Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/119

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labeled and classified. These include 345 palms, 144 ferns, 112 fruits, and a large number of specimens of special economic and medicinal value, including dyewoods. The colors of the labels distinguish the different groups of plants. For example, dark green is for medicinal plants; white for cotton; red for the purely ornamental; yellow for fibrous; vermilion and white for dyewoods; vermilion for oil and resinous; etc. The opportunity here afforded, of a close examination, within a conveniently restricted area, of the characteristic plants of Brazil, is an excellent one. A collection of all the publications of the Botanical Garden is arranged inside the glass pavilion, and includes two volumes of the splendid work by Dr. Barbosa Rodrigues, the director of the garden, "Sertum Palmarum Brasiliensum." These volumes are placed on an inclined shelf, where they may be freely consulted by any visitor, and are not even fastened in any way to the shelf. The authorities must have abundant faith in the honesty of the public here. Or perhaps it may be the duty of some watchman—who was absent on the occasion of the writer's visit—to guard these books.

The Astronomical Observatory of Rio has put on exhibition a Wiechert seismograph, recently imported from Germany. This machine is of a somewhat simpler pattern than the Bosch-Omori seismograph, lately installed in the Geological Section of the Harvard University Museum, at Cambridge. It is very badly set up so far as detecting earthquake shocks is concerned, for it cannot fail to be affected by the movements of the people who are walking about on all sides of it, but the writer was given to understand that, for exhibition purposes, it was desired to have the public see, with its own eyes, how sensitive such a machine is, and from that point of view it is admirably exposed! The observatory exhibit also includes several large diagrams showing the variations in the different weather elements at Rio during the year. Here one may see the extraordinary preponderance of winds from southeast and from northwest; the slight changes in temperature throughout the year; the marked rainy season of summer; the higher pressure, clearer skies and drier air which characterize the winter. Another meteorological exhibit is that of the meteorological department of the Brazilian navy. This branch of the government has charge of the daily weather map and of the daily weather forecast, and has a small working meteorological station in the cupola of the building of the mail and telegraph service, where the work is explained and the forecasts are displayed.

The broadest generalization that one can give regarding the exhibits as a whole is that the southern states of Brazil are far ahead, industrially, of the central and especially of the northern states. This results naturally from the fact that the southern states have a far more extended railroad development and are—or rather because they