Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/86

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76
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

that better pay and more honor for their teachers would be a wise economy.

That our alma mater may bear as brave and glorious a part in the struggles of coming years as in the past must be the heartfelt wish of every graduate of the Oswego Normal and Training School.

 

DECAY IN THE APPLE BARREL.
By BYRON D. HALSTED, Sc. D.,

RUTGERS COLLEGE.

FRUITS decay and everybody knows it, but how this rotting takes place is less evident. Grandfathers told our parents that it was due to the weather, and some of them may have held to the notion that the moon had a remarkable influence upon the keeping quality of various fruits. The perfection of the microscope and its more general use as an aid in seeing the minute things which surround us upon every side have led to a deeper comprehension of decays. It is the purpose of this article to show, if possible, some of the facts connected with the rotting of our apples, realizing that what holds true concerning one kind of fruit applies almost equally well to others.

Let us in the first place take a survey of the normal subject, or, in other words, of a healthy apple. It is made up of five seed cavities which occupy the central portion of the fruit and constitute the core. Outside of this is the edible portion called the flesh, consisting of cells of small size filled with liquid substances. A tough layer covers the outside, which is the skin, and bears the coloring substance that determines whether the apple is green, red, mottled, or striped. At one end of the fruit is the stem, or, as found in the barrel, this former means of attachment to the branch of the tree may have been broken away or pulled from the fruit—a matter of no small consideration when the question of decay is concerned. This end of the apple is known to the horticulturists as the "cavity," and varies greatly in different sorts, sometimes being deep and narrow as in the Winesap and Pearmain, and broad and shallow in the Greening and Peck's Pleasant.

The opposite end of the apple bears the name of "basin," and contains the remnants of the blossom—sometimes called the eye of the fruit. This part of the apple is likewise deep in some varieties, and shallow and open in others. This is the weakest point in the whole apple as concerns the question of the keeping quality of the fruit. If the basin is shallow and the canal to the core firmly closed, there is much less likelihood of the fruit decay-