Popular Science Monthly/Volume 42/December 1892/Literary Notices
Man and the Glacial Period. By Prof. G. Frederick Wright, author of The Ice Age in North America. With an Appendix on The Tertiary Man, by Prof. Henry W. Haynes. With Three Folded Maps, and 108 Figures, Maps, and Sections in the Text. New York: D. Appleton & Co. (No. 69 of the International Scientific Series.) 12mo. Pp. xvi+385. Price, $1.75.
The rapid progress of scientific investigations during this latter half of the nineteenth century has been scarcely less surprising than the countless applications of invention in manufactures, in the vast development of railroads, and in the uses of electricity for the telegraph and telephone, and for motive power and light. Within the past hundred years the science of geology has sprung into existence, and only about fifty years ago its division known as glacial geology began with the grand work of Agassiz in his study of the glaciers in the Alps, of their former extension across the wide valley of western Switzerland to Mont Jura, and of the glacial drift in Great Britain which he at once saw to be due to the former presence of sheets of land ice. At nearly the same time, in 1841, Boucher de Perthes made the first collection of stone implements in the gravel terraces of the Somme Valley, by which geologists and archæologists were reluctantly convinced that the human race dates back to a remote prehistoric period, since which time very great changes of climate have taken place and the valleys of many rivers have been eroded far below their old flood plains. Because of the relationship of the earliest traces of man with the Glacial period, this latest part of the geologic record has attracted the interest of many observers and nearly all readers; new and important discoveries are being made every year, and a vast amount of literature in scientific journals and government reports is constantly accumulating; but many difficult problems in this field remain still under discussion, concerning measurements of the antiquity of man, the duration of post-glacial time and of the Ice age, the causes of its climatic changes, and whether it consisted of only one epoch of glaciation or of two or more separated by mild and warm interglacial epochs when the ice-sheets were melted away. Among these observers and writers none during recent years has traveled more extensively to gather information or been more successful in contributing to our knowledge than Prof. Wright, who in this book, as in his previous larger volume, treats this subject in a clear, vigorous, and entertaining style.
Agassiz reasoned, from the action of the Swiss glaciers in their wearing the rock surfaces over which they moved, and in their transportation of drift and formation of terminal moraines, that all countries bearing such marks or striæ on the bed-rocks and similar deposits of till, or intermingled bowlders, gravel, sand, and clay, have been overspread by ice. Prof. Wright similarly devotes fifty pages to descriptions of glaciers now existing, and of the ice-sheets of Greenland and the Antarctic continent, before considering the evidences of past glaciation. On the Sierra Nevada and Mount Shasta living glaciers are found, but are of very small size. Northward they occur in increasing numbers and abundance on the Cascade Range and in the Selkirk Mountains and the Coast Ranges of British Columbia and Alaska. About one hundred and fifty miles north of Sitka the Muir Glacier, which was explored and mapped by Prof. Wright in 1886, has an extent of about three hundred and fifty square miles; and the Malaspina Glacier or ice-sheet, lying between Mount St. Elias and the ocean, mapped by Russell in 1890 and 1891, covers some fifteen hundred square miles. These are very far surpassed, however, by the Greenland ice-sheet, explored by Rink, Nordenskiöld, Nansen, and Peary, which probably has an area of half a million square miles; and the Antarctic ice-sheet is ten times more extensive, occupying, indeed, a somewhat greater area than the northern half of North America, which was enveloped by ice during the Glacial period.
The terminal moraines of the ancient icesheet of this continent have been traced by Wright, Chamberlin, Salisbury, Leverett, Upham, and others, from Nantucket and Cape Cod, westward through Long Island, northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other States to Minnesota and North Dakota; and farther westward the glacial boundary crosses Montana, Idaho, and Washington to the Pacific south of Vancouver Island. Stone implements proving the presence of man here during the Ice age have been found in plains and terraces of modified drift deposited in valleys by streams flowing from the melting and receding icesheet in New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, and Minnesota. Equal or greater antiquity must be also affirmed for the Calaveras skull, stone mortars, pestles, and spear-heads which have been obtained by Whitney, King, Becker, Wright, and others, from the gold-bearing gravels under the lava of Table Mountain in California.
In the chapter on the ancient glaciers of the Eastern hemisphere a very valuable contribution of more than forty pages is from the pen of Mr. Percy F. Kendall, relating to the glaciation of the British Isles, with a map showing their contour and the areas covered by their ice-sheets. Mr. Kendall fully sustains the conclusions of the late Prof. Henry Carvill Lewis, that the British drift was due to land ice, with no considerable marine submergence of any part of these islands. The marine shells, mostly fragmentary, which are found up to the height of about fourteen hundred feet on Moel Tryfaen, are confidently ascribed to currents of the ice-sheet flowing southward over the bed of the Irish Sea, plowing up its marine deposits and shells and carrying them upward as glacial drift to this elevation.
Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, the North Sea and the Baltic, northern Germany, and a large part of Russia, were enveloped by an ice-sheet which flowed radially outward from the Scandinavian mountains and plateau. Bowlders of Scandinavian rocks were brought across the present area of the North Sea to Yorkshire in England. Moraines of this ice-sheet have been traced across Germany by Prof. R. D. Salisbury, who finds them closely like the moraines that he had previously explored in the northern United States.
Many relics of palæolithic man, contemporaneous with the Glacial period and with numerous extinct species of animals, have been found in river gravels and in caves in Wales, England, France, Belgium, and Germany, which Prof. Wright has well described. He does not proceed, however, to treat of the neolithic and later races of men, who have inhabited Europe since the Ice age. The glacial type of man is represented by portions of skeletons, including skulls, exhumed many years ago in Canstadt and Neanderthal, Germany, and recently by Profs. Lohest and Fraipont in the commune of Spy, Belgium.
The author believes that all the phenomena of the drift can be better explained by a single Glacial epoch than by two or several such epochs divided by long intervals of mild or warm climate. In this opinion he differs from most American glacialists, from Prof. James Geikie and others in Great Britain, Wahnschaffe in Germany, Penck in Austria, and De Geer in Sweden; but is in agreement with Lamplugh in England, Falsan in France, and Hoist in Sweden, who attribute the fossiliferous beds inclosed between deposits of till to oscillations of the front of the ice, rather than to its complete departure and return. "So far as we can estimate," says Prof. Wright, "a temporary retreat of the front, lasting a few centuries, would be sufficient to account for the vegetable accumulations that are found buried beneath the glacial deposits in southern Ohio, Indiana, central Illinois, and Iowa, while a temporary readvance of the ice would be sufficient to bury the vegetable remains beneath a freshly accumulated mass of till." With reference to the argument for two distinct glacial epochs in North America drawn from the greater oxidation of the clays and the more extensive disintegration of certain classes of the bowlders found over the southern part of the glaciated area, attention is directed to the superficial decay of the rocks before the Ice age, like that now observed outside the drift region. "There was an enormous amount of partially oxidized and disintegrated material ready to be scraped off with the first advance of the ice, and this is the material which would naturally be transported farthest to the south; and thus, on the theory of a single Glacial period, we can readily account for the greater apparent age of the glacial debris near the margin. The débris was old when the Glacial period began."
As to the causes of the Ice age, the author points out strong objections against the astronomic theory which has been so ably advocated by Croll, Geikie, and Ball. Measurements of the rates of erosion of the gorges below the falls of Niagara and of St. Anthony, as shown by Gilbert and Winchell, allow us no more than seven thousand to ten thousand years since the end of the Glacial period, instead of the eighty thousand years required by Croll's theory. Geographic conditions seem more likely to have produced the glacial climate, continental ice-sheets, and formerly more extensive glaciers on mountain ranges. According to Dana, Upham, Le Conte, Jamieson, and others, submarine river channels and fjords, reaching down three thousand to four thousand feet beneath the sea-level, prove that these glaciated areas were greatly uplifted, probably attaining such altitudes that their precipitation of moisture was mostly snow throughout the year; and the snow and ice may have been more rapidly accumulated because of changes in the oceanic circulation by submergence of the Isthmus of Panama. Prof. Wright concludes that the earliest men, so far as we know of their antiquity by that of the Ice age, lived perhaps thirty thousand to forty thousand years ago. He assumes that the elevation of the northern part of our continent and of northwestern Europe at the close of the Tertiary era may have been at the rate of three feet a century, like the present uplifting of some portions of Scandinavia, so that in one hundred thousand years they would be raised three thousand feet, which is thought probably enough to cause the accumulation of the ice-sheets; and for the reign of the ice or duration of the Glacial period he accepts Prestwich's estimate of about twenty-five thousand years.
The question whether man existed, as has been claimed, in Europe or in California during the later part or even the middle of the Tertiary era, far longer ago than the Ice age, is examined by Prof. Haynes in an appendix of this work, showing that no reliable evidence of Tertiary man has been yet discovered.
The Case against Bimetallism. By Robert Giffen. New York: Macmillan, 1892. Pp. 254. Price, $2.
In the domain of the physical sciences the results of research, when acquiesced in by those competent to judge, take their place as a part of the body of accepted truth, and are no longer open to discussion. In sociology, however, the demonstration of any proposition, and the concurrence of all competent judges in its truth, carries no such weight with the mass of people. This is particularly true in economics. The demonstration that entire freedom of trade is essential to the fullest working out of the economic life of a nation is as old as the science, yet we have the spectacle of the greater number of the advanced nations of the world clinging to the opposite policy. Another of the fallacies to which great numbers adhere, in the face of repeated demonstration that it is a fallacy, is bimetallism. And in this case this most pernicious doctrine finds adherents, not alone among the masses of the people, but among otherwise instructed economists as well. It has been demonstrated over and over again that a dual standard of value is a delusion; in fact, has been so thoroughly demonstrated that adherence to the idea is not a whit more creditable intellectually than is the pursuit of a perpetual motion. Mr. Giffen may, therefore, be forgiven for having but little patience with bimetallism or its adherents. He very properly feels that an economist should not be called upon to continually discuss a question that is already settled; but the continual reappearance of this doctrine and its wide popular support renders it necessary to restate from time to time the economic facts and to examine the alleged practical results. The present book is not a systematic treatise, or even a series of essays grouped in a logical order, but consists of miscellaneous papers contributed to various periodicals, letters to The Times, and addresses. The general scope of this collection of papers is indicated by the titles, which are as follows: The General Case against Bimetallism, On some Bimetallic Fallacies, A Problem in Money, The Inevitable Results of Universal Bimetallism, M. de Laveleye on Mint Price, The Alleged Bimetallism of France, 1803-'73, Unsalable Silver, The American Silver Bubble, and A Chapter on Standard Money. In an appendix there is a further consideration of the case of France, and also a number of extracts from debates in the House of Commons on bimetallism in 1830.
