Medical Practitioners, Status, Ancient Authorities
In a melodramatic story which takes place during the first century BC, the victim of an accidental stabbing is taken to the house of a Roman nobleman 'who owned a very able Greek physician, and who hired him out at a high price to those who needed him. He had been purchased by the father of his present owner, who had remarked him as a very bright and intelligent young slave. Noticing his turn for medicine, he had him carefully educated in that art, in which he became an enthusiast; but he was never allowed to purchase his freedom, though he offered a high price for himself, his former as well as his present owner both preferring to hire him out at high prices, and thus repay themselves for their expenditure'. Amidst frequent invocations of the god Æsculapius, the slave-doctor diagnoses the onset of a 'Brain-fever' and is able to save the patient. (36)
Records the 'Tedious and complicated [...] investigations connected with the appraisal of composite textile fabrics', as well as the 'still greater difficulties [which] attach to the valuation of other articles, such as sugar, chemicals, etc., etc.' by the 'statistical clerks' who collect the import tariffs of the United States Naval Office, noting that 'In these cases the aid of the United States Chemical LaboratoryUnited States Chemical Laboratory
CloseView the register entry >>, situated in the Public Store, is invoked. This institution is conducted by Dr. Edward ShererSherer, Edward
RLIN CloseView the register entry >>' (57–58).
Describes the 'screen of torpid smoke' that 'seems to clot in the sultry air' above the ill-favoured industrial landscape of Sheffield and which constitutes the leading impression of the place formed by the 'uninformed traveller who glances through the town by railway without alighting' (67–68). Asserts, however, that the interest of the South Yorkshire city is 'invisible in the places to which a tourist usually looks for a city's attractions', and instead resides in 'the absolute excellence of its metallic manufactures, the knowledge of which is circulated everywhere by a medium less mutable than literature'. Indeed, the article 'question[s] if there is a savage so benighted who, however, ignorant he may be of its import, cannot see Sheffield deeply branded on his knife', and 'it is quite possible at this very moment, while the ink is drying on this manuscript, that with a Sheffield blade of one kind or another some fugitive Bannocks [a native American tribe] are hiding in the fastness of Montana, with a view to anatomic experiments upon the "whites"', and 'the readers of Harper's Magazine are cutting the leaves of the last number'. In fact, 'Scarcely any limitation can be set to the variety of purposes served by Sheffield manufactures'. (74) After noting that 'Sheffield has particular interest to the student of social science' because of the prevalence of 'destitution and immorality' (76), narrates a tour through the varied sites of Sheffield 'steel manufactures, electro-plating, and cutlery' production (77). Notes that the grinder in a Sheffield workshop 'suffers severely from a painful disease caused by the entrance of steel and stone dust into the lungs, and when fans were applied to create draughts that would suck the dust away, he objected to them because they would lengthen the average life of the trade, and lead to a surplus of labor!' (79). Concludes by observing that in a foundry, 'the labor assumes heroic proportions, which elevate it and fill an observer with the almost obsolete sense of amazement [...]. No wild vision of the supernatural, no Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
CloseView the register entry >> exhibition of pyrotechnics, no brilliant achievement of scenic art, could approach in weirdness, picturesqueness, and startling quality of effect the simple business of making BessemerBessemer, Sir Henry
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> steel, which is a staple and everyday industry' (82).
In a narrative replete with the lore of natural history and observations concerning the changing seasons, Amy Winfield comes to feel that 'botany was not altogether satisfactory, for analysis and classification do not reveal to us a flower or plant any more than the mention of a name and family connection makes known individual character. She felt this, and her love for natural objects was too real to be satisfied with a few scientific facts about them. If a plant, tree, or bird interested her, she would look at it with a loving, lingering glance until she felt that she was learning to know it somewhat as she would recognize a friend' (92). Later, amidst the beautiful natural surroundings of the springtime, the kindly Webb Clifford, one of the family who have taken in Amy as an orphan ward, tells her that 'the basis of nearly all we see is a microscopic cell endowed with essential power. [...] It is cell adding cells that is transforming the world around us'. After Amy asks Webb to 'show me one of those cells with your microscope', he informs her that 'there is one thing within the cell which I can not show you, and which has never been seen, and yet it accounts for everything, and is the architect of all—life. When we reach the cell we are at the threshold of this mysterious presence', to which she replies, 'Surely there is but one explanation, the one papa taught me: it is the power of God. He is in the little as well as in the great'. Webb assures her of his belief that 'the life of God is in some way the source of all the life we see', but he also concedes that 'perplexing questions arise on every side', and that his 'knowledge is small indeed, compared with that of multitudes of others'. (95)
Recounts a journey around the shores of Lake Superior, noting that the lake 'which was once mainly distinguished from the sea by its freshness, has now been found to contain all the essential salts, at least in the waters of Thunder Bay [...] and as early as 1851 Professor AgassizAgassiz, Louis (Jean Louis Rodolphe)
DSB CloseView the register entry >> announced the fact that the beach pea is found along the North Shore, together with other plants and insects peculiar to the ocean'. The lake, though, has 'lain there these many million years, hemmed in by a rim of rocky mountains which were twisted and marred by the fires which shaped the globe, and as a model about which the continent was formed, presents an epitome of antiquity before which the age of the eternal hills is but an instant in the march of time'. (103) Observes that this stunningly beautiful 'terra incognita' now contains a 'few scattered towns along the lake' which are 'the result of mining, which has been encouraged by geological surveys', although it remains uncertain 'whether the deposits of silver and other metals be rich or otherwise' (106). The precipitous cliffs of Thunder Cape give rise to awed reflections on 'how supreme they were as they seemed to look down upon us across these many million years since the earth was young, and their scarred and wrinkled fronts echoed the tumult of creation!' (111) After visiting a Christian mission on one of the many islands (James E CabotCabot, James Elliot
WBI CloseView the register entry >> 'estimated that were nearly thirty-six thousand islands in the lake' (111)), comments that 'In the conversion of the Indian it seems, curiously enough, that the main bulwark to be carried is his fondness for drumming—a ceremony senseless and monotonous enough to us, but full of mysterious importance to those who, in the simplicity of race childhood, are awed by natural phenomena' (112).
Claims that the 'newly published volumes of the United States Census for 1880United States Census 1880: United States
Census of Population, 1880, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office,
CloseView the register entry >> give, with an accuracy of detail such as the world never before saw, the panorama of this vast westward march [across the American continent]. It is a matter of national pride to see how its ever-changing phases have been caught and photographed in these masterly volumes, in a way such as the countries of the older world have never equalled, though it would seem so much easier to depict their more fixed conditions. [...] the successive centres [of population] for the United States are here exhibited on a chart with a precision as great, and an impressiveness to the imagination as vast, as when astronomers represent for us the successive positions of a planet'. With 'this striking summary, the census report gives us a series of successive representations on colored charts, at ten-year intervals, of the gradual expansion and filling in of population over the whole territory of the United States. No romance is so fascinating as the thoughts suggested by these silent sheets, each line and tint representing the unspoken sacrifices and fatigues of thousands of nameless men and women'. (123)
Suggests that Frederick C Cook'sCook, Frederick Charles
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'philology seems of an antiquated pattern, though his reading has been extensive' (152). Meanwhile, Henry H Johnston'sJohnston, Sir Henry Hamilton
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> narrative of his travels in Central Africa is 'heartily recommended to naturalists, anthropologists, and lovers of travel and adventure. The book is particularly well arranged, the scientific researches being mainly confined to separate chapters' (153).
