Popular Science Monthly/Volume 47/October 1895/Popular Miscellany

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

POPULAR MISCELLANY.

An Instance of Webbed Fingers in Man.—(Communicated by F. E. Lloyd and F. L. Washburn.) The subject of this sketch, now about twenty-five years of age, was born near Smyrna, Iowa. He now resides in eastern Oregon, and is attending one of the State schools, where, though slow, he is proving himself fairly efficient in some lines of work. little finger of each hand are provided with only two movable joints or phalanges. On the fourth finger we find an enlargement at the point where the lower or distal end of the first joint should be. This rigidity, therefore, seems to have been brought about by a growing together or anchylosis of the first and second joints. The first joint or first phalanx of the little finger, however, although equal in length to two normal joints, is perfectly smooth and cylindrical. As if to compensate for this stiffness, the terminal joints of these two fingers can be bent to make a perfect right angle with the longitudinal axis of the finger. The toes are also webbed, but not so strikingly as the fingers. All of the following measurements have been made from a line passing through the distal end of the metacarpal bones; in other words,

PSM V47 D874 An instance of webbed fingers in a man.jpg

Of large, powerful frame, he is a welcome adjunct on the football field, though ordinarily awkward in his movements. According to his statement, he has never suffered any special inconvenience from the abnormal condition of his hands, and feels disinclined to undergo a surgical operation for their betterment. When but a few days old, the webs were cut, but the operation was badly performed, and apparently their growth was not checked. The scars resulting from the operation may yet be seen. An interesting fact to be noted is, that the fourth finger and from the point where the bones of each finger unite with those of the hand. A centimetre is practically equivalent to two fifths of an inch.

To tip of second or index finger 10·8 ctm.
To tip of third or middle finger 12·4 ctm.
To tip of fourth finger 11·4 ctm.
To angle of web between second and third fingers 7·6 ctm.
To angle of web between third and fourth fingers 5·2 ctm.
To end of first joint of second index finger 5·7 ctm.
To end of first joint of third finger 7·3 ctm.
To end of first joint of little finger 7·1 ctm.
To end of first joint of fourth finger 6·4 ctm.
To end of second joint of fourth finger 9·8 ctm.

The last two are the anchylosed phalanges mentioned above. The subject under discussion has one brother similarly affected, whose webs are decidedly larger than in the present instance. This brother has but one stiff joint on each hand. The father has hands somewhat webbed. A second brother has no webs, nor has the mother, nor the paternal or maternal grandparents.

 

How Stone Arrowheads were Made.—The guiding principle of Mr. F. H. Cushing's fruitful researches in anthropology has been "Put yourself in his place." When he wished to learn how stone arrowheads were made he became an arrow-maker himself. As a result of his labors and researches he was able to tell, in his address to the Anthropological Section of the American Association at Springfield, how primitive men made their arrows. They first sought the material, he said, mined it arduously from buried ledges, with fire, mauls, and skids, or preferably sought it in banks of pebbles, digging such as were fit freshly from the soil, if possible, and at once blocking out from them blanks for their blades by splitting the pebbles into suitable spalls. This was done by holding the pebbles edgewise on a hard base, and hitting them sharply and almost directly on the peripheries, but with a one-sided twist or turn of the maul or battering stone. At each deft stroke of the maul a spall was struck off—sometimes twenty from a single cobble or block of moderate size. These were, with almost incredible rapidity, trimmed to the leaf-shaped basis of all primitive chipped tools, by knapping them with a horn, bone, or very soft, tough, granular stone hammer, mounted in a light handle. For this the spall was placed flatwise on the knee, or on a padded hammer-stone, so called, and held down by the base of the thumb of one hand, and rapidly struck along the edge transversely and obliquely to its axis, lengthwise, with the outwardly twisting kind of blows used in the splitting. The blanks thus formed were then carried home for leisurely or opportune finishing; and carefully buried in damp soil, not to hide them, as has been usually supposed, but to keep them even-tempered, uniformly saturated or full of sap and life, as these ancients thought—whence the so-called "caches" of numerous leaf shaped blades which are now and then found throughout old Indian ranges. To show that making arrowheads is not such a slow and laborious process as many have supposed Mr. Cushing stated that he had succeeded from the time he found a suitable pebble of fine grained, ringing, cold and fresh quartzite, in making seven finished knife and arrow blades in exactly thirty-eight minutes; and he had often made from obsidian or glass a very small and delicate arrow point—the most easily made—in less than two minutes.