The general tenor of Mr. Giffen's positions is that nothing that a government can do can alter the relations of the two metals, gold and silver, as determined by economic forces; and that if you could tie the metals together at some particular ratio and hold them there, nothing whatever would be gained. You can't, however, do this, so that in all cases of attempted bimetallism what you really have is a shifting standard, first gold, then silver, and so on back and forth, as the market value of the metals varies. The idea that governments, either singly or all together, can give a price to either of the metals different from the bullion price is fitly characterized by Mr. Giffen in the following extract from his paper on Mint Prices: "M. de Laveleye's idea, first of all, is that the impression of a metal with certain stamps by the mint is the fixing of a price for it. If you take an ounce of gold to the mint, he says, it is coined into £3 17s. 10½d., and that is the price of an ounce of gold. This is as much as to say that if you send a cask of beer to the bottler and he fills one hundred bottles with the contents, the one hundred bottles is the price of the cask of beer. Of course, the gold and the beer before and after coining and bottling respectively are the same, and the £3 17s. 10½d. is an ounce of gold and not the price of it, just as the contents of one hundred bottles are the beer that was in the cask and not the price of it. I need hardly add that this talk of a mint price is the old and time-worn talk of the currency faddists who believe in inconvertible paper."
It is a great pity that books like this of Mr. Giffen can not find their way into the hands and minds of those smitten with the silver mania, and who have been brought to regard the much-abused metal, as they term it, with emotions akin to those excited by contemplation of the forlorn and oppressed.
The Speech of Monkeys. By R. L. Garner. 8vo, pp. 217. New York: Charles L. Webster & Co. Price, $1.
In the title of this book lies the potency which has prompted the acceptance of Mr. Garner's various essays on the subject by the leading reviews. The honest enthusiasm of the author and his positiveness have given a charm and virility to his writings, and made them attractive reading.
The initiatory impulse which has impelled Mr. Garner with unparalleled persistency arose in early childhood, from a superstition, common to all children and savages, that animals talk among themselves. This belief, instead of being outgrown by Mr. Garner, became the dominating impulse of his life—has animated him to the most painstaking efforts, and to the most sanguine utterances. The book abounds in surmises to be answered in only one way; no effort is made to even suggest any other conclusion than the one which supports his thesis. On the very first page, for instance, he wonders how it has occurred to man to whistle to a horse and dog instead of using some sound more like their own. He says, "I am at a loss to know how such a sound has ever become a fixed means of calling these animals." The simple answer should have occurred to Mr. Garner that a whistle is easier to utter, is heard farther, and is not only the universal call for dogs but for boys and men. The whistle of the boatswain, postman, policeman, and car-shifter shows the simple utility of this kind of a sound as a call or a signal note.
His experiments with monkeys are very interesting and amusing; his explanations, however, can often bear a different interpretation; thus, on page 76, he describes an experiment with a glove to which he had attached a string by which he drags the glove slowly toward him across the floor. The monkey, on first seeing it at a distance, gives a low note of warning, and as the glove approaches she makes a louder note. He says, in regard to these subdued notes of warning, "Her purpose was to warn me of the approaching danger without alarming the object against which the warning was intended to prepare me." It may be observed, however, that all emotional sounds made by animals increase in loudness just in proportion to the excitement occasioned by the cause.
Mr. Garner's interpretation of the gesture for negation seems quite reasonable. His experiments with the phonograph inspire him to further efforts "to find out the fountain-head from which flows out the great river of human speech." Mr. Garner should know that if he is to go to the fountain-head he is not to run out to the extreme tip of one of the twigs which branched off in the Tertiaries, but rather to study the half-apes and the lemurs if he is to get the remotest light on the subject.
A preparation for the work Mr. Garner is engaged in should have been prefaced by an exhaustive study of the emotional sounds emitted by man—sounds quite distinct from articulate utterances which form words and sentences. As an illustration of these sounds, let one witness a base-ball game and observe the different cries which go up from the audience at different points of the play. A few years ago there was a gate-keeper at the Brooklyn base-ball grounds who, though far out of sight of the game, could tell by the kinds of sounds emitted by the multitude precisely what was happening on the field. With unerring certainty he could say, "There's a hot ball caught from the bat," or "man put out at first," "home-run," "caught on the fly," "rank decision," etc. And yet these sounds were all emotional and inarticulate. Now, when so many details of a complex game bring out a variety of symphenomenal expressions, why may we not insist that the so-called speech of monkeys as well as of other animals is of the same nature?
