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Sep 22, 2023
Franklin County (MA) News Archive
The Franklin County Publication Archive Index

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Article Archives: Articles: Science

Showing 25

Posted by stew - Sun, Feb 21, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875

Born in Amherst Aug. 30, a son to Prof. W.C. Esty [professor of mathematics]; Sept. 1, a son to Horace H. Tibbetts.

Subjects: Births, Education, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Science, Work

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 18, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
News of the week

New Commissioner of Patents to take the place of Mr. Thatcher, just resigned, to enter into the patent business in Chicago. Hon. R.H. Buell of Cortland, N.Y....

[See R. Holland Duell in Wikipedia].

Subjects: Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Government, Inventions, Science

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 18, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
News of the week

Prof. Marsh was examined Mon. by the Red Cloud Investigating Commission. The cross examination was quite rigid and left the Professor in a very embarrassing position. He was unable to sustain any of the charges from his own personal knowledge.

He was pressed particularly close to ascertain whether he had any specific evidence to sustain the charge of criminal negligence on the part of Secretary Delano. He had only hearsay evidence...

[See Google Books "The Magazine of American History with notes and queries, Volume 23" for an explanation of this issue].


Subjects: Archaeology, Crime, Criminals, Education, Food, Government, History, Literature / Web Pages, Native Americans, Politics, Science

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 18, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Hampshire County items

Chauncey Wright, a native of Northampton, and an instructor of physics at Harvard college, died suddenly of heart disease Sun. He was a graduate of Harvard in 1852, at one time lecturer on metaphysics at Agassiz school at Cambridge, and was a well known writer on Darwinism and kindred topics in the North American Review, New York Nation, etc.

Subjects: Diseases, Education, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Literature / Web Pages, Obituaries, Science, Work

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 6, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
What savages think of twins

In Africa according to Dr. Robert Brown ("Races of Mankind") the birth of twins is commonly regarded as an evil omen. No one, except the twins themselves and their nearest relatives, is allowed to enter the hut in which they first saw light. The children are not to play with other children, and even the utensils of the hut are not permitted to be used by any one else.

The mother is not allowed to talk to any one not belonging to her own family. If the children both live till the end of the 6th year, it is supposed that Nature has accommodated herself to their existence, and they are thenceforth admitted to association with their fellows. Nor is this abomination of twin births restricted to Africa.

In the island of Bali, near Java, a woman who is so unfortunate as to bear twins is obliged, along with her husband, to live for a month at the sea shore or among the tombs, until she is purified. The Khasias of Hindostan consider that to have twins assimilates the mother to the lower animals, and one of them is frequently put to death.

An exactly similar belief prevails among some of the native tribes of Vancouver Island. Among the Ainos, one of the twins is always killed, and in Arebo in Guinea, both the twins and the mother are put to death (Popular Science Monthly).

Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Animals / Reptiles, Birth Control, Births, Cemeteries, Children, Crime, Curiosities and Wonders, Cutlery, Family, Households, Light, Literature / Web Pages, Luck, Murder, Native Americans, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Science, Women, Superstition, Canada, Geography

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 17, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875
Hampshire County items

Amherst's population is 3926, against 4035 in 1870; 2009 males and 1817 females; she has 789 houses, 120 old maids, 66 bachelors, 180 widows, 84 widowers, and 29 persons over 80 years old. They will not put another squash into the harness at the Agricultural College this year, but they are trying other interesting experiments with a vine of the same kind, the Mammoth Chili https://www.semences...ltivar=Mammoth+Chili They have one squash upon the scales to ascertain its final weight, and meantime to note its increase in weight, which is now 3 pounds per diem.

The growth of its leaves is also recorded. Another scale marks the increase of its vine in length, and still another of its tendrils. An ingenious contrivance is arranged to find out the movements of an unsupported tendril; the result is worked in triangles on a paper perpendicular to the free tendril. Another arrangement is to test the strength of the tendrils and their growth in power relative to the growth of the supported squash. A gauge is being prepared to examine the sap in the vine and its passage into the fruit.

