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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/290

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

velopment that seem to merit special note are the substitution of the liquor-tax system for the license system, the extension and elaboration of local option, the contingent central control of city police administration, and the recognition of the general province of administration. The author's study shows that these developments accord in general with the laws of evolution, each representing some special aspect of the differentiation. In considering the "dispensary" plan, illustrated in South Carolina, a significant contribution to current thought is remarked in the approval it gives to the use of liquors as a beverage, while their abuse is disapproved in an equally marked degree, a distinction being attempted here, with correspondingly different methods of treatment between those who can be trusted with liquors and those who can not.

The Report of the United States Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries for the year ending June 30, 1898, represents that the operations of the division of fish culture were in some respects more important during that than in any preceding year. This was owing in part to the natural growth of the work, and in part to greater efficiency in dealing with the various questions and problems that came up for consideration. The propagation and distribution of food fishes exceeded by about forty per cent the work accomplished in any other twelve months. The steady increase in the catch of shad is cited as being conclusive evidence of the value of artificial propagation. The constant decline in the lobster fishery accentuates the necessity for increased work in that line. The efforts to acclimatize food fishes in waters to which they are not indigenous have been continued. The special papers publislied in connection with the report relate to mackerel investigations, the alewife fisheries, the oyster beds of Louisiana, the shad fisheries of the Atlantic coast, reports of fishes obtained in sea explorations, a list of publications, and a report of the exhibit at the Tennessee Centennial.

The Tenth Annual Report of the Interstate Commerce Commission on the statistics of Railways in the United States covers the year ending June 30, 1897. The year is characterized as having been for the transportation industry one "of deferred expectations." While the years from 1890 to 1893 each closed with increased gross earnings as compared with the preceding year, 1893-'94 was disastrous, showing a large decrease; no recovery took place in 1894-'95, but an increase took place in 1895-'96. A downward turn came again in the year of the present report, with no revival till the last month of the twelve. The total increase in mileage for the year of the report was only 1,651.84 miles, the smallest increase and the smallest percentage of increase noted in any year since 1890. "In many States," says the report, "railway construction seems to have been practically abandoned. Especially is this noticeable in the more populous districts of the country—a result which is not entirely due to the general commercial depression, but to the marvelous increase in electric railways for suburban and short-distance traffic. The influence of electric construction upon steam transportation is noted in certain of the reports of State railway commissions for the current year." These are only two of the numerous interesting facts presented in the report.

Small Accumulators, how Made and Used, is the first of a series of popular scientific handbooks for students and engineers. The particular subject has been selected for beginning the series under the suggestion of a large number of requests for advice which the author, Percival Marshall, had received in his capacity as editor of the Model Engineer and Amateur Electrician. The work is intended to be an elementary handbook—"a practical and trustworthy guide"—for amateurs and students. The theory of the accumulator is explained, directions are given for making them, types of small accumulators are illustrated, the charging and use of accumulators are explained, and the applications are shown. Useful receipts and a glossary of technical terms are given. (The book is published by Spon & Chamberlain, New York. Price, 50 cents.)

In his Better World Philosophy—a Sociological Synthesis (Chicago: the Ward Waugh Company), J. Howard