The Popular Science Monthly Volume LXXXVI July to September, 1915 The Scientific Monthly Volume I October to December, 1915

Part 3 out of 8



THE aim of all industrial operations is toward perfection, both
in process and mechanical equipment, and every development in
manufacturing creates new problems. It is only to be expected,
therefore, that the industrial researcher is becoming less and
less regarded as a burden unwarranted by returns.
Industrialists have, in fact, learned to recognize chemistry as
the intelligence department of industry, and manufacturing is
accordingly becoming more and more a system of scientific
processes. The accruement of technical improvements in
particularly the great chemical industry is primarily dependent
upon systematic industrial research, and this is being
increasingly fostered by American manufacturers.

Ten thousand American chemists are at present engaged in
pursuits which affect over 1,000,000 wage-earners and produce
over $5,000,000,000 worth of manufactured products each year.
These trained men have actively and effectively collaborated in
bringing about stupendous results in American industry. There
are, in fact, at least nineteen American industries in which
the chemist has been of great assistance, either in founding
the industry, in developing it, or in refining the methods of
control or of manufacture, thus ensuring profits, lower costs
and uniform outputs.

At the recent symposium on the contributions of the chemist to
American industries, at the fiftieth meeting of the American
Chemical Society in New Orleans, the industrial achievements of
that scientific scout, the chemist, were brought out

[1] In this connection, see Hesse, J. Ind. Eng. Chem., 7
(1915), 293.

The chemist has made the wine industry reasonably independent
of climatic conditions; he has enabled it to produce
substantially the same wine, year in and year out, no matter
what the weather; he has reduced the spoilage from 25 per cent.
to 0.46 per cent. of the total; he has increased the shipping
radius of the goods and has made preservatives unnecessary. In
the copper industry he has learned and has taught how to make
operations so constant and so continuous that in the
manufacture of blister copper valuations are less than $1.00
apart on every $10,000 worth of product and in refined copper
the valuations of the product do not differ by more than $1.00
in every $50,000 worth of product. The quality of output is
maintained constant within microscopic differences. Without the
chemist the corn-products industry would never have arisen and
in 1914 this industry consumed as much corn as was grown in
that year by the nine states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey
and Delaware combined; this amount is equal to the entire
production of the state of North Carolina and about 80 per
cent. of the production of each of the states of Georgia,
Michigan and Wisconsin; the chemist has produced over 100
useful commercial products from corn, which, without him, would
never have been produced. In the asphalt industry the chemist
has taught how to lay a road surface that will always be good,
and he has learned and taught how to construct a suitable road
surface for different conditions of service. In the cottonseed
oil industry, the chemist standardized methods of production,
reduced losses, increased yields, made new use of wastes and
by-products, and has added somewhere between $10 and $12 to the
value of each bale of cotton grown. In the cement industry, the
chemist has ascertained new ingredients, has utilized
theretofore waste products for this purpose, has reduced the
waste heaps of many industries and made them his starting
material; he has standardized methods of manufacture,
introduced methods of chemical control and has insured
constancy and permanency of quality and quantity of output. In
the sugar industry, the chemist has been active for so long a
time that "the memory of man runneth not to the contrary." The
sugar industry without the chemist is unthinkable. The Welsbach
mantle is distinctly a chemist's invention and its successful
and economical manufacture depends largely upon chemical
methods. It would be difficult to give a just estimate of the
economic effect of this device upon illumination, so great and
valuable is it. In the textile industry, he has substituted
uniform, rational, well-thought out and simple methods of
treatment of all the various textile fabrics and fibers where
mystery, empiricism, "rule-of-thumb" and their accompanying
uncertainties reigned. In the fertilizer industry, it was the
chemist who learned and who taught how to make our immense beds
of phosphate rock useful and serviceable to man in the
enrichment of the soil; he has taught how to make waste
products of other industries useful and available for
fertilization and he has shown how to make the gas works
contribute to the fertility of the soil. In the soda industry,
the chemist can successfully claim that he has founded it,
developed it and brought it to its present state of perfection
and utility, but not without the help of other technical men;
the fundamental ideas were and are chemical. In the leather
industry, the chemist has given us all of the modern methods of
mineral tanning, and without them the modern leather industry
is unthinkable. In the case of vegetable-tanned leather he has
also stepped in, standardized the quality of incoming material
and of outgoing product. In the flour industry the chemist has
learned and taught how to select the proper grain for specific
purposes, to standardize the product, and how to make flour
available for certain specific culinary and food purposes. In
the brewing industry, the chemist has standardized the methods
of determining the quality of incoming material and of outgoing
products, and has assisted in the development of a product of a
quality far beyond that obtaining prior to his entry into that
industry. In the preservation of foods, the chemist made the
fundamental discoveries; up to twenty years ago, however, he
took little or no part in the commercial operations, but now is
almost indispensable to commercial success. In the water supply
of cities, the chemist has put certainty in the place of
uncertainty; he has learned and has shown how, by chemical
methods of treatment and control, raw water of varying quality
can be made to yield potable water of substantially uniform
composition and quality. The celluloid industry and the
nitro-cellulose industry owe their very existence and much of
their development to the chemist. In the glass industry the
chemist has learned and taught how to prepare glasses suitable
for the widest ranges of uses and to control the quality and
quantity of the output. In the pulp and paper industry, the
chemist made the fundamental observations, inventions and
operations and to-day he is in control of all the operations of
the plant itself; to the chemist also is due the cheap
production of many of the materials entering into this
industry, as well as the increased and expanding market for the
product itself.

Sufficient has been presented to show that certain industries
of the United States have been elevated by an infusion of
scientific spirit through the medium of the chemist, and that
manufacturing, at one time entirely a matter of empirical
judgment and individual skill, is more and more becoming a
system of scientific processes. The result is that American
manufacturers are growing increasingly appreciative of
scientific research, and are depending upon industrial
researchers--"those who catalyze raw materials by brains"--as
their pathfinders. It is now appropriate to consider just how
industrialists are taking advantage of the universities and the
products of these.


[2] See also Bacon, Science, N. S., 40 (1914), 871.

When an industry has problems requiring solution, these
problems can be attacked either inside or outside of the plant.
If the policy of the industrialist is that all problems are to
be investigated only within the establishment, a research
laboratory must be provided for the plant or for the company.
At present, in the United States, probably not more than one
hundred chemical manufacturing establishments have research
laboratories or employ research chemists, although at least
five companies are spending over $100,000 per year in research.
In Germany, and perhaps also in England, such research
laboratories in connection with chemical industries have been
much more common. The great laboratories of the Badische Anilin
und Soda Fabrik and of the Elberfeld Company are striking
examples of the importance attached to such research work in
Germany, and it would be difficult to adduce any stronger
argument in support of its value than the marvelous
achievements of these great firms.

A frequent difficulty encountered in the employment of
researchers or in the establishment of a research laboratory,
is that many manufacturers have been unable to grasp the
importance of such work, or know how to treat the men in charge
so as to secure the best results. The industrialist may not
even fully understand just what is the cause of his
manufacturing losses or to whom to turn for aid. If he
eventually engages a researcher, he is sometimes likely to
regard him as a sort of master of mysteries who should be able
to accomplish wonders, and, if he can not see definite results
in the course of a few months, is occasionally apt to consider
the investment a bad one and to regard researchers, as a class,
as a useless lot. It has not been unusual for the chemist to be
told to remain in his laboratory, and not to go in or about the
works, and he must also face the natural opposition of workmen
to any innovations, and reckon with the jealousies of foremen
and of various officials.

From the standpoint of the manufacturer, one decided advantage
of the policy of having all problems worked out within the
plant is that the results secured are not divulged, but are
stored away in the laboratory archives and become part of the
assets and working capital of the corporation which has paid
for them; and it is usually not until patent applications are
filed that this knowledge, generally only partially and
imperfectly, becomes publicly known. When it is not deemed
necessary to take out patents, such knowledge is often
permanently buried.

In this matter of the dissemination of knowledge concerning
industrial practice, it must be evident to all that there is
but little cooperation between manufacturers and the
universities. Manufacturers, and especially chemical
manufacturers, have been quite naturally opposed to publishing
any discoveries made in their plants, since "knowledge is
power" in manufacturing as elsewhere, and new knowledge gained
in the laboratories of a company may often very properly be
regarded as among the most valuable assets of the concern. The
universities and the scientific societies, on the other hand,
exist for the diffusion of knowledge, and from their standpoint
the great disadvantage of the above policy is this concealment
of knowledge, for it results in a serious retardation of the
general growth and development of science in its broader
aspects, and renders it much more difficult for the
universities to train men properly for such industries, since
all the text-books and general knowledge available would in all
probability be far behind the actual manufacturing practice.
Fortunately, the policy of industrial secrecy is becoming more
generally regarded in the light of reason, and there is a
growing inclination among manufacturers to disclose the details
of investigations, which, according to tradition, would be
carefully guarded. These manufacturers appreciate the facts
that public interest in chemical achievements is stimulating to
further fruitful research, that helpful suggestions and
information may come from other investigators upon the
publication of any results, and that the exchange of knowledge
prevents many costly repetitions.


If the manufacturer elects to refer his problem to the
university or technical school--and because of the facilities
for research to be had in certain institutions, industrialists
are following this plan in constantly increasing numbers--such
reference may take the form of an industrial fellowship and
much has been said and may be said in favor of these
fellowships. They allow the donor to keep secret for three
years the results secured, after which they may be published
with the donor's permission. They also secure to him patent
rights. They give highly specialized training to properly
qualified men, and often secure for them permanent positions
and shares in the profits of their discoveries. It should be
obvious at the outset that a fellowship of this character can
be successful only when there are close confidential relations
obtaining between the manufacturer and the officer in charge of
the research; for no such cooperation can be really effective
unless based upon a thorough mutual familiarity with the
conditions and an abiding faith in the integrity and sincerity
of purpose of each other. It is likely to prove a poor
investment for a manufacturer to seek the aid of an
investigator if he is unwilling to take such expert into his
confidence and to familiarize him with all the local and other
factors which enter into the problem from a manufacturing


[3] For a detailed description of the Mellon Institute and its
work, see Bacon and Hamor, J. Ind. Eng. Chem., 7 (1915),

According to the system of industrial research in operation at
the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research of the University
of Pittsburgh, which is not, in any sense of the word, a
commercial institution, a manufacturer having a problem
requiring solution may become the donor of a fellowship; the
said manufacturer provides the salary of the researcher
selected to conduct the investigation desired, the institute
furnishing such facilities as are necessary for the conduct of
the work.

