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serving with the Medical Corps of the U. S. woods of possible use in airplanes and other Army.

implements of war. Dr. P. W. BRIDGMAN has returned from the DR. WILLIAM H. NICHOLS, president of the naval experimental station at New London,

American Chemical Society, has announced Connecticut, to his work in the Jefferson Phys- the appointment of the committee to estimate ical Laboratory, Harvard University,

the cost and outline policies for the proposed Dr. Edgar BUCKINGHAM, who has been asso- National Institute of Drug Research to which ciated with the work of the scientific attaché reference has already been made in SCIENCE. of the American Embassy in Rome, has re- The committee consists of Dr. John J. Abel, turned to Washington.

the Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Raymond PROFESSOR MOSES GOMBERG, of the depart

F. Bacon, director of the Mellon Institute for ment of chemistry of the University of Mich

Industrial Research; Dr. Frank R. Eldred,

research chemist; Dr. Charles H. Herty, ediigan, who has been serving in the Ordnance

tor of the Journal of Industrial and EngineerDepartment since early in the war, has re

ing Chemistry, chairman; Dr. Reid Hunt, Harturned to the university to assume his former work. Professor Gomberg, while in the serv

vard University, Dr. Treat B. Johnson, Yale

University; Dr. P. A. Levene, Rockefeller Inice, held the rank of major.

stitute, and F. 0. Taylor, chairman of the DR. GEORGE H. A. CLOWES, formerly of the

Pharmaceutical Division, American Chemical Gratwick Research Laboratory at Buffalo,

N. Y., and lately engaged in research at the
American University Experiment Station of

APPOINTMENT of a committee to study govthe Chemical Warfare Service on the physio

ernment records of the influenza epidemic has logical effects of war gases, left Washington

been announced by the Bureau of the Census.

Dr. William H. Davis is chairman, the memin January to take up biochemical research at the laboratories of Eli Lilly & Company, of

bers including C. S. Sloane, representing the Indianapolis, Indiana.

Bureau of Census; Dr. Wade H. Frost and

Edgar Sydenstricker, of the Public Health Dr. Asher F. SHupp has resigned his posi

Service; Colonel D. C. Howard, Colonel F. F. tion as research chemist on dyestuffs for E. I.

Russell, and Lieutenant-Colonel A. G. Love, duPont de Nemours and Company, and is now

United States Army; Lieutenant-Commander working on an industrial fellowship at the

J. R. Phelps and Surgeon Carroll Fox, United Mellon Institute.

States Navy. MR. SETI S. WALKER, formerly associate

THERE was organized at Washington, D. C., chemist of the Florida Agricultural Experi

on February 14, an association to be known as ment Station and more recently chemist to the

the Agricultural History Society. The officers Florida Fruit Products Company, has been

of the society are: Dr. Rodney H. True, Buappointed soil chemist for the Louisiana Agri

reau of Plant Industry, Washington, D. C., cultural Experiment Station at Baton Rouge. president; Professor Wm. J. Trimble, Agri

HENRY ALLEN GLEASON, associate professor cultural College, N. Dak., vice-president; Lyof botany and director of the botanical gar- man Carrier, Bureau of Plant Industry, Washdens at the University of Michigan, has ac- ington, D. C., secretary-treasurer; Professor cepted a position as first assistant in the New R. W. Kelsey, Haverford, Penna., and 0. C. York Botanical Gardens.

Stine, Office of Farm Management, WashingPROFESSOR W. W. ROWLEE, of Cornell Uni

ton, D. C., members of the executive commitversity, has returned to Ithaca after an ab- tee. The object of the society is “ to stimulate sence of several months in Central America. interest, promote study and facilitate publicaThere, as a specialist in timber, he was inves- tion of researches in agricultural history." tigating the growth and availability of certain Any one interested in this subject, who pays the dues of $1.00 per year, is eligible for mem- The death of Sir James Sawyer, formerly bership and should write to the secretary- professor of pathology and medicine at Birtreasurer.

