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form of manual training, and prizes could be given for the best cut roll.
NOTE 1.-Owing to the war, I have dropped an application for a German patent, which was made several months previously to its outbreak. Still, I think it desirable that readers of NATURE should see the following criticism by the examiner of the Patent Office at Berlin.
"Owing to the replacement (which is very obvious) of the customary springs by weights, the action of the regulating bellows cannot be improved, but only made worse, since the action will not take place more rapidly but more slowly."
This objection shows the absurdity of placing important decisions regarding the validity of patents, and equally important other matters in the hands of officials who are not in touch with the actual facts of the case. In this case the patent examiner's decision is not backed up either by experimental evidence or by exact mathematical investigations, and his decision is just what might be expected in the circumstances, but is, none the less, hopelessly in error. As a matter of fact
(1) My experiments prove conclusively that the action of the regulating bellows, instead of being "made worse," is greatly "improved by the replacement of springs by weights." That this effect is not "very obvious is shown by the fact that the examiner has conspicuously failed to realise its advantages.
(2) My experiments can only be explained on the hypothesis that on account of the necessary accelerations of the weights, the action will not take place more rapidly but more slowly," and that this retardation is proved experimentally to give greatly improved results, even though this conclusion is contrary to our preconceived opinions.
No doubt arguments similar to those raised by the German Patent Office would naturally be raised by anyone who had not tested the question by actual experience. But if these objections give any clue to the extent to which the modern piano-player has been perfected up to the present time by German inventions accepted by the Berlin Patent Office, the results must be regarded as hopeless failures.
NOTE 2. The differences of tone quality produced by differences of touch in my experiments would appear to be identical with those obtained by finger playing which are largely responsible for the success of Prof. Tobias Mathay's pianoforte school. It would, however, appear that some pianos are incapable of exhibiting these differences, and Prof. Mathay unfortunately found when it was too late that the piano kindly lent for the lecture was defective in this respect. I have since tested another player-piano and found an absolute constancy of tone quality, whether played manually or pneumatically.
SCIENTIFIC WORK OF THE SMITH-
Researches and Explorations.
DURING the year the institution continued to carry on investigations in various lines throughout the world by means of small allotments from its funds. It also accomplished a great deal in the way of exploration and research through the generosity of friends of the institution, who contributed funds for special work or provided opportunities for participation in explorations which they had undertaken personally or through the aid of others. Each year, however, the institution is obliged to forgo oppor1 Abridged from the Report of the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution for the year ending June 30, 19'4.
tunities for important investigations through lack of sufficient funds.
The Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory. On May 1, 1913, the secretary was authorised to re-open the Smithsonian Institution laboratory for the study of aerodynamics, and in future it was to be known as the Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory. The functions of the laboratory were defined to be the study of the problems of aerodromics, particularly those of aerodynamics, with such research and experimentation as may be necessary to increase the safety and effectiveness of aerial locomotion for the purposes of commerce, national defence, and the welfare of
The first year's work of the laboratory was to arrange a comprehensive programme of operations, devise ways and means of carrying on investigations and publishing reports, conduct such active experiments as were possible with the means immediately available, and to secure and arrange in the library the best aeronautical literature.
The first technical publication sets forth the results of experiments made at the model tank at the Washington Navy Yard. Another report describes the organisation and equipment of the leading aeronautical laboratories of England, France, and Germany. Some of the reports of the committee are as yet confidential or incomplete. The library has been furnished with the chief aeronautic periodicals and the best books thus far published.
The rehabilitation and successful launching of the Langley aeroplane (called "aerodrome" by Prof. Langley), constructed more than a decade ago, was accomplished in May, 1914. The machine was shipped from the Langley Laboratory to the Curtiss aeroplane factory in April. It was re-canvassed and provided with hydroaeroplane floats, and was launched on Lake Keuka on May 28. With Mr. Glenn H. Curtiss as pilot it ran easily over the water, rose on level wing, and flew in steady poise 150 ft. Subsequent short flights were made in order to secure photographs of the craft in the air. Then Mr. Curtiss was authorised, in order to make prolonged flights without overtaxing the bearings of the Langley propulsion fixtures, to instal in its place a standard Curtiss motor and propeller. At the close of the fiscal year the experiments were still making satisfactory progress.
The tests thus far made have shown that the late Secretary Langley had succeeded in building the first aeroplane capable of sustained free flight with a man. It is hoped that further trials will disclose the advantages of the Langley type of machine. It may be recalled that this man-carrying aeroplane was begun in 1898 for the War Department, and in the interest of the national defence. It was built on the design of the model machine which, on May 6, 1896, first demonstrated to the world that an aeroplane heavier than air could be propelled through the air by its own power. The large machine was completed in 1903, but its actual flight was at that time hindered by injuries sustained through defects in the launching apparatus.
