Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/736

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latest masterpieces in steamboat architecture, the Maine and New Hampshire. Fitch's first boat for carrying passengers was completed in 1788. It was worked with oars or paddles placed at the stem and pushed against the water, and took thirty passengers from Philadelphia to Burlington in three hours and ten minutes, or over six miles an hour. Fitch's third boat was advertised in 1790 as "the Steamboat" to run to Burlington, Bristol, Bordentown, and Trenton, and return the next day. Congress adjourned to see it start, and the Governor and Council presented it with a flag. The Eructor Amphibolis of Oliver Evans was a combined locomotive and steamboat—a scow on wheels with modern axletrees and a paddle wheel behind, to travel as a wagon on land and as a boat in water. It was propelled by the engine up Market Street in Philadelphia and round the circle to the waterworks, where it was launched into the Schuylkill. The paddle wheel was then applied at its stern, and it thus sailed down that river to the Delaware. Then came Fulton's Clermont, steaming from New York to Albany in thirty-six hours, the pioneer in a fleet which numbered eight boats in 1816. The first steamer on Long Island Sound was the Fulton, a vessel with one mast and sloop rigging, which depended on its sails to accelerate its speed, and began its trips to New Haven in 1815; and the Fire Fly, one of Fulton's boats, first rounded Point Judith and reached Newport in 1817. The establishment of the packet line between Providence and New York was an important event in American travel, and the departure and arrival of the boats presented an imposing spectacle. The fare was ten dollars, and the first advertisement of the company appeared under the cut of a man-of-war, with portholes open and every sail set. In their painting, these boats, according to the account, somewhat resembled a barber's pole, being striped in curious designs.

Unsolved Problems In Geology.—Rather technical is Mr. G. K. Gilbert's review of the continental problems that are before geologists for solution, made in his presidential address before the Geological Society of America; but he enumerates several such problems and (questions on which no clear light has yet been thrown. As he summarizes them, it appears that "the doctrine of isostasy, though holding a leading position, has not fully supplanted the doctrine of rigidity. If it be accepted, there remains the question whether heat or composition determines the gravity of the ocean beds and the levity of continents. For the origin of continents we have a single hypothesis (that laid down by Prof. Dana in his Manual of Geology), which deserves to be more fully compared with the body of modern data. The newly determined configuration of the continental mass has yielded no suggestion as to its origin. The cause of differential elevation and subsidence within the continental plateau is unknown and has probably not been suggested. The permanence of the continental plateau, though highly probable, is not yet fully established; and the doctrine of continental growth, though generally accepted, has not been placed beyond the field of profitable discussion. Thus the subject of continents affords no less than half a dozen great problems, whose complete solution belongs to the future. It is not altogether pleasant to deal with a subject with regard to which the domain of our ignorance is so broad; but, if we are optimists, we may be comforted by the refection that the geologists of this generation, at least, will have no occasion, like Alexander, to lament a dearth of worlds to conquer."


Wood ashes are recommended in the American Agriculturist, by Mr. J. M. Stahl, as a valuable medicine for farm animals. The author keeps them, with charcoal and mixed with salt, accessible to his hogs, with the best effects; and he furnishes them to his horses by putting an even teaspoonful with the oats twice a week or by keeping the ashes, with the salt mixture, constantly before the animals.

The most striking feature of Mr. A. T. Drummond's examination of the colors and times of flowering of five hundred and thirty-nine of the plants of Ontario and Quebec is the preponderance of white flowers, which form rather more than one third of the whole. Following them are the yellow flowers, largely composites, which include about one quarter; while the purples and blues are much less numerous, and comprise about one ninth and one tenth respectively of the whole. In time of flowering April, May, and