Reports that in order to put a check on 'the surplus population of rabbits in Australia', which is damaging the export trade in wool, 'Mr. John M. CreedCreed, John Mildred
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, of Woollahra, proposes to introduce tuberculosis, or consumption, among the enemy'. Records that 'M. ChaperChaper, Maurice
RLIN CloseView the register entry >>, a French geologist, has during a scientific mission to Hindustan, succeeded in finding the diamond in its mother rock', in 'a matrix of rose pegmatite', and it 'follows from M. Chaper's discovery that diamonds may exist in all rocks arising from the destruction or erosion of pegmatite'. Announces that 'a new British industry, the making of Beet Sugar, was "inaugurated" at a meeting at Bury St. Edmunds' in April, where Edward FranklandFrankland, Sir Edward
DNODNBB CloseView the register entry >> explained the use of a 'new chemical agent', strontia, which, unlike the agent used previously, the poisonous baryta, is 'entirely innocuous'. Lastly, notes that 'Sir John LubbockLubbock, Sir John, 4th Baronet and 1st Baron
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> has been teaching his dog, Van, to read. His method is to have various words, such as "food", "bone", printed on cards, and to give the dog anything he asks for by bringing the card. [...] Sir John Lubbock has now no doubt that he can distinguish between different words. When he is thirsty he brings the card "WATER" at once. He spells phonetically for the present. Sir John Lubbock is about to teach him arithmetic'. (159)
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Pharmaceuticals, Quackery
Relates a droll fable of a doctor who built up 'probably the greatest reputation of any living physician' by basing his treatments on just 'three drugs—camomile, sweet-oil, and camphor', which he employed in varying proportions, the details of which he kept secret. The patients who flocked to his practice were drawn 'more to the novelty of his treatment than to the number of his cures', and after his death it was revealed that initially he had used only those three drugs because his 'means were at that time narrow', and because he was 'modestly aware of the danger which [his] patients must incur from [his] insufficient knowledge of medicine'. The fable is 'something pleasant and useful for the doctors' and 'teaches us how to make a virtue of necessity'. (161)
Imperialism, Physical Geography, Geology, Ancient Authorities, Ethnography
At a time when 'all eyes are turned eastward, and Egypt has become an object of actual and almost hourly interest', narrates 'an imaginary pilgrimage' along the Nile, describing, amongst other things, the complete dependence of Egyptian wildlife and agriculture on the regular flooding of the river (165 and 180). Also notes that even 'when geographical knowledge was in its infancy, HerodotusHerodotus of Halicarnassus
(d. c. 430–420 BC)
DSB CloseView the register entry >> expressed an opinion, which modern science has confirmed, viz., that not only the Delta, but the whole lower valley of the Nile, had originally been a gulf, filled out gradually by the enormous masses of mud carried along and deposited by the tempestuous river. Nay, more, he even prophesised that, should the river ever change its course, and choose the Red Sea as point of exit, the same phenomenon would be repeated, and in twenty, or even ten, thousand years a new and fruitful continent would be formed where now all is water' (165). Suggests that readers who want to gain 'an approximate idea of the quantities deposited by the Nile during the time of inundation' should consider 'a glass of water left standing for an hour', in which 'from one to two inches of sediment will be found' (165–66). Asserts that 'One of the peculiarities of the rivers of Africa—this land of mystery, typified by the Sphinx guarding its gates—is that they take the longest possible way to reach the sea' (166). Discusses the theories of the 'savants of the ancient time' as to the cause of the flooding of the Nile, some of whom, including AnaxagorasAnaxagoras
DSB CloseView the register entry >> but not Herodotus, came upon the answer which now 'we know to be the true one, viz., [...] the melting of immense masses of snow accumulated on the mountains in Central Africa' (167).
Gives an account of the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and DumbColumbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb
CloseView the register entry >> in Washington DC, 'the only deaf-mute college in the world', which was founded in 1857 by Amos KendallKendall, Amos
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, and since then has been administered by Edward M GallaudetGallaudet, Edward Miner
WBI CloseView the register entry >> (187). Describes the particular mode of teaching employed at the college, which requires all the 'woman's patience' of the predominantly female teachers as well as the hard work of the scholarly 'little hero[s]', and by which the deaf 'children learn to read, write, and speak (in their language)' (184). Gives a brief history of the several different 'method[s] of instruction for the deaf and dumb', including the system of sign-language devised in the eighteenth century by Charles M de L'EpéeEpée, Charles Michel, abbé de l'
CBD CloseView the register entry >> in France, and the method of lip-reading developed at the same time by Samuel HeinickeHeinicke, Samuel
WBI CloseView the register entry >> in Germany, and notes that the College is 'decidedly in favor of a combined system' (186–87). Concludes by explaining that the 'number of deaf-mutes in the country [i.e. the United States] is about thirty-five thousand', and that 'Dumbness without deafness is seldom met with except in idiots, but total congenital deafness is invariably accompanied by dumbness. Deafness may be primarily incidental to diseases of the head and ears, fevers, etc., but in three cases out of five it is congenital' (187).
In explaining the difficulty of the Russian language for most Germans, relates how 'GaussGauss, Carl Friedrich
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, the celebrated mathematician, felt at one time the necessity of doing something to counteract the effect of his purely abstract studies. Two subjects presented themselves to him—the Russian language, and the cumbrous terminology of the Linnæan system. He determined to learn the latter by heart, and actually succeeded in doing so. The difficulty of conquering the intricacies of Russian was too much for him' (193).
Suggests that in 'becoming better acquainted with Murray Bay [on the shore of the St Lawrence River in Quebec; now known as Pointe-au-Pic] the stranger will have his curiosity aroused by the many regularly shaped mounds which he comes upon at a certain elevation above the water. They are really remains of land-slips, and are composed of stratified land and clay, belonging to the geological formations known as Lead clay and Saxicava sand. They have been rounded off to their present shape by the action of the weather and the receding waters. The whole region is one of deep interest to the geologist or mineralogist, as the Laurentian system contains for them inexhaustible riches' (202). Also comments on the tribes of 'aborigines' living along the river, who 'veneer their civilization as much as possible with Indian laziness and unpicturesque dirt', and whose unkempt children incessantly attempt to 'solicit pennies' from the white tourists (206).
