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I have to thank you for sending me your paper on the Elevation of Mountains, which I have read with great interest. You and Mr. Mallet have done great service to geology by exploding the old-fashioned idea of cavities existing in the interior of the earth. I quite agree with you that a cooling earth must give rise to great pressure in the outer consolidated layers, and that this pressure must crush the rocks composing it; but I cannot think that this crushing is the cause of the elevation of mountains. My reasons for disagreeing with you are the following :—
1. The pressure from a shrinking globe must be uniform, and the lines of least resistance, once chosen, should remain always the same, and the elevation should be continuous. AU minor differences would be insignificant in comparison with the flatter arch at the poles. These areas, therefore, would subside, and mountain chains should have had from the first an east and west direction. I see no provision for changing the localities of movement.
2. Where deposition was going on the rocks would be heating and no contraction could occur below them. But mountain chains have been always formed where the deposits were the heaviest, and where, therefore, uplifting would not be likely to occur.
3. All mountain chains are not formed on the same system, but can be divided into two groups, as I have pointed out in my lecture on this subject.
4. Whether a glacial epoch has ever extended over the whole earth or not, it is certain that the northern parts of America and Europe are much warmer now than they were in the Pleistocene period, consequently the rocks under them could not have contracted, and yet we know that extensive movements are even now going on in this area.
5. In order to produce a strain on the surface, the lower contracting rocks must be solid, consequently there would be nothing to support a large anticlinal, and no rocks to pass into the liquid state; the result would be a general small crumpling all along the surface. The relief also to the compression of the upper rocks could not be obtained by a single rising at a point, or along a line, without a horizontal movement of one bed over another, which appears to me to be impossible. Consequently I do not think that the shrinking could produce the observed effects, more especially as the Himalayas, &c. are of tertiary age, and the contraction of the globe, since the cretaceous period, cannot have been very great. These remarks apply also to Prof. Shaler's theory (Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist 1866). Mr. Medlicott's section of the Himalayas is, to my mind, physically impossible. It is inconceivable that the beds could be engineered into the positions in which he has placed them.
6. The theory does not account for the numerous minor oscillations of level that coal measures often prove to have taken place.
7. The theory makes no provision for tension in the rocks. But it is a fact not sufficiently dwelt upon by geologists, that faults just as surely prove tension in rocks as contortions prove compression.
I have also a few objections to your theory of Volcanoes, and also to that of Mr. Mallet. They are as follows :—
1. The density of the crust has been shown by General Sabine to increase in volcanic regions, while, by your theory, it should decrease. Mr. Mallet's theory would account for this, as also would the one proposed in my lecture.
2. To cause a volcano the heat must go to the water, for the water cannot go to the heated rock, as your theory would require.
3. Volcanoes are not found in contorted countries, or where great lateral pressure has existed. In the older volcanic districts (e.g. North Wales) the eruptions occurred before the folding of the strata. This is also a strong point against Mr. Mallet's theory.
4. By Mr. Mallet's theory the crushing must be very sudden, or the heat would be conducted away, and as each eruption would require a fresh accession of heat, it ought to be preceded by elevation or subsidence on a large scale. The earthquakes that precede eruptions are just as likely to be effects as causes.
5. Faults show no heating where considerable crushing has taken place.
Such are the objections that occur to me, but, after all, we cannot well burke the question as to the state of the interior of the earth, and I must confess that the "Viscidists" appear to me to have a better position than the " Rigidists."
Mr. Hopkins' argument, drawn from precession and nutation, has proved untenable, and the only stronghold that the " Rigi- I (lists" now retain is the absence-of-intemal-tide argument of Sir I
W. Thomson. This has not yet been assaulted, but it probably has a weak point somewhere, for its author has allowed that the interior of the earth is probably "at, or very nearly at, the proper melting temperature for the pressure at each depth," which seems hardly consistent with its being "more rigid than glass." On the other hand, the "Viscidists" have a very strong point in the fact that faults are known with throws of several thousand feet (which apparently must penetrate into some yielding material), as well as some minor positions, such as the supposed effect of the moon on causing earthquakes, the composition of volcanic rocks (which contain more alkali than could be obtained by merely melting sedimentary rocks), and the mode of occurrence of granitic rocks, none of which have been seriously attacked by the "Rigidists."
