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address to the Royal Microscopical Society. Renault's The principal article in Concrete and Constructional work ranged over the field of fossil vascular cryptogams Engineering (vol. i., No. 2) is by Captain Sewell, of the and gymnosperms, within which the real triumphs of fossil United States Army. It deals with the introduction of botany have been won. To Renault we owe the re- reinforced concrete in the United States, and is a comconstruction of that unique family the Botryopterideæ, at mentary on the various systems and methods of applying present regarded as the most authentic group of Palæozoic this material adopted in that country. The article is illusferns, also the extraordinarily perfect knowledge that we trated by views and details of important buildings. possess of the gymnospermous Cordaiteæ. Dr. Scott's address, together with a list of Renault's more important Engineers an interesting paper was read by Mr. Louis

At the last meeting of the Institution of Mechanical contributions, is published in the April number of the

Greaven on petroleum fuel in locomotives on the TehuanJournal of the society.

tepec National Railroad of America. It gives the actual DR. R. PEROTTI, writing in the Atti dei Lincei, xv., 5, results of a year's experience, and the information should describes observations on the distribution of nitrifying prove of service to others who contemplate adopting oil bacteria in Italy. Samples of soil were taken from various fuel in railway working. districts, and cultures made by Beyerinck's method, and in every case nitrifying bacteria were found in greater or

In a paper read before the Birmingham section of the

Institution of Electrical Engineers on April 25, Dr. D. K. less abundance, the best results being obtained from Rieti, Messina, and Cerignola.

Morris and Mr. G. A. Lister proposed a standard test for

transformers and transformer iron. The method involves PROF. GIACINTO MARTORELLI has had the rare fortune to but one set of connections, three instruments, and the obtain a specimen, believed to be the first, of Ross's polar normal supply, and necessitates the use of two similar gull (Rhodostethia rosea, Macgill.) from the Mediterranean, transformers. It is a modification of that first described killed in the neighbourhood of Sardinia. The specimen in in 1892 by Ayrton and Sumpner, and is an application of question reached him on January 10 of this year in the the Kapp-Hopkinson or differential method of testing directflesh, though decomposition was setting in. It appears to current machines. The behaviour of a transformer when be a young bird, being 30 centimetres in length, and loaded at various power factors is, they find, best conpossibly this may account for its being found so far from sidered by means of a regulation diagram which they its northern haunts. The discovery is announced in the have constructed. The short-circuit test can equally well Rendiconto del R. Istituto Lombardo, xxxix., 4, and the be carried out with the transformer core excited. The specimen has been stuffed and given to the Turati | three-point wattmeter method is probably the most accurate collection.

means of measuring power factor and current when carryDr. F. Eredia, of the Central Meteorological Office at

ing out single-phase tests on transformers or motors from Rome, has published in the official reports an account of

a three-phase supply. By bringing the supply to the middle a fall of dust on February 6. The occurrence was con

point in the testing transformer when carrying out the sidered to be of sufficient importance to issue circulars to

differential test, symmetrical conditions are obtained, thus various observatories requesting particulars of the fall; the permitting of a normal determination of the various losses. reports show that the dust was observed in Sicily, Lower By varying the voltage only and taking wattmeter readCalabria, and other places, accompanied by thunderstorms, ings the core loss of a transformer may be separated into rain or hail, and strong south-easterly and south-westerly hysteresis and eddy-current loss by the method of the total winds. The cyclonic conditions existing at the time would

index. Wattmeter readings in combination with the threefavour the conveyance of dust from Africa over

point method serve as the best means of measuring the

the Mediterranean in the upper regions of the atmosphere, and

temperature rise in heating tests. The method of constant although no analysis appears to have been made, the dis

induced voltage affords a ready means of finding the true tribution of barometric pressure and other conditions seem

hysteresis loss, and is probably the best way of testing to confirm the African origin of the phenomenon.

iron samples. The director of the Mauritius Observatory contributed to the eighth International Geographic Congress a useful

OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN. paper on the climate of Pamplemousses. The results of COMETS 1906b AND 19060.-A set of new elements for the observations at Port Louis for 1860-6 were communi- the orbit of comet 1906b is published by Herr M. Ebell cated to the British Association in 1867 by the late Dr.