 

Chemistry advanced by the Industries.—In showing how pure science had been promoted by industrial operations and requirements, which was the theme of his vice-presidential address before the American Association, Mr. William McMurtrie cited an interesting example from Hoffmann, who says, "It is not generally known that the theory of substitution owes its source to a soirée in the Tuileries." Dumas had been called upon by his father-in-law, Alexandre Brongniart, who was director of the Sèvres porcelain works, and, as Hoffmann says, in a measure a member of the royal household, to examine into the cause of the irritating vapors from candles burned in the ballroom, a demand to which Dumas readily acceded, because he had already done some work upon the examination of wax which could not be bleached and was therefore unmerchantable. He was readily led to the conclusion that the candles used in the palace had been made with wax that had been bleached with chlorine, and that the vapors were hydrochloric acid generated in the burning of the candles. But examination of the wax of the candles showed that the quantity of chlorine found was greater than could be accounted by for its presence as a mechanical impurity, and from it Dumas was led to experiments which showed that many organic substances when heated with chlorine have the power to fix it, and from these results he was in turn led to the further generalization concerning the law of substitution. It was an incident similar to that already described that brought Dumas to the reaction whereby hydrogen sulphide may be oxidized to sulphuric acid. He found the walls of one of the bath rooms at Aix-les-Bains covered with crystals of calcium sulphate, which could have no other source than the vapors liberated from the hot water.

 

Range of the Human Voice.—In discussing a paper read before the Section of Physics of the American Association, Prof. W. Le Conte Stevens remarked that the lowest recorded tone of the voice is that of a basso named Fischer, who lived during the sixteenth century, and who sounded F0, about forty-three vibrations per second. Mr. Stevens himself, without possessing a bass voice, has sounded as low as A0, fifty-three and a third vibrations per second, when his vocal cords were thickened by an attack of catarrh. This, however, is under abnormal conditions. The highest note hitherto recorded in the books was attained in singing by Lucrezia Ajugari. At Parma in 1770 she sang for Mozart several passages of extraordinarily high pitch, one of which included C6, two thousand and forty-eight vibrations per second. She trilled in D6, eleven hundred and fifty-two vibrations, and was able to sing as low as G2, one hundred and ninety-two vibrations, having thus a range of nearly four octaves and a half. Ajugari's upper limit has been attained by Ellen Beach Yaw, of Rochester. Mr. Stevens has often estimated, by comparisons with a tuning fork, the pitch of a child's squeal while at play, which has been repeatedly found to be in excess of twenty-five hundred vibrations per second, in one case as high as G6, about three thousand and seventy-two vibrations. The total range between these extremes is in excess of six octaves.

 

Criminal Anthropology.—Among reasons for including anthropology among the preparatory studies for medicine, Mr. Havelock Ellis refers to special branches of practice in which knowledge of it is of great assistance—such as practice abroad among different races, and practice among the insane at home, and in dealing with the phenomena of crime. Numbers of criminals inherit their qualities and transmit them, and constitute a distinct class. Their increase must be prevented by dispersing them and checking the reproduction of their kind. In the light of these principles, Lombroso has constructed his system of criminal anthropology. The Lancet says that in Paris medical experts are appointed to examine the persons arrested overnight, and to send to asylums those whom they find to be troubled with brain disease, whereby they are secured from association with criminals and soon may be restored to soundness. Dr. Benedikt, of Vienna, has done great service in this line of practice in his studies of criminals of different types. Three factors are named by Dr. Clouston which should be taken cognizance of in criminal anthropology, viz.: The heredity of the criminal; his brain, with its reactive and resisting qualities in each case; and the criminal's surroundings, immediate and permanent. The first takes account of the past history of the criminal's family, and the transmission of its inherited diseases into other diseases in offspring. The second factor, involving the receptivity and reactive power of the brain, its resources in self-control, especially in withstanding pain, fear, temptation, and other trials of the moral sense, concerns a wide field and presents great difficulties to the investigator. The third factor includes the mental and social atmosphere in which the subject of criminal anthropological inquiry has been brought up, and must comprise early companionship, moral and religious influence, and whatever contributes to motive in its less healthy tissues. "Those tracts of the brain cortex organized for mental processes are the field in which the future character of the individual—criminal or non-criminal—germinates and grows; they are, as Dr. Clouston well puts it, 'the fullest of hereditary qualities, the most powerful, yet the most notable, by far the most physiologically valuable part of man,' and the question that confronts the student of criminality he formulates thus: 'Have we among us men and women whose mental cortex is of such quality that in its ordinary environment the conduct of its possessors must necessarily be an ti social and lawless? and if so, what anatomical, physiological, and psychological signs are there to distinguish this criminal cortex and its possessor?'" The Italian and some of the German school assert that such signs exist, and are not difficult to recognize; or, that the criminal was a criminal potentially before he was one actually. The chief problem of dealing with crime fundamentally is, then, one of taking it at this stage; and it is here that medical anthropology can make itself most useful.

