Introduces the reader to the Clifford family and their 'old-fashioned homestead' in the Hudson River Valley, and states, 'We shall take part in their rural labors, and learn from them the secret of obtaining from nature that which nourishes both soul and body' (45). In describing the various members of the family, observes of Webb Clifford that the 'farm was to him a laboratory, and with something of the spirit of the old alchemists he read, studied, and brooded over the problem of producing the largest results at the least cost'; notes that the 'majority of his labors had the character of experiments'. Although Webb was 'by no means deficient in imagination', his 'imagination had become materialistic, and led only to an eager quest after the obscure laws of cause and effect'. Nevertheless, he 'understood that the forces with which he was dealing were well-nigh infinite; and it was his delight to study them, to combine them, and make them his servants. It was his theory that the energy in nature was like a vast motive power, over which man could throw the belt of his skill and knowledge, and so produce results commensurate with the force of which he availed himself'. (47) Later, in a discussion as to whether 'ten degrees of cold below zero' will always destroy the 'fruit germs' of peach and cherry buds, which is occasioned by the questions of Amy Winfield, an orphan ward whom the family have taken in, Webb exclaims, 'I can make clear to you with the aid of a microscope [...] much better than I can explain'. He also explains to another member of the family, who holds that the 'higher you go up the colder it gets', that the 'height of the [Hudson] Highlands was not sufficient to cause any material change in climate, while on still nights the coldest air sank to the lowest levels'. (52) Webb then advises that there is 'as much to be gained in the careful and long-continued selection of fruits and vegetables as in the judicious breeding of stock', especially as a means of preventing 'the yellows [...] a disease due chiefly to careless or dishonest propagation' of peach buds (54). He also relates how some rabbits 'must have climbed into a bushy tree at least eighteen inches from the snow, in order to have reached the twigs I found cut', to which his brother Leonard exclaims 'A rabbit up a tree [...] Who ever heard of such a thing?' (56). Because of the snowy weather, Leonard's wife instructs him 'to put a tub of water in the flower-room; that will draw the frost from the plants' (58).
Written in the form of a letter from 'North Britain', reflects that the 'fact that the atmosphere, instead of being loaded with the haze of continuous fine weather, is being continually washed clear by Atlantic squalls [...] must account [...] for the intensity of the blue of the sky, which is a deep germander-speedwell sort of blue, and has nothing in common with the pale turquoise blue of countries where far better weather prevails' (68). Also comments that 'Mr. LockyerLockyer, Sir Joseph Norman
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, to whom these sunsets in the West Highlands were something of a revelation, tells me he imagines that the moisture in the atmosphere must have something to do with the brilliancy of the colours; but there is also this to be remembered, that the place seems to have been constructed by a landscape artist for the express purpose of producing fine sunsets' (69).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 98–107.
Suggests that 'Among the many curious analogies born of modern investigation, none are more interesting than those showing striking cases of parallelism in the habits and customs of animals whose environments are totally dissimilar', and observes that the 'ocean bed seems peopled with forms so resembling those of land that a modification of structure to conform with their surroundings alone appears to be the point of difference'. Indeed, the 'resemblance between the creatures of land and sea is extremely striking' (98), especially those in 'gayly bedecked fishes [...] in all their motions reminding us of the birds of the shore', such as the 'gorgeous parrot-fishes [which] are the sun-birds of the sea' and the 'more [...] modest' fishes of 'our colder waters of the North, [that] call to mind the robin and the thrush, those welcome harbingers of spring'. Many of these fish, moreover, are 'nest-builders, erecting structures as complicated as those of the birds, and equalling them in design and finish'. (99) Describes the construction of several of these aquatic nests, noting in the case of the 'lamprey-eel (Petromyzon marinus)' that 'when stones that weigh several pounds are to be brought, they adopt tactics worthy of an engineer' and drag them down stream with their 'sucking mouth'. Also comments that the young of the lamprey-eel 'possess so many characteristics to distinguish them from the adult form that for a long time they were considered distinct animals, and the young described as a different genus (Ammocœtes)'. (103) Reports that in an 'area of 260,000 miles, popularly denominated the Sargasso Sea, are found numbers of animals that seem peculiarly adapted by various modifications to the pelagic life they lead', including the 'soft shelless mollusk Scyllæa' and the 'short-tailed crab Nautilograptus' which 'have assumed the exact tint of the surrounding weed—a protective resemblance that serves them well' (105). Relates how 'in the Orinoco is found the perai, whose nest, in strange analogy to that of some birds, hangs pendent from some overhanging branch, drifting in the tide, a veritable garden of aquatic plants and clinging vines', and also suggests that 'one of the most remarkable examples of jumping and land-visiting fishes is seen in Periophthalmus' which 'leaves the water and seeks the shore—in quest of food, perhaps; or, as it seems at times, for the mere pleasure of a change' (107).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 143–49.
Experimental Psychology, Soul, Heterodoxy, Vitalism, Scientific Practitioners, Exploration, Government
The eccentric narrator, Colonel Frederic Ingham, recounts 'a philosophical experiment' which he has conducted concerning the 'problems of Sleep'. He relates how the 'mystery of sleep' became clear to him when he realised that the 'soul has no care about distance. Of course the moment when this body does not need him, though for an hour of night, the soul has only to pass across there where it is day, and start up another machine, which is just ready to be wakened', and he proclaims, 'In that moment I saw that there are two of me—one here in Boston, and the other there in the Chinese Empire' (143). Having worked out that 'my other machine' must live at the 'antipodes on the parallel of latitude', Ingham comes to the conclusion that 'if I wanted to talk matters over with him, he and I had only to go to the north pole—on the meridian of 70o, and he on that of 110o', and he determines to do just that. Such a journey, he explains, 'is a much easier business than you think it, if you begin to think, as everybody does, by supposing an expedition there to be a government affair, with measurements of magnetic force, and declination, and dip, and all that'. Indeed, 'if a man cares about the difference between Tetrapus arcticus and Tetrapus borealis, he must carry a lot of books with him and a man of science. If he carries a man of science, he must carry the man's rations and his cook, and a man to drag his sled, and so on. Hence what are called "expeditions"'. (144) Ingham, however, 'had no scientific purposes. I was not to write a book, or to present a report' (145), and he soon ventures 'two hundred and fifty miles further north than man had ever been known to be' (146). At the north pole he meets 'Myself—my Other Self!', a Chinese government official called Kan-schau, but the two can communicate only by notes because, as Ingham belatedly realises, 'he must sleep while I walked; I must sleep while he walked' (148).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 159–63.
Reports that 'Dr. KochKoch, Heinrich Hermann Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, the celebrated biologist, who was the first to discover the bacillus, or germ of consumption, has satisfied himself that cholera is due to a similar living microscopic organism', and he has obtained permission to continue his 'researches in India, where the facilities for the study of the bacillus will be greater than in Egypt'. Observes that some 'experiments' with 'hydraulic propulsion' conducted by a 'German inventor' have 'awaken[ed] much interest' especially among 'German naval officers', while from France come accounts of a 'new engine practically engaged in threshing Indian corn and pumping water in Algeria, by the action of the concentrated rays of the sun'. Records that on 17 October at the International Geodetic ConferenceInternational Geodetic Conference (17 October 1883), Rome CloseView the register entry >> in Rome, 'it was proposed that GreenwichRoyal Observatory, Greenwich CloseView the register entry >> should be adopted by all nations as a common prime meridian, and a committee was appointed to report upon the subject'. The same day, moreover, saw the formal opening of the 'new permanent observatoryBen Nevis Observatory
CloseView the register entry >>, which has been built on the summit of Ben Nevis', and which will 'communicate timely information of approaching cyclones by the telegraph wire that connects the observatory with the post-office at Fort William'. Also notes the occurrence of 'shocks of earthquakes' and 'strange rumbling sounds' in various parts of the world. (162)
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 163–68.