mingham, on January 27, in his seventy-fifth We learn from Nature that a course of six

year, is announced. public leotures on "Physiology and National FIGURES are printed to the effect that the Needs,” arranged in conjunction with the Im- 1,200 casualty lists published by the German perial Studies Committee of the University of army and navy contained the names of 1,158 London, is being delivered at King's College, physicians reported slightly wounded, 332 Strand, W. C. The first lecture was by Pro- severely wounded, 663 killed, 422 as succumbfessor W. D. Halliburton on February 5 on ing to disease, 212 taken prisoner, seventy-two “ Physiology and the Food Problem," and suc- missing and one killed by gas. ceeding lecturers will be Dr. M. S. Pembrey,

THE U. S. Civil Service Commission anProfessor F. G. Hopkins, Professor A. Harden,

nounces for March 12, an examination for Professor D. Noel Paton, and Professor A. Dendy. On February 4, Professor J. T. Mac

observer and meteorologists, for men only. Gregor-Morris delivered the first of a course

Vacancies occurring in the Weather Bureau, of two lectures at the Royal Institution on

Department of Agriculture, for duty in WashStudy of Electric Arcs and their Applica

ington, D. C., or in the field, at entrance saltions." On February 6, Dr. W. Wilson gave

aries ranging from $1,260 to $1,800 a year, the first of two lectures on the movements of

will be filled from this examination. the sun, earth, and moon, illustrated by a new The Grasselli Chemical Company, of Cleveastronomical model. The Friday evening dis- land, Ohio, has announced its intention to course on February 7 was delivered by Pro- found a medal to be awarded annually by the fessor J. G. Adami on medical research in its New York Section of the Society of Chemical relationship to the war; and on February 14 Industry for the thesis presented before the by Professor Cargill G. Knott on earthquake section which shall, in the opinion of the waves and the interior of the earth.

medal committee, offer the most useful sugThe Hunterian Oration was delivered be- gestions in applied chemistry. fore the Royal College of Surgeons of Eng- PROFESSOR J. ROTGANS, of Amsterdam, was land, on February 14, by Major General Sir given a sum of money, collected by subscripAnthony A. Bowlby.

tion, on the recent twenty-fifth anniversary of Dr. John WALLACE BAIRD, professor of ex

his entering on the practise of medicine. He

has donated this sum as a nucleus of a fund perimental psychology in Clark University,

for cancer research in the Netherlands. last year president of the American Psychological Association, died on February 2, at

The sum of £3,000 has been given by Mr. the age of forty-five years.

G. T. Hawkins, of Northampton, towards the

building and equipment of a pathological labCAPTAIN THEODORE DE Booy, the archeologist

oratory at the Northampton General Hosand explorer, died at his home in Yonkers,

pital. on February 18. Captain de Booy was born in

THE Goodrich conservation bill, which has Holland, thirty-six years ago, and came to the

been the center of controversy in two sessions United States in 1906. He was in charge of

of the Illinois legislature, has been reported the West Indian archeological work of the

favorably out of committee in the house. Museum of the American Indian in New

The bill calls for a bi-partisan commission of York City.

four to take over the work of the state geoloMR. M. N. STRAUGHN, formerly of the Bu- gist, state entomologist, fish and game comreau of Chemistry in Washington, died in mission, state board of forestry, and state park Porto Rico on January 9, 1919.

board. It also provides for a director who

shall have supervision of the work of conservation. The house amended the bill by authorizing the Illinois Academy of Science to suggest candidates for membership on the board.

The Bellevue Hospital unit, numbering three hundred physicians, nurses and enlisted men, attached to Base Hospital No. 1, at Vichy, near Paris, has received orders to prepare to sail and probably will return at once. Major John H. Wyckoff, secretary of the medical faculty of the New York University and Bellevue Hospital Medical College, who was formerly one of the heads of the American hospital, has received a letter from Lieutenant Colonel Arthur M. Wright, commander of the hospital, in which he said his organization had been relieved and that the hospital had been taken over by an evacuation hospital personnel. The unit is composed of many wellknown New York physicians and nurses from Bellevue Hospital and 200 enlisted men who were recruited at the Medical College for overseas duty. It set sail for France on February 18, 1918, and has since handled a large number of the American Army wounded cases. Base Hospital No. 1 was one of the largest near Paris and received mostly American cases. The organization was prepared for 500 patients but at one time cared for as many as 3,200 cases. The unit includes twenty-six physicians, sixty-five nurses and 200 enlisted men.

of electrical engineering and applied mechanics.

