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HOAGLAND, ESQ., SEABRIGHT, N. J. (Heliochrome issued with International and Imperial Editions only.)




Additional Iustrations in the International Edition.









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VOL. - Copyright, 1895, by the AMERICAN ARCHITECT AND BUILDING News Company, Boston, Mass.


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Organized Incendiarism in New York.— The Licensing of Stationary Engineers in Massachusetts. The Possibility of Compressing a Clay Stratum by Pile-driving. Destruc- tion by Fire of the Main Building of the University of Vir- ginia. Limiting the Height of Buildings in San Francisco. = The Possibility of Building Accidents Pure and Simple.—

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ry cs st ew le es em een Cc MMUNICATION :

‘Heavy Foundations on the Lot Line.” . . .... =. =. 84 EXHIbITIONS.

Notes AND ‘Cuirrinas.

} HEE story of the arrest, trial and conviction of what is }| known as the East Side incendiary gang, in New York, reads like one of Gaboriau’s romances. This gang, seven members of which are already in custody, is said to be com- posed entirely of Russian Jews, who had organized their work into a regular business, soliciting custom, settling accounts promptly, and investing profits, just like ordinary bankers or merchants. The most active member of the partnership ap- pears to have been one Schoenholz, who set the fires himself, and did most of the drumming for custom. His plan, as shown by the evidence at his trial, was to get an introduction to some small shopkeeper or manufacturer, whose affairs were known not to be very prosperous, and, after securing his con- fidence, to unfold to him a scheme by which he could sell his entire stock in trade, including a large amount of fictitious goods, to the insurance companies, and set himself up in busi- ness again in another place, with a stock of new goods, and a good balance in cash. In order to secure these advantages, it was not necessary to implicate himself at all; the only thing needed was to come to an understanding that the insurance money should be shared with persons designated by Schoenholz, and then go to the theatre, or to the synagogue, or any other place out of the way, leaving the door of his store unlocked, or, at least, putting the key where Schoenholz could get it. The latter’s proceedings, after all had been arranged, were equally simple. After the unfortunate shopkeeper was out of the way, his benefactor would make his appearance with a small bundle under his arm, containing a bladder, with a string attached to it, and filled with benzine and alcohol, candle aud a match. Suspending the bladder by the string to any convenient gas-fixture or other attachment, he would set the candle under it, light it, and depart at his leisure. In course of time, the benzine and alcohol, heated by the flame of the candle, would boil, and when the tension of ‘their vapor rose to a sufficient height, the bladder would burst, scattering the liquid, which would catch fire instantly, over the room. Nothing more was required to set the place i in a blaze; and, by the time the engines arrived, there was practically no salvage on the goods in the room. An insurance adjuster, who was al- leged to be in the secret, certified to the amount of the loss, the insurance money was collected, and ee as had been agreed upon. It ought to be remarked, in Schoenholz’s favor, that he seems to have worked with an intelligent understanding of the circumstances, and to have tried to arrange his fires in such a way that they should not spread beyond the room con- taining the goods insured to the dwelling-rooms above. One of the witnesses against him, who lived in rooms over a store which was set on fire by Schoenholz, testified that Schoenholz

assured him that the fire would not spread to his rooms. As it happened, however, some of his things were burned, and he, as he testified, was angry, and reproached Schoenholz for his want of skill; but fire is notoriously an unruly instrument, and perhaps Schoenholz, by the risk to which he exposed innocent

people, deserved the forty years’ imprisonment to which he has been sentenced.

()*:: of the curious things about the Schoenholz matter is that a large number of people seem to have known about the business that he carried on, but no one seems to have

cared to inform the authorities. There is no doubt that he

was protected by money and influence. One of the members of the band who is now in custody is said to have made seven- ty-five thousand dollars out of the business, and others are be- lieved to have used Schoenholz as a cat’s-paw for collecting fortunes for themselves. It was commonly believed, as the testimony showed, among the poorer and more ignorant people acquainted with the circumstances, that any one who revealed the secrets of the band would be killed; but the swindlers do not seem to have really slaughtered any one in pursuance of their purposes.

