Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 58.djvu/447

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SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE.

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gradually been overcome, and to-day we have hundreds of miles of these excellent pavements. The first brick pavement of the United States was also laid in 1870, and to-day the total number of miles is nearly a thousand, of which more than one-tenth are in Philadelphia. The cost of road construction and street paving appears to be now slightly less in the United States than in England, and hence there is little doubt but that in another half century our roads and streets will be brought into a condition fully equal to that found in Europe. These two books show that road building can no longer be left to farmers, and street construction to town councilmen, but that economic results can only be secured when they are placed under the charge of experienced civil engineers.

'Irrigation and Drainage,' by F. H. King, published by the Macmillan Company, is not strictly an engineering book, it having been mainly prepared for the farmer and gardener, but it is difficult to find a technical work which so clearly exemplifies the fundamental principles and minor details of the subject. The conditions that make irrigation imperative or desirable, the proper amount of water to be used, the methods of supplying and distributing the water, the laws of flow of ground water, and the reasons, objects and methods of draining land are set forth in a correct and lucid manner. As a text-book for use in agricultural colleges the volume appears to be well adapted, while engineering students will find that its discussions throw new light on their view of the subject. The irrigation of the arid regions, formerly known as the Great American Desert, is now a matter of great importance to both engineers and agriculturists, and the author deals fully with the peculiarities of its alkali soils and with the results thus far attained. In this connection note may be made of a recent Bulletin of the U. S. Geological Survey, entitled 'Storage of Water on Gila River, Arizona,' by J. B. Lippincott. This is a topographic and engineering study for an irrigation scheme made under a law authorizing that bureau to carry on surveys for possible reservoir sites in the arid regions. Powerful influences are at work to induce Congress to appropriate money for the construction of such reservoirs and for building canals to deliver water to irrigable areas. On the Gila River watershed it has been found that several reservoir sites are available, that the Buttes dam may be built at a cost of $2,600,000, the San Carlos dam at a cost of $1,039,000, and others for smaller amounts. It is gravely urged in this Bulletin that the Government should build one of these dams, in order to accommodate certain Indians from whom white men have already diverted water to which the tribe has a legal right. As these lines are written an effort is being made to push this philanthropic scheme through Congress by means of an amendment to the River and Harbor bill!

The literature of engineering now covers so vast a field that a person can become acquainted only with a part of the portion relating to his specialty Catalogues and indexes are indispensable, in order that he may know what has been printed and where to find it. The 'Catalogue of the Library of the American Society of Civil Engineers' is a valuable aid in this direction, although that library is far from complete. This volume, which contains seven hundred and four closely printed pages, arranges the books and pamphlets under twenty-five principal classes, each of which is divided into several sub-classes, thus rendering it easy for the engineer to ascertain exactly what the library contains on any topic. This method of arrangement has decided advantages over the usual author and subject catalogues of books whose publication is rarely advisable. The engineering literature in periodicals is, however, not represented in this catalogue, except in the titles of the journals. A 'General Index to En-