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detecting sounds at sea is that invented by it has been suggested, should be set up on the Dr. Joseph Schmitt of the Island of Anticosti. rocky prominences of our coast. They hear much of wrecks on Anticosti, and the question of saving life at sea is a para
THE DISPERSION OF FOG mount one on this storm-beaten and ice-bound But all of these ideas and inventions prestrip in the mouth of the St. Lawrence. Anti suppose the existence of fog on the ocean, costi is ice-bound five months out of the year, and now Professor Oliver Lodge, of Liverand Dr. Schmitt, during one of these periods pool, comes forward and asserts that fog is of enforced retirement from the world in by no means a necessary concomitant of sea general, became interested in a book in which life. He says it can be dispersed, and has the desirability of inventing some device for made experiments which indicate that this preventing marine disasters was eloquently claim is well founded. Discharges of static pleaded. He set about inventing a sound electricity, says Professor Lodge, will be indicator, building it with his own hands from properly arranged to turn all fog banks into such material as he could find on the island. rain. Professor Alexander McAdie also has It consists primarily of a hood in which the investigated the subject and suggested that operator stands listening for distant sounds, experiments be made by the United States which are collected in a funnel fixed just Weather Bureau. The idea originated some above the hood. There is a diaphragm in years ago. Professor Lodge was crossing the the funnel and leading down therefrom, two ocean, and his vessel was detained several rubber tubes which are adjusted to the ears hours by the fog. On his arrival in Liverof the listener. There is also a mariner's pool he set to work to see what could be compass resting under the funnel to let the done to dissipate fog on a small scale. He listener know which direction the funnel is began to investigate the dust fog that often pointing when it records a sound. Dr. envelops cities. He succeeded in clearing a Schmitt made his first instrument from a reservoir of magnesium smoke by means of dry-goods box which he used for a hood, a electric discharges. He also succeeded in pair of old stethoscope tubes, and a piece of clearing a room of thick turpentine smoke by tin bent into the form of a funnel. Yet it the same means. He announced the result worked successfully from the start. Sounds before the British Association for the Adwhich could not be detected by the unaided vancement of Science. Speaking of his expeear, or, if audible, were lost as to direction, riences on shipboard, he said :were instantly located by the director. Its value on ships and in lighthouses is undeni Fog is an unmitigated nuisance. Electric light able, as the throbbing of a vessel may be is powerless to penetrate it, and as we lay down heard with it when it is not possible to de
there idle, it was impossible not to be struck with tect it with the ear unaided.
the desirability of dissipating it. It is rash to
It is still more rash to Quite recently at Southend-on-Sea, Eng. predict what can be done. land, there was shown a device for generating predict what cannot be done. I would merely electric waves and transmitting them so that
point out that on every steamer there are donkey
engines and that these can drive a very powerful vessels might be warned from rocky coasts.
Holtz or Wimshurst machine, one pole of which It is less pretentious than the ordinary appa
may be led to points on the masts. When ratus for telegraphing without wires and is electricity is discharged into fog on a small scale, not intended to be used in carrying on con the fog coagulates into globules and falls as rain. versations. It is to be placed in lighthouses Perhaps it will on a large scale too." and lightships so that all vessels passing within seven miles of the coast can instantly Mr. McAdie urges the practical application be made aware of the fact and can shape of Professor Lodge's ideas. He calls attentheir course accordingly. Of course the ves tion to the fact that nearly every steamer sel utilizing it would need to have a receiver carries dynamos which could be used to on board, but not such complicated apparatus charge transformers so that at least 50,000 as Marconi uses. Somewhat the same idea is volts could be obtained. Now as a matter embodied in the gigantic megaphones which, of fact, this is merely a mundane application
of what nature does when we talk of the opened at a touch of a button from various phenomenon called “thunder clearing the portions of a ship. air," for a static charge of 50,000 volts is a Another device was the invention of W. J. lightning flash of no mean proportions. It Kennedy of New York City. It is a patent would certainly be a spectacular display, davit for quickly putting a life-boat over the a number of great ocean liners speeding side of a vessel. Many lives have been lost along with artificial lightning leaping from because of the failure of the boat davits to mast to mast. The flashing lights would be work. In wintry weather they are nearly a source of protection even if the fog were always covered with frozen spray that gets not dissipated, and this brings us directly to into the joints and prevents their being turned. those spectacular devices which even now The time consumed in chopping away this are available.