NDER a new law, all engineers charge of power or

heating plants in Massachusetts must be licensed, and, in

order to be licensed, they must pass an examination, ar- ranged by the State authorities. Although enacted last winter, the law only went into operation in August, and the examinations are now open to candidates, who, if the daily papers are to be believed, do not take much satisfaction in them. It will be remembered that the Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department once wanted some assistants, who, either under the civil-service laws, or some special provision, were to be selected by competitive examination. ‘The exami- nation was held, but, if we remember rightly, not one of the applicants could pass it, and it was necessary to fill the posi- tions in another way. So with the Massachusetts engineers, us we are told. The examination is a long one, some fifty or sixty questions being proposed, to which written answers must be given; and it appears that the questions are mainly theo- retical, involving principles which can be learned from books, but which working engineers have little occasion or opportu- nity for studying. The consequence is, as we are told, that the first-class licenses will go to youths fresh from the techni- cal schools, who know all about heat-units and calorimeters, but would have considerable difficulty, on starting the engine under their care, in finding the valve for draining the water out of the cylinders, even if the propriety of this operation should occur to them; while the men who have handled en- gines intelligently and successfully for twenty or thirty years are, as we are informed, in danger of being deprived of their livelihood because they cannot solve a mathematical problem in- volving the solution of a quadratic equation. How much founda- tion there may be for these complaints, we cannot say, but it would certainly be a mistake to undervalue experience in such examinations. Of course, a man who has greased a locomo- tive successfully for twenty years might blow up a heating boiler at the first trial; but, on the other hand, algebraic for- mulas cannot teach the light hand and quick eye of a good mechanic; so that such examinations should be arranged to test both the theoretical knowledge and the practical intelli- gence of the candidate. and great skill on the part of the exam- iner is necessary for this.

NE of our readers calls attention to a letter written by Mr.

E. C. Shankland, engineer in the office of Messrs. D. H.

Burnham & Co., of Chicago, to the Engineering Record, in regard to the pile foundation under the Fisher, or Winne- bago Building, giving a plan of the piling, and an explanation of the theory on which it was designed. According to this explanation, Mr. Shankland’s idea was to compress the clay by means of the piles, rather than to drive these to a hard stratum. It is found that in Chicago, as in many other places with clay subsoil, a comparatively hard stratum, from six to ten feet thick, is found about fourteen feet below the street grade, and that under this stratum the clay is soft again to a great depth. When a heavy building is placed on piles driven to the first hard stratum, this is found to sink under the

74 The American Architect and Building News.

[ Vou. L.— No. 1088,

weight, allowing the building to settle from six to twelve inches. The movement then ceases, and Mr. Shankland thinks that, when this occurs, the thickness of the firm stratum would be found, on investigation, to have been increased from six or eight feet to perhaps twenty-five, by the squeezing of the water out of the lower soft clay, and the addition of the compressed, and therefore hardened, clay to the original hard stratum. In his Fisher Building foundation, therefore, it occurred to him, instead of driving piles to the hard stratum, and depending on the weight of the building to harden the soft clay beneath, by squeezing the water out of it, to compress the soft clay in the first instance, by means of large clusters of piles, under the piers and columns, driven through the first hard stratum ; so that the building erected on these piers and columns would have beneath it from the beginning masses of dense clay, similar to those which, if it stood on piles driven only to the first stratum, it would have only after settling enough to com- press the lower clay.

) HIS idea is a valuable one, although we are not quite clear | as to the action of the piles driven in Mr. Shankland’s

