Life Under Glass

“ No enemy,
But winter and rough weather.”

HOW to escape the vicissitudes of the seasons ?

That is a question which has occupied the attention of the human race from its earliest existence. Outside of the tropics, shelter from the elements is, next to sustenance, the most important end to be attained. From the caves and underground huts of the primitive tribes to the palatial dwellings of enlightened wealth, with their manifold appliances for warmth and comfort, is an interval almost as great as from the beasts up to man. But, with all his cunning devices to keep cold and storm at a distance, the civilized man of to-day has not been able to escape wholly from the ill effects of sudden changes from warmth to cold. Especially is this the case in an excessive climate, like that of the Northern and Eastern States of the Union and the Dominion of Canada. It would seem almost as if the old geographers were using language in a Pickwickian sense, when they marked this region of the globe as being in a temperate zone. Probably many a youth has wondered, as he has sat shivering on the back seat of an old-fashioned New England school-house, during a wintry northwester, what sort of a zone an intemperate one must be, if the one in which his lot was cast could be called temperate. A climate can hardly be considered remarkable for temperateness which swings round the circle, from ultra-tropical heat in July almost to the intense cold of the planetary spaces in January, —a range, in some years, of more than a hundred and twenty degrees of Fahrenheit’s scale. Nearly sixty people have been sunstruck in New York City during a single midsummer’s day, while a few months later the daily journals would, perhaps, contain accounts of deaths by freezing, either in the city or on board of vessels off the coast. Except during a part of the autumn, and a few days or weeks at other seasons, extremes would seem to be the normal condition of our capricious climate, — extremes, not only of temperature, but of the hygrometric state of the atmosphere. As a general rule, the crops of the much-enduring farmer or gardener are either drowned in Alaskan floods of rain or withered under a Coloradan drouth.

A region liable to such sudden alternations of temperature is the congenial habitat of consumption, which, in some localities, is the cause of one fourth of the mortality. It is one of the great battle-grounds of the thermal and frigid forces ; now one prevails, now the other, in this disputed territory, where the truces between the contending powers are generally of brief duration. As on other battle-fields, the contention is disastrous in its consequences to the peaceful inhabitants. Sometimes, in winter or in spring, the temperature falls fifty or more degrees in less than as many hours. The buds of the hardiest vines and fruit-trees are destroyed by the piercing cold, which also extends its fatal effects to mankind. The bills of mortality always show an increase in the number of deaths at such periods, particularly among the aged.

In Florida, in Cuba, and other watersurrounded regions of a lower latitude, vicissitudes of climate are reduced to their minimum. In the delicious winter atmosphere of such favored spots the frail invalid from the North, unless too far gone to recuperate, takes a fresh hold upon life. But Florida and the Antilles are a long way from New England, one of the strongholds of consumption. Even to those whose circumstances will allow of a journey thither, the fatigues of the trip are often an insuperable objection. Removal to a warmer latitude is, therefore, out of the question for the mass of those who would be benefited by the change. With few exceptions, the climate they live in must be endured and made the best of, by the class of invalids in question, whose only resource is to expose themselves as little as possible to its capricious alternations from warmth to cold. Through the long, sub-arctic winter, with its fierce storms, deep snow-drifts, and chilling blasts, through the frozen-thawed spring, with its endless mud and biting east winds, they have to breathe the close air of a sitting-room, with its life burnt out of it by stove or furnace, or take the consequences of exposure to the open air. Only at rare times, for half the year, can they venture out of doors with impunity. It is not strange that the enfeebled vitality of multitudes succumbs under such unfavorable conditions.

There is no questioning the fact that our climate has its good points, even in winter, to those who are well enough to defy its rigors. To a man in health, exposure to the bracing northwesters exhilarates and tones the whole system. A long walk through woodland paths on a sunny winter’s day is enough to intoxicate old age. It is during such cold, clear, crystalline days, characterized by a brisk lady acquaintance as “ good spry weather,” that a store of vigor is laid in that helps us survive the wilting, dog-day heats.

But how many there are, frail victims of pulmonary disease, to whom exposure to such rough chiding of the wintry winds would be as surely, if not as suddenly, fatal as to stand within point-blank range of a battery of mitrailleuses under full fire. Must these unfortunates be doomed beyond hope to remain prisoners in their rooms from December to May, supposing they should survive the ordeal for so long a time ? Is there no way to provide for them an artificial climate which shall be as mild and as healthful as that of Florida or of San Domingo in winter ? Is man, who boasts of his conquests over the other elements, to be forever subject to the caprices of the atmosphere ?

