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liminary report of field work during 1893 in northeastern Mindesota, by U. S. GRANT; List of rock samples collected in 1893, by U. S. GRANT; List of rock sanıples collected in 1893, by A. D. MEEDS; Preliminary report of a reconnoissance in northwestern Minnesota during 1893, by J. E. TODD; Notes on the geology of Itasca county, Minnesota, by G. E. CULVER; Preliminary report of field work done in 1893, by J. E. SPURR; Preliminary report of levelling party, by C. P. BERKEY; Preliminary report of field work during 1893 in northeastern Minnesota, by A. H. ELFTMAN; List of rock samples collected in 1893, by A. H. ELFTMAN; Museum additions: Additions to the library since the report of 1892; The exhibit of the survey at the Columbian Exposition, by N. H. WINCHELL.
H, S. W. 5. Twelfth Report of the State Mineralogist of California for the two years ending September 15, 1894. J. J. CRAWFORD, State Mineralogist, 541 pp. 8vo, Sacramento, 1894.—This, the second biennial report, contains a discussion of the mineral industries of the State arranged conveniently under subjects, as antimony, borax, gold, etc., with a list of localities by counties under each head. Much space (pp. 70-322) is devoted to gold, since the interest in gold mining has much increased during the past two years. The annual gold product, which for a number of years had remained between twelve and thirteen million dollars, is expected to be maintained now at fifteen to sixteen millions. The Report is thoroughly illustrated with views of mining works, maps, plans, etc.
III. BOTANY. 1. The Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants (und Flowers in the Botanical Museum of Harvard University. These specimens, which were referred to in the last number of this Journal, are now arranged with a degree of completeness which renders possible a general consideration of their origin and purpose.
In planning the arrangement of the Botanical Museum, the Director was so fortunate as to secure the advice and cordial coöperation of Mr. Alexander Agassiz. In the preparation of the plans much prominence was given to the subject of a synoptic room, where the types of vegetable structure could be comprehensively displayed somewhat after the fashion of the zoological synoptic room. But it was early seen that dried specimens of flowers would be too perishable and alcoholic specimens too obscure to render useful any attempts in this direction by ordinary means. Drawings and paintings of Howers seemed likewise unsatisfactory. Models alone remained. Examination of the available models in papier maché showed that they would occupy too much space, and be possibly misleading in the qualities of texture and color.
It occurred to the present writer that the Blaschkas, the artists who had constructed the exquisite glass models of marine inver. tebrata and had distributed them from their studio and laboratories in Dresden to museums throughout the world, might be induced to try their hand at the preparation of models of flowers and leaves. A visit expressly for this purpose was made to Germany in 1836. It was only after much solicitation that the Blaschkas, father and son, were led to undertake the construction of a few specimens. These proved entirely satisfactory. They were so thoroughly promising in every respect that arrangements were made at once for the preparation of about a hundred selected types. The Blaschkas reviewed their botanical studies, always with them a favorite pursuit, and engaged in the new work with interest and uninterrupted success. In the case of the elder Blaschka, the work was really the resumption of an undertaking begun at the instance of Professor Reichenbach in 1866. The models wbich were then made were sent to the Museum of Natural History at Liège, Belgium, and were consumed in the destructive fire of 1868. Since that date, no glass models of plants had been made by either the elder or the younger Blaschka : their time had been fully occupied with the preparation of models of marine invertebrata.
The new undertaking was of course very costly, but this consideration did not deter Mrs. Elizabeth C. Ware and her daughter Miss Mary L. Ware, of Boston, from authorizing extended contracts with the artists for their entire output of flower-models. The subjects for study were carefully selected with reference to a complete representation of the chief types of structure in the vegetable kingdom, and these subjects were confined, where practicable, to the species found in North, South, and Central America. Up to 1888, the generous patrons of the enterprise had not permitted their names to be known in connection with it, but it was now seen that the magnitude and beauty of the collection justified its designation as a memorial to the late Dr. Charles Eliot Ware.
The last contract with the artists bears date of 1890, and runs to 1900. The Phænogamia now on hand comprise 122 natural orders, 407 genera, and 507 species. These figures indicate sufficiently that the subjects have been chosen with reference to the widest possible range of illustration.
Each plant-model is accompanied by models of structural details, for the most part highly magnified. There are 2160 of these details, making with the large models, more than 2,600 pieces of glass-work. The present rate of production is about one hundred of the larger models and five hundred of the minor ones, each year. When it is remembered that all of this work is based on original botanical study of the species in hand, and is accomplished by two artists who carry on their modelling unaided by any assistants, the rapidity of execution must be acknowledged to be marvelous.
As Mr. Walter Deane has shown by his account of a minute examination of the Blaschka models of our Eastern plants, there
is absolutely no flaw in the workmanship. Every detail is given with perfect accuracy and all are drawn to scale.
The subjects are supplied to the artists in the three following ways, -(1) Plants which can be raised out of doors in the garden near the laboratory and studio are cultivated from seeds and roots sent from this country. (2) Central and South American exotics are freely furnished from the Greenhouses of the Court of Saxony at Pilnitz, one mile from the studio, and (3) the economic plants of the tropics have been studied by Rudolph Blaschka during a recent journey made for that purpose. The sketches for these plants are among the most interesting features of the whole enterprise. They consist of accurate drawings of the whole plant, and of microscopic details throughout, together with full records of impressions as to color. These multifarious sketches are supplemented by alcoholic and dried material prepared for the specific object of supplying all possible information regarding structure.