Avers that 'If you want a picturesque illustration of the influence of æstheticism in these practical days, go by the under-ground railway to Harrow. The few silly demonstrations of Bunthornism in PatienceGilbert, William
Sullivan, Arthur Seymour 1881.
An Entirely New and Original Aesthetic Opera, in Two Acts, Entitled
Patience; or, Bunthorne's Bride!, London: Chappell & Co.
CloseView the register entry >> are only what may be called bubbles on the modern stream of art progress. The advantages of school-of-art culture and the revival of taste are seen not only in the latest forms of domestic decoration, but in many recent efforts in the way of architecture as applied to the commonest purposes. Every railway station or depot at which the train stops by under-ground to Harrow is a red brick picture, a modest adaptation of "Old Kensington" to the most practical purposes. Platforms, waiting-rooms, ticket offices, the buildings generally, are constructed with an eye to beauty as well as usefulness' (231).
On her eighteenth birthday, Amy Winfield is given 'a powerful opera-glass' by Webb Clifford so that she can observe the many different birds around them. Webb, who is later described as 'a walking encyclopædia of out-door lore' (239), tells Amy that he too would like to use the glass to view the natural world in the same sympathetic manner that she does, reflecting 'I've been using the microscope too much—prying into nature [...] with the spirit of an anatomist' (235). Another gift of an apiary leads to a discussion of the botanical value of different types of soil during which Webb tells his brother Leonard that 'A great many think the ashes simply produce conditions in the soil which generate the clover', to which Len replies 'Out of nothing? That would not be simple at all, and if any one could prove it he would make a sensation in the scientific world'. At this point, their truculent younger brother Burt comments, 'Now Len here's your chance [...]. Just imagine what a halo of glory you would get by setting the scientific world agape with wonder!', to which Leonard retorts dryly, 'I could make the scientific world gape in a much easier way'. (237) Later, Webb, realising that he is falling in love with Amy, reflects unhappily that his 'nature had its hard, practical, business side, but he had never been content with questions of mere profit and loss. He not only wanted the corn, but the secret of the corn's growth and existence. The search into Nature's hidden life, so that he could see through her outward forms the mechanism back of all, and trace endless diversity to simple inexorable laws, had been his pride and solace', and he now acknowledges that 'Amy's coming [...] had awakened the poetic side of his temperament, and while this had taken nothing from the old, it had changed everything' (243).
Observes that the lines of the 'Hudson RiverHudson Bay Railroad Company
CloseView the register entry >>, the New HavenNew York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad Company
CloseView the register entry >>, and the HarlemNew York and Harlem Railroad Company
CloseView the register entry >> [railway companies] meet at a point some five miles above Forty-second Street, and enter the city on the same track', and explains that all the 'trains are operated by the block system, which in its perfection not only precludes the possibility of collisions, except through the failure of the signalling machinery or the carelessness of those in charge, but also, it seems to us, embodies with a force that cannot fail to excite wonder, the highest results attained in mechanical science. Electricity, captive and subject to an ivory disk not larger than the tip of a lady's finger, conveys by semaphore the invisible, inaudible, and unmistakable messages that need no transcription, and that control the movements of hundreds of trains rushing to and from the city in a chain which with a few connections would be endless—control them not merely by indicating to the engineers what it is proper to do, but more effectually by making it impossible for the engineers to do otherwise, except in the face of extreme peril' (271). Also notes that 'Trains, like ships, are cast in the feminine gender by their operators' (272).
In an article full of 'advice to those who wish to become thoroughly posted [...] in the cattle business' (299), observes that 'Change of temperature and of climate has [...] produced a marked impression upon the Texas steer, after being for a few years transplanted to a more temperate zone. The nutritious grasses of Wyoming and Montana, combined with the fresh and vigorous air, give even to the beef of a southern-bred bovine an improved flavour and quality; while the great attention recently paid by stock-growers to the introduction of the best-blooded animals has already been instrumental in raising the grade of entire herds now roaming over the northern ranges' (292). Also notes that in the railway transportation of bovine carcasses from the slaughter-houses in Chicago 'science comes to the aid of mechanical skill with the most perfect adaptation of a means to an end'. Indeed, it 'does not seem possible to improve' on the '"refrigerator" cars' which employ an 'ice compartment [...] in the forward end' that distributes 'a cool current of air' around the hollow sides of the carriage without allowing it to actually enter the 'apartment where the meat is hung'. Thus the meat 'while never allowed to freeze, is chilled to the proper point of preservation'. (298)
Comments that the 'most ancient religion, of which we know anything, is Totemism, or the worship of animals, from whom men believe themselves to be descended. The most modern religion worships men, who, in the name of the most modern thought, claim animals for their ancestors. Extremes meet' (312). Observes that 'Since Mr. ButlerButler, Samuel
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, that unwearied opponent of Darwinism, announced that even a stone has its rudimentary morality (which consists in obeying the law of gravitation), one is ready to look for morals everywhere, and good in everything. Commenting on John E Taylor'sTaylor, John Ellor
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> claim that all life, whether animal or vegetable, is always accompanied by consciousness, notes that 'Great astuteness is shown by flowers in securing the services of insects for cross fertilisation; and, as we understand the system of Mr. Grant AllenAllen, Grant (Charles Grant Blairfindie)
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, colour is merely a species of advertisement, appealing to flies and bees, as the gaudy hues of theatrical posters appeal to lovers of the drama'. Suggests that Taylor's 'book (whatever its scientific value) makes botany interesting, and makes us look on plants as nearly human'. (313) Praises James Sully'sSully, James
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> recent volume for its 'clear statement and interesting style', but concedes that 'Within our limits we cannot review critically a work so full of minute detail, and which explains, with so much learning and such wealth of illustration, the slow, and in most of us, unconscious process by which the mind attains her full knowledge of a fully rounded world, and of herself'. The book is nevertheless 'unhesitatingly recommended [...] to students of philosophy, whether they are reading for their own satisfaction, or under the pressure of examination', and 'Mr. Sully's minute observations of development of mind in children gives his book even a domestic interest'. (314). In reviewing Richard D Blackmore'sBlackmore, Richard Doddridge
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> vituperative new novel, remarks that 'such men of science as know Greek (not, perhaps, a very large class), take the point of the sneer about "Hereditary Meiocathobary" full in their instructive breasts' (315).
