Page images

oratories and shops secure each year the apparatus and machines representing the best and latest practice in the commercial world. For instance, in the field of electrical engineering, one of the most important recent lines of development is in the long distance transmission of high tension currents. It is absolutely essential that successful students of electricity have the use of modern apparatus of commercial size and character in order that they may obtain a knowledge of this subject. Similar examples could be given in all departments of the l'niversity.

The wisdom of Purdue's policy in this respect is shown by the high standing which she has attained in the field of technology.

In the School of Agriculture, the short winter course, lasting eleven weeks and consisting of practical lectures and demonstrations in special phases of farm practice, has grown rapidly into popular favor. Purdue's experience in this respect is similar to that of other States. While at a first glance it might seem that classes of this kind without special entrance requirements, and lacking educational standards, are out of place in a college, nevertheless they are, in my opinion, justified by the conditions which exist in the field of agricultural education. It is eminently desirable to extend the benefits of technical training to the farming industry, but there are very evident obstacles in the way of accomplishing this, riz.: on the one hand, the indifference of many farmers to the value of such training, on the other, the inability-in many casesof farmers boys to make the necessary school preparation, or to give the time needed for an extended college course of study. Purdue believes, therefore, that she is only carrying out the true spirit of education in making her work attractive and valuable to the farming classes. The short winter course enables men and women from the farms, who could not possibly attend regular college classes, to learn in a general way of the applications of science to their business. They receive valuable instruction, and, what is of far greater importance, they obtain a more intelligent viewpoint of their life work, receiving inspiration for higher efforts. Such popular courses of study constitute the first and most necessary steps which shall lead by and by to that more rational kind of training in agriculture which comparatively few are disposed to seek at the present time.

I am aware that the material prosperity of its graduates should not be regarded as the sole criterion of the success of an educational institution, but technical training is supposed to fit its students for service and the extent to which they are in demand must be a significant index of the fitness of this training. It is noteworthy that in recent years our senior students have been, to a large extent, under engagement to fill positions in the line of their studies before the day of their graduation. In the engineering schools, hardly a man but has thus found his career opening before him in advance of his college degree. The leading manufacturing industries, constructive companies, railways, and business firms of all kinds, who need men of scientific or technical training, are constantly applying to us for our graduates, and literally hundreds of such requests have been refused because no men were available. It is gratifying to learn that our graduates maintain themselves creditably under the most severe practical tests, and in so doing demonstrate the fitness of their training.

This condition of affairs is, to iny mind, the most convincing testimony as to our success in the work of instruction.


At least one department of Purdue University, viz., the Agricultural Experiment Station, has for its chief function the prosecution of scientific research. But the activities of the institution in this respect are not confined to any one department, for, so far as the work of instruction will permit, investigations of great variety are constantly being carried on by members of the faculty. The research thus prosecuted in the laboratories of instruction serves a double purpose. There is, first, the value of the work in itself as a contribution to knowledge and, second, the benefit of such work to the student who participates in it under the guidance of his instructors. To him it is the best of training to attack and solve new problems, and it is also a source of inspiration to feel that he is working in an unexplored field with all of its possibilities of discovery. Instruction in scientific subjects would certainly be imperfect did it not include something of this spirit of investigation.

The researches made at Purdue during the past ten years have been of inestimable value to science and the technical industries. Any investigation which results in even a slight improvement over previous practice so as to secure greater economy or a larger product in any industry, causes in the aggregate a great profit to that industry. It is not too much to claim such results from numerous investigations completed at Purdue. The following brief summary of researches in progress in our different departments last year will show how important is this phase of Purdue's activity:

At the Experiment Station, over fifty distinct investigations were carried out on subjects relating to agricultural practice, viz.: conditions bearing upon the feeding of various kinds of live stock; niethods of crop cultivation; testing of varieties of field crops and fruits; on the proper use of fertilizers; on diseases of plants and animals; on the use of fungicides and insecticides; on sugar beets; on the composition and adaptation of soils; on mushroom culture; the chemical composition and digestibility of food stuffs; horticultural practice; sub-irrigation in greenhouses, etc. The results obtained in these investigations are published and distributed to farmers free.

The Civil Engineering Department has established at the University a bench inark of known elevation above tide gauge at Sandy Hook, viz., 614.06 feet, the levels being run in triplicate by the junior class in surveying from the Pennsylvania Railroad bench mark at Reynolds, twenty-five miles distant. The work of gauging the flow of the Wabash River has been taken up in co-operation with the L. S. Geological Survey. An investigation of "The Coefficient of Expansion of Concrete” has yielded results of exceptional value. Investigations have also been made of the causes of standpipe failures.

