Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/869

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849
LITERARY NOTICES.

importance of teaching physics in the public schools.

The greatest interest was centered in the Economic Section, where a full day was given to the hearing and discussion of the two papers by Professor Atwater, on "The Physiological and Pecuniary Economy of Food," and "The Food of Workingmen and its Relation to the Work done"; and where, at other sessions, President 0. M. Woodward, speaking from what had been accomplished under his own supervision, as well as with reference to its practical bearing; and Professor James, looking largely to the future and to the economical side, presented the advantages of manual training in the public schools.

In the Engineering and Mechanical Section, Mr. Edison, by proxy, explained his new pyromagnetic dynamo, or machine for producing electricity directly from fuel; and Mr. P. H. Dudley described his method for the mechanical inspection of railroad-tracks, by which the slightest flaw or unevenness is detected at once and automatically marked. Professor Ries's method of securing the adhesion of locomotives to railway tracks by the application of electricity, and thus adding to their tractive force without increasing their weight, promises to be of value if it is made practicable.

A joint meeting of the Engineering and Economical Sections was held for the consideration of plans for inter-oceanic communication, at which the merits of the Nicaragua Canal scheme were presented in full. A variety of topics of interest were considered m the Anthropological and Biological Sections; and the transactions of the Physical and Chemical Sections were of interest chiefly to persons engaged in those lines of research.

The Association asked, by resolution, for a reduction of the tariff on scientific books; advised the provision, by act of Congress, of a Bureau of Standards of Measurement for Electricity, Heat, Light, etc.; requested the President to appoint as permanent Superintendent of the Geodetic Survey a man of scientific attainments and trained in that branch; recommended the publication of an index to the publications of the Signal Service; and appointed two committees to secure measures for the preservation of mounds and relics of ethnological and archaeological interest—one, to consult with the national authorities respecting relics situated on public lands; the other, with the powers of the States with reference to those within their several territories.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

The Margin of Profits. By Edward Atkinson. New York: Putnams. 1887. Price, $1.

This work consists of a lecture delivered before the Central Labor Lyceum of Boston, in May last, together with a reply made at the time by Mr. E. M. Chamberlin, and Mr. Atkinson's rejoinder. The object of the lecture was to show that the capitalist is the friend and not the enemy of the laborer, whatever disagreement there may at times be between them. Mr. Atkinson first draws attention to the fact that the margin of profit—that is, the share of the capitalist in the product of industry—is by no means so large as workingmen are apt to suppose. To prove this, he cites the example of the cotton industry, with which he is perfectly familiar, and gives a statement of the entire cost of production, from the raising of the cotton to the completion of the cloth, showing how much is paid out at each step of the process for labor on the one hand and for capital on the other. He illustrates his analysis of the industry by a chart, and gives the following as the result of the examination:

"When you buy forty yards of cotton cloth at two dollars and fifty cents, you pay the owner of the mill fifteen cents profit, but you also pay about fifteen cents more to other people for profit—that is, thirty cents profit in all; and you pay two dollars and twenty cents directly for labor" (p. 28).