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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/289

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

Stephens, C. A. Pluri-cellular Man. Norway Lake, Maine: The Laboratory Co. Pp. 114.

Stowell, T. B. The Lumbar, Sacral, and Coccygeal Nerves in the Domestic Cat. Pp. 28, with Plate.

Strahan, S. A. K. Marriage and Disease. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 326.

Wadsworth, M. E. The South Trap Range of the Keweenawan Series. Pp. 3.—Geology of the Marquette and Keweenawan Districts. Pp. 24.—The Doña Inez and the Llano del Inca Meteorites. Pp. 6.

Ward, Lester F. The Utilitarian Character of Dynamic Sociology. Pp. 7.

Wistar, Isaac J. Consumption, etc., of North American Coal. Pp. 16.

Wrightmour, Rev. J. S., Xenia, Ohio. The Accuracy of the Bible in the Light of Scientific Knowledge. Pp. 20. 6 cents.

 


POPULAR MISCELLANY.

Possibilities of Wheat-raising.—Within twenty years, according to a bulletin of the State Agricultural Experiment Station, the area annually sown to wheat in Ohio has increased from an average of 1,800,000 acres during the eighth to 2,500,000 acres during the ninth decade. This area represents twelve per cent of the area in farms within the State; but several counties are sowing annually from eighteen to twenty and even twenty-five per cent of their farm-lands to wheat. A further increase in acreage is anticipated from the clearing away of more forest and the reclamation of waste lands by drainage, so that it will be possible to devote 3,000,000 acres to wheat without interfering with any other agricultural interest. Such an increase, at the present rate of production, would represent an annual crop of 40,000,000 bushels. But it is not to be supposed that Ohio farmers will rest content with a yield of only thirteen bushels of wheat per acre. The northern third of the State has increased its average yield within forty years by nearly three bushels, and the middle third by from one to two bushels, and it is reasonable to expect a further increase within the next forty years. At the average already reached in Summit County, the whole State would produce about 60,000,000 bushels, or bread for twelve million persons. What is true of Ohio is true, to a greater or less extent, of the entire winter-wheat belt of North America. The area now sown to wheat in this region may be expanded largely without infringing upon other productions, and the rate of yield may and will be very materially increased by better husbandry, including an intelligent use of manures and fertilizers, and more thorough drainage. The profitable culture of wheat on the steep hillsides of southern Ohio appears to be hopeless. The great problem before the grower in the central belt of counties is winter-killing, but it may be partially solved by under-draining and the intelligent use of clover and manures. The influences are more generally favorable to wheat culture in the northern counties than elsewhere in the State. A general improvement in the methods of agriculture appears to have contributed more largely to the increase of the wheat crops than the use of commercial fertilizers.

 

Distribution of Diphtheria.—A paper by Dr. Samuel W. Abbott, Secretary of the State Board of Health, on the Distribution of Diphtheria in Massachusetts, brings out some curious results from an examination of the conditions in the several parts of the State in which the disease has prevailed during the past eighteen years. The town which suffered relatively most of all was Florida, a hilly town of small population, situated over the Hoosac Tunnel. Next to it was Spencer, an interior town of Worcester County, having a comparatively dense population (7,466 in 1880), mostly engaged in the shoe manufacture. The third town in the list was Freetown, with 1,329 inhabitants in 1880, adjoining Fall River, and situated on low and sandy ground. Other towns that suffered greatly were Adams, Williamstown, and Hancock, on high land; Webster, a manufacturing town on comparatively low land; Ayer, and Nantucket. Four towns had no deaths from diphtheria during the period under consideration. They are all small towns, distant from railroads, and not visited by the general public. Dividing the towns and cities according to the density of their population, the author found that the average annual death-rate from diphtheria and croup in ninety-two densely settled towns and cities was 11·39 per 10,000 of the population, while that of two hundred and fifty-four rural or sparsely settled towns was 6·53 per 10,000 for the same period. Out of the twenty-eight cities, twenty, including all of the most populous, except Fall River, had a death-rate from diphtheria and croup higher than the average of the State. Divid-