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Gratuitous Institution for the Forma- care of the latter, how securely do old tion of Practical Naturalists. and exploded systems still hold their

reign, and how strongly does the faded The universal necessity for the esta- label, and disregard of all modern arblishment of a school for the education rangement, which is evident in every of the practical naturalist, has been re- case, testify the blissful ignorance in peatedly urged in L'Echo du Monde sa- which their curator has quietly dozed vant, à Parisian scientific periodical. for the last five-and-twenty years ! The same work has recently announced, "Added to the want of practical natuthat the idea has been carried into exe- ralists, which the reforms in the old cution. There ought to be as little establishments, and the cravings of the doubt of its successful career, as there new are producing, there are new assocan be of the immense assistance it ciations organized for the acquisition, must furnish to the acquirement of an study, and preservation of local natural accurate knowledge of natural history productions, arising in every departin its most extensive sense. We subjoin ment; expeditions for scientific pursome observations on the subject by M. poses are fitting out, at great cost, for Boubée, an eminent French geologist. the exploration of the most distant

Now that the study of nature is countries; and the wealthy patrons of daily gaining so many proselytes to science are either visiting themselves, science, it cannot be matter of surprise or commissioning others to visit and that the number and contents of collec- examine, at their expense, some of the tions of natural history are rapidly in numerous points of the globe on which creasing, and that the demand for per- Nature has deposited myriads of her sons skilled in the preparation of the wonders still unknown. In all these objects of such collections, and expe- instances, experienced guides and inrienced in their preservation, should telligent assistants will be invaluable. become annually greater and more But where are they to be found ? And urgent. The scarcity of this class of more, where could a lover of natural practical naturalists is, in fact, every- science prepare himself for such services where so great, that besides several by a course of actual research, conplaces in which the amateurs of natural ducted under the direction of competent history have the means of founding teachers, and at a cost within the museums, but are deterred from so means of those who are not affluent? doing by the want of a naturalist who “In no place that we know of does any could take charge of a collection and opportunity of the kind exist. In no direct the preparations, there are actu- place, for instance, is Taxidermy pracally museums already commenced, tically taught; and public instruction which are in want of conservators and imparted on the art of setting up the cannot obtain them. How many long- spoils of birds and quadrupeds, and established institutions are there also, giving to each specimen its characteristic the officers of whose museums are expression and attitude. In no place now utterly inadequate to the duties are there lessons on the best modes of which the mere extension of the cata- collecting and preparing the various logues imposes upon them ! And are classes of reptiles, of fishes, of insects, there not others, whose curators having &c., and of preserving them, when preneglected, or being incompetent, to keep pared, from the numerous causes of up with the rapid march of their sci- destruction which surround them. Boence, are so far in the rear, that the tany, it is true, may boast of her advanlanguage used by their advanced asso- tages; these have proceeded principally ciates is unintelligible to them? from the ease with which her subjects

“ Under the eyes of the former, how can be obtained and prepared, but even many rare and precious objects are she has to deplore the losses and mishourly perishing through the blunders chiefs which ignorance and inexperience or inattention of their guardians! Who are constantly producing. In Mineralogy can say what treasures are confined to and in Geology, the knowledge of the the friendly damp and obscurity of beds, judgment in the selection, and cellars, that their testimony to the in- skill in the dressing, of the specimens, competency of the parties to whom they are possessed by very few individuals, have been intrusted may never obtrude whose position in society, and whose upon the public attention ? Under the personal acquirements and tastes, are

favourable to the communication of such | alone, let us point out the numerous knowledge to others.

