TIMEand time again the statement is made that Germany is the most scientific country in the world, scientific not simply in the sense that she has produced some of the most eminent chemists, physicists, biologists and physicians of modern times, but scientific in the fact that she has developed a system of commercially utilizing the immense amount of learning stored up in professorial brains. We in America have the reputation of being the most practical people in the world, of converting into dollars, by the most ingenious machinery ever devised, the unsurpassed natural resources of a continent. Yet if we compare the manner in which we have obtained the commercial respect of Europe, with the manner in which Germany has wrested from England a part of that export trade upon which the very life of England depends, we must concede that we have become prosperous largely through the bounty of Nature. With coal mines that must be worked at depths that tax all the resources of modern engineering, with forests that cannot compare even with the remnants of those that have been left to us by rapacious lumber companies, with ore beds so limited in extent that iron must be imported in huge quantities from other countries, Germany has succeeded, in the short space of forty years, in becoming one of the most powerful industrial nations in the world. And this she has accomplished not in an accidental, hap-hazard way, but consciously and systematically. The work that her generals accomplished in France in 1871 has been supplemented by the scientific generals of peace, by statesmen, university professors, doctors, and chemists, who planned a policy of commercial development that. would answer not simply the needs of to-day, but the needs of a. generation to come. In 1876, the late Prof. Reuleaux came to this country as a German commissioner to the Philadelphia Exposition—one of the first opportunities seized by the newly-formed empire to show its industrial strength. Reuleaux cast one despairing glance over the German exhibits, and promptly cabled to Bismarck: “Our goods are cheap, but wretched.” That cablegram worked an industrial revolution. “Made in Germany” now means something more than mere cheapness. How much real science is embodied in that catch phrase “Made in Germany,” we intend to show in a series of articles which will appear in early issues of the Scientific American. To gather the information necessary for a series of articles so broad in scope, we sent our managing editor abroad to make a first-hand study of German commercial life and the part that science plays in governing cities and conducting a business. and German commerce are favorite topics of discussion these days, but there are phases of German commercial activity which, as we are to see, are only too little known to Americans. The Government's own relation to science, for example, as it is embodied in the work done by the Koenig-lich Material-Pruefungsamt, near Berlin, is probably not fully appreciated in this country. Where, for example, would it be possible for a manufacturer of coats or of shoes to have his products scientifically analyzed by an impartial board of experts for a small sum of money and critically compared with the similar products of foreign and domestic manufacturers, all for the purpose that he profit by the comparison, and with him German industry at large? Where, in all the world, is there a counterpart to the remarkable technologic museum at Munich, a public institution where a man may study chemistry, engineering, optics, physics, weaving, printing, with the aid of apparatus that he himself can set in motion? Where in America will we find the art of governing a city reduced to such a science, that it becomes possible for a municipality to operate its own railways, its own electric light plant, its own gas and water works, and to rent land, all with a profit? Where will we find a workman so scientifically cared for that his health, his hours of labor, his housing, his old age, are made subjects of the most paternal governmental concern? Where in America, with the isolated exception of the Chicago stockyards, will we find the by-products of an industry so completely utilized in building up vast industries that it is difficult sometimes to find a by-product to be converted into a useful article of manufacture? We are not blind to the fact that, thanks to our youth and courage, Americans have created industries that overshadow in vastness anything that the old world has to offer; nor to the fact that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for a republic necessarily sensitive to every popular whim, to plan its own industrial and political development as scientifically as stolid monarchic Germany has done; nor lastly, to the fact that even enlightened Germans themselves are beginning to recognize that too much scientific education, too much scientific planning, too much governmental control, may clog the mind, and prevent a buoyant exercise of a man's powers. If there is little real daring in German enterprises, little of the adventurous buccaneering spirit that prompts an American to stake everything upon one cast of the industrial die, the reason is to be found not in any lack of courage in the German, but in his education and in his orderly mode of doing business. Scientific discoveries are rarely made by pouring the contents of one test tube into another at haphazard. Neither are many business enterprises successful