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Copyright 1911, Munn & Co., Inc.
RISE FROM SEA LEVEL TO LAKE LEVEL, 85 FEET.
COPYRIGHT, 1912, BY MUNN & CO., INC.
COPYRIGHT, 1913, BY MUNN & CO., INC.
This work is protected by over eighty Copyrights,
Published October, 1912.
New Edition, October, 1913.
Printed in the United States by
The Editorial staff of the “Scientific American” receives annually about 15,000 inquiries covering a wide range of topics-no field of human achievement or of natural phenomena is neglected. The information sought for, in many cases, cannot be readily found in text-books or works of reference. The need of a compendium of useful information presented itself some twenty years ago, and a part of the field was covered by the publication in 1901 of the "Scientific American Cyclopedia of Receipts, Notes, and Queries,” of which over 25,000 copies were sold. This book becoming obsolete in time was supplanted by its successor, the “Scientific American Cyclopedia of Formulas,” issued in 1911. There was, however, another field which was not covered: the public, or at least the public of the Scientific American,” demanded something which did not exist--they wanted a book which should deal with a vast range of topics other than formula. They wanted information about the Antarctic region, the Panama route, shipping, navies, armies, railroads, population, education, patents, submarine cables, wireless telegraphy, manufactures, agriculture, mining, mechanical movements, astronomy and the weather. The Editors of the present volume felt constrained to compile such a book, which was issued in 1904, under the same title as this book. Its success was immediate, and an edition of 10,000 copies was inadequate to supply the demand. In 1905 a second large edition was issued, and was eagerly bought up by those who wished this useful companion for the desk or library. As the
figures became obsolete, it was allowed to become “out of print,” and now in response to a considerable number of requests a new book is presented, following to some extent the old lines, but entirely recompiled and rewritten.
Immense masses of Government material have been digested with painstaking care by competent statisticians, and the result will, in the judgment of the Editors, fully warrant the expenditure of considerable effort and results in the production of a unique book.
It is perhaps necessary to call attention to the fact that there are certain inconsistencies in the tables. In procuring the figures, for example, from different bureaus and departments of the Government, with reference to any subject, it is found that statistics vary in certain particulars. These differences are due to the different methods of tabulation or to different points of view. In many cases these discrepancies are noted in this book, to prevent the reader from forming erroneous conclusions. These cases must not be regarded as errors, and an attempt has been made to give, wherever possible, the date of the figures and the authority. Every available space has been taken up with useful information, whether germane to the chapter or not.
The debt for advice and help is a heavy one. The compilation of this or any similar one would be impossible without the co-operation of many Government officials. Our thanks are especially due to Dr. Falkner, late Assistant Director of the Census, and to the Hon. E. Dana Durand, Director of the Census; the Hon. 0. P. Austin, late Chief of the Bureau of Statistics and now AssistantChief of the new Bureau of Domestic and Foreign Commerce, and to Mr. N. Eckhardt, Jr., of his office; to the Hon. Eugene Tyler Chamberlain, Commissioner of Navigation; to Captain T. M. Potts, of the United States