Geological Explorations in the Canadian Rockies.
In continuation of his previous geological researches in the Canadian Rockies, Dr. C. A. Walcott, the secretary of the institution, revisited during the field season of 1913 the Robson Peak district, in British Columbia and Alberta, and the region about Field, British Columbia.
On this trip Robson Peak was approached from the west side in order to study the local geological section, one of the finest in the world. Owing to exceptionally good climatic conditions the season of 1913
proved unusually favourable for studying Robson Peak. Frequently in the early morning the details of the snow slopes and bedded rocks on the summit of the peak were beautifully outlined, but toward evening the mists, driven in from the warm currents of the Pacific, 300 miles away, shrouded the mountain from view.
From the west slopes of Titkana Peak, east of the great Hunga Glacier, a wonderful view is obtained of the snow fields and falling glaciers east and north of Robson Peak. The glacial streams come tumbling down the slopes and otten disappear beneath the glacier to reappear at its foot with the volume of a river.
At Field, British Columbia, work was continued at the great Middle Cambrian fossil quarry, where a large collection of specimens was secured. It was necessary to do much heavy blasting to reach the finest fossils which occur in the lower layers of rock.
uplift raised this plain still higher above sea-level, and in Maryland only remnants of the old surface are preserved in the flat sky line of the highest mountains. This ancient plain, or Schooley peneplain, as it is termed, is well preserved on the top of the Blue Ridge.
A second great period of erosion occurred in early Tertiary times, the effects of which were chiefly in the Appalachian Valley proper, where the erosion is indicated by a pronounced plain at an elevation of about 750 ft. This plain was formed only on the softer Palæozoic rocks, and, because of its prominence near Harrisburg, Pa., is known as the Harrisburg peneplain. Conococheague Creek traverses the Harrisburg peneplain in Maryland, and has dissected it considerably, but even the sky line of the ancient plain is still clearly evident.
Other factors in the geologic history of Maryland are recorded in the well-defined gravel terraces along
FIG. 1.-Langley man-carrying aerodrome (built :898-1903) equipped with floats, in flight over Lake Keuka, Hammondsport, N. Y., June 2, 1914.
Dr. R. S. Bassler, of the National Museum, spent a month during the summer of 1913 in the Appalachian Valley of Maryland and the adjoining States, studying the post-Palæozoic geologic history of the region, as indicated by the present surface features. Since Carboniferous times western Maryland has been above the sea, and its rocks have accordingly been subjected to a long period of aerial erosion. During Jurassic time the area remained stationary for so long a period that the surface of the land in the Appalachian province was reduced to a rolling plain. Later
the major streams of the area and in great alluvial fans of large and small boulders, spreading out at the foot of the larger mountains and sometimes reaching a depth of 150 it.
Pleistocene Cave Deposit in Maryland.
As the results of a further examination of the Pleistocene cave deposit near Cumberland, Md., by Mr. J. W. Gidley, of the National Museum, many new forms were added to the collection, and much better material obtained of several species represented only by fragments of jaws in the first collection. The series now includes more than 300 specimens, representing at least forty distinct species of mammals, many of which are extinct. Among the better preserved specimens are several nearly complete skulls and lower jaws. The more important animals represented are two species of bears, two species of a
large extinct peccary, a wolverine, a badger, a martin, two porcupines, a woodchuck, and the American eland-like antelope. Other species represented by more fragmentary material include the mastodon, tapir, horse, and beaver, besides several species of the smaller rodents, shrews, bats, and others. This strange assemblage of fossil remains occurs hopelessly intermingled and comparatively thickly scattered through a more or less unevenly hardened mass of cave clays and breccias, which completely filled one or more small chambers of a limestone cave, the material, together with the bones, evidently having come to their final resting place through an ancient opening at the surface of a hundred feet or more above their present location
Geological Survey of Panama.
Last year an allotment was made from the institution's funds toward the expenses of an investigation
separate fossil bones were obtained, many of them of large size. The most notable discovery was a new Ceratopsian or horned dinosaur, the smallest of its kind known. There were portions of five individuals of this animal recovered, representing nearly all parts of the skeleton, making it possible to mount a composite skeleton for exhibition. Although Ceratopsian fossils were first discovered in the Rocky Mountain region in 1855, and portions of a hundred or more skeletons have been collected, this is the first individual to be found having a complete articulated tail and hind foot. It thus contributes greatly to our knowledge of the skeletal anatomy of this interesting group of extinct reptiles. Another find was a partial skeleton of one of the Trachodont or duck-billed dinosaurs recently described from specimens obtained in Canada, and its discovery in Montana greatly extends its known geographical and geological range. perfect skeletons of carnivorous and armoured dino
FIG. 2.-Langley man-carrying aerodrome (built 1898-1903) equipped with floats, in flight over Lake Keuka, Hammondsport, N. Y., June 2, 1914.
of the geology of Panama. The general plan includes a systematic study of the physiography, stratigraphy, and structural geology, geologic history, geologic correlation, mineral resources (including coal, oil, and other fields), petrography and palæontology of the Canal Zone, and of as much of the adjacent areas of the Isthmian region as is feasible.
