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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/137

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EDITOR'S TABLE.

will allow "time" for, and hygiene is treated just as it has been these fifty years. We only say, let the knowledge that conduces to self-preservation be taught first and thoroughly, and, if the text-books are inadequate or the teachers incompetent, turn them all out together and procure those that are better.

Professor Adams, we are happy to say, makes an excellent showing of the extent of scientific study in Michigan University. But it seems we were at fault in trusting the statements of Bishop Harris, who misrepresented some things and was ignorant of others, while the plaudits which he evolved were intended rather for his rhetoric than his ideas. Professor Adams intimates that it was unfair to assume that the Bishop spoke as the representative of the university. But when a State Bishop is brought out before a State institution on an important occasion, and the customary exercises are suspended in his behalf, and he takes up the work of the institution as his theme, certainly it would not have been admissible in outsiders to question his representation of facts. Professor Adams gives an interesting and most encouraging account of the progress of scientific study in the university, and we all owe thanks to the Bishop for starting a discussion that has brought out these excellent results, and in which his inaccuracies have been overruled for good. But we will try to be more discriminating in future as to whose statements are to be trusted.

 

 

THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE FAIR.

Industrial exhibitions now seem to have become a recognized part of the machinery of trade. Those of a merely local character are held in great numbers and at many different points, while those of international range are of such frequent occurrence as to be fast losing their novelty. Most of the considerable cities of this country now have permanent organizations devoted to the giving of periodic fairs, while States and counties vie with one another in the same sort of work. The holding of fairs is a very old practice in all civilized countries; and it has always been made tributary to social gratification as well as to commercial utility. Such exhibitions are primarily a means of giving publicity to the wares of manufacturers and traders, but they are not without a further value to the general public. There must of necessity be a good deal of repetition at the successive collections, but the rapid advances now made in the arts insure the bringing forward of a sufficient number of new and interesting objects to give novelty and pleasure to the recurring displays. Great fairs are, moreover, always instructive. They not only offer favorable opportunities for observing and comparing many articles with which people desire to supply themselves, but, by bringing together the best products of useful and artistic workmanship, they familiarize the public with the highest standards of excellence, and become the centers of impulse, and incite to still further improvement. International exhibitions have undoubtedly had great effect in stimulating whole communities to apply greater intelligence to the processes of the arts and to attain a higher perfection in industrial products; and this wholesome education has been also promoted, though in a lesser degree, by the large local exhibitions.

Among the fairs annually held, those of the American Institute have long had a leading place. The position of the Institute, at the chief distributing point of the country and the center of population, has doubtless contributed largely to give its fairs such a character; but the judicious conduct of the concerns of the society and the discretion with which awards have in the main been bestowed have been no less important factors. The American Institute, was the pioneer in the work to which it is devoted—the promotion and