Subjects: Education, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Food, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Households, Inventions, Marriage and Elopement, Old Age, Science, Vital Statistics, Widows and Widowers, Women

Posted by stew - Fri, Jan 9, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
The Scientist and Prayer

The Scientist and Prayer, by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Subjects: Literature / Web Pages, Religion, Science, Women

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 3, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
Find in Greece

In clearing away the refuse from the ancient silver mines of Laurium, in Greece, a large number of seeds were found, unknown to modern science, but described in the writings of Pliny. The seeds took root, budded and blossomed, bearing beautiful yellow flowers, after a burial of at least 1500 years.

Check out Laurium on Wikipedia.

Subjects: Archaeology, Curiosities and Wonders, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Garbage, History, Literature / Web Pages, Mines and Mineral Resources, Science, Europe, Jewelry / Gold / Silver / Treasure

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 3, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
A voice from Sweden

American Chemists and their production appreciated by the professors at the celebrated universities in Sweden. Mr. Sachs, Sir - At your request, I have tested Hall's Vegetable Sicilian Hair Renewer, in my practice at the "Serafimer Hotel", and can say, it will restore gray hair to its original color. It is entirely harmless, and is a valuable remedy to use in such cases. P.H. Malmsten, professor of chemistry and medicine, Stockholm. [Ad says Hotel, but it is really a Hospital].

Subjects: Advertising, Barber / Hair, Cosmetics, Education, Food, Hotels, Italians, Literature / Web Pages, Medical Personnel, Medicine / Hospitals, Quacks and Quackery, Science, Europe

Posted by stew - Sun, Dec 21, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 2, 1875
Edwin W. Major

Edwin W. Major of Wilton N.H. will be tried for the alleged poisoning of his wife last winter, at Nashua in Sept. The remains of Ellen Lovejoy, sister of his wife, who is also thought to have been poisoned by Majors 5 years ago, have been exhumed and the stomach sent to Boston for analysis.

[It was strychnine. Read the whole story at Internet Archive's "Wharton and Stille's Medical Jurisprudence].

Subjects: Boston (MA), Cemeteries, Crime, Criminals, Family, Law and Lawyers, Literature / Web Pages, Medical Personnel, Murder, New Hampshire, Poisoning, Science

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 13, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 26, 1875
Buena Vista stone

The Buena Vista stone http://bulk.resource.../113/113.US.153.html of which the Chicago Custom House is constructed, has been tested by a government chemist and found to contain a considerable quantity of petroleum, and also to be unable to resist the action of frost. It is not considered fit for building purposes.

Subjects: Government, Ice, Natural Resources, Science, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Fri, Dec 12, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 19, 1875
Probably the first

Probably the first of her sex to attain to the dignity of Professor in an American college is Miss Priscilla Breslin of Vassar, who has just been elected to the Professorship of Mathematics in that institution. [Can't track this one down].

Subjects: Contests, Education, Elections, Science, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 6, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 5, 1875
Chemistry of explosive agents

Long article.

Subjects: Science

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 21, 1875
Whitingham, Vt.

The geology of Whitingham may yet serve to us an attraction, and a visit at some future day, among its boulders, to its gold and silver mine, may compensate for all our pleasure in the forthcoming future. Our greatest boulder measures 43 ft. in length, and 30 in height and width, or 40,000 cubic ft. in bulk, and was probably transported across Deerfield Valley, the bottom of which is 500 ft. below the spot where it lies.

/ There is also another one not quite as large on the farm of Mr. Thomas Fowler, 40 ft. in length, and [?] in height, 5 in width, shaped like an anvil, and for some unknown cause is called the "Devil's Anvil", also there are many others around of every shape and size, probably drifted from the higher latitudes to these lower, from some convulsion of nature. There can also be seen perpendicular precipices from 20 to 30 ft. in height and would well pay one for an hour's visit to this farm, situated one mile west from Jacksonville.