ice sometimes means a difference between The constant use of rockets on a vessel life and death for the imperilled ones. Now may save it from destruction in a fog bank, the newer davits are constructed so that this and vessels have been known to avert disas ice matters very little. Instead of turning on ter by Aashing a searchlight rapidly across a pivot, the davits simply fall outward on and back through the air. For a fog bank is hinges like the arms of a derrick, the weight an evanescent thing which may
of the boat and those on board cutting away rain storm and cover a very limited or a very the ice that otherwise would clog. A number wide area. And sometimes the shaft of light of patent davits were submitted in competition reaches higher into the air than the low-lying for the prize. Patent life-buoys likewise were bank of mist.
numerous, and some of them not only con
tained lighting devices, but also food and ILLUMINATED LIFE-SAVERS
drink. Life-boats, opened and closed, have Among the devices sent to Paris for exhibi- been invented in dozens.
been invented in dozens. One of those pretion in the Pollock prize contest were several sented for competition was encircled by a that took cognizance only of the fact that hollow steel belt to prevent its overturning. vessels are sure to sink some time or other, Of curious interest also was the Eophone, an and that in the moment of extreme peril some instrument for detecting faint sounds at sea, quick remedy must necessarily be forthcom the invention of Robert Nevill, of Washinging. Of these was one invented by Chief ton, D.C. This was the device which Anthony Constructor of the United States Navy Philip Pollock was carrying to Europe to have patHichborn. It was a life-buoy, capable of ented when he lost his life on the Bourgogne. supporting two human beings, — which is These are the devices of life saving. But already in use on the United States war ves there is above and beyond all this the great sels. In shape it is annular, flat on top. protective system of the Hydrographic Office Hanging down on two sides of it are iron in Washington, D.C., which oversees the tubes, and at the bottom of each is a metal mariner and his work, plots the charts, lays receptacle. This receptacle is so constructed out the probable tracks of approaching storms. that, when the buoy is thrown overboard, points out the sunken rocks, warns against water leaks into it and comes in contact the cyclone, tells about the tidal waves, directs with a powder (calcic phosphide), igniting how oil shall be poured upon the water, deit and producing a bright flame, which streams scribes how the storm centre can be avoided. out of the iron tubes a foot or more above the etc., until the shipmaster starting on a long water and is visible for miles. The flame will voyage is able to tell almost with certainty keep alight for an hour.
just what dangers he will encounter. This Constructor Bowles, of the Brooklyn Navy governmental system is, after all, the greatest Yard, sent the model for a bulkhead door guarantee of safety on the ocean. It is only which he intends shall be inserted in the when the vessel has assed far out of the ken various compartments of a vessel, and which, of man that the invention which wins the operated by electricity, can be closed or Pollock prize will find its great usefulness.
THE PUBLIC LIBRARY AND THE
THE RESULTS OF THEIR CLOSE COOPERATION HOW THE
FELLOW OF THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
NE of the most momentous steps ever In Worcester every pupil from the fifth to
taken in the service of literature the ninth grade is to read two of these books
was when, in 1879, Mr. S. S. Green, in a year, and give a written or oral account the public librarian of Worcester, Mass., of their contents.
of their contents. For the younger children linked in a systematic manner the public fables, folk-lore and simple tales are supplied schools of that city with its public library. to teachers to be retold to their little hearers. This alliance, of course, has spread to other Still other books offer masterpieces of poetry cities, båt it is only fitting that we should and prose to be committed to memory. The observe it at its source, where its originator, “Courses of Study for Primary and Grammar as full of energy as ever, is extending the Schools in Worcester" are set forth in a work along new lines of endeavor.
