 
the space which we inhabit is other than Euclidean? To this a nega- 
tive reply must be returned. We may have suspicions, but we have no 
evidence. If we could discover a triangle the sum of whose angles by 



266 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

actual measurement departs from two right angles, the fact of the non- 
Euclidean character of our space would be established at once. But no 
such triangle has been discovered. Even the largest, which are con- 
cerned in the measurement of stellar parallax, do not help us, and it 
does not seem possible to get larger ones. Nevertheless Clifford and 
others have shown that some physical phenomena, which require the 
conception of elaborate and complex machinery for their explanation, 
are capable of very simple explanation upon the hypothesis of a fourth 
dimension. Then, too, in the domain of pure mathematics several 
phenomena find a ready explanation upon the basis of such an assump- 
tion. In the theory of curves we constantly make use of the assump- 
tion that a curve may return into itself after passing through infinity, 
which is only another aspect of the same hypothesis. In fact, with- 
out this aid our processes of generalization, so important to the develop- 
ment of modern geometry, would be sadly hampered. Professor New- 
comb has carried this matter to its logical conclusion and has deduced 
the actual dimensions of the visible universe in terms of the measure- 
ment of curvature in the fourth dimension. In such a space it becomes 
actually possible for a curve with infinite branches to pass through in- 
finity (so-called) and return into itself. Upon this hypothesis our uni- 
verse is unbounded in the sense that however far we travel we can never 
reach its limits, for it has none, but it is not infinite. Just as we can 
travel forever on the surface of the earth without reaching any limits,, 
but that surface is not infinite. But even supposing that all this is- 
true, the question still presses home: What is beyond? 



ADDRESS BEFORE THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 267 



AN ADDRESS GIVEN BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF AN- 
THROPOLOGY OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION, 1878. 

By T. H. HUXLEY. 

[Huxley's address at the Dublin meeting of the British Association gives 
an admirable account of the condition of anthropological science twenty- 
two years ago. It has not been republished in the 'Collected Essays,' 
but like everything that Huxley wrote it is worth reading at the present 
time.] 

WHEN I undertook, with the greatest possible pleasure, to act as 
a lieutenant of my friend, the president of this section, I 
steadfastly purposed to confine myself to the modest and useful duties 
of that position. For reasons, with which it is not worth while to 
trouble you, I did not propose to follow the custom which has grown up 
in the Association of delivering an address upon the occasion of taking 
the chair of a section or department. In clear memory of the admir- 
able addresses which you have had the privilege of hearing from Pro- 
fessor Flower, and just now from Dr. McDonnell, I can not doubt that 
that practice is a very good one; though I would venture to say, to use 
a term of philosophy, that it looks very much better from an objective 
than from a subjective point of view. But I found that my resolution, 
like a great many good resolutions that I have made in the course of 
my life, came to very little, and that it was thought desirable that I 
should address you in some way. But I must beg of you to understand 
that this is no formal address. I have simply announced it as a few 
introductory remarks, and I must ask you to forgive whatever of 
crudity and imperfection there may be in the mode of expression of 
what I have to say, although naturally I shall do my best to take care 
that there is neither crudity nor inaccuracy in the substance of it. 
It has occurred to me that I might address myself to a point in con- 
nection with the business of this department which forces itself more 
or less upon the attention of everybody, and which, unless the bellicose 
instincts of human nature are less marked on this side of St. George's 
Channel than on the other, may possibly have something to do with the 
large audiences we are always accustomed to see in the anthropological 
department. In the geological section I have no doubt it will be 
pointed out to you, or, at any rate, such knowledge may crop up in- 
cidentally, that there are on the earth's surface what are called loci 
of disturbance, where, for long ages, cataclysms and outbursts of lava 
and the like take place. Then everything subsides into quietude; 



268 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

but a similar disturbance is set up elsewhere. In Antrim, at the 
middle of the tertiary epoch, there was a great center of physical 
disturbance. We all know that at the present time the earth's crust, 
at any rate, is quiet in Antrim, while the great centers of local dis- 
turbance are in Sicily, in Southern Italy, in the Andes and elsewhere. 
My experience of the British Association does not extend quite over 
a geological epoch, but it does go back rather longer than I care to 
think about; and when I first knew the British Association, the locus 
of disturbance in it was the geological section. All sorts of terrible 
things about the antiquity of the earth, and I know not what else, were 
being said there, which gave rise to terrible apprehensions. The whole 
world, it was thought, was coming to an end, just as I have no doubt 
that, if there were any human inhabitants of Antrim in the middle of 
the tertiary epoch, when those great lava streams burst out, they would 
not have had the smallest question that the whole universe was going 
to pieces. Well, the universe has not gone to pieces. Antrim is, 
geologically speaking, a very quiet place now, as well cultivated a place 
as one need see, and yielding abundance of excellent produce; and so, 
if we turn to the geological section, nothing can be milder than the 
proceedings of that admirable body. All the difficulties that they 
.seemed to have encountered at first have died away, and statements 
that were the horrible paradoxes of that generation are now the com- 
monplaces of school boys. At present the locus of disturbance is to 
be found in the biological section, and more particularly in the an- 
thropological department of that section. History repeats itself, and 
precisely the same apprehensions which were expressed by the abo- 
rigines of the geological section, in long far back time, are at present 
expressed by those who attend our deliberations. The world is coming 
to an end, the basis of morality is being shaken, and I don't know what 
is not to happen if certain conclusions which appear probable are to be 
verified. Well, now, whoever may be here thirty years hence — I cer- 
tainly shall not be — but, depend upon it, whoever may be speaking at 
the meeting of this department of the British Association thirty years 
hence will find, exactly as the members of the geological section have 
found, on looking back thirty years, that the very paradoxes and 
horrible conclusions, things that are now thought to be going to shake 
the foundations of the world, will by that time have become parts of 
every-day knowledge and will be taught in our schools as accepted 
truth, and nobody will be one whit the worse. 

The considerations which I think it desirable to put before you, 
in order to show the foundations of this conviction at which I have 
very confidently arrived, are of two kinds. The first is a reason based 
entirely upon philosophical considerations, namely, this — that the 
region of pure physical science, and the region of those questions which 



ADDRESS BEFORE THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 269 

specially interest ordinary humanity, are apart, and that the con- 
clusions reached in the one have no direct effect in the other. If 
you acquaint yourself with the history of philosophy, and with the 
endless variations of human opinion therein recorded, you will find that 
there is not a single one of those speculative difficulties which at the 
present time torment many minds as being the direct product of 
scientific thought, which is not as old as the times of Greek philosophy, 
and which did not then exist as strongly and as clearly as such diffi- 
culties exist now, though they arose out of arguments based upon 
merely philosophical ideas. Whoever admits these two things — as 
everybody who looks about him must do — whoever takes into account 
the existence of evil in this world and the law of causation — has be- 
fore him all the difficulties that can be raised by any form of scientific 
speculation. And these two difficulties have been occupying the minds 
of men ever since man began to think. The other consideration I have 
to put before you is that, whatever may be the results at which physical 
science, as applied to man shall arrive, those results are inevitable — 
I mean that they arise out of the necessary progress of scientific thought 
as applied to man. You all, I hope, had the opportunity of hearing the 
excellent address which was given by our president yesterday, in which 
he traced out the marvellous progress of our knowledge of the higher 
animals which has been effected since the time of Linnaeus. It is no 
exaggeration to say that at this present time the merest tyro knows a 
thousand times as much on the subject as is contained in the work of 
Linnaeus, which was then the standard authority. Now how has that 
been brought about? If you consider what zoology, or the study of 
animals, signifies, you will see that it means an endeavor to ascertain 
all that can be studied, all the answers that can be given respecting 
any animal under four possible points of view. The first of these 
embraces considerations of structure. An animal has a certain struc- 
ture and a certain mode of development, which means that it passes 
through a series of stages to that structure. In the second place, 
every animal exhibits a great number of active powers, the knowledge 
of which constitutes its physiology; and under those active powers 
we have, as physiologists, not only to include such matters as have been 
referred to by Dr. McDonnell in his observations, but to take into 
account other kinds of activity. I see it announced that the zoological 
section of to-day is to have a highly interesting paper by Sir John 
Lubbock on the habits of ants. Ants have a policy, and exhibit a 
certain amount of intelligence, and all these matters are proper subjects 
for the study of the zoologist as far as he deals with the ant. There 
is yet a third point of view in which you may regard every animal. 
It has a distribution. Not only is it to be found somewhere on the 
earth's surface, but paleontology tells us, if we go back in time, that 



270 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

the great majority of animals have had a past history — that they 
occurred in epochs of the world's history far removed from the present. 
And when we have acquired all that knowledge which we may enumer- 
ate under the heads of anatomy, physiology and distribution, there 
remains still the problem of problems to the zoologist, which is the 
study of the causes of those phenomena, in order that we may know 
how they came about. All these different forms of knowledge and 
inquiry are legitimate subjects for science, there being no subject which 
is an illegitimate subject for scientific inquiry, except such as involves 
a contradiction in terms, or is itself absurd. Indeed, I don't know that 
I ought to go quite so far as this at present, for undoubtedly there 
are many benighted persons who have been in the habit of calling by 
no less hard names conceptions which the president of this meeting 
tells us must be regarded with much respect. If we have four dimen- 
sions of space we may have forty dimensions, and that would be a long 
way beyond that which is conceivable by ordinary powers of imagina- 
tion. I should, therefore, not like to draw too closely the limits as 
to what may be contradiction to the best-established principles. Now, 
let us turn to a proposition which no one can possibly deny — namely, 
that there is a distinct sense in which man is an animal. There is 
not the smallest doubt of that proposition. If anybody entertains a 
misgiving on that point he has simply to walk through the museum 
close by, in order to see that man has a structure and a framework 
which may be compared, point for point and bone for bone, with those 
of the lower animals. There is not the smallest doubt, moreover, that, 
as to the manner of his becoming, man is developed, step by step, in 
exactly the same way as they are. There is not the smallest doubt that 
his activities — not only his mere bodily functions, but his other func- 
tions — are just as much the subjects of scientific study as are those of 
ants and bees. What we call the phenomena of intelligence, for ex- 
ample (as to what else there may be in them, the anthropologist makes 
no assertion) — are phenomena following a definite causal order just as 
capable of scientific examination, and of being reduced to definite law, 
as are all those phenomena which we call physical. Just as ants form 
a polity and a social state, and just as these are the proper and legiti- 
mate study of the zoologist, so far as he deals with ants, so do men 
organize themselves into a social state. And though the province of 
politics is of course outside that of anthropology, yet the consideration 
of a man, so far as his instincts lead him to construct a social economy, 
is a legitimate and proper part of anthropology, precisely in the same 
way as the study of the social state of ants is a legitimate object of 
zoology. So with regard to other and more subtle phenomena. It 
has often been disputed whether in animals there is any trace of the 
religious sentiment. That is a legitimate subject of dispute and of 



ADDRESS BEFORE THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 271 

inquiry; and if it were possible for my friend, Sir John Lubbock, to 
point out to you that ants manifest such sentiments, he would have 
made a very great and interesting discovery, and no one could doubt 
that the ascertainment of such a fact was completely within the prov- 
ince of zoology. Anthropology has nothing to do with the truth or 
falsehood of religion — it holds itself absolutely and entirely aloof from 
such questions — but the natural history of religion, and the origin and 
the growth of the religions entertained by the different kinds of the 
human race, are within its proper and legitimate province. I now go 
a step farther, and pass to the distribution of man. Here, of course, 
the anthropologist is in his special region. He endeavors to ascertain 
how various modifications of the human stock are arranged upon the 
earth's surface. He looks back to the past, and inquires how far the 
remains of man can be traced. It is just as legitimate to ascertain how 
far the human race goes back in time as it is to ascertain how far the 
horse goes back in time; the kind of evidence that is good in the one 
case is good in the other; and the conclusions that are forced on us in 
the one case are forced on us in the other also. Finally, we come to 
the question of the causes of all these phenomena, which, if permissible 
in the case of other animals, is permissible in the animal man. What- 
ever evidence, whatever chain of reasoning justifies us in concluding 
that the horse, for example, has come into existence in a certain 
fashion in time, the same evidence and the same canons of logic 
justify us to precisely the same extent in drawing the same kind of 
conclusions with regard to man. And it is the business of the an- 
thropologist to be as severe in his criticism of those matters in respect 
to the origin of man as it is the business of the paleontologist to be 
strict in regard to the origin of the horse; but for the scientific man 
there is neither more nor less reason for dealing critically with the 
one case than with the other. Whatever evidence is satisfactory in one 
case is satisfactory in the other; and if any one should travel outside 
the lines of scientific evidence and endeavor either to support or oppose 
conclusions which are based upon distinctly scientific grounds, by con- 
siderations which are not in any way based upon scientific logic or 
scientific truth — whether that mode of advocacy was in favor of a 
given position, or whether it was against it, I, occupying the chair of 
the section, should, most undoubtedly, feel myself called upon to call 
him to order, and tell him that he was introducing topics with which 
we had no concern whatever. 

I have occupied your attention for a considerable time, yet there is 
still one other point respecting which I should like to say a few words, 
because some very striking reflections arise out of it. The British 
Association met in Dublin twenty-one years ago, and I have taken the 
pains to look up what was done in regard to our subject at that period. 



272 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

At that time there was no anthropological department. That study 
had not yet differentiated itself from zoology, or anatomy, or physiology 
so as to claim for itself a distinct place. Moreover, without reverting 
needlessly to the remarks which I placed before you some time ago, it 
was a very volcanic subject, and people rather liked to leave it alone. 
It was not until a long time subsequently that the present organization 
of this section of the Association was brought about; but it is a curious 
fact that although truly anthropological subjects were at the time 
brought before the geographical section — with the proper subject of 
which they had nothing whatever to do — I find, that even then, more 
than half of the papers that were brought before that section were, 
more or less distinctly, of an anthropological cast. It is very curious 
to observe what that cast was. We had systems of language — we 
had descriptions of savage races — we had the great question, as it then 
was thought, of the unity or multiplicity of the human species. These 
were just touched upon, but there was not an allusion in the whole 
of the proceedings of the Association, at that time, to those questions 
which are now to be regarded as the burning questions of anthropology. 
The whole tendency in the present direction was given by the publica- 
tion of a single book, and that not a very large one — namely, 'The 
Origin of Species.' It was only subsequent to the publication of the 
ideas contained in that book that one of the most powerful instruments 
for the advance of anthropological knowledge — namely, the Anthropo- 
logical Society of Paris — was founded. Afterwards the Anthropo- 
logical Institute of this country and the great Anthropological Society 
of Berlin came into existence, until it may be said that, at the present 
time, there is not a branch of science which is represented by a 
larger or more active body of workers than the science of anthropology. . 
But the whole of these workers are engaged, more or less intentionally, 
in providing the data for attacking the ultimate great problem, whether 
the ideas which Darwin has put forward in regard to the animal world 
are capable of being applied in the same sense and to the same extent 
to man. 

That question, I need not say, is not answered. It is a vast and 
difficult question, and one for which a complete answer may possibly be 
looked for in the next century; but the method of inquiry is under- 
stood, and the mode in which the materials bearing on that inquiry 
are now being accumulated, the processes by which results are now 
obtained, and the observation of new phenomena lead to the belief that 
the problem also, some day or other, will be solved. In what sense 
I can not tell you. I have my own notion about it, but the question for 
the future is the attainment, by scientific processes and methods, of 
the solution of that question. If you ask me what has been done within 
the last twenty-one years towards this object, or rather towards clear- 



ADDRESS BEFORE THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 273 

ing the ground in the direction of obtaining a solution, I don't know 
that I could lay my hand upon much of a very definite character — 
except as to methods of investigation — save in regard to one point. I 
have some reason to know that about the year 1860, at any rate, 
there was nothing more volcanic, more shocking, more subversive of 
everything right and proper, than to put forward the proposition that 
as far as physical organization is concerned there is less difference 
between man and the highest apes than there is between the highest 
apes and the lowest. My memory carries me back sufficiently to re- 
mind me that in 1860 that question was not a pleasant one to handle. 
The other day I was reading a recently published valuable and inter- 
esting work, 'L'espece humaine,' by a very eminent man, M. de 
Quatrefages. He is a gentleman who has made these questions his 
special study, and has written a great deal and very well about them. 
He has always maintained a temperate and fair position, and has been 
the opponent of evolutionary ideas, so that I turned with some in- 
terest to his work as giving me a record of what I could look on as 
the progress of opinion during the last twenty years. If he has any 
bias at all, it is one in the opposite direction to that in which my own 
studies would lead me. I can not quote his words, for I have not the 
book with me, but the substance of them is that the proposition which 
I have just put before you is one the truth of which no rational person 
acquainted with the facts could dispute. Such is the difference which 
twenty years has made in that respect, and speaking in the presence 
of a great number of anatomists, who are quite able to decide a question 
of this kind, I believe that the opinion of M. de Quatrefages on the 
subject is one they will all be prepared to endorse. Well, it is a com- 
fort to have got that much out of the way. The second direction in 
which I think great progress has been made is with respect to the 
processes of anthropometry, in other words, in the modes of obtaining 
those data which are necessary for anthropologists to reason upon. 
Like all other persons who have to deal with physical science, we 
confine ourselves to matters which can be ascertained with precision, 
and nothing is more remarkable than the exactness which has been 
introduced into the mode of ascertaining the physical qualities of man 
within the last twenty-five years. One can not mention the name of 
Broca without the greatest gratitude; I am quite sure that, when 
Professor Flower brings forward his paper on cranial measurements 
on Monday next, you will be surprised to see what precision of method 
and what accuracy are now introduced, compared with what existed 
twenty-five years ago, into these methods of determining the facts of 
man's structure. If, further, we turn to those physiological matters 
bearing on anthropology which have been the subject of inquiry within 
the last score of years, we find that there has been a vast amount of 

VOL. LVIII.— 18 



274 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

progress. I would refer you to the very remarkable collection of the 
data of sociology by Mr. Herbert Spencer, which contains a mass of 
information useful on one side or the other, in getting towards the 
truth. Then I would refer you to the highly interesting contributions 
which have been made by Prof. Max Miiller and by Mr. Tylor to the 
natural history of religions, which is one of the most interesting chap- 
ters of anthropology. In regard to another very important topic, the 
development of art and the use of tools and weapons, most remarkable 
contributions have been made by General Lane Fox, whose museum at 
Bethnal Green is one of the most extraordinary exemplifications that 
I know of the ingenuity, and, at the same time, of the stupidity of the 
human race. Their ingenuity appears in their invention of a given 
pattern or form of weapon, and their profound stupidity in this, that 
having done so, they kept in the old grooves, and were thus prevented 
from getting beyond the primitive type of these objects and of their 
ornamentation. One of the most singular things in that museum is the 
exemplification of the wonderful tendency of the human mind when 
once it has got into a groove to stick there. The great object of 
scientific investigation is to run counter to that tendency. 

Great progress has been made in the last twenty years in the direc- 
tion of the discovery of the indications of man in a fossil state. My 
memory goes back to the time when anybody Who broached the notion 
of the existence of fossil man would have been simply laughed at. It 
was held to be a canon of paleontology that man could not exist in a 
fossil state. I don't know why, but it was so; and that fixed idea acted 
so strongly on men's minds that they shut their eyes to the plainest 
possible evidence. Within the last twenty years we have an astonish- 
ing accumulation of evidence of the existence of man in ages antecedent 
to those of which we have any historical record. What the actual date 
of those times was, and what their relation is to our known historical 
epochs, I don't think anybody is in a position to say. But it is beyond 
all question that man, and not only man, but what is more to the 
purpose intelligent man, existed at times when the whole physical con- 
formation of the country was totally different from that which char- 
acterizes it now. Whether the evidence we now possess justifies us 
in going back further or not, that we can get back as far as the epoch 
of the drift is, I think, beyond any rational doubt, and may be re- 
garded as something settled. But when it comes to a question as to 
the evidence of tracing back man further than that — and recollect the 
drift is only the scum of the earth's surface — I must confess that to my 
mind, the evidence is of a very dubious character. 

Finally, we come to the very interesting question — as to whether, 
with such evidence of the existence of man in those times as we have 
before us, it is possible to trace in that brief history any evidence of 



ADDRESS BEFORE THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 275 

the gradual modification from a human type somewhat different from 
that which now exists to that which is met with at present. I must 
confess that my opinion remains exactly what it was some eighteen 
years ago, when I published a little book which I was very sorry to 
hear my friend, Professor Flower, allude to yesterday, because I had 
hoped that it would have been forgotten amongst the greater scandals 
of subsequent times. I did there put forward the opinion that what is 
known as the Neanderthal skull is of human remains, that which 
presents the most marked and definite characteristics of a lower type — 
using the language in the same sense as we would use it in other 
branches of zoology. I believe it to belong to the lowest form of 
human being of which we have any knowledge, and we know from the 
remains accompanying that human being, that as far as all fundamental 
points of structure were concerned, he was as much a man — could wear 
boots just as easily — as any of us, so that I think the question remains 
pretty much where it was. I don't know that there is any reason for 
doubting that the men who existed at that day were in all essential 
respects similar to the men who exist now. But I must point out to 
you that this conviction is by no means inconsistent with the doctrine 
of evolution. The horse, which existed at that time, was in all essential 
respects identical with the horse which exists now. But we happen 
to know that going back further in time the horse presents us with 
a series of modifications by which it can be traced back from an earlier 
type. Therefore, it must be deemed possible that man is in the same 
position, although the facts we have before us with respect to him tell 
in neither one way nor the other. I have now nothing more to do 
than to thank you for the great kindness and attention with which 
you have listened to these informal remarks. 



276 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



THE STORY OF AUTONOUS. 

By Prof. WILLIAM HENRY HUDSON, 

STANFORD UNIVERSITY. 

IF any one in these days condescends to read that first favorite with 
the youth of bygone generations, 'Robinson Crusoe/ he will be 
aware that, disregarding its more subtle meanings and the allegorical 
intention upon which the author himself laid so much stress, we may 
consider the narrative as a detailed study of self-help. In our actual 
world, we depend to an extent which we seldom appreciate upon social 
environment, organization, the labors of others and the accumulated 
culture-capital of the past. Well, DeFoe takes a man of an eminently 
sturdy, courageous and practical type, casts him upon a desert island 
and there leaves him to shift for himself. Supplies which he manages 
to rescue from the ship give him a fund of materials to start with; 
but henceforth he has nothing to rely upon, save his own head and 
hands. To follow this plain and simple hero in his successful struggle 
against seemingly overwhelming odds does not fall within our present 
plan. But the issue shows how, by his own unaided exertions, an 
individual may reconstruct for himself a great many of those conditions 
of comfortable living which we are apt to assume to be impossible 
without the cooperation of others; and thus the mastery of man over 
his fate is vindicated — though it would certainly go hard with most 
of us if we were thrown into Eobinson Crusoe's position. 

Rousseau, who was the first to point out the educational significance 
of DeFoe's book, desired that Emile, in studying it, should examine 
the mariner's behavior, "to try to find out whether he omitted anything, 
and whether anything could have been better done." Questions of 
this kind may often have been in the reader's mind and are useful in 
bringing out the admirable art exhibited in every episode and detail. 
But there is another question which will, perhaps, occur to some, and 
which at once carries us beyond DeFoe's own narrative into a very wide 
field of speculation. Robinson Crusoe was already a mature man when 
he was cast away; he was in full possession of the stored-up resources 
of civilization; his mental powers were well developed; he brought 
a man's strength and training to bear upon the problems of his life. 
The theme of his story is, therefore, on the philosophic side, after all, 
a relatively simple and narrow one. But now let us suppose for a 
moment that he had been cut adrift from all his social moorings before 
education began — before, even, consciousness had awakened to a sense 



THE STORY OF AUTONOUS. 277 

of outward things. What would have happened to him then? Would 
he necessarily have perished? Or, if he survived, would he have grown 
into anything better than a brute? What would the course of his life 
have been? And can we conceive that, lacking all influence from 
without, all family and social intercourse, all idea of human traditions 
as embodied in manners, customs, institutions, books, he would ever, 
mentally and morally, have reached the full stature of a man? 

I am not going to attempt to discuss these questions from the 
standpoint of modern science, or in connection with the recent con- 
troversies of the evolutionists. My purpose is simply to give some 
account of an extremely crude, but none the less quaint and interesting 
old book, in which, under the thin guise of a story, an effort is made 
to answer them. The little volume is exceedingly rare and is probably 
unknown, even by name, to most readers of these pages. An outline 
of its contents may, therefore, prove entertaining, if not exactly 
instructive. 

I must first dismiss some details of a bibliographical character. Re- 
ferring, in his Memoirs, to his one-time tutor, John Kirkby, the 
historian Gibbon speaks slightingly enough of a work of his which, 
aspiring 'to the honors of a philosophical romance,' had brought him a 
certain measure of fame. Gibbon cites it by a brief title only — 'The His- 
tory of Automathes'; but its full title, after the fashion of the time, set 
forth a regular programme, or summary, of the volume — "The Capac- 
ity and Extent of the Human Understanding, exemplified in the ex- 
traordinary case of Automathes, a young nobleman, who was accidentally 
left in his infancy upon a desert island and continued nineteen years 
in that solitary state, separate from all human society." The book, 
which bears date 1745, was thought by Gibbon to be a kind of com- 
pound of 'Robinson Crusoe' and an Arabian story, 'The History of 
Hai Ebn Yockdan.' On closer examination, however, it turns out to 
be a barefaced plagiarism from a much smaller work, issued anony- 
mously nine years before — "The History of Autonous: Containing a 
Relation how that young Nobleman was accidentally left alone in 
his Infancy, upon a desolate Island, where he lived nineteen years, 
remote from all human Society, till taken up by his Father; with an 
Account of his Life, Reflections and Improvements in Knowledge 
during his Continuance in that Solitary State. The whole as taken 
from his own mouth." It is almost incredible that, even in an age 
when literary frauds were more frequent and less easily detected than 
at present, Kirkby should have dared to publish his own book as 
original; but he never appears to have been taken to task for his 
conduct, nor, indeed, do readers and critics of 'Automathes' seem to 
have known or cared anything about 'Autonous.' But, from a pretty 
minute comparison of the two works, in the library of the British 



278 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

Museum, I am able to state that where Kirkby's dependence upon an 
earlier writer is referred to at all — as in the article in the 'Dictionary 
of National Biography' — the case for plagiarism is not put half strongly 
enough. Kirkby did not merely borrow hints, ideas, episodes; he stole 
the entire book, adding, expanding and slightly rearranging in places, 
but adhering to the plan of his predecessor and sometimes retaining 
his actual phraseology for paragraphs and pages together. To illustrate 
these statements would necessitate the reproduction of a number of 
lengthy passages, and space cannot here be spared for such an under- 
taking. I have said this much to make clear to any reader of Gibbon's 
Memoirs, or Scott's fragment of autobiography, why I now disregard 
Kirkby's work and confine myself to what was evidently its immediate 
Bource and model.* 

The writer of the 'History of Autonous,' then, opens his narrative 
by telling us how he became acquainted with that young nobleman, at 
the University of Eumathema, in the Kingdom of Epinoia. He is 
invited to take a short pleasure trip with him in his barge up the 
river. It is on this occasion that Antonous entertains his guest with 
the story of his life. 

His father, Eugenius, chief of one of the most ancient houses in 
the kingdom, had married Paramythia, a young lady of 'quality nothing 
inferior to himself.' About the time of Autonous's birth, a rebellion 
broke out in Epinoia. It was promptly quashed; but, through 'the 
underhand Dealing of some ill-designing Persons,' enemies of Eugenius, 
he was arrested, tried and found guilty of treason. He was, therefore, 
condemned to banishment and the forfeiture of his estates. 

With his wife, child and a couple of servants, the unfortunate 
nobleman sets sail for a distant land; the ship goes to pieces in a 
storm, and all on board perish, except Eugenius, Paramythia and the 
baby, who are east upon an uninhabited island. The father manages, 
like Eobinson Crusoe, to save some necessaries and a number of 
miscellaneous articles from the wreck, and, with these, a little dog, 
which afterwards plays an important part in the story. 

On examination of the island, it is found that, most fortunately, 
there are no 'noxious animals' or venomous creatures there, 'but multi- 
tudes of goats, deer and fowls of every kind,' furnishing abundance 
of provision. Eugenius hunts with bow and arrow and presently builds 
a cottage, in a grove of trees and within view of the sea, in the hope, 
like Enoch Arden, of sooner or later sighting a chance sail. But the 

* 'Autonous' occupies 117 pages; 'Automathes,' 284. The difference is due partly to Kirkby' 
tendency to amplification, and partly to a long critical introduction containing a good deal of 
political disquisition, not at all to the point, and incorporating the machinery of a manuscript dis- 
covered in a cylinder, which adds neither to the clearness nor to the interest of the subsequent 
narrative. (Of course, as we do not know who wrote 'Autonous' there is the chance that this 
was a first draft of the later and longer book, by Kirkby himself. But this does not seem likely. ) 



THE STORY OF AUTO NOUS. 279 

island lies out of the ordinary course of vessels; wherefore, but for a 
merciful Providence, the little party would have perished one by one — a 
catastrophe which, says Autonous with refreshing simplicity, 'wou'd 
have depriv'd me of the Opportunity of thus telling my Story.' 

Herbs, roots and 'limpid water,' with the produce of the chase, 
therefore constitute their fare; and their greatest pleasure, animal wants 
being satisfied, is found in 'the usual Eesort of Persons in affliction' — 
namely, 'Devotions and Spiritual Exercises.' Incidentally, we are here 
treated, in the characteristic style of the eighteenth century, to a brief 
disquisition on 'Nature' and 'Luxury'; but this may be skipped as 
having nothing directly to do with our narrative. By-and-by, poor Para- 
mythia, unable to endure the hardships of the new life, falls sick and 
dies. For a time Eugenius is heart-broken. Then he returns to the care 
of the helpless baby, and, to obtain milk for him, domesticates a hind. 
By mere power of imitation, Autonous learns from the fawn to take 
nourishment directly from the animal, while by watching his constant 
companion, the dog, he soon begins to dig up edible roots. 

Things in this way are prepared for the real commencement of 
Autonous's story. The death of his wife preys upon the mind of 
Eugenius; he grows restless and spends his time in vain attempts to 
devise some means of escape. One unusually clear day, he fancies that 
he can detect a faint streak of land upon the far horizon. Upon this, 
he patches up the ship's boat, which had been cast ashore, to start out 
by himself upon a voyage of discovery. Once more Fate shows herself 
against him. The boat, drawn into a swift current, is carried to 
another island and afterwards washed away. Eugenius saves himself, 
but father and son are now separated. 