The money paid in to found a fellowship is paid over by the
institute in salary to the investigator doing the work. In
every case, this researcher is most carefully selected for the
problem in hand. The institute supplies free laboratory space
and the use of all ordinary chemicals and equipment. The
chemist or engineer who is studying the problem works under the
immediate supervision of men who are thoroughly trained and
experienced in conducting industrial research.

At the present time, the Mellon Institute, which, while an
integral part of the University of Pittsburgh, has its own
endowment, is expending over $150,000 annually for salaries and
maintenance. A manufacturer secures for a small
expenditure--just sufficient to pay the salary of the fellow,
as the man engaged on the investigation is called--all the
benefits of an organization of this size, and many have availed
themselves of the advantages, twenty-eight companies
maintaining fellowships at the present time.

Each fellow has the benefit of the institute's very excellent
apparatus, chemical and library equipment--facilities which are
so essential in modern research; and because of these
opportunities and that of being able to pursue post-graduate
work for higher degrees, it has been demonstrated that a higher
type of researcher can be obtained by the institute for a
certain remuneration than can be generally secured by
manufacturers themselves. There is a scarcity of men gifted
with the genius for research, and it requires much experience
in selecting suitable men and in training them to the desirable
degree of efficiency, after having determined the special
qualities required. Important qualifications in industrial
researchers are keenness, inspiration and confidence; these are
often unconsidered by manufacturers, who in endeavoring to
select, say, a research chemist, are likely to regard every
chemist as a qualified scientific scout.

All researches conducted at the Mellon Institute are surrounded
with the necessary secrecy, and any and all discoveries made by
the fellow during the term of his fellowship become the
property of the donor.

When the Mellon Institute moved into its $350,000 home in
February, 1915, the industrial fellowship system in operation
therein passed out of its experimental stage. During the years
of its development no inherent sign of weakness on the part of
any one of its constituent factors appeared; in fact, the
results of the fellowships have been uniformly successful.
While problems have been presented by companies which, upon
preliminary investigation, have proved to be so difficult as to
be practically impossible of solution, there have been so many
other problems confronting these companies that important ones
were found which lent themselves to solution; and often the
companies did not realize, until after investigations were
started, just what the exact nature of their problems was and
just what improvements and savings could be made in their
manufacturing processes.

Fellowships at the Mellon Institute are constantly increasing
in the amounts subscribed by industrialists for their
maintenance and, as well, in their importance. The renewal,
year after year, of such fellowships, as those on baking,
petroleum and ores, goes to show the confidence which
industrialists have in the Mellon Institute. Again, the large
sums of money which are being spent by companies in bringing
small unit plants to develop the processes which have been
worked out in the laboratory, demonstrate that practical
results are being secured.

Where there have been sympathy and hearty cooperation between
the Mellon Institute and the company concerned, the institute
has been able to push through to a successful conclusion large
scale experiments in the factory of the company, which in the
beginning of the fellowship seemed almost impossible: it may be
said that the results of the fellowships at the Mellon
Institute indicate that a form of service to industry has been
established, the possibilities of which no man can say.




KING HIERO is said to have remarked, in view of the marvelous
mechanical devices of Archimedes, that he would henceforth
doubt nothing that had been asserted by Archimedes. This spirit
of unbounded confidence in those who have exhibited unusual
mathematical ability is still extant. Even our large city
papers sometimes speak of a mathematical genius who could solve
every mathematical problem that was proposed to him. The
numerous unexpected and far-reaching results contained in the
elementary mathematical text-books, and the ease with which the
skilful mathematics teachers often cleared away what appeared
to be great difficulties to the students have filled many with
a kind of awe for unusual mathematical ability.

In recent years the unbounded confidence in mathematical
results has been somewhat shaken by a wave of mathematical
skepticism which gained momentum through some of the popular
writings of H. Poincare and Bertrand Russell. As instances of
expressions which might at first tend to diminish such
confidence we may refer to Poincare's contention that
geometrical axioms are conventions guided by experimental facts
and limited by the necessity to avoid all contradictions, and
to Russell's statement that "mathematics may be defined as the
subject in which we never know what we are talking about nor
whether what we are saying is true."

The mathematical skepticism which such statements may awaken is
usually mitigated by reflection, since it soon appears that
philosophical difficulties abound in all domains of knowledge,
and that mathematical results continue to inspire relatively
the highest degrees of confidence. The unknowns in mathematics
to which we aim to direct attention here are not of this
philosophical type but relate to questions of the most simple
nature. It is perhaps unfortunate that in the teaching of
elementary mathematics the unknowns receive so little
attention. In fact, it seems to be customary to direct no
attention whatever to the unsolved mathematical difficulties
until the students begin to specialize in mathematics in the
colleges or universities.

One of the earliest opportunities to impress on the student the
fact that mathematical knowledge is very limited in certain
directions presents itself in connection with the study of
prime numbers. Among the small prime numbers there appear many
which differ only by 2. For instance, 3 and 5, 5 and 7, 11 and
13, 17 and 19, 29 and 31, constitute such pairs of prime
numbers. The question arises whether there is a limit to such
pairs of primes, or whether beyond each such pair of prime
numbers there must exist another such pair.

This question can be understood by all and might at first
appear to be easy to answer, yet no one has succeeded up to the
present time in finding which of the two possible answers is
correct. It is interesting to note that in 1911 E. Poincare
transmitted a note written by M. Merlin to the Paris Academy of
Sciences in which a theorem was announced from which its author
deduced that there actually is an infinite number of such prime
number pairs, but this result has not been accepted because no
definite proof of the theorem in question was produced.

Another unanswered question which can be understood by all is
whether every even number is the sum of two prime numbers. It
is very easy to verify that each one of the small even numbers
is the sum of a pair of prime numbers, if we include unity
among the prime numbers; and, in 1742, C. Goldbach expressed
the theorem, without proof, that every possible even number is
actually the sum of at least one pair of prime numbers. Hence
this theorem is known as Goldbach's theorem, but no one has as
yet succeeded in either proving or disproving it.

Although the proof or the disproof of such theorems may not
appear to be of great consequence, yet the interdependence of
mathematical theorems is most marvelous, and the mathematical
investigator is attracted by such difficulties of long
standing. These particular difficulties are mentioned here
mainly because they seem to be among the simplest illustrations
of the fact that mathematics is teeming with classic unknowns
as well as with knowns. By classic unknowns we mean here those
things which are not yet known to any one, but which have been
objects of study on the part of mathematicians for some time.
As our elementary mathematical text-books usually confine
themselves to an exposition of what has been fully established,
and hence is known, the average educated man is led to believe
too frequently that modern mathematical investigations relate
entirely to things which lie far beyond his training.

It seems very unfortunate that there should be, on the part of
educated people, a feeling of total isolation from the
investigations in any important field of knowledge. The modern
mathematical investigator seems to be in special danger of
isolation, and this may be unavoidable in many cases, but it
can be materially lessened by directing attention to some of
the unsolved mathematical problems which can be most easily
understood. Moreover, these unsolved problems should have an
educational value since they serve to exhibit boundaries of
modern scientific achievements, and hence they throw some light
on the extent of these achievements in certain directions.

Both of the given instances of unanswered classic questions
relate to prime numbers. As an instance of one which does not
relate to prime numbers we may refer to the question whether
there exists an odd perfect number. A perfect number is a
natural number which is equal to the sum of its aliquot parts.
Thus 6 is perfect because it is equal to 1 + 2 + 3, and 28 is
perfect because it is equal to 1 + 2 + 4 + 7 + 14. Euclid
stated a formula which gives all the even perfect numbers, but
no one has ever succeeded in proving either the existence or
the non-existence of an odd perfect number. A considerable
number of properties of odd perfect numbers are known in case
such numbers exist.

In fact, a very noted professor in Berlin University developed
a series of properties of odd perfect numbers in his lectures
on the theory of numbers, and then followed these developments
with the statement that it is not known whether any such
numbers exist. This raises the interesting philosophical
question whether one can know things about what is not known to
exist; but the main interest from our present point of view
relates to the fact that the meaning of odd perfect number is
so very elementary that all can easily grasp it, and yet no one
has ever succeeded in proving either the existence or the
non-existence of such numbers.

It would not be difficult to increase greatly the number of the
given illustrations of unsolved questions relating directly to
the natural numbers. In fact, the well-known greater Fermat
theorem is a question of this type, which does not appear more
important intrinsically than many others but has received
unusual attention in recent years on account of a very large
prize offered for its solution. In view of the fact that those
who have become interested in this theorem often experience
difficulty in finding the desired information in any English
publication, we proceed to give some details about this theorem
and the offered prize. The following is a free translation of a
part of the announcement made in regard to this prize by the
Konigliche Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, Gottingen, Germany:

On the basis of the bequest left to us by the deceased Dr. Paul
Wolskehl, of Darmstadt, a prize of 100,000 mk., in words, one
hundred thousand marks, is hereby offered to the one who will
first succeed to produce a proof of the great Fermat theorem.
Dr. Wolfskehl remarks in his will that Fermat had maintained
that the equation

x + y =

could not be satisfied by integers whenever is an odd
prime number. This Fermat theorem is to be proved either
generally in the sense of Fermat, or, in supplementing the
investigations by Kummer, published in Crelle's Journal, volume
40, it is to be proved for all values of for which it
is actually true. For further literature consult Hibert's
report on the theory of algebraic number realms, published in
volume 4 of the Jahreshericht der Deutschen
Mathernatiker-Vereinigung, and volume 1 of the Encyklopadie der
mathematischen Wissenschaften.

