Popular Science Monthly/Volume 49/August 1896/Science at the University of Pennsylvania
|SCIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA.|
IN resigning the provostship of the University of Pennsylvania in 1894, Dr. William Pepper defined the broad policy of the institution in the following appropriate language: "The university is truly the voluntary association of all persons and of all agencies who wish to unite in work for the elevation of society by the pursuit and diffusion of truth."
The function of a university is not simply instruction but also research. In this latter field of work American universities are showing great activity, and remarkable results have been produced. The University of Pennsylvania has been particularly susceptible to the changing conditions of American life, as is illustrated in the modifications in its curriculum from time to time. When the institution was chartered as a college in 1755, no other school in this country offered so liberal a course of study. In 1810 the curriculum was modified and rearranged so as to conform to the new conditions which had arisen with the opening of the century; but old methods and old ideas prevailed until 1868, when Dr. Charles J. Stillé was elected provost. The elective system of studies was introduced, and every department of the institution felt the pulses of new life. During the fourteen years of Dr. Stillé's administration the larger career of the university began, and a worthy successor was found in Dr. William Pepper, who was inaugurated provost on February 22, 1881. A new creative period in the history of the university now began, rendered memorable by the founding and equipment of fourteen new departments and the erection of thirteen new buildings. In order to extend its influence as a center of learning and research, the university has aimed to establish the principle that it is organically a part of the municipality of Philadelphia. Fully appreciating the importance of this fact to the city, the Councils in 1872 and in 1883 voted the transfer to the university of splendid tracts of ground in consideration of the establishment of fifty free beds in the hospital for the poor of Philadelphia, and of fifty prize scholarships in the college, to be awarded to graduates of the public schools of Philadelphia. Subsequent accessions of territory from the city authorities have brought the domain of the university up to fifty-two acres in a compact body.
The university is in right, and should be in fact, the crown of the educational system of the entire Commonwealth. The expense of modern research practically necessitates resources which, as a rule, only the State can adequately furnish. But the university received no great contribution from the State until 1779, when a grant of escheated lands, valued at $66,666.60, was made. No other large appropriation was received until 1871, when the Legislature granted the sum of two hundred thousand dollars for the building of the university hospital. In 1895 another appropriation of two hundred thousand dollars was received from the State for the purpose of improving the college department. By this act the Legislature of Pennsylvania gave complete recognition to the university as a State institution, and at the same
Provost of the University from January 12, 1881, to June 7, 1894.
time widened its sphere of usefulness. Mr. Charles C. Harrison succeeded to the provostship in 1894, and he at once outlined a liberal policy in an appeal for an endowment fund of five million dollars.
The demand for a special kind of education has been promptly met by the university by the multiplication of new courses of study, three hundred and thirty courses having been offered during the past year. The courses are arranged in elective groups, and the degree of Bachelor of Arts is conferred on graduates who have taken Latin and Greek during the freshman and sophomore years. The new impulses of the century are shown in the fact that the degree of Bachelor of Science is granted in eight different departments or schools. Besides these, courses are also offered in the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Law, the Department of Medicine, the University Hospital, the Auxiliary Department of Medicine, the Wistar Institute of Anatomy
Provost of the University.
and Biology, the Laboratory of Hygiene, the Department of Dentistry, the Department of Veterinary Medicine, the Museum of Archaeology and Paleontology, the Flower Astronomical Observatory, and the Department of Physical Education. These various departments at present constitute the University of Pennsylvania.The highest intellectual life of the university is found in the Department of Philosophy, devoted to the work of research and investigation. The courses are open to college graduates, and lead to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. This department, established in 1884, is modeled after the philosophical faculty of the German universities. The growth of the department has been rapid. In 1884-'85 there was one matriculate; during the present year the enrollment has reached one hundred and seventy-one. The possibilities for original work and scientific research in the Department of Philosophy have been greatly increased through the generosity of Provost Harrison, who has presented to the university a permanent fund of five hundred thousand dollars, known as the George Leib Harrison Foundation for the Encouragement of Liberal Studies and the Advancement of Knowledge. Upon this foundation have been established twenty-seven new scholarships and fellowships of the aggregate value of thirteen thousand two hundred dollars annually. The purpose of the adoption of the new system is to build up a group of cultured men residing among the students of the university. The twenty-seven scholarships and fellowships are divided under three classifications. Eight are of the value of one hundred dollars a year, and are open only to graduates of the university, intending to provide for those students who desire to take an extra year of study. Fourteen are fellowships, of the value of six hundred dollars a year, less one hundred dollars devoted to publication, and are open to the graduates of any institution to be held for two years in candidacy for the degree of Ph. D. The Hector Tyndale fellowship in physics, already established, makes fifteen of this grade. Five are senior fellowships of the value of eight hundred dollars a year, open only to those who have taken the degree of Ph. D. at the university. These fellowships may be held for three years, and the holders are required to devote themselves to some work of original research, and to do teaching in the line of their work to a maximum of four hours a week. The intention is evident that the plan aims to retain men of exceptional ability in residence as long as possible. A graduate of the university may hold a scholarship or fellowship for six years, while a graduate of another institution who displays great ability may be retained in residence for five years. Besides the above mentioned, there are also six fellowships in the graduate department for women. It is believed that the university has now the most complete system of fellowships in the country. With a material equipment of grounds, buildings, etc., valued at three million nine hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars, vested funds to the amount of one million nine hundred and ninetytwo thousand dollars, the most liberal system of fellowships in the country, a teaching force of two hundred and fifty-one professors and instructors, and a student body numbering twenty-six hundred and thirty-two, the university has peculiar facilities
not only for the work of instruction, but also for research and investigation.
