Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 8.djvu/476

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

similar to those of my bird, and after having adopted several of the peculiarities which had made my machine successful. He then succeeded in giving sustained flight to his machine, which we have ourselves seen fly horizontally nearly seven metres, after having been started by a slight impulse from the hand. M. Tatin, also, in 1874, made two very curious artificial birds, using twisted caoutchouc as a motor. M. Marey has told us that he saw the first named fly in his garden, last November, from eight to ten metres. We have seen the second, nearly identical with our bird, fly in a still more satisfactory manner.

 

A MUSEUM EXCHANGE.[1]
By Prof. BURT G. WILDER.

THERE are in this country three institutions more or less available for the distribution of material for Natural History instruction: the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, District of Columbia; the (Agassiz) Museum of Comparative Zoölogy, at Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Prof. Ward's establishment at Rochester, New York.

The first is especially rich in American forms, the collections of government surveys, and the types of Baird's descriptions. There are many duplicates, but these are required for the elucidation of the extent of variation within the species, so that they are available for exchanges in only a limited degree.

The peculiar value of the Cambridge Museum comes from the immense amount of material from all parts of the world, upon which zoologists are enabled to pursue extended investigations, either at the museum, or, under certain conditions, elsewhere.

Agassiz also desired to prepare collections for educational institutions in Massachusetts, and to provide for teachers an opportunity for summer instruction and for the collection of specimens.

But it is evident that the above-mentioned establishments and arrangements are not yet able to meet a rapidly-growing want of the whole country; namely, the immediate formation of museums for the illustration of the courses in natural history which are now generally demanded, in not only the colleges and universities (whether real or so called), but also the normal schools, and even those of lower grade.

Such selected collections need not be either very large or very costly. They should embrace mainly typical forms, but contain also some of the peculiar or aberrant species of each large group.

It would be well if some one would make out a list of what are desirable in larger or smaller collections. Meantime, the information

  1. Presented at the Detroit meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.