Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

which would result from this is, in a measure, obviated by the plan proposed by Prof. BACHE, and adopted by the Regents, viz., that of deferring the time of completing the building, so that it might be erected, in considerable part, by means of the interest of the $240,000 which had accrued in interest on the original fund previous to the year 1846. By a rigid adherence to this plan, it is calculated that at the end of a year from next March, after paying for the building, $150,000 will be added to the original fund, making the whole $650,000.

In conclusion, Prof. H. had much pleasure in announcing to the Association, a munificent gift to science, by one of our members, Dr. HARE, of Philadelphia. This gentleman having resigned the chair of chemistry, in the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, has presented to the Smithsonian Institution the instruments of illustration and research, collected and used by himself during his long and successful career. The gift is of high importance, not only on account of the value of the instruments, many of which are the invention of the donor, and connected with the history of the science of our day, but also on account of the example of liberality which it affords, and which, we trust, will be frequently followed by others.

Prof. W. B. ROGERS, from the Standing Committee, mentioned that P. A. BROWNE, Esq., from the same Committee, would report the resolution as modified by that body, relative to the death of Professor LARDNER VANUXEM, which resolution had been unanimously adopted by the Committee, and hoped the same would be as unanimously concurred in by the Convention.

Whereupon Mr. BROWNE reported the following, prefaced by a preamble of his own, relating to the character and eminent qualities of the deceased :

Resolved, That the Association learns with deep regret and sorrow, the death of Professor LARDNER VANUXEM, a member of the Association, and one of its most active founders ; that Prof. Hall be requested to draw up an obituary to his memory, and that a committee of three be appointed to address a letter of condolence to his family and friends, as the expression of sympathy of this Convention.”

In advocating this resolution Mr. BROWNE remarked, that the late lamented Professor LARDNER VANUXEM was educated at the School of Mines, in France, and that his whole life was devoted to science.

He belonged, therefore, to his whole country, but he had been particularly identified with three great States; 1st, Pennsylvania, who gave him birth; 2d, South Carolina, where he made the first State Geological Survey; and, 3d, New York, where he was one of a small band who had produced a geological survey, the maps and descriptions of which had commanded the admiration of the world.

Mr. BROWNE would also add, that Mr. VANUXEM and Col. Long were associated with him in making to the Legislature of Pennsylvania the first proposition of a geological survey of this State.

After some impressive and eloquent remarks on the character of the deceased, by Dr. R. W. GIBBES

The following letter from Prof. Hall, in relation to the character and services of Mr. VANUXEM, was also received, read, and ordered to be entered at length, in the proceedings of the Association.

Philadelphia, Sept. 21, 1848. To the Chairman of the American

Association for the Advancement of Science.

Sir,- I observe, by the published proceedings of yesterday, before my arrival in the city, that the attention of the Association was called to the fact of the decease of one of our members (LARDNER VANUXEM) during the last year. Had I been present, I would have offered some remarks as a tribute to the character and worth of a friend and colleague, whom it has been my happiness to know for twelve years. A friend, whose kind acts were never ostentatious, and who was willing to be forgotten while doing good and aiding the cause of science.

At this time, as we are met for the first time under our new organization, I cannot forbear recurring to the origin of our Association, with which Mr. VANUXEM was so intimately connected, and to whom is due, above all others, the honour of being the first man to propose such an organization.

The geological survey of New York was commenced in 1836. At the end of each season of field labour, and on one or two occasions previous to the commencement of our summer labours, all those engaged in the work met, by arrangement, at Albany, for the purpose of comparing observations and acquiring knowledge of each other. At the end of the second year, the want of some geological nomenclature began to be seriously felt, more particularly as we found that the same rock was well developed in two or more districts of the State,

and consequently some language must be devised to enable us to understand each other. We had, moreover, no means to make ourselves understood among our friends in other parts of the country. In the autumn of 1838, Mr. VanuxEM proposed that an invitation be given to the geologists of Pennsylvania and Virginia particularly, tojoin us, and that this invitation be extended to the geologists of other States, to meet at Philadelphia for the purpose of devising and adopting a Geological Nomenclature which might be acceptable to all those then engaged in the State Surveys, and thus become the nomenclature of American Geology. The first meeting was to have taken place in the spring of 1839, but from want of concurrence among those widely separated from each other, it was not accomplished till 1840. This meeting, having for its object the expression of our views and the adoption of a general Geological nomenclature, was the first meeting of what we then termed the Association of American Geologists. That meeting, and the subsequent one, of 1841, held also at Philadelphia, the subjects discussed were all of a geological character. The first objects of this Association were not accomplished at that time, for the reason that, in some States, the investigations were still in progress, and regarded as too incomplete to found a nomenclature. Thus the subject was finally dropped, since, in 1842 and 1843, the geologists of New York were compelled to publish their reports, adopting a local nomenclature till a better can be framed.