Autonous is not quite two years old when this happens. For nine- 
teen years he lives entirely alone; at the expiration of which time 
both he and Eugenius are picked up by a stray ship of war and carried 
back to Epinoia. The latter's innocence is forthwith made clear to the 
world, and all ends happily. But, it may well be asked, in what con- 
dition is Autonous himself, after this long period of isolation? The 
good people of Epinoia are surprised, as we in our time are surprised, 
to find him acting more like 'a Philosopher than a Savage.' How had 
such an amazing result been brought about? 

Looking back into the obscurity of his strange past, Autonous 
declares his first consciousness to have consisted in the simple sense 
of being in the cottage his father had built. He had, of course, no 
recollection of anything before his arrival on the island, or of his 
father and mother; but he remembered, vaguely, taking 'little journeys' 
from the cottage, the guidance or barking of the dog keeping him 
from going altogether astray. But he retained no image of the hind 
by which he had been suckled, for that portion of his experience 



280 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

belonged to the life of instinct and sensation merely. When he awoke 
to a realization of himself and the outer world, he found himself living, 
as a matter of simple habit, on roots and fruit, to which he had gone, 
apparently, in imitation of the animals and birds. "During this Part 
of my Life," he says, "my Eational Faculty laid [sic], as it were, 
dormant within me. I never made the least Reflection upon my 
Condition, nor turned my Thoughts to the Contemplation of anything 
about me." Such, Autonous conceives to be "the thoughtless State of 
all Persons for the greatest Part of the Childhood, while the Mind 
is furnishing itself with Instruments to work with." 

With Autonous, however, this condition naturally lasts longer than 
with ordinary children, who from the beginning are associated with 
older people and have the advantage of the education directly and 
indirectly given by such intercourse. But it happens that, while all 
children are more or less inquisitive, Autonous is particularly so; and 
endowed, moreover, with unusual power of response to the stimuli of 
surroundings, he soon begins to gather in, from all sides, the rough 
materials of thought. 

Happy accident first stirs him to 'serious Reflection/ One exceed- 
ingly hot day he strays 'something further than ordinary' from his 
cottage; and going to a small lake to quench his thirst, he is surprised 
'with the appearance of a creature in the Lake' of a shape very different 
from anything he 'ever had seen,' which, as he stoops to the water, 
seems to leap upward to him, as if with a design to seize him. He 
flies in terror to a neighboring wood; but after a time, his thirst re- 
turning, he takes courage again, goes back to the lake and repeats the 
experiment; but only with the same dreadful result. This, Autonous 
explains, was the first time he had ever seen his reflection in smooth, 
still water, having previously drunk from fountains, or from shallow 
and rapid streams. He is so terribly frightened that for some weeks 
he hardly dares to leave the cottage, while his sleep is broken by 'fearful 
Starts and Dreams.' Little by little, the horror wears off, but other 
effects do not. He has been aroused to a 'sense of myself,' and begins 
to ask — a trifle prematurely, we fancy — 'What am I? How came I 
Here?' These questions are rather too definitely put, but the incident 
and its consequences certainly foreshadow in an interesting way some 
of the speculations of recent anthropologists on the part played by 
shadows and reflections in the growth of the idea of the other self, 
or soul. Autonous's thoughts, however, take a somewhat different turn. 
He later discovers a 'crystal Brook,' in which, to his astonishment, he 
observes another sky, another dog, another world. By examination, he 
finds that there is, none the less, a real bottom to this brook; and thus 
he learns the secret of 'natural Reflection/ Remembering his former 
fright, he also studies himself very carefully in the water, and concludes 



THE STORY OF AUTO NOUS. 281 

that he had been alarmed by his 'own Image and Eesemblance.' From 
this, he makes a sudden leap into theories concerning himself and the 
manner in which he and the dog had got to be where they are; and 
recalling what he had already noted of the 'usual method by which all 
other living creatures propagated their likes/ he sapiently infers that 
their own coming into the world must have been after the same fashion. 
All this must have happened, he believed, when he was about ten years 
of age. 

The notion that he must have had a beginning somewhere, and 
that, though he was now living entirely alone, he was really in some 
inscrutable way linked to his kind, is now confirmed by an exami- 
nation of his cottage, which up to the present he has accepted unin- 
quiringly and as a mere matter of course. Comparing it with the 
dwellings of the beavers on the lake-shore, he guessed that it must have 
been built by predecessors of his own and arranged for their comfort 
and protection. The remains of one of the ship's boats, decaying on 
the strand, are, moreover, caught up in his speculation, suggesting 
transportation, and hinting, if at first rather vaguely, at a great human 
world out of which he has been cast. "But what," exclaims Autonous, 
"is the Beginning of Eeason but the Beginning of Sorrow to creatures 
whose Eeason can only serve to discover their Wants and Imperfections 
to them?" His tranquillity — the tranquillity of mere animal existence — 
is at an end. His mind broods continually over the 'Thoughts of 
Human Society,' without which he feels there can be no happiness for 
him, or even peace. He watches the birds and beasts, and envies their 
social lot. Had the boat been in sufficient repair, he feels that he 
might even have started off in the wild hope of finding somebody some- 
where. "So strong an Inclination has Nature implanted in us for the 
Conversation of our Fellow-Creatures, in order to communicate our 
joys and griefs and sympathize under one another's sufferings." 

Despite this heart -hunger, Autonous now enters on the high-road of 
intellectual progress. He begins to observe with close attention the 
growth of trees, grass and flowers, and the dependence of all animal 
life upon the fertility of the soil. Thus far we can without much 
difficulty keep up with him. But from this point he goes forward with 
such leaps and bounds that we are left almost breathless in our efforts 
to follow. For now he notes how the 'successive Renewals of Nature' 
exactly correspond with 'the Motions of the Sun,' and the agreement 
between the phases of the moon and the tides. The revolutions of 
'the lesser heavenly luminaries' also become the subject of his 'noc- 
turnal Contemplations'; moreover, he studies the rainbow, and discovers 
the 'necessity of Eain and the solar Heat' to 'ripen the Fruits of the 
Earth/ 

Nor are these the only, or the most astonishing, results of his 



282 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

solitary cogitations. He considers 'the admirable Structure of the 
Bodies of every Species of Animal' within his reach; is struck by 
the detailed adaptations of their faculties to the various conditions of 
their lives; and soon learns to appreciate their 'Art and Foresight' in 
the preservation of self and young. "In fine," he declares — and by this 
time we are, of course, fully aware of the drift of his thought, "I beheld 
the marks of Wisdom wherever I cast my Eyes. An universal Harmony 
and Dependence appeared through all the Parts of Creation, and the 
most neglected Things, when duly examined, were not without their 
manifest use; and I was everywhere surprised with an apparently wise 
Design, where the least Design was expected." 

Had our young Natural Philosopher, we ask, been reading the 
'Essay on Man' on the sly? His 'universal Harmony and Dependence' 
is only the 'great chain of being 7 over again, and when he further 
informs us that 'from the works of Nature and Providence' he was 
inevitably led to the knowledge of the First Mover,' he is simply 
explaining how he looked 'through Nature up to Nature's God.' In 
fact, the religious development of Autonous, solitary and untaught, 
furnishes us with an interesting illustration of the early eighteenth- 
century argument from design. The familiar discussion follows of 
'beauty' and 'fitness' as evidences of 'some intelligent Agent,' who is 
easily shown to be at once all-wise, all-powerful and all-good. All this, 
indeed, belongs to the 'mere Light of Nature.' But we have only to 
remember the common eighteenth-century view of the relation of 
natural and revealed religion to appreciate the importance of the step 
which the lonely youth had now taken. 

We may observe, in passing, that the conditions of life on the island 
are highly favorable to an optimistic philosophy. Dwelling in a veri- 
table little Garden of Eden, where general peace prevails and the red 
tooth and claw of nature are seldom shown, Autonous has no difficulty 
in believing in a Providence both omnipotent and benign. This is 
surely the best of all possible worlds, he might have said, with Leibnitz 
and Dr. Pangloss; and there is no rude fact to meet him at the first 
turning of the eye and shake his whole scheme to its foundations. But 
what if Autonous had been thrown among birds and beasts of prey? 
Our author has simplified his task by not raising that question. 

Meanwhile the youth is gaining ground in other directions. From 
what, in the true style of his time, he calls 'the harmonious Chanting 
of the feathered Tribes,' he infers that speech is the 'method used 
among men to communicate their minds in conversing one with an- 
other'; and from the ignis fatuas and the glow-worm he learns some- 
thing, though not as yet much, of fire and light. He also gets a little 
practical experience well worth recording. A couple of bottles, saved 
by his father from the wreck, have been standing all these years 



THE STORY OF AUTONOUS. 283 

untouched on a shelf in the cottage. By accident one is broken and 
Autonous tastes the contents, which prove to be 'a most delicious and 
heady sort of Wine.' He is delighted, straightway opens the other 
bottle, and, sad to relate, gets drunk. Having quite by himself dis- 
covered the nature of God, he now, quite by himself, discovers the 
nature of intoxication. It is by this time apparent, I think, that 
Autonous is an unusually wise young fellow. Finding how ill the 
potations make him, he very properly throws 'the remainder of this 
beautiful Liquor, Bottle and all, into the Sea.' 

During the feverish affection brought on by his bout, he walks a 
good deal at night, and is lucky enough (for thus, in the order of 
Providence, does good grow out of evil) to see the moon in eclipse. 
This phenomenon fills him with 'exceeding Amazement,' and for a time 
he does not know 'what to make of it.' But he is not the youth to 
be long puzzled over a little thing like an eclipse. Presently an eclipse 
of the sun occurs — seemingly for his personal benefit. Upon this, he 
sets to work in earnest, and soon clears up all the difficulty. Consider- 
ing how long it took for the race at large to learn the real nature of an 
eclipse, we may regard this as one of our philosopher's most remark- 
able performances. 

His continued study of animals — 'some of which,' as he sagely 
remarks, 'afforded an excellent Pattern of Prudence and Industry, for 
the Imitation of Men' — leads to no less important results. Observing 
the beavers, in particular, he remarks 'with what true Policy every dis- 
tinct Community' is 'governed under its peculiar Monarch' — the only 
wonder being that he did not infer from his investigations the principles 
of the Hanoverian Succession. Their methods of building houses and 
dams, of laying up supplies for the winter and of gnawing down trees 
with their teeth, specially delight him; and from their example, and 
that of the dog, he learns to swim; thus becoming acquainted with 
'fresh matter for wonder 5 in the shape of fish. He now devotes a good 
deal of time to the contents of the cottage, and takes note of 'two or 
three knives and forks,' and a hatchet, the sharpness of which suggests 
a use similar to that which the beavers made of their teeth in cutting 
trees. Hammer and a bag of nails, a rusty sword, a bow, a silver 
tankard and some other utensils are also discovered by him, but these 
he confesses that he was never 'so ingenious' as to turn to account. 
But he learns the color and malleability of several metals, and as, 
by hacking at various articles with the chopper, he deprives them 'of 
the forms in which he found them,' so he concludes, by one of his 
rapid processes of reasoning, that 'they must by some like Operation' — 
by some human power and effort, he presumably means — 'have been 
first wrought into the same/ 

In this part of his story, Autonous of course depends a good deal 



284 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

on the then familiar theory that all art arose from observation and 
imitation of nature — a theory which often appears in the literature of 
the time and which will be at once recognized by readers of Dryden 
and Pope.* 

A large chest and a couple of boxes, hitherto neglected, are now 
ransacked by our inquiring young friend. Much of their contents 
merely puzzles him; but he is highly pleased to discover books, white 
paper, some lead-pencils, pens, an inkstand, a magnifying glass, a case 
of mathematical instruments, a fan, a small looking-glass, a gold watch 
and a snuff-box. These form his playthings for some time and, little 
by little, he gets to understand the properties of glass and of the 
magnifier, the peculiar properties of which he finds to be due 'to 
convexity/ But, above all, he is enraptured by the fan, on which is 
painted a landscape, with several figures in his 'own shape.' Two in 
particular rivet his attention — 'a comely Pair,' who seem 'wholly taken 
up with the Contemplation of each other.' They are 'seated under the 
Umbrage of a spreading Beech,' and he notes that 'their whole Bodies, 
save their Faces and Hands,' are 'hid from Sight under much the same 
sort of Coverings' as he had found 'in the Chest and Boxes.' One of 
these figures he concludes to be the male, the other the female; and 
upon the latter he gazes 'with more than common delight,' very gal- 
lantly, as well as very properly, concluding 'that the sex to which she 
belongs must be a masterpiece of nature's workmanship.' But the 
growth of tender sentiment does not here interfere (as it is occasionally 
known to do) with severer studies. Autonous — though he confesses 
that, this may be judged 'quite above my capacity' — becomes 'in some 
Degree' acquainted with the pencils and paper, the books and instru- 
ments; and by dint of pothering over a volume of mathematics he 
gleans 'the Principles of that Science,' becoming quite familiar with 
the use and form of figures. All this happens about his fifteenth or 
sixteenth year, about which time he begins to make various improve- 
ments in and about the cottage, laying out the garden in imitation of 
the landscape on the fan, repairing the fences, clearing bushes and 
shrubs, and generally substituting order for confusion. 

All this while Autonous is busy with the 'Contemplation of himself 
and ripens apace into a metaphysician. He soon distinguishes between 
mind and matter, the former of which he recognizes as the 'only and 
proper self,' and by watching closely the procedure of the mind, actually 
reaches some notion of the doctrine of the association of ideas. Sleep, 
with its phenomenon of unconsciousness and dreams, also engages his 
attention, and while he is occupied with these mysterious matters, it 
happens that his dog is killed by a beaver. This was Autonous's first 

* See 'Annus Mirabilis,' Sec. 155; 'Essay on Man,' Epistle III. 



THE STORY OF AUTO NOUS. 285 

introduction to death. Keasoning over this occurrence, he advances 
step by step to the thought of dissolution and the immortality of the 
soul. We may suppose that he is really grieved over the loss of his 
faithful companion, but of this he says very little. And we have heard 
of other philosophers who, preoccupied with such questions as God, 
freedom and immortality, have had small energy to spare for ordinary 
mundane affairs. 

Having followed Autonous in some detail up to this point, we shall 
probably express no great surprise when we learn of his further achieve- 
ments, practical and intellectual. Passing over such feats as the inven- 
tion of a sun-dial and the fashioning of a quadrant, we come at length 
to an important discovery which is made by simple accident. One day, 
while he is chopping down a tree, his hatchet strikes fire, some chips 
are ignited and he burns his fingers. Of course, he goes to work to 
experiment on this new element, fire, and in his pursuit of knowledge 
under difficulties, not only nearly burns down his cottage, but does, in 
fact, destroy a good deal of property and a number of animals. In this 
way he learns very effectually that fire, though a good servant, is a bad 
master. Indirectly, another consequence follows. His alarming adven- 
ture rather oddly gives him 'the first sad experience of the severe Lashes 
of a self-condemning Conscience'; a trouble compared with which he 
finds that all his other sorrows were* as nothing. With such a youth as 
Autonous, the remote results of this discovery may be easily anticipated. 
An 'inward Sense of guilt and shame' arises; he begins to realize the 
"natural Depravity and Perverseness' of his temper; and a new idea — 
the idea of Duty — takes shape in his mind. He begins to reflect on 
the 'great Disorders of the Soul,' of which other creatures on the island 
seem to know nothing, and comes slowly to feel that the world is 
'nothing else but a black scene' of 'wickedness and impiety.' Having 
thought out for himself the principles of natural religion, our young 
theologian is, as we see, on the high-road to Christianity. Man by 
nature, he concludes, is in an 'indigent and imperfect State,' and is 
evidently so placed that he may be kept in a due sense of dependence 
on God. Hence the need of 'some Supernatural means' by which God 
must have made known His will to men; hence the inevitableness of 
prayer and supplication; and hence the necessity of a future life, with 
rewards and punishments, as the logical completion of the scheme of 
salvation. 

The long course of Autonous's education* is now complete, and 
there is nothing left for him but to be rescued and brought into human 

* It will be observed that by a striking oversight (whether intentional or not I cannot say) 
not a word is said about the question of language. Autonous clearly did not evolve this by him- 
self, though, as we have seen, he had arrived at the idea of intercourse through speech. He 
must, therefore, on his return to civilization, have been in the condition of a dumb philosopher 
unable, till taught, to put his thoughts into language. 



286 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

society. He is now, we remember, at the end of his twenty-first year, 
and our obvious comment is that he is well advanced for his age. With 
his return to civilized life, the story properly closes; but the author of 
the second work — the 'History of Automathes' — adds something on his 
own account to clinch the moral. The immense progress which the 
youth was able, by himself, to make was not, we are asked to recollect, 
due to inward natural capacity. Had he been thrown entirely on his 
own resources after his father's departure — had he, that is, been 
deprived of the various aids his father left behind him — he would 
inevitably have perished, or, surviving, have sunk to the level of the 
brutes. In such a condition the race at large would have remained 
in default of assistance from without. Hence, argues the author, 
civilization must have depended, at the first, upon supernatural revela- 
tion. Particularly must this have been the case, he further insists — 
though the history of Autonous (or Automathes) hardly sustains the 
contention — with all religious knowledge. We must, therefore, assume 
a primeval revelation to all men, shadows and survivals of which are 
to be found in heathen mythologies and extra-Christian speculations.* 

It is almost a pity, we are tempted to say, as we lay the strange 
little book aside, that Autonous was rescued just when he was. Having 
on his own account discovered so many things which it has taken 
humanity thousands of years to find out, he might, had he been left 
alone, have pushed his researches into who knows what fresh domains 
of science, theoretical and applied. Or perhaps, it may be suggested, 
his achievements were, after all, due to his peculiar conditions — to 
abandon a child on an uninhabited island may, in other words, be the 
very best way of developing his faculties. In an age which has already 
gone wild over educational theories, some one may be glad to take this 
idea under consideration. 

More serious comment is unnecessary. Our brief outline will have 
sufficed to show the extravagance of Autonous's story, the clumsiness 
of its machinery and its general lack of plausibility. Its further weak- 
ness as a culture-study — the introduction of too many human aids to 
mental growth — will also be equally apparent; though this is probably 
referable to the author's realization of the impossibility of getting on 
without such assistance, as testified in the actual case of the then famous 
Wild Boy of Germany. But the little book does open up a number of 
fascinating questions, and, in closing it, we may well ask why, in these 
days of scientific and psychological fiction, some novelist in search of 
fresh material does not try his hand on what is surely a not uninterest- 
ing or unfruitful theme. 

* Compare Dryden, ' Introduction to Religio Laici.' 



THE ECONOMIC LIFE OF FRANCE. 287 



THE ECONOMIC LIFE OF FRANCE. 

By Dr. EDWARD D. JONES, 

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN. 

THE country of France, by reason of its position, has been forced 
into prominence in the life of Western Europe. The nation is 
surrounded by powerful peoples of diverse types, and because of its cen- 
tral location has perhaps developed a more cosmopolitan culture than 
its neighbors. The French people are separated most completely by 
the natural features of their boundaries from those races most closely 
resembling them. The road is open where the antagonism of types 
is greatest. The continental position of France has involved her in 
the troubles as well as in the reforms of her neighbors, and has opened 
the door to conquest, but left it open to invaders. 

The internal geography of France shows no such extensive moun- 
tainous regions, or other sharp geographical divisions, as exist in the 
British Islands. The vanquished races of France have therefore not 
been able to retain their separate nationalities as completely as have 
the Scotch, Welsh and Irish. The British Islands are open on all sides 
to the sea, and with their abundant harbors have trained up a nation 
of sailors and colonists to carry Anglo-Saxon culture around the world. 
France is compact in outline, and though she has much coast, lacks 
good harbors. The activity of the national mind has been turned in- 
ward. This betrays itself in the intense patriotism of the people, in 
the influence exerted by the national capital and in the failure of 
France as a colonial power. 

The region included in European France comprises about one two- 
hundred-and-fiftieth of the land of the earth, and about one eighteenth 
of Europe. The area is 204,150 square miles, or about twice that of 
the British Islands. The water boundaries are as follows: Medi- 
terranean Sea coast, 395 miles; North Sea, Straits of Dover and English 
•Channel, 572 miles; Atlantic Ocean, 584 miles. 

The boundary between France and Spain coincides, for the most 
part, with the crest of the Pyrenees Mountains. It is, from the eco- 
nomic point of view, a veritable 'wall of separation.' Indeed, it is a 
well-nigh impassable boundary, as may be seen from the Spanish 
proverb describing the passes of these mountains — "A son would not 
wait there for his father." Communication between France and Spain 
is carried on by means of railways, near the Mediterranean and Atlan- 
tic coasts, and by water. The French slope of the Pyrenees is a pas- 



288 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

toral country. Because of the regularity of the mountain chain this 
region affords an unrivaled opportunity to study social structure as 
influenced by altitude. In the upper mountain valleys the shepherds 
group their homes into clusters of houses. From them the flocks are 
led out to pasture, for weeks at a time, on the highest slopes that sup- 
port vegetation. In these altitudes there are no true villages except 
where a military station and a custom house draw a few troops and 
officers together, or where springs have given rise to water-cures. No 
minerals have drawn thither a mining population. There is nothing 
but water, forest and pasture. Ten or twelve miles down the moun- 
tains the upper valleys open into larger ones. At these outlets are 
the mountain market towns. These mark the ends of the railway 
spurs, and from them the shepherds procure their supplies. Another 
twelve miles down, and the level plains are reached. Close to the 
openings of the lower valleys the railway branches join to form railway 
centers, and towns of considerable size have grown up to transact 
the business between the mountain and the plain. 

Between Italy and France the highest portion of the Alpine range 
intervenes. Over these mountains the Eoman legions and the soldiers 
of Hannibal toiled. But here has been achieved one of the most strik- 
ing of the conquests of man over nature. The Mount Cenis railway 
tunnel route, which pierces these mountains, carries the modern tourist 
from the Ehone to the cities of the upper Po Valley in a few hours. 
The French slopes of the Alps support only a scant population of moun- 
taineers. Many of these migrate in winter to the plains in search of 
work, or, housed for long months in their frozen valleys, devote them- 
selves to household industries or to reading and self-education. It is 
a matter of general remark in the towns of the Ehone Valley that the ■ 
schoolmasters come from the mountains. 

Switzerland and France are divided by the Jura Mountains, but 
through the Pass of Belfort a large commerce finds passageway. The 
Jura present a semi-Swiss character, though, compared with the Alps, 
they are less lofty, differ in geological structure, and receive a greater 
rainfall. They are noted for luxuriant pastures and dense forests. The 
chief industries are cattle raising and the manufacture of butter and 
cheese. In the latter business the co-operative form of industry largely 
prevails. The rivulets of the mountains afford numerous small water- 
powers, which are employed in wood-working and the manufacture of 
watches. Besancon is the watch market of the region. From the 
timber are made casks for the wine merchants of Champagne. 

North of the Jura lie the Vosges Mountains, along the crest of 
which the Germans have placed their boundary for some distance. 
The slopes of the Vosges toward Alsace are steep; those toward France 
are gradual. The rains which water the region come from the west. 



TEE ECONOMIC LIFE OF FRANCE. 289 

The French slopes are, therefore, forest-covered, while in Alsace the 
lower hills are devoted to the vine, and the upper to grain. 

North of the Vosges the boundary line across the plateau of Lor- 
raine before plunging into the rugged forests of the Ardennes. From 
the latter it finally emerges upon the coast plains to form the Belgian 
frontier. Between Belgium and France the political boundary is 
purely arbitrary. There is not an economic boundary, but rather a 
hive of industry between the two peoples. The political grouping does 
not correspond with that of race or language. 

This hasty review of the land boundaries of France has embraced 
the consideration of five distinct mountain regions. The general re- 
lief of France is less uniform than that of Prussia or Russia, but more 
uniform than that of Spain or Italy. Forty-six per cent, of French 
territory is classed as mountainous. Nevertheless, variations in alti- 
tude are softened, and there is in France a great deal of what might 
be called transitional country. The highest mountains are fortunately 
upon the borders, and but two other regions of broken country need to 
be considered. 

Let us, then, turn from the boundaries to the internal geography of 
France, and first of all complete our enumeration of mountain areas 
by considering the Central Highlands and Brittany. 

In the south central part of the country there exists an extensive 
semi-barren plateau of highly fractured, crystalline, eruptive and vol- 
canic rocks. It slopes sharply to the Rhone on the east, more gently 
to the Garonne River on the southwest, and to the Loire River on the 
north. The rocks of this region are so fractured that the rains which 
fall upon them sink almost immediately out of sight. The country is 
graced by no transparent mountain lakes or sparkling rivulets. Water 
must be carefully collected in cisterns or laboriously transported from 
lower levels. Lack of moisture and the forbidding character of the 
rock make the pastures so meagre that only sheep and goats can be 
supported. From them is won the wool which supports a household 
industry, and from their milk cheese is made. In the eleventh cen- 
tury the cheese of the little village of Roquefort was put away in a 
rock cave to 'ripen'. It was soon found that this cheese possessed re- 
markable excellence of flavor. Its fame spread widely, and a new use 
was from that time found for the caverns which abound in the Cevennes 
Mountains. The demand was so great that 'bastard caverns' were 
excavated in the hope of securing the coveted flavor, but the cheese in 
them has never acquired the properties of real Roquefort. The west- 
ern slopes of the Central Highlands receive a greater rainfall and 
possess a more durable pasturage and a more dense population than 
the eastern. Auvergne is celebrated as the home of sharp cattle mer- 
chants, as well as of the peddlers of France. The central plateau has 

VOL. LVIII.— 19 



290 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

been aptly termed, by the French, a 'pole of divergence/ from which 
the population migrate in all directions, but especially toward the 
northern plains, within which lies the pole of attraction. 

The peninsula of Brittany, with its backbone of crystalline rock, 
may be counted as a semi-mountainous region. It much resembles the 
English peninsula of Cornwall. But Britanny contains no attractive 
mineral deposits, so it has longer remained a world apart than has 
Cornwall, and it still shields many ancient prejudices and practices. 
The interior districts are, in analogy with Cornwall, of inferior, un- 
attractive character, but agriculture and the dairy industry are profit- 
ably carried on along the coast. This region is the only one in France 
abounding in good harbors. The sea is the mainstay of a large part of 
the population. The fisheries yield herring, sardines, mackerel, 
lobsters and oysters. The four departments which compose Brittany 
furnish the merchant marine of France with one-fifth of its sailors, 
while eighty-two other departments supply the remainder. 

The portions of France still remaining to be treated may be grouped 
into river- valley and coast regions. Beginning with the southeast, we 
have, along the Mediterranean coast, the sea of ancient Phoenician, 
Greek and Eoman colonies. This coast is divided into two very dis- 
tinct portions, separated by the mouths of the Rhone Eiver. The east- 
ern section comprises the Mediterranean foot-hills of the Alpine sys- 
tem. It is a region of bold cliffs and promontories. It contains several 
excellent harbors, among which are Marseilles, Nice and Toulon, the 
last being the first naval station of France. This high, well-drained, 
romantic coast-land, forming part of the Riviera, is the most popular 
resort of Europe. Here are Cannes, Nice, Menton and the little prin- 
cipality of Monaco, possessing independence to no better purpose than, 
to license the gaming tables of Monte Carlo. A little distance from 
the coast are the romantic islands called by the ancients the Islands of 
the Hesperides. To the west of the Rhone are to be found low, sandy 
plains, which stretch away to the foot of the Pyrenees. Toward the 
coast these give way to malarial swamps. Over these extensive marshes 
roam herds of half -wild cattle and horses, pastured in the mountains in 
summer, and brought to the coast in winter, just as are the wild bulls 
that inhabit the swamps about the mouth of the Guadalquivir in Spain. 
The inhabitants of the region have to contend with an unhealthy cli- 
mate. Agriculture implies an expensive system of drainage. The 
wind-mills used for pumping give to the landscape a striking re- 
semblance to Holland. Along the coast bay salt is evaporated by solar 
heat. The cities, because they require firm ground for their location, 
are of necessity situated a long distance inland. This fact has pre- 
vented Languedoc from being a commercial country. 

Between the Alps and the Central Highlands intervenes the valley 



THE ECONOMIC LIFE OF FRANCE. 291 

of the Rhone, which forms the highway across western Europe from 
the Mediterranean to the northern plains. The Rhone Valley is a nar- 
row one. In the south the culture of silk-worms forms a special in- 
dustry. At Lyons the manufacture of silk is located. Between these 
two regions there are detached areas suitable for agriculture. The 
Rhone is a beautiful stream of transparent blue water and swift current. 
The Saone Valley forms the northern continuation of the Rhone. It 
is transitional in character, having in the east the characteristics of the 
wooded Jura, in the west those of the parched Cote d'Or, and of the 
vineyards where Burgundy and Champagne are produced. Here also 
are blended the races and dialects of the north and south of France. 

In the southwestern corner of the Republic spreads out the valley 
of the Garonne. The winds from the Atlantic which blow up this val- 
ley are caught as in a sack, and a rainfall is precipitated, which reaches 
each of the tributaries of the Garonne. Because of this, the river is 
subject to great variations of depth. It is not amenable to commercial 
uses, and has been paralleled by a canal. The region about the lower 
course of the river is devoted to wine producing, the product being 
named after the market 'Bordeaux/ South of the Garonne extends 
the level barren moor of the Landes, reaching as far as the foot-hills 
of the Pyrenees. This region is, in summer, a baked steppe; in winter, 
an almost endless morass. Steps are now being taken to reclaim the 
soil by drainage and by planting forests of cork oak. The chances are 
good that it will soon be converted into a habitable country. 

From the northern slopes of the Central Highlands flow the waters 
which form the Loire River. This river flows first north, and then 
westward, through a long, narrow fertile valley, emptying into the At- 
lantic south of the peninsula of Brittany. Its course, at Orleans, lies 
through the grain fields of France. At Angers are extensive nurseries 
and market gardens, while hemp-growing and manufacture are promi- 
nent. On the lower course of the Loire is the port of Nantes, the tra- 
ditional receiving station for such groceries as are called 'colonial 
wares' on the Continent. 

Preeminent among the rivers of France is the Seine, which gathers 
the streams of the gently sloping northern plains of France and flows 
with even tide into the English Channel. Early in its course it passes 
the centers of manufacture, and is cut up to afford water power. From 
Paris to Havre the banks are so closely built up that the Seine has 
been called a river-street. The largest river basin of France is that 
of the Loire; the most diversified that of the Rhone. The most fertile 
is the Garonne Valley, and the most densely populated the Valley of 
the Seine. The Seine has those qualities in a river which render it 
useful to man. As Michelet says: "It has not the capricious, per- 
fidious softness of the Loire, nor the rough ways of the Garonne, nor 



2Q2 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

the terrible impetuosity of the Ehone, which comes down like a bull 
escaped from the Alps, traverses a lake fifty miles long, and rushes to 
the sea, biting at its shores as it goes." 