The prize is offered under the following more particular

The Konigliche Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften in Gottingen
decides independently on the question to whom the prize shall
be awarded. Manuscripts intended to compete for the prize will
not be received, but, in awarding the prize only such
mathematical papers will be considered as have appeared either
in the regular periodicals or have been published in the form
of monographs or books which were for sale in the book-stores.
The Gesellschaft leaves it to the option of the author of such
a paper to send to it about five printed copies.

Among the additional stipulations it may be of interest to note
that the prize will not be awarded before at least two years
have elapsed since the first publication of the paper which is
adjudged as worthy of the prize. In the meantime the
mathematicians of various countries are invited to express
their opinion as regards the correctness of this paper. The
secretary of the Gesellschaft will write to the person to whom
the prize is awarded and will also publish in various places
the fact that the award has been made. If the prize has not
been awarded before September 13, 2007, no further applications
will be considered.

While this prize is open to the people of all countries it has
become especially well known in Germany, and hundreds of
Germans from a very noted university professor of mathematics
to engineers, pastors, teachers, students, bankers, officers,
etc., have published supposed proofs. These publications are
frequently very brief, covering only a few pages, and usually
they disclose the fact that the author had no idea in regard to
the real nature of the problem or the meaning of a mathematical
proof. In a few cases the authors were fully aware of the
requirements but were misled by errors in their work. Although
the prize was formally announced more than seven years ago no
paper has as yet been adjudged as fulfilling the conditions.

It may be of interest to note in this connection that a
mathematical proof implies a marshalling of mathematical
results, or accepted assumptions, in such a manner that the
thing to be proved is a NECESSARY consequence. The
non-mathematician is often inclined to think that if he makes
statements which can not be successfully refuted he has carried
his point. In mathematics such statements have no real
significance in an attempted proof. Unknowns must be labeled as
such and must retain these labels until they become knowns in
view of the conditions which they can be proved to satisfy. The
pure mathematician accepts only necessary conclusions with the
exception that basal postulates have to be assumed by common

The mathematical subject in which the student usually has to
contend most frequently with unknowns at the beginning of his
studies is the history of mathematics. The ancient Greeks had
already attempted to trace the development of every known
concept, but the work along this line appears still in its
infancy. Even the development of our common numerals is
surrounded with many perplexing questions, as may be seen by
consulting the little volume entitled "The Hindu-Arabic
Numerals," by D. E. Smith and L. C. Karpinski.

The few mathematical unknowns explicitly noted above may
suffice to illustrate the fact that the path of the
mathematical student often leads around difficulties which are
left behind. Sometimes the later developments have enabled the
mathematicians to overcome some of these difficulties which had
stood in the way for more than a thousand years. This was done,
for instance, by Gauss when he found a necessary and sufficient
condition that a regular polygon of a prime number of sides can
be constructed by elementary methods. It was also done by
Hermite, Lindemann and others by proving that epsilon and rho
are transcendental numbers. While such obstructions are thus
being gradually removed some of the most ancient ones still
remain, and new ones are rising rapidly in view of modern
developments along the lines of least resistance.

These obstructions have different effects on different people.
Some fix their attention almost wholly on them and are thus
impressed by the lack of progress in mathematics, while others
overlook them almost entirely and fix their attention on the
routes into new fields which avoid these difficulties. A
correct view of mathematics seems to be the one which looks at
both, receiving inspiration from the real advances but not
forgetting the desirability of making the developments as
continuous as possible. At any rate the average educated man
ought to know that there is no mathematician who is able to
solve all the mathematical questions which could be proposed
even by those having only slight attainments along this line.




IN a number of places in eastern Australia curious aboriginal
markings are found on the faces of the sandstone cliffs. A good
idea of them is given by the photographs. These came from
Wolgan Gap near Wallerang in the Blue Mountain region of New
South Wales. They are found on overhanging rocks that have
served as shelters or camping places for the aborigines and
which doubtless have protected their works of art.

These stencillings are made by a sort of spatter work,
something like that in vogue a generation ago in this country,
using leaves, etc., as forms. The rocks at Wolgan Gap are a
coarse sandstone stained almost black by an iron oxide derived
from included bands of ironstone. These black surfaces were
selected by the artists. Nearby in the rock is a band of shale
which had disintegrated at its exposed edge to a white powder.
The native artist put some of this white powder in his mouth,
placed his hand or foot upon the rock, and blew the moistened
powder upon and around his outstretched fingers or toes. When
he removed them they were outlined on the rock. Since the
sandstone is coarse and deeply pitted, the moist powder was
blown into minute cavities where it has remained despite the
erosive activities of some generations. The presence of the
powder is shown on the photographs as a sort of halo around the
object. The hands are either right or left, and, in some cases,
both hands seem to have been stencilled at once. Sometimes the
whole arm and hand are stencilled together, and in one of the
photographs a boomerang is shown. The age of these stencils is
not known. They were first discovered at Wolgan Gap about sixty
years ago, but others have been known for a longer time, for
instance, those at Greenwich, Parametta River, near Sydney.

The significance of these stencillings has been the subject of
some controversy. The natives may have been induced to make
them as boys carve their names on benches or even rocks. The
materials for making the stencillings were present and, the
example once having been set, others would emulate it. It is
interesting that similar stencillings of the hands were made by
cave men on the walls of some of the European caves, as, for
instance, those of Aurignac in southern France. Evidently
spatter work is no modern pastime.



THIS war, beyond measure disastrous to civilization, is a trial
also of our democracy. We may hope that it is an old-world war
and an old-men's war, repugnant to the genius of our newer
life. The statements of some of our public men and the contents
of some of our newspapers can not be read without
discouragement. But it is also true that there has perhaps not
appeared a cartoon in any American newspaper tending to glorify
war, and no legislation has so far been enacted in preparation
for war. There is good reason to believe that the people have
not been infected by the contagion of blood.

As Professor Patrick argued in a recent issue of the Monthly,
man is by genetic inheritance a fighting and a playing animal,
not an animal delighting in steady work. The ape and the tiger
will be exterminated elsewhere in nature before they will be
suppressed in man. It is a slow process, but surely proceeding.

The writer of this note has determined the proportion of each
century in which the leading nations have been engaged in war.
The curve thus found has no great reliability; for it does not
take into account the percentages of the peoples concerned, but
its course clearly indicates that even under circumstances as
they have been, wars will come to an end. And there is good
reason to believe that the newer condition--universal education
and universal suffrage, democratic control, improved economic
conditions of living for the people, the scientific
attitude--will tend to bend the curve more rapidly toward the
base line of permanent "peace on earth and good will to men."

While man has inherited instincts which exhibit themselves in
playing and fighting, the same instincts may by social control
be diverted to playing the games of art or science, to fighting
disease and vice. It is rarely wise or feasible to attempt to
suppress instincts; they should be directed so as to provide
desirable conduct. Loyalty to family, to group, to neighborhood
and to nation can not be lightly cast away for an abstract
cosmopolitanism. But it can be expressed otherwise than by
seizing everything in sight by cunning or by violence.

William James, the great psychologist, in one of his brilliant
essays published in The Popular Science Monthly for October,
1910, tells us that history is a bath of blood; we inherit the
war-like type; our ancestors have bred pugnacity into our bone
and marrow; showing the irrationality and horror of war does
not prevent it; but a moral equivalent can be found by
enlisting an army to toil and suffer pain in doing the hard and
routine work of the world. It is doubtful, however, if the
"gilded youths" to whom James refers would accept
"dish-washing, clothes-washing and window-washing,
road-building and tunnel-making, foundries and stoke-holes," as
a substitute for war, and for the great mass of the people
there is more than enough of these things. It is to escape from
them that we seek excitement and adventure, intoxication by
drugs and war.

Professor Cannon, of Harvard University, proposes international
football and other athletic contests as substitutes for war.
The adrenal glands, whose secretions excite the combative and
martial emotions, must function, and their activity, he argues,
can be directed in this way. Mr. Bryan has just now made the
proposal that we build six great national roads by which armies
might be collected for defence; the secretary of the navy has
founded a Naval Inventions Board; the postmaster general has
suggested that aeroplanes be used to deliver mail in order that
we may have an aerial corps ready for service. There may be an
element of the absurd in some of these proposals, as there
would be in using submarines to catch cod fish, so that there
might be practise in building and managing such crafts for
peaceful pursuits. There is, however, psychological
justification for aiming to direct the emotions so that their
discharge is not destructive, but of benefit to the nation and
to the world. Such would be the development of our national
resources, the construction of railways, roads, waterworks and
the like; social and political reforms; progress in the care of
public health, in education and in scientific research. It is
proposed that the next congress should spend half a billion
dollars on the army and navy. It is possible that on a
plebiscite vote, exactly under existing conditions, a majority
would vote to make the department of war a department of public
works, military defence being only one of its functions, and to
spend the sum proposed on public works useful in case of war,
but not an incitement to war.


WHILE the lives and the wealth of the European nations are
being sacrificed on a scale hitherto unparalleled, it is well
in the interests of those nations, as well as of our own, that
we conserve the lives and wealth of our own people. The
greatest wealth of a nation is its children, its productive
workers, its scientific men and other leaders, its accumulated
knowledge and social traditions. These are immeasurable, but
the Bureau of the Census has recently prepared a report on the
material wealth and indebtedness, according to which it is
estimated that the total value of all classes of property in
the United States, exclusive of Alaska and the insular
possessions, in 1912, was $187,739,000,000, or $1,965 per
capita. This estimate is presented merely as the best
approximation which can be made from the data available and as
being fairly comparable with that published eight years ago.
The increase between 1904 and 1912 was 75 per cent., for the
total amount and 49 per cent. for the per capita. Real estate
and improvements, including public property, alone constituted
$110,677,000,000, or 59 per cent. of the total, in 1912. The
next greatest item, $16,149,000,000, was contributed by the
railroads; and the third, $14,694,000,000, represented the
value of manufactured products, other than clothing and
personal adornments, furniture, vehicles and kindred property.