It will be impossible within the scope of this paper to adequately describe all the various activities of the university, so I shall confine myself to those departments in which the chief contributions to science have been made. The Department of Archæology and Paleontology, which illustrates the prehistoric antiquities of America, as well as the remains of highly developed Oriental civilizations, has enlisted the services and energies of the ablest scholars. As a result of their labors, the University of Pennsylvania has put the scientific world under lasting obligations by placing the slumbering witnesses of nations that have perished at the service of science. The Museum of Archaeology and Paleontology may trace back its humble origin to the spring of 1888, when a few casts and squeezes of Babylonian inscriptions, some Etruscan and Roman pottery, a number of Palmyrene tombstones, and other miscellaneous antiquities were gathered together and placed under the care of the Professor of Assyriology, Dr. Hermann V. Hilprecht. On October 23, 1880, a little company met at a dinner given by Mr. Francis C. Macauley, at the Philadelphia Club. There were present Dr. William Pepper, then provost of the university; Dr. Joseph Leidy, President of the Academy of Natural Sciences; Maxwell Sommerville, the collector and student of engraved gems; Dr. Daniel G. Brinton, the Americanist; Dr. Horace Jayne, dean of the university faculty; Dr. Charles C. Abbott, the well-known archaeologist; Henry C. Mercer, Prof. E. D. Cope, and the host, Mr. Macauley, whose enthusiastic interest in archaeological research had led him to bring together these distinguished men of science for the purpose of stimulating and extending the interest in archæological studies, and to establish a museum of archaeology in the city of Philadelphia. The project from the first received the cordial support of Provost Pepper, and early in the month following it was announced that the university had established the Museum of Archæology and Paleontology, for which a staff of officers was appointed and Dr. Charles C. Abbott installed as curator.The formation of a museum, however, had only been part of a scheme in which a most important place had been given to the prosecution of original investigation and the arousing of a more general interest in the subject of archaeology. To obtain funds for prosecuting explorations and to enlist the support of people of cultivated taste in the work, a society was formed under the title of the University Archæological Association. This organization, which now numbers over two hundred members, has largely contributed to the results achieved. In 1891, in consequence of the great interest manifested in the museum and the successful extension of its work, it was constituted a department of the university. Its collections are now contained in halls devoted to them in the library. They comprise eight sections, each in charge of a curator, as follows: American and Prehistoric Archæology, Asian and General Ethnology, Babylonian Casts, Egyptian and Mediterranean Glyptics, Musical Instruments, and Paleontology. The American Museum occupies a spacious hall. Long rows of flat cases fill the center of the room. In these are contained a carefully arranged collection of the objects of stone, bronze, bone, and pottery which comprise the few material evidences of the presence of man on the eastern part of this continent before the arrival of European settlers. There are displayed the rude stone implements from the Trenton gravels, the discovery of which carried back the antiquities of man in America to a period hitherto undreamed of, constituting an era in the science of American archæology. There are also finished stone implements of the recent Indians, and the fragments which alone remain of the rude Indian pottery. These specimens are arranged State by State through almost the entire Union. The exhibition space is at present chiefly occupied with the Hazzard collection from the cliff dwellings of Mancos Cañon in southwestern Colorado. Here, under the wide dome of the Library building at the university, is a little colony of people and things estimated to be two thousand years old. The village was discovered by two brothers named Wetherile, in 1888, in the heart of the cañon of the Mancos River in Colorado. They bought up the village at a very low figure, and sold it to Mr. C. D. Hazzard, of Minneapolis. Mr. Hazzard showed a part of his wonderful collection at the World's Fair, and Mr. Stewart Culin, of the university, secured it for exhibition in the museum. The collection represents in an almost unbroken series the entire life of these strange people, telling in plain words more about them than we know now about the warring Indian tribes which inhabited the eastern coast of North America. This exhibition shows that in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains, where this curious colony of people were driven for refuge by the wilder tribes inhabiting the plains, there existed two thousand years ago a civilization and a culture that will bear comparison with its contemporary countries throughout the world. The Mexican antiquities consist chiefly of objects from graves, among which are a number of cinerary urns, with their original contents of calcined human bones. From Peru there is a highly important collection of pottery from the ancient sepulchres, with mummies and a number of the simple objects, such as food, weapons, and household implements, which the Peruvians were accustomed to bury with their dead. From the islands of the Pacific may be seen the weapons and pottery, the carvings of
wood and bone, the ornaments, headdresses, and costumes—all, in fact, that made the savagery of those strange lands of the South Sea so remarkable and distinctive. In it is reflected the spirit of that island civilization that spreads from the far South to the Alaskan shores of the Pacific.
