« PreviousContinue »
while Mr. Fletcher, paymaster, and Dr. Simpson are who are able to cooperate are invited to participate in collecting the insects and land plants. I may say at once this important work. that the latter are of the type which one would expect The scheme of work proposed embraces the following: co find on purely oceanic islands, but their distribution (1) Simultaneous magnetic observations of any or all from island to island is interesting, as well as their pre- of the elements according to instruments at the observer's ferences for sand or rock, drought or moisture, &c., most disposal, every minute from August 29, 22h., to August 30, of the islands having definite zones with their peculiar 4h., Greenwich mean astronomical time. plants.
[To ensure the highest degree of accuracy attainable. “It is really as yet too early to say anything about the the observer should begin work early enough to have reefs here, as there are one or two places which I have everything in complete readiness in proper time. Sep not yet been able to visit. What strikes one, however, precautions taken in previous eclipse work as explained very forcibly is the comparative absence of life on them. in the journal Terrestrial Magnetism (vol. v., p. 146, and of course there are in places plenty of corals, but the vol. vii., p. 16). It is essential, as shown by past experinumber of species is quite limited. There is a fair number ence, that the same observer make the readings throughof the usual Alcyonaria, but Sponges, Hydroids, and Tuni out the entire interval. cates are very few in species and in quantity. Turbellaria (2) At magnetic observatories, all necessary precautions are very rare, while Molluscs, Echinoderms, and Crustacea should be taken so that the sell-recording instruments will are few in species and, except certain common forms, not be in good operation, not only during the proposed interval. numerous. Ptychodera we have obtained, as well as a but also for some time before and after, and eye readings few Sipunculids, but Amphioxus and Thalassema we have should be taken in addition wherever it be convenient. not found. At Minikoi in two tides I have brought to [It is recommended that, in general, the magnetographs the camp as great a variety of animals as Cooper and be run on the usual speed throughout the interval, and I have obtained here working ten tides up to the present. that, if a change in the recording speed be made, every Indeed, life here is strictly limited in variety, and, when precaution possible be taken to guard against instrumental the marine collections have been fully worked up, one is changes likely to affect the continuity of the base lines.) inclined to anticipate, even so early, that some definite (3) Atmospheric electricity observations should be made light will be thrown on the distance to which the larve to the extent possible by the observer's equipmert and of marine animals can cross the open ocean, on the dis personnel at his disposal. tribution, in fact, of marine animals. The same, too, is (4) Meteorological observations in accordance with the true as well of the marine plants, nullipores alone being | observer's equipment should be made at convenient periods common.
(as short as possible) throughout the interval. It is “I am now endeavouring to work up the physical con | suggested that, at least, temperatures be read every fifth ditions of the atoll so as to find, if possible, whether there minute (directly after the magnetic reading for that is any physical cause for the comparative paucity of free minute). living animals. I am sending Cooper in the ship to (5) Observers in the belt of totality are requested to morrow to Diego Garcia, where he will have four or five take the magnetic reading every fifteen seconds during days while she is coaling to examine the land and reefs. | the time of totality, and to read temperatures as frequently I remain here, but I hope by the time of his return, in as possible. about twelve days, to have finished my work and to move (6) At those stations where the normal diurnal variation on to Peros Banhos, while the Sealark is sounding between cannot be obtained from self-recording instruments, it is the banks and round the Chagos Archipelago."
desirable to make the necessary observations for this pur
pose on as many days as possible before and after the dar The Problem of the Random Walk.
of the eclipse, and to extend the interval of observations I HAVE to thank several correspondents for assistance
given above if conditions permit. In general, those who
will have self-recording instruments have decided to run in this matter. Mr. G. J. Bennett finds that my case of
them for at least eight days before and after the day of n=3 can really be solved by elliptic integrals, and, of
the eclipse. course, Lord Rayleigh's solution for n very large is most
It is hoped that observers will send full reports of their valuable, and may very probably suffice for the purposes
work to me as soon as possible for incorporation in the I have immediately in view. I ought to have known it,
complete monograph on this subject to be published by but my reading of late years has drifted into other
the Carnegie Institution of Washington. channels, and one does not expect to find the first stage