way. It is the common notion of builders, in clayey districts, near water, that the hard stratum, a few feet in thickness, which is usually found not far from the surface, resting on an indefinite depth of soft clay, originally formed the bottom of a body of water, and that its superior hardness is due to the action of the water, which, overflowing a soft clay formation, compressed by its weight the clay with which it came in contact, in such a way as to make it harder and more compact than the original material beneath. Whether the action of the water was quite so simple as this, is doubtful, but it seems to be evidently the case that the only difference between the hard, or bearing stratum, and the soft clay below, is in the consistency, the former having been compacted in some way out of the latter; and the possibility of forming an artificial bearing-stratum, by compacting certain portions of the clay, at a suitable depth, by means of piles, has often been discussed. Our correspondent argues that a cluster of piles, instead of squeezing the water out of the soft clay under and around them, would, unless the mass of clay were confined by sheet-piling, simply displace it, leaving what remained as soft as before. Mr. Shankland says, that, in practice, the driving of the clusters of piles, which were from twenty-five to twenty seven feet long, driven three feet from centres, raised the surface of the clay around them from six to ten inches ; and our correspondent thinks that this shows that the clay was merely displaced, and not compressed. To a certain extent, this criti- cism is justified. It is, however, to be considered that the resistance to lateral movement of the soil, which is due to friction, and increases with the depth, and consequent weight upon the surrounding soil, acts as a sort of sheet-piling, the effectiveness of which varies from zero, in pure water, whose particles move with perfect freedom in all directions, to a very considerable amount in soils of ordinary consistency. With this resistance to act against, the driving of a mass of piles ten or twelve feet square may be presumed to result in compress- ing the clay underneath them to a very appreciable extent, bringing the subsoil to a condition approaching that which it assumes after settlement under the weight of a building resting upon the first hard stratum. Whether further settlement will take place in a structure supported by clay compressed in this manner is a differenteyuestion. Unless the compression ex- tends to the underlying rock, which is unlikely, it seems as if the soft clay under the artificially-compacted mass would gradually flow out, allowing the mass itself to soften into its original condition; but this is something that only experience can determine.

) JHE main building of the University of Virginia, erected * from plans drawn by Thomas Jefferson, and the scene of much of his later work, was destroyed by fire a few days ago. ‘The University buildings are situated in the village of Charlottesville, at some distance from any fire-department, and, the regular water-supply being inadequate for dealing with the flames, help had to be summoned from Staunton and Lynch- burg; but, on the arrival of the engines, nothing could be done but to blow up the adjoining buildings, to prevent the spread oi the fire. The work of the University will not be inter- rupted, but the place of the buildings destroyed must be filled as quickly as possible, and the alumni and the public will probably be asked to contribute money for that purpose.

height of buildings to one hundred and thirty feet, where

they front on streets one hundred feet or more in width, and to one hundred feet, where they front on streets less than one hundred feet wide, and requiring that all structures over eighty feet in height shall be of fireproof materials throughout. The San Francisco Argonaut wishes that the maximum height had been set at one hundred feet, instead of one hundred and thirty; but to Eastern people, accustomed to seeing buildings two hundred feet high, fronting on streets thirty or forty feet wide, a limitation of height to thirty per cent more than the width of the street does not seem severe, and in the business part of such a city as San Francisco will soon be, it is almost necessary to allow owners to build ten stories in height, to secure to them reasonable interest on the value of their land ; and a hundred and thirty feet is not too much for ten stories.

AY ordinance has been passed in San Francisco, limiting the

| O accuse one’s neighbor is a bad way of defending one’s- | self, but we think that the public interest will be pro-

moted by an occasional effort on our part to oppose the fashionable theory that, if an accident happens to any one during building operations, some one must be found guilty of manslaughter. ‘The fact is that the construction of a building is, especially in cities, where it is seldom possible to get suffi- cient room for stagings and false-works, a difficult and danger- ous operation for all concerned. Everybody understands this, and the people who consent to take part in such operations do so, knowing that they incur personal risks which they would not incur in most other sorts of business. Of course, we would not wish to excuse contractors or foremen who allow the necessary hazard of building operations to be increased by carelessness or neglect; but it is also very undesirable to encourage building workmen in the idea that they need not take reasonable care for their own safety. Of late, the practice of building in the United States has been compared, very much to its disadvantage, with that usual in Germany ; and we have taken occasion to mention some falls of new buildings in Germany, to show that the idea that German work is better done, or better inspected, is quite unfounded. We have now another example to add to the list, in the fall of the spire of a church in process of construction in Berlin, the very focus of strict building-laws and still stricter police super- vision. In this case, no one was injured, but the smash was a very complete one.

