« AnteriorContinuar »
FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 1888.
proposed reservoir system will be upon the commercial and agricultural interests of the lower Mississippi. In reply he has pre pared and forwarded the following paper, which, aside from the
economic possibilities it suggests, is an important contribution to ASIDE FROM ITS ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE, which cannot be
the scientific discussion of the hydraulics of the Mississippi River. exaggerated, Major Powell's letter to the New Orleans Chamber of
The paper is given in full. Commerce, printed in full on another page of Science, on the relief of the alluvial lands of the lower Mississippi from destructive Moods, The control of the lower Mississippi is a problem of great magcontains the first forinal announcement of a new law in the hydraul nitude, and the conditions are of great complexity. The end to ics of rivers. It is set forth in these words: “ The cutting power be attained is to give the channel stability of position, and sufficient of a stream increases rapidly with the increase of sedimentary load.” depth and breadth to make it a perfect conduit
, capable of transportThis principle was briefly stated by Major Powell in a short oral ing to the sea all the water sent down by floods, thus relieving the address before the American Association for the Advancement of adjacent country from danger of overflow. To accomplish this end Science, about ten years ago, and he has indirectly referred to it
it is necessary (1) to prevent the choking of the channel by excessive two or three times since, in a word or two, in his writings ; but
sedimentation, and this is the most important remedy; and (2) to this is the first specific statement of it that he has made, and this
diminish the volume of the foods by the storage of water above at
food-time; this is an accessory but important remedy. The relief he considers as barely more than indicating the line of discussion
of the river from excess of sediment, and the storage of the superwhich he has long intended to pursue in a volume that he proposes
abundant water at flood-time, may be accomplished by the same to write upon the subject. But the principle is stated in this paper
method, and its accomplishment may also involve the irrigation of with sufficient detail and illustration to arrest the attention of phy the arid lands on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. All sicists and engineers, and to give rise to an interesting discussion. this must be set forth more fully. This Major Powell invites, and the columns of Science will be The Mississippi and its tributaries receive and transport to the gladly placed at the disposal of any of its readers who may desire sea the drainage of about 1,250,000 square miles. To obtain an to express an opinion, either favorable or unfavorable, to the new idea of the work done by this river system, some facts must be theory.
The volume of drainage passing New Orleans is, on the average, IT IS CHEERING to note that another step in advance in the line
675,000 cubic feet per second, or about 150 cubic miles per year. of statistical science has recently been taken.
The average contributions in cubic feet per second of the principal A year ago Colonel
tributaries in the system are, in round numbers, as follows :Wright made a marked impression by demanding that statistics be given a place in the collegiate curriculum. Now the American
Cubic Feet per Second.
Upper Mississippi. Statistical Association, which possesses a quiet history of forty
Missouri. years in its records, announces a publication, to appear at regular
St Francis intervals, devoted to the inierests of statistics. This association in
60,000 the past has been practically but a local society of Boston, formerly
60,000 fostered by the late Dr. Jarvis, so eminent in the field of vital statistics, and at the present time officered by General Walker (its A portion of the grand total poured into the valley below Cairo presidenti, and Mr. Edward Atkinson (its corresponding secretary). escapes through the Atchafalaya and other bayous even at average The association welcomes to membership all who are interested in river stages, put probably not less than eighty per cent of that total statistical work, and hopes in the future to be able to issue a repre
finds its route to the sea at present by way of the Crescent City. sentative journal which may compare favorably with similar Euro
During flood-stage the outflow by the same route rises to about pean publications. There is no reason why this cannot be done.
one million cubic feet per second; but the rate of inflow into the
valley may at such stages exceed twice the carrying capacity of the In no country is the utility and application of statistics more generally recognized than in the United States: it only remains to
main branch of the Atchafalaya. Of the three main tributaries, the
discharge has been found to rise during floods in the upper Missiscreate an intelligent interest in their proper collection and tabu
sippi and Missouri to three times, and in the Ohio to seven times, lation. The venture of the publication of a work upon technical the average amount. statistics, like that of Mr. Pidgin, entitled Practical Statistics,' Such, in brief, are the most apparent facts as to the volume of furnishes added testimony to the development in progress. We drainage discharge. But these do not disclose two other facts also understand that during the past year a course upon statistics which are of prime importance in the engineering problems prehas been introduced at the University of Michigan, under the direc sented by the Mississippi; viz., that this river is a river of mud from tion of Prof. Henry C. Adams.