L. A. Balfe. in a biometric problem provided in a memoir on sound.
Department Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie From the purely mathematical standpoint, it would still
Institution, Washington, D.C., July 15. be very interesting to have a solution for n comparatively small. The sections through the axis of Lord Rayleigh's frequency surface for a large are simply the “cocked
British Fruit Growing. hat” or normal curve of errors type ; for n=2 or 3 they do not resemble this form at all. For n=2, for example,
In your remarks on p. 297 (July 27) on the above subthe sections are of the form of a double U, thus UU, the
ject, you mention “ the diversity of yield from farms in whole being symmetrical about the centre vertical corre
the same neighbourhood . . . due presumably to differ.
ences of shelter and aspect." sponding to r=o, but each U itself being asymmetrical.
It is a remarkable thing
that, so far as I know, nothing has ever been done to The system has three vertical asymptotes. It would be
find out and publish the most suitable localities, as regards interesting to see how the multiplicity of types for n small passes over into the normal curve of errors when
soil and climate, for orchard planting. It is a question n is made large.
of very great complexity, and can only be dealt with The lesson of Lord Rayleigh's solution is that in open
properly by officials appointed for that purpose : but its country the most probable place to find a drunken man
importance in fruit culture is so cbvious that a considerwho is at all capable of keeping on his feet is somewhere
able expenditure would be well repaid. Few people hace
any idea of the great climatic differences in near his starting point ! KARL PEARSON.
localities within even a few hundreds of vards!
This house is on the south slope of the long range of Proposed Magnetic and Allied Observations during Lower Greensand hills which runs parallel with the Chalte the Total Solar Eclipse on August 30
range the whole length of Kent from west to east. At IN response to my appeal for simultaneous magnetic this point the slope rises steeply from 200 feet above and allied observations during the coming total solar sea-level to 500 feet, my house being about 350 fret. I eclipse, cooperative work will be conducted at stations | have carefully observed the effects of frost, &c., for the distributed practically along the entire belt of totality and | last six years, and it appears to me that the variations also at outside stations, nearly every civilised nation | in temperature in the vertical limits mentioned are much participating.
greater than would be expected. l'p to the 400-feet ronThese observations will afford a splendid opportunity tour line the climate is singularly equable, which is proved for further testing the results already obtained. All those not only by daily thermometrical observations, but by the
fact that such tender plants as Cistus purpurcus, Lam.,
map is a
stretching along the ocean south of (heiranthus mutabilis, L'Hérit., and many others have
our coastline. How far south or west this extends I survived the last six winters unprotected; while large
cannot say. The prevalence of southerly winds in the bushes of Laurustinus, Euonymus japonicus, bay, &c.,
summer time is probably due to this anticyclonic area, were evidently little, if at all, injured by the terrible and Fig. 2 on p. 111 is therefore somewhat misleading. winter of 1895. Yet, even within the limits of my own
As the sun moves north the high pressure follows it, grounds, with a rise of only 35 feet up to the 400-feet
and in June and July forms a belt across the centre of contour line, there is a marked difference of climate. On Australia. It is, however, constantly on the move from November 27, 1904, in the upper part of the garden,
west to east. A high will generally during these dahlias planted within 4 feet of a high wall facing south
months strike the west coast about, or to the north of, were blackened by frost, while in the lower garden those Perth, and gradually work across to the eastern States. in the open border were uninjured.
As it passes our wind sets in strongly from the eastward, The difference between the climate of this place and gradually veering more northerly. By the time the the Public Gardens at Maidstone is fairly shown by the
high reaches, say, Adelaide, our wind is N.N.E., the following comparative statement, the temperatures from
isobars are running nearly parallel to the west coast, and the latter having been taken when I chanced to pass the we are looking out for a "low"
to approach from the place where they are put up, and therefore not selected :- ocean. As a general rule, the low" is first heralded from
Cape Leeuwin, the extreme S.W. corner of Australia, but May 11, 1904
in shade rain sets in with a N. and N.W. wind all along our west l'lcombe ... 5090
coast as far as the N.W. cape. It is heaviest in the 39'5
35-5(corrected) 1095 extreme S.W. The “low generally passes south of Maidstone 560 38.0
30 0 180 Cape Leeuwin and across the bight 'to Tasmania. So May 28 to 30, 1905
long as our wind, and especially that at the Leeuwin, has Ulcumbe, 28th 67:6 47.5