Upon the completion of the work the institution will print a general account of the results, and later there will be published a detailed report of the geological data of the Isthmus and adjoining regions.
Vertebrate Fossil Remains in Montana. During the summer of 1913 Mr. Charles W. Gilmore, of the National Museum, headed an expedition for the purpose of obtaining a representative collection from north-western Montana. Between 500 and 600
saurs, turtles, crocodiles, and ganoid fishes were also obtained.
Life Zones in the Alps.
Dr. Stejneger, head curator of biology in the National Museum, visited the eastern Alps towards the close of the last fiscal year, to make further observations toward a determination of the limits of the life zones, which in that part of Europe might correspond to those established in North America. That a system of such life zones exists in Europe has long been more or less vaguely stated by authors, but although a definite correlation was established by Dr. Stejneger and Mr. Miller in 1904, certain points, especially the interrelation of the zones corresponding to the socalled Canadian and Hudsonian life zones in America, were greatly obscured by the long-continued interference of man and animals with nature, such as the
grazing of cattle in the high Alps, deforestation, and, more recently, artificial reafforestation. It was thought that the eastern Alps might show more primitive conditions. Dr. Stejneger visited the mountain region between Switzerland and the head of the Adriatic. Arrived at the town of Bassano, at the foot of the Venetian Alps, he began to study the life zones of the Val Sugana and the plateau of the Sette Comuni from that point. He made a series of excursions from Bassano, Levico, and Trento as successive headquarters. He was able to trace the boundaries of the Austral life zones in considerable detail, as well as to gather data which connect with the previous correlation of these zones in the western Alps and, with the corresponding zones in North America. It was found that the bottom of the entire Val Sugana belongs to the upper Austral zone.
Researches under Harriman Trust Fund.
Dr. C. Hart Merriam continued during the year to carry on certain natural history and ethnological investigations provided for by a special trust fund established by Mrs. E. H. Harriman for that purpose. His principal work during the year was on the big bears of America. In furtherance of this study, specimens have been placed at his disposal by numerous sportsmen and hunters and by the larger museums of the United States and Canada. In the course of his investigations a transcontinental line was run across the country to the coast of California by which the easternmost limits of range were determined for a number of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and plants. And while traversing Utah and Nevada several remote tribes of Indians were visited, particularly the Gosinte, from whom a long-needed vocabulary was obtained.
Anthropological Research in Eastern Asia.
For the extension of researches in eastern Asia, in continuation of anthropological investigations carried on in Siberia and Mongolia under the direction of the institution in 1912, an allotment has been made from the Smithsonian fund for work during the next fiscal year and for a limited period thereafter. The plan of operations includes a thorough study of the peoples of the eastern coast of Asia, Manchuria, Mongolia, Tibet, and Siberia, among whom it is believed lies the secret of the origin of the American Indian. Investigations thus far made by Dr. Hrdlička on behalf of the institution indicate, he says, "that there exist to-day over large parts of eastern Siberia and in Mongolia, Tibet, and other regions in that part of the world numerous remains which now form constituent parts of more modern tribes or nations, of a more ancient population (related in origin, perhaps, with the latest Palæolithic European), which were physically identical with, and in all probability gave rise to, the American Indian."
Researches under the Hodgkins Fund.
The Hodgkins fund was established in 1891 by a gift of 40,000l. from Mr. T. G. Hodgkins. By subsequent gifts the fund has increased to about 50,000l. It was stipulated by the donor that the income of 20,000l. of his gift should be devoted to the increase and diffusion of more exact knowledge in regard to the nature and properties of atmospheric air in connection with the welfare of man. He indiIcated his desire that researches be not limited to sanitary science, but that the atmosphere be considered in its widest relationship to all branches of science, referring to the experiments of Franklin in atmospheric electricity and the discovery of Paul Bert in regard to the influence of oxygen on the phenomena of vitality as germane to his foundation. To stimulate researches in these directions the institution
offered a prize of 2000l. for a paper embodying some new and important discovery in regard to the nature and properties of atmospheric air, which was awarded in 1895 to Lord Rayleigh and Sir William Ramsay, of London, for the discovery of argon, a new element in the atmosphere. Another prize of 200l. for the best popular treatise on atmospheric air was awarded to Dr. H. de Varigny, of Paris. Numerous investigations on the "composition of expired air and its effects upon animal life," in "atmospheric actinometry," the "air of towns," 'animal resistance to disease,' experiments with ionised air," "the ratio of specific heats," and kindred topics have been carried on with the aid of grants from the Hodgkins fund. Researches have likewise been aided in connection with the temperature, pressure, radiation, and other features of the atmosphere at very high altitudes, extending during the past year to more than 45,000 feet, and many other lines of investigation have been carried on, through all of which it is believed that valuable knowledge has been acquired by which the welfare of man has been advanced.