pamphlet of sixty-six pages. To scan these As far back as 1835, New York enacted a pages is to see what the librarian and the law establishing libraries in the district schools; teacher can do when they unite their forces. and the example was copied by twenty other No longer is memorizing the printed page the states; but in the main the results were dis- be-all and the end-all of instruction. Anyappointing. As a rule, each library was thing that should be observed is observed; isolated from every other, there was an ab- anything that should be done is done instead sence of care in selecting the first stock of of being merely talked about or recited. books, and in furnishing new supplies when Books come in for reference, for direction, as the old favorites had gone the rounds. Usu means of continuous explanation, as sources ally, too, the management was incompetent of knowledge concerning observations, exand slack, so that in many places the books, periments, generalizations far beyond the quite unguarded, seemed to melt like snow horizon of the learner. Nature study begins beneath an April sun.
best at home, so we find the pupils first proTo-day, in the best practice, a very differ- vided with excellent manuals of the flowers ent state of things has come about. To and trees, the physical geography, the birds begin with, the librarian and the teacher and bird-songs of Worcester. Next follows a confer together with a view to advance their similar and larger array of books dealing with common interests; the teacher himself is ac- Massachusetts, after these come the other corded for his own work the utmost facilities states of the Union, with at last, some of the library, and, so far as funds permit, his sharpened glances at the rest of the world. suggestions for purchases are promptly acted There is throughout an admirable grouping upon. Next, in order to fill the shelves for of the authors who most helpfully direct his scholars, a careful choice is made of the observation and explain the subtle ties which works which may worthily supplement in- bind flower and insect, the variations which struction, and of those books which in travel become the pivot of evolution, and the diverse and fiction, adventure and exploit, may provide strands of law which knit the countless facts sound entertainment-such books, indeed, as of field and woodland into a connected philmay introduce boys and girls to the best osophy. Graphic art, music and physical thought and the worthiest action.
training, and the other branches of a well
considered course of study meantime receive A thought much in the mind of the modern due cultivation.
educator is that his opportunity is all too During the winter months the high water fleeting. A faculty or a talent springs up in mark of circulation among the public schools early life much as a promising shoot in a of Worcester is a daily average of 2,000 garden; give it due recognition and fitting books from the public library. It should be nurture, and in the fullness of time it will stated, however, that an additional large num- yield precious fruit; under neglect or wrong ber of books are given to children for school tillage the poor child is doomed to a life wantuses on special cards issued to the children at ing the gain and delight it might otherwise the library, and that very large numbers of have known. Hence it is that the new edubooks are used for reference in the library cation offers an unbroken round of appeal. building. In Detroit, a much larger city, the No longer are lessons addressed solely or books are five times as many, purveyed to all mainly to the verbal memory: for the hand grades of scholars above the fourth. The and eye are hammer, saw and plane, needle library in each school-room is changed once in and thread, brush and pencil, plastic clay and four months, and no school is likely to get the wire; for the voice and the ear there is music; same books oftener than once in two or three instead of reading about nature there are exyears. The books are in charge of the prin- cursions to the woods, the fields and streams. cipal of each building, and are given out The teacher is mindful to declare the limitaunder very simple regulations. In Cleveland tions of the printed page and relegates the the public schools are branch stations of the book to a rightful place which it fills more public library; in that city, in Buffalo, Mil- usefully than ever. Fortunately, we live in waukee and St. Louis, the relations of an era when authors include an increasing librarians and teachers are most fruitful. proportion of observers and doers, men of ex
Not a little ingenuity is displayed in elicit- periment and experience; their work admiring the young pupils' interest. When the ably supplements the first-hand knowledge, early history of the United States is studied, often meagre enough, of those who have just it receives illumination from the lives of Wash- crossed the threshold of the working world. ington, Jefferson and Adams; at a later period Incalculable is the importance of thus bethe story of the Civil War is vivified and ginning aright the study of books. The vast brought home by the biographies of Lincoln majority of pupils leave school about their and Grant. Every village, town and city has fourteenth year; thereafter their education, a history of its own, its roll of honored pion- their understanding of what they see in the eers and leaders, its tales of heroism and en field or the workshop, in trade or politics will terprise, its scenic setting and distinctive