in No. 4087 of the Astronomische Nachrichten. Meldrum ; those commenced at Pamplemousses in 1874 form

ephemeris for alternate days is also given, extending from the basis of the present paper. The following are the

May 4 to July 7, and shows that this comet is still in the

southern part of the constellation Leo, about half-way mean annual and absolute extreme values of some of the between 1 and v Leonis. It is moving very slowly in a meteorological elements :-air temperature 73°4, 94°:7 in south-eastern direction, its present brightness being about December, 50°.8 in June; humidity 75.1 per cent., 98.5 per

0.5 of that at the time of its discovery. cent. in January, 34.0 per cent. in November; resultant

A set of new elements for comet 1906c, computed by wind velocity 9.2 miles per hour ; the maximum velocity

Miss Lamson, of the U.S. Naval Observatory, appears in recorded in an hour was 103.3 miles (old factor 3) on April

No. 4086 of the same journal.

THE ASTRONOMICAL 29, 1892. Cyclones are said to be of immense benefit to

ASTROPHYSICAL SOCIETY the island, as

AMERICA.—At the seventh annual meeting of this society, one of the principal sources of rainfall.

held in December last at New York, some forty papers on Taking an area of 20° square, of which Mauritius occupies astronomical subjects were submitted. nearly the centre, 237 cyclones were recorded in the years Short abstracts of thirty-three interesting papers are given 1854-1903. The greater number occurred between December by Prof. H. Jacoby in No. 586 of Science, and amongst and March, and not one was recorded between June and

those which have not been noted previously in these September; their occurrence appears to be most frequent

columns may be mentioned the following :-A note

Prof. Burnham's forthcoming catalogue of double stars : five years after, and least frequent one year before, the

a brief description of the vacant regions of the sky, by epoch of minimum solar activity.

Prof. Barnard ; an announcement concerning the publication

An

AND

OF

on

of the observations of sun-spots made by the late Dr. of the nitrogen of the atmosphere for the production of C. H. Peters, extending over the period 1860-1870, and artificial manure and other chemical products. Dr. Frank's including the determination of more than 13,000 helio- invention is not only ingenious, but its effects on the graphic positions of spots on more than 1100 days; a future of the human race will probably be of the greatest paper by Prof. W. H. Pickering on planetary inversion, importance. The inventor is a veteran in agricultural which the author illustrated by experiments with a gyro- chemistry; he it was who, more than fifty years ago, introSlope; and an account of the foundation, and the partial duced the potash salts of Stassfurt to the notice of agridestruction by fire, of the Philadelphia Observatory, by culturists. Now nearly three million tons of these salts Prof. M. Snyder.

are used annually by agriculturists all over the world. The SOLAR PROMINENCES DURING 1905.-The usual annual problem of the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen has often summary of the prominence observations carried out at been attacked, for the first time on a large scale during the Catania Observatory during the past year is published the French Revolution. At that time France, surrounded by Prof. Mascari in No. 4, vol. xxxv., of the Memorie by her enemies, was cut off from the supply of saltpetre della Società degli Spettroscopisti Italiani,

necessary for national defence. A committee of French The results show that the mean daily frequency of chemists then established the saltpetre farms where the prominences observed was greater in 1905 than in 1904 nitrifying organisms, with which we have since become and 1903, but the increase was not so great as might have more intimately acquainted, produced the necessary means been expected. As in previous years, it is seen that the of defence. We in Great Britain, however, are still entirely increase in mean daily frequency corresponds with a de- dependent upon foreign sources for the explosives necessary crease in heliographic latitude. In 1904 the mean daily for our national defence, and it is only by the establishfrequency was 2 90 and the mean latitude 36o.6, whilst for ment of some such process as Dr. Frank's in Great Britain 1905 the corresponding figures were 3.05 and 30°.8. The that we shall place ourselves in safety in this respect. mean altitude of the prominences during 1904 was 43" 7, The invention is not a complicated one, the difficulties and in 1905 it was 44":1; the corresponding extensions of consisting chiefly in the solution of new problems of the prominences along the solar limb were 70 27 and 89:77: chemical engineering. Calcium carbide is first produced

