Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

707 there

to tuberculos per 1,000,00 Il 10 contes

are

antity in wat

brought in as able to

those who

could be

crowded 29 ful center

ard, the il Koch e of the te This tubete relation !

progthis

out

an

solate, and they question,

now

"imley is a very different thing from the treatment carried London County Council, and on the eyesight of 500 i in ihe early days of sanatoria. Patients are no longer Glasgow school children by Dr. Rowan. Throughout, the

uffed and rested indiscriminately. They extinct diye ork, rest, and food on

givenditficulty which specially besets such statistical investiga

a carefully graduated system ; too favurasi ley are taught how to treat themselves-what to do and

lions is present in the fact that all the material is intensely

selected. There is no means of supplementing it by a patients and ith but a small proportion of the cases ; tuberculosis The world hat to avoid. The sanatorium treatment, however, deals knowledge of the distribution of astigmatism and other

errors of refraction in the community at large. Thus, in tuberculca's iust be tackled on a much more extensive scale. Calmette dealing with percentage statistics of the heredity factor

! Lille and Philip in Edinburgh, seeing the importance in myopia, the authors say that “the distribution of af bringing the treatment of tuberculosis to the working parents of the normal and the proportion of myopes to

asses and even the very poor, have organised what is ihe normal in the general population (or at any rate in

ow known as the dispensary system, in which are com- the universe under discussion ) must be found before any ubercle be ined an intelligence department, an ambulance service, a appreciation of the effect of heredity can be made.”

aining school, an out-patient and in-patient hospital The first moot point which arises in dealing with the ervice, and a sanatorium department. In Edinburgh the inheritance of refraction concerns the determination of the

sult has been a fall in the death-rate beyond that of unit to be used to obtain a quantitative scale. It is now ther cities equally or more favourably situated, except in customary to measure the refraction in terms of the rehat they have not been provided with this well-organised fractive power of the correcting lens instead of, as ystem.

formerly, in terms of its focal distance. When the variaIt is recognised that prevention of tuberculosis is tions of the mean values in the population are small comertainly more important than its cure, and all interested pared with the mean value in the individuals under

1 this question must realise what enormous impetus discussion, it matters little which unit is adopted. This se of the diction taken by the President of the Local Government

as been given to the whole movement by the energetic is true of corneal refraction (3 per cent.), but untrue of e history Board. His keen interest in the Milk Bill, in the Wash

corneal astigmatism (75 per cent.). The difficulty is over

come by using, whenever possible, the method of conausal aga oxhibition, his grasp of principles and the wealth of

ngton Congress on Tuberculosis, and in the Whitechapel tingency, fundamentally, or for purposes of control. been raak netail contained in his opening address at that exhibition,

Investigation of the inheritance of corneal astigmatism leads to the conclusion that it is certainly inherited, as

evidenced by minimum limits of 0.3 to the parental and ve kact up to his conviction. All this marks a great advance livered an the public treatment of the question in this country.

of 0.4 to the fraternal coefficients, but the material is

neither sufficient nor sufficiently classified to determine S.a. pous: Medical men have long suspected that tuberculous milk

with any degree of certainty the accurate value of the if the cik: vas a prolific cause of abdominal consumption amongst inheritance coeflicients. The authors point that ile set the heir little patients. They have known how readily delicate " there is a splendid field for a man who will measure Every qum, children recovering from measles, whooping cough, in- the corneal astigmatism in a non-selected population.' As irst thing Jammation of the lungs, and similar conditions, have this would be easy and accurate task with the

mind been infected, sometimes from tuberculous patients, at ophthalmometer there ought to be no difficulty in getting n the speas other times, however, under conditions where infec-it' carried out. Investigation of corneal refraction shows ion from the human subject appeared to be impossible, that it is inherited at the same rate as other physical

welcome with enthusiasm any legis. | characters in man. In dealing with the inter-relations of ation that will render impossible the spread of

reíraction, keenness of vision, and age, the results show from his tuberculosis by the milk from infected cattle. Medical

how much more influence myopia has on visual acuity wise adíe officers of health, aware of the insanitary conditions under than hypermetropia, and that refraction defects contribute 10 isches which a large proportion of the population, not only urban, more than half the abnormality of kecnness of vision. ned, by -- but rural, live, hail with satisfaction the idea that in They further show that there is not the least doubt of and mae any well-considered action they may take they will now, a sensible relationship of age to each of the several cateVlore not only be commended, but helped. The National gories of eye defect. It is probable that a great deal of the fat" Association for the Prevention of Consumption has done hypermetropia, hypermetropic and mixed astigmatism dis