the Missouri to the Gulf, and that the Missouri is the principal
source of mud-supply. PREVENTION OF FLOODS IN THE LOWER MIS
Much attention has been given recently by the Mississippi River
and the Missouri River Commissions to observations of the SISSIPPI.
amount of sediment in transport at various points along the MissisPOPULAR interest in the proposed investigation by the United sippi and Missouri. These observations show that near New OrStates Geological Survey, of the problem of storing the waters of leans the amount of sediment in transport varies from go to robo the upper Missouri and other Far Western rivers in great reservoirs, part of the total volume discharged, and averages about sooo part and the reclamation by irrigation of vast areas of what are now of that volume. Above the mouth of the Missouri the Mississippi waste lands, spreads as some of the incidental effects of those great carries much less sediment, the range being from sto to Todood, with works, should they be undertaken, are beginning to be understood. an average of tobo part of the volume. The Missouri, on the other An illustration of this is a letter from the New Orleans Chamber hand, is always heavily loaded with sediment. Just above its point of Commerce to Director Powell, asking him what the effect of the of confluence with the Mississippi the amount in transport varies
Arkansas and White.
from do to sobo, with an average of qdo part of the volume. Di declivity, they here do their heaviest work. Here they are ground rect measurements on the turbidity of the Ohio do not appear to and reground, and dug up and redeposited. Much of the coarser have been made; but observations on the Mississippi at Columbus, sediment is left, especially during floods, to add to the geological Ky., indicate that the Ohio, like the upper Mississippi, is compara growth of the region, while vast quantities pass on to the sea. The tively free from sediment. The observations just mentioned show, lower reach is at present one of greater stability. The absence of in fact, that the turbidity of the Mississippi at Columbus, Ky., fol- large tributaries, and the escape of floods into the upper basins, lows closely the turbidity of the Missouri at St. Charles ; and it is give it a steadier flow; and the mud with which it is loaded is more estimated that more than eighty per cent of the sediment in the finely comminuted, and hence more easily transported to the Gulf. Mississippi at Columbus comes from the Missouri. The amount But the disturbing element is present, and liable at any flood-stage of sediment carried into the Gulf is less certain than the amount to work disastrous effects. poured into the valley at Cairo, since the load brought in by the It must be clearly understood that the diminution of the volume minor tributaries and the load carried off by the Atchafalaya are of water in the lower Mississippi is not the prime end to be sought. unknown. But under any reasonable supposition concerning the The prime end to be sought, in order to prevent destructive floods, carrying capacity of the Atchafalaya, it appears that from robo to is to prevent the choking of the channel. The storing of floodgoto of the total discharge into the Gulf is mud; and, on compar waters on the Ohio and on the upper Mississippi would at first reing these figures with the corresponding values for the Missouri, it lieve the lower flood-plain ; but, on the other hand, the choking of appears that this tributary furnishes from forty to sixty per cent of the lower channel would afterward progress at an increased rate, that mud.
and ultimately the storage of such waters would auginent the danIt is seen, then, that the Mississippi from its junction with the ger and destruction. But the storage of the waters of the Missouri, Missouri bears onward to the Gulf a load which increases with the and other tributaries that are surcharged with sediment, so as to accession of every affluent. But the bald figures cited do not deposit this sediment on the plains, would permit the purer waters readily give an adequate impression of this important fact. Let it to open a sufficient channel for themselves, and the Mississippi ibe stated, then, in another form, and in numbers more readily plain would thus be protected. The real problem is to relieve the grasped. It will suffice to give the output of the Missouri, which river of its excess of sediment, and thus prevent lateral cutting and has been carefully measured.