The results of the explorations conducted by the department in Florida, the caves of the Ohio Valley, and in Yucatan have been of the greatest scientific importance. The explorations of Mr. Charles B. Moore in the shell mounds of Florida produced a case of selected objects which filled a most important gap in the collection of the American department. During the past few years Mr. Henry C. Mercer, Curator of American and Prehistoric Archæology, has visited the most important prehistoric sites of Europe. The university museum has thus been enriched by European collections, such as are to be found in no other museum in America. He made sketches of French caves, where the oldest objects of human skill have been discovered, and where pictorial art of a striking character has been found in drawings upon the bones of the mammoth and the cave bear. Mr. Mercer has also explored the floors of the mountain caves of Yucatan for traces of pre-Indian occupation, continuing the systematic search for evidences of the existence of palæolithic and glacial man, which he had carried on with negative results in the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys. The caves yielded nothing older than the pottery of the Maya Indians of the time of the conquest, verifying Maya traditions that they found the country uninhabited when they entered it, ages ago, from the North. Mr. Mercer's observations have practically demonstrated that the antiquity of man in America is more recent than in Europe, as shown by the human remains found in European caves.
No piece of work done in America in a decade has so elevated the European estimate of American scholarship as the recent explorations in Babylonia under the auspices of the university. In the summer of 1888 the University of Pennsylvania equipped and sent out the first American expedition to the northern half of the plains of Babylonia to effect a thorough exploration of the ruins of Nippur. A short time before this a few citizens of Philadelphia had met in the house of Dr. William Pepper and formed the Babylonian Exploration Fund, with the purpose of effecting a systematic exploration of ancient Babylonia. Two professors, Dr. J. P. Peters and Dr. Hermann V. Hilprecht, were intrusted with the management of the expedition. The explorations were conducted amid the greatest difficulties, the chief ones being the deadly climate and the hostility of the natives. But the excavations were pressed on with energy and confidence, under the gracious protection of the Sultan of Turkey and Hamdy Bey, the Director-General of the Imperial Museum in Constantinople. The explorers penetrated deeper and deeper into the secrets and riddles of the huge mound of ruins at Nippur, Hundreds of graves, clay coffins, and urns were opened, and the ruins of demolished habitations and storehouses, along with the contents of their chambers, were explored. In this way thousands of documents, inscribed bricks, vases, and votive tablets were collected. Evidences of the activity which once pulsated in the streets of the city were unfolded before the eyes of the restless explorers. The terraces of the Temple of Ekur were disclosed. Numerous bricks bearing the name of the great Sargon came forth to the light of day under pickaxe and shovel. Under the building of Sargon one of the most important finds rewarded the labor that had been expended. An arch of brick was laid bare, and by this the question long discussed by the historians of architecture as to the antiquity of the arch entered upon a new stage, and its existence in Babylonia at the beginning of the fourth millennium before Christ was proved. The excavations have not yet reached the deepest foundations of this venerable sanctuary, whose influence for over four thousand years had been felt by all classes of the Babylonian people. But in the presence of this fact we begin to have some notion why Nippur is spoken of as the oldest city of the earth in the old Sumerian legends of the creation. Nearly seventy thousand dollars have already been spent on the excavations in Nippur, and great sacrifices of time, money, and personal devotion will be needed to carry the exploration to its end. Among the most important objects secured for the university museum may be mentioned about thirty-five thousand cuneiform documents in clay. The Babylonian Museum is the most important in America, and ranks immediately after the British Museum and the Louvre.