Motowell, not only to follow Ireland and America, but to appears, probably owing to growth, between six and ten, mation may improve upon the methods adopted in those two countries. thus swelling the number of emmetropic eyes, but that Wars Nothing but good can be the outcome of this movement, after this age there is not sufficient evidence to say whether

we hope that the seventy thousand visitors to the these categories vary or not. Myopia and myopic astigdone by Whitechapel Art Gallery will be followed by hundreds of matism increase throughout, but this increase does not Ash thousands, who will have the opportunity of seeing this balance the total gain due to rectification by growth; it a similar exhibition at the " White City"

may be caused by continued action of some environmental its tour through the large and populous centres of England, Tactor, or by a growth factor. bad and perhaps even of Scotland.

The general conclusions derived from the slender data of that:

this first study are as follows :-There is no evidence whatpatas

ever that overcrowded, poverty-stricken homes, or physil'ISION IN RELATION TO HEREDITY cally ill-conditioned or immoral parentages are markedly AND ENVIRONMENT.1

detrimental to the children's eyesight. There is no

sufficient evidence that school environment has a deleterious doh THE Francis Galton Eugenics Laboratory at University Festi: College, London, has already done much valuable

effect on the eyesight of children. Though changes of a to work in many directions under the supervision of Prof.

vision occur during school years, they are phases of one

law of growth, aily Karl Pearson. With the assistance of Miss Barrington, a

passage

to

from hypermetropia To useful inquiry has been made into the question of the lemmetropia and myopia of the eyes of “ unstable stocks." and o inheritance of vision and the relative influence of heredity

There is ample evidence that refraction and keenness of there and environment on sight. The paper is a mathematical

vision are inherited characters, and that the degree of of the investigation of statistics culled from a variety of sources.

correlation between the eyesight of pairs of relatives is €25 - Of these, two communications by Dr. Adolf Steiger, of

of a wholly different order to the correlation of eyesight te bron Zürich, on the corneal curvature, and the report on 1400

with home environment. Intelligence as judged by the pe school children issued by the Edinburgh Charity Organisa- (p. 16). We scarcely think that the data justify so strongly

teacher is corrclated with vision in only a moderate manner trenn tion Society, afford the best material. Other contributory

worded an Chania material of less value is taken from reports on the refrac

ex cathedra statement as that made by the petion of London elementary-school children by Dr. A.

authors in conclusion :-" The first thing is good stock, et Hugh Thompson and the Education Committee of the

and the second thing is good stock, and the third thing

is good stock, and when you have paid attention to these 1 University of London. Francis Galton Laboratory for National Eugenics. Eugenics Laboratory Memoirs.

three things fit environment will keep your material in V. A First Study of the Inheritance of Vision and of the Relative Influence of Heredity and Environment on

good condition. No environmental or educational grindSight. By Amy Barrington and Karl Pearson, F.R.S. Pp. 61. (London: stone is of service unless the tool to be ground is of Dr. Po Dulau and Co., 1909.) Price 45.

genuine steel-of tough race and tempered stock."

and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

or

on

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

to $

was

an

mens

to

a

CHILD EMPLOYMENT AND El’ENING with advantage occupy the time and immediate atte: CONTINUATION SCHOOLS.

of the members of education committees throughout

country. ANOTHER appendix volume, No. 20, to the report of Of especial interest are the conclusions arrived a: the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and

the suggestions which Mr. Jackson makes at the end Relief of Distress has been published (Cd. 4632), and

his report. The following excerpts will serve incidentally indicates the directions which educational

the vital importance of early legislation to ensure 21 effort should take in this country in order to ensure the efficient system of further education for all boys and provision in future years of better educated workmen in

during their adolescent years, whether they thens the various industries on which the success of this country desire it or not. depends.