promote vertical scouring, and thus provide adequate channel-room The average discharge of sediment from the Missouri is, in round for the greatest floods. numbers, 170 cubic feet per second, or 500,000 cubic yards per day, Of the three rivers that contribute the principal volume of floodor 180,000,000 cubic yards per year. At flood-stage the discharge waters to the lower Mississippi, the Ohio supplies the largest of sediment has been observed to be as great as 4,000,000 cubic amount, and is subject to the greatest variation ; but when the yards per day. The latter amount is equivalent in volume to a flood comes, a thousand cubic feet per second extracted from one levee 100 square yards in cross-section and 23 miles long, and the river diminishes the flood exactly the same as if taken from another. average annual output would suffice to build more than 1,000 miles If the Missouri River be relieved of the enormous quantities of of such levee. The volume poured into the Gulf is about twice mud supplied to it by the bad-land and sand-plain rivers, it will this output.
cease to cut its own banks, and will discharge its waters into the Now, what is the effect of this sedimentary load on the course Mississippi, destitute of the sediment coming from these tributaries, and character of the river from St. Louis to the Gulf? Observa and also destitute of the sediment derived from lateral cutting. tions on river-systems, and studies of river-action in general, lead When the waters of the Missouri are thus delivered to the Missisto the recognition of this principle ; namely, that the cutting power sippi in a comparatively pure condition, they will cease to choke the of a stream increases rapidly with an increase of sedimentary load. Mississippi ; and the clearer waters of the combined Missouri, upA stream with a clear supply cleans and maintains a fixed chan- per Mississippi, and Ohio, flowing in one volume as the lower Misnel. Gorge a stream with sediment, and its equilibrium becomes sissippi, will be able to keep its channel unobstructed. unstable. It cuts away its banks here and piles up sediment It will now be readily understood why the storage of the head there, so that the position of the channel is ephemeral ; and during waters of the Missouri and other western tributaries, and their diflood-stage the burden of water is unloaded upon the adjacent version for the purposes of irrigation, will result beneficially to the lands. That this may be clearly understood, let it be stated in agricultural interests and to the navigation of the lower Mississippi. another way.
The advantages to navigation and the immunity from floods made When a river receives from a tributary a disproportionately great possible by storage reservoirs alone are well known ; but there load of sediment, such sediment is soon deposited, and the channel should be added to these benefits that which comes from depriving is thereby choked. This choking is of a peculiar nature; for the the stream of its chief instrument of corrasion, namely, sediment. sediment is not deposited evenly along the bottom of the channel, Such reservoirs should be constructed along the tributaries of the but is thrown down in the quiet waters, that is, it is deposited irregu Missouri, which, as we have seen, is the main source of the sedilarly along the course of the stream, now on one side and now on ment-supply of the Mississippi system. Fed by the drainage of the the other. These irregular deposits turn the current of the stream steep slopes of the Rocky Mountains and the bad-lands and the and throw it against the banks, now on one side and now on the sand-fields of the Great Plains, the waters of the Missouri come other. By this agency the banks are cut, and the waters of the loaded with the materials which go on cutting and grinding with river are again loaded with sediment, which is again thrown down, constantly increasing energy in their journey to the sea, choking the and again the stream is turned against its banks and again loaded, channel and cutting away the land. Imprison these waters in setand again deposits are made. It is thus that the original overload tling basins, divert them to the purposes of irrigation, and they are of sediment is made the occasion for a series of operations, each one
robbed of their destructive agency. of which serves to choke the channel in such a manner that the It is not maintained that such storage and irrigation works floods are thrown out upon the adjacent land. As long as a will entirely supplant other resources of the engineering art (revetstream running through a flood-plain is overloaded with sediment, ments, wing-dams, jetties, etc., will still have their uses), but the just so long will it choke its channel, and just so long will it change principal difficulties in the way of the successful application of The position of its channel, and just so long will it inundate the ad these resources will disappear with the establishment of the work jacent lands of the flood-plain at the time of flood.
