Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/729

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


LITERARY NOTICES.

��711

��or suggested on the general subject and in mechanics, heat, light, and electricity. A necrology and bibliography supplement the text. Prof. H. Carrington Bolton, in the Account of Progress in Chemistry, gives similarly clear notices of papers, discoveries, and experiments in chemistry, with necrolo- gy and bibliography. The Progress of Min- eralogy is described by Edward S. Dana under the heads of " General Works " on the subject, " Crystallography and Physical Mineralogy," " Chemical Mineralogy," " New Mineral Occurrences in the United States and Elsewhere," and " New Minerals." The bibliography includes brief references to papers upon mineral species. As character- istic of Progress in Zoology, Mr. Theodore Gill observes that more and more attention is being paid to histology and embryology, perhaps at an undue expense to sytematic zoology, and regrets the tendency as hurtful to the welfare of the science, but hopes that in due time it will be corrected. The sub- ject is reviewed in the order of zoological classification, and a necrology is supplied. In the account of Progress of Anthropology, Prof. Otis T. Mason draws attention to com- prehensive summaries, courses of lectures, and descriptions of instrumentalities. The heads are, " Archaeology," " Biology," " Psy- chology," " Ethnology," " Comparative Phi- lology," and "Mythology and Folk Lore." Clear ideas of the principal papers are given in the abstracts. A bibliography is added.

Mr. Otis T. Mason gives in the papers of the United States National Museum a valu- able contribution to anthropology in the shape of an illustrated paper on the Cradles of the American Aborigines. The author finds that in both Americas the majority of aboriginal children are confined in a sort of cradle from their birth till they are able to walk about. During this period the cradle serves many purpose's as a mere nest for the helpless infant, as a bed so constructed and manipulated as to permit sleep in either a vertical or horizontal position, as a vehicle for carrying the child suspended on the moth- er's back or from the saddle-bow, as, indeed, a cradle to be hung on the limbs of trees to rock, as a playhouse and baby-jumper, and as a kind of training school whence the child emerges little by little till it leaves it altogether. These various uses are exhibited

��in the accounts which follow of the cradle systems of the different tribes. Methods of strapping the limbs and treating the head and their effects on the form, also enter into consideration. Mr. Walter Rongji's pa- per On the Preservation of Museum Speci- mens from Insects and the Effects of Damp- ness considers the virtues and defects of various poisonous preparations, and supplies directions for accomplishing the objects im- plied in the title. Ethno - Conchology : A Study of Primitive Money, by Robert E. C. Stearns, describes the many kinds of shells that have been applied by primitive people in all parts of the world to the purposes of a currency, the methods of preparing and using them, more particularly the wampum belts of our Eastern Indians, and the shell money of the Pacific coast. The text is illustrated by nine plates and many inserted cuts, and some dozen other papers are cited in the bibliography. Dr. J. H. Porter's Notes on the Artificial Deformation of Chil- dren among Savages and Civilized Peoples is also published in connection with Prof. Ma- son's Cradles, to which it bears a close rela- tion, as it is in the cradles that the deforma- tions are started. The subject is considered by Dr. Porter from a broad philosophical point of view, without much reference to special methods of deformation. These are mentioned in a summary of " General Notes on Deformition," which is at the same time a bibliography. Prof. Mason's The Human Beast of Burden is of a piece in value and interest with his paper on " Cradles." The author is set by the sight of an express train to reflecting on the long and tiresome experiences through which the human mind has passed upward to that climax of inven- tion. At the lower end of this line " we come at last to the primitive common carrier, the pack-man himself, and also the pack- woman, for men and women were the first beasts of burden." This person, with his load and his method of attaching and man- aging it, are considered under the aspects they present or have presented in different countries and ages ; and the whole is made plain by means of pertinent illustrations.

Further contributions by Dr. R. W. Shufeldt to the study of the bone-structures of birds include Observations upon the Oste- ology of the Order Tubinares and Stegano-

�� �