The greater frequency of prominences in the sun's and then heated with nitrogen obtained by the fractional Turthern hemisphere still persists, the values for 1905 being distillation of liquid air. During this distillation oxygen 1.77 for the northern and 1.28 for the southern hemisphere. is obtained as a by-product, and may be utilised for the THE PERIOD OF B LYRÆ.-Referring to the recent note

production of nitric acid from ammonia, which, again, is by Mr. Roberts on the increasing period of B Lyræ, Prof.

one of the substances produced by Dr. Frank. The first Schaeberle suggests another possible cause which may

raw material obtained is calcium cyanamide, and it is this account for that phenomenon.

that is used as a nitrogenous manure, numerous experiIt is now generally accepted that incandescent bodies

ments having shown that the nitrogen which it contains have the power of repelling fine particles of their com

can be easily assimilated by plants. For countries such as ponent matter to great distances, and Prof. Schaeberle Italy, and more especially india, with large agricultural suggests that, at a certain stage in the life-history of such populations who do not possess sufficient cattle to supply a body, the decrease in mass may be so rapid as to cause

the requisite nitrogenous manure, this direct utilisation of an increase in the periodic time of any other body belong

the inexhaustible nitrogen of the atmosphere cannot fail ing to the system. If part of the ejected mass afterwards

to be of enormous importance; but to the chemist the

calcium cyanamide has other attractions. From it have returns to the parent body other changes will obviously occur (Observatory, No. 370).

been produced, not only ammonia and nitric acid, but also urea and guanidine. We are therefore on the high road

towards the artificial production of the alkaloids, and the THE SIXTH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS next step will probably be the building up of substances OF APPLIED CHEMISTRY,

directly assimilable by human beings, in other words,

artificial foods. WHEN the International Congress of Applied Chemistry, assembled at Berlin in 1903, chose Rome as its next

But while chemists revelled in these anticipations they theeting-place, the fear was expressed by some that the

did not forget more practical subjects. An excellent paper Italian chemical industry might not perhaps be of sufficient by Sir William Ramsay gave a clear and exhaustive magnitude to ensure a large attendance at the next con

account of the present state of the sewage question in gress. The brilliant success of the meeting which has

Great Britain. Special attention was given by the author just terminated has shown, however, that these fears were

to the bacterial methods of sewage disposal which are entirely without justification, and the number of important with the electric furnace is so well known, gave the results

now being so widely adopted. M. Moissan, whose work communications from the Italian members of the congress

of his experiments on the distillation of metals. All metals, proves the reality of the progress which Italy has made of

indeed all substances, are volatile at a temperature below late years in chemical industry. The meeting was opened on April 26 under the most

3500° C., therefore M. Moissan draws the conclusion that favourable auspices by the King and Queen in person,

the temperature of the sun cannot exceed this; it must,

indeed, be somewhat less, as the bulk of the elements of accompanied by the Minister of Public Instruction and other

which it consists are volatile at a lower temperature than high officials. The place of meeting was the magnificent

the maximum mentioned. No doubt the data with which Palace of Justice, then brought into use for the first

Prof. Moissan has furnished chemists will be utilised for time; in fact, it is not yet wholly completed as regards the intrrnal decorations. There being a large number of rooms

practical purposes, especially in the purification of metals. in the building. space was easily found for the sixteen

Many of the papers read before the various sections consertions into which the congress was compelled to sub

tained matter of great scientific interest. The report of divide itself. The number of British members was more

the International Committee on the Unification of Analytical than thirty, and on the whole the attendance from other

Methods was presented by Dr. Lunge, and will be of great countries was very satisfactory, even China being repre

assistance to analysts in different countries who wish to

secure uniform results. Prof. W. N. Hartley's paper on sented. It is somewhat of a novelty to hear speeches in Chinese at European scientific meetings, and shows that

the use of the spectrograph in analysis aroused much

interest in the photographic section. It is certainly a the awakening of the Celestial Empire is becoming an accomplished fact. Such a congress is an interesting study

great advantage to be able to make a quantitative analysis in cthnology as well as philology. Officially only four

of a rare object in metal without defacing it in any way,

and the convenience of the method will no doubt ensure it languagra are supposed to be used, namely, English,

general acceptance when it becomes better known. Another French, German, and Italian; but the greatest leniency is shown in this respect, and the reporters must sometimes

communication made to the inorganic chemistry section rely on summaries made by the speakers themselves.

