Another Important Decision by the new Commissioner of Patents

1857 Scientific American  
The first of our subjects, geography, is the science of describing the surface of the globe, while geology has for its object the description of the interior of the earth, and tracing the history of the rocks of which it is composed. Any one looking at a map will at once per ceive the amount of talent, obsel'Yation and calClollation necessary to perfect such a draw ing, and the same is equally true of a geologi cal chart or section. We wish, in this article, to show the necessity of a perfect
more » ... sity of a perfect description of our earth, and also indicate the means at command for I'erforming the labor, and, so to speak, for jotting down the items in the great encyclopredia of facts. It is of the utmost importance to the mari ner, and all who trust themselves upon the ocean, that there should be perfect and relia ble charts and instructions, deduced from practical obsel'vations, of the route they are abont to travel. It is equally necessary that every current should be indicated and sound ings taken, and the depth of water, at various points, marked on the charts, so that every ocean and sea may become as well known as the Atlantic, from New York to Liverpool. Commerce demands geographers to work in this field, and the saving of human life is their reward. Again, it is necessary that the land should be equally well mapped out, in order that boundaries may be accurately deter mined, and the divisions of States and coun tries may be truly known. It may seem sur prising to some of our readers, that the destiny of a nation often depends on a geographical question. The late war between Great Britain and Russia was one of boundary, and the Paris Conference was called to settle the question; and there arc many parallel cases in history where one geographer would have settled It question whicll took many battles and victories to determine. Geology is im port an t, as developing the re sources of a country-its exploralions are requisite to make out where the coal, iron and mineral veins are concealed-to discover the loenlity of building stones, and marbles, and of clays for bricks, and also to determine their extent, and the best places to commence their working. Now, let us inquire the means at command for attaining these objects. The governments of nearly every country having any preten sions to civilization have now an org'anized body of scientific men to make these geo graphical and geological charts, sections and maps. IVe have a Coast Survey, and we are occasionally sending out exploring expeditions whose aim is to do the work we have men tioned. Each State has its geologist and scientific corps for exploring and giving to the world an account of its resources and capa bilities. Great Britain has her Ordnance Survey, and her ships of war are always car rying on this work of mapping the globe. Germany has her great band of scientific amateurs, and the learned of each nation are voluntarily doing their utmost for the good of the world. A vast amoun t of labor has been done in this field by the means we have specified, but there yet remains much to be done, and we would point this out as a sphere of enterprise in which many can engage, and by first mak ing a chart of their own district they may ex tend theirla bors to wider and unexplored fields. ------",�",.----Winter Evenings.
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican11141857-77d fatcat:sgiwhcohybgsphjl2jvuv5zgr4