Popular Science Monthly/Volume 28/December 1885/Notes


An extensive copper region is known to exist in Texas, running westward of Ked River, from the line of the Indian Territory through several counties. The Grand Belt mines, fifty miles from Harrold, in Wilberger County, are operated by a company which owns claims for sixty-five miles along the ore-belt, and along which about sixty openings have been made, of an average depth of seven or eight feet. The ore is found principally in shallow pockets, and at the main point of taking out is said to average about fifty-four or fifty-five per cent of metallic copper.

In section A of the American Association, Professor Newton read a paper on "The Effect of Small Bodies passing near a Planet upon the Planet's Velocity"; Professor Harkness, of the U. S. Naval Observatory, on the flexure of transit instruments; Professor Hough, of the Dearborn Observatory, Chicago, presented a description of some improvements recently introduced in the printing chronograph devised by him. Professor J. Burkitt Webb described a new method of using polar coordinates; Mr. C. H. Rockwell, of Tarrytown, New York, presented some results of his observations for time and latitude, with a new instrument called the almucantar, which promises to be a very valuable addition to scientific apparatus.

M. Guillemin has formed a number of alloys of cobalt and copper. They are all red, have a fine fracture, and are much more tenacious than copper—even as high as from fifty to one hundred per cent more so, according to the proportion of cobalt. Five per cent of cobalt is enough to give an alloy of great resistance.

In the Geological Section of the British Association, Mr. H. Johnston Lavis presented the report of the committee for the investigation of the volcanic phenomena of Vesuvius. Its work had been interfered with by various circumstances growing out of the prevalence of cholera in Naples, but a careful record had been kept of daily observations of the variations in the activity of the volcano, and photographs had been taken of all important changes of the crater-plane and in the cone of eruption.

After a very interesting vice-presidential address on the phosphorescence of marine animals. Dr. W. B. Carpenter remarked, in the Biological Section of the British Association, that disciples of evolution were straining points to make it appear that the luminosity was of particular use and was propagated and increased by natural selection, lie thought it was a great pity to strain that argument too far. It would be much better to abstain from more than mere speculation in regard to the use of this remarkable endowment.

Professor J. G. McKendrick described at Aberdeen some experiments he had made in the exposure of microphytes contained in meat to extremely low temperatures. The results showed that we might take organic fluids and expose them to the temperature of 120° below zero Fahrenheit for at least a hundred hours, and that then, after they had been placed in a higher temperature, fermentation and putrefaction would go on in the ordinary way. These facts destroyed any hope of a practical result being obtained from sterilization by cold.

Dr. B. Croumbie Brown reported in the Geographical Section of the British Association concerning his visit to the Forest School of Spain, one of the objects of which school was to insure that not a drop of water found its way to the sea without doing its best for the country. Spain was now convinced of the importance of scientific forestry, and of the function of forests in affecting the distribution and quantity of the rainfall, and was doing its best to conserve and replenish them.

The Emperor of Russia has conferred the golden honorary medal of the Empire upon Messrs. Alvan Clark & Sons, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in acknowledgment of the excellent performances of the great object-glass furnished by them for the observatory at Pulkowa. This is the second award of the medal that has been made by the present emperor.


The death is announced of M. Breton des Champs, a French mathematician and scientific writer, who was best known from the part he took, a few years ago, in exposing the forgery of the letter alleged to be by Sir Isaac Newton which was sold to M. Chasles.

The death is announced of M. Edmond Boissior, an eminent French botanist. His career in science began in 18137, when he traveled in Spain, in preparation for his work on the botany of that country, which was published from 1839 to 1845. He afterward botanically explored various parts of Southeastern Europe and Asia Minor. His great work was the "Flora Orientalis," which was published from 1867 to 1881. He was engaged upon the supplements to this book at the time of his death. He was also author of a number of smaller works and monographs, among which was a series on the Euphorbiæ.

Walter Weldon, a distinguished English chemist, died September 21st, in the fifty-third year of his age. He was the inventor of the "Weldon process" for the regeneration of the manganese peroxide used in the generation of chlorine, by the aid of which the production of bleaching-powders has been vastly facilitated, with a p-cat saving of expense in manufacturing processes. For this he received the grand medal of the French Société d'Encouragement, in presenting which Professor Dumas congratulated him on "having cheapened every sheet of paper and every yard of calico made in the world." He was engaged at the time of his illness in studying processes for producing hydrochloric acid from calcium chloride.

Mr. John Muirhead, the inventor of the Muirhead galvanic battery, which has served as a model for most of the existing batteries, has recently died, at the age of seventy-eight years.

Dr. H. W. Reichardt, Professor of Botany in the University of Vienna, died by suicide in August last, in the fiftieth year of his age. He contributed many articles on botany to the scientific journals of his country, chiefly to the "Journal of the Vienna Academy of Sciences." His last undertaking, a catalogue of the Imperial Botanical Cabinet, of which he was keeper, remains unfinished.

Dr. Albert Fitz, who has published some noteworthy researches in fermentation, died at Strasburg on the 11th of May.

Dr. Karl Julius Andrae, Professor of Mineralogy and Paleontology in the University of Bonn, died May 8th, in his sixty-ninth year.

Ludwig Freiherr von Hohendül, or Heufler von Rosen, an Austrian botanist, whose specialty was the cryptogams, died on the 9th of June, sixty-sveen years old.