Subjects: Amusements, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Jokes, Mines and Mineral Resources, Names, Religion, Science, Vermont, Jewelry / Gold / Silver / Treasure, Geography

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875
Hampshire County items

A few days since, Dr. Hitchcock received a box containing quite a quantity of curiosities from Western Africa sent him by Rev. Mr. Claflin, a missionary there. The most valuable of these specimens is the skull of an African warrior of the Mendi tribe [i.e. Mende http://www.footnote....width=290&height=400 ], which has good facial angle, unusual prominence and width of cheek bones, and is finely formed for anatomical purposes. Though wishing for a long time to obtain such a skull, Dr. Hitchcock has never before succeeded because of the superstition of the African tribes.

Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Archaeology, Curiosities and Wonders, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Mail, Racism, Religion, Robbers and Outlaws, Science, War / Weaponry, Superstition

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875

A question for scientists: the "Witch Hole", on a certain place in this town, to the knowledge of persons for 50 years it has remained the same. Continually filled up; continually sinking. A small hollow of a few ft. in circumference, never even with the surrounding earth, the line always clearly defined, no grass grown, or very slightly. It has been suggested by some an under current of water carrying the debris constantly away. But there are no brooks or rivulets near. Who can answer?

Subjects: Conway (MA), Curiosities and Wonders, History, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Science, Witchcraft

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875

The Connecticut River Railroad's Sylvan Grove http://www.franklinc...dston/everts/02.html at Bernardston is being fitted up with special attractions for picnic parties. New swings have been added and ample croquet grounds laid out in scientific order, and on Thurs. the Hibernians of Springfield will picnic there.

Subjects: Amusements, Bernardston (MA), Clubs, Food, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Irish, Science, Sports, Trains, Trees

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875
Sanitary precautions

"Cleanliness is next to godliness", says the familiar proverb, and certainly upon it depends much of our health and happiness in this world. Scientific investigation in the past few years has clearly demonstrated the fact that many of the diseases that are so prevalent during the summer months are traceable to local causes. Sometimes it may be defective drainage from sink or privy, poisoning the water in the well or filling the air with foul gases that are inhaled, and plant the seeds of disease; or again, there may be near the house stagnant pools of water from which arise the fatal miasma.

/ ...Every New England housekeeper, no matter what may be her station in life, is sure, when the warm days of the spring come, if she does not get impatient at the season's delay and inaugurate operations before, to pull up all of the carpets in the house and scour the paint from the parlor to the kitchen. This done, the house is put to rights, and she feels as proud of her little campaign against dirt, as the general who has successfully measured his strength with an armed foe. But after all this thorough cleaning of the inhabited rooms of the house, there is the cellar, in which barrels and bins which have contained the potatoes, apples and other vegetables and fruits that were laid in for the winter's supply, having still in different stages of decomposition what has been unused. Frequently a large quantity of mouldy rottenness, that sends forth an unsavory, unwholesome smell.

/ While about the cellar, boards and rubbish are decaying and the beans are covered with mildew and fungus...A thorough cleaning of cellar and outbuildings should be inaugurated; the pig sty should be placed a safe distance from the house, drains should be examined, and be sure that your water is sweet and wholesome. What is saved in doctor's bills will pay for your trouble ten times over, not to speak of the danger to your life and to the lives of those you love if these precautions are not taken.

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Astronomy, Beverages, Diseases, Food, Garbage, Households, Medical Personnel, Medicine / Hospitals, New England, Outhouses, Poisoning, Science, War / Weaponry, Weather, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 7, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

Prof. William Denton of Wellesley, Mass. [see a bio at], author of "Our planet, its past and future: or lectures on geology", "The soul of things; or psychometric researches and discovery" [See Google Books], etc., etc., one of the most interesting and popular lecturers of the day, will give a free lecture in Franklin Hall this eve. at 8 o'clock. Subject: The philosophy of death. All are invited. A collection will be taken at the close.