The report is by Mr. Cyril Jackson, chairman of the The evidence as to the difficulty boys find in getz Education Committee of the London County Council, who

into permanent work of a satisfactory kind seems e acted for the commission as a special investigator to

whelming. Every inquirer gives the same impression inquire and report on the main occupations followed by

The work of an errand boy or a telegraph messe boys on leaving public elementary schools in certain typical is bad for the boy, so is the work of a boy in a towns; the opportunities of promotion in such occupations house or factory who is employed to fasten labels or of training for other occupations; and the extent to bottles, to fill packets of tea, or the like. It is not which such boys subsequently obtain regular employment much a question of a skilled trade not being taug. (skilled or unskilled) as adults. Mr. Jackson was given of work which is deteriorating, absorbing the years of power to make any feasible suggestions of a remedial boy's life when he most needs educational expansion ir." character indicated by the facts, and he limited his in- widest sense. vestigations to a consideration of the prospects of perman- Mere skill of hand or eye is not everything. I ence and educative value for adult industry of the occupa- character and sense of responsibility which requires to tions entered upon by the boys with whom he fostered, and not only morals, but grit, stamina, the concerned.

energy, steadiness, toughness of fibre, endurance," or As regards the methods of inquiry adopted, it may be be trained and developed. Work which is monoton said that Mr. Jackson was able, from the sources of

kiiis development, and work which is intermittent destra statistical information he found available, to obtain an perseverance and power of concentration. The waste idea of the various occupations in which there was boys' brains, character, and strength is ultimately, apparent excess of boys who could not when adults be

only destructive of the individual, but a serious mums absorbed in the same branch of industry. He afterwards, loss to the community. It is probable that boy labour by interviews and by the distribution among employers of not really cheap at all, owing to the undeveloped s. special forms to be filled up, obtained some further in- sponsibility and carelessness of the young, but if the s formation as to these occupations ; but he met with many skilled men who spring from them have been difficulties, and only a small proportion of the forms were , and physically stunted, the loss the emplorers returned to him. In addition, a form of industrial bio- i enormous, for they cannot earn a sufficient wage to graphy for young men was issued to obtain direct evidence properly, and their output is below that required from : of the length of time boys remain in particular occupa- adult citizen. tions and the age at which they were displaced if they In the large industries there should be a readjustr: have been in boys' work which does not lead to permanent of conditions, but probably the initiative must come for employment as adults; but a third only of the forms an extension of State regulation of boy labour. This circulated were filled up and returned" Lads are always be most easily effected by further raising the age op sch suspicious of anything which they think is prying into attendance, or by a system of compulsory continua: their affairs, and they believe there must be something schools. It must be recognised that much bors' work behind,'” says Mr. Jackson.

wholly uneducative, and deteriorates instead of develop. There has been a steady diminution in the number of the man, and that this must be prevented. One of boys employed under fifteen during the last quarter of a largest industries--the textile-is still partly based on ha century. With the recent stimulus given to secondary time child labour. It is probable that the operatives education, and counting on the zeal of new education really more to blame for this than the employers, ma authorities, there is reason to believe the decrease may be of whom are not very satisfied as to the advantages even more marked in the next census return. There are, child labour. The old contention that the manipula: however, exceptions to this decrease. The census general skill reouired compelled the employment of children report of 1901 states, “while owing to the restriction of twelve, because after that age their fingers lose supp: child labour, the total number of boys under fifteen years, ness, is not now heard so frequently. returned as employed, showed a decrease of 12.9 per

One thing which appears likely to be of far-reach cent. on the numbers enumerated in 1891, the number of benefit to the boy is increased education. Thus messenger boys at the same ages declined by only 5.1 per Kittermaster gives as his remedies :-cent."

It is, however, satisfactory to note how few are the (1) Boys should be kept at school until the age trades in which an actual or a proportional increase in fifteen instead of fourteen. the number of boys is shown. As Mr. Jackson says, (2) Exemption below this age should only be grar: messenger boys have a very short life as such, and this for bors leaving to learn a skilled trade. form of occupation ceases as soon as the boys begin to (3) There should be school supervision until sixteen, 3?. require higher wages. It is unfortunate, therefore, that replacement in school if not properly employed. it should be just in this class that the decrease in boy Prof. Sadler and the Rev. Spencer Gibb suggest com employment is least marked.

