Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/704

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attended with danger of fire, was likewise till only a short time ago performed by hand; but machines have now been devised which take the matches from the opened frames and drop them all in order into large cases, from which they are then repacked in small boxes. One of these machines of the latest construction is capable of extracting from the frames from two to three millions of the sticks a day, with far less danger of fire than when the work is done by men.

Still more recently the Swedish Lundgren, who is famous for his box-making machines, has devised another machine, which fills the boxes and delivers them closed. Nothing more needs to be done than to fill the receiver of the machine with matches and boxes, and to draw from it 25,000 well-filled boxes in a working day.

Thus we see that the little match, which passes away so quickly, has a famous history, and is really one of the most wonderful achievements of the human race. An immense amount of most sagacious ingenuity is concealed in it. The negro is right when, seeing light and fire spurt out as he looks at the curious thing, he cries out that "it is an enchantment," for the little piece of wood certainly surpasses the most marvelous art of the old magicians. — Translated for The Popular Science Monthly from Die Gartenlaube.

The Challenger Report, recording the work of the greatest scientific voyage ever undertaken, is now completed, in fifty large volumes containing 29,500 pages of letterpress, with 3,000 plates and maps, and innumerable blocks in the text. The Challenger Expedition left England in December, 1872, charged with the scientific exploration of the physical, chemical, geological, and biological conditions of the great ocean basins, with Captain George S. Nares as naval commander, and Prof. Wyville Thomson and five other gentlemen as the scientific corps. A very complete study was made of the Atlantic Ocean, which was crossed and recrossed in many different directions. From Cape Town the Challenger proceeded to Australia by a southerly course, and was the first steam vessel to cross the Antarctic Circle. She then passed through the western Pacific and its island groups to Hong Kong and Japan, crossed to the middle of the Pacific in 40° north and sailed south to 40° south; then visited Juan Fernandez and Valparaiso; passed through the Strait of Magellan; and returned along the central line of the Atlantic to England in May, 1876. More than five hundred deep-sea soundings were made, with deep-sea dredge and trawl. Besides the vast collection of marine animals, specimens of water from different depths, and of the deposit in the sea-bed were obtained. Tow-nettings for the collection of surface-living organisms were taken continually, magnetic observations whenever it was possible, and meteorological and surface temperatures every two hours. The results of the exploration have furnished food for several years' study by many naturalists besides those concerned in the preparation of the report.