Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/686

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

In the summer of 1823 he gave an account of his analysis of fulminating silver before the Academy. Having finished his paper, as he was packing up his preparations, a gentleman came up to him and questioned him as to his studies and future plans, and, after a most exacting examination, ended by asking him to dinner on the following Sunday. Liebig accepted the invitation, but, through nervousness and confusion, forgot to ask the name and address of his interviewer. Sunday came, and poor Liebig was in despair at not being able to keep his engagement.

The next day a friend came to him and said, “What on earth did you mean by not coming to dine with von Humboldt yesterday, who had invited Gay-Lussac and other chemists to meet you?” “I was thunderstruck,” said Liebig, “and rushed off, as fast as I could run, to von Humboldt's lodgings, and made the best excuses I could.” The great traveler, satisfied with the explanation, told him it was unfortunate, as he had several members of the Academy at his house to meet him, but thought he could make it all right if he would come to dinner next Sunday. He went, and there made the acquaintance of Gay-Lussac, who was so struck with the genius and enthusiasm of the youth that he took him into his private laboratory, and continued, in conjunction with him, the investigation of the fulminating compounds. — Chemical News.


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THE COTTON INDUSTRY IN BRAZIL.

By JOHN C. BRANNER, Ph. D.,

FORMERLY ASSISTANT GEOLOGIST OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF BRAZIL.

COTTON is indigenous to Brazil. The oldest documents relating to that country contain many references to its existence there and to the uses made of it by the Indians at the time of the discovery. There is no indication, however, that it was then cultivated to any considerable extent by the natives. The picture of the indifference of the aborigines in regard to such matters is vividly suggested by the manner in which a few straggling plants are allowed to grow, even nowadays, about the houses of the civilized Indians, and by the poor classes generally throughout the interior of the country.

As soon, however, as the Portuguese came to Brazil, bringing with them a knowledge of the cultivation of cotton and of its uses, there was established an industry which has been an important factor in the material prosperity and development of the country. Although by the end of the seventeenth century cotton was quite generally cultivated throughout Brazil, it was used almost exclusively for domestic purposes until the last half of the