Caption: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1896
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In the very midst of our field, where contact with the objects of our interest must be almost continuous. It seemed, consequently, clear that a house-boat, or so-called cabin-boat, of special construction, furnished as a biological, laboratory but with an equipment for minor experiments also, would meet our needs far more precisely than a building on shore. This laboratory boat, launched in April, 1896, 'was built at Havana from plans drawn up under my direction by Messrs. Gunn and McLane of the architectural department of the University. A strongly built hull of Washington fir supports a deck 20x60 ft., upon which is a cabin 16x56 ft. In building the hull extraordinary pains were taken to obtain, a steady construction. A three-inch solid bulkhead was run lengthwise through the middle, and two keelsons divide the space between this central bulkhead and the gunwales. Lateral strength was given by four series of diagonal braces, set as shown in Figure of cross section of cabin and placed every two feet, and by three hog-chains run from the bottom of each gunwale over the middle bulkhead. As a consequence, the floor of the boat proved to be remarkably steady, no tremor being noticeable in the use of the higher powers of the microscope on minute objects suspended in tluids. The interior of the hull is ventilated by means of four hatchways with movable covers, two at each end of the deck. The cabin has six large windows on each side, made freely movable for ventilation, and also transom ventilators above the windows. The roof is penetrated by four large ventilators, and walls and roof are made double, as :a protection against the heat, by ceiling with Georgia pine. By virtue of these arrangements, the laboratory rooms were remarkably comfortable during even the hottest weather of the year. The interior of the cabin is divided into four rooms: an office and library at one end 11 feet and 6 inches by 16 feet, occupied by the Station staff; a main laboratory 29 by 16 feet, primarily for visiting students and for the experimental equipment; a kitchen 8 feet and 8 inches by 12 feet, with gasoline stove and other cook's equipment, in which mid-day meals can be prepared for the Station force; and a small closet or store-room adjacent. The main laboratory is provided with tables, two to each window, and with shelving against the walls for books, note-boxes, specimens, etc., while down the center of the room is a sink table 3x22 ft., covered with zinc and furnished with a water supply for numerous small aquaria. A long overhead zinc-lined tank is supplied by iron piping, with a screw end outside the boat to which the discharge pipe of a hand force-pump can be readily attached. Stopcocks and glass and rubber tubing make the necessary connections with the tanks and jars used for aquarium work, the overflow being carried off by drainage pipes which empty outside the hull. The space beneath the central table is enclosed with doors and provided with shelves for general storage. The boat has no motive power, but is intended to be towed from place to place as occasion requires. Our steam launch "Illini, , ' r proved, indeed, to have sufficient power to transport this boat under ordinary circumstances.