Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/243

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.



in a world ideal, suggested, no doubt, by what is actual and liable here and there to coincide with truth; the generalization of the scientific man is likewise a vision, but it rests upon the actual, upon the ascertained fact at the greatest number of points possible, and disappoints us only that it is not everywhere coincident. The poet dreams of Atlantis, the lost continents, the islands of the blest, and builds us pictures that vanish with his song; the man of science too beholds the continents rise; scene after scene he likewise makes to pass across our startled vision; but his are history, his tapestries are wrought in the loom of time.

The poet writes the book of Genesis, with the herbs bringing forth fruit after their kind; the man of science figures fossil leaves and cones and fruit. Only at the last do poetry and science possibly again agree:

"The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces.
The solemn temples, the great globe itself—
Yea, all which it inherit shall dissolve,
And like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind!"

And when the man of science gathers all his data, and collates fact with fact, and builds the superstructure of his vision, with him, too, all things fade and vanish in the infinity of the future.



INDUSTRIAL expositions are a natural development of the fairs of the middle ages. The latter are believed to have originated in the religious gatherings which afforded an opportunity for the sale of wares to large numbers of people. Such fairs still persist in northern Europe, and the best known of them is probably that held three times a year in Leipsic, to which, it is said, "some twenty-five or thirty thousand foreign merchants" are still attracted each year.

In course of time international exhibitions at which specimens of the arts and industries of the great nations of the world were contrasted came into vogue. These began with the International Exhibition held in London in 1851, and of them three have been held in the United States, as follows: The first in New York, in 1853; the second in Philadelphia, in 1876; and the third in Chicago, in 1893. The great magnitude of such expositions has led in recent years to their specialization or subdivision into expositions at which only a specialty was presented. Notable among such have been the following, which