sources of employment for its professors "This extensive demand for assistants, in France only. Natural History is now and this dearth of instruction which is taught in all her universities and colnecessary to create them, has produced leges, in numerous departmental inthat scarcity of preparers, preservers, stitutions, in all the primary schools, and and travelling-naturalists, which is now is about to be so in the secondary ones. severely felt in France, in Great Britain, The number of societies for its proin Belgium, and in all the northern motion, and of records for its history, are states of Europe; in all places, in fact, daily increasing, and so are the periodiwhere large public museums, or exten- cal publications, both those entirely desive private collections exist. Applica- voted to the scicnce, and others which, totions, in great numbers, are now per- gether with newspapers, devote a section. petually addressed to the professors, Botanical, horticultural, and zoological &c., of the public establishments in gardens and museums are common in the Paris, for persons to whom the care of larger towns, and are even forming in the museums might be confided, and for smaller ones. Enterprising individuals naturalists who could explore skilfully, are continually undertaking new expeand report correctiy, the phenomena of riments and inquiries, associations are nature in new countries, or who would formed or forming in every part, the be competent and willing to associate government is urgently demanding the themselves with expeditions of more or completion of the geological maps of less magnitude entirely designed for each department of France, and general scientific purposes, or with others of a commerce is becoming interested, on a commercial or political nature, but in grand scale, with the natural productions which opportunities for scientific re- of all countries : hence are offered, to search and experiment would be afforded. the rising generation particularly, nu

" It would, therefore, be rendering a merous inducements, in a prudential most important service to science, if point of view, to the study of natural young men could be so prepared, by a history. The few who have hitherto short course of actual research and devoted themselves to it, have generally manipulation, as to become useful been rewarded with offers of engageassistants to their leaders in science, or ments from all quarters. And we reupright and intelligent guardians of the peat from our own knowledge, that there stores of natural riches already amassed. is in every part a great want of persons At the same time, it must also be evi- to fill situations, the duties of which dent that a new and honourable career would require an intimate knowledge of would be opened to a numerous class of natural history; and we do not hesitate young men, who have an ardent thirst to avow, that even at Paris we have for knowledge of this kind, but whose never yet obtained such a sufficient friends are alarmed by the prevailing number of intelligent assistants in this notion that scientific attainments are class, as we ourselves desire to attach difficult to acquire, and that when ac- to our various publications. quired, they are not sufficiently remune- "Impressed with these considerations, rated to permit their possessor to live. In and anxious to supply this great defithis state of public opinion, and particu- ciency of scientific labourers, the founlarly with regard to the latter notion, it ders * of a museum for the collection of is now desirable that every person who natural history on a large scale, in the interests himself in the progress of the Pyrénées, at

St. Bertrand-de-Comnatural sciences should make it a duty minges, have resolved to adapt it to the to contradict, within his sphere of practical instruction of naturalists and action, the assertion, that scientific others who may be desirous of becoming studies cannot introduce young men to conservators and scientific assistants in valuable connexions, nor open to them museums, and undertakers or associates any profitable career. It is gratifying in missions for the pursuit of natural to be able to refute such mis-statements, history in every part of the globe. The and on safe grounds to assure all those operations and manipulations constantly who at present entertain such an opinion, carried on in the ateliers and laborathat Science has ceased to be so ungrate- tories attached to the museum, and the ful to her cultivators. Let us take as an

* M. Boubée is one of these publicexample, the branch of natural history | spirited individuals.

researches which are perpetually in museum. This seems to be reasonable train along the whole chain of the and fair; and even by this arrangement Pyrénées from the Atlantic to the Me- the general diffusion of knowledge will diterranean, will necessarily introduce be assisted, for the various collections in the students to every variety of object all departments of natural history, which in the sea and on its shores, in regions are prepared for sale at the museum, of the lowest elevation and highest by the unpaid assistance of the students, temperature, and in those whose plains may be disposed of at still lower prices. are, by their height, covered with per- It may also be useful to say, that a petual snow. The southerly face of correct idea may be formed of the exthese mountains, particularly in the pense of residing at St. Bertrand, from valleys, is favourable to the existence of the fact that the students of an ancient numerous animals which belong to hot and excellent college still existing there, climates: in ascending from these to the are boarded and lodged, including every glaciers, a prodigious number of animals, expense, at about £20 per annum. vegetables, &c., are successively met with, peculiar to the temperature, zones,

Taxidermy. &c., which are traversed. The geological M. Gannal proposes a solution of the and mineralogical riches of the chain following salts for the preservation of cannot be surpassed; every stratum animal substances, which from its cheapbeing to be found in positions the most ness and superior preservative qualities, favourable for examination and remark. seems to be preferable to the materials Finally; the students of this Pyrenean heretofore used. museum will not only learn to find, to


2 parts. collect, to prepare, and to preserve Chloride of soda 2 objects, but they will, under professors Nitrate of potassa

1 attached to the establishment and emi.