The object in preparing this paper for publication is to show — what ought not to need any demonstrating — that what is now done, on a small scale, by individuals to foster a few tender plants from the tropics, or a few vines of the luscious grapes of Southern Europe, may be done on a large scale by corporations or by the State to shield from the rigors of a Northern winter thousands of tender human plants, whose organizations are too weak to bear exposure to cold and storm.

It is not more than a score of years since glass and iron were used, to any extent, as the chief materials in the construction of large edifices. Previous to the London Crystal Palace of 1851, the most conspicuous example of their successful use was to be found in the magnificent conservatory of the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth. This, at that time, famous plant-house was designed by Joseph Paxton, afterwards the architect of the Crystal Palace, for which he was rewarded with a baronetcy, as well as more substantial guerdon. About two acres of glass panes were required in the Chatsworth conservatory, which contained several distinct climates to suit the requirements of plants from every zone. Some idea of its size, and of the more than royal splendors of the ducal palace may be formed from the fact that when Queen Victoria was once visiting at Chatsworth, she entered the conservatory one evening with the Duke, in a carriage and four, while the vast structure glittered from foundation to dome with the light of fourteen thousand burners. Turning to the Duke, the Queen exclaimed, “ Devonshire, you beat me!” The conservatory of Chatsworth has been equalled, if not surpassed, by others, such as the winter gardens of the Emperor of Russia, in which, during the arctic severity of a St. Petersburg winter, the fortunate visitor wanders through stately avenues lined on either hand with the arboreal and floral wealth of the tropics.

But these structures were small compared with the vast and magnificent building that arose, like an exhalation of the morning, for the World’s Fair of 1851. In simplicity of construction, beauty, and cheapness, it has been equalled by no exhibition building since constructed. Its history is another illustration of the way in which the most important results are produced by apparently trivial causes. A few years previous, a gigantic species of waterlily was discovered in the river Berbice, in Demerara. It was named the Victoria Regia, and a few seeds were sent to Joseph Paxton, then gardener at Chatsworth. The conservatory that he built for this floral novelty was the germ from which blossomed, in after years, the splendid edifice in Hyde Park.

The Crystal Palace of 1851 was built almost wholly of iron and glass. It covered eighteen acres of ground, and cost less, in proportion to its size, than an ordinary barn. It was a marvel of constructive skill, and must have given the crowds that thronged it enlarged ideas of the future possibilities of mankind on this battle-scarred planet. The glass and iron building that was erected in New York two years afterwards, though handsomely designed, was a toy-house compared to its London predecessor, as it covered an area of only two acres.

If such architectural miracles as have been mentioned can be wrought for the cultivation of exotic plants, or for exhibiting the progress of the nations in art and mechanism, certainly still greater miracles can be wrought when the object is the much more important one of restoring to health and happiness multitudes of our fellow-beings. The one great measure needed to secure this wished-for result, as regards the large class of invalids mentioned above, is to provide an artificial winter climate, maintained at a desirable, uniform temperature, and having the proper hygrometric conditions of atmosphere ; in other words, to furnish the consumptive invalid with all the advantages of a winter residence in Cuba, with the fatigues, dangers, and expense of the journey left out. This can be accomplished by a system of winter gardens, of large extent, enclosed and roofed with glass in a framework of iron. The location of these gardens should be on high land, to have the advantage of pure air, and to secure thorough drainage of the soil. Their number, whether one or more, in each State, would be regulated by the requirements of population. The precise form of the proposed structures — whether the ground-plan shall be a circle, a square, an octagon, or other geometric figure — is not, for purposes of illustration, very material. We will suppose it to be a circle. Its diameter should then be at least fifteen hundred feet, which would enclose an area of a little over forty acres, — not far from the size of Boston Common, exclusive of the Public Garden.