Subjects: Amusements, Economics, Education, Greenfield (MA), Literature / Web Pages, Massachusetts, Obituaries, Prophecies, Science, Spiritualism

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 7, 1875
The new college for women

The Woman's College in process of erection at Northampton, suggested and endowed by the will of Sophia Smith, late of Hatfield, will be ready to receive its first students in Sept. next...Emphasis on classical, literary and scientific endeavors...One large building will contain the recitation rooms, laboratories, cabinets, lecture hall, etc. This building is of brick, with Ohio stone trimmings; the length is 430 ft. by 118, and only frescoing and fitting are needed to make it ready for occupancy. An observatory and gymnasium are soon to be built. The students will live in small families, of each of which one of the faculty will be the head, and will be accommodated in cottages, which will be grouped about the upper portion of the grounds. Ample provision has been made for the home life of the students, and the social life of the institution is to be the special charge of a lady member of the faculty. The 16 acres included within the college grounds have been beautifully laid out, with winding walks, archery grounds, etc. The formal dedication of the institution will take place at the last of the present month, at which time the President, L. Clark Seelye, will deliver an address, and the appointments of members of the faculty will be announced.

Subjects: Economics, Education, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Literature / Web Pages, Mourning Customs, Science, Sports, Women, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 31, 1875
News about town: Greenfield items

The following list of new books has been recently added to the Greenfield Library: Scottish Song; We and Our Neighbors [by Harriet Beecher Stowe]; Mr. Smith; The Wreck of the Chancellor [by Jules Verne]; Egypt and Iceland; A Winter in Russia; Characteristics from the Writings of J.H. Newman; Theology in the English Poets; Politics for Young Americans; English portraits; Social Life in Greece; The Starling; David Crockett; Invasion of the Crimea, 34 vols.; Strength and Beauty; Outlines of the World’s History; Mistress Judith [by Christina Catherine Liddell]; Gunnar, a Tale of Norse Life; Dictionary of Shakespearian Quotations; Annual Record of Science and Industry; Shakespeare Commentaries; The New Hyperion; Manual of Political Ethics; Ismailia, by S.W. Baker; Ancient Law; St. Nicholas.

Subjects: Disasters, Education, English (and England), Greenfield (MA), History, Law and Lawyers, Libraries and Librarians, Literature / Web Pages, Music, Poetry, Politics, Religion, Science, Transportation, War / Weaponry, Scots and Scotland, Arabs, Geography, Russia

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 24, 1875
News of the week

A nugget of copper, 28 per cent pure ore, weighing 6000 pounds, is on exhibit at St. Louis. It came from the Lake Superior region, where it was taken from an ancient digging. The mass, when found, had evidently been detached from its bed by ancient miners, whose stone hammers, in great numbers, were found in the mine. . [See Google Books "The Science record", 1876, p. 65, for more particulars on this boulder].

Subjects: Archaeology, Curiosities and Wonders, Fairs, History, Literature / Web Pages, Lost and Found, Mines and Mineral Resources, Native Americans, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Science

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 24, 1875

Dr. Wheeler's lectures furnished a fine entertainment to large audiences for 5 evenings. It is seldom our town is favored with a treat of this kind, so attractive and amusing, and yet so full of invaluable instruction. The Doctor's method is that of "object teaching", which renders his lectures especially interesting and useful to children and youth. He has spared no expenses in procuring apparatus for illustration and very few lecturers are as well equipped.

/ Many have declared that a look at his paintings, models and manikin is worth more than the cost of a full course ticket. The latter is a wonderful piece of mechanism which Mr. W. imported from France at an expense of from one to two thousand dollars. Any part or organ of the body, internal or external under consideration, can be taken from this quasi man and when returned seems as well as ever. While instruction is the chief end in these lectures, they are sufficiently well spiced with humorous anecdotes, amusing incidents and sharp and truthful points and hits to give them relish and insure good digestion.

