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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/657

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chemical telegraph, and soon found his system capable of great speed; he was thus led to the invention of automatic methods of transmitting signals, of which one is the basis of the most important process now used. He invented electrical clocks, and in 1843 constructed the earth-battery. In 1844 he patented ingenious apparatus for registering the progress of ships, and he also devised electrical methods of playing keyed instruments at a distance. He was struck down with paralysis some years ago, and died, at the age of sixty-six, in a "Home for Incurables." A Government pension of eighty pounds a year was all that saved him from pauperism.

 


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Mr. Seth Green, of Rochester, Fisheries Commissioner, announces that he is ready to supply brook and salmon trout to persons who desire the same for the purpose of restocking the waters of the State of New York. Applicants must remit to Mr. Green money to pay the traveling expenses of a messenger, and full directions as to the route to be taken.

Benjamin R. Tucker, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, proposes to issue, early in the present year, the first number of a quarterly periodical, to be known as the Radical Review, and modeled after the Fortnightly and the Contemporary Review of London. The list of contributors includes the names of many of the foremost American radicals. The subscription price will be $5 per annum.

In an address before the Illinois Wool-Growers' Association, Mr. George Lawrence, Jr., of Wisconsin, asserted that merino sheep, taken from Vermont to Wisconsin, show a marked improvement in many respects when bred in the latter State. They have a larger carcass, are heavier boned, quality and quantity of fleece are equal if not superior, and they are more hardy, than their Vermont ancestors.

The Bulgarian Turk of the lower class believes that a railway-engine is driven, not by steam-power, but by a devil. A young devil is trapped in England, shut up in the "fire-box on wheels," and bribed to work the crank by the occasional gift of a little cold water to mitigate his torture.

M. Drouyn de Lhuys, President of the French Agricultural Society, has issued a circular to similar bodies in foreign countries, announcing that the society intends to organize an International Agricultural Congress to assemble at Paris during the Exposition of 1878.

The award of the London Royal Society's medals for 1876 was as follows: To Claude Bernard, the Copley Medal for physiological researches; a Royal Medal to William Froude, for researches on the behavior of ships; Royal Medal to Sir C. Wyville Thomson, for services on board the Challenger; Rumford Medal to P. J. C. Janssen, for researches in the radiation and absorption of light.

Prof. Osborne Reynolds, in reply to some newspapers which have pronounced the British Arctic Expedition a failure, calls attention to the fact that, since Hudson's time, arctic navigators had penetrated 60 or 70 miles of the 540 to be passed on the route to the pole. But Captain Nares has in one year carried the British flag 60 miles nearer, so that "nearly one-half, and this by far the most difficult half, of the entire results of all expeditions since Hudson's time, has been accomplished by the last." Further, Captain (now Sir George) Nares seems to have pursued his journey to its end at least by that route; and in coming back can say that he did not leave a single uncertainty behind him.

A very valuable mine of silver has recently been discovered at Harbor Island, Newfoundland, near the public wharf.

An act of the Parliament of the Dominion of Canada grants an additional quarter-section of land, on payment of a trifling fee, to every settler on Dominion lands who plants with trees thirty-two acres in successive annual installments.

Dr. A. E. Foote has established at 3725 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, an agency for the sale and exchange of natural-history specimens, including minerals, botanical and zoological forms, fossils, pre-historic relics, etc. He issues a monthly bulletin containing the needed particulars, and which may be obtained on application.

An eminent scientific professor, interested in the state of science-education in our colleges, has been looking into the subjects of their use of text-books. He collected catalogues from 187 colleges, and gleaned from them the following statistics regarding the physical and chemical text-books employed. For physics, the text-books ran thus: Olmsted in 48 colleges, Ganot in 33, Silliman in 16, Steele in 15, Deschanel in 12, Rolfe and Gillette in 11, Wells in 8, Norton in 8; the others scattering. The preferences for chemistry ran as follows: Youmans in 37 colleges, Eliot and Storer in 28, Barker in 24, Roscoe in 18, Steele in 18, Fownes in 13, Wells in 10; others scattering.