網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

tance.

of resulting diseases. The people die and purifying effect on the air, due to its make no sign.

moist, antiseptic property, soothed irritable It is all so useless, the complications of lungs and made breathing easy. Enough trade and the suffering of humanity. had been read and heard of the "glowing New York City shivers and complains, fires of peat," but the charm of its subtle with deposits of the best fuel known in odor and the soft purity of its air were a two hours' reach, sufficient to keep its novelty. fires for two generations. New Jersey Old men who remember the peat fires has enough to last a century; Chicago of the Civil War and after, when coal fumes over its coal famine with beds of waxed high and scarce, are enthusiastic the richest gas-fuel almost within the city over the lasting, summer-like heat diffused limits; Wisconsin valleys are filled with by burning turf. Between 1860 and 1875 it; Indiana might supply her neighboring some forty-six firms began to cut peat in States with firing and not feel it; St. New York, New England, and Ohio. It Paul has fuel-beds to last her fires indefi- was everywhere liked as a household fuel, nitely. Of course this fuel is the de- and it raised steam admirably, but it was spised, little-understood peat. Really, one not understood that it needed different might put in a cup of tea all that peo- firing from coal or wood. Above all, the ple know about one of Nature's best supply was not adequate for railway and gifts, which will play no insignificant part factory purposes, with the few and scatin human affairs for the coming century. tered companies raising peat at any one The wireless telegraph is of less impor- time. It was as if twenty small mines had

to furnish all the coal wanted for the coun. Peat is the deposit of dead swamp moss try to-day, or as many country mills grind and other bog plants charged with carbon, all its flour. So peat fell back into often with bitumen. The swamp moss, disuse, railways bought their own coalone of the most enduring plants known, mines and worked or leased them, and will hold two hundred times its own every one else bought the fuel offered, weight of water, and its earth holds eighty wood or coal. Housekeepers would not to ninety per cent. Dry the sods in the look at coal as long as wood was five dolair and they burn so well that a ton and lars a cord, and it took forty years to four-fifths equals a ton of coal for heating bring the public into the use of hard coal. purposes. That is to say, it has about It was held in the same contempt which half the heating power of good coal and peat now receives, as a makeshift for more than twice the heat of wood. If a those who could afford nothing better. measureless supply of wood existed within Let us learn the facts about this despised two hours of the city, to be had for cutting clod fuel. and hauling, we should feel easy on the The American Society of Mechanical fire question. Years since a careful State Engineers, which will be recognized as geologist estimated the peat along the sound authority, in its boiler tests rules Hudson River through Westchester and one pound of dry wood equal to four-tenths Rockland Counties at over two million of a pound of coal for making steam. That cords, with better yield in the interior of is, two and one-half tons of pine wood, a those counties. New York City has dug little over two and one-eighth cords, give out and thrown into the bay from its own the same heat as a ton of hard coal. subsoil peat enough to keep its fires Common air-dried peat gives the same going all this winter. The subway cut- heat with one and four-fifth tons. That tings come upon it every little while, and is, again, common dry peat turf throws the Irish workmen carry home sods of it out more heat than the same amount of to burn for the sake of the old country. best oak or beech cord-wood. The averThe writer took a turf uptown from the age heat given by the best soft coal is cuttings at the Tombs Power Station, 13,600 thermal units, that of dry peat and it made incense in a bedroom grate 9,400 units, per pound. But there is for days. It was not dry, yet it burned such a thing as prepared peat, ground to and gave heat. But what was most curi- pulp like wood fiber for paper, the water ous and delightful was its aroma, like that extracted by ventilator fans, and the pulp of pines in the noonday sun. Its soft, pressed into blocks three by four inches, hard as coal and clean as tile, yielding equals its worth as a fuel. The ash dismore heat than ordinary hard coal. courages insect pests in orchard and gar