Two dead bodies were immersed in a nent for their acquirements, be taught liquid

containing these salts in solution, to recognise them under all circum- and at the end of two months were stances, to class them systematically, to found to have undergone no change in seize accurately upon their characteristics, so as to be enabled to give such tissues and internal organs are per

their appearance.

In general, the technical descriptions, as are now required from those who aspire to be fectly preserved. Sometimes those imhistorians of natural history, or even re

mediately in contact with the fluid, lose

their natural colour, but, further than porters of isolated facts relating to it. * This course of combined instruction cular fibres offer less resistance to pres

this, no change takes place. The musand practice at the establishment of St. Bertrand, will be entirely gratuitous. sure, than is usual, in a body fortyAfter two years passed in the Pyrénées, eight hours dead. It seems to be pecuentirely occupied in travels, searching of the brain, as this organ, although

liarly well adapted for the preservation and collecting, and in the ateliers, pre- thus kept for some months, will still paring, preserving, and studying, the

serve for the demonstrations of the students, who may desire it, will be distributed, by the introduction of the anatomist. This solution has also been directors of the establishment and successfully used as an injection in anaaccording to their respective merits,

tomical preparations.-L'Institut. among the various states, societies, and

Stationary Temperature of Alcohol museums, who may have made applica

on heated Metals. tions for travelling-naturalists, preparers, and conservators, of skill, expe- A CURIOUS fact has been observed in rience, and integrity.”

regard to the temperature to which alWe ought, in justice, to add, that the cohol of the specific gravity 81, confounders of this institution candidly taining, therefore, 93 parts of absolute state, that they do not profess to have, alcohol, and 7 of water, could be raised in creating it, no other interest, than in a heated dish. It is necessary, as an the accomplishment of a philanthropic introductory remark, to recall the fact, intention. They propose, as a remunera- that when the temperature of a liquid tion of the necessary expenses, that the is gradually raised, by applying heat results of the researches and labours of to the vessel containing it, a limit is the students shall be the property of the reached when the temperature of the

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liquid becomes stationary; the vapour fuid takes place, the temperature of the given out in boiling carrying off the liquid did not rise to its boiling-point. heat which enters the mass. When alco- In fact, the stationary temperature, inhol, of the strength above stated, was stead of corresponding with that of ebulprojected into a bowl, heated above the lition, was lower as the temperature of temperature at which repulsion of the the dish was higher.

Tabular View of the Manner, Cause, and Effect of the Destruction of Steam

Boilers, in the several cases in which it may occur.


1. exploded

(if large), by an excess in the

elastic force of steam, beyond
the resisting power of the dangerous
boiler, when developed slowly

and gradually.
(if large), by an excess in the
elastic force of steam, deve-

loped very rapidly or instan-


2. rent



and cylindrical)

(if small), by an excess in the

elastic force of steam, when
the sides *

are incapable of harmless
an equal resistance in all
(if large), by an excess in the

elastic force of steam, when
developed at a certain rate,

and when the sides are inca-
pable of equal resistance in all

(harmless, or
(if large), by pressure of the at-
mosphere, when the steam is

sufficiently condensed.

according to

(if small or large), by the contact
of a foreign substance (a bad

conductor of heat) with the

3. crushed.

may be

4. perforated



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(if large or small), by the inflam

mation of a certain volume of
explosive gas in the fire-place dangerous
and flues, when the former is