pulsory half-time schools, or, at any rate, some compuls The problem presented by the results of Mr. Jackson's school until sixteen or seventeen. Mr. Gibb would ! inquiry is very grave in character, and the various state- to see further amendments of the Shop Hours Acts soos ments of it collected in the present volume mav be com- to avoid the possibility of excessive hours of labour mended

the careful consideration of those who certain days of the week. He points out, also, that th administer our educational affairs. Similarly, the opinions present Acts need to be more thoroughly enforced. here collated of schoolmasters, of men working in boys' This inquiry seems to show that these reforms ar clubs, &c., of trades unionists, of distress committees, necessary. The raising of the age of exemption we' and others, deserve earnest study.

strengthen the boy, and he would be kept longer une The analysis of the numerous forms received by Mr. discipline, and would become both steadier in charac Jackson proved a long and difficult task, and he is to be and more intelligent. It can hardly be seriously content congratulated upon the important facts he has been able that the boy of the working man is really more fiti. to gather together. The information respecting the life than the public-school boy at the age of fourteen with capacity of boys, the wages they are able to earn, and is admittedly unready at that age. the precise conditions regulating boy labour in specially It must not, however, be supposed that the selected industries, will repay careful deliberation, and may education given in the schools is all that can be desired

to

[ocr errors]

Jackson má

| excerpt,

to do.

satisfactors gives the

implured

trade

education

[ocr errors]

is, but

of fibre Work at

, to

[ocr errors]

strength

men.

156 19 difficulty.

[ocr errors]

tion comme here is a widespread feeling that it is too academic, and many, whose scientific results are like the grains of sand, the cuncidit developing character and intelligence rather than merely just be made more practical. In any case, it must aim the importance of which lies in their aggregation.

But a chemist, to be worthy of the name, should also nparting book knowledge.

be able to step forth from his own small sphere of activity vrly legalta jercially impossible, it must be remembered that our

If it is urged that further time for schooling is com- and to look upon his science and allied domains of human pducatwil te Teat trade rivals, the Germans and the United States,

thought as a whole, to contemplate its history and its ars, when ave compulsory continuation schools or a higher exemp

future, its aims and progress, and to glean a few useful

truths from such considerations. This is what I shall try ion age. In Germany it is the custom for parents to put difficulty by lourishing there as ever it was. heir boys to a skilled trade, and apprenticeship is as The simple daily wants of mankind in a primitive con

“ The Imperial Law on dition are all supplied by nature, It is the progress of he • Regulation of Industry' of 1891 decreed that the civilisation which led to the necessity of transforming her

nasters in any branch of industry were bound to allow gifts, and thus created a chemical industry. Human

,heir workers under the age of eighteen to attend an chemical work supplements the chemical work of nature, he work of officially recognised continuation school .. for the time and is therefore subject to the same governing laws. It

ixed as necessary by the authorities." The local council is strange that no attempt has yet been made to trace 2, or the night make such attendance obligatory for all male workers the many coordinated points which exist between biology,

under the age of eighteen. Every raising of the school the science of life, and chemistry, the science of molecular 8. uboshin

, age or Factory Act limiting child labour has been in turn changes, without which life is an impossibility.

objected to as fatal to industry, but the community has The subject is extensive enough for a book. I cannot Yery quickly adapted itself to the new conditions.

hope to do justice to it in a short lecture, but I shall The removal of the supply of cheap boy labour under try to point out some of the relations existing between the ifteen would probably lead to very useful readjustments of results of biology and applied chemistry. ndustry and to the substitution of mechanical labour for Biology as a science is of very recent date. The manner some of their work and for a greater employment of adult in which our forefathers tried to gain an insight into the abour. It is, of course, true that to start boys at fifteen overwhelming variety of the vegetable and animal nstead of thirteen or fourteen will not prevent a period kingdoms was purely systematic. Linnæus, de Candolle, 1 better chance of skill to the boy. A better and longer nature, but they did not teach us to understand it.

education should give the boys firmer and more disciplined Hardly a century ago the dawn of a deeper insight began orologia e a

to rise on the , and just probably be to new work. Increase olefficiency, even in unskilled clapsed since that memorable meeting of the Linnean