The Continent is far ahead of this coun- den ; it nurtures the short, sweet pasture try in the development of peat fuel. The which feeds high-flavored mutton and fine Russian Government, aware that its oil- wools, and makes the richest sward for wells in southern Russia cannot meet the lawns. Every inch and fiber of a peat service for ships and railways, has hun- bog has its value. The water from peat dreds of excavators at work in the peat streams keeps sweet on shipboard round bogs along the railway between St. Peters- the world. The fibrous upper layers of burg and Moscow, raising and pressing turf, least considered for fuel, when fuel for the locomotives. Alert little Fin- ground with asphalt make the most enland and the Caspian order vessels and during, elastic street pavement. Carelocomotives to burn peat when in shed fully burned, peat produces a charcoal or harbor. Sweden outdoes the world in worth five times as much as wood charfuel enterprise, for not only are its bri- coal for the highest uses in manufactures quettes the best made, but its Royal Peat and the arts. Association held a Peat Exposition last If asked why this has not been known year, which showed twenty-four varieties sooner, it is answered that the facts have of native peat, besides briquettes from been known for a hundred years, but the Russia, Germany, and Holland, and the world is too taken up with what comes to turf grown by the Peat Cultivation So- hand to notice anything outside its immeciety. Peat can be grown from Sphag- diate vision. Oppressive dispensations num and Hypnum swamp mosses in are needed to make nations recognize the twenty-four years, although the vast resources of Nature. Starvation teaches deposits existing in the world began when the worth of maize and potatoes for food, mammoths had the globe to themselves. and the coal famine brings to light the The exposition also showed quantities of unsuspected values of a dozen fuelsby-products from peat, which equaled in coal-slack, lignites, briquettes, and native variety the derivatives from coal-paraf- peat. It is said, by those who should fine, acetic acid, peat spirit, peat tar, and know better, that the cost of manufacturammonia in the list. It is not out of the ing peat is too great to permit its use. way to consider peat as an unfinished But while this is said by those who should coal mixed more or less with petroleum, know better, we have it on the best author. the villainous smell left out. According ity of mechanical and civil engineers, of to master engineers, two million tons of scientific institutes and trade reports, that prepared peat have been used yearly in it is made on the Continent, ground and Swedish works.

pressed, at sixty cents a ton; and this side Few regions north of the Carolinas are of the water an enterprising firm is turnwithout a plentiful peat supply within a ing out thousands of tons of finished peat radius of fifty miles, and where this is the weekly, at a cost of $1.75 a ton, including case it is cheap and beneficial to use royalties. This is for the finished peat,

air-dried peat for household which equals coal for heating, and exceeds fires. It has a hundred good qualities it in other good qualities. It is nearly besides its heating property. It does not smokeless, it has no sulphurous gas, it dry the air as coal fires parch it, and does not burn out grates and boilers, and long experience shows that its antiseptic it is as clean to handle as so much flooring quality prevents consumption and relieves tile. The notable Holland housewives it, like the air of pine forests. Consump- are willing to pay more for it than for tion is practically unknown in peat-burn- coal, simply because it takes less room ing districts, and the lovely complexions and is so clean to handle. of Irish and Swede women are largely When it is added that peat can be sucdue to the moist pure air of peat fires. cessfully worked in winter as in summer, Peat charcoal is a notable disinfectant, and with the aid of mechanical devices, the late researches of Continental chemists last objection to its use would seem to be prove that the cholera bacillus cannot sur- removed. The keen-witted manufacturvive where it is used. The value of peaters of Sweden and Denmark build their ashes in manufactures and as a fertilizer factories on the borders of peat bogs for

common

the convenience of the fuel. The peat- makes very brilliant gas, free from the turf in Minnesota and western New York malefic odors of coal-gas, at a much less is so bituminous as to take fire in the late expense. And the energy derived from summer and smolder slowly for months— the use of peat reduces the rate of power in the Northwest burning until the snows to one-ninth of a cent an hour for each of December put it out. It would be as horse-power—the computation given by well to adopt the latest Continental enter- manufacturer who had installed his prise-building power and light stations plant next to a peat bog. Is there nothon the edge of bogs, and transmitting ing here to tempt the consideration of power and gas to neighboring towns. Peat American business men ?

a

The New International Encyclopædia' T

HIS great work is well named that the first decade of the twentieth

And it is international from the century is a ripe time for their great

American standpoint on the con- undertaking. tinent which lies between the modern and It is planned on German rather than the ancient seats of civilization, with the on British lines, studious of scientific accusubjects of peculiar interest to Americans racy, but written for the general reader. nearest to their eyes. It needed to be At the same time, its principal contribudiscriminated as “new” from the Inter. tors have been selected on the ground pational Cyclopædia” published years not only, as in Germany, of their special ago, since it is an independent and origi- knowledge, but also of their literary style nal work.

as attractive and clear. The volumes There are two distinct types of ency before us are a pledge that, whatever its clopædia, represented severally by the shortcomings, ponderosity and dullness " Encyclopædia Britannica” and by Brock- will not be among them. Reference is haus's “ Conversations-Lexikon.” The here in point to the eight-page article on former is more suited to specialists than to Architecture, with its four additional fullthe general reader. The latter, free from page illustrations, Egyptian, Greek, Mexithis limitation, is typically German in dry can, and American---the latter, quite fitly, and monotonous indifference to literary being St. Paul's in New York, with its form. Chambers's deservedly popular overlooking "sky-scrapers.” This referwork embodies the merits without the ence to illustrations justifies the further defects of the German type, but, like the remark that the New International outBritannica, retains too much of British ranks in this line all its predecessors, insularity to be satisfactory to American both in quality and in quantity, while needs. Several American cyclopædias, evincing a discriminating selection. Some while aiming to supply its deficiencies, of the colored plates, e. g, Apples, Cacti, have made large drafts upon it.

