Our Holiday Tramp. Chapter VII [7/10]
Author of "Some of Our Fellows", etc, pseud. [Thomas S Millington]
Short Fiction, Serial
Measurement, Physical Geography, Astronomy, Light, Mathematics, Cultural Geography, Pneumatics, Instruments, Geology, Comparative Philology, Glaciology
Includes a discussion between the author, Axels, Curry, Parsons and several other characters on how far it was possible to see from a given height. They establish the height of a mountain that Curry's father claimed he saw from the deck of a ship at 125 miles, the character Parsons holding forth on the curvature of the earth. Later they discuss the distance and surface of the sun and after Axels reflects on 'What a wonderful thing sight is!', Parsons points out how long it takes for light to travel from the earth to the sun (693). The character Smart adds that he has read of natives of a country who cut out sensory organs from bodies in order to see, taste, and hear things at a distance. Later in their travels the characters attempt to measure the height of a mountain but the lack of sun prevents them. At this point the author explains how readers can measure the depth of a well or precipice by counting the time it takes for a stone to fall, and refers readers to a relevant article in the periodical (BP1/1/19/3). Subsequently Axels tries to borrow a barometer to take the measurement but in failing this, he and the other boys ascend the mountain. The author intervenes again with a discussion of the myths surrounding the origin of boulders. He insists that the 'real history of these enormous "marbles" is quite as wonderful' as stories of them being the playthings of giant, and explains how boulders are brought to the mountain by icebergs in the 'glacial epochs, before the creation of man' (693–94).
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]