Billeder på siden

of the Dominion, it is seen that nowhere does spring begin so early as in Alberta. From May to November the temperature is lower than in the more settled parts of Ontario. The warmest month is July, with means of 60.5° and 58.8° at Calgary and Edmonton respectively, and maxima of 74 and 72.9°. The thermometer does not fall to zero till between the 15th and 20th of November. "The annual precipitation is 14.16 inches at Edmonton and 12.85 inches at Calgary, the greatest portion falling in the form of rain between April and September. There is a great deal of sunshine, the cloudiness being only about seventy per cent. of that of Toronto. The amount is about the same in summer and winter, and gives a yearly average of forty-three per cent. of the possible." Scot. Geog. Mag. Jan., 1897.

Occupations of Americans." Much interesting data about the occupations of the American people is given in a bulletin of the eleventh census just made public. It shows that the total number of people engaged in occupations of all kinds in 1890 was 22,735,661. Of the whole number of working people the female form 17.22 per cent. Divided by classes the working people of the country are as follows: Agriculture, fisheries and mining, 9,013,336; professional, 944,333; domestic and personal service, 4,360,577; trade and transportation, 3,326,122; manufacturing and mechanical industries, 5,091,293. Considerable more than

four-fifths of the illiterate male population of the country and over one-fourth of the illiterate female population are working. Over 59 per cent. of the workingmen are married, over 37 per cent. single, over 3 per cent. widowed, and one-quarter of 1 per cent. divorced. In manufactures and mechanics the carpenters and joiners, numbering 611,482, make up the greatest element, with dressmakers and milliners following, with 499,690. There are a little over 1,000,000 bookkeepers, clerks and salesmen, 690,658 merchants and dealers, 5,281,557 farmers, planters and overseers, and 3,004,061 agricultural laborers, 349,592 miners, and only a little over 60,000 fishermen and oystermen. Professors and teachers, aggregating 347,344, form the most numerous of the professional classes. Physicians and surgeons, 104,805, come next: then lawyers, 89,630; clergymen, 88,203; government

officials, 79,664; musicians, etc., 62,155; engineers and surveyors, 43,329; artists and art teachers, 22,496; journalists, 21,849, and actors, 9,728."-Bradstreets, N. Y.

Geographic Names.-The "United States Board of Geographic Names" consisting of delegates from the various government departments and bureaus interested, attempts to decide as to the proper form to be used in case of words that have many different spellings.

Geographic names undergo change, and a reversion now to the original spelling is in many cases out of the question. Hence, so far as possible, local usage determines the spelling to be accepted and adopted in government publications. The better text-books now follow the official spelling given by the Board.

The following paragraph from the National Geographic Magazine of July, 1896, will show some of the changes that names have undergone in the last century:

"An example of corruption is seen in the name Bobruly, applied to a creek in Missouri. The original will, of course, be recognized as Bois Brulé. Again, Rum river, Wisconsin, was originally the St. Esprit, which, translated, became Spirit river, and thence, by some pundit, rendered in its present form. For a whole century Wisconsin was spelled Ouisconsing. Would there be any right or propriety in reverting to that spelling and requiring the citizens of the Badger State to adopt it in place of the present form? Shall we attempt to revive the name Illinios or Illinovacks in place of Michigan, for one of the Great Lakes, Ouabash for Wabash, and apply it to the Ohio river, or call it La Belle Riviere? Should we substitute Kichi Gummi, Grand Lac, Tracy, Conde, or Algona for Lake Superior, and Ihankton for Yankton? Shall we call the Mississippi the St. Francis, the Colbert, the Conception, or the St. Louis? Shall we change Missouri into Missouries or St. Philip, and Iowa into Ioway?"

The Board has decided to drop final h from all words ending in burgh; ugh has been dropped from borough. Center is the spelling, and not centre, in geographic names.

The Board has already published a number of its decisions, and in case of doubt reference should be made to the official re

ports. It is to be hoped that there may be greater uniformity in spelling in the future among geographers. R. E. D.

Tidal Power." One of the first attempts to make practical use of the great energy of the tides is now being made on the Pacific Coast at Santa Cruz. A dynamo costing about $20,000 is now being placed in position. It will be worked by a head of water raised by the tide, and the electric energy thus obtained will be employed in lighting the town and driving the street cars. That, at any rate, is the idea, although whether it can be successfully carried out remains to be seen. It should be noted that, if this plan is successful, the energy that will light Santa Cruz and propel its cars will be derived, not like that which lights other places, from the sun, through the intermediary either of fuel or of waterpower, but from the earth's rotations; for, though the attraction of the sun and moon raises the tidal wave, it is the rotation of the earth that gives it its energy."-Popular Science News.