Societies, Engineering, Disease, Vaccination, Human Development, Electricity, Horticulture
Gives details of the forthcoming British AssociationBritish Association for the Advancement of Science
CloseView the register entry >> meeting in Montreal. Reveals the slow rate of work on the construction of the Panama CanalPanama Canal
CloseView the register entry >>, although it is 'still hoped that the canal will be inaugurated in 1889' [in fact, the canal was not officially opened until August 1914]. Reports Louis Pasteur'sPasteur, Louis
DSB CloseView the register entry >> 'experiments on rabies. He maintains that he has twenty dogs which he has rendered insusceptible to the disease, and which, with twenty ordinary dogs, he is prepared to have bitten by a number of dogs in a rabid state'. Notes that Eugène DallyDally, Eugène
RLIN CloseView the register entry >> has called attention to 'the dangers of intellectual and military prematurity' by which 'the child wants to be a big boy and the youth wants to be a man before his time'. As such, those 'whose mental development is normal—that is to say, slow—find themselves superseded by young men whose attainments have been tested at a time when their future mental value could not be ascertained'. Also records François H P de Parville'sParville, François Henri Peudefer de
WBI CloseView the register entry >> call for French 'wine-growers' to examine 'the services electricity might render them in protecting their vines from the disastrous effects caused by a sudden fall in temperature'. (320) He suggests that 'electric batteries similar to those used to fire mines' might be employed to set alight 'tarred straw and other combustibles' which would create warming clouds of smoke; the fires could even be lit automatically when 'the thermometer falls toward zero, by means of a very simple arrangement' which 'causes the electric current to pass along the wires' to the combustibles (320–21).
Reflecting on the 'fallibility of human testimony' and the Scriptural passage '"I said in my wrath [sic] all men are liars" [Psalm 116:11]', ponders whether 'he might have said it coolly and with scientific precision. Perhaps it is a question of physiology rather than of morals. The human frame is acknowledged to be a wonderful piece of mechanism. The Psalmist admired it, but it puzzled him. If he had been a scientist he would have been able to give physiological reasons for the opinion that there is not one perfect man—no, not one'. After all, 'Not one eye in ten millions is in a normal, perfect condition. The focus is either behind the retina, or in front of it, and the eye is either near-sighted or far-sighted. What can be expected in such an imperfect organ in the way of correct observation?', and it is 'still worse with the ear. It is at best a crooked organ, and nearly everything that passes through it gets a twist'. In addition, the 'effort of the tongue to put into sound and speech the so-called impressions obtained through the complicated mechanism of the eye and the ear is a ludicrous failure', and it only adds to the 'congeries of misrepresentation'. (323)
Advises that in some areas of the West, antelope 'have not been hunted much, and are not familiar with the whiles of the white man', and they thus 'have as much curiosity as a woman, and will run into all kinds of danger to investigate any strange object they may discover' (367). Claims that the 'speed of the antelope is probably not excelled by that of any other animal in this country, wild or domestic, except the greyhound' (368). Warns, however, that the 'antelope, one of the brightest and most graceful and beautiful of all our Western game animals, is fast disappearing from our broad plains, owing to the ceaseless slaughter of it that is carried on by "skin hunters", Indians, "foreign noblemen", and others who come to this country year after year and spend the entire summer in hunting', and this is 'true of all the large game of the great West. The buffalo, elk, deer, mountain-sheep, etc., are being slaughtered by the thousands every year—tenfold faster than the natural increase. And the time is near, very near, when all these noble species will be extinct. The sportsman or naturalist who desires to preserve a skin or head of any of them must procure it very soon or he will not be able to get it at all' (369).
Urges that the 'American boy ought always to have a smack of ColumbusColumbus, Christopher
CBD CloseView the register entry >> about him', and 'the first and perhaps the most interesting country that he explores is the one which is bounded by his own jacket and trousers'. Refusing to 'enter here upon that famous inquiry whether a hard biceps is a symptom of a fine brain', contends that 'Our brains are quite fine enough: in certain parts of New England they have reached a degree of tenuity beyond which they can not go and hold together. But nothing comes of it except refinement, which, as history and our innate knowledge of human nature tells us, is not only the last step away from savagery, but the next step before it'. Rather, the coming 'men of the twentieth century [...] must have strength rather than refinement; and one would sooner fancy them developing new muscles, or, at any rate, new hearts, than new evolutions of the cerebrum'. Questions the 'propriety of making health the deliberate object of exercise', suggesting that to 'make yourself strong for the sake of your private health is the analogue of obeying the decalogue for the sake of your private crown; there is something unpleasantly unsympathetic about it. But be strong simply because mankind at large will be better if all men become physically more efficient, and the other blessings shall be added to you'. (384)
Describes the physical geography of the 'inland saline sea' (391) that lies amid the 'lifeless alkali deserts' of central Utah, and which was 'put down [...] in maps made toward the end of the last century as much by guess as maps of twenty years ago contained the lakes of Central Africa in problematic positions'. After explaining how the lake was mapped correctly for the first time in the 1830s by Benjamin L E de BonnevilleBonneville, Benjamin Louis Eulalie de
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, suggests that it is 'a great pity that the good and proper name Lake Bonneville has been lost in the prosaic name it now bears, and will probably for ever retain'. (388) Warns that if swimmers in the Great Salt Lake accidentally swallow the brine 'it not only chokes, but is described as fairly burning the tissues of the throat and lungs, producing death almost as surely as the breathing of fire'. After all, the 'proportion of saline matter in it is six times as great as the percentage of the ocean, and almost equal to that of the Dead Sea'. But, although the 'waters seem utterly lifeless [...] the innumerable gulls and pelicans there must find something to live upon', and when 'Walking on the shore in midsummer, you are surrounded by clouds of little sand-fleas (Artemia salina)'. The salt in the lake can be obtained by 'damming small bays' and allowing the water to evaporate, and 'great quantities [are] used at home in chlorodizing ores'. (391). Because 'so much curiosity is constantly expressed' regarding the 'private routine of a polygamous family', gives a brief account of such families, although notes that 'less than ten per cent. of the voting Mormon population of Utah are polygamists' (398). Explains that 'all the agriculture of Utah is by artificial irrigation', using water drawn from 'stream[s] fed by the melting snows of the heights' (401). Also notes how the Mormon leader Brigham YoungYoung, Brigham
CBD CloseView the register entry >> 'always opposed any attempt at a development of the mineral resources of the Territory', and 'forbade all mining to his devotees' (402), an attitude that 'led to a schism in the Church', and which has now been relaxed considerably since Young's death (403).
Medical Treatment, Health, Medical Practitioners, Sanitation, Disease, Pathology, Meteorology, Analytical Chemistry, Hygiene, Physiological Chemistry
Bemoans the absence in America of 'a proper scientific basis for popular interest' in the remedial influences of natural spring waters (445), which in Continental Europe are 'carefully studied and highly esteemed'. Argues that for this the 'medical profession is greatly to blame. Among our medical schools balneology as a subject of systematic study is entirely neglected. It has no place in the various curricula, and in the text-books is slighted or ridiculed. Hence among physicians as among the laity, in respect to the relative therapeutic merits of our springs, there exists that gross ignorance which accounts for the hap-hazard way in which mineral waters are prescribed by our doctors and taken by their patients'. (438) Describes the 'sanitary watering-place' at Richfield Springs in Otsego County, New York State, which offers waters that, as the analytical chemist Charles F ChandlerChandler, Charles Frederick
WBI CloseView the register entry >> has shown, contain a high level of 'alkalies [which] are deservedly popular as medicinal agents', and are 'important as natural elements of the body' (442). There is, however, no agreement as to 'the value of these many chemical ingredients in combination', and 'According as one is a sanitarian, a chemist, or a malarialist will he give credit to the hygienic, the solvent, or the antiseptic properties of aqua pura' (441–42). This does not, though, justify the depreciation of balneology by 'that class of egoists who love to parade before the world as apostles of skepticism' (442). Also highlights the fact that a 'seasonable change of climate may act both as a prophylactic and a curative remedy' (439), and insists that the 'great classes of catarrhal, pulmonary, and rheumatic disorders' are 'subject to similar meteorological laws' (440).
