Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/720

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702
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

many figures of the apparatus employed. Such manufactured products as glass, matches, and gas are treated with similar fullness. An example of the important articles that do not deal with technology is the one on Fermentation. In this article the difference between the organized and the unorganized ferments is first set forth. The organized ferments are then treated in the three groups, molds, saccharomycetes, and schizomycetes, and the ordinary methods of cultivation and study are briefly described. Next the various fermentations caused by each of these three groups are discussed, those induced by bacterial life being arranged in four subgroups, viz., fermentation by hydration, by decomposition, by reduction, and by oxidation. Putrefaction is also considered in this article, and the closing section deals with soluble ferments. The writer is Prof. Percy F. Frankland. Among the contributors of other important articles are Prof. P. P. Bedson (Lead), the late W. Lant Carpenter (Glycerin), W. H. Deering, of Woolwich (Explosives), J. J. LTammel (Fustic, Indigo, Lakes, Litmus, Madder, etc.), P. Warington (Artificial Manure, Nitrification), and Prof. W. P. Wynne (Ketones, Naphthalene). Among the chief articles which are unsigned and hence presumably by the editor are Ethyl Compounds, Fatty Acids, Fluorine, Lactic Acid, Manganese, Mercury, Milk, Milk-sugar, and Nitrogen. The names of its editor and contributors are a sufficient assurance that this dictionary will take high rank as a work of reference.

A History of Chemistry. By Ernst von Meyer, Ph. D. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 55G. Price, $4.50.

A large task has been thoroughly performed in this work. The history begins in the earliest times—before the birth of alchemy—and records the acquaintance of the Egyptians with metallurgy and with other technological chemical processes, and the theorizing of the Greek philosophers in regard to the elements of substances. It then traces the progress of alchemy from its earliest known manifestations in Egypt down to the eighteenth century. A chronicle of the iatro-chemical period follows, in which Paracelsus, Van Helmont, and Dele Böe Sylvius were the leading spirits. The next chapter deals with the period of the phlogiston theory, from Boyle to Lavoisier, and the last division of the subject extends from the time of Lavoisier up to now. The knowledge of technological processes current in each period is set forth in these several chapters, and in the closing chapter the special history of each of the chief divisions of chemistry in the past hundred years is given. The plan of the work involves a statement of the attitude of each prominent chemist toward the science of his time and its problems, and an estimate of the effect and value of his work. This criticism has been continued even down to the investigators of recent years. A controlling purpose of the book is to describe the development of the general doctrines of chemistry from their earliest beginnings up to the present day, and thus to give a comprehensive survey of what is one of the most interesting panoramas in the history of science. The following extract illustrates the nature of the book:

Dumas did not scruple to say plainly that the dualistic doctrine was harmful and retarded the development of organic chemistry, and he made every effort to set it aside and to replace it by the unitary theory. His attack upon Berzelius's doctrine (at that time held in high repute by most chemists) was vigorously answered both by the latter and by Liebig. Liebig indeed admitted many points which were disputed by Berzelius—e. g, the fact of substitution—but he protested against Dumas's wide extension of this principle (of substitution). The assertion of the latter that every element of a compound might be replaced by another, and yet the type be retained, was characterized by Liebig as entirely unproved, and met with an ironical rejoinder. Berzelius, who saw his whole system based upon the electro-chemical theory threatened, directed his criticism in the Jahresberichten for 1838 and the next five years or so against the theory of types.

Missouri Botanical Garden. Second Annual Report. By William Trelease. St. Louis: Published by the Board of Trustees. Pp. 117, with Plates and Plans.

The first volume of the reports of this institution, published in December, 1890, having been primarily intended to give an account of the establishment of the Garden and School of Botany, the present volume really begins the series of annual reports. The estate, including Shaw's Garden, is valued at $1,366,334. Much labor and money have been spent in putting the premises in