Francis Lieber.

Library of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) online

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college, Athens, Ga., in 1832, at the head of his class. He studied law, and was
admitted to practice at the bar in 1832, in Crawfordsville, in his native county. In 1836
he was elected a member of the lower house of the Georgia legislature, in which he
served five years. In 1842 he was elected to the state senate; and the following year to
congress, as a whig, retaining his seat until 1839, when he resigned. After the Kansas
struggle in congress he became a democrat, and supported the Lecompton constitution
in 1858. On the outbreak of secession in the s., Mr. Stephens opposed it, defending
the union in a number of public speeches. He, however, changed his attitude when it
was evident that opposition was unavailing; was elected to the vice-presidency of the
new confederacy, and delivered addresses at Atlanta and Savannah, Ga., in which he vio-
lently attacked the north, and sustained the new government in the south. He was one of
those among the confederate leaders who boldly asserted the right of slavery perse; an-l
who conceded that the southern design was to found a government upon the speciD?
declaration of that principle. Mr. Stephens was a consistent follower of the doctrines cl
Mr. Calhoun; and his early opposition to secession was doubtless based upon his disbo-
licf in its possibility of success, and his judgment against the policy of the movement.
He continued to hold his office during the rebellion. In May, 1863, after the surrender
of gen. Lee, he was arrested and imprisoned in fort Warren, Boston harbor, but was
speedily released. Since the war Mr. Stephens has represented his native state in con-
gress, where, though in Infirm health, he still retains his seat, being constantly re-elected.
He has- published A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the Slates, its Causes,
Conduct, and Ilesults.

STEPHENS, AN* SOPHIA (WINTERBOTHAM). b. Derby, Conn., 1813; married
Edward Stephens, a printer of Plymouth, Mass., and removed to Portland, Me. She
established T.'ie Portland Magazine, 1835; editor of The Portland Sketch Book, 1836. la
1837 she removed to New York, contributed to the magazines, and wrote a prize story,
Mary Derweut, receiving $400. This brought her into notice and she at once became a
popular magazine writer. She has written many novels: Fashion and Famine (1854),
translated into French; The Old Homestead; 1' he Heiress of Oreenhurst; two books on
needlework; and Married in Haste are among those which gained the popular favor. She
has edited several magazines and newspapers, alone and jointly with others.

STEPHENS. JOHN LLOYD, 1805-52; b. N. J. ; graduated at Columbia college, 1823.
He studied law in the Litchfield school, and was admitted to the New York bar, where h
practiced 8 years. In politics he was an influential democrat. In 1834 he visited Europe
and Egypt, and on his return published an account of his travels in the eastern and
northern countries. In 1839 he was sent to Central America as special ambassador, and
in 1843 again visited Yucatan. His Incident* of Travel in these countries form ihe best
of all his popular and valuable works, and contain much original information in regard
to American antiquitiss. He was a director of the " Ocean Steam Navigation company,"
originating the first American line of transatlantic steamships, and was president of tin
Panama railroad.

^ STEPHENS. WILLIAM, 1671-1753; b. England; graduated at King's college, Cam-
bridge; studied law at Middle temple; was a member of parliament, 169(3-1722; removed
to Charleston, S.C., 1730; at the recommendation of Oglethorpe was appointed secre-
tary of the trustees in Georgia; president of the colony, 1743-50. His Journal of tht
Proceedings in Georgia, was printed in 3 volumes. His son wrote his biography, entitled
TJLC Castle- Builder s.

STEPI1ENSON, a co. in n. Illinois, adjoining Wisconsin, drained by the Pccp.toniea
and the Yellow rivers; traversed by the Chicago and Northwestern, the Western Union,
and the Illinois Central railroads; about 540 sq.m. ; pop. '80, 31,970 26,074 of American
birth. The surface is rolling. The soil is fertile. The principal productions are corn,
wheat, oats, rye, butter, and wool. Co. seat, Freeport.

STEPHENSON, GEORGE, was born on June 9, 1781, in circumstances of great
poverty, his father having to maintain a family of six children on 12s. per week, earned
by tending a colliery-engine at Wylam, near Newcastle. George's first employment was
herding cows at 2d. per day, from which he was promoted to hoeing turnips at 4d. ;

QIC Stephen*.

