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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/133

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EDITOR'S TABLE.

These are not times when inventors or manufacturers wait for an exhibition to give the world its first view of their work; hence, in the Electricity Building, for example, there is little of novelty, and yet in its mass and variety the contents of the great hall and galleries are most impressive. Here are shown how, in the seventeen years since the Centennial Exhibition, electricity has passed from the experimental laboratory to become the most versatile and powerful servant that industry and domestic economy know.

Within the past two decades Photography has stridden along almost as fast as her sister Electricity. In an inconspicuous booth in the gallery of Liberal Arts is an exhibit without an attendant, lacking adequate labels, and yet withal marking an epoch in the application of scientific research to this art and industry. The display presents photography in colors, an achievement due to Dr. H. Vogel, of Berlin. In observing the fugitiveness of some aniline dyes, it struck him that the very sensitiveness to certain rays of the spectrum which rendered the dyes as such worthless, meant a photographic quality of the first importance. Experiment proved the soundness of his surmise, and orthochromatic and color photography were born. In pure and applied chemistry Germany, as her show-cases at Chicago amply attest, is far in the lead. In Germany practice and theory have long ceased to look askance at each other, and the lesson should not be lost on America, for theory and practice have at last arched toward each other until at many points they touch, with the effect that both are vastly the stronger. To-day the observer can pass to prediction, the experimenter can build to order a molecule, a flower, a cereal, or a beeve. The convincing word of Germany to America is that to begrudge the means for original research is simply to withhold the seed-corn of progress. But America, too, has something to teach. In science her most worthy and characteristic display is that of instruments of precision. The dividing engine of Prof. W. A. Rogers, the diffraction gratings of Prof. H. A. Rowland, the parallel planes in glass of Mr. J. A. Brashear—with a limiting error of one millionth—the lenses with perfect color correction of Prof. C. S. Hastings, mark a distinctively American field of attainment and make clear why this country divides with France the leadership in modern astronomy, and in apparatus for the most refined measurement has no rival. It is gratifying to see at the Fair the magnificent new telescope for the University of Chicago, the refractor for which, forty inches in diameter, is the largest in existence.

In education the exhibits at the Fair, repetitious though they are and often poor in quality, show progress. The large spaces given up to manual training, to instruction in sewing and cooking, to the all-round development of the senses, abundantly prove that the old and wasteful clerkly instruction has its hat in its hand and is moving toward the door. In the Children's Building the kindergarten and kitchen-garden classes are giving admirable lessons not only to many little people but to uncounted thousands of interested parents. At many other places in Jackson Park how sound education brings out an intelligent interest in every-day work and duty is attractively demonstrated. Take for example the Rumford Kitchen, where with the minimum of toil and offense a meal both palatable and nourishing is cooked at a cost of less than five cents. Mr. Edward Atkinson, who leads in this branch of household economy, is desirous that the State experimental stations should add courses in cooking to their instruction. Why, he argues, should we be anxious that food stuffs be produced with the utmost saving of labor, and then in the cooking waste them one half? For education conceived in its broadest reach one of the