Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/92

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84
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

however, that the organization was really purposing to advance the sum of human knowledge was given when the academy arranged for the scientific observation of the solar eclipse of August 7, 1869. The undertaking was a somewhat serious one for the little group of workers. Money had to be secured and subscription lists were passed. Arrangements were made for photographing, and during the two hours of the shadow three dozen negatives were made, of which twenty were fairly good. From them sets

PSM V51 D092 Building of the davenport academy of natural sciences.png
Fig. 1.—Building of the Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences.

of prints were made, some of which were sold to repay expenses, others of which were sent to foreign societies. It was the first exchange contact of the academy with the scientific world.

In July, 1873, the academy, now nearly six years old, rented "a small back room," into which it put three or four cases for its collection and where for the first time it felt itself at home. The next year more commodious quarters were obtained in the Odd Fellows' Building. Increasing activity showed itself by weekly conversaziones of a popular kind in addition to the regular meetings, by the purchase of a geological library, and by field work in