The net public-indebtedness in 1913 amounted to $4,850,461,000.
This amount was made up as follows: National debt,
$1,028,564,000, or $10.59 per capita; state debt, $345,942,000,
or $3.57 per capita; county debt, $371,528,000, or $4.33 per
capita; and municipal debt, $2,884,883,000, or $54.27 per
capita. Thus the average urban citizen's share of the net
federal, state, county and municipal debt combined was $72.76;
and the average rural citizen's share of the net federal, state
and county debt combined was $18.49.

The total federal debt in 1910 was $2,916,205,000, of which
amount $967,366,000 was represented by bonds, $375,682,000 by
non-interest-bearing debt (principally United States notes or
"greenbacks"), and $1,573,157,000 by certificates and notes
issued on deposits of coin and bullion. Against this
indebtedness there was in the treasury $1,887,641,000 in cash
available for payment of debt, leaving the net national
indebtedness at $1,028,564,000, or $10.59 per capita. The
increase in the net indebtedness between 1902 and 1913 amounted
to 6 per cent., but for the per capita figure there was a
decrease of 13 per cent. The burden due to the national debt is
thus very light in comparison with that imposed by the
indebtedness of other great nations.

The state debt, however, rests still more easily on the
shoulders of the average citizen, being only one third as great
as that of the nation. The total state indebtedness in 1913 was
$422,797,000, and the net debt--that is, the total debt less
sinking-fund assets--was $345,942,000, or $3.57 per capita. The
net debt increased by 44.5 per cent. between 1902 and 1913, and
the per capita net debt by 18 per cent.

The total county debt in 1913 amounted to $393,207,000, of
which amount $371,528,000, or $4.33 per capita, was net debt.
The net indebtedness increased by 89 per cent. between 1902 and
1913, and the per capita net indebtedness by 55 per cent. By
far the greatest item of indebtedness in this country is that
of municipalities. This amounted in 1913 to an aggregate of
$3,460,000,000, of which $2,884,883,000, or $54.27 per capita,
represented net indebtedness. The rate of increase in net
indebtedness between 1902 and 1913 was 114 per cent.

While the nations of Europe are involving themselves in the
toils of debts, we should use our vast surplus wealth to pay
the national, state and municipal debts, even those contracted
for public improvements. We save every year about $100 for each
adult and child of the country and waste about an equal sum. It
would be well if this wealth could be invested for the benefit
of each, and education and scientific research are the most
productive of all investments.


WE record with regret the death of Karl Eugen Guthe, professor
of physics in the University of Michigan and dean of the
Graduate School, in Hanover, Germany; of John Howard Van
Amringe, long dean of Columbia College and professor of
mathematics; of Carlos J. Finlay, known for his advocacy of the
theory that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes; of A. J.
Herbertson, of Wadham College, Oxford, professor of geography
in the university; of Julius von Payer, the distinguished polar
explorer and artist, of Vienna, and of Guido Goldsehmiedt,
professor of chemistry in the University of Vienna.

DR. JACQUES LORE, of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical
Research, has been elected a foreign fellow of the Linnean
Society, London.--Dr. David Bancroft Johnson, president of
Winthrop Normal and Industrial College, of Rockhill, S. C., has
been elected president of the National Education Association,
in succession to Dr. David Starr Jordan, chancellor of Stanford

A MEMORIAL to Johann C. Reil, the anatomist, has been erected
in Halle. It stands in front of the university clinic, the seat
of his labors until called to Berlin in 1810. He died in 1813,
aged fifty-five years.--A bronze bas-relief--the work of Mr. S.
N. Babb--is about to be erected in St. Paul's Cathedral in
memory of Captain Scott and his companions who perished in the
Antarctic. At the request of the committee responsible for the
memorial an inscription has been written by Lord Curzon, which
reads as follows: "In memory of Captain Robert Falcon Scott,
C.V.O., R.N., Dr. Edward Adrian Wilson, Captain Lawrence E. G.
Oates, Lieut. Henry R. Bowers and Petty Officer Edgar Evans,
who died on their return journey from the South Pole in
February and March, 1912. Inflexible of purpose, steadfast in
courage, resolute in endurance in the face of unparalleled
misfortune. Their bodies are lost in the Antarctic ice. But the
memory of their deeds is an everlasting monument."





WITH their undaunted spirit for braving the wilds, the English
entered New Guinea in 1885. For centuries the great island had
remained a mere outline upon the map the fever-haunted glades
of its vast swamps and the broken precipices of its mountain
ranges having defied exploration, more than the morose and
savage character of its inhabitants. Even in the summer of
1913, Massy Baker the explorer, discovered a lake probably 100
miles or more in shore-line, which had remained hidden in the
midst of the dark forests of the Fly and Strickland River
regions, and here savages still in the stone age, who had never
seen a white man, measured the potency of their weapons against
the modern rifle.

To-day there are vast areas upon which the foot of the white
man has not yet trodden, and of all the regions in the tropical
world New Guinea beckons with most alluring fascination to him
to whom adventure is dearer than life.

Far back in the dawn of European exploration, the Portuguese
voyager Antonio de Abreu, may have seen the low shores of
western New Guinea, but it is quite certain that sixteen years
later, in 1527, Don Jorge de Meneses cruised along the coast
and observed the wooly-headed natives whom he called "Papuas."
The name "New Guinea" was bestowed upon the island by the
Spanish captain, Ynigo Ortz de Retes, in 1515, when he saw the
negroid natives of its northern shores.

Then there came and passed some of the world's greatest
navigators. Torres wandering from far Peru, to unknowingly
discover the strait which bears his name; Dampier, the
buccancer-adventurer, and, in 1768, the cultured, esthetic
Bougainville, who was enraptured by the beauty of the deep
forest-fringed fjords of the northeastern coast. Cook, greatest
of all geographers, mapped the principal islands and shoals of
the intricate Torres Strait in 1770; and a few years later came
Captain Bligh, the resourceful leader of his faithful few,
crouching in their frail sail boat that had survived many a
tempest; since the mutineers of the Bounty had cast them adrift
in the mid-Pacific. In the early years of the nineteenth
century the scientifically directed Astrolabe arrived, under
the command of Dumont D'Urville, and, later, Captain Owen
Stanley in the Rattlesnake, with Huxley as his zoologist, Then,
in 1858, came Alfred Russel Wallace, the codiscoverer of
Darwinism, who, by the way, is said to have been the first
Englishman who ever actually resided in New Guinea.

The daring explorers and painstaking surveyors came and went,
but the great island remained a land of dread and mystery,
guarded by the jagged reefs of its eastern shores, and the
shallow mud flats, stretching far to sea-ward beyond the mouths
of the great rivers of its southern coast. So inaccessible was
Papua that even the excellent harbor of Port Moresby, the site:
of the present capital, was not discovered until 1873. One has
but to stifle for a while in the heavy air that flows lifeless
and fetid over the lowlands as if from a steaming furnace, or
to scent the rank odors of the dark swamps, where for centuries
malaria must linger, to appreciate the reason for the
long-delayed European settlement of the country. But those who
blaze the path of colonial progress are not to be deterred by
temperatures or smells; let us remember that Batavia, "the
white man's graveyard," is now one of the world's great
commercial centers; and Jamaica, the old fever camp of the
British army, is now a health resort for tourists.

Papua, the land of the tired eyes and the earnest face, of the
willing spirit and the weary body, waning as strength fails
year by year in malaria and heat, the land wherein the heart
aches for the severed ties of wife and home; its history has
hardly yet begun, but the reward of generations of heroism will
be the conquest of another empire where England's high
standards of freedom are to he raised anew. A victory of peace
it is to be, as noble as any yet achieved in war; and great
through its death roll, and forgotten though the workers be,
the fruits of their labors will bless that better world Great
Britain is preparing for those of ages yet to come.

There are great resources in Papua with its area of 90,500
square miles. Untrodden forests where the dark soil moulders
beneath the everlasting shade; swamps bearing a harvest of
thousands of sago and nipa palms, and mountains in a riot of
contorted peaks rising to a height of 13,200 feet in the Owen
Stanley range.

It is still a country of surprises, as when petroleum fields,
probably 1,000 square miles in area, were discovered only about
four years ago along the Vailala River, the natives having
concealed their knowledge of the bubbling gas springs through
fear of offending the evil spirits of the place. It is evident
that although the country has been merely glanced over, there
are both agricultural and mineral resources of a promising
nature in Papua. It remains but for modern medicine to
over-come the infections of the tropics for the region to rise
into prominence as one of the self-supporting colonies of the
British empire.

The early history of British occupation centers around the
striking personality of James Chalmers, the great-hearted,
broad-minded, missionary, one of the most courageous who ever
devoted his life to extending the brotherhood of the white
man's ideals. Chafing, as a young man, under the petty
limitations of his mission in the Cook Islands, he sought New
Guinea, as being the wildest and most dangerous field in the
tropical Pacific. Here, for twenty-five years, he devoted his
mighty soul to the work of introducing the rudiments of
civilization and Christianity to the most sullen and dangerous
savages upon earth. Scores of times his life hung in the
balance of native caprice; wives and friends died by his side,
victims to the malignant climate and to native spears, while he
seemed to possess a charmed life; until, true to his
prediction, he was murdered by the cannibals of Dopina at the
mouth of the Fly River in 1901.

Hundreds of scattered tribes had learned to revere their great
leader "Tamate," as they called him, who brought peace and
prosperity to his followers. Yet a danger to Papua that he
himself foresaw and did all in his power to avert came as a
result of the introduction of the very civilization of which he
was the champion, for with peace came new wants that the most
unscrupulous of traders at once sought to supply at prices
ruinous to the social and moral welfare of the natives.