The special science for the advancement of which this Association was formed has been merged in more important considerations, and is now almost forgotten. The Association now embraces in its objects the investigations in all the physical sciences; but while we are thus enlarging our boundaries, and increasing our numbers, we may not forget our humble beginning, or the man who was the instrument in bringing together, in this reunion, his fellow labourers in science.

I have the honour to be,
With great respect,
Your obedient servant,

JAMES HALL.

The resolution, as amended, was unanimously adopted.

The Standing Committee reported, through its Chairman, the nomination of a list of officers for the ensuing year, as follows :For President-Prof. JOSEPH HENRY, of Washington.

Secretary-Dr. JEFFRIES WYMAN, of Boston.
Treasurer-Dr. A. L. Elwyn, of Philadelphia.

Local Committee, Messrs. Nathan APPLETON, J. A. LOWELL, JACOB BIGELOW, M. D., GEORGE B. EMERSON, Prof. H. D. ROGERS, A. A. GOULD, M. D., Enoch Hale, M. D., Boston ; Lieut. C. H. Davis, Asa GRAY, M. D., Prof. BENJAMIN PEIRCE, Prof. E. N. HORSFORD and Prof. LOUIS AGASSIZ, Cambridge.

These nominations were, on motion, unanimously confirmed.

The Chairman of the Standing Committee reported the following resolution, which was, on motion of Lieut. MAURY, unanimously adopted :

Resolved, That the committee on the sediment of the Mississippi river be requested to continue their investigations, with the view of ascertaining and reporting the probable effect which the reclaiming of the drowned lands of that river would have upon the improvement of its navigation, and the health of the country in the vicinity of the drowned lands.

On motion, adjourned, to meet this evening at half-past 7 o'clock.

Saturday Evening, September, 23, 71 P. M. Association met agreeably to adjournment–W.C. REDFIELD, Esq., in the chair.

Prof. W. R. JOHNSON presented a communication

ON SOME RECENT IMPROVEMENTS IN RECORDING MAGNETIC TELE

GRAPHS.

He first exhibited apparatus, illustrative of the difference between indicating and recording telegraphs, and explained the several ways in which it had been found practicable to produce permanent impressions by galvanic agency. The plan of Morse, which employs the force of temporary magnets to produce indentations on paper, involves the necessity of using, at each telegraphic station, a local battery, solely devoted to the working of the marking apparatus. This local battery is brought into action by the current of the main line, which had been found too feeble to effect the mechanical action necessary for impressing the paper. The use of a local battery is both expensive and inconvenient, and many efforts have been made to dispense with its employment, while attaining all the advantages of the system of perma- . nent marking. The means of accomplishing this have been attained by Mr. Winegar, a telegraph operator, of Cayuga county, New York, who, instead of marking with a pen set in motion by the current of the main line, as first attempted by Mr. Morse, or of im

pressing the paper by the aid of the local battery, as now practised by the same inventor, employs the main line current to give a slight oscillatory motion to the paper, bringing it alternately into and out of contact with the point of a stationary pen. His invention embraces also, a mechanical arrangement for supplying the pen with ink, according to the exigencies of the work, and another arrangement for adjusting the position and movement of the paper. His claim extends to the use of the main telegraphic current for the purpose of giving motion to the paper, on which the marking is to be performed.

Prof. HENRY alluded to the improvement of Mr. Bain, lately introduced into this country, as affording another means of working a recording telegraph, but remarked, that as the invention had not yet been made public here, he could only say that he regarded it as a highly ingenious and beautiful application of science to the purpose for which it was employed.

Prof. Agassiz next presented a communication “ON THE Fossil CETACEA OF SOUTH CAROLINA." [Not received.]

Prof. WILLIAM B. Rogers followed with a paper

ON ACID AND ALKALINE SPRINGS.

In this communication, after referring to the principal classes of mineral springs, thermal and of ordinary temperature, and comprehended under the terms acidulous, saline, sulphuretted and chalybeate, Prof. R. entered into a particular account, geological and chemical, of two very distinct classes of springs of very frequent occurrence in the Appallachian region, particularly in Virginia and E. Tennessee. The one is remarkable for containing a considerable amount of free sulphuric acid, along with sulphates of iron and alumina, the other is distinguished by containing a small quantity of carbonate of soda, along with carbonate of lime and magnesia, much silica and some carbonic acid and sulphuretted hydrogen.

These springs are of very common occurrence in the slates and shales, known as the Marcellus, Hamilton, &c., in the New York series, and designated in the nomenclature of the Profs. Rogers, as the post meridial, older and newer slates and shales respectively. In those parts of these formations which abound greatly in decomposing bisulphuret of iron, and which are not interstratified with calcareous beds, the springs which occur belong to the former of the two classes. Such, for example, are the celebrated Alum Springs and Brinkley's

« AnteriorContinuar »