Popular Science Monthly/Volume 47/May 1895/Obituary Notes

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Dr. W. S. W. Ruschenberger, President of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences from 1869 to 1891, and medical director, United States Navy, retired, died in Philadelphia, March 24th, aged eighty-eight years. He served in the navy from 1826 to 1869, and was successively fleet surgeon of the East India squadron, 1835-'37 and 1847-'50; the Pacific squadron, 1854-'57; and the Mediterranean squadron, 1860-'61. During the civil war he was surgeon at the Naval Hospital, Brooklyn, and there organized the laboratory for supplying the service with unadulterated drugs. He was President of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Philadelphia, 1879-'83. His literary and scientific publications include Three Years in the Pacific (1834); A Voyage Around the World (1835-'37); Elements of Natural History (1850); A Lexicon of Terms used in Natural History (1850); A Notice of the Origin, Progress, and Present Condition of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (1852); Notes and Commentaries during Voyages to Brazil and China, 1848 (1854). He also contributed many papers to scientific journals; published articles on Naval Rank and Organization, and edited the American edition of Mrs. Somerville's Physical Geography.

Sir Henry Rawlinson, of much fame as a British general and statesman and of greater fame as the first decipherer of the cuneiform inscriptions, died in London, March 5th. He was born in 1810; went to Bombay as a military cadet of the East India Company in 1827; studied Oriental languages, and served as an interpreter. In 1833 he was transferred to Persia, whence he was recalled to India on the breaking out of the Afghan difficulty in 1838-'39, and there won distinction in military service. He began copying the cuneiform inscriptions on the rock tablets at Behistun as far back as 1835. Mastering the old Persian character in these inscriptions, he found the key, by the aid of which the deciphering of the other cuneiform languages was achieved. The years 1844 and 1845 were specially devoted to this task, and in 1846 Rawlinson's first work on the cuneiform inscriptions was published. The next year he obtained complete copies of all the Behistun inscriptions, standing, to do the work, on a ladder placed on a shelf of rock jutting from the precipice three hundred feet above the plain. Since then he has been one of the foremost in furthering the work of decipherment he had so well begun.

M. Jules Regnauld, Professor of the Paris Faculty of Medicine, has recently died, ninety years old.

Dr. F. Schmitz, Professor of Botany at Greifswald, who died January 28th, was best known by his studies of algæ, and particularly of the red seaweeds, of which he added much to our knowledge of the life history. He published an account of the formation of auxospores in the diatoms in 1877, and a description of the green algae of the Gulf of Athens in 1877.

The Rev. J. Owen Dorsey, the ethnologist, who died in Washington February 5th, had been connected with the United States Bureau of Ethnology since 1 877, and was President of the Anthropological Section of the American Association in 1893.

The death is reported of Dr. Gerhard Krüss, Extraordinary Professor of Chemistry in the University of Munich. He was perhaps best known in connection with researches concerning the metals of the rare earths.

Dr. D. Hack Tuke, editor of the Journal of Mental Science and President of the Medico-Psychological Association of Great Britain, died in London, March 5th, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. He was author of several standard works on mental diseases, including such subjects as Sleep-walking and Hypnotism, Insanity, Psychological Medicine, the Influence of the Mind on the Body, etc., and of several valuable essays for a Dictionary of Psychological Medicine.

George Newbold Lawrence, one of the oldest and most eminent American ornithologists, died in this city, January 17th, aged ninety-five years. He was the contemporary of all American ornithologists, from Audubon and Nuttall down. The list of his published writings contains one hundred and twenty-one titles. The earliest appeared in 1844 and the latest in 1891. He was associated with Baird and Cassin in the authorship of Baird's work on the birds of North America, which was published in 1858. His special field was in tropical American birds, of which he described more than three hundred new species. One genus and twenty species were named in his honor.

The Rev. T. P. Kirkman, a mathematician of considerable reputation, died February, 1895, eighty-eight years old.