Also, the proximity of Queensland threatened to become a
menace; for Chalmers himself was well aware of the dark history
of the "blackbird trade" wherein practical slavery was forced
upon the indentured laborers, lured from their island homes to
toil as hopeless debtors upon the Australian plantations. A
government of the natives for the native interests he desired;
not one administered from the Australian mainland in the
interest of alien whites. The hopes of Chalmers were only
partially realized, for Papua is still only a territory of

In most respects this condition appears to be unfortunate. The
crying needs of a new country are usually peculiarly local and
not likely to be appreciated by a distant ruling power.
Moreover, Australia is itself an undeveloped land and requires
too large a proportion of its own capital for expansion at home
to be a competent protector of a colony across the sea. One
feels that Papuan development might have proceeded with greater
smoothness had the colony been more directly under the British
empire, rather shall an Australian dependency.

The strategic necessity that Australia should command both the
northern and the southern shores of Torres Straits might still
have been secured without the sacrifice of any important
initiative in matters of government upon the part of Papua.

The cardinal evil that Chalmers feared has, however, been
averted. The natives still own 97 1/2 per cent. of the entire
land area, and wise laws guard them in this precious
possession, and aim to protect them from all manner of unjust
exploitation. It is much to the credit of the government that
the cleanest native villages and the most healthy, ambitious
and industrious tribes, are those nearest the white
settlements. Contact between the races has resulted in the
betterment, not in the degradation, of the Papuan natives.

The touch of a master hand is apparent in a multitude of
details in managing the natives of Papua; and it is of interest
to see that in broad essentials the plan of government is
adapted from that which the English have put to the test of
practice in Fiji; the modifications being of a character
designed to meet the conditions peculiar to Melanesia, wherein
the chiefs are relatively unimportant in comparison with their
role in the social systems of the Polynesians and Fijians.
Foremost in the shaping of the destiny of Papua stands the
commanding figure of Sir William Macgregor, administrator and
lieutenant governor from 1888 to 1898. As a young man Macgregor
was government physician in Fiji, where he became prominent not
only as a competent guardian of the health of the natives, but
as a leader in the suppression of the last stronghold of
cannibalism along the Singatoka River. In Papua his tireless
spirit found a wide field for high endeavor, and upon every
department of the government one finds to-day the stamp of his
powerful personality. Nor did he remain closeted in Port
Moresby, a stranger to the races of his vast domains, for over
the highest mountains and through the densest swamps his
expeditions forced their way; the Great Governor always in the
van. It was thus that he conquered the fierce Tugeri of the
Dutch border, who for generations had been the terror of the
coasts; and wherever his expeditions passed, peace followed,
and the law of the British magistrate supplanted the caprice of
the sorcerer.

But his hardest fight was not with the mountain wilds or the
malarious morasses. It was to secure from the powerful ones of
his own race the privileges of freemen for the natives of

In his youth he had seen the blessings that came with the
advent of British rule in Fiji; and here, in broad New Guinea,
upon a vaster scale, he strove to make fair play the dominant
note in the white man's treatment of a savage race.

Arrayed against Chalmers and Macgregor were conservatism and
suspicion founded in ancient precedent, and a commercial
avarice that saw in native exploitation the readiest means to
convert New Guinea into a "white man's country." Aversion there
was also in high places to embarking upon a possibly fruitless
experiment, involving generations of labor and expense for a
remote and uncertain harvest. Chalmers and Macgregor, however,
through the force of their high convictions and the wisdom of
their wide experience, won the great fight for fairness; for
civilization's cardinal victories are those, not of the
soldier, but of the civil servant who dares risk his reputation
and his all for those things he deems just and generous; and
when Papua comes to erect statues to her great leaders, those
of these two patriots must surely occupy the highest places, as
champions of the liberties of the weak. The noble policy of
Macgregor is still, and let us hope it long may be, the keynote
of the administration in Papua, which to-day is being ably
carried forward under the great governor's disciple, the
Honorable John H. P. Murray.

The proclamation given by Captain Erskine in 1884 declared that
a British Protectorate had become essential for the
safeguarding of the lives and property of the natives of New
Guinea and for the purpose of preventing the occupation of the
country by persons whose proceedings might lead to injustice,
strife and bloodshed, or whose illegitimate trade might
endanger the liberties and alienate the lands of the natives.

It is, however, one thing for a government to declare its
altruistic intentions, but often quite another to carry them
into effect.

In Papua, every effort has been made to prevent robbery of the
natives by unscrupulous whites. The natives are firmly secured
in the possession of their lands, which they can neither sell,
lease nor dispose of, except to the government itself. Thus the
natives and the government are the only two landlords in the
country. To acquire land in Papua, the European settler must
rent it from the government, for he is not permitted to acquire
fee simple rights. The whites are thus tenants of the
government, and are subject to such rules and regulations as
their landlord may decree. The tenant is, however, recognized
as the creator and owner of any improvements he may erect upon
the land, and, at the expiration of his lease, the government
undertakes to pay him a fair compensation for such
improvements, provided he has lived up to the letter of
regulations respecting his tenure.

For agricultural land a merely nominal rental is demanded,
ranging from nothing for the first ten years to a final maximum
of six pence per acre; yet this system has had the effect of
retarding European settlement, for, although its area is twice
that of Cuba, Papua had but 1,064 whites in 1912, and only one
one hundred and seventy-fourth of the territory is held under

Men of the type who can conquer the primeval forests and create
industries prefer to own their land outright, and are apt to
resent the restrictions of complex government regulations,
however wisely administered. Socialism, while it may in some
measure be desirable in old and settled communities, serves but
to dull that sense of personal freedom which above all spurs
the pioneer onward to success in a wild and dangerous region.

Possibly in the end, the government may find it advantageous to
permit certain lands to be acquired by Europeans, in fee
simple; for until this is done the settlement of the country
must proceed with extreme slowness. Moreover, mere tenants
owning nothing but their improvements, and even these being
subject to government appraisement, may be unduly tempted to
drain, rather than to develop, the resources of the land they

But the chief aim of the Papuan government is to introduce
civilization among the natives, and a slow increase in the
European population is of primary necessity to the
accomplishment of this result.

At present the natives are not taxed, the chief sources of
revenue being derived from the customs duties upon imports, the
bulk of which are consumed by the Europeans, and this source of
income is supplemented by an annual grant of about 25,000
pounds from the Australian Commonwealth, but, due to the duties
upon food and necessities, the cost of living is higher than it
should be in a new country.

Judging, however, from the experience of the English in Fiji
and of the Dutch in Java, the natives would be benefited rather
than oppressed by a moderate poll tax to be paid in produce,
thus developing habits of industry, and in some measure
offsetting the evil effects of that insidious apathy which
follows upon the sudden abolition of native warfare.

Every effort should also he made to encourage and educate the
Papuans in the production and sale of manufactured articles.
One must regret the loss of many arts and crafts among the
primitive peoples of the Pacific, which, if properly fostered
under European protection to insure a market and an adequate
payment for their wares, would have been a source of revenue
and a factor of immeasurable import in developing that self
respect and confidence in themselves which the too sudden
modification of their social and religious Systems is certain
to destroy. The ordinary mission schools are deficient in this
respect, devoting their major energies to the "three R's" and
to religious instruction, and, while it is pleasing to observe
a boy whose father was a cannibal extracting cube roots, one
can not but conclude that the acquisition of some money-making
trade would be more conducive to his happiness in after life.

It is not too much to say that the chief problem in dealing
with an erstwhile savage race is to overcome the universal loss
of interest and decline in energy which inevitably follows upon
the development of that semblance of civilization which is
enforced with the advent of the white man. The establishment of
manual training schools wherein arts and crafts which may be
profitably practiced by the natives as life-professions, is a
first essential to the salvation of the race. These schools
should and would in no manner interfere with the religious
teaching received from missionaries, but would indeed be a most
potent factor in the spread of true Christianity among the
natives. Whether Christianity be true or false does not affect
the case, for the natives are destined to be dominated by
Christian peoples, and it primarily essential that they should
understand at least the rudiments of Christian ideals and

The realization of the importance of training them to the
pursuit of useful arts and trades, which would enable the
natives to become self-supporting in the European sense, has
been perceived by certain thinkers among the missionaries
themselves, and in certain regions efforts are being made the
success of which should revolutionize our whole method of
dealing with the problem of introducing civilization among a
primitive people.

Keep their minds active and their hands employed in
self-supporting work and their morals and religion will safely
fall into accord with Christian standards.

Up to the present native education has been left to the devoted
efforts of the missionaries, who have more than 10,000 pupils
under their charge, but the time is coming when the government
should cooperate in establishing trade schools wherein crafts,
providing life-vocations to the natives, may be taught.

There may be more than 275,000 natives in Papua, but, due to
lack of knowledge of the country, the actual number is unknown.

Among the mountain fastnesses, defending themselves in
tree-houses, one finds a frizzly-headed black negrito-like race
hardly more than five feet in height. These are probably
remnants of the "pigmy" pre-Dravidian or Negrito-Papuan
element, which constituted the most ancient inhabitants of the
island and who long ago were driven inland from the coveted

The burly negroid Papuans of the Great River deltas of western
Papua differ widely from the lithe, active, brown-skinned,
mop-headed natives of the eastern half of the southern coast;
and Professors Haddon and Seligmann have decided that in
eastern New Guinea many Proto-Polynesian, Melanesian and
Malayan immigrants have mingled their blood with that of the
more primitive Papuans. Thus there are many complexly
associated ethnic elements in New Guinea, and often people
living less than a hundred miles apart can not understand one
another; in fact, each village has its peculiar dialect. Social
customs and cultural standards in art and manufacture vary
greatly from the same cause, and each tribe has some remarkable
individual characteristics. In the Fly-River region, the
village consists of a few huge houses with mere stalls for the
families, which crowd for defence under the shelter of a single
roof. Along the southern side of the eastern end of the island,
however, each family has its own little thatched hut, and these
are often built for defense upon piling over the sea, reminding
one of the manner of life of the prehistoric Swiss-lake

Nearly 12,000 natives are at present employed by the whites as
indentured laborers in Papua, their terms of service ranging
from three years, upon agricultural work, to not more than
eighteen months in mining. Their wages range from about $1.50
to $5.00 per month, and all payments must be made in the
presence of a magistrate and in coin or approved bank notes.

