THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN INDUSTRIES SINCE COLUMBUS.
VI. THE EVOLUTION OF WOOL SPINNING AND WEAVING.
THE EVOLUTION OF WEAVING.
S N. DEXTER NORTH
THE card, and all the machinery preliminary or complementary to its work, are of later development than the inventions for mechanical spinning, which created the necessity for improved methods of carding. The evolution of the spindle is the central point in this development.
SOME most important facts have come to light during the past two years bearing upon the connection of man with the Ice age in North America. In October, 1889, Mr. W. C. Mills, president of a local archæological society of some importance at Newcomerstown, on the Tuscarawas River, in Ohio (see map), found a flint implement of palæolithic type fifteen feet below the surface of the glacial terrace bordering the valley at that place.
SANITARY IMPROVEMENT IN NEW YORK DURING THE LAST QUARTER OF A CENTURY.
GENERAL EMMONS CLARK.
DURING the quarter of a century (1836-1860) preceding the war for the Union, a great change occurred in the character and social condition of the population of the large cities upon the Atlantic seaboard, and especially in the city of New York.
EVEN the most thoroughgoing accounts of the customs of savages rarely give full descriptions of their attitudes and bearing. Yet these are the points that strike the stranger most forcibly, and are most distinctly remembered by him. A comparison of them with the behavior of more civilized races and of the lower animals might also afford an interesting anthropological study.
WHEN a plant in growing has reached a certain stage in its development, the character of the buds which have before produced branches changes, and flower buds appear. In correspondence with the change of character in the buds, the stem and leaves change also.
MUCH has lately been heard about the “meteoritic theory” as an explanation of the origin and construction of the heavenly bodies. This hypothesis, now generally ascribed to Prof, Lockyer, seems to have been first suggested by the German astronomer Meyer.
WHEN, in 1851, a small local society of German tarmers at Möckern, Saxony, realizing that scientific investigation could help solve the many obscure problems of their life, contributed from their own resources and asked their Government for aid to establish an experiment station to study such problems, a new epoch was begun in the history of agriculture.
IT is obvious that the present agitation for the free and unlimited coinage of silver derives its real strength mainly from a general feeling that the cheapening of the standard dollar would make it easier to pay off existing debts. The great farmer class of the central States have seen their farms shrink in value fifty per cent in ten years—have seen the value of the annual product steadily falling; and in thousands of cases have found a purchase-money mortgage, after being half paid off, still equal to the selling value of the farm.
MANY of the inventions which are the glory of our time were foreseen by certain dreamers, in whose imaginations they received a kind of virtual existence. The electric telegraph is foreshadowed by Strada in some twenty verses of his Prolusiones academicæ, which were published in Rome in 1617.
THERE are certain powers possessed by childhood, which grow weak or disappear with advancing age or wisdom, until at last all recollection of them is lost. One of these is the ability to recognize shades of color in ideas or objects which can have no color at all.
ACCORDING to popular tradition, a surprising variety of physical ailments or discomforts may be relieved by human saliva, used in compliance with certain explicit rules. Such prescriptions abound both in our own day and in the pseudo-medical literature of earlier ages, varying more or less in different places and in different periods, but here and there to-day we find some interesting survival that tallies exactly with a superstition two thousand or more years old.*
THE translation of Höffding’s Psychology which is now offered to English readers is not from the original Danish, but from the German translation. Dr. Höffding has, however, taken a cordial interest in the preparation of the English edition, and accepts it as adequately representing the original.
THE Quianganes of Luzon, Philippine Islands, live for the most part in small settlements in the mountain districts; but they have larger colonies in the more level regions, where they can cultivate rice. Their homes are all built after the same type, of wood or reeds, with wooden floors, about twelve feet square, resting about a yard above the earth on posts.
OF course you know my friend the squirting cucumber. If you don’t, that can be only because you’ve never looked in the right place to find him. On all waste ground outside most southern cities—Nice, Cannes, Florence; Rome, Algiers, Granada; Athens, Palermo, Tunis, where you will—the soil is thickly covered by dark, trailing vines which bear on their branches a queer, hairy, green fruit, much like a common cucumber at that early stage of its existence when we know it best in the commercial form of pickled gherkins.
GEORGE CATLIN’S work was not directly scientific, but rather artistic. It was inspired, nevertheless, by a scientific motive; and it has resulted in leaving to the world the fullest and most various records that it has, in picture and written description, of the aboriginal tribes of both Americas, as they were before their customs and ideas were modified by civilization, or they were contaminated by white influences—a most precious collection of original material for future anthropologists to study.
THE General of the Salvation Army has, without intending it, rendered a very considerable service to society by provoking just the kind of discussion that was most wanted at the present time in regard to the best means of combating the poverty which seems ever to dog the steps of civilization.
THIS is the first attempt—Dr. Latham’s previous work of nearly forty years having been only partly in that direction—known to the author, at a systematic classification of the whole American race on the basis of language. While the value of physical data, culture, and traditional history is not depreciated, they are in this work constantly made subordinate to relationship as indicated by grammar and lexicography.
The First Piece of American Hollow Ware.—In the first of Mr. Durfee’s series of articles on Early Steps in Iron-making, in The Popular Science Monthly for December, 1890, “a small iron pot capable of containing about one quart,” which was cast at Lynn, Mass., in 1645, was mentioned as having been the first piece of hollow ware made in America.
THE Hon. David A. Wells has been awarded a gold medal by the jury of the group of Social and Political Economics of the French Exhibition of 1889. This recognition of the great services he has rendered in that branch is all the more significant because it comes to him, a plain-spoken free-trader, from a leading protectionist nation.