Popular Science Monthly/Volume 43/May 1893/Literary Notices
A Handbook of Pathological Anatomy and Histology. With an Introductory Section on Post-mortem Examinations and the Methods of Preserving and Examining Diseased Tissues. By Francis Delafield, M. D., LL. D., and T. Mitchell Prudden, M. D. Fourth edition. New York: William Wood & Co. 1892. Pp. xvii+3 to 715.
The fourth edition of this standard work has an increase of more than one hundred pages of text, with the addition of seventy-six engravings, while many portions of the book have been rewritten, so that it may include the principal discoveries that have been made in pathology since the publication of the third edition in 1889.
In the section on the methods of preparing pathological specimens for study there has been added a description of the phloroglucin method of decalcifying bone, which is one of the best that can be used, and there is also a description of the satisfactory method of hardening tissues by Lang's corrosive-sublimate solution.
The chapter on the composition and structure of the blood has received important additions in the description of oligocythæmia and of the determination of the presence of the micro, macro, and poikiloeytes, as well as a description of the polynuclear neutrophile and eosinophile leucocytes and lymphocytes; and there is a section on the methods of examination necessary to study these various forms.
One of the most important additions to the volume is the section on hypertrophy, hyperplasia, regeneration, and metaplasia; the authors calling attention to the pathological importance of a knowledge of caryocinesis, because a recognition of mitotic figures may permit a decision regarding the particular cells involved in the formation of new tissue.
The chapter on inflammation has been practically rewritten and rearranged, the subjects of tubercular and syphilitic inflammations being now considered under the sections relating to the diseases producing them.
The chapter on animal parasites contains a reference to the Amœba coli and its relation to dysentery, and also brief reference to the presence of coccidia in certain epithelial growths. The chapter on vegetable parasites contains reference to ptomaines, toxins, and toxalbumins, as well as an excellent summary of the important question of immunity, though the authors do not commit themselves to any doctrine regarding that subject.
The subject of infectious diseases induced by the pyogenic bacteria has been rearranged and placed as one of the earlier chapters in the work, which seems to us to be an excellent plan. An illustration of the caution displayed by the authors is shown in the section on lupus, in which reference is made to the fact that, while that disease is a form of tubercular inflammation, it is not unlikely that in the clinical group of diseases called lupus there may be lesions that are not caused by the tubercle bacillus, a point that must be decided by more exact bacterial studies. This same caution is shown in accepting the bacillus described by Lustgarten as the cause of syphilitic inflammation.
The skepticism expressed in the former edition regarding the causative relationship of Löffler's Bacillus diphtheriæ to diphtheria, has been supplanted by a frank acceptance of that organism, the first sentence in the section on diphtheria defining that as an acute infectious disease caused by the Bacillus diphtheriæ.
New sections on rhinoscleroma, tetanus, influenza, smallpox, scarlatina, measles, and actinomycosis, and descriptions of the Bacillus ædematis maligni, Bacillus pneumoniæ, and BaciUus coli communis have been added.
The chapter on tumors contains a reference to the structures that have been found in and between the cells of tumors, "inclusions" that the authors consider to be invaginated epithelial or other cells, or cell nuclei that have undergone various degenerative metamorphoses, fragmentation, etc. They state that some of the cell inclusions in carcinoma may be coccidia or allied organisms; but while not asserting that tumors can not be caused by parasites, they do not believe that adequate ground exists for believing that they are so caused, because the transplantation of tumors from one species of animal to another has almost uniformly failed, while it has been impossible to cultivate either directly or by inoculation any constant organisms from these morbid growths. This matter is one that is attracting the attention of pathologists in several countries, and the more thorough study of the subject of the etiology of cancer will probably determine the status of the coccidia in relation thereto.
The section on chronic arteritis has been rewritten, the authors believing that the morbid changes in the arteries are the results of a combination of chronic productive inflammation and of degeneration occurring in connective tissue—a point of view that regards the arteries as definite parts of the body, and as likely to become the seat of chronic inflammation as the liver or kidneys.
