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TELESCOPE MANUFACTORY OF MESSRS. ALVAN CLARK
The workshop of Messrs. Alvan Clark and Sons, is situated on the western bank of the Charles River, just below the Brookline Bridge. Public attention was first turned to their work in 1862 by the discovery of the companion to Sirius with the 18-inch object-glass (now mounted at the Chicago Observatory) which they had recently completed. The discovery of the Satellites of Mars, in 1877, with the 26-inch lens of the Washington Observatory, again excited general interest in their telescopes. A 30-inch lens for the Pulkova Observatory is now in process of construction by the Clarks; also, telescopes of 21 and 16 inches for Prof. Young and Mr. Swift. There is no attempt at show in the workshop, and a visitor would scarcely suspect the high quality of the work from the apparently rough methods employed. Their success arises mainly from the great ingenuity, mechanical skill, and manual dexterity of Mr. Clark and his two sons, who constitute the firm. Almost every Observatory in the country is indebted to them for some portion of its equipment. Besides telescopes, various other instruments requiring special skill in plan or construction, have been intrusted to them, including the apparatus for observing the transit of Venus in 1874, for measuring the velocity of light, and for the photometric observations of the Harvard Observatory..
THE LIBRARIES OF BOSTON AND CAMBRIDGE.
For the sake of convenience it seems best to speak in one place of the advantages to a scientific man which the libraries of this vicinity afford. Over half a million of books are accessible to a student. The Public Library of Boston, with somewhat over 200,000 volumes (including only the works in Bates Hall), and the College Library in Cambridge, with somewhat less than 200,000 volumes in the central department, are two of the three largest libraries in the country; both of these libraries are rich in scientific works. But besides these there are many special libraries, such as those of the departments at Cambridge and the societies in Boston, which are of still greater importance to the specialist; while the Boston Athenæum, a library of general literature, containing more than 100,000 volumes, is easy of access by introduction, and is rich in many fields of general science, and particularly in Geography.
The library of the Lawrence Scientific School (2,200 volumes) is deroted mainly to Engineering; that of the Bussey Institute (2,200 volumes), to Agriculture. The Phillips Library of the Astronomical Observatory consists of about 3,300 volumes; that of the Botanic Garden, of about 3,300 volumes, besides 1,000 volumes of pamphlets; the Peabody Museum of Archæology, of 500 volumes; and the Museum of Comparative Zoology, of about 13,500 volumes. The last mentioned is especially rich in Paleontology and Entomology, and is complemented by a separate and extensive geological library, not included in the above enumeration. In
Boston, the Natural History Society, and the American Academy, the former with about 20,000, the latter with about 16,000 volumes and pamphlets, are well supplied with the transactions of learned societies, the Academy leaning to those dealing with the physical, the Society to those with the natural sciences. The earlier volumes of the great academies of the world can generally be found at one of the three larger libraries of the neighborhood, and the larger part of the newer transactions are received in exchange by the Academy, the Natural History Society, the Zoological Museum, or the Observatory; while such as must be obtained by purchase will be generally sought successfully at the Boston Public or the Harvard Library. The purchasing powers of the smaller libraries are not great, and their accessions are to a great degree made up from their exchanges; but the larger libraries are liberal to science, and the conditions are constantly improving. In 1878, a classified list was published of the current serial publications taken in the nineteen principal libraries of the vicinity, which included over 2,000 publications, about half of them scientific.
Besides these the Institute of Technology has a library of about 3,000 volumes, the Horticultural Society has about the same number, not including its pamphlets, and the Agricultural Library at the State-House is tolerably large. The Harvard Medical School has a working library of 2,000 volumes, and our other medical libraries have been consolidated into one, now possessing about 10,000 volumes and 6,000 pamphlets. At the same time it should be mentioned that the medical department of the Public Library contains over 10,000 volumes.
Among special scientific libraries which have found their way to public institutions in this vicinity may be mentioned the Bowditch Mathematical, at the Boston Public Library; the Greene Botanical, Binney Conchological, Harris Entomological, and Bailey Microscopical, at the Natural History Society; the Jacobi Mathematical, at the Harvard College Library; the Gray Botanical, at the Botanic Garden; and at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the DeKoninck Paleontological, the Whitney Geological, the Zoological and Paleontological Library of the late Professor Agassiz, and the Entomological Library of Dr. Hagen.