was of interest, inasmuch as it holds out hopes of a con

siderable reduction in the price of photographic and other Among the papers read before the full meeting of the congres the most important was undoubtedly Dr. Adolph in the expensive pot furnaces, but the author of the paper,

glass of high quality. Hitherto such glass has been made Frank's description of his process for the direct utilisation

Herr F. Heller, states that he has succeeded in making

ex

such glass in the cheaper tank furnaces. In order to do Several authors dealt with the use of alcohol and petrothis hc divides the melting operation into three phases, leum products as sources of power. In Great Britain, each of which is carried out in a separate tank furnace at where petroleum is admitted free of duty, there can be no a definite temperature. The raw materials are first melted doubt that it is at present the cheapest liquid in use for down at about 1400° C., the fused mass is then run into the production of power. Some Continental countries, howa second furnace at about 1200° C., in which the glass ever, in order to foster the alcohol industry and the is clarified, and finally the clear glass is run into a work- important agricultural interests depending upon it, have ing tank furnace of about 1000° C. The hope was imposed heavy duties on all competing liquids, and there pressed that the principle might be applied to optical glass is naturally continuous rivalry between the various interests of high quality. To the same section Sir William Ramsay thus created. contributed a paper on the Bischof process for manu- The section dealing with wine was also of more import. facturing white lead, one of the chief advantages of which ance to Continental than to British members, and the same is that the workpeople are not exposed to the deleterious may be said of the agricultural chemistry section, in which action of the dust which renders such stringent precau- matters connected with Continental husbandry were fully tions necessary in other works. Messrs. G. Giorgis and discussed. Prof. J. Stoklasa dealt with the enzymes which G: Gallo contributed an essay on the hydraulic properties produce lactic and alcoholic fermentation in the tissues of of various kinds of puzzuolanas, between some of which plants. The author agreed with Messrs. C. Golenski and there are great differences both in time of setting and in Mazé that such fermentation is in reality the intramolecular the ultimate strength attained. The subject is of great respiration of plants, and a number of experiments were importance in Italy, where puzzuolana mortars largely re- described corroborating this view. place those made in other countries with Portland cement. The final plenary sitting of the congress was mainly Sands of the nature of puzzuolana are to be found in other occupied in passing resolutions confirming recommendations volcanic countries, and merit more attention than they by the sectional committees. Among these may be menhave hitherto received. The remarkable state of preserv- tioned the appointment of a committee to elaborate uniform ation of the old Roman buildings in Italy is largely due methods of testing explosives, the unification of methods to the fact that the mortar used in their construction was of sugar analysis, especially between the Custom House hydraulic.

officials of different countries, and the unification of methods The sulphur industry being of such importance to Italy, for the analysis of malt in breweries. The transport of it was to be expected that it would receive considerable dangerous substances by rail was also referred to, and reattention. Mr. B. Reinitzer discussed the origin of natural commendations made as to the patenting of inventions deposits of sulphur, and Prof. N. Rossi described a new by employees and upon international trade marks. method of extracting poor sulphur ores by means of At the close of the meeting an invitation to the congress bisulphide of carbon. It was stated that there are very to meet in London in 1909 was given by Prof. Tilden, as considerable quantities of sulphur ores containing less than representing the British Government, and Dr. L. Mond, 20 per cent. of sulphur, below which percentage it is not Prof. E. Divers, and Prof. R. Meldola as representing a at present remunerative to work them. The author pro- joint committee, consisting of practically every British poses to lixiviate these by means of bisulphide of carbon, society connected with chemistry, which had been formed and has designed plant for that purpose. It must be re- on the initiation of the Society of Chemical Industry. The marked, however, that similar efforts have hitherto resulted invitation was unanimously accepted. in failure, and the author's apparatus met with some During the session of the congress a number of social adverse criticism by chemical engineers familiar with such gatherings and excursions took place which afforded excel. subjects. It is to be hoped that a practical test may be lent opportunities for the delegates of the various nations made with the apparatus, as the Sicilian sulphur industry to become acquainted with each other. The largest is being seriously threatened by the discovery of the excursion was to Tivoli, where about 1500 members were Louisiana deposits.