At this distance 1 cannot take part in a discussion, as I must always be five months behind hand, but if you think that a preliminary skirmish in the pages of Nature would do good, although it did not bring on a decisive battle, you are quite welcome to publish this letter. F. W. Hutton
Wellington, N. Z., July 21
P.S.—At the time of writing; my paper on Elevation and Subsidence (Phil. Mag. Dec. '72), I was not aware that Mr. Scrope had been the first to suggest* the theory there developed, or I should certainly have mentioned his name, and not proposed to call the theory after Herschel and Babbage. I feel that I owe Mr. Scrope some apology for my inadvertence.
Deep-Sea Sounding and Deep-Sea Thermometers
We have again to claim your indulgence for occupying space for a few comments on Mr. Casella's reply to our letter.
It is not true that we abstained from drawing attention during the lifetime of Dr. Miller to the fact that he had plagiarised our invention; on the contrary, we wrote to Dr. Miller as soon as we were told that he had read a paper before the Royal Society on his supposed invention, and we have before us Dr. Miller's answer, dated Nov. 23, 1869, wherein he writes:
"I am sorry if I have inadvertently done anything which may fairly be considered an injustice to you in respect to the deep-sea thermometer," &C
We believe Dr. Miller did not know of our thermometer, but Mr. Casella did, having had one or more in his possession years previously, and as a fact our thermometer was well known in the trade; therefore he as the workman employed by Dr. Miller ought to have acquainted that gentleman with the fact It is most likely that we should not have taken any further notice had the thermometer retained the modest title given to it by Dr. Miller, viz. the "Miller-pattern." This, however, did not suit Mr. Casella. Mr. Miller died—" mors tua vita mea,"—and forthwith the thermometer is styled the Miller-Casella, then by a little "progressive development," the instrument is brought out at the British Association as the Casella-Miller, and to day we have it in Mr. Casella's letter as "my thermometer."
On refeience to the Royal Society's Proceedings, vol. xvii. p. 482, we find no mention of Mr. Casella's name except as the workman who took Dr. Miller's instructions, and we have yet to learn what right a workman has to appropriate to himself an instrument made for Dr. Miller, or any other customer, supposing, even for argument's sake, that we had no priority in its invention.
Mr. Casella asks '* What has Negretti and Zambra's thermometer done that it should be known?"
In the first place it served him as a pattern, it showed him how the best deep-sea thermometer was constructed, and how to make others on the same principle ; and we contend that had our instruments been placed in the hands of skilful, careful, and trained observers, such as are now engaged in the Challenger Expedition, they would have given results equal to those now obtained with the instruments supplied by Mr. Casella, and obviously so, their principle being precisely the same.
Mr. Casella talks about our thermometers having failed. Can Mr. Casella point out where are recorded any of the failures? Was Mr. Casella able to make them fail when he tried by placing one of them in his hydraulic press in the presence of gentlemen connected with the Meteorological Office? But this is not the point at issue, the sole question is, are the thermometers supplied to the expedition the same in principle as ours, or are they not?
Doubiless it would be much more agreeable to Mr. Casella that these questions should be decided by himself in private, hence his invitation to your readers "to go to his establishment • "Volcanoes," 1st ed. 1826, p. 30.
and hear his explanation." Surely no such arrangement will satisfy " all the scientific men in the world." We contend that as Mr. Casella has publicly claimed the invention as his own, it ought to be decided with equal publicity whether he has done anything more than copy our instrument.
We again give the description of our thermometer (not in our own words, for we might be accused of shaping them to suit our purpose) but in the words of the late Admiral Fitzroy as they appear in the first number of Meteorological Papers, page 55, published July 5, 1857, in referring to the erroneous readings of all thermometers consequent on their delicate bulbs being compressed by the great pressure of the ocean, Admiral Fitzroy says :—
"With a view to obviate this failing, Messrs. Negretti and Zambra undertook to make a case for the weak bulbs which should transmit temperature but resist pressure. Accordingly, a tube of thick glass is sealed outside the delicate bulb between which and the casing is a space all round which is nearly filled with mercury. The small space not so filled is a vacuum into which the mercury can be expanded, or forced by heat or mechanical compression, without doing injury to, or even compressing the inner or much more delicate bulb," &c. &c.
Mr. Casella "did not wish to take up your valuable space to describe his thermometer." Well, it matters not; the late Admiral Fitzroy his done it for him. He described it sixteen years ago; and if the reader will take every syllable of the extract above quoted, and substitute the word "alcohol" for "mercury" (which colourable change was effected by Mr. Casella, to the detriment of the instrument), they will have a correct description of Mr. Casella's thermometer in the most minute details.
