Popular Science Monthly/Volume 86/June 1915/The Progress of Science

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The recent dedication of the Evans Dental Institute School of Dentistry, University of Pennsylvania, marks an epoch in the history of dental education as it formally opens the largest and best equipped plant in the world, devoted exclusively to the teaching of dental science. The standard which the Evans Institute will be able to maintain will be of the very highest type, and will result in carrying out, in the most effective manner possible, the wishes of the Philadelphia philanthropist, by whose name the institute and school will hereafter be known.

The new building is in the Tudor style of architecture which prevailed in the time of Henry VIII. and might be described as collegiate gothic, being in keeping with other late buildings, constructed of Indiana limestone and hardburnt brick. It was designed by John T. Windrim. Ground was broken on September 24, 1912, and the cornerstone was laid on May 3, 1913. The building has a frontage on Spruce Street of 242 feet, and a depth to Irving Street along Fortieth Street of 161 feet; It is built in the form of the letter H and has three stories over a high basement. The benefaction of Dr. Evans includes this building with its equipment and a substantial endowment fund.

Among the interesting features of the building are the square tower and the Evans Museum. The tower, which is at the main entrance at the center of the Spruce Street wing, is thirty-eight feet square, rising to eighty-four feet. In the center of the tower, beginning at the second story and reaching almost to the top of the third floor, is a large window, which lights the library on the second floor.

The Evans Museum occupies the east half of the Spruce Street wing, and is as nearly fire and burglar proof as modern science can make it. This houses the priceless Evans collection.

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Plan of the First Floor.

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The Operative Clinic Hall.

In the west end of the Spruce Street wing are the offices of the dean of the institution, and the board-room. The rest of the ground floor is divided into class-rooms and laboratories, the entire north wing being devoted to this purpose. To the right and left of the monumental hallway, which extends from the roof to the first floor, are rooms for various phases of clinical dental service, radiography, photography, instructors' rooms, etc., and a model dental office.

Another of the imposing features of the building is the large operative clinic hall in the north wing on the second floor. This occupies the entire wing on Irving Street and is two hundred feet long by forty-eight feet wide. This clinic room is thirty feet high, with a glass wall on the north side; the roof for a distance of about ten feet is also glass, giving all the daylight possible. The floor is covered with battleship linoleum. A gallery on the south side contains the lockers. The room is furnished with 135 chairs, each chair equipped with electric service for power and light. There is also gas, compressed air and water service to each chair.

In the south wing, on the second floor, is the library, which extends up through the third floor, with galleries on each side. From the library, on the east end, extends the main lecture hall, eighty-seven by forty-three feet, and on the west end are two smaller lecture rooms. One of the principal objects of the institute will be the encouragement of research work, and a number of rooms for that purpose are on the second floor.

The main stairway ends at the second floor, in a large hall open to the roof. The side walls of this hallway are in pinkish gray stone, and the ceiling is of metal and plaster, formed and painted to represent the carved wooden ceilings of the Tudor period. Large laboratories, with lighting similar to that in the clinic, occupy the south wing on the third floor, and other rooms for research work and post-graduate instruction in the western end. In the basement are locker rooms for the students, laboratories for mechanical dentistry, the metallurgical laboratories, and laboratories and lecture rooms for first-year men, and a restaurant for students and faculty. The power house adjoins the building on the north. This contains two boilers with a capacity of 400 horse power. The engines and electric generators are capable of producing 240 kilowatts, and will furnish power for the lighting and heating, as well as for the laboratories and the chairs in the clinic.

The School of Dentistry at the university was organized in 1878, being the third dental school in America to be connected with a university. The dental school is the most cosmopolitan of the departments of the university, its students usually representing about twenty-five foreign countries and almost every state of the union. It now has a teaching staff of eighty-three professors and instructors, and six hundred and sixty-five students. The school operates a free dispensary, in which about 40,000 cases are treated annually.

When the school was first organized, it occupied for a short time a room in the old Medical Hall (now Logan Hall), and subsequently quarters in the Hare Laboratory of Chemistry at Thirty-sixth and Spruce Streets, but in 1896 it removed to a building especially constructed for it. There its growth has been remarkable, and it has long since outgrown its "new" quarters. It now enters into its fourth home. The Thomas W. Evans Dental Institute.

By concurrent action of the trustees of The Thomas W. Evans Museum and Institute Society and the University of Pennsylvania an agreement between them was executed in 1912, by the provisions of which a cooperative affiliation of the two institutions was consummated so that the resources of both have been utilized in the creation of a dental school to be carried on "as such institutions of learning are now conducted; in Philadelphia, and not inferior to any already established," as provided for in the will of the late Dr. Thomas W. Evans, an eminent scientific man and dentist who practised in Europe, but who was born in Philadelphia, and lived in a house which stood where the building bearing his name now stands, which houses the affiliated institutions, at the northwest corner of Fortieth and Spruce Streets.


Probably no museum collection better illustrates the development of the steam engine, particularly the locomotive, than the exhibit of the U. S. National Museum. It possesses a model of a very early machine designed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1680, which was propelled by a jet of steam projected backward against the air, and a model of Denis Papin's invention of about the same time. The investigations of Savery, and Papin, and the successful experimental engines of Thomas Newcomen in 1705, with his piston and cylinder soon followed. Newcomen's ideas were improved by James Watt in 1769, who also introduced the high-pressure engines, the condenser, and later the double-acting engine. The development of the engine was advanced by Cugnot, Evans, Hornblower and Murdoch; a model of the latter's engine is on display in the museum.

Richard Trevithick made the first engine to run on rails in 1803. It has been claimed that he copied the stationary engine built in 1800 by Oliver Evans, an American, which was later attached with wheels to a scow and propelled it by steam through the streets of Philadelphia in 1804. This curious creation called the "Oruktor Amphibolis," was the first motor car to run on American soil.