present. The beauties of that lovely spot are too well Prof. L. Ricciardi, of Naples, communicated the results known to require description, but the remarks of some of of a number of analyses of eruptive rocks, from which he the electrochemists led one to believe that they considered draws the important conclusion that volcanoes at first a large amount of water-power was being wasted. It emit rocks of an acid nature, but that subsequently the would be well, in view of the utilitarian character of products are basic in their character. The author is of modern industry, if the different States were to secure one opinion that volcanic phenomena are similar throughout or two of their most picturesque waterfalls before they the world, and the rocks which give rise to them are have all been absorbed for the production of electrical granitic in their nature.

energy. Many members of the congress visited the sad Prof. A. C. Vournasos, of Athens, reported the discovery scenes in the neighbourhood of Vesuvius. One member of a large deposit of asphalt in Greece, which is already who had collected the volcanic dust, soon after the erupbeing worked on an industrial scale, and appears to be a tion, at Addlestone, in the Thames valley, and again on a valuable addition to our supplies of that useful substance. roof at Turin, was enabled to satisfy himself of the identity At the same time the author communicated a new method of these specimens with the Naples dust. for testing asphalt which he had recently devised.

Excursions were proposed to Sicily and to Elba, but an The section of the congress dealing with the industry inopportune strike of the sailors of the Italian Steam ard chemistry of sugar was the medium for the com- Navigation Company put an end to these. Many who munication of a large number of papers, chiefly of in- were visiting Roine for the first time found many objects dustrial interest. Nearly every European country except of interest, apart from the inexhaustible art treasures of Great Britain has now a large sugar industry; in fact, the the city. One naturalist collected three varieties of Helix International Congress of Applied Chemistry originated on the walls of the castle of St. Angelo, while a botanist in a meeting of chemists engaged in the sugar industry. directed attention to the presence of pellitory of the wall A paper by Mr. C. H. Neumann on the testing of the on the same building. English tradition says that it was germinating power of sugar-beet seeds shows the amount introduced into England by monks, and in some districts of specialisation which has taken place. The author found it is only found on old monastic buildings. In some rubbish that the best medium for ensuring the regular germin- that was being cleared out of the dungeons of St. Angelo ation of the seeds was a damp mixture of sand and saw- numerous fragments of marble cannon-balls were found. dust, the temperature being carefully regulated.

During times of siege it is related that large numbers of In the section on explosives Mr. R. Villanis presented

were converted into cannon-balls, and the great a detailed memoir on the state of the explosives industry variety of marbles to be found among the fragments lends in Italy in which the various factories and their products support to this statement. Another enthusiastic lover of were described, together with the regulations in force. The nature in all her forms collected a number of live scorpions erosion and corrosion of firearms by smokeless powders in the Forum. He stated that they soon became tame, and gave rise to two communications by Dr. V. Reuhi and took live ants from the fingers. Ilis statements by Mr. Ger van Pittius. The former referred to the use acceptd without discussion. of nitro-guanidine as an explosive, this being one of the The meeting of the congress was brought to a close on products of Frank's discovery mentioned already.

May 5 by a state banquet given by the King of Italy at

statues

were were

1

the Quirinal to the delegates of foreign Governments and the whole of India in a state of absolute completeness. socicties. Both the King and Queen received the visitors, Nor can the recommendations with reference to frontier among whom

six British delegates. After the mapping be regarded with anything but satisfaction. The banquet the King, who takes great interest in the in- appointment of a special superintendent on the frontier to dustrial revival now taking place in Italy, held a reception, rank with the superintendent of trigonometrical surveys, several of the Italian ministers being present. The next with five working parties under him, and three officers day most of the members of the congress departed from the attached to each party, and with the headquarters office beautiful and hospitable city which had been the scene of at Simla in touch with the Intelligence Department, is their labours, many with the intention of returning if indeed a big concession to military requirements. A possible.

similar, but much smaller, scheme was suggested nearly ten years ago, in the days when two or three officers and

one elastic party were considered ample to deal with the THE SURVEY OF INDIA.