The classification and editing of the numerous and important results of the expedition has been intrusted to Prof. Hilprecht, who has planned their publication in four series of from ten to fifteen volumes each. Two volumes have appeared already, three are in the press, while seven others are in preparation. During the summer of 1893 Prof. Hilprecht was sent to Constantinople by the Babylonian Publication Committee to examine the inscriptions of the cuneiform tablets which had been deposited there according to the laws governing the disposal of such objects in the Turkish Empire. Hamdy Bey, Director-General of the Imperial Ottoman Museum, requested Prof. Hilprecht to reorganize the Semitic section of the Imperial Museum and furnish the basis of a catalogue of that section. Dr. Hilprecht complied with the request, and since that time he has acted as curator of the section. In March, 1896, Dr. Hilprecht again sailed for Constantinople to classify and read the cuneiform documents excavated during the last two years in Nippur. During the summer he will also complete the reorganization of the Semitic section of the Ottoman Museum.
The lectures of Miss Amelia B. Edwards, in the fall of 1889, aroused considerable interest in the subject of Egyptology. Several thousand dollars were contributed by the Archæological Association, and the work of excavation was begun by Flinders Petrie. Valuable collections of Egyptian antiquities were received in return at the end of the seasons, and Mrs. Cornelius Stevenson was elected curator of the newly formed Egyptian section.
The museum contains a historical and industrial series of Egyptian objects from the fourth dynasty down to the Ptolemaic times. A collection placed on exhibition March 30, 1896, is of the greatest interest to science. Things sunk to earth between the years 2800 and 3500 b. c., illustrating the life of the Libyan invaders of Egypt, were brought to light a year ago by Flinders Petrie, the explorer. About thirty miles from Thebes, in the oldest Egyptian tombs, a most unexpected and startling discovery was made. There were found burials of strange un-Egyptian interlopers, whose large numbers and peculiar mode of disposing of their remains, as well as the implements, pottery, stone work, etc., composing their funeral deposits, show them to be not only intruders, but intruders who had once swept over the region, rowing little or nothing from the people whose land they occupied. The recent exhibition is of the utmost interest to scientists, as it throws light upon the darkest age of Egyptian history, bringing us into contact with the neolithic culture of Europe, which we find transplanted at that remote period upon the banks of the Nile, and it gives us the means of tracing connections with the products of the Mediterranean peoples back to at least 3000 b. c.
The work of the museum has grown so rapidly that, in spite of the liberal accommodations allowed the department in the new Library building, only a portion of the material can be exhibited, and even the facilities for storage are becoming wholly inadequate. As early as 1893 the project of erecting a museum building for the suitable display of the collections was taken up by Mrs. Stevenson. Through the influence of Dr. Pepper, the city authorities conveyed to the university a tract of land for the purpose of establishing thereon a free museum of art and science. In 1895 the trustees of the university applied to the Legislature for an appropriation, one hundred and fifty thousand dollars of which is to be devoted to the erection of this building. Plans have been adopted, and ground will be broken soon. The entire scheme as proposed represents an outlay of about two million dollars. Here will arise one of the most important adjuncts to general culture, not only for the students enrolled upon the college register, but for people of intelligence throughout the city, the State, and the entire country. This department receives no return from students in fees or emoluments. It is a gift to them and to the public, supported entirely by private benevolence.
Literature and philosophy form subjects of investigation just as interesting as any other evidences of civilization. The important place of modern languages in the college curriculum has attracted a great measure of attention in recent years. Although at first introduced from the standpoint of utility, they have come to be treated as languages to be investigated philologically, and as possessing literatures to be studied historically and critically. The University of Pennsylvania has been foremost in taking this view of the modern languages. By the Professor of German and the recently added Professor of Romance Languages both French and German philology are taught, courses in Gothic and old French being offered to such as desire them; and in both languages, as well as in Italian, the literature receives full attention. English, by the addition of courses in Anglo-Saxon and English philology, has followed in the same direction. Students may now not only obtain large practical drill in the use of their mother tongue, but may also learn something of its origin, its history, its growth, and of the linguistic laws that govern it. Sanskrit supplies the necessary stepping stone for the study of comparative philology, while Hebrew paves the road for any who desire to enter upon the field of Semitic studies. The youngest daughter of Philology—Assyriology—has attained full development with surprising swiftness, and the ruins of a highly developed civilization have been unearthed, accompanied by a unique literature graven in stone and clay. The ancient history of Western Asia has for the first time been placed on a sure footing, thus enabling
Vice-Provost of the University.
us to write one of the earliest and most important chapters in the history of our race.