Indian Baskets, Indian Blankets, are very But before the final volume of an ency- fine. In its numerous maps, of course, clopædia is issued, its first volumes the latest political changes are exhibited, already lag behind the unresting advance as a glance at its Africa reveals; and one of events and of learning. Not only are finds drawn in its Antilles all the mail revisions and supplements constantly steamer routes as well as the submarine Trquired, but new works are needed. telegraph lines of the present year. Discovery and invention, new sciences, The contributors announced in the first political and social changes, create new volume number a hundred, of whom three interests and open new outlooks upon only are women, whose several topics are the world of thought and the world of Biography, Consumers' League, etc., and action. The projectors of the New Inter- Cookery. The fact of this disproportion national were not mistaken in judging must be mentioned ; beneath the surface

The New International Encyclopedia. Edited by of it we leave it to Sorosis to inquire.
Ph.D. L.H.D., and Frank Moore Colby, M.A. Vols. authorship appears.
Daniel Coit Gilman, LL.D. Harry Thurston Peck, Beyond this list no note of individual
I.,II., III. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York,

Those who prefer signed articles must respect the solid elsewhere than on the American contireasons given against them, of which this nent. Another scientific article of great one is enough: that the number of revis- merit is that on Biology, to which five ing hands through which many an article pages are devoted. Here one may think passes before it appears in the New Inter- that the discussion of the rival theories national imparts to it a collective author- of experience and of natural selection as ship in place of an individual.

influential in the survival of the fittest, A feature of this work convenient for and the verdict in favor of the latter, the general reader, and not heretofore have failed to take due notice of the found in an encyclopædia, is its depart- recent theory of “orthoplasy,” indorsed ment of general intelligence, with a large by some eminent names, as combining variety of miscellaneous topics. Here and reconciling these rivals by assigning occur titles and characters in literature, to experience transmitted by education its political nicknames, popular allusions, etc. value in utilizing the opportunities given This has been found a popular conven- by natural selection. ience in the Century Dictionary, in which, Among articles on the mechanic arts, for instance, “Bondman " appears as “A that on the Atlantic Telegraph, with its tragedy by Massinger (1623);" to which account of the sixteen cables working at the New International adds: "a minor this date, those on the Automobile, with opera by Balfe (1846); a novel by Hall its two full-page illustrations, and on the Caine (1890), the scene of which is laid Bridge, with three such, besides smaller in the Isle of Man and Iceland.” If one ones, are excellent specimens of a presentcannot find everything here—.g., "Barn- day account. This department is fully burner," the name of a political faction in exhibited. Bricks, butter, the machinery New York fifty years ago-there is an for making them, and even that employed eminently satisfying abundance of this in bottling, have each its full-page illussmall information.

tration. The department of Biography is rich Large space is given to the department beyond all that has yet appeared in ency- of Geography, both physical and political. clopædias. Some forty members of the The physical maps of Africa, North Brown tribe find place here, besides over America, South America, and Asia deserve a dozen who add to their patronymic the special mention. The eighteen pages slightly distinctive e. Not all of these given to Australia and related subjects may permanently remain above the ency- illustrate the value of a work that exhibits clopædist's horizon ; but none of them is recent political changes, as in that newly here refracted from below it. The article organized commonwealth. The page and on John Brown of Kansas must be pro- a half given to Australian Literature will nounced deficient in the judicial impar- be to many readers the revelation of a tiality shown his contemporary, President new field of interest. Buchanan. Brown is made the exponent Among religious subjects the Bible of the “ bloodiest and most unscrupulous receives large treatment, embodying both type of frontier ruffianism.” If such common and curious facts to the extent of superlatives are his due, what words can twenty-five pages. That but one page is be found for the atrocities that maddened given to Biblical Criticism may seem, in him? In the copious illustrations that view of the appended bibliography, to be have been referred to, biography has its an instance of wise judgment in a subject share in full-page portraits of illustrious at once so recondite and so hotly litigated. characters, two or three in a volume. In this bibliography both sides are imparPassing from general to particular, one tially represented.