Indian borderland from the Indus to the Euphrates; but

it was not entertained. Trans-frontier surveys, apart from THE report of the Indian Survey Committee recently political boundary requirements, were not recognised as received is contained in two volumes, the size of

of any importance. It depended entirely on the enterprise which should be sufficient testimony to the exhaustive

of the officer in charge of the frontier party whether any nature of the inquiry. The result, on the whole, should

such work was carried out at all; it was regarded as rather be satisfactory to those who for years past have been

beyond the scope of strict departmental business-to be protesting against the short-sighted policy of the Indian permitted (if no complications with tribes-people were inGovernment, which, under financial pressure, has often

volved), but hardly to be approved. torced reductions on the Survey Department until its

Any effort to render frontier mapping more effective by efficiency has become seriously impaired. There is hardly ensuring its proper distribution amongst the military offices a reform suggested by the committee which has not been

of the frontier was perhaps beyond the scope of the comurged previously in India. Sir John Farquharson (president mittee's proceedings, but it can hardly be denied that proper of the committee, whose death so soon after his return

map distribution is only second in importance to map to England was almost tragic) but expressed the opinions

making. of many who have been closely associated with the Indian

The reproduction of maps has always been the great Surrey Department, modified more or less by his own

difficulty of the Indian Survey Department. Climate, experiences as chief of the Ordnance Survey in England.

material, and personnel are all against the reproduction of The main results of the committee's recommendations

clear, readable, and artistic maps from the excellent are, first, the strengthening of the department in men

material which is found in the original field-sheets. Dr. and money, and secondly, the separation of the cadastral

Stein's evidence on this point is very suggestive. Whilst for revenue) from the topographical and trigonometrical condemning the printed maps, he paid a graceful tribute branches in order that proper supervision may be given to

to the artistic value of the originals. Photozincography the latter, and that the general military maps of the

has had much to answer for ; misplaced economy, resulting peninsula and the frontier may be brought (and kept) up

in inferior material and a staff absolutely inadequate to to date. Cadastral surveys will in future be relegated to

deal with the mass of work thrust upon it, has completed local governments, who will be responsible for the main

the tale of ultimate inefficiency. We doubt if the welltenance of their own revenue maps ; but scientific super

meant efforts of the committee will really do much to vision of this local work will be provided from the depart.

raise the low standard of Indian map publishing so long ment. This indeed is essential, as everybody knows who has had experience of the terrible results of local meddling office. Partial engraving and heliozincography are steps

as cheap rates form the ruling motive of the publishing with original survey mapping by half-trained, or wholly

in the right direction, however, but it has always appeared igriorant, native employees. Nor is the fact overlooked that

to us that the employment of a first-class firm in gland all the extreme refinement of the most accurate geodetic

to undertake all the finer work of the department is the triangulation has its final expression in these revenue maps.

real panacea for the ills that beset Calcutta map printing. The larger the scale and the more restricted the area, the

There is no dealing with the inertness of the native by greater the necessity for a positively accurate basis for

means of committees. Colonel Grant points out that one ional traversing. Every little village plan must take its girl in England will do as much as two (native) men in please accurately in the provincial map if titles to property

the Calcutta office. It may be so (so long as girls do are to be of any account.

not subscribe to trades unions), but he ignores the effects The recommendations of the committee regarding the

of a climate that affects Europeans and natives alike. popographical mapping of India and the reproduction of

The general report on the Indian Survey for 1903-4 ° inaps appear on the whole to be excellently well adapted to

serves as a useful commentary on the recommendations of the end in view, in spite of a certain amount of dissent in

the committee which was sitting at the time that this marters of detail recorded by the present Surveyor-General.

rather belated report was under compilation. From it we Due a knowledgment is made to the late Surveyor-General

are able to gather an idea of the enormous expansion in the (Colonel Gore) for the accuracy of his estimate of the

widely diffused work of the department which has occurred amunt of revision necessary, and the cost in time and

within late years, and of the mass of material which money of carrying it out; and a most appropriate despatch has been crowded into the over-weighted publication offices. from a former Secretary of State for india (1876) is quoted,

The report deals with certain administrative changes in which the fallacy of expecting to effect economies by (such as the amalgamation of the forest surveys) which the reduction of well-trained survey parties is emphatically

are unimportant when considered by the light of the submamtained. That fallacy was, however, supported by the

sequent recommendations of the committee; and much of thea Government in India, and was supported by every it is concerned with the progress of cadastral, or revenue, Givernment since, until the arrival of a geographical expert

which will in future probably form but an inas Vicesov in Lord Curzon. The topographical maps of significant feature in the general programme. all India, on the 1-inch per mile scale, are to be thoroughly