. labour, means increased wage to the mutual benefit of Society in which the flaming truth of evolution was given ihe mployer and employed. It is the over-supply of unskilled then bei labour which is not worth a good wage which is the real

to humanity by one of the greatest minds that ever stood up amongst

Botany and zoology, the pedantic

histories of plants and animals, became suddenly united Again, in skilled trades proper there is little doubt that in biology, the great science of life, itself a living thing, Ww that there is room for more boys, and they are not supplied capable of development and evolution.

now with the best material available. It is probable Evolution is no longer a working hypothesis of natural houl to that labour exchanges for boys leaving school would be science ; it has become a new way of thinking, a method

ativ. of very great value in securing that all the more intelligent of harvesting everlasting truth from the fleeting changes i bei and able boys had a chance of securing good openings. of passing life. It is not applicable to living plants and asing. It is the ignorance of the boy which so often leads him animals only, but to everything that is capable of growth, 0002 * into employment which is not suited to him.

alteration and improvement. Why should this method Further, some better grading of wages is most desirable. not be extended to the study of human achievements, of siran At present, comparatively high initial wages are often science as a whole? Why not to applied chemistry, which Drepanovi paid to tempt boys into an unprogressive occupation. The is so full of changes, and more vigorous in its growth and !! pr. value of the old apprenticeship scales lay in their attempt development than many another discipline? that is to make the wage increase with the capacity, but the low It seems to me that England, the country which has

initial earnings have been the reason of the unpopularity given to all the other nations the invaluable gift of in the of apprenticeship with the more needy and less far-sighted. evolution, is the classical soil on which an attempt might hizo us. It is quite possible that the boy leaving school at fifteen be made to apply it in a new manner. It may help us

will still not earn more than he now does at fourteen. to understand, and therefore to forgive, the struggle for first

There is little doubt that in that case the employer would existence, which in chemistry and its applications is as gain, because he would get a better article, but the boy rife as amongst the organisms of the deep sea or the would also gain, because he would be a better article and tropical forest. Looking at that struggle with the calm more fit to develop into a still higher efficiency, com- soul of the man of science, we shall easily recognise the manding better wages later. It is better that he should underlying promise of the survival of the fittest and of be paid less in his early years and be worth more as an certain progress in coming days. adult. Under existing conditions he is bribed by large As a rule, one takes it for granted that anything wages to spend his time on uneducative work which gives applied must have existed before its applications. It is him no opportunity afterwards, and he is unfit to spend not so with applied chemistry. Chemistry as a science wisely the large wages which he receives. The present is, as we all know, a comparatively new creation. Its system demoralises the boy. The temptation to leave one applications, on the other hand, have existed since times job to get higher wages in another is almost irresistible, immemorial, and may be traced back

the very and the resulting instability is detrimental to himself and beginnings of human civilisation. The men who in the not economical to his employer, who is perpetually trying past devoted their thought and energy to problems which to train new boys.

we now call chemical had to reach their ends with the help of sound empiricism. Though their progress was slow

it was sure, so that to this day we have sometimes EVOLUTION IN APPLIED CHEMISTRY.1

occasion to marvel at their successes. More than that, we

may safely say that some of our best industrial methods EVERY chemist, to be worthy of the name, should in would never have been discovered if we had had chemical his be a ;

theory only to guide us. Science itself stands on an amongst us to whom it has been given to produce in their empirical basis—we cannot draw general conclusions unless own particular line of research results of deep general we have well-established observations to start from. interest. Our distinguished president, Sir William

It is perhaps not superfluous to remember these facts Ramsay, is one of the privileged few; I am one of the at the present time, when the brilliant success of theoretical

Address to the combined sections of the Seventh International Congress chemistry is apt to make us forgetful of the services of Applied Chemistry on Monday, May 31, by Prof. Otto N. Witt, of derived from purely empirical methods of research.

Empiricism investigates without foregone conclusions,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to

Berlin.