Regular Feature—Anecdote, Drollery
Animal Behaviour, Descent
After observing that 'Monkeys are scarce in Michigan', relates a droll tale about a 'saddler in Detroit' who 'kept one for a pet, who usually sat on the counter' in his shop. A customer comes into the shop one day while the proprietor is in a back-room and questions the monkey about the price of a saddle. When he offers twenty dollars the 'monkey shoved it into the drawer as soon as the man laid it down', but as the customer takes the saddle the 'monkey mounted the man, tore his hair, [and] scratched his face'. Hearing the customer's screams, the proprietor rushes into the shop and is told 'I bought a saddle of your son sittin' there, and when I went to take it he wouldn't let me have it!', at which point the 'saddler apologised for the monkey, but explained that he was not a relative'. (168)
Darwinism, Scientific Practitioners, Utilitarianism, Anti-Scientism, Climatology, Health, Palaeontology, Archaeology, Human Species, Ancient Authorities, Prehistory, Stratigraphy, Aesthetics, Botany, Taxonomy
The female narrator, Jane Jefferson, reflects that the small party who together visit the French Riviera resort of Mentone were 'formed not by selection, or even by the survival of the fittest (after the ocean and the Channel), but simply by chance aggregation' (189). One member of the party, the boorish Professor Mackenzie, is described as being a 'perfect statistics Niagara' and 'really Cyclopean in his information', and he insists that 'facts [are] always much more impressive to a rightly disposed mind' than mere 'legends' (198). After being told of Mentone that 'Dr. BennetBennet, James Henry
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, the London physician, may be called its real discoverer, as Lord BroughamBrougham, Henry Peter, 1st Baron Brougham and
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> was the discoverer of Cannes', the Professor begins 'discoursing upon the climate' of the Mediterranean resort, explaining that 'It is very beneficial to all those whose lungs are delicate' and 'checking off the different classes on his fingers' (200). When the party visit the 'Bone Caverns' in the red rocks of the coast, the youthful and sarcastic Innes observes that 'Troglodytes [...] lived here, clad in bear-skins, and their voices are said to have been not sweet. See PlinyPliny (Gaius Plinius Secundus)
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and StraboStrabo
DSB CloseView the register entry >>. The bones of their dinners left here, and a few of their own [...] have now become the most precious treasures of the scientific world, equalling in richness the never-to-be-sufficiently-prized-and-investigated kitchen refuse heaps of the Swiss lakes' (205–06). The Professor, however, 'overhearing something of this frivolity' emerges from the caves 'covered with dust, but rich in the possession of a ball and socket joint of some primeval animal', and announces to the assembled company that 'In 1872 a human skeleton, all but perfect, a skeleton of a tall man, was discovered in the fourth cavern, surrounded by bones which prove its great antiquity—which prove, in fact, almost beyond a doubt, that it belonged to—the—Paleolithic epoch!'. The rest of the party, though, 'gazed stupidly enough [...] into the cave [...] with only the vaguest idea of "Paleolithic's" importance' (206), and the Professor, 'overcome by such crass ignorance', is forced to explain 'in a spiritless voice' that the 'bones surrounding the skeleton were those of animals now extinct—animals that existed at a period heretofore supposed to have been before that of man; but by their presence here they prove him a contemporary, and we therefore know that he existed at a much earlier age of the world's history than we had imagined'. A member of the still unimpressed party suggests that 'You might have a necklace made, with [...] the flints below as pendants', at which Innes remarks, 'And label it prehistoric; it would be quite as attractive as preraphaelite'. (207) Later, the narrator expresses her admiration for the variety of fern called Capillus veneris which grows in profusion in Mentone, but she notes that 'unthinking people say of them that they are "so common they become weeds"' and proposes that the 'phrase should be suppressed by a society for the cultivation of good taste and the prevention of cruelty to plants' (209).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 282–97.
On Christmas morning, the Clifford family celebrate the survival through the freezing night of 'Mrs Clifford's pets—the flowers', and Webb explains why 'plants and roots don't freeze when water freezes' and 'how the water [that had been left in the flower-room; see Edward P Roe, 'Nature's Serial Story Ch. 1', Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 42–59] draws the frost from the plants'. He proclaims that 'the principle of latent heat explains it all [...]. The water does not draw the frost from the plants, but before it can freeze it must give out one hundred and forty degrees of latent heat. The flower-room and root-cellar were therefore so much warmer during the night than if the water had not been there'. (283) Webb then insists that 'of all people in the world those who obtain their livelihood from the soil should seek to learn the wherefore of everything, for such knowledge often doubles the prospect of success', but he also admits that 'We do not have to go far—at least I do not—before coming to the limitations of knowledge. What is in the structure of a plant like the pansy, for instance, which makes it so much more hardy than others that seem stronger and more vigorous, even the microscope does not reveal. Nature has plenty of secrets that she has not yet told' (284). Later, during a conversation between several neighbours, the kindly Dr Marvin tells Amy Winfield how he became 'captivated by the science of ornithology', which, he insists, has a 'wholesome effect on health and character'. He suggests that she should 'learn to identify some of the birds that nest near the house, and follow their fortunes [...] keeping a little diary of your observations', and tells her, 'You will find these little birds histories, as they develop from day to day, more charming than a serial story'. (290)
Insists that the 'male dweller in the city need not be an absolute physical wreck', and suggests that a 'saving muscular grace for the town man' might be 'found in what is known as "amateur athletics"' (297). Although W Wilkie Collins'sCollins, William Wilkie
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>Man and WifeCollins,
Wilkie 1870. Man and Wife: A Novel, 3 vols, London: F. S.
CloseView the register entry >>, with its shocking picture of the breaking down of Mr. Geoffrey Delamayne, has frightened many excellent old ladies' and given a negative aspect to 'what your dear aunt Cassandra thinks of when she hears the word "athlete"', asserts that amateur athletics in fact produce a 'sound young man, morally and physically' whose 'muscles play supple, clean, and quick under his thin skin. This is fine stock, not feeble' (300–01). Indeed, Henry G CrickmoreCrickmore, Henry G
RLIN CloseView the register entry >>, the 'great "Krick" of the sporting world', recently told the author that amateur athletes 'are doing a great work, as all men who try to build up the body, to increase their physical strength, and to raise the general standard of health. It is a work that will show in their children and in their grandchildren—in a race of healthier and stronger men and women' (302).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 315–24.