Having thus reviewed some of the characteristics of the chief re- 
gions of France, let us consider the distribution of the population, 
and the location and character of the chief industries, agricultural, 
manufacturing and commercial, which are carried on by the French 
people. The population of France amounts to thirty-eight and one- 
half million souls. The rate of increase has been, for a number of 
years, less than that of surrounding nations. Because of this fact it 
may be observed that foreign nationalities are encroaching upon French 
territory from various sides. The Spaniards are flowing in around the 
eastern and western ends of the Pyrenees. The Italians invade Pro- 
vence, and the Belgians and Germans the northeastern portion of the 
country, while there are large colonies of foreigners in Paris itself. 
Within the last forty years the internal movements of the population 
show that the valleys have gained at the expense of the mountains. 
The north has increased more rapidly than the south. The coal regions 
have amassed dense populations. The city portion of the population 
has risen from 24.42 per cent, in 1846 to 35.95 per cent, in 1886. Ag- 
gregate figures show that in that time the city population has been 
increased by five millions, while the country population has decreased 
two millions. The occupational statistics still show, however, that 
France is to be classed as preeminently an agricultural nation. Agri- 
culture and industry are, however, not increasing as rapidly as com- 
merce. 

The peasantry of France are the foundation strata of the industrial 
pyramid upon which the superstructure of manufactures and com- 
merce rests. They are a frugal and industrious class. Holdings of 
land are small in the fertile valleys, larger in the pasture country and 
communal in the mountains, where the land remains in a state of nature 
and where the shepherd must needs range widely with his flocks. The 
higher portions of the Pyrenees, Alps and Central Highlands are the 
sheep walks of France. Between these and the valleys stretches the 
belt of heavy pastures devoted to cattle-raising. As in England one 
hears of Scotch and Welsh cattle, so in France one hears of the 
cattle of Auvergne and Brittany. The stock are grown to full size in 
the pastures, and are then (such at least as are designed for Paris) 
shipped to the fertile plains around Paris, to be stall-fed 
and fattened. In like manner, the cattle sent to London 
from the north of England are 'finished,' to use the trade 
phrase, in a semicircle of country to the north of that city. The dairy 
industry must be sharply distinguished from cattle-raising. The eco- 
nomic problems presented by the two are quite different. In France 



THE ECONOMIC LIFE OF FRANCE. 293 

the dairy industry nourishes, especially in the low-lying, moist plains 
which border the English Channel. France has been divided into four 
agricultural regions. The first is the land of the olive, bordering the 
Mediterranean; the second, to the north of the other, is the corn belt, 
extending in the west to the island of Oleron; in the east, to the middle 
of the Vosges Mountains. The third is the vine country, limited on 
the north by a line drawn from the mouth of the Loire to the middle 
of the Ardennes. The vine is grown throughout central and southern 
France in detached areas, wherever the soil and exposure especially 
favor it. The northern plains compose the fourth agricultural region. 
They are devoted to grain, flax, potatoes, apples, small fruits and garden 
produce. Southwest of Paris lies the fertile plain of Beauce, the 
'Granary of France,' described by Zola in 'La Terre,' and pictured by 
Millet. Agricultural methods are in the main clumsy and imperfect, 
and their defects are made up only by grinding toil. This condition 
of things has been explained as due to the conservatism of the peasant. 
There is an absence of newspapers and farmers' organizations to spread 
scientific knowledge concerning the processes of agriculture. The 
prevalence of small holdings prevents the profitable use of expensive 
agricultural machinery on private account. While the price of land is 
high, foreign competition keeps the price of staple products low. 

As to mineral resources, France is generally accounted under, rather 
than over, supplied. There is everywhere an abundance of building- 
stone. Paris has exhaustless supplies within the municipal area. This 
has had not a little to do with the splendor and durability of Parisian 
architecture, which contrasts favorably with the brick of London and 
the stucco of Berlin. In the northwestern portion of the Central High- 
lands the mountains of Limonsin afford unexcelled porcelain clays, 
from which the famous Limoges china is made. The Jura Mountains 
produce mill-stones and lithographic stones. Brittany has a little tin. 
The Pyrenees offer nothing but mineral waters, except some iron in the 
extreme east. At Baccarat, in the Vosges, the ingredients for glass 
are found, and St. Gobain and St. Quirin manufacture plate glass. 
Nevertheless, France has perhaps less mineral wealth than any other 
well-known country of like extent. The chief defect is in connection 
with the supplies of iron and coal. Iron ore must always be trans- 
ported to coal, for in producing iron two tons of coal are required to 
one ton of ore. It is to be desired, therefore, that coal should exist in 
large beds, accessible to the miner, and of proper quality for coking. 
Iron, though it may be in small deposits, should be free from certain 
impurities and not far distant from fuel and flux. France has no 
large beds of fine coal, and her iron ore is not of high grade; neither is 
it advantageously located with reference to coal. The largest collieries 
are in the extreme northeast, and extend across the border into Belgium. 



294 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

Other important beds are southwest of Lyons at St. Etienne, and north- 
west of Lyons near Creuzot. Some anthracite is found in the Alps; 
some lignite near Marseilles. 

The manufactures of France depend more largely upon skill and 
artistic ability, and less upon cheap coal and raw materials, than do 
those of England or Germany. The use of the 'factory system' secures 
the advantage of cheap motive power and the economy of machines, but 
it does not so much further the utilization of skill. This accounts, in 
part, for the persistence of household industries in France. The dis- 
tribution of industrial skill depends upon the location of trade centers, 
where the traditions of craft have been handed down from generation 
to generation of workers. Here and there one finds an industry that 
grew up under royal patronage, often carried on for a time, as an exotic 
by Italian workmen, as was the case with the silk manufactures of 
Lyons. The industries of many towns are the survivals of those 
founded when the place was one of the privileged cities in which the 
Protestants were allowed to live and carry on trade. In other places 
industries are still carried on where they were attracted by mediaeval 
church fairs, or royal courts, or by water powers no longer utilized, or 
harbors now silted up. Skill is a relatively immobile economic factor. 
The supplies of raw silk are either imported at or grown close to Mar- 
seilles, but to be manufactured they must be taken as far north as 
Lyons to secure a healthy and temperate climate. The manufacture 
of woolens is located at five points in France, each being midway be- 
tween sheep-raising highlands and the populated valleys where markets 
are found. The supplies of raw cotton come chiefly from America, and 
are landed at Le Havre. Cotton manufacturing requires exactly such 
a moist climate as there prevails. It is, therefore, carried on in the 
lower valley of the Seine, or, at most, is removed but a short distance 
to the east to secure coal and a labor market. The linen manufactories 
are naturally in a flax-growing country, and center at Amiens and 
Lille. The Liverpool of France is Le Havre. Its Birmingham is St. 
Etienne. The French Manchester is said to be Montlucon. The bank 
center and city of diversified industries, corresponding to London, is 
Paris. There a vast variety of art goods, conveniences and luxuries, 
such as Gobelin's tapestry and articles de vertu, collectively known to 
the trade as 'Articles of Paris,' are manufactured. 

The commercial routes of France have been remarkably distinct 
from the earliest historical times. The railways of France have opened 
fewer new arteries of trade, and have destroyed less of the old equili- 
brium of industry than it has been their fate to do in most other coun- 
tries. The distribution of large cities serves well to show where these 
commercial highways are located. The southern trade moves from 
Marseilles to the Ehone Valley, and across the plains to Paris, or it 



THE ECONOMIC LIFE OF FRANCE. 295 

passes to the west down the Garonne Valley to Bordeaux From Bor- 
deaux a route passes northward, to the west of the highlands, and along 
the coast to the city of Tours. At Tours this stream of trade is joined 
by that from the southern and western seas, and is carried inland to 
Paris. The great capital receives these streams from the south and 
feeds, and is in turn fed, from the fan-shaped network of commercial 
highways which branch out in every direction over the plains of the 
north. The chief of these bring Paris into close communication with 
Belgium and the coast. 

Paris is situated in the center of the largest habitable plain of 
France. It is at the place where the road from the Mediterranean 
crosses the overland route from Spain to the low countries. The capi- 
tal is near enough to the most important disputed boundaries to be able 
to throw the power of the nation into their protection, yet it is far 
enough inland from the channel to be safe from naval attack. The 
latitude gives Paris a climate which permits of continuous labor, and 
does not unduly complicate municipal sanitary problems. The me- 
tropolis is surrounded by regions which supplement one another in a 
beautiful manner in ministering to her necessities. On the northeast 
is a group of large cities devoted to the textile industries. In the south- 
east are the chalk plains, famous for wine. From the southwest comes 
grain. Due west are the Percheron and Norman hills furnishing their 
celebrated breeds of horses, while from further away, Brittany sends 
butter and eggs, honey and fish. Along the shores in the north and 
west are the ports of Dunkerque, Calais, Dieppe and Le Havre, for 
communication, while the lover of surf bathing finds the beach of 
Trouville not far away. The immediate environs have had not a little 
to do with the prosperity of the city. The merits of these are abundant 
artesian water and fine building- stone, a fertile surrounding soil able 
to assist in provisioning a metropolis, and romantic beauty of land- 
scape, able, in the days of a monarchy, to attract a king to erect palaces 
and, in those of a republic, to stimulate a matter-of-fact bourgeois, and 
refresh an exhausted ouvrier on a holiday outing. 



296 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



PEARSON'S GRAMMAR OF SCIENCE. 
ANNOTATIONS ON THE FIRST THREE CHAPTERS. 

By C. S. PEIRCE. 

IF any follower of Dr. Pearson thinks that in the observations I am 
about to make I am not sufficiently respectful to his master, I can 
assure him that without a high opinion of his powers I should not 
have taken the trouble to make these annotations, and without a higher 
opinion still, I should not have used the bluntness which becomes the 
impersonal discussions of mathematicians. 

An introductory chapter of ethical content sounds the dominant 
note of the book. The author opens with the declaration that our 
conduct ought to be regulated by the Darwinian theory. Since that 
theory is an attempt to show how natural causes tend to impart to 
stocks of animals and plants characters which, in the long run, pro- 
mote reproduction and thus insure the continuance of those stocks, it 
would seem that making Darwinism the guide of conduct ought to 
mean that the continuance of the race is to be taken as the summum 
bonum, and 'Multiplicamini' as the epitome of the moral law. Pro- 
fessor Pearson, however, understands the matter a little differently, 
expressing himself thus: "The sole reason [for encouraging] any form 
of human activity . . . lies in this: [its] existence tends to pro- 
mote the welfare of human society, to increase social happiness, or 
to strengthen social stability. In the spirit of the age we are bound 
to question the value of science; to ask in what way it increases the 
happiness of mankind or promotes social efficiency." 

The second of these two statements omits the phrase, 'the welfare 
of human society,' which conveys no definite meaning; and we may, 
therefore, regard it as a mere diluent, adding nothing to the essence 
of what is laid down. Strict adhesion to Darwinian principles would 
preclude the admission of the 'happiness of mankind' as an ultimate 
aim. For on those principles everything is directed to the continuance 
of the stock, and the individual is utterly of no account, except in so 
far as he is an agent of reproduction. Now there is no other happiness 
of mankind than the happiness of individual men. We must, therefore, 
regard this clause as logically deleterious to the purity of the doctrine. 
As to 'social stability,' we all know very well what ideas this phrase is 
intended to convey to English apprehensions; and it must be admitted 
that Darwinism, generalized in due measure, may apply to English 



PEARSON'S GRAMMAR OF SCIENCE. 297 

society the same principles that Darwin applied to breeds. A family 
in which the standards of that society are not traditional will go under 
and die out, and thus 'social stability' tends to be maintained. 

But against the doctrine that social stability is the sole justification 
of scientific research, whether this doctrine be adulterated or not with 
the utilitarian clause, I have to object, first, that it is historically false, 
in that it does not accord with the predominant sentiment of scientific 
men; second, that it is bad ethics; and, third, that its propagation 
would retard the progress of science. 

Professor Pearson does not, indeed, pretend that that which effectu- 
ally animates the labors of scientific men is any desire 'to strengthen 
social stability.' Such a proposition would be too grotesque. Yet if 
it was his business, in treating of the grammar of science, to set forth the 
legitimate motive to research — as he has deemed it to be — it was cer- 
tainly also his business, especially in view of the splendid successes of 
science, to show what has, in fact, moved such men. They have, at 
all events, not been inspired by a wish either to 'support social stability' 
or, in the main, to increase the sum of men's pleasures. The man of 
science has received a deep impression of the majesty of truth, as that 
to which, sooner or later, every knee must bow. He has further found 
that his own mind is sufficiently akin to that truth, to enable him, on 
condition of submissive observation, to interpret it in some measure. 
As he gradually becomes better and better acquainted with the char- 
acter of cosmical truth, and learns that human reason is its issue and 
can be brought step by step into accord with it, he conceives a passion 
for its fuller revelation. He is keenly aware of his own ignorance, and 
knows that personally he can make but small steps in discovery. Yet, 
small as they are, he deems them precious; and he hopes that by con- 
scientiously pursuing the methods of science he may erect a foundation 
upon which his successors may climb higher. This, for him, is what 
makes life worth living and what makes the human race worth perpetu- 
ation. The very being of law, general truth, reason — call it what you 
will — consists in its expressing itself in a cosmos and in intellects which 
reflect it, and in doing this progressively; and that which makes pro- 
gressive creation worth doing — so the researcher comes to feel — is pre- 
cisely the reason, the law, the general truth for the sake of which it 
takes place. 

Such, I believe, as a matter of fact, is the motive which effectually 
works in the man of science. That granted, we have next to inquire 
which motive is the more rational, the one just described or that which 
Professor Pearson recommends. The ethical text-books offer us classi- 
fications of human motives. But for our present purpose it will suffice 
to pass in rapid review some of the more prominent ethical classes of 
motives. 



298 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

A man may act with reference only to the momentary occasion, 
either from unrestrained desire, or from preference for one desideratum 
over another, or from provision against future desires, or from persua- 
sion, or from imitative instinct, or from dread of blame, or in awed 
obedience to an instant command; or he may act according to some 
general rule restricted to his own wishes, such as the pursuit of pleasure, 
or self-preservation, or good-will toward an acquaintance, or attachment 
to home and surroundings, or conformity to the customs of his tribe, 
or reverence for a law; or, becoming a moralist, he may aim at bringing 
about an ideal state of things definitely conceived, such as one in 
which everybody attends exclusively to his own business and interest 
(individualism), or in which the maximum total pleasure of all beings 
capable of pleasure is attained (utilitarianism), or in which altruistic 
sentiments universally prevail (altruism), or in which his community 
is placed out of all danger (patriotism), or in which the ways of nature 
are as little modified as possible (naturalism); or he may aim at hasten- 
ing some result not otherwise known in advance than as that, what- 
ever it may turn out to be, to which some process seeming to him good 
must inevitably lead, such as whatever the dictates of the human heart 
may approve (sentimentalism), or whatever would result from every 
man's duly weighing, before action, the advantages of his every pur- 
pose (to which I will attach the nonce-name entelism, distinguishing it 
and others below by italics), or whatever the historical evolution of 
public sentiment may decree (historicism), or whatever the operation 
of cosmical causes may be destined to bring about (evolutionism); or 
he may be devoted to truth, and may be determined to do nothing not 
pronounced reasonable, either by his own cogitations (rationalism), or 
by public discussion (dialecticism), or by crucial experiment; or he may 
feel that the only thing really worth striving for is the generalizing 
or assimilating elements in truth, and that either as the sole object 
in which the mind can ultimately recognize its veritable aim (educa- 
tionalism), or that which alone is destined to gain universal sway 
(pancratism); or, finally, he may be filled with the idea that the only 
reason that can reasonably be admitted as ultimate is that living reason 
for the sake of which the psychical and physical universe is in process 
of creation (religionism). 

This list of ethical classes of motives may, it is hoped, serve as a 
tolerable sample upon which to base reflections upon the acceptability 
as ultimate of different kinds of human motives; and it makes no pre- 
tension to any higher value. The enumeration has been so ordered as 
to bring into view the various degrees of generality of motives. It 
would conduce to our purpose, however, to compare them in other 
respects. Thus, we might arrange them in reference to the degree to 
which an impulse of dependence enters into them, from express obedi- 



PEARSON'S GRAMMAR OF SCIENCE. 299 

ence, generalized obedience, conformity to an external exemplar, action 
for the sake of an object regarded as external, the adoption of a motive 
centering on something which is partially opposed to what is present, 
the balancing of one consideration against another, until we reach such 
motives as unrestrained desire, the pursuit of pleasure, individualism, 
sentimentalism, rationalism, educationalism, religionism, in which the 
element of otherness is reduced to a minimum. Again, we might ar- 
range the classes of motives according to the degree in which imme- 
diate qualities of feeling appear in them, from unrestrained desire, 
through desire present but restrained, action for self, action for 
pleasure generalized beyond self, motives involving a retro-conscious- 
ness of self in outward things, the personification of the community, 
to such motives as direct obedience, reverence, naturalism, evolution- 
ism, experimentalism, pancratism, religionism, in which the element of 
self-feeling is reduced to a minimum. But the important thing is to 
make ourselves thoroughly acquainted, as far as possible from the 
inside, with a variety of human motives ranging over the whole field 
of ethics. 

I will not go further into ethics than simply to remark that all 
motives that are directed toward pleasure or self-satisfaction, of how- 
ever high a type, will be pronounced by every experienced person to 
be inevitably destined to miss the satisfaction at which they aim. This 
is true even of the highest of such motives, that which Josiah Eoyce 
develops in his 'World and Individual/ On the other hand, every 
motive involving dependence on some other leads us to ask for some 
ulterior reason. The only desirable object which is quite satisfactory 
in itself without any ulterior reason for desiring it, is the reasonable 
itself. I do not mean to put this forward as a demonstration; because, 
like all demonstrations about such matters, it would be a mere quibble, 
a sheaf of fallacies. I maintain simply that it is an experiential truth. 

The only ethically sound motive is the most general one; and the 
motive that actually inspires the man of science, if not quite that, 
is very near to it — nearer, I venture to believe, than that of any other 
equally common type of humanity. On the other hand, Professor Pear- 
son's aim, 'the stability of society/ which is nothing but a narrow British 
patriotism, prompts the cui bono at once. I am willing to grant that 
England has been for two or three centuries a most precious factor of 
human development. But there were and are reasons for this. To 
demand that man should aim at the stability of British society, or of 
society at large, or the perpetuation of the race, as an ultimate end, is 
too much. The human species will be extirpated sometime; and when 
the time comes the universe will, no doubt, be well rid of it. Professor 
Pearson's ethics are not at all improved by being adulterated with 
utilitarianism, which is a lower motive still. Utilitarianism is one of 



300 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

the few theoretical motives which has unquestionably had an extremely 
beneficial influence. But the greatest happiness of the greatest num- 
ber, as expounded by Bentham, resolves itself into merely superin- 
ducing the quality of pleasure upon men's immediate feelings. Now, 
if the pursuit of pleasure is not a satisfactory ultimate motive for me, 
why should I enslave myself to procuring it for others? Leslie 
Stephen's book was far from uttering the last word upon ethics; but it 
is difficult to comprehend how anybody who has read it reflectively can 
continue to hold the mixed doctrine that no action is to be encour- 
aged for any other reason than that it either tends to the stability of 
society or to general happiness. 

Ethics, as such, is extraneous to a Grammar of Science; but it is a 
serious fault in such a book to inculcate reasons for scientific research 
the acceptance of which must tend to lower the character of such 
research. Science is, upon the whole, at present in a very healthy 
condition. It would not remain so if the motives of scientific men 
were lowered. The worst feature of the present state of things is that 
the great majority of the members of many scientific societies, and a 
large part of others, are men whose chief interest in science is as a 
means of gaining money, and who have a contempt, or half-contempt, 
for pure science. Now, to declare that the sole reason for scientific 
research is the good of society is to encourage those pseudo-scientists 
to claim, and the general public to admit, that they, who deal with 
the applications of knowledge, are the true men of science, and that 
the theoreticians are little better than idlers. 

In Chapter II., entitled 'The Facts of Science,' we find that the 
'stability of society' is not only to regulate our conduct, but, also, that 
our opinions have to be squared to it. In section 10 we are told that 
we must not believe a certain purely theoretical proposition because it is 
'anti-social' to do so, and because to do so 'is opposed to the interests of 
society.' As to the 'canons of legitimate inference' themselves, that are 
laid down by Professor Pearson, I have no great objection to them. They 
certainly involve important truths. They are excessively vague and capa- 
ble of being twisted to support illogical opinions, as they are twisted by 
their author, and they leave much groimd uncovered. But I will not 
pursue these objections. I do say, however, that truth is truth, whether 
it is opposed to the interests of society to admit it or not — and that the 
notion that we must deny what it is not conducive to the stability of 
British society to affirm is the mainspring of the mendacity and hypoc- 
risy which Englishmen so commonly regard as virtues. I must confess 
that I belong to that class of scallawags who purpose, with God's help, 
to look the truth in the face, whether doing so be conducive to the 
interests of society or not. Moreover, if I should ever attack that exces- 
sively difficult problem, 'What is for the true interest of society?' I 



PEARSON'S GRAMMAR OF SCIENCE. 301 

should feel that I stood in need of a great deal of help from the 
science of legitimate inference; and, therefore, to avoid running round 
a circle, I will endeavor to base my theory of legitimate inference upon 
something less questionable — as well as more germane to the subject — 
than the true interest of society. 

The remainder of this chapter on the 'Facts of Science' is taken up 
with a theory of cognition, in which the author falls into the too 
common error of confounding psychology with logic. He will have it 
that knowledge is built up out of sense-impressions — a correct enough 
statement of a conclusion of psychology. Understood, however, as Pro- 
fessor Pearson understands and applies it, as a statement of the nature 
of our logical data, of 'the facts of science,' it is altogether incorrect. 
He tells us that each of us is like the operator at a central telephone 
office, shut out from the external world, of which he is informed only 
by sense-impressions. Not at all! Few things are more completely 
hidden from my observation than those hypothetical elements of 
thought which the psychologist finds reason to pronounce 'immediate,' 
in his sense. But the starting point of all our reasoning is not in those 
sense-impressions, but in our percepts. When we first wake up to the 
fact that we are thinking beings and can exercise some control over our 
reasonings, we have to set out upon our intellectual travels from the 
home where we already find ourselves. Now, this home is the parish 
of percepts. It is not inside our skulls, either, but out in the open. 
It is the external world that we directly observe. What passes within 
we only know as it is mirrored in external objects. In a certain sense, 
there is such a thing as introspection; but it consists in an interpretation 
of phenomena presenting themselves as external percepts. We first see 
blue and red things. It is quite a discovery when we find the eye has 
anything to do with them, and a discovery still more recondite when 
we learn that there is an ego behind the eye, to which these qualities 
properly belong. Our logically initial data are percepts. Those per- 
cepts are undoubtedly purely psychical, altogether of the nature of 
thought. They involve three kinds of psychical elements, their quali- 
ties of feelings, their reaction against my will, and their generalizing or 
associating element. But all that we find out afterward. I see an ink- 
stand on the table: that is a percept. Moving my head, I get a different 
percept of the inkstand. It coalesces with the other. What I call the 
inkstand is a generalized percept, a quasi-inference from percepts, per- 
haps I might say a composite-photograph of percepts. In this psychi- 
cal product is involved an element of resistance to me, which 
I am obscurely conscious of from the first. Subsequently, when I 
accept the hypothesis of an inward subject for my thoughts, I yield 
to that consciousness of resistance and admit the inkstand to the stand- 
ing of an external object. Still later, I may call this in question. But 



302 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

as soon as I do that, I find that the inkstand appears there in spite of me. 
If I turn away my eyes, other witnesses will tell me that it still remains. 
If we all leave the room and dismiss the matter from our thoughts, still 
a photographic camera would show the inkstand still there, with the 
same roundness, polish and transparency, and with the same opaque 
liquid within. Thus, or otherwise, I confirm myself in the opinion that 
its characters are what they are, and persist at every opportunity in 
revealing themselves, regardless of what you, or I, or any man, or gen- 
eration of men, may think that they are. That conclusion to which 
I find myself driven, struggle against it as I may, I briefly express by 
saying that the inkstand is a real thing. Of course, in being real and 
external, it does not in the least cease to be a purely psychical product, 
a generalized percept, like everything of which I can take any sort of 
cognizance. 

It might not be a very serious error to say that the facts of science 
are sense-impressions, did it not lead to dire confusion upon other 
points. We see this in Chapter III., in whose long meanderings through 
irrelevant subjects, in the endeavor to make out that there is no rational 
element in nature, and that the rational element of natural laws is 
imported into them by the minds of their discoverers, it would be 
impossible for the author to lose sight entirely of the bearing of the 
question which he himself has distinctly formulated, if he were not 
laboring with the confusing effects of his notion that the data of 
science are the sense-impressions. It does not occur to him that he is 
laboring to prove that the mind has a marvelous power of creating an 
element absolutely supernatural — a power that would go far toward 
establishing a dualism quite antagonistic to the spirit of his philosophy. 
He evidently imagines that those who believe in the reality of law, or 
the rational element in nature, fail to apprehend that the data of 
science are of a psychical nature. He even devotes a section to proving 
that natural law does not belong to things-in-themselves, as if it were 
possible to find any philosopher who ever thought it did. Certainly, 
Kant, who first decked out philosophy with these chaste ornaments of 
things-in-themselves, was not of that opinion; nor could anybody well 
hold it after what he wrote. In point of fact, it is not Professor Pear- 
son's opponents but he himself who has not thoroughly assimilated the 
truth that everything we can in any way take cognizance of is purely 
mental. This is betrayed in many little ways, as, for instance, when he 
makes his answer to the question, whether the law of gravitation ruled 
the motion of the planets before Newton was born, to turn upon the cir- 
cumstance that the law of gravitation is a formula expressive of the 
motion of the planets 'in terms of a purely mental conception,' as if 
there could be a conception of anything not purely mental. Eepeatedly, 
when he has proved the content of an idea to be mental, he seems to 



PEARSON'S GRAMMAR OF SCIENCE. 303 

think he has proved its object to be of human origin. He goes to no 
end of trouble to prove in various ways, what his opponent would have 
granted with the utmost cheerfulness at the outset, that laws of nature 
are rational; and, having got so far, he seems to think nothing more is 
requisite than to seize a logical maxim as a leaping pole and lightly skip 
to the conclusion that the laws of nature are of human provenance. 
If he had thoroughly accepted the truth that all realities, as well as 
all figments, are alike of purely mental composition, he would have 
seen that the question was, not whether natural law is of an intellectual 
nature or not, but whether it is of the number of those intellectual 
objects that are destined ultimately to be exploded from the spectacle 
of our universe, or whether, as far as we can judge, it has the stuff 
to stand its ground in spite of all attacks. In other words, is there 
anything that is really and truly a law of nature, or are all pretended 
laws of nature figments, in which latter case, all natural science is a 
delusion, and the writing of a grammar of science a very idle pastime? 

Professor Pearson's theory of natural law is characterized by a singu- 
lar vagueness and by a defect so glaring as to remind one of the second 
book of the Novum Organum or of some strong chess-player whose at- 
tention has been so riveted upon a part of the board that a fatal danger 
has, as it were, been held upon the blind-spot of his mental retina. The 
manner in which the current of thought passes from the woods into the 
open plain and back again into the woods, over and over again, betrays 
the amount of labor that has been expended upon the chapter. The 
author calls attention to the sifting action both of our perceptive and 
of our reflective faculties. I think that I myself extracted from that vein 
of thought pretty much all that is valuable in reference to the regu- 
larity of nature in the Populae Science Monthly for June, 1878, 
(p. 208). I there remarked that the degree to which nature seems to 
present a general regularity depends upon the fact that the regularities 
in it are of interest and importance to us, while the irregularities are 
without practical use or significance; and in the same article I en- 
deavored to show that it is impossible to conceive of nature's being 
markedly less regular, taking it, *by and large,' than it actually is. But 
I am confident, from having repeatedly returned to that line of 
thought that it is impossible legitimately to deduce from any such con- 
siderations the unreality of natural law. 'As a pure suggestion and noth- 
ing more,' toward the end of the chapter, after his whole plea has been 
put in, Dr. Pearson brings forward the idea that a transcendental opera- 
tion of the perceptive faculty may reject a mass of sensation altogether 
and arrange the rest in place and time, and that to this the laws in na- 
ture may be attributable — a notion to which Kant undoubtedly leaned 
at one time. The mere emission of such a theory, after his argument 
has been fully set forth, almost amounts to a confession of failure to 



304 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

prove his proposition. Granting, by way of waiver, that such a theory 
is intelligible and is more than a nonsensical juxtaposition of terms, so 
far from helping Professor Pearson's contention at all, the acceptance 
of it would at once decide the case against him, as every student of the 
Critic of the Pure Reason will at once perceive. For the theory sets the 
rationality in nature upon a rock perfectly impregnable by you, me or 
any company of men. 

Although that theory is only problematically put forth by Professor 
Pearson, yet at the very outset of his argumentation he insists upon the 
relativity of regularity to our faculties, as if that were in some way 
pertinent to the question. "Our law of tides/' he says, "could have 
no meaning for a blind worm on the shore, for whom the moon had no 
existence." Quite so; but would that truism in any manner help to 
prove that the moon was a figment and no reality? On the contrary, 
it could only help to show that there may be more things in heaven 
and earth than your philosophy has dreamed of. Now the moon, on 
the one hand, and the law of the tides, on the other, stand in entirely 
analogous positions relatively to the remark, which can no more help 
to prove the unreality of the one than of the other. So, too, the final 
decisive stroke of the whole argumentation consists in urging substan- 
tially the same idea in the terrible shape of a syllogism, which the reader 
may examine in section 11. I will make no comment upon it. 

Professor Pearson's argumentation rests upon three legs. The first 
is the fact that both our perceptive and our reflective faculties reject 
part of what is presented to them, and 'sort out' the rest. Upon that, 
I remark that our minds are not, and cannot be, positively mendacious. 
To suppose them so is to misunderstand what we all mean by truth and 
reality. Our eyes tell us that some things in nature are red and others 
blue; and so they really are. For the real world is the world of insistent 
generalized percepts. It is true that the best physical idea which we can 
at present fit to the real world, has nothing but longer and shorter 
waves to correspond to red and blue. But this is evidently owing to 
the acknowledged circumstance that the physical theory is to the last 
degree incomplete, if not to its being, no doubt, in some measure, errone- 
ous. For surely the completed theory will have to account for the 
extraordinary contrast between red and blue. In a word, it is the 
business of a physical theory to account for the percepts; and it would 
be absurd to accuse the percepts — that is to say, the facts — of mendacity 
because they do not square with the theory. 