The farmers of New Jersey, through their representatives at the annual state agricultural convention at the State Capitol at Trenton, have requested the Legislature to provide an appropriation for a horticultural building at the State College of Agriculture at New Brunswick.

The gift to the University of Caifornia Museum of valuable textiles left by the E. E. Caswell Estate and presented to the university through Regent Phoebe A. Hearst, was acknowledged by the board of regents at the recent monthly meeting in San Francisco. The textiles have been loaned to the Palace of Fine Arts for exhibition.

In the reorganization on the basis of departments at Yale University, Professor B. B. Boltwood has been elected chairman of the university department of chemistry.

PROFESSOR GUY WEST Wilson has been appointed associate botanist and plant pathologist in Clemson College, South Carolina.

From Nature we learn that Dr. R. M. Cavan, of the chemistry department of University College, Nottingham, has been appointed principal of the Technical College, Darlington, and Mr. W. H. Watson, of the chemistry department of the Northern Polytechnic Institute, has been appointed vice-principal and head of the chemistry and natural science department of the Municipal College, Portsmouth.



BATHS Johns Hopkins University on February 22, Dr. William H. Welch, who presided, announced I HAVE read with interest an article entitled that a sum of approximately $400,000 had been “ Electro-Thermo-Regulator for Water Baths," given anonymously for the erection of a build- by Mr. Charles H. Otis, of the Western Reing at the Johns Hopkins Hospital to serve as serve University, which appeared in SCIENCE, a woman's clinic.

of October 25, 1918. The present applied science building of the Thermostatic control of temperatures for University of Toronto, which has been con- various scientific and technical purposes has demned, will be removed and in its place will become increasingly important in recent years, be erected a large engineering building. The and we have, therefore, developed an exchemistry and mining buildings will be en- tremely sensitive bi-metallic metal of homolarged and will accommodate the department geneous form adapted to such applications.



This metal has already been applied in a The areas designated by states appear in the number of cases to commercial devices for following table: this purpose, one of which is being manu- What is quite certain is that our present decimal factured at the present time by the Central system, in its complete form, with the zero which Scientific Company.

enables us to do without the ruled columns of the Any increase of sensitiveness, or any reason

abacus, is of Indian origin. From the Indians it able amount of force on a given temperature

passed to the Arabians, probably along with the change may be obtained by manipulation of

astronomical tables brought to Bagdad by an In

dian ambassador in 773 A.D. the length, width and thickness of the metal. By using very thin sections extreme sensi

In view of these facts it is very interesting tivity may be obtained, deflections as great as

to note that during recent years available data one fourth inch per degree Centigrade being

relating to the origin of our common number possible. On the other hand, by materially symbols have been carefuly reexamined by increasing the thickness great force can be

Carra de Vaux, who published in volume 21 created, in one instance approximately one

of Scientia a brief summary of his results. fourth pound per degree Centigrade.

Among the most surprising of these results On account of the process of manufacture

the following: Our

nuniber employed, the danger of permanent set has

symbols originated in Europe and from there been practically eliminated, so long as the

were transmitted to the Persians. Both India metal is not overstrained.

and Arabia received them from Persia, so that G. E. Thermostatic Metal, as it is known to

the common term Hindu-Arabic numerals is the trade, is produced regularly in thicknesses decidedly misleading. The common numerals from .015 to .25 inch; widths up to 6 inches

did not come from letters of the alphabet, but and lengths up to 36 inches. In special cases

were formed directly for the purpose of repreit may be obtained in thickness as small as

senting numbers. .005.

It does not appear likely that all of these I feel sure that a knowledge of the char- conclusions reached by Carra de Vaux, who acteristics and adaptability of this material has made an extensive study of the intellecwill enable many experimenters to solve prob

tual life among the Mohammedans, will be at lems of temperature control or indication with

once accepted, but they tend to exhibit the much greater ease and accuracy than hereto

weak foundation upon which the history of fore.

common numerals has thus far rested. CHESTER I. HALL

In fact, the nature of this question is such GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY,

that it seems likely that general agreement FORT WAYNE, IND.

as regards the origin of our numerals can

result only from that attitude of mind (known COMMON NUMERALS

as philosophy) which would rather accept as The origin of our common number symbols

facts what can not be proved than acknowlhas never been clearly established, but until

edge ignorance. Conclusions similar to those recently all writers on this subject agreed

of Carra de Vaux were also expressed in a that these symbols were transmitted to Eu

Russian work by N. Bubnow (1908), which

was translated into German and published in rope by the Arabs who had obtained them

Berlin in 1914.

