Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/433

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419
LITERARY NOTICES.

Climate, by E. W. Hilgard, Professor of Agricultural Chemistry in the University of California, which was published by authority of the Secretary of Agriculture, there are a great many suggestions concerning the effects of temperature and climate upon undeveloped soil and upon its physical character. It does not enter into the remedial possibilities of the question; but at the very opening of the paper Prof. Hilgard makes the interesting and valuable statement that "since soils are the residual product of the action of meteorological agencies upon rocks, it is obvious that there must exist a more or less intimate relation between the soils of a region and the climatic conditions that prevail." From this standpoint he discusses the effect of the phenomena.

At the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Holl, Mass., according to the Fifth Annual Report, some important biological discoveries have been made; among them, for the first time in history, the embryological feat of tracing the aimelid larvæ through every stage of development cell by cell. The report explains the purpose and work of the laboratory, and gives schedules of the different courses of instruction, investigation, etc. Several memoirs on amphibian development are in progress by the members of the laboratory, one of which is completed. It covers the whole period of development up to the establishment of the fundamental features of the embryo, including the formation of the egg and the phenomena of fecundation. Director Whitman closes his report with an appeal to American lovers of science to assist the managers of the laboratory by providing funds to enable them to extend their space and operations in giving instruction in marine biology.

In a paper entitled Twenty Years of Progress in the Manufacture of Iron and Steel in the United States, James M. Swank makes an interesting examination of these industries. He gives some statistical comparisons between the productions of Great Britain and the United States, which point to the fact that this country has not only passed her great rival in the production of pig iron, but also in that of steel. In the manufacture of Bessemer steel, ingots, and rails the United States has more than doubled the production of Great Britain, while the latter country still holds first place in the manufacture of open-hearth steel. His account of the change from iron to steel in the manufacture of rails is interesting, and shows that iron rails practically ceased to be manufactured in 1892. In a paragraph on the United States tin-plate industry he says, "The new tin-plate industry has made remarkable progress since the new duty went into effect;" and this he illustrates by some statistics of its growth. In the summary of his statistical statements Mr. Swank shows that the United States is now the first of all iron and steel manufacturing countries. The paper is an extract from the Mineral Resources of the United States, and is published by the Department of the Interior—United States Geological Survey.

Horace V. Winchell, State Geologist of Minnesota, makes a valuable report on the Iron Ores of the Mesabi Range of Lake Superior. He claims that the iron mines of this district are the richest "known in the world to-day," and he gives some interesting statistics of the output and probabilities of the Mesabi iron range since its discovery in 1890. The report embraces a history of the mining of the district, a list and approximation of the outputs of the mines now opened up, tables of analyses of the Lake Superior ores, and comparisons with those of other States and of Europe. The information concerning the methods of prospecting, sampling, testing, transportation, etc., in use at this range will be read with interest.

Mr. William Bowker contributes a very useful paper on the relation of fisheries to agriculture. It is entitled The Harvest of the Sea, and was read by him at the winter meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Agriculture. He makes a strong argument in favor of utilizing the non-edible and unwholesome fishes that abound in our waters—as well as fish refuse—for agricultural purposes. He gives some interesting extracts from the "History of Plimoth Plantation," showing that as early as 1621 the Indians were aware of the value of fish as a fertilizer, and he calls attention to the remarkable fact that the word menhaden was applied to the fish of that name by the Indians because it means "fertilizer, that which manures." Mr. Bowker pooh-poohs the idea that the supply of fish can be measurably