The second leg of the argumentation is that the mind projects its 
worked-over impressions into an object, and then projects into that 
object the comparisons, etc., that are the results of its own work. I 
admit, of course, that errors and delusions are everyday phenomena, and 
hallucinations not rare. We have just three means at our command for 



PEARSON'S GRAMMAR OF SCIENCE. 305 

detecting any unreality, that is, lack of insistency, in a notion. First, 
many ideas yield at once to a direct effort of the will. We call them 
fancies. Secondly, we can call in other witnesses, including ourselves 
under new conditions. Sometimes dialectic disputation will dispel an 
error. At any rate, it may be voted down so overwhelmingly as to con- 
vince even the person whom it affects. Thirdly, the last resort is predic- 
tion and experimentation. Note that these two are equally essential parts 
of this method, which Professor Pearson keeps — I had almost said sedu- 
lously — out of sight in his discussion of the rationality of nature. He 
only alludes to it when he comes to his transcendental 'pure suggestion.' 
Nothing is more notorious than that this method of prediction and ex- 
perimentation has proved the master-key to science; and yet, in Chapter 
IV., Professor Pearson tries to persuade us that prediction is no part of 
science, which must only describe sense-impressions. [A sense-impres- 
sion cannot be described.] He does not say that he would permit gener- 
alization of the facts. He ought not to do so, since generalization inevi- 
tably involves prediction. 

The third leg of the argumentation is that human beings are so 
much alike that what one man perceives and infers another man will 
be likely to perceive and infer. This is a recognized weakness of the 
second of the above methods. It is by no means sufficient to destroy 
that method, but along with other defects it does render resort to the 
third method imperative. When I see Dr. Pearson passing over without 
notice the first and third of the only three possible ways of distinguish- 
ing whether the rationality of nature is real or not, and giving a lame 
excuse for reversing the verdict of the second, so that his decision seems 
to spring from antecedent predilection, I cannot recommend his pro- 
cedure as affording such an exemplar of the logic of science as one 
might expect to find in a grammar of science. 

An ignorant sailor on a desert island lights in some way upon the 
idea of the parallelogram of forces, and sets to work making experi- 
ments to see whether the actions of bodies conform to that formula. 
He finds that they do so, as nearly as he can observe, in many trials in- 
variably. He wonders why inanimate things should thus conform to a 
widely general intellectual formula. Just then, a disciple of Professor 
Pearson lands on the island and the sailor asks him what he thinks 
about it. "It is very simple," says the disciple, "you see you made the 
formula and then you projected it into the phenomena." Sailor: What 
are the phenomena? Pearsonist: The motions of the stones you experi- 
mented with. Sailor: But I could not tell until afterward whether the 
stones had acted according to the rule or not. Pearsonist: That makes 
no difference. You made the rule by looking at some stones, and all 
stones are alike. Sailor: But those I used were very unlike, and I want 
to know what made them all move exactly according to one rule. Pear- 

VOL. LVIII.— 20. 



306 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

sonist: Well, maybe your mind is not in time, and so you made all the 
things behave the same way at all times. Mind, I don't say it is so; but 
it may be. Sailor: Is that all you know about it? Why not say the 
stones are made to move as they do by something like my mind? 

When the disciple gets home, he consults Dr. Pearson. "Why," says 
Dr. Pearson, "you must not deny that the facts are really concatenated; 
only there is no rationality about that." "Dear me," says the disciple, 
"then there really is a concatenation that makes all the component ac- 
celerations of all the bodies scattered through space conform to the 
formula that Newton, or Lami, or Varignon invented?" "Well, the 
formula is the device of one of those men, and it conforms to the facts." 
"To the facts its inventor knew, and also to those he only predicted?" 
"As for prediction, it is unscientific business." "Still the prediction and 
the facts predicted agree." "Yes." "Then," says the disciple, "it ap- 
pears to me that there really is in nature something extremely like 
action in conformity with a highly general intellectual principle." "Per- 
haps so," I suppose Dr. Pearson would say, "but nothing in the least like 
rationality." "Oh," says the disciple, "I thought rationality was con- 
formity to a widely general principle." 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 307 



CHAPTEKS ON THE STAES. 

By Professor SIMON NEWCOMB, U. 8. N. 
THE STRUCTURE OF THE HEAVENS. 

ri THE problem of the structure and duration of the universe is the 
-*- most far-reaching with which the mind has to deal. Its solution 
may be regarded as the ultimate object of stellar astronomy, the 
possibility of reaching which has occupied the minds of thinkers since 
the beginning of civilization. Before our time the problem could be 
considered only from the imaginative or the speculative point of view. 
Although we can to-day attack it by scientific methods, to a limited 
extent, it must be admitted that we have scarcely taken more than the 
first step toward the actual solution. We can do little more than state 
the questions involved, and show what light, if any, science is able to 
throw upon the possible answers. 

Firstly, we may inquire as to the extent of the universe of stars. 
Are the latter scattered through infinite space, so that those we see are 
merely that portion of an infinite collection which happens to be within 
reach of our telescopes, or are all the stars contained within a certain 
limited space ? In the latter case, have our telescopes yet penetrated to 
the boundary in any direction? In other words, as, by the aid of 
increasing telescopic power, we see fainter and fainter stars, are these 
fainter stars at greater distances than those before known, or are they 
smaller stars contained within the same limits as those we already know? 
Otherwise stated, do we see stars on the boundary of the universe? 

Secondly, granting the universe to be finite, what is the arrange- 
ment of the stars in space? Especially, what is the relation of the 
galaxy to the other stars? In what sense, if any, can the stars be said 
to form a permanent system? Do the stars which form the Milky Way 
belong to a different system from the other stars, or are the latter a 
part of one universal system? 

Thirdly, what is the duration of the universe in time? Is it fitted 
to last forever in its present form, or does it contain within itself the 
seeds of dissolution? Must it,- in the course of time, in we know not 
how many millions of ages, be transformed into something very different 
from what it now is? This question is intimately associated with the 
question whether the stars form a system. If they do, we may suppose 
that system to be permanent in its general features; if not, we must 
look further for our conclusion. 



308 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

The first and third of these questions will be recognized by students 
of Kant as substantially those raised by the great philosopher in the 
form of antinomies. Kant attempted to show that both the proposi- 
tions and their opposites could be proved or disproved by reasoning 
equally valid in either case. The doctrine that the universe is infinite 
in duration and that it is finite in duration are both, according to him, 
equally susceptible of disproof. To his reasoning on both points the 
scientific philosopher of to-day will object that it seeks to prove or 
disprove, a priori, propositions which are matters of fact, of which the 
truth can be therefore settled only by an appeal to observation. The 
more correct view is that afterward set forth by Sir William Hamilton, 
that it is equally impossible for us to conceive of infinite space (or time), 
or of space (or time) coming to an end. But this inability merely grows 
out of the limitations of our mental power, and gives us no clue to the 
actual universe. So far as the questions are concerned with the latter, 
no answer is valid unless based on careful observation. Our reasoning 
must have facts to go upon before a valid conclusion can be reached. 

The first question we have to attack is that of the extent of the 
universe. In its immediate and practical form, it is whether the 
smallest stars that we see are at the boundary of a system, or whether 
more and more lie beyond, to an infinite extent. This question we are 
not yet ready to answer with any approach to certainty. Indeed, from 
the very nature of the case, the answer must remain somewhat indefinite. 
If the collection of stars which forms the Milky Way be really finite, 
we may not yet be able to see its limit. If we do see its limit, there may 
yet be, for aught we know, other systems and other galaxies, scattered 
through infinite space, which must forever elude our powers of vision. 
Quite likely the boundary of the system may be somewhat indefinite, 
the stars gradually thinning out as we go further and further, so that 
no definite limit can be assigned. If all stars are of the same average 
brightness as those we see, all that lie beyond a certain distance must 
evade observation, for the simple reason that they are too far off to be 
visible in our telescopes. 

There is a law of optics which throws some light on the question. 
Suppose the stars to be scattered through infinite space in such a way 
that every great portion of space is, in the general average, about 
equally rich in stars. 

Then imagine that, at some great distance, say that of the average 
stars of the sixth magnitude, we describe a sphere having its center in 
our system. Outside this sphere, describe another one, having a radius 
greater by a certain quantity, which we may call S. Outside that let 
there be another of a radius yet greater, and so on indefinitely. Thus we 
shall have an endless succession of concentric spherical shells, each 
of the same thickness, S. The volume of each of these regions will be 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 309 

proportional to the square of the diameters of the spheres which bound 
it. Hence, supposing an equal distribution of the stars, each of these 
regions will contain a number of stars increasing as the square of the 
radius of the region. Since the amount of light which we receive from 
each individual star is as the inverse square of its distance, it follows 
that the sum total of the light received from each of these spherical 
shells will be equal. Thus, as we include sphere after sphere, we add 
equal amount of light without limit. The result of the successive addi- 
tion of these equal quantities, increasing without limit, would be that 
if the system of stars extended out indefinitely the whole heavens would 
be filled with a blaze of light as bright as the sun. 

Now, as a matter of fact, such is very far from being the case. It 
follows that infinite space is not occupied by the stars. At best there 
can only be collections of stars at great distances apart. 

The nearest approximation to such an appearance as that described 
is the faint, diffused light of the Milky Way. But so large a frac- 
tion of this illumination comes from the stars which we actually 
see in the telescope that it is impossible to say whether any visible 
illumination results from masses of stars too faint to be individually 
seen. Whether the cloud-like impressions, which Barnard has found 
in long-exposed photographs of the Milky Way, are produced by 
countless distant stars, too faint to impress themselves even upon the 
most sensitive photographic plate, is a question of extreme interest 
which cannot be answered. But even if we should answer it in the 
affirmative, the extreme faintness of light shows that the stars which 
produce it are not scattered through infinite space; but that, although 
they may extend much beyond the limits of the visible stars, they 
thin out very rapidly. The evidence, therefore, seems to be against 
the hypothesis that the stars we see form part of an infinitely extended 
universe. 

But there are two limitations to this conclusion. It rests upon the 
hypothesis that light is never lost in its passage to any distance, how- 
ever great. This hypothesis is in accordance with our modern theories 
of physics, yet it cannot be regarded as an established fact for all 
space, even if true for the distances of the visible stars. About half a 
century ago Struve propounded the contrary hypothesis that the 
light of the more distant stars suffers an extinction in its passage to 
us. But this had no other basis than the hypothesis that the stars were 
equally thick out to the farthest limits at which we could see them. 

It might be said that he assumed the hypothesis of an infinite 
universe, and from the fact that he did not see the evidence of infinity, 
concluded that light was lost. The hypothesis of a limited universe 
and no extinction of light, while not absolutely proved, must be regarded 



310 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

as the one to be accepted until further investigation shall prove its 
unsoundness. 

The second limitation has been the possible structure of an infinite 
universe. The mathematical reader will easily see that the conclusion 
that an infinite universe of stars would fill the heavens with a blaze of 
light, rests upon the hypothesis that every region of space of some 
great but finite extent is, on the average, occupied by at least one star. 
In other words, the hypothesis is that if we divide the total number of 
the stars by the number of cubic miles of space, we shall have a finite 
quotient. But an infinite universe can be imagined which does not 
fill this condition. Such will be the case with one constructed on the 
celebrated hypothesis of Lambert, propounded in the latter part of 
the last century. This author was an eminent mathematician, who 
seems to have been nearly unique in combining the mathematical and 
the speculative sides of astronomy. He assumed a universe constructed 
on an extension of the plan of the Solar System. The smallest system 
of bodies is composed of a planet with its satellites. We see a number 
of such systems, designated as the Terrestrial, the Martian (Mars and 
its satellites), the Jovian (Jupiter and its satellites), etc., all revolving 
round the Sun, and thus forming one greater system, the Solar System. 
Lambert extended the idea by supposing that a number of solar 
systems, each formed of a star with its revolving planets and satellites, 
were grouped into a yet greater system. A number of such groups form 
the great system which we call the galaxy, and which comprises all the 
stars we can see with the telescope. The more distant clusters may 
be other galaxies. All these systems again may revolve around some 
distant center, and so on to an indefinite extent. Such a universe, how 
far so ever it might extend, would fill the heavens with a blaze of 
light, and the more distant galaxies might remain forever invisible to 
us. But modern developments show that there is no scientific basis 
for this conception, attractive though it is by its grandeur. 

So far as our present light goes, we must conclude that although 
we are unable to set absolute bounds to the universe, yet the great mass 
of stars is included within a limited space of whose extent we have 
as yet no evidence. Outside of this space there may be scattered stars 
or invisible systems. But if these systems exist, they are distinct from 
our own. 

The second question, that of the arrangement of the stars in space, 
is one on which it is equally difficult to propound a definite general con- 
clusion. So far, we have only a large mass of faint indications, based 
on researches which cannot be satisfactorily completed until great ad- 
ditions are made to our fund of knowledge. 

A century ago Sir William Herschel reached the conclusion that 
our universe was composed of a comparatively thin but widely ex- 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 311 

tended stratum of stars. To introduce a familiar object, its figure was 
that of a large thin grindstone, our Solar System being near the 
center. Considering only the general aspect of the heavens, this con- 
clusion was plausible. Suppose a mass of a million of stars scattered 
through a space of this form. It is evident that an observer in the 
center, when he looks through the side of the stratum, would see few 
stars. The latter would become more and more numerous as he 
directed his vision toward the circumference of the stratum. In other 
words, assuming the universe to have this form, we should see a uni- 
form, cloud-like arch spanning the heavens — a galaxy in fact. 

This view of the figure of the universe was also adopted by Struve, 
who was, the writer believes, the first astronomer after Herschel to 
make investigations which can be regarded as constituting an important 
addition to thought on the subject. To a certain extent we may regard 
the hypothesis as incontestable. The great mass of the visible stars 
is undoubtedly contained within such a figure as is here supposed. 

To show this let Fig. 1 represent a cross section of the heavens at 

_^ p -~-^ 



right angles to the Milky Way, the Solar System being at S. It is an 
observed fact that the stars are vastly more numerous in the galactic 
regions Gr G than in the regions P P. Hence, if we suppose the stars 
equally scattered, they must extend much farther out in 6 G than in 
P P. If they extend as far in the one direction as in the other, then 
they must be more crowded in the galactic belt. It will still remain 
true that the greater number of the stars are included in the flat region 
A B C D, those outside this stratum being comparatively few in 
number.* 

But we cannot assume that this hypothesis of the form of the universe 
affords the basis for a satisfactory conception of its arrangement. Were 
it the whole truth, the stars would be uniformly dense along the whole 
length of the Milky Way. Now, it is a familiar fact that this is not the 
case. The Milky Way is not a uniformly illuminated belt, but a chain 
of irregular, cloud-like aggregations of stars. Starting from this fact as 

* Regarding the galaxy as a belt spanning the heavens, the central line of which is a great 
circle, the poles of the galaxy are the two opposite points in the heavens everywhere 90° from 
this great circle. Their direction is that of the two ends of the axle of the grindstone, as seen 
by an observer in the center, while the galaxy would be the circumference of the stone. 



312 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



a basis, our best course is to examine the most plausible hypotheses we 
can make as to the distribution of the stars which do not belong to the 
galaxy, and see which agrees best with observation. 

Let Pig. 2 represent a section of the galactic ring or belt in its own 
plane, with the sun near the center S. To an observer at a vast distance 
in the direction of either pole of the galaxy, the latter would appear 
of this form. Let Fig. 3 represent a cross section as viewed by an 
observer in the plane of the galaxy at a great distance outside of it. 
How would the stars that do not belong to the galaxy be situated? 
We may make three hypotheses: 

1. That they are situated in a sphere (A B) as large as the galaxy 
itself. Then the whole universe of stars would be spherical in outline, 
and the galaxy would be a dense belt of stars girdling the sphere. 

2. The remaining stars may still be contained in a spherical space 









V 



* 4 



r "* -* 






4 *? * * VLV. v r-r . 



Fig. Z 






!A 



M ,. 






:k: 



! -»- * 



N 



L; 



Q -^tt*i-' } 
FiG. 3. 



B 



(K L), of which the diameter is much less than that of the galactic 
girdle. In this case our Sun would be one of a central agglomeration 
of stars, lying in or near the plane of the galaxy. 

3. The non-galactic stars may be equally scattered throughout a 
flat region (MNP Q), of the grindstone form. This would correspond 
to the hypothesis of Herschel and Struve. 

There is no likelihood that either of these hypotheses is true in 
all the geometric simplicity with which I have expressed them. Stars 
are doubtless scattered to some extent through the whole region M N 
P Q, and it is not likely that they are confined within limits defined 
by any geometrical figure. The most that can be done is to de- 
termine to which of the three figures the mutual arrangement most 
nearly corresponds. 

The simplest test is that of the third hypothesis as compared with 
the other two. If the third hypothesis be true, then we should see the 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 313 

fewest stars in the direction of the poles of the galaxy; and the number 
in any given portion of the celestial sphere, say one square degree, 
should continually increase, slowly at first, more rapidly afterwards, 
as we went from the poles toward the circumference of the galaxy. 
At a distance of 60° from the poles and 30° from the central line or 
circumference we should see more than twice as many stars per square 
degree as near the poles. 

The general question of determining the precise position of the 
galaxy naturally enters into our problem. There is no difficulty in 
mapping out its general course by unaided eye observations of the 
heavens or a study of maps of the stars. Looking at the heavens, we 
shall readily see that it crosses the equator at two opposite points; the 
one east of the constellation Orion, between 6h. and 7h. of right 
ascension; the other at the opposite point, in Aquila, between 18h. and 
19h. It makes a considerable angle with the equator, somewhat more 
than 60°. Consequently it passes within 30° of either pole. The 
point nearest of approach to the north pole is in the constellation 
Cassiopeia. In consequence of this obliquity to the equator, its apparent 
position on the celestial sphere, as seen in our latitude, goes through 
a daily change with the diurnal rotation of the earth. In the language 
of technical astronomy, every day at 12h. of sidereal time, it makes so 
small an angle with the horizon as to be scarcely visible. If the air is 
very clear, we might see a portion of it skirting the northern horizon. 
This position occurs during the evenings of early summer. At Oh. of 
sidereal time, which during autumn and early winter fall in the evening, 
it passes nearly through our zenith, from east to west, and can, there- 
fore, then best be seen. 

Its position can readily be determined by noting the general course 
of its brighter portions on a map of the stars, and then determining by 
inspection, or otherwise, the circle which will run most nearly through 
those portions. It is thus found that the position is nearly always near 
a great circle of the sphere. From the very nature of the case the 
position of this circle will be a little indefinite, and probably the esti- 
mates made of it have been based more on inspection than on compu- 
tation. The following numerical positions have been assigned to the 
pole of the galaxy: 

Gould, K. A. = 12h. 41m. Dec.= + 27° 21' 

Herschel, W 12h. 29m. 31° 30' 

Seeliger 12h. 49m. 27° 30' 

Argelander 12h. 40m. 28° 5' 

Were it possible to determine the distance of a star as readily as 
we do its direction, the problem of the distribution of the stars in space 
would be at once solved. This not being the case, we must first study 
the apparent arrangement of the stars with respect to the galaxy, with a 



314 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

view of afterward drawing such conclusions as we can in regard to their 
distance. 

APPARENT DISTRIBUTION OF THE STARS IN THE SKY. 

Distribution of the Lucid Stars: Our question now is how are the 
stars, as we see them, distributed over the sky? We know in a general 
way that there are vastly more stars round the belt of the Milky Way 
than in the remainder of the heavens. But we wish to know in detail 
what the law of increase is from the poles of the galaxy to the belt itself. 

In considering any question of the number of stars in a particular 
region of the heavens, we are met by a fundamental difficulty. We can 
set no limit to the minuteness of stars, and the number will depend upon 
the magnitude of those which we include in our account. As already 
remarked, there are, at least up to a certain limit, three or four times 
as many stars of each magnitude as of the magnitude next brighter. 
Now, the smallest stars that can be seen, or that may be included in 
any count, vary greatly with the power of the instrument used in 
making the count. If we had any one catalogue, extending over the 
whole celestial sphere, and made on an absolutely uniform plan, so that 
we knew it included all the stars down to some given magnitude, and 
no others, it would answer our immediate purpose. If, however, one 
catalogue should extend only to the ninth magnitude, while another 
should extend to the tenth, we should be led quite astray in assuming 
that the number of stars in the two catalogues expressed the star 
density in the regions which they covered. The one would show three 
or four times as many stars as the other, even though the actual 
density in the two cases were the same. 

If we could be certain, in any one case, just what the limit of 
magnitude was for any catalogue, or if the magnitudes in different 
catalogues always corresponded to absolutely the same brightness of 
the star, this difficulty would be obviated. But this is the case only 
with that limited number of stars whose brightness has been photo- 
metrically measured. In all other cases our count must be more or 
less uncertain. One illustration of this will suffice: 

I have already remarked that in making the photographic census 
of the southern heavens, Gill and Kapteyn did not assume that stars of 
which the images were equally intense on different plates were actually 
of the same magnitude. Each plate was assumed to have a scale of its 
own, which was fixed by comparing the intensity of the photographic 
impressions of those stars whose magnitudes had been previously de- 
termined with these determinations, and thus forming as it were a 
separate scale for each plate. But, in forming the catalogue from the 
international photographic chart of the heavens, it is assumed that the 
photographs taken with telescopes of the same aperture, in which 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 315 

the plates are exposed for five minutes, will all correspond, and that 
the smallest stars found on the plates will be of the eleventh magnitude. 

In the case of the lucid stars this difficulty does not arise, because 
the photometric estimates are on a sufficiently exact and uniform 
scale to enable us to make a count, which shall be nearly correct, of all 
the stars down to, say, magnitude 6.0 or some limit not differing 
greatly from this. Several studies of the distribution of these stars 
have been made; one by Gould in the Uranometria Argentina, one by 
Schiaparelli, and another by Pickering. The counts of Gould and 
Schiaparelli, having special reference to the Milky Way, are best 
adapted to our purpose. The most striking result of these studies is 
that the condensation in the Milky Way seems to commence with the 
brightest stars. A little consideration will show that we cannot, with 
any probability, look for such a condensation in the case of stars 
near to us. Whatever form we assign to the stellar universe, we shall 
expect the stars immediately around us to be equally distributed in 
every direction. Not until we approach the boundary of the universe in 
one direction, or some great masses like those of the galaxy in another 
direction, should we expect marked condensation round the galactic 
belt. Of course we might imagine that even the nearest stars are most 
numerous in the direction round the galactic circle. But this would 
imply an extremely unlikely arrangement, our system being as it were 
at the point of a cone. It is clear that if such were the case for one 
point, it could not be true if our Sun were placed anywhere except at 
this particular point. Such an arrangement of the stars round us 
is outside of all reasonable probability. Independent evidence of the 
equal distribution of the stars will hereafter be found in the proper 
motions. If then, the nearer stars are equally distributed round us, 
and only distant ones can show a condensation toward the Milky Way, 
it follows that among the distant stars are some of the brightest in the 
heavens, a fact which we have already shown to follow from other 
considerations. 

Very remarkable is the fact", pointed out first by Sir J. Herschel and 
heavens very nearly in a great circle, but not exactly in the Milky Way. 
heavens very nearly in a great circle, but not exactly in the Milky Way. 
In the northern heavens the brightest stars in Orion, Taurus, Cassiopeia, 
being near the Southern Cross and the other in Cassiopeia. This belt 
includes the brightest stars in a number of constellations, from Canis 
Major through the southern region of the heavens and back to Scorpius. 
In the northern heavens the brightest stars in Orion, Taurus, Cassiopeia, 
Cygnus and Lyra belong to this belt. It would not be safe, however, to 
assume that the existence of this belt results from anything but the 
chance distribution of the few bright stars which form it. In order to 
reach a definite conclusion bearing on the structure of the heavens, 



3i6 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



it is advisable to consider the distribution of the lucid stars as a 
whole. 

Dr. Gould finds that the stars brighter than the fourth magnitude 
are arranged more symmetrically relatively to the bright stars we have 
just described than to the galactic circle. This and other facts sug- 
gested to him the existence of a small cluster within which our sun 
is eccentrically situated and which is itself not far from the middle 
plane of the galaxy. This cluster appears to be of a flattened shape and 
to consist of somewhat more than 400 stars of magnitudes ranging from 




Fig. 4. Northern Hemisphere. 



the first to the seventh. Since Gould wrote, the extreme inequality 
in the intrinsic brightness of the stars has been brought to light and 
seems to weaken the basis of his conclusion on this particular point. 

A very thorough study of the subject, but without considering the 
galaxy, has also been made by Schiaparelli. The work is based on the 
photometric measures of Pickering and the Uranometria Argentina of 
Gould. One of its valuable features is a series of planispheres, showing 
in a visible form the star density in every region of the heavens for 
stars of various magnitudes. We reproduce in a condensed form two of 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 



1*7 



these planispheres. They were constructed by Schiaparelli in the fol- 
lowing way: The entire sky was divided into 36 zones by parallels of 
declination 5° apart. Each zone was divided into spherical trapezia by 
hour-circles taken at intervals of 5° from the equator up to 50° of north 
or south declination; of 10° from 50 to 60; of 15° from 60 to 80; of 
45° from 80 to 85, while the circle within 5° of the pole was taken as 
a single region. In this way 1,800 areas, not excessively different from 
each other, were formed. 

The star density, as it actually is, might be indicated by the number 




Fig. 5. Southern Hemisphere. 



of stars of these regions. As a matter of fact, however, the density 
obtained in this way would vary too rapidly from one area to the 
adjoining one, owing to the accidental irregularities of distribution of 
the stars. An adjustment was, therefore, made by finding in the case 
of each area the number of stars contained in 1/200 of the entire sphere, 
including the region itself and those immediately round it. The num- 
ber thus obtained was considered as giving the density for the central 
region. The total number of stars being 4,303, the mean number in 
1/200 of the whole sphere is 21.5, and the mean in each area is 10.4. 



318 POPULAB SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

The numbers on the planisphere given in each area thus express the 
star density of the region, or the number of stars per 100 square de- 
grees, expressed generally to the nearest unit, the half unit being some- 
times added. 

A study of the reproduction which we give will show how fairly 
well the Milky Way may be traced out round the sky by the tendency 
of those stars visible to the naked eye to agglomerate near its course. 
In other words, were the cloud forms which make up the Milky Way 
invisible to us, we should still be able to mark out its course by the 
condensation of the stars. As a matter of interest, I have traced out 
the central line of the shaded portions of the planispheres as if they 
were the galaxy itself. The nearest great circle to the course of this line 
was then found to have its pole in the following position: 

E. A.; 12h. 18m. 

Dec. + 27°. 

This estimate was made without having at the time any recollection 
of the position of the galaxy given by other authorities. Compared 
with the positions given in the last chapter by Gould and Seeliger, it 
will be seen that the deviation is only 5° in right ascension, while the 
declinations are almost exactly similar. We infer that the circle of con- 
densation found in this way makes an angle with the galaxy of less 
than 5°. 

DISTRIBUTION OF THE FAINTER STAES. 

The most thorough study of the distribution of the great mass of 
stars relative to the galactic plane has been made by Seeliger in a series 
of papers presented to the Munich Academy from 1884 to 1898. The 
data on which they are based are the following: 

1. The Bonner Durchmusterung of Argelander and Schonfeld, de- 
scribed in our third chapter. These two works included under this title 
are supposed to include all the stars to the ninth magnitude, from the 
north pole to 24° of south declination. But there are some inconsisten- 
cies in the limit of magnitude which we shall hereafter mention. 

2. The 'star gauges' of the two Herschels. These consisted simply 
in counts of the number of stars visible in the field of view of the tele- 
scope when the latter was directed toward various regions of the sky. 
Sir William Herschel's gauges were partly published in the 'Philosophi- 
cal Transactions.' A number of unpublished ones were found among 
his papers by Holden and printed in the publications of the Washburn 
Observatory, Vol. II. The younger Herschel, during his expedition to 
the Cape of Good Hope, continued the work in those southern regions 
of the sky which could not be seen in England. 

3. A count of the stars by Celoria, of Milan, in a zone from the 
equator to 6° Dec, extended round the heavens. 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 319 

From what has been said the question which will first occupy our 
attention is that of the distribution of the stars with reference to the 
galactic plane, or rather, the great circle forming the central line of the 
Milky Way. 

The whole sky is divided by Seeliger into nine zones or regions, each 
20° in breadth, by small circles parallel to the galactic circle. Eegion I. 
is a circle of 20° radius, whose center is the galactic pole. Eound this 
central circle is a zone 20° in breadth, called Zone II. Continuing the 
division, it will be seen that Zone V. is the central one of the Milky 
Way, extending 10° on each side of the galactic circle. 

The condensed result of the work is shown in the following table: 

Column 'Area' shows the number of square degrees in each region, 
so far as included in the survey. It will be remarked that the cata- 
logues in question do not include the whole sky, as they stop at 24° 
S. Dec. 

Column 'Stars' shows the number of stars to magnitude 9.0 found 
in each area. 

Column 'Density' is the quotient of the number of stars by the area, 
and is, therefore, the mean number of stars per square degree in each 
region. In column 'D' these numbers are corrected, for certain anom- 
alies in the magnitudes given by the catalogues, so as to reduce them to 
a common standard. 

Area. 

Region. Degrees. Stars. Density. D. 

1 1,398.7 4,277 3.06 2.78 

II 3,146.9 10,185 3.24 3.03 

III 5,126.6 19,488 3.80 3.54 

IV 4,589.8 24,492 5.34 5.32 

V 4,519.5 33,267 7.36 8.17 

VI 3,971.5 23,580 5.94 6.07 

VII 2,954.4 11,790 3.99 3.71 

VIII ...1,790.6 6,375 3.56 3.21 

IX 468.2 1,644 3.51 3.14 

A study of the last two columns is decisive of one of the fundamental 
questions already raised. The star density in the several regions in- 
creases continuously from each pole (regions I. and V.) to the galaxy 
itself. If the latter were a simple ring of stars surrounding a spherical 
system of stars, the star density would be about the same in regions 
I., II. and III., and also in VII., VIII. and IX., but would suddenly in- 
crease in IV. and VI. as the boundary of the ring was approached. 
Instead of such being the case, the numbers 2.78, 3.03 and 3.54 in the 
north, and 3.14, 3.21 and 3.71 in the south, show a progressive increase 
from the galactic pole to the galaxy itself. 

The conclusion to be drawn is a fundamental one. The universe, 
or, at least, the denser portions of it, is really flattened between the 



320 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

galactic poles, as supposed by Herschel and Struve. In the language of 
Seeliger: "The Milky Way is no merely local phenomenon, but is closely 
connected with the entire constitution of our stellar system." 

