Popular Science Monthly/Volume 20/December 1881/Correspondence



Messrs. Editors.

HAVING had a curiosity to know, in something more than a general way, how the various sections of the country contribute to the attendance at the meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, I have analyzed the "registers of arrivals" of the Boston and Cincinnati meetings. The results, which may be of interest to others as well, are embodied in the following tables. In checking off so many names, there is, of course, liability to error, but some pains have been taken to make the statement correct.E.

Table I.—Attendance by States.

meeting, 1881.
Maine 14 2
New Hampshire 14 0
Vermont 7 0
Massachusetts 221 [1] 23
Rhode Island 17 1
Connecticut 39 -315 11 -37
New York 170 45
New Jersey 36 3
Pennsylvania 47 18
Delaware 1 -254 0 -66
Wisconsin 4 3
Michigan 7 10
Indiana 8 29
Illinois 21 27
Ohio 22 61 [2]
Kentucky 9 25
West Virginia 1 3
Virginia 3 2
Maryland 16 18
District of Columbia 71 -162 30 -208
Tennessee 6 8
North Carolina 2 2
Georgia 2 4
Florida 1 3
Alabama 1 2
Mississippi 0 -12 3 -22
Louisiana 1 2
Missouri 32 18
Iowa 9 8
Minnesota 4 3
Kansas 2 1
Colorado 0 3
Arizona 3 0
Nebraska 0 1
California 1 -52 3 -39
British Provinces 21 4
England 5 0
Cuba 3 0
Boston 164 [3] 0
Cincinnati 0 155
988 531

Table II. Attendance by Sections.

No. Per ct. No. Per ct.
From New England 315 31·9 37 7·0
From the Middle States 254 25·7 66 12·4
From the Western States east of the Mississippi, and as far south as Kentucky and Virginia 102 16·4 208 39·2
From the Southern States east of the Mississippi 12 1·2 22 4·2
From west of the Mississippi 52 2·9 4 7·3
From the British Provinces and beyond the sea 29 2·9 4 0·7
From the entertaining city 164 16·6 155 29·2
———— ———— ———— ————
Totals 988 100·0 531 100·0


Messrs. Editors.

In 1875 I read a paper before the Iowa Academy of Science, on "The Mounds and Mound-Builders," in which I took the same grounds and came to the same conclusion as Professor Winchell, in his recent article on the "Ancient Copper-Mines of Isle Royale." My article was suggested by the examination of some mounds on the bank of the Mississippi, in Whitesides County, Illinois.

Among other things exhumed were one or two skeletons with anchyloses of the first and second vertebræ, and quite a number with flattened shin-bones, and also a flattened or deformed skull. In 1864-'65 there was a large number of Sioux Indians, concerned in the massacre at New Ulm, Minnesota, in the prison-camp at Davenport, Iowa. Dr. R. J. Farquharson, of that place, two or three years ago disinterred several skeletons of the prisoners who died there. He found one with the first and second vertebrae anchylosed, and several with flattened tibia, showing that platycnemism still exists among the modern tribes, and connects them with the mound-builders.

Very respectfully,

P. J. Farnsworth.
Clinton, Iowa, September 1, 1881.


Messrs. Editors.

In your sketch of Edward D. Cope in the May number of "The Popular Science Monthly," the following statement occurs on page 111: "His Western explorations were begun in 1870, when he visited the cretaceous region of Western Kansas." Is not this date a mistake? Professor Marsh, of Yale College, in November, 1870, fitted out an expedition at Fort Wallace, and explored the cretaceous deposits of Western Kansas during November and December of that year. In June, 1871, he again started with an expedition from the same fort, and spent about two months in exploring the same region.

I am quite sure that Professor Cope did not visit Western Kansas until after Professor Marsh's second season's work was completed.

There are some other similar errors in this sketch which should perhaps be noticed, but the one mentioned I can correct of my own knowledge.M.D.

Manhattan, Kansas, October 25, 1881.


Messrs. Editors.

Some years ago my attention was called to the crickets which chirp so incessantly every summer evening, and it was thought by a friend that they varied in the number of their chirps per minute—at a higher temperature vibrating much faster. At that time a single observation was made, but for some reason was not repeated.

Recently, a writer in the "Salem Gazette," signing himself W. G. B., gives the following rule for estimating the temperature of the air by the number of chirps made by the crickets per minute: "Take seventy-two as the number of strokes per minute at 60° temperature, and for every four strokes more add 1°, and for every four strokes less deduct the same." After seeing this I determined to make a number of observations, to find out if this were an invariable rule. I tried it, with one or two exceptions, every night that the crickets chirped, from September 30th to October 17th. During this period a heavy frost occurred, when the crickets were not heard, but as soon as the weather grew warmer they began again. The lowest temperature at which they were heard was 50°. By the observations given, it will be seen that the temperature as estimated from the number of the crickets' chirps varies a degree or more from that recorded by the thermometer, but it must be remembered that no standard thermometer was used, and that the crickets were chirping in the trees, in many cases sheltered from the wind, while the thermometer hung near a window in a more exposed position; also, that on cool evenings it was very difficult to count the strokes, as they were feeble and interrupted. Below are observations for twelve evenings:

Date of observation. Rate of vibration. Temperature as computed by the rate of vibration. Temperature as recorded by the thermometer.
Sept. 30 122 73° 70°
Oct. 3 115 71 70
" 7 67 59 59
" 8 104 68 67
" 9 74 61 59
" 9 64 58 57
" 10 42 52 50
" 12 66 58 56
" 13 118 72 70
" 16 81 63 63
" 16 73 60 60
" 17 57 56 54

It will be seen, by the above, that there is a remarkable accordance between the number of vibrations and the temperature of the air. With more accurate observations doubtless a closer agreement would be proved.Margarette W. Brooks.

Salem, Massachusetts, October 22, 1881.

  1. Excluding Boston.
  2. Excluding Cincinnati.
  3. The two or three names without addresses have been credited to the entertaining city.