A model of Trevithick's engine is to be seen in the National Museum, as is also the model of the engine employed by John Stevens in 1825, and his original tubular boiler. Other models illustrate nearly all the types which began to put in their appearance soon after 1828, when the "Stourbridge Lion" was built in England and shipped to America, where it was the first engine to run on full-sized rails. The museum possesses not only the model of this historic engine, but the original engine itself. The other original full-sized locomotive to be seen in the museum, is the "John Bull," built by George Stephenson and Sons, of England, and shipped to America for use in 1831 on the Camden and Amboy Railroad. This old relic of early railroading in America made a round trip under its own steam in 1893 from New York to Chicago, where it was exhibited at the Worlds Columbian Exposition. Among the models of early and historic locomotives are: George Stephenson's "Rocket" built in 1829; The B. & O. engine "Tom Thumb," built by Peter Cooper in 1829; the grasshopper type engine, "Arabian" of 1831; the "Best Friend" used in 1830-31; Baldwin's "Old Ironsides" constructed in 1832; the "Sandusky" built in 1837, and models of engines made by Asa Whitney, in 1840, and G. A. Nicholls in 1848. Besides the two locomotives and the numerous engine models, there are in the exhibit, coach and car models, sections of rails, spikes, wheels and models and parts of valves, pistons and other early patented accessories pertaining to locomotives and railroads, all of which go far toward completing an absorbing chapter of graphic history in connection with this interesting and important commercial development.


At Western Reserve University the ceiling and walls of the Amasa Stone Memorial Chapel have been treated for the purpose of perfecting the acoustics of the building. The chapel is one of the most beautiful Gothic churches designed by Henry Vaughan, of Boston. Unfortunately, however, as in many lofty structures, the acoustics have not been satisfactory. A series of experiments with sounding boards was made by Professor Frank P. Whitman, of the department of physics of the university, in the hope of improving conditions. Careful data obtained by Professor Whitman showed that the effect of the sounding boards was almost negligible. Acoustical experts were called upon to study the problem.

The difficulty experienced in the auditorium was found to be what is technically known as reverberation, in excessive amount. Owing to the size of the building and the consequent long distance between reflections of the sound from one surface to another, and also owing to the hard and unyielding building materials which cause only a small percentage of the sound to be absorbed at each reflection, the result was that every sound generated within the chapel persisted for a number of seconds after the source itself had ceased, thus causing great blurring and confusion in spoken addresses, owing to the overlapping of the sounds of consecutive syllables. This phenomenon has been the subject of extensive study by Professor W. C. Sabine, of Harvard

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William Healey Dall,

whose fifty years of service to science was commemorated by a banquet at Washington on April 21. when distinguished speakers gave appreciations of Dr. Dall, the Alaska pioneer, the anthropologist, the coast pilot, the malacologist, the paleontologist, the zoologist, the nomenclatorist, the poet and the man.

University, who has established the laws governing it in a series of researches conducted during the past fifteen years.

The correction of the chapel was engineered by Mr. C. M. Swan, acoustical expert of New York City, and associated with Professor Sabine. Layers of highly sound-absorptive felt were placed on a portion of the interior surfaces of the chapel, the thickness, area and location being governed by the requirements of the problem. The careful consideration of these factors is said to be essential to a successful outcome to the work, as accurate figuring must be done to produce a mean condition satisfactory both for music and speaking. An over-doing of the treatment would produce a "dead" condition and a diminution of the loudness of the sound, which would prove as objectionable in its way as the original condition of general reverberation.

The treatment was installed by a local firm of contractors under Mr. Swan's direction, and was covered with a protective and concealing membrane in such a way that the untrained eye would not perceive the change. Even the most unskilled ear, however, is quick to perceive the change which has been brought about in favor of normal conditions of hearing. It is said that the improvement in the acoustics has been remarkable and that a degree of comfort is now experienced in the use of the chapel which has never before been possible.


We record with regret the deaths of Dr. Jay W. Seaver, for twenty-five years director of the Yale gymnasium and professor of hygiene in the university; of William Harlow Reed, curator of the museum and instructor of geology in the University of Wyoming; of Mr. Richard Lydekker, F.R.S., known for his work and writings on natural science; of Dr. Arthur Sheriden Lea, formerly university lecturer at Cambridge on physiological chemistry, and of Professor Friedrich Loeffler, the distinguished pathologist, who in 1884 discovered the diphtheria bacillus.

Members of the National Academy of Sciences have been elected as follows: Dr. Charles Greeley Abbot, director of the astrophysical laboratory of the Smithsonian Institution; Dr. W. E. Castle, professor of zoology, Harvard University; Dr. G. Stanley Hall, president of Clark University and professor of psychology; Dr. Frank R. Lillie, professor of embryology. University of Chicago; Dr. Graham Lusk, professor of physiology, Cornell Medical School; Dr. Robert A. Millikan, professor of physics. University of Chicago; Dr. Alexander Smith, professor of chemistry, Columbia University; Dr. Viator C. Vaughan, professor of hygiene and physiological chemistry. University of Michigan; Dr. H. S. White, professor of mathematics, Vassar College; Dr. S. W. Williston, professor of paleontology, University of Chicago.

Mr. Andrew Carnegie's gifts to the Carnegie Institute and Institute of Technology have now reached a total of $27,000,000, his latest contribution announced at Founder's Day, on April 29, being $2,700,000. Of this latter amount $1,200,000 is for new buildings and $1,500,000 for endowment.—The campaign to raise $1,385,000 for the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N. J., has been successfully concluded. The entire indebtedness of the college, amounting to $385,000 has been cancelled, leaving $1,000,000 to be used for the erection of new buildings and for endowment.