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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/424

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

was placed in charge of special duties of telegraphy, etc., being authorized to establish signal-stations at lighthouses and life-saving stations wherever they might be convenient to his purposes. The training school at Fort Whipple, the signal-service drill, and the strict discipline of the weather corps, were all due to General Meyer's directing mind.

"From national observations it was quite in the natural order of things that General Myer's work should expand to international dimensions. The success of the United States Signal-Service Bureau excited the greatest interest abroad, and similar institutions were inaugurated in several of the European countries. Long before, General Myer had conceived the bold idea of a system of simultaneous observations in all parts of the Northern Hemisphere, and as soon as he could do so he pushed the matter onward, until in September, 1873, an International Congress was convened in Vienna, and he was sent there as the delegate from the United States. To this Congress General Myer proposed that 'it is desirable, with a view to their exchange, that at least one uniform observation, of such character as to be suited for the preparation of synoptic charts, be taken and recorded daily and simultaneously at as many stations as practicable throughout the world.' This proposition was unanimously adopted, and, as the delegates were virtually empowered to speak for their several countries, this vote assured the existence of the international system. From its very inception this system has proved a wonderful success, and now the following countries are taking simultaneous observations and exchanging them: Algiers, Australasia, Austria, Belgium, Central America, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Greenland, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunis, Turkey, British North America, the United States, the Azores, Malta, Mauritius, the Sandwich Islands, South Africa, South America, and the West Indies.

"On the 1st of July, 1875, General Myer began to issue from the Army-Office at Washington the daily printed bulletin. July 1, 1878, the same office began to publish its daily international weather-map, which added to General Myer's triumphs. He also instituted a system of observations in ocean meteorology, simultaneous with the international observations. These have proved of immense value, and at present nearly a hundred observers are engaged therein. Thus the work has gone forward, constantly extending, constantly progressing in accuracy.

"General Myer paid a second visit to Europe last year, ostensibly for rest. At the request of the Italian Government, he gave valuable information concerning the system, and instead of a pleasure-trip this turned out a laborious one, and finally at Venice General Myer was prostrated by the trouble which eventually has caused his death.

"Like so many other men who have won eminent position through