Referring to the developments that are proposed in toporesised and completed. It is something of a surprise that graphical (or military survey) branches of the department, mapping on this scale was not completed long ago, as

we naturally turn to the map published in the report to there has been nothing important missing from the general illustrate the actual position of these surveys at present. map of india for several years past. The method of re

The completion and maintenance of a l-inch per mile map Construction recommended by the committee is

of the whole peninsula area, and the extension of acrurate altogethe approved by the present Surveyor-General, who

surveys into extra-peninsula regions, is one of the main is in favour of more decentralisation in order to gain features of the revised programme. The map, however, for efficient supervision; but there was no dispute as to the this purpose is rather misleading, for we find a great part Brarunt necessity of maintaining one standard map of

1 “General Report on the Operations of ibe Survey of Ind a administered I "Record of the Indian Survey Committee, 1904-5." Part i.. The under the Government of India during 1904.' By Col. J. R. Hübday, Roon, po 2 +151. Part ii., pp. V+ 123. (Simla : The Government 1.4. Po iv ++2+xlii. Calcutta : Office of the Superintendent of GovernCentral Printing Otice, 1995.)

ment Printing, 1903.) Price 35.

3

surveys,

not

a

as

turns.

return

to

even

of the Madras province left blank as if it had never been THE IRON AND STEEL INSTITUTE. surveyed (whereas the old Madras revenue surveys furnish excellent material for any 1-inch reproduction), and THE annual meeting of the Iron and Steel Institute was fairly wide area of Baluchistan territory near Quetta,

held in London on May 10 and 11, Mr. R. A. Hadwhich has been most carefully surveyed on the scale of

field, the president, in the chair. The president referred 2 inches to the mile and has stood the test of a whole

to the loss the institute had suffered by the deaths of Sir series of military maneuvres most successfully, classed

David Dale and Mr. J. T. Smith, past-presidents, and geographical reconnaissance "—which it certainly is votes of sympathy were accorded. The report of the not, nor is the mass of 3-inch work which has been com- council, read by the secretary, Mr. Bennett H. Brough, pleted in that country.

showed that the membership amounted to 2033, and that The fact is that, for the completion of the 1-inch topo

in 1905 the income was 62711. and the expenditure 52571. graphical map of all India, only a small portion of the

The Bessemer medal was awarded to Mr. F. Osmond, the Rajputana desert really requires first survey. There must,

eminent French metallurgist. Carnegie research scholarhowever, be an enormous amount of revision necessary.

ships of 100l. were awarded to Dr. C. A. F. Benedicks During the year under review, 34,000 square miles of (Sweden), Mr. O. Stutzer (Germany), Mr. E. Hess (United detail survey were completed, and (according to the general States), and Mr. E. F. Law (London). Grants were also summary) about 24,000 square miles of geographical recon

made to Mr. H. C. Boynton (United States), Dr. L. naissance. Elsewhere we find records of 15,000 square

Guillet (France), Mr. W. H. Hatfield (Sheffield), Mr. miles of Seistan geography, no less than 58,000 square

E. G. L. Roberts (London), Mr. W. Rosenhain (Birmingmiles in Tibet, and the invaluable work of Colonel Wahab

ham), Mr. E. A. Wraight (London), and Mr. A. Campion in South Arabia (of which we have heard so little and

(Glasgow). The Carnegie gold medal for research was would like to know so much), amounting to 6000 square

awarded to Dr. L. Guillet, and the silver medal to Mr. miles. Presumably the 24,000 square miles with which

W. Rosenhain. the summary deals is independent of these special out

In the first paper read Mr. A. J. Capron (Sheffield) deThe chief interest of the report lies in the scribed a new method of compressing steel ingots in the appendix dealing with these special performances, and

mould which has been successfully adopted in Sheffield. we cordially welcome a

this partial | The ingot moulds are placed inside the press, the steel recognition of the absorbing interest which is to be found being run into the moulds in this position, so that they in the story of Indian surveying, The kernel of the

have not to be transported with the liquid steel in them, report was extracted when the narratives went out

and the press practically forms the casting pit. of it. Even here we do not find the story of the death of