The university is at present doing much valuable scientific work in the history of philosophy, psychology, and pedagogy. Dr. George S. Fullerton, Professor of Philosophy, conducts a graduate course in ancient, mediæval, and modern philosophy, attended by more than sixty students, many of them being connected with the public-school system of the State either as superintendents or principals of schools. Dr. William R. Newbold, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, is carrying on investigations in a field of natural science in which results are hard to attain. An inquiry into the character and condition of states of belief, undertaken some seven years ago, led him to the study of the active side of mind in general, with special reference to the origin and function of its more complex elements, such as states of belief, practical intuitions, ethical conceptions, choice, and reasoning. Dr. Newbold is working upon these problems from such points of vantage as may be offered by the study of the less highly evolved forms of consciousness, as in the lower animals and in children, and in those disintegrations of the more complex forms found in hysteria, epilepsy, trance, and hypnotic states. The greater part of Dr. Newbold's work, however, is not yet in shape for public use, and is not likely to be for several years to come.
In no department of the university has there been a greater advance in improved methods than in psychology. With the growing equipment of the university in laboratories, museums, and library, it has become possible to put new methods into efficient practice. By experimentation in laboratories the students are brought into close personal contact with the subject-matter of their studies. A student of psychology has open to him the courses delivered in the medical school on anatomy and physiology, and he has opportunities for dissection. He may attend clinics at which nervous patients are treated, and he has courses to choose from on mental pathology. There are opportunities to become familiar with the types of mental diseases by actual inspection of cases, and within easy reach are asylums for the insane and institutions for deaf-mutes and for the blind. The department of Experimental Psychology at the university was organized for the prosecution of original research, and for the teaching of psychology to undergraduates and to graduate students. The laboratory is the oldest in continuous existence of all American laboratories of psychology in which regular courses for students are offered. It was founded in 1887 by Profs. Cattell and Fullerton. The former was a student of Wundt's in Leipsic, where he was the first assistant in the Psychological Institute. He was the first Professor of Experimental Psychology at the university, and introduced the research and demonstration methods of the German laboratory. Dr. Lightner Witmer, the successor of Dr. Cattell, was a student of his, and also of Wundt. Thus the laboratory of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania was one of the earliest outgrowths of the great foundation of Prof. Wundt at Leipsic. The German laboratory is more of an institution for conducting and encouraging original research than for giving instruction. The American laboratories tend to subordinate original research to teaching, or at least equal prominence is given to both. The psychological laboratories at the university are situated in the biological building. Psychology, as one of the sciences of human life, thus takes its place among the other biological sciences. Its connection with philosophy has been a close one, and will probably always remain so. Physiological and experimental psychology are required courses in the philosophy group of undergraduate studies, as well as forming parts of the natural history and biological courses. The work of this department consists of undergraduate courses in physiological and
experimental psychology and graduate courses of comparative studies of systems, child psychology, and laboratory work. The laboratories have a complete equipment of all necessary apparatus, including instruments for measuring the time it requires to react to a sound, light, touch, or electric spark. The essential instruments of the series are two time-recording devices, the chronoscope and the chronograph. By means of many experiments with the chronoscope, it has been found that multiplication and division are longer processes than addition and subtraction. Thus, it takes every subject a little longer to think that two times five is ten than that two plus five is seven. Experiments with the chronoscope are being made on the simple reaction time of all classes of persons, and on the time that it requires them to perform simple movements. The movements tested are of the right and left hand, both from the body and toward the body. It is found that Indians are the shortest reactors, but they can not make the movements of the arms much more rapidly than whites or blacks. Experiments are also being made for the purpose of studying the effect of mental states upon muscle contractions. If the tendon just below the knee-cap be struck, it is known that the foot kicks out. This is called the knee-jerk. It varies greatly from time to time in amount. Mental conditions affect it; a sound or an intense light will increase it. Many experiments show that a mental state instantaneously alters the conditions of muscle contractions, even though such muscle contractions be not directly associated with that mental state.
