Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/278

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appeared in 1808, with the modest announcement, "To which are added notes by a professor in this country." While this work was going through the press, a remarkable meteor passed over New England (December, 1807), and exploded over Weston, Connecticut, where several stones fell to the ground. He visited the scene, and, besides publishing a popular account of the facts in the "Connecticut Herald," made them the subject of a scientific examination and report before the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, which was afterward republished in the "Memoirs" of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, and read aloud in the Philosophical Society of London, and in the Academy of Sciences in Paris. His two visits to Europe (the second one was in 1851) were followed by books of travels, both of which were received with great satisfaction, while the earlier one (1810) was highly commended, abroad as well as at home, as one of the best works of its class. Pie was the first to obtain potassium in this country, and the first to notice and record the effect of a powerful battery in volatilizing carbon and transferring it from the positive to the negative pole in a state of vapor. An account of his experiments with the oxyhydrogen blow-pipe was published in the "Memoirs" of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1813. He published an account of a journey between Hartford and Quebec in 1820, an edition of Bakewell's "Geology" in 1829, and a text-book on chemistry, in two volumes, in 1880. It was largely through his influence that the Scientific School, started by the younger Professor Silliman in 1842, which was afterward endowed by the gentleman whose name it bears as the Sheffield Scientific School, was adopted by the college as one of its departments, in 1846 and 1847. Professor Silliman was for many years in regular correspondence with the most eminent scientific men of Europe, among whom may be named Berzelius, Robert Bakewell, Humboldt, Carl Flitter, Lyell, Sir R. I. Murchison, Richard Owen, Daubeny, Herschel, and Dr. Mantell. Some of these he never knew personally, but was brought into communication with them through a common interest in science.