At every turn both employer and employed are wisely
safeguarded; the native suffering imprisonment for desertion,
and the employer being prohibited from getting the blacks into
debt, or from treating them harshly or unjustly. Their
enlistment must be voluntary and executed in the presence of a
magistrate, and, after their term of service, the employer is
obliged to return them to their homes.

One is impressed with the many manifestations of a fair degree
of efficiency on the part of the native laborers, who are
really good plantation hands and resourceful sailors. In fact,
trade has always been practiced to a considerable extent by the
shore tribes, the pottery of the eastern end of the coast being
annually exchanged for the sago produced by the natives of the
Fly River Delta. It is a picturesque sight to see the large
lakatois, or trading canoes, creeping along in the shadow of
the palm-fringed shores under the great wall of the mountains,
the lakatoi consisting of a raft composed of six or more canoes
lashed together side by side, and covered by a platform which
bears a thatched hut serving to house the sailors and their
wares. The craft is propelled by graceful crescent-shaped
lateen sails of pandanus matting and steered by sweeps from the
stern. Trading voyages of hundreds of miles are often
undertaken, the lakatois starting from the east at the waning
of the southeast trade wind in early November and returning a
month or two later in the season of the northwest monsoon.

The Papuan is both ingenious and industrious when working in
his own interest, and with tactful management he becomes a
faithful and fairly efficient laborer. Perhaps the most serious
defect in the present system of employment in Papua is the
usually long interval between payments. The natives are not
paid at intervals of less than one month and, often, not until
the expiration of their three-year term of service. With almost
no knowledge of arithmetic and possessed of a fund which seems
large beyond the dreams of avarice, he is practically certain
to be cheated by the dishonest tradesmen who flock vulture-like
to centers of commercial activity. This evil might be in large
measure prevented were the natives to be paid at monthly
intervals, for they would then gradually become accustomed to
the handling of money and would gain an appreciation of its
actual value.

Generations must elapse before more than a moderate degree of
civilization is developed in Papua, but the foundations are
being surely and conservatively laid, and already in the
civilized centers natives respect and loyally serve their
British friends and masters.

In common with many another British colony, the safeguard of
Papua lies not in the rifles of the whites, but in the loyal
hearts of the natives themselves, and in Papua, as in Fiji, the
native constabulary under the leadership of a mere handful of
Europeans may be trusted to maintain order in any emergency. As
Governor Murray truly states in his interesting book "Papua, or
British New Guinea," the most valuable asset the colony
possesses is not its all but unexplored mineral wealth or the
potential value of its splendid forests and rich soil, but it
is the Papuans themselves, and let us add that under the
leadership of the high-minded, self-sacrificing and
well-trained civil servants of Great Britain the dawn of Papuan
civilization is fast breaking into the sunlight of a happiness
such as has come to but few of the erstwhile savage races of
the earth.

Without belittling the nobility of purpose or disregarding the
self-sacrificing devotion of the missionary for his task, let
us also grant to the civil servant his due share of praise. His
duty he also performs in the dangerous wilds of the earth;
beset with insidious disease, stifling in unending heat, exiled
from home and friends, with suspicious savages around him, he
labors with waning strength in that struggle against climate
wherein the ultimate ruin of his body is assured. Yet in his
heart there lives, growing as years elapse, the English
gentleman's ideal of service, and for him it is sufficient
that, though he is to be invalided and forgotten even before he
dies, yet his will have been one of those rare spirits who have
extended to the outer world his mother country's ideal of
justice and fair play.




IN a previous paper in this journal, entitled "The Discovery of
Contact Electrification" (November, 1913), it was shown that
the production of electric charges by the mere contact of two
dissimilar metals was first discovered by Rev. Abraham Bennett,
in 1789, and that it was verified by a different method by
Tiberius Cavallo, in 1795. Meantime, in 1791, Dr. Galvani
discovered the twitching of a frog's muscle, due to electrical
stimulus. Galvani's discovery was described by himself as

[1] Translation from "Makers of Electricity," p 143.

'I had dissected a frog and had prepared it, as in Figure 2 of
the fifth plate, and had placed it upon a table on which there
was an electric machine, while I set about doing certain other
things. The frog was entirely separated from the conductor of
the machine, and indeed was at no small distance away from it.
While one of those who were assisting me touched lightly and by
chance the point of his scalpel to the internal crural nerves
of the frog, suddenly all the muscles of its limbs were seen to
be so contracted that they seemed to have fallen into tonic
convulsions. Another of my assistants, who was making ready to
take up certain experiments in electricity with me, seemed to
notice that this happened only at the moment when a spark came
from the conductor of the machine. He was struck by the novelty
of the phenomenon, and immediately spoke to me about it, for I
was at the moment occupied with other things and mentally
preoccupied. I was at once tempted to repeat the experiment, so
as to make clear whatever might be obscure in it. For this
purpose I took up the scalpel and moved its point close to one
or the other of the crural nerves of the frog, while at the
same time one of my assistants elicited sparks from the
electric machine. The phenomenon happened exactly as before.
Strong contractions took place in every muscle of the limb, and
at the very moment when the sparks appeared, the animal was
seized as it were with tetanus.'

Following this original observation, Galvani made a great many
experiments on the effect of electric stimulus upon the nerves
of frogs and other animals. He found that the twitching of the
frog's muscles could be produced by atmospheric electricity,
both at the time of lightning and at other times when no
lightning was visible. During these investigations he observed
that when the legs of the frog were suspended from an iron
railing by a hook through the spinal cord, and when this hook
was of some other metal than iron, the muscles would twitch
whenever the feet touched the iron railing. He tried out a
number of pairs of metals, and found that when the nerve was
touched by one metal and the muscle or another point on the
nerve was touched by another metal and the two metals were then
brought into contact or were connected through another metal or
through the human body, the muscles would contract as they
would when stimulated by electricity.

Galvani concluded that the contraction in this case, as in the
earlier experiments, was produced by an electric stimulation,
and since the metals seemed to him to serve merely as the
conductors of the electric discharge, he concluded that the
source of the electricity must be in the tissues of the animal
body. This seemed all the more probable since it was known that
certain fishes and an electric eel were capable of giving
violent electric shocks. This electricity of the eels and
fishes had been named animal electricity, and Galvani concluded
that all animals were capable of producing this electricity in
the tissues of their bodies.

He believed this electricity was to be found in various parts
of the body, but that it was especially collected in the nerves
and muscles. The especial property of this animal electricity
seemed to be that it discharged from the nerves into the
muscles, or in the contrary direction, and that to effect this
discharge it would take the path of least resistance through
the metal conductor or through the human body. Since during
this discharge the muscle was caused to contract, Galvani
concluded that the purpose of this animal electricity was to
produce muscular contractions.

Galvani seems to have concerned himself principally with the
physiological processes which he believed gave rise to the
electric charges, but physicists began immediately to seek for
other sources of the electricity. The one observation which
seemed to offer a definite suggestion as to the possible source
of the electrical charge was the fact that, in general two
different metals must be used to connect the muscle and nerve
before a discharge would take place from the one to the other.
This made Galvani's theory that the metals served merely as
conductors seem improbable. On the other hand, it was sometimes
possible to get the muscular contractions by using a single
bent wire or rod to connect the nerve and muscle, especially if
the two ends were of different degrees of polish, or if one end
was warmer than the other.

Volta was apparently the first to suggest that the electricity
which seemed to be generated in Galvani's experiments might
have its source in the contact of the two metals. Several
writers called attention to an apparent relation between
Galvani's experiments and a phenomenon announced by J. G.
Sulzer, in 1760. Sulzer found that if pieces of lead and silver
were placed upon the tongue separately no marked taste was
produced by either, but that if while both were on the tongue
the metals were brought into contact a strong taste was
produced which he compared to the taste of iron vitriol. Here
was a case of undoubted stimulation of the nerves of taste by
the contact of two metals, and it seemed not improbable that
other nerves might be stimulated in the same manner. In the
meantime Mr. John Robison had increased the Sulzer effect
greatly by building up a pile of pieces of zinc with silver
shillings and placing these in contact with the tongue and the

It was the question as to the possibility of producing the
electric charge by mere metallic contact which led Cavallo to
make his experiments upon contact electrification. Thus Cavallo
says in Volume III. of "A Complete Treatise on Electricity,"
published in 1795:

'The above mentioned singular properties, together with some
other facts, which will be mentioned in the sequel induced Mr.
Volta, to suspect that possibly in many cases the motions are
occasioned by a small quantity of electricity produced by the
mere contact of two different metals; though he acknowledges
that he by no means comprehends in what manner this can happen.
This suspicion being entertained by so eminent a philosopher as
Mr. Volta, induced Dr. Lind and myself to attempt some
experiment which might verify it; and with this in view we
connected together a variety of metallic substances in diverse
quantities, and that by means of insulated or not insulated
communications; we used Mr Volta's condenser, and likewise a
condenser of a new sort; the electrometer employed was of the
most sensible sort; and various other contrivances were used,
which it will be needless to describe in this place; but we
could never obtain the smallest appearance of electricity from
those metallic combinations. Yet we can infer to no other
conclusion, but that if the mere combination, or contact, of
the two metals produces any electricity, the quantity of it in
our experiments was too small to he manifested by our

Later, on page 111 of the same volume, he says:

'After many fruitless attempts, and after having sent to the
press the preceding part of this volume, I at last hit upon a
method of producing electricity by the action of metallic
substances upon one another, and apparently without the
interference of electric bodies. I say apparently so, because
the air seems to be in a great measure concerned in those
experiments, and perhaps the whole effect may be produced by
that surrounding medium. But, though the irregular,
contradictory, and unaccountable effects observed in these
experiments do not as yet furnish any satisfactory theory, and
though much is to be attributed to the circumambient air, yet
the metallic substances themselves seem to be endowed with
properties peculiar to each of them, and it is principally in
consequence of those properties that the produced electricity
is sometimes positive, at other times negative, and various in
its intensity.'