proposed; and, until such works are constructed, the secondary The action of the Mississippi exemplifies this principle on a grand agencies for the control of the river will be useless. scale. To appreciate its importance, it is only necessary to con The waters which are precipitated on the Rocky Mountains, and sider the tortuous and constantly shifting course of the reach from which roll over the sands and bad-lands of the Plains, are those the Ohio to the Atchafalaya, and the menacing dangers to deep- which directly and indirectly load the Mississippi with its superawater navigation along the lower reach. The upper of these reaches bundant sediment. These waters are all needed in the arid lands is the region of greatest lateral corrasion or bank-cutting. It is through which they flow, that such lands may be redeemed by irhere that the abrading materials of the principal tributaries are rigation to agricultural purposes. The sediment which they carry brought together; and, impelled by the force of an appropriate can be poured on desert wastes, and render them fertile ; and the
channel of the Mississippi from Cairo to its mouth may be relieved of this destroying agency; and the flood-plain valley of the Mississippi itself can be protected from the destroyer; and the channel of the river may be made far more stable, and its crosssection far more uniform, and sufficiently ample to carry the waters of the greatest foods, — all by spreading the rivers of the West over the upper valleys of the Rocky Mountains and over the arid plains. It is thus, and thus only, that the lower Mississippi can be protected; and it is thus, and only thus, that the arid lands can be redeemed. The two problems are inseparably joined. Irrigate the deserts and make them gardens and wheat-fields, and by the same process you protect the flood-plain of the Mississippi and make corn-fields and cotton-fields.
the importance of the study of the history of science. The address was printed in the last number of Science,
On Tuesday a number of geologists had held a meeting, and appointed a committee to bring in a constitution and by-laws for an American geological society. The committee consisted of Prof. A. Winchell of Ann Arbor, John S. Stevenson of New York, C. H. Hitchcock of New Hampshire, Edward Orton of Ohio, and John R. Proctor of Kentucky. On Wednesday, after the organization of the section, a meeting was held, which was well attended, and it was resolved that the society should be formed on the basis proposed by the committee.
On Thursday the sections began their regular sessions, of which a report will be given next week. The important feature of this day was a lecture delivered by President G. Stanley Hall of Clark University of Worcester, Mass. It was the first time that the new psychology had been given a place on the programme of the association ; and nobody was better qualified to introduce this important subject in the association than Professor Hall, who was the first to cultivate this branch of science in America. It is to be hoped that this study, now that attention has been called to it, will continue to form part of the proceedings of the association.
Professor Hall gave a brief review of the scope of experimental psychology. He dwelt on the researches made in the study of psychologic physiology, and on the functions of brain and nerves ; he mentioned the methods of psychophysic inquiries, and the important bearing of ethnological studies upon psychologic questions. He concluded his sketch, which was listened to with the greatest attention, with a reference to the study of hypnotism, which is one of the most promising fields of psychic research.
On Friday evening Major J. W. Powell delivered a lecture on Competition as a Factor in Human Progress. In his forcible and graphic way, the lecturer gave the results of his study of the history of civilization and of human progress, which is based on his views as an ethnologist. He compared the evolution of society to that of animals and plants, and showed that the term survival of the fittest' does not apply in the same way in sociology and in biology.
Saturday was devoted to an excursion to Put-in-Bay, one of the islands in the western extremity of Lake Erie. The day was very pleasantly spent, the weather being fine. The remarkable glacial striæ of Kelley's Island were visited on this trip.
SCIENTIFIC NEWS IN WASHINGTON.
THE THIRTY-SEVENTH MEETING OF THE AMERI
CAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF
SCIENCE. The thirty-seventh meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which was held the past week at Cleveland, O., was not as well attended as the meetings of this great association usually are ; but it was nevertheless as successful, and as useful for science, as those of the preceding years. The meeting opened on Wednesday, Aug. 15, with 81 members in attendance. Before the close of the day the number swelled to 258, on Thursday to 303, and on the following day many citizens of Cleveland joined it. A very remarkable feature of this meeting was that only a few citizens of Cleveland numbered on the lists of the first three days, although they showed their interest in the proceedings of the association in other ways, — first of all, by their hospitality, which was very much appreciated by their guests; by attending the evening sessions; and by very full and well-edited reports in the local newspapers. The meeting of the association this year, though not showing as great a number of members attending as last year, and consequently a smaller increase in membership, is remarkable for the great number of eminent scientists taking part in it. The scientific departments of Washington were well represented; and the New England States, as well as all the States from New York to Arkansas and Minnesota, sent most of their prominent scientists.