Human Species, Anthropology, Eugenics, Heredity, Race, Human Development, Photography, Narcotics, Temperance, Mental Illness
Observes that Francis Galton'sGalton, Sir Francis
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> new collection of essays, which 'discuss the possibility of improving the human race', is 'really a supplement or continuation of Hereditary GeniusGalton,
Francis 1869. Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into its Laws and
Consequences, London: Macmillan & Co
CloseView the register entry >>', and, as in that book, he maintains that 'Mankind can only be improved by developing the best natural aptitudes through the cultivation of race'. Points out that Galton is a strong believer in 'inherited traits and the prevailing effect of nature over nurture' and therefore thinks that 'something more than the machinery of education is necessary in reaching the highest human development'. Praises 'this most original, ingenious, and suggestive book' and proposes that, among many stimulating ideas and innovations, the 'most interesting of all are his inventions in "composite portraiture" by photography, which reduce the portraits of a group of people of a given type—of criminals, or philanthropists, or scientists, for example—into one portrait, which very closely resembles them all'. (316) Also notes that Alfred A ReadeReade, Alfred Arthur
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, the 'Secretary of the Society for the Suppression of Juvenile SmokingSociety for the Suppression of Juvenile Smoking
CloseView the register entry >>', has collected the 'testimony of a great number of men of letters and of science on the influence of tobacco and the various forms of alcohol upon the working powers' (317). The testimony shows, for instance, that in a working day William E GladstoneGladstone, William Ewart
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'partakes of one or two glasses of claret at luncheon, and the same at dinner, with the addition of a glass of light port' while W Wilkie CollinsCollins, William Wilkie
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'finds champagne to agree with him', although 'in the main, the testimony undoubtedly favours the cause of abstinence, or at least of extreme moderation in the use of stimulants and narcotics'. Similarly, in another recent book, William GilbertGilbert, William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, 'believing that alcohol tends directly to the production of lunacy and idiocy, [has] made a careful study of the inmates in the fourteen general hospitals of London and its idiot and lunatic asylums', and his findings point 'very strongly to the dangers of alcohol'. (318)
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 324–28.
Editor's Historical Record
Regular Feature, News-Digest
 Science and Progress
Electricity, Light, Technology, Military Technology, Agriculture, Bacteriology, Vaccination, Exploration
Reports that the French postal and telegraph department has begun using 'electric lights [...] supplied by the FaureFaure, Camille Alphonse
RLIN CloseView the register entry >> accumulators, and the steady even light obtained by this means has decided the authorities to give the system a trial of eighteen months'. In Berlin, meanwhile, the 'Edison CompanyEdison Electric Light Company
CloseView the register entry >> has purchased for the whole of Germany the right of using the Faure-Sellon Volckmar accumulators', and in London 'interesting experiments have been made upon the Underground Railway with the Gualard-Gibbs' method of electric lighting' which 'enables the user of the energy supplied to turn it on with a switch, as he might gas or water'. In this system, 'all the work is done by secondary currents, which are generated in much the same way as in the well-known induction coils', and 'at stations along the route where light or power is wanted the current is passed through a secondary generator, in which the potential is raised to the degree that may be needed for lamps, or for driving machinery'. (326) Also records that the 'well-known physiologists' ChambrelentChambrelent, M (physiologist)
HM1/7/2/5a CloseView the register entry >> and MacssousMacssous, M (physiologist)
HM1/7/2/5a CloseView the register entry >> have 'at length succeeded in recognising in the milk of cows affected with inflammation of the spleen, the bacillus of that disease', and they have 'further succeeded in their experiments in the reproduction of this micro-organism and in inoculating animals with it'. In addition, notes that 'Baron NordenskjoldNordenskjöld, Adolf Erik (Nils Adolf
DSB CloseView the register entry >> is contemplating a voyage to the South Pole in 1885', while 'M. de BrazzaBrazza, Pierre Savorgnan de
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, the French explorer is generally believed to be alive, though news of his death has been several times circulated and contradicted'. (327)
Records the death of 'Sir William SiemensSiemens, Sir Charles William (Carl
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, one of the greatest inventors and scientists of this century', who 'first came to England in 1842, to introduce an improvement in the newly-discovered art of electro-plating' and 'subsequently determined to make his permanent residence here, being led to do so by the protection afforded by the English patent law to his inventions'. Also notes the passing of John E HowardHoward, John Eliot
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, a 'scientific chemist and quinine manufacturer' who 'contributed largely to the introduction into India of the cultivation of cinchona plant'. (328)
Physical Geography, Anthropology, Medical Practitioners, Status, Vaccination
Describes a region of the Columbia River full of 'rocky, misshapen ridges of volcanic rock' in which 'Theodore WinthropWinthrop, Theodore
CBD CloseView the register entry >> (in his Canoe and SaddleWinthrop,
Theodore 1862. The Canoe and the Saddle: Adventures Among the
Northwestern Rivers and Forests, and Isthmiana, New York: John W.
CloseView the register entry >>) [...] locate[s] his war of the demons, whose weapons were huge rocks hurled at each other, and left up and down the Columbia for several miles, scattered about in the most fantastic manner'. In this wild region, at least until the 1850s, the local native American tribes had the 'most extraordinary custom [...] of killing their doctors, or medicine-men, if they did not cure their patients', and in the winter of 1852 'three doctors in that neighborhood had been killed for that reason'. (364) The author, who at that time was the commander of a military post in the region, attempted to explain to 'these benighted heathen' that 'our surgeons and physicians properly received from the whites the utmost consideration and gratitude' (364–65). He later hears, however, that when the 'small-pox made its appearance in one of the tribes, viz., the Wishrams' and virtually 'all the Indians on one side of the river had been vaccinated (and thus escaped)' while the rest of the tribe 'unfortunately had not been vaccinated, and thus the pestilence raged amongst them', the 'indignant tribe' took their revenge on a 'celebrated medicine man of great pretensions' by hanging him in a 'shocking manner' (365–66).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 367–91.
At Mentone.—II[2/2]Constance F Woolson, 'At Mentone.—I', Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 189–216
The boorish Professor Mackenzie, who refuses to accompany the rest of the party along the French Riviera to Capo San Martino, instead spends his time 'examining the rocks', and when his travelling companions return he tells them, 'This is a formation similar to that which we may see in the process of construction at the present moment off the coast of Florida [...]. It is conglomerate'. The ever sarcastic Innes, however, interjects, 'That word conglomerate is one of the most useful terms I know [...]. It covers everything: like Renaissance'. As they contemplate the glistening Mediterranean Sea, a female member of the party exclaims, 'It certainly is the fairest water in the world [...]. It must be the reflection of heaven', but the Professor at once explains prosaically that 'It is the proportion of salt [...] held in solution in the Mediterranean' that makes it appear to be a deeper and more lustrous blue than the Atlantic. (368) Later, when the party visit the casinos and other attractions of Monte Carlo, the female narrator, Jane Jefferson, reflects that 'Not a grain in the Professor's composition responded to the invitation of the siren Chance [...]. The lovely garden he appreciated only botanically; the view he could not see [...] while the music, the heavenly music, was to him no more than the housewife's clatter of tin pans' (385).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 392–408.
Notes that in the French-speaking region of Western Canada, the Catholic Church 'forbids the union of blood-relations, but it sells for a moderate price permits for even first cousins to marry, so that consanguineous marriages are very common in these old parishes, where families have kept increasing and settling near the old homestead till they form clans sometimes numbering several hundred of one name' (403). In addition, moreover, the 'priest permits such marriages sometimes on consideration of certain circumstances', such as the 'lack of beauty reducing the chances of a woman to get another offer' (403–04). However, 'these circumstances have been abused to such a serious detriment of the population that Rome has seen fit to recommend a more rigorous enforcement of the law' (404).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 441–57.