M EMILE TRELAT, at a recent meeting of the French

. Association for the Advancement of Science, over which he presided, delivered a very clever and interesting dis- course on hygiene in general, presenting a picture of a village, Hygiea, in which health and comfort reign, contrasted with a town, Noson, in which the average life is short, and is oppressed by ailments of all kinds. Although Noson, as he represents it, is a prosperous community, while Hygiea is com- paratively poor, the people of the latter enjoy the advantages of a sunny situation, on the southward slope of a gravelly hill, at the foot of which runs a river. The ocean is not more than two hundred miles away, and the sea-winds blow freely through the valley in which the river flows. The surrounding region is broken, with wooded hills and clear streams. The village itself is composed of one-story houses, with cellars under them, surrounded by gardens. The soil, being porous, does not produce very abundantly, but sunshine and careful cultivation make up for the want of natural fertility. The climate is favorably affected by the proximity of the sea, which, like a climatic fly-wheel, as M. Trélat calls it, tempers both heat and cold; and the unusual development of surface afforded by the broken character of the country gives, so to speak, increased storage capacity for the sunshine which is absorbed by the soil. The village is so high above the river as not to be affected by the mists of the valley, and drinking- water is obtained from the springs which flow from the forest above. Under these conditions, with pure air, pure water, a dry soil, plenty of sunshine and an equable climate, men can live as happily as physical conditions will enable them to do so, and as M. Trélat says, this is the ideal which modern sani- tation keeps in view. All the world, it is true, cannot live in hygienic hamlets; but it is possible to do something every day to purify the air and water that we consume, and to drain the soil over which we live; and this work has already made good progress. ‘The next thing will be, perhaps, to provide for in- creased sunshine in our great cities, and in this the advice of architects will be valuable, and will undoubtedly be sought.

NOVEMBER 16, 1895.]

The American Architect and Building News. 75



Fig. 27.

OUNTRY churches, in truth, would seem to lead the architect

farther astray from the Christian ideal than any other sort. They | have been inspired by the same element that has been so largely, | and, in many cases, so delightfully developed in our house architect- |

ure. And it has, therefore, been presumed that the same quality is equaliy desirable, if not absolutely necessary, in the country church. A singular instance of this tendency, and the results at which it

ends, is shown in Figure 27, which is a design for a country church. |

= ® ee =

rest Lock Aw

Fig. 28.

The end portion of this design, with the veranda and the tower, might better have served as the front of a casino or a club-house than a church dedicated to the Almighty. Perhaps the circum- stance that this is the back of the church, and not the front of it, the choir being placed beneath the tower, has something to do with the producing of this effect. But, at any rate, we do not need on

erases -

Ez: Rion

our churches large towers with open balconies beneath their roofs, where he and she may view the landscape with that unanimity that comes from dual solitude in youth !

1 Although the author of this paper has drawn the greater part of his illustra-

tions from designs that have appeared in thir journal, he and we are under obli- gations for the remainder to the Inland Architect, the Northwestern Architect


and to Architecture and Building. Continued from No. 1037, page 66.

Nor can a vast veranda, with its suggestions of lounging-chairs and hammocks, of idle ladies and lazy men, seem a proper and holy

adjunct toa church, even if spread across its rear, and looking out

upon a landscape destitute of trees and beauty. These two strange features so entirely dominate this design, and both are so certainly

Fig. 30.

introduced because they produced a result of a certain picturesqueness, that nothing more need be said concerning it. Whatever faults as a design this may have. it was begun so far away from the true Chris- tian spirit that it must be condemned at once. Neither godliness nor Christianity can be helped by such a structure as this.

Figure 28 is somewhat like a box of well-assorted confectionery. It contains a variety of mixtures, almost gay, and producing a result more complicated than any single one of them. It is an attractive little design, yet were it not for its spire, it would be hard to tell what manner of building it might be. It is, in brief, a picturesque design and a bad church.

Another design that may be studied in this connection is that of Figure 29. It is simple enough in idea, but the architects, while in- troducing no glaringly “striking feature, and really keeping within sober limits, have, within the very simple range of their parts, intro- duced a good deal of variety for variety’s sake. Here, as in many

Fig. 31.

other designs, a great deal of dependence is placed upon the roof for the church effect, though experience tells us no truer thing than that a roof may cover a multitude of sins.

