SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT - NO. 358 - NOVEMBER 11 - 1882
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT - NO. 358 - NOVEMBER 11 - 1882
Produced by Olaf Voss Don Kretz Juliet Sutherland
Charles Franks and the Online DP Team
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT NO. 358
NEW YORK NOVEMBER 11 1882
Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XIV No. 358.
Scientific American established 1845
Scientific American Supplement $5 a year.
Scientific American and Supplement $7 a year.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. ENGINEERING AND MECHANICS.--Hydraulic Filtering Press
for Treating Oleaginous Seeds.--Details of construction and
Laurent & Collot's Automatic Injection Pump.--6 figures.
Improved Dredger.--1 figure.--One ton bucket dredge.
History of the Fire Extinguisher.
How to Tow a Boat.--1 figure.
Railways of Europe and America.
Locomotive Painting. By JOHN S. ATWATER.
Crackle Glass.--New Process.
How Marbles are Made.
II. TECHNOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY.--Drawing Room Photography.
A New Method of Preparing Photographic Gelatine Emulsion by
Precipitation of the Bromide of Silver. By FRANZ STOLZE.
Taylor's Freezing Microtome.--1 figure.
Vincent's Chloride of Methyl Ice Machine. 10 figures.--
Longitudinal and transverse sections of freezer.--Half plan of
freezer.--Longitudinal and vertical sections and plan of pump.--
Details.--Vertical section of the liquefier.
Carbonic Acid in the Air. By M. DUMAS.
Influence of Aqueous Vapor on the Explosion of Carbonic Oxide
and Oxygen. By HAROLD B. DIXON.
Composition of Beers Made Partly from New Grain.
III. BOTANY HORTICULTURE ETC.--Double Buttercups.--1 figure.
Ligustrum Quihoui.--1 figure.
Raphiolepis Japonica.--1 figure.
Apples in Store.
IV. ELECTRICITY LIGHT HEAT. ETC.--Before it happened.--
How the telegraph gets ahead of time.
The Ader Relay.--By R.G. BROWN.
The Platinum Water Pyrometer.--By J.C. HOADLEY. 2 figures.
--Description of apparatus.--Heat carriers.--Manipulating.
V. HYGIENE AND MEDICINE. ETC.--The British Sanitary Congress.
--Address of President Galton.--The causes of disease. Researches
of Pasteur Lister Koch Klebs etc--Germ theory of
malaria.--Cholera.--The water question.--Effects of sewering.--
Influence of smoke and fogs.--Importance of a circulation of air.
--Health conditions of different classes.--Economic advantages of
Psychological Development in Children.--By G.J. ROMANES.
The Racial Characteristics of Man.
Eccentricity and Idiosyncrasy.--By DR. WM. A. HAMMOND.
Pyorrhea Alveolaris--By DR. J.M. RIGGS.--A curious disease
of the teeth and its treatment.
Sulphur as a Preservative against Marsh Fever.
VI. ARCHITECTURE ART ETC.--The New Parliament Building
Berlin. 4 figures.--Thiersch's design.--Portrait Prof. Thiersch.
--Wallot's design.--Portrait of M.P. Wallot.
VII. ASTRONOMY ETC--On Determining the Sun's Distance by a
New Method.--By T.S.H. EYTINGE.
Professor Haeckel on Darwin.
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THE NEW PARLIAMENT BUILDING BERLIN.
In the accompanying engravings are represented the two prize designs for
the new Capitol or Parliament Building at Berlin of which one is by
Prof. Friedrich Thiersch of Munich and the other by Mr. Paul Wallot
of Frankfurt a. M. the portraits of which gentlemen are also shown.
The jury has decided that Mr. Wallot's design shall be executed. The
building is to be erected on the Pariser Platz near the Brandenburger
Thor in Berlin. Mr. Wallot's design will have to be somewhat changed
before it can be carried out for he has arranged the main entrance in
the side of the building and that has not satisfied the jury as they
wish to have the entrance of the Capitol more imposing. The building is
provided with four corner pavilions and with a large highly
ornamented square dome below which the Reichsrath Chamber or Hall of
Representatives is located. However the most important feature of
the entire design is the ground plan which is superior to all others
entered for competition. Prof Thiersch's design also has four corner
pavilions with a large circular central dome and four smaller cupolas
surrounding it. The front of the building is very imposing and is
highly ornamented with statuary. An emperor's crown surmounts the
[Illustration: THIERSCH'S DESIGN FOR THE NEW PARLIAMENT BUILDING.
[Illustration: PROFESSOR FRIEDRICH THIERSCH.]
[Illustration: MR. P. WALLOT'S DESIGN FOR THE NEW PARLIAMENT BUILDING
[Illustration: PAUL WALLOT.]
