Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/126

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116
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

enforced. But, for one, I wish to record my protest against our modern living-cellar, A well-ventilated basement is almost an impossibility from its low level, and it is so difficult to get our ideal conditions perfectly executed, that practically they are seldom met with. I have seen a great many cases of sickness which seemed to me due to basement-living, and many cases of tuberculosis which seemed to have been there developed. The last is particularly noticeable among servant-girls of foreign birth. In the experience of physicians in some sections, it is rare to find a servant-girl living and working in a low basement who has good health, though previous to coming to this country, and being subjected to such conditions, good health is stated to be the general rule. Many people have attacks of sickness, following a time of exposure in a basement, with great regularity.

Would it not be better for house-builders and architects to plan for dwellings built more above-ground? More of a lot has to be sacrificed, but perhaps enough may be saved in healthfulness and stair-climbing to compensate for the loss. City yards are of slight value at best. A good cellar is gained by such a change, and up-stairs dining-rooms and kitchens are not only luxuries, but, it may be argued, almost necessities.

 

SKETCH OF CHESTER S. LYMAN.

IN the company of Puritans who, in the severe winter of 1635, traveled from Massachusetts Bay through the wilderness and settled at Hartford and Windsor, was Richard Lyman, who had come over from England four years before in the same ship with John Eliot, the Indian Apostle, and who, through his two sons Richard and John, was the ancestor of all the Lymans in America. Nearly two hundred years later, in the little country town of Manchester, ten miles from Hartford, Chester Smith Lyman, his eighth lineal descendant, was born January 13, 1814, the son of Chester and Mary Smith Lyman.

He had in his boyhood only the advantages of a common country school, and, like other country boys, alternated going to school with working on the farm. Before he was nine years old he evinced unusual mechanical ingenuity, making many curious toys, windmills, water-wheels, and the like, which rendered him a favorite with his playmates. He also began soon to show a great interest in astronomy and the kindred sciences, which was first awakened by an intense curiosity to know how a common almanac was made. Books of all kinds in that town were then rare, and of scientific books there were almost none; but he managed somehow to get hold of a few—one on natural philosophy, one on surveying (Gibson's), and one on navigation (Bowditch's)—to borrow the last of which he walked five miles. From one of these he learned the nature of lenses, and soon extempo-