The meetings were held in the Central High School. In order to bring about closer social meetings between members of the association, brief general sessions were held every morning, and the members met in the hall where these sessions were held. Social intercourse was also promoted by a very enjoyable arrangement of the local committee, who served every day a lunch to the members of the association in the High School, thus inducing them to spend the interval between the morning and afternoon sessions at the school. As the promotion of social intercourse during these meetings is of equal importance with the papers read and the discussions in the various sections, these arrangements are well worth being recorded, and greatly contributed to the success of the meeting
The programme was similar in character to those of former meetings of the association. The meeting was called to order on Wednesday, Aug. 15, by the retiring president, Prof. S. P. Langley, who resigned the chair to the new president, Major J. W. Powell. A hearty welcome was extended to the members of the association by representatives of the city of Cleveland and of the local committee, to which the president replied, and the sections were organized in their respective halls. At the general meeting the permanent secretary reported on the financial state of the association, from which we were glad to learn that the property of the association has increased materially, and that the research fund, which consists of the contributions of life-members, amounts to more than $4,400.
In the afternoon the vice-presidents of the sections delivered their addresses. In the evening the retiring president, Professor Langley, addressed the association on the subject of the history of the theory of radiant heat, in which address he forcibly brought home the truth that the progress of science is not always on the right line, but that it is only found after many futile attempts, and frequently after long following the wrong track. Thus he proved
The Latest Public-School Statistics : Some Interesting Figures and
Comparisons of School Population, Enrolment, and Aitendance,
— Plastering Wines in France: a Searching Investigation by the French Academy of Medicine: Adverse Report.
School Attendance in the United States.
The annual report of the United States commissioner of educa tion for 1886–87 is now going through the press at the Government Printing-Office, but copies of the volume will not probably be ready for distribution until next winter. The report of Commissioner. Dawson, besides giving the usual statements of the organization and administration of his office, is supplemented with an explanan tion of his plan to publish in a series of monographs a history of education in the United States, and an account of his visit to Alaska, with suggestions as to the education of the people of that far-off Territory.
The commissioner's statement is followed by twenty-two chap ters, which, in addition to presenting the usual statistics, digests of State school reports, etc., treat of the training of teachers, kindergartens, secondary instruction, superior instruction, professional instruction, manual and industrial training, education of special classes, libraries in the United States, and many other important educational subjects, and a chapter of papers on important educational topics by men of recognized authority on the subjects upon which they write.
In addition to the usual statistical tables accompanying the report, Commissioner Dawson has directed the preparation of several: new and quite important ones, and the addition of new columns to some of the old ones. This work has been done by Mr. F. E.
Upton, of the Bureau of Education, who has added some notes of 19.06 and 17.49 in the cases referred to) than it is in the western explanation. These treat of many important and interesting sub division (16.86). No account is taken here of the duration of atjects, and will be referred to again in future numbers of Science. tendance at school, but only of the circumstance that the pupils Some of the more striking facts in regard to school-census popula were on the school registers. If the element of time is taken into tion and attendance are given here.
consideration, the South appears much more at disadvantage. The “Although the school-census populations,” says Mr. Upton in great advantage which the Northern States possess is the much one of his notes, "may not be compared with each other, nor ag larger number of tax-payers in proportion to the number of children gregated, on account of their heterogeneity, the percentage of in to be educated. Even if the relative wealth of the North and the crease of these populations may, if we assume that the population South were equal, which is far from being the case, each tax-payer between any two limits of age in any State increases in the same of the former section would have a far less burden to bear in the ratio as that between any other two limits (i.e., that the proportion work of getting all the schoolable children within the schools. of the population of any given age remains constant in each State), According to the most recent returns, the number of pupils - an assumption that may be made as regards the increase of a daily attending the public schools of the United States while they few years within very narrow limits of error. It is on this assump are in session, is, on an average, 7,571,416. As in the case of ention that the percentage of increase or decrease of school-census rolment, it is not possible to determine the exact yearly increase ; population has been aggregated by geographical divisions.” but a very fair approximation places it at 218,500, or at the yearly
The geographical divisions are as follows: North Atlantic divis rate of 2.89 per cent. The greatest increase in average attendance ion, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Is is observable in the South. In both of the southern divisions it is land, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania ; South not only remarkably large, but it is to be noted that it exceeds the Atlantic division, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Vir increase of enrolment : in other words, not only more pupils are ginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, going to school there, but the attendance of those who do go is Florida; south central division, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, more regular. This is an evidence of increased appreciation of Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas; north central division, public schools not to be overlooked. Florida shows the greatest Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Mis growth of average attendance; viz., 13.94 per cent. In the Dissouri, Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas; western division, Montana, Wy trict of Columbia, Virginia, and Georgia, the growth is also exceedoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, ingly noteworthy. Indiana stands in the same relation to the States Washington, Oregon, California.
