THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN INDUSTRIES SINCE COLUMBUS. XI.
EDWIN ATLEE BARBER
THE revelations of the Centennial Exhibition set our potters to thinking and stimulated them to greater competition. Never before was such an impetus given to any industry. The best productions of all nations were sent here and exhibited beside our own modest manufactures, and it was only too apparent that America had been left behind in the race.
AMONG questions on which the supporters of right reason in political and social science have only conquered theological opposition after centuries of war, is the taking of interest on loans. In hardly any struggle has rigid adherence to the letter of our sacred books been more prolonged and injurious.
THE calling of attention, in The Popular Science Monthly for June, 1890, to the evidences of glacial action in southeastern Connecticut afforded by the number and great size of the bowlders in that section of the country, with accompanying illustrations from photographs, has been instrumental in creating no little popular interest on the subject, and in bringing to the attention of the public many other interesting examples of like glacial phenomena that have hitherto almost escaped notice.
AFTER THE RESEARCHES OF DR. BARTELS, PROF. ECKER, DR. MOHNIKE,
TRADITIONS of tailed men are very old and wide-spread. Tailed races are told of in many countries, whose home is, however, usually placed in some little-known region; and the stories of individuals who had tails can hardly be counted. A number of legends on the subject have been collected by Mr. S. Baring-Gould, and published in his Curious Myths of the Middle Ages.
STRIKING discoveries in astronomy, of a character to excite the public mind, have been rare in recent years. Those who have kept in current with the work that has been done in that science are not ready to believe that this is because progress has not been made in it.
OUR first introduction to the musk ox (Ovibos moschatus) carries us back over one hundred and fifty years, when M. Jeremie made his voyage to the northern parts of our continent, and, returning to Paris, took with him a sample of wool obtained from an animal he called the bœuf musqué.
THE population of the United States June 1, 1890, as ascertained at the eleventh census, exclusive of white persons in the Indian Territory, Indians on reservations, and Alaska, was 62,622,250. This figure, considering the imperfections of the system under which it was ascertained, is quite satisfactory.
IN October, 1881, a primary department was added to a private school in Boston, Mass., and the control of it given to me, for the purpose of making an experiment in education. While it was hoped the primary would sustain the usual relation to the higher departments, the proprietor † guaranteed freedom of action for three years, and generously furnished the means required.
A SUCCINCT history was given by M. G. Dary, in a recent number of L’Électricien, of the vain efforts that have been made at different times to steer balloons in the atmosphere. Some of the experiments were, indeed, of real merit; but they did not succeed practically, because the problem they were intended to solve offers insurmountable obstacles.
AFTER an interval of nine years the publication of the Bevölkerung der Erde has been resumed by the well-known geographical establishment of Perthes of Gotha. This is the eighth issue of this invaluable and authoritative publication. It first appeared in 1872 as a supplement to Petermann's Mitteilungen, the editors being the late Dr. Ernest Behm and Dr. Hermann Wagner, now Professor of Geography in the University of Göttingen.
DURING fifty-six years of active life Prof. Loomis made original investigations and contributed valuable additions to our knowledge of terrestrial magnetism, the aurora borealis, meteoric showers, astronomy, and meteorology, and gave to students an excellent series of mathematical text-books.
SIR: In your issue of July, 1891, the writer ventured to predict, as "a coming solution of the currency question," that a "gold clause," requiring payment of indebtedness in "gold coin of the United States of the present standard of weight and fineness," instead of silver, copper or fiat money, would be inserted in future long-time mortgages, and that (the legal validity of such clauses being unquestioned) the effect would be to decrease very greatly the then existing pressure for a depreciation of the currency.
THE doctrine of evolution teaches that the changes which take place in the universe both of mind and matter follow an orderly sequence, and that each preceding stage potentially contains the succeeding one—that every succeeding change can only be explained and understood through a comprehension of the preceding one.
THE words of Pope—"The noblest study of mankind is man"—long used as a motto by the cultivators of the so-called humanities, are in full agreement with the disposition of scientific research to give increasing attention to the field of anthropology.
Changes in the Grammar-school Programme.—The Association of Colleges in New England, at its last annual meeting, November 5 and 6, 1891, resolved to recommend for gradual adoption the following changes in the programme of New England grammar schools: 1. The introduction of elementary natural history into the earlier years of the programme as a substantial subject, to be taught by demonstrations and practical exercises rather than from books.
WE mention, on behalf of Mr. Frederick Starr, that the originals of most of the objects illustrated in his articles on Dress and Adornment are in the American Museum of Natural History. The omission of this acknowledgment from the articles was not noticed till it was too late to correct it.