Page:Germ Growers.djvu/187

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182
THE GERM GROWERS.

at the will of the worker to the various light, magnifying, and chemical and electric processes which it seemed to be the function of the machine to keep in action.

I did not feel sure at first whether the substances in the vessels were being simply examined, or whether they were being treated with a view to effect some change in them. But I soon saw that the latter was the more likely purpose. For I perceived on further observation that they were subjected to a very severe and exact scrutiny before they were placed in the vessels. At one end of the row of machines was a very long table along which, near the middle, a trough ran from end to end. A man stood at the table who seemed to be examining something in the trough with a microscope, or at least with some sort of magnifying apparatus. Then he laid aside the magnifying apparatus, and poured from a little bottle either some fluid or powder, I could not tell which, on the objects which he was examining; then he would apply the magnifier again, and so on. Last of all, from this trough he would take up something or other with a little shovel or trowel, and place it in certain tiny waggons or boxes on wheels which communicated, apparently by automatic means such as I have before described, with the different machines, emptying their contents into the