The subject of colitis is another valuable addition, and the text is enriched by some excellent engravings of the several varieties of pathological conditions that occur in inflammation of the large intestine.
In the section on the organs of generation reference is made to the adenomata that lie on the border between the distinctly benign and the definitely malignant new epithelial tissue growths, attention being called to the fact that the more benign forms are extremely prone to develop, both in structure and malignancy, into carcinomata.
While the substitution of the terms "lymph nodes" and "lymph nodules" for "lymph glands" and "lymph follicles" respectively was recommended in the last edition, the change has been made throughout the text in this volume.
The work is fully abreast of the scientific knowledge of the day, and it will undoubtedly be accorded a popularity similar to what it has received in the past.
The Story of Columbus. By Elizabeth Eggleston Seelye. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 303. Price, $1.
This volume is the first of a series entitled Delights of History, and a delightful book has been made of it. Beginning with the wonderful journeys of the Polos, and the expeditions sent out by Prince Henry of Portugal, events which may well have fired the imagination of the youthful Columbus, we are brought at length to the gates of Genoa. Here we learn something of the condition of the weavers among whom the Colombos were numbered. Even the house in which the family lived is pointed out. Then follows the story of Columbus's journey to Portugal, his weary waiting in Spain, his voyages, discoveries, misfortunes, and last days spent in pleading with the unappreciative Ferdinand. The tale is related in very simple but graphic fashion, with many touches of humor, while the varied illustrations constantly keep fresh the flavor of the time. Only those anecdotes are given that come from authentic sources, and the recent labors of Mr. Henry Harrisse and Signor Stalieno have added so largely to the fund that there are enough to make the narrative sufficiently life like. Xo attempt is made to screen the failings of Columbus—his pursuit of wealth, his curious theories, and the evil which is chargeable to him as an exponent of his time, the establishment of slavery in the New World. On the other hand, these are not enlarged until they obscure his courageous project and unflagging zeal. He still remains "the most conspicuous figure in the history of his age." He crossed the sea of darkness, and we rightly honor him for his great achievement.
The Visible Universe. By J. Ellard Gore, F. R. A. S. London: Crosby Lockwood & Son. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 346. Price, $3.76.
Although astronomers have not yet solved the problem of celestial construction, the author of this volume refrains from adding any new conjecture to the list. He examines critically all the explanations worth serious mention, and this task may well have '. served to keep him within the dry land of | fact. Besides the theoretical discussions, the book contains the latest observations of the position of stars and nebula; and, so far as known, their motions and chemical composition.
Five principal objections have been brought against the nebular theory; most of these have been well answered by M. Roche. According to M. Wolf, two points are yet undetermined—how large planets were formed from the nebulous mass, and how the equatorial and orbital inclinations were produced. M. Faye, however, finds the fifth objection—the retrograde motion of the satellites of Uranus and Neptune—destructive of Laplace's theory and advances another hypothesis in his work, Sur l'Origine du Monde, with which Mr. Gore agrees. In this he assumes that the earth was formed before the sun, and that its internal heat sufficed for the evaporation of water and for the uniform vegetation that existed for æons of time. Laplace did not explain the origin of the primitive nebula, therefore Dr. Croll considered the hypothesis incomplete and furnished a cause in his impact theory. Two dark bodies endowed with enormous velocity collided in space and produced a perfect nebula!
A contention which promises no settlement is the duration of the sun's heat in past time. Noted physicists allow only twelve millions of years as the maximum period on the gravitation theory. This is insufficient for the geologists, who demand a hundred millions for the denudation of rocks. Dr. Croll's careful estimate is ninety millions; while biologists ask for a still longer period for the evolution of species. Most astronomers concur in the theory of Helmholtz that the heat of the sun is caused by the shrinkage of its mass through gravitation. To this philosopher also is due the vortex-ring idea—that matter consists of whirling portions of the luminiferous ether. This wondrous fluid, supposed to fill interstellar space and act as a medium for the transmission of light, is enormously elastic and wholly unlike matter, since planetary motion is not retarded by it as it would be by the most attenuated gas.