In the Electrical Engineering Department, a committee of the National Electric Light Association, of which Professor Goldsborough is a member, have made extensive tests relating to are light photometry, the purpose being to develop methods for and to conduct actual tests of commercial arc lamps. This is an important work, as will be recognized if it is known that, practically, no reliable standards for testing arc lamps have existed heretofore. The National Electric Light Association contributed funds to the equipment of the photometric laboratory, which is now unsurpassed for this line of work. The investigation was conducted by Professor Matthews, assisted by six members of the senior class. The results, reported to the National Association in May last, received high commendation from the technical journals as well as the Association, which has voted to continue the research work during the coming year. This single instance aptly illustrates the benefits accruing to both the University and to students from our help ful co-operation in the solution of problems arising in commercial enterprises.

In the School of Science, the most notable piece of work has been the completion by Professor Coulter of his critical study of the flora of the State, which has been published in the current report of the State Geologist. This is the most complete enumeration of the plants of Indiana ever prepared. Valuable contributions to our knowledge of yeasts and moulds have also been made by Miss Golden. In the chemical laboratory, the work of collecting systematic data upon the character of the natural waters of the State has been inaugurated and has made satisfactory progress. Interesting and valuable studies were made in the bacteriological laboratory upon the comparative healthfulness of various street pavements, also upon the bacteria-transmitting power of the common house fly.

In the Mechanical Engineering Department, a number of interesting and important problems have been under investigation. A study of the effect of temperature on the holding power of brake shoes has been brought to a satisfactory conclusion. A study of the operation of the Master Car Builders' air brake testing rack has led to results of interest to experts in air brake matters. Extensive tests upon gas engines have been carried out by the department for two or three years. The results as published have received extensive notice in Europe as well as America. The subject of testing materials under shock has received much attention, and a special testing machine for this work has been designed and constructed in our own plant. The work of impact testing is recognized by all of those studying the strength of materials as of first importance, and it is gratifying to report that Purdue easily leads all other laboratories in the character and significance of its investigations in this field.

In the Locomotive testing laboratory we have found that the character of the surfaces within the cylinder has much to do with

the economy of the engine, a matter which in locomotive practice has heretofore received no attention. Another line of investigation has yielded information concerning fuel losses in the form of sparks from the locomotive stack. One phase of this investigation deals with the danger of fire along the railway's right of way originating from sparks from passing locomotives. The results obtained in this direction have been of great practical value.

The results of all investigations made in this way are freely given to the public for unrestricted utilization. Some are published in bulletins, others in the columns of technical or scientific journals, and others in the proceedings of scientific societies. Following are titles of reports thus published by the faculty during the last year alone. The list is an interesting epitome of this phase of Purdue's work.



Bulletin No. 79. Roots as Food for Pigs. .Plumb and Van Norman, Bulletin No. 80. Sheep Scab..

. Bitting. Bulletin No. 81. Field Tests with Fertilizers Heavy Clay Land ....

Huston. Bulletin No. 82. Roots and Other Succulent Food for Swine. Plumb. Newspaper Bulletin No. 77. Milk Dilution Separators.

..Plumb. Newspaper Bulletin No. 78. Causes for Inferior Quality of Muskmelon, and Remedy....

. Troop. Newspaper Bulletin No. 79. The Use of So-Called Serum as a Hog Cholera Remedy.....

Bitting. Newspaper Bulletin No. 80. Asparagus Rust a Serious Menace to Asparagus Culture..

.Stuart. Newspaper Bulletin No. 81. The Distribution of Seeds by The In

diana Experiment Station..... .Plumb. Newspaper Bulletin No. 82. Awnless Brome Grass (bromus inermis)

Latta. Newspaper Bulletin No. 83. The So-Called New Treatment for Hog Cholera

Plumb. Newspaper Bulletin No. 84. The Soy Bean...

.Latta. Newspaper Bulletin No. 85. The Summer Care of Milk and Cream...

. Van Norman. The twelfth annual report of the Indiana Agricultural Experiment Station for the year ending June 30, 1899.

Milking Machines...
The Diseases of the Pig..
Infectious Diseases of Farm Animals.
Cultures of Uredinea in 1899..

Plumb. Bitting and Craig.

Bitting. . Arthur.

« PreviousContinue »