With the exception of a few specimens where the use of very delicate wire is needed, all the models are constructed of glass or a transparent enamel. In some instances, the color is given to the glass before the model is made; in some cases mineral pigments are added after the completion of the form. In no case has there been observed the slightest change in color of the added pigments or in the character of the surface by exposure to light. It may be assumed, therefore, that these models possess a high degree of permanence under ordinary museum conditions. Since they are absolutely faithful copies of the specimens in band, and since they undergo no change, they are valuable records of form, color and texture for future comparison.
In the case of American plants which are represented by identical species in the old world, the artists have been urged to employ, as far as practicable, the most typical specimens of the old-world form. This has led to the conviction that in no case yet studied are the old-world species exactly like ours. In a few instances, the differences are sufficiently marked to justify the separation into two distinct varieties, and in two cases the differences would be interpreted as specific.
From the foregoing, it will appear that the rapidly increasing collection at Harvard University Museum is of use not only to the public and to the students, but also to the systematist who is engaged in coördinating plant forms with a view to expressing affinities.
Further, it will plainly appear that these models are the best possible illustrations of the economic plants of the tropics, supplementing the alcoholic and dried specimens which are everywhere found.
The artists have already constructed some models to illustrate types of Cryptogamia. They have proceeded cautiously along this path, but their success is regarded by competent authorities to be assured. No specimen is allowed to leave their laboratory which has not been submitted to thorough examination as regards all possible points of doubt, and, hence, the illustrations of Cryptogamia will doubtless prove generally satisfactory. More than one hundred of these inodels are now in possession of the University, but they are not at present on exhibition, being withheld until the completion of the proposed series of types. With the exception of a few very large specimens, all of the models of flowering plants are now installed for exhibition. G. L. G.
2. Monograph of the Mycetozoa ; by ARTHUR LESTER, F.Z.S. London, 1894, 8vo, pp. 224, Pl. 78 and 51 woodcuts.—The present monograph printed by order of the Trustees of the British Museum is the most important descriptive work on Mycetozoa which has appeared since the publication of Rostafinski's monograph on the order in 1875. That work, although written in Polish and therefore inaccessible to most botanists except in the partial translations and extracts given in the writings of Cooke, Schroeter and Berlese, served greatly to stimulate the interest of botanists in both Europe and America in the systematic study of these anomalous growths on the border-line between the animal and vegetable kingdoms. The result was the publication of numerous articles and monographs by the botanists of both continents but until now there has been no satisfactory critical general revision reducing to a solid basis the many scattered facts and descriptions. Mr. Lester's Monograph purports to be only “a descriptive catalogue of the species in the Herbarium of the British Museum” but it is much more than that. It is in fact a general monograph including descriptions of all known species, those of species not represented in the collections of the author and the British Museum being quoted from the original sources often with critical notes.
Mr. Lester's well known studies on the development and cyto. logical peculiarities of Mycetozoa have contributed to give additional value to his more strictly systematic work and prevented his attaching undue weight to the trivial and accidental characters on which systematists are often inclined to depend. In the preparation of his work he has made extensive studies in the field, corresponded with specialists all over the world and examined the types in British and Continental collections. Probably no other botanist has ever had so much or so good material of the kind pass through bis hands. In the presentation of his subject the author has shown great clearness and good judgment as well as extensive knowledge and where he differs from other writers he is courteous as well as candid.
The Introduction gives an admirable summary of the life history of the order including some original matter especially relating to the development of Ceratiomyxa. He includes Ceratiomyxa in the subclass Exosporeæ following Rostatinski and De Bary although admitting that the subclass is in some important respects unlike the rest of the order but he does not include the numerous monad-like forms classed by Zopt with Mycetozoa. On the technical question whether Mycetozoa are plants or ani. mals the author contents himself with the short remark that “the ingestion of bacteria by the swarm-cells appears to strengthen the view that the group is more nearly associated with the lower forms of animal than of vegetable life? The subdivisions of the Exosporeæ here given are essentially those adopted by Rostafinski. The Protodermaceæ disappear since the only supposed representative proves to be a Licea. The total number of genera of the order is given as 43 and the number of species of which descriptions are given is 275. Since a doubt exists as to the genuineness of some of the latter it will be seen that an unusually large proportion of the genera include only a single or, at most, two or three species. Although the number of species admitted by the writer is far short of the number that have been described by different botanists, it seems to us that in his reduction of many of them to synonyms, he is fully justified. One has only to read his excellent descriptions which comprise accounts of the plasmadia as well as the mature structures and his very full notes with regard to type-specimens examined and the variations assumed under different conditions to be convinced that his view with regard to specific limitations is as correct as it is far reaching. His treatment of Stemonitis and Trichia is refreshing after the confused account of those genera to be found in some treatises and even the perplexing genera Physarum and Cribraria lose much of their intrinsic difficulty at his hands.
For American botanists the present Monograph is especially valuable. Besides the specimens of older collectors in various herbaria Mr. Lester has examined abundant recent material from Rex, Macbride, Morgan and the writer, and he has given us at once the most connected and critical account of the species of the United States yet published. He remarks that the species of Mycetozoa have, as a rule, a wide distribution throughout the world and doubts whether unexplored districts are likely to furnish any large number of new species. The book is well printed and very copiously illustrated. The woodcuts of the genera are well adapted for their purpose. The plates of the species are collotype reproductions of water color drawings by Mr. Lester and his daughter and are as a rule very satisfactory. Like all photographs, however, they sometimes fail to give clearly the finer markings. We regret that the original drawings were not reproduced in colors, not that we think the colors themselves necessary in this case but because, the drawings being colored, photography could not be expected to bring out well all the finer points. One sees, in some cases, from the reproduction how much better the original drawing must have been.
W. G. F.