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IRON AND CIVILIZATION.

they must have entered the solar system at a very remote epoch. The writer has elsewhere given reasons for regarding 28 years as nearly the true meteoric period.[1]

In its descending node, the orbit of Halley's comet is but 3,000,000 miles from that of the earth. Our planet passes, this point of nearest approach a little before the middle of May. Is it not probable that some of the meteoric stones of May 8th to 14th[2] have been moving in nearly the same cometary orbit?

It has been pointed out by Dr. Weiss that the height at which the meteors of different rings appear and disappear depends, to some extent, on their respective velocities. The meteors of November 14th, for instance, move much more rapidly than those of August 10th, and are also observed at a greater altitude. Further observations of this interesting cluster can scarcely be expected till near the close of the present century.

 

IRON AND CIVILIZATION.[3]
By ABRAM S. HEWITT, Esq.

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN: To me is assigned the honor of bidding you welcome to the city of New York, on this, the occasion of our first annual meeting, and I am sure that you will find yourselves made welcome by all who have the honor and prosperity of the city at heart. For New York, although far from being the cherished home of science and art, comprehends that its growth and its future greatness depend upon the development of the natural resources of the country of which it is the commercial metropolis; and it is sufficiently enlightened to understand the necessity of scientific knowledge and trained experience for the attainment of the most useful and profitable results from industrial enterprises. No body of men can understand better than you that capital is essential to the development of natural resources on the scale demanded by modern civilization; but capital does not always comprehend as fully that science and experience are essential for the profitable use of money in the vast industrial undertakings of our day, and hence result great waste of resources and disastrous failures. A few considerations may serve to shed some light on this subject, of such material consequence to science and capital; and, at the risk of overstepping the conventional limits of a formal welcome, I venture briefly to suggest them as the means of establishing a common ground of sympathy and fellowship

  1. Proceedings of American Philosophical Society, March 4, 1870.
  2. "Meteoric Astronomy," p. 72.
  3. An address before the American Institute of Mining Engineers.