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BROMBERG — BRONGNIART

London, 1897.—Gow. Handbook of Marine Insurance. London, 1900.—Arnould. On Marine Insurance. Edited by Messrs Hart and Simey, 1901. (l. f. s.) Bromberg, a town of Prussia, province of Posen, 32 miles by rail W.N.W. from Thorn, 7 miles W. from the bank of the Vistula. The new buildings include a theatre (1896) and a synagogue (1884). The town possesses a bronze statue of Frederick the Great (1862), a bronze equestrian statue of the Emperor William I. (1893), a monument of the war of 1870-71 (1880), and a statue of Benkenhoff (1894), the constructor of the Bromberg Canal (1773-74), connecting the Vistula and the Netze, with a length of 17 miles. There is also an archseological collection belonging to the Historical Society of the Netze District. The principal industrial works are iron foundries and machine shops, paper factories, and flour mills; the town has an active trade in agricultural and other products. Population (1885), 36,294; (1900), 52,082. Bromley, a suburban market town in the Sevenoaks parliamentary division of Kent, England, 10 miles S.S.E. of London by rail. Recent erections are a science and art school, a drill-hall, a public library, and four new churches, besides a Roman Catholic church and several chapels. The cottage hospital has been enlarged and a recreation ground purchased. Population of parish (an urban district) (1881), 15,154; (1891), 21,684; (1901), 27,358. Bromsgrove, ancient market towrn in the Bromsgrove parliamentary division of Worcestershire, England, 13 miles S.W. by S. of Birmingham by rail, and 13 miles N. by W. of Worcester. Amongst recent erections are a cottage hospital and a school of art. Birmingham Sanatorium stands in the parish. Near the town are carriage works belonging to the Midland railway. Area of urban district, 1122 acres. Population (1901), 8416. Brongniart, Adolphe Theodore (1801-1876) French botanist, was born in Paris on 14th January 1801. His father, Alexander Brongniart, at that time director of the imperial pottery at Sevres, being a well-known scientific man, young Adolphe grew up in a scientific atmosphere. He soon showed an inclination toward the study of the natural sciences, devoting himself at first more particularly to geology, and later, to botany, thus equipping himself for what was to be the main occupation of his life—the investigation of fossil plants. In 1826 he graduated as Doctor of Medicine with a dissertation on the Rhamnacese; but the career which he adopted was botanical, not medical. In 1831 he became assistant to Desfontaines at the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle, and two years later succeeded him as professor, a position which he continued to hold until his death on 18th February 1876. Brongniart was an indefatigable investigator and a prolific writer, so that he left behind him, as the fruit of his labours, a large number of books and memoirs. Of these, the great majority refer to palaeobotany, a study with which his name will ever be associated. As early as 1822 he published a paper on the classification and distribution of fossil plants {Mem. Mus. Hist. Nat. viii.). This was followed by several papers chiefly bearing upon the relation between extinct and existing forms; a line of research which culminated in the publication of the Ilistoire des Vegetaux Fossiles, which has earned for him the title of “ father of paleobotany.” This great work was heralded by a small but most important “Prodrome” (contributed to the Grand Dictionnaive d’Hist. Nat., 1828, t. Ivii.) which brought order into chaos by a classification in which the fossil plants were arranged, with remarkably correct insight, along with their nearest living allies, and which forms the basis of all subsequent progress in this direction. It is of

especial botanical interest, because, in accordance with Robert Brown’s discoveries, the Cycadese and Coniferse are here placed in the new group Phanerogames gymnospermes. In this book attention is also directed to the succession of forms in the various geological periods, with the important result (stated in modern terms) that in the Palaeozoic period the Pteridophyta are found to predominate ; in the Mesozoic, the Gymnosperms; in the Cainozoic, the Angiosperms, a result subsequently more fully stated in his “Tableau des Genres de Vegetaux Fossiles” (D’Orbigny, Diet. Univ. d’Hist. Nat, 1849). But the great Histoire itself was not destined to be more than a colossal fragment; the publication of successive parts proceeded regularly from 1828 to 1837, when the first volume was completed; but after that only three parts of the second volume appeared. Brongniart no doubt was overwhelmed with the continually increasing magnitude of the task that he had undertaken. Apart from his more comprehensive works, his most important palaeontological contributions are perhaps his observations on the structure of Sigillaria {Arch. Mus. Hist. Nat. i., 1839) and his researches (almost the last he undertook) on fossil seeds of which a full account was published posthumously in 1880. His activity was by no means confined to palaeobotany, but extended into all branches of botany, more particularly anatomy and phanerogamic taxonomy. Among his achievements in these directions, the most notable is the memoir “ Sur la generation et le developpement de I’embryon des Phanerogames ” {Ann. Sci. Nat. xii., 1827). This is remarkable in that it contains the first account of any value of the development of the pollen ; as also a description of the structure of the pollengrain, the confirmation of Amici’s (1823) discovery of the pollen-tube, the confirmation of R. Brown’s views as to the structure of the unimpregnated ovule (with the introduction of the term “ sac embryonnaire ”); and in that it shows how nearly Brongniart anticipated Amici's subsequent (1846) discovery of the entrance of the pollen-tube into the micropyle, fertilizing the female cell which then develops into the embryo. Of his anatomical works, those of the greatest value are probably the “ Recherches sur la structure et les fonctions des feuilles” {Ann. Sci. Nat. xxi., 1830), and the “ Nouvelles Recherches sur TEpiderme” {Ann. Sci. Nat. i., 1834), in which, among other important observations, the discovery of the cuticle is recorded; and, further, the “ Recherches sur 1’organisation des tiges des Cycadees” {Ann. Sci. Nat. xvi., 1829), giving the results of the first investigation of the anatomy of those plants. His systematic work is represented by a large number of papers and monographs, many of which relate to the flora of New Caledonia ; and by his Fnumeration des genres de plantes cultivees au Mus'um d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris, 1843, which is an interesting landmark in the history of classification in that it forms the starting-point of the system, modified successively by A. Braun, Eichler, and Engler, which is now adopted in Germany. In addition to his scientific and professorial labours, Brongniart was actively engaged in other directions. He held various important official posts in connexion with the Department of Education, and interested himself greatly in agricultural and horticultural matters. With Audouin the geologist and Dumas the chemist, his future brothers-in-law, he established the Annates, des Sciences Naturelles in 1824; he also founded the Societe Botanique de France in 1854, and was its first president. Accounts of his life and work have been given by M. de Saporta {Bull, de la Soc. Geol. de France, 1876), and by M. Poisson (La Nature, 1876) ; the Bulletin de la Soc. Bot. de France for 1876 (vol. xxiii.) contains a list of his works and the orations pronounced at his funeral. (s. H. V.*)