The spectroscope, which has revealed so much of the constitution of the stars, shows also another defect in the nebular theory, unless chemists may come to the rescue. The spectra of various nebulae give only hydrogen and one other unknown element. If the solar system was evolved from a nebulous mass by condensation, whence the dozen elements of the sun and the sixty-five of our own planet? It has been suggested that all our elements may be further resolved into one original element. In anticipation of its discovery this has been named protyle.
Lockyer's hypothesis was that the upper reaches of the atmosphere contained particles of magnesium, manganese, iron, and carbon, and that nebulæ were swarms of meteoritic dust. His observations in regard to the magnesium flutings are not accepted by other astronomers, and experiments do not confirm his explanation of the aurora. Most puzzling of all astronomical problems perhaps is the arrangement of stars. If we could observe from some other point in the heavens the system might be disclosed to us, or even if we could compute the distance of every star, the design might appear. In all cases, however, the parallaxes are so small that the measurements are exceedingly difficult. The number of visible stars is estimated by the author as seventy millions. Outside of this finite universe there may exist vast systems in space whose light has not yet reached us, or which may be forever hidden, because light itself is extinguished in a separating void.
Some fine photographs of stars and nebulæ accompany the text; an index and notes are also added.
Human Embryology. By Charles Sedgwick Minot. Illustrated. New York: William Wood & Co. 1892. Pp. xxiii + 815.
The appearance of another work on embryology justifies the assertion that was recently made in these columns that there was a growing appreciation of the importance of this subject. The present volume has been expected for some time past, as the announcement was made some years ago that Prof. Minot was engaged in the preparation of a work upon this topic. The ten years' labor that has been directed to making original investigations and to collecting and reviewing the literature of the subject, is presented in this splendid volume that is a worthy representation of American scholarship and research.
On account of the intimate relations between the uterus and the embryo, the author devotes his first chapter to a careful presentation of the anatomy and the histology of the uterus, together with a description of the changes that occur during pregnancy. In the second chapter there is a general outline of human development, in which there are retrogressive and progressive histories of the fœtus and its envelopes.
The author calls attention to the limitation of the term genoblast to the sexual elements proper, to the spermatozoön or the egg-cell after maturation, and not to the spermatophore or the egg-cell before maturation. The subjects of spermatozoa, ova, ovulation, and impregnation are described with reference to the latest investigations. The author believes that the ovum draws the spermatozoa toward itself by chemical influence, acting as an attracting stimulus, in a similar manner to the attraction Pfeffer has shown certain chemical substances may have for moving spores; the attractive power of the ovum being annulled or weakened by the formation of the male pronucleus. As a solution of the origin of sexuality the attractive hypothesis is offered that sexuality is coextensive with life; that in protozoa the male and female are united in each of the conjugating cells, and impregnation is double; and, finally, that in the metazoa the male and female of the cells separate to form, genoblasts or true sexual elements, and impregnation is single.
The author presents a great deal of evidence to support the theory that concrescence is the typical means of forming the primitive streak in the vertebrate, the primitive axis of which is formed by the growing together in the axial line of the future embryo of the two halves of the ectental line.
The origin of the mesoderm, the formation of the cœlom and mesothelium, and the origin of the mesenchyma, are carefully described in connection with a review of the principal theories in regard to the morphological significance of the mesoderm, the author believing that Hatschek's germ-band theory offers the best-founded explanation of the vertebrate mesoderm.
Emphasis is laid on the fact that the splanchnocœle (pleuroperitoneal cavity) is almost, if not quite, from the start divided into a precociously enlarged cervical portion (amnio-cardial vesicles), and a rump portion (abdominal cavity), the boundary between the two portions being marked by the omphalomesaraic veins, that run from the area vasculosa into the embryo proper at nearly right angles to the embryonic axis.