Hy. Necretti And Zambra
Rain-gauge at Sea
I Beg to send you a copy of a letter I received lately from Capt. Goodenough, of the Royal Navy, respecting the use of my rain-gauge at sea. (See Nature, vol. vii. p. 202.)
Nov. 8 W.J. Black
"H.M.S. Pearl, lat 6° S., long. 22 W. "Dear Sir,—I should have taken an earlier opportunity of writing to you about the instrument which you were so good as to design for use on board ship, but have not had the good fortune to fall in with any rain up to the present time with which I could at all events in some measure test and chronicle the rain-gauge. It is odd that in a journey of twenty days I have had only '07 in. of rain, and that although I am at this moment in a district in which an average of seven hours' rain usually falls at this time of the year. On that one occasion 07 in. did fall and was duly caught in your instrument as well as in another mounted on gimbals, the measurements being exactly alike in each. I much prefer the mounting of your instrument, and will report to you as to the amount of weight it requires after some experimenting with it. The usually most steady instrument is one which is heavy, and whose centre of gravity is very near its centre of oscillation. I do not think it would be well to increase the size of the instrument, as it would become inconvenient to place, except for the use of a man who wishes to devote himself very much to that order of observation. Our poop is so high here that I do not anticipate any mixture of sea-spray in the gauge, but if it were so your table would be sufficient to clear it, supposing we had Carpenter's Hydrometer to test with, as we might not expect enough water to float an ordinary one.
'' I remain, yours very truly,
"james E. Goodenough "Captain R.N. Command II.M.S. Pearl, proceeding vid the
Cape to Australasia."
In a letter printed in yonr number for Oct. 16 (vol.viii. p. 506), Mr. J. H. Rohrs states that he believes that glaciers existed at or near the sea-level in central Hindustan in the glacial period. Glaciers undoubtedly existed in the Himalyas at a much lower elevation than at present; there are traces of their action in Sikkim in valleys, the bottoms of which are now only 4,000 ft. above the sea, and in the north-western Himalayas, Mr.
Medlicott, I think, considers that in some valleys, glaciers descended to within 1,000 ft. of the sea-level, but I have never heard of any marks of old glacial action in the Indian peninsula south of the Himalayas. There are no mountains In central Hindostan exceeding about 4,000 ft. in height, and a careful examination of the portions of the Nilgiri mountains in Southern India, which rise above 8,000 ft., has not afforded any proof of the former presence of ice. It is very probable that Mr. Rohrs possesses information upon this subject with which I am unacquainted, and it is without the least wish to express a doubt of the aecuracy of his information, that I ask for any evidence he can produce in favour of his assertion, as the subject is one in which I am greatly interested.
W. T. Blanford
JOHANN NEPOMUK CZERMAK
T OHANN NEPOMUK CZERMAK was born June 17, J 1828, in Prague. His father, Johann Conrad Czermak, was a medical practitioner of high repute in that city, and his uncle, Joseph Julius Czermak, enjoyed a considerable reputation as Professor of Medicine and Physiology, first at Gratz and afterwards at Vienna. Educated at the high school of his native town, Johann Czermak entered upon the study of medicine at the University of Vienna in 1845. In 1847 he moved to Breslau, where he had the great advantage of living with the distinguished physiologist Purkinje. From Breslau he passed on in 1849 to Wiirzburg, where in 1850 he received the degree of M.D., publishing on that occasion an inaugural dissertation on "The Microscopical Anatomy of the Teeth," in which he called attention to the larger " interglobular " spaces so often found in the upper part of the dentine. After a visit to England he settled at Prague, where he became assistant to Purkinje, who then held the chair of Physiology in that place. In 1855 he left Prague to take the chair of Zoology at Gratz ; but zoology was not his proper province, and he gladly accepted in 1856 the offer of the Professorship of Physiology at Krakau, which however he left in the following year for the like chair in Pesth. In both these universities he established physiological laboratories and gave a decided impulse to physiological research ; but the political agitations then rife made life distasteful to him there, and in i860 he resigned his chair and returned to Prague. Such frequent changes must have interfered greatly with sustained research, but by this time Czermak had made his name known as well by several investigations in experimental physiology and in subjective vision, as especially by his researches on the laryngoscope, his treatise on which (" Der Kehlkopfspiegel und seine Verwerthung") embodying the results made known in various papers in 1858 and 1859, he published shortly before his return to Prague.