We do not doubt Mr. Garner's earnestness, but lament his impetuous tendency to see one side of the question only. His experiments with the phonograph and his studies of the subject should be encouraged, as the collection of facts will be of great value, even if his theory of speech falls to the ground. The book is interesting reading throughout.
Lessons in Elementary Biology. By T. Jeffery Parker, F. R. S., Professor of Biology in the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 408. Illustrated. Price, $2.25.
This work differs essentially in purpose and treatment from the standard Practical Biology. Although the author admits the value of Prof. Huxley's "sound canon of instruction," to proceed from the known to the unknown, yet he clings to the earlier method pursued in teaching biology, analogous with the order of evolution, advancing from the simple to the complex, and defends it upon logical grounds. He recognizes the danger of overwhelming the hapless student at once with unfamiliar objects, new means of observation, and a strange tongue, and suggests a compromise. Disregarding the arrangement of the book, practical class-work may begin with a study of a flowering plant and of a vertebrate animal. The pupil will then be sufficiently acquainted with the terminology and microscopical work to take up the lessons in the order given.
The book, however, is designed for the study rather than the laboratory, and the life processes of different types are described and illustrated with such detail that actual handling of the objects is not essential to a fair acquaintance with their changes of structure. Beginning with amœbæ, representative forms are considered in the order of increasing complexity until examples of the higher plants and animals are reached. At intervals, special lessons are devoted to important topics: cell structure and nuclear division; biogenesis, homogenesis; the origin of species; distinctive characters of animals and plants; reproduction and embryology. The various modes of nutrition, digestion, movement, and generation are treated in connection with each individual organism.
The aim of the author, "to give a fairly connected account of the general principles of biology," is very carefully carried out, and those who desire to gain an insight into the science are materially assisted by a glossary. In this the author has given to several botanical terms a zoölogical meaning, striving toward a more consistent nomenclature; but the student will be grateful, without regard to these innovations, to be saved the thankless labor of searching for words that the average dictionary does not define.
Transformers. By Caryl D. Haskins. Bubier Publishing Company, Lynn, Mass., 1892. Pp. 150. Price, $1.25.
It not infrequently happens that an apparatus, machine, or method of work which was discarded in the early stage of a developing industry, becomes later, by the progress of the industry, to be very important. This has been the case in the application of electricity to the production of light. It began with the alternating current, and is now returning to it. The use of this type of current is now becoming so general that it would not be beside the mark to say that future progress in the application of electricity will all be in this direction. An increasing amount of incandescent lighting is being done with it, and it needs only the development of a satisfactory alternating-current motor to render it available for all power purposes for which the continuous current is now employed. The marvelous flexibility of this form of current is what constitutes it's great commercial advantage. You can start with a current of any tension and volume you please, and produce at the operating point a current of any other tension and volume that you desire within the limits of the original energy. You can step up to higher tension or down to lower tension, or do both in succession. All this is accomplished by the use of the transformer—a form of induction coil. This, which is the vital part of the alternating-current system of distribution, forms the subject of this little volume of Mr. Haskins. The book is primarily addressed to working electricians who have charge of alternating-current apparatus, but it may be read understandingly by any one who is sufficiently interested in the progress of electricity to have taken the trouble to acquire a rudimentary knowledge of the subject.
The book opens with a brief consideration of the phenomena of induction and its application to the transformer. A chapter is given to a mathematical consideration of it, one to the changes it has undergone to fit it for commercial use, and one each to its construction and its use in practice. The book closes with a description of the chief commercial transformers. Various miscellaneous subjects, which could not well find a place in the body of the book, are noticed in an appendix.
Induction Coils. By G. E. Bonnet. New York: Macmillan & Co., 1892. Pp. 231. Price, $1.
The author has essayed in this volume to give such practical knowledge of the methods of constructing and operating induction coils as will be of use to the amateur coil-maker. After considering briefly the theory of induction, he gives directions how to construct spark-coils, devotes a chapter each to Accessories to Coils, and special forms of coils. Some of the other chapters are Batteries for Coils, Repair of Batteries and Coils, and Useful Notes on Coils. He also devotes a chapter to some of the famous coils, such as that constructed for Mr. Spottiswoode by Apps, of London. The book is provided with a general index, and is quite fully illustrated.
The Economy of High Wages. By J. Schoenhof. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1892. Pp. 414. Price, $1.50.