When Amy Winfield discovers a 'huge black snake' (later found to be 'over four feet' long) devouring a nest of fledglings, she instinctively calls to Webb Clifford, who shoots the reptile with a 'breach-loading gun', and later reads aloud to the gathered family-group 'Burroughs'sBurroughs, John
CBD CloseView the register entry >> account of a like scene and rescue' (448). The incident also occasions a discussion of the unpleasant appearance of snakes, and their role in mythology. In a similar manner, the 'electric pyrotechnics' of a violent rain storm in which 'the lightning played almost every freak imaginable' terrifies Amy and leads her to ponder the 'danger [...] in God's universe'. Webb, however, reassures her that he 'can explain it all with my matter-of-fact philosophy', and rationalises her fear by explaining that 'finely organised natures' such as her own are deeply 'affected' by 'these electrical storms' (453 and 455). Amy later worries that she cannot interest Webb sufficiently, wishing that she 'knew enough to talk to him as he would like', and she 'stealthily trie[s] to read some of the scientific books that she saw him poring over' (457).
Reports that John RuskinRuskin, John
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> announced to the Edinburgh meeting of the British Mineralogical SocietyBritish Mineralogical Society
CloseView the register entry >> that 'Scotland herself was one magnificent mineralogical specimen'. He also, however, 'complained that Geology endeavours to account for the catastrophes of chaos, without being able to tell why a pebble is coloured'; 'These views did not entirely win the approbation of Prof. GeikieGeikie, Sir Archibald
DNB CloseView the register entry >>'. Announces a scheme to harness the power of the fast-flowing River Rhone 'to grind electric light for the streets', noting that already 'Dams are being erected'. Also records that in America 'a system of automatic beacon lights has been adopted'. Each beacon will contain 'gas under a pressure of fifteen atmospheres', in a 'quantity [...] sufficient to light the beacon for three months'. (483)
Recounts a droll tale concerning a 'graduate from the Sheffield Scientific SchoolYale University, New Haven—Sheffield Scientific School
CloseView the register entry >>, who was so greatly interested in botany' that he 'spent a winter in Western Connecticut, where he boarded with a clergyman's family'. At first, the graduate was assisted in his botanical studies by the minister's little daughter, but she was 'scandalised almost into hysterics' when he declared that '"a blasted woodpecker" had destroyed the bark of a rare and beautiful tree'. Later, she tells the graduate of a particularly lovely calla lily that she had owned, explaining that '"it died last fall just because it was blasphemed by Jack Frost". She was too consistent to say it has been blasted'. (484)
In an account of the Irish port of Queenstown, which is 'the entrance for many Americans to Europe, [...] where the ocean voyage practically begins and ends' (489), describes the nearby natural harbour at Crookhaven, which has 'a telegraph station from which the arrival of the ship is telegraphed over both continents' (490). Also suggests that 'As soon as an American steamer is telegraphed it is known among the thatched cottages on the hill-side through some rapid but mysterious agency, and long before the tender comes in from Roche's Point a voluble and excited rabble of hawkers, beggars, and carmen gathers on the quays' (496).
Advises the 'reader in the Atlantic States' to 'consult some modern map of this northwestern corner of the Union, whose features have only recently been accurately known and cartographed' (500). Gives an account of 'what the region contain[s] attractive to immigrants', and how it can be reached by many different forms of transport (501). Notes the emergence of several 'thriving, progressive farming centres' in the valley of the Walla Walla River in Washington Territory, which use 'the "summer fallow" plan as a precaution against too great depletion of their soil', as well as another 'bit of economy' with the 'use of "headers" rather than the ordinary mowers and reapers, the long stubble remaining after the harvest being burned, and thus returning to the soil in ashes the greater part of the minerals drawn into the straw during the previous year'. There are, however, still 'a large class of ignorant and shiftless farmers, "old-timers" for the most part, who are heedless of these far-seeing precautions'. (503) Observes that the difficulty of commercial 'placer-mining' in the region has meant that the initial diggings made by the white population were 'soon abandoned to the patient Chinamen, who are only too glad to be let peacefully alone with the second pick at anything', and who are 'hard to distinguish from the bowlders among which they delve' (504). These 'colonies of Chinese washing gold out of the gravelly shores of the river' inhabit 'little holes dug in the bank', and their life is 'far more comfortless and savage and isolated than that of the Indian on the opposite bank' (505). Describes Hangman's Creek where in 1857 'the trees along its banks a little lower down were decorated with the bodies of several ringleaders of a murderous revolt on the part of the Spokane Indians, to whom General WrightWright, George
WBI CloseView the register entry >> administered a defeat so severe and so well merited that this tribe has been most polite and friendly to the whites ever since' (510). Also reflects that the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway through the 'desolation' of the Spokane Valley involved 'incredible hardship to its engineers and workmen' (513).
Observes that although it is 'a common reproach to our mechanics that they are jacks of all trades; to our doctors that they are surgeons, physicians, and professor at the same time', it nevertheless 'seems to be a condition of our civilization [i.e. American] that we shall be able to do more than one thing, be it well or ill. Indeed, specialities in professions are with us quite a recent innovation. This state of things is, I believe, partly the heritage of our early struggles in the settlement and civilization of the country, the remote echo of that personal independence and self-reliance which the necessities of existence developed in our ancestors'. (518)
While visiting the Dutch fishing village of Katwyk, notes the 'powerful fragrance of crude petroleum that filled the place' (526), and observes that 'In Holland they simply revel in all the varieties of things that can be made from that wonderful but penetrating and pungent article. I think the fire was made from it; the knives and forks were cleaned with it. The grocer himself had taken some of it for his cold, and the apprentice, who was also waiter, had copiously anointed his shiny head with it. They don't seek to disguise it in Katwyk with the pretty names of vaseline, but they take it as it is, and love it for itself' (526–28). The offer of a salad is later rejected 'because I felt sure that it would be mixed with vaseline and vinegar' (528).