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THE BRITISH SANITARY CONGRESS.
ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT GALTON.
The Congress of the Sanitary Institute of Great Britain was opened in
Newcastle on September 26. The inaugural public meeting was held in the
Town Hall. Prof. De Chaumont presided in the place of the ex-President
Lord Fortescue and introduced Captain Galton the new President.
The President commenced his inaugural address by thanking in the name
of the Sanitary Institute of Great Britain the Mayor and Corporation
of Newcastle for the invitation to visit this important industrial
metropolis of Northern England. The invitation he said was the more
satisfactory because Newcastle was advancing in the van of sanitary
improvement and was thus proving the interest of this great city in
a subject which was contributing largely to the moral and material
progress of the nation. Of all the definite questions which were made
the subject of the instruction by congresses at the present time there
was scarcely one which deserved a greater share of attention than that
which called that congress together--namely the subject of the public
Within the last half century the whole community had been gradually
awakening to the importance of a knowledge of the laws of health and
the energies of some of the ablest intellects in the world had been
employed in investigating the causes of disease and in endeavoring to
solve the problem of the prevention of disease. There was much that was
still obscure in this very intricate problem but the new light which
was daily being thrown upon the causes of disease by the careful and
exact researches of the chemist and physiologist was gradually tending
to explain those causes and to raise the science of hygiene or science
of prevention of disease out of the region of speculation and enable
it to take rank as one of the exact sciences. Long ago the careful
observation of facts had shown that the preservation of health required
certain conditions to be observed in and around dwellings conditions
which when neglected had led to the outbreaks of epidemic disease from
the days of Moses to the present time. But while the results had been
patent it was only in recent years that a clew had been obtained to the
occult conditions in air and water to enable their comparative healthful
purity to be distinguished.
The researches of Pasteur in respect to the forms of disease in French
vineyards opened a fruitful field of inquiry and the theories of Dr.
Bastian on spontaneous generation gave rise to the beautiful series
of experiments by Tyndall on bacterian life. A large band of leading
scientific men both in this country and over the whole world were
devoting their energies to a knowledge of the recent theories on the
propagation of disease by germs. In a lecture on fermentation Tyndall
remarked that the researches by means of which science has recently
elucidated the causes of fermentation have raised the art of brewing
from being an art founded on empirical observation--that is to say
on the observation of facts apart from the principles which explain
them--into what may be termed an exact science.
In like manner if recent theories on the propagation of disease by
germs were proved to be correct and if the laws which govern the
propagation or destruction of those germs were known the art of the
physician would be similarly raised. Upon these questions leading
scientific men all over the world were devoting their energies. Research
had shown that putrefaction was only another form of organized life and
Tyndall had shown that in the moving particles of fine dust discovered
by a ray of light in a dark room the germs of low forms of life which
would cause putrefaction were ever present and ready to spring into
life when a favorable "nidus" for the development of the organism was
Professor Lister had turned this knowledge to useful account in surgery
in causing the air to be filtered by means of a carbolic spray during
surgical operations by which means germs or organisms in the air were
prevented from reaching the wounds and from developing organisms the
presence of which caused putrefaction or suppuration. This antiseptic
treatment which had arisen from the observation of germs in the air
had had a material influence on the art of surgery throughout the world.
The speaker then reviewed the declarations of physiologists regarding
the theories that some diseases arise from minute organisms in the
blood--Pasteur holding that the disease in silkworms was from this
cause; Dr. Davaine that splenic fever in cattle arose thus; Dr. Klein
alleging that pig typhoid was due to an organism; Toussaint attributing
fowl cholera to a similar cause; Professor Koch attributing tubercular
disease to specific germs; Dr. Vandyke Carter contending that there was
a connection between the presence of bacillus spirillum and relapsing
fever; and Mr. Talamon claiming to have discovered that diphtheria was
due to an organism by means of which the virus could be conveyed from
human beings to animals and _vice versa_.
Taking another branch of the same subject the causes of zymotic
diseases being traced to controllable sources he said: Drs. Klebs and
Crudelli allege that malarial fever arises from germs present in the
soil and which float over the air of marshes; and that by treating with
water the soil of a fever-haunted marsh of the Campagna the germs of
this organism could be washed out; and that the water containing the
organisms thus obtained introduced into the circulation of a dog
produced ague more or less rapidly and more or less violent according
to the numbers in which the organisms were present in the water.