Stephen son.

subsequently, he was appointed fireman at Midmill collier}-, and at 15 wo find him rejoic-
ing on his .siilivry being raised to 12s. a week. As fireman, he applies himself to diligent
study of the steam-engine. Inking his machine to pieces during his leisure hours, and
thus gaining a thorough practical knowledge of it. At Black Callerton colliery, in 1MJ1,
by, dint of mending shoes and cleaning watches, in addition to his regular employment,
Stcphenson contrived to save his first guinea. At 21 he had saved as much as enabled
him to furnish a cottage in a humble way, and on Nov. 28, 18U2, he was married to a
young woman named Fanny Henderson. She died in 1804, while her husband WMS
brakesman at Killingworth colliery. The early life of Stephensun presents a record
whose interest cannot be surpassed, of a contest between determined purpose, industry,
and sagacity on the one hand, against poverty on the other. Slowly, inch by inch, we
find the inward forces gaining ground upon the outward. Out of his humble gains he
contrived to pay 4d. a week for lessons in reading, writing, and arithmetic, which were
conned over at night, and mastered by the light of his engine-fire. On one occasion,
indeed, so hard hud the tide gone against him, that even he had nearly given way to
despair. " I wept bitterly," he says, in allusion to an intention he had formed of emi-
gnting "for I knew not where my lot in life might be cast." In 1815 the invention of
a colliery safety-lamp, the " Geordie," brought his name before the public. The fact of
his invention being almost simultaneous with that of sir II. Davy, gave rise to a long
controversy between their respective friends and supporters. In 181U Stephenson mar-
ried his second wife, Elizabeth Hindmarsh, the daughter of a farmer at Black Callerton.
It was at Killingworth colliery that he constructed his first locomotive. At first, it was
not very efficient; but, subsequently, the grand improvement of the " steam-blast" car-
ried his experiment to a triumphant issue. Further improvements followed, and in 1821
Stephensou was appointed engineer for the construction of the Stockton and Darlington
railway; the line on its completion, being partially worked by means of his great inven-
tion. The rapid growth of the trade of South Lancashire, together with the unpopular
management of the Bridgewater canal, gave rise, in 1821, to the project of a railway
between Liverpool and Manchester. Stephen? on was chosen engineer. That he pro-
posed to work the line with an engine which was to go at the rate of 12 m. an hour, was
a fact held up as of itself sufficient to stamp the project as a bubble. "Twelve miles an
hour!" exclaimed the Quarterly EITICW " as well trust one's self to be fired off on a
Congreve rocket."

When the bill ultimately passed, on Mar. 10, 1S0, Stephenson was rppointcd princi-
pal engineer, with a salary of 1000 a year. After inconceivable dihicultics, the lina
was completed in 1829. There then ensued the memorable competition of engines,
resulting in the complete triumph of Mr. Stephenson's " Rocket," which, to the astonish-
ment of every one except himself, was found capable of traveling at the till then
undreamt-of rate of 05 in. nn hour. " Now," exclaimed one of the directors, " George
Stcphenson has at last delivered himself." While occupied in carrying out the vast
system of railway which soon overspread tho country, Stephenson's home wr.s at Alton
grange, near Leicester. He saw but little of it, however, as he Mas often traveling on
business for weeks at a time. During the three years ending 18;>7, he wns principal
engineer on the North Midland. York and North Midland, Manchester and Leeds, Bir-
mingham and Derby, and Sheffield and Rotherham railways. In 1P86 alone. 214 in. oi
railway were put under his direction, involving a capital of five millions. He has been
known to dictate reports and letters for 12 continuous hours. But in the midst of his
immense business, his heart remained as youthful as ever. In spring he would snatch a
day for bird-nesting or gardening; in autumn nutting was still a favorite recreation.
We find him even at tins time writing a touching account to his son of a pair ot
lobins. Strong as he had shown himself when the world was all against him, he was
not less so in the midst of his success. During the railway mania, his offices in Lon-
don were crowded every day with men of every rank and condition, eager to strengthen
their prospectuses by the weight of his name. Where he disapproved and at this
time he almost always did disapprove he in variably declined, though by acceding he might
have made enormous gain; but to make money without labor or honor hnd no charm
for Stephen^on. In the autumn of 1845 he visited Belgium and Spain for professional
purposes. On his way home he was seized with pleurisy, from which attack he does
not seem ever to have thoroughly recovered. He occupied his declining years with the
quiet pursuits of a country gentleman, indulging his love of nature, which, through
all his busy life, had never left him. He died at his country-seat of Tapton, Aug.
12, 1848. The leading feature of his mind was honesty of purpose, and determination in
carrying it out. "I have fought for the locomotive single-handed for nearly 20 years." he
ays"; "I put up with every rebuff, determined not to be put down." Toward trickery
find affectation he never concealed his contempt, while honest merit never appealed to
his liberality in vain. Sec Lives of Engine erx, by Samuel Smiles, vol. iii. (Loud. 1862).