In a time like the present, when a campaign of education on the tariff question is in progress, and when not only the great mass of the people, but many of the supposed beneficiaries of the tariff, are awakening to the fact that prosperity by taxation is not quite what it is represented to be, a book like the present one is a very welcome addition to the current literature of the subject. The protected classes have succeeded in maintaining themselves in the enjoyment of their present gratuities by their appeals to the workingmen to support protection as the sole guarantor of high wages. Protectionists have never tired of contrasting the day rate of wages in this country and Europe, claiming that they were due to the tariff, and that, if American manufacturing industries were deprived of the benefits of protection, wages must fall. In all their discussions of wages they have assiduously represented that the difference in wages corresponded with the difference in labor cost of the goods made here and abroad. It has been pointed out a good many times by tariff reformers that high wages do not necessarily mean high cost of production, but no one has heretofore taken up the question and dealt with it in such detail as the author of the present work. Mr. Schoenhof is peculiarly well fitted to undertake his task. He was commissioned by the late Secretary Bayard to make a study of the question in the trade and manufacturing centers of Europe while in the diplomatic service under the Cleveland administration, and has himself had an extended experience as an employer of labor. He not only controverts the proposition that a high rate of day wages necessarily means a high labor cost in production, but maintains that a high rate of wages is necessarily associated with a low labor cost of the goods. High wages mean high efficiency of the worker and low wages low efficiency, and the essential condition of the payment of high wages is that the worker is so much more efficient and has the command of so much better tools that he can produce goods more cheaply. Our high-priced American labor, therefore, has nothing to fear from the cheaper labor of England, and the relatively high-priced labor of England nothing to fear from the low-priced labor of the Continent. The real cheapness of high-priced and therefore efficient labor, when measured in commodities produced, which is the only consideration that has any bearing on the question of the competition of producers, can be readily apprehended and arrived at deductively. Mr. Schoenhof does not content himself, however, with an argument, but examines in detail the chief trades and industries of the world, finding that everywhere a high rate of wages and a low labor cost in production go hand in hand. He gives schedules in the pottery, glass, iron, cotton, and woolen industries, abundantly proving his position, and shows very clearly that, so far from the workingman profiting by protection, he is injured at every turn. It is much to be hoped that the essential contention of the book can be properly brought before the farmers and artisans of the country while attention is so keenly alive to the importance of tariff questions. Tariff reformers will find ready to their hand in its pages just the kind of material needed to illustrate and enforce their positions, and should make good use of it in the opportunities afforded by present political discussions.
Fragments of Science. By John Tyndall. In two volumes. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1892. Pp. 452 each volume.
The original volume under this title issued some twenty years ago has gradually grown in size by the addition of new papers until it finally became so unwieldy as to necessitate dividing it into two volumes. Besides the matter in the previous edition there are some fifteen new papers, mostly relating to researches in molecular physics. The present volume and the volume recently issued under the title of New Fragments contain, the publishers state in an introductory note, all of the occasional papers which Prof. Tyndall cares to preserve in a permanent form. The first of the present volumes contains the papers that relate to the laws and phenomena of matter solely; while the second, with the exception of the address upon the electric light, deals with questions which traverse the domain of mind as well as of matter. This volume contains the celebrated Belfast address delivered before the British Association at its Belfast meeting in 1874, as well as Prof. Tyndall's reply to various critics which he issued under the title of An Apology. The volume contains also the well-known address upon the Scientific Use of the Imagination, and that upon Matter and Force, as well as his excursion into fields considered by theologians especially their own, in which he discusses miracles and prayer in relation to natural laws.
It is not necessary at this late day to say anything in commendation of Prof. Tyndall's exposition of science. He is read wherever the English language is spoken, and comes perhaps in closer intellectual and emotional contact with his readers than any other scientific man of our time. This is due in large measure to that transparent intellectual honesty which makes him scorn to be self-deceived or to take any lower aim than the pursuit of truth, lead whither it will. There is, moreover, an elevation of moral tone pervading all his speculations concerning that unknown world into which we vainly peer, which brings him into sympathetic contact with all earnest seekers after truth, no matter how widely they differ in their conclusions. Of the literary merit of the discourses of Prof. Tyndall it is also needless to speak. The purity and vigor of his diction have always charmed his readers as much as his lucidity of thought, and he has long been recognized as one of the masters of style. Those who prize his writings will be glad to have them in this last form, which in all probability will prove to be a final one.
Life in Motion, or Muscle and Nerve. By John Gray McKendrick. London and Edinburgh: A. & C. Black, 1892. Pp. 200. Price, $1.50.
This little book consists of a course of six lectures delivered before a juvenile audience at the Royal Institution, and is an excellent example of what a popular exposition of a scientific subject should be. Though addressed to juveniles, the lectures can be read with interest and profit by older folk who are not specially informed on physiological subjects and the methods and apparatus used by experimenters in studying the problems to which they address themselves.
The title Prof. McKendrick has given to his course is not a very happy one, as it does not indicate with any clearness the subject-matter of the lectures, which deal with muscular movement. He uses in his demonstrations the muscle of the frog which correponds with that of the calf of the leg in man. This he excites by means of an electric current, and performs a number of the striking and beautiful experiments devised by physiological experimenters for the study of the behavior of living matter. He illustrates by experiment the lifting power of a muscle when contracting; the nature of the movement that occurs when a muscle is contracting; shows graphically by means of curves on smoked glass the times of contracting and relaxing, and the time required for nerve transmission; discusses the chemical changes that take place in a muscle when working and its analogy to a heat engine; and, after showing that a muscle generates an electric current, closes his course with a consideration of the electric organs found in certain fishes.
