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After these exercises at the Chapel of the University were concluded, Mr: Kingsbury's pupils and friends visited him at his residence, where they were hospitably entertained, and the remainder of the day and the evening were devoted to social enjoyment, and the interchange of pleasant memories and mutual good wishes. Thus closed this happy reunion of those who at different periods, have been members of the Young Ladies' High School in Providence during the thirty years which have elapsed since its foundation. It was a genial and interesting festival, and was well fitted to mark in the minds of all who participated in it, the event in which it had its origin, the retirement of the founder and Principal of the School from the care of its future instruction and management. He has already entered upon the duties of the office to which he had been appointed, and we need express for him no better or more friendly wish than that the future of his career may be as largely productive as the past, of services in the cause of education, and as fully crowned with the respect and honor of his fellow citizens.
II. VENTILATION IN AMERICAN DWELLINGS.
We have frequently had to direct attention to the many different aspects in which the question of Ventilation comes under review in considering the construction and management of schools; and in the article in a preceding number, on a College of Architecture, by Dr. D. B. Reid, the general relations of this question have been entered into in connection with other departments of architecture. A valuable volame,* by the same author, is now before us, dedicated especially to the ventilation of American dwellings; and the views in reference to individual rooms, habitations, and hotels, give the result of the author's experience in a series of examples, which are explained by wood-cuts and colored diagrams.
The work commences with an exposition of the present state of the question of ventilation, of the magnitude of the objects it involves, and of the means by which they may be most effectually promoted. A special ventilating flue or shaft is recommended to be introduced generally into American dwellings, where the severity of the summer's heat, and the varied consequences flowing from this cause, are prove to produce oppressive effects. A form of construction is advocated that enables it to act equally on crowded rooms, on the sick-chamber, and in excluding vitiated air from special sources.
Extended arrangements are also recommended for directly cooling the air in sultry and oppressive weather, and enabling a milder atmosphere to be procured from vaults or the shaded side of the buildingan object that is at present rarely under any systematic control.
The ventilation of the sick-chamber in cases of infectious disease, is explained by different examples, and the mode of treating this question, where it is desirable to maintain an artificial atmosphere, and to destroy by fire or chemicals all noxious emanations. While windows, constructed so as to admit of being opened above or below, form an important provision in the ventilation of all ordinary apartments, improvements in details, and the introduction of other resources, are shown
VENTILATION IN AMERICAN DWELLINGS, with a series of Diagrams, presenting examples in different classes of habitations, by David Boswell Reid, M.D., F.R.S.E., &c.; to wbich is added an Introductory Outline of the Progress of Improvement in Ventilation, by Elisba Harris, M. D., &c., &c. : Wiley & Halsted, New York.
to be equally necessary and economical. The progress of ventilation has often been much retarded by the supposition that the plan adopted in one place should succeed equally in another, though, on close examinati such an utter disparity of circumstances may attend the two cases that no proper parallel can be instituted between them. In ventilating an apartment, a sufficient supply of air, at a proper temperature, and with as much diffusion as may be practicable, being secured, and a corresponding egress of vitiated air, nothing will contribute more to facilitate the arrangement of details than the understanding that these may be indefinitely varied according to the peculiarities of each individual structure, and the perfection which it may be proposed to attain.
The tabular exposition of the varied causes that influence the effect produced by particular atmospheres on different constitutions, presents this branch of the subject in a more striking point of view. This was drawn up originally for a Report made by the author when the Health of Towns Commission was in operation in England. No one can inspect it without coming to the conclusion that a large amount of discomfort, disease, and suffering must perpetually arise in crowded cities, populous districts, and individual habitations, wherever the ordinary conditions of life, and its relations to the air, are imperfectly understood. It is a great step in the right direction to become better acquainted with the realities of the case. The varied examples given explain practically many of the most important details, and the resources available to meet peculiar contingencies by ascending, descending, and mixed movements, by great diffusion, by lateral currents, and with or without artificial means, according to the necessities of each individual case.
The power of producing an interior climate in the entrance hall, stairs, and passages of ordinary habitations, is strongly advocated, and the importance of not building any of these, in warm or cold climates, of such dimensions or in such a manner as to present any obstacle to the effective and economical attainment of this object.
Great importance is also attached to the hygrometric condition of the atmosphere in this country-houses in the Northern States being generally very inadequately supplied with moisture in winter,-making allowance for the great elevation of temperature that must frequently be given to the air in very cold weather, and the very dry condition in which it is received from the external atmosphere. In other places an excess of moisture is the great defect.
A ventilated air and steam bath, combined with a warm showerbath, is explained by special diagrams, and its introduction recommended as superior in efficiency, economy, and rapidity of action to any
other bath, while it exerts a refreshing influence on the constitution that is often powerful in checking incipient fever. Warm diluents can be taken freely when the action of the bath is sustained for any considerable period. In general, it is not necessary to prolong its action after the breath shall have been freed from any taint or heaviness which it may previously bave presented.
On the subject of warming, the more extended use of the Mild Steam and Hot-water Apparatus is strongly advocated, and the use of stoves having a more extended surface and a less elevated temperature than is usually sustained. The great evils to be remedied, are the rapid transference of hot air to the ceiling, while the floor is too often left uncomfortably cold, and the injured quality of over-heated air.
One of the principal obstacles to the right ventilation of individual habitations, arises from defective cleansing and other imperfect sanitary arrangements, in consequence of which the purity of the external atmosphere is often largely impaired. The construction of individual dwellings is another prolific cause of vitiated air; the provision for the ingress of fresh, and egress of vitiated air, exclusive of windows, being, in general, meagre and unsatisfactory. And, lastly, it is maintained, that till the chemistry of daily life shall form a systematic part of instruction in elementary schools, the mass of the population will never be able to avail themselves properly of all the resources which the present state of their habitations affords, and still less to promote the introduction of those improvements which new inventions, materials, and construction demand.
The work is preceded by an able outline of the progress of improvement in ventilation, drawn up by Dr. Elisha Harris, of New York, at the request of the publishers, in which he has given a notice of Dr. Reid's experiments and executed works, more particularly at the time he directed the plans at the late House of Commons, and when Lord Sudeley said: “To him,” Dr. Reid, “we owe the solution of the problem that, by a proper system, ventilation may be obtained in the most trying and difficult circumstances." He also stated: “ The ventilation of the House of Commons was complete and perfect, and the first plan of systematic ventilation ever carried out in this or any other country.”
The following selections illustrate the manner in which Dr. Reid has treated the subject in the volume before us. In the different figures, red, purple, and blue tints indicate respectively pure air entering, mixed air and vitiated air escaping from the apartment ventilated.