any northerly component, we are pretty certain to have 29th 70.6
more rain, but as soon as it reaches W.S.W., and especially 30th 76'0
52'0 Maidstone, 28th 560
240 S.W., we anticipate clearing weather.
370 Whence these lows come before they reach us is 29th 810
39'0 therefore a question of great importance. I believe the 30th 850 50'0
usual theory upon this point is incorrect. That is, that The maxima in both cases are those of the previous these “lows" are northerly extensions of the Antarctic day. Maidstone is seven miles from here, and lies in
low-pressure belt, which sweep past the Cape of Good the valley of the Medway.
Hope, and after the lapse of a few days reach Cape Yet, in spite of the fact that the thermometer, even on Leeuwin, and so travel along the south coast of Australia. the grass, has not been below 32° since April 3,' we are I think this is incorrect for several reasons. In the first no better off for apples than our neighbours! The apples place, I have endeavoured to trace notable storms either did not begin to flower until the end of April, so some forward from the Cape to Australia, or backwards from other cause than frost must be found to account for the Australia to the Cape, and have not been able to find bad crop. This is an example of the difficulties of the
any connection whatever. Secondly, from theoretical conqurstion; other complications are the nature, mechanical siderations, a rotating body of air in the latitude of the and chemical, of the soil; period of blooming of Cape would possess a sufficient southerly component to different varieties of the same fruit; shelter from the its motion of translation to carry it well south of Australia. generally prevailing cold winds in spring, &c. Still, some Thirdly, the more direct evidence stated in the next etfort should be made to ascertain the conditions under paragraphs. which, on an average of years, the best crops can be During the summer months, January, February, and obtained, and so avoid the waste of time, money, and land March, there is a class of storm which strikes our N.W. that has been incurred in hundreds of instances by plant- coast and then travels across the State in a S. or S.S.E. ing orchards in unsuitable localities, while hundreds of direction, emerging in the Great Australian Bight, and acres of suitable land are used for corn and other crops travelling thence in an E.S.E. or S.E. direction towards that would grow as well elsewhere.
Tasmania. Before striking the N.W. coast it can some
ALFRED O. WALKER. times be traced from the extreme north of the State moving Clcombe Place, near Maidstone.
towards the S.W., down the coast, but keeping well out
to sea, then gradually recurving, and striking the coast Islands for Weather Forecasting Purposes.
about lat. 20°. The existence of this class of storm and Is NATURE for June 1 is a very suggestive article by
its approximate path is now beyond doubt, though until Dr. Lockyer under the above heading, in which specific ology. I think, however, it would now be safe to say
recently it was ignored in practical Australian meteorreference is made to the meteorology of Western Australia. It is becoming increasingly evident that the Indian Ocean
that it dominates the weather of at least the western and and its neighbouring continents form one of the most
southern portions of Australia during the summer months, interesting fields in the world for the study of meteor
though on account of the paucity of stations in its track ology, and as the officer-in-charge of an important section
our knowledge of the various conditions is at present of this region I am most anxious to assist in this study
elementary. It is important to bear in mind that the study in any way possible. Our progress will be slow if we
of Western Australian meteorology is in its infancy. Not start with incorrect theories, and my present object is to
until the last few years was the importance of this class point out the probable inaccuracy of a few of the funda
of disturbance recognised, and therefore any theories which mental concepts, and to indicate briefly a few of the
had been formed require to be modified. During the last observed facts which seem to have a bearing upon the
two years evidence seems to me to be accumulating that tshole matter.
this particular class of storm persists throughout the year, There is little or no rain in Perth of a
and is, in fact, the dominating influence in Australian
monsoonal character. The wettest months are May, June, July, and
meteorology. If this be so, it can easily be seen how August, during which time the prevailing winds are not
profoundly older theories are affected, and how necessary from the S. or S.W. Rain is almost always associated
it becomes to make a fresh start. with the passage of a “ low" along the south coast,
Even during the summer the disturbances do not all setting in with the wind at N. or N.W., and finishing
follow along the same track. Sometimes they strike the when the wind veers to S.W. and S.