on her east and west borders as in the case of enrolment. The “ The largest percentage (in school-census population] is found, average attendance has decreased in six States, so far as reported, as might be expected, in the western division, which contains the New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New newer States and Territories, and where a small absolute increase York, and South Carolina. The greatest decrease (3.64 per cent) sometimes causes a large relative one. In the five States and took place in New Hampshire." This may be partially explained Territories of that division that furnish the necessary data, the by the fact that the private-school enrolment has increased 3.57 average increase per cent of the school-census population is found per cent in Vermont, 5.13 in Connecticut, and 4.12 in New York. to be 5.68, which would cause it to double in about twelve and a These figures may be considered as establishing conclusively the half years. The next largest rate of growth of school-census pop fact that the private schools are gaining on the public schools in ulation is found in the South. The percentage of increase in the the States mentioned, and the presumption that they are so doing in South Atlantic division (based on two States only) is 3.21.
the neighboring States. "The total public-school enrolment of the United States, as " The rate of increase of average attendance for the United made up from the latest data received and supplemented by esti States (2.89 per cent) exceeds slightly the rate of increase of enrolmates in two cases (Arkansas and Montana), is 11,805,660. The ment (2.66 per cent) as estimated. This indicates a greater reguyearly increase for the United States cannot be accurately deter larity of attendance for the country at large. The average attendmined, as ten States and Territories do not furnish the necessary ance for the United States is 64.13: that is, for every 100 pupils endata. Assuming, however, that the States and Territories so lack rolled during the school-year, 64 have attended daily, on an average, ing have made the same progress as the others in the same divis during the sessions of the schools; or, looking at the matter in ions, the yearly increase would be 305.772, or at the rate of 2.66 another light, each pupil enrolled was present, on an average, 64 per cent per annum. In only five States (New Hampshire, Ver out of every 100 days his school was in session. mont, South Carolina, Ohio, and Nevada) and one Territory (Ari " Regularity of attendance is greatest in the western division zona) has the enrolment decreased. The largest relative decrease (66.51), and least in the South Atlantic division (62.79), but it is (5:37 per cent) is found in New Hampshire. Dakota furnishes the nearly uniform in the different sections of the country ; more so, largest per cent of increase (11.70 per cent), followed by Indiana perhaps, than any other single item which admits of statistical with 9.20 per cent. The large development of the school-registra record. When the individual States are considered, a greater tion of Indiana is a notable circumstance, when compared with the inequality is observed. In Maine and Arizona the regularity of nearly stationary condition of the contiguous States, Ohio and Illi attendance is 82.79 and 84.26 respectively, while in Minnesota it nois.
drops to 49.17. It is possible, however, as in other instances, that “ In the proportion of children enrolled in the public schools, the this inequality may be due in some measure to inaccuracy or inNorth Central States are far in the lead, having 121 pupils in the completeness in the school reports, or a lack of uniformity in the public schools for every 100 children six to fourteen years of age. methods used. This regularity of attendance is far from being as That this should be a matter of congratulation, considering the rel high as is to be desired. Compulsory attendance laws do not seem atively low density of population of those States, has already been to affect it to any appreciable extent, as it is somewhat higher in noted.