The author agrees with Ziegler that the red blood-cells of all vertebrates arise by proliferation of the endothelial lining of the vessels, basing this conclusion upon the facts that in various vertebrates certain parts of the vascular system are at first solid cords of cells, the central portion becoming blood-cells and the peripheral portion the vascular wall, and in birds the red cells arise from the walls of the venous capillaries of the bony marrow. In other words, the blood-cell is a liberated, specialized endothelial cell.
One of the most interesting and valuable chapters in the volume is that on the germinal area and the embryo and its appendages, in which there is a synopsis of the published descriptions of embryos not over three weeks old; from these it is learned that no human ovum has been observed to have a primitive streak, which is the first stage of the series formulated by the author. In this stage (twelfth or thirteenth day) the human ovum is a rounded, somewhat flattened sac of three or four millimetres in diameter, bearing an equatorial zone of short, unbranched villi that are probably formed by the ectoderm only; the wall of the sac is ectoderm, whether underlaid by somatic mesoderm or not is uncertain; a mass of cells is attached to the inner wall of the sac, over one of the bare poles of the ovum, constituting the rudiment of the embryo. The second stage is characterized by the appearance of the medullary plate, the third by the appearance of the medullary groove, the fourth by the formation of the heart and medullary canal, the fifth by the development of the first external gill-cleft, the sixth by the appearance of two external gill-clefts, the seventh by the appearance of three gill-clefts, and the eighth by the appearance of four external gill-clefts.
The fourth part of the work includes descriptions of the chorion, the amnion and proamnion, the yolk-sac, allantois, and umbilical cord, and the placenta.
The final portion of the volume is devoted to chapters on the growth and development of the various organic systems of the fœtus.
Each section and chapter aims to present a comprehensive review of the literature regarding the subject therein considered, the author stating the reasons for accepting certain theories in preference to others. One blemish in the volume is the free use of German embryological terms. The author's devotion to German has often led him to use, also, forms of expression that, while correct in German, are faulty English. This is, however, a minor and remediable fault in what is a most excellent book.
Pioneers of Science. By Oliver Lodge, F. R. S. London: Macmillan & Co., 1893 Pp. 404. Price, $2.50.
This work consists of a course of eighteen lectures on the history and progress of astronomical research, with biographical sketches of each pioneer and an examination of their influence on the progress of thought. It is divided into two parts. The first, which is entitled From Dusk to Daylight, contains ten lectures giving a brief outline of the physical science of the ancients, with an interesting account of the progress of astronomy from Thales, 640 b. c., to the death of Newton, 1727 a. d. The second part is called A Couple of Centuries' Progress, and embraces the period of astronomical discovery from the publication of Newton's Principia to the present time.
The author shows considerable power of lucid condensation in his description of the labors of the early astronomical scientists, and while giving a brief history of their discoveries—notably those of Archimedes, Ptolemy, and Roger Bacon—he brings us at a bound over the void of the middle ages to the beginning of the sixteenth century (1543) when Copernicus (Nicolas Copernik) published his famous work, De Revolutionibus Orbium Cœlestium, in which he proved that the earth is a planet like the others, and that it revolves round the sun—thus shattering the accepted Ptolemaic system and revolutionizing all other (speculative and theological) doctrines concerning the form of the earth and the motion of the heavenly bodies.
This period is called by Mr. Lodge "the real dawn of modern science." His sketch of Tycho Brahé is most interestingly written; and in the summaries of facts which preface each lecture will be found some curious coincidences of the dates of the birth and death of the famous philosophers from Copernicus to Newton. While admitting the great labors and immense value to astronomical research of Galileo's discoveries, the author does not class him with Copernicus, Kepler, or Newton; in fact, he says that "Archimedes and Galileo can only be considered in the light of experimental philosophers." Lord Bacon, who flourished about the same time as Descartes, is very summarily dismissed; he does not admit him into his list of philosophers, and says: "His (Bacon's) methods are not those which the experience of mankind has found serviceable; nor are they such as a scientific man would have thought of devising."
