Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/150

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140

��POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

��contact with the note, itself yielded a picture of the inscription, showing that the influence from the ink had passed to the zinc plate. It was noteworthy that the signature was not in writing ink. A cutting from the Times, the paper being transparent, showed a picture of the printing on both sides; the picture, moreover, was reversible, showing that a perfect picture of both sides of the paper had been impressed on the one plate. This interesting phenomenon is, however, not quite explained, but the great amount of work he has done leads him to the provi- sional opinion that the effect is due to the evolution of hydrogen peroxide."

Scientific "Trade Hunting."— The re- cent movement in England toward the estab- lishment by the Government of a commercial intelligence office for the securing and diffu- sion of information regarding foreign trade has given rise to considerable discussion among the English trade papers. The busi- ness of the office is to be the gathering of general information of interest and value to the English merchant with a foreign trade, and especially of pointing out new ways for the extension of foreign commerce, and call- ing attention to possible new markets for English goods. A number of schemes have been proposed, among others that of sending an expert once every year or two to the different foreign " trade areas," for the pur- pose of collecting information and samples, and of giving a trustworthy estimate of its commercial prospects ; another, that of ex- tending the consular reports in such a man- ner as to compass the same ends. There is considerable opposition to the scheme from some branches of business, where it is held that no one is so likely to get hold of useful information as the trader himself, and that the publishing of such Government reports as the scheme contemplates would result in giving the information to foreign as well as English traders, and thus negative whatever advantage might come to the English mer- chant from his individual discovery of a valuable market.

Dr. Neufeld. — The London Times of September 13th gives the following account of the career of Dr. Neufeld, who has just been delivered from captivity in Omdurman by the English forces: "Karl Neufeld studied medicine at Leipsic University, and went early in life to Egypt, following first his pro- fession as a medical man and subsequently as a merchant. At the beginning of the eighties he had a practice at Keneh, Upper Egypt, where several Germans and also natives of his own home saw him. Subsequently he set up as a merchant at Assouan. After the fall of Khartoum and the firm establishment of the Mahdi's power at Omdurman, Neufeld seems to have formed a scheme for opening up commercial intercourse with the closed Soudan, for he equipped a caravan with which he proceeded to Berber, which was then in the hands of Osman Digna. The latter sent the German, whom he looked upon as a dangerous spy, to the Khalifa Abdullahi. This was in 1886. Neufeld was condemned to death, and was taken to the place of execution. He behaved there so courageously, asking to be executed like a Mohammedan, instead of suffering death by hanging, that the Khalifa was struck and respited him under the gallows. He was taken to the general prison, with heavy chains on his hands and feet, and treated altogether in a most abominable manner. He was kept alive by the women, who took pity on him and fed him, as they had done before him to Slatin. Then an endeavor was made to utilize his knowledge. He knew nothing about founding cannon, but he managed to manufacture powder, and he was also ordered to invent a machine for coining money. Owing to the escape of Father Ohrwalder and, later, of Slatin Pasha, his position became worse. He was again manacled and threatened with having his arms and feet hacked off if he should attempt to escape. There were many efforts to liberate him. The Austrian Catholic mission, induced by Father Ohrwalder, Slatin Pasha, the British Government, the German, and more especially the Austrian, representatives at Cairo, all endeavored to further the escape of Neufeld. He frequently received money, but he refused to escape, as he would not accept liberty without his wife — an Abyssinian slave presented to him by the Khalifa — and the two children whom she had borne him. The latter would have been exposed to fearful tortures, and thus Neufeld chose to remain a prisoner. He was active subsequently also as an artist, and

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