In more pretentious designg the same rule holds, namely, that the picturesque should not be the leading motif in church architecture, and the more pretentious the design the more inexcusable the

~ «awe caseual

76 The American Architect

and Building News. [Vou. L. No. 1088.

picturesque element. For in a large church it is always possible to introduce sobriety, dignity, spaciousness and beauty, all of which do much to produce a pure Christian effect. Architectural beauty, it need scarcely be said, is not the same quality as architectural picturesqueness, but when the latter becomes rampant, as it often

Fig. 32.

does, then beauty is retired, and a totally different character per- meates the design. The picturesque, moreover, is more naturally a characteristic of small designs than of large ones, and a vast church, which is simply picturesque, is like some stately matron decked out with the furbelows and foolishness of extreme youth. The obnox- ious element is, therefore, more obnoxious, if degrees of comparison are permissible, in a large design than in a small one, because so many of the elements of dignity and majesty, which help to make a Christian design, are deliberately ignored.

Some light is thrown on this point by a competitive design for a church (Fig. 30). There is a good deal that is excellent here, if such a modification of the Romanesque is a proper architectural language to be employed in a modern American church. Yet in its simplest form this design consists of a huge roof, supported by two gabled fronts, and surrounded with towers, turrets, dormers and pinnacles until the eye is bewildered by what the architect has so favishly given us out of the abundance of his imagination. It should, however, be remembered, in studying this design, that it was destined for a non-liturgic worship. The central feature is a vast octagon that forms a not inappropriate auditory. But while this fact is expressed in the outline of the centras mass, it is so surrounded by the lower parts, is so masked by fronts we naturally associate with liturgic churches, or with those in the traditional church form,

. Fig. 33.

and the lecture-room in the back is so closely united with the main portions, that it is hard to tell just what sort of a building it may be. It does not, therefore, offer even so much as a non-liturgic effect.

We have not, heretofore, considered the relationship between the

form of worship in a church and its expression in architecture. Considering the church solely from its fundamental standpoint as the house of God, the responsibility of the architect in expressing its specific destination beyond this has not been touched upon. But in the last design we have a structure that attempts to state that

Fig. 34.

the church is of the lecture-hall type; that the pulpit, not the altar, is the chief consideration. Why, then, it may be asked, is this fact masked behind an exterior that is neither the one nor the other? Why add parts, ornament, detail, enrichment of all sorts, to cover up the very thing it has been sought to build? If an auditory is desired, why not make one? Obviously the author of this design labored under a misapprehension of his duties. He planned a lecture-hall, of good form and convenient shape, and then surrounded it with parts that had no connection with his organic centre, because, in this way, he would obtain a picturesque attempt, which, doubtless, it was imagined, would have a traditional church effect. In other words, it was the picturesque that was sought, not a plain simple Christian expression of the uses to which the structure was to be yut.

' Much the same may be said of the design for the church in Figure 81, which, unlike the preceding design, has actually been built. Here the auditory has been more frankly expressed, there is less

Vi, a7

Fig. 35.

detail and fewer parts; the design is simpler, and yet, though the church auditorium may be regarded from certain standpoints as an entirely modern conception of a church building, the result is more strange and startling than churchly. The facade, with its two towers and connecting arcade, is simply a screen of traditionary

umn: 2a

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tec ne)

NovEMBER 16, 1895.]

The American Architect and Building News. 7

character, in which the picturesque has been sought, instead of an expression of Christian faith.

And so we might go on, examining church after church, finding perhaps much of the picturesque in them, certainly some attempts to obtain it, but nothing at all of Christianity or of true Christian feeling in architecture. The fancy of the architect, his imagination, his memory, perhaps, is the leading determinative element in our church architecture, if it does not dominate it. In the subjoined figures (Figs. 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36) are shown a series of churches, chosen almost at random from a very large number of examples, and representing churches of various grades of cost and pretentiousness, as well as those belonging to a considerable variety of religious bodies. It is not pretended that as designs, as mere architectural composi- tions, these churches have equal merit, nor, indeed, that they contain any merit of this sort. But they illustrate, in a very fair manner, just the sort of buildings our people are satisfied with in their churches.