Mr. Lodge pays reverent tribute to the genius of Sir Isaac Newton, and claims for him the palm-wreath among all other philosophere—ancient or modern. His treatment of the biographical sketch of Newton and of his discoveries and the preparation of his laws of gravitation, motion, etc., as contained in the Principia, are most interesting as well as valuable.
The second part of the work (eight lectures) is rather condensed. Laplace's mathematical genius is briefly described, while the birth of stellar astronomy and the works of Sir William and Caroline Herschel are excellently portrayed. The volume closes with chapters upon Comets and Meteors, and Tides and Planetary Evolution. It is profusely illustrated.
Hygienic Measures in Relation to Infectious Diseases. By George H. F. Nuttall, M. D., Ph. D. (Göttingen). New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1893. Pp. 112. Price, 75 cents.
This is a very useful little work and should have a place in every home library. There seems to be an almost general ignorance of both the causes of infections diseases and how to prevent their spread; and Dr. Nuttall has produced this little handbook in a form that is so simple and instructive that even the least scientific reader can, without any difficulty, prepare and use ample means for the disinfection of persons, houses, furniture, etc.—no matter from what cause the infectious material may exist.
The author warns people against using "made and patent disinfectants"; for, as he says, "the term disinfection means the absolute destruction of infectious material," and "many preparations sold as disinfectants are nothing of the kind," but belong to the antiseptic and deodorant classes. He gives, as the best and most certain methods, those by fire, dry heat, steam, and chemicals, and in a foot-note to the paragraph "Disinfection by Boiling," he quotes Flügge most instructively: "The ordinary treatment to which soiled linen and clothes are subjected in the laundry (one half-hour's boiling) would be quite sufficient for their disinfection were it not for the fact that the process of boiling is preceded by the processes of sorting, soaking, and rinsing in cold water."
The volume contains practical directions for the treatment of infectious diseases in private houses and other places; and the second part is devoted to excellent "information as to the causes and mode of spreading of certain infectious diseases and the preventive measures that should be resorted to."
Rest and Pain. By the late John Hilton, F. R. S. London and New York: George Bell & Sons. Pp. 514. Price, $2.
Tins work, which its editor speaks of as "acknowledged to be one of our few surgical classics," has reached its fifth edition in England, and is now offered to medical students and practitioners in America. Its special claim to attention is that it presents certain facts in a different grouping from that of the usual treatises, thus throwing a new light upon the bearing of much that may seem useless or abstruse to the student. It has the two objects of preaching to physicians a letalone gospel, designed to secure greater reliance upon the work of Nature, and of pointing out how much can be learned in regard to various disorders from the pains that accompany them. The volume consists of a course of lectures delivered by the author as consulting surgeon to Guy's Hospital, under the title. The Therapeutic Influence of Rest and the Diagnostic Value of Pain in Accidents and Surgical Diseases. It deals with injuries and diseases of the brain, spinal column, the joints, the sacro-iliac region, with abscesses, and miscellaneous other disorders. A large number of cases are quoted in this treatise, and the text is illustrated with l(t5 cuts.
Domestic Science. By James E. Talmage. Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon & Sons. Pp. 589.
The field of this book embraces the applications of science to the affairs of domestic life—a field concerning which there has always been a great amount of ignorance. The dispelling of this ignorance was one of the tasks that enlisted the efforts of the founder of this magazine, who published his Handbook of Household Science over thirty years ago. Dr. Talmage's treatise is very like the Handbook as to scope and method, and the author quotes his predecessor frequently in foot-notes. It is divided into four parts, treating respectively of Air and Ventilation with chapters on Heating and Lighting, Water, Food and its Cookery, Cleansing Agents, to the last of which is added Poisons and their Antidotes. In each of these divisions the laws of Nature that especially concern the matters in hand are stated, and the evil effects of disregarding these laws in each case are pointed out. The text is much strengthened by illustrations. The book has been adopted as a text-book for the Territory of Utah, and the present is a second and revised edition prepared for such use. The introduction of this subject into the schools can not fail to do much good.