This theory no doubt agrees with certain well-known facts. In a
tropical climate if soil which has been long undisturbed or the soil
of marshy ground be turned up intermittent fever is almost certain to
ensue. In illustration of this I recollect that at Hong Kong the troops
were unhealthy and a beautiful position on a peninsula exposed to the
most favorable sea-breezes was selected for a new encampment. The troops
were encamped upon this spot for some time to test its healthiness
which was found to be all that could be desired. It was then resolved to
build barracks. As soon as the foundations were dug fever broke out.
As an instance of this nearer home I may mention that last winter at
Cannes in the south of France some extensive works adjacent to the
town were begun which required a large quantity of earth to be moved.
The weather was exceptionally warm; an outbreak of fever occurred among
the workmen of whom fifteen died. This fever was attributed to the
turning up of the soil.
If a strong solution of quinine be let fall in the water containing
these organisms they at once die; the efficacy of quinine as a
preventive of this form of fever would therefore not be inconsistent
with this theory. Upon this subject the President called attention to
the view of Sir Joseph Fayrer who acknowledged the importance of the
discovery if it should be confirmed but considered that there was a
possibility that the results attributed to these influences might to
some extent be due to disturbance of the system in a body predisposed
to be deranged by peculiarity of constitution climatic or other
influence of the nature of which we are ignorant though it is
conceivable by analogy.
The marvelous facility of reproduction of various germs as shown
by Pasteur in the case of chicken cholera was dwelt upon; and the
President said that it would be a wonder how any higher form of life
could exist subject to the possibility of invasion by such countless
hosts of occult enemies were it not seen that the science of the
prevention of disease advanced quite as rapidly as our knowledge of the
causes. Holding that the attitude of the sanitarian in regard to the
germ theory of diseases as applied to all diseases of the zymotic
class must be one of reserve yet he said even if the views of those
who are prepared to accept the germ theory of disease to its fullest
extent were shown to be true it seems to be certain that if the
invasion of these occult enemies present in the air is undertaken in
insufficient force or upon an animal in sufficiently robust health
they are refused a foothold and expelled; or if they have secured a
lodgment in the tissues they so to speak may be laid hold of and
absorbed or digested by them.
In corroboration of this view Professor Koch and others state that the
minor organisms of tubercular disease do not occur in the tissues of
healthy bodies and that when introduced into the living body their
propagation and increase is greatly favored by a low state of the
general health. The President held that for the present sanitary
procedure was independent of these theories on the germ origin in
particular of zymotic disease; but gave the facts as worthy of
consideration as indicating points for the direction of those who aimed
at preventing disease.
The President dealt with the important subject of isolation in the cases
of contagious zymotic diseases and then proceeding to discuss the
subject of epidemic diseases said: Notwithstanding the numerous
experiments and the great efforts which have been made in recent times
to endeavor to trace out the origin of disease the sanitarian has not
yet been able to lift up the veil which conceals the causes connected
with the occurrence of epidemic diseases. These diseases come in
recurring periods sometimes at longer sometimes at shorter intervals.
Animals as well as the human race are similarly affected by these
diseases of periodical recurrence; but why they prevail more in one year
than in another we are entirely ignorant. They appear to be subject to
certain aerial or climatic conditions.
Cholera affords an illustration of this. There is a part of India
low-lying water-logged near the mouth of the Ganges where cholera may
be said to be endemic. In certain years but why we know not it spreads
out of this district and moves westward over the country; the people
are sedentary and seldom leave home but the cholera travels on. At
last it arrives on the borders of the desert where there are no people
and no intercourse no alvine secretions and no sewers yet the
statistician sitting in Calcutta can tell almost the day on which the
epidemic influence will have crossed the desert. But it exercises
discrimination in its attacks It will visit one town or village and
leave many others in the vicinity untouched. Similarly it will attack
one house and leave another. But it has been generally found that
the attacked house or village held out special invitation from its
insanitary condition. The same houses or the same localities will be
revisited in recurring epidemics because the conditions remain the
same; remove those conditions and at the next recurrence the locality
will escape. At Malta it was found that the same localities and houses
which yielded the majority of plague deaths there in 1813 yielded the
majority of the deaths in the cholera epidemics of 1839 and 1867 and
that in the intervals the same localities yielded the majority of cases
of small-pox fever and of an anthrax a very special eruptive epidemic
attended by carbuncles. Hence while we are unable either to account
for the cause or to prevent the periodic recurrence of epidemics the
sanitarian has learnt that it is possible to mitigate the severity of
the visit; and that whether these evils arise from the occult causes
to which I have alluded or from other causes pure air and pure
water afford almost absolute safeguards against most forms of zymotic
In speaking of the pure-water question he remarked: Although there are
many theories as to how far water which has once been contaminated by
sewage may again after a time become fit to drink I am disposed to
think that there has never been a well-proved case of an outbreak of
disease resulting from the use of drinking water where the chemist would
not unhesitatingly on analysis have condemned the water as an impure
source; and it appears probable that whatever may be the actual causes
of certain diseases--i.e. whether germs or chemical poisons the
_materies morbi_ which finds its way into the river at the sewage
outfall is destroyed together with the organic impurity after a
certain length of flow. He pressed that there should be no further delay
in bringing the Act for the Prevention of Pollution of Rivers into
operation and in enforcing the provisions of the Acts. In regard to the
pollution of the air he called attention to the fact that nearly fifty
years ago Mr. Edwin Chadwick impressed upon the community the evils
which were caused by the impure condition of the air in our towns owing
to the retention of refuse around houses. The speaker remarked that the
gases which were the result of putrefaction were offensive to the
smell and some of them such as sulphureted hydrogen when present in
undue proportions in the air would kill persons outright or when those
gases were in smaller proportions in the air breathed by people there
would be a lowered tone of health in the individuals exposed to them.
