Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 27.djvu/301
ing, if it is not the original cause of, much of the disease that afflicts country and city alike. "The next step in the line of progress is cremation, and it has already been taken by thousands of households, . . . who cremate all of their household wastes and kitchen garbage, greatly to their comfort and relief. The kitchen-stove is found to be a convenient furnace, and into this everything but excreta is dumped, to be utterly consumed, and thus put beyond the process of fermentation and slow decay." The method of cremation is to be carried out in London on a large scale, in an establishment which has been erected for the purpose by Mr. George Shaw. Its introduction into all cities would relieve them of a multitude of evils, and bring no new ones in.
Early Mention of Maple Sugar.—Messrs. Editors: Professor H. W. Wiley, chief chemist of the Department of Agriculture, has recently published analyses of maple-sugars and sirups ("Chemical News," February 20, 1885), and says he is surprised to find almost no data concerning the composition of maple-sugars in chemical literature.
I can confirm this observation as to the paucity of information, having had occasion to institute a search for such literature.
I have found an early mention of maple-sugar, which seems to me to be of great interest, and append the extract to this note. The references to sugar from maize and from water-melons are curious, and I should like to inquire of your readers whether experiments on manufacturing sugar from water-melons have been made in more recent times. If so, with what success?
Very truly yours,
H. Carrington Bolton.
Hartford, Connecticut, March 14, 1885.
Extract from Hon. Robert Boyle's "Usefulness of Experimental Natural Philosophy," Oxford, 1663, Essay iv, p. 112.
"Since the writing of these last Lines, being visited by an ancient Virtuoso, Governor to a considerable Colony in Northern America, and inquiring of him among other particularities touching his Country, something in relation to the thoughts I had about the making of several kindes of Suger, he assur'd me, upon his own experience, that there is in some parts of New England, a kinde of Tree, so like our Wallnut-trees, j I that it is there so called, whose Juice that I weeps out of its Incisions, &c, if it be permitted slowly to exhale away the superfluous moisture, doth congeal into a sweet and saccharine substance; and the like was confirmed to me, upon his own knowledge, by the Agent of the great and populous Colony of the Masathusets.
"And very lately demanding of a very eminent and skilful Planter, why, living in a part of America, too cold to bare Sugar-Canes, he did not try to make Sugar of that very sweet Liquor, which the Stalks of Maize, by many called Indian Wheat, affords, when their Juice is expressed; he promised me he would make trval of it: Adding, That he should do it very hopefully, because that though he had never been solicitous to bring this Juice into a saccharine form, yet having several times, for tryal sake, boild it up to Syrup, and employed it to sweeten Tarts, and other things, the Guests could not perceive that they were otherwise sweetened than with Sugar, and he farther added, That both he and others, had, in New England made such a Syrrup with the Juice of Water-melons."
The "Lancet" states that "a marked increase in the death-rate from cancer during the latter part of the present century has for some years occupied the minds of several well-known pathologists in endeavors to reveal its cause." It being generally agreed that the disease is prone to arise out of prior morbid states which do not appear to be directly or necessarily related to it, among which are tissue exhaustion, the "Lancet" adds: "If we admit, therefore, as we consistently may, that tissue-exhaustion, the result of toil, anxiety, or privation, and whether inherited or induced, affords a sufficient basis for the development of cancer, we may not look far into the history of our laborious age to find an explanation of a rise in its death-rate which at first may seem anomalous."
MM. Fol and Sarrazin, of Geneva, have been experimenting on the depth to which light can penetrate the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. They find that at two hundred and eighty metres the effect is about the same as that of a moonless night, and that the chemical rays cease to be felt at four hundred metres. A curious result of their experiments is the discovery that the water of the Lake of Geneva is far less transparent than that of the sea.
Dr. James Paget, of London, has been elected a corresponding member of the French Academy of Sciences in the section of medicine and surgery, replacing M. Bouisson, deceased.