Lest any, who have read thus far, should deem the idea of erecting structures of such immense size entirely impracticable, it is perhaps well enough to remind them that the only limitation in this direction is the amount of capital at command. A forty-acre building is only a little more than twice as large in area as the Crystal Palace of 1851, and is quite within the limits of the practicable. The London Exhibition building of 1862, though only partly of iron and glass, covered an area, with the picture-gallery and annexes, of twenty-four and a half acres. A generation which has witnessed such wonders in architecture and mechanism ; which has seen cables stretched across the ocean by an iron steamer of thirty thousand tons’ burden ; which has seen the mingling of the waters of the Mediterranean and the Red Seas, the tunnelling of the Alps, and the building of a railroad across a continent, need hardly be startled from its equipoise by the magnitude of any plan requiring only constructive skill and capital for its realization.

Having thus disposed of any possible objections as to the size of the proposed edifice, we will proceed to give some details of the plan which seems to us desirable, if not indispensable. The materials, we have decided, would be mainly iron and glass. The enclosing wall would be at least fifty feet high, supported, at regular intervals, by round or octagonal iron towers, eighteen or twenty feet in diameter, and a hundred or more in height. The immense glass roof, supported on numerous iron columns, would rise at a regular pitch towards the centre of the building, where it would be a hundred feet from the ground. The roof would be constructed on the ridge-and-furrow principle, making numerous angular depressions and elevations, — the lower angles forming gutters to carry the rain-water into the hollow iron columns, whence it would flow into the underground system of drain-pipes and sewers. The steam-boilers for warming the building, in the absence of the sun’s rays, would be located in the lower portions of the towers, outside the walls, which would thus serve a double use besides being an ornament. Pure air would constantly pass into the interior through numerous apertures left for the purpose in the walls. This fresh, cold air would be warmed, on its passage into the building, by passing through screens or networks of hot steam-pipes. Thus there would be a constant and abundant, though gentle flow of pure, warm air from all points of the circumference towards the centre of the edifice, where it would rise, and flow out through the ventilators in the dome. The atmosphere within would have none of the oppressiveness of a common conservatory, but would be, in the highest degree, agreeable and healthful. The means of ventilation would be under such easy control as to enable those in charge of that department to maintain a nearly uniform temperature.

The grounds, within the walls, would be laid out and ornamented in the highest style of the art of landscapegardening. Broad, winding paths would lead among rock-work and through clumps of balsamic trees filling the air with healing odors ; through grassy lawns, and parterres of brilliant flowers ; around and across miniature lakes with fountains in the midst, and graceful boats gliding over the surface ; by the side of close-clipped hedges and green banks, where the winter sunbeams would linger as warmly as if it were June ; amid aviaries of birds from all climes ; over ravines spanned by rustic bridges ; under vine-covered arbors ; into stately galleries of the finest pictures and statuary ; into museums of natural history; into libraries, reading and lecture rooms; into gymnasia, where the relaxed muscles could gradually regain firmness under judicious training: in brief, wherever the invalid visitors should walk or be wheeled, they would find the beautiful, the entertaining, the instructive in nature and art. Everywhere would be an abundance of the easiest chairs and lounges. Sitting or reclining in these after the exercise prescribed by the attending physicians, the patients could pass the time in any rational way to which they felt inclined, — in some light, agreeable work, in reading, in conversation, in games, or in observing the animated, enchanting scene around them, while listening to the music from a first-class orchestra. Everything within the establishment would be under the control of a superintending physician of the highest intelligence and the strictest integrity, assisted by a corps of subordinates selected for the same qualities.

Within the crystal limits of a garden of the size designated, at least ten thousand patients could find ample room for exercise and recreation, a warm, pure, healthful atmosphere, plenty of opportunities for taking sun-baths, pleasant society, and countless objects of interest to withdraw their minds from brooding over their bodily diseases. This once accomplished, the victory over disease would be almost assured. With none of the unfavorable, winter conditions of ordinary house-life to contend against, the recuperative powers of the human organization, — the vis medicatrix naturœ, — aided by the pure, warm air and the genial sunshine, albeit of midwinter, would, in a large majority of cases, soon show the happiest results. The ulcerated lungs and bronchial passages would gradually heal ; the racking cough would subside ; the pains of the rheumatic and neuralgic would retire into the limbo of things lost, if not regretted ; strength would return to the enfeebled form, roundness to the wasted limbs, and happiness to the clouded mind.