This conclusion is strengthened by a study of the data given by 
Celoria. It will be remarked that the zone counted by this astronomer 
cuts the Milky Way diagonally at an angle of about 62°, and, therefore, 
does not take in either of its poles. Consequently, regions I. and IX. 
are both left out. For the remaining seven regions the results are 
shown as follows: We show first the area, in square degrees, of each of 
the regions, II. to VII., included in Celoria's zone. Then follows in the 
next column the number of stars counted by Celoria, and, in the third, 
the number enumerated in the Durchmusterung in these portions of each 
region. The quotients show the star-density, or the mean number of 
stars per square degree, recorded by each authority: 

Area. Number of Stars. Star-Density. 

Region. Degrees. Cel. D. M. Cel. D. M. 

II 404.4 27,352 1,230 67.6 3.04 

III 284.6 22,551 932 79.3 3.28 

IV 254.6 29,469 1,488 115.7 5.83 

V 284.6 41,820 1,833 146.9 6.44 

VI 284.6 31,706 1,472 111.4 5.22 

VII 329.5 25,618 1,342 77.7 4.07 

VIII 314.5 22,264 1,184 70.8 3.77 

It will be seen that the law of increasing star-density from near 
the galactic pole to the galaxy itself is of the same general character 
in the two cases. The number of stars counted by Celoria is generally 
between 18 and 25 times the number in the Durchmusterung. 

An important point to be attended to hereafter is that the star- 
density of the Milky Way itself, as derived from each authority, is 
between two and three times that near the galactic poles. Very dif- 
ferent is the result derived from the Herschelian gauges, which is this: 

Region....! II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. 

Density ...107 154 281 560 2019 672 261 154 111 

From the gauges of the Herschels it follows that the galactic star- 
density is nearly 20 times that of the galactic poles. At these poles the 
Herschels counted about 50 per cent, more stars than Celoria. In the 
galaxy itself they counted 14 for every one by Celoria. The principal 
cause of this discrepancy is the want of uniformity of the magnitudes. 

The recent comparisons of the Durchmusterung with the heavens, 
mostly made since Seeliger worked out the results we have given, 
show that the limit of magnitude to which this list extends is far from 
uniform, and varies with the star-density. In regions poor in stars, all 
of the latter to the tenth magnitude are listed; in the richer regions of 
the galaxy the list stops, we may suppose, with the ninth magnitude, or 



CHAPTERS ON THE STABS. 321 

even brighter. Yet, in all cases, the faintest stars listed are classed as 
of magnitude 9.5. Thus a ninth magnitude star in the galaxy, accord- 
ing to the Durchmusterung, is very different from one of this magnitude 
elsewhere. 

DISTRIBUTION OF THE STARS HAVING A PROPER MOTION. 

Having found that the stars of every magnitude show a tendency 
to crowd toward the region of the Milky Way, the question arises 
whether this is true of those stars which have a sensible proper motion. 
Kapteyn has examined this question in the case of the Bradley stars. 
His conclusion is that those having a considerable proper motion, say 
more than 10" per century, are nearly equally distributed over the sky, 
but that when we include those having a small proper motion, we see 
a continually increasing tendency to crowd toward the galactic plane. 

But the irregularity in the distribution of the stars observed by 
Bradley seems to me to render this result quite unreliable. For every 
such star Auwers derived a proper motion. And, if these proper motions 
are considered, their distribution will be the same as that of the stars. 
To reach a more definite conclusion, we must base our work on lists of 
proper motions, which are as nearly complete within their limits as it 
is possible to make them. Such lists have been made by Auwers and 
Boss, their work being based on their observations of zones of stars 
for the catalogue of the Astronomische Gesellschaft. The zone observed 
by Auwers was that between 15° and 20° in N. Dec; while Boss's was 
between 1° and 5°. To speak more exactly, the limits were from 14° 50' 
to 20° 10' and 0° 50' to 5° 10', each zone of observation overlapping 
10' on the adjoining one. Thus the actual breadths were 5° 20' and 
4° 20'. Within these respective limits, Auwers, by a comparison with 
previous observations, found 1,300 stars having an appreciable proper 
motion, and Boss 295. But Boss's list is confined to stars having a 
motion of at least 10"; of such the list of Auwers contains 431. The 
number of square degrees in the two zones is 1,556 and 1,830, respec- 
tively. The corresponding number of stars with proper motions extend- 
ing 10" is, for each 100 square degrees: 

In Boss's zone, 18.9. 
In Auwers's zone, 23.9. 

The question whether the greater richness of nearly 25 per cent, 
in Auwers's zone is real is one on which it is not easy to give a conclu- 
sive answer. The probability, however, seems to be that it is mainly 
due to the greater richness of the material on which Auwers's proper 
motions are based. The question is not, however, essential in the 
present discussion. 

We now examine the question of the respective richness of proper 
motion stars in this way: 

VOL. LVIII.— 21. 



322 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

Each of these zones cuts the galaxy at a considerable angle. Each 
zone, as a matter of course, has a far larger richness of stars per unit 
of surface in the galactic region than in the remaining region. We, 
therefore, divide each zone in four strips, two including the galactic 
regions and two the intermediate region. The boundaries are some- 
what indefinite: we have fixed them by the richness of the total number 
of stars. For the galactic strips we take in Boss's zone the strip between 
5h. and 8h. of B. A. and that between 17h. and 20h. Each of these 
strips being 3h. in length, the two together comprise one-quarter the 
total surface of the zone. If the proper motion stars crowd towards the 
galaxy like others do, then the numbers in the galactic region should be 
proportional to the total number observed in the region. But if they are 
equally distributed then there should be only one-quarter as many in the 
galactic region as in the other regions. 

In the case of Boss's zone, the total number of stars observed and 
of those having a proper motion found in the four regions described are 
as follows: 

Total Number Proper Motions. 
Observed. Actual. Prop. 

Galactic strip, 5h. to 8h 1,614 24 37 

Galactic strip, 17h. to 20h 1,340 36 37 

Intermediate strip, 8h. to 17h 2,458 124 111 

Intermediate strip, 20h. to 5h 2,831 111 111 

The last column contains the number of proper motions we should 
find if the whole 295 were distributed proportionally to the areas of 
the several strips. There is evidently no excess of richness in the 
galactic strips, but rather a deficiency in the strip near 6h., which is 
accidental. 

In the case of Auwers's zone, the galactic strips are those between 
5h. and 8h., and again between 18h. and 21h. Here, as in the other 
case, the galactic strips include one-quarter of the whole area. But, 
owing to the greater richness of the sky, they include nearly 40 per cent, 
of the whole number of stars. Then, if the proper motion stars are 
equally distributed, one-quarter should be found in the region, and if 
they are proportional to the number of stars observed, 40 per cent, 
should be within this region. Grouping the regions outside the galaxy 
together, as we need not distinguish between them, the result is as 
follows: 

Stars Proper Motions. 

Observed. Actual. Prop. 

Galactic strip, 5" to 8" 1,797 155 157 

Galactic strip, 18" to 21" 1,984 202 157 

Outside the galaxy 6,008 901 944 

We see that in the strip from 5h. to 8h. there is contained almost 
exactly one-eighth the whole number of proper motion stars. That is, 



CHAPTERS ON THE STARS. 323 

in this region the stars are no thicker than elsewhere. In the region 
from 18h. to 21h. there is an excess of 45 stars having proper motions. 
Whether this excess is real may well be doubted. It is scarcely, if at 
all, greater than might be the result of accidental inequalities of dis- 
tribution. Were the proper motion stars proportional to the whole num- 
ber, there ought to be 240 within the strip. The actual number is 38 
less than this. 

It is to be remembered that Auwers's proper motions are not limited 
to a definite magnitude, as were Boss's, but that he looked for all stars 
having a sensible proper motion. The question, what proper motion 
would be sensible, is a somewhat indefinite one, depending very largely 
on the data. It may, therefore, well be that the small excess of 45 found 
within this strip is due to the fact that more stars were observed and 
investigated, and, therefore, more proper motions found. Besides this, 
some uncertainty may exist as to the reality of the minuter proper mo- 
tions. 

The conclusion is interesting and important. If we should blot out 
from the sky all the stars having no proper motion large enough to be 
detected, we should find remaining stars of all magnitudes; but they 
would be scattered almost uniformly over the sky, and show no tendency 
toward the galaxy. 

From this again it follows that the stars belonging to the galaxy lie 
farther away than those whose proper motions can be detected. 



324 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE. 



NEEDLESS OBSCURITY IN SCIEN- 
TIFIC PUBLICATIONS. 

Aftek having called attention in a 
recent issue of the Monthly to certain 
circumstances leading to the retardation 
of science, we may now venture to dis- 
cuss a few of the particular ways in 
which a scientific writer can perplex 
his brother workers. Nobody supposes 
that the ordinary author wishes his con- 
tribution to be regarded as a sort of 
'puzzle-page/ but that is the effect 
often unintentionally produced. The 
causes of this are of diverse nature. 
In these days of ultra-specialization 
and of hurry, a specialist often inclines 
to address himself solely to his fellow- 
specialists, or to an even smaller cir- 
cle—his fellow-specialists of the moment, 
forgetting those that may come at a 
later day. There may be in the whole 
world but two men who will take the 
trouble to read his paper, or who would 
really understand its bearings. Whether 
from modesty or from pride, from desire 
of brevity or from laziness, our special- 
ist addresses his remarks solely to those 
two. The student who is not yet quite 
at the same level, the professor who 
tries to keep abreast of his subject in 
general, the worker who comes a few 
years later and sees things from an 
altered point of view; all these find 
themselves 'out of it,' and long investi- 
gations are often necessary before they 
can be sure of the author's meaning. 

The same obscurity is achieved by 
those whose humility leads them to 
think other folk more learned than 
themselves, whereas, in writing scien- 
tific papers, as in lecturing, political 
speaking or leader-writing, one should 
remember the old request of the lis- 
tener, 'Of course, I know; but speak to 
me as if I didn't know,' and the prac- 
tical warning of the playwright, 'Never 
fog your audience.' Or it may be not 



so much humanity as the short-sighted 
egoism of the enthusiast, who assumes 
that his little corner must needs be 
known to all the world. But it i» 
perhaps not so important for our present 
purpose to discuss the state of mind 
conducing to obscurity, as it is to 
point out instances. 

Here is a common one. In strati- 
graphical geology everyone is supposed 
to know the names of the great sys- 
tems; and if the names of their main 
subdivisions are less familiar, they can 
at all events be readily hunted up in 
a text-book. But there are an extraor- 
dinary number of names nowadays 
invented for quite small divisions, or 
for purely local rocks, and many of 
these names convey of themselves very 
little meaning. Is there a geologist 
living who can say offhand what 
is meant by all or even half of the 
following names, which are taken at 
random from some recent publications: 
Plaisancien, Schlier, Catadupa beds, 
Calder Limestone, Hornstein, Oberen 
Mergel-schichten, Feuerstein, Scaglia 
rosata, Knorrithone, Ferrugineus- 
schichten, Deer Creek Limestone, Sem- 
meringkalke, Diceratien, Moscow shale, 
Lenneschiefer ? The language or the 
locality may guide one to a rough 
determination, or a few names of fos- 
sils may be an indication to the ex- 
pert; but when these names are intro- 
duced without further explanation, as 
is actually the case in many of the 
papers from which these instances are 
quoted, then perplexity followed by irri- 
tation is the natural result. The names 
just cited are of diverse nature. Calder 
Limestone and Lenneschiefer are terms 
of local application and perfectly jus- 
tifiable; all that we ask is a hint, 
however * guarded, as to the probable 
horizon of these restricted rocks in com- 
parison with a better known geological 



DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE. 



325 



series. Plaisancien and Diceratien are 
minor divisions on the time-scale, which 
are doubtless familiar enough to the stu- 
dents of Pliocene or of Middle Jurassic 
rocks, but which may cause the or- 
dinary geologist a journey to the public 
library and prolonged search. Feuer- 
stein and Oberen Mergel-schichten are 
terms the meaning of which is absolutely 
governed by the context, or by the 
place in which the author happens to 
live; stratigraphically considered, there 
can be no value in such words as fire- 
stone and upper marl-beds. As for 
Knorrithone, it is simply a vulgar bar- 
barism, the offspring of specialism and 
illiteracy, which may do well enough 
for the notebook of a field-geologist, 
but is out of place in the official pub- 
lication from which it is culled. A 
couple of friends may talk of the 'Bel. 
quad, beds' or the 'corang zone,' but a 
sense of respect for their science, no 
less than a feeling for foreign readers, 
should keep these colloquialisms out of 
their serious publications. 

Akin to the instance last mentioned 
is the slovenly habit indulged in by 
many zoologists of referring to a species 
by its trivial name alone, without men- 
tioning the generic name, which is an 
equally essential component of the name 
of the species. This is especially a 
custom with entomologists of the baser 
sort, who, in matters nomenclatorial, 
seem to be capable of anything. With 
them as with other classes of natural- 
ists, this apparent familiarity is prob- 
ably due to their ignorance that the 
>ame has been applied to species of, it 
may be, twenty other genera. They 
would be less prone to the habit if they 
knew that zoologists of wider knowl- 
edge regard it as the hall-mark of 
provincialism. 

What is true of geological forma- 
tions and of species applies also to 
genera. Until the reform proposed by 
Prof. A. L. Herrera is adopted, 
the scientific names of animals and 
plants will not be self-explanatory. 
How many scientific men, asks the in- 
genious Mexican, outside the system- 



artists of the group, understand what is 
meant by Spinolis zena? Is it a mush 
room, an ant, a rose, a spider or a 
monkey? Some names are intended to 
indicate the class to which the plant 
or animal belongs; thus a name ending 
in crinus is pretty sure to belong 
to a crinoid, one ending in ceras 
may be a fossil mollusc belonging to 
the Ammonoidea; graptus is fairly cer- 
tain to be a graptolite, and saurus a 
fossil reptile. The principle might well 
be extended, and systematists should at 
least refrain from applying a termi- 
nation tacitly ear-marked for a particular 
group to a new genus belonging to an 
other group. If the name of an Echino- 
derm genus ends in cystis, the reader 
naturally supposes that the animal be- 
longs to the extinct class Cystidea, and 
he is not a little disturbed if he discovers 
that it is a recent sea-urchin. How- 
ever, these things are so, and will con- 
tinue to be so, until people realize the 
responsibility that rests on the proposer 
of a new name. It is unnecessary to 
do more than recall the fact that, ow- 
ing to inadvertence or ignorance, the 
same name has often been applied to 
more than one kind of organism, and 
may for years continue to be used in 
both senses, while many names well- 
known in zoology occur also in botan- 
ical nomenclature. 

The point we would emphasize is 
this: Considering the difficulties that 
inevitably spring from such a state of 
affairs, it is the more incumbent on 
writers to explain the nature or sys- 
tematic position of the organism about 
which they are writing. Merely to give 
the name, even if it chance to be cor 
rect and elsewhere unappropriated, is not 
enough. Still less is this satisfactory 
when the name has been used in more 
than one sense. How often does a zoolo- 
gist spend time and trouble in looking 
up a paper on some genus in which he 
believes himself to be interested, only to 
find that the subject of the article is 
some different animal, or even a plant, 
bearing the same name. To show how 
real a grievance this may be, let us give 



326 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



an actual case. Last year two natural- 
ists presented to the French Academy 
of Sciences an account of their investi- 
gations into the perivisceral fluid of 
Phymosoma. The mention of perivis- 
ceral fluid indicates that Phymosoma is 
an animal and that it possesses viscera; 
also that it is not a fossil. But neither 
the title nor the paper itself gives any 
further hint as to the zoological position 
of the creature. We must, therefore, 
have recourse to some work of reference, 
such as Scudder's 'Nomenclator,' and 
here we find Phymosoma given as the 
name of a sea-urchin, better known as 
Cyphosoma. This may be the reason 
why the paper in question has been in- 
dexed in a well-known bibliography un- 
der the head of Echinoderms. But on 
inquiring further into the matter we 
find, first, that the sea-urchin Phymo- 
noma is only known as a fossil, or if 
ft does occur in the recent state, it is 
by no means so common as readily to 
afford material for biological investiga- 
tion; secondly, that the phenomena ob- 
served are not such as we have hitherto 
been taught to associate with the Echi- 
noidea. These considerations, while not 
excluding the possibility that the Phy- 
mosoma of the paper is a sea-urchin, 
arouse our suspicion. But what is to 
be done? We ransack the works of ref- 
erence in a great library, we appeal to 
our zoological friends, specialists in 
various branches, professors, bibliog- 
raphers. In vain. The resources of 
civilization appear exhausted, and we 
'Why on earth don't you 
write to the authors?' says some su- 
perior practical person. My dear sir, are 
you not aware that the address of a 
scientific writer is never affixed to his 
publications, that if he is a Frenchman 
with a common name his initials are 
invariably replaced by M., and that, 
with all respect to Messrs. Cassino, 
Friedlander and other benefactors of 
scientific humanity, it is still as difficult 
to hunt down a budding author as to 



solve any other problem of scientific* 
nomenclature? Before risking a letter 
that, even should it arrive, may elicit 
no reply, it occurs to us that the au- 
thors, being French, are likely to follow 
the names used by Prof. Edmond 
Perrier in his large 'Traite de zoologie.' 
Unfortunately this work, since it is still 
in progress, has as yet no index. How- 
ever, by dint of wading through the 
probable groups of animals, we are at 
last rewarded by finding Phymosoma 
among the Gephyreans. No doubt a 
specialist on that small section of the 
worms will think all this fuss highly 
absurd, for the name Phymosoma is 
naturally quite familiar to him. So 
much the worse, since no Gephyrean has 
a right to it. True it is that A. de 
Quatrefages, in 1865, obscurely printed 
the name Phymosomum (not Phymo- 
soma), as applicable to a subgenus of 
the Gephyrean Sipunculus; but the 
name Phymosoma was proposed for the 
sea-urchin by d'Archiac and Haime, in 
1853. If both names be objected to on the 
score of etymology, and the more correct 
form Phymatosoma be suggested, con- 
fusion is certain to arise with a name 
given to a beetle in 1831 by Laporte and 
Brull6, viz., Phymatisoma, which is, in 
fact, though erroneously, frequently 
written Phymatosoma. At every turn, 
then, there is risk of that very confu- 
sion which it is the object of scientific 
nomenclature to eliminate. 

Now it is distinctly to be understood 
that this narration has not exaggerated 
the facts one jot, and it is clear that 
the experience may have been shared 
by many others. All this loss of time, 
vexation of spirit and promulgation of 
actual error might have been spared by 
the insertion of the single word 
'Gephyreen' in the title, or, at least, by 
some intimation in the paper itself. 
Justly then do we stigmatize heedless- 
ness in such matters as an agent in th* 
retardation of science. 

An Editor. 



SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. 



327 



SCIENTIFIC L1TEEATUEE. 



BOTANY AND AGRICULTURE. 
The second volume of the 'Cyclopedia 
of American Horticulture/ edited by 
Prof. L. H. Bailey, has made its ap- 
pearance from the press of the Mac- 
millan Company and shows the same 
general excellence attributed to the first 
volume already noticed in this maga- 
zine. Subjects under the initials 
E. M. are treated in the last volume. 
Among the most notable topics of 
broader interest are Ferns, Horticulture, 
Greenhouses and the zonal regions in 
the various States discussed. A bio- 
graphical sketch of Asa Gray, by Pro- 
fessor Bailey, carries with it a touch 
of interest due to the acquaintance 
of the editor with that eminent botanist. 
By the most recent census it has been 
shown that nearly 2,500 species of native 
American plants have been brought into 
cultivation. Dr. Wilhelm Miller gives 
a piquant description of the manner 
in which the Cyclopedia was written 
and edited in an article in the 'Asa Gray 
Bulletin' for August, 1900, of which the 
following paragraph is fairly charac- 
teristic: "The rest is hard work, and 
every man to his own method. Pro- 
fessor Bailey uses any or all methods, 
or no method; usually the latter. He 
is too busy getting done to think about 
the best way. Allamanda he wrote in 
sixty minutes by the clock. It is an 
article of about 640 words, with eight 
good species, and accounts for ten trade 
names. The plants are not merely de- 
scribed; they are distinguished. Eleven 
pictures were cited. Not less than 
twenty books were consulted. Four 
dried specimens were named. This was 
the first genus he tackled." 

A much-needed introduction to vege- 
table physiology (J. & A. Churchill), 



by Dr. Reynolds Green, of the Pharma- 
ceutical Society of Great Britain, has 
just appeared. The author discusses the 
general anatomy of the plant and takes 
up the general principles of physiology 
in a very attractive manner, although in 
certain sections the conciseness of the 
elementary text is not adhered to. It 
is a readable book, and the author is 
particularly apt in his sections dealing 
with respiration and fermentation. It 
is distracting, however, to find Professor 
Green in disagreement with himself con- 
cerning the dialysation of the enzymes, 
a group of substances which have been 
the subject of important investigations 
by Professor Green for a number of 
years. This book will undoubtedly find 
its way into every botanist's library in 
a few years. 

The annual report of the State 
Geologist of New Jersey, for 1899, upon 
Forests is a carefully indexed volume of 
328 pages (State Printers), with 31 
plates and some text figures. The re- 
port is in four principal divisions. C. 
C. Vermeule gives a general description 
of the forested area and the conditions 
of the timber in the several natural 
divisions of the State, which is well set 
forth by the aid of well-colored maps. 
Prof. Arthur Hollick treats the rela- 
tion between forestry and geology in 
New Jersey and divides the State into 
three zones; that of deciduous trees, that 
of coniferous trees and an intermediate 
formation. Attention is also paid to the 
evolution of the species of trees as 
exhibited by fossil specimens. Prof. 
J. B. Smith discusses the role of insects 
in the forest. Dr. John Gifford reports 
on the forestal conditions and silvicul- 
tural prospects of the coastal plain of 
New Jersey. These, with other matter 



328 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



given by the State Geologist, John C. 
Smock, form a splendid volume of very 
great practical value as well as of 
scientific interest. 

Three important bulletins (Reports 
Nos. 5, 7 and 11) of the U. S. Dept. 
of Agriculture, dealing with the investi- 
gations upon vegetable fibers, have been 
recently mailed to correspondents. It 
is notable that comparatively slow prog- 
ress has been made in the perfection 
of methods of cultivation and use of new 
fiber plants. The time seems at hand 
for the making of extended and serious 
attempts to utilize the fiber furnished 
by ramie and other plants, and the 
importance of adding a staple of this 
kind to the products of the country 
would justify any reasonable expendi- 
ture of time and experimentation. 

The indexes and bibliographies which 
are being issued by the United States 
Department of Agriculture are among 
the most complete and comprehensive in 
the fields which they cover, and will be 
found helpful to persons who are pursu- 
ing studies in the various branches of 
science related to agriculture. The 
latest contribution in this line is an 
'Index to Literature relative to Animal 
Industry,' prepared by Mr. George 
F. Thompson. The volume covers the 
publications issued by the Department 
of Agriculture from its establishment in 
1837 to 1898, and comprises 676 pages, 
with some 80,000 entries. It includes a 
wide range of subjects, relating to the 
care and management of domestic ani- 
mals, diseases and their treatment, sta- 
tistics of different kinds of live stock, 
and investigations upon animal prod- 
ucts such as milk, butter, cheese, eggs, 
wool, meats, etc. In these lines it ren- 
ders available for convenient reference a 
large amount of scientific investigation, 
much of it unsurpassed in its line, which 
is so scattered through various bulletins 
and reports as to be easily lost sight of, 
and difficult for one unfamiliar with the 
* publications of the Department to bring 
1 ogether. 



NEUROLOGY, PSYCHOLOGY AND 
EDUCATION. 

Th'S eighth volume of the 'Science 
Series,' edited by Professor J. McKeeu 
Cattell and published by the Putnams, 
is Professor Jacques Loeb's 'Compara- 
tive Physiology of the Brain and Com- 
parative Psychology.' The author is 
known as an able investigator of the 
physiology of the invertebrates and a 
thinker of daring genius. His book is 
in no sense a mere compend; it has the 
life and vigor natural to a student's 
presentation of his own research and 
theories. Professor Loeb's aim is to an- 
alyze the behavior of animals, roughly 
attributed to the nervous system, into 
elements, and to seek the definite factors 
that account for these elementary re- 
actions; to replace the various hypo- 
thetical accounts of the nervous mechan- 
ism by the- theory that it is a complex 
of a number of largely independent seg 
mental organs; and to pave the way 
for an explanation of nervous action by 
definite laws of physical and chemical 
change. The book is thus an important 
example of the present attempts of 
students of life-processes to reduce phys- 
iology to the more elementary sciences 
of matter. 

In 'Fact and Fable in Psychology' 
(Houghton, Mifflin & Co.), Professor 
Joseph Jastrow reprints with some al- 
terations a number of essays. The 
author is eminent among psychol- 
ogists for his original research, and 
his clearness and skill in exposition are 
already known to readers of the Popu- 
lar Science Monthly, in which most 
of these essays originally appeared. His 
wide knowledge and clear judgment fit 
him admirably to treat the rather deli- 
cate subjects with which his book is 
concerned, namely, that group of fact3 
which arise in our minds at the word 
'occult,' matters which have received 
such diverse treatment by both psy- 
chologists and laymen. They are direct- 
ly dealt with in the essays on 'The mod- 
ern occult,' 'The problems of psychical 
research,' 'The logic of mental teleg- 



SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. 



329 



raphy' and 'The psychology of spirit- 
ualism,' while those entitled 'The psy- 
chology of deception,' 'Hypnotism and 
its antecedents,' 'The natural his- 
tory of analogy,' 'The mind's eye' 
and 'A study of involuntary move- 
ments' throw light upon the gen- 
eral characteristics of the phenomena 
involved and the mental attitudes which 
people take toward them. The infor- 
mation given about the means taken 
by those whose interest it is to mislead 
observation, about the inevitable influ- 
ence of our previous experiences, our 
temporary frame of mind and the 'un- 
conscious logic of our hopes and fears' 
on our sensations and judgments, and 
about the tendency to make uncon- 
sciously expressive movements, is scien- 
tifically valuable, and is attractively set 
forth. The attitude taken toward Chris- 
tian science, spiritualism, thought-trans- 
ference and veridical hallucinations is, as 
would be expected, sane and consistent. 
There is, too, a pleasing courtesy and 
absence of any pharisaical air of supe- 
riority in the criticisms. It is Professor 
Jastrow's good fortune to possess, in 
addition to the knowledge of the criteria 
of evidence and inference in human 
phenomena proper to a scientific psy- 
chologist, an insight into the inter- 
ests and motives of men outside his own 
class. This makes his comments on the 
types of interest in psychical research 
and the factors predisposing to belief in 
thought-transference or in spiritualism 
of especial value. There is a growing 
class, at least among psychologists, Who 
have been so affected by the quantity of 
talk about psychical research and the 
quality of the work done in it, as to be 
fairly careless whether there be spirit 



communication or no, whether the 
adepts of spiritualism be knaves or fools 
or neither or both. Even to these Pro- 
fessor Jastrow's shrewd comments on 
the raison d'etre of the belief will be in 
teresting. 

Barring some traces of a too Worda 
worthian sentimentalism, nothing but 
praise can be bestowed upon Professor 
MacCunn's new volume, 'The Making of 
Character' (Macmillan). Pedagogy, even 
if it can be dignified by the name of 
science, has suffered sadly at the hands 
of its friends. Loose, unsystematic, 
fallacious and frothy books abound; 
screaming too often takes the place of 
close reasoning, wishy-washy guessing 
of sober investigation. A mere enumer- 
ation of MacCunn's main divisions shows 
how far he has advanced beyond this. 
His treatment falls into four principal 
parts, dealing with Congenital Endow 
ment, its nature and treatment; Edu 
cative Influences; Sound Judgment; 
Self-development and Self-control. As ia 
to be expected from one of British train 
ing and associations, the social aspects of 
the theme are reviewed most successful 
ly. The English distaste for psychology 
in its modern developments limits the 
discussion of congenital endowment 
somewhat obviously. But, take it for 
all in all, a wiser handbook for parents 
and teachers, or a more inspiring and 
sensible vadc mecum for the general 
reader would be hard to find. Inciden- 
tally, the discussion throws some little 
light on the old question as to the 
relative educational value of the 'hu- 
manities' and the 'sciences'; but only in- 
cidentally. 



330 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



We again direct attention to the bills 
before Congress for the establishment of 
the National Standardizing Bureau, the 
functions of which shall consist in the 
custody of the standards used in scien- 
tific investigations, engineering and com- 
merce; the construction, when neces- 
sary, of such standards, their multiples 
and submultiples; the testing and cali- 
bration of such standards and standard 
measuring apparatus; the solution of 
problems arising in connection with 
standards and the determination of 
physical constants and the properties of 
materials, when such data are of great 
importance and are not to be obtained of 
sufficient accuracy elsewhere. The estab- 
lishment of a National Physical Labora- 
tory has been under discussion in this 
country for almost twenty years, and al- 
though the urgent need of such an in- 
stitution has been generally recognized, 
the spasmodic efforts in that direction 
have heretofore either lacked sufficient 
support from those most vitally con- 
cerned or have not taken into account 
existing conditions. The bill submitted 
last spring by the Secretary of the 
Treasury was evidently framed after 
most careful consideration of the ques- 
tion from its legislative as well as from 
its scientific and technical aspects. It is 
believed that its scope is as broad as 
could be reasonably expected at present, 
even by the scientific interests, and 
while the bureau is to be placed under 
a director having, as is proper, full con- 
trol of its administration, there is also 
provided a board of visitors, consisting 
of five members prominent in the vari- 
ous interests involved, and not in the 
employ of the Government, the board 
serving thus in a supervisory capacity, 
and at the same time eliminating by its 
high standing, and by its close relation- 
ship to the technical and scientific bodies 



of the country, the effect of 'political 
influence' in the administration of the 
bureau. 

The prospects for favorable action by 
Congress seem most promising owing t*> 
the hearty cooperation of all interested, 
the measure having received the indorse- 
ment of the National Academy of 
Sciences, the American Association for 
the Advancement of Science, the Ameri- 
can Physical Society, the American 
Chemical Society, the American Insti- 
tute of Electrical Engineers, the Con 
gress of American Physicians and Sur- 
geons, the National Electric Light Asso 
ciation and other prominent organiza- 
tions. It has also been indorsed by the 
scientific and technical bureaus of the 
Government, by institutions of higher 
learning through members of their scien- 
tific and engineering faculties, and by 
manufacturers of scientific apparatus, 
and it has appealed especially to the 
electrical fraternity. Although intro- 
duced towards the close of the last ses- 
sion, the bill was favorably reported to- 
the House by the unanimous vote of the 
Committee on Coinage, Weights and 
Measures. The Senate bill is now before 
the Committee on Commerce, which, K 
is hoped, will repeat the action of the- 
House Committee. The immediate pas- 
sage of the measure cannot be too 
strongly urged, even with due regard to 
the great volume of other important 
business awaiting action during the 
present short session, especially as tha 
bill could be disposed of in a very short 
time, containing, as it does, nothing: 
which could possibly provoke partisan 
discussion. 