Elements or Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis. By G. C. Caldwell, Ph. D. Second edition, revised and enlarged. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 175.
The author, who is Professor of Chemistry in Cornell University, has brought together in this book the material that he has published before in handbooks of analysis, together with much new matter. The volume is divided into five parts: in the first of these the processes and manipulations of analytical chemistry are described quite fully; the second sets forth the systematic course of qualitative analysis; the third is devoted to the operations of quantitative analysis; directions for examples in quantitative analysis constitute part four; and lists of apparatus and reagents, various tables, etc., make up part five. This is the first book that we have seen to use the new spellings of chemical terms originated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Life Histories of North American Birds. By Charles Bendire, Captain U. S. Army. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. Pp. 446, quarto.
The Smithsonian Institution has begun a series of Special Bulletins, designed to illustrate the collections in the National Museum, and Captain Bendire's work, covering part of the collection of birds' eggs, appears as the first of the series. The present volume is confined to gallinaceous birds, pigeons, and birds of prey, embracing a total of one hundred and forty-six species and subspecies. Besides describing the eggs and nest, the author gives the breeding habits of each species, its migratory and breeding ranges, so far as these have been determined, and other facts of its life history. The classification given in the Code and Check List of the American Ornithologists' Union has been followed, and the synonymy and nomenclature used in this list have been adopted also. The value of the work is greatly enhanced by twelve elegant colored plates of eggs, embracing a total of one hundred and eighty-five varieties. Captain Bendire is Honorary Curator of the Department of Oölogy in the National Museum.
History of Higher Education in Massachusetts. By George Gary Bush. Washington: Bureau of Education. Pp. 445.
The best friend of Harvard University can not help seeing a great want of proportion in a history of Massachusetts colleges that gives more space to Harvard than to thirteen other institutions combined, yet this Prof. Bush's book does. The author gives a connected history of Harvard in his first three chapters, then describes the various departments of the university, tells how its instruction is given, sets forth the "formative influences" at Harvard which constitute student life, and closes with a sketch of the presidents of the college and university and a Harvard bibliography. Next comes a brief history of Williams College (chartered in 1793), by Eben Burt Parsons, D. D., secretary of the faculty. Then follow similar accounts of Andover Theological Seminary, Amherst College, Tufts College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Boston College, by persons connected with the respective institutions. Accounts of Boston University, Massachusetts Agricultural College, and Clark University, compiled from official records, are also included. There are three histories of women's colleges—Mount Holyoke, Wellesley, and Smith—prefaced by a general chapter on Higher Education for Women, by Mrs. Sarah D. (Locke) Stow. The volume is well illustrated with plates, representing the buildings of the various colleges.
Physical Education in the Public Schools. By R. Anna Morris. New York: American Book Co. Pp. 192. Price, $1.
This is a manual of gymnastics that may be performed in a school-room, some without any and some with simple apparatus. It provides for a graded course, extending from the first year of school to the high school. The movements are explained, and many are illustrated. There are directions for marching, which include a set of fancy evolutions called the Irving School March Drill. An illustrated chapter is devoted to Delsartean posturing. Apparatus drills with wands, Indian clubs, rings, dumb-bells, etc., are described, and a great many additional evolutions are suggested. The volume includes thirty-two pages of music suitable for evolutions of classes. We are somewhat astonished to see in the front of the book a poetical quotation ascribed to Herbert Spencer!
Mineralogy. By Frederick H. Hatch, F. G. S. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 124. Price, $1.
This is a brief elementary manual consisting of two parts, the first devoted to characters of minerals, and the second being descriptive. In the first part the crystalline forms of minerals are described quite fully, and the chemical composition, specific gravity, and other characters are treated briefly. In the descriptive part the minerals are grouped under these heads: rock-forming minerals, ores and veinstones, salts and other useful minerals, gems or precious stones. The text is illustrated with many cuts showing the forms of crystals or amorphous minerals and the occurrence of minerals in veins.
A Treatise on Hygiene and Public Health. Edited by Thomas Stevenson, M. D., and Shirley F. Murphy. Vol. I. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 1013.
The extensive work of which the first installment is before us is made on the plan of having the several subjects included in its scope treated by authors having special qualifications for their respective tasks. In the selection of subjects the editors have been guided mainly by the needs of the English officials known as Medical Officers of Health, but there is much information in the essays which is applicable to sanitary conditions the world over. The first volume comprises sixteen essays dealing separately with air, water, food, clothing, baths, the dwelling, physical education, offensive and noxious businesses, etc. The most space is given to the treatise on The Dwelling, by P. Gordon Smith and Keith D. Young. The authors deal with the subjects of site, the arrangement of laborers' dwellings, prisons, barracks, schools, workhouses, and hospitals, both general and special, and the drainage of the dwelling. The Disposal of Refuse is also treated with much fullness in a separate article by W. H. Corfield, M. D., and Louis C. Parkes, M. D. In the essay on Warming and Ventilation, the author, W. N. Shaw, F. R. S., gives formulas and describes methods for calculating the movement of air in various systems of ventilation, and gives a summary of the conditions to be satisfied to secure a proper change of air. He also compares the efficiency of the ordinary modes of heating, and gives various numerical data concerning heating in the climate of England. The volume is illustrated with nearly two hundred cuts and plates, and has a separate index.