During a discussion about the reasons for the increasing frequency of droughts, Webb Clifford declares, 'We are suffering from the law of heredity. Our forefathers were compelled to fell the trees to make room for the plough, and now one of the strongest impulses of the average American is to cut down a tree. Our forests, on which a moist climate so largely depends, are treated as if they encumbered the ground. The smoke that we are breathing proves that fires are ravaging to the north and west of us'. The 'influence of trees on the climate', he insists, 'should be taught in all our schools as thoroughly as the multiplication table'. (537) As if serving as 'a practical commentary on Webb's words', a fire is soon started on a neighbouring tract of land by some oblivious 'City chaps [...] gunning out of season' (538). Later, Dr Marvin discourses upon the natural history of the ermine, which is described as 'perhaps the most cruel and blood-thirsty animal in existence' with an 'instinct to kill [...] so strong that, were it possible, it would destroy the means of its subsistence' (547). But this 'mythical vampire embodied' hunts 'destructive [...] field-mice' and thus also 'serves a very useful purpose' in the 'economy of nature' (547–48). The doctor's account of the ermine draws upon the work of 'Dr. CouesCoues, Elliott
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, an eminent naturalist, [who] has given a graphic account of him' (548).
Reflects that 'In these days of problem-guessing, when the simple religion of our fathers is put aside and labelled "anthropomorphic", when the mathematician is rampant, and the gigman ostentatiously spells God with a little "g", it was refreshing to meet with a man who found the old-fashioned creed all-sufficing' (603).
Celebrates the 'beginnings of a work whose exact counterpart the world has never seen', and which is a testament to 'American engineering science and American daring'. In Northern Minnesota a system of reservoirs serviced by five dams on the upper course of the Mississippi River has been under construction for the last two years, and when completed will contribute significantly to 'the improvement of river navigation'. Pronounces that 'when the volume of water passing down the Upper Mississippi can, within certain limits, be regulated by a few touches upon a telegraphic transmitter in Washington, man will have made one more of nature's forces partially subject to his will'. (616) The reservoirs will together be 'capable of adding 6400 cubic feet per second to the volume of the stream', and the 'total estimated cost' of the project is '$558,135' (619), a fairly conservative amount which will not allow for the 'massive walls of masonry stretching from shore to shore' that are familiar on more expensive British dams (620). In essence, the Mississippi reservoir system promises to 'gather up the supply of water now running to waste and increasing the devastative power of floods, together with the excess of the spring and fall discharge; to impound it until the stream becomes so low that navigation will shortly be impeded, and then to release it in such measured quantities as will maintain a minimum depth of four feet in the channel at the head of navigation the year round' (619–20). Describes the construction work on the dams which requires some '1,750,000 feet' of timber, and notes that 'fear has been expressed lest the continued destruction of forests in Northern Minnesota should render the reservoirs useless by diminishing the rain supply' (an issue also discussed in Edward P Roe, 'Nature's Serial Story Ch. 10', Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 8 (1884), 537–51). Insists, however, that the 'most careful meteorological observations in this section indicate that while the cutting of timber may change the general character of the seasons, bringing infrequent heavy storms in the place of gentler long-continued rains, it seems to have had thus far no calculable effect upon the total rain-fall' (622).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 8 (1884), 635–41.
Editor's Literary Record
Regular Feature, Review
Publishing, Reading, Monographs, Climatology
Comments that while large amounts of 'holiday books, novels, and poetry' are brought out in the balmy weather of September, 'publishers reserve [...] solid tomes [...] for the long fireside evenings of studious winter' (635).
Induction, Theory, Human Species, Cosmogony, Heredity, Amusement
Asserts that 'Ours is the inductive method, and in accordance with the prevailing fashion we have only to collect a sufficient number of facts in order to be able to set up and patent a theory which will enable us to understand human nature as perfectly as we now comprehend the development of a complete American universe, with all its various activities and departments, out of certain inanimate and unintelligent ingredients or atoms, stirred together by a sort of indescribable cosmic spoon without a handle' (644–45). In a discussion about the provenance of jokes, concedes that 'it must be admitted that the doctrine of heredity comes in here, so that a joke made without intent to deceive turns out to have been made by an Aryan ancestor two or three thousand years before. Jokes are no doubt perpetuated, skipping entire generations, as physical traits are, and we recognise them by what we call "ear-marks"' (645).
Announces that the '16th of September last, the anniversary of Mexican independence, was celebrated at Monterey by the formal opening of railway communication with the United States: for the first time in their history the two republics, through their representative cities, were united by bands of steel'. While the 'central and more settled portions of Mexico have for some time enjoyed a limited railroad system, constructed by English and native capital', railway lines were not, until now, constructed in the 'vast regions to the north, comprising more than two-thirds of the country', largely because of the 'suspicion and distrust of American aggrandizement, inherent in the heart of every Mexican'. (747) Gives details of places 'strange and foreign to American eyes' which are now 'Brought by the new railroad within a few hours' travel of the United States' (749).
Gives an account of two meetings with Charles R DarwinDarwin, Charles Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, one in 1871, at the home of Erasmus A DarwinDarwin, Erasmus Alvey
RLIN CloseView the register entry >> in central London, and the other in 1878, at Down House in Kent. Records that before his first visit, Mary E H LyellLyell, Mary Elizabeth Horner, Lady
Burkhardt 1994 CloseView the register entry >> warned that 'although I might find Mr. Darwin looking well and strong, I should remember his really delicate health, and not stay long', and that when he talked with Darwin about his health, the great naturalist 'spoke of the opinion of some of his friends that its present rather feeble state might be attributed to long-continued seasickness on his voyages years ago'. Also recounts how Darwin expressed his regret that he was imperfectly qualified for observation whilst onboard HMS BeagleHMS Beagle CloseView the register entry >>, and reflected 'If I could only go now, with my head sixty years old and my body twenty-five, I could do something'. (759) In a discussion about the reception of The Descent of ManDarwin, Charles
Robert 1871a. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to
Sex, London: John Murray
CloseView the register entry >>, Darwin was told about a dissenting response in the press, and responded '"Ah, has PunchPunch
Directory CloseView the register entry >> taken me up?" [...] inquiring further as to the point of the joke, which [...] seemed to amuse him very much. "I shall get it to-morrow", he said: "I keep all those things. Have you seen me in the HornetHornsey Hornet
Directory CloseView the register entry >>?"'. Reflects that the 'humorists have done much to make Mr. Darwin's features familiar to the public, in pictures not so likely to inspire respect [...] but probably no man has enjoyed their fun more than he'. (760) Recalls that during the visit to Down House in 1878, the 'dinner-table talk was for the greater part light, cheerful, personal; to some extent political, suggested by current events in England and the United States; and touching upon social reforms', which was hardly surprising considering that a fellow guest was the American liberal Thomas W HigginsonHigginson, Thomas Wentworth
CBD CloseView the register entry >> (761). Informs American readers that Darwin held that 'the Americans are the most delightful people that I know' (760), and 'spoke, too, with particular interest of Mark TwainTwain, Mark (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, from whose writings he had evidently derived much entertainment' (763).
