Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/273

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SKETCH OF GEORGE FREDERICK WRIGHT.

bearing upon glacial work he read, and as early as 1876 we find his observations extendedly reported in the Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History, under the titles of Some Remarkable Gravel Ridges in the Merrimac Valley, and the Karnes and Moraines of New England. In this he showed that he had found a clew to a most important kind of glacial deposits which had heretofore been misunderstood." While he was engaged in preparing this paper Mr. Clarence King gave him information concerning the terminal moraine south of New England, which directed his attention to that quarter; and after that, he says, in the preface to his great work on the Ice Age in North America, the subject was never out of his mind, and all his summer months were devoted, under favorable conditions, to the collection of fieldnotes regarding it. Four seasons were given to making himself familiar with the glacial phenomena of New England; after which he was invited by Prof. Lesley to survey, in company with the late Prof. H. Carvill Lewis, the boundary of the glaciated area across Pennsylvania to the border of Ohio. The report of this work constitutes Volume Z in the publications of the Second Pennsylvania Geological Survey.

In 1881 Prof. Wright became Professor of New-Testament Exegesis in Oberlin Theological Seminary. Almost the first question he asked after his arrival in Oberlin was a geological one: "What is the age of the canon of Plum Creek?" Plum Creek is a modest stream enough, but Prof. Wright made it and its work in denudation, in his Ice Age in North America, the basis of an important and interesting calculation concerning the antiquity of the Great Ice Age. In a similar manner he made use of the waterfalls of northern Ohio to illustrate the effect of glacial action on the appearance of the landscape. In the summers of 1882 and 1883 he was engaged, with the co-operation of the Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio, in continuing the survey across Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana; the results of which work were given in his report to the society, and in an article published in the American Journal of Science for July, 1883. The report proved to be the most distinguished publication ever made by the society. It was republished verbatim by the State of Pennsylvania, and has been published in substance by two other commonwealths. In it Prof. Wright described the spots where seekers might most profitably look for the evidences of man in glacial times, saying, "Man lived first below the glacial limit, and fished upon the banks of streams which were periodically gorged with the spring freshets of the Glacial period, and during those floods lost his spear-heads, his hammers, his axes, and his scrapers, where they became mingled with the gravel brought down from up stream." Palæolithic implements have