tially represented. Throughout the entire finds a noteworthy article on Archæology, work special students will find a good to which seventeen pages are devoted, bibliography attached to every important with three full-page illustrations of Greek article, with references to special monoand American relics, besides many smaler graphs as well as to standard works. ones—an admirable brief of an immense It is not to be expected that a work and expanding subject. Rather more is involving innumerable particulars in the desirable at its close than the mere hint entire sphere of human knowledge shall of the incomputable antiquity of man, be free of all slips and errors. Some

It is hardly a historical fact acquit him of the charge of adultery, by a that Cæsar “out of love for Cleopatra statement of his vindication by a remarkentered on the Alexandrine war.” The ably large and representative church counhistorian Merivale represents the outbreak cil after a searching investigation. Referof hostility as prior to the love affair. Of ring to this, the late President Porter, of another kind is the inaccurate statement Yale, in a public reply in England to insinuthat “the original site of Boston included ations against Mr. Beecher, expressed surBeacon, Copp's, and Fort hills, all of prise that well-informed persons should rewhich have been considerably cut down." gard Mr. Beecher's innocence as involved This is true of Beacon hill, not of in any doubt. Yet the New International Copp's, while of Fort hill not a vestige leaves it in doubt. The statements here remains. The State House at Boston, criticised are taken over from the old Interin the fine engraving presented of its national, and seem to have escaped that front, erected, as the text states, in 1795, searching criticism " which all matter is termed “ The New State House.” from that source is stated to have underWhat is new in the building is a large gone. Mr. Beecher's brothers, Charles, extension in the rear, not visible in the Edward, and Thomas, are severally termed engraving.

a Congregational “divine," or "clergyMore serious misrepresentation occurs man,” but he is described as a “ Protestant in the biographical sketch of Henry Ward pulpit orator.” The proper term for each Beecher, viz. : “ His theology was not in is "Congregational minister," under which general accord with that of the Congrega- designation each appeared in the Congre tional denomination. In 1878 he formally gational Year-Book till his death. renounced belief in the eternity of future It remains to be said that this really punishment."

The latter statement is formidable undertaking gives promsie correct ; the former is not. Mr. Beecher of achievement not only creditable but was not in full accord with the then gen- brilliant. It aims at the production, eral belief of Congregationalists: the dis- not merely of a work for reference, but ayowal here cited is proof of that, but it of a condensed library, in whose many proves no more. That he was in general departments the best knowledge of the accord is incontestably true. Less excus

time, digested and arranged, is presented able than this is the injustice done to Mr. in accessible and convenient form. The Beecher by the omission of material facts, educational value of such a work for the which should balance the statement that home as well as the school is unquestiona jury failed by a vote of nine to three to ably great.

Books of the Week This report of current literature is supplemented by fuller reviews of such books as in the judgment of the editors are of special importance to our readers. Any of these books will be sent by the publishers of The Outlook, postpaid, to any address on receipt of the published price, with postage added when the price is marked " net." Aspects of the Jewish Question. By a Quar- the people nor the countries are brought out

terly Reviewer. With Maps. E. P. Dutton & Co., New York. 512 X6 in. 98 pages. $1, net.

in strong relief. Across Coveted Lands. By A. Henry Savage

Bairn Books (The): The Book of the Zoo. Landor, Illustrated. In 2 vols. Charles Scribner's

The Book of Shops. By Walter Copeland. Illus

trated. E. P. Dutton & Co., New York. 3425 in. Sons, New York. 534x9 in. $7.50.

Per set, $1.25.
In all externals this book is prepossessing:
The two large volumes are well printed and

Black Prince and Other Poems (The). By have many good reproduced photographs.

Maurice Baring. John Lane, New York. 5x784 in.

144 pages. The narrative tells of the author's adventures

Reserved for later notice. in Persia and Beluchistan, which countries he reached through Russia and Afghanistan.

Called of God (The). By A. B. Davidson, As a personal record of travel the book is

D.D., LL.D., Litt.D. Edited by J; A. Paterson,

D.D. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. 526x892 entertaining in a moderate degree, but when in. 336 pages. $2, net. one tries to find material of real value about Under this title are included thirteen disthe countries which are indeed " coveted " by courses by the late Professor Davidson, who nations richer and more powerful, the result for forty years held the chair of Hebrew and is disappointing and unsatisfactory. Neither Old Testament Literature in the Free Church

« 上一頁繼續 »