cape, and There is a tendency throughout the year for the winds
occasionally they just miss the coast, but can be traced, to alternate from the eastward during the forenoon to the
following it down, but keeping out to sea, and eventually S. or S.W. in the afternoon. This is most marked in the
rounding Cape Leeuwin and behaving like an ordinary summer months, when the prevailing feature of the weather
winter storm. It is this latter path to which I wish to 1 Vet severe frost with great damage to crops in the Dartsord, Rocheste,
direct special attention. and Ho, districts; also at Maidstone and Sevenvaks on May 22-3, is
In the winter, as a general rule, the first intimation of reported in the Kent Messenger of Mav 27.
an approaching " low" is obtained from Cape Leeuwin,
and the storm centre invariably passes to the south of that committee commenced to take evidence on Novembe spot. It was but natural, therefore, to suppose that the 8, 1904, and finished on February 17 of this year. storm came from the W. or W.S.W. of the Leeuwin, and
More is heard about the loss of the synthetic colour the winter and summer disturbances have been regarded trade to the country than about the loss of any othe" as two distinct varieties. Within the last two years, how
industry, or about the failure to establish new induever, circumstances have been noted which seem to show
tries which flourish on Continental or American soil. that there is no real distinction between the two. In July, 1904, I first directed public attention to the fact that
The loss of the coal-tar colour industry is various certain of our winter storms could be distinctly traced
ascribed to incompetence on the part of our manudown the west coast, affecting N.W. districts first, and facturers and their failure to realise the importance then travelling in a S. or S.S.E. direction. I have gone of employing-and paying for-highly trained scien somewhat fully into this matter in my “ notes
tific chemists, to our patent laws, to trade protectior. climate of Western Australia for the month of July, 1904, abroad, and to the excessive duty charged upori and when once the fact has been indicated it becomes easy alcohol in this country. The report with which s to find numbers of cases when winter storms can be seen are at present dealing has to do with the last question to have a considerable southerly component of motion: --duty-free alcohol. A careful perusal of the ques Only a few days ago, for instance, a disturbance struck
tions to and the answers of the witnesses before the the N.W. coast in about lat. 20°, and travelled in a S.E.
commission, which included most of the well-known direction across the State, giving rain just along the fringe names in the coal-tar colour industry in this country, of our most eastern settlements, probably much heavier in the interior desert, and causing a heavy downpour in
does not convince one that this special industry has South Australia from the centre to the south coast. Again been lost to the country owing to the high cost of on May 20 a disturbance approached the N.W. cape,
alcohol. causing rain there, next day being definitely located in the
The amount of alcohol used at the present day for ocean a little to the S.W. of Perth, and certainly consider- preparing the dyes is not very large. At one time ably north of Cape Leeuwin, then continued to travel many of the dyes were sold as alcoholic extracts, and down the coast, rounded the Leeuwin, and behaved thence- alcohol was somewhat largely used in the preparation forward just like any other winter disturbance.