During a discussion about the fearful power of an impending thunder storm, the maternal Mrs Leonard exclaims, 'I have more faith in the presence of little children than in the protection of lightning rods', and she says to Webb Clifford, 'I suppose you think my sense of security has a very unscientific basis?'. Webb, however, replies that 'certain phases of credulity [...] I would not disturb for the world', although he murmurs, 'What children an accurate scientist would call us!'. (441) After the various members of the Clifford family calm each other's fears during the tumultuous storm, Amy tells Webb that 'Your science is all very well [...] but the heart demands something as well as the head' (442). The next morning, Webb and his mother 'initiate' Amy into the 'mysteries of [...] flowers' by giving her practical advice on the care of plants, with instructions such as 'roots need a circulation of air and a free exhalation of moisture', and Webb explains that the 'stomata, or breathing pores [...] on both sides of the leaf in most plants [...] introduce the vital atmosphere through the air-passages of the plant, which correspond in a certain sense to the throat and lungs of an animal' (442–43). After this, Amy begins to consult Mrs Clifford's 'several volumes on the cultivation of flowers' and she 'read all she could find in regard to the species and varieties represented in the little flower-room. It became a source of genuine amusement to start with a familiar houseplant and trace out all its botanical relatives, with their exceedingly varied character and yet essential consanguinity', and she proclaims that 'These plant families [...] are as curiously diverse as a human family. Group them together and you can see plainly that they belong to each other, and yet they differ so widely' (444).
Gives a brief notice of what is claimed to be 'the first statistical dictionary ever published in any language' and suggests that the long absence of such a work 'may explain why so many philosophers deny this branch of study to be a science' (482).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 487–92.
Editor's Historical Record
Regular Feature, News-Digest
 Science and Progress
Sanitation, Public Health, Hydrography, Exploration, Geology, Engineering, Railways, Telegraphy, Imperialism, Military Technology, Steamships, Mapping, Measurement, Metrology, Invention, Instruments
Reports on attempts to improve the 'sanitary condition' of the 'dwellings of the London poor', as well as recent experiments 'as to the effect of oil in soothing troubled waters'. Also records that the 'remains of Lieutenant De LongDe Long, George Washington
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, commander of the JeannetteUSS Jeannette CloseView the register entry >>, and of his ill-fated comrades' have now passed through Irkutsk 'on their long journey to America'. (489) Notes the occurrence of earthquakes in Portugal and Bohemia, plans for railways and telegraph lines in Africa, and the unveiling of HMS ImperieuseHMS Imperieuse CloseView the register entry >>, a '10 in. steel twin screw armour-plated barbette ship' (489–90). In the United States, the 're-arrangement of the time standards effected by the recent railway conventionGeneral Time Convention (held 11 October 1883), Chicago CloseView the register entry >> at Chicago' has brought about a 'new regulation, mapping the continent into divisions, whose imaginary lines run north and south', in which the 'traveller in any one division is governed by the same standard of time, instead of finding a bewildering variety of standards, to which (as with the tail of the monkey in the fable) there seemed to be literally no end'. Meanwhile, in Germany a 'Herr NauschaffNauschaff, Herr (instrument-maker)
HM1/7/3/6a CloseView the register entry >> has constructed a delicate instrument for registering earth currents' that employs a 'sensitive galvanometer [...] enclosed in a case with a clockwork arrangement for moving a photographic plate about 80mm. per hour' and a 'total reflection prism' by which a 'ray of light is reflected onto the galvanometer and focussed on the plate'. Also reports that the Royal Geographical SocietyRoyal Geographical Society
CloseView the register entry >> has given its approval to a 'proposed expedition for extensive explorations in New Guinea, under the leadership of Wilfred PowellPowell, Wilfred
WBI CloseView the register entry >>'. (490)
Pharmaceuticals, Patronage, Hospitals
Records the death of Thomas HollowayHolloway, Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the 'well-known medicine manufacturer' who 'devoted about half-a-million from his colossal fortune to the endowment of an insane asylum [and] hospitals for incurables and convalescents' (492).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 492–94.
Notes that cities of the 'central West' like St Louis 'burn a soft and inferior coal, yielded them by the region round about, and [...] are more or less enveloped in smoke' (497). Indeed, any 'philanthropists abroad [...] could aid them by no other possible boon so much as by that of resolving the problem how the waste product of decomposition of the bituminous coal may be carried off, or prevented from arising', although St. Louis's 'inhabitants themselves [...] are rather proud of it, as they are of the clouded water of the Mississippi set upon the table to drink, and have theories of the benefit to health both of the one and the other' (498). Observes that the city's 'jail is perhaps unique, consisting of a great central cage of iron bars, upon which the cells open in tiers, and from which they are all equally under inspection' (503). Insists that 'population and wealth will grow in this fertile river valley and its capital even till the time shall come of some of those evils shown by BuckleBuckle, Henry Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> as inhering in lands where the food supply is overabundant and men increase too rapidly' (505). Claims that the 'Manual Training SchoolWashington University, St. Louis—Manual Training School for Boys
CloseView the register entry >> [...] under the excellent management of Professor WoodwardWoodward, Calvin Milton
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, can not fail to inspire especial interest' (508), and argues that while 'Such schools are well known in continental Europe [...] here all such aids to dignifying labor, investing the mechanical trades with the fascination that rightly belongs to them with the youthful mind when rightly approached [...] are far too rare' [cf. Charles H Ham, 'Manual Training', Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 11 (1885–86), 404–12] (509). Declares that 'No stranger will have failed to hear of Shaw's GardenMissouri Botanical Garden, St Louis CloseView the register entry >>. It was opened to the public by an amiable gentleman of wealth, Mr. Henry ShawShaw, Henry
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, in 1849', and is a 'succession of conservatories of rare plants, and open-air spaces devoted to flower, fruit, and tree culture, and contains also a museum and a botanical library. It is part of the owner's private domain. He has attained a venerable age now, occupying the later years in the pleasant pursuit of writing a treatise on the roseShaw, Henry 1882.
The Rose, Historical and Descriptive: Gathered from Various Sources, St.
Louis: R. P. Studley & Co.
CloseView the register entry >>; and he will be buried, as he has lived, in the midst of his garden' (512). Also reflects that 'floods are a cruel, constantly recurring fact' in this region, but insists that 'Some time, no doubt, enormous as the cost must be, we shall see the great river [i.e. the Mississippi] running as in a ditch through the heart of the continent, securely confined within its banks' (516).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 518–31.
Gives an account of a coastal region full of 'caverns suitable for use in sensational literature' and where 'local ornithologists put an additional feather in their caps' because the 'migratory birds include four which are not known to visit any other part of Great Britain' (519). Another distinctive feature of the Yorkshire coast is its plentiful supplies of jet, a hard black semi-precious stone which is manufactured locally into 'articles of personal adornment'. The 'exact nature' of the mineral, however, is 'in dispute among those who have given most time to its investigation'. Indeed, for 'one observer the jet rock in which the hard jet is found seems to be a deposit of sea-anemones, and some years ago a patent was taken out to distil petroleum from it. Experiments proved that ten gallons of a pure oil could be extracted from one ton of it, but the production was too costly to compete with American petroleum'. (521) Others, though, 'declare their belief that it is of a pure ligneous formation similar to coal', but while 'geologists differ as to its nature', the 'miners express some faith in both modes of origin, and say they believe that the hard jet is of two distinct formations, being both wood and petroleum, now in a high state of bitumenization' (521–22). Reveals, however, that 'Whitby jet principally comes from the Pyrenees!' and the 'search for it in the scaurs of Yorkshire has been almost entirely abandoned', largely because 'jet is found in such greater abundance in Spain, and obtained with so much greater ease' (522).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 560–70.
Dr Charles Dinwiddie of St Louis has 'eminent ability as a medical man' (566), and his 'one relaxation was his microscope, and he rigorously confined himself with that to the study of animal tissues, the coagulations of lymph and the like, the crystallizations of poisons, peering as deeply into nature and as widely as he could, and all in the interests of medicine' (565). His medical career, as well as his health and state of mind, begin to decline, however, after a number of setbacks such as 'Patients [who] could not pay' and 'New theories of medicine [that] became popular, which Dr. Dinwiddie abhorred and denounced' (567). These 'troubles and curiously complicated kinds of trial' finally result in the dedicated and talented physician's premature death (568).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 588–98.