Pedagogy is a subject closely related to philosophy and psychology, but its introduction into American universities is comparatively recent. Probably the University of Michigan first demonstrated what could be done in a strictly professional way to fit young men and women for the best positions in the school system, when, in 1879, the department of the Science and Art of Teaching was organized. The subject was brought into prominence at the University of Pennsylvania in 1891, when the Public Education Association of Philadelphia appropriated two hundred and fifty dollars toward the establishment of a chair of Pedagogy in the university. This was followed by a sufficient appropriation by the university to establish such a professorship, beginning in the autumn of 1894. Dr. Martin G. Brumbough was called to the chair, and in one year the wisdom of establishing the new department has been demonstrated. Graduate courses in the institutes and the history of education are offered, besides which there is a Saturday class open to the teachers of Philadelphia and vicinity. The enlargement of university Pedagogy has been one of the great needs of the State and the nation, and the present movement will result in calling to the university the best men to examine these questions in their universal relations and study education as philosophy.
While the departments of History and Politics are not within the scope of this paper, the sociological field work, recently begun by Dr. Samuel M. Lindsay, of the Wharton School of Finance and Economy, promises results of the greatest interest to science, and deserves a brief discussion here. Dr. Lindsay studied sociological methods in Paris and other European cities. In 1894, Prof. M. Cheysson, of the École libre des sciences politiques at Paris, made a splendid beginning in the way of sociological field work. With his students, regular excursions were made to the shops, schools, restaurants, stores, and factories of the city. In every case the students came away with valuable impressions and new light on the many problems of the management of labor. At present Dr. Lindsay is carrying out a similar plan of sociological excursions at the university. Regular trips are made to the large business establishments, and to the various charitable and reformatory institutions, slum districts, etc. A thorough investigation of the condition of the colored population of Philadelphia is contemplated in the near future. An assistant in sociology is to be appointed for next year, whose special work will be an investigation of the negro, Italian, and other foreign population. The College Settlement Association of Philadelphia will co-operate with the university in this work, by furnishing an assistant in carrying on the proposed investigation.
An important contribution to science has recently been made by Dr. George E. Fisher and Dr. Isaac J. Schwatt, of the mathematical department of the university, in their translation into English of Durfège's Elements of the Theory of Functions. Dr. Schwatt has also written A Geometrical Treatment of Curves which are Isogonal Conjugate to a Straight Line. This work called forth the following commendation from the eminent French mathematician Vigarié: "The work has been admirably conceived, and in my belief it is the first essay of the kind that has ever been published."
As early as 1775 David Rittenhouse, sometime vice-provost, published an oration on astronomy, but wrought more than he wrote. The erection of an astronomical observatory as a department of the university has been an unfulfilled desire until the present. In 1876, Reese Wall Flower, of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, bequeathed to the university a large sum of money for the erection of an astronomical observatory. Among the assets turned in to the university as a part of this sum was the farm in Delaware County known as the Flower farm. It happily offered the most available site for the observatory, the erection of which is now under way. The observatory buildings, three in number, consist of the equatorial building, the meridian building, and the residence of the director. Prof. Charles L. Doolittle, late of the Lehigh University. The principal instruments comprising the equipment are an equatorial of eighteen-inch aperture, with spectroscope; a meridian circle and a zenith telescope; and a three-inch universal transit. Graduate students in astronomy will be instructed in the details of observatory practice, and will be expected to participate in the regular work. The outlined plan contemplates systematic observation of comets and small planets, investigation of various latitudes, and spectroscopy. A small observatory for the convenience of undergraduate students will also be erected in the Botanical Garden on the university grounds, thus making the large observatory free for advanced work.
The John Harrison Laboratory of Chemistry, recently added to the group of imposing university buildings, affords superior facilities for scientific research and investigation. This large building contains on the first floor a laboratory for beginners that will accommodate over three hundred persons. There are also assaying rooms provided with twelve large furnaces, a balance room, a gas-analysis room, and a technical laboratory where preparations can be made upon a large scale. The second and third floors contain museums, lecture rooms, and private laboratories for advanced students. Electrolytic work is a leading feature in the laboratory. Since 1888 sixty-three investigations have been made relating to the use of the electric current in the
determination and separation of metals. These include studies in the above, and also in derivatives of what may be called the rare metals. At present, important investigations are being made in the following subjects: Electrolytic determination of the atomic weight of mercury: atomic weight of arsenic; and two investigations involving a study of the very rare minerals columbium and tantalum. Within the past few years, nine important theses, the work of graduate students, have been published, and at present there are fifteen persons pursuing chemistry as a major subject for the Ph. D. degree. Dr. Edgar F. Smith, the Professor of Chemistry, is much interested in special electrolytic work. His book on Electro-Chemical Analysis has recently been translated into German by Dr. Max Ebeling, of the Technical School of Berlin.
For more than a century and a half Philadelphia has evinced a profound tendency toward studies in the natural sciences. Bartram's Botanical Garden was started in 1728, and Marshall's in 1773. During the past century the university made repeated attempts to establish studies in the natural sciences, and these efforts were finally ended, in 1884, in the organization and opening of the Biological School. Just before this. Dr. Horace Jayne, of the university, had gone abroad to examine the most celebrated
laboratories of the Old World. He became fully convinced of the need in Philadelphia of a well-equipped biological school, separate and distinct from any other. He gave himself to the task of developing the school, and Provost William Pepper joined heartily in the movement. Although the services of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences have been vast, its legitimate work has been only original investigation. The general scientific instruction in classes and by laboratory work remained for the Biological School to do. A further advance in higher education was made by opening the school to both sexes alike. In this school has been developed a complete system of education, different from but equal in value to the ordinary college course. It fills a long-felt want in higher education, by allowing youth of different predilections a choice between two equally valuable lines of mental training. The laboratories of the school are thoroughly equipped with material for research and investigation. The museums are rich in complete articulated skeletons for the study of comparative osteology. The conservatory is filled with a representative collection of plants, and botany is studied from the living organisms. The Botanical Garden, which of late years has not been improved, owing to the lack of funds, is now being beautified by laying out paths, erecting mounds, and the construction of an artificial lake. Dr. Macfarlane, the Professor of Botany, anticipates making it one of the best botanical gardens in the country. For the purpose of procuring rare seeds to place in the garden. Dr. Macfarlane has prepared a list of eight hundred different kinds of seeds to be exchanged with botanical gardens throughout the world. Within the past two years one thousand different kinds have been received from twenty-one gardens located in America, Europe, and Asia. A number of original investigations have been conducted in the school which have produced important economic and scientific results. These studies, published in the contributions from the Botanical and Zoölogical Laboratory, consist of Maize: A Botanical and Economic Study, by Dr. John W. Harshberger; The Correlations of the Volumes and Surfaces of Organisms, by Dr. John A. Ryder; The Embryos of Bats, by Dr. Harrison Allen; and a number of other important works.
Medical science at the university assumes great importance, on account of its early historical foundation. A great stride has recently been made in the progress of the science at the university by the establishment of a four years' course of study and by the opening of new laboratories and museums for research and investigation. The instruction of the medical department of the university is conducted in the Medical Hall, Laboratory Building, the University Hospital, the Pepper Laboratory of Clinical Medicine, the Laboratory of Hygiene, and the Wistar Institute of Biology and Anatomy. It will be impossible even to enumerate all the researches and investigations made in the various medical laboratories. The subject of medical chemistry has for many years been given great prominence. Since 1818 this chair has been held in succession by Dr. Coxe, Dr. Robert Hare, Dr. James B. Rogers, Dr. Robert E. Rogers, and Dr. Theodore G. Wormley, the present incumbent, who was elected in 1877. Dr. Wormley has attained a world-wide reputation by his work on The Microchemistry of Poisons. The course in chemistry amounts to three hours' work per week for two years. There are two chemical laboratories in the medical department, in which practical examinations are made of urine and animal fluids, and of the recognition and recovery of poisons from the animal body. This work is supplemented by a lecture course for two years. Realizing the importance of the subject of medical chemistry, the university authorities are contemplating the erection of a new laboratory equipped with every modern appliance and facility for original work. Perhaps the most important contribution from the Laboratory of Physiology since 1879 is the memoir on the Venom of
Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology, Medical Department.
the Rattlesnake, by Dr. S. Weir Mitchell and Dr. Edward T. Reichert, in which it was shown for the first time that the toxic principles of venom are albuminous substances, and this laid the foundation of the enormous amount of work in the development of our knowledge of toxalbumins, etc. The Wistar and Harner Museum, founded nearly a century ago, is the largest and richest of the kind in the United States, containing not only a great variety of specimens illustrating the normal and morbid anatomy of every part of the human body, but also a large number of preparations in comparative anatomy. In 1892 the Wistar Institute was established, being the first in America open to the public. General Isaac J. Wistar has given to the Institute a large and costly fireproof building, together with a sufficient endowment to provide means for the original work for which it is intended. While the museum is free for the inspection of all teachers and students, the object of its laboratories is to afford facilities to advanced students only, and the institute is not to supersede the elementary instruction of undergraduate students of the university.