simply because a manufacturer is willing to leap into the dark. The German takes no chances. His education has taught him the value of logical procedure in business as well as in the laboratory. We hope by publishing the articles in question to show the American manufacturer that a chemist or a physician, or a bacteriologist, may mean more in the upbuilding of his own business than a new piece of machinery, or a reduction in the scale of wages, or a cheapening of the rates of transportation. We Americans are beginning to realize that we must husband our natural resources that the days of reckless extravagance in the use of raw materials are over. In a few years, many a small manufacturer will wonder why it is that he has been forced into bankruptcy. He will attribute it, no doubt, to that keenness of competition which it now seems the purpose of our Government to restore to its medieval glory, and perhaps to his inability to cope with vast aggregations of capital. He will probably attribute his downfall not to the money of his rivals, but to his own inability to utilize his raw material with Teutonic and scientific completeness, to get the most out of a shovelful of coal and a handful of corn. Germany owes her commercial success to her remarkable system of education, to the Government's • cGT»|»er.ation with manufacturers; and lastly, to that army of men who watch the boiling of many cplored liquids in glass retorts, whose eyes are gluedto microscopes day in and day out, and who make everything according to a scientific niethod.wlittlier it be a battleship or a tin whistle. The stofy of that success is a story of science, a story that we intend to tell in the Scientific American. Physical Tests for Aviators THE physical testing of engine-drivers and other employees has long been an established policy of railroads. It has been recognized that the safety of hundreds of lives and of thousands of dollars worth of property may depend not only upon the skill and endurance of one man, but upon his physical fitness for his task. Moreover, defects may exist in either sight or hearing of which the victim is himself more or less unconscious. Keenness of vision and sensitiveness of color perception, for example, are requisites in the case of engineers, switchmen, and others. Yet either may be impaired or congenitally defective, and the man never know it. A very remarkable instance of this is the case of the redoubtable General Lee Christmas, who is said to have been driven by his inability to distinguish signals of differing colors to his picturesque and sensational career as a soldier of fortune through his overwhelming disappointment and despair at finding himself cut off from his cherished ambition of becoming a railroad engineer. Thus far the chauffeurs of automobiles have not been subjected to similar tests. In fact, it is onlv of late that there has been a strong public demand for certified proof of a reasonable amount of mechanical knowledge and experience in driving on their part. Yet it is probable that many collisions and other accidents have been due to some bodily infirmity of the driver. But if a proper corporeal equipment is necessary to the motor-car driver or the engineer moving in one plane and in tolerably uniform conditions, it is absolutely essential to the air-pilot, who must move in three dimensions and who is subject to the most varying conditions of temperature, humidity. and air-pressure. “Know thyself” becomes the very law of life to the aviator, and doubtless much of the appalling loss of life among aeroplanists might have been avoided had the too reckless birdmen been aware of their own physical defects and limitations. Now that the aeroplane has demonstrated its ability to carry a very considerable number of passengers— a Sommer biplane has recently carried six full-grown passengers on an hour's trip across —public policy demands that a physician's certificate of physical soundness be required of applicants for a pilot's license. A special study of this subject has been made recently by an Italian physician, who has reported some very interesting conclusions to the Hospital Gazette. As a first requirement he observes that would-be pilots should have perfect functional action of the organs of the respiratory and circulatory systems, and of the nerve-centers, since all of these must be subjected to great exertion, strain. and disturbance. Precision of movement of the limbs is highly important, and so is the ability to jump or leap with accuracy, a quality which depends not only on leg-action, but on flexibility of trunk and clearness of sight. Resistance to shock should also be tested, as should keenness of vision for white and for colors. Soundness of the auditory organs is a particularly vital matter. In the first place the hearing should be normal because upon this faculty especially devolves the noting of the proper and uninterrupted action of the motor. Also, a healthy state of the drum and middle ear, the free play of the chain of small bones, and an unobstructed condition of the upper air passages and the Eustachian tubes are indispensable conditions for the defense of the anatomic and functional integrity of the ear against the effects of the variation of the pressure of the air and of sundry meteorological agencies. Most vital consideration of all, perhaps, is the integrity of the labyrinth of the internal ear, and especially of the three semi-circular canals. It has long