/ Many useful and sensible hints are interspersed respecting diseases and their treatment. We understand the doctor will spend the summer in Leyden, and though being otherwise employed mostly, will do a limited amount of practice. He has several calls to deliver lectures in this vicinity, notwithstanding it is rather out of season.

Subjects: Amusements, Art, Children, Diseases, Economics, Education, Food, French, Jokes, Medical Personnel, Science, Work, Leyden (MA)

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 17, 1875
Hampshire County items

The Scientific Farmer, to be published at Amherst, will appear in 3000 copies the 1st of June. Mrs. Rebecca Smith Strong, and supposed to be the oldest person in Amherst, died on Tues., age 96.

Subjects: Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Literature / Web Pages, Obituaries, Old Age, Science, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 17, 1875
The Shelburne Falls spelling match

I went! Much as I regret it, the fact will probably go down in posterity on the historic page that I went! Friend after friend had cornered me on the streets of our rustic village, and with an agony of suspense in his face, had breathed into my waiting ear the following question: "Have you been to a spelling school"? Newspapers and periodicals, friends, foes and fellow citizens had all set before me the all important question, "Do you spell?" By night my wife whispered in her dreams of names and words which to my jealous ear brought indications of a "spell". By day my children teased away the last fond hope of quiet contentment till at last, after a tearful investigation of my pocket book, with my beloved companion beaming with smiles of fulfilled anticipation beside me, and our due proportion of the nation's future hope gamboling furtively before me, I hastened to the hall.

/ You could hardly call that spelling school a success. A success means when you try to do something and do it. In that great and true sense of the word, I repeat, the Shelburne Falls spelling school could hardly be called a success. Neither could you call it a failure. That means when you try to do something and break down. After a careful study of the dictionary, the only word I find fit to apply to the affair in question is a small one of 4 letters, which, to make more appropriate, I introduce by a good sized adjective, and call an "unmitigated sham"!

/ It had been publicly announced, and in private, that the first class was to consist of "ye men and women of 50 years old and upwards". The old boys who chose sides showed no regard to law or fun; breaking the law completely, did away with the fun, and those who came expressly to see the "old folks" spell, agreed that the "meetin' was rather pokey", and that a case of genuine smallpox would have been funny compared with it! But the part of the entertainment more especially deserving the name of sham was the second. It had been announced that "test words" were to be given for written spelling, to three scholars chosen from each of the "competing schools". The competing schools turned out to be only two, the high school and the grammar school taught by Miss Wilson.

/ Two of the three from the high school were in their graduating year. Against this mighty three an equal number of little girls not over 13 years of age found themselves unexpectedly and publicly arrayed. The latter children had come at the earnest solicitation of their teacher, expecting other children of similar age and standing would "compete" with them. The words "for the most part" were not in the speller used in the grammar schools. The majority of them were scientific words and those so uncommon that teachers of many years experience and good spelling ability have declared themselves unable to spell 4 of the recent 25 given. The high school lady who spelled the largest amount correctly, missed 8 out of the 25 pronounced. Whispered communication between the spellers was continued through the exercise and "deemed necessary". Doubtless it was.

/ How well one acquainted with the standing of our schools and scholars could consistently put out such a list of words to such a class, and in the name of "test words" is a mystery to many. None of "my" children took the prize. It seems strange. I was chosen in the first class. But as I am only 45 years old, I held to my love of consistency and kept my seat. The band music was the redeeming feature of the evening. At 10 o'clock I left the mournful scene; it was too harrowing for my tender feelings. My wife remarked that hereafter, when she wished for amusement, she should attend a moderate funeral. Ten times 15 cents gone! I am a sadder and a wiser man!

Subjects: Amusements, Children, Contests, Diseases, Dreams / Sleep, Economics, Education, Family, History, Jokes, Law and Lawyers, Literature / Web Pages, Mourning Customs, Music, Names, Old Age, Roads, Science, Spelling, Women, Words, Work

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