Complains that 'In physics we are taught the laws of statics before we take up those of dynamics, but in politics this is completely reversed, and we talk continually of what may be and what should be, without knowing or caring to know what actually is' (780). Also notes that 'If one were to say that the remedy for such a disease of the public mind [i.e. the electorate's tolerance of extravagant municipal spending] is the study of statistics, he might be roundly laughed at', and yet 'Such a study of the figures robs political questions of their personal, traditional, and contingent character, shows the real tendency of affairs, and gives the stamp of truth or of falsehood to the promises of politicians'. After all, 'the figures are not apt at lying, which is more than can be said for the politicians'. (781)
Nourse 1884Nourse, Joseph
Everett 1884. American Explorations in the Ice Zones: The
Expeditions of De Haven, Kane, Rodgers, Hayes, Hall, Schwatka, and De Long; the
Relief Voyages for the Jeannette by the U. S. Steamers Corwin, Rodgers, and
Alliance; the Cruises of Captains Long and Raynor, of the Merchant Service; the
Greely Expedition and Rescue of the Survivors; the Discoveries of Lieutenant
Lockwood, and the Naval Explorations in Alaska Under Lieutenants Ray and
Stoney. With a Brief Notice of the Antarctic Cruise under Lieutenant Wilkes,
1840, and of the Locations and Objects of the U. S. Signal Service Arctic
Observers. Prepared Chiefly from Official Sources, Boston: D. Lothrop and
Company; London: Trübner
CloseView the register entry >>
Reports the successful 'recovery of a part of the GreelyGreely, Adolphus Washington
WBI CloseView the register entry >> arctic expedition', news of which was at once 'heliographed from Newfoundland' and soon 'flew through' the 'whole country' and was 'known in every office and discussed in every circle'. Applauds the 'persistent effort of heroic men to extend the area of scientific knowledge', and insists that Greely's daring expedition was 'open to the charge of foolhardiness in no other way than all undertakings in the interest of scientific research which involve peril are open to the same charge'. The explorations of Adolf E NordenskjöldNordenskjöld, Adolf Erik (Nils Adolf
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and others have now 'fully demonstrated that there is no practicable northwest passage', and with 'mere curiosity [...] satisfied [...] further exploration is not probable, except for the love of wild adventure and for the interests of science'. (794) Considers that 'When photography began to make the faces and figures and dress of the most famous of living people familiar, and at last emperors and kings and princes were shown precisely as they were—plain men and women, with no glamour of robe or coronet or visible state—it was a question whether the divinity that doth hedge a king [...] would not disappear'. Indeed, the 'photograph is relentlessly accurate', and the publication of a photograph of 'an elderly lady in a widow's cap' [i.e. Queen VictoriaVictoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>] is 'a most levelling stroke, for nothing could suggest [...] the essential equality, which is the distinctive democratic doctrine, more clearly than such a picture'. (795)
Asserts that 'the Maoris [...] are far the noblest and most interesting of contemporary barbarous people. Less cruel than the Red Indians, and, perhaps, with a higher native civilisation', they 'have been the most chivalrous of warriors'. Nevertheless, this 'noble race of people is dying out [...] and it is dying as all the wild races do, when our civilisation touches them with its palsied finger. They contract European vices, drink allures them, our diseases fall fiercely on a fresh field of human victims'. (798) In this way does 'the law of the struggle for existence work, when an European meets an undeveloped people' (799). What is more, though, 'their mixed kind of life, half-European, half-native; men going now clad, now unclad, exposes them to cold, and to consumption. A blanket is almost as perilous a gift as a brandy bottle, to a savage', because when 'his body was "all face", all equally hardened by exposure, he did not catch cold'. Compared with their 'far stronger [...] untamed' fathers, the present generation of 'half-Europeanised' Maoris are 'slim, haggard, and touched with the maladie du siècle, and the melancholy of thought'. (798) This 'wild, brave, and chivalrous people, [are] soon to be succeeded by the sheep-owner and the manufacturer, the miner and the hotel keeper of civilisation' (799).
Reports that Benjamin RhodesRhodes, Mr Benjamin
HM1/8/5/6a CloseView the register entry >> has told the American Society of Civil Engineers and ArchitectsAmerican Society of Civil Engineers and Architects
CloseView the register entry >> of 'what had been done, and what might be done, towards the utilisation of Niagara for electrical purposes', and comments: 'The use of Niagara! It sounds a little too utilitarian' (806–07). Records how Robert GallowayGalloway, Robert
WBI CloseView the register entry >> 'satisfactorily shows that the report of arsenic poisoning supposed to rise from green wall-paper has in fact no foundation'. In addition, the use of 'borax as an antiseptic [...] prophylactic against cholera' has been demonstrated in Paris by Elias CyonCyon, Elias
WBI CloseView the register entry >>. Observes that the 'LancetLancet
Directory CloseView the register entry >> has made up its mind to the ghastly conclusion that conscious life persists in the human head after decapitation', and suggests that the 'discovery ought to act, in France, as a powerful motive towards resisting temptation to commit capital crimes'. The studies of Charles M V MontignyMontigny, Charles Marie Valentin
WBI CloseView the register entry >> on 'the state of the atmosphere as affecting stellar scintillation, with a view to forecasting the state of the weather' have revealed that the blue 'colour of pure water in great bulk', as determined by Walthère V SpringSpring, Walthère Victor
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, 'explains the predominance of this colour in the scintillation of the stars just before and during wet weather'. Thus, the 'excess of blue [...] becomes an almost certain means of predicting rain'. Warns the 'New Zealand Colonists' that in 'their great war with rabbits', which are 'now the tyrant of the sunny isles', they 'ought to remember that we may purchase liberty at too heavy a price'. The proposed introduction of the mongoose to New Zealand to remove the rabbits may, as has already happened in Jamaica, also result in the extermination of 'every creature that cannot beat it in fair fight, such as lizards, ground hatching birds, and many other members of the indigenous fauna'. (807)
Emphasises the increasing importance of scientific subjects at the University of ColumbiaUniversity of Columbia
CloseView the register entry >> during the nineteenth century, which in the early part of the century enjoyed the 'vigorous services of Dr. David HosackHosack, David
DSB CloseView the register entry >> as Professor of Botany and Materia Medica', who 'wisely insisted that his students ought to be taught from the living plants, and after several almost successful attempts to induce the State Legislature to provide for a botanical garden, he himself in 1801' purchased the land for the Elgin Botanic GardenElgin Botanic Garden
CloseView the register entry >>. By 1806 Hosack was 'able to publish a catalogue of about two thousand species, and in 1810 he succeeded in obtaining from the Legislature an agreement of purchase by the State'. (818) Notes that an 1810 committee of trustees' definition of 'the primary principle of all sound education [as] the evolution of faculty and the formation of habit' is 'curiously in line with scientific nomenclature as well as the best scientific thought of to-day' (818–19). Also observes that the School of MinesUniversity of Columbia—School of Mines
CloseView the register entry >>, founded in 1864 by Thomas EglestonEgleston, Thomas
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, is 'a partial title for what is really a very broad school of science, with six specific courses in mining engineering, civil engineering, metallurgy, geology and palaeontology, analytical and applied chemistry, and architecture', and at present it has 'nearly three hundred students' (830).
