Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/395

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INVENTION AND INDUSTRY AT THE SOUTH.

doing away with the system of African slavery, for which, though the South was not responsible, it having been fastened upon her by the greed of England and New England, yet which blighted her industries and made her isolated in her modes of thought and out of touch with the world at large.

Despite the fact that the people of the' South were but little engaged in scientific or mechanical pursuits, and that their intellectual energies have for the most part been absorbed with other thoughts, yet many notable inventions and contributions to science have been made by Southern men. Cyrus H. McCormick, a native of Rockbridge County, Va., and the inventor of various agricultural implements, among them his famous reaper, received the thanks of the French Academy of Sciences for having done more for the cause of agriculture than any other man living. "Owing to Mr. McCormick's invention," said William H. Seward in 1860, "the line of civilization moves westward thirty miles each year." Richard J. Gatling, of Hertford County, N. C, devised various machines and the "Gatling gun," now an arm of the United States service and adopted by foreign governments as well. Both McCormick and Gatling moved West the former to Chicago and the latter to St. Louis—the country districts of Virginia and North Carolina affording them poor fields for their endeavors. Henry J. Rogers, a Baltimorean, was the practical adviser and assistant of Morse in the construction of the first telegraph line in the United States, which was built in 1844 between Washington and Baltimore. He was the superintendent of it and made many improvements in it, and was the inventor of several telegraphic instruments. Rogers also devised the first system of pyrotechnic signals in the United States and the one by means of flags that was adopted by the navy in 1846. The author of international fog signals was Samuel P. Griffin, of Georgia; and the inventor of the first complete system of ciphers used by the associated press was Dr. Alexander Jones, of North Carolina. The name of Maury stands above that of every other Southerner, if not of every American, in his contributions to science. Maury's writings demonstrated that meteorology could be raised to the certainty of a science, and Humboldt credited him with being its founder. He was also the first to give a complete description of the Gulf Stream and to mark out specific routes to be followed in crossing the ocean, which won for him the name of the "pathfinder of the seas." In addition to these he founded the method of deep-sea sounding, and his letters to Cyrus W. Field, now in the National Observatory at Washington, prove him to have been the first to suggest the idea of connection between the two continents by means of a cable on the bed of the ocean, and the present cable was laid along the lines pointed out by him. The plan of splicing the