STEPHENSON, ROHEKT, only son of George Stephenson. was b. on Oct. 16. 1803.
"When a boy he attended a school in Newcastle. In 1820 his father's in. proving cir-
cumstances enabled him to send Robert to the university of Edinburgh, where he seems
to have made excellent use of his time. In l^'-'o wi- lind him assisting his father in the
survey for the Stockton nud Darlington railway. Subsequently, he took an active part

Steppes. 0-1 A

Stereoscope. VAI

in the locomotive engine-works started by his father at Newcastle. In June, 1824, he
went to Mariquita, in South America, on an engineering appointment; but this not
suiting him, at the end of three years he returned home by the United States and Canada.
He then assumed the management of the Newcastle business. During the discussion as
to the power to be employed on the Liverpool and Manchester line, lie was in constant
Communication with his father, to whom his quick perception and rapid judgment were
of great assistance. Shortly after the completion of this line, he was appointed engineer
of the Leicester and Swanuiugton railway. Subsequently he was appointed joint man-
aging engineer, along with his father, of the London and Birmingham line, the execu-
tion of which immense work was ultimately almost wholly intrusted to him. In 1829
he married Frances, daughter of John Sanderson, merchant in London. She died in
184:3 without issue; and he did not marry again. The London and Birmingham iine
was, completed in such a manner as to raise Stephensou to the very highest rank in
his profession. Business now flowed in upon him. In one parliamentary session we
find him engaged in 33 new schemes. Projectors thought themselves fortunate if they
could procure his services on any terms. The work which he got through was enor-
mous, and his gains large beyond what had then been known in his profession.

The Britannia tubular bridge, of which undertaking Robert Stephenson was the mas-
ter spirit, is one of the most remarkable monuments of the enterprise and engineering
skill of the present century. It was completed on Mar. 5, 1850, at a cost cf 234,450.
Stephenson lived to repeat his splendid achievement in the bridge across the St. Law-
rence at Montreal, and in the two bridges across the Nile at Dannetta. In 1847 he was
returned to the house of commons as member for "Whit by. On Aug. 15, 1849, he
completed the high-level bridge at Newcastle, and in the following year the great via-
duct across ihe Tweed at Berwick. In 1855 the emperor of the French decorated him
with the legion of honor. At home the university of Oxford made him D.C.L. In the
same year he was elected president of the institute of civil engineers. The immense
amount of work which he went through both at home and abroad proved too much for
his constitution, originally delicate; while in Norway, in 1859, he was seized by the ill-
ness which soon afterward ended his illustrious career. He died on Oct. 12, 1859. He
was buried in Westminster abbey. It was as a workman that Robert Stephenson was
great, his political views being at times rather narrow. Contrasting him with his great
rival, Brunei, it has been said that the ambition of the latter was to make a great work;
that of the former to make a work which would pay. Robert Stephen^on inherited the
kindly spirit and benevolent disposition of his father. He almost worshiped his
father's memory, and was ever ready to attribute to him the chief merit of his own
achievements. See Lives of the Engineers, by S. Smiles, vol. iii., (Lond. 18G2).

