Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 59.djvu/420

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

A monthly journal called 'Revista de Construcciones y Agrimensura' is published monthly at Havana by Aurelio Sandoval. It contains many excellent plans and illustrations of buildings, articles on road and railroad construction, surveying, mechanics and technical education, and appears to be edited with much care. The last number contains the questions propounded to the candidates for chief of the mechanical laboratory in the engineering department of the University of Havana, and these indicate that a high scientific and technical standard is demanded as a qualification for a professorship. The University of Havana was completely reorganized in 1900, under an order issued by Gen. Chaffee, and the previously independent school of engineering made one of its departments under the faculty of letters and sciences. The university recently conferred its first degree of Civil Engineer upon Sr. Andrés Castella, who had the highest rank in an examination held for an assistant professorship in engineering.

'The Economic Disposal of Towns' Refuse,' by W. Francis Goodrich, is one of the 'Engineering Times' Library, published by King & Son, London. The author holds that garbage and street sweepings should be destroyed by fire and in no other way, and he presents facts and figures from all countries showing the great growth of processes of cremation. Dumping street refuse at sea, sorting it out into parts which may be utilized, and the processes of reduction by boiling are summarily dismissed as unworthy of consideration. The volume contains a large amount of information regarding different kinds of crematories, with results of comparative tests, and also a lengthy discussion as to the best kind of chimneys and boilers to utilize the hot waste gases for the purpose of generating power. Cremating furnaces are now in operation at 106 towns in England, there being 18 in London alone, and at 12 towns in Scotland and Ireland. At Bradford, Canterbury, Fleetwood, Oldham and a few other places, the waste gases are utilized for producing electric power for street lighting.

'Public Water Supplies,' by Professors F. E. Turneaure and F. H. Russell (John Wiley & Sons), is a comprehensive work covering the entire range of the subject, sanitary as well as constructive. That certain diseases are communicated through water is now thoroughly established, and the demonstration that the water can be rendered harmless by proper filtration is complete. Hence purity as well as quantity is an important factor in the consideration of a modern water supply. The chemical and bacteriological part of such works has heretofore been generally kept aside from the engineering part, but by the cooperation of two authors, both specialists in their respective lines, the difficult task of coordination has been here attempted. The book is mainly designed for engineering students in technical schools, but it cannot be said that the chapters on the chemistry and bacteriology of water are written in such a manner as to produce the best results. The engineering discussions relating to filter beds, walls, reservoirs, mains, standpipes and other details seem, on the other hand, to be clear and complete and likely to be of interest and value to all engaged in planning water supplies. The volume is the largest yet published on this subject in this country, is well printed with the exception of some of the cuts, and contains many carefully prepared descriptions of constructed plants. That the authors have not been completely successful in combining the sanitary and constructive elements is not surprising, in view of the difficulty of the task, but they deserve great credit for their painstaking work and the valuable volume produced.