Do you say that these rose-colored pictures have no foundation except in the imagination ? Every one of them can be realized, when even a small fraction of the outlay and attention that is now devoted to the destruction of life shall be devoted to its preservation. So long was it declared, ex cathedra, that consumptive disease was incurable, that the idea still clings to and influences a large portion of the medical faculty. No doubt it is incurable by any drug, however potent; but give Nature a fair chance, furnish the proper conditions, and she will work apparent miracles. These conditions, it is claimed, would exist in perfection in such a winter garden as has been briefly and therefore imperfectly described.

What the Adirondacks and other high regions are to the pulmonary invalid in summer, the proposed winter gardens would be during the cold season, though with much greater advantages for the restoration of health. Those great agents in the materia medica of nature — pure air, sunshine, and exercise — could there work out, without hindrance, their beneficent effects. The influence of mental conditions upon bodily health is well known. As the depressed invalids entered the magic realm of glass, their almost extinguished hope would rise with the temperature. With the shutting of a door they would leave behind the cold, cheerless world outside, and find themselves in a paradise of warmth, verdure, and bloom. They would almost forget their disease amid the inexhaustible attractions surrounding them. Cheerfulness would take the place of despondency, and thus the medicament of the great mother would have a fair field for its health-giving effects.

The reader has, no doubt, been curious to know how it is proposed to board and lodge the crowd of several thousand people which would be collected at one of these establishments. Not in the main edifice, certainly. The plan embraces a broad street, or boulevard, extending entirely around the outside of the central building, at the distance of three or four hundred feet from its walls. This boulevard would be at least one hundred feet wide, and would have walls and roof of iron and glass, like the garden, except that its walls would not be more than one third as high. It would have a wide carriage - drive in the middle, paved with wood or asphalt, and on either side smooth, level walks for promenading, separated from the carriageway by ornamental iron railings, covered with flowering vines. The boulevard would be warmed and ventilated like the garden, with which it would be connected by glass-enclosed passageways. Here would be the finest of imaginable street - arcades, more than a mile in circuit, adapted for drives, for horseback riding, or for promenading, and available for use by the most delicate invalid in all weathers. Let the wintry storms rage never so fiercely out of doors, here would be found perpetual calm and warmth.

On the outside circumference of this crystal arcade would be situated the spacious hotels and boarding-houses for the accommodation of the patients. They would be connected with the arcade by short glass-enclosed passageways. These boarding-establishments would be under the management of thoroughly competent and trustworthy persons, who would see that every reasonable want of the visitors was provided for. The food furnished would be of the most nutritious and wholesome character. The temperature and ventilation of the buildings would correspond to those of the garden and covered street. In the persons of the landlords would be united the characters of the genial, considerate host and of the intelligent, sympathizing physician. Like the other officials connected with the garden, they would have to be picked men.

The large, open spaces between the garden-walls and the surrounding arcade would be handsomely laid out and ornamented with evergreen trees, clumps of shrubbery, statues, fountains, gravelled walks, grass-plots, etc., and would be used as resorts on mild sunny days. Surrounded on all sides by high walls, these open-air gardens would be sheltered from rude winds, and would furnish fine opportunities for exercise. Between the hotels, and, like them, connected with the arcade, would be numerous shops of various kinds, to supply the wants of the visitors, who would thus be enabled to do their shopping without having to wait for fair weather.

Excepting at meal-times and during the hours required for sleep, but little of the time of the visitors would be passed in the hotels. Even the evenings would be chiefly spent in the garden and the arcades, which would then be lighted by thousands of burners. Under the radiant flood of artificial light, the rich and varied foliage of trees, plants, and shrubbery would appear even more striking and beautiful than by day, while the music from the grand orchestra would sound more delicious. As the patients gained in health and consequent strength, the long winter evenings would pass only too quickly.

There is nothing in the foregoing description of what we consider desirable in a remedial establishment for large classes of invalids, that cannot be easily realized when the importance of the subject shall be impressed, as it ought to be, on the minds of philanthropists and capitalists. Even as a paying investment, such a winter resort would, undoubtedly, surpass most of the fancy stocks that command a premium on Wall or State Street. If the reader will excuse a few figures, this, we think, can be demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt.