Introduction to Physiological Psychology. By Dr. Theodor Ziehen. Translated by C. C. Van Liew and Dr. Otto Beyer. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 284. Price, $1.50.
The recent introduction of the inductive and evolutionary mode of treatment into the field of mental science has brought forth abundant fruit where, for a long time, barren speculation had held sway. Psychology, or a division of it at least, has become a natural science, and knowledge of mental processes has been rapidly extended in consequence. Especially has this work gone on actively in Germany, and the facts obtained have received two distinct interpretations—the one held by Wundt and his school, the other by Münsterberg and Ziehen. Only one treatise on physiological psychology—the large work by Prof. Ladd, of Yale—has appeared in English, hence the translators have thought that such a small introductory compendium as the present volume would be desirable. The work originated in a series of lectures that Dr. Ziehen has delivered at the University of Jena for several years. It has been the aim of the author throughout to develop all explanations from physical or physiological data, and to account for the presence of certain functions by an application of the laws of evolution. The doctrines that he presents differ essentially from Wundt's theory and conform closely to the English psychology of association. By introducing an especial auxiliary function, the so called apperception, for the explanation of certain psychical processes, Wundt evades numerous difficulties in demonstration. This book is intended to show that such an "auxiliary function" is superfluous, and that all psychological phenomena can be explained without it.
Chemical Lecture Experiments. By G. S. Newth, F. I. C. London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co. 1892. Pp. 323. Price, $3.
This book is of some importance to chemical lecturers and teachers, as well as being a valuable assistance to the chemical student. It consists of six hundred and thirty-two illustrated experiments, which are given with remarkable lucidity, the author claiming that "no account of any experiment has been introduced upon the authority solely of any verbal or printed description, but every experiment has been the subject of his own personal investigation, and illustrated by woodcuts from original drawings." It is arranged in such a manner that students may learn from it the methods of preparation and most of the important properties of the nonmetallic elements and their more common compounds. As a companion to the lectures which he may attend, the chemical student will find fully described in this book most, if not all, of the experiments he is likely to see performed upon the lecture table, thereby relieving him from the necessity of noting the apparatus, etc., used by the demonstrator. Many of the experiments are novel and interesting, and the tables which form the appendix will be found to contain important information for which books of reference are usually needed.
An overgrown volume of nearly fifteen hundred pages on Education in the Industrial and Fine Arts in the United States comes to us from the Bureau of Education. This is only the second part of a special report by Isaac Edwards Clarke, and the editor states that most of the matter intended for this volume has been relegated to a third part. There is first an Introduction of over a hundred pages, in which the editor devotes several of the early pages to telling how his first part has been praised. Soon after this come three tributes to deceased educators, which would be better published elsewhere. A little farther on the editor has a tilt with Prof. C M. Woodward, and near the end several defenses of the public schools, having no bearing on the proper subject of the report, are brought in. The report proper consists of five hundred pages of well-digested material, being mostly accounts of the instruction in industrial art and the use of mechanical tools that has been introduced in various places. This is followed by eight hundred pages of appendixes made up of miscellaneous reports, essays, and addresses, parts of which are valuable, other parts pleasant but vague, and much of the whole merely duplicating other matter in the volume. There is a great deal of matter in these appendixes that only makes the volume clumsy and impedes the earnest student of pedagogy. Here and there we find poetical quotations or wholly unnecessary lists of names, and in one place a lot of "after-dinner" speeches with the "applause" duly interjected. It is no wonder that the public printer can not get these bulky reports out until they are stale, and that so many copies go unread back to the paper-vat.
A little text-book devoted wholly to mensuration has been prepared by Alfred J. Pearce, and is published by Longmans, Green & Co., under the title Longmans' School Mensuration (80 cents). It comprises reduction of denominate numbers and the calculation of lengths, areas, and volumes. There are a large number of examples at the end of each section, and several sets of examination papers have been introduced. A simple proof of nearly every rule is given. The diagrams illustrating the various figures and solids are very numerous, and have been carefully prepared.