Here he resided some years, visiting at times En gland, Holland, and France, in order to make the value of the laryngoscope better known to his fellow-workers in science and medicine. There are many in England who retain pleasant memories of these visits.
The ample means brought to him by the gifted lady whom he had the happiness to marry, enabled him to build in Prague and furnish at his own expense a private laboratory for research, in which he not only worked himself, but which he also placed at the disposal of others. Many would have envied, and few would willingly have let slip, such an opportunity for quiet labour; but Czermak, conscious of the power he possessed of lucid exposition, delighted in teaching, and felt perhaps the want of the stimulus which pupils afford. Accordingly, when in 1865 he was offered the chair of Physiology in Jena, vacated by the removal of von Bezold to Wiirzburj, he at once accepted it. Here he continued until, in 1869, finding the disease to which he eventually succumbed (and the beginning of which he himself attributed to the irritation caused by the controversies which arose out of his laryngoscopy work), was rendering him unfitted for the energetic performance of his professorial duties, he withdrew to Leipzig, where he was made Honorary Professor at the University, and where he continued to reside until his death, on Sept. 16 in the present year.
Carried off while yet in the prime of his life, and the energies of his last few years impaired by an insidious disease, Czermak has perhaps left a mark on the scientific progress of his time incommensurate with his talents or his promise. He will doubtless be best remembered through his laryngoscopy labours. We owe to him the real introduction into medical practice of this valuable instrument. But his other researches, such as those on the action of the vagus, the pulse, the sense of touch, the manege movements resulting from injuries to the brain, those on dyspnoea, and others, show remarkable acuteness and clearness of insight.
Two talents he possessed deserve special notice. He had remarkable aptitude in devising apparatus for observing or for demonstrating physiological phenomena. It was this faculty which made him successful where others had failed in the use of the laryngeal mirror; and
would be difficult to exaggerate the immense help to experimental physiology which has been afforded by the ingenious "holder" which bears his name.
The other faculty, that of popular exposition, less common in his country than in ours, he possessed to a very high degree. And his popular lectures, which were originally delivered at Jena, and which were reviewed in an early number of Nature, achieved and deserved great popularity.
Perhaps had his love of teaching been less strong, his work as an investigator would have been more sustained and weighty. But while in this country we might with profit often lose a lecturer and gain an investigator, Germany could well afford that one whose powers of rigorous and yet clear and popular demonstration were so exceptionally great, should somewhat slacken in his work as an inquirer. Or perhaps we should not so much say that Czermak slackened in inquiry, as that the consciousness of his power as an expositor, and the delight he consequently took in exposition, drew much of his energy in that direction. In the grounds of his residence at Leipzig he had built and fitted, at his own expense, a large hall, or " spectatorium," as he called it, in which he proposed to deliver lectures on physiology, richly illustrated with experiments. In connection with the hall, the construction of which was admirably adapted in every way for its purpose, he had also erected a private laboratory for research; and on both he had spent much time and labour. They were intended to be a supplement—not a rival—to the more technical institute of Prof. Ludwig in the same city. The writer will never forget the delight with which Czermak showed this "Erkliirungs-Tempel," —as he was fond of calling it—to Dr. Sharpey and himself in the summer of 1871, and pointed out all its ingenious contrivances, and the enthusiasm with which he looked forward to the lectures which would be delivered, and the work which would be carried on in it. He lived to open it by an inaugural lecture in December 1872; but the effects of his fatal disease were already painfully evident ; and after a vain struggle during the following summer, Czermak—just as the British Association was gathering for its meeting at Bradford—was taken away Irom his unfinished work. He was a man of broad culture, outside his professional attainments. In philosophy especially he was well versed; and his last contribution to scientific literature—a pap r in "Pfliiger's Archiv," on the mesmerism of animals—was doubtless prompted by his interest in psychological questions. His straightforward, generous, and unostentatious manner formed a fitting frame for his intellectual attainments.