[ocr errors]

Own.

whilst theoretical science verifies logical deductions. Eastern nations. It is an undoubted fact, and if it! Science forces nature to divulge its secrets; empiricism is not, a single visit to the South Kensington Muxum z quite content to pick up the treasures it may come across prove it, that the people of Persia, India, China, J. in its ramblings through unexplored regions. Nature is ihe inhabitants of Burma, Siam, Cambodja, and the still full of unknown treasures. Why should we cease to numerable islands of the Pacific, are possessed of 10:*: search for them? Why should we expect success only for the treatment and utilisation of the products of 1 from logical deduction?

which are in many cases equal, if not superior, It is true that the scientific method of invention is a

These methods must be to a large extent quicker road to success. Rapidity is everything in our upon chemical principles. Is it not strange that we times. Whirling along in a motor carriage to

a well.

so little about them, and that little generally only indi known destination is distinctly more agreeable than tramp- through the accounts of travellers who were not chess ing on foot in the glaring sun of a summer's day; but If all these peculiar methods were fully knon's you cannot pick the flowers blooming by the roadside or described by persons who have seen them applied a stumble over hidden treasures at the rate of sixty miles watched their application with the eyes of a chem's an hour. The two methods of progress have both their would certainly be, not only of interest, but also of own peculiar advantages, and should both be followed. greatest utility to our own industry; for it is the eld Now and then they will meet, and make success doubly tion of empirical methods which, in the new light certain.

science sheds upon them, leads to new departures art One of the best combinations of empiricism and theory progress. Who can deny the advantage which the * is the examination of old empirical industrial processes by try of cotton dyeing and calico printing derived from the methods and in the light of modern chemical science. study of the Turkey-red process, which a century ago ? A great deal of valuable information has been obtained in bought as an Eastern trade secret by the French Gut this way; much more remains to be discovered. It is

ment and generously placed at the disposal of Eur : this conviction which led me to propose to the last congress dyers? Would the making of porcelain have been iru: at Rome that a special section should be established in in Europe if the impulse for it had not come fron: these congresses for the history of applied chemistry. The East? Is there no connection between the introductio history of chemical science, as it exists now, is almost Chinese porcelain and the invention of Delft, the cur entirely devoted to theoretical systems and to the life of observations of Réaumur on devitrification, and even those who created them. The history of industrial methods work of that great and original genius, Josiah Wedgy. is not so complete as one might wish it to be.

And would that supreme triumph of the applicati So far as the history of our nineteenth-century chemical pure chemical science to industry, the synthesis of ini, industry goes, the materials for studying it are not want- ever have been accomplished if indigo, as a natural c ing. The patent literature of the various countries is in stuff, and its extraordinary method of application by : itself an inexhaustible source of information, which can dveing, had not come to us from the East ? What a be largely supplemented from text-books and endless files has been created, even in these very latest days, tv of periodicals; but it is not so if we begin to inquire into extension of this ancient Eastern method of dyeins the applied chemistry of previous centuries. The other shades than those of indigo! mysterious communications of the mediæval alchemists We live in a period when the intellectual nations have been frequently examined; but Pliny remains our the East wake up from their political sleep of centur almost exclusive source of information about the chemical when they issue from their seclusion and demand : arts of the antique world. Yet these arts were many and share of Atlantic civilisation ; but their awakening mr highly developed, and Pliny's information was distinctly going to sleep for their industrial methods. superficial.

methods, ingenious as they undoubtedly are, cannot e How much more might be gathered about the chemistry pete with ours in being applicable on a manufacta of past times has been shown by the researches of such scale. So our processes are transferred to the coasts men as Berthelot and Edmund von Lippmann, who com- the Pacific, and their own methods are abandoned bined the accomplishments of distinguished chemists with forgotten. The Eastern industries cannot keep pace : those of the Orientalist in the study of Arabic and Hebrew not because they are inferior in their results, authors. Who knows what a host of information may yet because they, toil on foot whilst ours are motoring. be lying dormant in unread Egyptian papyri and this struggle for existence the fittest means the quick palympsests?

and the cheapest. But the sovereign means of discovering these lost secrets Yet I am certain that many a new and good sa is in the careful study and analysis of the products which might be obtained from the combination of Eastern 1 ancient times have fortunately left us as proofs of their Atlar ic achievements. Examples of such happy blera skill and knowledge. How much has been done in that not missing. See what that great and orig respect by that one great master, Marcellin Berthelot, who English inventor, Lord Masham, the very type of : found in such work the recreation of the later years of Atlantic genius, has made of the wild silks of India ! his life? How much more remains still to be done?