 

Explorations in Labrador and Alaska.—Of the geographical explorations on the American continent during 1894, Prof. Angelo Heilprin, in the Bulletin of the Geographical Club of Philadelphia, mentions as most noteworthy those of Messrs. Tyrrell and Low, on British territory. To the former we owe the exploration of a large portion of unknown region lying to the west of Hudson Bay—a region that for at least six hundred miles was totally unknown—and the rectification of much of the western contour of the bay. A peculiarity of the region traveled over by Mr. Tyrrell is the total absence of timber. "All the wood that was gathered in the course of this six hundred miles' journey, it is said, would not have been sufficient to give the material for a single boot-peg. On the other hand, even in this most treeless area, game of at least one kind is described as being most unmanageably abundant. Over an area of three square miles or more the reindeer were so thick as almost completely to shut out from view the ground." To Mr. Low belongs the honor of having made the first crossing of Labrador. Beginning at Lake Mistassini on the east, and terminating at Ungava Bay on the north, he crossed the height of land of the region, a rugged and forbidding country, partly timber-covered, and in the main devoid of inhabitants. No specially marked physiographic features were discovered, no great mountain ridges or peaks, and no large streams, "but the accessions of general knowledge to a region are always welcome, and particularly when it is so little known as is Labrador." A third exploration on our continent is that of the joint Anglo-American Alaska Boundary Commission. The statements in the newspapers that the surveys of this commission would remove Mount St. Elias from the United States to British America is "perhaps premature," and Mr. J. C. Russell, who first definitely determined the position of the mountain, is quoted as authority for saying that no basis exists for the assumed necessary transfer. Two other peaks, however, possibly higher than Mount St. Elias, have been observed, unquestionably on British soil.

 

Snow-coloring Insects.—An interesting communication has been published from Dr. Vogler de Schaffhouse concerning red snowinsects. An excursion of a Vaudois society to the Great St. Bernard in August, 1893, at an altitude of twenty-six hundred metres, near the col de Fenetre remarked in a little combe at the left of the path a well-defined rose-red spot on the snow. One of the excursionists, M. Théodore Bottinger, found by the aid of a glass that the red color was due to little jumping insects, of which thousands were distributed on the surface of the melting snow. There were such prodigious numbers of them at the bottom of the combe that they formed a compact mass an inch thick in spots, like a bed of orangered sawdust. The insect, called in French a podurelle, is a new species of the Lipura of Burmeister—the Anurophorus of Nicolet, hitherto undescribed. The red and black colorations of snow are usually ascribed to an alga (Protococcus nivalis), which turns black from red in the course of its growth. M. J. Brun observes, in an article he has published on the subject of coloration, that he has met the podurelle of Benedict de Saussure (Desoria glacialis) in innumerable masses, and believes that the existence of the podurelle is connected with that of the protococcus, and that the insects owe their color to the black spores on which they feed. It appears, then, that the coloration of the snow is chiefly due to the presence of the lower vegetation, but that the existence of the podurelles being connected with that of the protococcus, those insects may under some circumstances contribute by their number to form colored spots.