been known that these canals, which are disposed in three separate planes, constitute a very delicate organ of equilibrium. The nerve-filaments they contain float in a liquid, any disturbance of whose level is at once conveyed to the brain. The peculiar gyrations of the waltzing mice of Japan are due to an abnormality of these canals. In this connection Professor Nieddu-Semidei made some especially interesting observations, one to the effect that the sense of dynamic equilibrium is made more sensitive by exercise. In one instance an aspirant for a pilot's license showed marked errors and illusions of direction. On examination of his ears there were found traces of a previous purulent ear-trouble resulting in diminution of hearing and functional trouble of the semi-circular canals. When asked to walk in a straight line with his eyes shut he constantly bore to the right. This deflection was still more marked when walking in an arc of a circle, the circle enlarging at each turn if the trajectory was convex toward the right and decreasing correspondingly if toward the left. The observation of this case led the physician to formulate the circle test for the examination of the functional operation of the semi-circular canals in would-be pilots. If the pilots of dirigibles and of floating balloons require less rigid tests in some respects, in others they are more liable to disturbance because of the greater heights at which they commonly move and because of the much longer duration of the flight. For them, heart and lung power are of graver import, skin sensitiveness should be considered, and gastric irritability may play a significant part in the diminution of strength and resistance and the general loss of staying power. Engineering Work on the “Maine.”__The work of uncovering the “Maine” is completed, and the report of the engineers and the Board who made the investigation has been made to the Secretary. In the opinion of the Board the examination of the bottom of the ship in the region of the explosion presents evidence of a primary explosion external to the ship, and in all the main features, the recent investigations have fully corroborated the report of the Naval Board of inquiry, made at the time of the disaster. Fritz Medal to Sir William H. White.—At the Nineteenth Annual Dinner of the Society of Naval Architects- and Marine Engineers, held at the Waldorf-Astoria, Sir William H. White, former chief constructor of the British navy, was awarded the John Fritz medal , for notable achievement in naval architecture. The venerable American steel pioneer, in whose honor the medal was founded in 1902, was present, in spite of his 89 years. Previous recipients of the medal were Lord Kelvin, George Westinglhouse, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Alva Edison, Charles T. Porter and Alfred Noble. Monument to Fiteh.—ln connection with the River Centennial Celebration, recently held in Pittsburgh, there has been a movement to give a long-delayed but well-deserved tribute to the work done by that interesting Jut very erratic character, John Fitch, in promoting the early development of the steamboat. Fitch was a typical American inventor, with all of his characteristic faith and perseverance. His boat was the first to run on a regular schedule, carrying passengers. This is a fact which cannot be disputed. A newly-organized chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will be named in Fitch's honor and will erect a suitable monument to his memory. Lignite Briquette Experiments.—The Bureau of Mines, realizing the value of the vast deposits of lignite which exists in several western States, and particularly in North and South Dakota, Montana and Texas, recently obtained from Germany a powerful briquetting machine, which is being used to determine the suitability of American lignites for the manufacture of briquettes. The experimental work so far done has shown that lignite can be made into satisfactory briquettes at a cost that renders the manufacture commercially profitable. The extended use of lignite briquettes would serve as an important factor in the conservation of our supplies of coal. The Hell Gate Bridge. —The letting of the contract for the imposing Hell Gate railroad bridge, which will serve to connect Long Island with the mainland at a point near the Harlem River, marks the beginning of work on the most imposing structure of its kind in this country, and the longest bridge of its type in existence. Its dominating feature will be a massive arch bridge of one thousand feet span, carrying four tracks capable of accommodating the heaviest railroad freight traffic. The total length of the bridge, including approaches, will be three miles. In the steel arch bridge alone there will be 18,000 tons of steel, and there will be a total of 70,000 tons in the whole structure. The Panama Canal Fortifications.