STEPPES, Ihe distinctive name applied to those extensive plains which, with the
occasional interpolation of low ranges of hills, stretch from the Dnieper across the s.e.
of European Russia, round the shores of the Caspian and Aral seas, between the Altai
and Ural chains, and occupy the low lands of Siberia. The word, which is of Russian
origin, denotes primarily an uncultivated plain of great extent, and has been applied by
geographers to the above-mcniior.ed regions as expressive of their fiat, semi-barren,
treeless character. In spring f.ud early summer the steppes are clad with a thin cover-
ing of green herbage, 1 ecome parched and barren under the scorching heat and drought
of June, and in winter are hid beneath a thick covering of snow, which, raised in huge
white thin clouds, and driven hither and thither by furious storms, brings destruction to
every living creature within its sweep. The monotony of the steppe is as fatiguing to
the traveier as is that of the sandy, arid desert. For hundreds of leagues his eye is
compelled to endure the same unvarying level of scanty herbage, unbroken by tree or
bush, and bounded by the utmost limits of the horizon; only in spring, while the veg-
etation is succulent and fitted for pasture, is the solitude broken here and there by herds
of horses and cattle and their mounted guardians. In autumn, when the tall herbage,
withered by the heats of summer, has been rooted up and broken by violent winds, it
becomes gathered and rolled together into enormous balls, sometimes of from 9 to 11
j-ards in diameter. Here and there are tracts which offer some inducement to the agri-
culturist; such are the steppe e. of the Dnieper, that between the Don and Volga of
inferior fertility, but rich in coal and the steppes of south-western Siberia, especially
those in the goVernment of Tomsk, all of which have been partially colonized; but a
very wide extent is hopelessly barren.

STEBCULIA'CEJE, a natural order of exogenous plants, closely allied to mnhaccce and
byttneriaetcp. and consisting of large trees and shrubs, natives of warm climates. About
ItfOfcpecies are known. The flowers of some are irregular, and in some they arc hermaph-
rodite, in others unisexual. Many species, particular!}' of the sub-order boinlttccce, are
trees of gigantic size, among which is the baobab or adansonia (q.v.) digitala. The bark
of some species is very fibrous, so that it is made into ropes and coarse cloth. The light
wood of ochroinnlagopus is used in the West Indies instead of cork. Stercitlia fatida, an
Indian tree, with excessively fetid flowers, has pale wood, which is very durable, and
susceptible of a high polish. Spars of this wood are called 730071 apart. The seeds of
some species, as of the silk-cotton (q.v.) trees, are surrounded with silky hairs. The
feeds of all the species are oleaginous; those of some are eatable, as those of the CIIICUA

O-J StCJpC8.

Sieiv o.-,cope.

(stcrcul'a chicJia and S. lasiantha) of Eradl, which arc r.bout the size of a pigeon's egg,
and have a pleasant lluvor. Tuey are rousted before being eiiteu. '1 hoc., la (q.v.) nut
of Africa is the seed of a stercu'ut. The wholo order agrees wua iiiahac^;' i.i possessing
mucilaginous and demulcent properties. The pirn t: - agac.:n.h (q.v.) ,f bcuegal and
M;-r:-:i Leone is produced by a alerculia. The duiiau (q.v.) ij tlie l.uit of a tree of this

STERE (Gr. stereos, solid), the name given to the unit of cubic measure in the French
metrical system. It is a cubic met r (q v.), and equivalent to b.j.oluuololGrf English
cubic ft., <;r 1.30SO~lu487 English cubic yards. The decant re \i equ..l to iO stcres, and
the decis'ere to tiie tenth part of a stere. TLid measure is much used i'or wood, especially

STERELMINTHA (Gr. stereos, solid, and Jielmins, an intestinal worm), a term suggested
by prof. Owen, and generally adopted to signify those intestinal worms which have no
true abdominal cavity, and which were called " p.,renchymatous" by Cuvier. See


STEREOCHROMY, a process of wall-painting, invented by prof. .1. N. von Fuchp, of
Munich, professed to be superior to fresco-painting, inasmuch as it will admit of any
part of the picture being reiouchcd, as in the case of oil paintings. It is also more
durable, being protected by a varnish from the effects of the atmosphere.

STEREOSCOPE (Gr. stereos, solid, anel skopein, to see), an optical instrument of modern
invention, by means of which pictures of objects possessing three dimeusio: s are seen
not as plane representations, but with an appearance of solidity or relief, as in ordinary
vision of the objects themselves. The more recond.te principles of the stereoscope,
which are of high interest and importance in their bearing on the philosophy of
perception, will be fully considered under VISION, BINOCULAR. The present article
will be limited to an historical sketch of its invention and subsequent developments,
coupled with an expo-dtio:i of the optical and mechanical details of its construction.