The importance of the National Phys- 
ical Laboratory is now universally rec- 
ognized. Germany attributes its won- 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



33i 



derful strides in the manufacture and 
export of scientific apparatus principally 
to the splendid work of the Imperial 
Physico-Technical Institute. The recog- 
nition of this fact on the part of Eng- 
lish manufacturers was one of the most 
potent influences which last year in- 
duced Parliament to provide for the 
establishment of a similar bureau. Rus- 
sia, about to adopt the metric system, 
has also established a Central Chamber 
of Weights and Measures, with Profes- 
sor Mendelejeff at its head. At the In- 
ternational Congress of Physicists, held 
at Paris last summer, Professor Pellat 
read a paper on the National Physical 
Laboratory as a factor in the industrial 
development of a country, which created 
such a strong impression that a motion 
was unanimously passed in favor of the 
establishment of such institutions in all 
countries not already provided there- 
with. The United States, far in the van 
in so many respects, cannot afford to lag 
behind in a matter of such vital and 
universally recognized importance. 

That the United States is now 
ready to take a place beside Germany 
in the production of scientific instru- 
ments is demonstrated by what has al- 
ready been accomplished in the case of 
astronomy. In proof of this statement 
we may refer to the recently-issued cata- 
logue from the works of Messrs. Warner 
& Swasey, at Cleveland, Ohio. This is 
a tangible witness that the United 
States is, in respect of the making of 
astronomical instruments of all sorts, 
quite out of the leading strings of the 
Old World. The work here exhibited is 
strictly of the first class. The instru- 
ments are, in the first place, designed 
so as to fit the uses to which they are 
to be put, not only in their general 
form, but also in their details. The 
execution of the mechanical work is also 
of the very highest quality. Lastly, 
we note the very significant fact that 
the designs of the instruments are, in 
a high degree, elegant and artistic. 
It is a far cry from the stone-adze 
of the paleolithic man to the Ferrera 



blade; and the evolution carries a les- 
son with it. Weapons and tools must 
first of all be fitted to their uses. Their 
design must be appropriate to the de- 
sired end. After the end is plainly 
comprehended improvements are made 
in the mechanical processes of manu- 
facture. Last of all it is the desire 
of the artisan to become an artist — 
to make his work beautiful. The evolu- 
tion of the weapon and of the tool fol- 
lows laws which govern that of the 
scientific instrument also. Long cen- 
turies elapsed between the quadrants of 
Alexandria, Samarkand and Uraniborg, 
and the elegant designs of the instru- 
ments of the great observatory of Pul- 
kowa. It seemed that almost the last 
word had been said when Struve and 
Repsold installed their joint produc- 
tions in the Imperial Observatory, lav- 
ishly endowed by the Russian Emperor. 
It is highly significant, then, to find 
their work surpassed in a distant coun- 
try, across the ocean — in the country 
that hardly possessed an astronomical 
establishment of any sort when Pul- 
kowa was founded. And it is gratify- 
ing and startling to note that two New 
England mechanics without hereditary 
training, advised by our own astrono- 
mers, have excelled the work of the 
famous house of Repsold, now in its 
third generation, advised and counseled, 
as it has been, by the most skilled 
astronomers of Europe. 

A study of the catalogue in ques- 
tion will show that in all respects — in 
general design, in detail and in artistic 
beauty — instruments now made in this 
country are superior to any made in the 
world. The book referred to is entirely 
composed of plates, showing equatorial 
mountings, micrometers, chronographs, 
transits, zenith telescopes, alt-azimuths, 
meridian-circles and dividing-engines 
made at Cleveland; and of views of ob- 
servatories in various parts of the w r orld 
furnished with instruments or domes 
from the same works. The observations 
made by some of the instruments re- 
ferred to at the United States Naval 



332 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



Observatory, at the Lick, Yerkes, 
Flower, Dudley and other establish- 
ments, are the best evidence of success. 
This book marks an epoch in the 
history of practical astronomy in 
America and has more than a passing 
value. A country that has produced 
the object-glasses of the Clarks and of 
Brashear, the sextant of Godfray, the 
zenith-telescope of Talcott, the chrono- 
graph of the Bonds, the break-circuit 
chronometer of Winlock, the diffraction- 
gratings of Rutherfurd and of Rowland, 
the mountings of Warner and Swasey — ■ 
to say nothing of many minor inven- 
tions and devices — has already taken 
the highest place in one important field. 
Who can doubt that the next century 
will see a corresponding progress in 
other branches of astronomy? The old- 
est science may yet find its chief center 
in the youngest country. 

The annual report of the Secretary 
of Agriculture has come to be regarded 
as of special interest to men of science, 
inasmuch as it is devoted very largely 
to a resume of the scientific investiga- 
tion which is being carried on under 
his direction. The high appreciation 
which Secretary Wilson has of the 
economic value of investigation along 
lines related to agriculture is evi- 
denced by his cordial support of such 
work, and the spirit of inquiry which 
he has inspired throughout the Depart- 
ment. His practical experience as a 
farmer and his active connection with 
experiment-station work before coming 
to the Department have made him quick 
to see the application of a new discov- 
ery and have enabled him in many in- 
stances to suggest new lines of inquiry. 
The result has been a wider appreciation 
of the department as an institution for 
research, and the securing of greatly in- 
creased financial support from Congress 
for its development along this line. It 
is now recognized by those familiar with 
it as being one of the largest and best 
equipped institutions for organized re- 
search in this country, and in the 
special lines in which it is engaged it oc- 



cupies a leading position. Some of the 
newer features which Secretary Wilson 
mentions are experiments in plant 
breeding, directed toward the pro- 
duction of hardier orange hybrids 
for the Southern States and corn 
of earlier maturity and more re 
sistant to drought and smut; studies 
of the true cause of the fermentation of 
tobacco in curing, which have suggested 
important modifications of the old 
method of handling; experiments in 
growing Sumatra tobacco in the Con- 
necticut Valley, with the aid of shade, 
and the Cuban types of cigar-filler in 
Texas, the indications for the success of 
both of which are now considered very 
promising; the extensive preparation 
and testing of serums for combating hog 
cholera and tetanus or lockjaw, and of 
vaccine for the disease known as black- 
leg; field and laboratory studies of 
plants supposed to be poisonous to sheep 
on the Western ranges, to determine 
the actual causes of the heavy losses of 
stock, and to find remedies for poisoned 
animals: and the investigation of a 
number of the more troublesome plant 
diseases, among them diseases of the 
sugar beet, which are reported to have 
caused a loss of over two million dol- 
lars in California. 

The Department's policy of send- 
ing explorers to various parts of the 
world to search out new plants or varie- 
ties likely to prove valuable in this 
country has already resulted in a long 
list of promising introductions, includ- 
ing especially the Kiushu rice from Ja- 
pan, which, it is believed, will insure 
the success of the rice industry in this 
country, and varieties of wheat from 
Russia, Hungary and Australia, which 
are superior in milling qualities, resist- 
ance to rust and yield. The successful 
introduction into California of the in- 
sect which fertilizes the flowers of the 
Smyrna fig, resulting the past season in 
the production of six tons of these figs 
of the highest grade of excellence, 
promises the development of another 
important industry. Among the larger 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



333 



operations in the field the studies of the 
use and economy of irrigation waters 
have attracted widespread attention 
throughout the irrigated region, and 
have indicated that there is great op- 
portunity for improvement in the 
methods and use of water. The result 
has been a great desire for an accurate 
and complete showing of facts, on which 
permanent improvement alone can be 
based; and whei'ever the investigations 
have been undertaken, private individ- 
uals and local authorities have lent 
their hearty cooperation. The prepara- 
tion of 'working plans' for forest own- 
ers, to guide them in caring for and cut- 
ting off their forests in a more system- 
atic manner, has proved so popular that 
the demands last year exceeded the re- 
sources of the Division of Forestry. Re- 
quests for these plans cover over fifty 
million acres of forest, and come from 
private owners, large consumers of tim- 
ber for manufacturing purposes and 
public custodians. The Secretary points 
out the encouraging fact that public in- 
terest in forestry is at present not only 
keener and more widespread than at 
any time heretofore^ but 'is growing 
with a rapidity altogether without prec- 
edent.' Quite large increases in ap- 
propriation for these irrigation investi- 
gations and lines of forestry work are 
recommended, as well as for soil sur- 
veys with reference to the distribution 
of alkali in the West, location of to- 
bacco soils and other questions. Co- 
operation with the agricultural experi- 
ment stations has now become a promi- 
nent feature of the department work, 
and is heartily endorsed. Congress has 
recognized this in recent years by giv- 
ing funds for special investigations to 
be carried on in cooperation with the 
stations. This has naturally brought 
the Department into much closer rela- 
tions with the stations, and has tended 
to secure greater stability for the opera- 
tions of the stations and an increased 
measure of influence with their own con- 
stituents. Not only is such cooperation 
in the interests of economy, but it 
strengthens the efficiency of both the 



Department and the stations as organi- 
zations for the improvement of agricul- 
ture. As a result of the investigations 
made the past year of the agricultural 
conditions in Hawaii and Porto Rico, 
the Secretary recommends the establish- 
ment of experiment stations in these 
islands. 

-- 

The growing interest in the work of 
the National Department of Agriculture 
is evidenced by the rapidly increasing 
demand for its publications. Last year 
three hundred and twenty new publica- 
tions were issued, and the number of 
copies printed was considerably over 
seven million. This was far in excess of 
any previous year, both in number of 
publications and total edition. Notwith- 
standing this fact, the Department was 
obliged to refuse many applicants for 
its bulletins and reports, the number of 
refusals being ten times more numer- 
ous than six years ago, when the total 
edition was only half that of the past 
year. In addition to these more tech- 
nical publications, one hundred and 
eight farmers' bulletins, including re- 
prints, were issued, aggregating two and 
a third million copies. This furnishes 
some idea of the enormous activity of 
the Department in the diffusion of 
knowledge. But with the growth of it3 
investigations and the consequent in- 
crease of material for publication, Sec- 
retary Wilson shows that there has not 
been a commensurate increase in the 
appropriation for printing, which has 
now become inadequate to the prompt 
diffusion of the information acquired. 
He accordingly requests a material in- 
crease in the printing fund for another 
year, but he questions whether, with- 
out some change in the present system 
of distributing publications, it will be 
possible to maintain a supply equal to 
the demand. The distribution has been 
restricted in several ways within recent 
years, and mailing lists have been kept 
revised to prevent waste. In the inter- 
est of the greatest usefulness of the De- 
partment to applied science and to its 
constituents, the policy should, if pos- 



334 



POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



sible, remain sufficiently liberal to pi - o- 
vide copies to such persons as are es- 
pecially interested in the publications, 
and make application for them. The 
problem is undoubtedly a perplexing 
one, and unless Congress makes liberal 
additions to the printing fund, is likely 
to prove more troublesome with suc- 
ceeding years. 

The present organization of the De- 
partment of Agriculture is for the most 
part one of divisions quite independent 
of each other in their operations. These 
are not generally grouped into bureaus, 
as is the case in other departments of 
the Government, but each is responsible 
directly to the Secretary of Agriculture. 
The lines of work of different divisions 
very naturally overlap, and as new lines 
are taken up, troublesome questions 
arise as to their assignment. The con- 
dition is one which calls for close co- 
operation along the broadest lines pos- 
sible, but the segregation which has re- 
sulted from the multiplication of divis- 
ions has not conduced to this. The 
Secretary believes that the best interests 
of the Department now demand aggrega- 
tion, rather than segregation, and that 
the time has come to bring together the 
related lines of work. In accordance 
with this policy he announces the af- 
filiation of four divisions, closely allied 
by the nature of their work, under the 
title of Office of Plant Industry, with a 
director in charge. How far anything 
like a reorganization of the Department 
will be carried is at present uncertain, 
but it is felt that the movement is in the 
direction of progress, and will almost 
inevitably be extended sooner or later. 
In point of location, furthermore, the 
scientific divisions are widely separated, 
the laboratories being for the most part 
in separate rented buildings, removed 
some distance from the executive of- 
fices and the library. These buildings 
are regarded as temporary makeshifts, 
and are wholly inadequate to the pres- 
ent needs, several of them being dwell- 
ing houses, with small, poorly-lighted 
rooms. The Secretary makes a strong 
plea for a laboratory building, and sub- 



mits plans for a fire-proof structure 
costing approximately $200,000. He 
points out that the items of rent and 
other expenses connected with the pres- 
ent laboratory quarters amount to 
about $10,000 a year, and that the De- 
partment is far behind many State in- 
stitutions in its laboratory facilities. 
The excellent equipment which is being 
brought together in these laboratories, 
the extensive collections and the valu- 
able records of investigation, are jeop- 
ardized by their present location. It 
seems eminently fitting that the Na- 
tional Department of Agriculture should 
be provided with the very best facilities 
for the important and far-reaching work 
which it is conducting. . 

The account of the extensive and 
varied operations of the United States 
Commission of Fish and Fisheries, as 
contained in the annual report of the 
Commissioner for 1900, shows a growth, 
as remarkable as it was unforeseen, dur- 
ing the three decades that have elapsed 
since Professor Baird was appointed "to 
prosecute investigations with a view of 
ascertaining what diminution in the 
number of food-fishes of the coast and 
the lakes of the United States has taken 
place, to what causes the same is due, 
and what protective, prohibitory or pre- 
cautionary measures should be adopted." 
A summary by the Commissioner of the 
work of the different divisions of the 
service is followed by detailed accounts 
of the propagation and distribution of 
food-fishes, the biological investigations, 
the collection of statistics of the com- 
mercial fisheries, the study of the 
methods of the fisheries, the inspection 
of the fur-seal rookeries of the Pribilof 
Islands, and the operations of the ves- 
sels, including a narrative of the recent 
South Sea expedition of the Albatross 
under Mr. Agassiz. The scientific in- 
vestigations conducted in the field, on 
the vessels and in the laboratories per- 
tain to almost every phase of aquatic 
biology. Much of the biological work 
is naturally and necessarily addressed 
to practical questions connected with 
the economic fisheries and fish-culture, 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. 



335 



but facilities are freely afforded for the 
prosecution of purely scientific studies; 
and it may be noted that an unusually 
large number of able investigators have 
availed themselves of the advantages 
which the laboratories of the Commis- 
sion afford. Among the recent acts of 
Congress pertaining to the scientific 
work have been the appropriation of a 
liberal sum for special experiments and 
investigations regarding the clam and 
lobster; the establishment of a new 
marine laboratory at Beaufort, North 
Carolina, and the creation of the posi- 
tion of fish pathologist. 

The results of the early investiga- 
tions by the Commission soon led to the 
institution of artificial propagation as 
the most feasible and effective form of 
aid that could be rendered by the Fed- 
eral Government for the maintenance of 
the food-fish supply ; and for many years 
fish-culture has been the leading branch 
of the Commission's work. Thirty-five 
hatching stations in twenty-five States 
were operated in 1900, and new hatch- 
eries are established at nearly every ses- 
sion of Congress. The output of young 
and adult fishes reached the extraor- 
dinary number of 1,164,000,000, which 
represent practically all the important 
food and game fishes of our rivers and 
lakes, and several marine species, those 
receiving most attention being the 
shad, the salmons of both coasts, the 
various trouts, the whitefish, the wall- 
eyed pike, the black basses, the cod, 
the winter flounder and the lobster. 
The important feature of this work 
is that a very large proportion of 
the ova which are handled, being 
taken from fish that have been caught 
for market, would have been lost but for 
the Commission's efforts; in the year 
covered by the report, fully nine-tenths 
of the output were from this source. 
The Commission is one of the most pop- 
ular of the Government bureaus, and its 
popularity will undoubtedly increase as 
the objects, methods, limitations and 
results of its work become more gener- 
ally known. 



Students of economics are familiar 
with the apparently far-fetched hy- 
pothesis that periods of economic crises 
or hard times may be related to the 
fluctuations of the sun-spots. There is 
now reason to believe that the hypoth- 
esis is not a rash guess based on some 
specious coincidences. Sir Norman Lock- 
yer and Dr. W. J. S. Lockyer have in- 
vestigated the connection between sun- 
spots and the weather, and claim, in a 
paper read before the Royal Society on 
November 22, that increased and de- 
creased areas of the spots on the sun 
may be indicative of fluctuations in the 
heat it gives out and that the solar con- 
ditions they indicate are approximately 
contemporaneous with pulses of greater 
rainfall. The Lockyers found that when 
the area of spots was greatest the un- 
known lines of the spectra of the sun- 
spots were widened; when the area was 
least the known lines were widened. 
From this they infer that a maximum 
area of sun-spots goes with a great 
increase of temperature. They thus find 
periodic changes of solar temperature, a 
maximum being followed by a mean 
condition, and that by a minimum. The 
years 1881, 1886-7 and 1892, for instance, 
would be, according to these spectrum 
records, years of mean temperature con- 
dition. The fluctuations in rainfall in 
India, Mauritius, Egypt and elsewhere 
were then compared with the spectrum 
records. Heavy rains generally occurred 
in India in the year following the mean 
condition, that is in dates near but 
somewhat earlier than the maxima and 
minima for sun-spots. The fall of snow 
followed the same rule. Between these 
pulses of great rainfall there are periods 
of drought, which correspond to the in- 
tervals between the maxima and mini- 
ma of solar temperature indicated by 
the fluctuations in the spots. All the 
Indian famines since 1836 have occurred 
in such intervals, if we assume that 
maxima have appeared every eleven 
years. The famines of 1836, 1847, 1860, 
1868-69, 1880 and 1890-92 fit almost ex- 
actly with the central points or mean 
conditions between minima and maxima 



336 



POPULAR SCIEXCE MOXTHLY. 



which occurred in 1836, 1847, 1858, 1869. 
1880 and 1891. So also the mean condi- 
tions between maxima and minima 
which came in 1852-53, 1863-64, 1874-75 
and 1885-86, are very close to the famine 
years 1854, 1865-66, 1876-77 and 1884-85. 
The possibility of predicting famines in 
India is too obvious for comment. The 
present famine is, according to the Lock- 
yers, to be explained by abnormal solar 
temperature. A mean temperature 
would, acording to precedent, have been 
reached in 1897 or 1898, but observa- 
tions of the spectrum show that it has 
not even yet been reached. To the ab- 
sence of the minimum condition, which 
should have obtained in 1899 and caused 
rain from the southern ocean, the pres- 
ent famine is due. 

Among recent events of scientific in- 
terest we note the following: Professor 
W. W. Campbell has been elected direc- 
tor of the Lick Observatory, in the room 
of the late Professor James E. Keeler. — 
Otto H. Tittman, assistant superintend- 
ent of the United States Coast and Geo- 
detic Survey, has been promoted to the 
superintendency, vacant by the resigna- 
tion of Dr. Henry S. Pritchett, to accept 
the presidency of the Massachusetts In- 
stitute of Technology.— The vacancy 
caused by the death of William Saun- 
ders, for the past thirty-eight years su- 
perintendent of Experimental Gardens 
and Grounds, United States Department 
of Agriculture, has been filled by the ap- 
pointment of B. T. Galloway, who in 
turn has been succeeded by Albert F. 
Woods as chief of the Division of Vege- 
table Physiology and Pathology. — Presi- 
dent D. C. Gilman, of the Johns Hopkins 
University, has privately intimated to 
the trustees his intention of resigning 
at the close of the present academic 
year, which will complete twenty-five 
years of service since the opening of the 
university in 1876. — Sir William Hug- 
gins, the eminent astronomer, has suc- 



ceeded Lord Lister as president of the 
Royal Society. The medals of the Soci- 
ety have been presented as follows: 
The Copley Medal to M. Berthelot, For. 
Mem. R. S., for his services to chemical 
science: the Rumford Medal to M. Bec- 
querel, for his discoveries in radiation 
proceeding from uranium; a Royal 
medal to Major MacMahon, for his con- 
tributions to mathematical science; a 
Royal Medal to Prof. Alfred New- 
ton, for his contributions to ornithol- 
ogy; the Davy Medal to Prof. Gugli- 
elmo Koerner, for his investigations on 
the aromatic compounds; and the Dar- 
win Medal to Prof. Ernst Haeckel, 
for his work in zoology. — Lord Avebury 
has given the first Huxley Memorial 
Lecture, which the Anthropological In- 
stitute of London has established to 
commemorate Huxley's anthropological 
work. — It is proposed to found two me- 
morials in honor of the late Miss Mary 
Kingsley, one a small hospital at Liver- 
pool for the treatment of tropical 
diseases and one a society for the study 
of the natives of West Africa. — The 
death is announced of Dr. John Gar- 
diner, until recently professor of biology 
in the University of Colorado, and of 
Dr. Adolf Pichler, formerly professor of 
geology at the University at Innsbruck, 
and an eminent German poet and man 
of letters. — Mr. D. O. Mills, of New 
York, has promised the University of 
California about $24,000, to defray the 
expenses of a two years' astronomical 
expedition from the Lick Observatory to 
South America or Australia, the object 
of which is to study the movement of 
stars in the line of sight. — Surgeon Ma- 
jor Reed and a board of experts 
are continuing the investigation into 
the propagation of yellow fever by 
mosquitoes, and an experimental sta- 
tion will be established outside Ha- 
vana. — Tufts College will open at 
South Harpswell, Me., next summer, a 
small marine biological laboratory un- 
der the direction of Prof, J. S. Kingsley. 



THE 

POPULAR SCIENCE 

MONTHLY. 



FEBRUARY, 1901. 
HUXLEY'S LIFE AND WOEK.* 

By the Right Honorable Lord AVEBURY, D. C. L., LL. D. 

I ACCEPTED with pleasure the invitation of your Council to deliver 
the first Huxley lecture, not only on account of my affection and 
admiration for him and my long friendship, but it seemed also especially 
appropriate as I was associated with him in the foundation of this 
Society. He was President of the Ethnological Society, and when it was 
fused with the Anthropological we, many of us, felt that Huxley ought 
to be the first President of the new Institute. No one certainly did so 
more strongly than your first President, and I only accepted the honor 
when we found that it was impossible to secure him. 

But the foundation of our Institute was only one of the occasions 
on which we worked together. 

Like him, but, of course, far less effectively, from the date of the 
appearance of the 'Origin of Species/ I stood by Darwin and did my 
best to fight the battle of truth against the torrent of ignorance and 
abuse which was directed against him. Sir J. Hooker and I stood by 
Huxley's side and spoke up for Natural Selection in the great Oxford 
debate of 1860. In the same year we became co-editors of the 'Natural 
History Review.' 

Another small society in which I was closely associated with Huxley 
for many years was the X Club. The other members were George Busk, 
secretary of the Linnean Society; Edward Frankland, president of 
the Chemical Society; T. A. Hirst, head of the Eoyal Naval College 
at Greenwich; Sir Joseph Hooker, Herbert Spencer, W. Spottiswoode, 

* The first 'Huxley Memorial Lecture' of the Anthropological Institute, delivered on Novem- 
ber 13, 1900. 

vol. lviil— 22 



338 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

president of the Eoyal Society, and Tyndall. It was started in 1864, 
and nearly nineteen years passed before we had a single loss — that of 
Spottiswoode; and Hooker, Spencer and I are now, alas! the only re- 
maining members. We used to dine together once a month, except in 
July, August and September. There were no papers or formal discus- 
sions, but the idea was to secure more frequent meetings of a few friends 
who were bound together by common interests and aims, and strong 
feelings of personal affection. It has never been formally dissolved, but 
the last meeting was in 1893. 

In 1869 the Metaphysical Society, of which I shall have something 
more to say later on, was started. 

From 1870 to 1875 I was sitting with Huxley on the late Duke of 
Devonshire's Commission on Scientific Instruction; we had innumerable 
meetings, and we made many recommendations which are being by 
degrees adopted. 

I had also the pleasure of spending some delightful holidays with 
him in Switzerland, in Brittany and in various parts of England. 
Lastly, I sat by his side in the Sheldonian Theater at the British Asso- 
ciation meeting at Oxford, during Lord Salisbury's address, to which 
I listened with all the more interest knowing that he was to second 
the vote of thanks, and wondering how he would do it. At one passage 
we looked at one another, and he whispered to me, "Oh, my dear Lub- 
bock, how I wish we were going to discuss the address in Section D in- 
stead of here!" Not, indeed, that he would have omitted any part of 
his speech, but there were other portions of the address which he would 
have been glad to have criticised. I was, therefore, for many years 
in close and intimate association with him. 

Huxley showed from early youth a determination, in the words of 
Jean Paul Eichter, 'to make the most that was possible out of the stuff/ 
and this was a great deal, for the material was excellent. He took the 
wise advice to consume more oil than wine, and, what is better even 
than midnight oil, he made the most of the sweet morning air. 

In his youth he was a voracious reader and devoured everything he 
could lay his hand on, from the Bible to Hamilton's 'Essay on the Phi- 
losophy of the Unconditioned.' He tells us of himself that when he 
was a mere boy he had a perverse tendency to think when he ought to 
have been playing. 

Considering how preeminent he was as a naturalist, it is rather sur- 
prising to hear, as he has himself told us, that his own desire was to be a 
mechanical engineer. "The only part," he said, "of my professional 
course which really and deeply interested me was physiology, which is 
the mechanical engineering of living machines; and, notwithstanding 
that natural science has been my proper business, I am afraid there is 
very little of the genuine naturalist in me; I never collected anything, 



HUXLEY'S LIFE AND WORK. 339 

and species work was a burden to me. What I cared for was the 
architectural and engineering part of the business; the working out the 
wonderful unity of plan in the thousands and thousands of diverse liv- 
ing constructions, and the modifications of similar apparatus to serve 
diverse ends." 

In 1846 Huxley was appointed naturalist to the expedition which 
was sent to the East under Captain Owen Stanley in the Rattlesnake, 
and good use, indeed, he made of his opportunities. It is really wonder- 
ful, as Sir M. Foster remarks in his excellent obituary notice in the 
Eoyal Society's 'Proceedings,' how he could have accomplished so much 
under such difficulties. 

"Working," says Sir Michael Foster, "amid a host of difficulties, in 
want of room, in want of light, seeking to unravel the intricacies of 
minute structure with a microscope lashed to secure steadiness, cramped 
within a tiny cabin, jostled by the tumult of a crowded ship's life, with 
the scantiest supply of books of reference, with no one at hand of whom 
he could take counsel on the problems opening up before him, he 
gathered for himself during those four years a large mass of accurate, 
important and, in most cases, novel observations, and illustrated them 
with skilful, pertinent drawings." 

The truth is that Huxley was one of those all-round men who would 
have succeeded in almost any walk in life. In literature his wit, his 
power of clear description and his admirable style would certainly have 
placed him in the front rank. 

He was as ready with his pencil as with his pen. Every one who 
attended his lectures will remember how admirably they were illustrated 
by his blackboard sketches, and how the diagrams seemed to grow line 
by line almost of themselves. Drawing was, indeed, a joy to him, and 
when I have been sitting with him at Eoyal Commissions or on commit- 
tees, he was constantly making comical sketches on scraps of paper or on 
blotting-books which, though admirable, never seemed to distract his 
attention from the subject on hand. 

Again, he was certainly one of the most effective speakers of the 
day. Eloquence is a great gift, although I am not sure that the country 
might not be better governed and more wisely led if the House of 
Commons and the country were less swayed by it. There is no doubt, 
however, that, to its fortunate possessor, eloquence is of great value, 
and if circumstances had thrown Huxley into political life, no one can 
doubt that he would have taken high rank among our statesmen. In- 
deed, I believe his presence in the House of Commons would have been 
of inestimable value to the country. Mr. Hutton, of the 'Spectator' — 
no mean judge — has told us that, in his judgment, 'an abler and more 
accomplished debater was not to be found even in the House of Com- 
mons.' His speeches had the same quality, the same luminous style of 



340 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

exposition, with which his printed books have made all readers in 
America and England familiar. Yet it had more than that. You could 
not listen to him without thinking more of the speaker than of his 
science, more of the solid, beautiful nature than of the intellectual gifts, 
more of his manly simplicity and sincerity than of all his knowledge 
and his long services. His Friday evening lectures at the Royal Institu- 
tion rivaled those of Tyndall in their interest and brilliance, and were 
always keenly and justly popular. Yet, he has told us that at first he 
had almost every fault a speaker could have. After his first Royal In- 
stitution lecture he received an anonymous letter recommending him 
never to try again, as whatever else he might be fit for, it was certainly 
not for giving lectures. It is also said that after one of his first lectures, 
'On the Relations of Animals and Plants/ at a suburban Athenaeum, a 
general desire was expressed to the Council that they would never invite 
that young man to lecture again. Quite late in life he told me, and 
John Bright said the same thing, that he was always nervous when he 
rose to speak, though it soon wore off when he warmed up to his sub- 
ject. 

No doubt easy listening on the part of the audience means hard 
working and thinking on the part of the lecturer, and, whether for the 
cultivated audience at the Royal Institution or for one to workingmen, 
he spared himself no pains to make his lectures interesting and instruc- 
tive. There used to be an impression that Science was something up in 
the clouds, too remote from ordinary life, too abstruse and too difficult 
to be interesting; or else, as Dickens ridiculed it in 'Pickwick/ too 
trivial to be worthy of the time of an intellectual being. 

Huxley was one of the foremost of those who brought our people to 
realize that science is of vital importance in our life, that it is more 
fascinating "than a fairy tale, more thrilling than a novel, and that any 
one who neglects to follow the triumphant march of discovery, so start- 
ling in its marvelous and unexpected surprises, so inspiring in its moral 
influence and its revelations of the beauties and wonders of the world 
in which we live and the universe of which we form an infinitesimal, but 
to ourselves at any rate, an all-important part, is deliberately rejecting 
one of the greatest comforts and interests of life, one of the greatest 
gifts with which we have been endowed by Providence. 

But there is a time for all things under the sun, and we cannot fully 
realize the profound interest and serious responsibilities of life unless 
we refresh the mind and allow the bow to unbend. Huxley was full of 
humor, which burst out on most unexpected occasions. I remember 
one instance during a paper on the habits of spiders. The female spider 
appears to be one of the most unsociable, truculent and bloodthirsty of 
her sex. Even under the influence of love she does but temporarily 
suspend her general hatred of all living beings. The courtship varies in 



HUXLEY'S LIFE AND WORK. 341 

character in different species, and is excessively quaint and curious; but 
at the close the thirst for blood, which has been temporarily over- 
mastered by an even stronger passion, bursts out with irresistible fury, 
she attacks her lover and, if he be not on the watch and does not succeed 
in making his escape, ends by destroying and sucking him dry. In 
moving a vote of thanks to the author, Huxley ended some interesting 
remarks by the observation that this closing scene was the most extraor- 
dinary form of marriage settlements of which he had ever heard. 