Cavallo then proceeds to describe the experiments on contact
electrification which were described in the previous paper
referred to at the beginning of the article.

Cavallo's experiments were evidently made in 1795. In the
following year Volta announced the discovery of the electrical
current. In a letter written to Gren's Neues Journal der
Physik, August, 1796, Volta says:

'The contact of different conductors, particularly the
metallic, including pyrites and other minerals as well as
charcoal, which I call dry conductors, or of the first class
with moist conductors, or conductors of the second class,
agitates or disturbs the electric fluid, or gives it a certain
impulse. Do not ask in what manner: it is enough that it is a
principle and a great principle.'

It will be seen that at this stage of his discovery Volta was
inclined to attribute tho origin of the current to the contact
between the metals and his moist "conductors of the second
class," though later in the same article he says it is
impossible to tell whether the impulse which sets the current
in motion is to be attributed to the contact between the metals
themselves or between the two metals and the moist conductor,
since either supposition would lead to the same results.

Later, as was shown in the previous paper by the present writer
Volta came to regard the metallic contact as the cause of the
electromotive force. In a letter written to Gren in 1797 and
published as a postscript to his letter of August, 1796, Volta

'Some new facts, lately discovered, seem to show that the
immediate cause which excites the electric fluid, and puts it
in motion, whether it be an attraction or a repulsive power, is
to be ascribed much rather to the mutual contact of two
different metals, than to their contact with moist conductors.'

The new facts, "lately discovered," to which Volta attributes
his change of view were his repetitions of Bennett's
experiments of 1789.

Volta apparently thought that the current was not only set up
by the contact of the two metals of a pair, but that it was
kept up by the mutual action of the metals on each other. He
accordingly made no attempt to discover whether any changes
took place in his circuit while the current was being
generated. The chemical action on his metals and the
dissociation in his electrolyte seem to have entirely escaped
his attention. At least, he did not attach enough importance to
them to mention them anywhere in his description of his

In the meantime a chemical explanation of the phenomena
observed by Galvani had been proposed in 1792 by Fabroni, a
physicist of Florence. After discussing the Sulzer phenomenon
already mentioned in this paper, Fabroni argues that the
peculiar taste caused by bringing the two metals into contact
while on the tongue is due to a chemical, rather than to an
electrical, action. He then discusses the different chemical
behavior of metals when taken singly and when placed in contact
with other metals. He says:[2]

[2] The following quotations from Fabroni have been translated
by the present writer from the German of Ostwald's
"Elektrochemie," pp. 103, ff.

I have already frequently observed that fluid mercury retains
its beautiful metallic luster for a long time when by itself;
but as soon as it is amalgamated with any other metal it
becomes rapidly dim or oxidized, and in consequence of its
continuous oxidation increases in weight.

I have preserved pure tin for many years without its changing
its silvery luster, while different alloys of this metal which
I have prepared for technical purposes have behaved quite

I have seen in the museum at Cortonne Etrusean inscriptions
upon plates of pure lead which are perfectly preserved to this
day' although they date from very ancient times; on the other
hand, I have found with astonishment in the gallery of Florence
that the so-called "piombi" or leaden medallions of different
popes, in which tin and possibly some arsenic have been mixed
to make them harder and more beautiful, have fallen completely
to white powder, or have changed to their oxides, though they
were wrapped in paper and preserved in drawers.

In the same way I have observed that the alloy which was used
for soldering the copper plates upon the movable roof of the
observatory at Florence has changed rapidly and in places of
contact with the copper plates has gone over into a white

I have heard also in England that the iron nails which were
formerly used for fastening the copper plates of the sheathing
of ships were attacked on account of contact, and that the
holes became enlarged until they would slip over the heads of
the nails which held them in position.

It seems to me that this is sufficient to show that the metals
in these cases exert a mutual influence upon each other, and
that to this must be ascribed the cause of the phenomena which
they show by their combination or contact.

After discussing some of the experiments on nerve stimulation
which had been made by Galvani and others, Fabroni argues that
these are principally, if not wholly, due to chemical action,
and that the undoubted electrical phenomena which sometimes
accompany them are not the cause of the muscular contractions.

In discussing the nature of the chemical changes produced in
two metals by their mutual contact, Fabroni says:

'Since the metals have relationships with each other, the
molecules must mutually attract each other as soon as they come
into contact. One can not determine the force of this
attraction, but I believe it is sufficient to weaken their
cohesion so that they become inclined to go into new
combinations and to more easily yield to the influence of the
weakest solvents.'

In order to further show the weakening of cohesion by the
contact of two metals, Fabroni describes the results of some
experiments which he has made. He says:

'In order to assure myself of the truth of my assumptions, I
put into different vessels filled with water:

(1) Separate pieces, for example, of gold in one, silver in
another, copper in the third, likewise tin, lead, etc.

(2) In other similar vessels I put pieces of the same metals in
pairs, a more oxidizable and a less oxidizable metal in each
pair' but separated from each other by strips of glass

(3) Finally, I put in other vessels pairs of different metals
which were placed in immediate contact with each other.

The first two series suffered no marked change, while in the
latter series the more oxidizable metal became visibly covered
with oxide in a few instants after the contact was made.'

Fabroni found that under the above circumstances his oxidizable
metals dissolved in the water, and in some cases salts were
formed which crystallized out. He then compares the metals in
contact with each other in water with the metals on the tongue
when brought into contact, as in Sulzer's experiment, and the
two metals touching each other by which different points on a
nerve were touched to produce the muscular twitchings in
Galvani's experiments, and concludes that the chemical action
upon the metals was the same in each case, and that the other
phenomena observed must have resulted from this chemical
action. It is not strange that when Volta showed later that an
electric current passed between the metals in all of tho above
cases Fabroni should regard the chemical action which he had
previously observed as the cause of this current.

Ten years after the publication of Fabroni's original paper,
Volta wrote a letter to J. C. Delamethrie which was published
in Vol. I of Nicholson's Journal. This letter was written after
the chemical changes in the voltaic cell had received a great
deal of attention by many experimenters, the most prominent of
whom was Davy. To show that Volta's theory as to the source of
the current was not affected by these investigations, a
quotation from this letter is given below.

'You have requested me to give you an account of the
experiments by which I demonstrate, in a convincing manner,
what I have always maintained, namely, that the pretended
agent, or GALVANIC FLUID, is nothing but common electrical
FLUID, and that this fluid is incited and moved by the simple
metallic; strewing that two metals of different kinds,
connected together, produce already a small quantity of true
electricity, the force and kind of which I have determined;
that the effects of my new apparatus (which might be termed
electromotors), whether consisting of a pile, or in a row of
glasses, which have so much excited the attention of
philosophers, chemists, and physicians; that these so powerful
and marvelous effects are absolutely no more than the sum total
of the effects of a series of several similar metallic couples
or pairs; and that the chemical phenomena themselves, which are
obtained by them, of the decomposition of water and other
liquids, the oxidation of metals, &c., are secondary effects;
effects, I mean, of this electricity, of this continual current
of electrical fluid, which by the above mentioned action of the
connected metals, establishes itself as soon as we form a
communication between the two extremities of the apparatus, by
means of a conducting bow; and when once established, maintains
itself, and continues as long as the circuit remains

[3] This seems to be a misprint for uninterrupted.

Further along in the same letter Volta reiterates his
conviction that the contact of the two metals furnishes the
true motive power of the current. Thus he says (p. 138):

'As to the rest, the action which excites and gives motion to
the electric fluid does not exert itself, as has been
erroneously thought, at the contact of the wet substance with
the metal, where it exerts so very small an action, that it may
be disregarded in comparison with that which takes place, as
all my experiments prove, at the place of contact of different
metals with each other. Consequently the true element of my
electromotive apparatus, of the pile, of cups, and others that
may be constructed according to the same principles, is the
simple metallic couple, or pair, composed of two different
metals, and not a moist substance applied to a metallic one, or
inclosed between two different metals, as most philosophers
have pretended. The humid strata employed in these complicated
apparatus are applied therefore for no other purpose than to
effect a mutual communication between all the metallic pairs,
each to each, ranged in such a manner as to impel the electric
fluid in one direction, or in order to make them communicate,
so that there may be no action in a direction contrary to the

At the end of the above letter as published in Nicholson's
Journal, the editor, William Nicholson, comments at length on
Volta's theory of the source of current in the cell and calls
attention to the fact that Davy had already made cells by the
use of a single metal and two different liquids. At the
conclusion of his comments he calls attention to the fact that
Bennett and Cavallo had performed experiments with contact
electrification prior to Volta's experiments, and says in
conclusion, after referring to Bennett,

'This last philosopher, as well as Cavallo, appears to think
that different bodies have different attractions or capacities
for electricity; but the singular hypothesis of electromotion,
or a perpetual current of electricity being produced, by the
contact of two metals is, I apprehend, peculiar to Volta.'

This peculiar theory of Volta's probably never gained many
adherents and was necessarily abandoned as soon as the energy
relations of the current were considered, but the controversy
as to whether the electrical current or the accompanying
chemical changes was the primary phenomenon soon became
transferred to a quite different field, viz., to the origin of
the electrical charges which Bennett had shown resulted from
the contact of different metals. Bennett attempted to account
for the phenomena which he had observed on the hypothesis that
different substances "have a greater or less affinity with the
electric fluid," and Cavallo says:

'I am inclined to suspect that different bodies have different
capacities for holding the electric fluid.'

Volta reaches a similar conclusion after repeating some of
Bennett's experiments. In referring to this decision of Volta
as to the origin of the electric charge in contact
electrification, Ostwald says:

'We stand here at a point where the most prolific error of
Electrochemistry begins, the combating of which has from that
time on occupied almost the greater part of the scientific work
in this field.'

The error, from Ostwald's point of view, lies in the assumption
that the transference of electricity from the one metal to the
other is a primary phenomenon of metallic contact. He, with
many others, including some of the most distinguished
physicists and chemists of the past century, regard the
electrical transference as a secondary phenomenon resulting
from the previous oxidation of one of the metals. Thus Lodge,
in discussing the opposite electrification of plates of zinc
and copper when brought into contact says:

'The effective cause of the whole phenomenon in either case is
the greater affinity of oxygen for zinc rather than copper.'

