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been made and used by the native Carib Indians of the Island of Barbadoes. They resembled adzes, and were cut and ground from the shell of Strombus accipitrinus, which is common in the West Indies. They had been sent as a present to the Liverpool Museum by Sir T. Graham Briggs, Bart., of Barbadoes.*

Mr. HIGGINS called attention to some observations recently made with instruments of great delicacy at Cambridge, showing that, to the depth of many feet, the crust of the earth was constantly subject to tremors, varying in intensity. So sensitive was the reflecting apparatus used, that the indications had to be observed from a distance through a telescope, the slightest change in the position of the observer, if within a few feet of the mirror, producing violent agitations. Mr. Higgins thought that the continuance of these tremors in rocks, through long geological ages, might have affected. their internal structure, and might, to some extent, explain the formation of flints in chalk, in which the silica from many thousands of sponges and Polycistinide must have combined to form one large nodule of flint.

A paper was then read by Mr. CHARLES H. BELOE, M. Inst. C.E., on "The Life-saving Service of the United States of America." t


ROYAL INSTITUTION, November 28th, 1881.


Messrs. W. Danger, Jas. Parkyn, and R. M. Sumner were elected Ordinary Members.

* See report of following Meeting, November 28th, for Notes by FleetSurgeon J. Linton Palmer, R.N.; also paper by Rev. G. J. Chester in the Archæological Journal, for 1870, vol. 27.-T. J. MOORE.

See page 57.

The following Notes on the Shell Tools from Barbadoes. exhibited at the last Meeting by the Rev. H. H. HIGGINS, M.A., were then read :




AT our last Meeting, some implements made of shell were exhibited and commented on by the Rev. Mr. Higgins. Having been led, from their look, to think they were either of aboriginal or pre-historic date, I took the trouble to inquire into their history, and will briefly say what is known about them.

Barbadoes is composed of coralline limestone. There are well-marked terraces of elevation or upheaval. There is neither primary nor secondary rock in the island. If any specimen could be found, it would either have been drifted ashore, entangled in the roots of some tree (as happens in the Radack Archipelago),* or imported by man.

Shell is very abundant-Genera Cassis, Conus, Strombus, in particular. Strombus is the genus mostly used in Barbadoes.

Fossil shells of the same genera are also found embedded in the limestone, and these were used where tools of greater hardness were wanted. I show one of them.

I beg of you to notice how important is this fact in its bearing on the subject of pre-historic implements.

In Barbadoes, shell was almost exclusively used for tools. In other West India islands-St. Vincent, for examplestone tools are common, and found in great numbers, but no shells, as tools of that kind were not worth being imported.

Some few stone tools have been found in Barbadoes. One of these was in a grave, in which was a skeleton in a

* Humboldt.

sitting posture. Stone and shell were apparently contemporaneous-the wealthier native being able to purchase the more durable and imported element.

It has been stated that, before its occupation by the English in 1650, wandering Caribs, from time to time, were the sole visitors at Barbadoes, otherwise deserted. This mistake is disproved by the quantity of pottery found, and the permanent kilns for baking it, which have been discovered in the island.

The shell-workers liked to work at the entrance of caves, in the sides of gullies formed by rain-torrents, so that they could always find water for grinding.

These tools are of two patterns, one a gouge, the other a chisel; the latter fewer in number. The fossil tools were mostly found at Bridgetown. One form is like a spoon. In every instance the handle of these has been abruptly broken; so it has been surmised that they were fixed into handles of wood. I do not advance my own impression: I simply quote fact.

Heads of weapons made of shell, and serrated at the edges, have also been found.

I wish also to draw your attention to the difference observable in the primæval implements hitherto found in the American continent. The grooved, or gouge, type prevails in the north; the straight edge, or chisel, in the south.

I remarked at our last meeting that I had not had the fortune of finding, in any of the South Sea Islands I have visited, any existing shell-tools, except utensils for culinary purposes; but that I was aware they do exist, though almost in disuse, in the Admiralty, Caroline, and some other groups of islands; and refer you for ample information to the remarks of that very acute observer, Professor Mosely, of Oxford, who was in the Challenger Expedition.


• Journal of Anthropological Institute.

Professor CAMPBELL BROWN explained Edison's plan of transmitting writing by electricity.

Mr. T. J. MOORE exhibited, from the Free Museum, the rostrum, 42 inches long, of a Sword-fish (Histiophorus), taken off Rhode Island, U.S.A., which was stated to have measured 17 feet in length.


By E. DUKINFIELD JONES, C.E., Corr. Memb. THE Rev. H. H. Higgins, in fulfilment of his promise made to the Meeting of the Society on the 21st February last,* exhibited a specimen drawer containing the first portion of the above collection, neatly arranged by Mr. J. Chard, to show the larva, pupa, and imago of each species, side by side. This arrangement, which will be carried out for the whole collection, gives the fullest and clearest possible view of the specimens, and the readiest means of comparison with the life-history of each species, given in the copious notes furnished by Mr. Dukinfield Jones, and printed, with illustrations, in the present volume. †

Mr. ALBERT J. MOTT, F.G.S., read a paper on "The Velocities of Gases.":


ROYAL INSTITUTION, December 12th, 1881.


Mr. H. J. Carter, F.R.S., and the Rev. Thomas Hincks, B.A., F.R.S., were elected Honorary Members.

* See Proceedings, vol. xxxv., 1880–81., p. lxv.

† See page 337. ↑ See page 81.

Mr. R. Medcraft was elected an Ordinary Member.

The Rev. H. H. HIGGINS, M.A., read the following Note on a Mexican Beetle, used as an amulet, exhibited at the preceding Meeting :

"At our previous Meeting a Mexican amulet was shown to me by Mr. Russell, the property of a lady who had been presented with it alive when residing in Mexico. It was a beetle, with a belt of gold between the thorax and the base of the elytra, to which was attached a gold chain by which it might be worn. The name of the beetle is Zopherus Bremii. It is a Californian species, but probably may be found also in Mexico. The group to which it belongs consists of beetles living in dark places, and remarkable for the slowness of their motions. The nearest British insect is the Cellar Beetle, Blaps; not the popular, or rather unpopular, Blackbeetle, or Cockroach, which is not a beetle at all. It is not allied to the sacred beetle of the Egyptians; but an allied beetle is used in Egypt as a specific against the ear-ache and the bite of a scorpion. The golden belt seems modern, but the chain is of very unusually fine gold and of exquisite workmanship."

The Rev. H. H. HIGGINS also exhibited a few Foraminifera, presented to the Museum by Dr. Carter, F.R.S. They were chiefly Nummulites, from the Eocene.

Mr. GUTHRIE then read a paper on "Some Imperfections in Professor Balfour Stewart's Statement of the Doctrine of the Conservation of Energy." The principal points to which attention was directed were:-Firstly, the broad distinction drawn between the Forces of Nature (viz.: Gravitation, Cohesion, Chemical Force, and Electrical Attraction) and the Energies of Nature (eight in number): Energy being defined as the power of doing work against the Forces of Nature. It was pointed out that several of the Energies enumerated are really of the class called Forces, requiring a

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