We will first consider the amount of capital required. The Crystal Palace of 1851 contained thirty-three million cubic feet of space. It cost at the rate of one penny and one twelfth per cubic foot, or a total of £ 150,000. The establishment we have described would contain not far from one hundred and forty million cubic feet, including garden, dome, towers, arcade, and passage-ways. The cubic contents would therefore be not far from four and a quarter times larger than the London Palace. At the same rate per foot, it would cost nearly six hundred and forty thousand pounds. Owing, however, to the higher prices of labor and materials in this country than in England, it would probably cost at least twice that amount. To give a liberal margin for the increased expense of the dome, we will estimate the entire cost of the structure at eight millions of dollars of our currency. For the grounds and their grading, drainage, and ornamentation, including picture-galleries, libraries, museums, gymnasia, etc., we will allow the further liberal estimate of two millions of dollars, and for twenty hotels two millions more. We have thus the grand total of twelve millions of dollars as the required capital. The interest on this sum, at eight per cent, would amount to $ 960,000 a year. For the working expenses, including the cost of boarding ten thousand patients from the 1st of November to the 1st of June, two and a half millions of dollars per annum would, probably, be a large estimate. This amount, added to the interest on the capital, makes the sum of $ 3,460,000 for the outgoes of each year. To meet these expenses would be the board-bills of the guests for the season.

The price of board at the hotels should be placed at as low a rate as possible, to enable people of limited means to enjoy the benefits of the garden as well as the rich. Two dollars a day would not seem an unreasonably high price, when it is considered that all the inestimable advantages of the garden and its surroundings would be thrown in. At two dollars a day the board-bill of ten thousand guests for thirty weeks would foot up the immense sum of $ 4,200,000, or $ 740,000 more than the interest on the capital, and the estimated working expenses, united. This would certainly furnish a reserve fund large enough to meet any unforeseen or extraordinary outlay.

Let no doubting Thomas for a moment imagine that there would be any lack of guests at an establishment like the ideal one under consideration, even if the per diem were twice the rates proposed. All that a man hath will he give for his life. From the opening day the hotels would be filled to their capacity with the weak - lunged, the rheumatic, and the declining, while multitudes would have to be disappointed in their applications for admission. But even if an invalid were never allowed to enter its gates, the Winter Garden would be thronged, for half the year, by people of culture, wealth, and fashion, from all parts of the land. No city in America can, at present, offer such allurements to people of refined or luxurious tastes as would be concentrated within the limits of the garden and its surroundings. The Central Park of New York, however lovely in summer, would appear bleak and barren under a wintry sky, compared with the leafy and floral loveliness to be found under the sea of glass, forming the garden roof. There would be a circular island from the tropic zone, insulated by the snows of a northern winter, in lieu of the ocean surf. The élite of the great cities would flock to it, as in summer they flock to Newport, Saratoga, and Long Branch. Here they would find, besides summer warmth and summer verdure, all the means needful to gratify a taste educated by the opportunities for culture furnished by a large city. Operas, concerts, theatres, lectures, libraries, galleries, museums, — all of high excellence, — would provide inexhaustible sources of entertainment or instruction. Owners of fast trotters or of stylish turnouts would all be anxious to display their teams on the splendid track of the glass boulevard, before the admiring gaze of the assembled multitudes. Mammas, with grown-up unmarried daughters, would discover that the state of their health and that of their girls required a few weeks’ sojourn within the enchanted circle, where winter and rough weather were obsolete terms. The great dailies would have correspondents at such a centre of attraction, to pick up gossip and chronicle the arrivals of notables. Poets, artists, essayists, novelists, would find endless materials and suggestions to work into poems, pictures, essays, and stories. Possibly, too, some enthusiastic horticultural habitué would give his diary to the public, under the paradoxical title of My Winter in a Garden.

In this paper, however, we are considering the Winter Garden principally as a sanitary or remedial agent, though there is every reason to believe that in the future, when the advantages of such winter resorts are appreciated, they will be considered indispensable adjuncts to every large city of the North. The question now arises, Who, among the wealthy, the philanthropic, the men of business energy, and of farseeing minds, will aid in furnishing the required capital for an initial establishment of this kind ? Is there not some Stewart, some Astor, some Vanderbilt, — some man with a colossal fortune and great practical sagacity, — to view the matter, if not in a philanthropic, at least in a money-making light, and who will advance the few millions required by the enterprise, with the absolute certainty of a large return for the investment? Or must it be left for the co-operation of men of smaller means ? State or national aid is hardly to be expected, until the powers behind the throne, the people, are educated to see the importance and feasibility of the undertaking.