—With the exception of one of the fortifications at the Atlantic terminus, the defensive works which are being constructed at the Panama Canal will be named in honor of soldiers conspicuous in the Civil War. One of the Atlantic works will be called Fort De Lesseps. The sea-coast fort at the Pacific terminus will be known as Fort Grant, and its batteries will bear names of division commanders of the northern army. The sea-coast forts of the Atlantic terminus will be known as Fort Sherman, Fort Randolph, and Fort De Lesseps, and the batteries of Fort Sherman will be named after division commanders who served under General, Sherman. The batteries of the other two forts will bear the names of artillery officers who distinguished themselves in the war. Improving the Port of Para. —Although Para, the commercial metropolis of the Amazon valley and the greatest rubber-exporting center of the world, has long enjoyed an immense trade, this has been seriously hampered by two circumstances, viz., poor harbor facilities and the unhealthfulness of the town. Recently the Brazilian government has taken seriously in hand the improvement of the harbor, and has nearly completed works the total cost of which will amount to about $39,000,000. Whereas formerly large vessels, owing to the shallowness of the water, were obliged to lie some miles from the quays, a considerable part of the new quay wall will have a depth alongside of from 30 to 32% feet. Docks, ship-railways, metallic warehouses, electric cranes, and buildings for the customs, postoffice and national telegraph are included among the improvements. Meanwhile the state of Para is endeavoring to improve the hygienic conditions of the city, and especially to eliminate the particular type of mosquito which is the carrier of yellow fever. Electricity Street Car Telephones.—In order to avoid needless opening of car doors in winter weather, the street cars of Chicago are to be equipped with annunciator horns set at the four corners of the car in the ceiling, and connected with a telephone on the rear platform, by which the conductor may announce the streets. Wireless Messages to Filchner.—According to Peter-manns Mitteilungen, wireless communication is likely to be established between the Argentine wireless station on New Year Island (near Cape Horn) and the “Deutschland,” the vessel of Lieut. Filchner's antarctic expedition, after the latter reaches the barrier ice and Weddell Sea. Wireless Lighthouse Signals.—The new lighthouse at Ouessant, on the Channel coast of France, is noteworthy not only for its height of 120 feet and its powerful light, but also for the wireless signals which it is to send out. The new apparatus is designed to give vibratory wireless, waves so as to produce musical signals in the well-known way. Two different notes, do and sol are used here, and they will he repeated at regular intervals so that such signals can be easily recognized by vessels at sea. Following this, other stations of the kind are to be erected along the Channel. Cairo-Heliopolis Electric Line. —The new electric traction line running from Cairo to Heliopolis, Egypt, is laid out in two sections, the first lying between Boulac and Limoun Bridge and the second running from here to the second oasis. The line is built on narrow gage (3 feet 3 inches) and runs trains made up of motor cars. Each of the cars is fitted with four motors of the 50 horse-power Jeumont type, of French build, running on overhead trolley wire. For this latter the voltage varies between 500 and 700 volts according to the section of road. Limited Current for Small Consumers.—The electric lighting station of Bremen, Germany, has adopted a method for the sale of current by which it hopes to reach small consumers and induce them to abandon oil lighting. For instance a workman's family living in a small lodging can make a yearly subscription for current to the amount of three 16 candle-power lamps per day, and for this he pays about the same price as for oil. He is entitled to the use of the lamps continually, but more than this number cannot be turned on, as a current-limiter prevents this. However, nothing prevents wiring the quarters for a larger number of lamps, provided not more than the stated number are turned on at a time. The Cost of Ultra-violet Sterilization of Waters.— A report has recently been made by Grimm and Wedert on the cost of sterilizing water by means of ultra-violet rays produced in a quartz lamp. The cost for 50,000 hours' work was, for the quartz lamp $50, resistance $11, new burners $600, current $1,100, sundries $14, or a total of $1,775. This outlay represents the cost of sterilizing 5,000,000 gallons of water, or about one cent for 30 gallons. The cost of complete sterilization is relatively much greater than that of partial sterilization. By sterilizing the water within 99 per cent complete, the cost can be reduced to 90 gallons for one cent. As compared with this the ozone system of sterilization would cost half as much, and ordinary filtering one-tenth as much. Federal Electric Railroads in Switzerland.—In Switzerland the question has been agitated for some time as to the best method to use for changing over the Federal railroads to electric traction, and a commission was appointed to look into the matter. The commission recently issued its report and in this it concludes in favor of electric locomotives running on the single-phase system with 15,000 volts on the overhead wire. Direct current is not favored, even though it takes less power, on account of the drawbacks it presents, first cost among others. It is estimated that the expense of transforming all the Federal lines will reach $15,000,000, but there will be 10 per cent economy realized in operating the railroads. The Swiss government has already allotted credits for purchasing a number of falls so as to erect electric plants for supplying the current. Electric Railroad from Genca to Busalla.