The apparent conflict of opinion between those who hold that
the different affinities of the metals for oxygen is the cause
of the rearrangement of their electrical charges when brought
into contact and those who hold with Bennett and Cavallo that
the metals in their natural state have different affinities for
the electrical fluid must disappear when we recognize that all
affinity, and consequently the affinity for oxygen, must be an
electrical attraction. If zinc has an affinity for oxygen, it
must be because the zinc is either electropositive or
electronegative to oxygen. If it has a greater affinity for
oxygen than copper has, then the zinc must be either
electropositive or electronegative to copper. This being the
case, and both being conductors, it is not surprising that some
electricity will flow from one to the other when the two metals
are brought into contact.

Those writers who attribute the oxidation theory of contact
electrification to Fabroni apparently overlook the fact that
not oxidation, but the weakening of the cohesion of at least
one of the metals due to their contact, was the primary
phenomenon in Fabroni's theory. When this is remembered, it is
seen that the observations of Bennett and Fabroni, instead of
furnishing arguments for two conflicting theories, actually
serve, as all true scientific observations must, to supplement
each other.

Thus we now know that cohesion or affinity is an electrical
attraction between the atoms or molecules of a body. The only
known methods of changing the electrical attraction between two
bodies whose distances and directions from other bodies remain
constant is by varying the magnitude of their charges or by
changing the specific inductive capacity of the medium between
them. Bennett observed that when two pieces of different metal
in their normal electrical condition are placed in contact,
there is a redistribution of the charges of their surface
atoms. Fabroni observed under the same conditions a change in
the surface cohesion of the two metals.

To the present writer this seems the actual sequence of
phenomena, viz., a redistribution of the charges of the surface
atoms of the metals, a consequent change in surface cohesion
and a resultant oxidation of one of the metals.




THE drama of the earth's history consists in the struggle
between the forces of uplift and the forces of degradation. The
forces of uplift are mainly the outward expression of the inner
energy and heat of the earth, whether they be the volcano
belching its ashes thousands of meters into the air, or the
earthquake, with the attendant crack or fault in the earth's
crust, leading to a sudden displacement, and sending, far and
wide, a death-dealing shock, or those mountain-building
actions, which, though they may be as gentle and gradual as
might be produced by the breathing of mother earth and the
uplifting of her bosom thereby, nevertheless, end in the huge
folds of our mountain ranges.

Against these, there are always working the forces of
degradation--the slow rotting of weathering caused by the
direct chemical action of the moist atmosphere or the
alternation of hot and cold which crumbles rocks far above the
line where rain never falls. Once the rock is rotten and
decayed, it yields readily to the forces of degradation, which
drag it down--the beating of the rain, the rush of the
avalanche or of the landslide, the tumult of the torrent, the
quieter action of the muddy river in its lower reaches or the
mighty glacier which transfers fine and coarse material alike
toward the sea.

These actions are always going on. Are they always equally
balanced, or are there periods when the forces of elevation are
more active, the forces of degradation not so powerful, as
against other times in which the forces of degradation alone
are at work? If there is inequality in the balance and struggle
of these contending forces, the great periods or acts in the
geologic drama might thus be marked off as Chamberlin suggests.
Newbery, Schuchert and others have pointed out that there seem
to have been great cycles of sedimentation which may be
interpreted as due to the alternate success, first of the
factors of elevation, then of those of degradation.

Suppose, for instance, that there has been an epoch of
elevation, that mountain chains have been lifted far into the
sky and volcanoes have sent their floods of lava forth, and
fault-scarped cliffs run across the landscape and that then,
for a while, the forces of elevation cease their work. Little
by little, the mountains will be worn down to a surface of less
and less relief, approaching a plain as a hyperbola approaches
its asymptote--a surface which W. M. Davis has called

But where will the material thus worn go? Into the sea. Going
into the ocean it will raise the level of the sea slowly but
surely. At present, for every four feet of elevation taken off
the land, there will be something like one foot rise of the
ocean level, and this rise may take only thirty thousand
years--a long time in human history, but not so long in the
history of the earth. All the time, then, that the forces of
the atmosphere are wearing down the surface of the earth to the
sea level the sea is rising and its waves are producing a plain
of marine denudation which rises slowly to meet the peneplain
which is produced by degradation. In the beginning of this
cycle, where the forces of degradation have their own way,
coarse material may be brought down by torrents from the
mountains, and the glaciers, which find their breeding place in
these high elevations, may drag down and deposit huge masses of
boulder clay. But, little by little as the mountains are
lowered, the sediments derived from them will become finer and
finer and glaciers will find fewer and fewer sources.

Not only that, but the growth of seas extending over the
continents will tend to change the climate, we shall have a
moister, more insular climate, we shall have a greater surface
of evaporation, and thus, on the whole, a more equable
temperature throughout the world. We know that, at present, the
extremes of cold and hot are found far within the interior of
the continents. Continental climates are the climates of
extremes, and on the whole extremes are hurtful to life. So
then as the forces of degradation tend to lower the continents
beneath the sea level glaciers and deserts and desert deposits
alike must also disappear. Vegetation will clothe the earth,
and marine life swarm in the shallow seas of the broadening
continental shelf. Under the mantle of vegetation, mechanical
erosion will be less, that is, the breaking up of rocks into
small pieces without any very great change, but the rich soil
will be charged with carbon dioxide, and chemical activity will
still go on. Rivers will still contain carbonates, even though
they carry very little mud, and in the oceans the corals and
similar living forms will deposit the burden of lime brought
into the sea by the rivers. Thus, if forces of degradation have
their own way, in time there will be a gradual change in
dominant character, from coarse sediments to fine, from rocks
which are simply crumbled debris to rocks that are the product
of chemical decay and sorting, so that we have the lime
deposited as limestone in one place and the alumina and silica,
in another. We shall have a change from local deposits, marine
on the edges of large continents, or land deposits, very often
coarse, with fossils few and far between, to rocks in which
marine deposits will spread far over the present land in which
will appear more traces of that life that crowded in the
shallow warm seas which form on the flooded continents. We
shall have a transition from deposits which may be largely
formed on the surface of the continents. lakes, rivers, salt
beds and gypsum beds, due to the drying up of such lakes and
the wind-blown deposits of the steppes, to deposits which are
almost wholly marine.

Now, I need not say (to those who are familiar with geology)
that we have indications of just such alternations in times
passed. There are limestones abounding in fossils, with a
cosmopolitan life very wide spread to be recognized in every
continent, such as used to be known as the Trenton limestone,
the mountain limestone, the chalk. Perhaps every proper system
and period should be marked by such a limestone in the middle.
The time classed as late Permian and Triassic on the other hand
was one of uplift, disturbance, volcanic action and extreme
climates, which gave us the traps of Mt. Tom, the Palisades of
the Hudson, the bold scenery of the Bay of Fundy and the gypsum
and red beds which are generally supposed to be quite largely
formed beneath the air and beds of tillite formed beneath
glaciers. Then in the times succeeding, in many parts of the
world, degrading forces were more effective than uplifting so
that the mountains became lower, and the seas extended farther
over the continents. Then the prevalence of lime sediments was
so great that the "chalk" was thought to be characteristic
everywhere. And about the time the "chalk" the land was reduced
to a peneplain. A similar cycle may be traced from the
Keweenawan rocks to the group of limestones so widespread over
the North American continent and so full of fossils, which to
older geologists and oil drillers have been known, in a broad
way, as Trenton.

All this introduces a question--to which I wish to suggest an
answer--How is it that these cycles came to be? Were the outer
rock crust of the earth perfectly smooth the oceans would cover
it to the depths of thousands of feet and it is only by the
wrinkling of such a crust that any part of it appears above the
ocean. If the earth had a cool thin crust upon a hot fluid
interior, and that thin crust were able to sustain itself
during geologic ages so that the shrinkage should accumulate
within, until finally collapse came, giving an era of uplift,
it is obvious that we could account for such cycles. There is
very clear evidence that the outermost layer of the earth's
crust is but a thin shell like the outer shuck or exocarp of a
butternut, so thin that it is not at all possible that it can
sustain itself for more than a hundred miles or so, or for more
than a very few years at the outside. Hayford's[1]
investigations are the latest that show that the continents
project because, on the whole, they are lighter, they float,
that is, above the level of the oceans because there is a mass
of lighter rock below, like an iceberg in the sea. Here the
likeness between nut and earth fails and it would be more like
the earth if the outer shuck were thicker in certain large
areas. If this extra lightness or "isostatic compensation" is
equally distributed, Hayford finds[2] that the most probable
value of the limiting depth is 70 (113 km.) miles, and
practically certain that it is somewhere between 50 (80 km.)
and 100 (150 km.) miles; if, on the other hand, this
compensation is uniformly distributed through a stratum 10 (16
km.) miles thick at the bottom of the crust so that there is a
bulging of the crust down into a heavier layer below to balance
the projection of the mountains above, as I think much more
likely, then the most probable depth for the bottom of the
outer layer is 37 (60 km.) miles. This layer is much thinner
than the outer layer of the figure and is supposed to yield to
weight placed as, though more slowly than, new thin ice bends
beneath the skater.

[1] The figure of the earth and isostasy from measurements in
the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and Labor, 1909, p. 175.

[2] loc. cit., p. 175.

There are a number of facts which support this so-called theory
of isostasy, according to which the crust of the earth is not
capable of sustaining any very great weight, though it may be
at the outside rigid, but is itself essentially like a flexible
membrane resting on a layer of viscous fluid. However viscous
this fluid may be and rigid to transitory quickly shifting
strains like those produced by the earth's rotation, it does
NOT REMAIN AT REST in a state of strain (at any rate if this
strain passes limits which are relatively quite low). Not only
are, according to Hayford's observations, the inequalities of
the North American continent compensated for by lighter
material below, so that the plumb- bob deflections are only one


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