Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/585

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

louder the cough, the keener appears to be the enjoyment of the smoker and his companions. The pipe is passed round, until the whole of the smokers are engaged in violent contortions, accompanied by an almost terrifying coughing."

Aboriginal Art in Copper.—Very interesting specimens of objects made of wood and covered with copper have been found among the relics of the American aborigines. Several have been described by Prof. F. W. Putnam and by Warren K. Moorehead, both of whom have found them in Ohio. Other objects have been found of copper sheathed with silver, gold, or meteoric iron. It is shown clearly that the American aborigines in the Mississippi Valley and in South America had the art of cold-hammering copper, of beating it so as to overlie and fit upon a warped or curved surface, and of turning the edges under. Yet more elaborate work is exhibited in two specimens sent to the National Museum by Lieutenant G. T. Emmons, United States Navy, of figures of hummingbirds in wood, well carved and painted red, each wing and tail of which is overlaid with a covering of sheet copper, pressed down to fit and turned under at the margins so as to be held fast. The surfaces are adorned with the conventional wing and eye signs of the Haidas. Especial attention is invited by Mr. Otis T. Mason to the carving on the copper. The furrows and ridges are all cut with steel tools. The work is regarded by Mr. Mason as "above and beyond the ability of the aboriginal metallurgists of the Mississippi Valley."

Korean Hats.—The hats of the Koreans are described by Mr. H. S. Saunderson as shaped somewhat like inverted flower-pots, with broad, straight brims, measuring nearly two feet across; while the crowns are about six inches high and three inches in diameter at the top. "The shape is undoubtedly due to the way the hair is dressed. These hats are made of horsehair or very finely split bamboo, beautifully plaited, and are varnished, as a protection against the weather. They are invariably stained black, except for half mourning, when they are string-color (that is, of natural hemp). They are usually fitted with bands which are tied under the chin, but in the case of high officials these bands are replaced by a long string of beads joined at each end to the hat. This hat does not fit upon the head itself, but rests upon a tightly fitting skullcap, held in place by strings tied round the head. The natives are very careful of their hats, for they are expensive, and when it rains they always protect them with little coverings of the oiled paper for which the country is famous, and of which they make their waterproof coats, tobacco pouches, and fans. The officials, when on court duty, wear even more extraordinary hats than these, but their shapes are so fantastic that it is perfectly impossible to describe them. In the winter, fur and wadded head-dresses are worn under the hats. . . . The official servants wear hats made of black or brown camel's-hair felt with small round crowns and large flat brims; while those worn by the soldiers are much the same in shape as the gentry's, but are made of black felt, have much smaller brims, and are bound with red." The most curious hats are those of the mourners, shaped like enormous toadstools, and so large as to hide the face. They are made of plaited bamboo strips, and are not colored. The women wear nothing on their heads, except in winter, when they put on curiously shaped fur caps, open at the crown and adorned in front and behind with red silk tassels.

Uses of Wire.—Wire is shown in Mr. J. Bucknall Smith's book on its manufacture and its uses, to be employed for a great variety of purposes, and these having a very extended range. It is used for the delicate hair springs of watches, and in the form of large cables supports suspension bridges. It is also used in the manufacture of pins, needles, and fishhooks; it has been applied in coils to the construction of heavy ordnance, and it forms the periphery of a huge fly wheel recently constructed in Germany. Wire ropes are valuable in supplying the means of haulage in mines; by their help materials are transported in the air over a rough country; they are used for the traction of tram cars, and of barges along canals; and, being stronger, lighter, more durable, and cheaper, they advantageously replace hempen ropes for towing, moving, hoisting, and other purposes. Filigree work is formed of fine silver and