 

Power of Petty Superstitions.—The force of superstition, the London Spectator observes, in an article on that subject, is rarely felt by the cultured Englishmen, because their superstitions are usually unimportant, it not signifying much whether you pass under a ladder or not, or whether you are for a moment alarmed because you have broken a mirror; but among a great portion of mankind, including a section of the poor of enlightened countries, the smaller superstitions make up a real and heavy burden. They keep up a permanent distrust in the goodness of Providence, and a watchfulness to avoid evils from unknown forces which is most enfeebling. A French or Italian peasant will do nothing that is opposed to certain apothegms registered in his mind as dogmas, and an Asiatic peasant is bound hand and foot by a whole system of beliefs in omens which cramp his energies as much as even the rabbinical views of the law as to anise and cummin cramped the energies of the Jews in the time of Christ. There is not an Asiatic in the world who would dare go dead against the warnings of his horoscope, and very few Europeans of the Continent would stride forward resolutely in an undertaking the beginning of which has been marked by a stumble or a failure. Even in England this special idea about omens has amazing influence, as have also the other beliefs in premonition or presentiment. We all know the annoyance to which the belief in the superstition about thirteen subjects English dinner-goers, while on the Continent it is difficult, and in Paris impossible, to let a house with the number thirteen on the door. Even the iron logic of French functionaries gives way before that belief, and proprietors of rows are permitted to register the thirteenth house as 12 B.

 

Heavy Rainfall and Ship Canals.—The best series of rainfall observations in Central America, according to Prof. M. W. Harrington, is that taken at San José, Costa Rica, by Prof. Enrique Pettier. Several other series are nearly as good. The greatest hourly rainfall observed there was l·9 inches, or at a rate of forty-six inches—or nearly four feet—per day. "The results of such enormous falls of rain have often been described and can easily be imagined. The dry stream beds or quebradas, very common on the plateaus, are rapidly filled; the water comes down in a wall several feet high; the camping place, two or six feet above the water, is overflowed, and soon the new camping place, hastily sought in the dark and several feet higher, is also overflowed. In such a country as Mosquitia dry stream beds become rivers, marshes change to lakes, and the natives temporarily take to the trees or to their boats. While all this is striking, it is by no means unparalleled in the temperate regions. . . . The difference between such falls of rain id the tropics and in the temperate zones is chiefly that in the latter they are occasional, while in the tropics they are customary. These conditions are especially interesting from the standpoint of the possible ship canals in Central America. . . . It must be acknowledged that the conditions at Suez, Sault St. Marie, and the Welland Canal are in this respect very favorable, for in them the question of sudden floods does not enter. It enters in the case of the great ship canal of St. Petersburg-Cronstadt and of those of the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta; but in these cases there are no changes of level sufficient to make the use of locks necessary. Indeed, the use of locks on ship canals where feeders are subject to sudden and violent floods appears to present a new engineering problem, first met in the Panama Canal."

 

House and Room Ventilation.—Draughts in houses may be defined, Dr. G. V. Poore says, as currents of air rushing in at the many places through channels that have insufficient area. The only way to cure draughts is to place inlets of sufficient area in proper positions. When building a house, one might place louvre ventilators in the walls between room and passage at a height of six and a half feet above the floor. The alteration of a door panel into a ventilator costs only a trifle. In the author's experience it is a most excellent way of ventilating a room, always provided that the air of the passages be wholesome. Windows should extend to within a few inches of the ceiling, and should open at the top. If the room be twelve or thirteen feet high, and the windows go to the top, then the window becomes unmanageable from its height, and the opening at the top, though theoretically possible, is seldom put in practice. The wholesomeness of a room depends very much upon the rapidity with which the air within it can be renewed—the facility, in short, with which one can give it a blow-out. This depends upon the relation of window area to entire capacity. Windows should be so constructed that they can be easily manipulated by a child. The louvre window ventilator, such as is common in churches, will be found very valuable for the admission of a constant but comparatively small supply of air. Relatively low rooms, with big, mullioned windows going to within a few inches of the ceiling, are far more wholesome than lofty rooms in which the tops of the walls are inaccessible to the housemaid, and the window sashes are too weighty for her to move them without difficulty. For wholesomeness and comfort the author believes a height of ten feet is sufficient for any domestic living room and nine feet for a bedroom. Provided the windows go to the top and can be easily opened, it is very doubtful if there is any object, from the purely sanitary point of view, in having rooms more than nine feet high. Facility for cleaning should be ever in the mind of both builder and furnisher. The modern boudoir, hung with dabs of mediæval rags and stuffed with furniture and knickknacks, is often not very cleanly, and when the daylight is excluded, lest fading should take place, and the sun's rays never have a chance of disinfecting the dust on and behind the curios, it can not be very wholesome.