Asserts that it is 'not likely that the interesting questions in mental science as to what is the difference between the normal mind and that in which the sense of hearing has not existed will ever be fully answered', although it is 'evidently impossible that the congenitally deaf should have any proper idea of sound, hence of music'. Nevertheless, the 'deaf, in no inconsiderable numbers, have essayed to mount on the wing of poetic expression', as has been shown in numerous contributions to the 'American Annals of the Deaf and DumbAmerican Annals of the Deaf and Dumb
American Annals of the Deaf
BUCOP RLIN CloseView the register entry >> [...] now the leading periodical of its kind in the world'. (588) One such contributor, John CarlinCarlin, John
WBI CloseView the register entry >> of New York, 'enjoys the distinction of being the only deaf-mute poet the world has ever known' (590). Describes the careers of a number of American and European deaf poets, including John R BurnetBurnet, John Robertson
RLIN CloseView the register entry >> whose 'Tales of the Deaf and Dumb, with Miscellaneous PoemsBurnet, John
Robertson 1835. Tales of the Deaf and Dumb: With Miscellaneous
Poems, Newark, N.J.: printed by Benjamin Olds
CloseView the register entry >> [...] attracted great attention, and was successful both as a pecuniary venture and in a literary point of view' (592). At the same time, John KittoKitto, John
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the 'famous Bible commentator' and author of an 'interesting work on the Lost SensesKitto, John 1845.
Lost Senses, 2 vols, London: C. Knight
CloseView the register entry >>', claims that 'deafness is an insuperable obstacle to rhythmical composition'. Kitto, who 'became deaf in childhood', has 'published poetical compositions' but still insists 'on the impossibility of his being able to compose in correct verse'. Suggests, however, that 'Kitto's poetry is better than his reasoning' (595), and maintains that the deaf are a 'peculiar and most interesting class of persons—a class hitherto commanding little attention in the world of letters, but destined, we feel assured [...] to contribute in the future its due share to the aggregate of intellectual production' (598).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 598–605.
Reports that after 'Indian hostilities delayed active operations for ten years, and the outbreak of the civil war remanded the enterprise to the study of theorists', engineers have at last begun to tackle the 'problem' of how to 'relieve [the] vast territory' of Southern Florida of the 'surplus water of the rainy season' (598–99). The 'cause of this superficial accumulation [of rain water] lies in the physics and topography of South Florida, and complicates the engineering problem' (599), because in this region the 'terrace form of the topography' is a 'general characteristic'. When, however, 'the dynamics of this system of terraces is understood, it becomes a key to the solution of the problem of drainage', as the engineer must 'proceed from terrace to terrace [...] step by step' digging drainage canals 'by successive descent' (600), and the 'practicability of drainage by parts becomes easy and simple in solution' (599). The machinery used to dig these canals works on the 'continuous ladder principle', and is a 'huge iron and steel megatherium'. Notes that 'Only white labor is employed' on the drainage project (601), but also observes that a 'more vigorous race' than the indolent white farmers who currently inhabit the region [i.e. native Americans] 'held these watery fastnesses for forty years against the combined army and navy'. Claims that it 'would require too much space to distinguish the botanical characters of vegetation' in the area, but notes nevertheless that the 'economy of nature is exhibited in the increase of leaf surface by atmospheric nutrition' (603). Also observes that the digging of canals has revealed a 'stratification' of 'clay and marl [...] overlaid by a deep bed of muck', and asserts that it 'needs no scientific acumen to discover that the successful drainage of such a deposit will develop an area of fertility unrivalled even by the loamy bottoms of the Mississippi'. Concludes that 'in the soft marl or loam are exhibited everywhere the escarpments seen in the harsher features of parallel roads in the geology of more northern latitudes'. (604)
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 608–22.
With the coming of a spring snowfall, Dr Marvin tells Amy Winfield that she 'can begin the study of ornithology at once' (608), and he explains the migration pattern of birds from their 'winter homes all the way from Virginia to Florida' (610). Later, Webb Clifford looks upon Amy's 'little feminine mysteries of needle and fancy work [...] with an admiring helplessness, as if she were more unapproachable in her sphere than he could ever be in his, with all his scientific facts and theories' (611). When Dr Marvin returns to the Clifford's home the next day he discourses at length on ornithology, observing, amongst many other things, that the 'female bluebird is singularly devoid of sentiment, and takes life in the most serious and matter-of-fact way. Her nest and her young are all in all to her. John BurroughsBurroughs, John
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, who is a very close observer, says she shows no affection for the male, and if he is killed she goes in quest of another mate in the most business-like manner', to which Maggie Clifford exclaims, 'The heartless little jade! [...] it seems to me that I know women of whom she is a type—women whose whole souls are engrossed with their material life' (612–13). The male bluebird, on the other hand, resembles the 'ideal French beau very much in love'. Although Dr Marvin claims that 'Burroughs is mistaken in saying that [the male bluebird] is in most cases the ornamental member of the firm' as he 'feeds his wife as she sits on the nest' (612), he later advises that 'if you wish to fall in love with birds, you should read the books of John Burroughs'. He also explains that the 'great Northern shrike, or butcher-bird', which 'will pounce upon an unsuspecting neighbor, and with one blow of his beak take off the top of its head, dining on its brains', is 'not only a murderer, but an exceedingly treacherous one, for both Mr. AudubonAudubon, John James
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and Mr. NuttallNuttall, Thomas
DSB CloseView the register entry >> speak of his efforts to decoy little birds within his reach by imitating their notes'. (616) Dr Marvin concludes his long lecture by telling the children of the Clifford family that 'Shooting birds as game merely is very well, but capturing them in a way to know all about them is a sport that is always in season, and would grow more and more absorbing if you lived a thousand years' (622).
Observes that the 'somewhat startling little volume' produced by Newton CroslandCrosland, Newton
WBI CloseView the register entry >> 'undertakes to explain the phenomena of the universe upon principles quite opposed to the theories of Sir Isaac NewtonNewton, Sir Isaac
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and the conventional orthodox teaching of the present day'. Crosland 'believes the Sun and heavenly bodies to be gigantic fountains of magnetic substance, centres of polarised force acting upon our globe and its atmosphere', and 'in support of this theory his arguments are, to say the least, extremely interesting and ingenious, however little we may be disposed to accept them'. Comments that Crosland's book is the 'development of a paperCrosland,
Newton 1876. 'The Astronomy of the Future; a Speculation',
Fraser's Magazine, 14 n.s., 593–99
CloseView the register entry >> which he contributed to Fraser's MagazineFraser's Magazine
Directory CloseView the register entry >> in 1876, when it received a good deal of attention from the press'. (642) Also notices a book 'concerning the best printing for the eyes' which argues that a 'change should be made in the prevailing style of printing, and especially in the school books, in which the badness and smallness of the type go far to impair the eye-sight of the rising generation'. In an introduction to the book, Robert B CarterCarter, Robert Brudenell
WBI CloseView the register entry >> 'proposes the laying down of a standard to test acuteness of vision in young people; which is as easy as testing their weight or locomotive powers'. (644)
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 647–51.