of the products. Since the introduction of the azo There is, therefore, plenty of evidence that “ lows” do dyes, however, alcohol is not nearly so largely emtravel down the Indian Ocean, even in the winter months, ployed as formerly. There are, indeed, certain dyes in a southerly or S.E. direction towards Cape Leeuwin, in which the methyl or ethyl radical is introduced and probably all, or nearly all, of our storms come in this during the process of manufacture, and these require way. If this be so, the charts on p. ii are misleading. Our rain certainly does not come mainly with a S.W. or
the employment of methyl or ethyl alcohol in their S. wind, nor is there (probably) any stationary high
preparation, and, of course, in this case the alcohol as marked. Instead there is a series of “highs" moving cannot be recovered; for example, the dyes, in towards our west coast, broken up by a series of " lows,' which dimethyl aniline is the starting product. which pass between and make for the extreme S.W. corner
British manufacturers who desire to make these of Australia. The weather which we specially desire to colours import all the dimethyl or diethyl aniline predict comes with these “ lows." Several things follow from abroad. It came out, however, in the evidence from this. One is that the Amsterdam and St. Paul that one large aniline dye company which desired to Islands are far too much to the southward to be of any manufacture dimethyl aniline obtained Government use to us for practical forecasting purposes, though a few sanction to employ methyl alcohol mixed with one. years' records from there would be exceedingly valuable. twentieth of i per cent. of mineral naphtha-" a con. Another is that Dr. Lockyer's theory about the S.E. trades and S.W. monsoon requires some modification, though
dition which the company stated would suit their purit is very probable that the Indian and Australian
poses.” Although from the evidence before the com weathers are inter-dependent and require to be studied
mission it appeared that there was “a substantial together. A third is that Sir John Eliot's proposal for profit to be made upon the manufacture of dimethyl an Empire study of meteorology ought to be acted upon aniline,” for some or other it was never as soon as possible, and all our observations coordinated manufactured. to some definite purpose. A fourth is that, failing this,
Reviewing the evidence of the different persons conAustralian meteorologists ought to make every effort to nected with the coal-tar dye industry, one is brought bring about the establishment of a central Australian to the conclusion that, although the high price of bureau for the study of scientific meteorology, as recom- alcohol has militated against the success of the inmended at the recent conference held in Adelaide.
dustry, yet there are other even more potent factors
W. ERNEST COOKE. which have prevented the industry being successful. Perth Observatory, Western Australia, July 3.
Manufacturers, with a few isolated exceptions. have
not even been successful in meeting Continental com DUTY-FREE ALCOHOL.
petition in dyes which do not require the use of
alcohol. Prof. Green probably came very close tu HOWY
OW far the trade in synthetic colours and fine the truth when he said, in reply to a question as to
chemicals has been lost to the country through what he considered the cause of the decline of the the heavy customs restrictions placed upon the use of coal-tar colour industry :— alcohol is a question which has been agitating manu- “ They (the manufacturers) did not realise the facturers for many years past. On the one hand, we great importance of research; the great importance are told that the entire chemical trade has been of theory. They expected to see an immediate result diverted from our shores because of the high cost of from experiments, and if they did not get an immealcohol; on the other, that the alcohol question has diate result they considered that they were wasting very little to do with the matter. After the agitation their money. They did not employ a sufficient numfor the use of duty-free alcohol had been going on ber of research chemists, and they did not pay those for some years, and owing to its increasing intensity research chemists they had to encourage them to reand to the pertinacity of a few, the Government in main. . : . There may be other contributory causes. the autumn of last year appointed a departmental such as the patent laws and this question of the spirit. committee to take evidence in order to find out There seems to be a strong consensus of opinion whether the high duty on alcohol really was the that in the xylonite and gunpowder manufacton factor which caused the practical extinction of the leave to use pure alcohol is much to be desired aniline dve industry and accounted for our inability Xylonite when made with methylated spirit is into found an industry in fine synthetical products. The clined to darken, and there is thus a difficulty in
making materials which should be white or ivory interest of any chemist in yet; but they are a very coloured.