 

Tepee and Other Butte.—The term butte is ordinarily applied to steep-sided hills with narrow summits. More rarely it has been employed to designate mountains, but this is probably obsolescent. The tepee buttes described by Messrs. G. K. Gilbert and F. P. Gulliver in their paper on that subject are so called on account of their resemblance to the lodges, or tepees, of the Sioux Indians. They are constituted around limestone masses in the Pierre shales of Colorado, higher than wide, and in all dimensions of a size to be measured by feet or yards, which, resisting erosion much better than the shales, stand above the general surface. Their fallen fragments protect sloping pedestals of shale, and their positions are marked in the landscape by conical knolls. These limestone masses may be called tepee cores and their material tepee rock. They are found scattered irregularly over a considerable district within the Pierre group, in places so thickly set that hundreds may be seen from one point, while elsewhere they are solitary or in groups of two or three. The tepee rock is of coarse texture, breaking with rough fracture, of light, warm gray color, and full of fossil marine shells (Lucina), imbedded in a matrix composed of fragments of shell, water-worn grains of calcite, foraminfera, and clay. Allied phenomena are found in Canada, of "great spongy and cavernous masses," forming islets which the Indians call wigwams and the caverns doors. Other forms of butte mentioned by the authors are the butte marking the site of a volcanic neck, which differs from the tepee butte-in the nature of the core; the dike, or elongated butte, having a vertical plate rather than a cylinder for a core; the cylinder butte, which does not owe its form to a hard core, though it may have one, and when freshly formed has a crater at the top; the spring butte, formed by deposition from the water of geysers or other springs; and the mesa butte, which is the remnant of a tabular outlier, and is carved, like the tepee butte, from a greater mass, but has a hard cap instead of a hard core, and hence a flat-topped instead of a conical form.

 

Scientific Work of the Franklin Institute.—A historical sketch of the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, compiled by Mr. Wahl, the secretary, contains a full and only just account of the work it has done during the seventy years of its existence for the advancement of science and the useful arts. Among the most prominent of the works in which it has been engaged, the first of general public importance was the investigation of the various forms of water wheels for giving economical value to water power. Following this, and in the same line of practical usefulness, was an investigation of the cause of the explosion of steam boilers. Closely connected with these experiments was an inquiry into the strength of materials used in construction. These investigations, the results of which were published in the Journal of the Institute, formed a contribution of great value to manufacturers of steam machinery, architects, and builders. At the instance of the Government, the Institute made an investigation and report on the suitability of various building stones, with special reference to the construction of the Delaware Breakwater. At the request of the Legislature of Pennsylvania it examined and reported on our system of weights and measures, providing.the basis of the present State law. In 1843 it secured an appropriation for the equipment of stations for the systematic observation and collection of meteorological facts—probably the earliest instance in this country of such an appropriation. This work was begun, extended, and carried on under the direction of the committee of the Institute for several years, and the collection of weather data by the observers it has enlisted was continued afterward. The Institute suggested, in 1887, the institution of the present State weather service. In 1864 it obtained a report on the shape and proportions of screw threads used in machine construction, which gave the basis for the standard now universally current in this country. It participated, through its committee, in 1875, in the inquiry concerning the present and future water supply of Philadelphia. Its investigation, in 1878, of the efficiency of the dynamoelectric machine for arc lighting appears to have been the earliest intelligent inquiry into the relative merits of the several types of these machines. In 1884 a more elaborate report was issued on the same subject, and another on the Life-Duration and Efficiency of Incandescent Electric Lamps. Allied to these investigations was its report on The Conditions of Safety in Electric Lighting, published in December, 1881, which formulated for the first time a number of the conditions to be observed in the wiring of buildings and the running of circuits, which have since become incorporated in the regulations of the Fire Underwriters' Association.

 