Records the commencement of the 'work of laying the new Transatlantic cable for Messrs MackayMackay, John William
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, BennettBennett, James Gordon
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, and others' [of the Commercial Cable CompanyCommercial Cable Company, New York CloseView the register entry >>], which will 'connect Cape Ann, Massachusetts, with the Irish coast' and will 'eventually [...] extend' as far as 'Japan, China, and Australia'. In London, a 'working model of a novel electrical railway' that 'consists of a car running upon one rail only' with 'another rail overhead [...] serving to keep [it] upright' has been exhibited. The 'rails serve also as conductors of electricity from a dynamo-machine, and as the friction is very slight, the inventor hopes to develop a speed of 150 miles per hour in his car'. Again in London, preparations are underway for the 'forthcoming International Health ExhibitionInternational Health Exhibition (1884), London CloseView the register entry >>', while in France an 'experiment has been successfully tried in communicating by telephone between vessels in motion. Conversation was carried on distinctly through a wire hawser by which one vessel was towing the other, the circuit being completed through the water'. Reports that the work of regulating the River Danube by building 'inundation dikes below Vienna' has actually caused floods near the city which in the 'opinion of experts [...] are entirely owing to the works not having been carried out to a sufficient distance down stream'. Also notes that the 'German traveller' Gottlob A KrauseKrause, Gottlob Adolf
WBI CloseView the register entry >> 'started on New Year's Day for the west coast of Africa', where he intends to study the 'language and ethnography of the inhabitants of the banks of the Niger'. (650)
Records the death of the mathematician Charles W MerrifieldMerrifield, Charles Watkins
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, who, as well as writing 'one or two treatises on pure mathematics', served 'for many years on the staff of the Education Department' and was 'recently one of its senior examiners'. Also notes the passing of the 'Rev. William FiskenFisken, William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, Presbyterian minister of Stamfordham, Northumberland', who 'pursued the study of mechanics simultaneously with that of theology and made several valuable inventions'. Suggests that Fisken will be 'remembered especially by agriculturists as one of the two inventors of the steam-plough, the other being his brother Thomas', although in the 1850s 'an important trial came off at Westminster upon the merits of the invention, the parties being the Messrs. Fisken and the Messrs. Fowler [i.e. John FowlerFowler, John
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and his brother Robert], the implement-makers at Leeds, and the finding of the jury was that' the Fiskens 'were the original discoverers'. In addition, Fisken 'also invented a potato-sowing machine, an apparatus for heating churches, and the "steam-tackle", which has brought the steam-plough into practical use'. (651)
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 651–56.
After observing that 'Big words pass for sense with some people, and sometimes may be very successfully employed when nothing else will answer', relates how a 'man, in great alarm, ran to his minister to tell him he could see spots on the sun, and thought the world must be coming to an end'. The minister tells his terrified parishioner 'Oh, don't be afraid [...] it is nothing but a phantasmagoria', and the uncomprehending man replies 'Is that all?' and goes 'away relieved' (653). Also records an 'ethnological conversation' between 'Uncle Jim [...] a retired sea-captain, sealer and whaler' who has made 'thirty or forty voyages' to Patagonia, and 'one of the YaleYale University, New Haven CloseView the register entry >> professors, who devoted himself to ethnological studies' and 'was much interested in the Patagonians, and very much desired information as to the alleged gigantic structure of the race'. Uncle Jim, however, tells the professor that once 'when the mate and I were ashore down there, I called up a lot of the Patagonians, and the mate and I measured about five hundred of them, and every one of 'em measured five feet nine inches and a half; no more, no less. Every man, woman, and child measured five feet nine inches and a half—that's their exact height'. When the disappointed professor asks, 'Mightn't the former race have been giants?', Uncle Jim insists that it is 'impossible' because on another visit to the region he had 'dug up two hundred and seventy-five old Patagonians, and measured 'em. They all measured exactly five feet nine inches and a half; no difference in 'em—[...]. Five feet nine inches and a half is the natural height of a Patagonian. They've always been just that'. (656)
Notes that the coast of the Pacific Northwest region forms a 'natural aquaria as each tides goes out—a rich and almost untouched field for the marine naturalist' containing 'extraordinary star-fishes, anemones, crustacea, and hydroids' (708). Although it is 'only three hundred and seventy years since [the Spanish explorer] BalboaBalboa, Vasco Núñez de
CBD CloseView the register entry >> first gazed at the Pacific' and the region has been rarely explored or developed in the intervening period (709), insists that the Pacific Northwest will soon 'derive great benefit from the completion of the Canadian Pacific RailwayCanadian Pacific Railway
CloseView the register entry >>, and from the development of the mineral resources of the coast north of it' (712). Indeed, immigrants are already beginning to flock to the area, and the recent 'importation of several hundred raw Chinese' to Port Townsend has meant that 'their enforced vaccination has become one of the most prominent industries of the town, where physicians find the healthfulness of the climate a serious bar to their financial success' (715). Relates how the 'populous [...] Indians' of the region 'belong to many separate bands or "tribes", but can be united into two philological families', and 'they all possess characteristics very different from the Haidas, or northern Indians, and go under the general name of Flatheads, from the habit many of them had formerly (and still continue somewhat) of flattening backward the foreheads of their children, or by compression of the whole head shaping the top of the skull into a conical form far from beautiful to civilized notions' (717). The old Indian practice of 'whaling has been abandoned of late years' now that 'fur sealing [...] occupies the native hunters, and gives better profits'. The 'great importance' of this industry 'to both white men and Indians' has led to a greater concern with the seals themselves, and on the question 'Whether the fur seal of this coast is the same species as that of the Pribylov Islands (Callorhinus ursinus), naturalists are disagreed', although it is 'generally believed that they are the same'. (718) Meanwhile, it has been 'proved that [the] young are born off the strait—one of several new facts for which naturalists are indebted to the labors of Mr. SwanSwan, James G
WBI CloseView the register entry >>' (719).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 722–31.
Reveals that the 'belief in chiromancy and astrology' was an 'interest which colored so much of Bulwer'sLytton, Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-, 1st
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> later life', and suggests that on 'these two studies, which have always had and still have earnest followers, it would seem that modern science ought to have very different effects. The stars in space must surely be less and less held to have direct influence on man, a mere atom in the vast, a speck on a world which is as a grain of dust among the worlds. But as the kindred doctrines of evolution and heredity become more and more accepted, it will surely be more evident that every shade of character is stamped on the physical form, and this, rightly examined and deciphered, will give the key to character'. Insists that this 'again affects in some degree the actions of man, and as truest prophecy is the right interpretation of the past, so will the future of any man be foretold in some degree by the correct understanding of ancestral characters impressed on bodily form, and most easily seen [...] in the lines of the hand'. Also notes that 'Readers of the novels will call to mind the many allusions to occult sciences'. (728).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 731–45.