Animal Coloration. By Frank E. Beddard, M. A., F. R. S. E. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 288. Price, $3.50.
Mr. Beddard has chosen a very attractive topic, and has made a book interesting to both the zoologist and the general reader. After an introductory chapter giving the principal facts of animal coloration, he cites a number of cases in which the coloration of an animal appears to be in part due directly to the influence of the surroundings, among which are the prevalence of green in the animals of verdant Ceylon, the white fur of polar animals, and the absence of color among cave-dwelling species. Coming to the purposes of color in animals, the author finds much to discuss under the head of protective coloration. While on this subject he raises the question whether as a matter of fact animals are concealed from their foes by their protective resemblances, and shows that there is much evidence on the negative side. He contends, also, that in some cases so-called protective coloration is produced more simply and directly than by the operation of natural selection. Warning coloration, first explained by Mr. Wallace, next receives attention. The author is inclined to give much weight to the suggestion of Dr. Eisig that in caterpillars which are distasteful to their enemies the usual bright pigments cause the inedibility of the species instead of being produced to advertise it. Alluring colors receive attention in the same chapter. Allied to coloration like the surroundings is mimetic coloration or resemblance of one species to another that is better endowed with means of defense, or with some other desirable possession. Mr. Beddard frequently cautions investigators against proceeding as if the sight or taste of animals were the same as that of man, for in the questions here discussed the point of view is important. The volume closes with an account of the chief differences in coloration between the sexes of animals, and a statement of the leading theories proposed to explain them. The text is illustrated with four colored plates and thirty-six woodcuts.
Natural History Lessons. Part I, Shelter, Food, and Clothing. By George Ashton Black. Part II, Plants and Animals. By Kathleen Carter. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 98. Price, 54 cents.
Science is rapidly acquiring the means for teaching its great pedagogical lesson that most knowledge may be obtained better from the study of things than from the study of books. This little manual is such a means. The first part of it is adapted to children of the usual primary-school age, and the second part to those in grammar-school grades. Its method requires constant practice in observation and investigation upon the objects and processes studied or upon pictures of them, thus giving the child at the outset of his education a thorough grounding in the natural way of acquiring knowledge. Prang's Lithographs of the Trades and Mr. Calkins's Manual accompanying them are expected to be used where the actual operations can not be witnessed.
Bulletin of the Philosophical Society of Washington, Vol. XI. Pp. 618.
The presidential addresses delivered before the Philosophical Society in 1888, 1889, and 1890, together with thirteen papers on special scientific topics, form the body of this volume. With these are printed the minutes of the society and of the Mathematical Section for 1888 to 1891, the rules and lists of officers and members of the society. Among the papers is one on The Observation of Sudden Phenomena, by Prof. S. P. Langley, in which is described a mechanism for lessening the error in observation represented by the "personal equation." Prof. F. W. Clarke has a paper on The Relative Abundance of the Chemical Elements; another is by Everett Hayden on Hurricanes in the Bay of North America; and John R. Eastman has a record of The Progress of Meteoric Astronomy in America, containing important catalogues of meteorites and meteoric showers. As the subject of his presidential address in 1891, Major Clarence E. Dutton took the practical matter of Money Fallacies. The Evolution of Serials published by Scientific Societies is traced by W J McGee. The other papers deal with various technical matters.
Florida, South Carolina, and Canadian Phosphates. By C. C. Hoyer Millar. New York: The Scientific Publishing Co. Pp. 223. Price, $2.50.
The practical and commercial side of phosphate mining occupies almost the whole of this volume, although it is supplemented by some notes on the geology of phosphate deposits and numerous tables of chemical analyses. The raising of phosphates from the beds of streams, the mining of pebble-deposits and of rock phosphates are described briefly, and copious information is given in regard to transportation, freights, prices, cost of production, companies engaged in the business, and similar matters connected with the industry. About half the volume is devoted to the Florida operations, South Carolina and Canada dividing the other half between them. An appendix contains analyses of a variety of foreign phosphates.
Under the title Cardiac Outlines a manual for physicians has been prepared by William Ewart, M. D. (Putnams). It is devoted to the physical examination of the heart and the recording of the results of such examination. The mode of recording the observations advised is by means of diagrams, in various parts of which are arrows to be crossed out if the sounds for which they stand are absent. There are fifty-two figures, and several leaves bearing the diagram referred to are bound into the volume.
A handsome manual of directions for Leather Work has been prepared by Charles G. Leland, whose manuals on several other minor arts are well known (Macmillan & Co. $1.50). It is eminently practical, beginning with a description of tools and materials and describing one style of work after another, from the simplest to the most elaborate. The text is illustrated with over fifty figures of patterns, many of them representing work executed during the middle ages. There is also a special chapter on patterns and design. Directions for gilding are included in the volume and there is a suggestive list of articles that may be made of leather. The mechanical work of the volume is tasteful and appropriate, the leather cover being stamped with a design by the author.
Rev. Henry C. Kinney, an Episcopal missionary at the Chicago stock-yards, has published a pamphlet entitled Why the Columbian Exposition should be opened on Sunday. It is a vigorous plea in behalf of the workingmen who could not visit the fair on any other day of the week, and undertakes to prove that Sunday opening would not be irreligious nor in conflict with the Illinois statute, nor lead to any of the consequences that many pious persons dread.
The Treatise on Diseases of the Nose prepared for physicians two years ago by Greville Macdonald, M. D. (Macmillan, $2.50), has already reached a second edition. It consists of descriptions of the diseases of the nose and its accessory cavities, and the methods of treatment which the author has found advisable. A considerable number of instruments designed for nasal surgery are described and figured. There are also cuts and a colored plate representing morbid growths in the nose. In the second edition a number of important additions and modifications have been made.
Part XXII of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, July, 1892, contains five papers. In the first, On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge on the Part of Phantasms of the Dead, F. W. H. Myers gives cases in which an apparition has seemed to the person seeing it to act as if the dead person whom it represented had a remembrance of the events of his life, and other cases in which persons in a trance have gained knowledge that they did not have before. Mr. Myers will perhaps show later how any information as to the knowledge possessed by the dead can be gained from the workings of the minds of the living. The second paper is an account by Richard Hodgson of Mr. Davey's Imitations by Conjuring of Phenomena sometimes attributed to Spirit Agency. The conjuring includes some wonderful slate-writing and materializing tricks, and is valuable material for those who wish to combat the spiritualistic superstition. Miss R. C. Morton contributes a Record of a Haunted House, in which the main narrative is well supported by independent accounts. The third of Mr. Myers's papers on The Subliminal Consciousness follows. Its special topic is The Mechanism of Genius, and it deals largely with mathematical prodigies. The concluding paper is a supplement to Dr. Backman's experiments in clairvoyance previously published.
The society is represented in America by Richard Hodgson, 5 Boylston Place, Boston.
A very full manual of Directions for Collecting and Preserving Insects has been prepared for the National Museum by Dr. C. V. Riley. In these directions the apparatus is first described, and the student is then told how to collect in the four seasons of the year, how to find insects under stones, in rotten stumps, in living trees, and on sandy places, how to take insects of the several orders, etc. Then follow directions for killing and preserving insects, for preparing and mounting them, for the preservation of alcoholic specimens, for labeling and arranging collections, and for protecting them against museum pests and mold. Other subjects on which information is given are insect boxes and cabinets, the rearing of insects, and packing and transmitting specimens; directions for collecting arachnids and myriapods are given also. The manual is introduced by an account of the classification of the hexapods, in which some forty species are figured, and concludes with a list of the entomological works most useful to the student. The whole number of illustrations is one hundred and thirty-nine.
One of the Bulletins of the United States Geological Survey recently issued, No. 76, is of much popular and practical interest. It is the second edition of a Dictionary of Altitudes in the United States, compiled by Henry Gannett, the first edition of which was published in 1884. The present work is considerably enlarged, mainly by the addition of determinations of altitudes by railroads, so that the volume now contains 393 pages.
A monograph on The Humming-Birds, forming part of the Report of the National Museum, for 1890, has been prepared by Robert Ridgway. It comprises a general zoölogical account of this group of birds, followed by descriptions of the several species found in the United States. The text is illustrated by forty-six plates and about fifty cuts.
An ingenious system of writing, signaling, and cryptography, to which he has given the name Cosmography, is described in a small pamphlet by 'Charles G. Burke (124 Nassau Street, New York). On a scale of three horizontal lines, using a dot, two slanting and one vertical marks, any language having not more than twenty-eight letters may be written in cosmography. The dot and three marks, if placed below the first line of the scale, stand for a, d, e, and b respectively; if on the first line, they stand for e, h, g, and f, and so on. In telegraphing, one, two, three, and four dots may take the place of the characters, and one, two, and three dashes may indicate the lines. An instrument consisting of a lettered dial with arms, called the "cosmograph," embodies the system in a mechanical form.
The First Book of Electricity and Magnetism (Macmillan & Co.) is designed to precede the usual elementary text-books in this study. The author, W. Perren Maycock, has felt the need as a teacher of interesting beginners, who are often discouraged by technical language. The subject of the magnet is entered upon at once; the explanations are clear, simple, and fully illustrated. Other divisions of the work besides magnetism are: electricity in motion, and electricity at rest. An index, list of apparatus, and blank pages for notes are furnished, as well as questions for teachers.