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and noticed the time required to repeat from memory the observations I had just made; and this indicated 45 seconds, and 10 seconds from the first sensation to the time of observation. In the same way I counted the number of beats per minute of the sounding body in the adjoining room, which indicated 110. As I have an ear for music and time, I have much confidence in this method of estimating.
"I then went into the other room to examine the object which caused the sounds, and found, that upon oscillating my wardrobe, which was backed against the north-and-south partition wall of the room, the sounds were produced by one of the doors tapping the partition between the two compartments of the wardrobe, giving out a not unmusical sound, and one that could not be evoked from any other object, and could only be produced by an east-and-west oscillation. To reproduce them with the intensity and periods during the earth movement required a movement of an inch at 6 feet from the floor, for a complete oscillation."
If many observers had the self-possession and skill to make such reports, the results would be valuable indeed. EVERETT HAYDEN.
CHEVREUL'S CENTENNIAL FESTIVAL.
DURING the last two days, Paris has celebrated with unprecedented demonstrations of joy and respectful sympathy the centennial anniversary of the venerable savant Chevreul, unprecedented and unrivalled, because he is the only great scientist of our times who has attained the late hour of life he has entered this morning, Aug. 31, and because his life has been one of labor and hard work from the beginning. Chevreul's life is easily and shortly written. Like happy men and happy nations, he has no history, no adventures, no romance of any sort, but a simple, honest, straightforward, and manly life, given entirely to work, to serious work, seriously conducted. Michel Eugène Chevreul was born Aug. 31, 1786, in Angers. His father was a well-to-do physician in Angers, professor in the medical faculty, and a talented writer. Old age seems to be hereditary in the family; Chevreul's father having died at ninety-one, and his mother at ninety-three years. Chevreul is yet a very tall man, square in the shoulders, and walks quite erect and straight.
After the revolution the University of Angers was disestablished, a school for chemical and physical studies being put in its place; which school Chevreul attended between the ages of eleven and seventeen. In 1803, Chevreul went to
Paris, after having been taught the elements of chemistry by a professor named Héron. Chemistry was taught in Paris at that time by men of great science, Vauquelin and Fourcroy. Thenard was assistant to the former. Chevreul entered Vauquelin's laboratory, and set to work immediately. He was there with Orfila, Payen, Bouchardat, and Frémy, of which only one survives, Frémy, the present director of the. Museum of natural history, on whose arm Chevreul leaned to-day when coming to the festival given in his honor. Chevreul's aptitudes were quickly noticed. In 1806 he was appointed director of Vauquelin's laboratory, and professor in the Lycée Charlemagne, and during the same year he published the results of his first experiments. In 1806 seven papers came from his pen, of which three were on coloring-matters (indigo and Brazilian wood). Four years later he was appointed aide-naturaliste in the Museum of natural history, then examiner for the Ecole polytechnique; and at thirty he was professor of chemistry in the Gobelins, the worldknown manufactory of tapestry, and director of the department of tinctorial baths. In 1826, after the death of Proust, Chevreul was appointed member of the Academy of sciences, to which he has be longed ever since. Not one of his colleagues of that time is yet living. In 1830 he became professor in the museum, and some time after director, holding the former position till the present day, though not so actively the last two years, and the latter till 1883. He is a member of a great number of foreign scientific societies, and since 1875 has attained the highest dignity in the order of the Légion d'honneur. He never misses a meeting of the Academy of sciences, and it is not long since one could meet him in the Rue des ecoles, walking to the institute, hat in hand, and hands behind the back. He seems to have an aversion to hats, and dispenses with them a great deal.
During the war of 1870 he remained in Paris the whole time of the investment, and lived in the museum, notwithstanding eighty German bombs scattered to pieces the magnificent hothouses of the Jardin des plantes, and one fell quite close to his own laboratory. It was in a letter written during January, 1871, to Abbé Lamazon, in answer to a note of the latter, that Chevreul used for the first time the expression he prefers when speaking of himself, the dean of French students.'
Chevreul married early, but his wife died more than twenty years ago. His conjugal life was a very quiet and happy one. Chevreul has only one son, who lives in Dijon, and is a retired magistrate. He himself lives alone in Paris, devoted to his books and laboratory, both of which
take all his time. He is very fond of fine books and rare editions.
As a man, Chevreul has a very pleasant expression, and always greets strangers or friends in a very hearty fashion. There is nothing pedantic in the man: he is amiable, kind-hearted, and good-natured. He is also a very just man and a stanch friend, which is shown by an incident that occurred in 1874. At that time, M. de Cumont, one of the most incompetent and unpopular ministers of public instruction that we have had of late, had made up a list of persons upon whom he wished to confer the distinction of the Légion d'honneur; but these persons, belonging to the museum, Chevreul found, with good reason, rather unripe for the much coveted distinction, while persons who were quite worthy of it were not put down on the list. Minister and director disagreed, and the director sent in his resignation. This created quite a sensation, and the minister had to abandon his project to induce Chevreul to withdraw his decision.
Upon the whole, Chevreul's life has been a very quiet one, devoted wholly to work and study. He is a rich man, as he spends very little, and his income exceeds by a great deal his expenses. He is a society man, and has very refined and pleasant manners. A few years ago he sometimes went to balls, and was a favorite with many ladies, who had great pleasure in listening to his conversation. He has a humorous turn of mind. Recently, when accepting a new assistant, he exclaimed, “Well, you must be plucky to become my assistant: I have already killed four!" Killed' is a metaphor, but no more so than it is when used in speaking of a commander who has killed two or three horses, that is, has had them killed under him.
Chevreul's material life is very simple: he eats little. Two eggs and a slice of patty are enough for the morning, with some milk and coffee; in the evening, a full plate of soup, a cutlet, and some fruit, some cheese, and only water or beer, no wine at all.
A catalogue of Chevreul's works would be a work in itself. The two most important branches of science studied and developed by Chevreul are the chemistry of fat substances, and the theory of complementary colors. By his researches in the former of these, Chevreul has given methods for obtaining a number of very important and useful substances, such as stearin, glycerine, etc. Millions have been earned by the application of his methods.
The centennial anniversary of Chevreul was celebrated by various ceremonies. The Société d'agriculture, of which he has been a member for more than fifty years, and president for thirty
seven years, gave him, during the meeting of Aug. 30, a handsome present, the Penseur' of Chapu, a very fine bas-relief, and a medal. After the meeting of the Agricultural society came that of the Academy of sciences. Chevreul went, as usual, and was greeted with great sympathy by his colleagues. The same evening Chevreul was invited to the opera, where he had not been for a very long time; and he assisted at the whole play, gotten up in honor of his first century. He had received before, the visit of the Chinese ambassador, TcheouMeow-Ki, who came to congratulate him; he had received a delegation from the inhabitants of the Rue Chevreul, who sent him a fine nosegay; he had received also the visit of MM. Alcan and Ch. Richet, who brought him a volume especially published for the occasion, Hommage à Chevreul,' and written by Berthelot, Gautier, Grimaux, Ponchet, and others, a sort of livre jubilaire, as is often published in Germany when some impor tant date in the life of a professor or scientist is celebrated.
Notwithstanding all these speeches and ceremonies, Chevreul slept very well, and was quite fresh the next day, when took place the ceremony of the unveiling of Chevreul's statue in the new gallery of the museum, which was hung with Gobelin tapestries of splendid hues and dimensions. Although a great many persons of scientific pursuits are still out of Paris, the room was full, and the heat was awful. A large crowd gathered in the Jardin des plantes to witness the passage of those invited. When Chevreul came in, leaning on Professor Frémy's arm and on that of an old soldier ninety-four years of age, unanimous applause went up, with many cheers for the hearty old savant. Chevreul was quite astonished at the sensation he created, and murmured, What a fine crowning-point for a savant's life!' The statue was due to Guillaume, and is a very fine one. It does not resemble much the Chevreul of to-day, but is so well arranged, and with so much taste and art, that the effect is excellent. This will be one of Guillaume's masterpieces.
But now began the unpleasant part of the day. It was half-past two, and the heat was terrific. One required rain, or hail, or snow, any thing that could refresh the air: nothing poured but speeches and large drops of perspiration. After one speech, another: one man went down the tribune one side, another got up the other side. They were audible only in a very small part of the building. The gallery was intended to receive specimens of natural history, and the skeletons of all creatures that had one, and was very well designed; but it was not intended for speeches. The consequence was that very little of them was
heard. One of those which was received with most enthusiasm was that of Nadault de Buffon, a descendant of our great naturalist, an old man already, and quite blind, but possessed with a strong voice, a fine appearance, and very enthusiastic feelings.
After this avalanche of speeches, which was certainly enough to fatigue one, M. Chevreul answered some words in reply, and the delegations defiled before him. The number of them was very considerable, but he witnessed the whole proceeding nevertheless. All saluted him with utmost respect and demonstrations of great joy. He was presented with a nosegay-I know not by which delegation - that was a masterpiece of art in the choice and distribution of colors. No more delicate allusion could be made to the venerable master's theory of complementary colors; and it was understood by the whole crowd, being exemplified in an unparalleled manner.
The ceremony was over at four o'clock. There were crowds of people around the monument, awaiting the passage of the centenarian, and progress was difficult and trying. However, all went very well, and Chevreul was received by the crowd with deafening applause.
It is likely that our readers would have been tired after all this ordeal: Chevreul was not. The same evening he was present at a great banquet given in the Hotel de Ville, and he even drank some champagne when his health was proposed, a somewhat superfluous motion, it seems. During the night a torchlight procession paraded the streets; but this popular demonstration had nothing interesting in it, and no savants were concerned in this masquerade, which certainly originated in the brains of some alderman desirous of more votes at the next election.
Upon the whole, Chevreul's centennial anniversary was celebrated as it ought to have been, and as becomes, at the same time, a man of high scientific standing, and a city which always appreciates great thoughts and a noble life.
H. DE VARIGNY.
BURYING THE WIRES.
THE actual work of preparing subways or underground conduits to receive the telegraph and telephone wires, in this city, was begun on Aug. 30. Numerous experiments and tests were made, and many projected methods considered, before the commissioners having the matter in charge decided upon a plan which seemed to them satisfactory. The system finally selected appears to fulfil all the requirements of the case, and the work of 'burying the wires,' so long
discussed by the daily papers, will now proceed as rapidly as the conduits can be placed in position.
The subway, as now being constructed in Sixth Avenue, consists of a double row of conduitblocks, laid in a trench five or six feet deep, with man-holes at every cross-street, for the insertion of wires and making connections. Each block is 42 inches long, 17 inches deep, 13 inches wide, weighs about 450 pounds, and is pierced by twelve 23-inch holes. The material of which the blocks are made is a concrete composed of 80 per cent clean, sharp sand, 19 per cent coal-tar pitch, and per cent oil and black oxide of manganese. These are thoroughly worked together in a tank at a high temperature. The mixture is then forced into moulds of proper size and shape, subjected to heavy pressure, and deposited to cool in tanks of water. At a public test conducted by Mr. Albert R. Ledoux, chemical expert to the subway commission, the crushing resistance of this concrete was found to be 4,591 pounds to
The conduits are being laid in a manner that ought to insure their stability. At the bottom of the trench is laid a bed of cement concrete six inches in thickness. This is allowed to harden, after which the sections are placed in position, in two rows, leaving a space of two inches between the rows, to be afterwards filled with hydraulic cement. The method adopted to insure the continuity of the ducts,' or holes, through which the wires will run, is simple but effectual. The holes are moulded with a slight enlargement at the
ends, sufficient to admit a short tube or ferrule of the same inside diameter as the hole. As each block is lowered into the trench, and placed in position, a large plate of iron, previously heated, is held between one end of it and the end of the block it is to join. The heat softens the pitch, and removes any oil which may have been left by the mould. The iron is then removed, the block drawn back a few inches, and the ferrules are put in place. These ferrules are of such length, that, when pushed firmly into place against the shoulders of the enlargement, the blocks remain about an inch apart. The block, with ferrules inserted, being in position, a round wooden bar, split lengthwise into two long wedges, is inserted into each hole or duct, running back through the ferrules into the other block. One part of each bar is then slid upon the other, until they fill the hole snugly, the result being that the blocks are brought into practically exact alignment. Next, iron plates, embracing the joined ends of the blocks, are clamped in position, and the space between the blocks and surrounding the ferrules is filled with hot pitch concrete solidly rammed. Then the aligning bars are removed, and the operation is repeated with each subsequent block. The space between the conduits is filled with hydraulic cement, and the double conduit enclosed in brick-work, the completed subway presenting the appearance shown in section in the accompanying diagram.
THE STANDARD TYPOGRAPH.
THERE is now being perfected in this city a machine intended to dispense with type and typesetters in certain kinds of printing. The standard typograph' is the name selected for it by its inventors, though the term 'matrix puncher' would be a more fitting title. A good idea of its general appearance may be gathered from the accompanying illustration. At first glance, it seems to be a combination of an enlarged type-writer and a sewing-machine, possessing the key-board of the former and the stand and operating mechanism of the latter. The typograph is in reality a kind of typewriter, but, instead of printing upon paper, it produces indented or depressed characters upon a sheet of soft metal, from which an electrotype may be made, as from the wax matrix taken from type, in the usual electrotyping process.
The principal parts of the machine are, the keyboard, resembling that of the Remington typewriter; the type-wheel, which revolves in a horizontal plane; and the matrix carriage, immediately above the type-wheel. Part of the last is shown in the engraving, above the key-board,
about the middle of the machine.
Fitted in vertical grooves in the periphery of the type-wheel are a number of steel types, one for each character used in ordinary printing, the face of the type being upward, toward the matrix carriage. Two small lugs or stops project from the wheel at diametrically opposite points. Arranged in a semicircle at the rear of the wheel are two rows of detent levers, the outer end of each lever being connected by a link with a finger-bar of the keyboard, much as the type-bar of a type-writer is connected with its key. The detent levers are pivoted near the inner end, so that the depression of a finger-bar, or key, as it may be called, raises the inner end of its connected lever into the plane of revolution of one of the stops of the type-wheel, each stop being located on the wheel slightly above its corresponding semicircle of levers.
The matrix carriage, one end of which is shown in the engraving, above and to the left of the typewheel, has movement in two directions in a horizontal plane. The side movement, from left to right or vice versa, is communicated to the carriage by the return of a key to its normal position after being depressed to form a character in the matrix. This side movement, or letter-spacing, is variable, and is governed by the key depressed, so that the carriage is moved each time a space equal to the exact width of face of the type impressed in the matrix. Thus, for the letter h or g, the carriage would move twice as far as for i or l. By a simple adjusting device, this movement may be changed so as to leave a space between the letters, as shown in the concluding line of the sample paragraph given farther along. The other movement of the carriage, that required to bring the matrix into position for a new line, is produced by depressing a key provided for that purpose. This movement also may be varied so as to leave greater or less space between the lines.
The manner of operating the machine is as follows the matrix, which, as at present used, is a sheet of lead about one thirty-second of an inch thick, is secured firmly to the carriage, and adjusted, face downward, in its place above the typewheel. The operator, having his 'copy' within easy reading distance, puts the type-wheel in motion by means of the treadle, and depresses the keys one after another, according to the word or space desired, as in the ordinary type-writing machine. As each key is struck, the end of its detent lever, by contact with the projection on the wheel, stops the revolution of the latter, holding it in such a position that the type desired is in place for striking the matrix at the proper point. At the same instant the type is forced upward by a revolving cam, producing an impression of its face