When Webb Clifford shows Amy Winfield some 'fruit germs' taken from a peach tree, she is 'astonished to find how perfect the embryo blossom appeared under the microscope', although Webb then goes on to show her the 'blackened heart of the bud' which 'needed no glass' to be seen. He explains that by 'killing the greater part of the buds' with spring frost, nature has in fact 'performed a very important labor for us' that will 'save us from thinning the fruit next summer' in order to produce a 'profitable crop of peaches'. (734) He also insists that 'buds are arranged spirally on trees in mathematical order', to which his brother Leonard exclaims, 'Oh, nonsense, Webb; you are too everlastingly scientific. Buds and leaves are scattered at hap-hazard all over the branches'. With the aid of 'slender shoots of peach, apple, and pear trees', however, Webb is able to prove to even Leonard's satisfaction that 'Nature, with all her seeming carelessness and abandon, works on strict mathematical principles'. (735) Later, the elderly Mrs Clifford declares, 'Seed catalogues, with their long lists of novelties, never lose their fascination for me' and expresses her 'love' for the 'almost endless diversity in beauty which one species of plants will exhibit', which prompts a discussion about the 'varying vitality of seeds' (736). Mrs Clifford reflects that 'Some say that certain fertilizers or conditions will produce certain kinds of vegetation without the aid of seeds—just develop them, you know', but her son Webb interjects that the only 'sensible answer is that all vegetation is developed from seeds, spores, or whatever was designed to continue the chain of being from one plant to another'. He continues, 'I am quite sure that there is not an instance on record of the spontaneous production of life, even down to the smallest animalcule in liquids, or the minutest plant life that is propagated by invisible spores. [...] Up to this time science has discovered nothing to contravene the assurance that God, or some one, "created every living creature that moveth, and every herb yielding seed after his kind". After a series of most careful and accurate experiments, Professor TyndallTyndall, John
DSB CloseView the register entry >> could find no proof of the spontaneous production of even microscopic life, and found much proof to the contrary'. Webb goes on to claim that 'How far original creations are changed or modified by evolution, natural selection, are questions that are to be settled neither by dogmatism on the one hand nor by baseless theories on the other, but by facts, and plenty of them'. Mrs Clifford then asks her son, 'with some solicitude in her large eyes', whether 'there is anything atheistical in evolution?', and he replies reassuringly that 'If evolution is the true explanation of the world, as it now appears to us, it is no more atheistical than some theologies I have heard preached', for 'If God with His infinite leisure chooses to evolve His universe, why shouldn't He?'. The discussion is concluded by the decisive intervention of Mr Clifford, who reflects, 'I read much in the papers and magazines of theories and isms of which I never heard when I was young, but eighty years of experience have convinced me that the Lord reigns'. (737) When Burt later encounters an eagle that has been rendered immobile by the frost, he takes him proudly to Dr Marvin who as 'he was a skilful taxidermist [...] good-naturedly promised to "set the eagle up"' and 'kill him scientifically', for it was 'agreed that he would prove too dangerous a pet to keep' (742).
Sanitation, Engineering, Engineers, War, Public Health, Hygiene, Architecture, Disease, Natural Law, Skill, Putrefaction, Gender
Contends that sanitary engineering is a 'profession in its infancy' which only began to receive 'public interest' with the 'establishment of the Sanitary CommissionArmy Sanitary Commission
CloseView the register entry >> of the British army in the Crimean war' and then with the formation of the 'Sanitary CommissionUnited States Sanitary Commission
CloseView the register entry >> of our own army during the late war' (756). Indeed, after the civil war the 'School of Mines of Columbia CollegeColumbia College, New York—School of Mines
CloseView the register entry >>' became the 'first institution of learning' in America 'to introduce into its curriculum the study of sanitary engineering as a special branch of instruction', although the 'only author of prominence who has published a complete work entitled Sanitary EngineeringCain, William
1879. Sanitary Engineering, Raleigh, NC: P. R. Hale & Edwards,
Broughton & Co.
CloseView the register entry >> fails to notice, even by a passing remark, some of the most important subjects which should be included in a complete course of study' (756–57). States that one of the principal 'axioms' of sanitary science is the assumption that 'health is subject to law: not that the laws of health or the causes of disease are so thoroughly understood as to render this an exact science [...] but that ill health and physical as well as mental depression [...] have their special causes, and that enough is known of these causes through modern investigation to warrant special public and private measures for counteracting or preventing them' (757). Claims that the most important question in modern sanitary engineering is 'What shall we do with the sewage?', and condemns the 'apathy of legislators and the prevailing ignorance, even in intelligent communities, regarding matters so vital to public health and prosperity' (758). Goes on to insist that, 'Although not an agreeable subject for public discussion, it must be met', and contends that 'Until some fortunate chemist or inventive engineer shall have furnished the clew to a better solution of the matter, the sewage farm as now practised in a score of towns in England [...] seems to be the only resource'. Now that 'Numerous chemical processes have been tried at great expense' and 'with only partial success', American 'cities and towns must submit to the idea, as well as become accustomed to the existence, of a sewage farm'. (758–59) Above all, though, the 'sewage question, as it is called, must sooner or later demand all the resources of the most skilful engineer' (759). Details the dangers of most current systems of 'house drainage' (760), and suggests that it is 'little less than inhuman for architects and builders to adhere to a system which exposes all—especially women and children, who are most confined in-doors—to the deadly and insidious contaminations of the air of dwellings' with defective plumbing (760–61). Instead, proposes the placing of 'closets, bath-rooms, lavatories, and all other so-called conveniences within an annex, or within impervious walls at the rear of the dwelling', a plan whose 'great advantages were forcibly presented recently by Dr. HamiltonHamilton, Hugh
RLIN CloseView the register entry >>' (761). Also notes that 'It is stated by HuxleyHuxley, Thomas Henry
DSB CloseView the register entry >> that a healthy man gives off through the skin [...] 300 grains of solid matter in 24 hours' which 'makes a large aggregate of animal refuse in a crowded city', and calculates that 'at the rate of one pound for 33 persons in 24 hours, a city of one million inhabitants would thus furnish, imperceptibly, [...] nearly 5500 tons of such solid animal matter per annum' (762).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 769–84.
Notes that the philanthropist Octavia HillHill, Octavia
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'does not believe in hemming in work with the circumference of an association, but in providing centres whence good work may radiate, as the light streams from the sun', and observes, 'There is a germ theory of disease: this is the germ theory of cure' (770). Describes various plans for improving urban dwellings of the poor, but insists that the 'small house is the ideal home, and the "working-men's trains" of the suburban railways are doing missionary work. The Great Eastern RailwayGreat Eastern Railway Company
CloseView the register entry >> carries workmen to and from Enfield (eleven miles out) for a penny the trip' (779). Also remarks that 'One of the New York art galleries, in 1879, saw a strange sight: beauty had gracefully made way for utility, and instead of pictures, mysterious diagrams adorned the walls. These were plans in competition for a prize offered by The Sanitary EngineerPlumber and Sanitary Engineer
Engineering and Building Record and Sanitary
Engineering Record, Building Record and Sanitary
BUCOP CloseView the register entry >> for the best treatment of a city lot [...] for tenement purposes' (780). The winning design was 'what came to be known as "the dumb-bell plan"' which ensures that every apartment in a block 'has its own separate wash-room, and its own water-closet and ash-shoot' and no 'room or closet in any of the buildings is without a window opening upon the outer air' (781–82).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 810–15.