It seems to me that these international congresses oug Thus we may hope to know at some future time more to make it one of their important duties to watch o of the accomplishments of past generations than we do the intellectual wealth of the past and to collect it being at present; and may also hope that

of the it disappears for ever. Let the chemists of all county methods thus re-discovered will awake to fresh life like who flock together in these gatherings entrust to be mummy wheat, which is said to take root and grow if keeping the old indigenous industrial methods of th you plant it in fresh soil.

Have we

not greeted with nations; let the reports of these congresses, which delight the terra sigillata of the Romans, when the process distributed over all the world, become a treasure-trote for its manufacture re-discovered by Fischer, a ancient motives for new development ! Bavarian potter, and has not a considerable industry If we consider how our present chemical industry sprung from the resurrected use of lanolin, or wool. been evolved from empirical processes such fat, which was a panacea of the Greeks two thousand ancestors practised them, and as they still exist in r years ago ?

countries of the East, and even in some parts of Euro Yet such discoveries will remain inheritances from the can easily observe a gradual transformation sim:'. dead, and the cases of their resurrection to life will not in many respects to the one that living nature had to : be numerous; but we have living empiricism at our doors, through in evolving the present types of plant and anin which we allow to die and to sink into oblivion, without

life. It is here that the parallels between biology an attempting to study it and to learn the lesson it has to chemistry offer themselves. They are interesting, and teach-a treasure of information of incalculable magni. useless to consider. It would be strange indeed if tude hoarded up in the course of centuries by the skill could not gather some acceptable hints from surverand patience of countless millions of men who were, and the broad expanse of the human toil and thought are, as keen in the study of nature as they are reluctant centuries. to draw general conclusions from their observations.

One of the most characteristic changes that have tik This great treasure is the industrial experience of the place is the transformation of handicraft into manufactur

ours,

are

we

some

was

as

we

[ocr errors]

as

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

new

[ocr errors]

our

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

10V

Avantan printing

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

her

Ve have replaced personal skill by division of labour in and Germany. Brilliant the work done by gas hemical work just as much as in all the other branches specialists in connection with these attempts undoubtedly f human industry. In so doing we have certainly un- is, the success is, to say the least, indifferent, and will onsciously copied nature. Do not her earliest creations, remain so until the water-gas question will again have he unicellular organisms, in which one cell is made to undergone so complete a transformation and adaptation to ulfil all the functions of life, resemble the patient crafts- | European industrial conditions that it will once more be nan, who works at the object that he wants to turn out paramount to a new creation. rom the beginning to the end, and then, with a last loving Another example. Just at the present time glance, hands it over to his client? And are not country is about to join the concert of industrial nations. actories of the present day comparable to the complicated Norway, in the rocky solitudes of which the bear, was wont

organisms of the later epochs of creation, with their many to ramble and the elk and the reindeer to graze, the blue the tri ind in their joint activity are much more powerful than :oordinated and subordinated organs that work in unison, fjords of which knew no other craft than fishing smacks

and occasional pleasure yachts, is beginning to develop a heir tiny unicellular ancestors ?

chemical industry of vast dimensions. Will that industry of the

be similar to the one existing in this country or in in of animated life is the gradus transformation of aquatic | Germany ? Certainly not. Its factories will have no

organisms into those living in the air and on solid ground chimneys, no fires. They will be activated by the “ white

-a tremendous change, and one which could only be effected coal,' the force of roaring torrents. Our engineers have - Jy many and varied attempts and by means of the most pondered over the problem of economically transforming

marvellous adaptations. Right into the midst of our ? by a spoch, when the conquest of land as a permanent dwelling

heat into electricity; the task of the Norwegian manu.

One of the fundamental place for plants and animals is practically accomplished, problems of our German chemical industry is the utilisacelain eaches the perpetuation of intermediate forms, which can tion of our overwhelming wealth of sodium and potassium Bad o adapt themselves to land or water, as the circumstances salts; the Norwegians neutralise their synthetic nitric acid tetapag may require.

with limestone, because they have no cheap alkali. Many Sow what is the lesson we can learn from the study other points of the same kind might be mentioned, but I trica's of this wonderful development in comparing it to what think these are sufficient to show that, whatever that new rus), has happened in our own industry? I think it is obvious Norwegian industry may prove to be, when fully developed 100 and of the greatest importance. It is this, that no it must be different from what the world has seen so far. the industry, and especially no chemical industry, can be trans- The first activity which the human race develops in dizy