Under a grant from the Hodgkins fund Mr. A. K. Angström carried on some observations in California during the year for the purpose of measuring nocturnal radiations at different altitudes ranging from below sea-level to the summit of Mount Whitney, 4420 metres (14,502 ft.).
A grant was also made to Mr. Ångström to enable him to measure the "nocturnal radiation "-that is, loss of heat to space during the total eclipse of the sun, August 21, 1914, in the north of Sweden.
In connection with the International Congress on Tuberculosis held in the National Museum in 1908, the institution offered a Hodgkins fund prize of 300l. for the best treatise on "the relation of atmospheric air to tuberculosis.' The prize was divided equally between Dr. Guy Hinsdale, of Hot Springs, Va., and Dr. S. Adolphus Knopf, of New York, for their essays.
In February, 1912, the Research Corporation was organised under the laws of New York as a means for furthering scientific and technical research. Its principal object is to acquire inventions and patents and to make them more available in the arts and industries, while using them as a source of income, and, second, to apply all profits derived from such use to the advance of technical and scientific investigation and experimentation through the agency of the Smithsonian Institution and such other scientific and educational institutions and societies as may be selected by the directors.
The Smithsonian Institution is interested in the management of this corporation through the membership of the secretary in its board of directors. The chief assets of the corporation at present are the Cottrell patents relating to the precipitation of dust, smoke, and chemical fumes by the use of electrical currents. A number of other patents in various fields of industry have been offered by officers of the Government and scientific institutions, as well as by manufacturing corporations holding patents not available for their own purposes, and undoubtedly there are many others, both in this country and abroad, who will be glad to have their inventions utilised for the benefit of scientific research.
The growth of the museum during recent years has been greater than during any prior period of its history. The natural history collections are now given adequate room in the spacious halls of the new building. Increase in every division of the three principal departments of the museum-anthropology, biology,
and geology-is now welcomed both for purposes exhibition and in the study series.
Bureau of American Ethnology.
The work of the Bureau of American Ethnology during the year has brought together much new material relating to the habits and customs and the languages of the American Indians. One of special interest was a reconnaissance by Mr. F. W. Hodge, ethnologist-in-charge, of a group of prehistoric ruins on a mesa in Cebollita Valley, N. Mex. These ruins consist of a number of house groups forming a com pound built on an almost impregnable height, an i designed for defence; not only the groups but the individual houses have the form of fortifications, while the vulnerable point of the mesa rim is protected by means of a rude breastwork of stones. Among the special features of interest which Mr. Hodge discovered were a burial cist in which skeletons, pottery, and the remains of a mat were found; three small cliff lodges situated in the sides of the cliffs; several cere monial rooms or kivas associated with the ruined houses; and the remains of the early reservoirs of the inhabitants.
National Zoological Park.
The collection in the park is the outgrowth of a small number of living animals which for several years had been assembled in very crowded quarters near the Smithsonian building, mainly for the purposes of scientific study. Chiefly through gifts and exchanges the size of the park collection has gradually increased, until it now numbers 340 species of mammals, birds, and reptiles, represented by 1362 individuals.
The work of the Astrophysical Observatory has comprised observations and computations at Washington and in the field relating to the quantity of solar radiation, its variability from day to day, and the effect of the atmospheric water vapour in absorbing the radiations of great wave-length such as are emitted toward Much attention has been given to space by the earth. the design, construction, and testing of new apparatus for these researches, including apparatus for measuring the sky radiation, special recording pyrheliometers to be attached to free balloons for the purpose of measuring solar radiation at great altitudes, and a tower telescope at the Mount Wilson Station.
The principal results of the year include: a new determination of the number of molecules per cubic centimetre of gas, depending on measurements at Mount Wilson of the transparency of the atmosphere; successful measurements by balloon pyrheliometers of the intensity of solar radiation up to nearly 45,000 ft. elevation above sea-level. The results tend to confirm the adopted value of the solar constant of radiation. Most important of all, the investigation by the tower telescope at Mount Wilson shows that the distribution of radiation along the diameter of the sun's disc varies from day to day and from year to year. These variations are closely correlated with the variations of the total amount of the sun's radiation. Thus the work of the year yields an independent proof of the variability of the sun and tends to elucidate its nature.