A widow and children mourn his death. He is also
mourned for by many friends in many lands, both by those who had known him long and by those who knew him for a short while only. M. FOSTER
THE ATMOSPHERIC TELEGRAPH
THE Times of the isthinst. contained an article on the Pneumatic Despatch, which has never been used to any extent in this country. From that article we learn the following particulars as to the working of this method of conveyance in London :—
The pneumatic tube extends from the London and North-Western Railway Station at Euston Square to the General Post Office in St. Martin's-le-Grand. The central station is in Holborn, where is also the machinery for effecting the transit of the trains. Here the tube is divided, so that in effect there are two tubes opening into the station, one from Euston to Holborn, and the other from the Post Office. The length of the tube between Holborn and Euston is 3,080 yards, or exactly a mile and three-quarters, a greater length than was originally contemplated, but which was rendered necessary by the avoidance of certain property on the route. The tube is of a flattened horse-shoe section 5 (t. wide and 4 ft. 6 in. high at the centre, having a sectional area of 17 square feet. The straight portions of the line are formed of a continuous cast-iron tube, the curved lengths being constructed in brickwork, with a facing of cement. The gradients are easy; the two chief are 1 in 45 and 1 in 60, some portions of the line being on the level; the sharpest curve is that near the Holborn station, which is 70 ft. radius. The tube between Holborn and the Post Office is 1,658 yards in length, or 102 yards less than a mile, and is of the same section, and similarly constructed to the first length. Two gradients of 1 in 15 occur on the Post Office section, but this steep inclination is in no way inimical to the working of the system. The Holborn station is situated at right angles to the line of the tubes, which are therefore turned towards the station into which each opens. All through trains, therefore, have to reverse there, and this is effected in a very simple manner by a self-acting arrangement. A train upon its arrival runs by virtue of its acquired momentum up a short incline, at the summit of which it momentarily stops, and then quickly descends by gravity. In its descent it is turned on to a pair of rails leading to the other tube, into which it enters and through which it continues its journey, the whole process of reversing occupying barely 30 seconds. Trains containing goods for the Holborn station are simply run down from the top of the incline on to a siding.
The waggons, or carriers, as they are termed, weigh 22cwt., are 10 ft 4 in. in length, and have a transverse contour conforming to that of the tube. They are, however, of a slightly smaller area than the tube itself, the difference—about an inch all round—being occupied by a flange of indiarubber, which causes the carrier to fit the tube exactly, and so to form a piston upon which the air acts. The machinery for propelling the carriers consists of a steam engine having a pair of 24-in. cylinders with 20 in. stroke. This engine drives a fan 22 ft. 6 in. in diameter, and the two are geared together in such a manner that one revolution of the former gives two of the latter, or, in technical terms,.the engine is geared at 2 to I with the fan. The trains are drawn from Euston and the Post Office by exhaustion, and are propelled to those points by pressure. The working of the fan, however, is not reversed to suit these constantly varying conditions; it works continuously, the alternate action of pressure and exhaustion being governed by valves. The engine takes steam from three Cornish boilers, each 30 ft. long and 6 ft. 6 in. in diameter, Telegraphic signalling is carried on between the three stations by means of needle instruments.
The system of Pneumatic Despatch, or "Atmospheric Telegraph," as the French call it, is utilised to a much greater extent in Paris than in London, though with some important differences in construction and object. We have thought that some details concerning the working of this system in Paris might be useful and interesting at the present time, and we therefore give an abstract of some articles on the subject which have recently appeared in La Nature.
The question of the distribution of messages in the interior of towns has revived the systems of pneumatic transport, which, after having had their day of celebrity, seemed for twenty years doomed to oblivion.
In following the aspects of this question, we shall show in what way the atmospheric telegraph is a result of the electric telegraph; we shall afterwards consider the former more specially, and after having shown its present condition, shall inquire what future is 111 store for it.
The telegraphic despatch has become an article of everyday use; as the age is a fast one, it is natural that it should utilise with eagerness so handy a means of transmitting almost instantaneously its impressions or its wishes to all distances. It is necessary to remember that a city like London or Paris sends out and receives every day an immense number of telegrams. The wires which serve as conductors of electricity are multiplied in all directions for the purpose of meeting the demands of this traffic. They meet in the interior at the central office. This central station speaks urbi et orbi; in other words, it receives the messages of the city for the purpose of Spreading them over the entire world, and it accomplishes also an inverse movement. The aspect with which we are here concerned is the distribution throughout the city itself; let us see what has been done in Paris to accomplish this purpose.
As each house cannot be put in immediate communication with the telegraphic network, it became necessary to adopt some other convenient plan. In the case of Paris, the city is divided into districts of a mean radius of 500 metres in order to limit the journeys of the foot-messengers. The application of this rule gave fifty points, distant one kilometre from each other, where are established so many branches of the chief office.