, planted, such as it is, from the place in which it has been taking possession of wild districts is agriculture, and we 1 of successfully developed, into any other without having to know full well that no two countries are alike in their the Ex: undergo a complete change, which taxes to the utmost agricultural methods and results. An agricultural country er in the organising and inventive power of those who make has to develop a dense population, and, in its work, the the attempt.

peculiarities due to its soil and its climate, before it can This is a truth too often forgotten in our times, when attempt to create an industry. The blending of the old inteľn the keenest struggle for success is rife everywhere, and agricultural interests with the newly acquired industrial

people who have to suffer from the competition of factories ones means in itself a convulsion. Is it then probable that กา :: established in other countries are apt to vent their grief so fundamental a change may be brought about by the

in uncharitable accusations. Yet how frequent are the mere importation of a miserable copy of what has been examples, when manufacturers, who have risen to great born and nurtured to maturity on other soil and under prosperity, suffer tremendously by transferring their own

another sun? business into some new locality. In many cases it is If we study the life of plants and animals we are struck merely a move in their own

country,

vet it
means,

by the marvellous economy reigning everywhere. There generally; a far-reaching adaptation to altered conditions ; few physiological processes which be called but if it becomes a question of transplanting a manufacture wasteful. Every bye-product of the more important from one country into another, it must be quite a new chemical reactions that take place in the organisms of creation if it is to be a

new creation it plants and animals is utilised and made to serve should command our respect, and though it may be in- purpose. In plants, for instance, the refuse of the chemical convenient it should not be disparaged. It was the destiny work of the protoplasm seems to be deposited as encrustof aquatic organisms to conquer land as a dwelling-place. ing material in the enclosing cellulose. The encrusted and it is the destiny of the industrial countries of the

cell is then made to serve as a mechanical support for ui

present day to carry industry to the nations that are ready the body of the plant, whilst new and more vigorous cells to receive it.

are formed to fulfil the functions of life. Some of the There are, fortunately, no two countries alike in this bve-products of the chemical work of the plant are transworld, and most of them differ, from a manufacturing formed into dye-stuffs, others into perfumes, both with the point of view, more than land and water for plants and object of attracting the insects which are necessary for

Whenever an industry leaves its native country fertilisation. Everywhere in animated nature we see the it has to be re-modelled. Take, for instance, the gas principle of storing up food, either to serve in cases of

industry, which was born in England, and has been carried need or to provide for a future generation. Even in those 3 by English enterprise over all the world. No sooner it cases where nature seems to be wasteful, as, for instance, Se crossed the channel and was established in France and in producing germs and seeds in far greater numbers than TE". Germany than it had to be materially transformed, not seem to be required for the continuation of the species,

in its principle, but in the constructive details and the the seeming superabundance is merely a wise calculation atas dimensions of the necessary plant. Our coal was different of the probabilities for the development of the germs.

from yours, our fire-clay had to be prepared and worked More marvellous, perhaps, than any of these examples is Ia differently for the production of the necessary retorts, our

the economical use of the energy required for sustaining condensers and gas-holders had to be altered and encased

the functions of life. So far as I am aware, there is not to withstand the sudden and wide changes of temperature

a single engine of human invention which can utilise the :,147 of a Continental climate, our yields proved lower, and the energy supplied to it in so perfect a way as, for instance, - economy of the process was materially different. Still a horse utilises the calories contained in its food for the greater changes awaited the gas industry on the other production of mechanical power : and

the

though the side of the Atlantic. Though the United States mechanical equivalent of light as a form of energy is, so

nossessed of good gas-coal, the freights for it to the New far as I am aware, yet an unknown constant, we may England States proved to be too high. On the other safely say that the perfection with which living plants hand, anthracite was incomparably cheaper there than it utilise the energy of sunlight for carrying out the endois with us, and the same was the case with mineral oils thermic reactions upon which their nutrition and growth of a high boiling point. All this led to the successful depends is far superior to the methods which we have so substitution of carburetted water-gas for the illuminating

far discovered for similar purposes. gas of Europe. At present we try hard to acclimatise this Are not these principles of economy which so universally American adaptation of the gas industry both in England I pervade living nature also the very essence of all indus

09

[ocr errors]

can

are

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »