WOONSOCKET, a city in Providence co., R. I.; on the Blackstone river, and on the New England, and the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroads, 16 miles N. by W. of Providence. It contains a public library, churches of the principal denominations, a high school, Soldiers' Monument, fair grounds, waterworks, electric lights, National and savings banks, and daily and weekly newspapers. A bridge here crosses the river, besides numerous others. The city is the trading center of northern Rhode Island and adjoining Massachusetts towns. The prosperity of the city is chiefly due to its industries. It has large manufactories of cotton cloth, woolen and worsted mills, rubber shoe factories, knit goods, wringers, mill and general machinery, boxes, rubber boots, harness pads, etc. Pop. (1910) 38,125; (1920) 43,496.
WOORALI POISON, now generally called curara, obtained from the Etrychnos toxifera, and used by the South American Indians as an arrow poison. An alcoholic extract, called curara or curarin, is obtained from the crude woorali, which is in commerce a black-brown resinous mass, soluble in water, but slightly so in alcohol. The alcoholic extract, obtained by Roulin and Boussingault in 1828, was a solid transparent mass, of an excessively bitter taste, and possessed all the virulence of the woorali poison. The woorali poison contains no strychnine, but belongs to the narcotic rather than to the tetanic poisons. It is extremely virulent and rapid in its action, so much so that a large animal may be killed by a poisoned arrow in five minutes, and it may retain all its properties for an indefinite length of time if kept dry.
WOOSTER, a city and county-seat of Wayne co., O.; on Killbuck creek, and on the Pennsylvania and the Baltimore and Ohio railroads; 25 miles W. of Massillon. It is in an agricultural section. Here are Wooster University (Presb.), the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, a high school, court house, electric lights, waterworks, National and other banks, and daily, weekly, and monthly periodicals. It has manufactories of doors, sashes and blinds, carriages and wagons, paving brick, harness, furniture, flour, mill gearing, boilers, engines, pianos, etc. Pop. (1910) 6,136; (1920) 8,204.
WOOSTER UNIVERSITY, a coeducational institution in Wooster, O.; founded in 1866 under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church; reported at the close of 1919: Professors and instructors, 41; students, 671; president, Chas. F. Wishart, D. D.
WORCESTER, a city of Massachusetts, one of the two county-seats of Worcester co. It is on the Boston and Albany, the New York, New Haven and Hartford, and the Boston and Maine railroads. A street railway system connects it with neighboring towns and communities. The city is situated in a valley which is surrounded by hills of moderate height. There is a park system of over 1,000 acres. The largest parks are Green Hill Park, 500 acres; Boynton Park, 113 acres; Lake Park, 110 acres; and Elm Park, 86 acres. The notable buildings include a city hall, art museum, public library, State armory, court house. State lunatic asylums, and many business buildings. There are five hospitals, Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. buildings. There were in 1919 about 30,000 pupils in the public schools, with nearly 1,000 teachers. The cost of maintaining the public schools is about $1,500,000 annually. The assessed property valuation in 1919 was $160,837,100. There was a tax rate of $21.20 per thousand. The net public debt was $6,463,148.
Worcester is an important manufacturing city. There were in 1914 272 manufacturing establishments owned by individuals, 225 by corporations, and 109 otherwise owned. The value of the product was over $80,000,000. The industries include the manufacture of wire, looms, emery wheels, elevators, fire arms, cars, boots and shoes, clothing, leather goods, etc. Worcester is the seat of Clark University, Clark College, Holy Cross College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester Academy, and many charitable institutions.
Worcester was founded in 1674, but the settlers were soon driven away by the Indians. A second attempt was made to found a settlement in 1684, but after a few years the Indians again forced the whites to withdraw. The place was permanently established in 1713. It was incorporated in 1822, and chartered as a city in 1848. Owing to its central location in the State, and in a rich agricultural region, it is known as the “Heart of the Commonwealth”. Pop. (1910) 145,986; (1920) 179,754.
WORCESTER, a city of Worcestershire, England—and itself also a county—on the Severn; 22 miles S. W. of Birmingham. It is a handsome town, mostly of red brick. The chief building is the Cathedral of St. Mary, built of red sandstone in the form of a double cross, and measuring 425 feet in length, 145 feet in width, and 193 in height. The predominant styles are Early English and Dec-