Aconcagua. "A brief dispatch dated Mendoza, Argentina, January 17, and addressed to the London Chronicle, announces that the famous Swiss guide and alpinist, Mattias Zurbriggen, the associate of Mr. (now Sir) William Conway in his remarkable tours among the high Himalayas, and at the present time the main reliance of the FitzGerald expedition to the Chilian and Argentine Andes, successfully reached the summit of Aconcagua on the 14th of the present month. This possibly makes a "record" in mountaineering, and the claim may be true that by this ascent the loftiest mountain of the Western Hemisphere has been conquered. Güssfeldt made an attempt on the mountain in 1883 and reached an elevation of 21,089 feet. As to the position of Aconcagua in the series of highest summits of the Andes, some little uncertainty remains. According to the determinations of Captain Fitzroy, made during the famous cruise of the Beagle, the elevation of this extinct volcano is 23,910 feet, a value which is to be found in nearly all English publications. The Spanish engineer, Pissis, many years later, reduced this elevation to 22,422 feet, which again was advanced by Güssfeldt to 22,860 feet. It appears probable that the later measurements are more nearly correct than those of Fitzroy, and if this be proved to be so, then the "record"

of mountaineering not improbably remains with Mr. Conway, through his conquest of Pioneer Peak (about 23,000 feet?), in the Karakoram Himalayas. As to Aconcagua being the highest summit of the New World, its place is more likely second or third. The Nevado de Sorata, or Illampu, on the Titicaca plateau, almost certainly surpasses it, and not impossibly by fully 2,000 feet; and its neighbor Illimani has seemingly a just claim to be considered in the same comparison."—Nation, January 28, '97.

Northern Bolivia.-"The chief natural wealth of this country is, of course, india rubber. The exportation of this article is of comparatively recent origin in the Bolivian territory, and even twenty years ago hundreds of natives were carried off by force to work in the forests of Brazil, leaving their wives and children in the greatest misery. Since then, india rubber has been collected by several firms in the Bolivian territory, and the natives are no longer kidnapped, though occasionally they seem to be treated cruelly. The great obstacle to the development of the trade is the obstruction of the rivers by rapids. At present, about five per cent. of the goods carried along the rivers are lost by the foundering of the boats, and the loss of life is also considerable. This difficulty will soon be overcome, in part at any rate, by the construction of a road along the Maderia and Mamore, from San Antonio to the fall of Guajara-merim.

"The india rubber tree of this country is called by the Portugese seringo, because the juice is used by the Omaguas to make syringes-playthings much used in their festivals. Hence also its botanical name, Siphonia elastica. It grows on an average to a height of sixty to seventy-five feet, and has a regularly cylindrical trunk, with a graceful spherical crown. The juice is extracted by making incisions in the bark under which are placed tin cups. It is then dried in the smoke from a fire of the fruit of two kinds of palm, known as cusi and motacu. If allowed to coagulate of itself, the article is of inferior quality. Of late years about 680 tons of india rubber have been exported annually from the Bolivian territory alone."-Scot. Geog. Mag., January, 1897.

The Antarctic Regions. In a very interesting account of the Antarctic Regions, by Professor Angelo Heilprin, in Appleton's

Popular Science Monthly for January, 1897, is an excellent summary of the knowledge regarding these remote insular or continental lands, nearly all of which, so far as known, show volcanic activity of great vigor. Perhaps, the most helpful paragraph for teachers, is the following concerning climate.

"The distinctiveness of the Antarctic climate as compared with the Arctic is found in the relations of both the summer and the winter temperatures. The high summer heat of the north, which, in the few months of its existence, has the energy to develop that lovely carpeting of grass and flowers which gives to the low-lying lands, even to the eighty-second parallel of latitude, a charm equal to that of the upland meadows of Switzerland, is in a measure wanting in the south; in its place frequent cold and dreary fogs navigate the atmosphere, and render dreary and desolate a region that extends far into what may be properly designated the habitable zone. The fields of poppies, anemones, saxifrages and mountain pinks, of dwarf birches and willows, are replaced by interminable snow and ice, with only here and there bare patches of rock to give assurance that something underlies the snow covering. Man's habitations in the northern hemisphere extends to the seventy-eighth parallel of latitude, and formerly extended to the eighty-second; in the southern hemisphere they find their limit in Fuegia, in the fifty-fifth parallel, fully three hundred and fifty miles nearer to the equator than where, as in the Shetland Islands, ladies in lawn dresses disport in the game of tennis. And still seven hundred miles farther from the equator in Siberia, Nordenskjöld found forests of pine rising with trunks seventy to one hundred feet in height. Yet it must not be supposed that there are not, as is perhaps commonly assumed, gleams of warm sunshine in this inhospitable south; indeed, we have yet to learn to what extent the far south is warm and cold. Thus, Captain Kristensen, the gallant commander of the Antarctic, who made the first landing on what is assumed to be the mainland of Antarctica, asserts that on January 5, 1895, when nearly on the sixty-eighth parallel of latitude, "the sun at noon gave so much heat that I took my coat off, and the crew were lying basking in the sunshine on the forecastle." (Transactions of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, Victorian Branch, March, 1896, page 87.) And Bis

« ForrigeFortsæt »