—A successful electric railroad is now running in the north of Italy from Genoa to Busalla, under control of the government. Genoa sends coal to all the northern region including Milan and Turin. A steam railroad ran across the mountains for this purpose, but the new electric road will be much superior. It has heavy gradients and numerous tunnels, and uses heavy electric locomotives designed after the Simplon and Valtellina types. Current is taken from a 3,000-volt line, working on the three-phase system. The locomotives are designed to draw a 400-ton train upon 3.5 per cent grades at 25 miles an hour, and have 65 tons adhesion weight. The four axles of the locomotives are coupled by bar and crank and are driven from two 750 horse-power motors. Science Prehistoric Nursing Bottles.—According to recent discoveries it appears that nursing bottles were used even in prehistoric times. This is true at least for the age of polished stone, inasmuch as a French archaeologist, M. Nicaise, when exploring a neolithic funerary deposit, found a small clay nursing bottle, and this was quite intact. This is not the only specimen of the kind which comes from early ages. Among others are the specimens found in the Gaulish burial places of Jonchery and more recently in the Gallo-Roman arena of Paris. This latter, it will be remembered, was uncovered within a comparatively late period.. The Genetic Congress.—The Fourth International Genetic Congress, recently held at Paris, was occupied mainly with the crossing of breeds in plants and the resulting hybrids which are obtained. Outside of the great scientific interest which is involved, the question has a very practical bearing. For instance M. Soloman made experiments upon the crossing of potatoes for six years past, and hopes to produce a variety which will be able to resist the rotting disease. The question of hybrids in connection with many kinds of plants such as peas, tobacco, cloves and others formed the ' object of the papers read at the congress. A New Comet.—A cablegram has been received at Harvard College Observatory from Prof. Kobold at Kiel, stating that a comet was discovered by Schau-masse, giving the following position: 1911. Nov. 30. 6991 Greenwich Mean Time, R.A. 13h. 12m. 12s., Dec. +5 deg. 51m. Daily motion: R.A. 3m. 32s., Dec. —13m. The comet is visible in a small telescope. A late cablegram from Kiel states that Schaumasse's comet was observed by Biesbroeck at Uccle in the following position: 1911. Dec. 4. 7482 Greenwich Mean Time, R.A. 13h. 26m. 25.7s. Dec. +4 deg. 57m..05s. Sterilized Post Holes.;—An engineer in Budapest has invented a process for the preservation of wood which bids fair to be of much economic importance. The process is intended to be applied to wood used in outdoor construction, such as railroad ties, telegraph poles, fences, palisades, and the like. It consists in a sterilization of the surrounding soil by means of a liquid poured into the hole in the earth before the post or tie is planted. The liquid is composed of chemicals which effectually destroy all insect life and all cryptogamous vegetation in the surrounding earth. According to La Revue this prevents the rotting of the wood without the necessity of treating it with creosote, so that both time and expense .,re saved in many cases. Conversing With Animals.—A certain Charles Kellogg, of California, has appeared at Cambridge with the object of convincing the Harvard faculty of his ability to talk with animals. His life has been spent among the Sierra Nevadas, and his studies include the vocal sounds made by bears, squirrels, lizards, rattlesnakes, and crickets. Indeed, he claims proficiency in fifteen animal languages. He has a peculiar palate, with no tonsils, and entirely lacks the cord connecting the teeth with the lips. To these peculiarities he partly ascribes the ease with which he imitates the sounds of insects and animals. Some of his observations and ideas are at least interesting, if not con-vineing. Excavations at Delphi.—The French School of Athens has been making some interesting excavations at Delphi, bearing upon four main points, the Temple of Hera, the valley and basin of the Inopos, the gymnasium and the theater quarter. More than 200 vases were found in the basement of the Temple, dating from the 7th to the 6th century B. C. Some blue ware of an unusual kind was found here, also a fine series of terra cotta busts of the goddess Hera. The plan of the gymnasium is now recognized, and some good stone inscriptions come from this spot. To the west of the basin which collects the water of the Ipsos torrent are the ruins of a small sanctuary which appear to date from the early history of Delphi. The Weight of Various Brains.—While the weight of the individual brain in each particular species, as compared with that of the entire system, may be said to have some bearing on the intelligence of the individual, there is no fixed proportion between the weight of the brain and the total weight of the body, as between one species and another, as is shown by the following table: Average Pro- Per Grammes. Ounces. portion. Cent. Elephant........... 4,660 16.44 1/439 0.23 Whale.............. 2,490 8.78 1/25000 0.04 Man ............... 1,400 4.94 1/42 2.38 Horse .............. 500 1.76 1/534 0.19 Gorilla ............ 425 1.50 1/213 0.47 Orang outang....... 400 1.41 1/134 0.75 Sheep .............. 133 0.47 1/377 0.27 Dog ............... 105 0.37 1/200 0.50 Pigeon .............. 1/150 0.67
This article was originally published with the title "“Made in Germany”, Physical Tests for Aviators, and more"