A bulletin of current accessions is issued by the University Library; and similar periodical publications come out at intervals, from the Boston Public Library and from the Boston Athenæum. All these libraries are thoroughly indexed under subjects in catalogues open to the inquirer.
PEABODY ACADEMY OF SCIENCE.
This institution was founded by George Peabody, who, on the 26th of February, 1867, placed in the hands of nine trustees the sum of $140,000, for the promotion of science and useful knowledge in the county of Essex.
He directed $10,000 to be applied to the purchase of the East India Marine Hall, in Salem, and other land adjoining thereto; the fitting up and furnishing the same for the proper arrangement of the Museum of the Salem East India Marine Society, and the scientific collections of the Essex Institute; conditional agreements having been previously made by the two institutions to place them therein on special permanent deposit.
The remaining sum of $100,000 is invested as a permanent fund, the incoine only of which can be used for the purposes of the trust.
The various alterations having been completed in August, 1869, Wednesday, the 18th of that month, the first day of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in Salem, was taken to dedicate the Museum to the uses for which it was designed by the founder.
The collection of the East India Marine Society, which is especially rich in the native implements of the Pacific Islands, and in specimens illustrating the costumes and habits of the inhabitants of various countries in the East Indies, and the Essex County collection of the Institute, are its marked features, and the many additions that have since been made contribute largely to its value and interest.
The Museum is open to the public every day (Sundays excepted), froin 9 A. M. to noon, and from 1 to 5 P. M.
The Academy has printed six of its annual reports, and three memoirs. “ The American Naturalist,” Vols. II. to X., were also printed under its auspices.
A Summer School of Biology has been held for six weeks, commencing the first of July, for the past five years. This was commenced under the direction of Prof. A. S. Packard, Jr., continued by Mr. James H. Emerton, and is now in charge of Prof. E. S. Morse.
Hon. William C. Endicott is the President of the Academy; Mr. A. C. Goodell, Jr., the Secretary; and Prof. E. S. Morse, the Curator of the Museum.
This institution was formed by the union of the Essex Historical and the Essex County Natural History Societies, in February, 1848. The
former Society was incorporated in 1821, the latter in 1836. In February, 1870, an act was passed by the Legislature enlarging the powers of the Institute so as to include among its objects the promotion of the arts, science, and literature, in addition to those of the original societies. Its Library contains about 35,000 volumes bound, and about 120,000 pamphlets, exclusive of duplicates, and embracing all departments of literature.
Its Museum contains a large collection of antiquarian and historical relics, paintings, engravings, medals, coins, papers, currency, &c. The scientific portion is deposited in the Museum of the Peabody Academy of Science. At the time of its removal, the collection contained over 125,000 specimens in the departments of Ethnology, Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy, and Geology, -scientifically arranged, and in good part labelled and catalogued.
Its Publications are the “ Proceedings of the Essex Institute,” 6 vols., 8vo.; “ The Naturalist’s Directory”; “ The American Naturalist,” Vol. I. (afterwards transferred to the Peabody Academy of Science) : “ Bulletin of the Essex Institute," 11 vols., 8vo.; " Historical Collections of the Essex Institute," 16 vols., 8vo. The Historical Collections and Bulletin are regularly issued.
Field ineetings are held in different parts of the county for scientific and historical investigation and discussion. Evening meetings for the same purpose are regularly held during the winter at the rooms of the Institute. The Institute also gives courses of scientific and other lectures, and series of concerts during the winter months, and Horticultural and Art Exhibitions during the spring, summer, and autumn months.
Its Rooms are in Pluimer Hall, Salem, so called in honor of Ernestus Augustus Plummer, whose sister, Miss Caroline Plummer, cherishing his memory, and directing that her gift should be recorded in his name, bequeathed to the proprietors of the Salem Athenæum the sum of $30,000, to be expended in the erection of a suitable building for scientific and literary purposes.
Dr. Henry Wheatland is the President of the Institute, and Mr. George M. Whipple, Secretary.