G. A. MILLER from India. This is the view expressed in the general encyclopedias and in our mathe- PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH FOR AVIATORS matical histories which consider this question. TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: In his article For example, in the eleventh edition of the on “Psychological Research for Aviators” in Britannica under the word “numeral” there SCIENCE of January 24 Dr. Dunlap inadvertappears the following statement:

ently neglects some of the most important

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work on tests of flying ability. Burtt, Troland

QUOTATIONS and Miles were working at Cambridge in the

THE HISTORY OF INFLUENZA spring and summer of 1917, and the work of

ALTHOUGH the term influenza was not forCaptain Henmon at Kelly Field No. 2 in the

mally adopted by the Royal College of Physpring of 1918 was contemporaneous with and

sicians of London till 1782, the disease was under the same authorization as that of Pro

known to Hippocrates and other ancient phyfessor Stratton. A prophesy based upon Cap

sicians, and a formidable list of epidemics tain Henmon's results was of notable influence

in various parts of the world between the in leading the director of military aeronautics

years 1173 and 1875 is given by Hirsch in his to authorize tests of ability to learn to fly in

“Handbook of Geographical and Historical connection with the regular work of the ex

Pathology.” Records of outbreaks in this amining boards.


country between 1510 and 1837 were collected TEACHERS COLLEGE,

by Theophilus Thompson and published by COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

the Sydenham Society in 1852; they were

brought down to 1891 by E. Symes Thompson. TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: Professor Thorn

Many physicians, among them such men as dike has called my attention to the fact that

Sydenham (1675), Huxham of Plymouth in my article on psychological research for

(1729), Arbuthnot (1732), Sir George Baker aviators in SCIENCE of January 24, I made no

(1762), and John Fothergill (1775) had writreference to the work of Burtt, Troland and

ten about the disease from the clinical point of Miles, and the work of Henmon, which was

view, but Immanuel Kant, who, like Bacon, reported in relatively full detail in Thorndike's

took all learning for his province and was article in the preceding (January 17) number

specially interested in medicine, was one of the of SCIENCE. A footnote referring to Thorn

first to direct attention to its epidemiology. dike's report should have been inserted in my

Towards the end of the eighteenth century article to prevent the supposition that I was covering the work of all investigators. No

influenza swept over nearly the whole world.

It reached Siberia and Russia, China and Indetailed information concerning the work of Burtt, Troland and Miles was given me until

dia, in the autumn of 1781, and in the followThorndike’s address appeared, hence I should

ing December and February it invaded sucnot attempt to describe it. The work started

cessively Finland, Germany, Denmark, Sweby Stratton, and subsequently developed by

den, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Stratton and Henmon, should, as I stated in

France, Italy, and Spain. Kant, in a “ Notice my article, be reported by Stratton.

to Physicians” published in the lay press of I may add that important work in aviation Königsberg on April 18, 1782, considered the

disease in its relation to physical geography. was done by a number of psychologists not mentioned by either Thorndike or myself:

He expressed the opinion that it was spread Maxfield for instance conducted a valuable

not only by atmospheric conditions but by inpiece of research which was, I believe, reported

fection conveyed by insects. The paths of to the psychology committee.

communication between Europe and other I trust it will be understood that my report

parts of the world by sea and by caravan were, was not intended as a comprehensive account

he thought, the means of conveyance of many of all work in aviation by psychologists, and diseases, and he found reason to believe that that if I am able, later, to give a full account the Russian trade route to China by land had of all work done under my control, I shall not brought several kinds of harmful insects from attempt to relate the activities of other psy- the farthest East. The epidemic of 1781-82 chologists except in so far as those activities spread along the Baltic coast till it reached had direct effects in facilitating or interfering Königsberg; thence it travelled to Danzig and with my own work. KNIGHT DUNLAP Prussia. Kant's interest in influenza is shown

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