great disadvantage.' In the gunpowder manufactory, if pure alcohol were Those connected with the motor-car industry and used to dehydrate the material the dangerous drying the use of alcohol for motor engines in place of petrol process by heat could be done away with, because seemed to consider that very much better results can the material moistened with alcohol can be directly be obtained with pure alcohol than with methylated placed in the mixers containing acetone, &c., the spirit. A perusal of the evidence leads to the conmoistness due to alcohol not interfering with clusion that further experimenting in this direction the process of manufacture, whereas that due would be advisable. One is certainly inclined to the to water is harmful. For making so-called
opinion that the presence of bases would be harmful, densed " powders which are totally dissolved in the as these would probably on combustion be converted solvent the action of methylated spirit is objection into products which would corrode the metal work. able; as one of the witnesses stated, “you cannot Of course, if alcohol is to be employed for motor purcontrol the surface of the grain with a methylated poses it would of necessity require to be denatured, ether mixture in the same way that you can with a because it would then be sold in large and small pure alcohol-ether.” To a large extent the lack of quantities at every little oil-shop in the kingdom. If initiative on the part of British powder manufac-motor-engineers wish to build alcohol engines they turers may be indirectly attributed to the high cost will have to experiment with all sorts of denaturants, of alcohol. Some lacquer manufacturers and users of and, doubtless, the excise authorities would aid them Lacquers state that lacquers made from pure alcohol in their endeavours. are very much superior to those made from msthyl- In reading through the report one is struck by the ated spirit. Mr. Bagley, the witness trom messrs. repeated reference which is made to the relative cost Samuel Heath and Sons, the largest brass-founders in of pure duty-free alcohol in the United Kingdom and the world, stated that, although they are easily able in Germany; British manufacturers do not seem able to compete with Continental manufacturers so far as to compete in the manufacture of alcohol with their their brass ware is concerned, their goods are often German rivals even when working under equal connot acceptable because of the want of durability and ditions. Further, it is a well-known fact amongst finish of the lacquering. The lacquer costs some- chemists that it is practically impossible to get really thing about 4s. per gallon, but they can, by paying good absolute alcohol of British manufacture. It is 325., obtain a lacquer made with absolute alcohol, and a remarkable fact that traces of impurities which one this is as good as the best foreign lacquer. The wit- can barely find by analysis interfere very much with ness said he was ashamed to have to confess that the smooth working of reactions in which alcohol is they could not obtain the fine finish which the employed. This fact came out again and again in Germans produced, and, as regards the French the evidence of witnesses before the committee. importers, they absolutely refused to take lacquered | Those on the committee who were there to look after articles, but bought them unlacquered and finished the interests of the excise endeavoured with great them themselves. This witness was of the opinion skill to shake the evidence on this point, explaining that the foreign lacquers were
made with pure that if the quantity of an impurity was only a fraction alcohol, but it was subsequently pointed out by the of a per cent., it surely could not possibly cause all chairman that even abroad it was denatured. On the mischie! attributed to it. The invariable reply the other hand, Mr. Gardiner, the manager of the was, the product when made with absolute alcohol firm of Messrs. A. Lambley and Sons, said that they has such and such properties, but it is either imnofcily could make lacquers as good as Continental possible or a matter of extreme difficulty to obtain the manufacturers, but that they had a large export trade same results with methylated spirit. and had no difficulty in meeting Continental compe- On the other hand, in a good many cases it apition; they very rarely used pure alcohol for making peared that sufficient experimental work had not been Lacquers.
tried. Methylated spirit had been condemned for From the extremely contradictory evidence of these manufacturing this or that article, but little or no two witnesses it would appear that it is more attempt seemed to have been made to try spirit dematter of method or knack in the manufacture than natured in other ways or to try the use of other solof methylated or pure alcohol which determines the vents. By the Act of 1902 manufacturers were allowed quality of the lacquers,
to suggest other means of denaturing the alcohol, There seems very little doubt but that the manu- and in some cases at least the excise authorities had facture of fine chemicals and synthetic perfumes is been very willing to aid them in their efforts. As a considerably interfered with owing to the British matter of fact, in manufacturing operations in Germanufacturer not being able to use duty-free alcohol. many it is rare for absolute alcohol to be employed, When methylated alcohol is employed for crystallising the alcohol generally being denatured in a way which the substances there is invariably a peculiar and dis- suits the particular manufacturer. Of course, where reeable odour attending the finished product. But the use of pure alcohol is absolutely necessary the if the manufacturer, in order to get over this diffi- German has a much lower excise duty to compete culty, employs duty-paid absolute alcohol, the in- with than the British manufacturer. That excise creased cost of manufacture is prohibitive. It was restrictions, the high duty on alcohol, and a considerstated in evidence, for example, that with regard to able amount of red tape have, in some cases, made the manufacture of phenacetin “ the duty on the the manufacture of certain products-so as to comspirit would come to 1401. on 1001. worth of the article pete with the foreign manufacturer--almost an imas imported."