the South Central States, where there are no compulsory laws, “ Notwithstanding the tremendous strides that have been made than in the North Central States. It will probably depend for imin the development of the school systems of the Southern States provement upon a growing appreciation of the benefits of a publicduring the past ten years, they are still far behind the Northern school education. States in regard to the proportion of children enrolled in the public “ Such as it is now, however, it is far in advance of any former schools. In the South Atlantic States only 89, and in the South period, and the progress it has made in the last semi-decade is espeCentral States only 79, children out of every 100, six to fourteen cially noteworthy. The tendency suggested by the figures is unmisyears of age, are enrolled as pupils in the public schools. This re takable. They show conclusively the steady growth of a sentiinent sults in a great degree from the excessive proportion of children to in favor of popular education, a growth not confined to any one grown persons met with in the Southern States : for, if we compare part of the country, but extending throughout its length and the proportion of total population enrolled, the disparity which ap breadth. This remark will be seen to possess greater force when pears to the prejudice of the Southern States almost disappears, and it is considered that there has been an increase in the proportion of in one case is quite reversed; i.e., the proportion of total popula children enrolled as pupils, as well as an increase in the proportion tion enrolled is actually greater in the two southern divisions (being of the number enrolled who attend regularly.”
The Plastering of Wine.
been made to show the harmlessness of wine plastered to 4o. All The latest of the United States consular reports published by the these experiments fail for want of precision or exactness in their State department contains a report by Walter T. Griffin, commer method. It is an incontestable fact that plastered wines have cial agent, upon the plastering of wines. Since the great reduc occasioned functional troubles and organic injuries. All familiar tion in the amount of wines manufactured in the Bordeaux and with medical science know that a solution of acid sulphate of Burgundy districts, the inferior wines of the central departments of potash, in which sulphuric acid is in a free state, acts as a purgative, France are being substituted for them, and recourse is had to and a caustic in certain cases. In regard to the abolition of chemical addition for the purpose of increasing their market value. plastering, the hygienic committee are not unanimous in their decisSo important is this matter considered, that the question whether ion. It is the opinion that a moderate plastering is necessary for the plastering of wine is injurious to public health or not is now the utilization, preservation, and transportation of a certain class of being discussed by the Academy of Medicine at Paris.
the poorer grades of wine, whose loss would be a disastrous thing The plastering of wine consists in adding sulphate of lime after for the wine-growers. But producers and merchants are warned, the first fermentation, or while the wine is in the vat; it is also that, if they should continue the practice, the proportion of acid mixed with the grape-must. The general rule is to put in five sulphate should not exceed two grams per litre. This proportion hundred grams of the plaster to the hectolitre of wine, but the is sufficient to obtain the commercial advantages for which the lime greater number of wine-makers throw in the lime without weigh is used. In conclusion, M. Marty examines and refutes certain ing. The advantages said to be gained by the use of sulphate of arguments recently produced in favor of plastering. He recognizes lime are, that fermentation is greatly increased, is more rapid and the fact that the conditions of the non-combination of the neutral complete, the color is brighter and more permanent, and the wine sulphate and the acid sulphate of potash are not well known, but will keep for a much longer period. The objections are, that the says we have a law of nature that will guide the hygienists in the addition of sulphate of lime causes chemical changes that render study of this question ; viz., that natural wines never contain more the wine injurious to health. The reasons given are these : than or of a gram of the sulphate of potash per litre. The hygienwine, in its normal condition, contains a certain amount of bi-tar ists, on their side, do not ignore the fact that this is the maximum trate of potash, which, when brought in contact with sulphate of dose, and if it is surpassed it will certainly injure public health. In lime, forms an acid sulphate of potash, and there is precipitated an conclusion, the academy gave it as its unanimous opinion that insoluble bi-tartrate of lime, varying according to its degree of plastering wine was a custom detrimental to health, and petitions alcohol, the wine dissolving a portion of the sulphate of lime. that the law of 1880 be rigorously enforced.