Describes a trip to the semi-rural London suburb of Kew to see Joseph D HookerHooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, 'the modern master of Kew GardensRoyal Botanical Gardens, Kew CloseView the register entry >>, and the world's best authority on botany, theoretical and practical'. Notes that, as well as a portrait of the 'characteristic head of Professor DarwinDarwin, Charles Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>', Hooker's study contains 'several Wedgwood plaques and bits of old Nankin "blue". It is the room of a man of taste, of a busy man whose avocations lie among beautiful things'. (833) In a brief dialogue, Hooker, when asked what he regards as his most important work, responds 'The raising of plants and seeds for the colonies and for other countries', and goes on to declare that 'We do not wait for the colonial or Indian governments to ask us for plants; we send them whatever is good for them'. Claims that among the numerous buildings at Kew, 'the most interesting to the general sight-seer, and probably not the least to the scientist, is the Palm House', which is 'heated by six boilers, connected with a system of 20,000 feet of hot-water piping' and 'has an underground railway for the conveyance of coal and the removal of ashes' (837). Avows that 'I have seen many stove-houses, including those of Chatsworth and Brussels, but none where the plants give such evident proof of thorough acclimatization as at Kew' (838). Observes that Hooker 'never seemed more pleased than when discoursing upon the benefits that accrue from the propagation and cultivation of the economic plants, though he was equally at home among the more curious and eccentric specimens of nature's handiwork' (839). Also tells American readers that 'Sir Joseph spoke with great satisfaction of his visit to America' in 1877, during which 'he saw nearly every form of natural phenomena' (841).
Observes that with chrysanthemums, unlike the more popular rose, the 'remarkable variations of the different types are so conspicuous as to almost make us believe, in many instances, they have no relation, so entirely different in structure is each of the family groups' (854). Over 'two thousand varieties [...] are to be found in the catalogues of to-day', but even in 'this multiplicity of varieties there are many [more] apparently identical, or lacking distinctiveness, to the casual observer, [which] those intimately acquainted with them have no difficulty in determining' (857–58). Explains that, at the beginning of the century, this originally Sino-Japanese flower 'began to receive some attention as a decorative plant, [and] disputes arose as whether it was a matricaria, anthemis, or artemisia, to end which it was decided to make a new species, and call it Chrysanthemum, from chrysos, gold or golden, and anthos, a flower' (856). Notes that the 'numerous and conflicting' array of new varieties are 'in most cases produced from seed', for 'each seedling is undoubtedly, in the chrysanthemum as in all other plants, physiologically, a distinct individual'. At the same time, however, 'new varieties of chrysanthemums' can also be 'produced by bud variation, known in the vernacular of gardeners as sports', and if 'a variety has been cultivated a few years', with the 'young shoots' being 'propagated', then 'the variation becomes a fixed form' (858). Insists that chrysanthemums have 'a fascination so irresistible as to make their cultivation, when once begun, almost a mania' (856), and describes the annual exhibition of 'over five hundred varieties' of chrysanthemum held at the Inner Temple GardensInner Temple Gardens
CloseView the register entry >> since 1850 as 'One of the great attractions of London', which 'Thousands of people visit [...] daily' (857).
Bacteriology, Theory, Religion, Disease, Public Health, Futurism
The elderly Luce sisters, Miss Maria, Miss Margaret, and Miss Martha, each have 'unfailing topics of conversation' in their otherwise uneventful lives. For instance, 'Miss Maria, years ago, when rumour of bacteria first reached the vulgar ear, had mounted the germ theory, mention of which by some strange accident she had chanced to pick up, but only mention, so that she was at liberty to develop the theory after any manner that struck her fancy', and, amongst other oddities, she now 'declined to kiss people except on rare occasions', and 'took snuff to create a volcanic escape for any deleterious inhalation'. (889) Indeed, 'she cherished her germ theory in place of a religious creed' (890), and 'had fine ideals of that millennium when all poisonous germs were to have been exterminated and such absolute health was to reign in their place that mankind were to be practically immortal' (889).
Religion, Evolution, Anthropology, Popularization, Lecturing, Chemistry, Hunting, Natural History
Observes that 'Though the modern interest in the history and evolution of Religion is pretty widely spread among the educated and curious, that interest is still, on the whole, thoroughly "popular" and unscientific. The level of knowledge on which M. Reville'sRéville, Albert
CBD CloseView the register entry >> audience, or the audiences of Mr. Max MüllerMax Müller, Friedrich
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, live, is apparently not higher than the level of chemical science attained by visitors to the PolytechnicRoyal Polytechnic Institution
CloseView the register entry >>'. Complains that, in his series of six Hibbert Lectures, Reville was too often 'content not to advance science, nor to consolidate it, but merely to popularise the elements of knowledge'. (964) Notes that 'Mr. Speedy'sSpeedy, Thomas
COPAC CloseView the register entry >> remarks on the breeding grounds chosen by grouse, show a practical acquaintance with natural history, to acquire a knowledge of which study is among the chief advantages of the sportsman's existence' (966).
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 8 (1884), 970–73.
Editor's Historical Record
Regular Feature, News-Digest
 Science and Progress
Societies, Human Species, Anthropology, Alchemy, Metallurgy, Chemistry, Medical Treatment, Ancient Authorities, Meteorology, Animal Husbandry
Announces that the 'great scientific event of the month' was the 'great and gratifying [...] success' of the 'meeting of the British AssociationBritish Association for the Advancement of Science
CloseView the register entry >> at Montreal'. To the 'unscientific public, Mr. E. B. Tylor'sTylor, Sir Edward Burnett
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> learned address was most of interest, for his topic was Man, the proper study of us all'. Discusses the 'part played by mercury in the alchemy and materia medica of the Chinese', whose 'views on the transformation of metals into ores and ores into metals by heat and other means took the form of a chemical doctrine about a century before Christ'. (972) Reports that the Imperial Academy of St PetersburgImperial Academy of St Petersburg
CloseView the register entry >> has proposed to 'form a special committee for the concentration of all observations on meteorology, magnetism, rainfall, and thunderstorms, which are now made at different public and private establishments' (972–73). In New York 'Warehouses for the storage of cold air' have been established, from which 'cold air will be served through pipes to any part of the city', and to 'stalls furnished with perishable articles' in particular. Advises 'Carp breeders' to 'wage war' on the bladder-wort, a 'greedy plant' that 'sucks up and destroys carp eggs, as well as small insects'. (973)