(if large or small), by the instan-

taneous developement of a
large volume of steam, gene-
rated by a sufficient quantity

of water falling on a conside-

rable surface of embers.
(if large or small), by the recoil

produced by the destruction
of the equilibrium of the in-
ternal pressure, in conse-

quence of a large accidental

By “ sides,” is understood (top-side, bottom-side, &c.,) the whole enclosing substance of the boiler,

Railroad Mania in Germany. pany in France, one thousand kilogramThe municipal council at Chemnitz, in

mes of peat, when distilled like the Saxony, were desirous of constructing stone coal, for two hours, yields eight a rail-road between that town aná thousand cubic feet of gas, which is of Dresden; but the mountainous nature

rather weak luminating power, and of the intervening country rendering

contains much carbon, and which, althe execution of such a project ex

though apt to be purified by water, loses tremely problematical, the authorities a great deal more of its strength; but wisely determined on an efficient pre-three-fourths of an hour only, five thou

if the same quantity is distilled for liminary survey, the expense of which, sand and five hundred cubic feet of a amounting, as it was estimated, to sixty thousand francs, they proposed to defray pure gas are obtained, which is said to by means of shares of two francs each;

afford a stronger and whiter light, than the holders of which were to be entitled

coal or oil gas. to priority in taking those of the rail-densator with eighteen tubes, is fixed

An apparatus, consisting of a conroad, if it were found to be practicable. When these experimental shares were

for purifying the gas completely; each publicly announced at Leipsic, a ludi- tube stands in a reservoir of flowing crous scene of personal conflict with water, so that the gas has to pass sticks and fists arose between the com

eighteen times through the water, and petitors, in their anxiety to secure the is not deprived of its carbon ; before the shares, and several persons who had gas arrives in the large gasometer, it announced their intention of taking two

has to pass through two layers of dry hundred shares could only obtain two,

lime; the gas thus purified, may be reby great favour; so great was the com

spired without any difficulty. petition for them, that, in a month, the

The construction of all other appatwo-franc shares sold for twenty, although ratus, may be made like that for other no one yet knew whether the projected gases.Silliman's Journal. rail-road were practicable or not.

Lunar Influence on the Weather. Bored Wells.

M. EVEREST, having observed that

the greatest number of showers in the M. CASSIANO DE Prado states, that at Spring occur at the new moon, has the city of Reuss, near to Tarragona, drawn up a table of the quantity of rain there are upwards of one hundred fallen in the first four months of the Artesian wells *, and upwards of sixty year for a period of eight years, specifyin the village of Villaseca; the supply of ing the number of rainy days before or water is not only sufficient for the public after the change. The deduction from fountains, for the purposes of irrigation, this table is, that most rain falls on the and to turn the mills in the neighbour- second, fifth, sixth, and seventh days hood; but it is even expected that a before, and on the sixth after the new canal may be fed from these sources. moon. By taking the number of rainy

days during the same periods, instead of Gas from Peat.

the quantity of rain, it appears that for Great advantages may be anticipated the eight years, forty-five days were from the introduction of peat, in making rainy in the quarter of the new moon, gas for gas-light. First, it is less ex- while the rest of the lunar month only pensive than the gas from either coal, gave twenty-three. An analogous difoil, or resin; second, the produce is ference, though not so striking was also nearly as much as from those sub-observed during the two succeeding stances : third, the gas is quite harn- months of May and June, and the proless and inoffensive, and has in respect portion approximated still more to a to healthfulness, great advantages over ratio of equality as regarded July; while the others; fourth, the peat, after having for the remainder of the year the reverse been used for the production of gas,

law holds. may be used for fuel, and is equal to [It would be desirable if M. Everest's any charcoal.

observations and deductions could be reAccording to the experiments of peated for a longer period; there exist Merle, who is director of a gas com- meteorological tables capable of furnishing

data for the confirmation, or otherwise, of * See Vol. I. p. 31.

so interesting a question. -EDITOR. )

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