The essential principle of the stereoscope, the first conception of which by prof.
Wheutstone justly ranks as one of the most brilliant optical discoveries of the age. may
be thus explained. It is an obvious fact that the eyes being separated by a certain
interval of space, all solid objects so near to the observer as to be seen with a sensible
convergence of the optic axis, necessarily form retinal pictures, differing as to their
perspective projections for each eye. Singular to say, the true import of this plain
fact was wholly unsuspected prior to the' investigations of prof. Wheatstone. who, in.
his first paper on this subject, published in the Philosoplticat, Transactions for 1838,
clearly established the important conclusion that this dissimilarity of the retinal images
is made to subserve an important end in ths use of our visual organs that it is, in fact,
the principal originating cause of our immediate perception of the solidity ( >r relief) of
objects adjacent to the sight. The problem he set himself to investigate was: "What
would be the visual effect of simultaneously presenting to each eye, instead of the object
itself, its projection on a plane surface as it appear; to that eye?'' and i:i order to bring
this question to the test of experiment, he devised an instrument which he named the

The pictures being attached to the slides, the observer places himself with his nose
close to and immediately in front of the vertical angle made by the reflectors, so that
the view by each eye is limited to the rays reflected by its appropriate mirror; the pic-
tures are then seen, as it were, behind the mirrors, and. the eyes being made slightly to
converge, either by an effort of the will or by drawing the slides a little forward, "the
effect of either of which is to refer the reflected images to the same part of space, the
observer sees no longer mere pictorial resemblances, but, to all appearance, the objects
themselves, exquisitely modeled, occupying a certain extent of space, and standing forth
with a substantiality of aspect truly wonderful. At the outset the only stereoscopic

Eictures obtainable were the outlines of geometrical solid figures, which it was possible
>r a skillful artist to depict with perspective projections adapted for the right and left
eye respectively; and the pictures so prepared excited the greatest interest and admira-
tion. They, moreover, abundantly exemplified the truth and importance of the binoc-
ular principle, though the universality of its application to purposes of pictorial illustra-
tion only became apparent on the introduction and gradual improvement of the photo-
graphic arts. In 1849 sir David Brewster originated that convenient, portable, and in
all respects admirable form of the stereoscope which is now in general use over the
whole civilized world. For this the lenticular stereoscope the pictures (taken, be it
remembered, from two different points of view), are mounted side by side, on a piece of
cardboard, and, being placed in the instrument, are viewed through semi lenses, fixed at
a distance apart of the two eyes. To effect the displacement of the pictures, so that
they shall be referred to the same part of space, which we have above denned to be an
essential condition, sir David Brewster most ingeniously availed himself of an optical
principle, which enabled him at the same time to fulfill several collateral ends of con-
siderable importance. This principle may be described as follows- If an object be
viewed through the center, or, more properly, along the axis, of a convex lens, it will
be seen exactly in front of the eye; i.e., in a line with the eye, the center of the lens,
and the actual place of the object. If now the lens be moved slightly to the left, the


object will appear to advance toward the right; and, conversely, as the lens is moved
toward the right, the object is displaced in the opposite direction. Let the lens be cut
in half, transversely, aud ihe two semi-circular pieces reversed as to their former posi-
tion, i.e., placed side by side, and so that their thin edges shall be adjucei.t, while the
two plane edges, formed by the section of the lens, are kept in mutual parallelism, and
have their faces turned outward, toward the left and right respectively: the right eye
will now look through the left half of the lens, and vice versa; and the lw> pictures,
each placed opposite its appropriate eye, and in the principal focus of the eye-piece,
will be seen, not in their actual places, but in a position midway between the two. The
subsidiary purposes served by this arrangement are that the pictures are magnified as
well as caused to coalesce ; and that the equality of the magnifying power of the eye*
pieces (a result by no other means certainly attainable) is secured by the fact of their
being cut from the same lens, the whole of which is thus advantageously ami econom-
ically utilized. In too many of the instruments offered for sale the conditions s'ated
above are very imperfectly fulfilled; the parallelism of the two sectional planes of the
semi-lenses, and their rectangurarity with two imaginary planes joining their opposite
ends respectively, are not maintained, and, as a consequence, the coalescence of the pic
tures is effected, if at all, by a forced and more or less painful displacement of the eye
balls, entirely destructive of all pleasure in the use of the instrument. Anil it is impor
tant to recollect that this parallelism of the sides of the semi-lenses may be either actual
or virtual; for to whatever shape they may be cut (and the circular form is the one most
often adopted), the foregoing conditions are in nowise altered. The best lenticular
form of the instrument with which we are acquainted is the achromatic stereoscope
devised by Messrs. Smith, Beck, and Beck, the well known London opticians, which
combines excellencies of a very varied character.

Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 188 of 203)