Popular Science Monthly/Volume 81/November 1912/The Progress of Science

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PSM V81 D522 New york state education building.png

New York State Education Building.

 
THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE DEDICATION OF THE NEW YOKE STATE EDUCATION BUILDING

The New York State Education Building was dedicated on October 14, with ceremonies commensurate with the magnificence of the building and the importance of the educational work of the state which it represents. The principal address was made by the commissioner of education, Dr. Andrew S. Draper, to whose efforts the building is in large measure due, and there was! a program extending over three days, with a number of important addresses. These included one by Dr. William H. Maxwell, superintendent of the schools of New York, on behalf of elementary education, one by Dr. J. C. Schwab, librarian of Yale University, on behalf of the state library, one by Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn, president of the American Museum of Natural History. on behalf of the state museum, and one by Dr. Van Hise, president of the University of Wisconsin, representing the work in educational extension for which that university has accomplished so much. Ambassador Whitelaw Reid, chancellor of the University of the

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Loggia, behind the South Colonnade.

State of New York, came from England to preside and to deliver one of the addresses.

The University of the State of New York was created to supervise colleges and academies by the legislature in 1784, at its first session after the peace, and the Department of Education was created in 1812 to supervise the state system of common schools. In both respects New York led the other states and it may be all countries. The two departments were united by law in 1904, and they now have an impressive building to represent their work. The need of such a building was urged by the commissioner of education in 1905 and recommended by the regents, and in 1906 the legislature appropriated some four million dollars for the building and its site. As a result of an elaborate architectural competition, in which sixty-three designs were submitted, the plans of Messrs. Palmer and Hornbostel were accepted, and the building shown in the accompanying illustrations has now been erected.

The facade consists of a great colonnade of many Corinthian columns, behind which is a series of semi-circular openings allowing a large window area. The end facades are modifications of the front, the columnar treatment being carried across the ends. The front and end facades of the building are of white marble and terra cotta on a dark granite base. The basement contains rooms for service of all kinds, the lower part of the auditorium and the lower floors of the great book stack of the library. The first floor contains rooms for the regents and the commissioner of education with other offices, including those for the library division and state examination board. The second floor contains reading rooms opening on the stack room, with a capacity of two million volumes. The third floor contains offices and work rooms for the examination division and extension division and the library school, and the upper part of the library. The fourth floor is devoted entirely to the state museum and contains its collections in geology, mineralogy, paleontology,

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Dome of the Foyer, looking into the Hall of Zoology.

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Part of the Hall of Geology.

zoology, botany and archeology. The principal room is 570 feet in length and 50 feet in width, and is lighted from above. The offices of the director of the museum, Dr. J. W. Clarke, and his assistants are placed on a mezzanine, adjacent to the exhibition rooms.

The building should have been completed on January 1, 1911, in which case the collections of the education department and the state library would have escaped the serious injury caused by the fire which destroyed the west half of the capitol on March 29, 1911. The legislature has, however, appropriated a million and a quarter dollars to | reestablish and enlarge the state library, which in size ranks fourth among the libraries of the country. The state museum has admirable collections due to the long line of distinguished men who have been connected with it. New York state spends annually about seventy-five million dollars for education, and it is becoming that it should now have a building which suitably represents the magnitude and importance of its educational work.

 

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS OF THE UNITED STATES

The value of the farm products of the United States has been increasing year by year. If their value in 1899 is represented by 100, the increase for each of the following six years was about six points; for 1906 the increase was 10, for 1907 it was 15 and for 1909 it was 16. There was a lowering in 1910 of the rate of increase to less than two, the point then reached being 184.3, or nearly double the value twelve years before. In 1911, the decline shown in 1910 became emphasized, and the index number fell to

178.4. The total value of farm products was $277,000,000 under the total for 1910.

In the report of the secretary of agriculture, from which these figures are taken, the decline is attributed to conditions of climate, there having been a combination of hot weather and a deficiency of rainfall in the early part of the year. The loss, however, is due to animal products and not to crops, the former having decreased over $300,000,000 in value, and the latter having gained nearly $50,000,000. The total value of farm products reached The great total of eight billion four hundred and seventeen million dollars.

Corn is the leading crop of the country, being double in value that of cotton and being three quarters the total production of the world. The | amount produced last year was a little under the average for the preceding five years, but the value was greater than ever before. The United States produces about three fifths of the cotton of the world and the exports, amounted last year to $585,000,000, or more than a quarter of all exports. The crop of cotton last year was the largest ever grown, but the price declined. Hay, which stands next to cotton and is close to it in value, gave last year the smallest crop produced since 1888. Wheat, worth about $600,000,000, was in quantity about five per cent, below the five-year average. Oats, fifth in order of value, decreased in quantity, but rose in price. Potatoes yielded about 90 per cent, of the average production, but the crop sold for more than ever before. Next in order of value were barley, tobacco, flaxseed, rye, sugar beets, hops, rice and buckwheat. The refined beet sugar produced in the country greatly increased, amounting to the value of $90,000,000, while cane sugar is valued at $45,000,000.

According to preliminary official reports the crops in 1912 will surpass all others in the history of this country. Eight billion dollars a year for farm products is an enormous sum. We should not, however, forget that at least one fourth of this vast amount represents the natural fertility of the soil which we are consuming. So much should surely be saved for permanent improvements, buildings, tools, stock, roads, etc., and the most profitable and permanent of all investments, the education, health and welfare of the people.

 

SCIENTIFIC ITEMS

We record with regret the deaths of Dr. Lewis Boss, director of the Dudley Observatory, Albany; of Professor Morris Loeb, the distinguished chemist of New York City; of Dr. Leonard W. Williams, instructor in comparative anatomy at the Harvard Medical School, and of Professor Williston S. Hough, dean of the Teachers College and professor of philosophy at the George Washington University.

Dr. Alexis Carrel, of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, has, according to cablegrams from Stockholm, been awarded the Nobel prize in medicine. Dr. Carrel, who was born in France in 1873, has carried forward important research work in experimental pathology, physiology and surgery.—Mr. A. Wendell Jackson, who has arranged a loan of $50,000,000 to China, in opposition to the offers of the financiers of the six great powers, is a mining engineer who was formerly professor of mineralogy and economic geology at the University of California. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a fellow of the Geological Society of America.

Sir W. H. White has been elected president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science for the meeting to be held next year in Birmingham.—At the eighty-fourth meeting of the German Association of Scientific Men and Physicians held recently at Münster, it was decided that next year the meeting will be held at Vienna, under the presidency of Professor H. H. Meyer.—The fourteenth meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science will be held in Melbourne in January, 1913.—The International Congress of Mathematicians recently meeting at Cambridge adjourned to meet in Stockholm in 191