and distinctive be largely determined by the love of good trades, its home varieties of birds, insects and literature they have formed at school. wild flowers, and all these are borne in mind Already the soundness of taste developed as book is added to book on the school shelf. in good schools has manifested itself in the Anniversaries, too, become occasions of profit. free choice of books when school days are The birthdays of Franklin, Hamilton and done. No boy or girl ever comes to an inFulton serve to recall their work for America telligent admiration of Hawthorne, Dana, and the world, the young scholars learning Stevenson and Parkman, and later for Jane above all else how much of the liberty and Austen, Thackeray and George Eliot, without happiness of the present were bought by the an instinctive aversion for the inanities of toil and faithfulness of men who long ago Oliver Optic, Charlotte M. Braeme and Mrs. went to their graves. On May 4th of last Southworth. Just as in the case of the pracyear Wisconsin celebrated Arbor and Bird tical talents, a wide freedom to choose from Day; the occasion was heralded by the read the open shelves, discovers this boy to be ing of Burroughs and other such authors who strongly aroused by the feats of Kane, Normay find boys and girls strangers to the tree denskjold and Nansen, while his playmate and the blossom, the bird and the bee, only finds his heroes in the very different personto leave them their sympathetic friends. alities of Watt, Faraday and Edison.*
* The Carnegie Library, of Pittsburg, has just issued a catalogue of such of its books as are recommended for the schools of that city. The titles are carefully graded for use all the way from the kindergarten to the high school. Notes follow the titles. The whole forms a capital guide either for the borrower or the buyer.
THE AUTHOR AND THE
THE PUBLISHER AT PEACE
THE TRADITIONAL FEUD BETWEEN THEM WAS IMAGINARY
MARY B. MULLETT
THERE was a time when there was most friendly relations. For instance, in
supposed to be a state of suspicion James T. Fields's delightful “ Yesterdays with
if not of war between the men who Authors,” the relations of Emerson, Longwrote books and the men who published fellow, Hawthorne, Lowell, and Holmes to them. The outside world, at least, had an their publishers are frankly explained. They idea that the author was a long-suffering, were a very happy family. Similar were the down-trodden creature, who sometimes dared pleasant relations between Irving and his to claim his own soul but seldom succeeded publishers. One quarrel or difference in the in collecting his claim. There were then not book-world, such as poor Poe was always very many authors. But the persons who write having, is exaggerated into a general habit. now are more conspicuous and much more The reason that amicable relations gennumerous than they used to be. During the erally exist between these two crafts is the last ten years the guild has so increased, that best of all reasons—in no other way can you never know but your dearest friend or each serve the other successfully. To quaryour next-door neighbor may be secretly rel is to lose. All successful business arwriting an historical novel. All men and rangements rest on mutual trust. But the women are under suspicion. The latest publishing business in a peculiar sense deedition of the Dictionary of American Authors mands such a personal mutual trust. Every contains seventy-five hundred names, and prominent and successful publisher is the there are seventy-five hundred more persons personal friend and adviser of the authors who think that they ought to be in the list. whose books he publishes. In fact, one of
Now if this large and important guild were the principal charms and rewards of the oppressed the public would hear of it; for business of publishing—the one thing that they are not a silent company. Women's makes it a profession rather than a trade-is clubs would discuss the oppression; there the delight that the true publisher gets from would be authors' organs and protective asso the friendship of his authors and his pleasant ciations and all sorts of machinery of defence. relations with them. He becomes their And if there were a publishers' and authors' partner in furthering what they stand for in war in these days it would be a right merry literature. By the very nature of the busiwar, for the publishers have multiplied al ness an author is obliged to trust the pubmost as rapidly as the authors. But instead lisher. There is no practicable plan whereby of war, there is really a hearty enough friend a dishonest publisher can be prevented from ship, for which there is a good reason. making an inaccurate report to the author.
But in spite of the peace that prevails the But to make a dishonest report implies not only gossip-loving public that lives outside the a very flagrant form of dishonesty on the part borders of Book Town still do an uncommon of the publisher himself, by the connivance amount of talking about authors and pub- also of his bookkeepers and practically of all lishers—a greater hubbub, indeed, than was his office force—a dishonest establishment, ever warranted by the facts. Read the in fact. reminiscences of American authors and pub And an author who wisely chooses his publishers and you will find testimony to the lisher will choose him in a great measure for