The university aims not only to equip physicians with the skill to combat disease, but also to send forth missionaries of health to provide for the hygienic needs of the people. For this purpose, in 1892, the Institute of Hygiene was established. The discoveries of Pasteur led up to Koch's convincing proof of the part played by minute organisms in the causation of tubercle. One disease after another has been traced to its cause in some tiny agent of mischief. Realizing the value of the many ways thus open to beneficent knowledge, Mr. Henry C. Lea offered to provide the means for the construction of a building for the Institute of Hygiene. The building was completed in 1892, and Dr. John S. Billings became the director. The laboratory is the first structure of its kind erected in the United States, and it opens a comparatively new field of work in this country. Regular courses are given in practical hygiene, bacteriology, and physiological chemistry. The following important investigations have already been made: Sewer gas—a chemical, physical and bacteriological investigation, by Dr. A. C. Abbott, First Assistant; a chemical and bacteriological study of the Schuykill and Delaware water supply of Philadelphia, by Dr. J. H. Wright, Scott Fellow, 1892-93; investigation into the nature and cause of membranous rhinitis, by Dr. M. P. Ravenel, Assistant in Bacteriology; investigation on the influence of light on bacteria, by Dr. J. S. Billings and Dr. A. W, Peckham. The most important contribution to science from the new Laboratory of Hygiene is the one recently made by John S. Billings, M. D., S. Weir Mitchell, M. D., and D. H. Bergey, B. S., M. D., Assistant in Chemistry in the Laboratory, on the Composition of Expired Air and its Effects upon Animal Life. This valuable study has been published under a grant from the Hodgkins Fund of the Smithsonian Institution. The results obtained in this research indicate that in the air expired by lower animals or by man there is no peculiar organic matter which is poisonous to the animals mentioned, excluding man, and that the injurious effects of such air appeared to be due entirely to the diminution of oxygen or the increase of carbonic acid.
The establishment of the Laboratory of Hygiene was the beginning of the realization of a fond dream that Dr. William Pepper had entertained for many years, that a happy time would come when well-equipped laboratories with adequate endowment would offer the chance for original investigation in medical science. The establishment of this laboratory was followed by Dr. Pepper's gift of the Laboratory of Clinical Medicine, in 1895, founded in memory of his father, the late Dr. William Pepper. The laboratory is a large building of four floors, admirably adapted to the purposes of original work. The gift is unique, in that
it is made for the specific purpose of promoting and stimulating original research and improvements in methods of diagnosing and treating the diseases of human beings, and of giving advanced and special instruction to men who have already obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine. The University Hospital will thus serve new uses in the promotion of knowledge, and the investigating laboratory in close connection gives the strongest possible expression to the influence of scientific work upon practical medicine. Dr. William H. Welch said, "To the small number of existing clinical laboratories, the William Pepper Laboratory of Clinical Medicine is a most notable addition, being the first laboratory of the kind in this country, and it is not surpassed by any in foreign countries."
The twelve years' existence of the veterinary department of the university has measured the most eventful and prosperous period in the history of veterinary science in this country. Among the most valuable results of veterinary work at the university have been the introduction in this country of some of the successful practices of foreign veterinarians in regard to the suppression of diseases among animals and their transmission to men. In this connection the most noted achievement has been the introduction of tuberculin as a diagnostic for detecting tuberculosis in cattle. The valuable and well-known experiments of Dr. E. O. Shakespeare on infectious diseases of swine, and on tetanus, were also conducted at the veterinary department of the university.
The university has taken a new departure in order to make its treasures of art and science accessible to the people. Systematic Saturday courses were opened in the college two years ago for teachers unable to take the regular graduate work of the university. These courses have become so popular that one hundred and eighty-one teachers are now doing special work in the various departments. Estimating that each teacher represents forty pupils, the university, by means of these special courses, exerts a direct influence on more than seven thousand individuals. Dr. Edward Brooks, Superintendent of the Schools of Philadelphia, stated recently that the city school principals in Dr. Fullerton's graduate class alone represented twenty-five thousand pupils. This is but one step toward giving to the general public a share in university instruction, too often restricted to a few. With free museums, new laboratories and new methods, and more liberal encouragement from the State, the university is rapidly approaching the ideal expressed by Prof. Calvin Thomas:
Provost Harrison's great influence with the people of Philadelphia, with his own generosity, has resulted in gifts to the university during the past two years of one and a half million dollars. University instruction, from its very nature, can not be self-supporting, for universities are, after all, charities on a large scale. The recognition which the university is now obtaining from the city gives us every reason to believe that the efforts of the provost will make it possible for us, within the next few years, to do for the educational life of the community, in an adequate degree, what a university as a center of higher culture should do, and at the same time to make large contributions to the sum of human knowledge.