Engineering Association of the South,
The January meeting of the Engineering Association of the South was held at Nashville on February 11. The standing committees for the ensuing year were announced by the board of directors as follows : Committee on finance, W. F. Foster, W. L. Dudley and John MacLeod ; committee on rooms and library, E. C. Lewis, Jas. Geddes and F. P. Clute ; committee on papers and printing, Olin H. Landreth, W. B. Ross, Chas. B. Percy, Hunter McDonald and John B. Atkinson. Applications for membership were received from E B. Cushing, resident engineer Southern Pacific R. R., Houston, Tex.; W. N. McDonald, assistant engineer N. C. and St. L. P. R., Nashville, Tenn., and A. H. Wood, assistant engineer T. C., I. and R. R. Company, Tracy City, Tenn.
The president of the association, A. V. Gude of Atlanta, who was unavoidably absent, sent a communication inviting the association to hold the March meeting at Atlanta. The invitation was accepted and a committee was appointed to make provisions for transportation. This committee subsequently reported that Major J. W. Thomas, president of the N. C. and St. L. R. R., had very generously offered to furnish transportation to the members of the association to the meeting at Atlanta, and would place a private car at their disposal. The trip will be made by daylight in order to give the members of the association an opportunity to inspect the extensive improvements being made on the Western and Atlantic R. R., which has recently been acquired by the N. C. and St. L. R. R. Co. A circular letter from the chairman of the general committee of engineering societies World’s Columbian Exposition, was received, giving information regarding the progress of arrangements for the engineering congress and asking suggestions as to further features of the work. The matter was referred to a committee composed of Messrs. W. L. Dudley, J. S. Walker, Jas. Geddes and J. B. Atkinson, to consider the matter and make any desired recomnndations to the association at its next meeting.
The committee on highway machinery contest reported progress in the preparation of a detail scheme for carrying out the contest. The secretary presented a list of thirty-five technical periodicals which the association is now receiving, in addition to the exchanges with other engineering societies.
THE DONKEYS OF Pantellaria.—Consul Heath of Cantania says : “ In Sicily and especially in the province of Cantania, are found the largest and best working donkeys in the world. These donkeys far surpass in size and height the famous white donkeys of Maskat. They are essentially a breed particularly adapted for labor, while for endurance no other domesticated working animal can approach them. The Maskat donkey, on the other hand, is only used for pleasure riding, principally by women, and has been bred for centuries for this sole purpose. His principal value is that he is large and white, and, not being very plentiful, expensive. The Sicilian donkey, of which I vyrite, has been bred for centuries for size and working qualities, and his home is on the small island of Pantellaria, off the southeast coast of Sicily. A good specimen will stand 12¾ hands high and weigh from 650 to 700 pounds. The colors are black, red and gray, and many have as short, fine hair as an Arab thoroughbred horse. The peculiar marking of a cross on spine and shoulders, common to wild and most domesiicated breed, is wanting in this one. Their good qualities are lack of all stubbornness, greit draft powers —taking the same load as a 900-pound horse or mule at a rapid walk—and easily kept, being small consumers of food. A jack of this breed crossed on a common mare gives a very large mule ; but in Sicily this is not often done, the smaller maltese jacks being generally preferred, because, owing to the mountainous country, a mule of 900 pounds weight or less is considered more desirable. If these large, docile and quickwalking donkeys could be introduced into the United States, they would prove of great value to small farmers, especially to the class of small negro farmers in the South, who, for varied reasons, can not afford to keep horses. Equally valuable should they prove for mule-breeding purposes. A fair average price here for a good young donkey as described would be from $25 to $40, although if some particularly fine breeding jack should be desired an offer of $200 might fail to purchase him.
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