WITH the statement of the total population of the country, and of each State distributed as to counties, cities, and towns, the popular interest in the Federal census begins to wane, and, as the results relative to the features other than merely of enumeration are obtained, the scientific interest increases.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN INDUSTRIES SINCE COLUMBUS.
VIII. THE MANUFACTURE OF STEEL.
THE BESSEMER PROCESS.
WILLIAM F. DURFEE, ENGINEER.
IT is now two hundred and thirty-six years since the first American steel maker of which we have any record, Mr. John Tucker, of Southold, Long Island, informed the General Court of Connecticut of his “abilitie and intendment to make steele there or in some other plantation in this jurisdiction, if he may have some things granted.” The court (says Bishop) acquiesced in a grant of privileges, and, in the following May, Tucker obtained from the Assembly a declaration “that if he doe laye out his estate in such a manner about this publique worke, and that God shall cross him therein so that he be impoverished thereby, they are willing that that small remaining part shall be free from rates for ten years.”* Possibly Tucker thought that the “ protection ” guaranteed by the colony was not sufficient, as we have no evidence that he ever availed himself of it, or was ever “ impoverished thereby.” In 1728 Samuel Higley, of Simsbury, and Joseph Dewey, of Hebron, in Hartford County, Connecticut, represented to the Legislature that the said Higley had, “with great pains and cost, found out and obtained a curious art by which to convert, change, or transmute common iron into good steel sufficient for any use, and was the first that ever performed such an operation in America.” f Swank gives on the authority of Mr. Charles J. Hoadly, Librarian of the Connecticut State Library, a certificate, signed by Timothy Phelps and John Drake, blacksmiths, which states that, in June, 1725, Mr. Higley obtained from the subscribers several pieces of iron, so shaped that they could be known again, and that a few days later “he brought the same pieces which we let him have, and we proved them and found them good steel, which was the first steel that ever was made in this country that we ever saw or heard of.” A patent was granted Higley and Dewey for ten years, provided " the petitioners improve the art to any good and reasonable perfection within two years from the date of this act.” They do not appear to have done this, or to have continued the business of making steel.
INSTITUTIONS are necessary for society of all grades. The Hottentot needs them as well as we and has them. In society that has been stable for a long time the institutions have been so adjusted that they are very perfectly adapted to the needs of the people, as those in China are.
PROBABLY no subject presents to the psychologist and the physiologist a greater number of unexplored regions than that of the senses and the organs of sense. As yet we do not know how many special senses we possess. To the traditional five are now added the muscular sense, about whose organs there is no little dispute ; the temperature sense, including separate endorgans for sensations of heat and cold ; and the now problematic sense of equilibrium, whose organs are thought to be the semicircular canals.
THE tissues and organs do not all mature at once in man. It results that when we reach mature age our capacity for some exercises has notably diminished, while for others it has preserved its complete integrity. At forty-five years the bones and muscles have lost none of their solidity and vigor.
THERE is an air of delightful unrestraint about Mrs. Martin’s story of her Home Life on an Ostrich Farm.* She addresses her reader from her book as she would gossip to a confidential friend about her adventures, and describes them all with photographic vividness.
WHY has dress been developed? We answer at once, to serve as a covering to the body. But, if we think over the matter a moment, we shall see that three different motives may have operated: 1. The desire for ornament. 2. The wish to protect one’s self against weather and harm.
THE numerous examples of the forms of marriage by capture which we gave in a former paper in The Popular Science Monthly will have shown how almost universal the practice of taking wives by violence from other groups must have been in primitive times—a practice which, it may be remembered, we attributed to a prevailing scarcity of women.
THE Egyptians domesticated the dog from the most remote antiquity. The names which they gave it-ouhorou, ouaouou and tosmou-belong to the fundamental dialect of their language; and one at least of them is a characteristic onomatopœia, such as our children instinctively use in their earliest age for the designation of the animal.
A CURIOUS and notable fact in the history of the social condition of the present century is the disposition, amounting to a necessity, which is felt in all classes of society for organizing in groups to work in common to reach some end by the union of individual efforts which one person alone could not attain ; or for forming societies.
NO fairy of the old tales ever conferred upon her favorite magic gifts more potent than a weapon whose slightest touch is death, and a thread becoming as needed a ladder to scale a wall, a balloon to navigate the air, a net to supply food, and a tent or a nursery for its possessor.
SLOW as we have been in recognizing that man owes the superiority of his form and his attributes to the experience of his entire animal ancestry, we have been prompt to attribute to other animals psychical and sensorial qualities more or less nearly identical with ours.
THE name of Winthrop has always been an honored one in New England, in the domain of public affairs, and one member of the family, at least, has placed it high on the rolls of science. Several of the Winthrops of colonial times were cultivators of the sciences, but none employed such high talents so exclusively in this field of activity as did the subject of the present sketch.
THE volume which Mr. Spencer has just put forth under the title of Justice, being the fourth and last part of his proposed first volume on The Principles of Morality, will be eagerly welcomed by a large circle of readers. It has seldom fallen to the lot of a philosopher to awaken so wide an interest and sympathy as Mr. Spencer has done.
THE appearance of a new volume of the Synthetic Philosophy after a long enforced interval of rest on the part of its author is an event which merits the hearty congratulation, not only of the avowed disciples of Mr. Spencer in America—a goodly and growing number of our most intelligent thinkers—but also of all friends of scientific and liberal thought.
The American Microscopical Society.— The American Microscopical Society was the first of the scientific organizations to meet this year at Washington. Dr. John S. Billings made an address of welcome, and spoke at some length of the microscopic work that was done at Washington in the scientific offices of the Government, by the local society, in the Army Medical Museum, and particularly of that of the late Dr. J. J. Woodward.
THE New Jersey Weather Service, organized in December, 1887, has already accumulated many valuable meteorological data. It has, at the request of the Superintendent of the Eleventh Census, prepared and forwarded a table showing the mean annual temperature and the mean annual rainfall, determined from observations made at fifty-eight stations, together with the length of each series from which the mean was determined ; it has furnished the State Board of Health complete annual reports of twelve stations ; and has distributed weather indications, coldwave and frost warnings, and, during the growing season, weather-crop bulletins.