He seemed also to draw out the wit of others. At the York 'Jubilee' 
meeting of the British Association, he and I strolled down in the after- 
noon to the Minster. At the entrance we met Prof. H. J. Smith, who 
made a mock movement of surprise. Huxley said: "You seem surprised 
to see me here." "Well," said Smith hesitatingly, "not exactly, but it 
would have been on one of the pinnacles, you know." 

His letters were full of fun. Speaking of Siena in one of his letters, 
contained in Mr. Leonard Huxley's excellent Life of his father, he says: 
"The town is the quaintest place imaginable, built of narrow streets on 
several hills to start with, and then apparently stirred up with a poker 
to prevent monotony of effect." 

And again, writing from Florence: 

"We had a morning at the Uffizi the other day, and came back 
minds enlarged and backs broken. To-morrow we contemplate attack- 
ing the Pitti, and doubt not the result will be similar. By the end of 
the week our minds will probably be so large, and the small of the back 
so small, that we should probably break if we stayed any longer, so think 
it prudent to be off to Venice." 

By degrees public duties and honors accumulated on him more and 
more. He was Secretary, and afterwards President, of the Eoyal 
Society, President of the Geological and of the Ethnological Societies, 
Hunterian Professor from 1863 to 1870, a Trustee of the British 
Museum, Dean of the Eoyal College of Science, President of the British 
Association, Inspector of Fisheries, Member of Senate of the University 
of London, member of no less than ten Royal Commissions, in addition 
to which he gave many lectures at the Eoyal Institution and elsewhere, 
besides, of course, all those which formed a part of his official duties. 

In 1892 he was made a member of the Privy Council, an unwonted 
but generally welcome recognition of the services which science renders 
to the community. 

As already mentioned, he was elected a Fellow of the Eoyal Society 
in 1851. He received a Eoyal Medal in 1852, the Copley in 1888, and 
the Darwin Medal in 1894. 

Apart from his professional and administrative duties, Huxley's 
work falls into three principal divisions — Science, Education and Meta- 
physics. 



342 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

SCIENTIFIC WOBK. 

Huxley's early papers do not appear to have in all cases at first re- 
ceived the consideration they deserved. The only important one which 
was published before his return was the one 'On the Anatomy and 
Affinities of the Family of the Medusae.' 

After his return, however, there was a rapid succession of valuable 
Memoirs, the most important, probably, being those on Salpa and 
Pyrosoma, on Appendicularia and Doliolum and on the Morphology of 
the Cephalus Mollusca. 

In recognition of the value of these Memoirs he was elected a Fellow 
of the Eoyal Society in 1851, and received a Koyal Medal in 1852. Lord 
Eosse, in presenting it, said: "In these papers you have for the first time 
fully developed their (the Medusas) structure and laid the foundation 
of a rational theory for their classification." "In your second paper, 
'On the Anatomy of Salpa and Pyrosoma,' the phenomena, etc., have re- 
ceived the most ingenious and elaborate elucidation, and have given rise 
to a process of reasoning the results of which can scarcely yet be antici- 
pated, but must bear, in a very important degree, upon some of the 
most abstruse points of what may be called transcendental physiology." 

A very interesting result of his work on the Hydrozoa was the gen- 
eralization that the two layers in the bodies of Hydrozoa (Polyps and 
Sea Anemones), the Ectoderm and the Entoderm correspond with the 
two primary germ layers of the higher animals. Again, though he did 
not discover or first define protoplasm, he took no small share in making 
its importance known, and in bringing naturalists to recognize it as the 
physical basis of life, and in demonstrating the unity of animal and 
plant protoplasm. 

Among other important memoirs may be mentioned those 'On the 
Teeth and the Corpuscula Tactus,' 'On the Tegumentary Organs,' 'Re- 
view of the Cell Theory,' 'On Aphis,' and many others. 

His paleontological work, for which he has told us that at first lie 
did not care,' began in 1855. That 'On the Anatomy and Affinities of 
the Genus Pterygotus' is still a classic; in another, 'On the Structure of 
the Shields of Pteraspis,' and in one 'On Cephalaspis,' in 1858, he for 
the first time clearly established their vertebrate character; his work 'On 
Devonian Fishes' in 1861 threw quite a new light on their affinities; and 
amongst other later papers may be mentioned that 'On Hyperodapedon;' 
'On the Characters of the Pelvis,' 'On the Crayfish,' and one botanical 
memoir, 'On the Gentians,' the outcome of one of his Swiss trips. 

One of the most striking results of his paleontological work was the 
clear demonstration of the numerous and close affinities between reptiles 
and birds, the result of which is that they are regarded by many as form- 
ing together a separate group, the Sauropsida; while the Amphibia, long 
regarded as reptiles, were separated from them and united with fishes 



HUXLEY'S LIFE AND WORK. 343 

under the title of Ichthyopsida. At the same time he showed that the 
Mammalia were not derived from the Sauropsida, but formed two 
diverging lines springing from a common ancestor. And besides this 
great generalization, says the Eoyal Society obituary notice, "the im- 
portance of which, both from a classificatory and from an evolutional 
point of view, needs no comment, there came out of the same researches 
numerous lesser contributions to the advancement of morphological 
knowledge, including, among others, an attempt, in many respects suc- 
cessful, at a classification of birds." 

In conjunction with Tyndall, he communicated to the 'Philosophical 
Transactions' a memoir on glaciers, and his interest in philosophical 
geography was also shown in his popular treatise on physiography. 

But it would be impossible here to go through all his contributions to 
science. The Royal Society Catalogue enumerates more than a hun- 
dred, every one of which, in the words of Prof. S. Parker, "contains 
some brilliant generalization, some new and fruitful way of looking at 
the facts of science. The keenest morphological insight and inductive 
power are everywhere apparent; but the imagination is always kept well 
in hand, and there are none of those airy speculations — a liberal pound 
of theory to a bare ounce of fact — by which so many reputations have 
been made." Huxley never allowed his study of detail to prevent him 
from taking a wide general view. 

I now come to his special work on Man. 

In the 'Origin of Species,' Darwin did not directly apply his views 
to the case of Man. No doubt he assumed that the considerations which 
applied to the rest of the animal kingdom must apply to Man also, and 
I should have thought must have been clear to every one, had not Wal- 
lace been in some respects, much to my surprise, of a different opinion. 
At any rate, it required some courage to state this boldly, and much skill 
and knowledge to state it clearly. 

He put it in a manner which was most conclusive, and showed, in 
Virchow's words, "that in respect of substance and structure Man and 
the lower animals are one. The fundamental correspondence of human 
organization with that of animals is at present universally accepted." 

This, I think, is too sweeping a proposition. It may be true for Ger- 
many, but it certainly is not true here. Many of our countrymen and 
countrywomen not only do not accept, they do not even understand, 
Darwin's theory. They seem to suppose him to have held that Man was 
descended from one of the living Apes. This, of course, is not so. Man 
is not descended from a Gorilla or an Orang-utang, but Man, the Gorilla, 
the Orang-utang and other Anthropoid Apes are all descended from 
some far-away ancestor. 

"A Pliocene Homo skeleton," Huxley said, "might analogically be 
expected to differ no more from that of modern men than the (Eningen 



344 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

canis from modern Canes, or Pliocene horses from modern horses. If 
so, he would most undoubtedly be a man — genus Homo — even if you 
made him a distinct species. For my part, I should by no means be 
astonished to find the genus Homo represented in the Miocene, say, the 
Neanderthal man, with rather smaller brain capacity, longer arms and 
more movable great toe, but at most specifically different." 

In his work 'On Man's Place in Nature/ while referring to the other 
higher Quadrumana, Huxley dwelt principally on the chimpanzee and 
the gorilla, because, he said, "It is quite certain that the ape, which most 
nearly approaches man in the totality of its organization, is either the 
chimpanzee or the gorilla." 

This is no doubt the case at present; but the gibbons (Hylobates), 
while differing more in size, and modified in adaptation to their more 
skilful power of climbing, must also be considered, and, to judge from 
Professor Dubois' remarkable discovery in Java of Pithecanthropus, 
which half the authorities have regarded as a small man, and half as a 
large gibbon, it is rather down to Hylobates than either the chimpanzee 
or the gorilla that we shall have to trace the point where the line of our 
far-away ancestors will meet that of any existing genus of monkeys. 

Huxley emphasized the fact that monkeys differ from one another 
in bodily structure as much or more than they do from man. 

We have Haeckel's authority for the statement that "after Darwin 
had, in 1859, reconstructed this most important biological theory, and 
by his epoch-making theory of natural selection placed it on an entirely 
new foundation, Huxley was the first who extended it to man; and, in 
1863, in his celebrated three lectures on 'Man's Place in Nature/ admir- 
ably worked out its most important developments." 

The work was so well and carefully done that it stood the test of 
time, and, writing many years afterwards, Huxley was able to say, and to 
say truly, that: 

"I was looking through 'Man's Place in Nature' the other day; I do 
not think there is a word I need delete, nor anything I need add except 
in confirmation and extension of the doctrine there laid down. That is 
great good fortune for a book thirty years old, and one that a very 
shrewd friend of mine implored me not to publish, as it would certainly 
ruin all my prospects" ('Life of Professor Huxley/ p. 344). 

He has told us elsewhere ('Collected Essays/ vii., p. 11) that "it has 
achieved the fate which is the Euthanasia of a scientific work, of being 
inclosed among the rubble of the foundations of knowledge and forgot- 
ten." He has, however, himself saved it from the tomb, and built it into 
the walls of the temple of science, and it will still well repay the atten- 
tion of the student. 

For a poor man — I mean poor in money, as Huxley was all his life — 



HUXLEY'S LIFE AND WORK. 345 

to publish such a book at that time was a bold step. But the prophecy 
with which he concluded the work is coming true. 

"After passion and prejudice have died away," he said, "the same 
result will attend the teachings of the naturalist respecting that great 
Alps and Andes of the living world — Man. Our reverence for the nobility 
of manhood will not be lessened by the knowledge that man is, in sub- 
stance and in structure, one with the brutes; for he alone possesses the 
marvelous endowments of intelligible and rational speech, whereby, in 
the secular period of his existence, he has slowly accumulated and or- 
ganized the experience which is almost wholly lost with the cessation of 
every individual life in other animals; so that now he stands raised upon 
it as on a mountain top — far above the level of his humble fellows, and 
transfigured from his grosser nature by reflecting here and there a ray 
from the infinite source of truth" ('Collected Essays,' vii., p. 155). 

Another important research connected with the work of our Society 
was his investigation of the structure of the vertebrate skull. Owen had 
propounded a theory and worked it out most ingeniously that the skull 
was a complicated elaboration of the anterior part of the back-bone; that 
it was gradually developed from a preconceived idea or archetype; that 
it was possible to make out a certain number of vertebrae, and even the 
separate parts of which they were composed. 

Huxley maintained that the archetypal theory was erroneous; and 
that, instead of being a modification of the anterior part of the primitive 
representative of the back-bone, the skull is rather an independent 
growth around and in front of it. Subsequent investigations have 
strenghtened this view, which is now generally accepted. This lecture 
marked an epoch in vertebrate morphology, and the views he enunciated 
still hold the field. 

One of the most interesting parts of Huxley's work, and one specially 
connected with our Society, was his study of the ethnology of the British 
Isles. It has also an important practical and political application, because 
the absurd idea that ethnologically the inhabitants of our islands form 
three nations — the English, Scotch and Irish — has exercised a malig- 
nant effect on some of our statesmen, and is still not without influence 
on our politics. One of the strongest arguments put forward in favor 
of Home Eule used to be that the Irish were a 'nation.' In 1887 I 
attacked this view in some letters to the 'Times,' subsequently published 
by Quaritch. Nothing is more certain than that there was not a Scot 
in Scotland till the seventh century; that the east of our island from 
John 0' Groat's House to Kent is Teutonic; that the most important 
ethnological line, so far as there is one at all, is not the boundary be- 
tween England and Scotland, but the north and south watershed which 
separates the east and west. In Ireland, again, the population is far 
from homogeneous. Huxley strongly supported the position I had 



346 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

taken up. "We have," he said, "as good evidence as can possibly be ob- 
tained on such subjects that the same elements have entered into the 
composition of the population in England, Scotland and Ireland; and 
that the ethnic differences between the three lie simply in the general 
and local proportions of these elements in each region. . . . The 
population of Cornwall and Devon has as much claim to the title of 
Celtic as that of Tipperary. . . . Undoubtedly there are four geo- 
graphical regions, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and the peo- 
ple who live in them call themselves and are called by others the Eng- 
lish, Scotch, Welsh and Irish nations. It is also true that the inhabi- 
tants of the Isle of Man call themselves Manxmen, and are just as proud 
of their nationality as any other 'nationalities.' 

"But if we mean no more than this by 'nationality,' the term has no 
practical significance" ('The Races of the British Isles,' pp. 44, 45). 

Surely it would be very desirable, especially when political argu- 
ments are based on the term, that we should come to some understand- 
ing as to what is meant by the word 'nation.' The English, Scotch and 
Irish live under one Flag, one Queen and one Parliament. If they are 
not one nation, what are they? What term are we to use, and some term 
is obviously required, to express and combine all three. For my part I 
submit that the correct terminology is to speak of Celtic race or Teu- 
tonic race, of the Irish people or the Scotch people; but that the people 
of England, Scotland and Ireland, aye, and of the Colonies also, con- 
stitute one great nation. 

As regards the races which have combined to form the nation, Hux- 
ley's view was that in Roman times the population of Britain comprised 
people of two types, the one fair, the other dark. The dark people re- 
sembled the Aquitani and the Iberians; the fair people were like the 
Belgic Gauls ('Essays,' V., vii., p. 254). And he adds that "the only con- 
stituent stocks of that population, now, or at any other period about 
which we have evidence, are the dark whites, whom I have proposed to 
call 'Melanochroi,' and the fair whites or 'Xanthochroi.' " 

He concludes (1) "That the Melanochroi and the Xanthochroi are 
two separate races in the biological sense of the word race; (2) that they 
have had the same general distribution as at present from the earliest 
times of which any record exists on the continent of Europe; (3) that 
the population of the British Islands is derived from them, and from 
them only." 

It will, however, be observed that we have (1) a dark race and a fair 
race; (2) a large race and a small race; and (3) a round-headed race and a 
long-headed race. But some of the fair race were large, some small; 
some have round heads, some long heads; some of the dark race again 
had long heads, some round ones. In fact, the question seems to me 



HUXLEY'S LIFE AND WORK. 347 

more complicated than Huxley supposed. The Mongoloid races extend 
now from China to Lapland; but in Huxley's opinion they never pene- 
trated much further west, and never reached our islands. "I am un- 
able," he says, "to discover any ground for believing that a Lapp element 
has ever entered into the population of these islands." It is true that we 
have not, so far as I know, anything which amounts to proof. We 
know, however, that all the other animals which are associated with the 
Lapps once inhabited Great Britain. Was man the only exception? I 
think not, more especially when we find, not only the animals of Lap- 
land, but tools and weapons identical with those of the Lapps. I must 
not enlarge on this, and perhaps I may have an opportunity of laying my 
views on the subject more fully before the Society; but I may be allowed 
to indicate my own conclusion, namely, that the races to which Huxley 
refers are amongst the latest arrivals in our islands; that England was 
peopled long before its separation from the mainland, and that after the 
English Channel was formed, successive hordes of invaders made their 
way across the sea, but as they brought no women, or but few, with 
them, they exterminated the men, or reduced them to slavery, and 
married the women. Thus through their mothers our countrymen re- 
tain the strain of previous races, and hence, perhaps, we differ so much 
from the populations across the silver streak. 

Summing up this side of Huxley's work, Sir M. Foster has truly said 
that "whatever bit of life he touched in his search, protozoan, polyp, 
mollusc, crustacean, fish, reptile, beast and man — and there were few 
living things he did not touch — he shed light on it, and left his mark. 
There is not one, or hardly one, of the many things which lie has written 
which may not be read again to-day with pleasure and with profit, and, 
not once or twice only in such a reading, it will be felt that the progress 
of science has given to words written long ago a. strength and meaning 
even greater than that which they seemed to have when first they were 
read." 

In 1870 Huxley became a member of the first London School Board, 
and though his health compelled him to resign early in 1872, it would 
be difficult to exaggerate the value of the service he rendered to London 
and, indeed, to the country generally. 

The education and discipline which he recommended were: 

(1) Physical training and drill. 

(2) Household work or domestic economy, especially for girls. 

(3) The elementary laws of conduct. 

(4) Intellectual training, reading, writing and arithmetic, elemen- 
tary science, music and drawing. 

He maintained that 'no boy or girl should leave school without pos- 
sessing a grasp of the general character of science, and without having 
been disciplined more or less in the methods of all sciences.' 



348 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

As regards the higher education, he was a strong advocate for science 
and modern languages, though without wishing to drop the classics. 

Some years ago, for an article on higher education, I consulted a 
good many of the highest authorities on the number of hours per week 
which, in their judgment, should be given to the principal subjects. 
Huxley, amongst others, kindly gave me his views. He suggested ten 
hours for ancient languages and literature, ten for modern languages 
and literature, eight for arithmetic and mathematics, eight for science, 
two for geography and two for religious instruction. 

For my own part I am firmly convinced that the amount of time 
devoted to classics has entirely failed in its object. The mind is like 
the body — it requires change. Mutton is excellent food; but mutton for 
breakfast, mutton for lunch, and mutton for dinner would soon make 
any one hate the sight of mutton, and so, Latin grammar before break- 
fast, Latin grammar before lunch, and Latin grammar before dinner is 
enough to make almost any one hate the sight of a classical author. 
Moreover, the classics, though an important part, are not the whole of 
education, and a classical scholar, however profound, if he knows no 
science, is but a half-educated man after all. 

In fact, Huxley was no opponent of a classical education in the 
proper sense of the term, but he did protest against it in the sense in 
which it is usually employed, namely, as an education from which 
science is excluded, or represented only by a few random lectures. 

He considered that specialization should not begin till sixteen or 
seventeen. At present we begin in our Public School system to spe- 
cialize at the very beginning, and to devote an overwhelming time to 
Latin and Greek, which, after all, the boys are not taught to speak. 
Huxley advocated the system adopted by the founders of the University 
of London, and maintained to the present day that no one should be 
given a degree who did not show some acquaintance with science and 
with at least one modern language. 

"As for the so-called 'conflict of studies/ " he exclaims, "one might 
as well inquire which of the terms of a Eule of Three sum one ought to 
know in order to get a trustworthy result. Practical life is such a sum, 
in which your duty multiplied into your capacity, and divided by your 
circumstances, gives you the fourth term in the proportion, which is 
your deserts, with great accuracy" ('Life of Professor Huxley,' p. 406). 

"That man," he said, "I think, has had a liberal education, who 
has been so trained in youth that his body is the ready servant of his 
will, and does with ease and pleasure all the work that, as a mechanism, 
it is capable of; whose intellect is a clear, cold, logic engine, with all its 
parts of equal strength and in smooth working order; ready, like a steam 
engine, to be turned to any kind of work, and spin the gossamers as well 
as forge the anchors of the mind; whose mind is stored with a knowledge 



HUXLEY'S LIFE AND WORK. 349 

of the great and fundamental truths of nature and the laws of her opera- 
tions; one who, no stunted ascetic, is full of life and fire, but whose 
passions are trained to come to heel by a vigorous will, the servant of a 
tender conscience; who has learned to love all beauty, whether of nature 
or of art, to hate all vileness and to respect others as himself." 

He was also strongly of opinion that colleges should be places of re- 
search as well as of teaching. 

"The modern university looks forward, and is a factory of new 
knowledge; its professors have to be at the top of the wave of progress. 
Eesearch and criticism must be the breath of their nostrils; laboratory 
work the main business of the scientific student; books his main 
helpers." 

Education has been advocated for many good reasons: by statesmen 
because all have votes, by Chambers of Commerce because ignorance 
makes bad workmen, by the clergy because it makes bad men, and all 
these are excellent reasons; but they may all be summed up in Huxley's 
words that "the masses should be educated because they are men and 
women with unlimited capacities of being, doing and suffering, and that 
it is as true now as ever it was that the people perish for lack of knowl- 
edge." 

Huxley once complained to Tyndall, in joke, that the clergy seemed 
to let him say anything he liked, 'while they attack me for a word or a 
phrase.' But it was not always so. 

Tyndall and I went, in the spring of 1874, to Naples to see an erup- 
tion of Vesuvius. At one side the edge of the crater shelved very gradu- 
ally to the abyss, and, being anxious to obtain the best possible view, I 
went a little over the ridge. In the autumn Tyndall delivered his cele- 
brated address to the British Association at Belfast. This was much ad- 
mired, much read, but also much criticised, and one of the papers had 
an article on Huxley and Tyndall, praising Huxley very much at Tyn- 
dall's expense, and ending with this delightful little bit of bathos: "In 
conclusion, we do not know that we can better illustrate Professor 
Tyndall's foolish recklessness, and the wise, practical character of Pro- 
fessor Huxley, than by mentioning the simple fact that last spring, at 
the very moment when Professor Tyndall foolishly entered the crater of 
"Vesuvius during an eruption, Professor Huxley, on the contrary, took 
a seat on the London School Board." 

Tyndall, however, returned from Naples with fresh life and health, 
while the strain of the School Board told considerably on Huxley's 
health. 

Huxley's attitude on the School Board with reference to Bible teach- 
ing came as a surprise to those who did not know him well. He sup- 
ported Mr. W. H. Smith's motion in its favor, which, indeed, was voted 



350 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

for by all the members except six, three of whom were the Roman 
Catholics, who did not vote either way. 

"I have been," he said, "seriously perplexed to know by what practi- 
cal measures the religious feeling, which is the essential basis of con- 
duct, was to be kept up, in the present utterly chaotic state of opinion 
on these matters, without the use of the Bible. Take the Bible as a 
whole; make the severest deductions which fair criticism can dictate for 
short-comings and positive errors; eliminate, as a sensible lay-teacher 
would do if left to himself, all that it is not desirable for children to 
occupy themselves with; and there still remains in this old literature a 
vast residuum of moral beauty and grandeur. And then consider the 
great historical fact that for three centuries this book has been woven 
into the life of all that is best and noblest in English history; that it 
has become the national epic of Britain, and is as familiar to noble and 
simple, from John o' Groat's House to Land's End, as Dante and Tasso 
were once to Italians; that it is written in the noblest and purest Eng- 
lish, and abounds in exquisite beauties of mere literary form; and, 
finally, that it forbids the veriest hind who never left his village to be 
ignorant of the existence of other countries and other civilizations, and 
of a great past, stretching back to the furthest limits of the oldest na- 
tions in the world. By the study of what other book could children be 
so much humanized and made to feel that each figure in that vast his- 
torical procession fills, like themselves, but a momentary space in the 
interval between two eternities, and earns the blessings or the curses of 
all time, according to its effort to do good and hate evil, even as they 
also are earning their payment for their work?" 

Another remarkable side of Huxley's mind was his interest in 
and study of metaphysics. When the Metaphysical Society was 
started in 1869, there was some doubt among the promoters whether 
Huxley and Tyndall should be invited to join or not. Mr. Knowles was 
commissioned to come and consult me. I said at once that to draw the 
line at the opinions which they were known to hold would, as it seemed 
to me, limit the field of discussion, and there would always be doubts as 
to when the forbidden region began; that I had understood there was 
to be perfect freedom, and that though Huxley's and Tyndall's views 
might be objectionable to others of our members, I would answer for it 
that there could be nothing in the form of expression of which any just 
complaint could be made. 

The society consisted of about forty members, and when we consider 
that they included Thompson, Archbishop of York, Ellicott, Bishop of 
Gloucester and Bristol, Dean Stanley and Dean Alford as representa- 
tives of the Church of England; Cardinal Manning, Father Dalgairns 
and W. G. "Ward as Eoman Catholics; among statesmen, Gladstone, the 
late Duke of Argyll, Lord Sherbrooke, Sir M. Grant Duff, John Morley, 



HUXLEY'S LIFE AND WORK. 351 

as well as Martineau, Tennyson, Browning, K. H. Hutton, W. Bagehot, 
Frederic Harrison, Leslie Stephen, Sir J. Stephen, Dr. Carpenter, Sir 
W. Gull, W. R. Greg, James Hinton, Shadworth Hodgson, Lord Arthur 
Russell, Sir Andrew Clark, Sir Alexander Grant, Mark Patteson and 
W. K. Clifford, it will not be wondered that I looked forward to the 
meetings with the greatest interest. I experienced also one of the 
greatest surprises of my life. We all, I suppose, wondered who would 
be the first President. No doubt what happened was that Roman 
Catholics objected to Anglicans, Anglicans to Roman Catholics, both to 
Nonconformists; and the different schools of metaphysics also presented 
difficulties, so that finally, to my amazement, I found myself the first 
President! The discussions were perfectly free, but perfectly friendly; 
and I quite agree with Mr. H. Sidgwick, that Huxley was one of the 
foremost, keenest and most interesting debaters, which, in such a com- 
pany, is indeed no slight praise. 

We dined together, then a paper was read, which had generally been 
circulated beforehand, and then it was freely discussed, the author re- 
sponding at the close. Huxley contributed several papers, but his main 
contribution to the interest of the Society was his extraordinary ability 
and clearness in debate. 

His metaphysical studies led to his work on Hume and his memoirs 
on the writings of Descartes. 

One of his most interesting treatises is a criticism of Descartes' 
theory of animal automatism. Descartes was not only a great philoso- 
pher, but also a great naturalist, and we owe to him the definite alloca- 
tion of all the phenomena of consciousness to the brain. This was a 
great step in science, but, just because Descartes' views have been so 
completely incorporated with everyday thought, few of us realize how 
recently it was supposed that the passions were seated in the apparatuses 
of organic life. Even now we speak of the heart rather than the brain 
in describing character. 

Descartes, as is known, was much puzzled as to the function of one 
part of the brain — a small, pear-shaped body about the size of a nut, 
and deeply seated. Known as the pineal gland, he suggested that it was 
the seat of the soul; but it is now regarded, and apparently on solid 
grounds, as the remains of the optic lobe of a central eye once possessed 
by our far-away ancestors, and still found in some animals, as, for in- 
stance, in certain lizards. Descartes was much impressed by the move- 
ments which are independent of consciousness or volition, and known 
as reflex actions — such, for instance, as the winking of the eye or the 
movement of the leg if the sole of the foot is touched. This takes place 
equally if, by any injury to the spinal marrow, the sensation in the legs 
has been destroyed. 

Such movements appear to be more frequent among lower animals, 



352 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

and Descartes supposed that all their movements might be thus ac- 
counted for — that they were, like the movements of sensitive plants, 
absolutely detached from consciousness or sensation, and that, in fact, 
animals were mere machines or automata, devoid not only of reason, but 
of any kind of consciousness. 

It must be admitted that Descartes' arguments are not easy to dis- 
prove, and no doubt certain cases of disease or injury — as, for instance, 
that of the soldier described by Dr. Mesnet, who, as a result of a 
wound in the head, fell from time to time into a condition of uncon- 
sciousness, during which, however, he ate, drank, smoked, dressed and un- 
dressed, and even wrote — have supplied additional evidence in support 
of his views. Huxley, while fully admitting this, came, and I think 
rightly, to the conclusion that the consciousness of which we feel cer- 
tain in ourselves must have been evolved very gradually, and must 
therefore exist, though probably in a less degree, in other animals. 

No one, indeed, I think, who has kept and studied pets, even if they 
be only ants and bees, can bring himself to regard them as mere ma- 
chines. 

The foundation of the Metaphysical Society led to the invention of 
the term 'Agnostic/ 

"When I reached intellectual maturity," Huxley tells us, "and began 
to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist or a pantheist, a mate- 
rialist or an idealist, a Christian or a freethinker, I found that the more 
I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I 
came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these 
denominations except the last. The one thing in which most of these 
good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from 
them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain 'gnosis' — had, 
more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was 
quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the prob- 
lem was insoluble. . . ." 

These considerations pressed forcibly on him when he joined the 
Metaphysical Society. 

"Every variety," he says, "of philosophical and theological opinion 
was represented there, and expressed itself with entire openness; most 
of my colleagues were 'ists' of one sort or another; and, however kind 
and friendly they might be, I, the man without a rag of a habit to cover 
himself with, could not fail to have some of the uneasy feelings which 
must have beset the historical fox when, after leaving the trap, in which 
his tail remained, he presented himself to his normally elongated com- 
panions. So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the 
appropriate title of agnostic. It came into my head as suggestively 
antithetic to the gnostic of Church history, who professed to know so 
much about the very things of which I was ignorant; and I took the 



HUXLEY' 8 LIFE AND WORK. 353 

earliest opportunity of parading it at our Society, to show that I, too, 
had a tail like the other foxes." 

Huxley denied that he was disposed to rank himself either as a 
fatalist, a materialist or an atheist. "Not among fatalists, for I take 
the conception of necessity to have a logical, and not a physical, founda- 
tion; not among materialists, for I am utterly incapable of conceiving 
the existence of matter if there is no mind in which to picture that 
existence; not among atheists, for the problem of the ultimate cause of 
existence is one which seems to me to be hopelessly out of reach of my 
poor powers." 

The late Duke of Argyll, in his interesting work on 'The Philosophy 
of Belief,' makes a very curious attack on Huxley's consistency. He 
observes that scientific writers use "forms of expression as well as in- 
dividual words, all of which are literally charged with teleological mean- 
ing. Men even who would rather avoid such language if they could, 
but who are intent on giving the most complete and expressive descrip- 
tion they can of the natural facts before them, find it wholly impossible 
to discharge this duty by any other means. Let us take as an example 
the work of describing organic structures in the science of biology. 
The standard treatise of Huxley on the 'Elements of Comparative 
Anatomy,' affords a remarkable example of this necessity, and of its re- 
sults. . . . 

"How unreasonable it is to set aside, or to explain away, the full 
meaning of such words as 'apparatuses' and 'plans,' comes out strongly 
when we analyze the preconceived assumptions which are supposed to 
be incompatible with the admission of it. . . . 

"To continue the use of words because we are conscious that we 
cannot do without them, and then to regret or neglect any of their im- 
plications, is the highest crime we can commit against the only faculties 
which enable us to grasp the realities of the world." Is not this, how- 
ever, to fall into the error of some Greek philosophers, and to regard 
language, not only as a means of communication, but as an instrument 
of research. We all speak of sunrise and sunset, but it is no proof 
that the sun goes round the earth. The Duke himself says elsewhere: 

"We speak of time as if it were an active agent in doing this, that 
and the other. Yet we are quite conscious, when we choose to think 
of it, that when we speak of time in this sense, we are really thinking 
and speaking, not of time itself, but of the various physical forces which 
operate slowly and continuously in, or during, time. Apart from these 
forces, time does nothing." 

