ich was fixed a sliding rod, the end of which, covered with grease, projected several inches beyond the ball. By an ingenious and simple contrivance, the cannon ball was detached when it reached the bottom of the sea, and the light rod was drawn up with specimens of the bottom adhering to the grease.
With this instrument the Americans went to work with characteristic energy, and, by always using a line of the same size and make, and a sinker of the same shape and weight, they at last ascertained the law of descent. This was an important achievement, because, having become familiar with the precise rate of descent at all depths, they were enabled to tell very nearly when the ball ceased to carry out the line, and when it began to go out in obedience to the influence of deep-sea currents. The greatest depth reached by Brooke's sounding-line is said to have been a little under five miles in the North Atlantic.
The value of investigations of this kind does not appear at first sight, to unscientific
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