Reports that during the 'past month Professor TyndallTyndall, John
DSB CloseView the register entry >> has engaged in some experiments in the laboratory of the Royal InstitutionRoyal Institution of Great Britain
CloseView the register entry >> with the object of demonstrating the causes of the remarkable sunsets and other atmospheric phenomena which were everywhere observed in December and January. Some time ago Professor Tyndall made certain curious discoveries, showing the fact of light passing through different gases and sprays, and his recent experiments were designed to test by means of a laboratory experiment, the effect sunlight may have upon certain matters floating in the atmosphere'. Meanwhile, the 'committee of the Trinity BoardTrinity House
CloseView the register entry >> appointed to conduct experiments with illuminants for light-houses have been engaged at the South Foreland light-house in testing the comparative value of electricity, gas and oil'. (813) Records that 'On February 8 the New Zealand Company'sNew Zealand Shipping Company
CloseView the register entry >> steamship TongariroSS Tongariro CloseView the register entry >> arrived at Plymouth, having made the passage from New Zealand in 38 days 3 hours steaming, the fastest on record'. Notes that 'Professor HullHull, Edward
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> has recently returned from the Holy Land, where he formed some startling theories, based on geological grounds', such as the idea 'that at the time of the Exodus there was a continuous connection of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea'. In America, 'work has actually been commenced upon the proposed ship-railway that is to cross the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and rival the Panama CanalPanama Canal
CloseView the register entry >>', and 'Mr. Eads, C.E.Eads, James Buchanan
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, the builder of the great steel bridge across the Mississippi at St. Louis [...] has been recently in London upon business connected with the enterprise'. Also observes that 'In Germany fresh reports have been received from the CommissionDeutschen Cholera-Kommission
CloseView the register entry >> sent out by the Government, first to Egypt, and then to India, to inquire into the causes and cure of cholera. Experiments prove that there is a close connection between the disease and certain bacilla (minute organisms) which were found with the aid of the micrscope in the bodies of cholera patients'. (814)
History of Science, Declinism, Religion, Medical Practitioners, Status, Exploration, Race, Physiognomy
Reflects that the 'Arabs who, at the height of their powers, were the progressists of Europe, and had, if not advanced, at least saved science from the darkness and the barbarism of the Middle Ages, have to-day no sciences except that which they call the science of God' (831). Relates: 'I had brought a travelling case of medicine' and this 'character of physician, the best passport in Arabian countries, allowed me to see and observe closely many things which, without it, fanaticism would have hidden inexorably from Christian eyes' (836), including the 'Grand Mosque' which 'only a single traveller had entered [...] before me; this was Mr. A. M. BroadleyBroadley, Alexander Meyrick
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, the TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >> correspondent, whose article on Kairwan had already made a sensation' (833). Also discusses the unappealing 'regularity' of the 'physiognomies' of 'Kairwanese women', noting that 'One seeks in vain in their almost classic faces something to reveal the individual, something of the deeper experience of life which discloses itself in the harassed faces of Northern races. Their large eyes, surrounded by a thick dark circle, have the fixed placidity of expression of the animal' (842).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 864–68.
Brings attention to the 'dangers from defective vision among mariners and railroad employés', and insists that several 'accidents' at sea and on the railways have been 'caused by both imperfect eyesight and color-blindness'. The 'experience' of 'specialists' and 'medical men' has long shown that 'about four per cent. of males [are] color-blind' and 'such [is] most probably the case among those who give or read colored signals on the land and sea'. While these 'Men of special training and experience have thus proved the practical application of their scientific knowledge', the 'official [...] examination of the eyesight of those implicated in disasters on land or sea seems to be as studiously avoided in England as in the United States'. (864) Indeed, in England, it has been claimed, 'Railway directors and officials allow the fastest trains to be driven by men whose defects of vision preclude them from distinguishing any form of signal' (865), and even the 'frightful' rate of a shipping 'collision "once in four hours"' has not prompted legislation regarding testing the vision of sailors (868). In Europe, things are somewhat better, and the 'first movement for control on land and sea was made in Sweden through the earnest work of Professor HolmgrenHolmgren, Frithiof
DSB CloseView the register entry >>' (866). Since then, the International Medical CongressInternational Medical Congress
CloseView the register entry >>, in 1879 and 1881, 'formulated definite requirements, through experts representing twelve different countries' regarding 'what was safe and right [...] as to the color sense and visual power of [...] railroad employés and mariners', and stressed the 'need of international agreement as to standards of requirements [...] and standard methods of testing' (867). Concludes that only such internationally recognised standards can 'produce a moral force not to be withstood by political pressure' that could overcome the 'human greed and human carelessness' manifested in the current 'Official neglect' of the issue (868).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 869–82.
Geology, Stratigraphy, Mining, Race, Railways, Industry
Observes that, apart from logging, the principal industry of the Pacific Northwest region is mining 'lignite' coal, and notes that 'Five strata have been discovered, the two now being penetrated having a thickness of ten and a half and six feet respectively, throughout which there is only one thin streak of impurity' (874). Describes how in the processing of mined coal it is 'necessary [...] to pick over the main body of the coal in order to reject slaty fragments. For this duty Chinese are employed, their ability to stand all day bending over a sliding stream of coal and rapidly pick out the waste being far superior to that of any white man, who grows lame and impatient at such confining and pernickety work' (875). Concludes that the future prosperity of the towns in the region 'depend upon the fixture of that mysterious, speculator-plaguing will-o'-the-wisp "the terminus" of the North Pacific RailroadNorthern Pacific Railroad, United States of America CloseView the register entry >>', which is presently located at New Tacoma but seems likely to be moved to either Seattle or Port Townsend (882).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 898–904.
Insists that 'Archæology is a special study, infested no doubt by amateurs, but requiring honest and serious attention', and suggests that as such 'we must not enter into learned discussions in this paper' (900). Observes that Heinrich Schliemann'sSchliemann, Heinrich
DSB CloseView the register entry >> main purpose in life has been to 'investigate prehistoric antiquity' (901), and he has recently investigated, in the Greek region of Troad, a 'great series of human traces, reaching from the most remote antiquity into the decline of the Roman Empire'. Considers the remains of a town which existed 'at least six centuries before Christ', and speculates, 'If, then, the remains of such antiquity reach down only to six feet under-ground, what shall we say of the antiquity of the older settlements, which are to be traced down to fifty-two feet under the present level? The mind recoils somewhat aghast from so gigantic a computation. But the character of these older remains corroborates our conclusion. They all bear a distinctly prehistoric character'. (899) Notes that 'From sections of hills made by railways we might, indeed, as we have done, make important prehistoric discoveries', and also claims that 'a noble end it is to inquire into the rudest remains of long-departed races, and to inquire not by theory and conjecture, but by an examination of actual facts' (903). Indeed, although Schliemann's 'discoveries have [...] given rise to many controversies, they are controversies about the interpretation of facts, not about the respective probability of rival theories'. Bemoans the 'invasion of philology by self-taught and unceremonious inquirers', but reports that lately Schliemann's principal 'enemies, the pedants, have been discomfited and brought to confusion. The ablest and most learned of them, Dr. BrentanoBrentano, Emil Wilhelm
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, has lately committed suicide, and if his English disciple has not gone so far as to copy him literally in this, he has at least gone as far as charitable adversaries can desire in committing archæological suicide, by maintaining theories which blot him out from the number even of incipient students in that science' (904).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 919–35.
When Webb Clifford and Amy Winfield discuss the 'migratory tide of robins, song-sparrows, phœbe and other early birds' that are flying northwards in the spring (924), Webb recognises that a 'new element' is 'entering into his life'. He comes to feel that 'Amy's presence [...] arrested a tendency [in him] to become materialistic and narrow', and 'like the awakening forces in the soil around them, a vital force was developing in two human hearts equally unconscious'. (926) Describes how, in the smallholding of the Clifford family, the 'fertilizers of the barn-yard were carted to the designated places, whereon, by nature's alchemy, they would be transmuted into forms of use and beauty' (930), while also noting that 'Managing a country place is like sailing a ship. One's labors are, or should be, much modified by the weather'. When Webb comments in 'mock-gravity' on the peeping sound made by 'Hylodes pickeringii', Amy retorts angrily, 'I have known people to cover up their ignorance by big words before. Indeed, I think it is a way you scientists have'. (931)
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 7 (1883–84), 977–80.
Regular Feature—Anecdote, Drollery
Prints an anecdote told by an 'old Long Island coasting skipper' who recounts that during a particularly turbulent lightning storm 'after a big flash, I felt a curious feeling—a cold chill, like I had swallowed quicksilver, come over me'. He retreats below the deck of his ship, and when the squall passed over 'felt all right except an onaccountable feeling about my feet. I sung out for the cook, who pulled off my boots, and, strange to say, although it is the truth, I turned out of each one nigh on to a pint of the electric fluid'. (977)