Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/816

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Railroad, including seven thousand miles of track and one hundred thousand employés.

It will be remembered that this system is also used to prevent the admission of defective men into the service, and that the apparently small percentage of color-blind in this table may be ascribed to the non-application of men who know their deficiency, and to the fact that men in the service knowing their defect would leave the road before examination, and thus escape detection, and be enabled to gain employment on other roads where no examinations are required. Perhaps twelve or thirteen thousand was the number who were subject to examination by virtue of being in positions where color-signals were used to direct them, in 1884, and the difference between that number and the total twenty-five thousand would be made up of new men who would present a small ratio of those below the standard, since men conscious of color-blindness, or poor sight, would not apply.

The fact that the intelligent officers of the Pennsylvania Railroad have adopted this system, purged their old force of all dangerous men, extended its use to all parts of their immense railroad, and now oppose it as a barrier to the admission of men thus unfit for service, is the best evidence that can be adduced to claim for it a successful place among the efforts to render scientific truths of practical value to the world. It is hoped that the Reading Railroad will be sustained in its contest with its employés by the example so quietly conducted by the Pennsylvania Railroad, and that the reform so necessary for the traveling public and for those employés who carry their lives in their hands daily, may be conducted to a happy finish.



THE following train of reflection was suggested to me by reading, among a number of compositions by my pupils, this blood-curdling narrative:

"Not long ago, when one of the boys went up to bed, he was standing close to the window, undressing himself, and a little bird came fluttering around the window on the outside. At first we thought it was a bat, but after a while we came to the conclusion that it was a little bird. Then we opened the window and let it in. It seemed to be crippled or very cold, and it could not fly very well, although it would keep out of our reach. We tried to catch it by running after it, but we soon got tired of that, and we began to throw our hats at it. Sometimes we would strike it with a hat, but that didn't do much good, until the bird was tired of flying, and it got under a bed, and we caught it. Then we went up the hall, and wrung its head off.