17 APRIL 1880, Page 3

An American correspondent of Nature tells a curious story of

an American waiter at the New York Fifth Avenue Hotel, who can take charge of 500 hats at once, and always return the right hat to the owner, though most of the five hundred owners, and of course most of their hats, are completely strange to him. This waiter says that he "forms a mental picture of the owner's face inside the bat, and that on look- ing at any hat, the wearer's face is instantly brought before his mind's eye." Here, then,—if the account be accurate,—is another case of a memory indefinitely strengthened by a power of visualising impressions which most men never visualise at all. This man visualises hats with faces under them as great chess-players who play without the board visualise the pieces set in particular squares ; only this is a more remarkable exercise of the same power, since five hundred hats must contain many nearly exact copies of each other, while none of the sixty-four squares on a chess-board can be confused together at all, by any one who can make himself any accurate picture of them.