Natural wine contains, at a maximum, about half a gram of sulphate of potash per litre. This quantity is increased from five to ten fold by the action of the lime, and at the same time the pro
MOTIONS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM. portion of the bi-tartrate of potash diminishes to such a degree that
No other hypothesis has been suggested which offers such direct it may be said that the lime substitutes for this salt the acid sul
and complete answers to most of the questions which relate to the phate of potash. Finally, in wine treated with lime, sulphuric acid origin, structure, and unity of the universe, as Newton's law of is found in a free state, also the sulphate of magnesia. There are
gravity. It is but natural, therefore, that the majority of the probthree parties to the contest, — the proprietors and wine-merchants, lems which arise in regard to the motions of the solar system should who increase their profits by the plastering of the wine ; the hygien
have their origin in an effort to confirm that law. ists, who have always insisted upon the injurious effects of the
The first attempt to apply Newton's law to all the motions of the practice; and the chemists, who have never given a final decision.
solar system was made by Laplace. When, however, Lindenau The present discussion in the Academy of Medicine is the out
and Bouvard undertook to compute their tables of the motions of growth of advice asked by the government of it and of the hygienic the planets, a complete revision of Laplace's theory was found committees. A report of the progress thus far made in its inquiry necessary. So enormous is the labor involved, that there exists, by the academy has been made by M. Marty, who was designated
besides those mentioned, only one other complete set of theories to prepare it.
and tables of the motions of the principal planets, – that of LeverThe paper is largely historical, and only a brief notice of that
rier. Leverrier's tables of the inner planets are now nearly thirty part of it will be made here. The hygienic committee, in 1856,
years old. His tables of the outer planets are much later, having reported in favor of plastering. The following year numerous evil employed his attention almost to the day of his death. His tables consequences resulted from the plastered wines at St. Affrique, in
of Jupiter and Saturn were published in 1876, and those of Uranus the department of Aveyron. The doctors state that those who
and Neptune in the year following. Newcomb's tables of Neptune drank of this wine had an unquenchable thirst (cephalalgy) and an
were published in 1865; those of Uranus, in 1874. Hill's theory insupportable dryness of the throat. These are only the super of Jupiter and Saturn, which has for years occupied his attention, ficial symptoms and lesions that plastered wines produce in the has at last been completed, and he is now engaged in preparing organism. About the same time the Chamber of Commerce em
tables therefrom, These are intended to form a part of a comployed a committee of chemists to inquire into the matter, and they plete series of tables of the principal planets now being prepared sustained the opinion given by the hygienic committee. In 1858 under the direction of Professor Newcomb at Washington. AnM. Poggiale, after new researches, found in the ashes of plastered
other such series is also being prepared by Professor Gyldén at wines an almost entire absence of bi-tartrate of potash, and an Stockholm. entirely abnormal proportion of sulphate of potash. He concluded The values of the co-efficients of the terms of short period in that the practice of plastering had better be abandoned, as he con
the motions of the principal planets are now pretty well known; sidered it injurious to health. The conseils generaux entered into
and the same might be said of the secular variations, were it not the lists after the decision given by the court at Roanne, which
for the difference between theory and observation which exists was against plastered wine. They demanded a new scientific
in regard to the motion of the perihelion of Mercury, which was inquiry. For a second time the hygienic committee, in spite of a
discovered by Leverrier, and has been confirmed by Newcomb, in spirited protestation from Michel Levy, declared in favor of plaster
a discussion of the observations of the transits of Mercury, extending. M. Buignet and M. Bussy re-analyzed the plastered wine by a
ing over a period of more than two centuries. The cause of this new process, and found free sulphuric acid, which was formed by
difference still remains unknown. The completion and comparithe action of bi-tartrate of potash and sulphate of lime. The result
son with observations of the new theory of the four inner planets, was a compromise by the chemists, who considered that plastering now being prepared under the direction of Professor Newcomb, might be done with moderation. In 1879 this question was brought will be awaited with interest, with the hope that it may throw new for a third time before the committee, who did not admit the harm
light on this interesting subject. lessness of plastering, but said that two grams per litre were not The only recent original tables of the moon's motions are those dangerous.
| Abstract of an address before the Section of Mathematics and Astronomy of the M. Marty, in his report just published, settles the question from
American Association for the Advancement of Science, at Cleveland, O., Aug. 15-23, a hygienic view. He reports upon several experiments which have 1888, by Ormond Stone, vice president of the section.