Prof. T. Turner (Birmingham) gave the results of observthat gallant native geographer and explorer Sheikh

ations on the volume and temperature changes during the Mohiudin, whose determined (reckless, for a surveyor) cooling of cast-iron. Apparatus was designed in order to search after information in Seistan led to his being found

measure the changes of length of a test-bar, whilst coolat last, dead, with his horse dead beside him-dead of ing curves were taken of the specimens at the same time thirst in that thirsty country; whilst his plane-table sheets

with a Le Chatelier pyrometer. The curves obtained may had been stripped from the board and wound round the

be divided into four classes, depending upon the number of body of one of his native assistants, who was finally

arrests observed in the normal rate of contraction of a rescued by a friendly Afghan out of a far-away pool of cooling solid, water in which he was lying insensible. Such little in

Mr. E. Adamson (Seaton Carew) read a paper on the cidents as this, or the death of Colonel Wahab's native

influence of silicon, phosphorus, manganese, and aluminium surveyor, who was shot at his work in Arabia, excite little

on chill in cast-iron. The depth of chill is primarily depublic comment in India.

pendent upon the percentage of combined carbon and the In the scientific branches of the department there is

temperature of casting. Combined carbon 0.67 per cent. much good work to record. The great arc of principal gives 1/16-inch chill, and combined carbon 0.88 per cent. triangulation which terminates with the Dehra Dun base gives -inch and 1-inch, but the latter was has been extended into the Himalayas, and connected with

much higher temperature. These figures are taken from the peaks of the Snowy Range. Valuable results have been the silicon and phosphorus tests. The manganese tests also obtained from the comparison of geodetic with astronomic

show an increase in true chill with increasing manganese determinations for latitude, the tendency of them being to

up to combined carbon 1.60 per cent. The tests described prove that large northerly deflections of the plumb-line

were made from coke irons, and suggest that under proper continue to prevail in the heart of the Himalayas. Pen

treatment coke irons are as good as charcoal irons for dulum observations to determine the force of gravity have

high mechanical tests and depth of chill. been resumed, and magnetic work has also been a feature

On May 1 Prof. J. O. Arnold and Mr. F. K. Knowles of the scientific branch of the department supervised by

(Sheffield) read a preliminary note upon the influence of Lieut.-Colonel Burrard, R.E., F.R.S. That officer has

nearly pure metallic manganese alloyed with varying proalso added a useful chapter to the report on the value of ranging in manganese from 0-3 per cent. to 36 per cent.,

portions of nearly pure metallic iron. A series of alloys principal triangulation and scientific surveying. All this most valuable work, and should go a long way to satisfy

and in carbon and silicon from 0.05 per cent. to 0-2 per financial critics that the Government of India gets its

cent. each, was prepared in special crucibles. In the

finished bars, each 12 feet long, liquation of a remarkable money's worth out of the scientific investigations of the

character took place which rendered the completion of the Survey Department.

research difficult. The official report of the observations made by Captain

It is possible, but hardly probable, that Wood, R.E., in Nepal to determine the position of the

some of these costly alloys may prove of practical importEverest peak relatively to the Gaurisankar group is in- Mr. C. de Schwarz (Liége) read an interesting paper on cluded in this volume. It is hardly necessary to refer again to the conclusions which have been formed on

the use of oxygen in removing blast-furnace obstructions.

The difficulties caused by the tap-hole of a blast furnace subject which has already been discussed in the pages of NATURE. A most useful map of part of Nepal, and the

becoming closed up by solid iron have been overcome by panoramic views which accompany Captain Wood's report

the application of compressed oxygen. The process has been adopted at several works in England and on

the should be convincing evidence of the isolated position

Continent with satisfactory results. At the conclusion of of the highest peak in the world, if any further evi

the paper a practical demonstration of the process took dence were needed. A re-perusal of the exact conditions place at the works of the Brin Oxygen Co. in Westminster. under which these observations were made is most interest

Mr. E. F. Law (London) described an extended investiing, and fully confirms the opinion expressed by Colonel gation into the causes which underlie the production of Gore (the late Surveyor-General) that " those who trust

brittle and blistered tin plates. He showed that oxidised to their appreciation of characteristic forms and their steel will give rise to blistered sheets, and that this defect mountaineering instincts, as a means for identifying peaks is more liable to occur with Bessemer than with open-hearth from widely different points of view, are apt to be fre- steel. Steel high in sulphur and phosphorus will cause quently misled."

brittleness in sheets, especially if the sheets are rolled from

cast at a

ance.

a

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