possibility there can be no doubt. But why that Chloral hydrate is another substance which cannot should hinder British manufacturers who manufacprofitably be made in this country. In the manu- ture products in which alcohol is not employed it is facture of ether from methylated spirit Mr. David not easy to see: Howard stated that “if we might have pure methyl If instead of calling in an outside expert” (?) alcohol and pure ethyl alcohol, it would be a beautiful when an emergency arises the manufacturers were thing to make ether of. But the result of the ketones to employ a' certain number of well-trained chemists, and other bodies in it is that the sulphuric acid gets men who, after being on the staff for a short time, in a most horrible mess, and we get abominable com- should be far and away superior to outside experts, pounds which I have never been able to excite the there is but little doubt that fewer emergencies would
arise and that a progressive and ever-improving con. ample recognition is given to A. G. Bain, the father cern would be the result. There was a great deal of South African geology, and also to Stow, More in what Dr. Nichols said in his presidential address recent workers cannot complain that their investi. to the Society of Chemical Industry-the quotation gations have been neglected. is from memory—“Never put up duplicate plant; no The book is divided into five parts. Part i. deals plant is so perfect that it cannot be improved; after with the pre-Karroo rocks, in which those of southern a plant has been in use a short time certain points Cape Colony are described in section i., and those of in which it may be improved are sure to be dis northern Cape Colony, the Transvaal, &c., in covered.”
section ii. This separation into sections becomes So if we are to compete with foreign competition necessary owing to the want of similarity in the no process should be worked year after year by rule succession of the pre-Cape rocks in the two regions. of thumb, otherwise manufacturers will find their pro | The authors naturally give somewhat more space duct being pushed out of the market by a similar but to the sequence in the Transvaal, more especially to improved product in which the brain vas been the a description of the upper division of the Witwatersmotive power for the thumb.
rand system, which includes the famous “ Banket." It is very much to be hoped that now that the It is interesting to find that the stratigraphical posimatter has been thoroughly threshed out the Govern tion and age of this well known deposit remain un. ment will step in and—while safeguarding its own solved, except that the authors consider the age to be interests and the sobriety of the workers—it will vastly newer than the Archæan rocks and greatly aid manufacturers by all means in its power by older than the Table Mountain Sandstone. enabling them to use a class of alcohol which will be suitable to their special needs.
F. MOLLWO PERKIN.
THE GEOLOGY OF
SOUTH AFRICA." TOWARDS the end of last
century it appeared as if England had lost her well earned supremacy in geological research in Africa. In Germany, elaborate treatises dealing sometimes with her own African colonies exclusively, and sometimes with that of neighbouring British territory, monthly and almost weekly appeared. French geologists, too, produced essay after essay on their African colonies and possessions. Meanwhile, England was apparently content to lag behind.
It is fitting that the visit of the British Association to one of our most famous and most remote African colonies this year should witness the publication of two geological works, of the highest scien
Fig. 1.-Contorted Band, Hospital Hill Slate, Show Yard, Johannesburg. From "The Geology of tific standing, written by our
South Africa," by F. H. Hatch and G. S. Corstorphine. own countrymen. Early this year, the comprehensive treatise by Mr. A. W. Rogers' The complicated nature of the stratigraphy of South on the geology of Cape Colony made its appearance. Africa, other than that of the peninsula, will be Now, a few months later, we have presented to us gathered from the following tables :the philosophic résumé of the geology of South Africa North of Cape Colony
Transvaal as a whole by Messrs. Hatch and Corstorphine.
Dwyka Conglomerate Both volumes supply a long-felt want. In their
Unconformity method and conciseness both are equally British.
Waterberg Series In a work treating with the richly metalliferous
Unconformity regions of the Transvaal it might have been expected
Pretoria Series that questions of economic interest would occupy
Campbell Rand and Keis Dolomite and Black Reel many pages. It is an agreeable surprise to find that
Series this is not the case. On the contrary, the geology
Veniersdorp Series of South Africa is here described in a thoroughly
Unconformity scientific manner, clearly and concisely worded. All
Witwatersrand Series essential details are brought within a compass of 312
Unconformily pages of text.
Swaziland Series In the opening chapter, on the history of research,
This table opens up a vista of infinite possibilities. 1 "The Geology of South Africa." By F. H. Hatch and G. S. Corslor.
The Karroo rocks are adequately dealt with in phine. Pp. xiv +336. (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1903 ) Price 213. net.
part ii., but in this and elsewhere Rhodesia,