The Step-by-Step Primer, prepared by Mrs. E. B. Burnz (Bumz & Co., 24 Clinton Place, New York, 25 cents), embodies a thoroughly scientific mode of teaching reading. The phonetic principle is the basis of its method, and the author does not allow any such host of exceptions and deviations from this principle as often makes what passes for "phonic teaching" into a mongrel practice. The author insists that the letters shall be regarded as standing for spoken sounds, just as definitely as the characters in a piece of music stand for musical sounds. No one can question that this was the intention of the ancient inventors of the alphabet, but the fact is too often lost sight of, especially by teachers of reading. In this primer each letter is made to show what sound it stands for, and the learner has only to combine these several sounds to get the whole word. This is effected by means of the Burnz's Pronouncing Print, the chief feature of which is that when a letter has an irregular sound this sound is indicated by a small subscript letter cast on the shoulder of the type. Webster's diacritics are also made use of, and silent letters are denoted by Leigh's hair-line type. Some Hints on Phonic Teaching are appended to the book. The primer is attractively illustrated and neatly printed.
In a volume of 443 pages, John C. Branner. Ph. D., State Geologist of Arkansas, has issued Vol. Ill of the Geological Survey of Arkansas. This volume concerns "whetstones and the novaculites of Arkansas," and was prepared by L. S. Griswold, assistant geologist. The whetstone industry is very exhaustively treated, and the admirable illustrations and maps will be found very useful. The last chapter is devoted to an interesting account of The Fossils of the Novaculite Area, and contains articles by R. R. Gurley, M. D., and Charles S. Prosser, on The Geological Age of the Graptolite Shales of Arkansas and Notes on Lower Carboniferous Plants. (Little Rock, Ark., Press Printing Company, 1892.)
Under the title Coal Pits and Pitmen, R. Nelson Boyd, M. Inst. C. E., has recast his publication Coal Mines Inspection; its History and Results. In this volume of 256 pages the author reviews the conditions of the mining operatives of Great Britain, and gives in somewhat of detail a history of the legislation for the prevention of the employment of women and children in coal mines. Considerable space is devoted to an examination of the causes of explosions in mines, and there are some excellent suggestions as to required legislation in the direction of increased inspection. In treating of the development of the coal industry in England the author gives some very interesting facts: for instance, toward the end of the eighteenth century the yearly output was estimated to be ten millions of tons—giving employment to fifty thousand work-people, whereas the output of coal in 1891 reached the enormous total of one hundred and eighty-five millions of tons—giving employment to about six hundred thousand persons. The book contains some excellent illustrations, and will be read with interest by those who desire to study the social and labor questions. (London: Whittaker & Ck). New York agents, Macmillan & Co. 1892.)
Few persons outside those connected with engineering business are aware of the importance of the pattern-maker. In a volume of 180 pages A Foreman Pattern-maker has embodied the most useful hints to apprentices and students in technical schools under the title The Principles of Pattern-making. The book is fully illustrated with one hundred and one engravings, and includes a useful glossary of the common terms employed both in pattern-making and molding. Considering the size of the volume it is really surprising to find such a fund of useful information upon the fundamental principles of pattern-making condensed into so small a space. The illustrations were nearly all made by the author himself, and are almost self-explanatory. It is published by Whittaker & Co., London. (Xew York agents, Macmillan & Co. Price, 90 cents.)
The Microscopical Examination of Potable Water is a little volume of 160 pages which contains a good deal of useful information concerning the best methods and apparatus necessary for the microscopical and bacteriological examination of water. The author, George W. Rafter, devotes considerable space to an explanation of the advantages of filtration by sand over the Parkins cloth method, and gives minute details of several examinations and analyses of the various public water supplies of the country, basing the arguments which follow upon the results of an examination of the Boston Sudbury River Water Supply. The remarks upon the effect of light upon the formation of starch in the algæ are interesting, and he claims that in certain lights the starch remains protoplasmic, and that a low temperature and darkness are unfavorable to the growth of algæ in the water supplies. The book is No. 103 of the Van Nostrand Science Series.
