Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/443

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431
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for small boats, but would be of no use for large vessels. The English Government tried to buy the invention exclusively for England, but Sauvage refused to sell it on such terms. It was applied to a steamer in 1841, after plans furnished by Sauvage, but the builder and engineer of the vessel took all the credit for it. After an experience in the debtors' prison, and then spending $16,000 in experiments during ten years, Sauvage passed the last years of his unfortunate life in the Picpus asylum. The priority of his invention is disputed in behalf of several Englishmen: of James Watt, who proposed to use a screw in 1770; of Edward Shorter, who patented a propeller in 1800, and applied it two years afterward; of Stevens, in the United States, who tried to drive a boat by a screw in 1801; of Trevithick, who invented a screw-propeller in 1816; and of Samuel Brown, who used one in 1827. F. Pettit Smith, to whom more than any other person we owe the use of this motor, never claimed to be its inventor, but only that he placed it in the dead-wood of the vessel. The "Revue Scientifique" claims the credit of the invention for Charles Dallery, who obtained a patent for a screw-propeller and a tubular boiler in 1803.

 


NOTES.

The fifth annual meeting of the American Society of Microscopists will be held at Elmira, New York, Tuesday, August 15th, and on the three following days. Liberal arrangements have been made by the local committee for entertainment. A meeting of great interest is anticipated. A larger list of papers than on any previous occasion has been promised, and preparations have been made for a full display of instruments, accessories, and objects. Committee reports are to be made "On Eye-pieces," "On Revision of the Constitution," and "On the Question of a Quarterly Journal." Members intending to be present will please notify Dr. Thaddeus S. Updegraff, secretary of the local society, Elmira, New York; members intending to present papers or communications, to Professor D. S. Kellicott, secretary of the association, 119 Fourteenth Street, Buffalo, New York.

M. A. Blavier has endeavored to account for certain remarkable climatological anomalies that have been recently observed in France, by supposing that the Gulf Stream was deflected from its regular course. He observes that the sardines, which, in their regular migrations, follow exactly the course of the derivative current of the Gulf Stream, called the Rennel, have followed another route than their usual one to the ocean; also that a slight elevation of temperature has been observed in Shetland; and that an accumulation of ice has been noticed at the French station in Iceland.

M. de Lacerda, of the Physiological Laboratory of Rio Janeiro, recommends the permanganate of potash as a sure antidote for the bite of venomous snakes. To be effective the solution of the salt should be prepared at the moment of using it; and in order that it may always be on hand, he recommends that packages be put up to be carried by persons going into dangerous spots, containing one tenth of a gramme of the permanganate, and a ten-gramme bottle. The solution should be injected with a syringe.

From a statement made in the French Academy of Sciences, by M. Gosselin, it appears that M. Collin, of Alfort, has found that American trichinous meat contains almost exclusively dead trichinæ, and is, therefore, not particularly dangerous.

Macgillivray, in his narrative of the voyage of H. M. S. Rattlesnake in 1852, said that he had seen the skulls of children at Cape York pressed into a conical shape by the constant manipulation of their mothers. Von Baer doubted the possibility of such an effect being thus produced. Dr. Miklucho Maclay, however, saw the pressure actually applied by the mothers at Torres Straits in 1880. He says that, during the first weeks of the lives of the children, the mothers were accustomed to spend several hours each day in compressing the heads of their children, for the express purpose of giving them a conical shape. Another kind of deformity, in the heads of the women, resulting; from their habits in carrying loads, was observed by Dr. Maclay New Guinea. The women here were accustomed to put whatever they had to carry into bags, which they supported by bands laid on their heads, a little behind the coronal suture. This practice, pursued from childhood, produced a saddle-shaped depression across the skull, which was sometimes three or four millimetres deep.

Professor E. Desor, of Neufchâtel, Switzerland, geologist and anthropologist, and a student of glaciers and glacial geology, died in March last. He lived several years in the United States, and has left his mark on American geology and marine zoölogy.