Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  8 (1884), 157–60.

Editor's Historical Record



Regular Feature, News-Digest

[1] Science and Progress


Disease, Animal Husbandry, Geology, Mineralogy, Industrial Chemistry, Animal Behaviour, Reading

    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. Creed, of Woollahra, proposes to introduce tuberculosis, or consumption, among the enemy'. Records that 'M. Chaper, 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 Frankland 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 Lubbock 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)

[2] Obituary


Scientific Practitioners, Chemistry, Controversy, Politics, Materialism

    Records the death of the 'eminent chemist' Jean B A Dumas, noting that 'he had some rather violent controversies' with Justus von Liebig, as well as 'other strifes with Cardinals. Foreseeing the Revolution of 1870 he refused, in 1868, to be Master of the Mint, and so associated with the Empire. He was a Materialist' (160).

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

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