Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/295

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five acres, and are roundish pits and trenches. "The story of the working of the quarry and the management and the manipulation of the stone is to be read with almost as much ease as if the work had closed but yesterday. The fragments and masses of fresh chert were selected and removed from the pits, and the work of reduction and manufacture began. Shops were established on the margins of the pits, on the dump heaps, and at convenient points in the vicinity. . . . The shops are very numerous over the level space included between the three main groups of quarries, but, as a rule, they are not found more than one hundred or one hundred and fifty feet from the pits. Small trimming shops are found, however, much farther away, scattered through the forest and along the water courses." The circular clusters of white chert refuse are clearly denned on the dark ground, and especially so after forest fires have destroyed the growth of weeds and small underbrush. In the center is a shallow depression, which was the fireplace of the lodge. Around this the workmen sat, and here are the fragments and flakes, the rejects and hammer stones left by them, covering about the space inclosed by the lodge, and hardly disturbed since the site was deserted. Where the work has gone on for a long time, near the quarry margins the accumulations of refuse are so great that separate shops are obliterated, a number coalescing in the general mass, which in some cases reaches many feet in depth. One can sit on these accumulations and, without changing position, select bushels of the abortive implements and partially worked pieces broken under the hammer. Little or no specialization of form was attempted on the quarry sites; but blanks were chiefly made to be subsequently elaborated. It is evident that all the work was professional.

The Eight-hour System in Practice.—A most successful result of the operation of the eight-hour system is recorded in the works of Brunner, Mond & Co., English manufacturers. It has been in force there for five years, and the result has not been an increase in the cost of production. At first the wage cost per ton went up, but it then dropped, and is now as low as it was in 1889, the last year of the twelve-hour day. The managers are satisfied that the result is not owing wholly to improvements in machinery or methods of manufacture, but largely to the change in the length of the working day. They affirm that though the men work fewer hours, the efficiency of their work is not diminished, and their opinion is borne out by the fact of such improvements as greater regularity in attendance, increased application, and better health among the employed. The men used often to be irregular and drunken; now they come to their shifts regularly and sober. They are no longer found asleep at their posts. "The improvement in the men's looks," Mr. Brunner says, "and especially in their gait when leaving the works at the end of the shift, is very marked."

Astronomical Work of Harvard Observatory.—The forty-ninth annual report of the Director of the Astronomical Observatory of Harvard College is for the eleven months ending September 30, 1894. The most important events of the year were the practical trial of the Bruce telescope and the successful operation for several months of the Boyden Meteorological station on the summit of the Misti (Peru), at a height of 19,200 feet. Some criticisms that have been made of the photometric work of the observatory are answered, so far as they are of a scientific character. Sixteen hundred and fifty-seven photographs were taken with the eight-inch Draper telescope, and seventeen hundred and eight in Peru with the eight-inch Bache telescope. Seven variable stars were shown to have the hydrogen lines bright in their photographic spectra. Eleven new variables were discovered from the presence of bright hydrogen lines in their spectra, besides three whose variability was discovered from changes in their photographic images. Five gaseous nebulas were discovered from their spectra. Several photographs were obtained of the new star in the constellation Norma, the spectrum of which, as in the case of the new star in Auriga, has become that of a gaseous nebula. This object is gradually becoming fainter. Nine hundred and twelve photographs were taken with the eleven-inch Draper telescope. An investigation has been in progress for the detection of stars having large parallaxes or proper motions.