In a volume of 322 pages entitled Figure Skating, Simple and Combined, Messrs. Montagu S. Monier-Williams, Winter R. Pidgeon, and Arthur Dryden, the most eminent of British figure skaters, have given an elaborate treatise upon the development of figure skating in England. It is profusely illustrated with cuts and diagrams, and is published by Macmillan & Co., New York ($2.26).
Leonard Dobbin, Ph. D., and James Walker, Ph. D., D. Sc, have issued a useful handbook of 240 pages entitled Chemical Theory for Beginners. It is written with the object of assisting beginners in obtaining an elementary knowledge of the principles upon which modern chemistry is based. The chapters on Elements and Compounds, Chemical Action, Vapor Density, and The Kinetic Molecular Theory are interesting from a standpoint far advanced from the beginner. The use of symbols has been disregarded in this work, so that a very young student in chemistry will have no difficulty in understanding the most intricate examples of chemical compounds, etc., which are given. The kinetic theory of gases, as discovered by Clerk Maxwell and Clausius, is very simply demonstrated. The book is published by Macmillan & Co., of London and New York (70 cents).
In a volume of 978 pages the Interstate Commerce Commission has issued its Third Annual Report on the Statistics of Railways in the United States. It is a comprehensive tabulation of the classification, mileage, earnings, expenditures, and capital of the various railway systems of the country. In the reading matter which prefaces the voluminous and interesting statistics there is a complaint that the statistical data procurable from the monthly reports of the different railway corporations is of little value to publicists and economists; and it is claimed that the present system of bookkeeping in vogue among the accountants of the different roads "leads inevitably to an erroneous balance-sheet." The remarks upon and the statistics of the enormous increase of mileage will be read with interest by economists, and the fact that this increase is proportionately far greater in the Southern States will be a surprise to those who have not carefully observed the industrial progress of that section of the country.
D. C. Heath & Co., Boston, have issued a new publication entitled The Complete Musical Reader, which is designed for "high and normal schools, academies, and seminaries." It is compiled and edited by Charles E. Whiting, and is really a most useful addition to the repertoire of school music books. The first forty-eight pages are devoted to musical notation, embracing exercises and solfeggios of a very educational type. The collection of two, three, and four part songs is excellent; but in the two latter sections some of the selections are rather difficult for beginners. Among the three-part songs is a novel arrangement of a solo with voice (duet) accompaniment—a style of voice culture that will probably become more general. The hymn tunes are easy, and will be found useful by teachers in connection with the rudimentary exercises and solfeggios. It contains 224 pages, and is published at 85 cents.
Recognizing the great agricultural depression existing in England and the apparent impossibility of farmers being able to prosper from the cultivation of grain crops, J. Cheal, F. R. H. S., suggests that cultivators of the land should consider what other means might be adopted in the way of yielding crops that would give more satisfactory returns. In his book entitled Practical Fruit Culture, which is published by George Bell and Sons, London, 1892, he advocates that, taking into consideration the "enormous quantities of fruit" imported into England for consumption there, fruit culture would be one of the best if not the most important means toward a renewed agricultural prosperity. The volume contains some excellent information upon the fruits most adaptable to the climate of Great Britain, and instructive hints as to their planting, cultivation, etc. (194 pages; price, 75 cents).
In a volume of 241 pages, C. W. Bardeen, of Syracuse, N. Y., has published three series of songs "for schools," which contain over three hundred selections. The first series is entitled The Song Budget, and is devoted to nursery rhymes and songs for young children; the second is called The Song Century, embracing some of the most popular standard songs; and the third, The Song Patriot, gives examples of patriotic songs, war songs, and national hymns. It is a useful cheap edition of song music, but the compiler has made some rather unfortunate omissions in neglecting to give the composers' names, while in at least one important instance wrong authorship is claimed. This, however, does not affect the arrangement of the music, which is excellent (price, 50 cents).