This system was found, however, not to work well, and was moreover very expensive, for reasons which we need not detail here; and after voitures were tried for some time as a means of sending despatches from the head office to the more important branches, it was resolved to have recourse to the pneumatic tube. We have just referred to the extent to which it has been carried in London. Paris and Berlin followed the example of London in 1865: we shall speak here of the system of Paris.
In Paris there are fifty stations, distant from each other about a kilometre, connected by an iron tube, which is interrupted at each station. The central station, by which the transit of messages is effected with the interior, is in the Rue de Grenelle ; there are seventeen district stations, in the Rue Boissy-d'Anglas, Grand-Hdtel, Bourse, &c.
How is this network managed? Like a diminutive subterranean railway, in which the waggons are cylindrical boxes and the motive power compressed air prepared in the stations. At the central bureau the trains are formed, composed of as many boxes as there are branch offices to supply. The trains are omnibus when they stop at the intermediate stations, express when they shoot past them.
Every quarter of an hour an omnibus train leaves the Rue de Grenelle, and accomplishes the distance which separates it from the Rue Boissy-d'Anglas (1,500 metres) in a minute and a half. There it is received in a vertical column, and the box which carries the messages to be distributed in the district having been taken out, the others are put into the section of the line which
runs towards the Grand Hotel, a new box having been added containing messages to be transmitted, which have been deposited since the last train. The train again takes its departure, composed of as many boxes as before ; it goes through the same operations at the Grand Hotel, the Bourse, the Theatre Francais, and at the Rue des Saints-Peres. It re-enters the Rue de Grenelle twelve minutes after its departure, having changed all its boxes and carried back messages for distribution.
Besides this there is a secondary network, the details of which, however, we need not now enter upon. There is a direct line which goes from the Rue de Grenelle to the Bourse, and to branches in the Champs-Elysees, the Place du Havre, and the Rue des Halles. On the first run the express trains going and returning, the departures of which are intercalated between those of the omnibus trains, for the purpose of supplying those stations which are busiest, twice every quarter of an hour. The departure is accomplished by pressure, the return by aspiration. The same method of working is applied to the branches, which correspond with the omnibus trains of the principal network.
The tubes which compose the lines are of iron, the interior diameter being o'o65 metre. They are connected by bridle joints (d. brides), and admit of curves having a radius of from 5 to 20 metres.
Various systems for the production of compressed or rarified air are employed. The first in date is an application of the principles of the apparatus known as Hiero's Fountain. Atmospheric air is decanted from a first receiver B (Fig. 1) into a second receiver communicating with the first by means of the tube bb, by the introduction of water into the receiver B. The air thus forced is drawn into the receiver for the purpose of being dispersed in the tubes. Where the machines are not allowed to be used, the employment of steam is much more economical for the compression of air. Recourse is then had to ordinary pumps, which insure an active service and are subject to fewer causes of irregularity. The latter method has been preferred in recent establishments.
Trains composed of ten boxes weigh about four kilograms, they are either pushed or sucked along by a difference of pressure of three-fourths of an atmosphere, which gives a mean speed of a kilometre per minute.
The travellers which take their places on the Lilliputian carriages already described are closed envelopes containing messages; they are piled in groups of thirty or forty in a curscur, or box. This box is formed of two cylinders, the interior one of sheet iron, the outer one, enveloping the former, of leather. To make up a train, a piston must be affixed after the last box, for the purpose of enabling the compressed air to take effect. The piston is a piece of wood provided with a leather collarette, which assumes the shape of the interior of the tube, and forms an almost hermetical joint, without much friction.
The apparatus at first adopted for receiving and despatching the boxes having been found neither sufficiently rapid nor convenient, a much more complete system, shown in Fig. 2, is now employed. The figure explains itself: two lines enter the office, each attached to separate apparatus. In the first place, for the purpose of despatching messages, a man opens the door A by means of the lever d; the boxes and the piston are thrown into the tube, and await at the bottom the current of air which will propel them. This current is produced as soon as the cock c is opened, which commands the head of the apparatus opposite to the tube. The cock c' distributes the air upon the second line. In the second place, the receiving door B is opened by a second attendant, who finds the train at the station, and takes out the boxes in order to bring the telegrams to light. The entire apparatus has somewhat the form of a cannon, only the effect is more blessed, the artillerymen are not exposed to death;