Viewed from this standpoint, the lesson they teach is impressive in its dismalness. These buildings have naught to tell us of the heavenly life, scarce hint at the existence of God, certainly tell us no story of Christian love and reverence, and faith and fortitude. They are studies in brick and stone, in mortar and plaster; they are exercises in architectural composition, in the grouping of roofs, windows, towers and doors; they are essays in economy, in the arrangement of materials, in ambitious attempts with limited means ; a few of them illustrate more or less novelty in departing from the model we call the accepted one. But this is all. Nor are they types of a small group. Church after church, in city after city, and from one State to another, tell the same lesson, teach the same for- getfulness of religion as expressed in architecture. Yet so far are we, as a people, from appreciating the true value of church archi- tecture, that just such designs as these might be grouped together,

and learnedly discussed in an essay on church architecture. Types of architecture they may be, if you will, but types of church archi- tecture, of religious architecture, of Christian architecture, they never have been, nor can they be, in such ungodly form. Barr FERREE. (To be continued.) PROTECTION FROM LIGHTNING. T the Aberdeen meeting of the British Association for the Ad- vancement of Science Sir William Thomson made the remark, “If [ urge Glasgow manufacturers to put up lightning-rods they say it is cheaper to insure than to do so.”

‘This was the answer given by practical business men, concerned only with questions of profit and loss, to the foremost physicist of our time; and their answer will serve as fairly representing views widely held, founded upon the double belief that th» risk from light- ning is not so very great and the protection afforded by the present methods not sufficiently certain to warrant implicit confidence and justify the necessary expense. _ ; bed,

The recent remarkable experiments of Dr. Oliver Lodge, in his lectures before the Society of Arts, opposing and to some degree di- rectly contradicting the empirical rules of the Lightning-rod Con- ference, have given support to the belief that the protection was uncertain. Indeed, realizing that his work might be misinterpreted, Lodge has stated, “an idea at one time got abroad that my experi- ments proved existing lightning-conductors to be useless or danger- ous; this is an entire misrepresentation. Almost any conductor is probably better than none, but few or no conductors are absolute and complete safeguards. Certain habits of lightning-rod practice may be improved and the curious freaks or vagaries of lightning strokes in protected buildings are intelligible without any blame attaching to the conductor; but this is very different from the contention that lightning-rods are unnecessary and useless. They are essential to anything like security.” ?

1A circular of information Jreeres by Alexander McAdie and issued by the

Weather Bureau of the United States Department of Agriculture, 2Pagevi. Lightning-conductors and Lightning-guards.”

What Lodge’s brilliant experimental work does show is that the momentum of an electric current can not be overlooked in a light- ning discharge. The old drain-pipe” idea of conveying electricity gently from cloud to earth must give place to the new proposition, based upon recent discoveries, that even draining off must be done in an appropriate way to be effective. To illustrate, the rocks and trees upon a mountain side may influence and determine the course of a mountain stream, but even a good-sized channel would not suffice to carry off safely an avalanche, or control the path of a landslide; so with lightning. In the past four years we have learned, through the work of Hertz and others, that when an electric current flows stead- ily in one direction in a cylindrical wire its intensity is the same in all parts of the wire; but if the current be of an oscillatory char- acter, i. é., acurrent which rapidly reverses its direction, the condi- tion no longer holds, and if the alternations are very rapid the interior of the wire may be almost free from current. If lightning, then, be a discharge of an oscillatory character, it may happen that the current down the lightning-rod would be only skin deep. The experiments of Tesla and Elihu Thomson with currents of great frequency of alternation and very high potentials open the door to systematic study of discharges such as the ordinary lightning-flash. In daily work currents of this type are coming more and more into prominence, and the time is not far distant when the lightning-flash will be studied as an electrical discharge of this character. Protec- tion entirely adequate for such discharges will then be forthcoming. Indeed, the reasons why present methods occasionally fail are now understood, and the proper remedies apparent.

And first let us see whether it is cheaper to insure than to provide proper protection. Foreign countries, especially Germany, France and Great Britain, have recognized the importance of obtaining reliable data concerning the loss of life and damage to property through lightning. Perhaps the work of the Royal Prussian Bureau of Statistics ® gives the fullest and most detailed accounts of the damage done by lightning in Germany, and the relative injury. Statistics are available for the number of houses struck, the number of fires, the character of the roofing, soil, etc.

In 1891 the Weather Bureau issued to its observers instructions to report at the end of every month the names, with corroborative dates and places, of all persons killed by violent wind-storms, torna- does and lightning. During 1890 somewhat similar statistics had been gathered, but the returns were less systematically arranged. In preparing the Weather Bureau lists, observers were directed to examine all daily papers published in their respective cities, consult all local authorities and make inquiry if necessary. Naturally, where dependence was had upon newspaper items, there resulted much duplication, but in verifying names and dates the duplicate