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steadfastly to the business of growing into disuse, and the motive power of the bigger and more appetizing, for the space, modern oyster-boats is supplied by gasof three years, when they are sufficiently oline engines, which also do the work of matured to market.
hoisting the dredges.
so most of the small ones are opened and sold in bulk.
While there are still many independent oyster-fishermen, it may be said in general that the beds are divided into large holdings leased by wealthy corporations which maintain finely equipped fleets and mammoth packing and distributing stations. Sailing craft have gradually fallen
Gathering the Harvest The improved dredge has a triangular iron frame, to whose apex is made fast the cliain by which it is manipulated. To the base of the triangle is fastened the mouth of a large sack, the lower half of which is composed of metal links; and
AFTER THE SORTING.
to be opened and shipped in bulk by the gallon.
the upper half, of fish-net. The mouth cles, or in parallel lines as a husbandman is held open by iron bars, the lower one drives the plough. But with this differbeing armed with formidable teeth. ence, that, whereas the ploughshare
When the boat reaches the scene of leaves a permanent furrow to serve as a operations, its two dredges are thrown overboard, one over each side. The balancing of the frame is such that the dredge always lands upon the sea-bottom with the chain-net and toothed bar undermost. As the vessel proceeds with the dredges in tow, the teeth tear the oysters from their attachments, and they are scooped into the sacks, which hold several bushels each. At regular intervals a signal is given; the chain rattles through the block; and the dredge, bulging with riches, rises from the cool depths, disgorges its dripping cargo upon the deck, and again sinks from view. The bunches are broken apart and rapidly sorted into heaps of various-sized oysters; and the broken shells and other debris are shoveled over the side. By the time this is done, another dredge-load falls upon the deck; and the work, like Penelope's web, is begun anew.
The territory is systematically worked, the boats moving slowly in concentric cir OPENING THE SMALLER OYSTERS FOR MARKET.
as the drink; and here the much-traveled bivalves are dumped overboard, to gorge themselves with the fluid until the next low tide. This treatment washes out a portion of the salt, improves the flavor of the mollusks, and increases their plumpness.
When the fickle sea again recedes, the oysters are returned to the baskets with pitchforks having long, curved tines and short handles, and are transported to the oyster house. The scow is pushed under
the floor of the structure, which is supКЕРо?
ported by piles, and the baskets are hoisted into the building through a hatchway.
Sorting and Marketing Here the final sorting occurs, the sizes being carefully graded, and all diseased or injured specimens and empty shells
thrown aside to be utilized for a variety OPENING AND BEFORE PACKING.
of purposes which have no bearing upon
this story. The larger oysters bring the guide and measure, the yeasty wake of best prices in the shell, and are packed the steamer quickly melts into the uni- in bushel baskets for shipment, while the versal blue, and the marine farmer must smaller ones are removed to the opening depend upon distant landmarks and the room. Here, standing before a long row instinct of the seafarer to shape his of tables, are the openers, each armed course over his unseen meadows.
for the fray. Faster than the eye can The tide is the oysterman's clock. follow, the shells are wrenched open, and When it comes creeping back to embrace the contents removed and thrown into the shore it so lately deserted, the water. After washing and measuring, dredges are hoisted for the last time, and comes the final packing; and the oyster, the heavily laden craft turned homeward. torn from his native element, naked as As it nears the shore, it is met by a he was born, helpless and smothering in squadron of flat-bottomed scows, to his own juices, is ready to be rushed which the oysters are transferred in bas- along by rail and water to grace the table kets. The scows are poled or sculled up of his natural enemy and self-constituted a fresh-water creek, known colloquially "protector”—man.
1992 OUT the time you get to thinkin' that you're gittin' on a bit,
O An' you jingle of your money as you stroll and strut about, ·
e Better keep your peepers open, for your life ain't over yet, An' there's always lots of danger when the chest is swellin' out.
experiMENTAL OBSERVATION CAMP ON GROUNDS OF U.S. NAVAL OBSERVATORY.
Three polar axes set up and being tested. - Main building of Observatory in background.
By C. H. CLAUDY
T will be news to many people that Importance of Total Solar Eclipses | there occur every year at least two The solar eclipse is the one opportunity | eclipses of the sun, and that the most the astronomer has of investigating cer
usual number of these phenomena is tain phenomena of the sun, which he can four in one year. Solar eclipses are more observe at no other time. The sun is so obnumerous than lunar, by a ratio of nearly scured by its own light, paradoxical as three to two. But while an eclipse of the such a statement may seem, that his most moon is always visible over more than wonderful manifestations—the corona, half the earth, a solar eclipse, and par- chromosphere, and photosphere, and the ticularly a total eclipse, is visible only coronal prominences—are entirely invisto a restricted area, so that the great ma- ible, either to the eye of an observer or jority of mankind see a good many more to the eye of the camera, during daylight. lunar than solar eclipses. Total solar The atmosphere, too, has a great part to eclipses average one every year and a- play in this obscurity, radiating so much half, visible to some part of the earth. light in all directions that a veritable The average track of totality, however, screen of light is formed, which prevents is only between sixty and seventy miles observation upon the less brightly lighted wide, and a total eclipse happens at any portions of the sun. During an eclipse, given station only about once in every however, the sun is covered from view 360 years. For instance, in the nine- by the moon, and the coronal promiteenth century there were but seven total nences and streamers, and the photoeclipses visible in the United States ; and sphere and chromosphere, are visible in the same number will occur, visible to great beauty, not only to the eye, butthis country, in this present century. what is now of much greater importance
TOTAL ECLIPSE OF AUGUST 29-30, 1905. Map showing path of totality, limits of shaded area, hours of beginning and ending, etc. Hours are expressed
in Greenwich mean time.
—to the camera, the spectroscope, and normally acting as a pinhole lens, and the spectroscopic camera. Until recently throwing on the ground a real image of all eclipse observations were visual, and the sun, seen as a circular disc of light. the reports of the various observers were When the sun is half covered by the incarefully compared and averaged for the terposing moon, it appears as a crescent, result. But, as no two men ever see a and the rings of light upon the ground thing exactly alike, the results were not also change their form to little crescents. all that could be desired. Moreover, Darkness commences to be felt perhaps since the time of totality is limited to a ten minutes before totality, and the light few minutes at most (three minutes' to becomes more and more unreal as the tality is considered a long eclipse), visual sun is covered. The light from the edges observation is naturally limited ; and for of the sun is very deficient in blue and study and measurement there is no time violet rays, and the result is a light which at all. All this is changed now, when the strongly resembles calcium. The temcamera is worked to its limits, and the perature, of course, falls; sometimes entire energies of astronomers are di- dew appears; chickens go to roost; dogs rected to making photographs of the and other animals seem disturbed ; and eclipse in divers ways, with many va a general air of unreality pervades everyrieties of cameras, and with modifications thing. If the observer can so stand that of the camera known by other names, as he can see the distant horizon, he can see “spectrographs," "chronospectrographs," the moon's shadow coming like a black etc.
thunder-cloud, rushing on with incred
ible swiftness, ranging from one Spectacular Phenomena
thousand to five thousand miles an hour, The phenomena of a solar eclipse are according to the time of day and the latspectacular and beautiful. Nothing hap- itude at which the eclipse is seen. pens worthy of particular note before to- It is dark during a total eclipse, of tality is reached, except the peculiar course, but ordinarily not so dark as shadows cast by the trees when the sun night, even a moonlit night. The corona is more than half covered. Every little and chromosphere give at least three to interstice in the leaves of a tree is four times the light of the full moon,