Continued exposure might lead to the development of other conditions
which in their turn might lead to disease or death.
From this point the President proceeded to speak of the increased
toxical power of volatile compounds given off by neglected decomposed
matter and was thence led to dwell upon the dangers arising from
decomposed substances in cesspools and in badly constructed drains.
There was no doubt he said that in the sewering of towns want of
experience in the construction of works had in some cases led to
deposits in the sewers and evil consequences had ensued; but it might
be accepted as certain that in every case where the sewerage had been
devised on sound principles and where the works had been carried
on under intelligent supervision a largely reduced death-rate had
Evidence of this fact he adduced from the history of Newcastle for in
the ten years beginning in 1867 the death-rate was 27.6 while in the
ten years ending 1881 (during which there had been improved sewerage in
operation) the death-rate was only 23 while in 1881 it was only
21.7. He instanced the like results in Munich where the entire fever
mortality sank from 24.2 in the period when there were no regulations
in regard to cleanliness to 8.7 when the sewerage was complete at
Frankfort-on-the-Main at Dantzic and at Hamburg where similar results
obtained of a heavy zymotic mortality previous to the sewering of the
cities and a lighter mortality on the completion of the works.
These results were set forth in figures and after dealing with
the beneficial results of purifying the air of towns by the rapid
abstraction of refuse matter he passed on to review "other fertile
causes of mischief" in poisoning the air of towns the chief of these
being horse manure the dust of refuse and smoke.
On this subject he quoted Dr. Angus Smith who in his "Contributions to
the Beginnings of a Chemical Climatology" shows that the air in the
middle of the Atlantic Ocean on the sea-shore and on uncontaminated
open spaces commands the greatest amount of oxygen; that at the tops of
hills the air contains more oxygen than at the bottom; and that places
where putrefaction may be supposed to exist are subject to a diminution
For instance a diminution of oxygen and an increase of carbonic acid is
decidedly apparent in crowded rooms theaters cowhouses and stables.
It is well known that oxygen over putrid substances is absorbed while
carbonic acid and other gases take its place; and hence all places near
or in our houses which contain impurities diminish the oxygen of the
air. The average quantity of oxygen in pure air amounts to 21 parts out
of 100. In impure places such for instance as in a sleeping-room
where the windows have been shut all night or in a lecture-theater
after a lecture or in a close stable the oxygen has been found to be
reduced to as little as 20 parts in 100.
That is to say a man breathing pure air obtains and he requires 2164
grains of oxygen per hour. In bad air he would if breathing at the same
rate get little over 2000 grains of oxygen an hour--that is a loss
of 5 per cent.; and this diminished quantity of oxygen is replaced with
other and in almost all cases pernicious matters. The oxygen is the
hard-working active substance that keeps up the fire cooks the food
and purifies the blood; and of course as the proportion of oxygen in
the air breathed diminishes the lungs must exert themselves more to
obtain the necessary quantity of oxygen for carrying on the functions of
life. If the air is loaded with impurities the lungs get clogged and
their power of absorbing the oxygen that is present in the air is
diminished. An individual breathing this impure air must therefore do
less work; or if he does the same amount of work it is at a greater
expense to his system.
The influence of smoky town air on health is to some extent illustrated
by the fact that the death-rate of twenty-three manufacturing towns
selected chiefly for their smoky character averaged 21.9 per 1000 in
1880; while the rural districts in the counties of Wilts Dorset and
Devon excluding large towns averaged 17.7 per 1000; and the deaths
from the principal zymotic diseases in the towns were more than double
those in the rural districts.
The President quoted the experiments of Mr. Aitkin of Edinburgh on the
creation of fogs--that the vapor of water injected into air from which
particles had been strained out was not visible; whereas as soon as
foreign matter such as dust or smoke or fumes and especially