This is, it seems to me, a complete reply to his own attack on Hux- 
ley's supposed inconsistency. 

Theologians often seem to speak as if it were possible to believe 
something which one cannot understand, as if the belief were a matter 

VOL. LVIII.— 23 



354 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

of will, that there was some merit in believing what you cannot prove, 
and that if a statement of fact is put before you, you must either believe 
it or disbelieve it. Huxley, on the other hand, like most men of science, 
demanded clear proof, or what seemed to him clear proof, before he ac- 
cepted any conclusion; he would, I believe, have admitted that you 
might accept a statement which you could not explain, but would have 
maintained that it was impossible to believe what you did not under- 
stand; that in such a case the word 'belief was an unfortunate mis- 
nomer; that it was wrong, and not right, to profess to believe anything 
for which you knew that there was no sufficient evidence, and that if it 
is proved you cannot help believing it; that as regards many matters the 
true position was not one either of belief or of disbelief, but of suspense. 

In science we know that though the edifice of fact is enormous, the 
fundamental problems are still beyond our grasp, and we must be con- 
tent to suspend our judgment, to adopt, in fact, the Scotch verdict of 
'not proven/ so unfortunately ignored in our law as in our theology. 

Faith is a matter more of deeds, not of words, as St. Paul shows in 
the Epistle to the Hebrews. If you do not act on what you profess to 
believe, you do not really and in truth believe it. May I give an in- 
stance? The Fijians really believed in a future life; according to their 
creed, you rose in the next world exactly as you died here — young if 
you were young, old if you were old, strong if you were strong, deaf if 
you were deaf, and so on. Consequently it was important to die in the 
full possession of one's faculties; before the muscles had begun to lose 
their strength, the eye to grow dim, or the ear to wax hard of hearing. 
On this they acted. Every one had himself killed in the prime of life; 
and Captain Wilkes mentions that in one large town there was not a 
single person over forty years of age. 

That I call faith. That is a real belief in a future life. 

Huxley's views are indicated in the three touching lines by Mrs. 
Huxley, which are inscribed on his tombstone: 

Be not afraid, ye wailing hearts that weep, 
For still He giveth His beloved sleep, 
And if an endless sleep He wills — so best. 

That may be called unbelief, or a suspension of judgment. Huxley 
doubted. 

But disbelief is that of those who, no matter what they say, act as 
if there was no future life, as if this world was everything, and in the 
words of Baxter in 'The Saints' Everlasting Eest,' profess to believe in 
Heaven, and yet act as if it was to be 'tolerated indeed rather than the 
flames of Hell, but not to be desired before the felicity of Earth/ 

Huxley was, indeed, by no means without definite beliefs. "I am," 
he said, "no optimist, but I have the firmest belief that the Divine Gov- 
ernment (if we may use such a phrase to express the sum of the 'customs 



HUXLEY'S LIFE AND WORK. 355 

of matter') is wholly just. The more I know intimately of the lives of 
other men (to say nothing of my own), the more obvious it is to me that 
the wicked does not flourish nor is the righteous punished." 

One of the great problems of the future is to clear away the cobwebs 
which the early and mediaeval ecclesiastics, unavoidably ignorant of 
science, and with ideas of the world now known to be fundamentally 
erroneous, have spun round the teachings of Christ; and in this 
Huxley rendered good service. For instance, all over the world in early 
days lunatics were supposed to be possessed by evil spirits. That was 
the universal belief of the Jews, as of other nations, 2,000 years ago, and 
one of Huxley's most remarkable controversies was with Mr. Gladstone 
and Dr. Wace with reference to the 'man possessed with devils/ which, 
we are told, were cast out and permitted to enter into a herd of swine. 
Some people thought that these three distinguished men might have oc- 
cupied their time better than, as was said at the time, 'in fighting over 
the Gaderene swine.' But as Huxley observed: 

"The real issue is whether the men of the nineteenth century are 
to adopt the demonology of the men of the first century as divinely re- 
vealed truth, or to reject it as degrading falsity." 

And as the first duty of religion is to form the highest conception 
possible to the human mind of the Divine Nature, Huxley naturally 
considered that when a Prime Minister and Doctor of Divinity propound 
views showing so much ignorance of medical science, and so low a view 
of the Deity, it was time that a protest was made in the name, not only 
of science, but of religion. 

Theologians themselves, indeed, admit the mystery of existence. 
"The wonderful world," says Canon Liddon, "in which we now pass this 
stage of our existence, whether the higher world of faith be open to our 
gaze or not, is a very temple of many and august mysteries. . . . 
Everywhere around you are evidences of the existence and movement of 
a mysterious power which you can neither see, nor touch, nor define, nor 
measure, nor understand." 

One of Huxley's difficulties he has stated in the following words: 
"Infinite benevolence need not have invented pain and sorrow at all — 
infinite malevolence would very easily have deprived us of the large 
measure of content and happiness that falls to our lot." 

This does not, I confess, strike one as conclusive. It seems an answer 
— if not perhaps quite complete, that if we are to have any freedom and 
responsibility, the possibility of evil follows necessarily. If two courses 
are open to us, there are two alternatives; either the results are the same 
in either case, and then it does not matter what we do; or the one course 
must be wise and the other unwise. Huxley, indeed, said in another 
place: "1 protest that if some great power could agree to make me 
always think what is true, and do what is right, on condition of being 



356 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

turned into a sort of a clock and wound up every morning before I got 
out of bed, I should instantly close with the offer. The only freedom 
I care about is the freedom to do right; the freedom to do wrong I am 
ready to part with on the cheapest terms to any one who will take it of 
me. But when the Materialists stray beyond the borders of their path, 
and talk about there being nothing else in the world but Matter and 
Forces and necessary laws, .... I decline to follow them." 

Huxley was no enemy to the existence of an Established Church. 

"I could conceive," he said, "the existence of an Established Church 
which should be a blessing to the community. A church in which, 
week by week, services should be devoted, not to the iteration of abstract 
propositions in theology, but to the setting before men's minds of an 
ideal of true, just and pure living; a place in which those who are weary 
of the burden of daily cares should find a moment's rest in the contem- 
plation of the higher life which is possible for all, though attained by 
so few; a place in which the man of strife and of business should have 
time to think how small, after all, are the rewards he covets compared 
with peace and charity. Depend upon it, if such a Church existed, no 
one would seek to disestablish it." 

It seems to me that he has here very nearly described the Church 
of Stanley, of Jowett, and of Kingsley. 

Sir W. Flower justly observed that "if the term 'religious' be 
limited to acceptance of the formularies of one of the current creeds of 
the world, it cannot be applied to Huxley; but no one could be intimate 
with him without feeling that he possessed a deep reverence for 'what- 
soever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things 
are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, what- 
soever things are of good report,' and an abhorrence of all that is the re- 
verse of these; and that, although he found difficulty in expressing it in 
definite words, he had a pervading sense of adoration of the infinite, 
very much akin to the highest religion." 

Lord Shaftesbury records that "Professor Huxley has this definition 
of morality and religion: 'Teach a child what is wise, that is morality. 
Teach him what is wise and beautiful, that is religion!' Let no one 
henceforth despair of making things clear and of giving explanations!" 
('Life and Works,' iii., 282). 

I doubt, indeed, whether the debt which Eeligion owes to Science 
has yet been adequately acknowledged. 

The real conflct — for conflict there has been and is — is not between 
Science and Eeligion, but between Science and Superstition. A disbe- 
lief in the goodness of God led to all the horrors of the Inquisition. 
Throughout the Middle Ages and down almost to our own times, as 
Lecky has so powerfully shown, the dread of witchcraft hung like a 
black pall over Christianity. Even so great and good a man as Wesley 



HUXLEY'S LIFE AND WORK. 357 

believed in it. It is Science which has cleared away these dark clouds, 
and we can hardly fail to see that it is just in those countries where 
Science is most backward that Religion is less well understood, and in 
those where Science is most advanced that Eeligion is purest. The 
services which Science has rendered to Religion have not as yet, I think, 
received the recognition they deserve. 

Many of us may think that Huxley carried his scepticism too far, 
that some conclusions which he doubted, if not indeed proved, yet stand 
on a securer basis than he supposed. 

He approached the consideration of these awful problems, however, 
in no scoffing spirit, but with an earnest desire to arrive at the truth, 
and I am glad to acknowledge that this has been generously recognized 
by his opponents. 

From his own point of view, Huxley was no opponent of Religion, 
however fundamentally he might differ from the majority of clergymen. 
In Science we differ, but we are all seeking for truth, and we do not 
dream that any one is an enemy to 'science.' 

In Theology, however, unfortunately as we think, a different stand- 
ard has been adopted. Theologians often, though no doubt there are 
many exceptions, regard a difference from themselves as an attack on 
religion, a suspension of judgment as an adverse verdict, and doubt as 
infidelity. 

It is, therefore, only just to them to say that their obituary notices of 
Huxley were fair and even generous. When they treated him as a foe 
they did so, as a rule, in a spirit as honorable to them as it was to 
him. 

The 'Christian World,' in a very interesting obituary notice, truly 
observed that "if in Huxley's earlier years the average opinion of the 
churches had been as ready as it is now to accept the evolution of the 
Bible, it would not have been so startled by Darwin's theory of the evo- 
lution of man; and Darwin's greatest disciple would have enjoyed thirty 
years ago the respect and confidence and affection with which we came 
to regard him before we lost him." 

"Surely it is a striking and suggestive fact that both the retiring and 
the incoming President of the Royal Society, by way of climax to their 
eulogies, dwelt on the religious side of Huxley's character. "If religion 
means strenuousness in doing right, and trying to do right, who," asked 
Lord Kelvin, "has earned the title of a religious man better than Hux- 
ley?" And similarly Sir J. Lister, in emphasizing Huxley's intellectual 
honesty, "his perfect truthfulness, his whole-hearted benevolence," felt 
impelled to adopt Lord Kelvin's word and celebrate "the religion that 
consists in the strenuous endeavor to be and do what is right." 

Huxley was not only a great man, but a good and a brave one. It 
required much courage to profess his opinions, and if he had consulted 



358 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

only his own interests he would not have done so, but we owe much to 
him for the inestimable freedom which we now enjoy. 

When he was moved to wrath it was when he thought wrong was 
being done, the people were being misled, or truth was being unfairly 
attacked, as, for instance, in the celebrated discussion at Oxford. The 
statue in the Natural History Museum is very powerful and a very exact 
likeness, but it is like him when he was moved to righteous indignation. 
It is not Huxley as he was generally, as he was when he was teaching, 
or when in the company of friends. He was one of the most warm- 
hearted and genial of men. Mr. Hutton, who sat with him on the Vivi- 
section Commission, has recorded that "considering he represented the 
physiologists on this Commission, I was much struck with his evident 
horror of anything like torture even for scientific ends." I do not, how- 
ever, see why this should have surprised him, because the position of 
physiologists is that it is the anti-vivisectionists who would enormously 
increase the suffering in the world. To speak of inflicting pain 'for 
scientific ends' is misleading. It is not for the mere acquisition of 
useless knowledge, but for the diminution of suffering and because one 
experiment may prevent thousands of mistakes and save hundreds of 
lives. The medical profession may be mistaken in this, but it is obvious 
that their conviction, whether it be right or whether it be wrong, is not 
only compatible with, but is inspired by, a horror of unnecessary suffer- 
ing. 

The great object of his labors was, in his own words, "to promote 
the increase of natural knowledge and to forward the application of 
scientific methods of investigation to all the problems of life." His 
family life was thoroughly happy. He was devoted to his children, and 
they to him. "The love our children show us," he said in one of his 
letters, "warms our old age better than the sun." 

Nor can I conclude without saying a word about Mrs. Huxley, of 
whom her son justly says that she was "his help and stay for forty years, 
in his struggles ready to counsel, in adversity to comfort; the critic 
whose judgment he valued above almost any, and whose praise he cared 
most to win; his first care and latest thought, the other self, whose union 
with him was a supreme example of mutual sincerity and devotion." 

At a time of deep depression and when his prospects looked most 
gloomy he mentions a letter from Miss Heathorn as having given him 
"more comfort than anything for 1 a long while. I wish to Heaven," he 
says, "it had reached me six months ago. It would have saved me a 
world of pain and error." 

Huxley had two great objects in life as he has himself told us. 
"There are," he said, "two things I really care about — one is the prog- 
ress of scientific thought, and the other is the bettering of the condition 
of the masses of the people by bettering them in the way of lifting them- 



HUXLEY'S LIFE AND WORK. 359. 

selves out of the misery which has hitherto been the lot of the majority 
of them. Posthumous fame is not particularly attractive to me, but, if 
I am to be remembered at all, I would rather it should be as 'a man who 
did his best to help the people' than by any other title." 

It is not only because we, many of us, loved him as a friend, not only 
because we all of us recognize him as a great naturalist, but also because 
he was a great example to us all, a man who did his best to benefit the 
people, that we are here to do honor to his memory to-day. 



360 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 



MALAEIA.* 

By GEO. M. STERNBERG, M.D., LL.D., 

SURGEON-GENERAL, V. 8. ARMY. 

IN my address as president of the Biological Society, in 1896, the sub- 
ject chosen was 'The Malarial Parasite and other Pathogenic Proto- 
zoa.' This address was published in March, 1897, in the Popular 
Science Montlht, and I must refer you to this illustrated paper for a 
detailed account of the morphological characters of the malarial parasite. 
It is my intention at the present time to speak of 'Malaria' in a more gen- 
eral way and of the recent experimental evidence in support of Manson's 
suggestion, first made in 1894, that the mosquito serves as an intermedi- 
ate host for the parasite. The discovery of this parasite may justly be 
considered one of the greatest achievements of scientific research during 
the nineteenth century. Twenty-five years ago the best-informed physi- 
cians entertained erroneous ideas with reference to the nature of 
malari i and the etiology of the malarial fevers. Observation had taught 
them that there was something in the air in the vicinity of marshes in 
tropical regions, and during the summer and autumn in semi-tropical 
and temperate regions, which gave rise to periodic fevers in those ex- 
posed in such localities, and the usual inference was that this something 
was of gaseous form — that it was a special kind of bad air generated in 
swampy localities under favorable meteorological conditions. It was 
recognized at the same time that there are other kinds of bad air, such as 
the offensive emanations from sewers and the products of respiration of 
man and animals, but the term malaria was reserved especially for the 
kind of bad air which was supposed to give rise to the so-called malarial 
fevers. In the light of our present knowledge it is evident that this 
term is a misnomer. There is no good reason for believing that the air 
of swamps is any more deleterious to those who breathe it than the air of 
the sea coast or that in the vicinity of inland lakes and ponds. More- 
over, the stagnant pools, which are covered with a 'green scum' and from 
which bubbles of gas are given off, have lost all terrors for the well- 
informed man, except in so far as they serve as breeding places for mos- 
quitoes of the genus Anopheles. The green scum is made up of harmless 
algae such as Spirogyra, Zygnema Protococcus, Euglena, etc.; and the 
gas which is given off from the mud at the bottom of such stagnant pools 
is for the most part a well-known and comparatively harmless compound 

* Annual address of the president of the Philosophical Society of Washington. Delivered 
under the auspices of the Washington Academy of Sciences, on December 8, 1900. 



MALARIA. 361 

of hydrogen and carbon — methane or 'marsh-gas.' In short, we now 
know that the air in the vicinity of marshes is not deleterious because of 
any special kind of bad air present in such localities, but because it con- 
tains mosquitoes infected with a parasite known to be the specific cause 
of the so-called malarial fevers. This parasite was discovered in the 
blood of patients suffering from intermittent fevers by Laveran, a sur- 
geon in the French army, whose investigations were conducted in Al- 
giers. This famous discovery was made toward the end of the year 
1880, but it was several years later before the profession generally began 
to attach much importance to the alleged discovery. It was first con- 
firmed by Eichard in 1882; then by the Italian investigators, Marchia- 
fava, Celli, Golgi and Bignami; by Councilman, Osier and Thayer in 
this country, and by many other competent observers in various parts 
of the world. The Italian investigators named not only confirmed the 
presence of the parasite discovered by Laveran in the blood of those 
suffering from malarial fevers, but they demonstrated its etiological role 
by inoculation experiments and added greatly to our knowledge of its 
life history (1883-1898). The fact that the life history of the parasite 
includes a period of existence in the body of the mosquito, as an inter- 
mediate host, has recently been demonstrated by the English army sur- 
geons Manson and Eoss, and confirmed by numerous observers, includ- 
ing the famous German bacteriologist, Koch. 

The discoveries referred to, as is usual, have had to withstand the 
criticism of conservative physicians, who, having adopted the prevailing 
theories with reference to the etiology of periodic fevers, were naturally 
skeptical as to the reliability of the observations made by Laveran and 
those who claimed to have confirmed his discovery. The first conten- 
tion was that the bodies described as present in the blood were not para- 
sites, but deformed blood corpuscles. This objection was soon set at 
rest by the demonstration, repeatedly made, that the intra-corpuscular 
forms underwent distinct amoeboid movements. No one witnessing 
these movements could doubt that he was observing a living micro- 
organism. The same was true of the extra-corpuscular flagellate bodies, 
which may be seen to undergo very active movements, as a result of 
which the red blood corpuscles are violently displaced and the flagellate 
body itself dashes about in the field of view. 

The first confirmation in this country of Laveran's discovery of 
amoeboid parasites in the blood of malarial-fever patients was made by 
myself in the pathological laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University 
in March, 1886. In May, 1885, 1 had visited Eome as a delegate to the 
International Sanitary Conference, convened in that city under the aus- 
pices of the Italian Government, and while there I visited the Santo 
Spirito Hospital for the purpose of witnessing a demonstration, by Drs. 
Marchiafava and Celli, of that city, of the presence of the plasmodium 



362 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

malaria in the blood of persons suffering from intermittent fever. 
Blood was drawn from the finger during the febrile attack and from in- 
dividuals to whom quinine had not been administered. The demonstra- 
tion was entirely satisfactory, and no doubt was left in my mind that I 
saw living parasitic micro-organisms in the interior of red blood cor- 
puscles obtained from the circulation of malarial-fever patients. The 
motions were quite slow and were manifested by a gradual change of 
outline rather than by visible movement. After a period of amoeboid 
activity of greater or less duration, the body again assumed an oval or 
spherical form and remained quiescent for a time. While in this form 
it was easily recognized, as the spherical shape caused the light passing 
through it to be refracted and gave the impression of a body having a 
dark contour and a central vacuole; but when it was flattened out and 
undergoing amoeboid changes in form, it was necessary to focus very 
carefully and to have a good illumination in order to see it. The objec- 
tive used was a Zeiss's one-twelfth inch homogeneous oil immersion. 

But, very properly, skepticism with reference to the causal relation 
of these bodies to the disease with which they are associated was not re- 
moved by the demonstration that they are in fact blood-parasites, that 
they are present in considerable numbers during the febrile paroxysms 
and that they disappear during the interval between these paroxysms. 
These facts, however, give strong support to the inference that they are 
indeed the cause of the disease. This inference is further supported by 
the evident destruction of red blood corpuscles by the parasite, as shown 
by the presence of grains of black pigment in the amceba-like micro- 
organisms observed in these corpuscles and the accumulation of this in- 
soluble blood pigment in the liver and spleen of those who have suffered 
repeated attacks of intermittent fever. The enormous loss of red blood 
corpuscles as a result of such attacks is shown by the ansemic condition 
of the patient and also by actual enumeration. According to Kelsch, a 
patient of vigorous constitution in the first four days of a quotidian in- 
termittent fever, or a remittent of first invasion, may suffer a loss of 
2,000,000 of red blood corpuscles per cubic millimeter of blood, and in 
certain cases a loss of 1,000,000 has been verified at the end of twenty- 
four hours. In cases of intermittent fever having a duration of twenty 
to thirty days the number of red blood cells may be reduced from the 
normal, which is about 5,000,000 per cubic millimeter to 1,000,000 or 
even less. In view of this destruction of the red blood cells and the 
demonstrated fact that a certain number, at least, are destroyed during 
the febrile paroxysms by a blood parasite, which invades the cells and 
grows at the expense of the continued haemoglobin, it may be thought 
that the etiological role of the parasite should be conceded. But scien- 
tific conservatism demands more than this, and the final proof has been 
afforded by the experiments of Gerhardt and of Marchiafava and Celli — 



MALARIA. 363 

since confirmed by many others. This proof consists in the experimen- 
tal inoculation of healthy individuals with blood containing the para- 
site and the development of a typical attack of periodic fever as a result 
of such inoculation. Marchiafava and Bignami, in their elaborate 
article upon 'Malaria/ published in the 'Twentieth Century Practice of 
Medicine/ say: 

"The transmission of the disease occurs equally whether the blood 
is taken during the apyretic period or during a febrile paroxysm, 
whether it contains young parasites or those in process of development, 
or whether it contains sporulation forms. Only the crescent forms, 
when injected alone, do not transmit the infection, as has been demon- 
strated by Bastianelli, Bignami and Thayer, and as can be readily un- 
derstood when we remember the biological significance of these forms. 

"In order that the disease be reproduced in the inoculated subject it 
is not necessary to inject the malarial blood into a vein of the recipient, 
as has been done in most of the experiments; a subcutaneous injection is 
all-sufficient. Nor is it necessary to inject several cubic centimeters, as 
was done especially in the earlier experiments; a fraction of a cubic cen- 
timeter will suffice and even less than one drop, as Bignami has shown." 

After the inoculation of a healthy individual with blood containing 
the parasite a period varying from four to twenty-one days elapses be- 
fore the occurrence of a febrile paroxysm. This is the so-called period of 
incubation, during which, no doubt, the parasite is undergoing multipli- 
cation in the blood of the inoculated individual. The duration of this 
period depends to some extent upon the quantity of blood used for the 
inoculation and its richness in parasites. It also depends upon the par- 
ticular variety of the parasite present, for it has been ascertained that 
there are at least three distinct varieties of the malarial parasite — one 
which produces the quartan type of fever, in which there is a paroxysm 
every third day and in which, in experimental inoculations made, the 
period of incubation has varied from eleven to eighteen days; in the ter- 
tian type, or second day fever, the period of incubation noted has been 
from nine to twelve days; and in the aestivo-autumnal type the duration 
has usually not exceeded five days. The parasite associated with each 
of these types of fever may be recognized by an expert, and there is no 
longer any doubt that the difference in type is due to the fact that dif- 
ferent varieties or 'species' of the malarial parasite exist, each having a 
different period of development. Blood drawn during a febrile 
paroxysm shows the parasite in its different stages of intra-corpuscular 
development. The final result of this development is a segmenting 
body, having pigment granules at its center, which occupies the greater 
part of the interior of the red corpuscle. The number of segments into 
which this body divides differs in the different types of fever, and there 
are other points of difference by which the several varieties may be dis- 
tinguished one from the other, but which it is not necessary to mention 



364 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

at the present time. The important point is that the result of the seg- 
mentation of the adult parasites contained in the red corpuscles is the 
formation of a large number of spore-like bodies, which are set free by 
the disintegration of the remains of the blood corpuscles and which con- 
stitute a new brood of reproductive elements, which in their turn invade 
healthy blood corpuscles and effect their destruction. This cycle of de- 
velopment, without doubt, accounts for the periodicity of the charac- 
teristic febrile paroxysms; and, as stated, the different varieties complete 
their cycle of development in different periods of time, thus accounting 
for the recurrence of the paroxysms at intervals of forty-eight hours, in 
one type of fever and of three days in another type. When a daily 
paroxysm occurs, this is believed to be due to the alternate development 
of two groups of parasites of the tertian variety, as it has not been pos- 
sible to distinguish the parasite found in the blood of persons suffering 
from a quotidian form of intermittent fever from that of the tertian 
form. Very often, also, the daily paroxysm occurs on succeeding days 
at a different hour, while the paroxysm every alternate day is at the 
same hour, a fact which sustains the view that we have to deal, in such 
cases, with two broods of the tertian parasite which mature on alternate 
days. In other cases there may be two distinct paroxysms on the same 
day, and none on the following day, indicating the presence of two 
broods of tertian parasites maturing at different hours every second day. 

Manson, in his work on tropical diseases, recently published, ac- 
counts for the febrile paroxysm as follows: 

"In all malarial attacks this periodicity tends to become, and in most 
attacks actually is, quotidian, tertian, or quartan in type. If we study 
the parasites associated with these various types we find that they, too, 
as has been fully described already, have a corresponding periodicity. We 
have also seen that the commencement of the fever in each case cor- 
responds with the breaking up of the sporulating form of the parasite 
concerned. This last is an important point; for, doubtless, when this 
breaking up takes place, besides the pigment set free, other residual mat- 
ters — not so striking optically, it is true, as the pigment, but none the 
less real — probably are liberated; a haemoglobin solvent, for example, as 
I have suggested. Whether it be this haemoglobin solvent, or whether 
it be some other substance, which is the pyrogenetic agent, I believe that 
some toxin, hitherto enclosed in the body of the parasite, or in the in- 
fected corpuscle, escapes into the blood at the moment of sporulation. 

"The periodicity of the clinical phenomena is accounted for by the 
periodicity of the parasite. How are we to account for the periodicity 
of the parasite? It is true that it has a life of twenty-four hours, or of 
a multiple of twenty-four hours; but why should the individual parasites 
of the countless swarm all conspire to mature at or about the same time? 
That they do so — not perhaps exactly at the same moment, but within a 
very short time of each other — is a fact, and it is one which can be easily 
demonstrated. If we wish to see the sporulating forms of the Plas- 
modium in a pure intermittent, it is practically useless to look for them 
in the blood during the latter stages of fever, or during the interval, or 



MALARIA. 365 

during any time but just before, during, or soon after rigor. If we wish 
to see the early and unpigmented forms, we must look for them during 
the later stage of rigor or the earlier part of the stage of pyrexia. And 
so with the other stages of the parasite; each has its appropriate rela- 
tionship to the fever cycle." 

There are numerous cases of malarial fever in which there is no dis- 
tinct intermission and in which the course of the fever is either con- 
tinued or remittent in character. Fevers of this type usually occur in 
the late summer or in the autumn (sestivo-autumnal) and are believed to 
be due to infection by two distinct varieties of the parasite; one, the 
tertian sestivo-autumnal, causes a fever characterized by a marked rise in 
the temperature every second day; the other, a fever in which there is a 
daily elevation of temperature. There are certain peculiarities relating 
to the intra-corpuscular development of these parasites which enable us 
to differentiate them from the tertian and quartan parasites of intermit- 
tent fever, but a more striking difference to be observed in their life 
cycle of development in the blood of man is the presence of peculiar cres- 
centic-shaped bodies, which play an important part in their further de- 
velopment in the body of an intermediate host — the mosquito. Asso- 
ciated with these 'crescents' fusiform and ovoid bodies are often seen 
which are no doubt similar in their origin and function. The crescents 
are a little longer than the diameter of a red blood corpuscle and are 
about three times as long as broad. They contain in the central portion 
grains of pigment (melanin) derived from the haemoglobin of the in- 
fected corpuscle which has been changed into a crescentic body as a re- 
sult of the development of the malarial parasite in its interior. When a 
fresh preparation of malarial blood containing these crescents is ob- 
served under the microscope, while a majority of them retain the cres- 
centic form, others may be seen, after an interval of ten minutes or 
more, to change in form, first becoming oval and then round; then, in 
the interior of these round bodies an active movement of the pigment 
granules occurs; this is followed by the thrusting forth from the peri- 
phery of several filaments — usually four, which have flagella-like move- 
ments. These, as a rule, become detached and continue to move rapidly 
among the blood corpuscles. With reference to the function of these 
motile filaments, Marchiafava says: 

"In these later days there is increasing belief in the theory, which 
we uphold, that the crescents and the flagellata are sexual forms of the 
malarial parasite, and that a reproductive act (in which the flagellum 
represents the male element and an adult crescent the female cell) gives 
rise to the new being which begins its existence in the tissues of the mos- 
quito.^ 

These crescentic bodies may be found in the blood of man long after 
all febrile symptoms have disappeared, and it is generally recognized 



366 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. 

that they are not directly concerned in th^ production of the phenomena 
which constitute a malarial attack and that the administration of 
quinine has no influence in causing them to disappear from the blood. 
On the other hand, the febrile phenomena are directly associated with 
the appearance of the amoeboid form of the parasite in the interior of 
the red blood corpuscles and the administration of suitable doses of 
quinine has a marked effect in causing these amceba-like micro-organ- 
isms to disappear from the blood. 

These crescentic bodies are not found in the benign tertian and quar- 
tan intermittent fevers, but are characteristic of the malignant forms of 
malarial infection, including the so-called asstivo-autumnal fever. In 
these forms of fever they are not seen at the outset of the attack, and 
they have no direct influence upon the course of the fever. A week 
usually elapses between the first appearance of the amoeboid form of the 
parasite and that of these crescentic bodies. They are often found in 
the blood some time after all symptoms of fever have disappeared, and 
are associated with the malarial cachexia which follows an attack of 
aestivo-autumnal fever. When blood containing these crescents is in- 
gested by a mosquito of the genus Anopheles the following very remark- 
able transformations occur: Some of the crescents are transformed into 
hyaline flagellate bodies having active movements; others are changed 
into granular spheres. The flagella break away from the hyaline bodies 
and, approaching the granular spheres, appear to seek energetically to 
enter these bodies. A minute papilla is given off from the surface of 
the sphere, seeming to be projected to meet the attacking flagellum. At 
this point, one of the flagella succeeds in entering the sphere, causing an 
active movement of its contents for a brief time, after which the flagella 
disappear from view, and the contents become quiescent. This is no 
doubt an act of impregnation. After a time the impregnated granular 
sphere alters its shape, becoming oval, and later vermicular in form. 
The pigment granules are now seen at the posterior part of this body, 
which, after the changes mentioned, exhibits active movements. It is 
believed that this motile vermicular body penetrates the wall of the mos- 
quito's stomach. Here it grows rapidly and, after a few days, may be 
seen projecting from the surface as a spherical mass. In the meantime 
the contents are transformed into spindle-shaped bodies (sporozoites) 
which are subsequently set free by the rupture of the capsule of the 
mother cell. According to Manson, these spindle-shaped bodies pass 
from the body cavity of the mosquito, probably by way of the blood, to 
the three-lobed veneno-salivary glands, lying on each side of the fore 
part of the thorax of the insect. "These glands communicate with the 
base of the mosquito's proboscis by means of a long duct along the 
radicles of which the clear, plump cells of the gland are arranged. The 
sporozoites can be readily recognized in many, though not in all, of the 



MALARIA. 367 

cells, especially in those o