North Nyassa Superstitions.—Connected with the superstitions of the people of the region north of Lake Nyassa, in Africa, are the sacred groves or burial places of their ancestors. The undergrowth in them is so thick that the sun's rays seldom penetrate. In their days of trouble the priests resort there to pray to the spirits of their fathers. In them the prophets deliver their messages. No other living creature is allowed to enter. Should war or disease visit the tribe, the priest kills a bull, and offers the blood and the head of the animal. The people firmly believe in the spirit of evil. He is "Mbasi." In one place Mbasi is a person—an old man—who exercises extraordinary power. He speaks only at night, and to the head men of the tribe, and during the interview every other voice must be silent and.every light extinguished. In Wundale the people believe in such a person, who has the power to make lions, and who employs them as messengers of evil. His house is surrounded with long grass, in which he keeps his lions, as other men keep dogs. If a man has a dispute with a neighbor who refuses to come to terms, these lions may be hired to destroy his cattle. Dr. D. Kerr-Cross was much struck to find that all over the north end of Lake Nyassa the people regularly perform a post-mortem to the dead. Death in war is the only exception. One of the elderly men takes a strip of bamboo, and, making an incision in the abdominal wall below the ribs, carefully inspects the viscera. They bury immediately outside the door of the house, and in a sitting posture. In Wundale, about a year after the decease, and at dead of night, the friends lift the bones and cast them into certain clumps of trees found all over the country. These groves are full of human bones.

 

The Vitality of Seeds.—Discussing the vitality of seeds, Mr. W. Botting Hemsley first speaks of the infinity of variety in the behavior of seeds under different conditions. Neither under natural nor under artificial conditions will some seeds retain their vitality more than one season. Others will hold their life for a time that has not yet been defined. The scarlet-runner bean loses its germinative power on exposure to comparatively slight frost, the degree depending upon the amount of moisture in it; yet it will retain its vitality for an almost indefinite period under favorable artificial conditions In both this seed and the acorn germination would naturally follow as soon after maturation as the conditions allowed. The seeds of the hawthorn are incased in a hard, bony envelope, in addition to the proper coat or testa. Committed to the earth, and under the most favorable conditions, these seeds do not germinate till the second year, and often not so soon. Prolongation of vitality is probably due in some measure to the 'protective nature of the shell inclosing the seed. The primary condition to the preservation of vitality in a seed is perfect ripeness. Unripe seeds of many kinds will germinate and grow into independent plants if sown immediately after removal from the parent. This may be readily observed in wheat, and the same property is found occasionally in various other plants. Sometimes the seeds of pulpy fruits germinate in the fruit. The vitality of certain seeds is not impaired by floating and being partially submerged in sea water for as long as a year. Plants are growing at Kew from seeds that have been thus exposed. Some seeds will bear immersion in boiling water for a short time; but seeds of all kinds will bear for a considerably longer period a much higher dry temperature than they will soaking in water of the same temperature. Dry grain is equally impervious to cold. Some of the fir trees, especially of North America, bear the seed vessels containing quick seeds of many successive seasons; and only under the influence of forest fires or excessive drought do they open and release the seed. The unopened cones of thirty years have been counted on some fir trees; and it is averred that the seed vessels of some proteaceous trees do not open to shed their seed, under ordinary conditions, until the death of the parent plants. The stories of the germination of "mummy wheat" have not been confirmed; but kidney beans taken from the herbarium of Tournefort are said to have grown after having been thus preserved for at least a hundred years. Wheat and rye are said to have preserved their vitality for as long a period. Seeds of the sensitive plant germinated at the Jardin des Plantes, Paris, when sixty years old. If seeds retain their vitality for so long periods under such conditions, it is quite conceivable that seeds buried deep in the earth, beyond atmospheric influences and where there is not excessive moisture, might retain their germinative power for an indefinite period.

 

Cultivation of Dates at Tafilet.—The cultivation of dates and leather work form, according to Mr. Walter B. Harris, the sole industries of Tafilet, Morocco. The water for irrigating purposes is brought by many canals from the Wad Biz to the palm groves. The soil under the trees is carefully dug, and divided by low raised banks into squares from ten to twenty yards in extent. Into these, by removing a small part of the bank into which the water flows—for the canals are raised above the general level of the soil—a connection is formed with the canal and the land flooded, the water being allowed to proceed from square to square by removing portions of the dikes. The object of this irrigating of the patches separately is to avoid waste, only the portion which actually requires water receiving it; these squares are cultivated with lucerne, wheat, and barley where the shade of the palms is not excessive, and maize and palms, the latter of which are not so common as in other parts of the desert, for the dates take their place as the staple article of food of the people. Besides the palm supplying the people with provision, the coarser species of dates are employed for fodder, and constitute the chief food of such cattle as there are, and of horses and donkeys. The finer qualities are exported to Fez and Morocco City by caravan, the pack animals bringing in return wheat and European manufactures and rough iron. About ninety per cent of the export of Tafilet dates from Morocco go to London.