We have already shown, or endeavored to show, that such an investment of capital would be a paying one, but an important source of pecuniary profit was not mentioned. A location would be selected where land is comparatively cheap, and a tract of at least a thousand acres secured. Two hundred and fifty acres, immediately surrounding the Winter Garden, would be reserved for an outside park, which would be handsomely laid out and ornamented. It would have pleasant drives and walks, skating-ponds, groves of evergreen trees, shrubbery, etc., like a city park, and would be the pleasureground for convalescents in good weather. The remainder of the land, outside of the park, would be surveyed into streets and building-lots for houses, stores, churches, school-houses, etc. People of all trades and occupations would be drawn towards the city of glass, to supply the wants, real or fanciful, of its inhabitants. A large and prosperous village would, inevitably, soon crystallize around the park, and building-lots would be in demand at good prices. The income to the corporation from this source alone would be very large.

Within the limits proposed in this paper many details must be left unmentioned, and others only briefly suggested. For instance, the walls inside of the garden, and likewise of the surrounding arcade, and the passage-ways, could be utilized to advantage by training up the supporting columns and mullions thousands of vines of the Hamburg, Chasselas, Muscat, and other fine varieties of foreign grapes, which will thrive in this climate only under glass. Immense quantities of the finest fruit could be ripened in this way, which with a little care in keeping, would supply the hotel tables, throughout the winter, with grapes for the dessert, greatly contributing to the health and gratification of the guests. Another plan of utility would be to use one or more of the large open spaces between the garden walls and the arcade, for extensive poultry-yards. In these sheltered, sunny ranges, each containing several acres of land, large numbers of the best breeds of fowls would help to furnish eggs and chickens for the establishment, besides being a source of amusement to the patients. But many such details as these must be left till the capital is subscribed, a board of directors chosen, a tract of land purchased, and the ground-plan and elevation of the requisite structures decided upon.

In submitting the above plan of a Winter Garden, on a large scale, for the cure of pulmonary and other diseases, or as an agreeable resort for those in health, it is not pretended that improvements may not be suggested. As it stands, however, it will serve the purposes of illustration, and of calling attention to the subject. The attentive reader needs hardly to be told that we have, personally, the most unreserved belief in the very great benefits of such winter resorts, both for the sick and for the well, in their entire practicableness, and, what is not the least important, in their decided success financially. Possibly there are some constitutional doubters who will consider the project an idle dream of the imagination, as unsubstantial in basis as the poet - dreamer’s “stately pleasure - dome,” in Kubla Khan ; but such incredulous souls are respectfully reminded that the dreams, or what seem to be dreams, of one generation often become the accomplished facts of the next.

The almost inexhaustible possibilities of glass in the amelioration of the winter climate of high latitudes are, as yet, scarcely dreamed of. How easily and inexpensively the cold, bleak, windswept streets of our Northern cities, in winter, could be converted into delightful promenades by enclosing the sidewalks of the principal streets with glass supported in a light iron framework ! These frames would rise from the curbstone to the height of the lower stories of the buildings, with an inclined roof the width of the sidewalks. The iron side framework would be so constructed that the glass, formed in large, thick panes, could easily be taken out in summer and replaced at the approach of winter. The glass in the roof would remain permanently, and in warm weather would be covered with awnings. The glass roof of the arcades would be continued over the cross-streets, although the sides would necessarily be open for the passage of vehicles. Where the enclosed sidewalks opened upon cross-streets, there would be several light doors, so hung as to swing either way, thus permitting the tide of promenaders to flow through without hindrance. These doors could remain open, except on very cold or stormy days. It would be the duty of the police to regulate the temperature of the arcades by opening or closing the ventilators as occasion required.

The reader can imagine in some degree the change that would attend a promenade, we will say on Tremont Street, if the sidewalks of that thoroughfare were enclosed as has been described. Ladies, even invalids, could do their shopping or visiting, or take their needful exercise during the most inclement weather. It admits of no question that any business street or block that first has glass arcades along its sidewalks will attract to itself trade enough to pay the cost of the glass and iron enclosures many times over. It needs no very ardent imagination to conceive the paradise a Northern city would become in winter if the sidewalks of all its principal streets were thus enclosed in crystal. The great annoyances of dust and cold, of wind and rain, would be reduced almost to a nullity. Our civilization is hardly worthy of the name till such a consummation is brought about.

George A. Shove.